Did Moses build the Ark before ascending Mount Sinai a second time?

What Tabernacle is referred to in Exodus 33:7-11? According to the sequence of the chapters, the Tabernacle was not yet built. Some have inferred from Deuteronomy 10:1-5 that Moses made the Ark during this interval, between his destruction of the first tables and the bringing down of the second, as a receptacle for the second tables which could not be entrusted to Israel. What do you say to this?

Certainly Deutenonomy 10:1-5 would bear the above interpretation, “and I made an ark of shittim wood. . . and I put them (the tables of the Lord) in the Ark which I had made.” Yet we must remember that in Deuteronomy, Moses is admittedly only giving a summary of things, so that events spread over a period, are compressed, as occurring almost synchronously. For dates and details we must consult Exodus and Numbers. In Exodus 25:10 the directions as to making the Ark are given to Moses, during his first sojourn on the Mount, but were only communicated to the children of Israel in Exodus 35:12, after his second sojourn there. Only in Exodus 37:1 does Bezaleel actually make the Ark of shittim wood, in which the tables were eventually placed. We cannot admit that there were two Arks; for it is evident in Deut. io. that the tables were to be permanently in the Ark which Moses is said to have made for them—”and there they be as the Lord commanded me.” This was actually done in Exodus 40:20: “And he took and put the testimony into the ark.” There is nothing really contradictory to this in the passages quoted. As for the tabernacle mentioned in Exodus 33:7-11, it could only have been a temporary tent of meeting called “The tabernacle of the congregation” (Exodus 33:7), to which anyone went, who sought the Lord.” After the sin of the golden calf, God would not go up in the midst of the people, so this tent was pitched without the camp. When the actual Tabernacle was constructed and erected, Jehovah once more took His place in the midst of His people (Exodus 25:8;Exodus 29:45; Numbers 2:2), no doubt, on the ground of sacrifice. The other temporary tent would naturally fall into disuse.