We will begin this lesson in Exodus 25:1 "And the LORD spake unto
Moses, saying,"

    Exodus 25:2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me
an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye
shall take my offering."

    We see in these two verses, above, the type of giving that is
pleasing to God. Gifts given with love from the heart are acceptable
to God. Those who give grudgingly, or of necessity, might as well keep
it, because it is unacceptable to God.  Second Corinthians chapter 9,
verse 7, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him
give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful
giver." I truly believe that if a person gives because it is expected
of him, or her and really doesn't want to give, the gift does not
benefit God, or the giver. A person who truly loves God, wants to give.
In fact, he usually give much more than is expected of him.

    Exodus 25:3 "And this [is] the offering which ye shall take of
them; gold, and silver, and brass," Exodus 25:4 "And blue, and purple,
and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' [hair]," Exodus 25:5 "And
rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood," Exodus
25:6 "Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet
incense," Exodus 25:7 "Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod,
and in the breastplate."

    The  "gold" was needed mostly for everything in the Holy of Holies
where God dwelt. All items had to be either 24 kt gold or 24 kt gold
overlaid. The spiritual meaning of gold has to do with purity
associated with God. There is no need for us to try to figure out
where all this gold came from. We do know from Scripture that this
nearly three million people spoiled the Egyptians, and brought gold and
other precious metals into the wilderness with them.  Perhaps, they,
also, had gold and other precious items handed down from other

    The spiritual meaning of "silver" is redemption.  Items associated
with the tabernacle, other than in the Holy place were silver. The
people came to be redeemed. "Brass" has to do with judgement and
strength.  The "blue", "purple", and "scarlet", probably, were the
colors of material. These three colors also have spiritual meanings
and are known as God's special colors.  "Blue" means heavenly,
"scarlet", or red means life or blood, and "purple" shows royalty.  You
see, all three have very important spiritual meanings.

    The spiritual meaning of "fine linen" is moral purity.

    The Hebrew women were well-known for their weaving ability.  This
"goats' hair", probably was chosen for it's strength and durability, as
were the "rams' skins " and "badgers' skins".  Perhaps, it was chosen
because of its watershedding ability, as well. This "rams' skin dyed
red" was, probably, because it could be seen inside the temple.

    This "shittim wood" was chosen for its usefulness in making
cabinets. Wood has to do with worldliness.

    The "oil for the light" was to be pure olive oil beaten.  Olive oil
is symbolic of the Holy Spirit of God. Of Course, Jesus is the Light,
as well.

    The "spices" for the anointing oil were myrrh, sweet cinnamon,
sweet calamus, and cassia.

    "Onyx" is usually a black stone, today, and not a precious stone.
 The word that has been translated "onyx", here, indicates a bright
 precious stone. On these two stones (one for each side of the
 shoulder) were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. The
 "ephod" was part of the garment of the High priest. This was his
 priestly robe. The color of the robe was blue.  The "breastplate"
 worn over this robe had twelve precious stones set in it representing
 the twelve tribes of Israel. There was a pocket behind this
 breastplate next to the heart of the High Priest that contained the
 Urim and Thummin. Some believe this was represented by a diamond
 engraved with the unspeakable name of God Almighty.  "Urim" means
 lights, or fire, and "Thummin" means perfections. These twelve stones
 on the breastplate, above, were mounted in gold, and there were four
 rows of three stones. Many of the precious stones were represented.

    Exodus 25:8 "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell
among them."

    "Sanctuary" means hallowed place, or holy place.  God's desire has
always been to fellowship with His creation (mankind). God wanted them
to build Him a place, so He could be near them.

    Exodus 25:9 "According to all that I shew thee, [after] the
pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments
thereof, even so shall ye make [it]."

    The original (that the pattern was copied by for the tabernacle)
is in heaven. The Lord opened Moses' eyes and allowed him to see this
tabernacle. It really doesn't matter, whether this was a vision, or an
actual sighting. The main thing is that the Lord allowed him to see
the structure and the furniture. When Moses viewed the tabernacle, the
Lord implanted in his mind a lasting picture, so that he would make no
mistakes in reproducing it here on the earth.

    Exodus 25:10  "And they shall make an ark [of] shittim wood: two
cubits and a half [shall be] the length thereof, and a cubit and a
half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof."

    Most people understand this cubit to be 18 inches.  Using that
measurement, this box was 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches

    Exodus 25:11 "And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and
without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold
round about." Exodus 25:12 "And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for
it, and put [them] in the four corners thereof; and two rings [shall
be] in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it."
Exodus 25:13 "And thou shalt make staves [of] shittim wood, and
overlay them with gold." Exodus 25:14 "And thou shalt put the staves
into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with

    This ark (box) was covered by gold inside and out, because it stayed
in the presence of God. God cannot look upon anything that is not pure;
this was the purpose of the gold. The box being gold inside was because 
it would contain a piece of Mannah which fell from heaven. This Mannah is symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of life. It will, also, contain Aaron's
rod that bloomed, and the two stone tables of the Ten Commandments (Decalogue).It would be certain death for anyone touching the actual ark, after Moses
sets it up. Only designated people would be able to touch the shittim wood poles covered with gold, that the ark would be carried with. Picture in your mind a box nearly four ft. long, a little over two ft. wide, and two ft. high.  These poles were longer than the ark and, they hung in these gold rings attached to the sides of the box.

