Summary: This week, Hanukkah will be celebrated by Jews all over the world this week. (AKA Feast of lights, Feast of Dedication) Although it is a special 8 days, the feast is not among those listed among the Lord’s Appointed Times in Lev. 23.
A This week, Hanukkah will be celebrated by Jews all over the world this week. (AKA Feast of lights, Feast of Dedication)
1 Although it is a special 8 days, the feast is not among those listed among the Lord’s Appointed Times in Lev. 23.
a Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of atonement, & Feast of Booths/Tabernacles..
b Despite it’s absence in the Torah (Moses’ Writing), we shouldn’t assume that Hanukkah is unbiblical.
c John 10.22-23
aa By the time Jesus comes to Jerusalem in John 10, Hanukkah had been observed for decades.
bb W/O a doubt, Jesus observed Hanukkah.
cc If Christians are looking for reasons to remember Hanukkah, the simple fact of Jesus having observed it is good enough reason alone.
2 I believe Daniel 8.21-25, reveals a prophetic vision of the events surrounding Hanukkah. (Even liberal scholars think this passage was written & added later due to the extreme clarity in the passage.)
B If we go back to 167 BC, the Jews were living under the oppression of a foreign power.
1 A few generations before, Alexander the Great had brought the world under one government & culture called Hellenism.
a After Alexander’s early death, four of his generals scrambled for power and Alexander’s kingdom was divided.
aa North (Seleucides/Syria)
bb South (Ptolemies/ Egypt)
cc Judea was stuck in the middle.
b Eventually, Judea fell into the hands of the Seleucides, under the leadership of Antiochus IV.
2 To unify his holdings, he made people assimulate into Hellenistic culture (arts, language, even religion)
a Not surprisingly, most people didn’t put up too much of a fight.
b Some of traditional Jews did!
aa Antiochus demanded Jews give up their customs, Sabbaths, circumsion of sons, feasts.
bb Told to shut up, give up, or die.
b To prove his point, Antiochus marched his troops into Jerusalem into the Temple.
aa Defiled the alter by sacrificing a pig on it.
bb Erecting an image of Zeus in the Holy Sanctuary.
c What Antiochus did was go out of his way to be Satanic, demonic in his desecration of the Temple was make God’s Temple to become totally unholy.
aa His glory/shekinah was gone.
bb In part to Israel’s unfaithfulness!
3 Daniel 8.21-22
a The first horn is Alexander, early death, rise of 4 generals.
b Split the empire among themselves.
c Daniel 8.23-25
aa According to the word given to Daniel, the focal point of this Hellenistic kingdom is the leader who would persecute the Jewish people.
bb Magnified himself, Epiphenes –God manifest.
C Although many of the Jewish people went along with the governments silencing them, there was a remnant who would not be silenced!
1 In a village called Modin, an old Godly priest by the name of Mattathias, w/ 5 sons.
a The Seleucide soldiers marched into town, erected an alter to perform a pagan ritual . . . that climaxed with the eating of swine.
b The soldiers choose Mattathias to perform the ceremony and that was enough!
aa Mattathias & his sons revolted, killing the soldiers, and sparking what would eventually lead to the re-taking of the Temple.
bb The son that arose as the leader of the revolt was nicknamed, Maccabee (The Hammer).
2 This ragamuffin band of patriots used guerilla warfare, knowledge of hill country, and armed w/ a conviction that God was faithful, keep His promises, . . . they did the impossible!
a In the month of Kisliv (Late November/ Early December), they drove out the Syrian army from the temple and reclaimed it for the God of Israel.
b When they took it over, it was defiled with images, idols, alters desecrated, lamp stands broken.
aa Menorah was symbolic of the light of God, glory, Shikanah.
bb Only enough oil to last one day (eight day process to make it)
cc The presence of God had been absent for too long . . . get the lamp going. . . God’s been too gone for too long!
c The one day’s oil lasted 8 days!
aa Menorah is a special lamp stand, uses 7 candles.
bb Hanukkah menorah has 9 candles to represent the 8 days of light out of 1 days worth of oil.
d What a day it must have been when Jews were once again able to ascend to Mt. Zion, enter the courts, come into the Temple to cleanse the Temple, rebuilt its alar, and rededicate them once more to the living God of Israel.
D Every 25 of Kisliv, Jews celebrate the military victory & miracle of the oil, rededication of the Temple.
1 Hanukkah is a time to celebrate the Maccabees saving/redeeming Israel, and the one who will redeem Israel completely: Messiah!
a John 10.24 “Are you the Christ/Messiah?”