AARON’S ROD and the POT of MANNA MISSING
BY: JONATHAN MITCHELL
Dan Kaplan brought to my attention an interesting observation regarding Aaron’s rod, and the golden pot of manna which had been placed within the Ark of the Covenant. We read in Heb. 9:
3. But after the second veil, a tabernacle being called the set-apart of the set-apart ones (the Holy of Holies; the separated one of the separated ones; = the most set-apart),
4. having the ark of the arrangement (or: chest pertaining to the covenant), having been covered round about by gold, in which [was] a golden pot (or: urn) continuously holding (or: having) the manna, and Aaron’s rod – the one sprouting (budding) – and the tablets of the arrangement (disposition; covenant).
Aaron’s rod was a symbol of his priestly authority, and it was through the rods of the heads of the twelve tribes that the age-lasting priesthood for Israel was affirmed (Nu. 17) to Aaron following the rebellion of the Levites Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Nu. 16). It was after this that Yahweh told Moses to bring Aaron’s rod (which had overnight budded and produced almonds) to the tabernacle (17:10) as a warning against the rebels.
The manna was the food for Israel during their wilderness wandering, and thus represented God’s provision prior to their entry into the Promised Land. In Ex. 16:33 Yahweh commanded Moses to take a pot and put an “omer full of manna” in it and “lay it up before Yahweh to be kept for your generations.” And so we have Aaron’s rod and the pot of manna kept in the tabernacle, and Heb. 9:4 tells us that these were kept within the ark.
Now in the time of Solomon, when the temple was being dedicated we read in 1 Kings 8:9 (and 2 Chron. 5:10) that “there was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone.” Aaron’s rod and the golden pot of manna were missing.
Dan insightfully suggests that this was prophetic of the end of the Aaronic priesthood and also represented the end of the wandering of God’s people – both of which happened when the heavenly temple (of which the earthly one was a type) came into being with the coming of the Messiah who was a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, and the establishing of Christ’s body as this living, heavenly temple.
The tablets remained in the ark which had its place in the “heart” of the temple: a figure of the new covenant when His law (the law of the Spirit of “The Life in Christ Jesus” – Rom. 8:2) would be placed within our hearts – even in our DNA, as we were made to be new creatures in Him.
AARON’S ROD and the POT of MANNA MISSING [Jonathan Mitchell] 1