Ark of the Covenant Discussed


i Catholic
Ark of the Covenant
Assembled with commentary by Pat Miron

The Ark of the Covenant was a HUGE step for the Jewish people in route to becoming: 1. A people of Faith 2. The Hebrew nation. Despite the significance of the Presence of God in there midst; they refused to utter the name “Lord.” That friends is true piety. But does piety automatically translate into “faithfulness?” Sadly, no.

FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

Exod.25: 10 -22 “They shall make an ark of acacia wood; two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark by them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. [Meaning: the things I tell you to include; MOST NOTABLY THE TEN COMMANDMENTS; the foundation for the Covenant] There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat**, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. “

Exod.26: 33 “And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in thither within the veil; and the veil shall separate for you the holy place from the most holy. You shall put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.”

** The Mercy Seat’ (Ex 25:17-22)

Ps 99:1 The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved!

Exodus 25:17-22 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, [Thus it is the Cover / Lid of the Ark; the significance of which is that it holds the Spiritual Presence of the Lord-God, indicating that God would abandon them] and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.”

Exod.40: 3, 5, 20, 21: And you shall put in it the ark of the testimony, and you shall screen the ark with the veil. And you shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the testimony, and set up the screen for the door of the tabernacle. And he took the testimony and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark, and set the mercy seat above on the ark; and he brought the

ark into the tabernacle,*** and set up the veil of the screen, and screened the ark of the testimony; as the LORD had commanded Moses”

*** “into the tabernacle.” In this usage the term “tabernacle” refers to the interior [Middle section] of the tent: NOT the “Holy of Holies” [where the Ark itself is located] rather the Holy Place.”

Exodus 40: 1-15 The LORD said to Moses,
“On the first day of the first month you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. And you shall put in it the ark of the testimony, [ARK of the Covenant] and you shall screen the ark with the veil. And you shall bring in the table, and set its arrangements in order; and you shall bring in the lampstand, and set up its lamps. And you shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the testimony, and set up the screen for the door of the tabernacle. You shall set the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting,**** and place the laver between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. And you shall set up the court round about, and hang up the screen for the gate of the court. Then you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture; and it shall become holy. You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar; and the altar shall be most holy. You shall also anoint the laver and its base, and consecrate it. Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, and put upon Aaron the holy garments, and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”

**** “The tent of meeting.” So now we see pretty much what is represented in today’s Catholic Churches. THREE SEPARATE “holy locations.” Three segments or separate parts. [“THREE” as always also representing the Blessed Trinity.]

The Meeting tent = The body of the interior of the church [Worship Space]

The “Holy space” = What we term today as the Sanctuary

“The Holy of Holies” = What we term today as “The Reservation Tabernacle”

This is why Churches are to have a Tabernacle visible to all; all of the time; except in the RARE case of a HIGH danger of the tabernacle and therefore God Himself, being abused by the unknowing masses of people who might visit the Church.

Exodus 40: 34 -38 “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would go onward;
but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not go onward till the day that it was taken up.
For throughout all their journeys the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.”

Num.7: 89 “And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.”

Deut.10: 1 -8 “At that time the LORD said to me, `Hew two tables of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.’ So I made an ark of acacia wood, and hewed two tables of stone like the first, and went up the mountain with the two tables in my hand. Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me. At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day.” Deut.31-26″Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. “

What did the Ark of the Covenant Contain? From the Catholic Encyclopedia” [C.E.]

The Ark was first destined to contain the testimony, that is to say the tables of the Law [The Commandments] (Exodus 40:18; Deuteronomy 10:5). Later, Moses was commanded to put into the tabernacle, near the Ark, a golden vessel holding a gomor of manna (Exodus 16:34), and the rod of Aaron which had blossomed (Numbers 17:10). According to the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (9:4), and the Jewish traditions, they had been put into the Ark itself. Some commentators, with Calmet, hold that the book of the Law written by Moses had likewise been enclosed in the Ark; but the text says only that the book in question was placed “in the side of the Ark” (Deuteronomy 31:26); moreover, what should be understood by this book, whether it was the whole Pentateuch, or Deuteronomy, or part of it, is not clear, though the context seems to favour the latter interpretations. However this may be, we learn from 1 Kings 8:9, that when the Ark was placed in Solomon’s temple, it contained only the tables of the Law.

