The Tabernacle – Part 3 (Exodus 25)

(For Part 1 of this series, Click Here)

The Table Of Showbread

“Then you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. You shall set them in two rows, six to a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. You shall put pure frankincense on each row that it may be a memorial portion for the bread, even an offering by fire to the Lord. Every sabbath day he shall set it in order before the Lord continually; it is an everlasting covenant for the sons of Israel. It shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the Lord’s offerings by fire, his portion forever.” (Leviticus 24:5-9)

This passage from Leviticus describes the preparation of the Showbread, or Bread of God’s Presence which was to occupy the Table whose blueprint we find in Exodus 25:23-30. Here we find another type of Christ in not only the Table but the Bread itself. The Lord Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and promised that those who would come to Him would never hunger. In John 6:33-58, Jesus shows that He is the fulfillment of what the Manna, the bread which came down from heaven, pre-figured.

But the Lord Jesus is also pre-figured in the Showbread because He not only gives life to believers, He sustains it. The Showbread was to be brought out each week on the Sabbath where it would remain until it was eaten the following week by the priests. Twelve loaves in all would be set upon the Table, one for each of the tribes of Israel. No tribe would have more or less than any other tribe. This is a picture of God’s provision for His people with each tribe receiving an equal portion.

So it is with those in Christ. He sustains the life of the believer to whom He gives life and every person’s portion is neither too little nor too much. We are called to be “priests” (1 Pet. 2:9, Rev. 1:6) and thus to find our nourishment in the Bread of God’s Presence, Jesus Christ. Dr. C.I. Scofield pointed out that:

“The Showbread typifies Christ as the “corn of wheat” (John 12:24) ground in the mill of suffering (John 12:27) and brought into the fire of judgment (John 12:31-33). We, as priests, by faith feed upon Him as having undergone that in our stead and for our sakes.” [1]

The Golden Lampstand

Exodus 25 closes with a description of a fourth article of furniture to be placed within the Tabernacle, the Golden Lampstand. Here we have a type of Christ, the Light of the world (John 9:5) Who came so that those who believe on Him would not remain in darkness (John 12:46). The gold of the Lampstand speaks of Christ’s Deity and, here, it is His Deity alone which is in view. We find no wood underlying the Lampstand, it is pure gold (Ex 25:31). It is also a picture of Christ in His perfect Deity, for it is fashioned from but a single piece of gold. Unlike the other furniture, no measurements or dimensions are specified. Deity cannot be measured neither can it be comprehended in Its fullness.

The features of each branch are a portrait of almond branches and bring to mind the almond Rod of Aaron which would be contained within the Ark of the Covenant. As the Rod of Aaron speaks of Christ’s Resurrection, so do the branches upon the lampstand in their ornamentation. A dead branch was given life again and this speaks of the Lord Jesus’ victory over death.

This Golden Lampstand would serve as the source of light within the Tabernacle just as Christ is the Source of Light in the life of the believer. No natural light could penetrate the coverings of the Tabernacle and, without the Lampstand, only darkness could be found within. Those within the Tabernacle would have to leave the covering of the Tabernacle in order to walk in the light outside. When we are in Christ, we must either walk in His Light or else turn from Him in order to walk in the light of this world.

The branches themselves (apart from their ornamentation) speak of the Holy Spirit Who illuminates the beauty and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. The seven branches (3 on each side and one in the middle) of the Lampstand speak of the Sevenfold Spirit of God (cf. Isa. 11:2 and Rev. 1:4). The Oil within the Lamps is also a figure of the Holy Spirit Who shines the Light of God in the path of the believer. Yet not only does the Spirit of the Lord give the Light of Christ for our path, He shines His Light to reveal the glory of the Lampstand Himself, for He speaks of the things of Christ, not of Himself (John 16:13).

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,


[1] Taken from “The Scofield Reference Bible” (Old Scofield edition) notes by: Dr. C.I. Scofield © 1909, 1917, 1937, 1945 Oxford University Press, Inc.

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible  (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.