Lampstand: menowrah. Exclusively that of the tabernacle made of a. talent of pure gold, symbolizing preciousness and sacredness and incorruptibility (Exodus 25:31-39); of beaten work, 5 feet high and 3 1/2 between the outside branches, according to the rabbis. An upright central stem, with three branches on one side and three on the other, still to be seen represented on the arch of Titus at Rome, erected after his triumph over Jerusalem. On the central shaft were four almond shaped bowls, four round knops, and four flowers, i.e. 12 in all; on each of the six branches three bowls, three knops, and three flowers, i.e. 54 on the six, and adding the 12 of the shaft, 66 in all. Josephus counts 70, a mystical number, as was the seven, the number of branches, implying divine perfection. Aaron lit it each evening; in the morning it was allowed to go out, as 1 Samuel 3:3 proves; compare also 2 Chronicles 13:11; Leviticus 24:2-3, "from the evening unto the morning before the Lord continually."
It stood in the tabernacle "without the veil" that shut in the holiest. It illumined the table of shewbread obliquely (Josephus, Ant. 3:6, section 7). "To burn always" is explained by "from evening to morning" (Exodus 27:20-21; Exodus 30:8). Aaron or his successor was "always" at the appointed time to light the lamp every evening, and dress it every morning with the golden snuffers, removing the snuff in golden dishes. The artificial light had to give place each morning to the light of the sun which rendered it needless, as the light of Old Testament ordinances gives place to the Sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2). Under the New Testament of the True Light, Christ Jesus, the seven separate candlesticks represent the churches or the church in its entirety (Revelation 1:12-13; Revelation 1:20); no longer as the one Jewish church (represented by the one sevenfold candlestick), restricted to one outward unity and locality.
The several churches are mutually independent as to external ceremonies and government (provided all things are done to edification, and needless schisms are avoided), yet one in the unity of the Spirit and headship of Christ. The Gentile churches will not realize their unity until the Jewish church as the stem, unites all the lamps in one candlestick (Romans 11:16-24). Zechariah's candlestick (Zechariah 4) is prophetical of that final church which shall join in one all the earth under Messiah the King, reigning in Jerusalem as the spiritual center and rallying point of all (compare Zephaniah 3:9; Zechariah 14:9; Zechariah 14:16-17; Jeremiah 3:17). The candlestick is not the light, but bears it for the enlightening of all (Matthew 5:16). The light is the Lord's (Philemon 2:15-16). The candlestick stands in the outer sanctuary, the type of the present dispensation on earth; but not in the inner holiest place, the type of the heavenly world wherein the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are both the temple and the light (Revelation 21:22-23).
In Revelation 2:5 "remove thy candlestick" threatens not extinction of the candle, but removal of the seat of the light elsewhere. In Revelation 11:4 "the two candlesticks" are connected with "the two witnesses," which Wordsworth identifies with the two Testaments; so they would represent the Old Testament and the New Testament churches. The olive oil represents the grace of the Holy Spirit flowing in God's appointed channels. In Solomon's temple there were ten golden candlesticks (1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chronicles 4:7). These were taken to Babylon (Jeremiah 52:19). In the second temple, namely, Zerubbabel's, a single candlestick was again placed (Zechariah 4:2-6; Zechariah 4:11), taken by Titus from the temple as restored by Herod, and carried in his triumph at Rome and deposited in the Temple of Peace. Genseric 400 years later transferred it to Carthage.
Belisarius recovered it, and carried it to Constantinople, and then deposited it in the church of Jerusalem, A.D. 533. It has never since been heard of. In John 8:12, "I am the light of the world," there is allusion to the two colossal golden candlesticks lighted at the feast of tabernacles (which was then being held: John 7:2-37) after the evening sacrifice in one of the temple courts, and casting their beams on mount Olivet and on Jerusalem. Jesus coming to the temple at daybreak (John 8:1-2), as they were extinguishing the artificial lights in the face of the superior light of the rising sun, virtually says, "Your typical light is passing away, I am the Sun of righteousness, the True Light." (John 1:9).
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