photo courtesy of promiselandjourney.org
As we have entered the tabernacle (Mishkan) we should have seen by now that we have undertaken a process by which we are progressing in our intimacy with God. First we entered the one gate (Yeshua), the only way into the tabernacle and presence of God. Then we accepted His atoning blood at the brazen altar, then we approached the brass laver where we were washed and continue to wash ourselves by the Word and Spirit, growing in our relationship and commitment to Him and to live a life purified before Him. Now, we are ready to enter into the inner sanctuary, behind the first veil. Thus far we have still been in the outer court. Some Christians never progress beyond the Brazen Altar (salvation).
Inside the veil is where we can begin to experience intimacy. During the tabernacle and temple period, only a priest could enter the inner sanctuary. Now we have all been made priests through the atonement of Yeshua.
The first piece of furniture that we will discuss in the Holy Place is the seven branched golden lampstand (Menorah). Crafted out of one solid piece of gold, it was to burn continually before YHVH. The Menorah is also referred to as “The Lamp of God”(I Sam. 3:3).
In the menorah I can see how it symbolizes revelation better than any other item that God told Moses to make for the tabernacle. It represents the Holy Spirit and God’s work on the earth; through Yeshua (YHVH Salvation), through the work of the Holy Spirit in His children and in the government of God on the earth.
It is first mentioned in Exodus 25:31-40, and chapter 37. Another important mention of the lampstand is in Zechariah 4. This passage in Zechariah is referenced prophetically in Revelation concerning the 2 witnesses.
God demands precision, so we must be assured that the Menorah had a divine configuration and Moses followed the plan laid out to him by YHVH, according to the heavenly pattern. When we read about the Menorah we find that a numerical pattern emerges. We all know that God uses numbers. There were 7 lamps on the top of the Lampstand, 70 garnishings on its branches and a foundational base and shaft which gave the lamp its support. Concerning the lampstand the first century Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus, confirms that, “it was made with its knops, and lilies, and pomegranates, and bowls (which ornaments amounted to seventy in all).”
We will begin by discussing the base. No one knows for sure what the base of the original Menorah looked like. Some say it stood on a hexagon base, others say octagon or triangular base, still others say it stood on 3 legs, and others say it stood on 3 legs which were attached to a 2 tiered or one tier base. However, a base is made for support. An object cannot stand secure without a firm base to support it. According to Jewish thought the Menorah represents the “light of Torah”. Hence, Yeshua is the Word made flesh, so it represents Him.
Torah = light,
Torah = truth,
Torah = Yeshua.
The center shaft was called the “shamash” (servant) and it represented God (Y'shua). Thus, you have the base and the main “shaft” acting as the foundation of the lamp. Yeshua is a sure foundation.
Also, if one looks deeper you can see the representation of the Menorah as Israel (the 12 tribes). The Menorah is also referred to as the “tree of life”. Many think the Menorah built by Moses actually looked more like a tree with the 6 branches going more straight up than the curved structure we have today. In Zech. 4 we see the two olive branches (Ephraim, Judah) dripping into the Menorah. The Menorah filled with oil and as a tree symbol would definitely represent an olive tree and thus Israel. Israel is often referred to as a olive tree in scripture. The firstfruits “of the root” mentioned by Paul in Romans 11:16 (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) then hence the 12 tribes to whom the Torah was first given. With the Table of Shewbread we find it had 12 loaves on it, representing the 12 tribes and as the Breastplate of the High Priest had 12 stones on it, one for each of the tribes.
The design of the Menorah reflects the very framework of God’s government. The number 12 in Hebrew represents perfect government rule. In the governmental structure of Israel there were 12 men who served as leaders or heads over their tribes (Num. 1:4-17, 44 see Rev. 21:12). In the New Testament (Renewed Covenant) Yeshua began the formation of the New Congregation (which would believe in Him as Messiah and Redeemer of Israel) during the beginning of His earthly ministry by choosing 12 men (apostles) who became the foundational governing pillars of the congregation, Heb. 8:8, Jer. 31:31 Mark 3:14-19, Eph. 2:20, see Rev. 21:14.
