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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 37

Grant's Commentary on the BibleGrant's Commentary

Verses 1-29



The table was used for bearing the twelve loves of showbread, thus speaking of Christ as the Sustainer of fellowship among all His people. This was placed on the right side of the outer holy place, as one entered. Acacia wood again pictures Christ's humanity, while the gold covering implies His deity. Its two cubits length speaks of fellowship being a witness, and its one cubit width indicates the unity of believing fellowship. Its height of one and a half cubits speaks of fellowship in the upward direction, that is, toward God, the one speaking of its unity, and the half reminding us that such fellowship is without limitation, for it is "with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3). The length and width, indicating fellowship with believers around us, it limited, but toward God its sweetness is beyond all limitation.

A frame of a handbreadth width (about 4 inches) was put around the perimeter of the table, with a border (or crown) acting as an enclosure to keep the loaves in place, thus excluding all that is not true fellowship, while preserving what is true. The handbreadth width of the frame may speak of the hand of God ordering all fellowship in accordance with His will.

The four gold rings for the staves (or poles) were placed under the table top on the legs, and of course the poles inserted through these for the priests to carry. Again, no vehicle could be used: this priestly responsibility. Fellowship is not automatic. Utensils connected with the table (dishes, cups, bowls and pitchers) were made of gold, for everything about fellowship is to be ordered for the glory of God, including every detail.



The lampstand was made of one piece of pure gold, of a talent weight about 130 pounds. The lampstand was to bear the light of the seven lamps, therefore is typical of Christ as the Sustainer of the testimony (the light) of God. No wood is found here, for light is altogether divine. "God is light" (1 John 1:5). The lampstand stood on the left side as one entered the outer sanctuary.

On the top of the central stem was a lamp, and three branches came from each side of the stem, on which were lamps also, making seven. Seven tells us of completeness of testimony which the Lord Jesus sustains. On each of the branches were three bowls formed like almond blossoms, with a bud and a flower. This ornamentation speaks of Christ in resurrection, not only because of the number three, but because almond trees are the first to blossom in the Spring, signifying "Christ the firstfruits" (1 Corinthians 15:23). When the light of the gospel was proclaimed in the book of Acts, the testimony to the resurrection of Christ was beautifully prominent.

Believers identified with Christ are also implied in the seven lamps, for there were "wick trimmers," showing that there were also wicks. The oil for the light is the Holy spirit, and the wicks picture believers who may by the power of the Spirit shine in witness to the Lord Jesus, but who need to be "trimmed" often to relieve them of the remains of previous witness, and enable a freshly burning witness. Let us be reminded too that the lights were intended to illuminate the lampstand itself (ch.25:37), as believers are intended to illuminate Christ. The utensils, snuffers and snuff-dishes were of gold also, for it is God's work to trim away any excess from us, yet when this is done, He puts the ash in the dish, that is, He remembers it, though we are not to occupy ourselves with it. Whatever we have done in witness for Christ, He alone can value at its true worth, but if we forget it we shall burn more brightly.



This altar stood just in front of the veil in the outer sanctuary. It was made of acacia wood covered with gold, both the humanity and deity of Christ thus illustrated. No animal was offered on this altar, but only incense, though the blood of the sin offering was sprinkled on it on the great day of atonement, once each year (Leviticus 16:18-19).

The incense altar speaks of Christ as the Sustainer of the worship of His people, for the incense is typically worship. It was one cubit square and two cubits high, the one cubit speaking of the unity of all worship, the two, of witness, for true worship may be, it is always limited, for the Lord Jesus is worthy of far more than all the adoration that His creatures can ever give Him.

Horns are spoken of, likely four, as is the case with the brazen altar. Two rings of gold are mentioned, possibly one on either side, unless two on each side is to be implied. The poles to carry it were to be inserted through these. Verse 29 adds the making of the anointing oil and of the incense, in accordance with the instructions of chapter 30:22-38.

Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Exodus 37". Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lmg/exodus-37.html. 1897-1910.
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