Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Exodus 31::7 – Mercy Seat

One thing is for certain, the more I read the Bible the more I uncover words I have not paid attention to before.

This verse contains the phrase “mercy seat”:

Exodus 31:7  The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,

Those words are used together in 22 verses and we have seen them before, first back in Chapter 25. John Gill writes on the first use:

Exodus 25:17

And thou shall make a mercy seat of pure gold,…. Or “covering” (n); so Jarchi and Aben Ezra; for so the word properly signifies; and what is meant was no more than a cover of the ark, which was open at the top, and this was the lid of it, and exactly answered to it, as appears by the dimensions afterwards given of it; and because the root of this word in one form signifies to propitiate or make atonement, some render it the “propitiatory” or “propitiation” (o); which is favoured by the apostle in Heb 9:5 and to which he seems to refer, Rom 3:25 and the rather since God is represented sitting on this, as showing himself propitious and well pleased with men, by his communing with them from hence; the Septuagint version takes in both senses, rendering it the “propitiatory covering” (p):

this being called by what name it will, was typical of Christ; he is the seat of mercy, or, as it is in the New Testament expressed, the throne of grace; whereon, or in whom God shows himself to be gracious and merciful to the children of men; all the stores of mercy are in him, and all the vessels of mercy are put into his hands; the mercy of God is displayed in the mission of him as a Saviour, and is glorified by him in a way consistent with his justice and holiness;

through him only special mercy is communicated to sinful men, to whom God is only merciful in Christ: and Christ himself is all mercy to his people; his ways of old were mercy and truth, and all his works, especially his great work of redemption, are done in mercy and pity to them; he shows himself to be merciful to them, by sympathizing with them, and supporting them under all their temptations and afflictions, in granting them all the necessary supplies of grace here, and by bestowing eternal life on them hereafter:

he is their “covering”, the covering of their persons by his righteousness, imputed to them, and of their sins, by his blood shed for them, and sprinkled on them, and of the law, by his satisfaction for the transgressions of it; whereby they are secured from the avenging justice of God, and wrath to come: and he is the “propitiation” or “propitiatory”, who has made atonement and reconciliation for sin; and in and through whom God shows himself propitious to his people, he being pacified, his wrath appeased, and his justice satisfied by his obedience and sufferings:

and this mercy seat, being of “pure gold”, without any alloy or mixture in it, may denote the purity of Christ’s obedience, righteousness, and sacrifice, in the completeness of salvation by him, without any works of righteousness of men; the worth and excellency of Christ, and of these blessings of his, and the preciousness of his blood, and the continued virtue and efficacy of it, and of his righteousness and sacrifice, by which the propitiation is made:




BDB Definition:

1) mercy-seat, place of atonement

1a) the golden plate of propitiation on which the High Priest sprinkled the seat 7 times on the Day of Atonement symbolically reconciling Jehovah and His chosen people

1a1) the slab of gold on top of the ark of the covenant which measured 2.5 by 1.5 cubits; on it and part of it were the two golden cherubim facing each other whose outstretched wings came together above and constituted the throne of God

Part of Speech: noun feminine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H3722

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s