Question 5 What is the significance of the Menorah?
The Menorah was originally a seven branched candlestick as illustrated in the picture, with 3 branches coming out of each side of the central branch. The bowls were made like almond blossoms and the stems of the branches were decorated with almond blossom flowers. The Hebrew for almond is "shaqad" and comes from the verb "Shaqed" which means to waken or to watch. In Israel the almond is the earliest harbinger of Spring, bursting into beautiful white blossom late in January, before the leaves appear, like life bursting forth after the death of winter. It was symbolic of Jesus, bringing resurrection.
In the Old Testament it was the symbol of God as the light that would guide the Children of Israel by night during the exodus. In the New Testament it is again symbolic of Jesus. In John 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the Light of the World"
The Menorah was hammered out of one piece of pure gold. It was not cast but forged. The gold was beaten and beaten again. He who was the "Light of the World" was beaten by man and God.
There are 7 lights. 6 is the number of man. The Menorah is then 6+1. Jesus is in the middle of man. 7 is the number of spiritual perfection. Man with Christ describes perfect salvation. Jesus said to believers, "Ye are the light of the world".
The light is produced by olive oil. This is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 11: 1-2, we are given the names of the 7 spirits of God:-
1. Spirit of the Lord (Lord is the word 'Yahweh', which means, 'He who is', which denotes existence, especially self manifesting existence and authority
2. Spirit of Wisdom
3. Spirit of Understanding
4. Spirit of Counsel (or Advice)
5. Spirit of Might
6. Spirit of Knowledge
7. Spirit of Fear (or Reverence)
The authority in the Godhead is Father. Therefore the Menorah is also symbolic of the whole Trinity, universal salvation, man in God and God in man. We spread our light only by being connected to Christ but through the power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the most important fulfilment of this imagery was on the Day of Pentecost, when the 120 in the upper room were baptised in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. The other manifestation was "divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them." The description fits exactly the flame of light on each branch of the Menorah. It looks like fire but it is light. It was one tongue of flame divided and sitting upon each of them. "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit" and each individual flame signifies that each believer now is "the light of the world", each possesses the light within, which is Jesus, each is a branch of the menorah and each has now become the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Menorah had to be tended to each evening and morning. Each lamp was cared for separately, removing with gold snuffers the burnt part of the wick, which gave no light. A believer whose life is clogged by uncleanness (sin) does not spread light. Jesus removes our uncleanness as He deals with each one individually.
The light had to face the front in order to light the Holy Place. It was the only source. It had to give a clear light and one that was focused and not hidden. Believers are told to let their light shine and for it not to be hidden under a "bushel" but to let our light shine into this dark world.