Amos prophesied in the days when Uzziah was the King of Judah and Jeroboam was the King of Yisharal (787B.C), and though his prophecy involves several of the surrounding Gentile nations (and the Southern Kingdom of Judah) he mainly dealt with the Northern Kingdom of Yisharal, which was in a backslidden and disgusting condition during his lifetime.
Each King of the House of Yisharal had brought back the Golden Calf system of worship (established by Jeroboam nearly 200 years previously) and in about 60 years, the House of Yisharal would be taken into Captivity to Assyria and from there dispersed among the Nations.
Amos and Hosea were latter Prophets, both pronouncing the coming Assyrian Captivity of the House of Yisharal. The Prophet Isaiah (though specifically speaking to Judah), also speaks of the coming Assyrian Captivity of Yisharal. Therefore it's against this historical backdrop that Amos prophesies :
"In that day will I raise up the Tent of David that is fallen, close up it's breaches and raise up it's ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old."
In the mind of Yisharal at this time, what did they understand this to mean? The Temple of Solomon was still standing in Yerushalim and the idolatrous Golden Calf system of worship was still functioning at Bethel and Dan (in Yisharal, whose capital was Samaria). So did the prophet mean that Yahuah would leave the Temple of Solomon and go back to an actual Tent that David had pitched for the Ark, before the Temple was even built?
Did anyone in Amos` time actually think that Yahuah would rebuild a literal material tent as in David's time and return to it? Of course not!
Undoubtedly, they knew that this spoke of a restoration to true and proper Praise Behaviour that was established in the days of King David.
The nation was backslidden, idolatrous, and immoral, far from the true obedience instructed by Yahuah. The worship was corrupt and polluted and far removed from the Praise Behaviour established in David's Tent, which had indeed fallen. It was definitely filled with breaches or gaps and was in ruins. So when the Prophet Amos spoke of the restoration of David's Tent, he was not referring to a literal material tent being rebuilt or set up again, for if this is what the prophet meant, then over 2800 years have gone by and never in this time has Yahuah ever had a material tent built, as David's Tent was, for Him to inhabit. And it won’t be ever in the future or in eternity. Yahuah will never go back to a man-made tent or temple.
When the prophet speaks of the fact that Yahuah will rebuild the Tent as in the days of old, he is speaking of a restoration, an awakening, a reviving of true Praise Behaviour that David established in Mout Zion at the pinnacle of the nation's response to Yahuah.
In due time it will be seen that every awakening in Yisharal or Judah (under Yahuah’s Kings) was a return to the order of the Tent of David - NOT to a material tent - but to that proper Praise Behaviour established under David's glorious reign. So in order to fully understand what Yahuah meant, both in the Prophet's time and also in the time of the Book of Acts (and today) we need to go back and look at "the days of old" when the Tent of David was set up and especially the man David who established it!
Although David became one of the most effective, anointed Kings on his throne, in his core, he was simply a worshipper at the Ark of Yahuah. No matter what conquests and battles are written about David in his Kingdom, over and above all, David was a Praiser of the Almighty, the sweet singer and Psalmist of Yisharal. Yahuah's Word was on his tongue and the Spirit was upon him in Worship and Praise.
In the Ancient Texts of Scripture, David stands out uniquely. There are about 14 chapters given to Abraham's life, about 11 given to Jacob, 14 to his favoured son Joseph, and 10 chapters cover the life of the prophet Elijah.
But when it comes to David we have approximately 66 chapters of the Scripture given to his life story, with about 1200 references to David's name in the Scripture (and 59 of these are in the Latter Texts of the Early Assembly).
If we think of a character who speaks of belief, we think of Abraham. If we think of a man of meekness, we speak of Moses or Yahusha. If we look for a man of miracles, we think of Elijah, or Elisha. But when we look for Praise and Worship, we speak of King David, for he is the man after Yahuah's own heart and the Psalms of David are primarily Praise Psalms and David establishes Zion as his city and it’s through David that Zion actually comes into such prominence. Zion is the city of the Great King, of Yahusha Himself, not just David.
Why is David’s life and character and achievement used here to refer to Yahusha’s Reign and who may enter it? Why not speak about Abraham or Moses or any other righteous man who served Yahuah? Because (though imperfect and sometimes downright wicked) DAVID WAS USED TO SHADOW THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF YAHUSHA MESSIAH HIMSELF.
The pattern is very clear. The first half of David’s life was one of rejection, insult, being accused, hunted and despised. And when Saul finally died and David became King, the first 20 years of his reign was one of incredible victory, booting out all the enemies from Yisharal (as Joshua was supposed to do) and uniting the 12 Tribes of Yisharal again. Then, (only after all this had happened) David sought to have Yahuah enthroned on the Praises of His people Yisharal, so he sets up a Tent for the Ark of the Blood-Covenant.
