The Ark (Part IV)

  • Rav Yitzchak Levy

 

Mikdash

 

Lecture 127: The Ark (Part IV)

Rav Yitzchak Levi

 

 

THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD OF HOSTS WHO SITS UPON THE KERUVIM

 

            The ark goes by yet another name: "The ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts who sits upon the keruvim." This name appears in the chapter describing how Chofni and Pinchas took the ark out to battle in the war against the Pelishtim:

 

And the word of Shmuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Pelishtim to battle, and they pitched by Even-ha-Ezer; and the Pelishtim pitched in Afek. And the Pelishtim put themselves in battle order against Israel, and when they joined battle, Israel was beaten before the Pelishtim; and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men. And when the people had come in the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord smitten us today before the Pelishtim? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shilo to us, so that when it comes among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.” So the people sent to Shilo, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who sits upon the keruvim; and the two sons of Eli, Chofni and Pinchas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. (I Shmuel 4:1-4)

 

            This expression appears in several contexts. The term "the Lord of hosts" is clearly connected to the fact that God is the master of war, and therefore the ark goes out to war and represents God's presence at the battle, the army of Israel being the army of God fighting God's wars.

 

            This name is also found in different places in various forms:

 

·           When David takes the ark up to Jerusalem:

 

And David arose and went with all the people that were with him from Ba'alei-Yehuda, to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits upon the keruvim. (II Shmuel 6:2)

 

·           Occasionally, the appearance of God is described as: "He sits upon the keruvim." Thus, for example:

 

The Lord reigns; let the people tremble; He sits upon the keruvim; let the earth be moved. (Tehillim 99:1)[1]

 

These names relate to different meanings of the ark:[2]

 

·           The ark goes out to war.[3] God reveals Himself also at war, this being part of His appearance in this world.

·           He sits upon the keruvim.[4] Scripture alludes to the fact that the Lord of hosts sits on the keruvim. That is to say, the keruvim serve as the Shekhina's seat, a royal throne, as it were. This fits in with the perception of the Mikdash as a whole as God's royal palace.[5]

·           The ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts who sits upon the keruvim – there is, of course, a close connection between God's kingdom and God as master of war. God reveals Himself in this world both in times of peace, when the ark is found at rest in the Holy of Holies, and in times of war, when the ark is taken out to war.

 

THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD OF ALL THE EARTH

 

            As we have seen in previous shiurim, the name "the ark of the covenant" appears several times in the book of Yehoshua in the context of the crossing of the Jordan:

 

And they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall remove from your place, and go after it…” And Yehoshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people.” And they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people… And Yehoshua said, “Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanite, and the Chittite, and the Chivite, and the Peritzite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Yevusite. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes before you into the Jordan… And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, those waters that come down from above, and they shall stand in a heap.” And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents to pass over the Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; and as they that bore the ark came to the Jordan. And the feet of the priests that bore the ark were dipped in the brink of the water, for the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest… (Yehoshua 3:3-15)

 

            Why in this context of the crossing of the Jordan is the ark called "the ark of the covenant, the Lord of all the earth"?

 

            It may be suggested that the passing of the ark at the head of the entire camp expresses more than anything else the mutual covenant between Israel and God in general, and in the crossing over into Eretz Israel to the west of the Jordan in particular. Through this, God's lordship over all the earth finds particular expression. Therefore, since Israel is the nation of God, they cross the Jordan, and the vessel that expresses this fact more than anything else is the ark of the covenant of God. In this sense, the ark represents God's presence in the world, and the people of Israel's belonging to God.

 

THE ARK OF THE LORD/THE ARK OF GOD

 

            In the books of the Prophets, the ark is often called "the ark of the Lord" or "the ark of God."[6] This name expresses the direct connection between the ark and God's presence and providence over Israel and the world, because more than any other vessel, the ark expresses God's appearance in the world, and it is therefore called "the ark of the Lord" and "the ark of God."

