Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
I am still burdened about the pillar. Based upon the principle that nearly everything in the book of Genesis is a seed that is developed in the following books of the Bible, we come to 1 Kings 7:13-22, a strong portion in the Word regarding the pillars. In Jacob's calling, Jacob's being transformed was mainly related to this matter of the pillar. After his dream at Bethel, Jacob set up a pillar (28:18). When he returned to Bethel, he also set up a pillar (35:14). When Jacob set up the pillar the first time, he said, "This stone which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house" (28:22). This indicates that the pillar was not only the pillar, but also that it would become Bethel, the house of God. In 1 Kings we have the first mention of the temple. Prior to that, there was the tabernacle, but no temple. The most striking feature of the exterior of the temple was the two pillars. In 1 Kings chapter seven we have a detailed picture of these pillars. I am burdened that, having considered the seed of the pillar in Genesis, we now look into the development of this seed in the following books of the Old Testament. Later, we shall consider the consummation of this seed in the New Testament.
The pillars of the temple were built by Solomon through Hiram, "a worker in brass" who was "filled with wisdom, and understanding, and skill to work all works in brass" (1 Kings 7:14). Much of what is found in the Old Testament, such as the tabernacle and the temple, is a shadow, a type. We need to know the fulfillment of all these types. Solomon was a type of Christ, and Hiram was a type of the gifted person in the New Testament. Undoubtedly, the Apostle Paul was a gifted person; he was the New Testament Hiram. Ephesians 4:11 and 12 say, "And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints." The gifted persons are given by the Head to the Body to perfect the saints. That the pillars were not built by Solomon directly but by Solomon through Hiram indicates that today Christ does not build up the pillars directly but through the gifted persons. Thus, we must submit to the hands of the gifted persons, just as the brass was subject to the skilled and gifted hands of Hiram.
According to 1 Kings 7:15, Hiram "fashioned two pillars" (Heb.). In the Bible, the number two is the number of testimony. These two pillars stood in front of the temple as a testimony. The thought concerning the pillar in the book of Genesis is that of testimony. After Jacob had arranged a settlement with Laban, he "took a stone, and set it up for a pillar" (31:45), and this pillar was a testimony (31:51-52). Undoubtedly, when Jacob set up the pillar in chapter twenty-eight, his concept was also that of a testimony. Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, he said that this testimony would be the house of God. The temple in the Old Testament certainly was a testimony to God. The principle is the same with respect to the church today. According to 1 Timothy 3:15, the house of God, which is the church, is the pillar. This means that the church as a whole stands on earth to testify God to the universe. Therefore, the two pillars in front of the temple in the Old Testament were a strong testimony of God's building.
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