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Ark & Its Contents

The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ

Summary: The Ark illustrates the Lord Jesus Christ's deity and humanity. 


10 "Have them make a chest of acacia wood-- two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.
11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.
12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other.
13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it.
15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.
16 Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. Exodus 25:10-16 (NIV)

فيصنعون تابوتا من خشب السنط طوله ذراعان ونصف وعرضه ذراع ونصف وارتفاعه ذراع ونصف.


وتغشّيه بذهب نقي . من داخل ومن خارج تغشّيه . وتصنع عليه اكليلا من ذهب حواليه.


وتسبك له اربع حلقات من ذهب وتجعلها على قوائمه الاربع . على جانبه الواحد حلقتان وعلى جانبه الثاني حلقتان.


وتصنع عصوين من خشب السنط وتغشّيهما بذهب.


وتدخل العصوين في الحلقات على جانبي التابوت ليحمل التابوت بهما .


تبقى العصوان في حلقات التابوت . لا تنزعان منها .


وتضع في التابوت الشهادة التي اعطيك.  خروج ٢٥‏:١٠-١٦


Now, it is instructive that a piece of furniture?the Ark with its covering?is described before the Tabernacle building itself. The reason for this is that the Ark is the starting point and central focus of the Tabernacle. In other words, everything was constructed and arranged with respect to the Ark of God and its Mercy Seat. Also, to point out in the clearest of terms the importance of the the Ark and Mercy Seat, they were the only furnishings within the most holy place, the Holy of Holies.

Pure Gold

The Ark is a gold-covered, wooden box that has rings at its four corners to support the two poles that were used to move the Ark from place to place. The box itself was acacia wood that was covered on the inside and outside with pure gold.

Pure gold symbolizes what is divine; and, in this case, it symbolizes the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-3, 14 (NIV)

في البدء كان الكلمة والكلمة كان عند الله وكان الكلمة الله.
هذا كان في البدء عند الله.
كل شيء به كان وبغيره لم يكن شيء مما كان.
والكلمة صار جسدا وحلّ بيننا ورأينا مجده مجدا كما لوحيد من الآب مملوءا نعمة وحقا. يوحنا ١‏:١-٣،١٤

The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is central to the God's plan for redemption and relationship with the people of Israel. The Israelites, like everyone else, were sinners who could not be blessed unless they were redeemed by a vicarious sacrifice with infinite worth. So, the description of the Tabernacle and its furniture begins with the Ark that symbolizes the person of Lord Jesus Christ in His divine and human nature.

Acacia (Shittim) Wood

The acacia wood symbolizes the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary. It was through Mary that the Lord Jesus Christ acquired a true human nature. The addition of a real human nature to His deity did not diminish or alter the fact of His divine person. As the second person of the blest Trinity, the Son is always and unchangingly divine.

It was prophesized in the very beginning of the Holy Scriptures that a woman's seed (a child born without the aid of man) would someday bruise the head of Satan (destroy the power of the devil). Isaiah further prophesized that this child would be virgin-born (Isaiah 7:14).

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"?which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23 (NIV)

هوذا العذراء تحبل وتلد ابنا ويدعون اسمه عمانوئيل الذي تفسيره الله معنا متى١‏:٢٣

Since human nature had fallen through the sin of Adam and Eve, it was necessary that a human being pay the penalty of sin. Although some other being, such as an angel, might have paid the consequence of human sin, it would not have been an act between God and humanity. Human nature had fallen through sin, and it needed to be elevated to fellowship with All-Mighty God. This could only happen if a human satisfied the holy righteousness of God. Since the Lord Jesus Christ has a human nature, He could be the sacrificial Lamb of God.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 (NIV)

وفي الغد نظر يوحنا يسوع مقبلا اليه فقال هوذا حمل الله الذي يرفع خطية العالم. يوحنا ١‏:٢٩

In addition, since the sin of Adam was against the Infinite One, God, it was necessary that the sacrifice itself have infinite value. Thus, the sacrifice for sin had to be human as well as be divine. Divine so the sacrifice had infinite value to satisfy God's infinite holiness, and human to pay the price for human sin.

