4 The gold altar that was used for burning incense was in this holy place. The gold-covered sacred chest was also there, and inside it were three things. First, there was a gold jar filled with manna.[a] Then there was Aaron’s walking stick that sprouted.[b] Finally, there were the flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them. 5 On top of the chest were the glorious creatures with wings[c] opened out above the place of mercy.[d]
Now isn’t the time to go into detail about these things. 6 But this is how everything was when the priests went each day into the first part of the tent to do their duties.
9.4manna: When the people of Israel were wandering through the desert, the Lord provided them with food that could be made into thin wafers. This food was called manna, which in Hebrew means “What is it?”
9.4Aaron’s walking stick that sprouted: According to Numbers 17.1-11, Aaron’s walking stick sprouted and produced almonds to show that the Lord was pleased with him and Moses.
9.5glorious creatures with wings: Two of these creatures (called “cherubim” in Hebrew and Greek) with outspread wings were on top of the sacred chest and were symbols of God’s throne.
9.5place of mercy: The lid of the sacred chest, which was thought to be God’s throne on earth.
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