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Seven-Branch Candlestick

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One of the three chief furnishings of the Holy of the Tabernacle and the Temple ( Exodus 25:31-40 ; 37:17-24 ). In reality it was an elaborate lampstand, set on the south side of the Holy Place so as to face the loaves of proposition. It was beaten out of finest gold. A central shaft, together with three pairs of branches curving upward from out of the shaft, all exquisitely ornamented and surmounted with stands, held in a line the seven golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. The priests dressed the lamps in the morning and set them on the lampstand in the evening ( Exodus 30:7, 8 ). All night long the seven lamps were kept burning ( Exodus 27:20-21 ; Leviticus 24:3 ; 1 Samuel 3:3 ). As for the day, Josephus (Antiq. Jud., III, viii, 3) tells us that three lamps were lighted. Levites of the family of Caath cared for the golden lampstand on the march ( Numbers 3:31 ). It was among the spoils brought by Vespasian and Titus to grace their triumph at Rome, and may be seen sculptured upon the Arch of Titus.

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