New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary


Exo 25:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying-
The commands to build the tabernacle are repeated in Exodus, and there is the record of Israel's golden calf apostasy set in the middle of them. Ex. 25:1-31:18 give the tabernacle building commands, then there's the golden calf incident, and then the commands are repeated in Ex. 35-40. Surely this was edited in this manner to give encouragement to the exiles- the commands to rebuild the temple had been given in detail in Ez. 40-48, but the exiles failed- and yet, the implication runs, God was still willing to work again with His people in the building of His sanctuary despite their failure. There is good internal reason to think that the Pentateuch likewise was re-written in places to bring out the relevance of Israel's past to those in captivity.

Exo 25:2 Speak to the children of Israel, that they take an offering for Me. From everyone whose heart makes him willing you shall take My offering-
2 Cor. 8:12 alludes here: "If there be first (i.e. most importantly) a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a man hath, and not according to that he hath not" . Every man was to contribute to the building of the tabernacle (cp. the ecclesia) with a willing heart (Paul surely alludes here). They weren't told: 'Whoever is willing and able to contribute, please do so'. And yet the majority of us have at least something materially; and as we have been blessed, so let us give.

Willing hearted giving to God is important- the giving must never be from a sense of unavoidable obligation. In appealing for generosity to our poorer brethren, Paul uses this idea- speaking of how a willing heart in a cheerful giver is so loved by God (2 Cor. 8:19; 9:7).


Exo 25:3 This is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, brass-
All these valuable things had mostly been taken from or given to Israel by the Egyptians. They were to now voluntarily give them back to God. For all is of Him. What we take from this world we are to give to God, and He will dwell amongst us thereby (:8). And in the wilderness, all these valuable things were of little real value; they were just a human guarantee against future needs. But God had promised to bring them to Canaan, where all would be lavishly provided for them by His grace. And that is about the view we should have of present wealth.   

Exo 25:4 blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair-
There is an apparent juxtaposition between the scarlet, the clothing of kings and rulers, and goats' hair. They had taken the scarlet clothing from Egypt when they left, but the goats' hair was what they had shorn from their own animals which they had with them. So God was asking them to bring their own small offerings along with the more valuable things they had taken from Egypt / the world. This all speaks of our attitude to giving and wealth on our wilderness journey.  

Exo 25:5 rams’ skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood-
The acacia wood was just the common bush wood found in the desert. See on :4. The sea cow hides were what they had picked up whilst camped on the shores of the Red Sea. Likewise what we pick up along the way in our wilderness journey is to be given to God.

Exo 25:6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense-
The incense was "sweet" in that it smelled sweet to God. But that depended upon the components being brought to Him. “A pleasant aroma” is a very common phrase. This concept is important to God. It first occurs in Gen. 8:21 where it means that God accepted Noah's sacrifice and vowed that the pole of saving mercy in His character was going to triumph over that of necessary judgment. Under the new covenant, it is persons and not sacrifices or incense which are accepted as a "pleasant aroma" (Ez. 20:41). The word for "pleasant" means strong delight; this is how God's heart can be touched by genuine sacrifice. Those pleasing offerings represented us, the living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1). And so it is applied to us in 2 Cor. 2:15- if we are in Christ, we are counted as a pleasant aroma to God. The offering of ourselves to Him is nothing of itself, but because we are in Christ and counted as Him, we are a delight to God. Hence the colossal importance of being “in Christ”. "Aroma" or "smell" is a form of the Hebrew word ruach, the word for spirit or breath. God discerns the spirit of sacrifices, that was what pleased Him rather than the burning flesh of animals. Our attitude of mind in sacrifice can touch Him. Sacrifice is therefore accepted, Paul says, according to what a person has to give, but the essence is the attitude of mind behind it. We think of the two coins sacrificed by the widow.

Exo 25:7 onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate-
The precious stones were donated by the princes or elders (Ex. 35:27). Yet in Ex. 25:4-7 they are listed along with common acacia wood and goats' hair. There was to be a culture of giving, from the wealthiest to the poorest, which was to characterize the community of God's people.

