|First pure olive oil produced for Temple in 2000 years|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 23 December 2014 18:58|
The Temple Institute have revealed that pure olive oil, to be used specifically in a rebuilt Jewish Temple, has been produced for the first time in around two thousand years. After years of research, the Temple Institute have recreated the methods used in the production of olive oil that would have been used in the Temple in Bible times. The olive trees were grown in accordance with Biblical laws of purity, the olives harvested and the oil produced as it would have been thousands of years ago, and stored in ceramic vessels ready for use in a rebuilt Temple.
Quote: "Modern day kohanim, direct descendants of the High Priest Aharon, under the guidance of Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute, led the ceremony by kindling the seven lights of a model menorah, precisely as the Golden Menorah was kindled each day in the Holy Temple. As they stepped up to the menorah and lit one wick at a time by transferring the flame directly from the previously kindled wick, each kohen, in his turn, uttered a practice version of the blessing that would be recited over the actual kindling of the Temple Menorah, a blessing that has not been heard for 2000 years. Each blessing was answered by the spellbound onlookers with the words, "Blessed be the glorious name of His kingdom forever and ever," precisely as the blessings of the Kohanim were answered in the Holy Temple.
The announcment came as Jewish people around the world celebrated Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, which commemorates the rededication of the Temple under the Maccabees. After its defilement by Antiochus Epiphanies, Judas Maccabeus and his brothers pushed back the Seleucid empire and retook the Jewish Temple from the Syrian king. In rededicating the Temple, they realized that there there was only enough pure olive oil left to keep the Menorah lit for one day, but it would be eight days before fresh olive oil could be produced. They decided to go ahead, and miraculously, the Menorah kept burning until fresh oil could be produced.
While it is not one of the Biblical feasts, the Festival of Lights is mentioned in the New Testament in John chapter 10. The traditional seven branched Menorah, which stood in the Temple to give light in the Holy Place, is extended to nine branches to represent the eight days of Chanukah. This nine-branched Menorah, called a Chanukiah, has a central elevated candle holder called in Hebrew the 'shamash' or servant candle. This servant candle is used to light the other candles on each of the eight consecutive days of Chanukah. For believers in the Messiah, this 'servant candle' takes on an extra special meaning. It is a reminder to us of the Messiah Himself, who is described in Isaiah 49, 52 and other chapters as the Lord's "Servant". The Lord Jesus Christ's servant attitude is expressed in His statement in Matthew 20:28, "the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many". We are also reminded of His words in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life".
At this time of year, many Jewish people around the world celebrate Chanukah and the rededication of the Temple, and look forward to the day when the Temple will be rebuilt and God's presence will once again dwell with men. It is fitting that as Christians, we also remember at this time of year the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, when God's presence was manifest in this world in a way it never could have been before. For under the Old Covenant system, only the High Priest could enter into the presence of God, and only once a year and not without a blood offering. But praise God that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners", 1st Timothy 1:15, and to "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26). And now all who trust in Him for salvation can know their sins forgiven and dwell in the presence of God forever.