It has been noted that the shape of the menorah bears a certain resemblance to that of the plantSalvia palaestina.
Fray Juan Ricci(16001681), sketch of the menorah as described in Exodus, undated. Biblioteca Statale del Monumento Nazionale diMonte Cassino, cod. 469, fol. 199v
TheKnesset Menorahoutside theKnesset(IsraeliParliament).
Depiction of the Menorah on a modern replica of theArch of Titusin Rome, displayed in the Beit Hatfutsot: Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv.
The text quoted here is from the NIV, not the CJB.
Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
, page 239 (Urim Publications, 2006).ISBN965-7108-92-6
TheTalmudMenahot28b) states that it is prohibited to use a seven-lamp menorah outside of the Temple. The Hanukkah menorah therefore has eight main branches, plus the raised ninth lamp set apart as theshamash(servant) light which is used to kindle the other lights. This type of menorah is called ahanukiahinModern Hebrew.
Jerusalem Post. More than a Model Menorah13 December 2011
. New York: Hebrew Publishing Company. pp.366367.ISBN088482876X.
Kevin Conner, The Tabernacle of Moses, City Christian Publishing (1976), p43-44
Articles incorporating a citation from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia with Wikisource reference
InTaoism, the Seven-Star Lamp qi xing deng is a seven-lamp oil lamp lit to represent the seven stars of theNorthern Dipper.This lampstand is a requirement for all Taoist temples, never to be extinguished. In the first 9 days of the lunar 9th month festival, an oil lamp of nine connected lamps may also be lit to honour both the Northern Dipper and two other assistant stars (collectively known as the Nine Emperor Stars), sons ofDou Muappointed by the TaoistTrinity(the Three Pure Ones) to hold the Books of Life and Death of humanity. The lamps represent the illumination of the 7 stars, and lighting them are believed to absolvesinswhile prolonging ones lifespan.
A House of David in the Land of Jesus
Kippaand Menorah from the Harry S Truman collection
The logo of ParissMuse dArt et dHistoire du Judaïsme
37Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it.38Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold.39A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories.40See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913).Seven-Branch Candlestick.
The seven lamps allude to the branches of humanknowledge, represented by the six lamps inclined inwards towards, and symbolically guided by, the light ofGodrepresented by the central lamp. The menorah also symbolizes the creation in seven days, with the center light representing theSabbath.
The shape of the Menorah of the Temple
TheJewish Legioncap badge: menorah and word קדימהKadima(forward)
Menorah monument to the 33,771 Jews murdered atBabi Yar, Ukraine
Williams, Margaret H. 2013. The Menorah in a Sepulchral Context: A Protective, Apotropaic Symbol? In
The Menorah, presented toTsar Boris IIIfrom theTsarska Bistritsa)
Gold from the Land of Israel: A New Light on the Weekly Torah Portion – From the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook
Complete Jewish Bible [and] New International Version [side by side]
By Steven Fine, 148163. New York: Cambridge University Press.
The menorah features prominently in the 2013 crypto-thrillerThe Sword of MosesbyDominic Selwood. It is also featured in the archaeology novelsCrusader Gold, byDavid Gibbins, andThe Last Secret of the Temple, byPaul Sussman. A menorah can be seen in the movieX-Men: First Class, whenCharles XavierreadsErik Lehnsherrsmind as he remembers his mom.
. Peabody, MA:Hendrickson Publishers. 2011. pp.134135.ISBN98
Maimonides depicted them as straight in a manuscript drawing, but see Seth Mandels alternative interpretation below.
This page was last edited on 16 May 2018, at 18:31.
(Let your light so shine – Matt. 5:16)
) is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp (six branches) ancient Hebrew lampstand made of pure gold and used in theportable sanctuaryset up byMosesin the wilderness and later in theTemple in Jerusalem. Fresholive oilof the purest quality was burned daily to light its lamps. The menorah has been a symbol ofJudaismsince ancient times and is the emblem on thecoat of armsof the modern state ofIsrael.
Synagogueshave a continually lit lamp or light in front of theArk, where theTorah scrollis kept, called thener tamid(eternal light). This lamp represents the continually litner Elohimof the menorah used in Temple times.
Chanan Morrison, Abraham Isaac Kook,
31Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them.32Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstandthree on one side and three on the other.33Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand.34And on the lampstand are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms.35One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pairsix branches in all.36The buds and branches shall be all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
During the restoration of the Temple worship after the captivity in Babylon, no mention is made of the return of the menorah but only of vessels (Ezra 1:9-10). Since the Temple was an enclosed place with no natural light, some means of illumination must have existed.
