The Ark’s Symbolism
After the 7 days of creation the Ancient’s writers knew God was now at rest, and would not ever intervene. The Ark was one of the first symbols to illustrate that mankind could float on the waters of the deep and monstrous. 40 days they floated, and then landed on dry ground – on Mount Ararat meaning Creation. The movement from the Seas to the Earth was evolutionary.
Looking back the scribes immediately saw in their societal objects that could edify. The Temple was an ensample of the soul and potential of the mind to be pedagogical. The age was totally barbaric and destructive. They developed Ten Commands, not given from on high, not set in stone – objectified from their knowable. Execution was the last command and that is the shape revealed below.
- “make an ark of shittim wood” (Exod. 25:10–22)
- “make a mercy seat of pure gold” (Exod. 25:17–22)
- “make a table of shittim wood” (Exod. 25:23–30)
- “make a candlestick of pure gold” (Exod. 25:31–40)
- “make ten curtains of fine twined linen for walls” (Exod. 26:1–6) “and curtains of goat’s hair for covering” (Exod. 26:7–13)
- “And thou shall make a covering for the tent of ram’s skins dyed red and a covering above of badgers’ skins” (Exod. 26:1)
- “make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up” (Exod. 26:15) “and make bars of shittim wood” (Exod. 26:26)
- “make a vail.… Hang up the vail under the taches.… Bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.… And thou shalt set the table without the vail, and the candlestick” (Exod. 26:31–37)
- “make an altar of shittim wood” (Exod. 27:1–8). In archetype the court and its trimmings are “without the temple, leave out, measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles” (Rev. 11:2)
- “make an atonement” (Exod. 30:6–8, 10)
The inkhorn is the craft of Ancients bequeathed to us. And it is not difficult and won’t take too much time in this executive summary. Now how were these Ten Commands executed?
Experience illustrated a world that was Void. Conflict and squabbles never filled the void. Society had to turn to metaphors, allegories, glyphs and symbols to assist the struggle to a higher plateau.
The Ark was never to be a hollow vessel. It was to reflect positivity, motivation and durability. From the below we will see the Ancients never plagiarized. The application of the Ark provides safety. Contents are always man-made, humanity being adroit, with no divine intervention, except the Spirit within.
Now to the linguistic outflow – that “made” contents tracing the construct the Ark from the foundations of the OT writers.
The Construction of the Metaphoric Ark
We are now going to look at the length, the breadth and the width of the Ark’s construction.
The Ark was mentioned at Gen. 6:14 at the very beginning of society – when the sons of God came unto the daughters of men. Time was infinite, and in all creation there was the male and female and their name was called Adam. Two of every sort was to be brought into the ark. Two genders represented the power of creativeness.
The patriarchs were given long life spans as the Ancients fully comprehended that the world had not just been created in seven days. Noah’s sons represented three kinds (later to be called third parts) with varying ability: Shem (renowned, name, constructor), Japheth (extender, warrior) and Ham (multitude, intellectually unproductive).
By the time of writing, after many years of wandering and enslavement their nation had escaped captivity several times. Symbolically the new land was described as milk and honey. The people had wandered 40 years in the wilderness and molded a golden calf lumbering with remnants from surrounding cultures.
They recalled their nation had judges and then kings and then kingdoms. These kings had regressed in the story of Saul, David and Solomon. And the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had not fared any better. At times there was improvement in governance, under Hezekiah and Josiah’s reforms, but then the brutality and suppression returned and ended in Babylonian captivity. The Ark of the Covenant was lost.
After the second temple era of Jewish betrayal to Antiochus (many Jews adopted Grecian customs) and the onslaught of Antiochus Epiphanes the Jews were set free by Judas Maccabees and his sons ruled in peace, old men sat and children played in streets. The kingdom had once again been restored.
The scribes knew that the written word was their only weapon against the impending violence of surrounding nations and cultures – Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Greeks. They had so many hangovers from other cultures that revered gods and images of every kind. The scribes determined a different way and their craft and skill developed into a highly metaphoric portrayal of good triumphing in the long term over darkness. They established a written language in symbols. It became a personification, a philosophy that placed mankind’s kernel (male and female) at its pinnacle.
We are now going to outline the Ancient methodology – in strictly summary format – the execution of those ten commands. You will see the Ark emerge.
Design Form – Creation of the Ark
1. Ceremonial Years (Prior to Chronological Years)
Orally they recalled the times when they first appointed a king – King Saul, moving away from community judges. Writers, looking back, wondered if the right decision had been made. The three kings (Saul, David and Solomon) and the two kingdoms, Israel and Judah had come and gone through much turmoil and failed to deliver security. Babylonian captivity was the result for 50 years.
