1 Kings 7:49
And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(49) The candlesticks of pure gold.—Whether these ten candlesticks were to supersede the one seven- lighted candlestick made for the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:31-40; Exodus 37:17-26), or were to be used in addition to it, we are not told. The latter supposition is, however, far more probable, both because it seems most unlikely that the old sacred candlestick should have been disused, and because in the second Temple only the one seven-lighted candlestick was provided, and (as the sculpture on the Arch of Titus shows) was carried in the Roman triumph after the destruction of the city. (In 2Chronicles 4:8; 2Chronicles 4:19, there is a mention of ten tables for shewbread, similarly ranged on each side of the Holy Place, probably in the same way, additional to the one proper table.) Josephus, in his rhetorical exaggeration, declares that Solomon made ten thousand candlesticks and ten thousand tables; but he distinguishes the one proper candlestick and table from the rest. The candlestick is elaborately described in the history of the construction of the Tabernacle, as of great costliness of material and workmanship. Placed in the Holy Place, opposite to the table of shewbread, and fed carefully with the sacred oil, it appears to have symbolised the gift of light to the world, as the shewbread the gift of life and sustenance, flowing from the presence of God.

The flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs are the parts of the candlestick (mentioned in Exodus 25:31; Exodus 25:37-38); the “flowers” being the ornaments of the stem and branches, the “lamps” being the seven lights, and the “tongs” being used for trimming.

The various articles here mentioned are also enumerated in the description of the furniture of the Tabernacle, Exodus 25:29-38.

The snuffers.—The word is derived from a root signifying “to prune,” and is used for “pruning knives” in Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3. Some accordingly render it here by “knives,” but the common rendering “snuffers” suits the derivation well enough.

The spoons.—The name signifies simply “something hollow;” and in Numbers 7:86 “the spoons” are said to have been “full of incense,” and to have “weighed ten shekels apiece.” The right meaning is probably “incense pans.”

The censers.—This rendering is clearly erroneous. It should be “snuff-dishes,” or “ash-pans,” as in Exodus 25:38.

1 Kings 7:49. And the candlesticks — Which were ten, according to the number of the tables, whereas Moses made but one: whereby might be signified the progress of the light of sacred truth, which was now grown clearer than it was in Moses’s time, and should shine brighter and brighter until the perfect day of gospel light. Of pure gold — Of massy and fine gold. Before the oracle — In the holy place. Flowers — Wrought upon the candlesticks, as had formerly been the case. Tongs of gold — Wherewith to take coals from the altar of burnt-offering.

7:48-51 Christ is now the Temple and the Builder; the Altar and the Sacrifice; the Light of our souls, and the Bread of life; able to supply all the wants of all that have applied or shall apply to him. Outward images cannot represent, words cannot express, the heart cannot conceive, his preciousness or his love. Let us come to him, and wash away our sins in his blood; let us seek for the purifying grace of his Spirit; let us maintain communion with the Father through his intercession, and yield up ourselves and all we have to his service. Being strengthened by him, we shall be accepted, useful, and happy.See the notes to Exodus 25:31-38. The "bowls" of 1 Kings 7:50 were the "bowls" for the tables Exodus 37:16, large vases containing oil for the lamps. 49. candlesticks of pure gold—made, probably, according to the model of that in the tabernacle, which, along with the other articles of furniture, were deposited with due honor, as sacred relics, in the temple. But these seem not to have been used in the temple service; for Solomon made new lavers, tables, and candlesticks, ten of each. (See further regarding the dimensions and furniture of the temple, in 2Ch 3:1-5:14). The candlesticks; which were ten, according to the number of the tables; whereas Moses made but one; whereby might be signified the. progress of the light of sacred truth, which was now grown clearer than it was in Moses’s time, and should shine brighter and brighter until the perfect day of gospel light.

Of pure gold; of massy and fine gold.

Before the oracle, in the holy place. The flowers wrought upon the candlesticks, as it had formerly been. See Poole "Exodus 25:31".

And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle,.... These stood in the holy place, where the shewbread tables did, right before the holy of holies; there were ten of these as of them, which were placed, as the same Jewish writers say, not on the right and left of the temple, but on the right and left of Moses's candlestick, which stood on the south side, Exodus 40:24, these may denote the greater degree of spiritual light in the church of Christ under the Gospel dispensation than under the law:

with the flowers; the figures of flowers, such as were wrought on the candlestick of Moses:

and the lamps; which were seven to each candlestick, and so must be in all seventy; which may put us in mind of the seventy disciples of Christ, some of the first lights of the Gospel church:

and the tongues of gold; which were used to take the wicks out of the oil, and put into the lamps.

And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
49. pure gold] See on 1 Kings 6:21.

