XLV. (221) But the long discussion which some people start with respect to each of these, must be postponed to a subsequent opportunity. This much alone we must remind our readers of at this moment, that the sacred candlestick and the seven lights upon it are an imitation of the wandering of the seven planets through the heaven. How so? some one will say. (222) Because, we will reply, in the same manner as the lights, so also does every one of the planets shed its rays. They therefore, being more brilliant, do transmit more brilliant beams to the earth, and brilliant beyond them all is he who is the centre one of the seven, the sun. (223) And I call him the centre, not merely because he has the central position, as some have thought, but also because he has on many other accounts a right to be ministered unto and attended by the others accompanying him as bodyguards on each side, by reason of his dignity and his magnitude, and the great benefits which he pours upon all earthly things. (224) But men, being unable completely to comprehend the arrangement of the planets (and in fact what other of the heavenly bodies can they understand with certainty and clearness?) speak according to their conjectures. And these persons appear to me to form the best conjectures on such subjects, who, having assigned the central position to the sun, say that there is an equal number of planets, namely, those above him and below him. Those above him being Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars; then comes the Sun himself, and next to him Mercury, Venus, and the Moon, which last is close to the air. (225) The Creator therefore, wishing that there should be a model upon earth among us of the seven-lighted sphere as it exists in heaven, explained this exquisite work to be made, namely, this candlestick. And its likeness to the soul is often pointed out too; for the soul is divisible into three parts, and each of the parts, as has been already pointed out, is divided into two more. And thus there being six divisions, the sacred and divine Word, the divider of them all, very naturally makes up the number seven.
XLVI. (226) This other point also is too important to deserve to be passed over in silence: that, as there are three vessels among the sacred furniture, a candlestick, a bath, and an altar of incense; the altar of incense has reference to that gratitude which is exhibited for the bestowal of the elements, as has been shown before, since it does itself also receive a portion from these four, receiving wood from the earth, and the species which are burnt from the water; for, being first of all liquefied, they are dissolved into drops of moisture, and vapour from the air, and form the fire the spark which kindles the whole; and the composition of frankincense, and galbanum, and onycha, and stacte, is a symbol of the four elements; and the table is referred to the gratitude which is displayed for the mortal things which are made out of the elements, for loaves and libations are placed upon it, which the creatures who stand in need of nourishment must of necessity use. And the candlestick has reference to the gratitude exhibited for all the things existing in heaven, in order than no portion of the world may lie under the imputation of ingratitude; but that we may see that every single part of it gives thanks, the elements, the things made of them, and not those only which are made on earth, but also those in heaven.