Leviticus 24:1

Leviticus 24:1-4
cf. Revelation 1:12-20; also Psalm 43:3. The holy place, like the most holy, had no windows, and consequently required illumination. This was secured by the golden candlestick, with its seven lamps. These were to be always emitting some light. If all the seven lamps were not lit during the daytime, one or two of them were. The idea carried out was that there should be in God's sanctuary everlasting light. That the candlestick was taken as the symbol of God's truth is evident from Psalm 43:3, "Oh send out thy light, even thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles." In fact, God's essential nature as light was exhibited by the Shechinah in the holy of holies; then in the golden candlestick, we have the light mediated in the holy place in such a way as would suffice for the illumination of the ordinary priests at their sacred ministries. God's arrangement, therefore, for the dissemination of truth in this dark world of ours is what the golden candlestick is intended to convey. Revelation 1:12-20 throws clear light on the symbol. The Churches established in the world by God are the lamps (λυχνίαι) which he intends to shine till the dawn of the eternal day.

I. NOTICE THE UNITY OF ALL TRUE CHURCHES. For the seven lamps were united in the one candlestick, just as all true Churches are one in Christ. There is no incorporation necessarily implied, but this is also to be encouraged by every legitimate means. If unity in Christ be a real thing, it will show itself in some way or another before men.

II. THE OIL FOR THE LIGHT WAS TO BE BEATEN. The olives were to be placed in a mortar and beaten, and then the oil which flowed off without further pressure, the purest possible, was to be used for the light. God's truth is communicated to men in such a form that they must diligently cooperate with God before the benefit is obtained. No careless handling of truth will suffice. We must beat the olives well before we get the needful oil. Ministers must be diligent in their preparations, Christians of all classes must "search the Scriptures," if the requisite oil for the light is to be obtained. God might rain down oil from heaven, and save us a heap of trouble, but he would rather put it into the olive berries, and ask us to pound it out from these. Similarly, he has put in his Word "things hard to be understood," as well as things that are simple, to the end that we should diligently study it and get the sacred oil.

III. THE WICK HAD TO BE CAREFULLY TRIMMED, AND WHEN NEEDFUL SNUFFED. It was the high priest's special duty, in which, however, the other priests assisted. And is this not to indicate the work undertaken by Jesus Christ, who as High Priest walked among the golden lamps? (Revelation 1:12). A beautiful parallel passage is presented in Matthew 12:20, where it is said, "smoking flax [i.e., 'a wick' - λίνον] shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory." There may be pain in the process often by which our High Priest gets his wicks trimmed and luminous, but there is also mercy and tenderness ineffable. How often does he hold his hands around the expiring wick, and blow it gently into a flame again! Blessed are his dealings, when as the result his people, and especially his ministers, are made to shine as "lights in the world." Regarding the snuffers in this connection, we may quote an old and quaint writer. "The Lord," says Weemse, "commanded to make snuffers of pure gold for the snuffing of the lamps, and snuff-dishes to receive the snuff; he would have the snuff taken from the light, to signify that he would have the Word kept in sincerity and purity; and he would have the snuffers of gold, to teach them to be blameless and holy, who are censurers and correctors of others; and he would have the snuff-dishes of gold, to teach them that the covering of the offenses of their brethren was a most excellent thing."

IV. THE LAMPS WERE LIT FROM THE ALTAR. That is to say, it was Divine fire which made the oil luminous. God is light, from him cometh all real illumination. So it is only when the Saviour baptizes men with fire, it is only when the Holy Ghost lights up the sacred page, it is only when the Spirit cooperates with the Word, that the truth appears in its brightness unto men. An earnest ministry is that which gives itself to prayer and to the ministry of the Word, prayer calling down the Divine fire which makes the entrance of the Word give light. Then may the lamps be expected to burn brightly and to light up the night of the world till the day dawns. - R.M.E.

When ye be come into the land.

1. In his original estate man realised his dependence upon God, and his responsibility before God for the true and righteous use of all God's gifts. As long as man used God's glorious gifts in obedience to God's supreme law of love, his life was blessed with the fulness of weal: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat." But in the day when the sense of responsibility to God was lost, and the commandment which embraced in itself the significance of all the other commandments was broken, the .disorders and the miseries of human society arose. The spirit of individual selfishness is the power which disorganises society, which brings a blight upon the garden of God, and drives human souls out from the glory and wealth into the thorny, desolate wilderness. There is no power that can enable man to dress the garden and to keep it, but the sense of responsibility to the one supreme Lord of Life, whose name is Love. This principle is the Divinely ordained power that suffices to check the deadly evils that arise from exaggerated notions of the rights of human property. In human society gifts are unequally distributed. The gifts of genius and the external gifts of property are alike unequal. In the ownership of the riches of mind we see men endowed with vast territories of knowledge and intellectual power. It is God's order. Gifts are not equally divided. So the land is not, and never can be, possessed in absolutely equal portions by the citizens of state. There must be the large landowners and the multitude of the poor who have but little. Where is the check that is to restrain the abuses of property? In the perpetual remembrance of the truth that the proudest landowner is but a tenant who holds from God, upon God's conditions, in order that the land may be dressed and kept so as to promote the greatest possible happiness of the greatest possible number.