By the time of Daniel the scribes and sages clarified the picture. They had traversed slavery several times, from Shishak 972 BC (ceremonial year dating), Assyrian and so on. In Dan. 7:3 Saul was now being described as a lion, David as a bear, and Solomon as a leopard. The kingdoms of Israel (10 tribes – ten horns) and Judah (7 heads – the last 7 kings of Judah after Hezekiah) leading to Babylonian captivity (1). In the OT recall history began from David’s decree.
From their recollections Hezekiah had managed to rebuild the temple during his reign from 726 BC (ceremonial year dating), this being reversed during the reigns of the last seven kings of Judah.
In the construction of the Ark the reigns of the kings in ceremonial years, of the pre-exilic era, were noted. Being ceremonial the length of kings’ reigns may be a little hypothetical. All the kings’ reigns years are recorded in Kings and Chronicles – with minor differences in a few cases – beginning or end of year.
The writing of Kings and Chronicles demonstrate that there is 483 years from the decree of David to build the Temple until freeing from Babylonian captivity. Let’s count the years of kings recorded from David – 49 ( -5) + 17 + 3 + 41 + 25 + 8 + 1 + 6 + 40 + 29 +52 + 16 + 16 + 29 + 55 + 2 + 31 +1/4 + 11 +1/4 + 11 years + 50 years of captivity = 483. -5 as it was in 5th year of Reoboam’s reign. (2) Daniel 9:24 with the help of Gabriel had a vision of 70 weeks or 490 years. Daniel “understood it.” And Daniel alone saw the vision. Daniel mourned for three weeks, lost all his strength and ate no bread for three weeks.
This is the foundation for skill and understanding the execution of the ten commands and the building of the Ark. It is an architectural design sealed by ancient Hebrew scribes in magnificent proportions. It enables the construction to commence and endure.
2. 40 and 70 Years Symbols
In engineering construction of the Ark many aspects need coverage and synchronization. The ark floated for 40 days. Many of these symbols carry through from OT to NT as they are the braces, mainstays. Content, become known as types, and have reapplication as antitypes and in archetypes. That is the beauty of fulfilling the ten commands right through to atonement.
These two symbols are essentially our duration – the forty years being part of three score and ten, our allotted 70 years – once you become a man-child over 30 your years of potentiality are 40. No other cultures in the then known world had these persuasive symbols of positive psychology.
40 Years Symbol made throughout the writings
- “And he (Eli) judged Israel forty years” (1 Sam. 4:18)
- “the Philistine … presented himself forty days” (1 17:16)
- “to rain forty days and forty nights” (Gen. 7:4, 12)
- “children of Israel did eat manna forty years” (Exod. 16:35)
- “in the mount forty days and forty nights” (Exod. 24:18)
- “iniquity of the house of Judah forty days … each day for a year” (Ezek. 4:6)
Once content was made it became demonstrative for NT times. Forty years is constantly symbolic of our prime years, our sacrificial years of giving:
- “he had fasted forty days and forty nights” (Matt. 4:2)
- “he was there in the wilderness forty days” (Mark 1:13)
- “Being forty days tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:2)
- “being seen of them forty days, and speak …” (Acts 1:3)
- “when forty years were expired, there appeared” (Acts 7:30)
- “proved me, and saw my works forty years” (Heb. 3:9)
The making of the unique 70 Years Symbol
After 7 days God rested and remains at rest. After 7 X 7 there is a year of Jubilee representing this Rest. Likewise the Day-for-a-year principle is 70 X 7 or 490 years. In Daniel, writing with knowledge of Judas Maccabees’ great victory, and assisted by Gabriel, the book was open. Daniel understood the years of kings reign in the pre-exilic temple came to 483 years and, for symbolic application the total had to come to 490 years i.e. Dan. 9:24, 70 weeks = 490 days = 490 years.
With Kings and Chronicles documenting 483 years from David’s decree, the second temple era provided in the books of Daniel, Maccabees and Ezekiel, all relating in part to this period provided the fill of the last 7 years extracted from the post-exilic era – precept upon precept. 7 years remained. 7 years = 7 X 360 = 2520 days. So Daniel’s road on Damascus experience (I was astonished at the vision – Dan. 8:27) – Dan. 8:14 provided 2,300 days, and described as – plunder “in the midst” of the week” (“midst” being transient), + 1 Macc. 1:54-64 10 days of intense persecution – mourning, and 210 days of burning the dead – reconstitution (Ezek. 39:12). 2520 = 2300 + 10 + 210. Within the writings the Ark’s contents had started to been made. Two witnesses, two completions – two olive branches.