 

            For example, regarding the war against the Pelishtim at Even-ha-Ezer, we read:

 

And the Pelishtim were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp,” and they said, “Woe to us for there has not been such a thing before now. Woe to us! Who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that smote Egypt with all the plagues in the wilderness. Strengthen yourselves and act like men, O Pelishtim, lest you fall slaves to the Hebrews, as they have been slaves to you; quit yourselves like men, and fight.” (I Shmuel 4:7-9)

 

            The Pelishtim identify the ark with God Himself.

 

            This is connected to what is stated in the book of Devarim:

 

For the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (Devarim 20:4)

 

The gemara in Sota 42a expounds this verse: "This refers to the camp of the ark." In other words, God's going with the people of Israel finds expression in the camp of the ark, which goes out to war. The gemara there (42b) explains: "Because His name and all His substituted names were deposited in the ark."

 

            This also follows from what it says in the book of Bamidbar:

 

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moshe said, “Rise up, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered; and let those who hate You flee before You.” And when it rested, he said, “Return, O Lord, to the ten thousands of Israel.” (Bamidbar 10:35-36)

 

Here too, as it were, the setting forward of the ark is identified with the rising of God. Indeed, R. Yehuda Halevi in his Kuzari (IV:3) explains that the ark was called by the name of God. He writes as follows:

 

Occasionally they addressed the holy ark by the name of God, as it is written: "Rise up, O Lord," when they made a start, and "Return, O Lord" when they halted, or "God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of the trumpet" (Tehillim 47:6). With all this, only the ark of the Lord is meant.

 

MIKDASH[7]

 

            Another name of the ark was "Mikdash" (sanctuary). Thus, for example, in the following verses:

 

And the Kehatim set forward, bearing the sanctuary (Mikdash);[8] that they might set up the Mishkan against their arrival. (Bamidbar 10:21)

 

This shall be the service of the sons of Kehat in the Ohel Mo'ed, namely, the most holy things. And when the camp set forward, Aharon shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the parokhet of the screen, and cover the ark of Testimony with it… And when Aharon and his sons had made an end of covering the sanctuary (Kodesh), and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward. (Bamidbar 4:4-15)

 

It is absolutely clear that in this context, the word "Kodesh" refers to the ark, which may not be seen uncovered and which may not be touched.

 

            In I Divrei Ha-yamim it says as follows:

 

Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, “Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God, and I had made ready for building… Take heed now; for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.” (I Divrei Ha-yamim 28:2-10)

 

            Here too, it is clear that the words "a house for the sanctuary" mean "a house for the ark," and therefore the Beit ha-Mikdash is a house for the ark. This is stated explicitly in the commentary to Divrei Ha-yamim attributed to Rashi (ad loc.):

 

"For the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary” – Not to build it for Him as a residence, for the heavens and the high heavens cannot contain Him. Rather, for the sanctuary, for the sake of the ark which is called a sanctuary, as it is written: "And the Kehatim set forward, bearing the sanctuary (mikdash)" – this being the ark.

 

            This understanding is also supported by the fact that the ark is the first vessel mentioned in the command to build the Mikdash, and therefore it is not by chance that the ark – the Mikdash – gave its name to the structure as a whole, the Mikdash and the house of the Mikdash (Beit ha-Mikdash).

 

THE HOLY ARK (ARON HA-KODESH)

 

            Only once is the ark called "the holy ark," and this happens when the ark is stored away in the days of Yoshiyahu:

 

Moreover, Yoshiyahu kept a Pesach to the Lord in Jerusalem; and they killed the paschal lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their watches and encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord, and he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord, “Put the holy ark in the house which Shlomo the son of David king of Israel did build; you need no longer carry it upon your shoulders. Serve now the Lord your God and His people Israel. (II Divrei Ha-yamim 35:1-3)

 

            It is interesting that the ark's holiness is mentioned only when it is being stored away. As long as the ark serves its various purposes, it is called the ark of the Testimony or the ark of the covenant. As soon as it is stored away, so that it no longer serves these purposes, it is called the holy ark.[9]

 

THE ARK - NAME

 

            We saw earlier that when the ark is brought up from Kiryat-Ye'arim to the city of David, it says:

 

And David arose and went with all the people that were with him from Ba'alei-Yehuda, to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the name (asher nikra shem shem) of the Lord of hosts who sits upon the keruvim. (II Shmuel 6:2)

 

The parallel passage in Divrei Ha-yamim reads:

 

And David went up, and all Israel to Ba'ala, that is, to Kiryat-Ye'arim, which belonged to Yehuda, to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who sits upon the keruvim, by whose name it is called. (I Divrei Ha-yamim 13:6)

 

            Rashi explains this in simple manner in his commentary to Shmuel:

 

“Whose name is called by the name” – The ark that is called by the name. And what is the name? That the name of the Lord of hosts is upon it.

 

The Radak (ad loc.) explains:

 

"Whose name is called" – And afterwards it explains: "By the name of the Lord of hosts who sits upon the keruvim" – the ark is called by that name. And the reason that this name of the ark is mentioned in this place and not mentioned anywhere else is that the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, was sanctified when it was in Sedeh-Pelishtim.

 

            The Abravanel explains (ad loc.):

 

Through the wonders performed by ark, the name of the Lord of hosts was made known through wondrous proclamation both in the land of the Pelishtim and in Israel. For this reason, the word "shem" is mentioned twice, the name of God among the Pelishtim and the name of God in Israel.

 

            Yehuda Kil adds in the Da'at Mikra commentary:

 

The verse repeats the word "shem" in order to prevent the mistaken understanding that the Lord sits upon the ark in the literal sense, for surely the entire world is filled with His glory.

We find that sometimes "the name of the Lord" comes in place of God Himself. For example, "Behold the name of the Lord comes from far" (Yeshayahu 30:27). We also find that calling somebody or something by a name signifies that he or it belongs to the one assigning the name. So it is said about Israel: "And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you" (Devarim 28:10). And so about the Temple: "And that they may know that this house, which I have built is called by Your name" (I Melakhim 8:43). And so about Jerusalem: "For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by My name" (Yirmiyahu 25:29). And so about the prophet, God's agent: "For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts" (Yirmiyahu 15:16). And so about God's choosing of the place: "But the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, there shall you seek Him, at His dwelling, and there shall you come" (Devarim 12:5). And so too: "And Shlomo determined to build a house for the name of the Lord" (II Divrei Ha-yamim 1:18).

If we wish to identify the expression with the Tetragrammaton, the Torah states in Vayikra 24:11-15: "And the Israelite woman's son blasphemed the name… And he who blasphemes the name of the Lord." And similarly: "That you may fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord your God" (Devarim 28:58); and: "And I know you by name" (Shemot 33:17).[10]

 

THE NAME IN OTHER CONTEXTS

 

            The term "the name" appears in other contexts that are relevant to our discussion.[11] In many contexts, the term "name" is an honorary designation of God. So we find in the words of the prophet Yeshayahu:

 

I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to carved idols. (Yeshayahu 42:8)

 

            The Torah states in the book of Vayikra:

 

Speak to Aharon and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel which they hallow to Me, and they profane not My holy name, I am the Lord. (Vayikra 22:2)

 

            In the aftermath of the sin of the Golden Calf, the Torah states:

 

And Moshe said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ and You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, I know you by name…” And the Lord said to Moshe, “I will do this thing also that you have spoken, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.” And he said, “I pray You, show me Your glory.” And He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” (Shemot 33:12-19)

 

We find here "knowing by name" and "proclaiming the name."

 

            In Devarim it says:

 

If you will not observe to do all the words of this Torah that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord your God. (Devarim 28:58)

 

In this verse, the glorious and fearful name is identified with God Himself.

