The menorah is a marvel and a wonder concerning the wisdom of God. The details of its design and construction are literally filled with pictures of Christ and His work throughout the ages. Like the previous two pieces of furniture that have been described, contemplating the design and construction of the menorah is to take a look into the very mind of God.
His handiwork is evident in every detail, and the perfection of what we will see is more than astonishing when one thinks of all that is connected to it throughout the rest of the Bible. By the end of the sermon, we will have looked into a host of patterns and details, and yet I fear that we will have only touched on the things that this marvelous gold menorah actually symbolizes.
In the end, the menorah was only a representation of something else. It served its purpose during the years that Israel had a tabernacle and then a temple, but in the end, the true Menorah is found in our Lord Jesus. He is the true Light which shines in the world, and He is the one to illuminate the dark places with His radiant magnificence.
And to understand the Lord Jesus, we must look to another lamp which has been given to us, a lamp which is also pictured in the menorah. It is the lamp of Scripture which illuminates the work of Christ throughout all of human history…
Text Verse: And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21
Peter tells us that it is the Holy Spirit who gave us the Bible through holy men of God. A few things about this are necessary to understand. The first that of the inspiration of Scripture. In Matthew 22:43, Jesus shows that the writings of God through David were from the Holy Spirit.
The logical deduction that we can make is that all of the Old Testament came with the same divine inspiration. Jesus’ words throughout the gospels show that this is true. In Luke 24, after the resurrection, Jesus explained all of the Scriptures to those He walked with and showed how they actually revealed Him.
But He had already told the people this. They just hadn’t understood. This was seen in His words to the Jewish leaders –
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39
The Scriptures which Jesus spoke of at that time were the Old Testament. Jesus plainly stated that the words of the Old Testament testify of Him. After this, and just before His crucifixion, Jesus said this to His apostles in John 16:13 –
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
In other words, the same Spirit who gave us the Old Testament has given us the New as well. The word of God is one unified whole which points to the work of God in Christ and it is illuminated to us by the Holy Spirit.
These truths are clearly and precisely detailed in the construction and design of the menorah. It is the light of the tabernacle which was designed by God. Understanding this, let’s get right into the sermon today. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. A Lampstand of Pure Gold (verses 31-36)
31 “You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold;
The last item to be described in this chapter is that of the menorah. Some translations archaically call it a “candlestick,” but it is much more appropriately called a “lampstand.” The word menorah is introduced into the Bible here. It is essentially the same as the word ner, or “lamp.” Thus, the menorah is literally “a lamp bearer.”
This menorah, like the overlay of the ark, the entirety of the mercy seat, the overlay of the table of showbread, and the utensils for the table of showbread, was to be made of zahav tahor, or “gold pure.” Again, as before, the symbolism remains constant.
Zahav, or gold, is the finest of the biblical metals. It indicates purity and holiness, but even more it represents royalty – kings and kingdoms. Gold is both a metal and a color, and both are associated with kingship. It is also considered an incorruptible metal.
The adjective tahor, or “pure,” comes from the verb taher which means pure in a physical, chemical, ceremonial, or moral sense. In this we can see that the gold is to be completely undefiled in any way. It thus reflects that which is divine, and so it pictures Christ’s deity and perfect purity in all ways – physical, moral, etc.
31 (con’t) the lampstand shall be of hammered work.
Like the Mercy Seat which sat on the Ark of the Covenant, the lampstand was to be made of “hammered work.” Miqshah or “hammered work” comes from the word miqsheh which means “a fancy hairdo.” Therefore, it could be a turning of metal, like the braids of hair, or it could be a hammering of metal for shaping.
As was seen from the terminology used in the making of the Mercy Seat, it is more likely a hammering of metal than of a turning of metal. The skilled hands of a craftsman were to shape the menorah until it was complete and ready to be used.
31 (con’t) Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece.
