The Ark – Mercy Seat

The Ark of the Covenant, which represents God, was made of three parts: the Mercy Seat, the Ark or Box, and the Poles. I have seen the Mercy Seat is a type of the Father, the Ark or Box being Jesus, and the Poles representing the Holy Spirit. These echo 2 Corinthians 13:14 – The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. (KJV)

Christians, our triune God is still a mystery. Yes, He has given us His Spirit and His Word but there are still things about Him we do not know. Isaiah 45:15 says that He is a God who hides Himself. Jesus gave us hope of knowing Him when He said, “if you have seen Me you have seen the Father”. I do wish that the writer of Hebrews 9:5 would have taken the time to explain the Mercy Seat. With all of that said I will share some things that are plain to see and some that we do not know about the Mercy Seat that I think represents the Father.

Moses got to see the real Ark and Tabernacle while he was in Heaven. The instructions he wrote for the Ark’s construction and purpose are in Exodus 25:10-23. The iconic Mercy Seat or Atonement Cover starts with verse 17. The sixth side of the Ark of the Testimony or Mercy Seat was two and a half cubits long by a cubit and a half wide. It sat within the crown that was made around the Box or Ark, which would have kept it from sliding off. It had two Cherubim as part of the top whose wings spread out over the Cover and those wings touched. God promised Moses that He would meet with him there. Not much or just enough information? The artwork through the ages has kept the basics but added embellishments to suit the artist and the times. As I said a mystery.

My Questions

  • How much gold was used for the base and the angels?
  • How thick was the base?
  • How tall and wide were the angels?
  • Were the wings horizontal or vertical to the base? (More on that idea later.)
  • How high were the wings off of the base?
  • How wide were the wings and how much did they touch?

This is where God would meet with Moses. What if, one set of wings were vertical and the other set were horizontal, they would form a seat or chair. Given the size of the lid and guessing with the angels, it would be a good size seating area with a low back.


It is easy to get lost on what we don’t know, but the purpose of the Mercy Seat is a major topic.

1. Between the Cherubim and above the rest of the Ark is where God wanted to meet with Moses, His man of the hour.

2. Leviticus 16:2 shows another ceremony, that speaks about what did Jesus after His ascension into Heaven. This is where the Priest would sprinkle the blood on the Day of Atonement.

3. As the Cover for the Ark, it covered or hid the Tablets of the Law. They were the first things put inside the Ark and they were the only things that remained at the last mention of any contents. A pot of manna and Aaron’s rod were also put in there, but they seem to have disappeared. That is a mystery.

The Father “covered” these three items as they were “held” by Jesus. My original question of this study was-did they represent reminders of rebellion or did God show Himself as a giver of good things in the middle of our problems. Personally, I have not decided on that problem as I can see both in our great God.   

No, I have not covered all of the types and shadows of the Ark. I thought the Mercy Seat of the Ark would be the last post in this series, but I was given several other ideas.

January Bible Study Follow-up

Well now that January is over how did you do on your Bible study?

I did start studying “blessed” but I realize that is going to be on going.  I got the definitions copied on to a word doc and as I read through Proverbs I looked up the word blessed as I found it in my daily reading. My big take away so far has been Proverbs 11:11 which says that we are to speak a blessing to our city.

I started on my second task which was to put together 1 + 2 Samuel with 1 Chronicles.  The first place they really run together is 1 Samuel 31 and 1 Chronicles 10, which is the story of King Saul. (see Lord My/Your God and Why Hide a Grandson There) This of course started a side study on where is Mount Gilboa? I found this on-line and there were several good websites that talked about Mount Gilboa.  Finding some of my old notes I still look at Saul as someone who had the call of God but not His presence.  He also never brought the Ark of the Covenant to him, which is one of the first things David did. I also realize that even though he did it wrong Saul was still trying to find God, it is a shame that he did it his own way.

Well even though I really did not meet my goal I did study some of my plan.  Keep working your plan because at least you are studying.


Silver in Bible times was a metal for money, art, and jewelry. Many items in the Tabernacle were made of silver such as curtain hooks, hooks to hold up the curtain rods, and sockets to hold the floor to together.  This symbolizes the importance of silver to God as an element to hold His Church together.  Ezekiel 22:20 speaks about silver’s refining and how tin, lead, copper, and iron were the dross that had to be burned away.  This refining process was done with great heat and by pouring the metal into an earthen vessel and then blowing a lot of air into that vessel.

Silver represents the religious activities of our lives, which can be useful to God, and things of beauty. “Silver things”, however, need to be imported into our earthen vessels and heat and wind (the Holy Spirit) will have to refine the silver to get rid of the dross so it will be acceptable to God.  “ Silver” with the dross in it would be all the religious things we do to act righteous, make ourselves feel good, and to show-off before men; giving money to impress people, reading the Bible for the wrong reasons, volunteering to be seen by man.  “Pure silver” (religion God wants) according to James 1:27 is taking care of widows and orphans and not being polluted by the world.

Gold also had to be imported into Israel and has always been a standard of wealth.  Copper and silver can be added to gold to harden it and change its color, this is how we get white gold or 14 karat gold.  Metal workers have known for ages that gold can be hammered into very thin sheets and used to cover things, like the work done on the Ark of the Covenant.  The Ark was a box made of a common wood overlaid with gold so that it would be lighter to carry.

The “gold” in our lives are the things most precious to God, but we need to know that the “copper” and “silver” must be refined out so that only pure gold will be left.  If the “copper” of our good works or the “tarnished silver” of religiousness is in our gold it is not acceptable to God. “Gold” can be spread over some of the “common areas” of our life and become something of great value just like the Ark.   Jesus in dealing with the woman taken in adultery showed us pure “gold”; He accepted her where she was, did not condemn her, and gave her the chance of freedom from her sins.

To view part 4 – copper.…are-you-part-4