The seven-candle candlestick, also called the “menorah candles,” can be used by Christians to represent the Holy Spirit and the seven gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, fear of the Lord, and delight in the Lord. (Is. 11.2-3).
The Menorah (from the Hebrew מנורה – Menorah – “lamp, candelabrum”), is a seven-branched candelabrum, is one of the prominent and most widespread symbols of Judaism.
Originally, it was an object made of beaten, solid and pure gold, made by Moses to be placed inside the Holy Place – an intermediate atrium between the Outer Court of the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies – together with the Altar of Incense and the Table of Bread of the Church Proposition.
It is said to symbolize the burning bushes that Moses saw on Mount Sinai. According to the New Testament, it means “Christ” as the light of the world.
History of the Menorah Candles:
The Menorah existed both in the Tabernacle, the First, and later in the Second Temple. However, it was not until the year 69 AD, with the Roman invasion of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, that the Menorah was taken by the invaders to Rome – a fact portrayed in relief on the Arch of Titus.
Some researchers argue that this sacred object from Rome would have been taken to the basements of the Vatican and is now in possession of the Roman Catholic Church, but nothing has been proven.
Today, the candles on a Menorah constitute a symbol of the State of Israel and the Star of David.
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There is also an adapted candelabrum with nine branches (unlike the Menorah, which has seven branches).
The first Menorah was made following the Eternal’s detailed instructions.
7-armed Menorah candles:
If you are wondering how many candles are on a menorah, the answer is seven.
In the Menorah, there are seven arms: a central stem and three arms that come out on either side. So, naturally, fire and lighting have always played a significant role.
When the Temple was destroyed, the Menorah became the main artistic and decorative symbol of the Jewish faith. As a result, the candles for Menorah hold great significance in Judaism and Christianity.
The Menorah was reintroduced in 1948 (proclamation of the State of Israel) as a national symbol of the Jewish people and Israel’s identity.
Menorah is a Hebrew word that indicates a seven-branched lamp, used in the Tabernacle. Exodus 25:31-40; Exodus 37:17-24, Zechariah 4:2-5; Zechariah 10-14.
The light of the “Menorah candles” symbolizes the presence of God (in the Hebrew Shekinah). “Yeshua” (Jesus) is the lamp, for He is the light of the world. And the number seven indicates the perfection of your craft as an illuminator.
Material of the Menorah:
- The material that the lamp was made of, gold, represents the preciousness of spiritual symbols as well as the divinity of Yeshua.
- The burning oil on the lampstand represents the Holy Spirit and his comforter anointing. John 16:7 “and also to convince of sin, and righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:911)
- Leading man to recognize the truth by presenting evidence or arguments; persuading and determining all things. So, it must be in the life of the one who approaches God; he must have oil, representing the Spirit of the Lord and the fire of the same.
How many candles does a menorah have?
The question of how many candles are on a menorah has multiple answers based on the context of the question.
Most people refer to the Menorah as one of the symbols of the Jewish holiday called “Hanukkah”. However, it has more meanings as well as uses than just that. These adorable candlesticks are used worldwide for different purposes.
Even though there are variations, the most commonly found Menorahs have either seven or nine candlesticks. The number of candles on the Menorah is determined based on its purpose.
What do the candles on the Menorah symbolize?
The first Menorah contained six arched branches along with a central axis. All these candles are leveled and lit simultaneously. The menorah candles symbolize several things. Below is a brief list of some of the meanings:
- God’s flames from the burning bushes
- The seven days used for the creation
- Spreading of Judaism around the globe
- Lighting candles for fun and not for a specified purpose
- Symbolizes the state of Israel
The picture of a menorah appears on numerous objects, ancient coins, and tombstones.
The Nine Menorah Candles
When asked how many candles a menorah has, another shared answer is nine. It usually happens because, nowadays, the Menorah is mainly associated with Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday celebrating their seven-day battle against the Syrians. This was when the Jews conquered their second Temple.
What is the meaning of the nine-branched candelabrum used by the Jews?
It derives from the Menorah, a candelabrum with seven branches representing the seven days of the world’s creation, and emerged to celebrate an important victory of the Jewish people and an alleged miracle.
This story begins in the 2nd century BC when the Seleucids — a dynasty of Greek origins that dominated part of Asia at the time — took and pillaged a holy temple for Jews in Jerusalem for three years. In 165 BC, the Jews finally managed to expel the Seleucids.
“When the sacred Temple was re-conquered, they found a single pitcher (vessel) of pure, inviolate oil, which would be enough to keep the Menorah alight for just one day. But, miraculously, the oil lasted eight days,” says Rabbi Henry Sobel.
To commemorate this supposed miracle, the Jews created a holiday called Chanukah, or “Feast of Lights,” which takes place at the end of November or during December when they light up candles for Menorah.
Eight of the nine branches of the candelabrum used during this time of celebration correspond to the eight days of holiday.
On the ninth arm, the Shamash is placed, an auxiliary candle with which the others are lit.
Frequently Asked Questions about Menorah Candles:
- What is the meaning of the Menorah?
The Menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum, a ritual object of the Temple of Jerusalem, acquired great relevance in biblical literature. First, as a representation of the cosmos, both the visible and the invisible worlds. Second, as a tree of life and a representation of God and eternal life.
- What does each Menorah candle mean?
The Menorah is made of gold because gold is a metal that does not go rust, which reinforces the idea of divine immutability. This is a 7-pointed chandelier. Each end represents the roots of the Tree of Life, the center arm being the most important of these.
- Why are there seven candles on a menorah?
It derives from the Menorah, a candelabrum with seven branches representing the seven days of the creation of the world, and emerged to celebrate an important victory of the Jewish people, as well as an alleged miracle.
- Where was the Menorah?
Today, the Menorah constitutes a symbol of the State of Israel, along with the Star of David. There is also the Chanukiah, an adapted candelabrum with nine branches (unlike the Menorah, which has seven branches). The first Menorah was made following the Eternal’s detailed instructions.
- What do the candles on the Menorah symbolize?
The seven lights would be the eyes of God that scrutinize the whole earth, and the olive trees would symbolize the anointing oil that gives spiritual and temporal power to men. Among the Hebrews, the seven-branched candlestick is called the Menorah, a symbol of divine light, and corresponds to Babylon’s tree of sacred light.
- What is the difference between the 7 and 9-candle Menorah?
Today, the Menorah constitutes a symbol of the State of Israel, along with the Star of David. Chanukah is a nine-branched candelabrum used during the eight-day Jewish holiday of Chanukah, also called the Feast of Lights.
- How many candles does a Menorah have?
A menorah is a candlestick with 9 candles, one for each day of Hanukkah and one you use to light the other candles. Traditionally one candle is lit for each night of Hanukka, so on the eighth day, all candles will be lit.
- What was the Tent of the Presence of God like?
Constructed of layers of curtains, along with 48 polished gold plated plates such as vertical blinds held at five bars per side with the middle bar and decorated with items made from gold, silver, brass, furs, jewels, and other valuable materials taken from Ancient Egypt by the orders of God.
We can deduce that the Menorah candles are essential in the Jewish religion. In addition to Jews, Christians also use menorah candles, as mentioned in the Bible a few times.
No religious occasions are considered complete without a menorah. Some people also have menorahs displayed on their dining tables as decorative items and constantly remind themselves to be grateful for everything.
We hope you found this article informative!