The word translated as “shaft” is yarek, and it properly means “thigh.” The thigh stands as the foundation of man, the place for girding on one’s sword, and for the source of life. The first two times it was used in the Bible give us a hint of why the word is chosen here. It is found in Genesis 24 –
“Please, put your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; 4 but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” Genesis 24:2-4
“So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.” Genesis 24:9
This is the most intimate part of the man and this was therefore the most solemn vow that could be made. Under the thigh is where Abraham’s life was continued on through his seed, resulting in Isaac. It is also where the rite of circumcision was conducted.
This request of Abraham pointed to the coming Messiah, because Abraham’s seed would lead to the Messiah through Isaac, the son of promise. Further circumcision as a rite pictures the cutting away of the sin nature. The oath that was demanded concerned the highest decision in the life of Abraham and it would therefore be the highest priority of the servant who was to carry it out.
This “thigh” would be the central stem from which proceeded the pairs of branches, from it would continue the middle shaft all the way up to its lamp, and it would also include the base of the lamp.
The word qaneh, or “branches” follows the Greek translation of the Old Testament. In the Hebrew, the word is singular. It won’t be plural until verse 32. Therefore, this is only speaking now of the middle branch. The word qaneh means “a reed” or a “stalk.”
Next are mentioned “its bowls.” The word is gabia which means a cup or a bowl. The “knobs” are a word introduced into the Bible here, kaphtor. This word indicates either the capital on a column, or a bulb or knob which encircles the shaft of the lampstand.
The word is identical to the name Kaphtor which refers to the island of Crete and so it is believed that they are named from the place where such ornaments were first imported. (HAW)
And finally, the perakh, or flowers are now mentioned for the first time in the Bible. The word means a bud, a blossom, or a flower. What appears to be the intent, although this is debated, is that these bowls, knobs, and flowers represent the entire flower which includes the cup – the whole opened flower; the knob – which is the calyx of the flower; and the corolla – which are the outer leaves of the flower.
All of these were to be ornamented on the main shaft and were to be hammered from just one piece of gold. But there is much more to have come out of this single piece of metal…
32 And six branches shall come out of its sides:
Not only was the menorah to have such a marvelous shaft going straight up, but it was to have six branches which came out of its sides as well. Unlike other candelabra, this one will be unique in that all of the branches come out of the sides only, thus they are all on the same plane…
32 (con’t) three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side.
This menorah is to be hammered out of a single piece of metal. Thus it will be something which will require immense skill in order to fashion. Unlike something which is either cast from molten metal, or something which is soldered together, this will be like the mercy seat, completely formed from a single solid chunk of gold. From each side will come three individual branches which are to be symmetrical to one another.
33 Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower,
These bowls are not at the top of the branch, but are within the branch itself. And so what you have is the branch coming out of the menorah, and then an almond blossom with its knob and flower. Then there is more branch, and then another almond blossom with its knob and flower. Then there is more branch, and another almond blossom with its knob and flower. This would be followed by more branch leading to its top.
The verb for “made like almond” is shaqad. It is only used six times and all are in reference to the making of the menorah. This word comes from shaqed, or almond. It is used only four times in the Bible, but understanding its use will give insight into its symbolic meaning on the menorah.
In Numbers, Aaron’s staff is used as a sign to the people. In one night, it is said to have sprouted and put forth buds, produced blossoms, and yielded ripe almonds.
The almond is one of the first plants to flower in the spring, in late February to early March, and it is one of the last plants to have its fruit ripen – from August through October. Thus, this was an amazing miracle because it spanned the entire harvest season… in a single night.
In Ecclesiastes, the blossoming of the almond tree is said to reflect the aged condition of man. The almond blossoms are white just as an aged person’s hair is white. Following on with that, white hair is reflective of honor in Leviticus 19.
And in the book of Jeremiah, we read this last use of the almond –
“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’
‘I see the branch of an almond tree,’ I replied.
