Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, [1878], at


"How did Bezaleel make the ark?" “He made three boxes, two of gold and one of wood. He put the wooden one inside the golden one, and the golden one inside the wooden one, and covered the upper edge with gold; as is said, “And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold: within and without shalt thou overlay it.” 2 "And what is the meaning of saying, 'thou shalt overlay it?'" "It means that he covered the upper edges (with) gold." The golden mercy-seat was placed above upon it; as is said, "And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark." 3 And four rings of gold were fastened in it, two on the north and two on the south, and in them the staves were put, and they were never moved from thence; as is said, "The staves shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it." 4 Even though Solomon made the pattern of all the vessels, the pattern of the ark he did not make; as is said, "And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark." 5 The ark was placed in the midst of the House, and divided the House ten cubits by ten cubits. And two cherubs of gold stood on their feet on the ground. From the wall to the cherub there were five cubits, and from the cherub to the wall five cubits. "Where is it mentioned, that as soon as the priests brought in the ark the staves were drawn out, and they reached to the vail, and they touched the entrance?" As is said, "And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle." 6 For that reason the doors of the Holy of Holies were never closed. "And they were not seen without." 7 “It is not possible to say that they were not seen, since it was already said “they were seen.” Neither is it possible to say that

p. 345

they were seen, since it is already said "they were not seen." "How is it?" "They were pushing out in the vail, and were seen in the sanctuary like the two paps of a woman." "And from whence (do we know) that they were drawn out from the inside?" As is said, "And they were not seen without." There we learned that they were drawn out from the inside. And from thence (we learned) that they were drawn out to the outside, as is said, "And the ends of the staves were seen." And where thou sayest that as the staves were drawn out, so were drawn out the wings of the cherubim, and they covered the ark, and overshadowed the house from above, as is said, "And the cherubim covered the ark and the staves thereof, above." 1 "And where was the ark concealed?" Rabbi Judah, the son of Lachish, said, "in its place in the house of the Holy of Holies, as is said, 'And there they are unto this day.'" 2 But the Sages say, "in the chamber of the wood." "And who concealed it?" Rabbi Judah the Holy said, "Josiah concealed it, as it is said; 'And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, King of Israel, did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders.'3 He said to them, "it shall not be carried captive with you to Babylon, that you should bear it upon your shoulders." Rabbi Eleazar said, "it went to Babylon, as is said, 'Nothing shall be left, saith the Lord,' 4 nothing, not even the words in it." The house of the Holy of Holies, which Solomon made for it, had a wall, entrance, and doors, as is said, "And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors." 5 But in the latter house there was no wall, only two boards were there, and the length of each one was a cubit and a half. And two vails of gold were there, spread over them from above, and it was called the place of Partition. 6


344:1 Kings viii. 9.

344:2 Exod. xxv. 11.

344:3 xxv. 21.

344:4 xxv. 15.

344:5 1 Kings viii. 3.

344:6 viii. 8.

344:7 Ibid.

345:1 1 Kings viii. 7, 8.

345:2 viii. 8.

345:3 2 Chron. xxxv. 3.

345:4 2 Kings xx. 17.

345:5 Ezek. xli. 23.

345:6 Some commentators interpret Traksin to mean "place of doubting," as zealots continually disputed the exact division between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.

Next: Chapter VIII