Exo 25:8 Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them-
The commands concerning the tabernacle were given to Moses by the Angel- do phrases like "Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them" (Ex. 25:8) have primary reference to the Angel speaking the words? In the same way, does Ps. 99:1 refer also to the physical presence of an Angel between the cherubim? "The LORD reigns... He sits between the cherubim (through His Angel); let the earth (land of Israel) be moved". Similarly "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel (the Angel- so Isaiah 63 describes the wilderness Angel), You that leads Joseph like a flock (the Angel lead them through the wilderness); You who dwells between the cherubims, shine forth" (Ps. 80:1). And again in Ps. 20:1,2 "The God of Jacob (i.e. the Angel whom Jacob recognized had been so much in his life) defend you; send you help from the sanctuary", as if it was in the sanctuary (Holy Place) that the Angel was located. See on Ps. 78:60.

Exo 25:9 According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all of its furniture, even so you shall make it-
In Jn. 5:19,20 we read that the Son does (poieo) what He sees the Father doing, and the Father shows Him (deiknumi) all (panta) that He does. “All these works… I have not done them of mine own mind” (Num. 16:28). This is referring to Ex. 25:9 LXX, where Moses makes (poieo) the Tabernacle according to all (panta) that God shows him (deiknuo). The reference of Jn. 5:19,20 is therefore to the Lord Jesus working with His Father in the building up of us the tabernacle… and all things God planned for us were revealed to the Son even in His mortality, prefigured by this revelation to Moses. What great wealth of understanding was there within His mind, within those brain cells… and how tragic that the head and body that bore them was betrayed and ignored and spat upon and tortured by men…

Exo 25:10 They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Its length shall be two and a half cubits, its breadth a cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half its height-
A cubit is about 18 inches (45 cm.). The ark was not at all large, for God's glory doesn't require grandiose human artistry nor anything large scale. His glory is manifested in the small and humble things. This was a lesson which David and Solomon failed to learn in their obsession about building a grandiose building for God's glory to dwell in.  

"Acacia" is literally "thorns". It is translated "thorns" in Josh. 23:13. It refers to the common thorn bushes found in the scrubland they were passing through in the desert. Thorns were part of the curse in Eden. But from this weak material which was very difficult to work with, brittle, fragile and very weak, God covered this weak, difficult wood with gold and constructed a system with it where His glory might dwell. It all speaks of how He uses us. And we connect this with how God speaks of His people are wood from a vine tree, which is not used by anyone else for making anything; but He uses it for His work (Ez. 15:1-6). We shouldn't be surprised at the brittle nature of the folk with whom God works, their difficulty in binding together and resistance to being worked with- this is as it were all God has to work with. It was a surprising choice of material to be used in God’s dwelling place. But His choice of us with all our weakness and dysfunction, the common, weak stuff of the wilderness, is no less surprising. The choice of acacia wood for constructing the tabernacle is one of several points in the whole enterprise where it seems a less than ideal material was chosen, from a construction point of view. This aspect emphasizes that God prefers to work with the soft, weak and easily broken in order to do His work.

Ex. 25:10 "They shall make an ark" becomes "I made an ark" in Moses' autobiography (Dt. 10:3). The people were generous when asked, but were not real workers. Perhaps Moses himself had to make the ark because they didn't get to it. Or maybe his work was counted as theirs, as happens between the Lord Jesus and ourselves.

Exo 25:11 You shall overlay it with pure gold. You shall overlay it inside and outside, and you shall make a gold moulding around it-
The weak acacia wood was to be overlaid with gold. "Overlay" in Hebrew carries the idea of to be seen, to be looked at. This was how God looked at that weak acacia wood, as if it was the finest gold. This was an Old Testament anticipation of what the New Testament calls imputed righteousness; we the weak acacia wood, the thorn bush, are looked at as pure gold. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, and one outcome of love is to consider the beloved as far more glorious than they are. The mention of a "crown" or "moulding of gold" is as if it represented a person, a King- the Lord Jesus.

Exo 25:12 You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four feet. Two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it-
The continual mention of rings and poles is because all the tabernacle had to be portable, as Israel were constantly on the move. This is proof enough that much of the "law of Moses" was only relevant to the wilderness generation. God's desire to be continually on the move, dwelling in a tent, was still evident at the time when Israel settled in the land. For He told David that He didn't want a temple because He was dynamic, always moving on. But the way of religion is to have a permanent, stable closed system, rather than the dynamic way of the Spirit and true spirituality. "Rings" in Hebrew is literally 'that which sinks in', and refers to a signet ring. If a literal ring was solely in view, a different word would have been used. It was as if this mobile, ever moving onwards style of the tabernacle was the signature or hallmark of God. See on :27.

