The celebration of this feast is documented in the books of Maccabees, being prophesied by many prophets and established according to the law. Before we study the history of this great feast, we want to again address the concern of whether it is holy day. The altar is where the sacrifices were conducted. Exodus 20:24 “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.” Verse 25: “And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” Obviously, Moses built an altar to the Heavenly Father according to these instructions (commandments). See, Exodus 24:4. We should ask ourselves, why after so many generations is there a celebration of the altar being dedicated?
The reason is explained by this prophecy, Daniel 8:11 “Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” After the death of Alexander the Great, his kingdom was divided to his four generals and they became kings. Over a century later, a king by the name of Antiochus magnified himself by his surname Epiphanes which meant god manifest. 2nd Maccabees 9:12 “And when he [Antiochus Epiphanes] himself could not abide his own smell [because of a sickness], he said these words, It is meet to be subject unto God, and that a man that is mortal should not proudly think of himself, as if he were God.” Note: We recommend you read the report on the day of Simon, since it contains information concerning the beginning of this Greek captivity.
By his policies was the daily sacrifice taken away, and he attempted to Hellenize the children of Israel. 1st Maccabees 1:41 “Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people [he is forcing all to become Greek],” Verse 42: “And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king.” Verse 43: “Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols [false gods], and profaned the sabbath.” Verse 44: “For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land,” Verse 45: “And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days:” Verse 46: “And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:”
The purpose of his decree was to cause the Israelites to sin, and remove the worship of God in his sanctuary. 1st Maccabees 1:47 “Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:” Verse 48: “That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:” Verse 49: “To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.” Verse 50: “And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.” Verse 51: “In the selfsame manner wrote he to his whole kingdom, and appointed overseers over all the people, commanding the cities of Juda to sacrifice [swine’s flesh to his false gods], city by city.”
Daniel 11:31 “And arms shall stand on his part, …” It was predicted that Antiochus was to be given military might. Prior to his decree he had massacred, enslaved the holy people, and plundered the temple. Now he is using this power to uproot their faith, in setting up altars and chapels throughout the land to force the Israelites to sacrifice to his idols. If they refused they were tortured and killed. Please read, 1st Maccabees 1:57-64, 2nd Maccabees chapters 6, and 7.
Daniel 11:31 “… and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” As the prophecy of Daniel stated, first he made it unlawful to sacrifice to the most High, thus taking it away. Then he set up the abomination that made desolation. 1st Maccabees 1:54 “Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side;”
Daniel 11:32 “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries:…” As it was stated before many of the wicked Israelites consented to his religion and Greek ways. Daniel 11:32 “… but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” While on the other hand there were Israelites that continued faithfully keeping the commandments and were strong. This began with a priest named Mattathias, the father of the Maccabees, whom an officer of the king tried to corrupt by flattery. 1st Maccabees 2:17 “Then answered the king’s officers, and said to Mattathias on this wise, Thou art a ruler, and an honourable and great man in this city, and strengthened with sons and brethren:” Verse 18: “Now therefore come thou first, and fulfil the king’s commandment, like as all the heathen have done, yea, and the men of Juda also, and such as remain at Jerusalem: so shalt thou and thy house be in the number of the king’s friends, and thou and thy children shall be honoured with silver and gold, and many rewards.”
Proverbs 26:28 “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” He enticed Mattathias with promises of receiving great rewards from the king. Strengthened by the scriptures, Mattathias was not deceived, instead he began his rebellion against Antiochus Epiphanes. 1st Maccabees 2:19 “Then Mattathias answered and spake with a loud voice, Though all the nations that are under the king’s dominion obey him, and fall away every one from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments:” Verse 20: “Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant [God’s agreement] of our fathers.” Verse 21: “God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances.” Verse 22: “We will not hearken to the king’s words, to go from our religion [to keep the commandments of God], either on the right hand, or the left.”
Proverbs 24:7 “Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.” The words of Mattathias were filled with courageous wisdom, which some foolish and wicked Israelites at that time dismissed. They did not open their mouth against the injustice of the king, instead they willingly submitted to his tyranny. 1st Maccabees 2:23 “Now when he had left speaking these words, there came one of the Jews in the sight of all to sacrifice on the altar which was at Modin, according to the king’s commandment.” Verse 24: “Which thing when Mattathias saw, he was inflamed with zeal, and his reins trembled, neither could he forbear to shew his anger according to judgment: wherefore he ran, and slew him upon the altar.” Verse 25: “Also the king’s commissioner, who compelled men to sacrifice, he killed at that time, and the altar he pulled down.”