2. Another truth closely related to our absolute dependence upon God's love, and the realisation of which is equally necessary to our spiritual health, is declared in this passage, viz., that the occupiers of the land of promise can only enjoy the fruits which God gives upon God's conditions. The king upon the throne who has not a kingly heart and soul occupies a land of promise, but does not eat of its fruits. In all the professions of human activity, from the highest to the humblest, the enjoyment of the noblest fruits of the position can only be realised by those who know how to perform the duties which belong to it.. The conditions of enjoyment are imposed upon the occupiers of every land of promise. The blessed land of rest, towards which human souls are travelling through the wilderness of earthly struggles, can only produce its harvest, and pour forth its stores of milk and honey to those who shall have been made "meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."


1. The elevated use of the gifts of life. The man who uses God's gifts to pamper his lusts, by feeding the low life of debased animalism, lowers the corn of the field below its original level by devoting it to the "table of devils," as the food taken to create blood for the heart in which the basest, foulest feelings have their homes, and for the brain, out of which the thoughts that are set on fire of hell wing their flight. The drunkard, the glutton, and the unclean, degrade the fruits of the land by using them to feed the life of the tenants who dwell in the moral abyss. On the other hand, in the man who strives to live a life of high purpose, pure feeling, and noble thought, the corn is taken into the manhood and shares its elevation. It is that lofty use alone that gives man fulness of enjoyment. There is an unearthly delight in the enjoyment of God's gifts when they are thus exalted. It is still true that God satisfies His people "with the bread of heaven. "It is still true that for those who are redeemed to the high life in Christ the Holy Spirit gives them" of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels' food." Do we seek elevation in Christ Jesus? Are we pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? Are we sanctifying the fields of our life by subjecting all our energies to the influence of noble aspirations and high purposes in Christ Jesus?

2. The second condition which regulates the enjoyment of the fruits of the land of promise is embodied in this command, "Ye shall offer

. . . an he-lamb without, blemish of the first year for a burnt-offering unto the Lord." What are the moral and spiritual truths embodied in the form of this ordinance? It gives expression to that eternal truth that man cannot enjoy the fruits of God's promised land with. out innocency of life, and entire surrender of self to God. The highest joys and richest pleasures of existence cannot be experienced by the man whose heart is full of malice and wickedness. Material prosperity, houses, and lands, and gold he may have. But the joy, peace, and satisfaction which feed the inner life of an enriched, ennobled soul are forbidden to all but those who have found truth and innocency of character. The mode of the offering is also expressive of another condition. The lamb was to be offered as a burnt-offering. This form of sacrifice expresses the principle of unreserved dedication of the life to God. The life of self-sacrifice is the happy life. The heart which has given itself unreservedly to the truth and love of God, is the heart that experiences the joys of the promised land.

3. The third condition imposed upon the Israelite was expressed in the command, "The: meat-offering thereof shall be two-tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savour; and the drink-offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an bin." What eternal principle is embodied in the form of this rite? It teaches us that we cannot enjoy the fruits of the promised land until we have learnt to seek the sustenance and gladness of the soul in communion with God. The flour of the meat-offering represents that spiritual bread of the soul which "strengtheneth man's heart." The wine of the drink-offering represents the spiritual flow of joys that "maketh glad the heart of man." The oil is the type of the influence of the Divine Spirit by the virtue of which life-giving efficacy comes to the forms of human service.

III. How ARE WE TO FULFIL THE CONDITIONS IMPOSED UPON SOULS IN THIS PASSAGE? HOW can we practically qualify ourselves to eat the products of the spiritual harvest that grows in the land that, God has given to us? The three great principles here set before us are acknowledged in the life of the sincere, worthy communicants in the Church of Christ, "the meet partakers of those holy mysteries." Whenever you approach the Lord's table as the Church commands, you wave the energies of life on high before the Lord, and acknowledge the principle of Divine elevation by answering in obedience to her command, "Lift up your hearts," — "We lift them up unto the Lord." You acknowledge the eternal obligation of the Divine principle of self-devotion when, after confessing your sins and asking the absolution of Christ, you offer with fervent resolve the service of a life delivered from its blemishes by the redeeming power of the unblemished Lamb, who is the propitiation for our sins, and say, "Here we offer and present unto Thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto Thee." You acknowledge the need of Divine sustenance, the principle of the eternal meat-offering, when you hearken to the voice of the Church saying unto you, "Feed on Him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving." If we would be qualified to enjoy all the glorious wealth of Canaan we must live the hidden sacramental life in Christ.