12 The Lord said to me, ‘You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.'” Jeremiah 1:11, 12 (NIV)
In those verses is a play on words. The word almond is shaqed, but the word “watching” is shoqad. Therefore, the almond is being equated with an extended period of time, honor, and watching.
33 (con’t) and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower—
Opposite each branch, there would be another branch which followed same pattern, repeating it on the other side.
33 (con’t) and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand.
All six of the branches were to come directly out of the lampstand, each with its corresponding branch on the other side. In total, the number of floral arrangements on the six branches would be 18. The branches derive their source from the stem of the menorah, thus the central branch is the heart of it and the branches are dependent upon the middle branch.
34 On the lampstand itself four bowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower.
Like the branches, there were to be floral arrangements as well, but instead of three on any other branch, there were to be four. Therefore, in all, there will be 22 of these floral arrangements on the menorah: 4 in the middle and 18 on the 6 branches, or 22. These 22 arrangements correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet. We are being given insights right from the mind of God.
35 And there shall be a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand.
A question arises whether these three knobs are in addition to the four already on the lampstand, or if it is speaking of three of the four knobs on the flowers themselves. The word “and” at the beginning of the verse could mean, “in addition,” or it could simply be a descriptor for the use of three of the bulbs.
Assuming that these are bulbs belonging to the flowers, the thought here can be understood in one of two ways, either the branches come out of the stem and there is a knob below that spot, and thus the knob is “below” the branches in altitude. If this is so, then the branches would come out above the knob and below the flower.
Or, there is a knob on the stem and the branches come out of the knob. If this is so, then the knob is below the base of the stems, but only in the sense of being where the stems begin. Various depictions show both options and it is hard to be dogmatic about which is correct, but the second option, that of the stems coming out of the knobs, seems correct based on the next verse.
The depiction on the Arch of Titus is no help at all as it doesn’t match the Bible in either regard.
36 Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece;
Because it says “their knobs and their branches,” it appears that the branches are actually coming out of the knobs and not out of the stem above the knobs. Otherwise, it appears that these words would be superfluous. But the intent here is that the branches were not to be fashioned separately and welded onto the knobs. Instead, they were to be of one solid piece with it.
36 (cont’) all of it shall be one hammered piece of pure gold.
Everything thus far described was to be fashioned out of a single piece of metal by being hammered. It was not to be cast or welded, something that would be infinitely easier to do. Instead, it was to be shaped by the hand of the artisan through wisdom and skill.
Again, Moses is reminded that it is to be of zahav tahor, or “gold pure.” It was thus to have no impurities of any kind, but it was to be refined to the very highest degree possible. The repetition of the words is a stress all its own for Moses to consider and remember.
The purest of gold, fit for a King
Was used to make a seven-branch lampstand
Seeing its beauty makes my heart sing
The workmanship marvelous; stunning and grand
Every detail is so beautiful, each knob and flower
The glistening of the branches as they catch the light
It shines in the dark for hour after hour
Illuminating the holy place throughout the night
The glory of God is seen in each detail
Every branch speaks out a marvelous story
And in what it pictures, nothing will fail
As the Lord reveals to us His unending glory
II. A Lamp for Giving Light (verses 37-40)
37 You shall make seven lamps for it,
What is implicit here is that there will be seven individual lamps for each of the seven branches. Though not described, they would be round or oval lamps with a mouth at one spot from which the wick would protrude.
They would probably have been worked into the top flower of each branch, or if the branch continued out of the top flower, they would be fashioned so that the lamp would be made to come out of the protruding branch.
37 (con’t) and they shall arrange its lamps
Some translations have these words read something like, “…and they shall light its lamps” instead of “and they shall arrange its lamps.” The word is alah and it means “to go up.” For this reason, it may be better translated as “set up” the lamps, rather than “light the lamps,” although later in chapter 27 the same term will be used for the lighting of the lamps.
In other words, the details for the construction and arrangement of the menorah are being given now, not the details for the care of it. This is seen in the continuation of the verse…
37 (con’t) so that they give light in front of it.