This sinful act inflamed Mattathias to be zealous in judgment like Phinehas, whom God rewarded with a covenant of an everlasting priesthood and peace. 1st Maccabees 2:26 “Thus dealt he zealously for the law of God like as Phinees did unto Zambri the son of Salom.” See, Numbers 25:1-14. 1st Maccabees 2:27 “And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the covenant, let him follow me.” Verse 28: “So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that ever they had in the city.” Thus leading the first revolt against the kingdom of the Greeks. All they that voluntarily kept the laws of God joined him and fled into the mountains to hide.
Those that followed Mattathias became an army that contested the king’s commandment by pulling down the altars, circumcising, being in possession of the scriptures, and slaying the wicked. 1st Maccabees 2:49 “Now when the time drew near that Mattathias should die, he said unto his sons, Now hath pride and rebuke gotten strength, and the time of destruction, and the wrath of indignation:” Verse 50: “Now therefore, my sons, be ye zealous for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers.” He exhorted his sons to remember the deliverance God gave to those that were faithful. To be brave and fight for the laws, defend their people, and by doing so they will receive great glory. At that time he appointed his son Judas to be captain over the army. 1st Maccabees 2:66 “As for Judas Maccabeus, he hath been mighty and strong, even from his youth up: let him be your captain, and fight the battle of the people.”
Wherefore Judas began to fight valiantly for Israel, as a lion he devoured the prey and rooted out the wicked among the people. After being victorious in several battles his fame went through out all nations. In so much, that Antiochus Epiphanes gathered all his soldiers and paid them in advance for a year, causing his treasuries to fail. This forced the king to leave his realm in the hands of a nobleman by the name of Lysias, while he went into Persia to collect taxes. Lysias as regent was given half of the army, and was commanded to destroy Judas and all people of Israel. However this was not the only imminent threat for the Israelites; merchants hearing the news planned to buy the children of Israel for slaves. Judas and his company gathered the congregation to pray and fast, also to prepare themselves for battle. Please read, 1st Maccabees 3:1-60.
1st Maccabees 4:1 “Then took Gorgias five thousand footmen, and a thousand of the best horsemen, and removed out of the camp by night;” The army of the Greeks was led by Gorgias, a general known to have been an expert in war. See, 2nd Maccabees 8:9. Instead of meeting Judas manfully with this great army, his strategy was to use the element of surprise and attack in the night. 1st Maccabees 4:2 “To the end he might rush in upon the camp of the Jews, and smite them suddenly. And the men of the fortress were his guides.” Verse 3: “Now when Judas heard thereof he himself removed, and the valiant men with him, that he might smite the king’s army which was at Emmaus,” Verse 4: “While as yet the forces were dispersed from the camp.” Judas aware of his plans, decided to use this to his advantage and attack the camp of the king’s army while Gorgias searched for them.
1st Maccabees 4:5 “In the mean season came Gorgias by night into the camp of Judas: and when he found no man there, he sought them in the mountains: for said he, These fellows flee from us.” It was winter, which is known as the mean season because of the severe cold and debilitating snow. See, Psalms 147:15-17. 1st Maccabees 4:6 “But as soon as it was day, Judas shewed himself in the plain with three thousand men, who nevertheless had neither armour nor swords to their minds.” The army of Judas consisted of three thousand men, who in their past were not warriors, nor were well equipped. 1st Maccabees 4:7 “And they saw the camp of the heathen, that it was strong and well harnessed, and compassed round about with horsemen; and these were expert of war.” The Greek army was well prepared, in contrast to Judas’ men, they were at least twice as large and this does not include Gorgias’ band.
1st Maccabees 4:8 “Then said Judas to the men that were with him, Fear ye not their multitude, neither be ye afraid of their assault.” Verse 9: “Remember how our fathers were delivered in the Red sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with an army.” Verse 10: “Now therefore let us cry unto heaven, if peradventure the Lord will have mercy upon us, and remember the covenant of our fathers, and destroy this host [army] before our face this day:” Verse 11: “That so all the heathen may know that there is one who delivereth and saveth Israel.” The exhortation and faith of Judas in God is memorable, the sum of this feast is understood by this saying.