The holiest part of the Ark seems to have been the oracle, that is to say the place whence Yahweh made his prescriptions to Israel.

“Thence”, the Lord had said to Moses, will I give orders, and will speak to thee over the propitiatory, and from the midst of these two cherubims, which shall be upon the Ark of the testimony, all things which I will command the children of Israel by thee” (Exodus 25:22). And indeed we read in Numbers 7:89, that when Moses “entered into the tabernacle of the covenant, to consult the oracle, he heard the voice of one speaking to him from the propitiatory, that was over the ark between the two cherubims”.

Some Additional Information about the Ark: [From C. E.]

“The Israelites having settled in the Promised Land, it became necessary to choose a place where to erect the tabernacle and keep the Ark of the Covenant. Silo, in the territory of Ephraim, about the centre of the conquered country, was selected (Joshua 18:1). There, indeed, during the obscure period which preceded the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel, do we find the “house of the Lord” (Judges 18:31; 20:18), with its High-Priest, to whose care the Ark had been entrusted. Did the precious palladium of Israel remain permanently at Silo, or was it carried about, whenever the emergency required, as, for instance, during warlike expeditions?

This point can hardly be ascertained. Be it as it may, the narrative which closes the Book of Judges supposes the presence of the Ark at Bethel. True, some commentators, following St. Jerome, translate here the word Bethel as though it were a common noun (house of God); but their opinion seems hardly reconcilable with the other passages where the same name is found, for these passages undoubtedly refer to the city of Bethel. This is no place to discuss at length the divers explanations brought forward to meet the difficulty; suffice it to say that it does not entitle the reader to conclude, as many have done, that there probably existed several Arks throughout Israel. The remark above made, that the Ark was possibly carried hither and thither according as the circumstances required, is substantiated by what we read in the narration of the events that brought about the death of Heli. The Philistines had waged war against Israel, whose army, at the first encounter, turned their backs to the enemy, were utterly defeated, and suffered very heavy losses. Thereupon the ancients of the people suggested that the Ark of the Covenant be fetched unto them, to save them from the hands of their enemies. “

The Israelites having settled in the Promised Land, it became necessary to choose a place where to erect the tabernacle and keep the Ark of the Covenant. Silo, in the territory of Ephraim, about the centre of the conquered country, was selected (Joshua 18:1). There, indeed, during the obscure period which preceded the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel, do we find the “house of the Lord” (Judges 18:31; 20:18), with its High-Priest, to whose care the Ark had been entrusted. Did the precious palladium of Israel remain permanently at Silo, or was it carried about, whenever the emergency required, as, for instance, during warlike expeditions?

This point can hardly be ascertained. Be it as it may, the narrative which closes the Book of Judges supposes the presence of the Ark at Bethel. True, some commentators, following St. Jerome, translate here the word Bethel as though it were a common noun (house of God); but their opinion seems hardly reconcilable with the other passages where the same name is found, for these passages undoubtedly refer to the city of Bethel. This is no place to discuss at length the divers explanations brought forward to meet the difficulty; suffice it to say that it does not entitle the reader to conclude, as many have done, that there probably existed several Arks throughout Israel. The remark above made, that the Ark was possibly carried hither and thither according as the circumstances required, is substantiated by what we read in the narration of the events that brought about the death of Heli. The Philistines had waged war against Israel, whose army, at the first encounter, turned their backs to the enemy, were utterly defeated, and suffered very heavy losses. Thereupon the ancients of the people suggested that the Ark of the Covenant be fetched unto them, to save them from the hands of their enemies.

The tabernacle which David had pitched to receive the Ark was not, however, to be its last dwelling place. The King indeed had thought of a temple more worthy of the glory of Yahweh. Although the building of this edifice was to be the work of his successor, David himself took to heart to gather and prepare the materials for its erection. From the very beginning of Solomon’s reign, this wince showed the greatest reverence to the Ark, especially when, after the mysterious dream in which God answered his request for wisdom by promising him wisdom, riches and honour, he offered up burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh (1 Kings 3:15). When the temple and all its appurtenances were completed, Solomon, before the dedication, assembled the elders of Israel, that they might solemnly convey the Ark from the place where David had set it up to the Holy of Holies. Thence it was, most likely, now and then taken out, either to accompany military expeditions, or to enhance the splendour of religious celebrations, perhaps also to comply with the ungodly commands of wicked kings. However this may be, the chronicler tells us that Josias commanded the Levites to return it to its place in the temple, and forbade them to take it thence in the future (2 Chronicles 35:3). But the memory of its sacredness was soon to pass away. In one of his prophecies referring to the Messianic times, Jeremias announced that it would be utterly forgotten: “They shall say no more: The ark of the covenant of Yahweh: neither shall it come upon the heart, neither shall they remember it, neither shall it be visited, neither shall that be done any more” (Jeremiah 3:16).

