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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 4: Harmony of the Law, Part II, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at

Numbers 8

Numbers 8:1-4

1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

1. Et loquutus est Jehova ad Mosen, dicendo:

2. Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick.

2. Loquere ad Aharon, et dicas illi, Quando accendes lucernam, contra faciem candelabri lucebunt septem lucernae.

3. And Aaron did so: he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the LORD commanded Moses.

3. Fecitque ita Aharon: contra faciem candelabri accendit lucernas ejus, quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova ipsi Mosi.

4. And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the LORD had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.

4. Et hoc est opus candelabri, ductile aureum usque ad hastile suum, usque ad flores suos ductile erat, juxta exemplar quod ostenderat Jehova ipsi Mosi, sic fecit candelabrum.


2 When thou lightest the lamps. This precept, like many others, is not inserted in its proper place. Moses again declares what was the use of the candlestick, and how the lamps should be arranged, so that their light might be spread through the sanctuary, and that the brightness of the gold might shine over against them; for this was the reason why God would have the lamps lighted against the face of, or opposite to, the candlestick, that the very stand of the light might retain its beauty. Moreover, it is expressly stated that Aaron obeyed God’s command, as if in no despicable matter, as he had received it from Moses. To this also refers what immediately follows, that it was made “according unto the pattern” which Moses had seen in the mount; and this was, as I have before explained it, that God is the Father of lights, who illuminates His Church by His Spirit, that it may not wander in darkness; and so, whilst darkness covers the whole earth, He is as an everlasting light to believers instead of the sun and moon, as says Isa 60:19

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