The ark had feet, literally "walking feet", feet bent as if walking, to symbolize how the ark was always moving on. We recall that God spoke of how He had "walked" in the tabernacle and therefore didn't want a fixed temple (2 Sam. 7:6).

Exo 25:13 You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold-
"Pole" is s.w. "strength". There is again a juxtaposition of ideas- the weak acacia wood, which is no more than a thorn bush, was to be turned into God's strength through being overlaid with gold.

Exo 25:14 You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark-
This was a deconstruction of the Egyptian religious arks, which were displayed and carried in processions. God's ark was concealed, and only carried when it was without religious significance, being moved between sanctuaries.

Exo 25:15 The poles shall be in the rings of the ark. They shall not be taken from it-
This was to emphasize that the ark was always to be ready to move on; see on :12. Even when Israel were settled in their land and the temple was built, the staves were always to remain in the rings of the ark to symbolize this (1 Kings 8:7). In our more settled existence, even if we live in the house we were born in for all our days, we should have this spirit of being ready to be moved on in our spiritual journey.

Exo 25:16 You shall put the testimony which I shall give you into the ark-
The tables of the covenant were only given to Moses at the end of the 40 days. Hence "which I shall give you", for Moses at this point was on Sinai hearing these commands for the first time, and was only to be given the testimony at the end of it. Again we note the internal corroboration within the Biblical record.

Exo 25:17 You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two and a half cubits shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth-
This was the cover of the ark, with the wings of the cherubim overshadowing it, and upon this the blood of atonement was sprinkled each year at the day of atonement. The blood would have built up over the years. Paul interprets this as symbolic of the blood of the Lord Jesus on the cross. It is a seat or throne in that it is upon that that God's glory is enthroned. But we note the small size of it. God doesn't need anything large scale by human standards. "Mercy seat" is a form of the Hebrew word for 'covering' which is usually used for the covering of sins; literally "the means of propitiation". The LXX word used here is directly applied to the Lord Jesus in Rom. 3:25. It was the blood which was the basis of atonement (Lev. 17:11), but the actual mercy seat, the slab of gold which was the cover of the ark, was put by metonymy for the blood. It is upon this that God's glory dwells and is revealed. His forgiveness is Yahweh at His most glorious, and it is in this that God meets with man (Ex. 25:22). We note that the mercy seat or cover was of pure gold, not acacia word overlaid with gold. It may have been a literal cover over the ark which was detachable. 

Exo 25:18 You shall make two cherubim of hammered gold. You shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat-
The cherubim had wings (:28) and could have human and animal forms, according to Ez. 1,10. In this sense they could be said to resemble the sphinx forms which were such a common part of Egyptian religion. The similarity is in the fact that God was deconstructing Egyptian religion, just as the plagues were aimed at the gods of Egypt. Instead of openly displayed sphinx like creatures memorializing the dead, these were the hidden symbols of God's living presence amongst His people, hidden away in the holiest place, and only briefly seen once every year by the high priest.

Exo 25:19 Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. You shall make the cherubim on its two ends of one piece with the mercy seat-
The cherubim represented those through whom God was manifested, be it Angels or His people. For this is how the cherubim are used in Ezekiel. But they are of one part with the mercy seat, which represented the Lord Jesus (Rom. 3:25). This speaks of His deep unity with us, shown in His life by His being of our nature, and now through the presence of His Spirit within those who are "in" Him.

Exo 25:20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward one another. The faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat-
Speaking of the things of the blood of the Lord Jesus, Peter comments: "Which things the angels desire to look into" (1 Pet. 1:12), as if he saw in the cherubim some representation of the Angels looking down at the blood of atonement sprinkled upon the mercy seat. And yet Peter implies that we too "look into" those things. And thus we note that the cherubim were looking down at the blood, not at each other; as our focus should be upon the Lord's blood, and not each other.

