The Structure of the Menorah

God instructed the House of Israel to build a seven-branched lampstand of pure gold (Ex 25:31-40).

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The shape reminds of a flowering tree of life. On each of the six side arms were 3 golden almond blossoms and together with the 4 on the center shaft, there were exactly 22 almond blossoms. Between the 22 flowers, there are 21 connections. From the lowest flower to the top flower on the shaft to the 6 lamps, there are 27 (3x8+3=27) connections, and together with the highest connection from the top flower on the shaft to the middle lamp, there are a total of 28 (4x7) connections. Together they are 50 parts + 7 lamps.

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The almond tree is the first tree in Israel, which awakes from its winter sleep to life and blooms. Therefore, the white almond blossom is a symbol of life and purity. God paid attention to the details from the very beginning; for he commanded that every single almond blossom on the Menorah should consist of three parts, namely, the cups, buds and blossoms (petals). Together they are 3x22=66 single flower parts.

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The Menorah stood in the Tabernacle and in Solomon's Temple. The Menorah stood also in the Temple of Herod in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified.

 

In the year 66 AD began the Jewish-Roman War. In 70 AD was the temple in Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans. After more than 10 years the Arch of Titus in Rome was created, showing the removal of the Menorah, whose shape was outlined, however inaccurate.

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The biblical Menorah is a reference to the Bible, the light to the world

The Menorah has a symbolism for eternity, for there is a clear correlation between the construction of the Menorah and the structure of the Bible. This is especially evident at 3 points:

 

1. THE 49 SCROLLS OF THE BIBLE: The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters and the Greek has 27 letters (in total there are 22+27=49 letters). The Menorah has 22 almond blossoms and the OT has been written on 22 scrolls. The 22 almond flowers on the Menorah are a symbol of the 22 scrolls of the OT (the basis of the Bible). The Menorah has 3x8+3=27 connections from the lowest to the top flower of the shaft toward the 6 lamps (the 6 is the number of man) and the NT was written on 27 scrolls. The 27 connections stands for the 27 books of the NT. Together, there are 22+27=49 scrolls of the Bible.

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"Your WORD is a LAMP to my feet and a LIGHT to my path" (Psalm 119,105)

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The Menorah has 22 almond blossoms and 27 connecting parts; together they are 22+27=49 items. On the shaft there are 7 parts and on all 6 side arms as well. They are therefore exactly 7x7=49 parts of the Menorah.

 

The Bible was written on 22 (OT) plus 27 (NT) scrolls; together they are 22+27=49 scrolls. The 49 symbolizes the complete conclusion and final completeness of the Word of God: 7x7=49.

 

However, the Menorah still has a connection from the uppermost almond blossom at the shaft to the middle lamp. This symbolizes the most important part, or the most important book of the Bible, namely the Book of Life. 49 + 1 = 50

2. THE 7 PARTS OF THE BIBLE: The Menorah has 7 lamps and the Bible consists of 7 parts. Each of these parts symbolizes a lamp, for the Word of God is the light for our dark world. The 7 parts are: 1. Law, 2. Prophets, 3. Writings, 4. Gospels, 5. Acts of the Apostles, 6. Epistles, and 7. Revelation.

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3. THE 66 AND 70 BOOKS OF BIBLE: Each almond flower consists of 3 parts (cups, buds and blossoms/petals). Together they are 3x22=66 almond blossom items. On the center shaft are 4 almond blossoms with a total of 12 flower items. On the left side of the Menorah, there are 3x3x3=27 flower parts on the 3 arms. The 12 flower parts on the stem plus the 27 flower parts on the left side are a reference to the basis of the Bible, namely the 12+27=39 books of the OT. The other 3x3x3=27 flower parts on the right side of the shaft indicate the 27 books of the NT. In addition, there are exactly 3x7=21 connections between the 22 almond blossoms. The Old Testament was written on 22 scrolls, but it contains a total of 39 individual books. The New Testament was written on 27 scrolls, and here each scroll corresponds to a single book. The entire Bible was written on 49 scrolls and contains 66 individual books.

A lamp also has the wick and the olive oil. There are therefore 3x7=21 lamp items. The 22 almond blossoms with the 27 connecting parts together produce 49 items and with the 21 lamp items the total number is 70 (10x7=70). Since the Psalms originally consisted of 5 books, the total number of the Bible is 70 books. Interestingly, Josephus himself described that the Menorah consisted of 70 parts. However, we do not know exactly how they counted. And we do not know whether the construction of the Temple Menorah was exactly according to the Bible's instructions (Ex 25:31-40) or changed by the priests.

