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September 20    Scripture

Manners & Customs: Lamps
Lamps and Lampstands in Ancient Bible Times

Candles Biblical use of the word candle. The use of the word "candle does not carry the meaning of the word as we would be familiar with it, but rather with lamps. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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Candles in Easton's Bible Dictionary Heb. ner, Job 18:6; 29:3; Ps. 18:28; Prov. 24:20, in all which places the Revised Version and margin of Authorized Version have "lamp," by which the word is elsewhere frequently rendered. The Hebrew word denotes properly any kind of candle or lamp or torch. It is used as a figure of conscience (Prov. 20:27), of a Christian example (Matt. 5:14, 15), and of prosperity (Job 21:17; Prov. 13:9).
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/C/Candle/


Candles in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Lamp more accurately represents the original than candle. Image of conscience, "the candle of the Lord, searching the inward man" (Proverbs 20:27). Of prosperity; the sinner's short candle soon goes out, the righteous shall shine as the sun forever (Job 21:17; Job 18:5; Proverbs 13:9; Matthew 13:43). Of believers' bright example leading others to spiritual light (Matthew 5:14). Of the gladdening influence of a ruler (2 Samuel 21:17). Of the all-seeing accuracy with which Jehovah will search out sinners, so that in no dark grainer can they escape punishment (Zephaniah 1:12; Amos 9:3). In beautiful contrast, as the woman in the parable "lit the candle, swept the house, and sought diligently until she found" the lost piece of silver, so God (Luke 15:8) searches out His elect so that not one is lost, and takes each out of the darkness of this world, and restores the divine image, with a view to their salvation.
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/C/Candle/


Candles in Naves Topical Bible (Revised version and most commentators substitute "lamp" for "candle" throughout the Scriptures)
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/C/CANDLE/


Candles in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE kan'-d'-l, kan'-d'-l-stik (ner; luchnos; menorah; luchnia): (1) "Candle" is found in the Old Testament, the King James Version, as the rendering of ner, and in the New Testament for luchnos. In all places except Jer 25:10 and Zeph 1:12 (see margin) the Revised Version (British and American) gives the more exact rendering "lamp." See LAMP. Candle, in our sense of the term, was unknown to antiquity. (2) "Candlestick" stands for what was a common and indispensable article of ancient house furniture, a lamp- stand (menorah). Accordingly we find it mentioned in a case thoroughly representative of the furnishings of an oriental room of the plainer sort, in the account of "the prophet's chamber" given in 2 Ki 4:10. Here we find that the furniture consisted of a "bed," a "table," a "seat," and a "candlestick," or lamp-stand. The excavations of Petrie and Bliss at Lachish (Tell el-Hesy, 104), not to mention others, help to make it clear that a lamp-stand is meant in passages where the Hebrew word, menorah, or its Greek equivalent luchnia, is used. Accordingly throughout the New Testament, the Revised Version (British and American) has consistently rendered luchnia by "stand" (Mt 5:15; Mk 4:21; Lk 8:16; 11:33). (3) The "candlestick" of Dan 5:5 is rather the candelabrum (nebhrashta') of Belshazzar's banqueting-hall. The "golden candlestick" of the tabernacle and the temple requires special treatment. See CANDLESTICK, THE GOLDEN; TABERNACLE. (4) Certain figurative uses of "candle" and "candlestick" in the Bible demand attention. The ancient and still common custom of the East of keeping a house lamp burning night and day gave rise to the figure of speech so universally found in oriental languages by which the continued prosperity of the individual or the family is set forth by the perennially burning lamp (see Job 29:3; "when his lamp shined upon my head"; Ps 18:28 "Thou wilt light my lamp"). The converse in usage is seen in many passages--(see Job 18:6; "His lamp above him shall be put out"; 21:17: "How oft is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out"; Prov 24:20; "The lamp of the wicked shall be put out"; Jer 25:10; "Take from them .... the light of the lamp"). The same metaphor is used in Rev 2:5 to indicate the judgment with which the church of Ephesus was threatened: "I will move thy candlestick out of its place." "The seven golden candlesticks" (Rev 1:20) which John saw were "the seven churches," the appointed light- bearers and dispensers of the religion of the risen Christ. Hence, the significance of such a threat.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/C/CANDLE;+CANDLESTICK/


Candles Scripture - Zephaniah 1:12 And it shall come to pass at that time, [that] I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Zephaniah/1/


