And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold
Another piece of household furniture, and an useful one, especially in a house where there are no windows, as there were none in the tabernacle, denoting the darkness of the legal dispensation, see ( 2 Kings 4:10 ) . This candlestick was set in the holy place, on the south side of it, opposite the shewbread table, ( Exodus 26:35 ) ( 40:24 ) and was typical of the church of God; so the candlesticks John had a vision of signify seven churches, ( Revelation 1:13 Revelation 1:20 ) , the general use of which is, to hold forth light put into it, for it has none of itself, but what is put there by Christ: and this is not the light of nature and reason, nor the law of Moses, but the Gospel of Christ; which where it is set, gives light and dispels darkness; is useful to walk and work by; does not always burn alike, and will shine the brightest in the end of the world: this light is put into the candlestick by Christ the fountain of all light, and from whom all light is communicated, particularly the Gospel; and being put there, lost sinners are looked up by it, strayed ones are brought back, hypocrites are detected, and saints are enlightened, comforted, and refreshed: and this candlestick being made of "pure gold", may denote the worth and value of the church of God, and the members of it, their splendour, glory, and purity they have from Christ, and their duration; and thus the seven churches of Asia are compared to seven golden candlesticks, ( Revelation 1:12 ) , and under the form of a golden candlestick is the Gospel church set forth in ( Zechariah 4:2 ) . Josephus F2 is of opinion the candlestick has some mystical meaning in it, it being of seventy parts, as he says, refers to the twelve signs of the Zodiac, through which the seven planets take their course, whom Milton F3 follows:
of beaten work shall the candlestick be made;
not of gold melted, and poured into a mould, from whence it might take its form; but it was beaten with an hammer out of an entire mass of gold, and not the following parts made separately, and then joined:
his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers,
shall be of the same;
not only of the same metal, but beaten out of the same mass and lump of gold; these are the several parts of the candlestick: the "shaft" is the trunk and body of the candlestick, which stood in the middle of it, and in which the several parts united; and may either be typical of Christ, who is principal and head of the church, and stands in the middle of it, and is the cement of the several parts of it, and is but one, the one head, Mediator and Saviour; or else the church universal, of which particular ones are parts: its "branches" may either signify the several members of churches, who are in Christ as branches, and hold forth the word of light; or else minister, of the Gospel, who have their commission and gifts from him, and are held by him as stars in his right hand; or else particular churches, which are branches of the church universal: its "bowls", which were to hold oil for the lamps, may denote men of capacity in the churches, full of the gifts and graces of the Spirit, able to teach others also: and the "knops" and "flowers" were for decoration, and may signify the graces of the Spirit, with which private members and believers are adorned; or the gifts of the Spirit with which the ministers of the word are furnished, and appear beautiful, publishing the glad tidings of salvation by Christ.
F2 Antiq. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 7.
F3 Paradise Lost. B. 12. ver. 254, 255, 256.