Amazing Discovery on Temple Mount: Archaeologists Unearth 1,000-Year-Old Engraving of A Menorah, Ending Centuries of Debate

Just in time for Hanukkah, a 1,000-year-old archaeological find may just have ended a centuries old debate on what the original design of the Menorah in the Holy Temples resembled.

Discovered by the Temple Mount Sifting Project, the 1,000-year-old potsherd originating from the Temple Mount bearing a symbol resembling a menorah is being hailed by archaeologists as a significant discovery.

This 1,000-year-old potshard found on the Temple Mount depicting a menorah may have ended centuries of debate on the original design of the Temple Menorah. (Photo: The Temple Mount Sifting Project).

According to archaeologists, based on the type of clay and texture of the potsherd, the find dates back to the Byzantine rule over Jerusalem (324-640 CE). Although the whole design of the menorah is cut off because the potsherd is broken, archaeologists believe that the drawing was an attempt to draw the Temple Menorah.

“What makes this discovery significant is that it originated upon the Temple Mount itself. The design of the menorah upon the potsherd may shed light upon an age-old debate regarding the appearance of the menorah that stood in the Heikal (hall) of the First and Second Temples,” said Zachi Dvira, Co-Founder and Director of the project.

The origins of the design of the Menorah are found in Exodus 25:32-40::

32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:

33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.

34 And in the candlesticks shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.

35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.

36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.

37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.

38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.

39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.

40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

While the Bible instructs which materials to use, how to form the Menorah and what designs to incorporate, rabbinic scholars – including Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, known as Rashi (1040-1105 CE), Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra (1089-1167 CE), and Maimonides (1135-1204 CE) – have battled over whether the branches were meant to be round or straight.

The potsherd, although fragmented, clearly depicts a menorah with straight branches, unlike other ancient representations in which they appear in a circular fashion. The base of the menorah can only be partly seen and archaeologists believe it was composed of three legs (two angular and one straight).

Temple Mount Volunteers who help sift through finds unearthed at Temple Mount (Photo: The Temple Mount Sifting Project).

At the top of the menorah, the branches are polygonal depressions which may represent the almond shaped cups that held the oil for the wicks.

“As the potsherd dates to centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple and the incision was done after firing the clay, it is difficult to deduce from it anything concrete regarding the original shape of the Menorah, but we can learn about how Jews living in Jerusalem during the Byzantine period or later understood the design of the menorah,” stated Dvira.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project, with support from the City of David Foundation and under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University, was formed in 1999 in response to the illegal removal of tons of earth from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Waqf without archaeological supervision.

“Since the Temple Mount has never been excavated, the ancient artifacts retrieved in the Sifting Project provide valuable and previously inaccessible information.  The many categories of finds are among the largest and most varied ever found in Jerusalem. Even though they have been extracted from their archaeological context, most of these artifacts can be identified and dated by comparing them with those found at other sites,” said Dvira.

Source: Breaking Israel News

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PROPHECY:

Unearthing God’s Word in the form of living artifacts should be viewed as prophetic, as it proves that God’s Word endures forever, just as he said!

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” – Matthew 24:14 (KJV). 

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Matthew 24:35 (KJV). 

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. – Isaiah 40:8 (KJV).

For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof – Psalm 102:14 (KJV).

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