7306 ark of the covenant

7306 ark of the covenant

A rectangular wooden box, overlaid with gold, measuring 3.75 x 2.25 x 2.25 feet (1.1 x 0.7 x 0.7 metres). It contains the Law tablets and symbolises God’s presence with his people.

Descriptions of the ark

Ex 25:22; Lev 16:2; Nu 10:33; Jos 3:6; Jos 4:5,9; 1Sa 4:11

The construction of the ark Ex 25:10-16; Dt 10:1; Ex 31:1-7; Ex 35:10-12; Ex 37:1-5; Dt 10:3; Ex 39:33,35; Ex 40:1-5,20-21

The construction of the atonement cover Ex 25:17-21; Ex 26:34; Ex 30:6; Ex 37:6-9; Ex 39:35; Ex 40:20

The care of the ark

Nu 3:30-32; Nu 4:5; Dt 10:8; Dt 31:9

Major events in the history of the ark

The ark is taken to the promised land Jos 3:3,6,15-16; Jos 6:4-16; Jos 8:33

The ark is the focus of the covenant renewal at Mount Ebal Jdg 20:26-28

The ark is captured by the Philistines 1Sa 4:1-11,17-22; 1Sa 5:1-12

The ark is returned to Israel 1Sa 6:1-3,10-15,19; 1Sa 7:1-2

The ark is brought to Jerusalem 2Sa 6:1-12 pp 1Ch 13:3-14; 2Sa 6:17 pp 1Ch 16:1; 1Ch 15:1; 1Ch 16:37; 2Sa 7:2-7 pp 1Ch 17:1-6; 2Sa 15:24-25,29 David is fleeing from Absalom.

The ark is placed in the temple 1Ki 8:1-6 pp 2Ch 5:2-7

The ark in later Israelite history 2Ch 35:3 The ark must have been moved from the temple.

The function of the ark

To contain the tablets of the Law Dt 10:5 See also Ex 25:16,21; Ex 40:20; Dt 31:24-26; 1Ki 8:9; Heb 9:4 The jar of manna and Aaron’s rod were originally placed beside the ark (Ex 16:34; Nu 17:10), and were probably put inside it at a later date.

As the place where God reveals his commands to Moses Nu 7:89 See also Ex 25:22; Ex 30:6,36

As a symbol of the presence of God Lev 16:2 See also Nu 10:33-36; Jos 7:6; Jdg 20:27; 2Sa 7:2 pp 1Ch 17:1; 2Ch 6:41 pp Ps 132:8

Used on the Day of Atonement Lev 16:13-15

The ark’s holiness and effect

Irreverent treament of the ark brings judgment 2Sa 6:6-7 pp 1Ch 13:9-10 See also Jos 3:4; 1Sa 5:1-4,8-12; 1Sa 6:19

The presence of the ark brings blessing 2Sa 6:11 pp 1Ch 13:14

A restored Israel in which the ark has no place

Jer 3:16

The ark in John’s revelation

Rev 11:19 The ark here symbolises the presence of God and is open and visible, not hidden in the Most Holy Place.

See also

1640Book of the Law
5071Aaron
5377law, Ten Commandments
5581throne
7241Jerusalem, significance
7308Atonement, Day of
7396Most Holy Place
7458tabernacle, the
7467temple, Solomon’s
7768priests, OT function
9230judgment seat

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