The Menorah

The Candlestick in the
Holy Place

"And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. . . it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. . . And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof that they may give light over against it. . . And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold" (Exodus 25:31-38).

"Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD. Whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass. And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen and goats’ hair. And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins and shittim wood. And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense" (Exo. 35:5-8).

"....The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make." So Moses commanded, "let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. . . For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much" (Exo. 36:5-7).

The LORD had put within Bezalel "the Spirit of God, - in wisdom and in understanding, and in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship" (Exo. 31:3-4).

From the Jewish Midrash:

The Temple Menorah occupies a central role among the sacred vessels, for it is the symbol of light – and the Temple is called "the light of the world" (BI Bava Batra 4:A). One reason for this is the light of the Menorah bursting forth from the Holy Temple. The Menorah was the "height of an average man."

The Midrash helps us to understand the making of the Menorah: "Moses had such great difficulty constructing the Menorah – more than all the other Tabernacle vessels . . . until the Holy One, Blessed be He, showed him an image of the Menorah and pointed it out, as it states, ‘And this is the construction of the Menorah, of beaten gold’ . . . Moses toiled greatly but still could not produce it. Finally God said, ‘Moses, just take the talent of gold and cast it into the fire.’ When they went to retrieve it, the completed Menorah emerged.

"Moses struck the finishing touch, but it was created of itself" (O. Tanchuma B’halotcha 4).

Partners With God

In the final result, the Menorah was created by combined forces, the talent of the earthly craftsmen together with Divine assistance. For success man must work with his talent while God sends a blessing from above. As David wrote, "If God does not build this house, His workers have toiled in vain" (Psalm 127:1). On the one hand, this verse teaches us that there is no hope for the Temple to be built without heavenly aid, while at the same time it also shows us that God will not build it without the earthly, human efforts of man.

In Jerusalem today there are those who believe they have been given the duty to prepare the holy vessels for the Third Temple. Many are made and waiting for use.

"Western" Light

"And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the Tabernacle southward" (Exo. 40:24). The priest would tend to the candles, fixing and preparing the wicks and lighting them anew. However, one flame – "the western candle" – was required to burn perpetually. The oil and wicks of this candle were changed in such a way as to insure that it would never be extinguished.

"The Western Candle" is the middle flame of the Menorah. It is called so because all of the other lights in the Menorah are facing this middle branch, while it alone faces west. Therefore, through the middle flame, in reality, all seven lights are facing west – the direction of the Holy of Holies. Many times this middle candle is called, "The Servant" candle, for with it all the other candles are lighted.

Uniqueness of the Menorah

In Solomon’s Temple, ten such golden Menorahs graced the Sanctuary, but in the Second Temple there was only one Menorah. The Menorah has become the symbol depicting the modern State of Israel and her people. All of the other nations have unclean animals or birds for their symbols.

The Menorah being the 7-branched candlestick is different from the Hanukkah Menorah which is 9 branches and represents the miracle of light which occurred at the time of the Macabees. The 7-branch Temple Menorah is a symbol of the way Israel was to be to the nations of the world, giving them light as Isaiah said, "I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles" (Isaiah 42:6). This LIGHT was to come through the seed of Abraham for all peoples. "And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6).

Light Beams

In an issue of Bible Light On the News, we had a lighthouse on the cover with the words, "Behold He spreadeth the light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea" (Job 36:30). That lighthouse was purposely put on high cliffs so as to guide te ships into port safely. So is the Light that God gave to Israel, in bringing many "sons and daughters" into port safely. For as you well know, all of the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of God we have comes from the Jews. Israel has given us the complete Bible and even Luke was a Jew of the dispersion, so every book in the Bible was penned by a son of Abraham. The Light keeps us from the rocks of anxiety, the rocks of destruction, the rocks of perplexity, the rocks of fear, the rocks of the unknown, rocks of doubt - all of which would bring us down to the final shipwreck of life. But rather, let us bask in the LIGHT of the TRUTH of GOD and in His teachings that will bring Release, Joy, Hope, Peace, Faith and Salvation.

The Word was given for our example – I Corinthians 10:6-10: "Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things . . . neither be ye idolaters . . . Neither commit fornication . . . Neither let us tempt Christ . . . Neither murmur . . . Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come."

The Law is indeed "Holy and good" (Romans 7:12). It is given for us that we might know how to measure up to a Holy God, to obey Him in all truth, to fulfill His desires.

Central Light

Also, remember, Israel was following the fire by night and the cloud by day and the Shekinah was in the very midst of them in the Tabernacle. Also the Menorah was a constant reminder of the His light that was leading them to the promised land. All this was done in Christ\Messiah. Paul reminds us in two verses: "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them and that Rock was Christ" (I Cor. 10:4). ". . . The Covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ" (Gal. 3:17).

Some feel we can flaunt the Law and not obey, but Christ\Messiah is given to them who obey. "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:9).

Can’t be Hidden

"Arise, shine: for thy light is come and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of they rising" (Isaiah 60:1-3).

These verses are addressed to Jerusalem: Verse 1: Light being the symbol of joy and salvation, Jerusalem is told that her light had been rekindled. "Shine" alludes to the return of kingship or prophecy. Verse 2: When darkness covers the earth, Jerusalem will experience the manifestation of God’s glory. Verse 3 – translation from Hebrew: ‘Nations and kings will seek guidance from Israel’s doctrines.’ It is customary for those in darkness to look to those who have light.

Look with me at verse 5 very quickly: "Then thou shalt see and be radiant." The King James says, "flow together" - either one is good. A Hebrew commentator brought out the following: "Thou shalt see" thy scattered children returning from all directions, the last ingathering of the seed of Abraham. We are living in that time period, getting ready for the next great event of history to unfold.

Israel is to be the "head of the nations and not the tail" (Deut. 28:12-13). For out of her will come Salvation, Salvation for all mankind, that we might have peace in the earth, true peace that comes from knowing Him who is PEACE, the Messiah of Israel. When He makes His appearance the great war machine of mankind will have to be dismantled, and the war mongers will cease.

Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Truly the Messiah is light and life.

As Lightening (Mt. 24:27)

Israel is looking for the Messiah and expecting Him. Let us with Israel follow the command of the Almighty: "PRAY for the PEACE of JERUSALEM." When this fulfillment is come, then the world as we know it will be revolutionized, for the Light from the Holy Temple will lighten us. "But the path of the just is as the shining Light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18). "The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory" (Isaiah 60:19).