| Candlestick, The Golden
the lamp-stand, "candelabrum," which Moses was commanded to make for the tabernacle, according to the pattern shown him. Its form is described in Ex. 25:31-40; 37:17-24, and may be seen represented on the Arch of Titus at Rome. It was among the spoils taken by the Romans from the temple of Jerusalem (A.D. 70). It was made of fine gold, and with the utensils belonging to it was a talent in weight.
The tabernacle was a tent without windows, and thus artificial light was needed. This was supplied by the candlestick, which, however, served also as a symbol of the church or people of God, who are "the light of the world." The light which "symbolizes the knowledge of God is not the sun or any natural light, but an artificial light supplied with a specially prepared oil; for the knowledge of God is in truth not natural nor common to all men, but furnished over and above nature."
This candlestick was placed on the south side of the Holy Place, opposite the table of shewbread (Ex. 27:21; 30:7, 8; Lev. 24:3; 1 Sam. 3:3). It was lighted every evening, and was extinguished in the morning. In the morning the priests trimmed the seven lamps, borne by the seven branches, with golden snuffers, carrying away the ashes in golden dishes (Ex. 25:38), and supplying the lamps at the same time with fresh oil. What ultimately became of the candlestick is unknown.
In Solomon's temple there were ten separate candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right and five on the left of the Holy Place (1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chr. 4:7). Their structure is not mentioned. They were carried away to Babylon (Jer. 52:19).
In the temple erected after the Exile there was again but one candlestick, and like the first, with seven branches. It was this which was afterwards carried away by Titus to Rome, where it was deposited in the Temple of Peace. When Genseric plundered Rome, he is said to have carried it to Carthage (A.D. 455). It was recaptured by Belisarius (A.D. 533), and carried to Constantinople and thence to Jerusalem, where it finally disappeared.
Revised version and commentators appropriately substitute lamp for candle throughout the Scriptures. See: Lamp
which Moses was commanded to make for the tabernacle, is described (Exodus 25:31-37
) It was not strictly a "candlestick," as it held seven richly-adorned lamps. With its various appurtenances it required a talent of "pure gold;" and it was not moulded, but "of beaten work," and has been estimated to have been worth in our money over ,000. From the Arch of Titus, where the sculptured the spoils taken from Jerusalem, we learn that it consisted of a central stem, with six branches, three on each side. It was about five feet high. [See ARCH OF TITUS
OF TITUS] The candlestick was placed on the south side of the first apartment of the tabernacle, opposite the table of shewbread, (Exodus 25:37
) and was lighted every evening and dressed every morning. (Exodus 27:20,21
) comp. 1Sam 3:2 Each lamp was supplied with cotton and about two wineglasses of the purest olive oil, which was sufficient to keep it burning during a long night. In Solomon?s temple, instead of or in addition to this candlestick there were ten golden candlesticks similarly embossed, five in the right and five on the left. (1Ã‚Â Kings 7:49
; 2Ã‚Â Chronicles 4:7
) They were taken to Babylon. (Jeremiah 52:19
) In the temple of Zerubbabel there was again a single candlestick. 1Macc 1:21: 4:49.
CANDLE; CANDLESTICK [ISBE]
- kan'-d'-l, kan'-d'-l-stik (ner; luchnos; menorah; luchnia):
(1) "Candle" is found in the Old Testament, the King James Version, as the rendering of ner, and in the New Testament for luchnos. In all places except Jer 25:10 and Zeph 1:12 (see margin) the Revised Version (British and American) gives the more exact rendering "lamp." See LAMP. Candle, in our sense of the term, was unknown to antiquity.
(2) "Candlestick" stands for what was a common and indispensable article of ancient house furniture, a lamp-stand (menorah). Accordingly we find it mentioned in a case thoroughly representative of the furnishings of an oriental room of the plainer sort, in the account of "the prophet's chamber" given in 2 Ki 4:10. Here we find that the furniture consisted of a "bed," a "table," a "seat," and a "candlestick," or lamp-stand. The excavations of Petrie and Bliss at Lachish (Tell el-Hesy, 104), not to mention others, help to make it clear that a lamp-stand is meant in passages where the Hebrew word, menorah, or its Greek equivalent luchnia, is used. Accordingly throughout the New Testament, the Revised Version (British and American) has consistently rendered luchnia by "stand" (Mt 5:15; Mk 4:21; Lk 8:16; 11:33).
(3) The "candlestick" of Dan 5:5 is rather the candelabrum (nebhrashta') of Belshazzar's banqueting-hall. The "golden candlestick" of the tabernacle and the temple requires special treatment.
See CANDLESTICK, THE GOLDEN; TABERNACLE.
(4) Certain figurative uses of "candle" and "candlestick" in the Bible demand attention. The ancient and still common custom of the East of keeping a house lamp burning night and day gave rise to the figure of speech so universally found in oriental languages by which the continued prosperity of the individual or the family is set forth by the perennially burning lamp (see Job 29:3; "when his lamp shined upon my head"; Ps 18:28 "Thou wilt light my lamp"). The converse in usage is seen in many passages--(see Job 18:6; "His lamp above him shall be put out"; 21:17: "How oft is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out"; Prov 24:20; "The lamp of the wicked shall be put out"; Jer 25:10; "Take from them .... the light of the lamp"). The same metaphor is used in Rev 2:5 to indicate the judgment with which the church of Ephesus was threatened: "I will move thy candlestick out of its place." "The seven golden candlesticks" (Rev 1:20) which John saw were "the seven churches," the appointed light-bearers and dispensers of the religion of the risen Christ. Hence, the significance of such a threat.
George B. Eager
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" in Word Study