Then came the feast of Dedication…

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Deacon, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Feast of Dedication
    By Mary Fairchild [LINK]


    The Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights.


    At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem;
    it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
    The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
    Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.
    But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
    My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
    and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
    My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
    I and the Father are one.”
    John 10:22-30 NASB95



    About the Feast of Dedication:​

    Prior to the year 165 BC, the Jewish people who dwelled in Judea where living under the rule of the Greek kings of Damascus. During this time Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes, the Greco-Syrian king, took control of the Temple in Jerusalem and forced the Jewish people to abandon their worship of God, their holy customs and reading of the Torah, and he made them bow down to the Greek gods. According to the records, this King Antiochus IV defiled the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar and spilling its blood on the holy scrolls of Scripture.

    As a result of the severe persecution and pagan oppression, a group of four Jewish brothers, led by Judah Maccabee, decided to raise up an army of religious freedom fighters. These men of fierce faith and loyalty to God became known as the Maccabees. The small band of warriors fought for three years with "strength from heaven" until achieving a miraculous victory and deliverance from the Greco-Syrian control.
    After regaining the Temple, it was cleansed by the Maccabees, cleared of all Greek idolatry, and readied for rededicated. The rededication of the Temple to the Lord took place in the year 165 BC, on the 25th day of the Hebrew month called Kislev.

    So Hanukkah received its name, the Feast of Dedication, because it celebrates the Maccabees' victory over Greek oppression and the rededication of the temple. But Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, and this is because immediately following the miraculous deliverance, God provided another miracle of provision.

    In the Temple, the eternal flame of God was to be lit at all time as a symbol of God's presence. But according to tradition, when the Temple was rededicated, there was only enough oil left in the temple to burn the flame for one day. The rest of the oil had been defiled by the Greeks during their invasion, and it would take a week for new oil to be processed and purified. But at the rededication, the Maccabees went ahead and lit the eternal flame with the remaining supply of oil, and God's Holy presence caused it to burn miraculously for eight days, until the new sacred oil was ready.

    This is why the feast is also called the Festival of Lights, and why the Hanukkah Menorah is lit for eight consecutive nights of celebration.

    ************************************************

    Happy Hanukkah! Day One began this evening at sundown.
    It is not a religious holiday.
    Families traditionally exchange gifts of increasing worth during the eight day celebration.

    Rob
     
  2. Deacon

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    Hanakkah, Day 2

    The second day of the Feast of Dedication [Hanukkah]
    Hebrew date: the 26th day of Keslev
    The story of Hanukkah is told in a number of ancient documents.

    What is [the reason of] Hanukkah? For our Rabbis taught:
    On the twenty-fifth of Kislew [commence] the days of Hanukkah,
    which are eight on which a lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden.
    For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein,
    and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them,
    they made search and found only one cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the High Priest,
    but which contained sufficient for one day's lighting only;
    yet a miracle was wrought therein and they lit [the lamp] therewith for eight days.
    The following year these [days] were appointed a Festival with [the recital of] Hallel and thanksgiving.
    Babylonian Talmud, Shabat 21B [LINK]

    The story of the Feast of Dedication is also told in the Second Book of Maccabees

    Since on the twenty-fifth day of Keslev we shall celebrate the purification of the temple,
    we thought it necessary to notify you, in order that you also may celebrate the feast of booths and the feast of the fire given
    when Nehemiah, who built the temple and the altar, offered sacrifices. For when our fathers were being led captive to Persia,
    the pious priests of that time took some of the fire of the altar and secretly hid it in the hollow of a dry cistern,
    where they took such precautions that the place was unknown to any one.
    2 Macccabees 1:18-20

    After reading the context of both accounts a Christian can truly see how the religious rules and regulations
    became weighty and burdensome on the Jewish population.

    God restored the Temple. the people could once again worship.
    Hanakkuah is a celebration of renewal not burden.
    Like Christmas, Hanukkah is a celebration of joy and thanksgiving for God's provision.
    The gifts that are shared each day remind the participants of God's goodness in a time of great need.

    I thank God for the renewal he provided in our hearts through the blood of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah.

    Rob
     

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