The menorah, in the temple (מְנוֹרָה) was formed from one piece of pure beaten gold weighing 3,000 shekels of silver (nearly 100 pounds). It was a highly decorative work that had seven branches (with seven lamps), nine flower blooms, eleven fruits, and twenty two cups.
It is called the “lamp of יהוה (YHWH)” (נֵר אֱלהִים) in the Scriptures (1 Sam. 3:3).
The light from the menorah is a spiritual light. It was not seen from the outside of the Tabernacle, but only while inside the holy [קדש (qodesh)] chamber, before the holy (qodesh) place of sacrificial atonement. It enabled service to יהוה [YHWH/God] to be performed, though it was not a light to be used for profane purposes. Notice that the six lamps faced the central lamp — a picture of Yeshua [Jesus], the Light of the World, whose arms and legs were “hammered” for our sins…. He is the suffering servant (shamash) who lightens everyone in the world. He is the center, the supporting trunk for the other branches (John 15:5).
The light itself came from the burning of pure olive oil – a symbol of anointing and the Holy Spirit (רוּחַ הַקּדֶשׁ). It was kindled by the hand of a man of peace and humility. Likewise, when we are given light to behold the sacrifice of Yeshua for our atonement (כַּפָּרָה), we are filled with the divine light (John 8:12; 1 John 1:7, Eph. 5:8). When we come to the cross, we can behold the truth of God’s unfailing love that draws us to be united with Him.
” יהוה [YHWH] is light” (1 John 1:5); in His light we do see light (Psalm 36:9). “For יהוה, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of יהוה in the face of Yeshua the Messiah” (2 Cor. 4:6).
The base word is קדש (qodesh) and is usually translated as “holy” but more literally means “to set apart for a special purpose.” An example of something קדש (qodesh) would be the menorah (candlestick) in the tabernacle which was used only in the tabernacle and nowhere else. The ה (ha) is the prefix meaning “the.”
Lamp (נר ner, Strong’s #5216): A ner is an object that gives off light. A common style of ancient lamps were made from clay, had a reservoir for oil and a lip or hole on the edge for the wick. The wick absorbed the oil and the gas coming off the wick is lit giving light. The menorah [str:4501] of the tabernacle is a ner, in fact, notice that the word NeR is found within the word meNoRah.
” Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path ” (Psalm 119:105)
The Tree of Life
Unlike modern depictions of the menorah, it is thought that the branches were all straight (yashar), not curved. In that sense, the menorah itself resembled a tree, just as the Torah is referred to as a Tree of Life (עֵץ־חַיִּים)
The “tree of life” itself is based on plant-light analogy. The sages link the root/branches with the first verse of Genesis, which begins with 7 words. Genesis is the “root” from which the Torah grows. The vision of Zechariah revealed seven “pipes” leading to each of the seven branches. Note that the 7×7 image is a symbol of perfection.
The menorah symbolizes light, growth, unity, and the Tree of Life (i.e., unity of Torah).