The writers conceived the need for culture, described as an Ark (ship, box, coffin), showing application of how to fill the Ark with philosophical content. It was a closed shop and all who entered had to have productive inclinations.
This was very different from the surface of surrounding cultures which the scribes walked on. Contrast the wreckage of western culture today. To understand figuratively the Ark we must show appreciation of the Ancient’s experience, and they were as one, in this regard. And it is not hard, just a cultural shift.
There are many aspects to marvel upon.
- Days in the Sacred and Civil Year
To the Ancient story tellers there was 360 days in a year with 30 days each (Gen. 8:1-3 – 150 days over 5 months, repeated at Rev. 9:5). Over a seven-year completion period there was 2520 days. Unlike other neighboring cultures, the Hebrew wanted their new governance to be in synch with the cosmos. Upon escaping from captivity the Israelites immediately, in Exod. 13:4, designated 6 months to be their Sacred Year and 6 months for their civil year – each had 1260 days over a seven-year period. So both sacred and civil were uniform. The monthly fruit of the earth represented the fruit of possible human achievement. They just had to have governance that would protect the nation, secure the nation, and prevent a return to enslavement. Each body part had to contribute. So this object lesson, a pedagogical weapon of supreme insight differentiated their culture and filled their Ark.
Now Daniel used the 2520 as the final week of the Daniel’s 9:24, 70 weeks being divided firstly into 7 weeks from David’s decree to Shishak’s invasion, 62 weeks to end of Babylonian captivity and a final 1 week to cover the post-exilic 2nd temple era – all identifying plunder mourning and reconstitution. In yearly terms this was 49 years, 434 years please 7 years – all part of the 490 years, and not to be taken literally unless you are in the cave.
In this museum the scribes built a very unique personification and memorial of the governance and heroic acts and decimations of their nation. All the time they saw the picture moving from the local to the national. A procreative element would survive and become cumulative. Once made it enabled higher elevation. The pen clarified their perception in metaphoric form. Some symbols are similar to surrounding cultures but the parameters of philosophic endeavor exceeded. They strictly wanted differentiation especially from the Grecian gods and myths. Their personification was very numerical and colorful.
Once the 1260 days was established in Exodus it became man-made-content of the Ark. It became available at future times and future circumstances which added to their conception. These time periods occur seven times in scripture so they cover all periods from alpha Genesis to omega Revelation:
- Daniel 7:25, “time, times and a half”.
- Daniel 12:7, “time, times and a half”.
- Revelation 11:2, “42 months”.
- Revelation 11:3, “1260 days”.
- Revelation 12:6, “1260 days”.
- Revelation 12:14, “time, times and a half”.
- Revelation 13:5, “42 months”.
4. Virgin, Immanuel, Mary and Joseph of the OT
Originally the word virgin referred to good or bad governance in the OT pre-exilic days. It was almah meaning concealed from god when the leadership regressed – highlighted in early Isaiah – in the days of Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz. It became bethulah being one with god when the leadership enabled reconstruction, restitution and resurrection, as happened under Hezekiah who was called Wonderful, Councilor, and man child. When the child became man, Hezekiah was called Immanuel, God with us, or Jah is strength. The virgin was never a golden image of mother and child in the wilderness of thought conception. It was application of governance.
There is much more to highlight of content-form-creation, made to fill the Ark. Mary, from Marah (Exod. 15:23), meant “bitterness” in Hebrew. It meant “bitterness” as the people had no water to drink, as there was no sustenance, no objective to life in bondage. Ruth 1:20 declares that Mâr’ă means “bitter.” Returning to Bethlehem, Naomi, who had lost her husband and two sons in Moab, said, “Call me not Naomi, call me Mâr’ă (bitter): for the Almighty hath dwelt very bitterly with me. I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty” (Ruth 1:20–21). Emptiness brings bitterness.
This cumulative knowledge of restrictive denial of liberty was ready material for a later regurgitation in NT times. The NT uses midrash concepts likewise. From the ancient OT, Hebrew Joseph meant “increaser.” In Judea, under the Hasmoneans and under the Pharisees and Sadducees, the subjects endured an increase (Joseph) in bitterness (Mara). They had again moved from bethulah (one with God under Judas Maccabees) to almah (unmarried, concealed from God) under the rulership of the Hasmoneans and Pharisees and Sadducees.