Fuel for Fires The fuel used. The peasant often uses dried dung as fuel for his fire. Some of the poorer classes use this themselves, and sell the sticks they find to those who can afford to buy them.28 A reference in the prophecy of Ezekiel indicates this use of fuel was common in Bible times (see Ezekiel 4:15). In the Orient fuel is usually so scarce that dried grass and withered flowers are apt to be carefully gathered into bundles and used for making a fire.29 There are Bible indications that this was often done in those days of old. JESUS said: "The grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven" (Matthew 6:30; Luke 12:28). Another popular fuel for fires in Israel is thorns. There are many kinds of thorny shrubs that grow there, and the people gather them and make good use of them. Bible passages indicating such use of them are numerous (II Samuel 23:6, 7; Psalm 118:12; Ecclesiastes 7:6; Isaiah 9:18; Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 33:12; Nahum 1:10). The widow of Zarephath was gathering sticks to build a fire (I Kings 17:10), but the fire built in the courtyard of the high priest's house, where Simon Peter warmed himself, was built of charcoal (John 18:18). JESUS cooked breakfast for His disciples on a charcoal fire (John 21:9). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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Lamps Character of the lamp. When the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land they adopted the lamp used by the Canaanites, which was an earthenware saucer to hold the olive oil, and a pinched lip to hold the wick. A thousand years later a Mesopotamian lamp was imported and used in some sections. This lamp had a closed tube for the wick, and thus could be carried about without spilling the oil so readily. In the fifth century B.C. Greek lamps of a beautiful black glazed variety were imported and became popular. By the third century B.C. the old saucer-type lamp had all but disappeared, but in the second century, the Maccabeans revived the use of that type of lamp, as being more in line with the old Jewish traditions. But when the Roman Empire began to dominate the land of Israel, the lamps in use were either imported, or made under foreign models. The Virgin's Lamp in use in the time of CHRIST was an improvement over the old saucer type, having sufficient covering to keep the oil from spilling. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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Lamps in Easton's Bible Dictionary (1.) That part of the candle-sticks of the tabernacle and the temple which bore the light (Ex. 25:37; 1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chr. 4:20; 13:11; Zech. 4:2). Their form is not described. Olive oil was generally burned in them (Ex. 27:20). (2.) A torch carried by the soliders of Gideon (Judg. 7:16, 20). (R.V., "torches.") (3.) Domestic lamps (A.V., "candles") were in common use among the Hebrews (Matt. 5:15; Mark 4:21, etc.). (4.) Lamps or torches were used in connection with marriage ceremonies (Matt. 25:1). This word is also frequently metaphorically used to denote life, welfare, guidance, etc. (2 Sam. 21:17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23; 13:9).
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/L/Lamp/


Lamps in Fausset's Bible Dictionary (See CANDLE; CANDLESTICK.) The ordinary means of lighting apartments. In Judges 7:16; Judges 7:20, lamps mean torches; so John 18:3; Matthew 25:1. The terra cotta and bronze handlamps from Nimrud and Koyunjik perhaps give a good idea of the Bible lamp. The Egyption kandeel or common lamp is a small glass vessel with a tube in the bottom in which is stuck a wick of cotton twisted round straw. Water is poured in first, then the oil. The usual symbols of the early Christian lamps found at Jerusalem are the cross, the seven branched candlestick, the palm (John 12:13; Revelation 7:9). The rudeness of the lamps indicates the poverty of the early saints at Jerusalem. The inscriptions that occur are "the light of Christ shineth to all," and the initials I. X. TH., "Jesus Christ God."
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/L/Lamp/


Lamps in Naves Topical Bible Miraculously appeared at Abraham's sacrifice Ge 15:17 -For the tabernacle Ex 25 -Kept burning at night in the tabernacle and cared for by priest Ex 27:20,21; Le 24:2-4 -FIGURATIVE Job 18:6; Ps 119:105; Pr 13:9; 20:20; Isa 62:1; Jer 25:10; Zep 1:12; Pr 13:9; 20:20; Isa 62:1; Jer 25:10; Zep 1:12; Mt 6:22; 2Pe 1:19; Re 21:23 -SYMBOLICAL Re 4:5; 8:10
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/L/LAMP/