1st Maccabees 4:12 “Then the strangers lifted up their eyes, and saw them coming over against them.” Verse 13: “Wherefore they went out of the camp to battle; but they that were with Judas sounded their trumpets.” Judas and his men confronted the Greek base and even blew the trumpets to announce their presence. 1st Maccabees 4:14 “So they joined battle, and the heathen being discomfited fled into the plain.” The manliness of the Israelites surprised the heathens, although inferior in weapons and size, they achieved their determination to overpower the base. They marched faithfully and defied their enemies, as with the sword of a mighty man. In their pride the heathens were so sure of victory. However the bravery of the Jews who desperately fought for their lives, their people, and the laws, caused them to attack as one taught by God how to war.
1st Maccabees 4:15 “Howbeit all the hindmost of them were slain with the sword: for they pursued them unto Gazera, and unto the plains of Idumea, and Azotus, and Jamnia, so that there were slain of them upon a three thousand men.” The heathens retreated and ran for their lives, however Judas did not let up but chased them, intending to destroy all the men of the base. Three thousand were killed of those that fled and the base is now abandoned with their effects left behind. 1st Maccabees 4:16 “This done, Judas returned again with his host from pursuing them,” Verse 17: “And said to the people, Be not greedy of the spoil inasmuch as there is a battle before us,” Verse 18: “And Gorgias and his host are here by us in the mountain: but stand ye now against our enemies, and overcome them, and after this ye may boldly take the spoils.” Once they returned to the base of the heathen, Judas reminded his soldiers that Gorgias is still out there in the mountains searching for him since night, thinking he had fled.
Hence, they must be at guard and prepared to be confronted by him at any moment. 1st Maccabees 4:19 “As Judas was yet speaking these words, there appeared a part of them looking out of the mountain:” Verse 20: “Who when they perceived that the Jews had put their host to flight [flee] and were burning the tents; for the smoke that was seen declared what was done:” As they were collecting the goods left behind in the base, such as the weapons, gold, etc. The concern of Judas was validated, as Gorgias and his soldiers peeked out of a mountain towards their base, when they saw the smoke. By burning their tents, Judas informed Gorgias that he overthrew his base.
1st Maccabees 4:21 “When therefore they perceived these things, they were sore afraid, and seeing also the host of Judas in the plain ready to fight,” Normally, an incompetent and feeble army as the Greeks thought them to be, would not dare attack a base of a strong army. Gorgias did not expect this ill equipped and untrained men to defeat half his forces. Now that they are harnessed with their equipment, much less would anyone dare to confront Judas. 1st Maccabees 4:22 “They fled every one into the land of strangers.” This victory proved to all that there is a God who saves Israel. Also it was considered an important moment towards the recovery of their liberty.
1st Maccabees 4:23 “Then Judas returned to spoil the tents, where they got much gold, and silver, and blue silk, and purple of the sea, and great riches.” Verse 24: “After this they went home and sung a song of thanksgiving, and praised the Lord in heaven: because it is good, because his mercy endureth forever.” Verse 25: “Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.” Nonetheless, the Abomination of Desolation had not been destroyed out of the land and the sanctuary laid waste. Therefore our forefathers although overjoyed, knew that they will be confronted again and that the prophecies must be fulfilled.
1st Maccabees 4:26 “ Now all the strangers that had escaped came and told Lysias what had happened:” Verse 27: “Who, when he heard thereof, was confounded and discouraged, because neither such things as he would were done unto Israel, nor such things as the king commanded him were come to pass.” Verse 28: “The next year therefore following Lysias gathered together threescore thousand choice men of foot, and five thousand horsemen, that he might subdue them.” Lysias determined to root out the whole generation of the Jews, gathered a greater army to confront Judas Maccabeus. A score is twenty, therefore threescore means sixty thousand footmen (the infantry) and five thousand horsemen (the cavalry), a total of sixty five thousand.
1st Maccabees 4:29 “So they came into Idumea, and pitched their tents at Bethsura, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.” Again the Israelites are ready to fight, however their army is only of ten thousand, facing an enemy six times greater. 1st Maccabees 4:30 “And when he saw that mighty army, he prayed and said, Blessed art thou, O Saviour of Israel, who didst quell the violence of the mighty man by the hand of thy servant David, and gavest the host of strangers into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul, and his armourbearer;” They being at disadvantage, began to worry not only because of the size but also because these men were experts of war. Judas reminded them of the scriptures and the acts of their forefathers. Such as David a shepherd youth, without military experience and weapons was able to defeat Goliath because of his faith in God. See, 1st Samuel 17:33-51. Also of Jonathan and his armourbearer, these two men alone confronted the garrison of the Philistines and defeated them. Please read, 1st Samuel 14:1-17. Showing them to have faith and that victory is not decided by numbers.
