|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:23-30 A table was to be made of wood, overlaid with gold, to stand in the outer tabernacle, to be always furnished with the shew-bread. This table, with the articles on it, and its use, seems to typify the communion which the Lord holds with his redeemed people in his ordinances, the provisions of his house, the feasts they are favoured with. Also the food for their souls, which they always find when they hunger after it; and the delight he takes in their persons and services, as presented before him in Christ.
Verse 30. - Thou shalt set upon the table shew-bread before me alway. Here we have at once the object of the table, and its name, explained. The table was to have set upon it continually twelve loaves, or cakes, of bread (Leviticus 24:5), which were to be renewed weekly on the sabbath-day (ibid. ver. 8), the stale loaves being at the same time consumed by the priests in the holy place. These twelve loaves or cakes were to constitute a continual thank-offering to God from the twelve tribes of Israel in return for the bless-Lugs of life and sustenance which they received from him. The bread was called "bread of face," or "bread of presence," because it was set before the "face" or "presence" of God, which dwelt in the holy of holies. The Septuagint renders the phrase by ἄρτοι ἐνώπιοι "loaves that are face to face" - St. Matthew by ἄρτοι τῆς προθέσεως, "loaves of setting-forth" - whence the Schaubrode of Luther, and our "shew-bread," which is a paraphrase rather than a translation.
CHAPTER 25:31 THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK (vers. 31-40). Though the holy of holies was always dark, unless when lighted by. the glory of God (Exodus 40:34, 35), the holy place, in which many of the priests' functions were to be performed, was to be always kept light. In the day-time sufficient light entered from the porch in front; but, as evening drew on, some artificial illumination was required. In connection with this object, the golden candlestick, or rather lamp-stand, was designed, which, together with its appurtenances, is described in the remainder of the chapter.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou shall set upon the table shewbread before me always. Which consisted of twelve cakes loaves, set in two rows upon the table, and stood there a whole week, and every sabbath were renewed; and when the old ones were took away, which were eaten by the priests, new ones were set, so that they were always before the Lord; and being continually before him, were called shewbread, or "bread of faces", being always before the face of God. This was a memorial of the goodness of God in daily providing bread for the people of Israel, and was presented to him as a thankful acknowledgment of it, and being the same they ate at their own tables; and this being eaten by the priests, was expressive of the communion between God and them, they being guests of his, and feeding on the same provisions. This shewbread may be considered either as typical of the church and people of God, who are all one bread, 1 Corinthians 10:17, these pure and unleavened cakes may denote their purity, simplicity, and sincerity, being without the leaven of malice and wickedness; the number twelve, the twelve tribes of Israel, the whole spiritual Israel of God; their being called shewbread, or bread of faces, the presentation of themselves to the Lord in public worship, and their being ever under the eye and care of God; their being set on the table, their standing in Christ, and security by him, who is the foundation of the apostles and prophets; and being set in rows, their order and harmony; being renewed every sabbath, the constancy of their worship, and the succession of them in all ages; the frankincense put on each row, the acceptance of their persons and services through the incense of Christ's mediation; the border round about them, the power of Christ around them to keep them from falling: or else as typical of Christ himself, of his being the food of believers, the bread of life: the shewbread of fine flour may fitly signify Christ, the finest of the wheat, the corn of heaven, the bread that comes from thence; its quantity, twelve cakes, the sufficiency of food with him, bread enough and to spare for the whole Israel of God; its continuance, the permanency of Christ as the food believers have always to feed upon; the frankincense on it, the gratefulness of Christ to such, to whom his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed; and being set for priests, and only for them, may show that Christ is only food to such who are made priests to God: or this may be an emblem of the intercession of Christ, who is the Angel of God's presence, ever before him, and represents the whole Israel of God, for whom he intercedes; and his intercession is continual, he ever lives to make intercession for them, and that is always acceptable to God. The twelve loaves, Josephus (a) says, signify the year divided into so many months.
(a) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. showbread—literally, presence bread, so called because it was constantly exhibited before the Lord, or because the bread of His presence, like the angel of His presence, pointed symbolically to Christ. It consisted of twelve unleavened loaves, said traditionally to have been laid in piles of six each. This bread was designed to be a symbol of the full and never-failing provision which is made in the Church for the spiritual sustenance and refreshment of God's people.
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