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5.2.1 Ark and Tabernacle


									3.4 Tabernacle: Exod 25-31, 35-40

• Two Problems:
  1. Many different terms to describe the
     1.1 vdqm = Sanctuary
     1.2 d[m lha = Tent of Meeting
     1.3 lhah = The Tent; hwhy lhah = The
      Tent of YHWH
     1.4 !kvm = Tabernacle
     1.5 twd[h ~kvm = Tabernacle of the
2. Two different locations in
  relationship to the camp with implied
  differences of function and theology.
  2.1 “in the midst of the camp of Israel”
   (Exod 25.8; 29.42-46)
  2.2 “outside of the camp”
The Tent of
          The Tent of Meeting
1 The Tent of Meeting = d[m lha
  1.1 The name:
  1.1.1 The “tent of meeting” or “reunion”
  1.1.2 d[m = means “the date of an appointed
2. Basic Texts:
  2.1 Exodus 33.7-11
  2.2 Num 11.24-30
  2.3 Num 12
  2.4 Deut 31.14-23
        The Tent of Meeting
3. The Theology of the Tent of
   3.1 A Prophetic Institution
   3.2 Oracular Institution
   3.3 Political Institution
The Tabernacle
           The Tabernacle
1. Introduction:
  1.1 Tent type object which was not meant to
  1.2 Ex 25-31 and parallel is very complex
  1.3 The use of technical language which is
    difficult to understand. Note especially
    Haran's many discussion in Temples and
    Temple Service in Ancient Israel.
  1.4 One is never meant to forget the
    portability of the Tabernacle.
             2. Construction
2. The Tent:
  2.1 General size: 30 cu. by 10 cu. by 10 by. This
    brakes down into two segments, with the Holy of
    Holies being a perfect cube of 10 cu.
  2.2 Cherubim Curtains: Ex 26.1-6 = Violet, purple,
    scarlet with cherubim: 28X4 cu. with two series of
    5 panels joined by 50 loops by gold clasps (note
    that the text does not say the usual “pure gold”
    used for those things that are in the tabernacle).
  2.3 Goat's Hair Curtain: Ex 26.7-13 = 30X4 cu. with
    a total of 11 panels rather than the 10 of the
    Cherubim. However the same 50 loops but it uses
    bronze clasps.
              2. Construction
2.4 Ram's Skin and Dugong (~yvix'T.): Ex 26.14 =
  “Each one of them serves a different purpose.
  Ezekiel mentions both the vve and vx;T; as
  examples of expensive products in relation to what
  common people were used to (Eze 16.10). From him
  we infer that the first was used for wrapping up a
  head-dress, while with the second sandals were
  prepared. Similarly the linen is used for hangings in
  the tabernacle (and the priests use it for clothes),
  while the skins, being more hard-wearing, are
  placed on the roof, to act as a covering to the part
  most exposed to the elements.” [Haran, Temples and
  Temple Service in Ancient Israel, 163]
             2. Construction
2.5 Boards: Ex 26.15-30 (kereshin)
  2.5.1 10cu. high, 1 1/2cu. wide; 46 frames;
    20X20X6; gold plated; 15 bars for each side with
    the middle going through; the frames where
    placed in bases two per frame.
  2.5.2 How were these structured? If solid, could
    they be carried at all? Note the A.R.S. Kennedy's
    reconstruction in Cross, p. 55, 57.
           2. Construction
2.6 Curtains: Ex 26.31-37
  2.6.1 Blue, purple, crimson with cherubim to
    separate Holies of Holies from the Holy
    place. The description centers on the Ark >
  2.6.2 Entrance of tabernacle curtain is
    similar in material but without cherubim
    and seems to be made differently. The four
    entrance pillars mentioned at the same time.
            2. Construction
2.7 Court of Tabernacle: Ex 27.9-19
  2.7.1 And enclosure of 100X50 cu.
  2.7.2 Utilized 5 curtain hangings, 5 cu. high,
    hook were used to attach it to the 60 pillars
    with silver clap tops. The front of the
    curtain hanging was facing the east and
    was 20 cu. with a multi-colored screen.
2. The Tent

• General size: 30 cu. by 10 cu. by 10 by. This
  brakes down into two segments, with the Holy
  of Holies being a perfect cube of 10 cu.
              2. The Tent
  Ex 26.1-6
2. The Tent
           2. The Tent
2.3 Goat's
  Ex 26.7-13
  = 30X4 cu.
