Jesus celebrated Hanukkah!
Hanukkah Menorah photo courtesy of Shoshana
Hanukkah 2020: Dec 10 – Dec 18
By Craig C. White
The Hebrew word Hanukkah means “dedication”. Hanukkah is the Jewish celebration of the re-dedication of the temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days beginning on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev. While Hanukkah is not one of the appointed Jewish holy days (Leviticus 23, Numbers 29); it is mentioned in the Bible. It was prophesied in Daniel 8:14, also Jesus attended a Hanukkah celebration in John 10: 22-23.
In 175 B.C. Israel was under the rule of a wicked Grecian king named Antiochus Epiphanes. He was king over one quarter of the Grecian empire known as the Seleucid dynasty, headquartered in Syria. Antiochus Epiphanes robbed the temple in Jerusalem of its gold and holy vessels. He ended the daily sacrifice, and sacrificed pigs on the Jewish alter. Then he declared that he should be worshiped as God instead of the God of Israel. In 171 B.C. the high priest of Israel (Onias III) was murdered and false Priests were installed in temple worship.
In 167 B.C. a group of Hebrew rebels from Judea (which is the region around Jerusalem), known as the Maccabees began to fight the Syrian authorities in Jerusalem. The Maccabees regained control of the temple, and in 165 B.C. on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev the Jewish people resumed the daily sacrifice (1 Maccabees 4:52). This is the day that Israel celebrates Hanukkah (the dedication of the temple).
Hanukkah, or the day that the temple sacrifice would continue was prophesied in Daniel 8:14. God told Daniel about Hanukkah in 551 B.C. (Daniel 8: 1).
Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Daniel 8:14 says that the temple will be defiled for 2300 days; or that sacrifices will be interrupted for 2300 days. If you count 2300 days from the day that the high priest Onias III was murdered in 171 B.C. you come to Kislev 25, 165 B.C. That is the day of Hanukkah!
Jesus celebrated Hanukkah! In verse 22 below, the “feast of the dedication” is the same as Hanukkah.
John 10:22-30 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.