The purpose of the menorah was to give light throughout the night. Exodus 30:8 says that the lamps were to be lit at twilight. Exodus 27:21 shows that it was to burn all night, being tended to from evening until morning by Aaron and his sons. And Exodus 30:7 shows that they were to be extinguished in the morning when the High Priest dressed them.
Exodus 26:35 then shows that the menorah was to be placed outside the veil, in the Holy Place, across from the Table of Showbread on the south side of the room. It would be parallel with the wall and so the words, “that they give light in front of it” means that the direction of the table of showbread would be that which was primarily illuminated, but the entire holy place would be fully lit from the lamps.
38 And its wick-trimmers and their trays shall be of pure gold.
The word for wick-trimmers, melqakh, is introduced into the Bible and will be used six times. It comes from the word laqakh which means “to take.” And so it means “snuffers” or “tongs.”
It is that which will draw out the wick if necessary to keep the fire burning and also to terminate the burning of the wick at morning time. It is used in the sense of “tongs” in Isaiah 6:6 when a hot coal is taken from the altar and pressed to Isaiah’s lips.
The “trays” is another new word in Scripture, makhtah. It would be the snuff-dishes which were used to place the snuff which was taken from the wicks when extinguished. The same word is used in other places to indicate a fire-pan which is used for removing coals from a fire, and also it is translated as a censor. Like the menorah itself, these implements were to be made of pure gold.
39 It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils.
The talent, or kikkar is reckoned by various sources from 75 to 130 pounds of gold. As a fun brain squiggle for you, the word kikkar comes from the word karar, which means to dance in a twirling manner, and thus “round.” Therefore the talent would be a large round ingot of gold.The menorah and all of its associated utensils was to be made from an ingot of the finest gold of this weight.
*40 And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.
Moses is reminded here that the things to be built are to be in accordance with the pattern that he was shown. The word “pattern” was first seen in verse 25:9 when speaking of the implements for the construction of the tabernacle.
The admonition is again given and it is not just speaking of the details of the menorah, but of all of the details of Chapter 25. The word pattern is tavnith. It comes from the word banah, to build. It indicates a structure; by implication, a model or resemblance.
According to the pattern I showed you
So shall you make all of these things
Every detail shall be precise, so shall you do
For in the details there are pictures of marvelous things
Those things that I will later reveal
Are found hidden in each and every detail, you see
For now in symbols these things I did conceal
Yes, wonderful things I’m sure you will agree
And someday the mysteries will become clear
Those things that were once hidden from sight
Will be realized in My own Son, precious and dear
They will shine forth with a resplendent light
III. Marvelous Pictures of Christ and His Work
In these instructions, there was a pattern or a model for Moses to work with. He was shown in advance exactly what the final results should look like. Nothing was to be left to the thoughts of man, but of God alone. Therefore, the tabernacle and all of its implements reflect that which is of divine origin. Everything about them then was to symbolize or picture something else.
In the case of the menorah, there is an immense amount of detail for us to consider. This third piece of furniture in the tabernacle follows logically after the first two – the Ark of the Covenant with its Mercy Seat, and then the Table of Showbread.
The ark with the law inside is a picture of the fulfilling of the law by Christ, thus He “embodies the law.” The crowning aspect of that was His death in fulfillment of the law, pictured by the mercy seat.
After His earthly work, pictured by these things, comes the Table of Showbread. With His work accomplished, He could truly be considered our Bread from Heaven. His resurrection proved it and His words were vindicated in that act. We can now participate in His life by receiving His work. From that, we become a part of the lump of Bread, His body.
Immediately following that are the details of the Menorah. The light of the lamp proceeds from the oil burning on the lamp. Thus, the oil is a picture of the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, illuminating the Holy Place. This could only follow after His death as He Himself said –
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7
After Christ’s death, we could receive His body as our Bread of Life. From that act, the Spirit is given to us. As you can see, the order in which each of these pieces have been named follows the pattern of the work of Christ for us as is outlined in the Bible. Each article follows logically and naturally, one after another.
