Holy Vessels: The Ark, Table and Lamp

Feb 15, 2015

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

Exodus 25:1

וּרְאֵה וַעֲשֵׂה בְּתַבְנִיתָם אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה מָרְאֶה בָּהָר׃

Note well, and follow the patterns for them that are being shown you on the mountain.

Exodus 25:40

The portion begins with a call for contributions to the building effort. God gives a specific list of materials needed for His Tabernacle. He then goes on to describe three of the primary vessels which will be set up inside the Tabernacle: the Ark of the Covenant, the Table of the Show Bread and the Lamp, called the Menorah.


The Ark is to be built from three layers, a wooden box with both outer and inner gold boxes. It will be topped with a crown of gold. The cover for the Ark will also be of gold, and topped with two cherub figures. Into this, the two tablets will be placed, and from here God will conduct His meetings with Moses.


The Table is also to be made of wood and covered in gold, surrounded by a gold crown molding. It is to have shelves on which to place the show-bread, as well as utensils of gold for the service. Both the Table and the Ark are to have rings in which gold-plated wooden poles will be placed for the purpose of transporting the vessels. The poles of the Ark are never to be removed from their housings.


The Lamp, or Menorah, is to have seven branches, each with knobs, cups and flowers in their design. Three arms are to branch out from the central one on each side. It is to be hammered out of a single block of gold, and its accompanying utensils are also to be made of pure gold. To be certain, God shows Moses what the Menorah is meant to look like in a vision on the mountain.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think that of these three vessels, God shows Moses a vision of the Menorah in particular?

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