Tabernacle

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Tabernacle

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The Glory of God

 

The cloud covered and the glory of God filled the Tabernacle

For everything that was written in the past [Old Testament] was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 (NIV)

لان كل ما سبق فكتب كتب لاجل تعليمنا حتى بالصبر والتعزية بما في الكتب يكون لنا رجاء. رومية ١٥‏:٤

Summary: The Tabernacle of the Wilderness is a rich source of spiritual instruction. The visible presence of the glory of God filling and overshadowing the tabernacle demonstrated its significance to the children of Israel during their wilderness journey. Afterwards the glory of the God came to Solomon’s Temple on Mount Moriah. In the New Testament, the glory of God is associated with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Muslim friends have discarded the precious scriptures of the Al-Mighty Creator of the 

Because Muslims reject the authentic writings of the divine prophets, they don’t enjoy the wealth of spiritual truth found in the Old Testament. 1

Universe, who in His love and grace revealed many illuminating and divine truths to His ancient prophets, such as Adam, Ibrahim, and Musa. As a result, they are in spiritual darkness regarding God’s teachings that are contained within these blessed scriptures. Our prayer is that they will open their hearts to the valuable lessons that God teaches us in these holy scriptures.

Tabernacle & God’s glory

The prophet Moses (Musa) wrote that the Shekinah 2 glory of the LORD abode and filled the Tabernacle during the 40 years of Israel’s wilderness journey. It was a visible and practical demonstration of God dwelling with His redeemed people. We might ask ourselves, on what basis could the glory of the LORD fill and overshadow the Tent of Meeting? Surely, it could not have been the result of Israel’s faithfulness in keeping the Holy Commandments of God, because they sinned frequently during their wilderness journey. Rather, the grace of God was founded upon sacrificial offerings; and, as a result, the glory of God could be manifested in connection with Tabernacle and its furnishing.

Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled (shakanשָׁכַן) upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels. Exodus 40:34-38 (NIV)

ثم غطت السحابة خيمة الاجتماع وملأ بهاء الرب المسكن. فلم يقدر موسى ان يدخل خيمة الاجتماع. لان السحابة حلّت (שָׁכַן ، سكينة) عليها وبهاء الرب ملأ المسكن . وعند ارتفاع السحابة عن المسكن كان بنو اسرائيل يرتحلون في جميع رحلاتهم .  وان لم ترتفع السحابة لا يرتحلون الى يوم ارتفاعها. لان سحابة الرب كانت على المسكن نهارا. وكانت فيها نار ليلا امام عيون كل بيت اسرائيل في جميع رحلاتهم. خروج ٤٠‏:٣٤-٣٨

Muhammad and Sakina

Al-Baqara of the Qur’an refers to the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, where it mentions that it was with assurance or tranquility (Sakinaسكينة) which is an Arabic word that is related to the Hebrew Shakan (abide, rest, שָׁכַן). Evidently, Muhammad had heard the Arabic Jews refer to the Shekinah that accompanied the Ark of the Covenant. Since the Arabic and Hebrew words are similar, Muhammad must have had some vague notion that the Ark was accompanied with a special sign of tranquility. 

And (further) their Prophet said to them: “A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance [سكينة]) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if ye indeed have faith.” al-Baqarah 2:248 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)

And their Prophet said to them, ‘The sign of his kingship is that the Ark will come to you, in it a Shechina from your Lord, and a remnant of what the folk of Moses and Aaron’s folk left behind, the angels bearing it. Surely in that shall be a sign for you, if you are believers.’ (A.J. Arberry’s translation)

وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نِبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ التَّابُوتُ فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَبَقِيَّةٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ آلُ مُوسَى وَآلُ هَارُونَ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ سورة البقرة ٢‏: ٢ ٤ ٨

In addition to the Qur’an, the hadiths refer to a cloud that came over a man and frightened his horse.  Muhammad claimed that this cloud was the As-Sakina, making a possible reference to the Shekinah cloud that accompanied the Israelites during their wilderness journey.

531. Narrated Al-Bara’: A man was reciting Surat Al-Kahf and his horse was tied with two ropes beside him. A cloud came down and spread over that man, and it kept on coming closer and closer to him till his horse started jumping (as if afraid of something). When it was morning, the man came to the Prophet, and told him of that experience. The Prophet said, “That was As-Sakina (tranquility) which descended because of (the recitation of) the Qur’an.” Sahih al- Bukhari, Vol. VI, Book LXI. Chapter 11, No. 531, p. 492.

Before the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad lacked peace and tranquility, so he recited a poem by Ibn Rawaha, praying to Allah for calmness and Sakina.

Narrated Al-Bara: When it was the day of Al-Ahzab (i.e. the clans) and Allah’s Apostle dug the trench, I saw him carrying earth out of the trench till dust made the skin of his abdomen out of my sight and he was a hairy man. I heard him reciting the poetic verses composed by Ibn Rawaha while he was carrying the earth, “O Allah! Without You we would not have been guided, nor would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So, (O Allah), please send Sakina (i.e. calmness) upon us and make our feet firm if we meet the enemy, as they have rebelled against us. And if they intend affliction (i.e. want to frighten us, and fight against us) then we would not (flee but withstand them).” The Prophet would then prolong his voice at the last words. Sahih al- Bukhari, Vol. V, Book LIX. Chapter 28, No. 432, p. 300-301. See also Vol. VIII, No. 617 and Vol. IX, No. 342.

Since Sakina means calmness and tranquility, this narration is merely a reference to Muhammad’s frightened state and his prayer for peace and calmness before the battle.

In the case of the Israelites, the Shekinah presence of the LORD and the angel of God protected them from the mighty armies of the Egyptians. The Israelites did not have to lift a finger, because God was protecting them.

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,
coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long. Exodus 14:19-20 (NIV)

فانتقل ملاك الله السائر امام عسكر اسرائيل وسار وراءهم . وانتقل عمود السحاب من امامهم ووقف وراءهم .
فدخل بين عسكر المصريين وعسكر اسرائيل وصار السحاب والظلام واضاء الليل . فلم يقترب هذا الى ذاك كل الليل .  خروج ١٤‏:١٩-٢٠

The cloud and the glory of God were manifested when God wrote the Decalogue upon the two stone tablets.

These are the commandments the LORD proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me. Deuteronomy 5:22 (NIV)

هذه الكلمات كلم بها الرب كل جماعتكم في الجبل من وسط النار والسحاب والضباب وصوت عظيم ولم يزد. وكتبها على لوحين من حجر واعطاني اياها  تثنية ٥‏:٢٢

While there are some vague, limited, and incomplete references to the Shekinah in the Qur’an and Muslim traditions, the Ka’aba in Mecca lacks a Sakina tradition that is so outstanding in the case of the Tabernacle and the Temple. Muhammad had to pray for peace and tranquility (sakina), because he rejected the true mission of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) who promised to give His peace to those who believe in Him. 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)

سلاما اترك لكم .سلامي اعطيكم .ليس كما يعطي العالم اعطيكم انا .لا تضطرب قلوبكم ولا ترهب . يوحنا ١٤‏:٢٧

Temple & God’s glory

Next in Israel’s history, we read that the glory of the LORD filled the Temple during its dedication. No longer was worship associated with the Tent of Meeting or the Tabernacle. It was now associate with the beautiful and magnificent Temple on Mount Moriah where Abraham had previously sacrificed a ram for Isaac. The people of Israel had to journey to the sacred Temple for special religious occasions, such as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14, Deuteronomy 16:16, 2 Chronicles 8:13). Again, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:1-4, when the people offered sacrifices, the glory of God came and filled the Temple. And, just like the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the Temple is rich with spiritual and symbolic truth too.

