Moses and the Ark of the Covenant – Exodus 25
The following story is concerning the instructions to Moses for the building of the Ark of the Covenant.
The Lord spoke to Moses and said “Speak to the children of Israel so that they may bring me an offering: you will take an offering of every man who gives it willingly with his heart. And these are the things that you shall take: gold, silver, brass, blue and purple and scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red, badgers’ skins, and shittim wood (this was a sort of precious wood that was hard, tough and smooth, and very beautiful.*see note below) Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense; stones of onyx. And let them make me a sanctuary (a sacred place) so that I may dwell among them. It will be done according to all that I show you, and according to the pattern, so it shall be made.
And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: and it shall be 2 1/2 cubits long (about 55 inches*) and a cubit and a half wide (about 33 inches*) and 1 1/2 cubits high (about 33 inches*see note below.) And you shall lay over the wood pure gold, inside and outside, and you shall make a crown of gold to go around it.
And you shall make four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners of the ark, two rings on one side, and two rings on the other side. And you shall make staves of shittim wood and cover them with gold. (A stave is a thin narrow piece of timber *see note below) And you shall put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, so the ark may be carried with them. The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from them.
And you shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you.
And you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold: it shall be 2 1/2 cubits long (about 55 inches*) and 1 1/2 cubits wide (about 33 inches*)
And you shall make two cherubims (a type of angel) of beaten gold in the two ends of the mercy seat. One cherubim on one end, and the other cherubim on the other end. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings and cover the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look to each other, toward the mercy seat.
And you shall put the mercy seat above upon the ark and I will meet with you there, and I will communicate with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, all things which I will give you as commandments to the children of Israel.
*note: the description of the shittim wood and the size in inches for the cubits were gleaned from Websters 1828 dictionary.
Memory Verse: Exodus 25:2 “…you shall take my offering of every man that gives it willingly with his heart”
1 What was the oil for? Answer: for light and for anointing.
2 What kind of wood was the ark made of? Answer: shittim wood
3 What was to cover the ark? Answer: pure gold (note the gold was pure, not part gold and part metal)
4 What was to go into the ark? Answer: the testimony that the Lord would give Moses
5 What was to be made and placed on top of the ark? Answer: the mercy seat
6 What was on either end of the mercy seat? a cherubim with its wings stretched forth over the mercy seat and looking to the other cherubim on the other side.