(This lesson is a follow-up to last week’s “The Light of the World.”)
In the 25th chapter of Exodus, the Lord gave Moses specific instructions for the building of the golden lampstand to be used in the Tabernacle, and later, the Temple. The lampstand, or menorah, had seven lamps. Three lamps were on three branches on one side of the main support and three more lamps were on three branches on the other side. The center lamp is known as the servant lamp. All the other lamps were lit from the servant lamp.
A “menorah design” is found when there are seven items and the item in the center position appears to refer to light, fire, or to the Lord. There are many menorah designs in the Bible. In the Creation, the Lord made the sun and moon on the fourth day, in the servant lamp position. There is a menorah design in the very first verse of the Bible. In the Hebrew language Genesis 1:1 has seven words.
The fourth word is not pronounced. It is for emphasis of the preceding word (God). It consists of the first letter (aleph) of the Hebrew alphabet and the last letter (tav). This corresponds to the English “a” and “z” and the Greek “alpha” and “omega”.
In the first chapter of The Revelation Jesus is pictured standing in the midst of seven golden lamps. Jesus is in the center, in the servant lamp position. And He calls Himself the “Alpha and Omega”. So the first book of the Bible is tied to the last book. Jesus is in the Servant Lamp position in both.
According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Yoma 43:3) about forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the servant lamp of the Temple menorah went out. New oil, new wicks, nothing would make the servant lamp burn. The priests attributed this strange occurrence to the death of Simeon, a devout priest. Whether this is the same Simeon who recognized Jesus as the salvation of the world (Luke 2:25-35) is not known.
About forty years before the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. would be about 30 A.D. This was about the time that Jesus, the Light of the world, the Servant Lamp of God, was killed by the Jews. They had snuffed out the Servant Lamp and did not know it.
When Simeon recognized Jesus as a baby at the Temple, he said, “Lord, you have allowed me to see your salvation.” In Hebrew, the name Jesus is “Jeshua”. In Hebrew, Jeshua means “salvation”. Simeon also said that Jesus would be a light of revelation to the Gentiles. Most of us are Gentiles. Praise the Name of the Lord for His Salvation, and for including Gentiles in His plan.