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD. 2 Chronicles 7:1-4 (NIV)

وبنو يساكر تولاع وفوّة وياشوب وشمرون اربعة. وبنو تولاع عزّي ورفايا ويريئيل ويحماي ويبسام وشموئيل رؤوس بيت ابيهم تولاع جبابرة بأس حسب مواليدهم. كان عددهم في ايام داود اثنين وعشرين الفا وست مئة. وابن عزي يزرحيا وبنو يزرحيا ميخائيل وعوبديا ويوئيل ويشّيّا خمسة. كلهم رؤوس. ومعهم حسب مواليدهم وبيوت آبائهم جيوش اجناد الحرب ستة وثلاثون الفا لانهم كثّروا النساء والبنين.٢ اخبار ٧‏:١-٤

Tragically, the people of Israel were unfaithful to the grace and privilege that God had extended to them. As a result, we read in the book of Ezekiel (10:4, 19 and 11:23) that the glory of God departed from the temple. Thankfully, that is not the end of the story. As foretold by the prophet Ezekiel, when the time of millennium blessing comes to the world, the glory of the LORD will return to a new earthly temple to be built on Mount Zion in the city of Jerusalem.

The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east.
Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. Ezekiel 43:4-5 (NIV)

فجاء مجد الرب الى البيت من طريق الباب المتجه نحو الشرق.
فحملني روح وأتى بي الى الدار الداخلية واذا بمجد الرب قد ملأ البيت. حزقيال ٤٣‏:٤-٥

Lord Jesus Christ & God’s glory

Several hundred years after the canon of the Old Testament closed, the glory of God once again appeared to mark the occasion of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ when it shone around the shepherds. As prophesized throughout the Old Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ was born of the blessed virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, was the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for the sins, and is now ascended to glory. Consequently now, we see the glory of God associated with the Lord Jesus Christ. So, rather than the glory of God being associated with a tabernacle or a temple or any other building or holy site, we find God’s glory associated with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. Luke 2:9 (NIV)

واذا ملاك الرب وقف بهم ومجد الرب اضاء حولهم فخافوا خوفا عظيما.  لوقا ٢‏:٩

While on the Mount of Transfiguration, the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ became gloriously bright and a cloud settled upon Him and three of His disciples, Peter, John, and James.  Here again we see the cloud and the glory of God associated with the Savior.

29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” Luke 9:29, 34-35 (NIV)

وفيما هو يصلّي صارت هيئة وجهه متغيرة ولباسه مبيضا لامعا .
وفيما هو يقول ذلك كانت سحابة فظللتهم .فخافوا عندما دخلوا في السحابة .
وصار صوت من السحابة قائلا هذا هو ابني الحبيب .له اسمعوا. لوقا ٩‏:٢٩ ، ٣٤-٣٥

Before His crucifixion upon the cross of Calvary, the Lord Jesus promised His disciples that He would come again in a cloud with great glory. His first coming into the world was to be the lowly, suffering, sacrificial Lamb of God, but at His second coming, He will be the judge who judges the world in righteousness, and then He will reign supreme as Lord of Lords and King of Kings over the nations of the world. This prophecy of the Lord Jesus shows him coming as the Son of Man in a cloud and with great glory.

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 (NIV)
At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Luke 21:27 (NIV)
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” Revelation 17:14 (NIV)

وحينئذ تظهر علامة ابن الانسان في السماء .وحينئذ تنوح جميع قبائل الارض ويبصرون ابن الانسان آتيا على سحاب السماء بقوة ومجد كثير. متى ٢٤‏:٣٠
وحينئذ يبصرون ابن الانسان آتيا في سحابة بقوة ومجد كثير. لوقا ٢١‏:٢٧
هؤلاء سيحاربون الخروف والخروف يغلبهم لانه رب الارباب وملك الملوك والذين معه مدعوون ومختارون ومؤمنون.  رؤيا يوحنا ١٧‏:١٤

Forty days after his resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the grave and ascended in a cloud to heavenly glory.

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. Acts 1:9 (NIV)

ولما قال هذا ارتفع وهم ينظرون. واخذته سحابة عن اعينهم. أعمال الرسل ١‏:٩

In the book of Acts, the first Christian martyr, Stephen, saw the glory of God associated with the resurrected and ascended Lord Jesus Christ.  

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Acts 7:55 (NIV)

واما هو فشخص الى السماء وهو ممتلئ من الروح القدس فرأى مجد الله ويسوع قائما عن يمين الله. أعمال الرسل ٧‏:٥٥

Hence, Christian worship is not directed toward an earthly Qibla of cloth, wood, or stone. Rather, it is directed towards heaven and the eternal God who has revealed Himself in the person of the Son who wrought eternal redemption that we might have a personal and living relationship with our blest and eternal God. Truly, the words of the prophet Isaiah have been fulfilled, God has visited planet earth as Emmanuel—which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). And the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ sets aside any physical structure or religious ritual. The Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, is risen and is alive in heavenly glory!

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

لان الله الذي قال ان يشرق نور من ظلمة هو الذي اشرق في قلوبنا لانارة معرفة مجد الله في وجه يسوع المسيح ٢ كورنثوس ٤‏:٦

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11 (NIV)

واذ وجد في الهيئة كانسان وضع نفسه واطاع حتى الموت موت الصليب. لذلك رفعه الله ايضا واعطاه اسما فوق كل اسم لكي تجثو باسم يسوع كل ركبة ممن في السماء ومن على الارض ومن تحت الارض ويعترف كل لسان ان يسوع المسيح هو رب لمجد الله الآب فيلبي ٢‏:٨-١١

But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:2-3 (NIV)

كلمنا في هذه الايام الاخيرة في ابنه الذي جعله وارثا لكل شيء الذي به ايضا عمل العالمين الذي وهو بهاء مجده ورسم جوهره وحامل كل الاشياء بكلمة قدرته بعدما صنع بنفسه تطهيرا لخطايانا جلس في يمين العظمة في الاعالي. العبرانيين ١‏:٢-٣

Heavenly City & God’s Glory

In the future heavenly city, the glory of God flows from the Lamb of God, and it illuminates the nations of the world.

