Summary: Outline plus some thoughts which tell the story of Hanukkah and give some applications for Christians from this miracle which the Jews received from God.
December 17, 2006
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
Slide 2: Part of Daniel’s Prophecies
• 8:15-20: Medo-Persian Empire
• 21-22: Alexander the great and the four generals who divided the Greek empire at the time of his death
• 23-24: Introduction to the character and abilities of Antiochus IV
• 25: He will cross a line and will drop dead by direct divine judgment.
• 26-27: Events from 400 to 550 years in the future from Daniel’s time.
Slide 3: Events of Hanukkah
• Around 170 BC the Greek-Syrian army conquered Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar.
• Judaism and all of its practices was forbidden by Antiochus.
• In 166 Mattityahu, his sons, and a few followers started a hidden military resistance. They fought from caves in the hill country.
• Judas Hasmonea of Maccabee (Mattityahu’s son) was a brilliant fighter and tactical genius.
• These resistance fighters, now called the Maccabees, conquered and drove out the Syrian-Greek occupiers in 164.
• They immediately sought to cleanse and re-dedicate the Temple
o This process takes 8 days.
o Only 1 day’s supply of oil could be found for the Temple’s Menorah.
o By a miracle of God’s provision, the one day supply of oil lasted the full eight days it was needed.
How did this End?
• Antiochus became enraged upon hearing of this.
• He gathered his full army and vowed to destroy Jerusalem and annihilate all the Jews.
• On the way there, he died suddenly and mysteriously, thus fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy.
• His army went back home.
The Jewish Celebration of Lights: Hanukkah
• The Jews have commemorated this amazing event for more than 2000 years now.
• The Menorah was the nine branched, oil burning candlestick. It was the only source of light allowed in the Temple, and was essential to its cleansing and dedication.
• Hanukkah means Dedication.
More about Hanukkah
• It is mentioned as the “Feast of Dedication” in John 10:22-23. It had been celebrated for over 100 years at that point in time.
• This feast lasts for eight days in commemoration of the eight days that the Maccabean priests took to cleanse and dedicate the Temple.
• Special foods such as Latkes (potato pancakes) are cooked in oil and eaten in remembrance of the miraculous oil supply.
• Special gifts are given and games are played as part of this annual observance.
Wrapping this up
• The date varies a little, but always is around the start of Winter. This year Hanukkah began at sundown on December 14 and runs till sundown on December 22.
• The Temple had to be preserved for 200 more years. Messiah (Jesus) had to be dedicated their on the eighth day after his birth.
• God will never allow the Jewish people to be wiped out. Tyrants still try to destroy them. The Devil keeps trying.
• The prophets Anna and Simeon (Luke 2:21-39) spoke over the baby Jesus at his dedication. They had been prepared by God through their faithful service at the Temple. The Temple had been restored and preserved supernaturally.
A Powerful parting thought: