Candlestick (מנוֹּרָה, menorah'; Chald. נֶברִשׁתָּה, nebrashtah'; Sept. and N.T. λυχνία, properly a lampstan 1, as in Mt 5:15), the candelabrum which Moses was commanded to make for the tabernacle, after the model shown him in the mount. Its form is chiefly known to us by the passages in Ex 25:31-40; Ex 37:17-24; on which some additional light is thrown by the Jewish writers, and by the representation of the spoils of the Temple on the arch (q.v.) of Titus at Rome, the only veritable monument extant of the kind (Prideaux, Connection, 1:166). It is called in Le 24:4, "the pure," and in Ecclus. 26:19, "the holy candlestick." So Diodorus Siculus describes it (10:100, ed. Bip.) as "the so-called immortal light perpetually burning in the fane" (ὁ ἀθάνατος-λεγόμενος λύχνος καὶ καιόμενος ἀδιαλείπτως ἐν τῷ ναῷ).

The material of which it was made was fine (טָהוֹר, "pure") gold, of which an entire talent was expended on the candelabrum itself and its appendages. The mode in which the metal was to be worked is described by a term (מַקשׁה, "beaten [rather turnedl work," Sept. τορευτή, Vulg. ductile) which appears to mean wrought with the hammer, as opposed to cast by fusion. Josephus, however, says (Ant. 3:6, 7) that it was of cast gold (κεχωνευμένη), and hollow. The structure of the candelabrum, as far as it is defined in the passages referred to, consisted of a base (יָרֵך, Joseph. βάσις; according to Maimonides, three feet high); of a shaft (קָנֶה, reed, 1:c. stem) rising out of i' of six arms, which came out by threes from two opposite sides of the shaft; of seven lamps, which were supported on the summits of the central shaft and the six arms, terminating in seven heads all' in one row [?], standing parallel to one another, one by one, in imitation of the planets (Whiston's Josephus, i. c.); and of three different kinds of ornaments belonging to the shaft and arms. These ornaments are called by names which mean cups, circlets, and blossoms: "four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers." The cups (גּבַיעַים, Sept. κρατῆρες, Vulg. scyph,) receive, in verse 30, the epithet almondshlapd (it being uncertain whether the resemblance was to the fruit or to the flowers). Three such cups are allotted to every arm, lbut four to the shaft: twoand-twenty in all. SEE BOWL. Of the four on the shaft, three are mentioned as if set severally under the spots where the three pairs of arms set out from the shaft. The place of the fourth is not assigned; but we may conceive it to have been either between the base and the cup below the lowest tier of arms, or, as Bahr prefers, to have been near the summit of the shaft. As for the name of the second ornament, the circlets (כִּפּתֹּרַים), the word only occurs in two other places in the Old Testament (Am 9:1; Zep 2:14), in which it appears to mean the capital of a column: but the Jewish writers generally (cited in Ugolini Thesaur. 11:917) concur in considering it to mean apples in this place. Josephus, as he enumerates four kinds of ornaments, and therefore two of his terms must be considered identical, may be supposed to have understood globes, or pomegranates (σφαιρία, ῥοϊvσκοι, Antiq. 3:6). But as the term here used is not the common name for pomegranates, and as the Sept. and Vulgate render σφαιρωτῆρες and sphoerulce, it is safest to assume that it denotes bodies of a spherical shape, and to leave the precise kind undefined. Bähr, however, is in favor of apples (Symbolik, 1:414). SEE KNOP. The name of the third ornament (פּרָחַים, κρίνα, hiia) means blossom, bud; but it is so general a term that it may apply to any flower. The Sept., Vulg., Josephus, and Maimonides understand it of the lily, and Bahr prefers the flower of the almond. It now remains to consider the manner in which these three ornaments were attached to the candelabrum. The obscurity of verse 33, which orders that there shall be "three almond-shaped cups on one arm, globe and blossom, and three almondshaped cups on the other arm, globe and blossom, and so on all the arms which come out of the shaft," has led some to suppose that there was only one globe and blossom to every three cups. However, the fact that, according to verse 34, the shaft (which, as being the principal part of the whole, is here called the candelabrum itself), which had only four cups, is ordered to have globes and blossoms (in the plural), is a sufficient proof to the contrary. According to Josephus, the ornaments on the shaft and branches were 70 in number, and this was a notion in which the Jews, with their peculiar reverence for that number, would readily coincide; but it seems difficult, from the description in Exodus, to confirm the statement. It is to be observed that the original text does not define the height and breadth of any part of the candelabrum; nor whether the shaft and arms were of equal height; nor whether the arms were curved round the shaft, or left it at a right angle, and then ran parallel with it. The Jewish authorities maintain that the height of the candelabrum was eighteen palms, or about five feet; and that the distance between the outer lamps on each side was about 3½feet (Jahn, Bibl. Arch. § 329). Bahr, however, on the ground of harmonical proportion with the altar of incense and table of shewbread, the dimensions of which are assigned, conjectures that the candelabrum was only an ell and a half high and broad. The Jewish tradition uniformly supports the opinion that the arms and shaft were of equal height, as do also Josephus and Philo (l. c.; Quis Rer. Div. Hcer. § 44), as well as the representation on the Arch of Titus. Scacchius has, however, maintained that they formed a pyramid, of which the shaft was the apex. The lamps themselves were doubtless simply set upon the summits of the shafts, and removed for the purpose of cleaning. As the description given in Exodus is not very clear, we abbreviate Lightfoot's explanation of it. "The foot of it was gold, from which went up a shaft straight, which was the middle light. Near the foot was a golden dish wrought almondwise, and a little above that a golden knop, and above that a golden flower. Then two branches, one on each side, bowed, and coming up as high as the middle shaft. On each of them were three golden cups placed almondwise on sharp, scallop-shell fashion, above which was a golden knop, a golden flower, and the socket. Above the branches on the middle shaft was a golden boss, above which rose two shafts more; above the coming out of these was another boss, and two more shafts, and then on the shaft upward were three golden scallop-cups, a knop, and a flower, so that the heads of the branches stood an equal height" (Works, 2:397, ed. Pitman). Calmet remarks that "the number 7 might remind them of the Sabbath:" we have seen that Josephus gives it a somewhat Egyptian reference to the number of the planets, but elsewhere (War, 7:5, 5) he assigns to the 7 1 r nches a merely general reference to the Jewish hebdomadal division of time. The whole weight of the candlestick was 100 mince (see Lamy, De Tab. Feed.). It has been calculated to have been worth $25,380, exclusive of workmanship. SEE TABERNACLE.

This candelabrum was placed in the Holy Place, on the south side (i.e. to the left of a person entering the tabernacle), opposite the table of shew- bread (Ex 26:35). Its lamps, which were supplied with wick (? of cotton) and half a log (atLou two wine-glasses) of pure olive oil only, were lighted every evening, and extinguished (as it seems) every morning (Ex 27:21; Ex 30:7-8; Le 24:3; 1Sa 3:3; 2Ch 13:11). Although the tabernacle had no windows (Ex 30:8; Macc. 4:50), there is no good ground for believing that the lamps burnt by day in it, whatever may have been the usage of the second Temple. It has also been much disputed whether the candelabrum stood lengthwise or diagonally as regards the tabernacle; but no conclusive argument can be adduced for either view. According to Josephus, it was placed in an oblique position (λοξῶς), so that the lamps looked to the east and south (Ant. 3:6, 7; Ex 25:37). As the lamp on the central shaft was by the Jewish writers called the western, or evening lamp, some maintain that the former name could not be applicable unless the candelabrum stood across the tabernacle, as then only would the central lamp point to the west. Others, again, adhere to the latter signification, and build on a tradition that the central lamp alone burnt from evening to evening, the other six being extinguished by day (Reland, Antiq. 1:5, 8). The priest in the morning trimmed the lamps with' golden snuffers (מֶלקָחִיַם; ἐπαρυστήρες; forcipes), and carried away the snuff in golden dishes (מִחתּוֹת; ὑποθέματα; acerres, Ex 25:38). When carried about, the candlestick was covered with a cloth of blue, and put with its appendages in badger-skin bags, which were supported on a bar (Nu 4:9).

