The Ark of the covenant was made of Acacia wood that was overlaid with gold. It was the first item of furniture that Moses made when God commanded him to build the tabernacle. The full account may be seen in Exodus, chapter 25.
Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el to take up a collection for me—accept a contribution from anyone who wholeheartedly wants to give. The contribution you are to take from them is to consist of gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; fine linen, goat’s hair, tanned ram skins and fine leather; acacia-wood; oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; onyx stones and other stones to be set, for the ritual vest and breastplate.
God’s command was for a specific purpose—so that He could dwell with his people. His instructions were very clear and precise. They were to make it in strict accord with his design without deviation of any kind. This was extremely important, because the Tabernacle Complex, it’s layout and design and all of the furnishings represents the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s plan of salvation in an amazing manner. Everything about it, from the tent, pegs right through to the ark itself spoke in some way of this.
We urge you to visit the page, The Tabernacle for an overall description.
The tabernacle was built to house the Ark that was the central focus of worship in the most holy place and 400 years later in the temple. See Exodus, 40:1-21.
The Ark was installed behind a thick, heavy curtain, beyond which only one man entered once per year and this man was the high priest Who ended there To sprinkle blood for the purpose of making atonement for sin. In typology form, this spoke of the work of Jesus Christ, who, as our Great High Priest made a once and for all time sacrifice for sin. When Jesus died, this heavy veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom. See Exodus 26:31-33; Matthew 27:50-51.
God set apart, the tribe of Levi to carry the ark, stand before him, serve Him and bless His name. The high priest only was allowed to enter the most holy place, entering their once a year on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. On that day, he sprinkled blood on the mercy seat of the arc to atone for the sins of the people. See Deuteronomy 10:8; Leviticus, chapter 16; Exodus 37:6-9.
The mercy seat was placed on top of the ark of the covenant. It included the winged cherubim that faced each other. God dwell between the cherubim and spoke to the priest. See 2 Samuel 6:2; Psalm 99:1.
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament, speak of the contents of the Ark. The stone tablets, with the 10 Commandments, also known as the tables of the covenant, a golden jar or pot of manna, and Aaron’s Rod that budded were placed inside. See Exodus 16: 32–34, 25:16, Numbers 17:10, Deuteronomy 10:5, and Hebrews 9:4.
Before the Babylonians destroyed and burned the temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC, they plundered it and removed the sacred vessels. See 2 Chronicles, 36:8. The existence, all location of the ark remains a mystery.
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