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. Revelation 21:10-11, 22-24 (NIV)

وذهب بي بالروح الى جبل عظيم عال وأراني المدينة العظيمة اورشليم المقدسة نازلة من السماء من عند الله
لها مجد الله ولمعانها شبه اكرم حجر كحجر يشب بلوري.
ولم أر فيها هيكلا لان الرب الله القادر على كل شيء هو والخروف هيكلها.
والمدينة لا تحتاج الى الشمس ولا الى القمر ليضيئا فيها لان مجد الله قد انارها والخروف سراجها.
وتمشي شعوب المخلّصين بنورها وملوك الارض يجيئون بمجدهم وكرامتهم اليها. رؤيا يوحنا ٢١‏:١٠-١١ ، ٢٢-٢٤

So throughout the New Testament, we read that the glory of God is intimately associated with the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. The One who suffered, bled, and died upon the Cross will be the One who is yet to be glorified before the world.

Symbolism of Tabernacle

Now, God did not fill the Old Testament with minute details of the Tabernacle that lack spiritual teaching for us. And, since the Tabernacle was honored with the visible display of the Glory of the Eternal God, we ought to inquire as to its spiritual meaning, because it gives us instructive symbolism of heavenly realities.

They serve at a sanctuary (i.e. the Tabernacle) that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” Hebrews 8:5 (NIV)

الذين يخدمون شبه السماويات وظلها كما اوحي الى موسى وهو مزمع ان يصنع المسكن.لانه قال انظر ان تصنع كل شيء حسب المثال الذي اظهر لك في الجبل. العبرانيين ٨‏:٥

Lord Jesus Christ is the Key

What is the key needed to open the spiritual teaching that God has for us in the details of the construction of the Tabernacle? As we shall see, the Lord Jesus Christ is the key that unlocks the door to its understanding.

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11-12 (NIV)

واما المسيح وهو قد جاء رئيس كهنة للخيرات العتيدة فبالمسكن الاعظم والاكمل غير المصنوع بيد اي الذي ليس من هذه الخليقة وليس بدم تيوس وعجول بل بدم نفسه دخل مرة واحدة الى الاقداس فوجد فداء ابديا. العبرانيين ٩‏:١١-١٢

The Lord Jesus Christ used the Old Testament scriptures to show His blest mission of sacrificial suffering.

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27 (NIV)

فقال لهما ايها الغبيان والبطيئا القلوب في الايمان بجميع ما تكلم به الانبياء .
أما كان ينبغي ان المسيح يتألم بهذا ويدخل الى مجده .
ثم ابتدأ من موسى ومن جميع الانبياء يفسر لهما الأمور المختصة به في جميع الكتب.  لوقا ٢٤‏:٢٥-٢٧


1 Muslims may object to this statement. However, it is supported by the fact that Saudi Arabia makes it illegal to bring the authentic writings of the prophets into its kingdom. By contrast, Christians honor and esteem the Jewish prophetic writings. In fact, Christians so highly esteem the writings of the Jewish prophets that they print their Christian scriptures, the New Testament, with the Jewish Old Testament scriptures at the beginning of their Bibles. They don’t consider their Bibles fully complete unless the Jewish Old Testament is printed with the Christian New Testament.
Because Muslims reject the authentic prophetic writings, you will not find a Qur’an printed with these prior scriptures. This is because the Qur’an contradicts and corrupts the message of the prior divine prophets, and the Qur’an contains many additional apocryphal religious fables too. So, it is no wonder that Muslims will have nothing to do with the true scriptures of the prophets.
2 The word, Shekinah, is derived from the Hebrew word, shakan (abode, 
שָׁכַן), that is found in Exodus 24:16 and 40:35. Shakan means “to dwell, to remain, to continue where one is; to rest after motion; to rest or remain in a state of inactivity; applied to the presence of God among his people, and hence, Shechinah.” From William Wilson, New Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1987 edition, p. 2.

Additional Internet Resources

Links to Tabernacle Resources

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Dwelling Place

God’s Holiness & Love

The blood of the Passover sacrifice being applied
to the doorframe of a house

Summary: The Ark and Mercy Seat of the Tabernacle illustrate the doctrine of God’s holiness and mercy, substitutionary sacrifice for sinners, and the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Relationship

As soon as the Israelites had escaped the slavery of Pharaoh in Egypt and had crossed the sea, they sang a song of deliverance upon the shores of the Red Sea. They praised God for His power, salvation, and their new found relationship with Him. They could sing the lovely words that the LORD Yahweh is my strength, my song, my salvation, my God, and my father’s God. Do you have this firm confidence that the LORD God is your salvation, song, and strength?

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2 (NIV)

الرب قوّتي ونشيدي . وقد صار خلاصي . هذا الهي فامجّده . اله ابي فارفعه. خروج ١٥‏:٢

Dwelling Place

In Exodus 15:13, they sang that God would guide them to His holy dwelling. It was not until later that we read the description of the Tabernacle and its furniture. Yet even here, they anticipate God guiding them to a holy dwelling place where He would dwell with them. This promise brought joy to their hearts because fellowship with God is the heartbeat of one who has experienced the salvation of the LORD. Do you have this burning desire to have a personal relationship with your Creator?

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. Exodus 15:13 (NIV)

ترشد برأفتك الشعب الذي فديته تهديه بقوتك الى مسكن قدسك.   خروج ١٣‏:١٥

Later in the wilderness, when the construction plans for the Tabernacle were actually revealed, it states again that the purpose of the Tabernacle was to have God dwell among His redeemed people. It never was God’s purpose to remain remote, alien, and unknown to His children of faith.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. … I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. Exodus 25:8, 22 (NIV)

فيصنعون لي مقدسا لاسكن في وسطهم.
وانا اجتمع بك هناك واتكلم معك من على الغطاء من بين الكروبين    اللذين على تابوت الشهادة بكل ما اوصيك به الى بني اسرائيل.  خروج ٢٥‏:٨،٢٢

God’s Holiness

The description begins with the most holy place of the Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies, and its furniture. Since the holiness of God is the most frightful thing to a guilty sinner, one might wonder why the description would begin here. The reason is simple. Unless the holiness of God were satisfied, God cannot dwell with His people or have a loving relationship with them. Sin is what separates a sinner from God. The very nature of God requires that, first of all, His infinite holiness be maintained.

“And you shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the holy of holies. Exodus 26:34 (NAS)

وتجعل الغطاء على تابوت الشهادة في قدس الاقداس .   خروج ٢٦‏:٣٤

This teaches us that God must satisfy His infinite holiness before He can have fellowship with lost, helpless, and rebellious sinners. As a result, the description of the Tabernacle does not begin with a description of the beautiful entrance into the Tabernacle’s Court or with the Altar of Incense within the Holy place. It begins within the quietness and solemnity of the Holy of Holies and the requirements of God infinite holiness.

The fanciful and pagan idea of a Balance for good and evil deeds shows how little thought has been given to the infinite Holiness of God All-Mighty.

God never compromises His holiness to show mercy to sinners. The soul that sins must die. Sin requires death. Thus, the pagan idea of a Balance at the day of Judgment shows how little thought has been given to the infinite Holiness of God All-Mighty. “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. …” (Habakkuk 1:13). A single sin is sufficient to makes us flee from the penetrating light of God’s holiness. Unless God’s holiness and righteousness are satisfied, the mighty love of God cannot flow to sinners.