 

Oil is also important because it is a reference to the Holy Spirit, which enables us to be a light in this world. The parable of the 10 virgins (Mt 25:1-13) emphasizes the importance of this oil, for the darkness will not enter into the kingdom of God. The Bridegroom will certainly not pick up the sinful darkness, but only the spiritual virgins who have enough oil (Holy Spirit). Christians who do not follow Jesus, who radiate little love and are therefore no light for the world, are not genuine Christians, but part of this dark world (Mt 25:1-13).

The symbol and meaning of the numbers

The Bible was written on 49 scrolls (22 + 27), but it contains 39 + 27 = 66 books.
Since the Psalms originally consisted of 5 books, there are altogether 70 books.

Both views are correct. The numbers 49 (7x7), 66 (3x22) and 70 (10x7) symbolize the complete conclusion and completeness of the Word of God. There are Christians who believe that the 66 is related to the number 666 (number of the Beast, Satan). However, this is a great error, for the 66 has nothing to do with it, but it means 3 times 22 (22 Hebrew letters), which is a very positive number of the Old Testament closeness of the books. The OT also contains 36 (3x12) and the NT 21 (3x7) book names. No scroll and no book may be removed or added.

The number 22:

  • 22  Almond blossoms of the Menorah
  • 22  Letters in the ancient Hebrew alphabet
  • 22  Scrolls of the Old Testament

The number 27:

  • 27  Connections in the flowering area of the Menorah
  • 27  Letters in the ancient Greek alphabet (with digamma, koppa, sampi)
  • 27  Scrolls of the New Testament

The Biblical Menorah has:

  • 7   Lamps (with wick and oil it is 3 x 7 = 21 items)
  • 21  Connecting parts between the 22 almond blossoms
  • 22  Cups buds and blossoms = 3 x 22 = 66 Flower Items:
  • 66  Flower items: 12 on shaft + 27 on the left side = 39 + 27 on the right side
  • 27  Connections between the flowers and 6 lamps (3 x 8 + 3 = 27)
  • 28  Connections from beginning of flowering to all 7 lamps (3 x 8 + 4 = 28)
  • 49  Flowers and compounds in the flowering area (22 + 27 = 49 = 7 x 7)
  • 50  Flowers and connections to all 7 lamps (22 + 28 = 50 = 7 x 7 = 491)

The Book of Life

When the tree of life blossoms, it has exactly 49 parts from the lowest to the highest flower on the shaft to the 6 lamps (6 = number of man). This symbolizes the Bible (22+27=49 scrolls with the 39+27=66 or 70 books). However, the most important detail is still missing, namely the piece from the top flower to the middle lamp. It symbolizes the "Book of Life" (49+1=50) and the perfect communion with God. As in the counting of the days until Pentecost (49+1) and in the counting of the years up to the year of Jubilee (49+1), so also indicates the uppermost part of the Menorah (49+1) the complete conclusion and the new beginning. (More information about the Book of Life)


The Menorah is a reference to the Word of God. God speaks to us through the scrolls of the Bible; His word is the light in this world. But the 50th (49+1) section to the Central Lamp is a symbol of the "Book of Life" and the eternal direct contact with Yahweh / Jesus.

The Menorah symbolizes Jesus

  • Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of JESUS CHRIST...  this man stands here before you whole... Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved  (Acts 4:10-12).
  • In the beginning was the WORD, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the LIGHT of all mankind. The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that LIGHT, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the LIGHT; he came only as a witness to the LIGHT. The true LIGHT that gives LIGHT to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The WORD became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-14).
  • I am the LIGHT of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the LIGHT of life (John 8:12).
  • I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me  (John 14:6).
  • And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work (Rev 22:12).

JESUS is the Light. The Menorah symbolizes [1.] JESUS (Light, Love, Word and Savior), [2.] His Word, the BIBLE (49 scrolls with 66/70 books, they are the light in this dark world) and [3.] The "BOOK OF LIFE," that is eternal life (Rev 3:5; 20:12-15) and our way of life, the light in the dark world (Mt 5:13-16). When we shine our light and are an example to the world, our name will stand forever in the book of life. This is our hope and joy.

The Menorah is not a normal lampstand; it is a miracle, just as the Bible itself is also a miracle.

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The light of the menorah symbolizes:

1. JESUS: he is the light of the world, because he is the love in person, the word and the savior of the world

2. The HOLY SPIRIT: without the oil there is no light and no illumination

3. The BIBLE: The 7 parts, 49 scrolls with 66/70 books = the word of God = the light in this dark world

4. The BOOK OF LIFE: eternal life (Rev 3:5, 20:12-15), and our way of life, as a light in this world (Mt 5:13-16)


Why did God allow the Menorah to be removed from the Temple?

