Chanukkah: Festival of Lights and Rededication
I refer to
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 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.
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
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
I would like to thank Jake for referring the following information to
me from Dave Bussard’s blog,
“...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
The vision says, “2300
evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.”
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.” -
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.
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
HIStory, Our Future: Pearls for the Bride.
Also, the appearance of the bride of Christ symbolized in the Old Testament
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
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
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.
by Professors Cotton and Wörrle 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,
(first candle: night of 12/8; last candle: night of 12/15)
- Jewish Year 5774: sunset November 27, 2013 - nightfall December
(first candle: night of 11/27; last candle: night of 12/4)
- Jewish Year 5775: sunset December 16, 2014 - nightfall December
(first candle: night of 12/16; last candle: night of 12/23)
- Jewish Year 5776: sunset December 6, 2015 - nightfall December 14,
(first candle: night of 12/6; last candle: night of 12/13)
- Jewish Year 5777: sunset December 24, 2016 - nightfall January 1,
(first candle: night of 12/24; last candle: night of 12/31)