|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:31-40 The candlestick represents the light of God's word and Spirit, in and through Christ Jesus, afforded in this dark world to his believing people, to direct their worship and obedience, and to afford them consolations. The church is still dark, as the tabernacle was, in comparison with what it will be in heaven; but the word of God is a light shining in a dark place,
Verse 37. - The seven lamps. The lamps are not described. They appear by the representation on the Arch of Titus to have been hemispherical bowls on a stand, which fitted into the lily-blossom wherewith each of the seven branches terminated. They shall light the lamps. The lamps were lighted every evening at sunset (Exodus 27:21; Exodus 30:8; Leviticus 24:3, etc.), and burnt till morning, when the High Priest extinguished them and "dressed" them (Exodus 30:7). That they may give light over against it. The candlestick was placed on the southern side of the holy place, parallel to the wall, the seven lamps forming a row. The light was consequently shed strongly on the opposite, or northern wall, where the table of show-bread stood.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou shall make the seven lamps thereof,.... Which were, six of them, on the top of the six branches that came out of the sides of the candlestick, and the seventh on the top of the shaft which ran up in the middle of it; which no doubt were made of gold as well as the rest, and may signify the many members of churches bearing the lamp of a profession: or the several gifts and graces of the Spirit, which are sometimes, because of the perfection of them, called the seven spirits of God, and are compared to seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, Revelation 4:5 or else the ministers of the Gospel, who are the lights of the world:
and they shall light the lamps thereof; Aaron and his sons, the priests in successive generations:
that they may give light over against it to the table of shewbread, which was opposite to it on the north side of the tabernacle, and so by the light of these lamps the priests could see to place the shewbread in its order; or the candlestick itself, the lamps being so placed as to give light to the whole body of it, that it might be seen in all its parts very distinctly; unless it can be thought that these lamps were separate from the candlestick, and set around the sides of the holy place, and gave light to it: and this may rather seem to be the case, since these lamps are spoken of after the whole of it is said to be one beaten work of pure gold; but then we have no account of the lamps of the candlestick, unless they are supposed to be included in the branches; wherefore the first sense seems best.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37. they shall light the lamps … that they may give light—The light was derived from pure olive oil, and probably kept continually burning (compare Ex 30:7; Le 24:2).
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