          2. The Tent
• 2.4 Ram's
  Skin and
  Dugong: Ex
         2. The Tent
• 2.5 Boards:
  Ex 26.15-30
         2. The Tent
• 2.6
  Ex 26.31-
          2. The Tent
2.7 Court of
  Ex 27.9-19
   3. The Theology of the Tabernacle
1. A portable sanctuary of the Presence of the God of
2. It is where God dwells in the midst of Israel, esp.
   their camp.
3. The fact that it was made from a divine pattern is
   important. (Ex 25.9)
4. The tablets of the Decalogue is placed within the
   Tabernacle: Tent > Most Holy Place > in Ark >
   under Kapporeth.
5. The constant reminder of the Holiness of God. The
   fact that the structures are graded by materials used,
   by local to the Ark and Kapporeth, and function.
   Note the description of Ezekiel's Temple verses the
   Solomonic and Second Temple!
   3. The Theology of the Tabernacle
6. The Tabernacle was commanded by God and
   carried out by a freewill offering (Ex 25.1-9).
7. The detailed recording of the obedience of Moses
   and the people are crucial. The whole point of the
   repetition of Ex 25-31 in 35-40 finds it meaning here.
8. The special gifting of Bezael and Oholiab (Ex 31.1-
   11 / 36.1-7).
9. The apostasy of Ex 32 is significant for
   understanding that the institution and the people
   that service in it are different. The failings of
   humans cause defilement and the presence of God in
   the midst of the peoples is threaten, however the
   purity of the institution does not come from the cult
3. The Theology of the Tabernacle

  functionaries. It comes from the God who
  commanded the institution.
10. The conclusion of Ex 40 with the coming of
  the ka4bo=d of YHWH caps the whole
  narrative. And sets the stage for the continued
  story of Israel in the wilderness.
4. The Priestly Theology of the Tabernacle
1. Reconciliation:
  1.1 God's existence in the midst of the people is based
    upon the establishment of a proper relationship
    with God.
  1.2 The role of the Decalogue is important, since it is
    ultimately the object in the center-stage. (Ark as
  1.3 Also the Kapporeth as the location of God's
    meeting with Israel is important as the alternative
    to a one-sided torah alone view.
  1.4 The altar as central in the fore-grounds places the
    discussion in sacrificial terms. Significant here is
    not only the descriptive texts of Lev 1-7, Num 19,
    but also the Feasts of Israel.
4. The Priestly Theology of the Tabernacle
2. Holiness:
  2.1 The gradation of locations, materials,
    functions are significant for the priestly idea
    of holiness. Douglas' idea of
    abnormal/normal works in parallel here.
  2.2 For a Holy God to dwell with people,
    there is a demand of holiness. The theology
    of priestly consecration in Lev 8-10 is
    rewarding for the perspectives of holiness
    and God's people, but the texts of Lev 11-16
    and the Holiness Codes of Lev 17-27 places
    the onus on the people themselves.
4. The Priestly Theology of the Tabernacle
3. The Moveable Presence:
  3.1 The contrast with the normal ANE
    religions at this time point to the Nomadic
    origins. [Note however Haran's argument of
    the tabernacle and its origins at Shiloh!]
  3.2. The moveable Presence parallels the
    theme of God's guidance and leadership of
    his people in the wilderness, and exile.
 The Ark and the
The Ark and
Cherubim & the
 Ancient Near
Cherubim as
                    1. Terms
1. !Ara'
  1.1 In Gen 50.26 it was the term for Joseph's coffin.
  1.2 In 2 Kgs 12.10-11; 2 Chr 24.8-11 it was
    Jehoiada's money receptacle.
  1.3 In the remaining 195X !Ara' refers to the cultic
    object, the ark.
  1.4 Names range from: Ark=X58; Ark of God=X37;
    Ark of the God of Israel=X7; Ark of Yahweh=X38;
    Ark of the Covenant=X40; Ark of the
    Testimony=X12; The Holy Ark=X1; The Ark your
                 1. Terms
2. kibwto,j
   2.1 Heb 9.4; Rev 11.19
   2.1 It is also used to the translate Noah's
     ark in Gen 6.14ff, however the MT uses
     the specialized term hb'Te.
