Sunday, December 8, 2013

023. Golden Lampstand: The Tabernacle - Part IX

In Exodus 25 we read:
 31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:
 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
 34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
 35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
 37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
Inside the Holy Place were several items of furniture. Outside we had the bronze altar and laver, inside we have gold. Progression from bronze to gold. On the left was the golden lampstand. Whereas the bronze laver had virtually no description in the scriptures, the golden lampstand is described in great detail. It was not a candlestick as it is sometimes called. No candles were used in any Old or New Testament worship. Only oil lamps were used. The lampstand was made of pure gold and it weighed one talent, about 125 pounds. There was a main shaft with 7 branches; 3 to the right, 3 to the left, and 1 at the top.

The Shaft

The Hebrew word for shaft, yarek, means "thigh"in 20 instances in the scriptures, "loins" in two, "side" in four, "body" in one instance. A further three instances connect yarek with birth. The shaft represents Christ, we being born of Him, through Him, He is the main vine, we are the branches. John 15:4-5 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." A branch of the lampstand would be worthless as it could not stand on its own, would fall over, and cease to provide light. We must be connected to the center, to Christ, in order to produce any kind of light, but the light is through and because of Him. On the main shaft were three knobs. Three is the symbol of divinity.

The Branches

As mentioned previously, there were 7 branches. These can represent the 7 days of creation. The central branch had several golden features upon it: four bowls, four knobs, and four flowers. Four is the symbol of the earth. The six lateral branches each had three bowls, one knob, and one flower. The central branch came out of the top of the main shaft. This could represent Christ in mortal form. The six branches came out from the side of the shaft. The number 6 represents man, formed on the 6th day. We must connect to Christ to live and provide light. The entire shaft to branch connection represents God's peace extended to mankind through His Son who came to earth.

The Knobs (or Knops)

Some writers described the knobs in the form of pomegranates. The pomegranate is an emblem of peace, and appeared on the hem of the high priest's robe. Three knobs or pomegranates on the shaft represent divinity, thus indicating God's eternal peace. On the central shaft were four pomegranates, representing the earth with its four corners, thus earthly peace, or peace through Christ's earthly ministry. He published peace, He was the Prince of Peace. The six branches each had one knob, indicating peace that can come to us through our connection with the Lord.

The Bowls

The bowl, also translated cup or pot, were made to look like almonds. There is some confusion about the exact translation or interpretation about this facet of the lampstand. Some suppose the bowls were like leaves protecting a bud.

The Flowers

These were lilies, representing beauty. The creations of God are beautiful. There is beauty in Christ, in all that He did, although man despised and rejected Him while in the flesh. From out of the flowers of the lampstand came the lamps themselves.

The Lamps

Out of the flowers, beauty, came the light, the seven lamps. The light of the lamp stand illuminated the Holy Place, which was inside. It cast light on the table of showbread, the altar of incense, and the veil; the place of intercession. It was not the lamp that made the light, it only bore the light. The light came from the pure oil that was continually being put into the lamp. Similarly, we are called to carry the light of the gospel to all the world. We are not the source of that light, but are called to carry it.

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