Why was the first cold pressed olive oil used in the Temple?

Posted by on Feb 26, 2021

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Question: One uses the best oil for baking, such as the first cold pressed olive oil, and the cheap oil for lighting. But, why is it commanded the other way around for the Temple service?

Answer: The first drops of cold pressed olive oil is the finest and purest oil that has fresh and robust flavor. Such oil was used to kindle the menorah (the seven-branch lamp) in the Temple.

Pure Olive Oil

Pure Olive Oil

The remaining oil (which was not as pure) was used for meal offerings, meal, and lighting of ordinary lamps. We read from the Torah regarding the first cold pressed olive oil,

And you, you are to command the children of Israel to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. (Exo 27:20)

The menorah represents the Torah, as King Solomon states in Pro 6:23, “A lamp is a command and Torah is light”, meaning “in doing the commands of YHVH, Torah becomes out as a light to the world”.

Hence, for doing the commands of the Torah one should use the best and purest of everything, as the first drops of olive oil, i.e., one should give the best he or she could do to learn and do the Word of YHVH Elohim.

Yeshua Himself has told us in His first address to the nation of Israel,

You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city to be hidden on a mountain. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it shines to all those in the house. Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens. (Mat 5:14-16)