Yahusha’s life ran parallel with this pattern too, the pressure, pain, insults, being hunted (tortured and killed) but afterwards He was elevated to the throne of the Shamayim where He reigns forevermore in esteem and honour. The prophets foretold His sufferings and the esteem that would follow, and those who suffer with Him shall reign with Him. It is after His exaltation to the throne that He also starts setting up His Tent -- His Bride — The Assembly that is called by His Name. This is the True Tent of David.
So Yahusha is first the Shepherd, who, after His anointing, experiences the sufferings of the Torture Stake, and then becomes the King enthroned in esteem and boots the enemy out of Shamayim. He is the greater Son of David, for He is the Root and Offspring of David.
One of the most remarkable things about the life of David is that he received three distinct anointings to do Yahuah’s work. No one else in Scripture is ever mentioned as experiencing that. The Hebrew word for 'Anointed' is `Mashiak' (Messiah) and speaks of a King, Priest or Deliverer (ultimately pointing to Yahusha).
The term “His anointed one” was first used by Hannah in referring to the birth of her son Samuel. Saul was also referred to as ‘Yahuah’s anointed’, by means of the Set-Apart Anointing Oil (the special recipe given to Moses), and King David is spoken of as ‘Yahuah’s Anointed’ by the same Anointing Oil, and ultimately Yahusha is spoken of (in prophesy and in the Psalms) as 'Yahuah’s Anointed'.
Of course being Anointed in this capacity means that a person has been chosen and set aside for a specific function. Yahuah usually only anointed Kings, Priests or Prophets, and although not being the first (or last) person to be anointed by Yahuah, David indeed experienced something spiritually rich, since he got all three of those anointings, again pointing to Yahusha.
David’s first Anointing was as a Prophet, the second as a King and the third as a Priest and no other man (except Yahusha) could say that. You see in Ancient Times the offices of Prophet, Priest and King were not united and anyone who dared to presume from one office into the other was divinely judged. Saul tried to be Priest after being Anointed as a King and he got the Kingdom taken from him. Later on King Uzziah usurped the Priests in the Temple and was struck with leprosy. So if David (anointed as a King, and earlier as a prophet) dared to presume a Priestly position, Yahuah would have surely judged him. But this didn’t happen, even though David oversaw the return of the Ark to Yerushalim and functioned as a Priest before it! What'a that about?? He was aparantly breaking all the rules (even Yahuah’s) in what he was doing!
Moses, David and Yahusha are the only three people who ever united the three offices of Prophet, King and Priest in them self, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BUILDING A SPECIAL TENT. And of course Yahusha is the ultimate fulfilment of every earlier tent and temple with all their furnishings. David wasn’t just a shadow of Yahusha, but also His Bride (who shares these same 3 Anointings of PROPHET - KING - PRIEST, through the spirit of Yahusha). It was after his third anointing that David captured Mt Zion (making it the City of David) and soon after, the special Tent is set up which is called by his own name.
THE TABERNACLE OF MOSES - FROM SINAI TO SHILOH
David was obsessed with the Ark of Yahuah's Blood-Covenant, and the central feature of David’s Tent was the order of Praise established around the Ark (which was taken out of the Tabernacle of Moses). So it’s necessary to have a brief understanding of Moses' Tabernacle because (just like we can’t appreciate the Temple of Solomon without an understanding of David’s Tent) we really can't appreciate David’s Tent without an understanding of the Pattern that Moses was given, for each of these Dwelling Places have their distinct portions of truth involved.
As we know the Tabernacle of Moses was the habitation of Yahuah with the children of Yisharal during the Wilderness wanderings from Mt. Sinai to Shiloh in the Promised Land, and it consisted of three places: the Outer Court, Set-Apart Place and Most Set-Apart Place. In each of these respective places, Yahuah commanded certain furnishings to be set, and all had to be built according to the Divine standard, to the pattern of Yahuah, given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
A Gold Chest (containing the Ten Commandments written on stone tablets, Aaron’s rod that budded and a Hidden Pot of Manna) was placed in the most Set-Apart Place behind the special veil/curtain, and this Gold Chest was called the Ark of the Blood-Covenant and it was a witness of the agreement made between Yahuah and His Bride.
THE ARK WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF FURNITURE OUT OF EVERYTHING IN THE TABERNACLE BECAUSE WHEN THE BLOOD OF BULLS AND GOATS WAS SPRINKLED FOR ATONEMENT ON THE LID (THE MERCY SEAT) OF THIS GOLD BOX, YAHUAH WAS ABLE TO ONCE AGAIN CONNECT WITH THIS DIMENSION, CREATING A PORTAL ON THE ARK, MAKING IT HIS THRONE ON THIS EARTH.
