For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough


We have looked briefly at the curtains which were the entrance to the court of the tabernacle, to the holy place, and to the holy of holies, as being typical representations of the Lord Jesus Christ as THE WAY by which man may approach God.  And in the brazen altar we have seen a typical representation of Him as the One Who was led by the Holy Spirit, in Whose heart there burned a perpetual zeal for God, and Who Himself endured the wrath and judgment due to rebel man.

The next article of tabernacle furniture is the brazen laver, and, like all the rest of that furniture, it too is a type or figure of Christ.  The directions for its construction are given in Ex 30:17-21, while Ex 38:8 informs us that, “... he (Moses) made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the looking glasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”

Scholars disagree as to what is meant by “the foot,” but it appears to have been a stand upon which the laver rested, and into which there may have been poured the water taken from the laver for the washing of their hands and feet as the priests ministered in the tabernacle.

It is generally agreed that in this receptacle for the water used to cleanse the priests, we have a symbolic picture of Christ as the One Who is the Embodiment of the written Word, which is presented under the figure of water in such passages as Eph 5:26, “That He might sanctify and cleanse it (the Church) with the washing of water by the Word.”

The type will be better understood if we remember that the water from the laver was for the cleansing of the priests in the course of their tabernacle ministry.  This represents the daily cleansing of the believer, not the initial cleansing of the sinner at conversion.  The laver portrays Christ as the One Who walked the earth once as the Living Word, and Who is now with His own as the written Word, particularly for their cleansing from the defilement incurred in the course of their pilgrimage through this defiling world.

The fact that it was constructed from the polished brass mirrors of the women who helped in the production of the tabernacle materials, implies melting in the fire, and hammering into shape.  Few will fail to see in this a picture of the Lord’s enduring both the fire of divine wrath, and the hatred of man, when He went to Calvary as man’s Substitute.  It was from the crucible of Calvary that He has come forth as the true brazen Laver, the One in Whom is found all that the believer needs for his daily cleansing.

The absence of any recorded dimensions reminds us that whether we view Him as the living Word, or as the written Word, Christ is the immeasurable, inexhaustible Source in Whom is found everything to meet the needs of His people.

A practical lesson we may learn from the priests’ continual use of the water from the laver is that we who are “a royal priesthood,” 1 Pe 2:9 are in as much need of continual cleansing as were they, for, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 Jn 1:8-9.



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough