“Adonai said to Moshe, “Order the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from crushed olives for the light, to keep lamps burning always.”-Leviticus 24:-1-2
The opening verses of Leviticus chapter24 deal with the large, golden lamp stand that sits inside the Holy Place of the Sanctuary.
Do you remember what it’s called in Hebrew?
It’s called the MENORAH.
In verse 2, YHWH gives clear instructions to the Israelites that they are to use only clear and pure olive oil to fuel the MENORAH.
Today I want to show you a couple of things that I think are quite mind-blowing but do tend to get lost in translation.
But before I do that, an important reminder.
Recall these sobering words that Yeshua said to the ruling religious elite in his day:
“For if you really believed Moshe,
you would believe me;
because it was about me that he wrote.
But if you don’t believe what he wrote,
how are you going to believe what I say?”
Here’s the thing.
There are so many patterns, types, and shadows in the TORAH that point to the coming and purpose of Messiah.
I believe that the 2nd verse of Leviticus 24 contains a tiny piece of this Messianic puzzle.
We know that the MENORAH is connected to Messiah because Yeshua proclaims himself the light of the world.
So I want to make my first point by asking this question:
Why does the MENORAH require pure olive oil to be burned as fuel if other things can be used?
Think about it, there are many other substances that could be burned as fuel to provide light.
Animal fat, animal dung, oil from sea creatures, or wax etcetera could be used.
Even petroleum that spilled out through small fissures in the ground was readily available.
Yet, YHWH made it crystal clear that ONLY olive oil was to be used.
And what’s interesting is that all throughout the Bible, we’ll find a connection being made between the olive tree and Israel.
In fact, the olive tree will eventually come to symbolize Israel in the Bible.
Recall the analogy of being grafted into the olive tree for example.
Tuck that thought in your back pocket for a second, while I ask a second quite pertinent question.
Why did the olives have to be crushed if there were other EASIER ways to extract the oil out of the olives?
There were a variety of different methods that could be used to extract the oil out of the olives.
They could be smashed and smushed.
Or the most common way was simply to press them with a mortar or pestle.
Later on an olive press would be created for this purpose.
However, we are told that the olive oil to be used for the MENORAH had to be crushed, struck and beaten in order to get the oil out.
The olives were NOT to be pressed.
The Hebrew verb being used here is KATHITH and it indeed means “beaten”.
The Israelites back then were probably quite perplexed as to why all of this whipping, beating and scourging of the olives was necessary.
Even the famous Jewish sage Rashi admitted he was at a loss as to exactly why the olives had to be beaten.
I think you probably know where I’m going with all this but was not Messiah crushed?
Was not Yeshua severely beaten and struck harshly?
The process of beating the olives to get the oil out established a Messianic type and pattern.
Here’s another important point.
Amongst the many English Bible translations out there, it is rare that you will come across the word MENORAH.
Instead we’ll usually encounter the terms “Lamp Stand” or “Golden Lamp Stand” in both the Old and New Testaments.
I feel like this is really a shame because we miss the important connection between the TORAH and the Apostolic Scriptures.
Check out these verses from Revelations:
“Consider how far you have fallen!
Repent and do the things
you did at first.
If you do not repent,
I will come to you and
remove your lampstand
from its place.”
That’s the NIV version, the King James version will say “candlestick“.
However, kudos to the Complete Jewish Bible which properly uses the word MENORAH even in the New Testament.
Again, this is important so we can see how the work of Messiah is connected to the the sacred and HOLY things of the sanctuary.
Just as the olive tree symbolizes Israel, I would say the purest olive oil represents Yeshua, who was the purest Israelite.
As the chosen Messiah, Yeshua was indeed the purest fuel who provided the purest light for a dark world marred by sin.