Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that starts in the ninth month of the Hebrew year, the 25th day. The ninth month is Kislev. The holiday lasts 8 days.
In 2017, the holiday will start at sunset on December 12 and runs through December 20 as followed on a Gregorian calendar.
Hanukkah in the Hebrew means “dedication”. The holiday celebrates the re dedication of the Jewish Temple. The holiday began in roughly the 2nd century before the birth of Jesus Christ. The Maccabean Revolt was led by Judas in 167-160 BC. The revolt kicked Antiochus out of Jerusalem. The Jews recaptured the Temple.
The Jews only had enough oil for one day to relight the menorah. But the oil managed to burn for eight days in the Temple. In memory, Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights.
Hanukkah is not a God appointed feast holiday. It is not part of the Mosaic Law.
Jesus celebrated Hanukkah. The Gospel of John indicates his participation.
John 10:22-23 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.
The event is the Feast of Dedication. And that is exactly what Hanukkah means in the Hebrew language. The city was Jerusalem. The time of the year was winter. The location was the temple, specifically thecolonnade of Solomon. Jesus was there walking around the temple.
At this time, let’s introduce the prophet Haggai. The prophet pinpoints a specific time in history. Haggai 1:1 In the second year of Darius the king… The second year of the reign of Darius is 520 BC. Darius was the king of Persia. 520 BC is the year of the writings of Haggai. (Nelson Complete Book of Bible Maps & Charts)
Haggai’s writings pre date the festival of Hanukkah by roughly 350 years. Haggai’s writing begin on Elul 1. This is the beginning of the season of Teshuvah or repentance. He begins with a call to repent.
Haggai 1:1b …on the first day of the month…
Of interest is the date referenced three times byHaggai, the twenty fourth day of Kislev. This is the day before the beginning of Hanukkah. Is Haggai alluding to the Festival of Lights?
Haggai 2:10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet…
Haggai 2:18 Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid, consider:
Haggai 2:20 Then the word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying…
Israel is declared a sinful unclean nation by the Lord God.
Haggai 2:14 Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the LORD, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean.
Despite their sin, despite Israel’s rejection of God, despite receiving God’s judgment…God keeps His promises and Israel is His possession.
Haggai 2:19b “…But from this day on I will bless you.” -LORD
The last time this date, twenty fourth day of the month, is mentioned by Haggai, it comes with a prophetic promise to us in the 21st century.
Haggai 2:21-22 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, everyone by the sword of his brother.”
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