In transit, the articles (altar, lava, lampstand, showbread table, incense altar etc) were all covered with appointed cloths and coverings, and in function, were all set up in their proper places. And in due time, when the second generation entered Canaan under Joshua, the Tabernacle of Moses was set up at a place called Shiloh. "And the whole Assembly of the children of Yisharal assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the Tabernacle there"(JOSH 18).
In fact all the other pieces of furniture were only useful and meaningful if the Ark was in the Most Set-Apart Place behind the veil. The Ark had a crown of gold around the top of it, and acting as a lid was the Mercy Seat made of pure gold, having the figures of the Cherubim on each end of it. Once a year it was sprinkled with blood (on the Day of Atonement) and it was upon this article of furniture that the visible Esteem-Skekinah-Presence of Yahuah dwelt, making the Tabernacle Yahuah's House and Dwelling Place among His people, a place where He took back some of His Time and Space, connecting heaven and earth again.
The Presence of Yahuah was evident by a Cloudy and Fiery Pillar all through Yisharal's wanderings in the Wilderness, and once the Tabernacle had been erected at Mt. Sinai, Yahuah travelled with His people through the 40 years of wanderings.
Therefore Shiloh became the central meeting place for the spiritual life of Yisharal in Canaan for a number of years. The Tabernacle of Yahuah, with the Ark of Yahuah's Presence, travelled with Yisharal from Mt. Sinai through the Wilderness wanderings and now it finds its place in the land of promise, in the land of rest, in "Shiloh" which means "rest, peace, sent."
Looking at this Golden Chest shows us it’s importance in the mind of Yahuah. The Ark of the Blood-Covenant, in all of its history and symbolism was the richest of all symbols pointing to Yahusha Messiah, FOR ALL THAT THE ARK WAS TO YISHARAL IN ANCIENT TIMES, YAHUSHA MESSIAH IS TO HIS ASSEMBLY IN THE LATTER DAYS.
All that the Ark was to and in Yisharal, Yahusha is to and in His Assembly, and we can’t understand the construction, symbolism, and history of the Ark of Yahuah without realising the absolute importance of this article of furniture, for its construction and history symbolises the person and life-work of the Deliverer Yahusha Messiah Himself, in the midst of His redeemed people.
IT WAS ALL ABOUT HAVING HIS DIVINE PRESENCE IN YISHARAL THAT ACTUALLY GAVE THEM THEIR IDENTITY AND PROMISES OF THE BLOOD-COVENANT ONCE GIVEN TO THEIR FATHER ABRAHAM, AND WITHOUT THE ARK AND YAHUAH’S PRESENCE - THEY WERE NO ONE SPECIAL, JUST A BUNCH OF MISFITS AND SLAVES!
If David did not have a revelation of the mind and will of Yahuah, it would have been absolute presumption on his part to place the Ark of the Blood-Covenant in another Tent which he had set up in Mt. Zion, a move that other men would have been severely punished for!!
So let's look at what really brought on the rise of David's new Tent.
It’s important to understand what happened for the need and rise of David’s Tent, because otherwise we could very well ask: “Was David in the will of Yahuah setting up another Tent when the Tabernacle of Moses was already in existence?"
In Jeremiah 7, the Word of Yahuah came to Jeremiah the prophet and he was told to go and proclaim it in the Gate of Yahuah's House (the Temple at Yerushalim). The burden of the prophetic word was a reproof to the people because they were boasting their trust in a material Temple. The House of Judah was in a state of apostasy and rebellion against Yahuah and His Word (through the prophet Jeremiah).
As the worshippers came to the Temple through the Gate, Jeremiah declared the Word of Yahuah. He 'told them off' about their sins and their false sense of security, evidenced in their vain boastings about the Temple of Yahuah. But they were soooo cocky and felt that Yahuah would never let the Temple be destroyed, as Jeremiah had prophesied. 'Yahuah would never let the Babylonians take them into captivity' they thought. So in the midst of these reproofs and rebukes, Jeremiah said to the people :
“You go to my place that was in Shiloh, where I first set My Name and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Yisharal . . . For I’ll also do it to this House, which is called by My Name also, the place you trust in so much, the place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I did in Shiloh."
The word is clear! "Go back to Shiloh and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Yisharal." Remember that Shiloh was the place where the Tabernacle of Moses was set up in the land of Canaan under Joshua. It seems as if it was there all through the period of the days of Joshua, the generation that outlived him and on through all the period of the Book of Judges, a period of several hundred years. It is worthy of note that the Ark is only mentioned once in the Book of Judges. So what happened “back in Shiloh" that forced Yahuah’s hand?
The lifeless condition of the Aaronic Priesthood was demonstrated in Eli and his wicked, womanising sons. There was no King in Yisharal and everyone did what was right in his own eyes. The Judge-Deliverers had come and gone. The nation had passed through periods of apostasy, servitudes and deliverances, and the corrupt condition of Eli and his sons brought the need and rise of Samuel. And in time, the corrupt condition of Samuel's sons brought about the rise of the Kings, represented first in Saul.
