Monday, December 19, 2011

2 Maccabees 10:1-9

Hanukkah is not one of the seven appointed Feasts of the Lord, but I still believe it is still an important feast. For Christians Hanukkah is worth celebrating and remembering the significance of freedom to worship. 

Hanukkah story occurred during the 400 “silent years”. You can find a lot of information about Hanukkah from the Book of Maccabees, found in the Apocrypha (the Apocrypha is not considered the holy, inspired Word of God, but is a valuable historical resource).

Hanukkah, meaning dedication, commemorates the re -dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC by the Maccabees after it was desecrated by Antiochus (Dan 8:13-14).

Hanukkah falls on 25th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar, or November or December on the western calendar. Hanukkah is also known as the Feast of Lights. After the Temple was rededicated, the people wished to re-kindle the Menorah. But, they had a problem there was only enough purified olive oil to light the Menorah in the Temple for one day, and it would take eight days to purify enough of olive oil. According to tradition, the Menorah burned miraculously eight days—enough time for the purified oil to be prepared.

2 Maccabees 10

 1 The Maccabee and his companions, with the Lord leading them, recovered the temple and the city. 2 They demolished the altars that the foreigners built near the marketplace, as well as the sacred precincts. 3 They cleansed the temple and made another altar. Then they struck flints to make fire and they offered up sacrifices after a lapse of two years, and they prepared incense, lamps, and the sacred loaves. 4 After they had done these things, they bowed to the ground and pleaded with the Lord that they would not experience such misfortunes again, but if they should ever sin, they would be disciplined by him with fairness and not turned over to slanderous and barbaric nations. 5 On the anniversary of the temple’s defilement by foreigners, on that very day, the sanctuary was purified, on the twenty-fifth of the month, which is Kislev.[a] 6 They celebrated eight days with cheer in a manner like the Festival of Booths, remembering how during the previous Festival of Booths they had been roaming about in mountains and caverns like animals. 7 So they held ivy wands, beautiful branches, and also palm leaves, and offered hymns to the one who had made the purification of his own temple[b] possible. 8 They voted and issued a public decree that all Jews should celebrate these days each year. 9 And so the matters concerning Antiochus called Epiphanes came to an end.

 This is  from the Common English Bible

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