Considering the menorah, the pure gold symbolizes His divine nature as well as total purity and His royal status. Notice that only tahor, or pure gold, is used in this lamp’s design. It speaks of pure divinity and absolute holiness. The menorah itself is designed specifically as an implement of illumination. In symbolism, it is the illumination and light of Christ. The light is what He spoke of in John 8:12 –
“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
Within the menorah though, there is much more symbolism than just this. Its seven branches marvelously unite all of the spiritual meanings of this divine number into one – holiness, perfection, fullness, and completion.
The shaft, or yarek, speaks of the Messiah, the fulfillment of the promised seed of Abraham. He is the divine entry into humanity in the Person of Jesus Christ; God incarnate. From that middle shaft six other branches come out. They are of the same nature as the branch, and yet they are distinct from it and totally dependent on it.
Further, though the details of these branches differ from the shaft, they are essentially the same in material and in final use. The number six in the Bible represents man, especially fallen man. But these six are united to the first and thus bear the first’s same nature. Therefore, these picture the redeemed of the Lord, dependent on Christ, and yet bearing His nature. As there are two sides which are identical, they reflect the totality of man – Jew and Gentile.
Also, the seven lamps filled with oil reflect the seven-fold Spirit of the Lord mentioned first in Isaiah 11 –
“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2
This seven-fold spirit is referred to several times in Revelation, such as in Revelation 4:5 –
“From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and rolls of thunder. Before the throne burned seven torches of fire. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God.” Berean Study Bible
Next, the seven branches reflect the seven days of the creation account. From top to bottom, and from right to left, the branches would be numbered going up on each side. Thus it would be branches 1, 2, and 3 on the right, and 4, 5, and 6 on the left.
The first and fourth branches would be at the same level. They reflect the creation of light on the first day, and the creation of the light bearers – the sun, moon, and stars, on the fourth day.
The second and fifth branches would be on the same level. They reflect the division of the waters above and below in the second day, and the filling of the waters with fish and the firmament with birds on the fifth day.
The third and six branches would be on the same level. They reflect the creation of the dry land and plants on day three, and the filling of the land with animals and man and the giving of the plants to man as food on the sixth day.
The seventh, middle branch, reflects the day of God’s rest from His creative efforts and upon which the other six days branch out from, and of which they are actually dependent on. It is the foundation and the source of all else. All of creation is dependent on this seventh, and without it nothing else would have any true meaning.
This explains why there are four flowers on the middle shaft. The number four is the number of creation. All of creation is represented by these four flowers. Stemming from that are the branches which reflect the divine completeness of all of creation.
Next, the seven branches picture the entire span of redemptive history, its fullness. It is reflective of the 7000-year span of man’s time on earth. The middle branch is unique from the others and it is that which the others stem from. The middle branch is known as the shamash, which means the helper or servant candle.
Tradition has it that this was the first lit and the others were then lit after it. It is still a practice of the Jews to this day. Thus this middle, or servant, candle is a picture of the time of the birth of Christ around the year 4000, or right in the middle of the 7000 year plan for man.
He came as the Servant at that time. He is the One who then lights up the ages of human history. The six branches of human history stem out naturally from this epoch moment when Christ came to dwell among us and they are actually dependent on His coming. He is the Foundation of man and He is our Source of life.
Further, He is our Rest. Therefore, the words of Hebrews 4:3 are confirmed in His coming at this 4000 year point –
“For we who have believed do enter that rest…”
Just as the middle branch pictures God’s Sabbath rest in Creation, Christ is our true Sabbath rest because of His coming.
The seven branches also reflect the seven-fold division of Scripture – the Law, the Old Testament History, the books of Wisdom, the Major Prophets, the Minor Prophets, the New Testament History, and the New Testament Letters. This is the light of God revealed to us in written form.