    Exodus 25:15 "The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they
shall not be taken from it." Exodus 25:16 "And thou shalt put into the
ark the testimony which I shall give thee."

    God was just telling Moses, here, to leave the carrying poles in the
rings on the side of the ark, and later God would tell him what to put
into the ark.

    Exodus 25:17 "And thou shalt make a mercy seat [of] pure gold: two
cubits and a half [shall be] the length thereof, and a cubit and a
half the breadth thereof."

    This seat was an exact cover for the box called the ark.  Here,
again, this was pure gold, because it would be in the presence of God.
This slab of pure gold, that made up this seat, would weigh 750 pounds
or more.  Gold is troy weight, so this slab had 9000 ozs. of pure
gold. Today's price of gold is approximately $450 per oz.  so the
value on today's market of just this mercy seat would be
$4,050,000.00. That was not all of the gold in the Holy of Holies, this
was just the value of the mercy seat.

    Exodus 25:18 "And thou shalt make two cherubims [of] gold, [of]
beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat."

    "Cherubim" in the Strong's Concordance means imaginary figure.
These cherubims were symbolic of the holiness of God, and they being on
each side seems to indicate that these winged figures' duty was to
guard the holiness of the ark. They faced each other overlooking the
ark, but with bowed heads. Cherubims were mentioned in Genesis 3:24
guarding the entrance to the Garden of Eden.  Whatever these figures
were, they were of heavenly nature, and their purpose seems to be to
protect something. These were not normal images of a man, because they
have wings. God dwells above them and between them. It was indicated in
Ezekiel 10:14-16, that these living creatures called cherubims had
four faces (symbolic of the four gospels). We will get into this more
fully later.

    Exodus 25:19 "And make one cherub on the one end, and the other
cherub on the other end: [even] of the mercy seat shall ye make the
cherubims on the two ends thereof."

    These cherubims were like angelic beings (and as we said could be
symbolic of the good news of the four gospels). We do not know
absolutely for sure what they were.  We do know they are godly (made of
gold). We do know they served God, and in this case, hovered over the
mercy seat. If you think about it; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John do
protect the teaching of the mercy of God.

    Exodus 25:20 "And the cherubims shall stretch forth [their] wings
on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces
[shall look] one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of
the cherubims be."

    These little cartoon drawings we see of cherubs, are not correct.
These figures, whatever they were, were awesome in appearance.  As we
said earlier, these two cherubims (one on each end of the mercy seat)
were to protect the mercy seat.  This was a very Holy place, in that the
presence of God was here. It seems their faces (although looking across
the mercy seat toward each other) were bowed, as well.  We are not told
if these figures were standing or sitting, but we do know that they
had wings that covered the mercy seat.

    Exodus 25:21 "And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the
ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give

    God's laws never change. God, Himself, looks over them, and
protects them. This shittim wood box was to keep them in.  This is the
first mention that the mercy seat was to be placed on the top of the
ark. The dimensions were the same as the top of the ark, so we had
already assumed this would be where it would be put.  The "testimony"
included Aaron's rod that bloomed and testified of his ministry and
the Mannah which testified of God's miraculous provision for mankind.
The Mannah was, of course, symbolic of Jesus Christ (who is the Bread
of Life). The Ten Commandments were the testimony, as well. God cared
enough about mankind, that He would give us laws to determine how to
live successfully on this earth.

                          Exodus 43 Questions

1.  What did God ask of the people in V-2?
2.  What conditions were attached to this?
3.  What does Second Corinthians 9:7 teach us?
4.  What three hard metals were they to bring?
5.  What are blue, scarlet, and purple?
6.  What three animals' skins were required?
7.  What was the anointing oil?
8.  What were the precious stones for?
9.  Where would the gold be used?  Why?
10. What is the spiritual meaning of gold?
11. What is "silver" symbolic of?
12. What is "brass" symbolic of?
13. What three colors are known as God's colors?
14. What does each color mean spiritually?
15. What does "wood" symbolize?
16. What was the light made from?
17. What was the "Ephod"?
18. Describe the breastplate.
19. What did God ask them to build so He could dwell with them?
20. What does it mean?
21. What was it to be patterned by?
22. What did God allow Moses to see?
23. What was the ark to be made of?
24. How long, wide, and high was the ark?
25. Why was it to be overlaid in gold inside and out?
26. What three things will this ark contain?
27. What was the penalty for touching the ark?
28. What was the mercy seat to be made of?
29. What was about the minimum weight of the mercy seat?
30. What would that make it worth at $450 per oz of gold?
31. Where were the cherubims to be?
32. What does Strong's Concordance say that "cherubim" means?
33. What do we know for sure about the cherubim?
34. What shall the cherubims cover the mercy seat with?
35. Why is this such a Holy place, where the ark is?
36. What does "testimony" indicate?