–. 2016. The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016.
A drawing on the depiction of the Menorah seen on theArch of TitusinRomeItaly.
It is also said to symbolize theburning bushas seen byMosesonMount HorebExodus 3).
Kevin Conner, The Tabernacle of Moses, City Christian Publishing (1976), p43
Numbers, chapter 8, adds that the seven lamps are to give light in front of the lampstand and reiterates that the lampstand was made in accordance with the pattern shown to Moses on the mountain.
The Menorah is seen being sacked as theHoly TempleinJerusalemwas being destroyed by theRoman army. (70 CE)
From Dura to Sepphoris: Studies in Jewish Art and Society in Late Antiquity.
3:10 ). Figure is based on the accepted rabbinic view that there are four finger-widths to every handbreadth, and each finger-width is estimated at 2.25 cm. This measurement does not include the step-like platform upon which it rested.
Edward Gibbon: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire(Volume 7: Chapter XLI. From the Online Library of Liberty. The J. B. Bury edition, in 12 volumes.)
TheArch of Titus(Arcus Titi) was erected byDomitiansometime after the death of his brother in 81 CE, making the relief of the menorah one of the oldest representations in existence.
TheCoat of Arms of Israelshows a menorah surrounded by anolivebranch on each side and the writing ישראל (Israel) based on its depiction on the Arch of Titus.
The Image and Its Prohibition in Jewish Antiquity.
The New Testament book ofRevelationrefers to seven golden lampstands, representing the seven churches ofAsiato which the revelation was sent (EphesusSmyrnaPergamosThyatiraSardisPhiladelphiaandLaodicea), with one like a Son of Man in their midst.
In this 1806 French print, the woman with the Menorah represents the Jews being emancipated byNapoleon Bonaparte
Iglesia ni Cristoflag, the seven-branched candelabrum or menorah represents the church in the Bible
The branches are often artistically depicted as semicircular, butRashi,(according to some contemporary readings) andMaimonides(according to his sonAvraham),held that they were straight;all other Jewish authorities, both classical (e.g. Philo and Josephus) and medieval (e.g. Ibn Ezra) who express an opinion on the subject state that the arms were round.Archaeological evidence, including depictions by artists who had seen the menorah, indicates that they were not straight, but show them as rounded, either semicircular or elliptical.
The original menorah was made for the Tabernacle, and the Bible records it as being present until theIsraelitescrossed theJordan river. When the Tabernacle tent was pitched inShilohJoshua 18:1), it is assumed that the menorah was also present. However, no mention is made of it during the years that theArk of the Covenantwas moved in the times ofSamuelandSaul. There is no further mention of the menorah in Solomons temple, except in (1 Kings 7:49) and (2 Chronicles 4:7) as he creates ten lampstands. These are recorded as being taken away to Babylon by the invading armies under the general Nebuzar-Adan (Jeremiah 52:19) some centuries later.
See Likutei Sichot vol 21 pp 168-171
In Jewishoral tradition, the menorah stood 18 handbreadths high, or approximately 1.62 metres (5.3ft).Although the menorah was placed in the antechamber of the Temple sanctuary, over against its southernmost wall, theTalmud(Menahot98b) brings down a dispute between two scholars on whether or not the menorah was situated north to south, or east to west. The historianJosephus, who witnessed the Temples destruction, says that the menorah was actually situated obliquely, to the east and south.
In theOrthodox Churchthe use of the menorah has been preserved, always standing on or behind thealtarin the sanctuary.Though candles may be used, the traditional practice is to use olive oil in the seven-lamp lampstand. There are varying liturgical practices, and usually all seven lamps are lit for the services, though sometimes only the three centermost are lit for the lesser services. If the church does not have asanctuary lampthe centermost lamp of the seven lamps may remain lit as aneternal flame.
The Menorah has also become a symbol for theIglesia ni Cristosince the 20th century.
TheTemple Institutehas created a life-sized menorah, designed by goldsmith Chaim Odem, intended for use in a futureThird Temple. The Jerusalem Post describes the menorah as made according to excruciatingly exacting Biblical specifications and prepared to be pressed into service immediately should the need arise.The menorah is made of one talent (interpreted as 45kg) of 24 karat pure gold, hammered out of a single block of solid gold, with decorations based on the depiction of the original in the Arch of Titus and the Temple Institutes interpretation of the relevant religious texts.