 

            In the days of the prophets as well, the prophets prophesy in the name of the Lord, whereas the false prophets prophesy falsely in His name:

 

Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in My name, and I sent them not, yet they say, “Sword and famine shall not be in this land” – by sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. (Yirmiyahu 14:15)

 

And similarly:

 

That think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers forgot may name for the Ba'al. (Yirmiyahu 23:27)

 

            The house of God is also called by God's name. So we find in Yirmiyahu:

 

And you now turned and had done right in My sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor; and you had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name. (Yirmiyahu 34:15)

 

            In the song of Ha'azinu, Moshe says:

 

Because I will call upon the name of the Lord, ascribe greatness to our God. (Devarim 32:3)

 

For then I will convert the peoples to a purer language, so that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent.[12] (Tzefanya 3:9)

 

            In the wake of God's demand of Avraham: "Walk before Me, and be perfect" (Bereishit 17:1), it is stated: "For let all people walk everyone in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the lord our God for ever and ever" (Mikha 4:5).

 

            The Sifrei in Devarim states as follows:

 

"To put His name there" (Devarim 12:5) – Here it says: "His name," and below (Bamidbar 6:26) it says: "My name." Just as "His name" mentioned here is the Temple, so too "My name" mentioned below is the Temple. Just as "My name" mentioned below refers to the Priestly Benediction, so too "His name" mentioned here refers to the Priestly Benediction. I know only about the Temple? From were do I learn about the provinces? The verse states: "In all places where I cause My name to be pronounced" (Shemot 20:21). If so, why does it say: "To put His name there"? In the Temple they pronounce the name as it is written, whereas in the county, by its substitute. (Sifrei, Devarim 62)

 

            Onkelos who renders the aforementioned verse as "In all places where I cause My Shekhina to rest." In his wake, the Ibn Ezra explains: "In all places where I put a remembrance of My name, where My glory rests, like in Shilo and Nov where the ark stood." The Ibn Ezra draws a connection between the pronunciation of God's name and the ark.

 

            In general, God's lordship over the creation is expressed in names in which He is described as master of heaven and earth.

 

The term "those who know My name" is connected in one way or another to the worship of God. David in Tehillim expresses this as follows: "And they that know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You" (Tehillim 9:11). "They that know Your name" is synonymous with "those who seek You." Similarly, in Tehillim 91:14: "Because he has set his delight upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name" – "He has set his delight upon Me" is synonymous with "he has known My name."

 

The prophet Yeshayahu states:

 

In that time shall a present be brought to the Lord of hosts, by a people tall and smooth, even by a people terrible from their beginning onward; a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers have divided, to the place, of the name of the Lord of hosts, Mount Zion. (Yeshayahu 18:7)

 

            In the context of the Priestly Benediction, the Torah first writes: "And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them" (Bamidbar 6:26).

 

            So too, when the Torah relates to the selection of the tribe of Levi, it says:

 

For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever. (Devarim 18:5)

 

            When the Torah describes throughout the book of Devarim God's selection of the place, "the place which the Lord shall choose," usually the objective is "to put His name there" or "to cause His name to dwell there" (Devarim 12:5,11). Onkelos translates there, "But to the place that the Lord your God will desire to set His Shekhina there." Thus, "to put His name there" means "to rest His Shekina there."

           

            Similarly, in Yirmiyahu we see that "name" is a shortened form of "ark of the name of God." Regarding the verse, "But go now to My place which was in Shilo, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel" (Yirmiyahu 7:12), the Radak explains: "That I destroyed it and removed My Shekhina from it and the ark was exiled from it." In this context, the Shekhina is the ark with the keruvim, upon which the glory, the Shekhina, rested.

 

            Based on all the proofs cited above that connect the term "name" to the resting of the Shekhina, we can well understand that the term "name" is an abridged form of "ark of the name of God," the place where the Shekhina rests upon the kaporet between the two keruvim. In his prayer at the dedication of the house of God, Shlomo states as follows:

 

Since the day that I brought forth My people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house, that My name might be there; but I chose David to be over My people Israel. And it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel… And the Lord has performed His word that He spoke, and I am risen up in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel… That your eyes may be open towards this house night and day, towards the place of which You have said, My name shall be there: that You may hearken to the prayer which Your servant shall make toward this place… When Your people Israel are smitten down before the enemy because they have sinned against You, and shall turn again to You, and confess Your name, and pray, and make supplication to You in this house. (I Melakhim 8:16-33)

 

            In light of the above, we can understand why one of the names of the ark is "name." The “name” expresses God's presence and revelation in this world, and the vessel that expresses this more than any other vessel is the ark; it is therefore called "name."

