What Is The Menorah? And How Is It Relevant to Us Today?

By Robert Burden

What is the Menorah?

It is no wonder that so many people, even people who like to read the Scriptures, don’t know what the Menorah is, when we consider the fact that it is rarely called by its rightful name. There is only one version of the Scriptures that I know of, and I know of quite a few versions in many languages, that actually call the Menorah the Menorah; that is the Hebrew Name Version or HNV for short. Let’s take a look at the Creator’s description of the Menorah to get an idea of what it was to look like and what it was made of.

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Figure 1. The Menorah enlightens us about the Messiah

Exodus 25:31-40 HNV
31 “You shall make a menorah of pure gold. Of hammered work shall the menorah be made, even its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it.
32 There shall be six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the menorah out of its one side, and three branches of the menorah out of its other side;
33 three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower; and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower, so for the six branches going out of the menorah;
34 and in the menorah four cups made like almond blossoms, its buds and its flowers;
35 and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the menorah.
36 Their buds and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it one beaten work of pure gold.
37 You shall make its lamps seven, and they shall light its lamps to give light to the space in front of it.
38 Its snuffers and its snuff dishes shall be of pure gold.
39 It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these accessories.
40 See that you make them after their pattern, which has been shown to you on the mountain.
You see, the Hebrew word often translated as lamp stand or candle stick, is where we get the word Menorah (/me-NOR-uh/), although, in ancient Hebrew, under Hebrew rules of pronunciation, it is pronounced /ME-no-RAH/. Let’s take a look at what Strong’s has to say about this word.

You will find a treasure trove of information about the “candle stick” or “candelabrum”, as Gesenius calls it, here.

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Although Gesenius, great Hebrew Scholar that he is, used these terms, in looking at the context at the 31 verses listed where the Hebrew term Menorah is used 40 times, you will see that it is sometimes mentioned “with its lamps”. Lamp stand is no doubt more accurate, since it had lamps, and not candles. Its primary function was to provide light for the distinctive place in the Creator’s temporary desert shelter we call the Tabernacle.

So Then, What is its Relevance to Us Today?

 

Who was it that said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by E V E R Y W O R D that proceeds from the mouth of the Creator”? I think you already know, our Messiah and Saviour, right? Of course, right! Did He say “The Jew shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the Creator’s mouth?” Nope. He said, man. That means you, and me, yesterday, today, and forever.
In figure 1, we see that the Menorah is a metaphor for the Messiah, our Saviour. As with everything in the Creator’s temporary desert dwelling we call the Tabernacle, all the furnishings, curtains, patterns, designs, and the Tabernacle itself, were all types of shadows of the real thing.

You may say, If I have the real thing, the Messiah & Saviour Himself, why do I need the shadow? Well, our Saviour, and Groom, has gone off on a far journey, but He left His love letter with us, so that those who truly love Him, can find out as much as they can about Him before He returns. If understanding the types and shadows of our Messiah and Saviour who loved us and gave Himself up as a sacrifice for us will help us understand Him even a little better, why wouldn’t we want to take advantage of this time we have to learn everything we possibly can about Him, so that He will not be such a stranger when He returns?

 

A close look at how the pattern of Genesis 1 & 2 fit into the Menorah Pattern, looking at the right thing in the right way, will go a long way in helping us to understand “the times and seasons” which the Creator has put in His own control, but which the enemy has changed to usurp His authority. We see in Genesis 1:1,2 and 2:4-6 that the earth was created in a day, but was yet un-arranged and unadorned, so after creation day, He took 3 days to arrange everything, as for a wedding, and 3 days to go over what He arranged, by adorning everything making 6 working days.

Day 1 (the 1st day of arrangement) was for the arrangement of light & darkness to be completed in day 4 (the 1st day of adornment) by the adorning of the sun, moon and stars. Day 2 (the 2nd day of arrangement) was for the arranging of air-space and waters to be completed in day 5 (the 2nd day of adornment) by the adorning of the flying creatures in the air-space and the swimming creatures in the water. Day 3 (the 3rd day of arrangement) was for the arrangement of the seas, land, & plants to be completed in day 6 (the 3rd day of adornment) by the adorning of the land mammals and man on the land.
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Figure. 2 Connecting the Dots of the Days of Arrangement with the Days of Adornment.
A very interesting thing happens when you write out the numbers 1, 2, & 3, then mirror, or turn around the numbers 4, 5, & 6 (6 5 4) and then put a dot under each number, then connect 1 to 4, 2 to 5, and 3 to 6 without crossing lines. Then put a line down the middle, intersecting all 3 lines in the middle. Let’s see what that looks like here. Compare figure. 2 here with figure. 1 above. Do you think it is a coincidence that connecting the dots between the days of arrangement and the days of adornment assimilates a Menorah? Was this by accident or by intelligent design?