Substitutionary Sacrifice

The shed blood of the Passover lamb satisfied God’s holiness. The Israelites were delivered from the bondage of Egypt by the power of God and by the blood of the Passover sacrifice. As a result, they could sing a joyful song of redemption on the shores of the Red sea.

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. Exodus 12:13 (NIV)

ويكون لكم الدم علامة على البيوت التي انتم فيها . فأرى الدم واعبر عنكم . فلا يكون عليكم ضربة للهلاك حين اضرب ارض مصر. خروج ١٢‏:١٣

Pharaoh was too proud to submit to God and to apply the blood of a lamb to the doorframe of his palace. He despised a substitutionary sacrifice and chose to depend upon his own self-righteousness. The angel of death passed through the land of Egypt and brought judgment upon the first born of every house that lacked the blood of the lamb upon the doorframe of the house. As a result of Pharaoh’s rebellion to God, his first-born son died that night. Have you submitted to God and placed your trust in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God?

At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.
Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. Exodus 12:29-30 (NIV)

فحدث في نصف الليل ان الرب ضرب كل بكر في ارض مصر من بكر فرعون الجالس على كرسيه الى بكر الاسير الذي في السجن وكل بكر بهيمة .
فقام فرعون ليلا هو وكل عبيده وجميع المصريين . وكان صراخ عظيم في مصر . لانه لم يكن بيت ليس فيه ميت. خروج ١٢‏:٢٩-٣٠

Divine Guidance

Next, the LORD warned Moses that the Tabernacle and its furnishing had to be made exactly as He had shown him upon Mount Sinai. This teaches us that 

In contrast to Muhammad, Moses could not pattern the Tabernacle after the religions of the people of Palestine, Mecca, or Egypt.

we must obey God to achieve the right path. So, Moses could not pattern the Tabernacle after the religious worship of Palestine, Mecca, or any other form of worship. He must explicitly follow the instructions of God and not his own ideas and feelings. This contrasts remarkably with Muhammad who rejected the teachings of the prophets on the necessity of substitutionary sacrifice and turned instead to the religious practices of the pagan Arabs and superimposed apocryphal fables onto these pagan rituals to make them appear to have a divine origin.

Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. Exodus 25:9.

بحسب جميع ما انا أريك من مثال المسكن ومثال جميع آنيته هكذا تصنعون. خروج ٢٥‏:٩

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Ark & Its Contents

The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ

Summary: The Ark illustrates the Lord Jesus Christ’s deity and humanity. 

Scripture

10 “Have them make a chest of acacia wood– two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.
11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.
12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other.
13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it.
15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.
16 Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. Exodus 25:10-16 (NIV)

فيصنعون تابوتا من خشب السنط طوله ذراعان ونصف وعرضه ذراع ونصف وارتفاعه ذراع ونصف.

  ١٠

وتغشّيه بذهب نقي . من داخل ومن خارج تغشّيه . وتصنع عليه اكليلا من ذهب حواليه.

  ١١

وتسبك له اربع حلقات من ذهب وتجعلها على قوائمه الاربع . على جانبه الواحد حلقتان وعلى جانبه الثاني حلقتان.

  ١٢

وتصنع عصوين من خشب السنط وتغشّيهما بذهب.

  ١٣

وتدخل العصوين في الحلقات على جانبي التابوت ليحمل التابوت بهما .

  ١٤

تبقى العصوان في حلقات التابوت . لا تنزعان منها .

  ١٥

وتضع في التابوت الشهادة التي اعطيك.  خروج ٢٥‏:١٠-١٦

  ١٦

Now, it is instructive that a piece of furniture?the Ark with its covering?is described before the Tabernacle building itself. The reason for this is that the Ark is the starting point and central focus of the Tabernacle. In other words, everything was constructed and arranged with respect to the Ark of God and its Mercy Seat. Also, to point out in the clearest of terms the importance of the the Ark and Mercy Seat, they were the only furnishings within the most holy place, the Holy of Holies.

Pure Gold

The Ark is a gold-covered, wooden box that has rings at its four corners to support the two poles that were used to move the Ark from place to place. The box itself was acacia wood that was covered on the inside and outside with pure gold.

Pure gold symbolizes what is divine; and, in this case, it symbolizes the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-3, 14 (NIV)

في البدء كان الكلمة والكلمة كان عند الله وكان الكلمة الله.
هذا كان في البدء عند الله.
كل شيء به كان وبغيره لم يكن شيء مما كان.
والكلمة صار جسدا وحلّ بيننا ورأينا مجده مجدا كما لوحيد من الآب مملوءا نعمة وحقا. يوحنا ١‏:١-٣،١٤

The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is central to the God’s plan for redemption and relationship with the people of Israel. The Israelites, like everyone else, were sinners who could not be blessed unless they were redeemed by a vicarious sacrifice with infinite worth. So, the description of the Tabernacle and its furniture begins with the Ark that symbolizes the person of Lord Jesus Christ in His divine and human nature.

Acacia (Shittim) Wood

The acacia wood symbolizes the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary. It was through Mary that the Lord Jesus Christ acquired a true human nature. The addition of a real human nature to His deity did not diminish or alter the fact of His divine person. As the second person of the blest Trinity, the Son is always and unchangingly divine.

It was prophesized in the very beginning of the Holy Scriptures that a woman’s seed (a child born without the aid of man) would someday bruise the head of Satan (destroy the power of the devil). Isaiah further prophesized that this child would be virgin-born (Isaiah 7:14).

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”?which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 (NIV)

هوذا العذراء تحبل وتلد ابنا ويدعون اسمه عمانوئيل الذي تفسيره الله معنا متى١‏:٢٣

Since human nature had fallen through the sin of Adam and Eve, it was necessary that a human being pay the penalty of sin. Although some other being, such as an angel, might have paid the consequence of human sin, it would not have been an act between God and humanity. Human nature had fallen through sin, and it needed to be elevated to fellowship with All-Mighty God. This could only happen if a human satisfied the holy righteousness of God. Since the Lord Jesus Christ has a human nature, He could be the sacrificial Lamb of God.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 (NIV)

وفي الغد نظر يوحنا يسوع مقبلا اليه فقال هوذا حمل الله الذي يرفع خطية العالم. يوحنا ١‏:٢٩

In addition, since the sin of Adam was against the Infinite One, God, it was necessary that the sacrifice itself have infinite value. Thus, the sacrifice for sin had to be human as well as be divine. Divine so the sacrifice had infinite value to satisfy God’s infinite holiness, and human to pay the price for human sin.

Jesus is sinless

It is interesting to note that the Septuagint LXX translates of the Hebrew words, Acacia or Shittim wood, with the Greek words, ξυλων ασηπτων 1  In Greek 

Acacia Tree

these words signify incorruptible wood2 This prefigures the sinless perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no moral or spiritual corruption in Him.

