R. Isaac Abravanel (15th cent. Spain)- Commentary on Exodus 25:8
Why did [God] command the erection of the tabernacle, when [God] said "that I may dwell among them," as if God were an object demarcated and limited in space — which is the opposite of the truth!... After all, God himself spoke these words through the prophet Isaiah (66:1): "The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what kind of house can you build for me?"
Sefer HaChinuch (16 cent.)
Know, my child, that any commandment that God requires of humankind comes only out of God's desire to benefit us... God's command to build the Tabernacle, for us to offer therein our prayers and sacrifices, comes not out of God's needs to dwell in an earthly dwelling among humankind, but rather [out of God's awareness that we need] train our own selves...
The verse does not say, "and I will dwell within it," but "and I will dwell within them"--within each and every one of them.
Malbim (19th cent. Eastern Europe)- Commentary on Exodus 25:8
...Each one of us needs to build God a Tabernacle in the recesses of our hearts, by preparing oneself to become a Sanctuary for God and a place for the dwelling of God's glory.
Oh Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
And in thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for you.
Ve-asu li mikdash
Ve-a-nach-nu ne-var-ech Yah
May-atah ve-ad o-lam.
Even more than the Star of David, the menorah is the symbol that has long been synonymous with the Jewish people. It is the central image in the official seal of the State of Israel.
The Arch of Titus in Rome. This arch was commissioned a mere 12 years (82 CE) after the destruction of the Temple for Rome to celebrate the conquering of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.
Then 1100 years later, Maimonides offered a version of what he thought the Menorah looked like. Here, the arms are straight diagonals rather than curved branches as depicted in the Arch of Titus. Maimonides interpreted the menorah to look very different than the earlier depiction in the Arch of Titus would suggest.English
Image from fragments in the Burnt House. The Burnt House is believed to have been set on fire during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
Those who argue against its authenticity are quick to point out that certain elements of the menorah are omitted in this depiction. For example, the menorah had feet extending from its base whereas the menorah on the Arch of Titus has no feet. The base of the menorah certain fits the Hellenistic and Herodian style which was current at that time and there is ample reason to suggest Herod redesigned the menorah to make it more atheistically appealing.
Over the last couple of years or so, the feet of the menorah unearthed from a newly-discovered synagogue not far from the Migdal Beech in Jerusalem, strongly resembles the feet of the menorah depicted on the famous Hasmonean coin. But the synagogue menorah is resting on a square base, whereas the coin’s menorah is not.