There is a common mistake many gentiles make concerning the MENORAH.
Contrary to popular assumption, the 7-branched MENORAH is NEVER lighted in an observant Jewish household.
Keep in mind that a 7-branched MENORAH is a special implement ONLY to be used in the Temple.
However, the Temple hasn’t existed for over 1900 years.
So while the 7-branched MENORAH serves as a poignant reminder of the Temple both past and future, the truth is most Jewish homes today don’t even have a 7-branched MENORAH.
However, there is a 9-branched MENORAH.
It isn’t mentioned in the Bible and emerged a little over a century before Yeshua.
The 9-branched MENORAH was created to celebrate one of the major Jewish holidays known as the Feast of Dedication or the Festival of Lights.
However, you might know it better by the name HANUKKAH.
There is some interesting history behind this holiday that I think many Christians are not familiar with.
However, if you’re a regular member at a Messianic Congregation, no doubt you have had the privilege of celebrating this holiday.
In a nutshell, HANUKKAH commemorates Judas the Maccabees’ victorious rebellion against Antiochus Epiphanies which resulted in the taking back and purifying of the Temple.
Epiphanies was a cruel and capricious puppet governor for Rome who ruled over the Holy Land in about 175 BC.
He did not take kindly to the Jews.
He attempted to outlaw Jewish religious rites and traditions kept by observant Jews and ordered the worship of Zeus (the sun-god) as the supreme god.
Things took a serious turn for the worse when Epiphanies went into the Temple, removed many of the valuable items, and erected a statue of himself in the form of Zeus inside the Holy of Holies of all places.
But the final straw that broke the camel’s back was when he sacrificed a pig to this statue!
He boiled the un-kosher meat and poured its broth all over the Temple Torah Scrolls.
Well, as you can imagine, the Jewish people just about lost their minds and a group of rebels was formed to battle against Epiphanies.
The Jewish rebels took the Temple back, but because many of the priests had been slaughtered, there wasn’t a sufficient supply of consecrated olive oil to keep the MENORAH lamps burning for more than one day.
However, according to historical legend, this is when an amazing miracle occurred.
Apparently that mere one-day supply of oil continued to burn for 8 days!
So the 8 branches of this special MENORAH represent this supposed 8-day miracle.
And the 9th branch is used to light the other eight branches.
As a result of this tale, observant Jewish homes do have a 9-branched MENORAH and this is what they light during the HANUKKAH season which also lasts 8 days and incidentally takes place during that time of year the Christian church has chosen to celebrate the birth of Yeshua.
Having said all that, I predict in the not too distance future when the Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem, the 7-branched MENORAH is going to make a big-time comeback.
The original wilderness tabernacle MENORAH and its 7 lamps which were to be kept burning at all times foreshadow Yeshua, the one who proclaimed Himself the “light of the world”.
Note that we are given a sober warning in Scripture that we will have our MENORAHs taken away from us if we do not adhere to Yeshua, our first love.
The great spiritual takeaway for today is this.
As believers, the very reason we are on this planet is to be light to a world seeped in darkness.
If we’re not serving as God’s light to a dark world, then we’re like MENORAHs without any oil.
We’re just taking up space.
We are supposed to keep the lamps in our tabernacles (these fleshly vessels we currently reside in) burning day and night.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“The Kingdom of Heaven at that time will be like ten bridesmaids
who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom.
Five of them were foolish and five were sensible.
The foolish ones took lamps with them but no oil.”
When Yeshua spoke again to the people,
he said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
“You are light for the world.
A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Likewise, when people light a lamp,
they don’t cover it with a bowl
but put it on a lampstand,
so that it shines for everyone in the house.
In the same way,
let your light shine before people,
so that they may see the good things you do
and praise your Father in heaven.”
“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Ephesus, write:
‘Here is the message from the one
who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks among the seven gold menorahs:
“I know what you have been doing,
how hard you have worked,
how you have persevered,
and how you can’t stand wicked people;
so you tested those who call themselves emissaries but aren’t
— and you found them to be liars.
You are persevering,
and you have suffered for my sake without growing weary.
But I have this against you:
you have lost the love you had at first.
Therefore, remember where you were before you fell,
turn from this sin,
and do what you used to do before.
Otherwise, I will come to you
and remove your menorah from its place
— if you don’t turn from your sin!
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN EXODUS CHAPTER 26