(H. T. Edwards, M. A.)

Aaron, Dan, Dibri, Ephah, Israelites, Israelitess, Moses, Shelomith
Saying, Spake, Speaketh, Spoke
1. The oil for the lamps
5. The showbread
10. Shelomith's son blasphemes
13. The law of blasphemy
17. Of murder
18. Of damage
23. The blasphemer is stoned

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Leviticus 23:44

     7438   sanctuary

The Doctrine of Non-Resistance to Evil by Force Has Been Professed by a Minority of Men from the Very Foundation of Christianity. Of the Book "What
CHAPTER I. THE DOCTRINE OF NON-RESISTANCE TO EVIL BY FORCE HAS BEEN PROFESSED BY A MINORITY OF MEN FROM THE VERY FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIANITY. Of the Book "What I Believe"--The Correspondence Evoked by it-- Letters from Quakers--Garrison's Declaration--Adin Ballou, his Works, his Catechism--Helchitsky's "Net of Faith"--The Attitude of the World to Works Elucidating Christ's Teaching--Dymond's Book "On War"--Musser's "Non-resistance Asserted"--Attitude of the Government in 1818 to Men who Refused to
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

Feast of the Dedication. The Jews Attempt to Stone Jesus and He Retires to Peræa.
(Jerusalem and Beyond Jordan.) ^D John X. 22-42. ^d 22 And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem: 23; it was winter; and Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. [The feast of dedication was one of eight days' duration and began upon the 25th Chisleu, which, according to the calculation of M. Chevannes, fell upon the nineteenth or twentieth of December, a.d. 29. The feast was kept in honor of the renovation and purification of the temple in the year b.c. 164, after it had been desecrated
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Defends Disciples who Pluck Grain on the Sabbath.
(Probably While on the Way from Jerusalem to Galilee.) ^A Matt. XII. 1-8; ^B Mark II. 23-28; ^C Luke VI. 1-5. ^b 23 And ^c 1 Now it came to pass ^a 1 At that season ^b that he ^a Jesus went { ^b was going} on the { ^c a} ^b sabbath day through the grainfields; ^a and his disciples were hungry and began ^b as they went, to pluck the ears. ^a and to eat, ^c and his disciples plucked the ears, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. [This lesson fits in chronological order with the last, if the Bethesda
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Questions About the Nature and Perpetuity of the Seventh-Day Sabbath.
AND PROOF, THAT THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK IS THE TRUE CHRISTIAN SABBATH. BY JOHN BUNYAN. 'The Son of man is lord also of the Sabbath day.' London: Printed for Nath, Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, 1685. EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. All our inquiries into divine commands are required to be made personally, solemnly, prayerful. To 'prove all things,' and 'hold fast' and obey 'that which is good,' is a precept, equally binding upon the clown, as it is upon the philosopher. Satisfied from our observations
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Third Stage of the Roman Trial. Pilate Reluctantly Sentences Him to Crucifixion.
(Friday. Toward Sunrise.) ^A Matt. XXVII. 15-30; ^B Mark XV. 6-19; ^C Luke XXIII. 13-25; ^D John XVIII. 39-XIX 16. ^a 15 Now at the feast [the passover and unleavened bread] the governor was wont { ^b used to} release unto them ^a the multitude one prisoner, whom they would. { ^b whom they asked of him.} [No one knows when or by whom this custom was introduced, but similar customs were not unknown elsewhere, both the Greeks and Romans being wont to bestow special honor upon certain occasions by releasing
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Voluntary Suffering
I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. T hat which often passes amongst men for resolution, and the proof of a noble, courageous spirit, is, in reality, the effect of a weak and little mind. At least, it is chiefly owing to the presence of certain circumstances, which have a greater influence upon the conduct, than any inherent principle. Thus may persons who appear to set death and danger at defiance in the hour
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

A Divine Saviour.
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew xvi. 1; John vi. 69.) We meet with a certain class of Enquirers who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ. There are many passages that will give light on this subject. In 1 Corinthians xv. 47, we are told: "The first man is of the earth earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." In 1 John v. 20: "We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is
Dwight L. Moody—The Way to God and How to Find It

The emphasis which modern criticism has very properly laid on the prophetic books and the prophetic element generally in the Old Testament, has had the effect of somewhat diverting popular attention from the priestly contributions to the literature and religion of Israel. From this neglect Leviticus has suffered most. Yet for many reasons it is worthy of close attention; it is the deliberate expression of the priestly mind of Israel at its best, and it thus forms a welcome foil to the unattractive
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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