Chanukkah: Festival of Lights and Rededication

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I refer to Judaism 101 to define this Jewish holiday:

“Chanukkah, the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.

Chanukkah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas. Many non-Jews (and even many assimilated Jews!) think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift-giving and decoration. It is bitterly ironic that this holiday, which has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and the suppression of Jewish religion, has become the most assimilated, secular holiday on our calendar.

The Story

The story of Chanukkah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy. Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated much of Hellenistic culture, adopting the language, the customs and the dress of the Greeks, in much the same way that Jews in America today blend into the secular American society.

More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region. He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in the Temple, massacring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. Two groups opposed Antiochus: a basically nationalistic group led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee, and a religious traditionalist group known as the Chasidim, the forerunners of the Pharisees (no direct connection to the modern movement known as Chasidism). They joined forces in a revolt against both the assimilation of the Hellenistic Jews and oppression by the Seleucid Greek government. The revolution succeeded and the Temple was rededicated.

According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle. Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory: Jews do not glorify war.”

I recently began to go over Daniel 8 and Daniel 11 again and came back to the first abomination of desolation fulfilled in prophecy by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The significance of this brings up many other little studies connected to it that I felt deserved referring to here.

First of all, we know that there are many antichrists in history who place themselves in Christ’s place and that there is nothing new under the sun, this is the spirit of antichrist. We also have a future antichrist who is prophesied to perform another abomination of desolation in the future, only this time he will place himself as an idol to be worshipped in the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt temple on the Temple Mount.

I would like to thank Jake for referring the following information to me from Dave Bussard’s blog, The Pre-Wrath Tribune:

“...when we study the history of Antiochus Epiphanes it becomes clear that 2300 DAYS were not what was prophesied because it did not last 2300 days.

The vision says, “2300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.” (Daniel 8:14)

According to Maccabees 1:54 (NOT inspired, but historical) Antiochus set up the abomination of desolation on the 15th day, 9th month and 145th year.

Maccabees 4:52-53 says the first sacrifices after the abomination took place on the 25th day, 9th month and the 148th year.

This is exactly 1150 days in between the abomination and the first sacrifice after the temple was restored according to the Greek Solar Calendar!

1150 is half of 2300, so it seems that the 2300 was not days, but mornings and evenings, just as the Bible suggest. This actually makes sense because I think they were counting SACRIFICES and NOT days, due to a morning AND evening sacrifice. Thus 2300 mornings and evenings/sacrifices.” - More detail

Antiochus back in 171 BC was trying to assimilate Jews, who are likewise under the belief in only one God who says not to worship any god but Him, into the Hellenistic culture. Christianity today is being diluted from the source of its existence, the Word of God by adding extra-Biblical beliefs and mixing them in true Babylonian fashion.

We can see this in today’s world as the fundamentalist religions like Judaism and Christianity are having a war waged on them and all who claim sole ownership to the Truth via the Alliance of Civilizations. This is working with the global religion movement to suggest that all roads lead to God and that all religions worship the same God. This is of course contrary to logic and reality as there is only one Truth verified by history and the Word of God. However those who believe the Bible is the Word of God are then in a pickle because they are the ones being lumped in with the other religious fundamentalists, some of which take joy in chaos. See how this is developing politically now!

Regarding the building of faith in the Truth of the Bible, the 2,300 days prophecy regarding the length of the desolations to the rededication of the temple, Chanukkah, was fulfilled to the day! Link This is much like other Bible prophecies fulfilled with the same precision, read HIStory, Our Future: Pearls for the Bride.

Also, the appearance of the bride of Christ symbolized in the Old Testament by the Menorah. In the modern celebration there is actually two extra candles added whereas the original Menorah in the temple had only seven lamps.


Maccabee-era relics found near Jerusalem shed light on ancient Jewish warriors
Haaretz (February 16, 2009)

Three fragments of a Greek inscription, believed to be part of the “Heliodoros stele” were recently found at an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation at the National Park of Beit Guvrin.

The Heliodoros stele, dating back to 178 B.C.E. and consisting of 23 lines inscribed in limestone, is considered one of the most important ancient inscriptions found in Israel.

Dr. Dov Gera, who studied the inscriptions, determined that the fragments were actually the lower portion of “The Heliodoros stele.” This discovery confirmed the assumption that the stele originally stood in one of the temples located where Maresha- Beit Guvrin National Park stands today.

The new fragments were discovered in a subterranean complex by participants in the Archaeological Seminars Institute’s “Dig for a Day” program.

As published by Professors Cotton and W├Ârrle in 2007, this royal stone stele bears a proclamation by the Seleucid king, Seleucus IV (father of Antiochus IV). The contents of the stele shed light on the Seleucid government’s involvement in local temples, mentioning an individual named Olympiodoros, the appointed “overseer” of the temples in Coele Syria - Phoenicia, including Judea.

The order of the king was sent to Heliodorus, who was probably the same person mentioned in the book of II Maccabees. According to the story in Maccabees, Heliodorus, as the representative of King Seleucus IV, tried to steal money from the Temple in Jerusalem but instead was severely beaten as a result of divine intervention.

Three years later, Seleucus IV was assassinated and was succeeded by his son Antiochus IV, who was the ruler, who according to II Maccabees, eventually issued an edict of persecution against the Jewish people and desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem leading to the Maccabean Revolt.

In short, it can be determined that this royal stele originated in the city of Maresha, and adds important archaeological evidence and historical context to understanding the period leading up to the Maccabean Revolt, an event celebrated each year on the holiday of Hanukah.

Dr. Ian Stern, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority adds, “this discovery is the fruit of a joint effort on the part of the Archaeological Seminars Instititute’s ‘Dig for a Day’ program, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the staff of the of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority in the National Park of Beit Guvrin.”

List of Dates

Chanukkah will occur on the following days of the secular calendar:

  • Jewish Year 5773: sunset December 8, 2012 - nightfall December 16, 2012
    (first candle: night of 12/8; last candle: night of 12/15)
  • Jewish Year 5774: sunset November 27, 2013 - nightfall December 5, 2013
    (first candle: night of 11/27; last candle: night of 12/4)
  • Jewish Year 5775: sunset December 16, 2014 - nightfall December 24, 2014
    (first candle: night of 12/16; last candle: night of 12/23)
  • Jewish Year 5776: sunset December 6, 2015 - nightfall December 14, 2015
    (first candle: night of 12/6; last candle: night of 12/13)
  • Jewish Year 5777: sunset December 24, 2016 - nightfall January 1, 2017
    (first candle: night of 12/24; last candle: night of 12/31)