"Candlestick." topical outline.

In Solomon's Temple, instead of this single candelabrum (or besides it, as the Rabbins say, but what became of it is not known; see Keil, Tempel Sol. p. 109), there were ten of pure gold (whose structure is not described, although flowers are mentioned: 1Ki 7:49; 2Ch 4:7), one half of which stood on the north and the other on the south side of the Holy Place. These are said to have formed a sort of railing before the vail, and to have been connected by golden chains, under which, on the day of atonement, the high priest crept. They were carried away to Babylon (Jer 52:19). In the Temple of Zerubbabel there appears to have been only one candelabrum again (1 Macc. 1:21; 4:49, 50). It is probable that it also had only seven lamps. At least, that was the case in the candelabrum of the Herodian temple, according to the description of Josephus (War, 7:5). This candelabrum is the one which, after the destruction of Jerusalem, was carried with other spoils to Rome, where, after the triumph of Titus, it was deposited in the Temple of Peace, and, according to one story, fell into the Tiber from the Milvian bridge during the flight of Maxentius from Constantine, Oct. 28, 312 A.D.; but it probably, in A.D. 455, became a part of the plunder which Genseric transported to Carthage (Gibbon, in, 291). It was, however, again, about A.D. 533, recaptured from the Vandals by Belisarius, and carried to Constantinople, and was thence sent off to Jerusalem (ib. 4:2:), from which time it has disappeared altogether. It is to this candelabrum that the representation on the Arch of Titus at Rome (see Fleck, Wissenschaftl. Reise, I, 1, pi. 1) was intended to apply; and although the existence of the figures of eagles and marine monsters on the pediment of that lamp tends, with other minor objections, to render the accuracy of that copy questionable (as it is unlikely that the Jews should have admitted any such graven images into their temple), yet there is reason to believe that in other points it may be relied upon as a reasonably correct representation of the Herodian candelabrum. Reland has almost devoted a valuable little work to this subject, De Spoliis Templi Hierosolym. in Arcu Titiano (2d ed. by Schulze, 1775), p. 82 sq. See also Stellm'mn, De candelabro aureo (Brem. 1700); Schlichter, De Lychnucho sacro (Hal. 1740); Doderlein, De Candelabris Judxorum sacris (Viteb. 1711); Ugolino, De Candelabro (Thesaur. 11). SEE CANDLE.

From the fact that the golden candelabrum was expressly made "after the pattern shown in the mount," many have endeavored to find a symbolical meaning in all its ornaments, especially Meyer and Bahr (Symbol. 1:416, sq.). Generally it was "a type of preaching" (Godwyn's Moses and Aaron, 2:1), or of "the light of the law" (Lightfoot, 1. c.). Similarly candlesticks are elsewhere made types of the Spirit, of the Church, of witnesses (Zechariah iv [see Scholze, De Lychnucho, Altona, 1741]; Re 2:5; Re 11:4; comp. Wemyss, Clav. Symbol. s.v.). When our Lord cried "I am the light of the World" (Joh 8:12), the allusion was probably suggested by the two large golden chandeliers, lighted in the court of the women during the Feast of Tabernacles, which illuminated all Jerusalem (Wetstein, ad loc.), or perhaps to the lighting of this colossal candlestick, "the more remarkable in the profound darkness of an Oriental town" (Stanley, Sinai and Palest. p. 420). The figure of LIGHT, however, is common in all languages to express mental and moral illumination.

Bible concordance for CANDLESTICK.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.