terça-feira, 14 de agosto de 2012
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT - HISTORY AND MEANING
The ark of the covenant (also called "ark of the Lord," "ark of God, '" ark of the covenant of the Lord,' "ark of the testimony" and "holy ark") was a rectangular box of acacia wood, measuring about 1.20 m long and 0.75 m wide x 0.75 m high (Ex 10.25). Its inner lining and external coverage were of pure beaten gold. At the top, around, had a crown of gold (Exodus 25.11). However, the cap that covered the ark, called the mercy seat (Hebrew kappõret, "coverage"), was of solid gold (Ex 25.17). About the mercy seat, also of solid gold, had two cherubs, one on each end of the ark with their wings outstretched in front of each other, covering the mercy seat (Exodus 25.18-20). From among them God communicated with His people (Exodus 25:22). The ark was the only piece of furniture in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle (and later the temple) and housed copies of the tables of the law (Ex 25.16; 2 Kings 11:12), a pot of manna (Ex 16.33,34) and stick of Aaron (Numbers 17:10). But when, at a later time, was placed in the most holy temple of Solomon, "There was nothing in the ark except the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, leave the land of Egypt "(I Kings 8.9).
Before the construction of the temple, the ark was carried by the Levitical priests (cf. 2 Chr 35.3) who used two sticks of acacia overlaid with gold, which were fixed on the rings at the bottom of the ark (Exodus 25.12-15). Who touched the ark of the covenant was punishable by death (cf. 2 Sam 6:6-7).
According to the historian Josephus, the ark was probably lost during the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587 a. C., for the construction of the second post-exilic temple (c. 537 a. C.) the ark was no longer part of the vessels of the sanctuary, which really surprised when Pompey in 63. C. insisted by force into the most holy place. F. F. Bruce recalls: "In the most holy place postexilic the position of the ark was marked by a platform called the 'foundation stone' (Hebrew 'eben shattiyyãh)."
Jeremiah prophesied the end of the ark of the covenant (as object and symbol) as follows: "Shall you, when ye be multiplied and you become fruitful in the land, then, says the Lord, never to exclaim: The ark of the covenant of the Lord she did not come into their mind, do not remember her or her will miss, and not make another "(Jer. 3:16). Commenting on this passage from Jeremiah, R. K. Harrison says: "The presence of God in Zion will make unnecessary the ark and other objects of worship with his majesty, because these are only symbols of God's reality. In the heavenly Jerusalem in Revelation 05.22 the sun will also be out of fashion. Until this time still need a few reminders of the material action of God, to assist the faith. "
The ark of the covenant had different meanings. The first was to symbolize the protective and guiding presence of God among His people. In the recesses of the sanctuary the Lord revealed His will to His servants (Moses Ex 25.22, 30.36, Aaron, Lev 16.2; Joshua: Joshua 7.6, etc..). Precisely because it is a symbol of God with His people, the ark played a huge role, for example, crossing the River Jordan (Joshua 3:4), in the fall of Jericho (Joshua 6) and memorization of the covenant ceremony in Mount Ebal (Joshua 8.30-35).
The second meaning, which is actually the greatest expression of the first, has to do with Jesus Christ. Note: "The ark typified the Lord Jesus Christ who intercedes for us behind the veil." And again: "There is a better type of the ark in Numbers 10:33:" The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them three days 'journey to their face resting place.' Jesus Christ, the antitype of the ark, he goes before the His redeemed exploring the way through the wilderness of this sinful world, and leading his people to the heavenly Canaan. " He concludes: "As the ark was in the hands of the Philistines for a time (cf. I Sam 5:06), the Messiah was captive in the tomb, but rose again in triumph."
I hope these brief remarks on the ark of the covenant have been somewhat enlightening for you. May God (a) bless.
By: Pastor Valni Borges - Brazil Christian Ministry of Evangelism
A hug to all brothers in Christ Jesus.