Lamps in Smiths Bible Dictionary 1. That part of the golden candlestick belonging to the tabernacle which bore the light; also of each of the ten candlesticks placed by Solomon in the temple before the holy of holies. Ex 25:37; 1Ki 7:49; 2Ch 4:20; 13:11; Zec 4:2 The lamps were lighted every evening and cleansed every morning. Ex 30:7,8 2. A torch or flambeau, such as was carried by the soldiers of Gideon. Jud 7:16,20 comp. Judg 15:4 The use in marriage processions of lamps fed with oil is alluded to in the parable of the ten virgins. Mt 25:1 Modern Egyptian lamps consist of small glass vessels with a tube at the bottom containing a cotton wick twisted around a piece of straw. For night travelling, a lantern composed of waxed cloth strained over a sort of cylinder of wire rings, and a top and bottom of perforated copper. This would, in form at least, answer to the lamps within pitchers of Gideon. "The Hebrews, like the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as the modern Orientals, were accustomed to burn lamps all night. This custom, with the effect produced by their going out or being extinguished, supplies various figures to the sacred writers. 2Sa 21:17; Pr 13:9; 20:20 On the other hand, the keeping up of a lamp's light is used as a symbol of enduring and unbroken succession. 1Ki 11:36; 15:4; Ps 132:17 " --McClintock and Strong.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/L/Lamp/


Lamps in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE lamp'-stand (nir, ner, lappidh, Phoenician lampadh, whence lampas; luchnos is also used): Ner or nir is properly "light" or "a light-giving thing," hence, "lamp," and is so rendered in the Revised Version (British and American), but often "candle" in the King James Version. Its use in connection with the tabernacle and the temple (Ex 25:37 ff; 2 Ch 4:20 f), where oil was employed for light (Ex 35:14; Lev 24:2), shows that this is its proper meaning. Lappidh is properly "a torch" and is thus rendered generally in the Revised Version (British and American), but "lamp" in Isa 62:1, where it is used as a simile. the King James Version renders it "lamp" usually, but "torch" in Nah 2:3 f; Zec 12:6. In Job 12:5 the Revised Version (British and American) renders it "for misfortune," regarding it as composed of the noun pidh, and the preposition l-. Lampas in Greek corresponds to it, but luchnos is also rendered in the Revised Version (British and American) "lamp," while the King James Version gives "candle," as in Mt 5:15 and corresponding passages in the other Gospels. 1. Forms and History: Lamps were in use in very remote times, though we have few allusions to them in the early history of Egypt. There are indications that they were used there. Niches for lamps are found in the tombs of Tell el-Amarna (Archaeological Survey of Egypt, Tell el-Amarna Letters, Part IV, 14). Lampstands are also represented (ibid., Part III, 7). Torches were of course used before lamps, and are mentioned in Gen (15:17 the Revised Version (British and American)), but clay lamps were used in Canaan by the Amorites before the Israelites took possession. The excavations in Israel have furnished thousands of specimens, and have enabled us to trace the development from about 2000 BC onward. The exploration carried out at Lachish (Tell Hesy) and Gezer (Tell Jezer) by the Israel Exploration Fund has given ample material for the purpose, and the numerous examples from tombs all over Israel and Syria have supplied a great variety of forms. 2. Figurative Use: "Lamp" is used in the sense of a guide in Ps 119:105; Prov 6:23, and for the spirit, which is called the lamp of Yahweh in man (Prov 20:27), and it of course often signifies the light itself. It is used also for the son who is to succeed and represent his father (1 Ki 15:4), and it perhaps is employed in this sense in the phrase, "The lamp of the wicked shall be put out" (Job 21:17; Prov 13:9; and perhaps Job 18:6). The early Canaanite or Amorite lamp was a shallow, saucer- like bowl with rounded bottom and vertical rim, slightly pointed or pinched on one side where the lighted end of the wick was placed. This form continued into Jewish times, but was gradually changed until the spout was formed by drawing the rim of the sides together, forming a narrow open channel, the remainder of the rim being rolled outward and flattened, the bottom being also flattened. This was the early Hebrew pattern and persisted for centuries. The open bowl was gradually closed in, first at the spout, where the rim of one side was lapped over the other, and finally...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/L/LAMP;+LAMPSTAND/


Lamps Scripture - 2 Chronicles 13:11 And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also [set they in order] upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/2+Chronicles/13/


Lamps Scripture - 2 Chronicles 4:21 And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, [made he of] gold, [and] that perfect gold;
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/2+Chronicles/4/


Lamps Scripture - Daniel 10:6 His body also [was] like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Daniel/10/