Both the New Testament and the Qur’an state that the Lord Jesus Christ was sinless.

The Bible says,

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. 1 Peter 2:22 (NIV)
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 1 John 3:5 (NIV)
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

الذي لم يفعل خطية ولا وجد في فمه مكر ١ بطرس ٢‏:٢٢
وتعلمون ان ذاك أظهر لكي يرفع خطايانا وليس فيه خطية. ١ يوحنا ٣‏:٥
لانه جعل الذي لم يعرف خطية خطية لاجلنا لنصير نحن بر الله فيه. ٢ كورنثوس ٥‏:٢١

The Qur’an says,

He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son. Maryam 19:19 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)

قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلَامًا زَكِيًّا سورة مريم ١٩‏:١٩

Manna

There were three object inside the Ark: the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone table of 10 commandments.

which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Hebrews 9:4 (NIV)

فيه مبخرة من ذهب وتابوت العهد مغشّى من كل جهة بالذهب الذي فيه قسط من ذهب فيه المنّ وعصا هرون التي افرخت ولوحا العهد.  العبرانيين ٩‏:٤

Manna simply means, What is it? It was the question that the Israelites asked when they saw the manna on the ground that rested upon the dew. Spiritually, the manna symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ who is the divine Bread who came down from the Father in glory to be the life of the world. So, what is your response to the question, Who is the Lord Jesus?  Do you believe He is merely a great prophet of God like other impressive personages in world history? Or, do you believe He is the divine Son of God who came from the Father to give His life as a sacrifice for sin? Have you eaten the bread from heaven? Your eternal destiny hinges upon your response to this question.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51 (NIV)

انا هو الخبز الحي الذي نزل من السماء. ان اكل احد من هذا الخبز يحيا الى الابد. والخبز الذي انا اعطي هو جسدي الذي ابذله من اجل حياة العالم  يوحنا ٦‏:٥١

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”  John 6:58 (NIV)

هذا هو الخبز الذي نزل من السماء. ليس كما اكل آباؤكم المنّ وماتوا. من يأكل هذا الخبز فانه يحيا الى الابد. يوحنا ٦‏:٥٨

Aaron’s staff that budded

Aaron’s staff that budded was a miracle that demonstrated God’s acceptance and approval of the priesthood of Aaron. All the staffs were dead and lifeless when they were initially placed before the LORD. But the next day, Aaron’s staff was alive, blossoming, and bearing almonds.

The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Testimony and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Numbers 17:8 (NIV)

وفي الغد دخل موسى الى خيمة الشهادة واذا عصا هرون لبيت لاوي قد افرخت. اخرجت فروخا وازهرت زهرا وانضجت لوزا.   عدد ١٧‏:٥٨

This teaches us the glorious truth of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ whose grave is miraculously empty!  He died upon the Cross, but He arose from the grave! He is alive in glory. His resurrection is the gospel testimony that the Lord Jesus Christ is the living Son of God because He triumphed over the power of death.

the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures
regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David,
and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 1:2-4 (NIV)

الذي سبق فوعد به بانبيائه في الكتب المقدسة
عن ابنه. الذي صار من نسل داود من جهة الجسد
وتعيّن ابن الله بقوة من جهة روح القداسة بالقيامة من الاموات. يسوع المسيح ربنا  رومية ١‏:٢-٤

The Ark is a symbol of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who is both divine (gold) and human (wood). Within in the Ark was Aaron’s rod that symbolizes new life from the dead. Do you have a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ through faith in His shed blood? The staff that became alive and yielded almonds speaks of the resurrection of Christ and fruit that His death would yield. Thankfully, millions have turned from their sins and accepted the sacrificial Lamb of God for their Savior. The Lamb who was slain is gloriously alive.

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24 (NIV)

الحق الحق اقول لكم ان لم تقع حبة الحنطة في الارض وتمت فهي تبقى وحدها .ولكن ان ماتت تأتي بثمر كثير.  يوحنا ١٢‏:٢٤

Millions of Muslims who go each year to visit the Masjid an-Nabwi (the Prophets’ mosque) with its green dome and 10 minarets to see the Maksurah (tomb) where Muhammad’s dry bones rest. Like the other staffs, Muhammad’s staff remains dead within the grave. He does not have power over death or the grave like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Stone Tablets of the Covenant

The third object within the Ark were the stone tablets upon which were written the ten commandments of God. Since the Ark symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ, the tablets within the Ark teaches us that the Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law of God. To be the sacrificial Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ must fulfill the commandments of God and live a sinless life.

The LORD wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me.
Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the LORD commanded me, and they are there now. Deuteronomy 10:4-5 (NIV)

فكتب على اللوحين مثل الكتابة الاولى الكلمات العشر التي كلمكم بها الرب في الجبل من وسط النار في يوم الاجتماع واعطاني الرب اياها.
ثم انصرفت ونزلت من الجبل ووضعت اللوحين في التابوت الذي صنعت فكانا هناك كما امرني الرب.  تثنية  ١٠‏:٤-٥

In a broader context, the Lord Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. This goes beyond keeping the 10 commandments.  Because keeping the 10 commandments is only a small part of fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. The Prophets includes more than the words of Moses. More importantly, the Law and the Prophets promised a coming Messiah who would come into the world to be a sin offering. The Lord Jesus Christ must fulfill the entire Law and the Prophets, and the Law and the Prophets require that the birth of the Messiah and His substitutionary sacrifice for sins. For example, the Lord Jesus Christ had to fulfill the words of the Prophet Isaiah that are written in Chapter 53 of his book.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17 (NIV)

لا تظنوا اني جئت لانقض الناموس او الانبياء .ما جئت لانقض بل لاكمّل .  متى  ٥‏:١٧

Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:10-12 (NIV)

اما الرب فسرّ بان يسحقه بالحزن. ان جعل نفسه ذبيحة اثم يرى نسلا تطول ايامه ومسرة الرب بيده تنجح.
من تعب نفسه يرى ويشبع. وعبدي البار بمعرفته يبرر كثيرين وآثامهم هو يحملها.
لذلك اقسم له بين الاعزاء ومع العظماء يقسم غنيمة من اجل انه سكب للموت نفسه وأحصي مع أثمة وهو حمل خطية كثيرين وشفع في المذنبين  اشعياء  ٥٣‏:١٠-١٢

In conclusion the objects within the Ark of the Covenant teach us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life from heaven (manna), is risen with power over death and the grave (Aaron’s budding rod), and is sinless and the fulfillment of the Mosaic law and all the Old Testament prophets (tablets of stone). As the tablets of were inside the Ark, so the Law was within the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then I said, “Here I am, I have come– it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalms 40:7-8 (NIV)

حينئذ قلت هانذا جئت. بدرج الكتاب مكتوب عني
ان افعل مشيئتك يا الهي سررت. وشريعتك في وسط احشائي  مزامير  ٤٠‏:٧-٨

The Qur’an gives a passing mention to the relics or objects within the Ark of the Covenant. Yet, it cannot offer any insight into the spiritual significance of these items within the Ark.