The pagan god tabernacles all feature some kind of throne, upon which the god visibly sits. The cherubim of the Israelite tabernacle are similar to the Mesopotamian karibu, cherubim, upon which their gods sat. Phoenician and Egyptian art uncovered by archaeologists shows they believed in cherubim very similar in form to those described in Ezekiel's visions of Yahweh's cherubim. The throne of Yahweh was the ark, covered by the cherubim. There, above the blood spattered lid of the ark (or "mercy seat"), supported by the cherubim, the pagan mind expected to see Israel's God enthroned. The similarities to the pagan shrines were intentional- to set up this expectation. But there was nothing there. It was, to their eyes, an empty throne- just as God appears to be absent to so many people today. There was no visible image resting upon the wings of the cherubim, nothing on the throne / lid of the ark but the blood of atonement (which pointed forward to that of God's Son).

Exo 25:21 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I will give you-
This implies that the slab of gold which was the "mercy seat" was separate from the ark, and covered it like a lid. The blood of atonement was sprinkled each year upon the top of the ark, the place known as “the mercy seat” or ‘atonement cover’. This blood represented the blood of Christ. The Angel cherubim shadowed the blood on the cover, representing how the Angels watched over Christ in His sacrifice and especially upon the cross. Hence His temptation to call Angels to deliver Him from it (Mt. 26:53). Peter alludes to this in saying that the Angels intently look down upon the things of the blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:12). Pagan religions typically had a throne in their temples, on which their God sat. The throne of the true God was apparently empty- there was a “mercy seat”, but no god or idol sat upon it. But He was enthroned there. Faith is about believing in the God who cannot be seen (Heb. 11:1,2), and whose saving mercy to us is confirmed in the blood of His Son.

Exo 25:22 There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the testimony, all that I command you for the children of Israel-
See on 2 Sam. 23:1-3. “In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9) would have been easily perceived as an allusion to the way that Yahweh Himself as it were dwelt between the cherubim on the mercy seat (2 Kings 19:15; Ps. 80:1). And yet the Lord Jesus in His death was the “[place of] propitiation” (Heb. 2:17), the blood-sprinkled  mercy seat. In His Son on the cross, God met with man and communed with us (Rom. 3:25), commanding us the life we ought to lead through all the unspoken, unarticulated imperatives which there are within the blood of His Son. There in the person of Jesus nailed to the tree do we find the focus of God’s glory and self-revelation, and to this place we may come to seek redemption.

God meets with us over the blood of Christ, and from there His voice is heard. "Tell you" translates the usual Hebrew word dabar used for "word". Hence Heb. 12:18-29 likens the blood of Christ to a huge voice; we cannot imagine Him there on the cross and be passive, we hear, as it were, God’s voice for us. This is why we must regularly remember Christ on the cross, replaying the scene continually before our eyes. For there we hear God’s voice and we have our meeting with Him. The breaking of bread service is a practical help to this end.

God met with Israel over the ark in the most holy place (Ex. 25:22; 30:6; Num. 17:4). But they were never allowed there. And so He also "met" (s.w.) with Israel at the door of the tabernacle, and spoke with them there (Ex. 29:42,43; 30:36). As if God like a king came forth to meet with His people and speak with them. But the word for "meet" is used in Am. 3:3, where God laments that Israel had not "met" with Him and therefore they could not walk further together. The idea of the "meeting" was that God's word might be revealed, so that the people could walk with Him in His ways. It was an awesome invitation, to be able to meet with the God who only otherwise met with His people in the glory of the most holy place, over the ark. He as it were came out of that most holy place and met with them at the door of the tabernacle. But they weren't interested. Just as so many today. 

Seeing Israel generally never entered the Most Holy, this could be read as a prophecy ["I will meet with you"] of the day when the veil would be torn down and the way into the holiest opened to all Israel- which happened at the Lord's death.

Exo 25:23 You shall make a table of acacia wood. Two cubits shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth, and one and a half cubits its height-
The Ugaritic poems speak of the furniture in Baal's heavenly temple, and it's very similar to that in the Most Holy Place. But the poems especially focus upon Baal's bed and chests of drawers for his clothing. These are noticeably absent in Yahweh's tabernacle furniture.