These seven divisions follow in the same pattern as that of the seven days of creation. From right to left, the branches would be numbered going up on each side. Thus it would be branches 1, 2, and 3 on the right, and 4, 5, and 6 on the left.
The first and fourth branches would be at the same level. Branch one would be the five books of Moses, the Torah; branch four would correspond to the five Major Prophets.
The second and fifth branches would be on the same level. Branch two would reflect the twelve OT history books; branch five would reflect the twelve Minor Prophets.
The third and six branches would be on the same level. Branch three symbolizes the five wisdom letters; branch six symbolizes the five NT books of history Matthew through Acts.
The seventh, middle, branch symbolizes the 22 NT letters. Despite coming last in written history, they are what the six other categories branch out from and which those branches are dependent on – the revelation of the grace of Christ. They explain the foundation of biblical theology and they fully reveal Christ, our Source of life and our place of rest.
As a marvelous point of interest, if one takes the numbers from each corresponding branch (22, 5, 12, and 5), they will come up with the most splendid of patterns as revealed in the Hebrew aleph-bet. The 22 letters of the main branch correspond to the letter Tav in Hebrew, the 22nd letter of the aleph-bet.
The next two branches each have five corresponding letters. This is the fifth letter, Hey. The next two branches each have twelve corresponding letters. This is the twelfth letter, Lamed. The final two branches have five corresponding letters. Again, it is the fifth letter, Hey. In order, they are Tav, Hey, Lamed, Hey. Written out, they spell the word tehillah, or “praise.” It is where the name of the psalms, tehillim, comes from.
Thus, radiating from the menorah in a pictorial display is the praise of God’s workings in creation, in history, and in the work of Christ, all which are revealed in the word of God, the Holy Bible; the structure of which is found in this beautiful pure gold menorah which stood in the holy place of the tabernacle.
Just as the menorah was to be fashioned by hand out of hammered work, the Bible was fashioned by the hand of man under the inspiration of the Spirit. It is one unified whole. It wasn’t cast, as if by the work of a single process, nor was it soldered together as if of many pieces.
Instead, it was made as a unified whole from one circle of gold. Just as the wheel of the Bible, forms a perfect circle which matches the form and structure of the menorah. The wisdom of the Lord, through the Spirit of God and through the hand of man, “dances” if you will, twirling through the entire process, from beginning to end. The Bible is a single, unified, and marvelous whole.
The menorah is specifically called the “Lamp of God” in 1 Samuel 3:3. Likewise, the word of God is also called a lamp in Scripture, in Psalm 119, it says this –
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
Christ is the word of God, and the Holy Spirit is what illuminates the word of God. Thus both are intricately tied up in the symbolism of the menorah.
The 22 floral arrangements on the menorah first symbolize the Hebrew aleph-bet, which is the basis for the structure of the entire Bible. That they are almonds signifies the entire period of the word of God going forth throughout history. The almond being of the first blooms of the season, and of the last to ripen signifies the entire duration of man’s time on earth.
The almond also signifies the honor and wisdom tied up in the giving of the word, and that the Lord is watching over His word. He is watching to perform His word, and He is watching man’s adherence to it throughout all ages.
And this brings us to the next picture of the menorah. The seven branches represent the seven dispensations of redemptive history over which God’s light shines, and through which the word has been illuminated.
They are the dispensations of Innocence, Conscience, Government, Promise, Law, Grace, and the Millennium. God’s word has been given throughout all of them and the Spirit is what illuminates them for those who walk in His light; the light of Christ.
The 22 floral arrangements on these dispensations are then also reflective of the 22 letters, or epistles, of the New Testament. After the first five books of New Testament history, Matthew through Acts, these 22 letters are what testify to the doctrine of salvation through the work of Christ alone.
