And you shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Four rings of gold.—Though the ark was not to be carried in procession, like Egyptian arks, yet it would have to be carried when the Israelites resumed their journeyings. The four rings were made to receive the two “staves” or poles by which the ark was to be borne at such times on the shoulders of the priests (Exodus 25:13-14).
In the four corners thereof.—Literally, at the four feet thereof. The rings were to be affixed, not at the four upper corners of the chest, but at the four bottom corners, in order that the ark, when carried on men’s shoulders, might be elevated above them, and so be in no danger of coming in contact with the bearers’ persons. The arrangement might seem to endanger the equilibrium of the ark when carried; but as Kalisch observes, “the smallness of the dimensions of the ark rendered its safe transportation, even with the rings at its feet, not impossible.”Exodus 25:26), and that it is to them the word is here applied. The ark, when it was carried, must thus have been raised above the shoulders of the bearers.In the four corners; in the middle of each corner, for conveniency of carriage. See 1 Kings 7:30.
and put them in the corners thereof; or, "in its feet", as Aben Ezra, though Jarchi says it had no feet; but as the word used so signifies always, it is more probable it had feet; and the rather, that it might not stand upon the ground, but on feet, as chests and coffers usually do:
and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it; Jarchi says, at the upper corners, near the mercy seat were they placed, two on one side and two on the other, at the breadth of the ark; but it is more likely they were fixed in the lower part of it, as Ramban, at the feet of it; and in the length of the ark, as Josephus writes (m).And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. in] on, i.e. fasten them on to.
feet] short supports for the ark. Not the word used in v. 26.
on the one side, &c.] It is not stated whether the longer or the shorter sides are meant. The former are commonly thought of: but if the writer thought that the Divine throne should always face in the direction in which it was borne (v. 14), the latter will have been intended (DB. iv. 665b; cf. 1 Kings 8:8). ‘Rib’(marg.) fig. for side occurs also v. 14, Exodus 26:20; Exodus 26:26-27; Exodus 26:35, Exodus 27:7, 2 Samuel 16:13 al.
Verse 12. - Four rings of gold. These rings were to be fixed, not at the upper, but at the lower corners of the chest, which are called pa'amoth, literally "feet" or "bases." The object was, no doubt, that no part of the chest should come in contact with the persons of the priests when carrying it (see ver. 14). As Kalisch notes, "the smallness of the dimensions of the ark rendered its safe transportation, even with the rings at its feet, not impossible." Exodus 27:20). בּשׂמים perfumes, spices for the anointing oil (see at Exodus 30:22.), and for the incense (הסּמּים, lit., the scents, because the materials of which it was composed were not all of them fragrant; see at Exodus 30:34.).
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