 

THE ARK AS GOD'S FOOTSTOOL

 

            The expression "God's footstool" appears in various contexts.[13] In two places, Scripture connects the footstool to the ark. We find in the book of Tehillim:

 

We will go into His dwelling places: we will worship at His footstool. Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place; You, and the ark of Your strength. (Tehillim 132:7-8)

 

The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble: He is enthroned upon the keruvim; let the earth be moved… Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is holy. (Tehillim 99:1-5)

 

In I Divrei Ha-yamim, we read:

 

Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, “Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and I had made ready for building.” (I Divrei ha-Yamim 28:2)

 

            According to the simple understanding, the ark is, as it were, the footstool of God who sits upon the keruvim that are upon the ark. If God sits upon the keruvim – that is, if the keruvim serve as His seat – then the ark is the footstool, the place where His feet lie.[14]

 

SUMMARY

 

            In our recent shiurim, we have examined the various names of the ark:

 

            We first saw the name "ark of the Testimony," and we saw that it is found principally in the parashiot dealing with the Mishkan in the book of Shemot and in isolated places in the book of Bamidbar before the people of Israel leave Mount Sinai. Only once does the term appear in the book of Yehoshua when the ark crossed the Jordan.

 

            Why was the ark called the ark of the Testimony?

 

·           Because of the tablets of the Testimony. Because of this, the parokhet that separates between the Holy and the Holy of the Holies is called the parokhet of the Testimony, because behind it rests the Testimony.

·           Because of the book of the Torah.

·           Adi – ornament.

·           Vi'ud – the place where God meets with His people Israel and with Moshe from between the two keruvim.

 

It is interesting that the term "tablets of the Testimony" refers both to the first set of tablets and to the second set of tablets.

 

We saw that this name is of such importance that it impacts upon the name of the entire structure – "the Mishkan of the Testimony" and "the tent of the Testimony."

 

The name "the Mishkan of the Testimony" is understood in various ways: testimony to the pardon granted for the sin of the Golden Calf, the testimony of the tablets, testimony to Moshe's probity, testimony with respect to the prohibition of bamot and the status of the Second Temple, testimony of the Torah, testimony to the Mishkan of Shlomo, and testimony of the ark of wood.

 

A second name of the ark is "ark of the covenant." This name does not appear at all in the parashiot dealing with the Mishkan in the book of Shemot. It first appears in the book of Bamidbar, and afterwards throughout the books of the Prophets. Why was the ark called "the ark of the covenant"?

 

·           Primarily because of the tablets of the covenant.

·           In addition, because of the Torah.

 

It turns out that both the testimony and the covenant can relate both to the tablets and to the Torah.

 

Why do the names "tablets of the Testimony" and "ark of the Testimony" not appear in the book of Devarim, where the ark is called "the ark of the covenant"? We suggested several understandings:

 

            1) The covenant relates to the very connection between God and Israel, whereas the testimony relates to the confirmation of that covenant.

 

            2) Testimony reflects the very presence and revelation of God, whereas the covenant relates more to the practical and legal dimension of that revelation for future generations. Therefore, the term "testimony" appears in the parashiot of the Mishkan, whereas the term "covenant" appears only when the people of Israel leave Mount Sinai for the wilderness.

 

            3) The term "covenant" appears after the sin involving the Golden Calf to teach us that the covenant remains in force despite that sin.

 

            In this context, we saw the novel idea of the Netziv, who argues that the term "covenant" can relate either to the first set of tablets with which the first covenant was made, or to the Torah with which a covenant was made with Moshe following the sin of the Golden Calf, but it cannot relate to the broken tablets.

 

            Another name for the ark was "the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts who sits upon the keruvim," which relates to the fact that the ark was taken out to battle with the keruvim serving as the Shekhina's throne.

 

            In the verses that describe Israel's crossing of the Jordan when they entered Eretz Yisrael, the ark is described as "the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth," which expresses God's sovereignty over the entire world.

