A. The temple’s glory has dimmed, Zion’s “sons” are of little value, and thirst and famine prevail (4:1-5)
B. Punishment for sin greater than that of Sodom; Nazirites’ “aspect has become darker than blackness,” and famine has caused women to eat their own children (4:6-10)
C. Jehovah’s anger has been poured out to burn up Zion, a thing unbelievable to land’s inhabitants (4:11, 12)
D. Prophets and priests responsible for bloodshed (4:13-16)
E. No salvation has come from looking to men (4:17)
F. Enemies pursue mercilessly; even Davidic king has been captured (4:18-20)
G. Let Edom exult now; but Zion’s error paid for, now Edom will get attention for her sins (4:21, 22)
V. Petition made to Jehovah for deliverance from desolation and captivity (5:1-22)
A. Jehovah is asked to remember his ‘orphaned’ people (5:1-5)
B. They have given their hand to Egypt and Assyria for bread, and have had to bear their forefathers’ errors (5:6, 7)
C. Mere servants rule over them; wives and virgins, princes, old and young men have been debased; they are sick at heart over their circumstances (5:8-18)
D. They beg that Jehovah bring them back to himself, though he has rejected them in indignation (5:19-22)
A vessel used to produce artificial light. It has a wick for burning flammable liquids such as oil, the wick drawing up the fluid by capillary attraction to feed the flame. Wicks were made of flax (Isa. 42:3; 43:17), peeled rush or hemp. Olive oil was the fluid generally burned in ancient lamps (Ex. 27:20), though terebinth tree oil was also used.
Ordinarily, household lamps were made of earthenware, although bronze lamps have also been discovered in Palestine. The common Canaanite lamp was shaped like a saucer, having a rounded bottom and vertical rim. Its rim was slightly pinched on one side, where the wick rested. Sometimes the rim was pinched at the four corners, providing four places for wicks. Even seven-lipped lamps have been discovered.
In time, lamps were made in somewhat different shapes, some being closed except for two holes, one on top (near the center) for filling the vessel with oil and the other being a spout for holding the wick. Certain lamps had a loop handle at the end opposite the spout, sometimes in a horizontal, but more often in a vertical position. This type (called Graeco-Roman) frequently bore mythological human or animal forms. However, the Jews made lamps bearing such designs as vine leaves or scrolls. The five discreet virgins of Jesus’ illustration each had a lamp and oil In the receptacles. (Matt. 25:1-4) Those who came to arrest Jesus were also carrying lamps and torches.—John 18:3.
Early saucer lamps were generally a shade of brown. Varieties made in the first century C.E. were of various colors, including light brown, red-orange and gray. Also, there were those of Roman times that were covered with red glaze.
The lamps generally used in homes and other buildings might be placed in a niche in the wall, or on a shelf on a wall or pillar, or they might be suspended from the ceiling by means of a cord. Sometimes they were placed on clay, wooden or metal stands. Such lampstands permitted the light to radiate throughout the room. (2 Ki. 4:10; Matt. 5:15; Mark 4:21) Excavations at Megiddo have yielded bronze lamps that had separate tripods on which they could be placed. Certain Israelite pottery lamps had pedestal bases.
In Israel’s tabernacle, the lampstand was made of gold and differed in design from common household lampstands. Made according to Jehovah God’s instructions (Ex. 25:31), it was ornamented with alternating knobs and blossoms, and had three branches on each side of a central shaft, thus providing for seven holders in which small lamps were placed. Only fine beaten olive oil was used in these lamps. (Ex. 37:17-24; 27:20) Later, Solomon had ten golden lampstands and a number of silver lampstands made for temple use.—1 Ki. 7:48, 49; 1 Chron. 28:15; 2 Chron. 4:19, 20; 13:11.
There is no evidence that the candle as we know it today was used in Bible times. Whereas the flammable wax or fat of a modern candle is kept in the solid state until melted by the close proximity of the flame, lamp oil, a liquid, was used in Biblical days. Hence, frequent rendering by the Authorized Version of the Hebrew ner and the Greek word lyʹkhnos as “candle” is inappropriate, as at Job 29:3 and Luke 11:33, where modern translations (such as AT, NW, RS) fittingly use “lamp.”
JEHOVAH A LAMP AND SOURCE OF LIGHT
Jehovah is the paramount Source of light and guidance. David, after being delivered out of the hand of his enemies and of Saul, said: “You are my lamp, O Jehovah, and it is Jehovah that makes my darkness shine.” (2 Sam. 22:29) In the Psalms a slightly different expression is used: “You yourself will light my lamp, O Jehovah,” there picturing Jehovah as the one kindling the lamp that David carried to light his way.—Ps. 18:28.
In the heavenly New Jerusalem, as seen by the apostle John in vision, “night will not exist there,” but the city’s light is not that of the sun and moon. Jehovah God’s glory directly lights up the city, just as the cloud of light that the Hebrews called the Shekinah illuminated the Most Holy of the ancient tabernacle and temple. (Lev. 16:2; compare Numbers 9:15, 16.) And the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is its “lamp.” This “city” will shed its spiritual light down upon the nations, the inhabiters of the “new earth,” for their guidance.—Rev. 21:22-25.
KINGS OF THE LINE OF DAVID
Jehovah God established King David on the throne of Israel and David proved to be a wise guide and leader of the nation, under God’s direction. He was therefore called “the lamp of Israel.” (2 Sam. 21:17) In his kingdom covenant with David, Jehovah promised: “Your very throne will become one firmly established to time indefinite.” (2 Sam. 7:11-16) Accordingly, the dynasty or family line of rulers from David through his son Solomon was as a “lamp” to Israel.—1 Ki. 11:36; 15:4; 2 Ki. 8:19; 2 Chron. 21:7.
When King Zedekiah was dethroned and taken captive to Babylon, to die there, it appeared that the “lamp” was extinguished. But Jehovah had not