What Number should go between 3 and 6?

So far we have seen how day 1 goes with 4, 2 with 5, and 3 with 6, adding adornment to arrangement so that the work of the days of arrangement (1,2, & 3) were completed by the work of the days of adornment (4,5, & 6). From this we begin to see a Menorah pattern forming when we connect the dots without crossing lines, except for one drawn in the middle. If you are like I was as I saw the pattern emerge, you are quick to say day 7, the Sabbath. Let’s stop here though, and consider. There is more to the Menorah than meets the eye.

The Problem With Making the Middle Lamp Day 7

At this point we need more information from the Menorah and from Genesis 1 & 2 to make a right decision. First of all, can you see how the pattern of 3 on one side, 3 on the other and 1 in the middle is repeated 3 times in the 3 pairs of branches? 3 days + 3 days + 1 day = 1 week. That means there is 1 week we are still in the process of completing, and 3 more weeks. The problem here is what to do with the almond blossom ornament below the middle lamp, which connects no branches, but rather would seem to be alone. However, if we assign the 7th day to that uppermost middle almond blossom, we can see that day 7 of each week could be assigned to the 4 almond blossom ornaments on the trunk of this almond-tree-Menorah, it would show the 7 almond blossom ornaments in the trunk. So then, that leaves the problem of what to do with or what day to assign to the middle lamp.

Hints From Genesis & Gesenius

I used to think,  and many well meaning students of the Torah still think,  that because the word “day” in Genesis 2:4 is translated as “generations”, that this is talking about a long period of time, much longer than a normal 24 hour period. However, it makes more sense to me, realising that Hebrew thought patterns often go back over something previously that mentioned to provide more details, that Genesis 2:4 is expounding on Genesis 1:1-2 which is one 24 hour day. I would translate Genesis 2:4-6 as follows:

Genesis 2:4 LHV
4 This is the origin of the dimensions and of the earth when they were created, in the “D A Y” that /YA-hu-WAH/ the Creator made the earth and the dimensions,
5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up–for /YA-hu-WAH/ the Creator had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground,
6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground–

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Figure 3. The term translated “generations” in the KJV is translated as “origin” by Gesenius, top Hebrew Scholar of his time.

When we look at the context, we see that Genesis 2:4 is talking about a time before man was created, before vegetation was produced from the ground. It would appear that the earth created on creation day was covered by a mist so that it would not appear until day 3.

However, that is another topic for another time. So lets get back to the topic and jump right in. We are talking about the origin or the “D A Y”that /YA-hu-WAH/ the Creator made the earth and the dimensions. This was a day when the earth was yet un-arranged and unadorned before /YA-hu-WAH/ the Creator began the 3 days of arrangement to be followed by 3 days of adornment, which we know to be the 6 working days before the Sabbath.

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Figure 4. If you said that day 7 was in the middle, you were right, but not all right. It is in the ornament just below the middle lamp.

As you can see in Figure 4, when we fit day 7 in the top almond blossom ornament slot, that makes room for creation day, which was un-arranged and unadorned in the day that it was created. Centrality is an important concept in Hebrew thought. It is a way of establishing importance or emphasis. Here we see the day of creation not being counted in the 6 working days.

It is very possible that the counting began with the work of arrangement so that the day of rest would establish the unit we now call a week. Creation Day was not part of that week. The traditional view merges or fuses creation day with the 1st working day of creation week.

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The pattern established in the 3 parts of creation week (1-days of arrangement, 2-days of adornment, 3-Sabbath) follows into the 3 pairs of branches, opening up the bigger picture.

If the middle lamp is considered as day 7, there is a loose end of the almond blossom ornament under the middle branch. If it is considered the un-arranged, unadorned day of creation, not counted in the week we have a way to account for all lamps and ornaments in the bigger picture to see the whole intelligent design in creation and the Menorah.

When we see the pattern as a whole, it becomes easier to see that Creation Day is a precursor to New Moon Day, and this New Moon – 6 working days – Sabbath pattern becomes the pattern for every month of the Ancient Hebrew Calendar where the New Moon Day not only determines the count of days of the month to Passover Lamb Selection Day on the 10th day of the 1st month, Passover on the 14th, Unleavened Bread on the 15th to 21st, it also sets up the weeks following New Moon Day, each of which end with a Sabbath.

How Do We Establish the Count For the Days of the Month?

 

Here I hope to show clearly one simplified approach to establishing the New Moon Day and 4 weeks on the Menorah. I hope you will appreciate YA-hu-WAH’s most beautiful symmetrical design.

New Moon Day

 

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Week 1

 

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Week 2

 

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Week 3

 

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Week 4

 

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