Monday, October 25, 2010

The Golden Chest

A former Ethiopian empress paid for the construction of the Chapel of the Tablet, believed to be the Ark of the Covenant's present day sanctuary.  Reportedly, divine heat from the tablets of the Law, located inside the Ark, cracked the stones of its previous sanctuary.
The Ark was comprised of three boxes, one inside the other.  The inner and outer boxes were made of pure gold and the middle box of acacia wood.  Four rings of gold were cast on its four feet.  Two golden poles were slid through the rings, lengthwise along the boxes, in order to carry the Ark. 

The lid was crafted from one, solid piece of pure gold fashioned into a cherub at each of its ends, one cherub with the face of a male child and the other with the face of a female child.  Between the cherubim was the mercy seat, a hands width in thickness.  The cherubim were facing each other with their wings spread upward overshadowing the mercy seat.  The dazzling light of God’s presence dwelled in a cloud above the mercy seat and between the two cherubim.

The Lord spoke to Moses saying, “There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.”


  1. Scriptural reference: Exodus 25:22

  2. Smoking acacia wood is used by Ethiopian brides to perfume their bodies before their wedding day. It is also used as a healing agent after Ethiopian wives bear children.

  3. Description of the Ark: Exodus 25:10-22; Sukkah 5a (Talmud); Rashi’s Talmud commentary