How many candles were in the first Hanukkah Menorah described in the Bible?

The Hanukkah Menorah, also known as the Hanukkiah, is a special candelabrum used during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. It is a symbol of the miracle of the oil that occurred during the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. While the Hanukkah Menorah is an important part of the holiday, the Bible does not provide a specific number of candles that were used in the first Hanukkah Menorah.

The Hanukkah story is told in the book of Maccabees, which is not part of the Jewish canon but is recognized as a historical text by many Jews and Christians. According to the story, the Maccabees, a group of Jewish rebels, fought against the Seleucid Empire that had taken control of Judea. After reclaiming the Second Temple in Jerusalem, they found that the Temple's menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum, had been desecrated by the Seleucids.

The Maccabees decided to rededicate the Temple and light the menorah with pure olive oil, which they could only find enough of to last for one day. However, the oil miraculously burned for eight days, allowing the Maccabees to prepare more oil and continue the rededication ceremony. This miracle is celebrated during the eight days of Hanukkah, during which a special eight-branched Hanukkah Menorah is lit each night.

While the Bible does not specify the number of candles used in the first Hanukkah Menorah, it is believed that the original menorah used during the Temple's dedication had seven branches. The Hanukkah Menorah used during the holiday has eight branches, with one additional candle, called the shamash, used to light the other candles.

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Jamie Larson