Do not remove the staves from the ark

The Literal Commandment

The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it. (Exodus 25:15)

 

G-d commanded Moses to build the ark of the covenant. The ark was to have two staves/poles that were placed through rings on the sides of the ark. This commandment instructs us not to remove the staves from the ark.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

The staves on the ark picture Messiah in two ways:

The first is that the staves are made from acacia wood covered with gold (Exodus 25:13). Wood symbolizes humanity and gold symbolizes righteousness and purity. The purity and righteousness of Messiah covers humanity as the gold covers the acacia wood.

The second is that the staves are the way the Levites were to handle the holiest element within the tabernacle, the ark. The staves were not to be removed from the ark requiring that the Levites handle the ark directly: they essentially were to be one unit.

In a similar way, we cannot come directly into contact with the holiest aspect of G-d; instead we must come into contact with Him through the Son. The Son is never removed from the Father: they too are One (John 10:30). Messiah is the priest who is perpetually before the throne (Hebrews 7:3) interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:34).

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not removing the staves from the ark.

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional observance of this commandment was in its literal form: the Levites did not remove the staves from the ark.

 

Other Notes

Absent the Temple and the ark, we are unable to literally fulfill this commandment today.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 313
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 8
  • Mishneh Torah Book Service
  • Mishneh Torah Category 40- The Vessels of the Temple and Those Who Serve in It
  • Reference Exodus 25:15
  • Scripture Book Exodus
  • Chapter 25
  • Verse 15
  • English The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it.
  • Hebrew טו בְּטַבְּעֹת, הָאָרֹן, יִהְיוּ, הַבַּדִּים: לֹא יָסֻרוּ, מִמֶּנּוּ.
  • Greek 15 ἐν τοῖς δακτυλίοις τῆς κιβωτοῦ ἔσονται οἱ ἀναφορεῖς ἀκίνητοι.
  • Parashah 19- Terumah
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 96
  • Sef. Hach. Reference Not to remove the staves of the ark from it
  • Category Temple and Sacred Objects
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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