Therefore, although the dispensation of Grace is the sixth in the stream of time, it is the logical center of the seven. The dispensations then are represented on the menorah by branch one symbolizing Innocence; branch four corresponds to it in Promise.
Branch two symbolizes Conscience, and branch five corresponds to it in Law. Branch three symbolizes Government, and branch six corresponds to it in the Millennium. Each of these is supported by the foundation of Grace which fully reveals Christ, our Source of life.
The doctrine of salvation by grace through faith is that which lights up the entire Bible. Shadows of it were seen in the Old Testament, but only in the truths as revealed in the 22 New Testament letters, which explain the work of Christ, are they fully realized. In the 22 floral almond depictions, we see that which the Lord has watched over, from beginning to end. Only in them is this truly understood.
The tabernacle itself is a picture of the person of Jesus Christ. As the church is His body, then the makeup of the tabernacle also reflects this truth. On the menorah are the seven lamps, each representing the seven churches of the book of Revelation. They are a light to the world of darkness.
The menorah itself is a representation of the light of the word of God and of His Spirit as it is revealed through Jesus Christ. These are given to His people, the people of His church, to direct our praises, our worship, and our conduct. And they are also given as a means of comfort, and as a light shining in the darkness.
As the menorah pictures the word of God, the illumination toward the Table of Showbread in the Holy Place symbolizes the Bible illuminating the work of Christ, our Bread of Life. It was to be an ever-present reminder to God’s people that Christ’s life was given for us. It is the highlight of the message of the Bible.
When we look at the menorah, we can see a picture of that which is wholly marvelous. It is a snapshot of creation, of all of redemptive history, and it is a picture of the intricately detailed work of God in Christ for us.
Because this includes we who have been redeemed by God and sealed with His Spirit, let us therefore strive to shine out to the world the light of Christ and the warmth and comfort of His Holy Spirit. Let us be responsible members of His body, pursuing His word, and telling others of His marvelous deeds.
And if you have not yet called on Christ as your Lord, it is high time you do. God is shouting out to you through Scripture, and through both testaments that He loves You enough to present Himself in these most marvelous of types and pictures, and finally in what they represent – Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of all of it and in Him you can find your true Source of light and hope…
Closing Verse: “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Next Week: Exodus 26:1-14 Paying heed to this sermon will be time well spent… (The Tabernacle and the Tent) (71st Exodus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
Christ, Our Shining Lamp
You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold
The lampstand shall be of hammered work
Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers
Shall be of one piece, no detail shall you shirk
And six branches, out of its sides shall come
Three branches of the lampstand out of one side
And three branches of the lampstand will be from
Out of the other side; these instructions shall be applied
Three bowls shall be made like
Almond blossoms on one branch, you see
With an ornamental knob and a flower
Do this as you have heard from Me
And three bowls made like almond blossoms
On the other branch; so you shall understand
With an ornamental knob and a flower
And so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand
On the lampstand itself four bowls
Shall like almond blossoms be made
Each with its ornamental knob and flower
So shall it be arrayed
And there shall be a knob, thus you shall do
Under the first two branches alike shall be your aim
A knob under the second two branches of the same too
And a knob under the third two branches of the same
According to the six branches that extend
From the lampstand; to this you shall attend
Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece, as I have told
All of it shall be one hammered piece of pure gold
You shall make seven lamps for it
And they shall arrange its lamps in this way
So that they give light in front of it
Ensure you do this just as I say
And its wick-trimmers and their trays
Shall be of pure gold, for beauty and for praise
It shall be made of a talent of pure gold
With all these utensils, so shall you do
And see to it that you make them according
To the pattern which on the mountain was shown to you
Such marvelous detail for these implements of gold
Each carrying a picture of our Lord Jesus
Just as everything which in the Bible You have told
Shows something far greater to us
What marvel and beauty is found in this precious word
And all of it is centered on Jesus Christ our Lord
And so we praise You, Lord God Almighty
So be pleased to live in our praises for all eternity
Hallelujah and Amen…