 

            Twice the ark is called "the ark of the Lord" or "the ark of God," because there is a certain identity between the ark and God's presence and revelation in this world.

 

            Another name for the ark was "Mikdash," and for this reason the entire structure was called "Beit ha-Mikdash" – house of the Mikdash, the primary vessel of which was the ark.

 

            The term "holy ark" appears only once, when it is being stored away in the days of Yoshiyahu, because from that time on the ark stopped serving as living testimony or sign of the covenant. From that stage on, it is the ark's holiness that receives primary emphasis.

 

            The ark is sometimes called "name," apparently a shortened form of "ark of the name of the Lord of hosts."

 

            The ark is also called "God's footstool," as if it were a footstool located in front of God's throne.

           

            The fact that the ark is called by so many different names testifies to its centrality and to the variety of functions that it serves. After having dealt with the various names of the ark, we will discuss the various appearances of the ark in the Torah and what they mean.

 

(Translated by David Strauss)



[1] So also in Tehillim (80:2) and in "the God of Israel who sits upon the keruvim" in II Melakhim (19:15).

[2] Some of these issues require expansion, and some require a separate shiur.

[3] We shall expand upon this issue when we deal with the question of the number of arks – whether there was one ark or two. In that context, we will deal with the question of when the ark goes out to battle, from when and until when each ark goes out (according to those who maintain that there were two arks), and what is found inside the ark that goes out and the spiritual implications thereof.

[4] We shall deal with this issue when we deal with the essence of the keruvim. According to this verse, it is clear that the keruvim serve not only as a cover for the ark of the Testimony, but as a royal throne.

[5] We dealt with this issue in a previous year.

[6] See Yehoshua 3:13, 4:11, 6:6-7; I Shmuel 6:2; II Shmuel 15:24-25; I Melakhim 2:1; and in I Divrei Ha-yamim 15:1.

[7] We dealt with this issue in a previous year in the shiurim dealing with the names of the structure – Mishkan and Mikdash.

[8] See Rashi and Ibn Ezra, ad loc.

[9] As we have seen, originally the ark was called "Mikdash," and because of that, the entire structure was later called "Mikdash." In parallel fashion, during the First Temple period, the Mikdash was usually called the house of God, and "Beit Ha-Mikdash" is the name by which the Mikdash was called in the Second Temple period. That term is found only once in Scripture - in the continuation of the passage in which we find the term "the holy ark" in II Divrei Ha-yamim 36:17 in the account of the destruction: "So he brought upon them the king of the Kasdim, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary (be-veit mikdasham), and had not compassion either upon young men, or virgins, old men, or feeble: he gave them all into his hand." Once again, it is only with the destruction that the Temple is called the Beit ha-Mikdash, and not the house of God, to emphasize its holiness.

[10] See Yehuda Kil in his Da'at Mikra commentary to I Divrei ha-Yamim 13:6.

[11] Sources relating to this issue are found in Aharon Saviv, "Le-Beirur Muvana shel ha-Teiva "Shem" ba-Mikra," Beit Mikra 31 (5746), pp.31-38.

[12] To "call upon the name of the Lord" parallels "to serve Him with one consent." Similar expressions are "blessed His name," "those who seek His name," "praised His name," "those who know His name."

[13] Tehillim 99:5, 132:7-8; Yeshayahu 66:1; I Divrei Ha-yamim 28:2; Eikha 2:1.

[14] After the ark was taken captive by the Pelishtim in the battle at Even-ha-Ezer, the chapter ends with the words: "And she said, ‘Glory is departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken’" (I Shmuel 4:22). “Glory” is one of the designations of the Shekhina that dwelt in the Mishkan, as is described in the account of the dedication of the Mishkan: "Then a cloud covered the Ohel Mo'ed, and the glory of the Lord filled the Mishkan" (Shemot 40:34). And similarly: "And Moshe and Aharon went into the Ohel Mo'ed, and came out, and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people" (Vayikra 9:23). The connection between the capture of the ark of God and the exile of the glory form Israel is explained by the Radak, ad loc.: "Because the ark of God is the essence of the glory."