Friday, January 28, 2011

Exodus 25:11 - Gold Overlay of the Ark of The Covenant (and other parts of the Tabernacle)

Most furniture pieces and parts of the Tabernacle were either made of pure gold or were overlayed with gold. I have already tried to discuss the purpose, effects and technology used to do this in my previous posts (i.e here and here), but I felt that without a good, real-life example it will be difficult to truly appreciate the benefits and beauty of this detail.

Therefore, I would like to direct your attention to the gold overlay of the Ark of The Covenant (as say, Exodus 25:11, Exodus 25:13, Exodus 25:17, e.t.c specify), and what it would look like on the real-life replica of the Ark.

The images below are from The Replica Prop Forum, from this thread. There are plenty more images and commentaries there, so I highly recommend that you visit it and check it out.

Here an image of a life size replica the Ark of The Covenant:

On this image you can see how the Ark of The Covenant looks like without its gold overlay:

But on the images below you can see the beautiful transformation of the Ark once it was overlayed with Gold. The top part of the image is the most interesting, as the bottom part of this image shows less beautiful and smaller scale model.
And on this image you can see the Gold Overlay of the Ark in all its glory and details. Please pay special attention to the reflections that would result from overlaying the Ark with gold.

As far as I understand, this replica was made by using Golden Chrome finishing, which is very close to the real thing, therefore what you see on this image is also very close to the real overlay of the Ark of The Covenant:

And even though these particular images depict a fairly inaccurate representation of the Ark of The Covenant, one can easily appreciate what a little bit of gold and a little bit of an artistic skill can do to transform seemingly ugly wooden chest into The Ark that would be worthy of holding The Covenant of One God.

P.S. According to this article (an authoritative opinion that I tend to agree with), the thickness of gold overlay for all parts of the Tabernacle was most likely around ~0.02cm as this would be the most reasonable value considering all parameters specified in the original text, such as quantity and quality of available gold, load carrying and technological capabilities of wandering Israelites, e.t.c

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