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[Topics] > The Bible as Menorah

And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:

Exodus 25.31f

View larger image Throughout the ages the Menorah has been understood to represent the everlasting light of God's self-revelation. This coincides with the Christian understanding of the purpose and function of God's eternal Word. After all, His first words were "Let there be light!" The Wheel reveals the unity of these two great lights. The sevenfold structure of the Biblical Canon perfectly integrates with the sevenfold form of the Menorah. The radial symmetry of the Canon Wheel manifests in the symmetric distribution of books on the branches. Click the image to view a larger version.

The Hebrew letters running down the center column represent the number of books on the corresponding branches. The letters are:

  Tav: 22nd letter
  Heh: 5th letter
  Lamed: 12th letter
  Heh: 5th letter

When read as a word, these letters spell "Tehilah", which means PRAISE! The plural form is Tehilim, which is the Hebrew name of the Book of Psalms.

Tehilah is a Tav KeyWord that God used in the last verse of the last alphabetic Psalm, Psalm 145.21:

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

The actual Hebrew reads "Tehilet (the praises of) YHVH (the Lord) y'dabar (shall speak) pei (my mouth)." Tehilet is the construct form of Tehilah.

The verses describing the design of the Menorah specify that there are to be three bowls on each of the six branches, and four on the center column:

Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.

Moses Maimonides understanding of the design of the Menorah

The total number of bowls is therefore:

3 x 6 + 4 = 22

These bowls naturally correspond to the 22 Hebrew letters, the containers (delimiters) of God's creative impulse.

Historically, there has been some confusion as to how to design these 22 bowls and the six branches. The image to the right shows how Moses Maimonides understood the divine pattern for the Menorah. In his understanding the bowls were supposed to be pointing down to represent the outpouring of the Wisdom of God. Others believe they should be upright, which is how I represented them in the image at the top.

The ramifications of this divinely ordained pattern are endless. The Numbers 3, 7, and 22, which figure prominently in the design, are also prominent in the design of the Bible in the form of the Wheel with its 3 Cycles, 7 Canonical Divisions, and 22 Spokes! Endless wonder and beauty! Praise the Lord who has given us His Holy Word!

Yet there is still more. Each side branch has three sets of three items - three bowls, each with a "knop" and a "flower." The central branch has four sets of the same three items. Thus, the numerical arrangement of these decorations follow a symmetric pattern on the seven branches:

9 + 9 + 9 + 12 + 9 + 9 + 9

The number of these "decorations" sums to 66, the number of books in the Bible. Furthermore, the sum subdivides into the sum of the first four (9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 12 = 39) and the last three (9 + 9 + 9 = 27) to give the number of books in the Old and New Testaments. Putting it all together, we see that the Bible and the Menorah have a large set of structural numbers in common:

  • 7 Branches [Canonical Divisions] symmetrically displayed
  • 3 Branches [Canonical Divisions] are paired, with one set apart.
  • 22 Bowls [Hebrew Letters]
  • 66 Decorations [Books] that subdivide into groups of 39 and 27

Given the fact that God calls His Word a "Lamp", and that He designed the Menorah Himself, there can be no conclusion but that the Menorah was designed as a prophecy of the completed structure of His Word in the form of the Wheel, fully integrated with the 22 Hebrew letters.

The structure of the Menorah also integrates with axis of the Wheel, with the Tav on the central pillar referring back, yet again, to the Crucifixion. Taking just the distinct letters from the central column yields the Tav KeyWord (Talah, to hang). God used this word to describe the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ when He gave this command in Deuteronomy 21:22f

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

We know that this applies to the crucifixion because Paul quoted it in reference to Christ in Galations 3.13. Thus we see how the Menorah - designed by God Himself more than a thousand years before Christ was born - points to that one event that defines what the Bible is really all about and reveals how this is the source and essence of the great light of the Gospel.

The word Tehilah also intgrates with the nweight of another Tav KeyWord - (Tawm) which means perfect, complete, done, or accomplished. It is used in the latter sense in the acrostic verses of Lamentations 4 (verse 22):

The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.

We have the identity:

(Tehilah, Praise) = 440 = (Tawm, Perfect)

Note that 440 (= 20 x 22) is a multiple of the Key Number 22. These two ideas are united in the words of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 21.16):

And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

And so we can see a little of God's infinite Wisdom displayed in the integrated Bible/Menorah, and how all of this reveals the light of salvation through the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a wonder it is to see the Gospel adorned with such beauty and grace! Praise His Holy Name!

See also The Sevenfold Light of God's Word

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