The Menorah

Interesting article on the BBC website about a book made of small lead pages, believed to be have been made by early Christians.

The really interesting image for me was not so much the the fruited palm tree shown at left (a symbol for the heir to the House of David) – although I didn’t realise that the eight pointed stars referred to Messiah – but the menorah, the seven branched lampstand (see image 6) because this – along with the anointing oil (chrism) – was one of the items missing from the second temple.

Among the first Christians were Jews who viewed the second temple as an apostate temple, and longed for the restoration of Solomon’s original temple. In this view, Christ is the restored temple, and so the presence of the menorah points to Him.

By the way, the menorah also points directly to the divine Hokmah/Sophia (wisdom). The menorah is a stylised almond tree, a symbol of the Tree of Life and the divine feminine.

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~ by scalambra on March 29, 2011.

3 Responses to “The Menorah”

  1. It’s a really exciting archaeological discovery, which is being described as great in significance to the Dead Sea scrolls of 1946. But how long to wait before the translated text is made available?

    Is Binah equally feminine as Hokmah, or just of intelligence as distinct from wisdom ?

    These are all fascinating posts of yours, Scalambra and the direction I like enquiring in most on spiritual path, true Christian Hermeticism, which like Browne in the 17th c. revered the wisdom of the Hebrews as much as Ancient Egypt, and was equally Christ-centred.

    Must re-read what Browne has to say on the number seven!

    • Hydriotaphia, no I don’t think so. Although Kabbalah describes Binah as feminine, it also describes Hokhmah as masculine. These two form a pair. In our understanding, Hokhmah is right brain and Binah left brain – but with a fascinating interesting order of primacy: Hokhmah comes first, and Binah (deductive reasoning) reflects it.

      Leaving Kabbalah to one side and returning to the Bible, Binah (H998) is normally translated understanding rather than intelligence. It is also understood as a gift of God, e.g. Yahweh give thee wisdom and understanding (1 Ch 22:12), although without the repeated emphasis given in the case of wisdom.

      Noteworthy are its occurences in the book of Job, the oldest book of the Bible, where Binah is paired with Hokmah:

      Whence then cometh wisdom (Hokmah)? and where is the place of understanding (Binah)?
      – Job 28:20

      We will have to wait and see how important these books are. However, I feel a strong resonance when I read that the manner of their making rendered them “sealed”. Seven seals, anyone?

  2. Here’s Browne’s understanding of Binah from his 1658 discourse
    ‘The Garden of Cyrus’.

    ‘but because as increated productions there is male and female, so in divine and intelligent productions, the mother of Life and Fountain of souls in Cabalisticall Technology is called Binah; whose seal and Character was ‘He’. So that being sterill before, he received the power of generation from that measure and mansion in the Archetype; and was conformable unto Binah’.

    What do you think of that, pretty basic or…?
    Nice to think there’s a statue in the city centre of a learned doctor who studied Hebrew and the Kabbalah !

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