What is the gender of the "candlestick (Menorah)" in Exodus 25:31 et al.?
"And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same." (Exodus 25:31, KJV)
Critics claim that the KJV mistranslates by giving masculine possessive pronouns to the components associated with the candlestick (Menorah), which is a feminine noun in the Hebrew. The KJV treats the candlestick as masculine because of the natural male gender of the candlestick in the symbolism. The masculine personhood of the candlestick (Menorah) can be found at Zechariah 4:11-14. In this verse the candlestick (Menorah) represents "the Lord of the whole earth".
"Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." (Zechariah 4:11-14)
In this passage there is a candlestick with olive trees on each side. The olive trees are explained as being two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the earth. It is clear then that the candlestick represents the Lord of the whole earth. This Lord is male, whether it is Jesus Christ or some other Messiah as interpreted by Jews. According to a strictly Christian interpretation, the candlestick in Exodus 25:31 represents Christ, and Christ is a man. In fact, each object in the Tabernacle represents an aspect of Christ. The alter represents the sacrifice of Christ. The shewbread represents Christ as the bread of life. The laver represents the cleansing of Christ. The candlestick represents the light of Christ. Christ is the light of the world (John 9:5).
There is no way the KJV translators could not have recognized a Hebrew feminine noun. Many modern translators give a masculine pronoun to the neuter "Spirit" (Romans 8:16, 26) because the Spirit is a person. It would be absurd to allege that these modern translators could not recognize that the "Spirit" is neuter in Greek. Sometimes a translator might choose to render the personal gender of a person or symbol rather than its mere grammatical gender.
Read more articles from: The King James Version is Demonstrably Inerrant