Verse 49. - And the candlesticks [Exodus 25:31-37; Exodus 37:17-24. According to Jewish tradition, the seven-branched candlestick was preserved in the temple in addition to the ten named here] of pure [Heb. shut] gold, five on the right side and five on the left, before the oracle ["These are said to have formed a sort of railing before the vail, and to have been connected by golden chains under which, on the day of atonement, the high priest crept" (Dict. Bib. 1:249). The idea that the ten candlesticks rested on the ten tables mentioned in the Chronicles is entirely groundless. Eleven tables would in that case have been necessary (Bahr). Besides we are distinctly told that the tables were for the shewbread (2 Chronicles 4:19), not for the candlesticks], with the flowers [ornaments of the candlestick (Exodus 25:31)], and the lamps [the seven extremities of the candlestick which held the oil and the wicks (ver. 37). It is highly probable that the temple candlesticks were fashioned after that of the tabernacle], and the tongs (ib. ver. 38. Heb. two takers] of gold. 1 Kings 7:49The golden vessels of the Holy Place (cf. 2 Chronicles 4:19-22). The vessels enumerated here are divided, by the repetition of סגוּר זהב in 1 Kings 7:49, 1 Kings 7:50, into two classes, which were made of fine gold; and to this a third class is added in 1 Kings 7:50 which was made of gold of inferior purity. As סגוּר זהב is governed in both instances by ויּעשׂ as an accusative of the material, the זהב (gold) attached to the separate vessels must be taken as an adjective. "Solomon made all the vessels in the house of Jehovah (i.e., had them made): the golden altar, and the golden table on which was the shew-bread, and the candlesticks ... of costly gold (סגוּר: see at 1 Kings 6:20). The house of Jehovah is indeed here, as in 1 Kings 7:40, the temple with its courts, and not merely the Holy Place, or the temple-house in the stricter sense; but it by no means follows from this that כּל־הלּלים, "all the vessels," includes both the brazen vessels already enumerated and also the golden vessels mentioned afterwards. A decisive objection to our taking the כּל (all) as referring to those already enumerated as well as those which follow, is to be found in the circumstance that the sentence commencing with ויּעשׂ is only concluded with סגוּר זהב in 1 Kings 7:49. It is evident from this that כּל־הלּלים is particularized in the several vessels enumerated from סגוּר את onwards. These vessels no doubt belonged to the Holy Place or temple-house only; though this is not involved in the expression "the house of Jehovah," but is apparent from the context, or from the fact that all the vessels of the court have already been enumerated in 1 Kings 7:40-46, and were made of brass, whereas the golden vessels follow here. That there were intended for the Holy Place is assumed as well known from the analogy of the tabernacle. יהוה בּית אשׁר merely affirms that the vessels mentioned afterwards belonged to the house of God, and were not prepared for the palace of Solomon or any other earthly purpose. We cannot infer from the expression "Solomon made" that the golden vessels were not made by Hiram the artist, as the brazen ones were (Thenius). Solomon is simply named as the builder of the temple, and the introduction of his name was primarily occasioned by 1 Kings 7:47. The "golden altar" is the altar of incense in the Holy Place, which is called golden because it was overlaid with gold-plate; for, according to 1 Kings 6:20, its sides were covered with cedar wood, after the analogy of the golden altar in the tabernacle (Exodus 30:1-5). "And the table, upon which the shew-bread, of gold." זהב belongs to השּׁלחן, to which it stands in free subjection (vid., Ewald, 287, h), signifying "the golden table." Instead of השּׁלחן we have השּׁלחנות in 2 Chronicles 4:19 (the tables), because there it has already been stated in 2 Chronicles 4:8 that ten tables were made, and put in the Holy Place. In our account that verse is omitted; and hence there is only a notice of the table upon which the loaves of shew-bread generally lay, just as in 2 Chronicles 29:18, in which the chronicler does not contradict himself, as Thenius fancies. The number ten, moreover, is required and proved to be correct in the case of the tables, by the occurrence of the same number in connection with the candlesticks. In no single passage of the Old Testament is it stated that there was only one table of shew-bread in the Holy Place of Solomon's temple.

(Note: Nothing can be learned from 2 Chronicles 29:18 concerning the number of the vessels in the Holy Place. If we were to conclude from this passage that there were no more vessels in the Holy Place than are mentioned there, we should also have to assume, if we would not fall into a most unscientific inconsistency, that there was neither a candlestick nor a golden altar of incense in the Holy Place. The correct meaning of this passage may be gathered from the words of King Abiam in 2 Chronicles 13:11 : "We lay the shew-bread upon the pure table, and light the golden candlestick every evening;" from which it is obvious that here and there only the table and the candlestick are mentioned, because usually only one table had shew-bread upon it, and only one candlestick was lighted.)

The tables were certainly made of wood, like the Mosaic table of shew-bread, probably of cedar wood, and only overlaid with gold (see at Exodus 25:23-30). "And the candlesticks, five on the right and five on the left, before the back-room." These were also made in imitation of the Mosaic candlestick (see Exodus 25:31.), and were probably placed not near to the party wall in a straight line to the right and left of the door leading into the Most Holy Place, but along the two longer sides of the Holy Place; and the same with the tables, except that they stood nearer to the side walls with the candlesticks in front of them, so that the whole space might be lighted more brilliantly. The altar of burnt-offering, on the contrary, stood in front of and very near to the entrance into the Most Holy Place (see at 1 Kings 6:20).

In the following clause (1 Kings 7:49, 1 Kings 7:50) the ornaments of the candlesticks are mentioned first, and then the rest of the smaller golden vessels are enumerated. הפּרח, the flower-work, with which the candlesticks were ornamented (see Exodus 25:33). The word is evidently used collectively here, so that the גּביעים mentioned along with them in the book of Exodus (l.c.) are included. הגּרת, the lamps, which were placed upon the shaft and arms of the candlestick (Exodus 25:37). המּלקחים, the snuffers (Exodus 25:38). ספּות, basins in Exodus 12:22, here probably deep dishes (Schalen). מזמּרות, knives. מזרקות, bowls (Schalen) or cans with spouts for the wine for the libations; according to 2 Chronicles 4:8, there were a hundred of these made. כּפּות, small flat vessels, probably for carrying the incense to the altar. מחתּות, extinguishers; see at Exodus 25:38.

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