Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him
It being his work to light the lamps, though, as Ben Gersom observes, it was not incumbent on an high priest alone to do this, for it also belonged to the sons of Aaron, who were common priests, ( Exodus 27:21 ) ; though it is probable that as this was the first time of lighting them, it might be done by Aaron himself, his sons attending and assisting him; in which he was an eminent type of Christ, the great High Priest, who lights the lamps in all his golden candlesticks, the churches, ( Revelation 1:20 ) , and from whom they have all their light and all the supplies of it:
when thou lightest the lamps;
which was done at evening, ( Exodus 30:8 ) ; pointing at the great light set up by Christ, the light of the world, in the evening of it, in the last days:
the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick;
the Targum of Jonathan is,
``at the same time of thy lighting the lamps over against the candlestick, there shall be seven lamps giving light: three on the west side and three on the east side, and the seventh in the middle:''and in the like order Jarchi places them, who observes, that the three eastward looked over against the middlemost, the wicks that were in them; and so the three westward, the tops of the wicks were over against the middlemost: and he also observes, that the middlemost lamp was no other than the body of the candlestick, and so all the rest of the lamps were over against and looked to that; and this is the sense of Maimonides F13, and other Jewish writers; but the truer meaning of the phrase is, that the seven lamps gave light, as they were to do, to that part of the holy place that was opposite to the candlestick, the north part of it, where stood the shewbread table, the candlestick being in the south, ( Exodus 40:22 Exodus 40:24 ) ; that the table of the Lord might have light, as it was proper it should; and the priests might see to set on and take off the bread, which otherwise they could not, there being no window in the place; (See Gill on Exodus 25:37).
F13 Hilchot Beth Hacbehirah, c. 3. sect. 8.