The Chariot (5)

The equating of God’s Chariot with a Throne began early on. Let’s start off with the discussion of the Tabernacle in the desert, first cited in Exodus 25. We’re told there that it contained an “ark” (v. 16), “two golden cherubim” (v. 18) which were to “have their wings spread upwards, shielding the ark cover with their wings” (v. 20), and that “into the ark you are to place the testimony, which I will give you” (v. 21) — all so as to “make Me a sanctuary (where) I will dwell in their midst” (v. 8). Notice that neither the term Chariot or Throne is cited there: only an Ark.

It’s later on, in Tanach, though, where the Tabernacle is said to be God’s Throne. “The ark of the covenant of God Almighty, who is enthroned (there) between the cherubim” (1 Samuel 4:4), “God Almighty is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark” (2 Samuel 6:2), “The ark of God the Lord, who is enthroned between the cherubim” (1 Chronicles 13:6).

And then the Throne is termed God’s Chariot: “And for the incense altar, refined gold in weight, and for the pattern of the chariot, the cherubim of gold, which spread out (their wings) and covered the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 28:18) [1].


[1]       Also see Moreh Nevuchim 1:70 again for the equating of Chariot and Throne.

(c) 2013 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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