Lamps Scripture - Exodus 30:7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Exodus/30/


Lamps Scripture - Exodus 35:14 The candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light,
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Exodus/35/


Lamps Scripture - Exodus 40:25 And he lighted the lamps before the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Exodus/40/


Lamps Scripture - Exodus 40:4 And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Exodus/40/


Lamps Scripture - Ezekiel 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance [was] like burning coals of fire, [and] like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Ezekiel/1/


Lamps Scripture - Judges 7:16 And he divided the three hundred men [into] three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Judges/7/


Lamps Scripture - Judges 7:20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow [withal]: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Judges/7/


Lampstand The lampstand. In early Bible times, lampstands were not in common use, and the lamps would be put on a place such as a stone projecting from the wall. In the days of CHRIST lampstands were in quite general use. They were tall and were usually placed on the ground. Archaeologists have unearthed some bronze lampstands fourteen inches high that had been used in palaces. They were made for holding bowls or lamps. The poor no doubt had a less expensive type. If the family had no separate lampstand, the bushel placed on the ground upside down would serve for a lampstand, as well as a table from which the meal would be served. The lamp was to be put on the bushel and not under it (Matthew 5:15). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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Light in the House The significance of light in a Palestinian house. A lamp is considered to be the Palestinian peasant's one luxury that is a necessity. When the sun sets in the West, the door of his house is shut, and then the lamp is lit. To sleep without a light is considered by most villagers to be a sign of extreme poverty. The Bible makes synonymous such terms as lamp, light, and life. A late traveler looks to see a light in a house, and then he knows there is life there. To wish that a man's light be put out would be to wish him a terrible curse.26 Concerning the wicked man, Bildad in the Book of Job said: "The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle [lamp] shall be put out with him" (Job 18:6). But the psalmist considered himself blessed of the LORD when he said of himself in relation to GOD, "For thou wilt light my candle [lamp]" (Psalm 18:28). It was to Orientals who appreciated the value of even a humble earthenware lamp in the dark of night, or even in the obscurity of a darksome house, that JESUS originally said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=3TpvTEgx%2fgk%3d&tabid=232&mid=762


Olive Oil in Bible Times The wide use of olive oil in Bible lands. Olive oil was considered to be one of the great sources of wealth in the days of King Solomon (cf. I Kings 5:11; II Chronicles 2:10). Solomon gave to Hiram each year in return for services rendered by his men, among other things, twenty thousand baths of oil, one bath being about seven and one-half gallons. The prophets Ezekiel and Hosea make mention of the exporting of oil to other lands (Ezekiel 27:17; Hosea 12:1). Oil has been used for a great variety of purposes in the Orient. It largely took the place of butter in eating, and for cooking purposes it was used in place of animal fat. Ezekiel mentions three important items of diet of which oil is one, and flour and honey are the other two (Ezekiel 16:13). And olive oil was used almost exclusively for light in lamps. The most famous example of this is "the ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom" (Matthew 25:1). Also oil is used today in Bible lands in the manufacture of soap, and it is quite likely that it was so used in Bible days. And oil was often used for anointing the body. Naomi told Ruth, "Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor" (Ruth 3:3). Then oil was many times used in various religious ceremonies. It formed a part of the meal offering (Leviticus 2:1). The prophet was anointed with oil when he took over his duties (I Kings 19:16). The priest was also anointed with oil when he took over his duties (Leviticus 8:12). And the king was anointed either by a prophet or by the priest (I Samuel 16:13; I Kings 1:34). In New Testament times the sick were anointed for the healing of their bodies (Mark 6:13; James 5:14). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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Smoking Flax The prophet's reference to smoking flax. Isaiah's prophecy concerning the Messiah was that "the smoking flax shall he not quench" (Isaiah 42:3). Dr. Thomson tells of seeing ancient clay lamps in use illustrating this text. The wick was often made of a twisted strand of flax, and this was put into the olive oil in the shallow cup of the lamp. When the oil was almost used up it would give forth an offensive smoke. This was an indication it was time to replenish the supply of oil. The implication was that the quenching of the fire was sometimes done purposely. If the wick was well worn, the housewife would quench the fire, and then put a new wick in to take its place. GOD's servant would not thus treat the poor, weak, and despairing specimens of humanity. He would replenish the oil, trim the wick, and make the dimly burning flame to burn brightly. What a picture this is of our Saviour's desire to help the helpless and lift the fallen and save the lost. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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