Where is it now?
Jeremias

As to what became of the Ark at the fall of Jerusalem, in 587 B.C., there exist several traditions, one of which has found admittance in the sacred books. In a letter of the Jews of Jerusalem to them that were in Egypt, the following details are given as copied from a writing of Jeremias:

NOTE: Both this fall of the Holy City Jerusalem in 587 B.C. [Before Christ] and it’s second fall in 70 A.D. [after death] were the result of many grave abuses and wide-spread disobedience.

The prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up and saw the inheritance of God. And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave and he carried in thither the tabernacle and the ark and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place; but they could not find it. And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them saying: the place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people and receive them to mercy. And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to Moses, and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God. (2 Maccabees 2:4-8)

The Ark in Catholic tradition [C.E.]

Catholic tradition, led by the Fathers of the Church, has considered the Ark of the Covenant as one of the purest and richest symbols of the realities of the New Law. It signifies, in the first place, the Incarnate Word of God. “Christ himself”, says St. Thomas Aquinas, “was signified by the Ark. For in the same manner as the Ark was made of setim wood, so also was the body of Christ composed of the most pure human substance. The Ark was entirely overlaid with gold, because Christ was filled with wisdom and charity, which gold symbolizes. In the Ark there was a golden vase: this represents Jesus’ most holy soul containing the fulness of sanctity and the godhead, figured by the manna. There was also Aaron’s rod, to indicate the sacerdotal of Jesus Christ priest forever. Finally the stone tables of the Law were likewise contained in the Ark, to mean that Jesus Christ is the author of the Law”. To these point touched by the Angel of the Schools, it might be added that the Ascension of Christ to heaven after His victory over death and sin is figured by the coming up of the Ark to Sion. St. Bonaventure has also seen in the Ark a mystical representation of the Holy Eucharist. In like manner the Ark might be very well regarded as a mystical figure of the Blessed Virgin, called by the Church the “Ark of the Covenant” — Faederis Arca.

Was there a relationship of “Bread and Wine,” the Ark of the Covenant and today’s Mass?

Gen.14: 18 “And Mel-chiz’edek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.” This is pre-Ark times. Deals with Abraham and Christ being a “priest in the order of Melchizedek..” [High-Priest and king… as is Jesus Christ.]

1Sam.16: 20 “And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a skin of wine and a kid, and sent them by David [soon to become Israel’s GREATEST King] his son to Saul. [The first King of the Hebrew nation] ” 1 Sam. 16: 14 -15 “Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. “

Ps.104: 15 “and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man’s heart”

Lev.21: 1, 6, 8: “And the LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them that none of them shall defile himself for the dead among his people, They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the offerings by fire to the LORD, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy. You shall consecrate him, for he offers the bread of your God; he shall be holy to you; for I the LORD, who sanctify you, am holy. “

Exod.25: 30 “And you shall set the bread of the Presence [“holy bread”] on the table before me always“. Was a daily offering in front of the Ark Of the Covenant.

Num.15: 5 “and wine for the drink offering, a fourth of a hin, [a Hebrew measurement] you shall prepare with the burnt offering, or for the sacrifice, for each lamb.”

So now we see that BOTH Bread and Wine were a regular part of OT offerings of Sacrifice on the altar of the “Tent of the Holy” [Outside of the Holy of Holies.]

The Role of the “High Priest” [C.E.]

The high-priest in the Old Testament is called by various names:
the priest (Numbers 3:6);
the great priest (Leviticus 21:10);
the head priest (2 Kings 25:18);
the anointed priest (Leviticus 4:3): Gr., Archiereus (Leviticus 4:3), also in later books and New Testament.
In the Old Testament ho hiereus (Numbers 3:6); hiereus ho protos (2 Kings 25:18); ho hiereus ho megas (Leviticus 21:10), are the common forms. A coadjutor or second priest was mentioned in 2 Kings 25:18.