And (further) their Prophet said to them: “A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance ) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if ye indeed have faith.” al-Baqarah 2:248 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)

وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نِبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ التَّابُوتُ فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَبَقِيَّةٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ آلُ مُوسَى وَآلُ هَارُونَ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ سورة البقرة ٢‏: ٢ ٤ ٨


1 Brenton, Lancelot C.L., The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1851 (Third Reprinting), pp. 1130 + Appendix (Old Testament) pp. 248 (Apocrypha), ISBN: 0-913573-44-2, p. 102.
2 Its wood is heavier than water, exceedingly hard, of fine grain, the sap-wood yellow, the heart-wood brown. It is not attacked by insects. It was therefore eminently suited for furniture such as that for which it was employed, in a climate where insects commit such ravages as in the desert and in Palestine. The acacia are most picturesque trees with their gnarled trunks, sometimes 2 feet thick, their twisted thorny branches, which often give the whole tree an umbrella-like form, and their fine bipinnate leaves with minute leaflets. Hastings Dictionary of the Bible (vol. 4, p. 507)

Last edited 10/07/2002

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Mercy Seat & Cherubims

God’s Judgment and Mercy


Cherubims & Mercy Seat
– Atonement Cover –

Summary: The Cherubims and Mercy Seat illustrate the judgment and mercy of God. On the side of judgment, the Cherubims carry out the judgment of God. On the side of mercy, the Mercy Seat is sprinkled with blood to atone for sin. This blood shows that a victim has given its life in death for sin. The faces of the Cherubims gaze downward upon the Mercy Seat to see if the blood is on the Mercy Seat. If the Cherubims see the blood, they know the penalty of sin has been fulfilled. This teaches us that God offers mercy and forgiveness to sinners without compromising His holiness on the basis of substitutionary sacrifice.  

Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Psalms 85:10 (NIV)

الرحمة والحق التقيا. البر والسلام تلاثما. مزامير ٨٥‏:١٠

Scripture

17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold?two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide.
18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover.
19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends.
20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover.
21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you.
22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. Exodus 25:17-22 (NIV)

وتصنع غطاء من ذهب نقي طوله ذراعان ونصف وعرضه ذراع ونصف .

  ١٧

وتصنع كروبين من ذهب . صنعة خراطة تصنعهما على طرفي الغطاء .

  ١٨

فاصنع كروبا واحدا على الطرف من هنا . وكروبا آخر على الطرف من هناك . من الغطاء تصنعون الكروبين على طرفيه .

  ١٩

ويكون الكروبان باسطين اجنحتهما الى فوق مظلّلين باجنحتهما على الغطاء ووجههما كل واحد الى الآخر . نحو الغطاء يكون وجها الكروبين .

  ٢٠

وتجعل الغطاء على التابوت من فوق . وفي التابوت تضع الشهادة التي اعطيك .

  ٢١

وانا اجتمع بك هناك واتكلم معك من على الغطاء من بين الكروبين    اللذين على تابوت الشهادة بكل ما اوصيك به الى بني اسرائيل.   خروج ٢٥‏:١٧-٢٢

  ٢٢

Cherubims

The first thing that a person would notice when he looked at the Ark of the Covenant would be the two golden cherubims whose wings were spread apart as if ready instantly to accomplish God’s will. The cherubims were oriented towards each other with their faces gazing downward. The cherubims symbolize divine readiness to punish sin.

Often the first mention of something in scripture provides the best clue to its meaning. In Genesis Chapter 3 the cherubims and a flaming sword kept Adam and Eve away from the garden of Eden and the tree of life. So, in the first instance, the cherubims were actively involved in fulfilling God’s retribution against sin.

After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:24 (NIV)

فطرد الانسان واقام شرقي جنة عدن الكروبيم ولهيب سيف متقلب لحراسة طريق شجرة الحياة. تكوين  ٣‏:٢٤

Adam and Eve disobeyed and sinned against the Creator and had to be driven away from the garden of Eden and the Tree of Life. The penalty of Original Sin required that they must labor and finally die. If they had eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life, they would have lived forever. So, they must be driven away from the Tree of Life. As a result of their disobedience, death passed upon them and their offspring.

but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17 (NIV)

واما شجرة معرفة الخير والشر فلا تأكل منها . لانك يوم تأكل منها موتا تموت .   تكوين  ٢‏:١٧

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12 (NIV)

من اجل ذلك كأنما بانسان واحد دخلت الخطية الى العالم وبالخطية الموت وهكذا اجتاز الموت الى جميع الناس اذ اخطأ الجميع.   رومية ٥‏:١٢

Muslims may reject the doctrine of Original Sin, but they cannot deny its universal effect upon humanity. Death is the common lot of everyone. It makes no difference whether a person were a holy prophet of God, the prophet must die. Adam died, Noah died, Abraham died, Joseph died, Moses died, and the list could go on and on. Even Muhammad is a testimony to the truth of Original Sin. He died and is buried in his tomb (Maksurah) at Medina (al-Madinah). Millions of Muslims do Hajj each year and also visit Medina to see Muhammad’s tomb in the Masjid an-Nabwi with its green dome. His tomb proclaims the truth of Original Sin. Muhammad sinned; therefore, he must die. You may reject doctrine of Original Sin, but my friend you still face death and judgment.

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, Hebrews 9:27 (NIV)

وكما وضع للناس ان يموتوا مرة ثم بعد ذلك الدينونة  العبرانيين ٩‏:٢٢

In conclusion, we see the golden cherubims were active in the judgment of sinners by God All-Mighty. Their wings were poised ready to fly. This indicate their swiftness to fulfill God’s will. In scripture gold indicates what is divine and in this case it would indicate that God’s holiness is the divine standard of judgment. Their faces were turned downward toward the mercy seat where the atonement blood was sprinkled symbolize the sure judgment of God can only be prevented by the blood of a substitutionary sacrifice.

Mercy Seat or Atonement Cover

The Mercy Seat symbolizes the mercy and grace of God that is available through the blood of an atonement sacrifice. Once a year the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies, and then, he went only to sprinkle the blood on the front side and before the Mercy Seat. The front of the Mercy Seat is the top cover towards the side that is eastward. Since the Tabernacle faced eastward, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies and approached the Ark of the Covenant from the easterly direction. Thus, he sprinkled some of the blood one time on the top of the Mercy Seat that was on the topside closest to him. Afterwards, he sprinkled some of the blood seven times on the ground before the Mercy Seat.

He is to take some of the bull’s blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.
“He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull’s blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. Levitcus 16:14-15 (NIV)

ثم يأخذ من دم الثور وينضح باصبعه على وجه الغطاء الى الشرق. وقدام الغطاء ينضح سبع مرات من الدم باصبعه
ثم يذبح تيس الخطية الذي للشعب ويدخل بدمه الى داخل الحجاب ويفعل بدمه كما فعل بدم الثور ينضحه على الغطاء وقدام الغطاء..اللاويين ١٦‏:١٤-١٥

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is the most solemn day of all the Jewish holy days. It is the one day of the year that the High Priest would entered the Holy of Holies; and, then it was to make an atonement for the sins of the nation of Israel. At no other time could the High Priest enter into the most Holy Place.

