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Hanukkah

Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, commemorates Jewish victory over Syrian oppression and the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem around 165 BCE. [1] But is this holiday only a celebration acknowledging Jewish history? You will be shocked to discover that the traditions surrounding this holiday, as well as the season in which it takes place, actually echoes something so important for all Christians to understand. There is a deep spiritual and prophetic significance surrounding this festival, and it is crucial for all in the Body of Christ to know what that is. 

There is a deep spiritual and prophetic significance surrounding this festival, and it is crucial for all in the Body of Christ to know what that is.

The festival of Hanukkah begins on the 15th of the Hebrew month Kislev and lasts for 8 days. This holiday can occur during the months of November or December, based on the Gregorian calendar. The Hanukkah story reflects upon the time when the Jews were under intense religious persecution from King Antiochus Epiphanes. Their temple was defiled, and they were outlawed from performing their religious customs and duties. A Jewish family, known as the Maccabees, banded together with the help from the Almighty God to overthrow their oppressors and regain control of the temple. The temple had to be cleansed and rededicated according to specific biblical instruction. According to the Old Testament, the fire that lit the menorah had to remain ablaze at all times as a symbol of God’s presence. With only enough consecrated oil to last one day, the Jews proceeded to ignite the flame, dedicating the temple. The fire miraculously burned until enough oil was properly made according to custom one week later. [2]

Although the historical account of Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Bible, Jesus Christ himself is mentioned as being at the temple during this season. The Bible says, “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch,” (Joh. 10:22-23). [3] This scripture clearly makes a reference to Jesus being in the temple at the Feast of Dedication, also known as Hanukkah. The Hebrew word for dedication in this scripture is chanukkah, which means dedication, consecration, or initiation. [4] Everything written in the Word of God is not without significance. Who knew that Jesus, the light of the world, was at the temple during the Festival of Lights? Not only is it important to note Jesus commemorating Hanukkah, but the reference to its spiritual meaning must not go unnoticed by believers. The Bible says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God” (1Cor. 3:16). [3] If His saints are the temple of God, wouldn’t Jesus, the light of the world, desire to come and light the fire within their hearts?  When other non-biblical holidays, such as Christmas, entered into the church, without a biblical basis, we lost the depth and true meaning of Hanukkah.

When other non-biblical holidays, such as Christmas, entered into the church, without a biblical basis, we lost the depth and true meaning of Hanukkah.

The Bible further shows us the significance of Hanukkah and how it relates to our Lord and savior. Did you know that Jesus was conceived during the season of Hanukkah? He was not born on December 25th, and the Bible makes no reference to such a day. It does however, give scriptural clues to determine the timeframe in which he was conceived and ultimately born. Read carefully how this is true. The book of Luke tells us that Zacharias, who is Jesus’ uncle and the father of John the Baptist, was serving in the temple as according to the “order of his division” (Luk. 1:9). [3] Zacharias was of the priestly division of Abijah, whereas his wife Elizabeth was “of the daughters of Aaron” (Luk. 1:5). [3] What does knowing the priestly lineage of Zacharias and Elizabeth have to do with anything? If the Bible makes mention of it, it is not without significance. Zacharias performed his priestly service around the Hebrew month of Sivan [5], where his wife, Elizabeth, shortly thereafter conceives John (Ref. Luk. 1:24). Six months later, Mary, Elizabeth’s cousin, is visited by the angel Gabriel and is told she will conceive Jesus (Ref. Luk. 1:31). The month in which the angel comes to Mary is near the Heberew month Kislev [5], when Hanukkah falls. Nine months from Kislev are the Hebrew months of Elul and Tishrei, where the fall feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles are commemorated. To solidify the season the Lord was born into the world, read this passage from John: 

Joh. 1:14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. [6]

This scripture says that Jesus came to “tabernaclewith His people. Could this scripture be referencing Jesus’ birth at the time of the fall festivals, including Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles?

This scripture says that Jesus came to “tabernaclewith His people. Could this scripture be referencing Jesus’ birth at the time of the fall festivals, including Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles? The Bible does not fail to mention that when Jesus was born, He was born in a sukkot or tabernacle, not a manger. There was no room at the inn because the time and place was during a heavily populated feast time for the nation.

There is no mistake that God always marks His appointed times and seasons. There is no scriptural evidence that Jesus was born December 25th. Near this date is the winter solstice, which is known as the darkest day of the year. [7] Why would God appoint His son to be born on the darkest day? He would, however, appoint Him to be conceived during the Festival of Lights, because He was the miraculous light that came into the world. When Genesis 1 is read, the light is divided from the darkness (Ref. Gen. 1:4). This act prophetically symbolizes God’s people that have once been in darkness or ignorance and have been transformed by the light of the revelation of Jesus. Just as Jesus put on flesh and was born of a woman (Ref. Gal. 4:4), He wants to fill His sons and daughters with the light of His truth. Jesus wants to return in His body, the Church, as a living tabernacle filled with His presence. He is not coming back to a defiled temple, or a person with ignorance or a lack of understanding His Word. He is coming back in a fire in His temple (Ref. Mal. 3:1-2). The real temple is His people who have been dedicated to the things of God and initiated into His glory (Ref. 1Cor. 3:16). The Bible even mentions that the golden lampstand, or menorah, in the book of Revelation is really symbolic to the Church. The menorah is the central symbol in the Hanukkah celebration! Everything is intertwined in a beautiful story symbolizing Jesus and His church.

This is just the foundation of what Hanukkah really means to Christians today. There must be a deeper understanding of not just this holiday, but every biblical feast day. We here at the Voice of Healing have libraries of video content that you can access to obtain an even greater knowledge of Hanukkah and more. God desires His people to have a clear comprehension as to why certain holidays and customs are celebrated. Educate yourself and study to shew yourself approved unto God (Ref. 2Tim. 2:15). If you want to learn more about the depths of the festival of Hanukkah and other biblical holidays, visit our V.O.D. library at https://voh.church/watch

Citations:
1.  History.com Editors. “Hanukkah.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/holidays/hanukkah.
2.  Fairchild, Mary. “See the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) From a Christian Viewpoint.” Learn Religions, 13 Feb. 2019, www.learnreligions.com/feast-of-dedication-700182.
3.  The Holy Bible: New King James Version: NKJV. Thomas Nelson, 2010.
4.  Strong, James. The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: with Main Concordance, Appendix to the Main Concordance, Hebrew and Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament, Greek Dictionary of the New Testament. Thomas Nelson, 1995.
5.  William Struse, et al. “The Course of Abija.” William Struse, 29 Nov. 2019, www.the13thenumeration.com/Blog13/2012/11/02/the-course-of-abija/.
6.  Amplified Bible (Classic) w/Notes, (AMPC+)The Lockman Foundation.
7.  “Winter Solstice.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., www.britannica.com/science/winter-solstice.


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