Today, let’s talk a little about the golden lamp stand which was placed on the south side of the Holy Place directly opposite the Table of Showbread.
In Hebrew, this is called the MENORAH and next to the Star of David, it is probably the Jewish people’s most recognized symbol.
It is also probably the oldest symbol of the Jewish people dating back to more than 1000 years BEFORE the Star of David even came into existence.
Understand that the MENORAH only refers to the “lamp stand”.
It is separate from the candles or oil lamps just as the Mercy Seat (lid) is separate from the Ark of Covenant.
At a glance, the MENORAH resembles a well-proportioned tree with its magnificent branches stretching out to the heavens.
Interestingly, some Rabbis have suggested that the MENORAH could possibly be symbolic of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.
The original MENORAH weighed in at about 70 pounds and was sculpted by hand from a solid chunk of gold.
Notice I said “sculpted”.
The gold was not melted down and poured into a mold as most precious metal work is done today.
It had a center stem with three branches on each side of it for a total of 7 branches.
The MENORAH was the ONLY source of light for the Holy Place, which was a fairly sizable room.
In terms of measurements, the Holy Place came was about 30 feet long, 15 feet wide and 15 feet tall.
Affixed to the 7 branches of the MENORAH were 7 oil lamps each containing special olive oil to be used as fuel.
It was the priests’ job to ensure that these 7 oil lamps were kept burning 24/7.
Under no circumstances, were they ever to go out.
The surface decoration of the MENORAH were almond leaves blossoming at their various stages of growth.
What symbolic meaning does this hold?
While we haven’t come to this incident yet, later we will witness a scene where Aaron’s staff not only budded with almond blossoms but also ended up producing almonds.
The Jewish sages have noted that the almond tree was actually the first fruit to blossom once spring came around.
Others have said that Aaron’s dead stick which the Lord caused to come to life and actually produce fruit, which was the almonds, is actually symbolic of resurrection.
I like that.
I couldn’t think of anything more prophetic of Yeshua, for He indeed is the First Fruits of the the resurrection of the dead.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“But the fact is that the Messiah
has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have died.“
-1 Corinthians 15:20