The symbolism of the Tabernacle: The Lampstand

The plan of the construction and furnishing of The Tabernacle, given to Moses by God in the Book of Exodus, is not only a schematic plan of the place in which the Hebrews were to worship God and how they were to worship God, but was also filled with symbolism. For example, the schematic plan of the tabernacle formed a cross. Here is but one specific item of the tabernacle—the lampstand—as referenced in Exodus 25, and just some of its symbolic meanings.

Throughout the Bible, light represents the Word of God (Psalm 119:105). But notice that The Gospel of John refers to Jesus as The Word (John 1:1) and Jesus refers to Himself as ‘the Light of the World’ (John 9:5; 12:46). Also, in the Book of Matthew, Jesus refers to us as ‘the Light of the World’ (Matt. 5:14-15). notes that the lampstand was made of pure gold, a symbol of deity and perfection; and the number seven, which symbolized completeness, was the number of lamps on the stand. Therefore, we are made complete and perfect in Jesus.

John Wesley provides a good commentary on the lampstand in Wesley’s Explanatory Notes. He observes that the lampstand has a main shaft or central light (God or The Word of God) from which several branches are drawn (the prophets or us). This was the only form of light in the Tabernacle—therefore, symbolizing the spiritual ‘light in the darkness’. The lampstand was set high symbolizing a ‘city on a hill’ and a light that should not be hidden under a bushel (Matt. 5:14-15). While we are ‘branches’ of Jesus (John 15:5), each light had its own oil lamp or cup denoting individuality.

A 2013 Old Testament Survey manual states that the lamp had to be refreshed with oil every day, in the same way we need our daily refreshing of The Word of God and with The Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). In addition, scriptures refer to The Holy Spirit as oil (anointing with oil, oil of joy) and as fire (Matt. 3:11; Acts 2:2), both in sync with the symbolism of the lamp.

One thought on “The symbolism of the Tabernacle: The Lampstand

  1. Pingback: Zechariah 4. The Lampstand And The Olive Trees. God. | GodLovesBummyla

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