Always, Joseph meant “increaser.” There was a voracious call, across this unmarried nation at the turn of the millennium, from the embittered people, virgin Mary. As bitterness increased, birth was given to a child who grew to be a man. In this recall it was a group of apostolic disciples, knitted together as one, who personified an array of hope, Jesus savior, now Emmanuel (Immanuel), God with us. Joseph was also designated the son of Jacob (supplanter, follower; Matt. 1:16). Jacob’s name in the OT was changed to Israel (Gen. 32:28). Israel is metaphorical for those reigning with the unnamed cosmological God. Paul saw the Messiah as Jacob the supplanter, a follower of the decades of bitterness, a new birth for a new nation. Without the OT recall the NT would not be in the terms we now have. The Ark’s contents are not wild dinosaurs but craft words from the artisans of forming.
The messianic overflow had overwhelmed the Pharisees and Sadducees. Joseph’s father was a supplanter who became an overcomer — a prince with God. Jacob gave Joseph (increaser) a coat of many colors, multiple skills, and relayed as many apostles. Coat, from kethôneth, means “a garment or robe,” the shoulder,” “the spot where the garment hangs,” or figuratively, “a side piece or lateral projection.” The coat in Hebrew is symbolic of the spot where the weight of the garment hangs, upon the shoulders. This spot in NT was named Jesus Christ and the apostles were Joseph’s coat of many colors – it was an age of many hues. Midrash became the foundation stone. Jesus, in Hebraic parlance would have been inscribed as Joshua, conjuring up early images interlinking back the NT to the OT. There can be no denial after so many cock-a-doodles.
Adding to the written content of the Ark, Joseph was “taken” to Egypt by merchantmen, the equivalent of the experiences of Jesus the movement, and money changers in the temple. In Egypt, Joseph did increase as he was appointed governor of Egypt at the time that Egypt was ruled by shepherd kings. This was when the concerns of the people weighed upon Joseph’s shoulders. The same burden fell on the shoulders of the apostles, the twelve tribes of the community. In the OT, before the kingly beasts’ reigns, the ancient judges were cast as deliverers, always saving their people from an enemy. The judges signified unity. The same unity, as one, “as one man to Jerusalem” (Ezra 3:1) applied in NT times and reached a high tempo by the third decade. So can the messianic craving ever be labeled a myth; it keeps entwining, like the revolutions of chariot wheels, and sweeps away a torrent of lies. Its enlivenment is seen in the Judeans’ spirit (described as Mary), called a virgin (in Greek, parthenos, “holy,” “sanctified,” equivalent to bethulah) and leads to rectitude, as it strengthens and fortifies the voice of the people. It ended in total defeat around 33 AD with God at rest. There was no resurrection contemplated, until an apocalyptic global era of unrest.
Before the writing of John’s final gospel, it is very likely that Paul’s rendition would have been widely known. Also, John of Patmos’s beastly images – 1st beast (Saul, David, Solomon, Israel and Judah collectively) and 2nd beast – 2 horns of the Pharisees and Sadducees were in wide circulation and well known metaphors. It was a society that thrived on being closely knit. From following the Ten Commands the scribes had adequate types to recirculate when the circumstances warranted. Disparate communities disintegrate. Communicating ideas and symbols of events was second nature to the downtrodden, like the oral bards’ recitations of Transylvania and the Steppelands. Likewise, John of Patmos at Rev. 13:11 utilized the images of horns as had been drawn of the ten tribes of Israel, applying one each to the Pharisees and Sadducees, the combination of church and state. For John of Patmos’s associating these two namesake beasts was second nature for the end times. Horns were symbolic of certain power — “make atonement upon the horns” (Exod. 30:10). The written word was a substantial weapon, “the writer’s inkhorn by his side” (Ezek. 9:3). The Ark is jammed full of types, paintings without number.
In addition there are many secondary types filling the Ark from Isaiah, for use later in a NT exposition – “and the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness” 62:2, “as the new wine is found in the cluster” 65:8, “I create a new heaven and a new earth” 65:17, “when I called non did answer” 66:4, “before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child” 66:7, “and the glory of the Gentiles” 66:12. “make thyself an everlasting name?” 63:12. All these types were again to be used in antitypes which was highly figurative about earthly conditions.
