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 2001 James Melough


The third article of furniture in the sanctuary (the outer room of the tabernacle) was the golden table, upon which the twelve loaves of shewbread rested, and most students of Biblical typology agree that it represents, not only Christ as the Bread of life, but also as the Lord’s table around which believers meet on the first day of the week to remember His death, and present their corporate worship. 

From the details of its construction given in Ex 25:23-30 we learn that it was relatively small, about thirty-six inches long, eighteen inches broad, and twenty-seven inches high.

In its composition, acacia wood overlaid with pure gold, we are being shown the dual nature of Christ, for wood is the symbol of humanity, as gold is of Divine glory.  In Him we have combined two perfect natures, one human, the other Divine.  He is perfect Man, but also perfect God.

Its composition reminds us also of His sufferings and death.  As the tree was cut down, and sawn into boards, so was He “cut down” in death, in order that He might become the “Table” that furnishes the believer’s spiritual “Bread.”  As the gold was subjected to the fire, and to the smith’s hammer, so was Christ subjected to the fire of Divine wrath against sin, and to the “hammer” of man’s wrath against holiness.

As the table, ornamented with a double crown, sat there in the presence of God, so does the Lord sit today, crowned with glory and honor, at the Father’s right hand.

The twelve loaves, or cakes, (one for each tribe), were viewed by God as one bread, called the shewbread.  Each Sabbath those loaves, after being replaced with fresh ones, were eaten in the holy place, by the priests.  That table therefore symbolically furnished bread for God, and also for man; but inasmuch as eating speaks of satisfaction, the truth being declared is that God and man find their satisfaction in the Christ represented by the bread on the golden table.  It should not be forgotten, however, that the men who ate that bread were the priests, the sons of Aaron.  Only believers (spiritual priests, 1 Pe 2:5,9), the sons of the great High Priest, find satisfaction in Christ.

The number of the loaves which constituted the shewbread has also its lesson.  Since twelve is the number of Divine government on display, God would remind us that the only One Who has ever yielded a perfect obedience to that government is the Lord Jesus Christ.  And since glorification is the reward of obedience, we see the Lord’s glorification displayed in the fact that that bread sat upon a table of gold (emblem of Divine glory).  As He glorified the Father in an obedient life, so has the Father now, in resurrection, glorified the Son.  The shewbread reminds us that the Lord’s resurrection glory is the reward of an obedience that extended even unto death, for as that bread was the result of the cutting down of the wheat, the grinding, the action of the fire, so is the resurrection glory of the true Bread the result of His having been cut down, of His sufferings as man’s Substitute. 

That table is also an appropriate emblem of the communion enjoyed by the Father and the redeemed, through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Surely only blind eyes will fail to see in that golden table a picture of the Lord’s table around which the redeemed gather on the first day of each week.  As the sons of Aaron set the bread before God upon the table each sabbath, so do the spiritual sons of the great high Priest, through the presentation of their corporate worship, set the Bread (Christ) before the Father on the first day of each week.  And as they ate the bread, in the holy place (God’s house), so do believers eat the communion bread, in the holy place, the “house” comprised of believers met together as a corporate body, “whose house are we,” Heb 3:6.  “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” 1 Cor 10:16.



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