||Make a menorah out of pure gold. The menorah shall be formed by hammering it. Its base, stem, and [decorative] cups, spheres and flowers must be hammered out of a [single piece of gold].
Ve'asita menorat zahav tahor mikshah teyaseh hamenorah yerechah vekanah gevi'eyha kaftoreyha ufracheyha mimenah yihyu.
||Six branches shall extend from its sides, three branches on one side of the menorah, and three branches on the other side.
Veshishah kanim yotse'im mitsideyha shloshah keney menorah mitsidah ha'echad ushloshah kney menorah mitsidah hasheni.
A seven branched lamp. See Exodus 37:17-24, Numbers 8:4.
Some say that this was like a triangular box with three legs (Rashi; Baaley Tosafoth). In his commentary on the Mishnah, however, Maimonides draws the base as being like a hemisphere with three legs (Menachoth 3:7, see Kapach edition). Other ancient drawings show the menorah as having three legs extending directly from its base (cf. Yad, Beth HaBechirah 3:2; Bareitha 9; Ralbag). Josephus (3:6:7), however, does not mention any legs.
Above the base there was a flower (from Numbers 8:4). The base and the flower together took up 3 handbreadths (9') (Menachoth 28b).
Like 'Alexandrian goblets' (Menachoth 28b). Wide with a narrow bottom, like the top of a champagne goblet (Yad, Beth HaBechirah 3:9; Rashi has medirness in French, a wine goblet). Some sources state that the cups were to catch any dripping oil (Chizzkuni). Other sources, however, state that they were solid (Rambam on Menachoth 3:7), or merely impressed into the stem (Rashbam on Exodus 25:32). Some sources appear to indicate that the cups were inverted, with the wide side downward (Ralbag; Picture in Rambam loc. cit.; see Kapach's note).
Kaphtorim in Hebrew, see Amos 9:1, Zephaniah 2:14. Some say that they were egg-shaped (Yad, Beth HaBechirah 3:9; cf. Arukh s.v. Tapuach).
Like the flowers on a column (Menachoth 28b). These were like bowls with the edges bent outward (Yad, Beth HaBechirah 3:9).
Some say that they were hollow (Ibn Ezra). However, the majority maintain that they were solid (Abarbanel). Some maintain that this is implied by the word 'hammered' (mikshah) (Evven HaAzel, Beth HaBechirah 3:4), but this is impossible, since the trumpets were mikshah (Numbers 10:2).
Some say that the branches were curved and extended on both sides like semicircles (Ibn Ezra on Exodus 25:37, 27:21; Chokhmath HaMishkan 4b; Maaseh Choshev 7:7), and most ancient pictures have it in this form. Others, however, say that the branches were straight and extended diagonally upward, making the menorah look like a Y (Rashi; Avraham ben HaRambam; Rambam on Menachoth 3:7, picture in original manuscript, reproduced in Kapach edition).