Seat, Cherubim, and Shekinah Glory
The cherubim were bearers of the
divine glory, whence, perhaps, they derive their name. The Shekinah, or cloud
of glory, in which Jehovah appeared between the cherubim over the mercy seat,
the lid of the ark, is doubtless the reference. Tholuck thinks the twelve
loaves of the showbread represent the twelve tribes of the nation, presented
as a community before God consecrated to Him (just as in the Lord's Supper
believers, the spiritual Israel, all partaking of the one bread, and becoming
one bread and one body, present themselves before the Lord as consecrated to
Him, 1Co 10:16, 17); the oil and light, the pure knowledge of the Lord, in
which the covenant people are to shine (the seven (lights), implying
perfection); the ark of the covenant, the symbol of God's kingdom in the old
covenant, and representing God dwelling among His own; the ten commandments in
the ark, the law as the basis of union between God and man; the mercy seat
covering the law and sprinkled with the blood of atonement for the collective
sin of the people, God's mercy [in Christ] stronger than the law; the
cherubim, the personified [redeemed] creation, looking down on the mercy seat,
where God's mercy, and God's law, are set forth as the basis of creation.
represents the very presence of God, and the cloud veiled His presence. This
cloud led His people to Israel, and the Holy Spirit similarly leads His people
"You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one
and a half cubits wide.
"You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends
of the mercy seat.
"The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with
their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned
toward the mercy seat.
"I will commune with thee from above the
mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the
The LORD said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any
time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the
ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.
1 Kings 8:7
For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim
made a covering over the ark and its poles from above.