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; 1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chron. 4:20; 13:11; Zech. 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. Judges 7:16, 20; comp. 15:4. The use in marriage processions of lamps fed with oil is alluded to in the parable of the ten virgins. Matt. 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. 2 Sam. 21:17; Prov. 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. 1 Kings 11:36; 15:4; Ps. 132:17.”—McClintock and Strong.
Assyrian Terra-cotta and Glass Lamps.
Lamp with Christian Inscription.