25:31 1 “You are to make a lampstand 2 of pure gold. The lampstand is to be made of hammered metal; its base and its shaft, its cups, 3 its buds, and its blossoms are to be from the same piece. 4 25:32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand, 5 three branches of the lampstand from one side of it and three branches of the lampstand from the other side of it. 6 25:33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on the next 7 branch, and the same 8 for the six branches extending from the lampstand. 25:34 On the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms, 25:35 with a bud under the first 9 two branches from it, and a bud under the next 10 two branches from it, and a bud under the third 11 two branches from it, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand. 25:36 Their buds and their branches will be one piece, 12 all of it one hammered piece of pure gold.
25:37 “You are to make its seven lamps, 13 and then set 14 its lamps up on it, so that it will give light 15 to the area in front of it.
1 sn Clearly the point here is to provide light in the tent for access to God. He provided for his worshipers a light for the way to God, but he also wanted them to provide oil for the lamp to ensure that the light would not go out. Verses 31-36 describe the piece. It was essentially one central shaft, with three branches on either side turned out and upward. The stem and the branches were ornamented every so often with gold that was formed into the shape of the calyx and corolla of the almond flower. On top of the central shaft and the six branches were the lamps.
2 tn The word is מְנֹרָה (mÿnorah) – here in construct to a following genitive of material. The main piece was one lampstand, but there were seven lamps on the shaft and its branches. See E. Goodenough, “The Menorah among the Jews of the Roman World,” HUCA 23 (1950/51): 449-92.
3 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 342-44) says that the description “the cups, knobs and flowers” is explained in vv. 32-36 as three decorations in the form of a cup, shaped like an almond blossom, to be made on one branch. Every cup will have two parts, (a) a knob, that is, the receptacle at the base of the blossom, and (b) a flower, which is called the corolla, so that each lamp rests on top of a flower.
4 tn Heb “will be from/of it”; the referent (“the same piece” of wrought metal) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
5 tn Heb “from the sides of it.”
6 tn Heb “from the second side.”
7 tn The text uses “one” again; “the one…the one” means “the one…and the next” in the distributive sense.
8 tn Heb “thus.”
9 tn For clarity the phrase “the first” has been supplied.
10 tn For clarity the phrase “the next” has been supplied.
11 tn For clarity the phrase “the third” has been supplied.
12 tn Heb “will be from it.”
13 tn The word for “lamps” is from the same root as the lampstand, of course. The word is נֵרוֹת (nerot). This probably refers to the small saucer-like pottery lamps that are made very simply with the rim pinched over to form a place to lay the wick. The bowl is then filled with olive oil as fuel.
14 tn The translation “set up on” is from the Hebrew verb “bring up.” The construction is impersonal, “and he will bring up,” meaning “one will bring up.” It may mean that people were to fix the lamps on to the shaft and the branches, rather than cause the light to go up (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 277).
15 tn This is a Hiphil perfect with vav consecutive, from אוֹר (’or, “light”), and in the causative, “to light, give light.”