The blood was sprinkled one time on the Mercy Seat, because one time is enough to satisfy God’s righteous penalty for sin. However, the approach to the Mercy Seat was sprinkled seven time, so that those who approach God’s Mercy Seat may know that the blood of atonement has been shed for sin. After the blood was sprinkled, the sins of Israelites were atoned for another year.

Lastly, the Israelites were not allowed do any work on the day of Atonement. It was the day for the cleansing of sin by substitutionary sacrifice. It had to be a Sabbath of rest and nobody could do any work on the Day of Atonement. This teaches us a marvelous lesson, dear friend. You cannot work for the cleansing of your sins. The penalty of sin is death, either your death or the death of a substitutionary victim. No amount of good works that you may do will cleanse your sin away! The divine message of the prophets is that “without the shedding of blood is no remission of sins” (Hebrews 9:22).

29 “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work?whether native-born or an alien living among you?
30 because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins.
31 It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.
34 “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.” And it was done, as the LORD commanded Moses. Leviticus 16:29-31, 34 (NIV)

٢٩ ويكون لكم فريضة دهرية انكم في الشهر السابع في عاشر الشهر تذللون نفوسكم وكل عمل لا تعملون الوطني والغريب النازل في وسطكم.
٣٠ لانه في هذا اليوم يكفّر عنكم لتطهيركم. من جميع خطاياكم امام الرب تطهرون.
٣١ سبت عطلة هو لكم وتذلّلون نفوسكم فريضة دهرية.
٣٤ وتكون هذه لكم فريضة دهرية للتكفير عن بني اسرائيل من جميع خطاياهم مرة في السنة. ففعل كما امر الرب موسى.   رومية ٥‏:١٢

The belief in the oneness of Allah saves nobody, because even Iblis and all the demons of hell believe this elementary doctrine. What good has it done them? Will they be in Jannah? The Devil rejects the truth that salvation requires a substitutionary sacrifice. Our foe would like you think that your good work will save your lost soul. The great prophet Moses obeyed the LORD God and offered the sin offering on the Day of Atonement and would not allow anyone to work on the day of Atonement.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that?and shudder. James 2:19 (NIV)

انت تؤمن ان الله واحد.حسنا تفعل.والشياطين يؤمنون ويقشعرون.  يعقوب ٢‏:١٩

All our deeds of self-righteousness are as unclean rags in comparison to the crystal purity of God’s infinite holiness.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6 (NIV)

وقد صرنا كلنا كنجس وكثوب عدة كل اعمال برنا وقد ذبلنا كورقة وآثامنا كريح تحملنا  اشعياء ٦٤‏:٦

The Mercy Seat and the blood of atonement illustrate important aspects of salvation, and they pre-figure the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, upon the cross of Calvary. The true act of atonement is the Savior’s alone, no amount of religious works will save your precious soul. You need the redeeming work of the dying Savior upon the cross to attain Paradise.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14 (NIV)

فكم بالحري يكون دم المسيح الذي بروح ازلي قدم نفسه للّه بلا عيب يطهر ضمائركم من اعمال ميتة لتخدموا الله الحي. العبرانيين ٩‏:١٤

It was from between the cherubims and above the Mercy Seat where the LORD God communicated with the prophet Moses. It was also where the blood of the Yom Kippur sacrifice was sprinkled, and this shows us that atonement is the basis of true communion with God. The believer may enter the Holy of Holies by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Moses entered the Tent of Meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the Testimony. And he spoke with him. Numbers 7:89 (NIV)

فلما دخل موسى الى خيمة الاجتماع ليتكلم معه كان يسمع الصوت يكلمه من على الغطاء الذي على تابوت الشهادة من بين الكروبين فكلّمه  عدد  ٧‏:٨٩

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:19 (NIV)

فاذ لنا ايها الاخوة ثقة بالدخول الى الاقداس بدم يسوع. العبرانيين ١٠‏:١٩

As a fulfillment of the writings of the ancient divine prophets, God may be propitiated by faith in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. This blood propitiates (ιλαστηριον) the holy justice of God with respect to sin.

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement [literally, mercy seat or propitiation, ιλαστηριον], through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished? Romams 3:25 (NIV)

الذي قدمه الله كفارة بالايمان بدمه لاظهار بره من اجل الصفح عن الخطايا السالفة بامهال الله. رومية ٣‏:٢٥

Strong’s Greek Dictionary No. 2435 hilasterion (ιλαστηριον hil-as-tay’-ree-on); neuter of a derivative of 2433; an expiatory (place or thing), i.e. (concretely) an atoning victim, or (specially) the lid of the Ark (in the Temple): KJV— mercy seatpropitiation.

Holy of Holies

As we conclude our remarks on the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat and Cherubims, we should notice that the Ark itself symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ in His blest deity (gold) and humanity (wood). The items inside the Ark itself teach us that the Lord Jesus Christ personally is the Sinless one (tablets of the Law), the Bread of life (golden pot of Manna), and the Resurrection life (Aaron’s budding rod). The Mercy Seat and the Cherubims tell us that the judgment of God against sin can only be prevented by the blood of an atonement sacrifice. No good human work will satisfy God’s righteousness with respect to sin.

These are the primary lessons that God would have us learn if we desire to have fellowship with Him as His redeemed people. Much more could be said about the significance of the many details of the Ark of the Covenant and its Mercy Seat, but, like writer of Hebrews, we forebear discussing these other details now.

Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. Hebrews 9:5 (NIV)

وفوقه كروبا المجد مظللين الغطاء.اشياء ليس لنا الآن ان نتكلم عنها بالتفصيل. العبرانيين   ٩‏:٥

Muhammad and Atonement

Muhammad rejected the message of the divine prophets of God who emphasized the necessity of the blood of atonement for sin. The good news according to Muhammad is that personal piety is the path to God. Besides the fact that Muhammad contradicted the ancient prophets, Muhammad’s good news cannot atone for the sins. Obviously, piety is a moral virtue, but it ignores the fact that everyone has sinned, and, consequently, everyone deserves the judgment and punishment of God for those sins. Abraham and Moses, who are  esteemed examples of personal piety, knew the LORD God required the blood of an atonement sacrifice to cleanse them from their sins. True piety is knowing that your own piety is not sufficient to atone for your sin. Muhammad lacked true piety, so he rejected the message of the prophets and the blood of atonement.

It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify Allah for His Guidance to you and proclaim the good news to all who do right. Al-Hajj 22:37 Yusufali?s translation

لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَى مِنكُمْ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِنِينَ  سورة الحج   ٢٢‏:٣٧

The goods news of Holy Scripture is that sin may be atoned by sacrificial blood. This recognizes the gravity of sin and the grace of God in providing another to die in a sinner’s place. All have sinned and acted in an impious manner, and this affronts the holiness and righteousness of God. On the other hand, self-righteous sinners believe their piety will suffice the holiness of God. Thus showing they have a superficial idea of God’s holiness and hatred of sin and an inflated view of their piety.

