The Ark of the Covenant (Deut 10:1-10:5)

“At that time Yahweh said to me. ‘Carve out two tablets of stone like the former ones. Come up to me on the mountain. Make an ark of wood. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets that you smashed. You shall put them in the ark.’ So I made an ark of acacia wood. I cut two tablets of stone like the former ones. I then went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. There he wrote on the tablets the same words as before, the Ten Commandments that Yahweh had spoken to you on the mountain out of the fire on the day of the assembly. Yahweh gave them to me. So I turned and came down from the mountain. I put the tablets in the ark that I had made. There they are, as Yahweh commanded me.”

This is the reason for the Ark of the Covenant and how it came to be. Yahweh asked for 2 new stones to make up for the smashed stones. The exact size of the ark can be found in Exodus, chapters 25, 32, 34, and 37, where the various descriptions about the sanctuary items are detailed. Here Moses makes the wooden box, while in Exodus, chapter 37, it is Bezalel, the artisan, who makes the elaborate Ark of the Covenant, following the orders of Moses. Moses went up the mountain with the two blank tablets. Yahweh then rewrote the 10 commandments. Then Moses came down with the tablets. This time he put them in the acacia wooden Ark of the Covenant. Thus the Ark of the Covenant became very important because it literally contained the stone tablets with Yahweh’s finger written words of the 10 commandments.

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