Jesus is sinless

It is interesting to note that the Septuagint LXX translates of the Hebrew words, Acacia or Shittim wood, with the Greek words, ξυλων ασηπτων 1  In Greek

Acacia Tree

these words signify incorruptible wood. 2 This prefigures the sinless perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no moral or spiritual corruption in Him.

Both the New Testament and the Qur'an state that the Lord Jesus Christ was sinless.

The Bible says,

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. 1 Peter 2:22 (NIV)
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 1 John 3:5 (NIV)
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

الذي لم يفعل خطية ولا وجد في فمه مكر ١ بطرس ٢‏:٢٢
وتعلمون ان ذاك أظهر لكي يرفع خطايانا وليس فيه خطية. ١ يوحنا ٣‏:٥
لانه جعل الذي لم يعرف خطية خطية لاجلنا لنصير نحن بر الله فيه. ٢ كورنثوس ٥‏:٢١

The Qur'an says,

He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son. Maryam 19:19 (Yusuf Ali's translation)

قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلَامًا زَكِيًّا سورة مريم ١٩‏:١٩


There were three object inside the Ark: the golden pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the stone table of 10 commandments.

which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Hebrews 9:4 (NIV)

فيه مبخرة من ذهب وتابوت العهد مغشّى من كل جهة بالذهب الذي فيه قسط من ذهب فيه المنّ وعصا هرون التي افرخت ولوحا العهد.  العبرانيين ٩‏:٤

Manna simply means, What is it? It was the question that the Israelites asked when they saw the manna on the ground that rested upon the dew. Spiritually, the manna symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ who is the divine Bread who came down from the Father in glory to be the life of the world. So, what is your response to the question, Who is the Lord Jesus?  Do you believe He is merely a great prophet of God like other impressive personages in world history? Or, do you believe He is the divine Son of God who came from the Father to give His life as a sacrifice for sin? Have you eaten the bread from heaven? Your eternal destiny hinges upon your response to this question.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51 (NIV)

انا هو الخبز الحي الذي نزل من السماء. ان اكل احد من هذا الخبز يحيا الى الابد. والخبز الذي انا اعطي هو جسدي الذي ابذله من اجل حياة العالم  يوحنا ٦‏:٥١

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."  John 6:58 (NIV)

هذا هو الخبز الذي نزل من السماء. ليس كما اكل آباؤكم المنّ وماتوا. من يأكل هذا الخبز فانه يحيا الى الابد. يوحنا ٦‏:٥٨

Aaron's staff that budded

Aaron's staff that budded was a miracle that demonstrated God's acceptance and approval of the priesthood of Aaron. All the staffs were dead and lifeless when they were initially placed before the LORD. But the next day, Aaron's staff was alive, blossoming, and bearing almonds.

The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Testimony and saw that Aaron's staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Numbers 17:8 (NIV)

وفي الغد دخل موسى الى خيمة الشهادة واذا عصا هرون لبيت لاوي قد افرخت. اخرجت فروخا وازهرت زهرا وانضجت لوزا.   عدد ١٧‏:٥٨

This teaches us the glorious truth of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ whose grave is miraculously empty!  He died upon the Cross, but He arose from the grave! He is alive in glory. His resurrection is the gospel testimony that the Lord Jesus Christ is the living Son of God because He triumphed over the power of death.

the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures
regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David,
and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 1:2-4 (NIV)

الذي سبق فوعد به بانبيائه في الكتب المقدسة
عن ابنه. الذي صار من نسل داود من جهة الجسد
وتعيّن ابن الله بقوة من جهة روح القداسة بالقيامة من الاموات. يسوع المسيح ربنا  رومية ١‏:٢-٤

The Ark is a symbol of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who is both divine (gold) and human (wood). Within in the Ark was Aaron's rod that symbolizes new life from the dead. Do you have a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ through faith in His shed blood? The staff that became alive and yielded almonds speaks of the resurrection of Christ and fruit that His death would yield. Thankfully, millions have turned from their sins and accepted the sacrificial Lamb of God for their Savior. The Lamb who was slain is gloriously alive.