             2. The Ark as a Box
1. Deut 10.1-5: Holder for the Ten Commandment
  tablets: made of acacia wood
2. Deut 31.24-26: “the book of this torah” placed
  inside; The Levites are to carry it (v25) like:
  Num 3.31; 4.5-6; 1 Chr 15.2-10, 14-15, 26; Judg
3. Ex 25.10-22; 37.1-9: Covenant; God's presence;
  God's direction
  3.1 Ex 25.10; 37.1: Made of Acacia wood; Size: 2.5
    cubits long; 1.5 cubits wide; 1.5 cubits deep.
  3.2 Ex 25.11; 37.2: “gold inside and out”; “molding of
             2. The Ark as a Box
4. Ex 25.12-15; 37.3-7:
  4.1 Rings, poles, place in to carry the Ark.
  4.2 Ex 25.15: "The poles shall remain in the rings of
    the ark; they shall not be taken from it."
  4.3 1 Kgs 8.8: "The poles where so long that the
    ends of the poles were seen from the holy place in
    front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be
    seen from outside; they are there to this day.“
5. Ex 25.16: "You shall put into the ark of the
  covenant that I shall give you."
6. Exod 25.20:
     3. The Ark as a War Palladium
1. Waring in the Wilderness:
  1.1 Num 10.35-36 "Arise, O Lord, let your enemies be
    scattered, and your foes flee before you" "Return, O Lord
    of the ten thousands of Israel."
      1.1.1 Considered problematic by the Masoretes because it
        is bracketed by the inverted n.
      1.1.2 F.M.Cross considered it "holy war ideology."
      1.1.3 S. Terrien argues that it was a quote from the Scroll
        of the Wars of Yahweh. Note that ~wq is often
        associated with war settings: Judg 7.9, 15; 18.9; Ps 7.7;
      1.1.4 Divine Warrior Motif:
         – Ps 68.1, 7-8, 11-12, 17-18 [n.b. the processional in vv24ff]
         – Judg 5.4-5; Deut 32.2-3 (Ps 68.18); Hab 3.3-6.
    3. The Ark as a War Palladium
1. Waring in the Wilderness:
  1.2 Num 14.40-45
     1.2.1 Note the context is God's judgment for not
       trusting. Here they now want to go, but without
       God's leading.
     1.2.2 This is symbolized by the fact that both the
       Ark and Moses did not go (14.44).
     1.2.3 Important is the fact that the Ark becomes
       paralleled to the presence of God in battle. This
       makes this cult object the same as the phrase,
       "The battle is the LORD's"!
    3. The Ark as a War Palladium
2. The Conquest Narratives:
   2.1 Jos 3-4 Crossing the Jordan:
     2.1.1 !wra used X15 in these two chapters.
     2.1.2 "When you shall set out
      from your place."
     2.1.3 God's presence in guiding and
     2.1.4 The form seems to almost a
      3. The Ark as a War Palladium
2. The Conquest Narratives:
   2.2 Jos 6 The Collapse of Jericho:
      2.2.1 !wra is used X9, along with trumpet as key.
      2.2.2 Ritual marching with a strong "Holy War
      2.2.3 Note that the Ark is not mentioned in the Ai first
        attempt (7.1-5). It is only after words that Joshua falls
        down before it (7.6)!
   2.3 Jos 8.30-35 An Oath:
      2.3.1 The writing and reading of the Law establish a
        covenant people. Note Israel, women, little ones and
        aliens who resided with them (8.35b).
      2.3.2 The Ark is stationed in the middle and represents
        God's presence.
     3. The Ark as a War Palladium
3. Pre-monarchical War Palladium?
• 1 Sam 4.1-7.2 Not a magical toy!
  3.1 !wra mentioned X31.
  3.2 Miller and Roberts argue that the text is paralleled by the
    ancient Near Eastern idea concerning the capture and
    return of a god(s) in a battle context. Therefore, the
    theological center is the "burning issue" of a Philistine
    victory and Yahweh's role in this historical setting. The
    victory over Dagon in 1 Sam 5.2-4 and the subsequent
    return of the Ark establishes a theodicy.
  3.3 4.21 = Crucial in terms of the role of the Ark is the name
    Ichabod. McCarter explains the name as Where is (the)
    glory? or Alas (for the) glory?