The table of show bread was to be made of acacia wood, which was effectively the weak wood from a thorn bush; but David planned to make it of pure gold, and even worked out the weight of gold required for it (1 Chron. 28:16). And Solomon indeed made it of gold (1 Kings 7:48), leading to it being known as "the pure table" (2 Chron. 13:11). Religion had overtaken spirituality, form had eclipsed content. Likewise the "tables of silver" David ordered to be made (1 Chron. 28:16) do not feature in the tabernacle. He was missing the point- that God wanted His holiest symbols made of common, weak things like acacia wood. For His strength and glory is made perfect in weakness. David claims these plans were from God (1 Chron. 28:19), although as discussed on 1 Chron. 28:12, they were in fact from his own mind. The way these things were taken into captivity, with no record of this golden table ever being returned, surely reflects God's judgment upon this kind of religious show. He prefers a humble house church in an inner city room, rather than a gold plated cathedral. The way some exclusive churches speak of 'maintaining a pure table' suggests they have made the same essential mistake as David did.  

Exo 25:24 You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a gold moulding around it-
The table of shewbread looked ahead to the breaking of bread in the Christian experience. It had a crown (NEV "moulding") around it, as if it were the king's table. And indeed it is. We sit there as guests at the king's table, and it is not for us to use it as "our" table, excluding or ejecting others from it.

Exo 25:25 You shall make a rim of a handbreadth around it. You shall make a golden moulding on its rim around it-
The golden moulding or crown is twice stressed (:24), as if it really was the king's table. The purpose of the rim was for the rings for carrying it (:27).

Exo 25:26 You shall make four rings of gold for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet-
The ark also had feet, literally "walking feet", feet bent as if walking, to symbolize how the ark was always moving on. We recall that God spoke of how He had "walked" in the tabernacle and therefore didn't want a fixed temple (2 Sam. 7:6).

Exo 25:27 The rings shall be close to the rim, for places for the poles to carry the table-
"Places" is the Hebrew word usually used for a house. A different word would have been used if the idea was merely a "place". There is a purposeful juxtaposition between the image of stability carried by the idea of a "house", and the fact that the rings and poles were in order that this furniture could be carried and moved on. God's permanent, characteristic way is the way of dynamism, moving on. That is the point; see on :12.

Exo 25:28 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be carried with them-
The need to be mobile and always moving on is stressed throughout the record of the tabernacle. There could have been some blanket statement like "All the tabernacle equipment had rings on it so that poles could be put in the rings, and it could be carried". But the record labours this mobile nature of the whole system; see on :12.

Exo 25:29 You shall make its dishes, its spoons, its ladles, and its bowls to pour out offerings with. You shall make them of pure gold-
Yahweh had a "table". The Mesopotamian gods likewise had a table (passuru) upon which food was placed as a meal for the god (as in Is. 65:11). But the beakers, cups and vessels on Yahweh's table remained empty (Ex. 25:29); the wine was poured out onto the sacrifices and vaporized; the priests ate the shewbread. There was no pretence that Yahweh was a hungry god who needed to be fed by His worshippers. To the pagan mind, this would've meant that if He didn't eat, He wasn't actually around nor powerful. Again, the difference and similarities were intentional, in order to point up the need for faith in the power and existence of Yahweh.

Exo 25:30 You shall set bread of the presence on the table before me always-
"The bread of the presence" doesn't simply mean that it was bread which was in God's presence; for that is the meaning covered by "before Me always". Rather the idea is that God's especial presence was there in the eating of the bread. The God who dwelt the other side of the veil, over the mercy seat, as it were came out from there and was present when the bread was eaten. We may have here some hint that there is a special presence of the Father and Son at the breaking of bread, which is the Christian equivalent of this table (Mt. 18:20; 1 Cor. 11:10).

Exo 25:31 You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. Of hammered work shall the lampstand be made, even its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it-
"The candlestick" or menorah is only ever spoken of in the law of Moses in the singular, but in 1 Chron. 28:15 David decided there were to be multiple such candlesticks. By doing so, he ignored the symbolism of the one candlestick, the one people of God; such was his obsession with mere religion. See on :23.

Exo 25:32 There shall be six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of its one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of its other side-
The lampstand represents God's people (Rev. 1:20), and it had seven lamps; the six branches and the central stem, upon which there was also a lamp. Seven is the number of wholeness and completion. Perhaps the idea is that there is to be a complete manifestation of God through the witness of His people, burning the oil of the Spirit. Each component member witnesses to Him in a slightly different way, not only in this life but throughout the generations of God's people. Likewise the body of Christ in the same way manifests Christ to the world.