Aaron and his sons were chosen by God to be priests, Aaron being the first high-priest and Eleazar his successor; so that, though the Scripture does not say so explicitly, the succession of the eldest son to the office of high-priest became a law. The consecration of Aaron and his sons during seven days and their vestments are described in Exodus 28 and 29 (cf. Leviticus 8:12; Sirach 45:7 sqq.). Aaron was anointed with oil poured on his head (Leviticus 8:12); hence he is called “the priest that is anointed” (Leviticus 4:3). Some texts seem to require anointing for all (Exodus 30:30; Leviticus 10:7; Numbers 3:3), but Aaron was anointed with oil in great profusion, even on the head (Exodus 29:7), to which reference is made in Psalm 132:2, where it is said that the precious ointment ran down upon his beard and “to the skirt of his garment”. The ointment was made of myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, cassia, and olive oil, compounded by the perfumer or apothecary (Exodus 30:23-25; Josephus, “Ant.”, III, viii, 3), and not to be imitated nor applied to profane uses (Exodus 30:31-33).

After the Exile anointing was not in use: both high-priests and priests were consecrated by simple investiture. [This itself was a GRAVE disobedience Exodus 28:41] The rabbis held that even before the Exile the high-priest alone was anointed by pouring the sacred oil “over him” and applying it to his forehead over the eyes “after the form of the Greek X” (Edersheim, “The Temple, Its Ministry and Service at the Time of Jesus Christ”, 71). No age is specified, and thus youth was no impediment to the appointment by Herod of Aristobulus to the high-priesthood, though the latter was in his seventeenth year (Josephus, “Antiq.”, XV, iii, 3). Josephus gives a list of eighty-three high-priests from Aaron to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans (Ant., XX, x).

They were in the beginning chosen for life, but later removed at will by the secular power (Jos., “Ant.”, XV, iii, 1; XX, x), so that “the numbers of the high-priests from the days of Herod until the day when Titus took the Temple and the city, and burnt them, were in all twenty-eight; the time also that belonged to them was one hundred and seven years” (Jos., “Ant.”, XX, x). Thus one-third of the high-priests of fifteen centuries lived within the last century of their history: they had become the puppets of the temporal rulers. The frequency of change in the office is hinted at by St. John (xi, 51), where he says that Caiphas was “the high-priest of that year”. Solomon deposed Abiathar for having supported the cause of Adonias, and gave the high-priesthood to Sadoc (1 Kings 2:27, 35): then the last of Heli’s family was cast out, as the Lord had declared to Heli long before (1 Samuel 2:32). It seems strange, therefore, that Josephus (Ant., XV, iii, 1) states that Antiochus Epiphanes was the first to depose a high-priest. It may be that he regarded Abiathar and Sadoc as holding the office conjointly, since Abiathar “the priest” and Sadoc “the priest” were both very prominent in David’s reign (1 Kings 1:34; 1 Chronicles 16:39, 40). Josephus may have considered the act of Solomon the means of a return to unity; moreover, in the same section where he mentions the change, he says that Sadoc was high-priest in David’s reign and adds “the king [Solomon] also made Zadok to be alone the high-priest” . Shortly before the destruction of the Temple by the Romans the zealots chose by lot a mere rustic named Phannias as the last high-priest: thus the high-priesthood, the city and the Temple passed away together.

The prominence of Solomon at the dedication of the Temple need not lead to the conclusion that the king officiated also as priest on the occasion. Smith (“Ency. Bib.”, s.v. Priest) maintains this, and that the kings of Juda offered sacrifice down to the Exile, alleging in proof such passages as 1 Kings 9:25; but since priests are mentioned in this same book, for instance, 8:10-11, such inference is not reasonable. As Van Hoonacker shows, the prominence of the secular power in the early history of the people and the apparent absence of even the high-priest during the most sacred functions, as well as the great authority possessed by him after the Exile, do not warrant the conclusion of Wellhausen that the high-priesthood was known only in post-Exilic times. That such a change could have taken place and could have been introduced into the life of the nation and so easily accepted as a Divine institution is hardly probable. We have, however, undoubted references to the high-priest in pre-Exilic texts (2 Kings 11; 12; 16:10; 22; of Religious Knowledge”, s.v. High Priest) admits as genuine, not interpolations, as some think, by which the “later office may have had a historic foreshadowing”. We see in them proofs of the existence of the high-priesthood, not merely its “foreshadowing”. Then too the title “the second priest” in Jeremiah 52:24, where the high-priest also is mentioned, is a twofold witness to the same truth; so that though, as Josephus tells us (Ant., XX, x), in the latter years of the nation’s history “the high-priests were entrusted with a dominion over the nation” and thus became, as in the days of the sacerdotal Machabees, more conspicuous than in early times, yet this was only an accidental lustre added to an ancient and sacred office.