Is God not able to protect His people? God can protect His people; this is not a problem for him. However, the sins of Israel were the reason why God had not prevented the destruction of Jerusalem and the robbery of the Menorah by the Babylonians (586 BC), Greeks (Seleucid Empire, 169 BC), and Romans (AD 70). Israel did not obey the commandments of God and even rejected Jesus: the Word, the Light, the Savior, the Messiah (Mt 27:20-66; John 1:9-11). The followers of Jesus were also persecuted, expelled and cruelly killed by the Jews as so-called "apostates and seduces" (John 20:19, Acts 2, Acts 7; 8:1-3, 12:1-5, 14:4-7,19). It was not the Christians who killed the Jews, but the Jews who killed Christians first and before that, they led Jesus (their own relatives and the Light of the World) to execution by the Romans. That was the biggest sin ever. Therefore, God allowed the light of the Menorah to be removed from its people for 2,000 years and hidden by the Romans. In 70 AD, almost all Jews were expelled from their homeland and dispersed throughout the world. The ancient prophets knew it and foretold it in their books. Israel did not want to listen to the commandments and warnings of God. It rejected the light (Jesus), so it had to bear the consequences in exile among all peoples of the world and suffer in the deepest darkness. In the Diaspora, the Israelites longed for God's protection, which was guaranteed to their fathers by God, before they fell away from God and His commandments. However, since the end of the Second World War, the Jews have been able to return to their land and no nation can destroy Israel, because the protective hand of God is again above Israel. This generation (born after 1948 or 1967) will not pass away until Jesus returns (Mt 24:32-35; the fig tree is a symbol of Israel). Then his light and his love will radiate over the world and there will be no more wars and sorrows.

 

Many people seek the ancient Menorah from the Temple of Herod. However, it would be better if they were to seek Jesus, for he is the true meaning behind the Menorah. What is the use of a perishable physical chandelier when denying the true spiritual eternal light? Whoever wants to see the Light of the Menorah for all eternity must follow Jesus and go the path of love and willingness to help others. Otherwise, his name will not be written in the BOOK OF LIFE (more information about the Book of Life).

 

The Menorah on the Arch of Titus is not the Biblical Menorah

The shape of the Menorah on the Arch of Titus in Rome does not match that mentioned in the Book of Exodus. That's 100% clear. What is the reason? 

  1. The Arch of Titus was built about 10 years after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. It is therefore not sure if the sculptors have seen the Menorah with their own eyes at all. Even if the artists had seen it, it does not mean that they were exactly oriented to the original and paid close attention to every biblical detail, because they have obviously chosen a simplified symbolic form. This concerns e.g. the lack of representation of the 22 almond blossoms, whose tips made of rock not only difficult to produce, but over time anyway weathered quickly and they would fall off. The Romans were indifferent to the biblical details, for them it was only a matter of showing the spoils of war to all men for all time.
  2. The temple of God was destroyed several times over the centuries; the Menorah was stolen and then replaced by a NEW one with a slightly different shape. The entire inventory of the First Temple was lost in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in July 586 BC. For the Second Temple, a new Menorah was created. Antiochus IV. Epiphanes plundered in 169 BCE the Second Temple, "and took away the golden altar, the lampstand, and all the devices that belong to it" (1 Maccabees 1:21). Kurt Freyer already wrote in 1918: "The candelabrum of the Second Temple was destroyed by Antiochus Epiphanes in 169 BC, and four years later Jehuda Makkabi replaced it with a NEW Candlestick" (Source: Kurt Freyer: "Die Menora", In: "Moaus Zur, a Hanukkah Book," Jewish publishing house Berlin, 1918). So no one knows in how many details the temple menorah stolen by the Romans differed from that at the time of the Exodus. 
  3. There are also sources that report that the Romans themselves have made some changes. This concerns in particular the pedestal, which was created hexagonal, equipped with Roman animal figures and made extra large, so that the Menorah during the transport in the triumphal procession does not overturn and can be put on display better (see photos from the year 80 AD). The Menorah depicted on the arch of the Titus clearly shows in parts the style of the Roman Empire (for example, the ornaments on the pedestal and the part between pedestal and the seven arms). Therefore, it is not recommended to regard the form of the Menorah of the Roman Arch of Titus as binding. In other words, in constructing the Menorah, we need to be guided only by the Word of God and not on the ideas of the Romans who killed our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must always differentiate between the biblical and the Roman or Hellenistic Menorah. 
various menorah illustrations 22 almond blossoms, Structure Menorah
various menorah illustrations with 22 almond blossoms

Innumerable forms have been created over the centuries, but no one knows how the Menorahs looked exactly at the time of Moses and at the time of the first and second temples in Jerusalem (examples from all centuries: Historical Menoras). And nobody knows exactly how the 22 almond blossoms were positioned on the 7 arms.

 

The picture on the right shows some suspected variants from the 18th century (Source of the original image: see 1754 "Davidis Millii Miscellanea sacra Jesaiæ").

Source of illustrations: Menorah (Link), Menorah 2 (Link), Tabernacle (Link), Arch of Titus in Rome (Link).


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