In Revelation we see the number 12 a lot in the 12 gates, 12 foundations, 12 angels at the 12 gates (vs. 21:12-14). So, if the design of the Menorah represents that of “the tree of life” or an “olive tree” and that “olive tree” represents Israel, then it represents all 12 tribes just as the 12 loaves on the Table of Shewbread and the 12 stones on the breastplate.
Next, the garnishings. The knops, flowers, and bowls appear to add up to seventy . There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding the apparent conflict in some translations as to whether this is “seventy” or seventy-two”. However, there does seem to be this same dilemma in many Old Testament passages. The number 70 plays an important role in Biblical numerology. Moses chose 70 elders of the people to be with him on Mt. Sinai (Numbers 11:16). In the New Testament, Yeshua appointed other 70 men and sent them out in ministry (Luke 10:1).
Next we have the 7 lamps on top. After Moses’ departure, Joshua appointed 7 priests who led the camp of Israel into victory blowing rams horns (Joshua 6:4). After Yeshua’s crucifixion and resurrection, the Apostles appointed a body of 7 men to assume a great portion of the care and responsibility for the churches so that the 12 could return to Jerusalem and give themselves over to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:2-4). In Hebrew the number 7 represents perfection.
Hence, we can see here a pattern of 12, 70, and 7 represented as a basic numerical pattern of government for both Old Testament Israel and Re-Newed Covenant Israel. These numbers, or multiples of them, are repeated many times in the Bible. Remember that the number 7 also represents perfection.
As already mentioned, the Menorah was made out of one solid piece of gold. It was not pieced together. Likewise, God manifests Himself 7 different ways, through the Holy Spirit, on this earth. Again, 7 is a number of perfection.
This is the prophecy in Isaiah which speaks of the BRANCH (Yeshua), Isaiah 11:1-2.
“And the Spirit (Ruach) of YHVH shall rest upon Him (1), The Spirit (Ruach) of wisdom (2) and understanding (3), The Spirit (Ruach) of counsel (4) and might (5), The Spirit (Ruach) of knowledge (6) and of the fear (7) of YHVH.” All of these are known as Manifestations of YHVH’s Spirit and Messiah.
Likewise, there are seven listed promises that followers of Yeshua can receive from the Holy Spirit.
See: John 16:12-13,I John 2:27, Acts 1:8, 2 Tim. 1:7, I Cor. 2:10-14, Eph. 1:17-19, Eph. 3:16-19.
1. He shall remain with us forever, be upon and in us – John 14:16-17, Eph. 1:13-14, Rom. 8:9,
Mark 1:8, I John 2:27.
2. He shall give us wisdom - chok’mah -skillful, wit, from root word that means to be wise in mind,
word, or act, exceeding, insight, to teach wisdom. Think of Solomon and the two women disputing
over the baby.
3. And understanding - bi’nah – perfect understanding to accomplish and perform- root word means
to separate mentally, to distinguish, intelligence. Think of how an intelligent sinner cannot
understand God’s Word because it is spiritually discerned-this is understanding.
See: Ex. 31:3-4 on wisdom and understanding.
4. He shall give us the spirit of counsel – means advice, purpose, the ability to govern and discipline
oneself. Root word meaning “to guide”.
5. And power and might - Meaning valor, victory, strength. Same meaning as warrior.
6. He shall give us knowledge - da’at - from root word ya’da –to know, Adam knew Eve; used in
great variety of senses. Unawares. Ignorantly. In other words a “knowing” that is revealed by God
and not our own educated self. An intimate “knowing”. How do I “know” something about my
spouse? Because I have an intimate relationship with Him.
7. And fear of YHVH - Morally reverent, fear. Hebraically meaning “awe” , being aware of the Divine
presence of All Mighty God, and living your life in that regard.