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24 (NIV)

الحق الحق اقول لكم ان لم تقع حبة الحنطة في الارض وتمت فهي تبقى وحدها .ولكن ان ماتت تأتي بثمر كثير.  يوحنا ١٢‏:٢٤

Millions of Muslims who go each year to visit the Masjid an-Nabwi (the Prophets' mosque) with its green dome and 10 minarets to see the Maksurah (tomb) where Muhammad's dry bones rest. Like the other staffs, Muhammad's staff remains dead within the grave. He does not have power over death or the grave like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Stone Tablets of the Covenant

The third object within the Ark were the stone tablets upon which were written the ten commandments of God. Since the Ark symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ, the tablets within the Ark teaches us that the Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law of God. To be the sacrificial Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ must fulfill the commandments of God and live a sinless life.

The LORD wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me.
Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the LORD commanded me, and they are there now. Deuteronomy 10:4-5 (NIV)

فكتب على اللوحين مثل الكتابة الاولى الكلمات العشر التي كلمكم بها الرب في الجبل من وسط النار في يوم الاجتماع واعطاني الرب اياها.
ثم انصرفت ونزلت من الجبل ووضعت اللوحين في التابوت الذي صنعت فكانا هناك كما امرني الرب.  تثنية  ١٠‏:٤-٥

In a broader context, the Lord Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. This goes beyond keeping the 10 commandments.  Because keeping the 10 commandments is only a small part of fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. The Prophets includes more than the words of Moses. More importantly, the Law and the Prophets promised a coming Messiah who would come into the world to be a sin offering. The Lord Jesus Christ must fulfill the entire Law and the Prophets, and the Law and the Prophets require that the birth of the Messiah and His substitutionary sacrifice for sins. For example, the Lord Jesus Christ had to fulfill the words of the Prophet Isaiah that are written in Chapter 53 of his book.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17 (NIV)

لا تظنوا اني جئت لانقض الناموس او الانبياء .ما جئت لانقض بل لاكمّل .  متى  ٥‏:١٧

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:10-12 (NIV)

اما الرب فسرّ بان يسحقه بالحزن. ان جعل نفسه ذبيحة اثم يرى نسلا تطول ايامه ومسرة الرب بيده تنجح.
من تعب نفسه يرى ويشبع. وعبدي البار بمعرفته يبرر كثيرين وآثامهم هو يحملها.
لذلك اقسم له بين الاعزاء ومع العظماء يقسم غنيمة من اجل انه سكب للموت نفسه وأحصي مع أثمة وهو حمل خطية كثيرين وشفع في المذنبين  اشعياء  ٥٣‏:١٠-١٢

In conclusion the objects within the Ark of the Covenant teach us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life from heaven (manna), is risen with power over death and the grave (Aaron's budding rod), and is sinless and the fulfillment of the Mosaic law and all the Old Testament prophets (tablets of stone). As the tablets of were inside the Ark, so the Law was within the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-- it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." Psalms 40:7-8 (NIV)

حينئذ قلت هانذا جئت. بدرج الكتاب مكتوب عني
ان افعل مشيئتك يا الهي سررت. وشريعتك في وسط احشائي  مزامير  ٤٠‏:٧-٨

The Qur'an gives a passing mention to the relics or objects within the Ark of the Covenant. Yet, it cannot offer any insight into the spiritual significance of these items within the Ark.

And (further) their Prophet said to them: "A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance ) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if ye indeed have faith." al-Baqarah 2:248 (Yusuf Ali's translation)

وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نِبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ التَّابُوتُ فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَبَقِيَّةٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ آلُ مُوسَى وَآلُ هَارُونَ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ سورة البقرة ٢‏: ٢ ٤ ٨

1 Brenton, Lancelot C.L., The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1851 (Third Reprinting), pp. 1130 + Appendix (Old Testament) pp. 248 (Apocrypha), ISBN: 0-913573-44-2, p. 102.
2 Its wood is heavier than water, exceedingly hard, of fine grain, the sap-wood yellow, the heart-wood brown. It is not attacked by insects. It was therefore eminently suited for furniture such as that for which it was employed, in a climate where insects commit such ravages as in the desert and in Palestine. The acacia are most picturesque trees with their gnarled trunks, sometimes 2 feet thick, their twisted thorny branches, which often give the whole tree an umbrella-like form, and their fine bipinnate leaves with minute leaflets. Hastings Dictionary of the Bible (vol. 4, p. 507)

Last edited 10/07/2002
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