Reference: Mercy Seat
kaporeth Hebrew; hilasteerion, epitheema, Septuagint. The propitiatory, the golden cover of the ark. From the piel conjugation of kaapar, "to cover up," "forgive," or "reconcile," "atone" for offenses. Having a distinct significance and designation of its own; not a mere part of the ark. Placed "above upon the ark" (Ex 25:17-22; 26:34; 30:6; 31:7; 35:12; 37:6). Never called "the cover" (kaporeth) merely of the ark, but made a distinct thing.
The holy of belies is called "the place of the mercy-seat" (1Ch 28:11; Le 16:2), marking that it was not a mere subordinate part of the ark. The kippurim, "atonements," on the day of atonement are inseparably connected with the kaporeth, which was sprinkled with the blood (Le 16:13-15). The same hilasteerion occurs Heb 9:5 "mercy-seat," Ro 3:25 "propitiation." (See ARK.) The atonement was for the breach of the covenant. Appropriately, therefore the mercy-seat covered that covenant written on the two tables of stone inside the ark. God, thus reconciled through the blood sprinkled on the mercy-seat, could speak to His people "from off the mercy-seat that was upon the ark of the testimony" (Nu 7:89; Ps 80:1).
This was made of pure gold and covered the ark. Two cherubim were also made of pure gold and were of one piece with the mercy seat. The faces were inwards, towards the covenant that was contained in the ark. God said to Moses, "I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony." The place for the mediator to receive divine communications from God, and for the high priest to approach with the blood of atonement, was the mercy seat. It is typical of Christ, the same word being used in the N.T. for the mercy seat in the tabernacle and for the Lord Himself, "whom God hath set forth to be a mercy seat," ??????????. Ro 3:25; Heb 9:5.
Blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat once a year on the day of atonement. This Aaron "offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:" typical of Christ entering into heaven, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb 9:7,Heb 9:12. The veil of the temple being rent, God has come out in grace, and man in the person of Christ has gone in, and the Christian is exhorted to come at all times boldly to the throne of grace that he may find grace to help in time of need. Ex 25:17-22; 26:34; 30:6; 31:7; 35:12; 37:6-9; 39:35; 40:20; Le 16:2-15; Nu 7:89; 1Ch 28:11.
MERCY SEAT, ??????????, propitiatory. This word is properly an adjective, agreeing with ???????, a lid, understood, which is expressed by the LXX, Ex 25:17. In that version, ?????????? generally answers to the Hebrew ????, from the verb ???, to cover, expiate, and was the lid or covering of the ark of the covenant, made of pure gold, on and before which the high priest was to sprinkle the blood of the expiatory sacrifices on the great day of atonement, and where God promised to meet his people, Ex 25:17,22; 29:42; 30:36; Le 16:2,14. St. Paul, by applying this name to Christ, Ro 3:25, assures us that he is the true mercy seat, the reality of what the ???? represented to the ancient believers; by him our sins are covered or expiated, and through him God communes with us in mercy. The mercy seat also represents our approach to God through Christ; we come to the "throne of grace;" which is only a variation of the term "mercy seat."