In the New Testament (Matthew 2:4; Mark 14:1, etc.) where reference is made to chief priests, some think that these all had been high-priests, who having been deposed constituted a distinct class and had great influence in the Sanhedrin. It is clear from John 18:13, that Annas, even when deprived of the pontificate, took a leading part in the deliberations of that tribunal. Schürer holds that the chief priests in the New Testament were ex-high-priests and also those who sat in the council as members and representatives of the privileged families from whom the high-priests were chosen and Maldonatus, in Matthew 2:6, cites 2 Chronicles 36:14, showing that those who sat in the Sanhedrin as heads of priestly families were so styled.

The high-priest alone might enter the Holy of Holies on the day of atonement, and even he but once a year, to sprinkle the blood of the sin-offering and offer incense: he prayed and sacrificed for himself as well as for the people (Leviticus 16). He likewise officiated “on the seventh days and new moons” and annual festivals (Jos., “Bell. Jud.”, V, v, 7). He might marry only a virgin “of his own people”, though other priests were allowed to marry a widow; neither was it lawful for him to rend his garments nor to come near the dead even if closely related (Leviticus 21:10-14; cf. Josephus, “Ant.”, III, xii, 2). It belonged to him also to manifest the Divine will made known to him by means of the urim and thummim, a method of consulting the Lord about which we have very little knowledge. Since the death of the high-priest marked an epoch in the history of Israel, the homicides were then allowed to return home from the city where they had found a refuge from vengeance (Numbers 35:25, 28).

The typical character of the high-priest is explained by St. Paul (Hebrews 9), where the Apostle shows that while the high-priest entered the “Holy of Holies” once a year with the blood of victims, Christ, the great high-priest, offered up His own blood and entered into Heaven itself, where He “also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34; see Piconio, “Trip. Expos. in Heb.”, 9).

Lessons that we can learn from this:

1. It is God that desires much more than we, to be in relationship with us

2. It is of critical importance that we be open the God’s directions for us and OBEY them faithfully.

3. Clearly there is here both a prediction and a promise of a Savior [although it is implied].

4. There is evidence of a priestly class with special and dedicated responsibilities; here for the Ark of the Covenant; and today in the Mass and the Catholic Church.

FYI: The Fathers of Vatican II voted down the use of girls as “servers;” Communion under Both Species [except for rare and specified occasions]; and “Communion in the hand.” … Ordinary now; but what was called for were EXTRODINARY -Ministers of the Eucharist, who were to very limited. [Not everyday, everywhere and nearly all Masses] but for LIMITED USE. This continues to be the directive from Rome. BUT Bishops have a great deal of personal say in there own dioceses.

America’s Bishops requested “indults” [exceptions to the rulings] that were later granted by Rome, making the practices licit today.

5. The primary purposes of the Ark then, and the tabernacle now, are to bring us closer to God.

6. The “Holy place” was then and it should be NOW; first and foremost a PLACE OF SACRIFICE and Divine Worship. Today that position is often questionable as the emphasis seems heavily focused on “we are the church”….. [as indeed we are; BUT in a secondary role to Sacrifice and Devine worship.] We are the church is the common Protestant position for there Services, and we seem to be tending to follow there lead?

7. The inclusion of Bread and Wine in the Sacrifice is clearly extended to toady’s holy Mass.

8. Just as it was God who initiates the conversation with “His chosen people” in the OT, so today it is God who initiates the conversation with us through His Holy Word; the bible.

9. While I did not point it out in the history of the Ark; even then the priest had an active role in the forgiveness of sins. This of course like the Mass perfects what took place then and what happens now.

Lev.4: 35 “And all its fat he shall remove as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings, and the priest shall burn it on the altar, upon the offerings by fire to the LORD; and the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.”