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Leviticus 17:11 (NIV)

لان نفس الجسد هي في الدم فانا اعطيتكم اياه على المذبح للتكفير عن نفوسكم. لان الدم يكفّر عن النفس. اللاويين  ١٧‏:١١

God does not ignore past sins. Your sins and mine will be called into account at the Last Day. How will you answer God for your past sins and evil deeds? This is indeed a serious question. If a murderer were to stop murdering people, would a human judge remain righteous, if he were to ignore the prior crimes of a murderer? Of course not! Do you think that God is more unrighteous than a human judge? We must give an account to God for all our evil deeds.

Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. Ecclesiastes 3:15 (NIV)

ما كان فمن القدم هو. وما يكون فمن القدم قد كان. والله يطلب ما قد مضى. جامعة  ٣‏:١٥

Our conscience reminds us of our past sins. This was the case with the polytheists who came to Muhammad and who were troubled about their past fornications and murders. While God is merciful and desires to forgive sinners, He does not cast His justice aside to accomplish His mercy. This is why the blood of a sacrifice was required to atone for sins. In this way God can forgive sins and be perfectly righteous too. But, Muhammad treated lightly the past sins of these polytheists and told them they were to call upon Allah alone and to avoid fornication and murder and that this would requite their past evil deeds.

But, there is no way that Muhammad’s advice could undo their evil deeds. Those who were murdered were still dead, and their fornications had still violated their female victims. Because their sins had not been punished, those evil deeds remained upon them. Furthermore, simply ceasing from fornication and murder is not piety, because piety is more than not being a vicious killer or a promiscuous fornicator.

It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that some persons amongst the polytheist had committed a large number of murders and had excessively indulged in fornication. Then they came to Muhammad (may peace be upon him) and said: Whatever you assert and whatever you call to is indeed good. But if you inform us that there is atonement of our past deeds (then we would embrace Islam). Then it was revealed:

And those who call not unto another god along with Allah and slay not any soul which Allah has forbidden except in the cause of justice, nor commit fornication; and he who does this shall meet the requital of sin. Multiplied for him shall be the torment on the Day of Resurrection, and he shall therein abide disgraced, except him who repents a believes and does good deeds. Then these! for the Allah shall change their vices into virtues. Verily Allah is Ever Forgiving, Merciful (al-Furqan 25:68-70).
Say thou: O my bondsmen who have committed extravagance against themselves, despair not of the Mercy of Allah! Verily Allah will forgive the sins altogether. He is indeed the Forgiving, the Merciful (xxxix. 53) Sahih Muslim Book 1, No. 221

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا
يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا
إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا   سورة الفرقان  ٢٥‏:٦٨-٧٠
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ سورة الزمر  ٣٩‏:٥٣

Again, Muhammad offers a trivial view of atonement for sins when he claimed that behaving quietly during Friday prayers is an atonement for sins. Muhammad seems to have no idea of the serious message of the prophets of God. Of course common courtesies are appropriate human behavior, but they don’t make an atonement for sins.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Three types of people attend Friday prayer; One is present in a frivolous way and that is all he gets from it; another comes with a supplication, Allah may grant or refuse his request as He wishes; another is present silently and quietly with-out stepping over a Muslim or annoying anyone, and that is an atonement for his sins till the next Friday and three days more, the reason being that Allah, the Exalted, says: “He who does a good deed will have ten times as much” (vi.160).    Sunan Abu Dawud Book 2, No. 1108

Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: if one has a sudden attack of vomiting while one is fasting, no atonement is required of him, but if he vomits intentionally he must make atonement.  Sunan Abu Dawud Book 7, No. 2374

Throughout the Jewish Old Testament scriptures, Allah revealed the absolute need for the death of a substitutionary sacrifice to atone for sins. Muhammad rejected the prior revelations of Allah and instituted the idea that goods deeds alone are sufficient to atone for past sins. In its essence, this is the way of Cain who, unlike Abel, offered the fruits of his own efforts rather than sacrifice a lamb of the flock.

We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers. al-Maeda 5:45 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)

وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالأَنفَ بِالأَنفِ وَالأُذُنَ بِالأُذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأ ُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ  سورة المائدة ٤:٣٦


When we consider the words of Muhammad, we are reminded of the words of King Solomon,

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 16:25 (NIV)

توجد طريق تظهر للانسان مستقيمة وعاقبتها طرق الموت. امثال ١٦‏:٢٥

Blood of Christ

While good works are required of Christian believers, they are never considered to effect the salvation of the soul. Sin is too grievous in the sight of God to be treated so lightly. Sin requires death, but the gift of God is available because of the sacrificial blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that you may repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for your personal Savior. Millions have come to the Savior and submitted to the righteousness of God!

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NIV)

لان اجرة الخطية هي موت. واما هبة الله فهي حياة ابدية بالمسيح يسوع ربنا رومية  ٦‏:٢٣

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28 (NIV)
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. John 19:34-35 (NIV)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! Romans 5:8-9 (NIV)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)
and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, Revelation 1:5 (NIV)

لان هذا هو دمي الذي للعهد الجديد الذي يسفك من اجل كثيرين لمغفرة الخطايا . متى  ٢٦‏:٢٨
لكن واحدا من العسكر طعن جنبه بحربة وللوقت خرج دم وماء.
والذي عاين شهد وشهادته حق وهو يعلم انه يقول الحق لتؤمنوا انتم . يوحنا  ١٩‏:٣٤-٣٥
ولكن الله بيّن محبته لنا لانه ونحن بعد خطاة مات المسيح لاجلنا.
فبالأولى كثيرا ونحن متبرّرون الآن بدمه نخلص به من الغضب. رومية  ٥‏:٨-٩
الذي فيه لنا الفداء بدمه غفران الخطايا حسب غنى نعمته أفسس  ١‏:٧
ومن يسوع المسيح الشاهد الامين البكر من الاموات ورئيس ملوك الارض.الذي احبنا وقد غسلنا من خطايانا بدمه رؤيا يوحنا  ١‏:٥

We are by Christ redeemed:
The cost?His precious blood;
Be nothing by our souls esteemed
Like this great good.
Were the vast world our own,
And Thou, Lord Jesus, wert unknown,
We still were poor.


O Blessed Lord, what hast Thou done?
How vast a ransom given?
Thyself of God the eternal Son;
The Lord of earth and heaven.

Thy Father, in His gracious love,
Did spare Three from His side;
And Thou didst stoop to bear above,
At such a cost, Thy bride.

Lord, while our souls in faith repose
Upon Thy precious blood,
Peace like an even river flows,
And mercy like a flood.

But boundless joy shall fill our hearts,
When gazing on Thy face,
We fully see what faith imparts,
And glory crowns Thy grace.

Last edited 10/12/2002

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