The Menorah is also a symbol closely associated with the Jewish holiday ofHanukkah(also spelled Chanukah). According to theTalmud, after theSeleuciddesecration of the JewishTemple in Jerusalem, there was only enough sealed (and therefore not desecrated) consecrated olive oil left to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was enough time to make new pure oil.
The HebrewBible, orTorah, states thatGodrevealed the design for the menorah toMosesand describes the construction of the menorah as follows (Exodus 25:3140):
Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology.
Fine, Steven. 2010. The Lamps of Israel: The Menorah as a Jewish Symbol. In
Contrary to some modern designs, the ancient menorah did not contain anything resembling sevencandles, as candles were unknown in the Middle East until about 400 CE.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
First-century Synagogue Discovered on Site of Legions Magdala Center in Galilee
A menorah appears in thecoat of arms of the State of Israel, based on the depiction of the menorah on the Arch of Titus.
Thekinarais also, like the menorah, a seven candleholder which is associated with theAfrican Americanfestival ofKwanzaa. One candle is lit on each day of the week-long celebration, in a similar manner as theHanukiah(which was modeled after the menorah) during Hanukkah.
by Albert Pike (L.H. Jenkins, 1871 )
, page 18 (Pelican, 2007).ISBN978-1-58980-720-4
In 2009, the ruins of a synagogue with pottery dating from before the destruction of the Second Temple were discovered under land inMagdalaowned by theLegionaries of Christ, who had intended to construct a center for womens studies.Inside that synagogues ruins was discovered a rectangular stone, which had on its surface, among other ornate carvings, a depiction of the seven-lamp menorah differing markedly from the depiction on the Arch of Titus, which could possibly have been carved by an eyewitness to the actual menorah present at the time in the Temple at Jerusalem. This menorah has arms which are polygonal, not rounded, and the base is not graduated but triangular. It is notable, however, that this artifact was found a significant distance from Jerusalem and the Arch of Titus has often been interpreted as an eyewitness account of the original menorah being looted from the temple in Jerusalem.
Sometimes when teaching learners of theHebrew language, a chart shaped like the seven-lamp menorah is used to help students remember the role of thebinyanimof theHebrew verb.
In addition, many synagogues display either a Menorah or an artistic representation of a menorah.
The menorah from theSecond Templewas carried toRomeafter the Romanconquest of Jerusalemin 70AD during theFirst JewishRoman War. The fate of the menorah used in the Second Temple is recorded by Josephus, who states that it was brought to Rome and carried along during the triumph ofVespasianandTitus. Thebas reliefon theArch of Titusin Rome depicts a scene of Roman soldiers carrying away the spoils of the Second Temple, in particular, the seven-branched menorah, or candelabrum. For centuries, the Menorah was displayed as a war trophy at theTemple of PeaceinRome, a Roman temple paid for with spoils taken from the conquered city of Jerusalem. It was still there when the city was conquered byVandalsin 455. Its fate is unknown. While it may have been melted down or broken into chunks of gold by the conquerors, it has been variously claimed that it was destroyed in a fire; that it was taken to Carthage, and then to the Eastern Capitol of Rome atConstantinople, or that it sank in a shipwreck – in 1918 the RiverTiberwas dredged in an attempt to find it. Another persistent rumor is that the Vatican has kept it hidden for centuries. Some claim that it has been kept inVatican City, others that it is in the cellars of theArchbasilica of St. John Lateran.
The menorah symbolized the ideal of universal enlightenment.The idea that the Menorah symbolizes wisdom is noted in theTalmud, for example, in the following: Rabbi Isaac said: He who desires to become wise should incline to the south [when praying]. The symbol [by which to remember this] is that the Menorah was on the southern side [of the Temple].
Menorah monument at Jewish Cemetery ofTheresienstadt concentration camp
Babylonian TalmudMenahot28b);MaimonidesMishne Torah(
. Soncino Press. p.12a.ISBN42.
Most likely, the menorah was looted by theVandalsin thesacking of Romein 455 CE, and taken to their capital,Carthage.TheByzantine armyunder GeneralBelisariusmight have removed it in 533 and brought it toConstantinople. According toProcopius, it was carried through the streets of Constantinople during Belisarius triumphal procession.Procopius adds that the object was later sent back toJerusalemwhere there is no record of it.It could have been destroyed whenJerusalem was pillaged by the Persians in 614.