10. God is constant in His fidelity to us; continuing His on-going efforts to be a special very Personal relationship with Him, if we allow it. Now, not just in His Spirit [as great as that was and is] but now in His Very Person; Body, Blood, soul and Divinity.

Love and prayers friends,

Pat

Late addition:

I came upon these bibles verses in my daily bible reading today. I’m adding it with two notes. It is quite common for the Holy Spirit to direst me to relative information [and He can do the same for you]. And these verses point out clearly the Old Covenant evidenced by the Ark of the Covenant; and the New Covenant Evidenced by the Sacrifice of Christ in the Most holy Eucharist.

HEBREWS Chapter 10: the Douay Rheims Bible

For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things; by the selfsame sacrifices which they offer continually every year, can never make the comers thereunto perfect: For then they would have ceased to be offered: because the worshippers once cleansed should have no conscience of sin any longer: But in them there is made a commemoration of sins every year [THE DAY OF ATTONMENT…Yom Kipper]

For it is impossible that with the blood of oxen and goats sin should be taken away. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith: Sacrifice and oblation thou would not: but a body thou hast fitted to me: Holocausts for sin did not please thee.

Then said I: Behold I come: in the head of the book [The First LAW / COMMANDMENT] it is written of me: that I should do thy will, O God. In saying before, Sacrifices, and oblations, and holocausts for sin thou would not, neither are they pleasing to thee, which are offered according to the law. [Meaning they do not actually take away sins although Yahweh treated the Priestly sacrifices as they would, because they didn’t know any better…PJM]

Then said I: Behold, I come to do thy will, O God: he takes [the first COVENANT] away , that he may establish the Second and New Covenant. In which, we are sanctified by the oblation of the body of Jesus Christ once. [In which we are washed clean in the Blood of Christ ONCE…PJM]

And every priest indeed stands daily ministering, and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. [ OT times blood offering through the priest; NT times the Sacrament of Confession and the Eucharist {for venial sins ONLY}. In BOTH Cases it is GOD; not the priest who is forgiving the sins; in BOTH case God uses his chosen priest to facilitate the process.

But this man [High Priest-Jesus Christ] offering one sacrifice for sins, for ever sits at the right hand of God, For by one oblation [Christ ONE Sacrifice {Christ did and can ONLY die One Time… thus today we have a “re-presentation“, ; that is a repeat of the Original Sacrifice in Eucharist…PJM] he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified

And the Holy Ghost also doth testify this to us. For after that he said: And this is the testament [promise /commitment] which I will make unto them after those days, says the Lord. I will give [place /write] my laws in their hearts, and on their minds.

And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more. [Sins forgiven either through Baptism {ONE TIME remission of all sins}, Eucharist {venial sins} or Confession {all confessed sins}… once forgiven God places them as far from us as the East is from the West. ”PJM]

Now where there is a remission of these, there is no more an oblation for sin. Having therefore, brethren, a confidence in the entering into the holies by the blood of Christ; [Meaning receiving worthily, today’s Most Holy [Catholic] Communion…PJM] A new and living way which he hath dedicated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, [this means that while the Sacrifice if of God, By God and for God; nevertheless, it is we not God who attain the benefits and GRACE. And [Jesus remains] a high priest over the house of God: [The Catholic Church].

Let us draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [purified] from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with clean water. [The Blood of Jesus]. Let us hold fast the confession [profession] of our hope without wavering (for he is faithful that hath promised), And let us consider one another, to provoke unto charity and to good works [to teach and encourage others {our personal example is assumed}.]

For if we sin willfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins, [serious matter, pre-knowledge of a mortal sin and a freewill desire to do it anyway…PJM] But a certain dreadful expectation of judgment, and the rage of a fire which shall consume the adversaries.

A man making void the law of Moses, does without any mercy under two or three witnesses: [Old Covenant] How much more, do you think he deserves worse punishments, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath esteemed the blood of the testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and hath offered an affront to the Spirit of grace?

For we know him that hath said: Vengeance is Mine, and I will repay. And again: The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

For you both had compassion on them that were in bands [your persecutions] , and took with joy the being stripped of your own goods, knowing that you have a better and a lasting substance. [That God rewards those who suffer and sacrifice for Him…PJM]

Do not therefore lose your confidence, [THEE TRUE FAITH] which hath a great reward. For patience [perseverance] is necessary for you; that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise. [Eternal salvation.]

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