abandoned his covenant. He merely held rulership on the throne in abeyance “until he comes who has the legal right.” (Ezek. 21:27) Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the “son of David,” was heir to that throne forever. Thus the “lamp” of David will never go out. Jesus is therefore an everlasting lamp as the one who possesses the Kingdom forever.—Matt. 1:1; Luke 1:32.
Because “man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth” (Matt. 4:4), His commandments are like a lamp, lighting the way of God’s servant in the darkness of this world. The psalmist declared: “Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.” (Ps. 119:105) King Solomon said: “For the commandment is a lamp, and a light the law is, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.”—Prov. 6:23.
The apostle Peter had seen many prophecies concerning Jesus Christ fulfilled, and he had been personally present at Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain. In view of all this, Peter could say: “Consequently we have the prophetic word made more sure; and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and a daystar rises, in your hearts.” (2 Pet. 1:19) The Christian was encouraged, therefore, to pay attention to prophecy in his heart. Peter pointed out that he should get what it says, not only into his mind, but also into his heart; then it would furnish guidance in the safe way “until day dawns and a daystar rises.”
JOHN THE BAPTIST
In the year 29 C.E., John the son of Zechariah, a priest, came, announcing: “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” (Matt. 3:1, 2; Luke 1:5, 13) Israel had turned away from obedience to the Law, and John was sent preaching repentance and pointing to the Lamb of God. He came “in order to bear witness about the light,” Jesus Christ. (John 1:6, 7) He succeeded in turning many of the sons of Israel back to Jehovah their God. (Luke 1:16) Consequently, Jesus said of John: “That man was a burning and shining lamp, and you for a short time were willing to rejoice greatly in his light. But I have the witness greater than that of John, for the very works that my Father assigned me to accomplish, the works themselves that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father dispatched me.”—John 5:35, 36.
Jesus was a lamp and a light, and he said to those professing to be God’s servants: “You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when situated upon a mountain. People light a lamp and set it, not under the measuring basket, but upon the lampstand, and it shines upon all those in the house. Likewise let your light shine before men, that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens.” (Matt. 5:14-16) The servant of God should appreciate the reason for which he is given the light, and realize that it would be utterly foolish, and disastrous for him, to refuse to let it shine from him as from a lamp.
OTHER FIGURATIVE USES
That which one depends upon to light his way is symbolized by a lamp. With such a figure the proverb contrasts the righteous and the wicked, saying: “The very light of the righteous ones will rejoice; but the lamp of the wicked ones—it will be extinguished.” (Prov. 13:9) The light of the righteous continually becomes more brilliant, but however brilliantly the lamp of the wicked appears to shine and however prosperous his way may seem as a consequence, God will see to it that he ends up in darkness, where his foot will certainly stumble. Such an outcome is ahead of the person calling down evil on his father and mother.—Prov. 20:20.
One’s ‘lamp being extinguished’ also means that there is no future for him. Another proverb says: “There will prove to be no future for anyone bad; the very lamp of wicked people will be extinguished.”—Prov. 24:20.
Bildad, when implying that Job was hiding some secret wickedness, said of the wicked: “A light itself will certainly grow dark in his tent, and in it his own lamp will be extinguished.” Farther on in his argument Bildad adds: “He will have no posterity and no progeny among his people.” In the light of the fact that David’s son Solomon was said to be a lamp that God gave him, the putting out of one’s lamp may carry the thought that such a person would have no progeny to take over his inheritance.—Job 18:6, 19.
One’s eye is, figuratively, a “lamp.” Jesus said: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is sincere [simple; all one way; in focus; generous], your whole body will be bright; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be dark.” (Matt. 6:22, 23, NW, 1950 ed., ftn.) The eye is like a lamp, because with it the body can walk about without stumbling or bumping into something. Jesus, of course, had in mind the ‘eyes of the heart’ (Eph. 1:18), as his words in the context show.
Lamps were sometimes kept burning all day so that fires could be easily kindled. Also, some burned all night. Proverbs 31:18, in saying of the good wife: “Her lamp does not go out at night,” may be using a figurative expression meaning that she works industriously at night and even rises before dawn for further work.—Compare Proverbs 31:15.
According to Proverbs 20:27, “the breath of earthling man is the lamp of Jehovah, carefully searching all the innermost parts of the belly.” What a person “breathes out” or gives vent to, good or bad expressions, reveals or sheds light on his personality or inmost self.—Compare Acts 9:1.
[Heb., menoh·rahʹ; Gr., ly·khniʹa].
A stand or support for an oil-burning lamp or lamps. Though mentioning lampstands in homes and other buildings (2 Ki. 4:10; Dan. 5:5; Luke 8:16; 11:33), the Bible’s emphasis is primarily on the lampstands associated with true worship.
IN THE TABERNACLE
Jehovah directed Moses in vision to make for use in the tabernacle a lampstand ‘of pure gold, of hammered work.’ Together with its lamps and utensils it was to weigh one talent. (Ex. 25:31, 39, 40; 37:17, 24; Num. 8:4) This would equal about ninety-two pounds troy (c. 76 pounds avoirdupois; c. 34 kilograms), with a value, in modern terms, of over $38,600.00.
This luminary for “the Holy Place,” the anterior compartment of the tabernacle (Heb. 9:2), was composed of a central stem, with six branches. These branches curved upward from each side of the main shaft. The central shaft or stem was decorated with four sculptured cups shaped like almond flowers, with knobs and flower blossoms alternating. The kind of flower represented in the flower blossoms is not certain; the Hebrew word used can mean any flower. The branches each had three cups, with knobs and flowers alternating. The description may indicate that the knobs on the central stem came at the point where the branches joined