  3.4 Note the connection of dbk with Akkadian melammu and
    puluhtu as Cross puts it, "the refulgent and radiant
    aureole which surround the deity in his manifestation or
    4. The Kapporeth - tr,PoK;
1. Exod 25.17-22; 37.6-9
  1.1 The meaning of Kapporeth:
    1.1.1 The meaning of the kapporeth is debated. Zobel
      indicates that Herrrmann, von Rad, and Weiser have
      adopted the rendering, cover plate. This seems to be
      derived from the Arabic kafara, to cover, i.e., lid, cover.
      G.J. Wenham comments concerning this etymology,
      "the plausibility of this etymology depends on kipper
      meaning to cover sin. If this is rejected, it seems
      unlikely that kapporet means merely lid. It functioned
      as a lid for the Ark, but it was much more. It was the
      place where God's glory appeared and where
      atonement was made once a year. Note the
      communication indicated in Ex 25.22.
  4. The Kapporeth - tr,PoK;
   1.1.2 The Greek rendering, hilasterion
     (propitiation) may possibly reflect the root
     kipper to make atonement, yet one wonders if
     this is not too strongly influenced by Lev 16.
   1.1.3 Recently Gorg has argued that kapporeth
     goes back to the Egyptian kp (n) rdwj, meaning
     sole of the foot or footplate.
1.2 Size & Material:
   1.2.1 Ex 25.17; 37.6 = 2.5 cubits by 1.5; made of
     pure gold.
   1.2.2 rwhj   hbz = emphasizes it importance.
  4. The Kapporeth - tr,PoK;
1.3 Cherubim: 25.18-20; 37.7-9
   1.3.1 Guardian angels of God's presence...note
      25.22: Also Gen 3.24; Ezek 41.17-20.
   1.3.2 The priestly cherubim are described as
      having their wings spread upward, covering
      the kapporeth, while at the same time having
      their faces directed at each other.
1.4 Leviticus 16 and the Day of Atonement:
   1.4.1 Lev 16.2: Prohibition of entering anytime, or else
        death. Because = "for I appear in the cloud upon
        the mercy seat."
4. The Kapporeth - tr,PoK;
1.4.2 Lev 16.11-14: v11 mentions "shall make atonement." While the complex "sprinkling" is indicated in
      v14, and v15. The sprinkling idea is found in Lev 4
      where it is used for purification, although here the
      location is different. Num 19 also contains a
      sprinkling idea that suggests making one who is
      defiled, pure. Lev 16.20 indicates a general atoning of the holy
      place and tent of meeting and altar.... Noteworthy is the kapporeth being identified
      with the covenant in 16.13.
       5. A Throne & A Footstool
1. The Ark of the Covenant of the LORD of
    hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim:
  1.1 Shiloh and twabc hwhy: 1 Sam 4.4
  1.2 2 Sam 6.2, 18; 7.8, 26, 27
  1.3 Ps 24.7-10
2. A Cherubim Throne and a Ark as footstool:
  2.1 1 Kgs 8.1-13
     2.1.1 Cherubim = 1 Kgs 6.23-28
     2.1.2 1 Kgs 8.6-8: Ark under Cherubim; poles
         seen in adjoining room.
  2.2 Isaiah 6.1-3
      5. A Throne & A Footstool
2.3 1 Chr 28.2 "for the ark of the covenant of the
    Lord, for the footstool of God"; Ps 132.7"Let us
    go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his
2.4 But note: Isa 66.1 "Heaven is my throne and the
    earth is my footstool; what is the house that you
    would build for me, and what is my resting
2.5 Enthronement Psalms: 47; 93; 95-99.
      6. What Happened to the Ark?
1. "Shishak may have removed it (1 Kgs 14.26),
    Manasseh may have replaced it with his image of
    Astarte (2 Chr 33.7), and then Josiah restored it
    (35.3), though it is most likely that it was destroyed
    or stolen during Nebuchadnezzar's invasion. Jer
    3.16-17 may imply the existence of the ark, and the
    legend of 2 Macc 2.4 is related this passage in
    Jeremiah." [Davies, "Ark of the Covenant," IDB, p
      6. What Happened to the Ark?
2. 2 Macc 2.4: "It was also contained in the same writing,
     that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded
     the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he
     went forth into the Mountain, where Moses climbed
     up, and saw the heritage of God. And when Jeremy
     came thither, he found a hollow cave, wherein he
     laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of
     incense, and so stopped the door. And some of those
     that followed him came to mark the way, but they
     could not find it. Which when Jeremy perceived, he
     blamed the, saying, As for that place, it shall be
     unknown until the time that God gather his people
     again together, and receive them unto mercy."

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