Representations of the seven lamp artifact have been found on tombs and monuments dating from the 1st century as a frequently used symbol of Judaism and the Jewish people.
Articles with inconsistent citation formats
Hebrew words and phrases in the Hebrew Bible
Second Templeperiod stone tablet from asynagogueinPekiinIsrael
The lamps of the menorah were lit daily from fresh, consecrated olive oil and burned from evening until morning, according toExodus 27:21.
Levine, Lee I. 2000. The History and Significance of the Menorah in Antiquity. In
An Introduction to the Philosophy and Religion of Taoism: Pathways to Immortality
Edited by Sarah Pearce, 7788. Journal of Jewish Studies, Supplement 2. Oxford: Journal of Jewish Studies.
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra (English and Hebrew Edition)
The Book ofMaccabeesrecords thatAntiochus Epiphanestook away the lampstands (plural) when he invaded and robbed the Temple (1 Maccabees 1:21). The later record of the making of new holy vessels may refer to the manufacture of new lampstands (1 Maccabees 4:49). There is no biblical mention of the fate of the menorah.
Hapgood, Isabel(1975) . Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church (5th ed.). Englewood NJ:Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese: xxx
Edited by Lee I. Levine and Zeev Weiss, 13153. Supplement 40. Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology.
Kevin Connerhas noted of the original menorah, described in Exodus 25, that each of the six tributary branches coming out of the main shaft was decorated with three sets of cups… shaped like almond blossoms… a bulb and a flower… (Exodus 25:33, NASB).This would create three sets of three units on each branch, a total of nine units per branch. The main shaft, however, had four sets of blossoms, bulbs and flowers, making a total of twelve units on the shaft (Exodus 25:34). This would create a total of 66 units, which Conner claims is a picture of theProtestantcanon of scripture (containing 66 books). Moreover, Conner notes that the total decorative units on the shaft and three branches equate to 39 (the number of Old Testament books within Protestant versions of the Bible); and the units on the remaining three branches come to 27 (the number of New Testament books).Conner connects this to Bible passages that speak of Gods word as a light or lamp (e.g. Psalms 119:105; Psalms 119:130; cf. Proverbs 6:23).
The Menorah, the Ancient Seven-Armed Candelabrum: Origin, Form, and Significance.
, page 213 (Sussex Academic Press, 2005).ISBN1-84519-085-8
Articles containing Hebrew-language text
The Roman-Jewish historianFlavius Josephusstates that three of the seven lamps were allowed to burn during the day also;however, according to one opinion in theTalmudRashiTractate Shabbat22b), only the center lamp was left burning all day, into which as much oil was put as into the others. Although all the other lights were extinguished, that light continued burning oil, in spite of the fact that it had been kindled first. This miracle according to the Talmud (TractateMenahot86b) was taken as a sign that theShechinahrested over Israel.It was called thener hamaaravi(Western lamp) because of the direction of its wick. This lamp was also referred to as thener Elohim(lamp of God), mentioned in I Samuel 3:3.The miracle of thener hamaaraviended about 40 years before the destruction of the Temple (c. 30 CE) according to the Talmud (TractateYoma39a), Our Rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple (that is to say from around 30 CE) the lot [For the Lord] did not come up in the right …hand; nor did the crimson-coloured strap become white; nor did the westernmost light shine
According toClement of AlexandriaandPhilo Judaeus, the seven lamps of the golden menorah represented the sevenclassical planetsin this order: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
The most famous preserved representationof the menorah of the Temple was depicted in afriezeon theArch of Titus, commemorating histriumphal paradeinRomefollowing thedestruction of Jerusalemin the year 70 CE. In that frieze, the menorah is shown resting upon a double hexagonal base, built all around in the form of a step. The lower base was identical in design to the upper base, only larger in circumference. Each facet of the hexagonal base was made with two vertical stiles and two horizontal rails, a top rail and a bottom rail, resembling a protruding frame set against a sunken panel. These panels have some relief design set or sculpted within them. The panels are depicting theZizand theLeviathanfromJewish mythology.
Povoledo, Elisabetta (20 February 2017).Vatican and Romes Jewish Museum Team Up for Menorah Exhibit. New York Times
Tabernacle and Temples in Jerusalem