Exodus 25:18

18 You shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them of hammered work, at the two ends of the mercy seat.

Exodus 25:18 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 25:18

And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold
Which some take to be in the form of birds, and others of winged animals, such as the like were never seen, so Josephus; the Jews commonly suppose they were in the form of young men, which they observe the word signifies in the Chaldee language; others, that they were in the form of an ox, the face of an ox and a cherub being the same, ( Ezekiel 1:10 ) ( 10:14 ) and indeed their form is best discerned from account of them in Ezekiel, and in the Revelation, and from the latter we best learn what they were; they were hieroglyphics or emblems, not of the two Testaments, as many of the ancients, nor of the angels, since they are distinguished from them, much less of the trinity of persons in the Godhead; but either of the saints and true believers in Christ in common, of both dispensations, legal and evangelical, and so signified by the number "two"; and being made of gold may denote their excellency, worth, and value in the esteem of Christ; for the precious sons of Sion are comparable to fine gold for their preciousness, solidity, and duration, as well as for their sincerity and simplicity; or rather of the ministers of the word in particular; and these may be signified by two, and at the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New; and the ministers of the word in all ages, and particularly during the reign of antichrist, are called the two witnesses that prophesy in sackcloth; and being said to be of gold, may respect the grace of God bestowed on "them", comparable to gold, the gifts of the Spirit of God they are furnished with, as well as the precious truths of the Gospel committed to their trust:

of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat;
not of gold melted and poured into a mould, and so received the form of the cherubim; nor were they first made by themselves, and then placed at the two ends of the mercy seat, and soldered to it; but they were made of the same mass of gold with the mercy seat, and beaten out of it with an hammer, and planished and smoothed, and so wrought up into this form, as appears by the following verse; and may denote the union of believers to Christ, who are one body and one spirit with him; and the union of the Old and New Testament churches in him, and who are but one church, one body, of which he is the head; and as he is the foundation of the apostles or prophets, on whom they are laid, he is the cornerstone in which they are united; and so it may likewise signify the nearness of the ministers of the word to Christ, their dependence on him, and their partaking of the same gifts and graces of his Spirit, only in measure, being made by him able ministers of the Gospel.

Exodus 25:18 In-Context

16 You shall put into the ark the covenant that I shall give you.
17 Then you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its width.
18 You shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them of hammered work, at the two ends of the mercy seat.
19 Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other; of one piece with the mercy seat you shall make the cherubim at its two ends.
20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings. They shall face one to another; the faces of the cherubim shall be turned toward the mercy seat.

Footnotes 1

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.