Who is the Light of the World?
Pro 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life
Yeshua is the Word, the Lawgiver and the Light of the World. What if we use the Menorah as a way to illustrate the Ten Commandments?
Many teachers have used the Menorah to illustrate biblical concepts. For example, Dr. Hollisa Alewine has a series of teachings called The Creation Gospel that uses the Menorah. There is an out-of-print book called The Mystery of the Menorah and the Hebrew Alphabet by J.R. Church and Gary Stearman, and there are others! This is not meant to replace any of those illustrations, or any others out there. We serve an awesome Creator who is more than capable of teaching more than one thing at a time.
When I noticed how some commandments seem to relate to others I wondered how it would fit on a Menorah. In the original Temple Menorah, there were buds holding every lamp, and at the branch junctions along the central stem. It seemed reasonable to align the first four commandments along the central stem (1-3 at branch junctions and 4 at the top central lamp). Then I arranged the others on the remaining lamps along the branches. [If I’d been feeling real Hebraic I would have numbered them from right to left, but I placed them in our standard left to right convention.]
The illustration is a visual reference. How do these relate along branches, by twos, by threes and as a whole? Can you see any relationships between neighboring lamps?
The illustration will give you some hints on things I see. The thing that struck me most profoundly was the central light. The middle bowl (lamp) is called: Ner Elohim – The Lamp of God. It is also called the Shamash – The Servant Lamp. The middle lamp is thus a symbol of the Messiah-Yeshua! All the other lamps ‘point’ to the center lamp.
And the Central lamp illuminates all the others!
In the first verse in Genesis there are seven Hebrew words. The word in the middle is untranslated. It is a ‘pointer’ or direct object, and is made of two letters: Aleph and Tav (Alpha and Omega).
When this first sentence of the Bible is plotted on a Menorah it makes the Aleph-Tav the Shamash. John 1:1 explains the ‘word’ and so does Yeshua himself, when he tells John He is the Alpha and Omega. Thus the middle Lamp represents our Messiah. It is surrounded by the remaining ‘Words.’
The Shamash, which is a little taller than the rest, casts a light over all, and is central to our understanding.
Look at the diagram.
What is the Shamash ‘commandment?’ #4 Remember the Sabbath!
Does it fit with our understanding that the Shamash is the Messiah?
This was a discovery. I simply placed the numerals on the Menorah in what seemed a logical order. What happened as a result makes perfect sense! The servant candle, the one that is associated with the Messiah is the one commandment that has been in place since the beginning!
He is Lord of the Sabbath! The Seventh Day we are told to remember!
Perhaps this is why the 4th Commandment is the Door (Dalet). It is the key to our relationship with our Father. He, Yeshua, is our Light, our Door, our Sabbath Rest, and our High Priest.
WHAT ELSE CAN WE SEE IN THIS ILLUSTRATION?
The central stem holds the first four commandments that are the main trunk from which all the others are suspended. It is the stem where all four commandments that deal directly with our relationship with our Father are gathered.
At the bottom, root, of the trunk is the first commandment: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Beginning with our Creator is a terrific foundation for the entire Menorah.
THE FIRST BRANCH: HONOR
The First commandment is the junction of the first branch that holds the Fifth and Tenth commands: Honor Father and Mother and Do Not Covet.
Several associations can be made by looking at the relationship between these three commandments. YHVH is our Father in Heaven. He is the source of all good things (our parents/the patriarchs) and the things that sustain us so that we should have no need to covet something that belongs to another.
In simple terms they may be related as follows:
1: Honor YHVH
5: Honor Parents
10: Honor Yourself (Self-respect, content with life)
2ND BRANCH: TRUTH
The next junction up the trunk of the Menorah combines the anchor of the 2nd commandment and the commandments Six and Nine.
The Second Commandment: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.”
In simple terms these three relate too!
2: No Idols (there is only One True God)
6: No Murder (All men Created Equal by the Father)
9: No False Witness (Don’t Lie)
Do you see it?
The lesson here seems to be that YHVH and our fellow Man are worthy of esteem and respect. Nothing should blur the lines in regard to our Father. All men are made in His image.
In a way, the anchor here is Truth. We should never lie about YHVH by placing anything ahead of Him, even ourselves! We must not tell ourselves the lie that we are more important than another by either murdering them or destroying their reputation.
THE THIRD BRANCH: RESPECT/GUARD
The 3rd Commandment is: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
This is the junction of the Third, Seventh and Eighth Commandments.
In Simple Terms:
3: Do Not Take YHVH’s Name in Vain (Guard/Respect His Name)
7: Do Not Commit Adultery (Guard/Respect your Vows)
8: Do Not Steal (Guard/Respect the Property of others)
This suggests that what belongs to another is to be respected, whether it is a Name/Reputation, Marriage/Covenant relationship, or Property/Truth. What belongs to someone else is sacrosanct!
The Top and Middle of the Menorah, the Shamash: Yeshua! The Sabbath DAY, the Lord of the Sabbath! The Door to All of the Feasts of YHVH!
I invite you to revisit Are the Ten Commandments for us Today? Part IV if any of this doesn’t make sense.
Here is another way to look at the Menorah.
Is it possible to see other connections based on how the commandments are illustrated on the Menorah?
What if we look at them by the Central Trunk (Stem) or by each Branch? Study this and see if it makes sense to you. Perhaps you can draw your own conclusions and this will spark a new way of seeing the Ten Commandments. Please share in the comments below!
Relationships/Connections by Stem or Branch:
TRUNK: [bottom to top]
1-2-3-4 YHVH: Creator/House/Covenant/Savior
1-5-10 CREATOR: Nation/Family/Individuals
2-6-9 RESPECT: YHVH /Others/Truth*
3-7-8 GUARD: His NAME/Covenants/Ownership
* Thy Torah is Truth -Psalms 119:142
Reminder of Creator (Aleph*), Sign of the Covenant (Tav*) the ALEPH & TAV
[in Greek-Alpha and Omega: Beginning and End] = Yeshua/Savior
The central Light is Set-apart/Holy: It connects directly with the Father.
Yeshua is the Light of the World, our Sabbath Rest, our Defender and King
The Meeting Point between YHVH and Man
Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
John 8:12 Again Yeshua spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”