The condition had been so dark and depraved in Yisharal that Yahuah actually allowed His Ark to be captured by the Philistines, where it went on a tour of havoc, causing plagues and death for Yisharal’s enemies, before they cried out `What will we do with this Ark of Yisharal’s Alahim’ before sending it home on a brand new ox cart in the hope of appeasing Yisharal’s Alahim and no more plagues would befall them.
Does this panic sound familiar? “What will we do with this Yahusha who calls Himself the King of the Jews?”
Then the Celebration of Yahuah’s Ark returning was met with devastation when the men of Bethshemesh removed the mercy-seat and looked into the Ark and Yahuah smote 50,000 odd people with a great slaughter. Had they learnt nothing? No one except the High Priest could touch the Ark and even then it was only once a year through the sprinkling of blood! So if you remove Yahuah’s mercy and get exposed to the perfect radiation of His Divinity (while still in your flesh) all that’s left is unbridled wrath! So the men of Bethshemesh recognised that none could stand before such a Set-Apart Yahuah, and that He would only dwell in the midst of His people on His own terms.
Then the Ark was sent to Kirjath-Jearim in Gibeah for about 100 years through Samuel's entire judgeship, Saul's reign, and well into David’s. So during this long period, Samuel, King Saul, and David are moving into their respective historical settings and during the sad years that followed, Saul rose up against David, the freshly anointed of Yahuah, hunted him, chased him, and discovered . . .
. . . that Ahimelech, a priest of the city of Nob, had helped David, so he had 85 priests in that city killed. So it’s no wonder that Yahuah refused to answer King Saul by the Ark, the Priest, or the Urim and Thummin because of such vile actions against His Divine channels of communication. If Saul rejected these people and silenced them, then Yahuah certainly had nothing to say to him.
The time came when Saul and his son Jonathan were slain and David was appointed to the throne of Yisharal. As noted previously, after David's third anointing as King over all Yisharal, David desired to see the Ark of Yahuah brought into its proper place in the nation. So he consulted with the Captains and the Leaders of the nation, expressing his desire for the Ark of Yahuah, reminding them that they hadn’t sought Yahuah at the Ark in all the days of King Saul. The people also were convinced that it was the right thing to do.
Uzza and Ahio, two priestly sons, began to drive the cart along. David and all Yisharal began to play before Yahuah with all their might. Harps, Psalteries, Timbres, Cymbals, Trumpets and Singing resounded on the way.
Yahuah must teach, even King David, that there is a Divine Order which must be followed. Yahuah could have prevented the oxen from stumbling here, even as He supernaturally overruled the natures of the cows of the Philistines and brought the Ark across the border previously. But there is Divine Order, a pattern laid down in His Word, which His people must follow. HIS RADIATION MUST BE RESPECTED!
So David and the leaders, with the people gathered together and went to Kirjath-Jearim to bring up the Ark of Yahuah. But what did David do? Lo and behold he followed in the footsteps of the Philistines and placed the Ark on a NEW CART, after taking it out of the house of Abinadab in Gibeah. The Philistines' new cart had been burned in the fire so David had to make another 'new cart’.
But what happened? As they were rejoicing and shouting, the oxen came to the threshing floor of Nachon and the oxen stumbled. Uzza put forth his hand to steady the Ark from falling off the new cart and Yahuah’s anger is kindled against him and Yahuah struck him dead. He died before the Ark of Yahuah and David the King was furious because of this. Fear gripped him. The happy occasion closed with death.
So David dared not proceed any further. He took the Ark aside and placed it in the house of Obededom, a Gittite and here the Ark remained for 3 months and the blessing of Yahuah prevailed upon this house and all that was his. So the Ark went from the house of Abinadab to the house of Obededom. This step ended in tragedy.
YAHUAH'S PRESENCE IS SERIOUS!!
David was doing a right thing in a wrong way. The Ark was only a piece of shittim wood, overlaid with gold - only a symbol! But it was what that symbol signified in the mind of Yahuah. To touch it with unclean hands meant plagues, destruction, and death. So Yahuah permitted the oxen to stumble in order to drive David to seek His face and seek His Order as laid down in the word given to Moses. He wanted a heart-felt response from David. He wants David to know who He really is and how He feels, so that he dared not presume any further.
And from this, Yahuah allowed David (not from the Tribe of Levi or a Priest) to do something completely bizarre and Revolutionary, restoring the Ark not to it’s `proper’ place in the Most Set-Apart Place of Moses' Tabernacle, but in David’s own Tent, which he set up to restore to Yisharal the Awe, the Joy, and the Magnificence to Yahuah’s Name and Esteem, through a New Behaviour of Revolutionary Praise!