Exo 25:33 three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower; and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower, so for the six branches going out of the lampstand-
The almond is the first tree in Palestine to bud, so it means literally the watching tree, as if it were alive and eager to come to life. So it is appropriate for the candlestick, which represented God's people. Jeremiah sees the branch of an almond tree and is comforted that "I watch over My word to perform it" (Jer. 1:11,12). The word translated 'hasten' or "watch over" is very similar to the word for 'almond'. Almonds are associated with God's eyes; the bowls of the lampstands were almonds (Ex. 25:33,34). Zech. 4:2 talks about these almond bowls on the candlestick, and Zech. 4:10 interprets them as the "eyes of the LORD which run to and fro through the whole earth". 2 Chron. 16:9 talks about the Angels in the same way; "the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him". Similarly in Rev. 4:5 the lamps in the bowls of almond are equated with the "seven spirits (or Angels) of God". Rev. 5:6 equates the seven eyes with the seven spirits. Thus the almond rod which Jeremiah saw represented God's eyes or Angels who would watch over the word of God which Jeremiah was to speak to perform it. And He does likewise with the witness of all those represented within the candlestick.

Exo 25:34 and in the lampstand four cups made like almond blossoms, its buds and its flowers-
The menorah or "candlestick" is from a root meaning to yoke. In the Christian context, the yoke, the uniting power, is the Lord Jesus (Mt. 11:30). He is the unique power which binds together His otherwise disparate people into one candlestick. Thereby Christian unity becomes a witness to the world, at least that is the intention. All disunity between believers therefore causes the candlestick not to function, and the light of witness is thereby the less.

Exo 25:35 and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the lampstand-
The lampstand represents God's people (Rev. 1:20), but it is presented here as a tree with branches, buds and blossoms (:33). In this sense the ecclesia, the community of believers, is to be as the tree of life to others by their words (Prov. 3:18; 11:30; 15:4).

Exo 25:36 Their buds and their branches shall be of one piece with it, all of it one beaten work of pure gold-
The candlestick represents the assembly of believers (Rev. 1:20). It was made of beaten work, representing how all those in the true church will be beaten into a shape through which they can be lights for God. "Hammered" suggests that through blow by blow on material heated in the furnace of affliction (Is. 48:10), God works out a place where His glory may be revealed. And that place is our lives.

Exo 25:37 You shall make its lamps seven, and they shall light its lamps to give light to the space in front of it-
The mention of seven lamps confirms that there was a central stem with a lamp, and six branches coming out of it with a total of six lamps on them- making seven lamps. The candlestick was on the south end of the holy place, shedding light "opposite" (Heb., NEV "in front of it"), i.e. towards the northern end where the veil was, and where the table of shewbread was, symbolizing fellowship with God. This is the purpose of our witness; to direct people towards fellowship with God and entry to the most holy place.

Exo 25:38 Its snuffers and its snuff dishes shall be of pure gold-
Gold wasn’t the strongest or most practical material for these instruments. But it represents faith (1 Pet. 1:7). We aren’t the best instruments for God to use in His house, but He prefers to use the soft and those who aren’t humanly qualified for His work- because He works by faith in us, and by our faith in Him rather than our human strength.

Exo 25:39 It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these accessories-
A talent was 94 pounds or 42.6 kg. This was a huge amount of gold, but all the same, due to the dense weight of gold, the candlestick would have been quite small if it were solid. 42 kg. of solid gold is about the size of two standard size books. This fits the theme that everything in the tabernacle was small scale, not large. The ecclesia of God, represented by the candlestick (Rev. 1:20), is small but gives huge light in a dark place, pointing towards the entrance to the most holy place. It is depicted as large and a source of particular glory in the famous depiction of the capture of Jerusalem by Titus, but either the candlestick of those times was only gold plated, or the size was exaggerated. 

Exo 25:40 See that you make them after their pattern, which has been shown to you on the mountain-
Paul's comment is that this "pattern" was itself a pattern of heavenly things. The tabernacle was a reflection in essence of the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 9:23,24), with the priests doing the work of the Angels; hence both are called elohim.. At least that was how Israel were bidden understand it.