The furniture of Solomon's temple

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cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
I have heard that the furniture of Solomon's temple points to Christ. For example, the table of showbread points to the fact that Christ is the bread of life. The lampstand represents Christ as the light of the world. The altar of incense is a picture of Christ whose prayers ascend to the Father. Where is this taught in Scripture?
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
The longest biblical exposition of the symbolic meaning of the furniture of the temple is Hebrews 8-10.

It provides the outlines but does not fill in many of the details. One of the most tantalizing parts of scripture is Hebrews 8:1-5, in which the author lists several pieces of furniture and says: "But we cannot discuss these things in detail now." Argh!

In any event, Hebrews lays out the general framework for understanding the temple and furniture. It makes statements like this about the curtain of the temple, which was torn on Christ's death: "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God . . ." Heb. 10:19-21. Note that he equates the curtain of the temple with the body of Christ.

An important thing to remember is that all parts of scripture testify to Christ. They generally do so typologically. Luke 24:25-27. Col. 2:16-17 similarly indicates that the religious festivals of the OT shadowed Christ: "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."

Scott
 

Galahad

Puritan Board Freshman
I, too, have heard that, but I wouldn't know how or where to source it. Also, if it is symbolically pointing towards Christ, what measure of symbology is appropriate in the New Testament Church?
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Jeffrey Brannen
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
A study of Revelation also will help derive some meaning. There is a great deal of imagery based on the OT types and shadows.

Also, you can derive much of the meaning by examining the purpose of the particular article in the temple worship. From there ask the question, in what way does this illustrate Christ's work.

Some good reads on this topic are:
Christology of the OT by E.W. Hengstenberg
Typology by Patrick Fairbairn
The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses by Vern Poythress

[Edited on 3-5-2004 by puritansailor]
 

cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
Hebrews 8:5 says that the priests were copies of heavenly things. Hebrews 8:23 says that the tabernacle and all its vessels were copies of the things in heaven. Hebrews 8:24 says that the tabernacle was a copy of heaven. Does copy mean symbolize?


[Edited on 3-6-2004 by cih1355]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:c6c7afffb9][i:c6c7afffb9]Originally posted by cih1355[/i:c6c7afffb9]
Hebrews 8:5 says that the priests were copies of heavenly things. Hebrews 8:23 says that the tabernacle and all its vessels were copies of the things in heaven. Hebrews 8:24 says that the tabernacle was a copy of heaven. Does copy mean symbolize?
[/quote:c6c7afffb9]
Pretty much.
 

cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
Would the OT temple be symbolic of the Lord God and the Lamb? Rev. 21:22 says, "I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almightly and the Lamb are its temple.".
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:7b4d0bb1ea][i:7b4d0bb1ea]Originally posted by cih1355[/i:7b4d0bb1ea]
Would the OT temple be symbolic of the Lord God and the Lamb? Rev. 21:22 says, "I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almightly and the Lamb are its temple.". [/quote:7b4d0bb1ea]
It really depends on the context. You have this verse quoted. You also have the people of God described as a temple (1 Peter) and you also have Christ saying he is the temple.

The temple is the dwelling place of God. And it is also the place where the work of redemption takes place.
 

exscentric

Puritan Board Freshman
In a similar track you will find that the wilderness tabernacle was a reflection of God's throne area in heaven. The laver relates to the sea, the faces of the four creatures in Ezek. and Rev. relate to the four tribes surrounding the tabernacle (the standards of the tribes are comparable to the faces - three of them anyway :).

For more on symbolism, you might check Pink's commentaries, seem to remember he is into that.
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
As to being copies of heavenly things, remember that we are now "seated in the heavenlies." Further, Christ is of heaven, not the earth (1 Cor. 15).
 
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