- Tree of Life or Cross
One can never cover much in an executive brief. But all the books we know as prophetic never projected forward but substantiated the orally recalled experiences in the pre-exilic times and a few in post-exilic times. They were like all the OT books filling the Ark and were similar to Daniel who never prophesied but extracted symbols in dramatic form of the past as objective lessons for the future.
We know today that Jesus was never hanged on a cross – as the Bible never says so. In Acts 5:30 we can read “Jesus, whom they slew and hanged on a tree.” This phrase “hanged on a tree” was midrash from Deut. 21:22, which says that if a man was worthy of death, “though shall hang him on a tree.” The Pharisees and Sadducees deemed that the messianic rebellion was worthy of such a fate. They initiated all types of gross persecutions over decades. Possessing a tortuous, injurious intent, the only tree they would have known was the tree of evil. To Paul, the anointed Christ had been hanged on the tree of life for crossing the Jewish pavement.
In the epistle of Peter, speaking of Christ (a title), Peter said, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body to (margin) the tree …” (1 Pet. 2:24). The word on is written in the KJV text, while the word to is in the reference margin. The word on is incorrect. The word to has a vastly different connotation from the word on, which literalizes, as in “on the cross.” This text in the book of Peter used the definite article the. We use the definite article in front of a noun when we believe the hearer or reader knows exactly what we are referring to, as in “the tree.” The revelator confirms this tree to be the tree of life (free from dogma, selective literalism, manipulative thoughts): “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14). Therefore, “to the tree” is correct in Revelation but misplaced by Christianity’s translation in 1 Peter 2:24. Paul’s conversion was “to” the tree of life – after the escape from bondage…of every type.
The writers of course were referring to the tree of life in Genesis. Sacrifice was to the tree, never on a cross. They had certainly crossed the establishment.
- The NT relies on the OT fill of the Ark to relate another time, another story
|Old Testament Source||Mark||Mark’s Replication|
|Mal. 3:1||“prepare the way before me”||1:2||“prepare thy way before me”|
|Isa. 40:3||“cryieth in the wilderness”||1:3||“crying in the wilderness”|
|Isa. 6:9||“see ye indeed, but perceive not”||4:12||“seeing they may see, and not perceive”|
|Exod. 20:12||“Honour thy father and
|7:10||“For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother”|
|Isa. 53:2||“he hath no form nor comeliness”||9:12||“Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things”|
|Isa. 66:24||“for their worm shall not die”||9:46||“Where their worm dieth not”|
|Gen. 2:24||“a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife”||10:7||“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife”|
|Ps. 118:26||“Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord”||11:9||“Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord”|
|Isa. 56:7||“for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people”||11:17||“My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer”|
|Deut. 25:5||“her husband’s brother shall go in unto her and take her”||12:19||“If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him”|
|Ps. 118:22||“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of he corner”||12:10||“The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner”|
|Lev. 19:18||“thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”||12:31||“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”|
|Deut. 4:35||“he is God; there is none else beside him”||12:32||“for there is one God; and there is none other but he”|
|1 Sam. 15:22||“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams”||13:33||“is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices”|
|Ps. 110:1||“Set thou at my right hand, until I make mine enemies thy footstool”||12:36||“Sit thou at my right hand, till I make mine enemies thy footstool”|
|Zech. 13:7||“I will turn my hand upon the little ones”||14:27||“I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered”|
|Ps. 22:1||“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”||15:34||“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”|
Conclusion is in your hands
There are Ten Commands symbols “to make” in Exodus. The word “made” is used hundreds of time in the early books. The ten laws were never the Ten Commandments as espoused by western influencers. The ancient scribes devise a system of content for the temple of the aspiring heart and soul. It was man-made as in the likeness of the harmonious forces taking into account yearly cycles, life cycles, the male and feminine in all creativity, whatever they may be of the infinite universe. Each person, whether and arm or limb, is asked to contribute in their years of sacrificial living. In the end it is governance and community that bring advances or detractions. Metaphors and allegories give conception to an Ark and vastly surpass the social philosophy of modernity. Fundamentalists have robbed society of these accomplishments. We can add to and replenish and free those abused by a wooden structure on the banks of Kentucky. We ask for retraction and correction. It is time to stop abuse and broadcast the alternative.
Refer to: https://maxburnett.com.au/ for in depth detail of the above. All these ideas our covered in “Probing Our Judeo-Christian Inheritance (for Freethinkers)
References for more detail:
1) Article on Saul, David, Solomon Israel and Judah to be uploaded shortly at website and Page
2) See “The Mathematics of Daniel’s Pre-exilic Recall” for more details