1st Maccabees 4:31 “Shut up this army in the hand of thy people Israel, and let them be confounded in their power and horsemen:” Verse 32: “Make them to be of no courage, and cause the boldness of their strength to fall away, and let them quake at their destruction:” Verse 33: “Cast them down with the sword of them that love thee, and let all those that know thy name praise thee with thanksgiving.” This is the true thanksgiving celebration for our people and not the one that commemorates the massacre of Native American Indians (Israelites). In this feast the most High God receives praise for bringing justice to those oppressed, and hearing the prayers of the weak.
1st Maccabees 4:34 “So they joined battle; and there were slain of the host of Lysias about five thousand men, even before them were they slain.” The battle field was filled with confused noise and garments rolled in blood. The Greeks witnessed a tenacious assault that abated their courage. Although outnumbered, the Israelites met them bravely in this difficult battle and were able to kill five thousand. Their enemies trembled at the sight of their men failing by the sword.
1st Maccabees 4:35 “Now when Lysias saw his army put to flight, and the manliness of Judas’ soldiers, and how they were ready either to live or die valiantly, he went into Antiochia, and gathered together a company of strangers, and having made his army greater than it was, he purposed to come again into Judea.” This time Lysias himself commanded the army, since he had no confidence in the generals that he sent before. Yet his army fled after receiving a taste of the manliness of Judas’ soldiers, hence they were defeated. 1st Maccabees 4:36 “Then said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary.” Our forefathers were able to acknowledge their victory was great. Despite the intent of the Greeks, they will not soon recover. They have finally recovered the temple and the city of Jerusalem. 2nd Maccabees 10:1 “Now Maccabeus and his company, the Lord guiding them, recovered the temple and the city:”
1st Maccabees 4:37 “Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and went up into mount Sion.” Verse 38:“And when they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests’ chambers pulled down;” Verse 39: “They rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads,” Verse 40: “And fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven.” They mourned when they saw the glory of the sanctuary had been profaned and the abomination of desolation upon the altar.
1st Maccabees 4:41 “Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary.” In spite of the fact that the invading army was defeated, there was still an enemy in the land, those that were in the fortified towers. In the past the sanctuary was attacked by them, those that went to worship were not safe instead they were a prey. Unfortunately Judas was not able to overthrow the fortress in his lifetime, this was accomplished by his brother Simon. At least by having a dedicated group to fight them, the people of Israel could securely go to the temple. 1st Maccabees 4:42 “So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law:” During the occupation of the Greeks many priest had fallen away to the customs of the heathen, therefore it was wise of him to choose only those that were blameless. See, 2nd Maccabees 4:13-17.
1st Maccabees 4:43 “Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones [of the altar] into an unclean place.” Verse 44: “And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned;” Verse 45: “They thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a reproach [curse] to them, because the heathen had defiled it: wherefore they pulled it down,” When they returned to the sanctuary they found it forsaken, with images of idols that had to be removed. The Greeks had used the temple for their parties (bacchanal), to fool around with prostitutes, and sacrifice on the holy altar unlawful meats such as swine. Therefore the altar whereon the sacrifices were made was taken away, since they were unsure whether it could be cleansed.
1st Maccabees 4:46 “And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them.” The prophet that they expected to be able to answer this question was the Messiah (Christ). Our forefathers hoped that the travails they went through would bring the mercy that was promised.
1st Maccabees 4:47 “ Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former;” Verse 48: “And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed [sanctified] the courts.” Verse 49: “They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table.” The temple was previously spoiled by Antiochus Epiphanes, who took away the golden altar of incense, the candlestick of light, and precious vessels. Therefore they undertook not only to cleanse the sanctuary according to the law, but also to make the necessary holy artifacts that was shown to Moses.
1st Maccabees 4:50 “And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple.” The candlestick is known in the modern Hebrew as menorah, which is a lamp with only seven branches, and not any other amount. 1st Maccabees 4:51 “Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.” Verse 52: “Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning,” The work was completed, and they have successfully restored the temple and the worship of the most High. 1st Maccabees 4:53 “And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made.”
Many have heard of this feast and know it as Hanukkah, which comes from the Hebrew word that means to dedicate. 1st Maccabees 4:54 “Look, at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs, and citherns, and harps, and cymbals.” The celebration is held on the ninth month according to the Hebrew Calendar, on the twenty fourth day at evening (night), which is when the twenty fifth day begins. We are told by our fathers to “Look, at what time” it was “dedicated”, that date is the very same day the heathens sacrificed uncleanness on the altar. 1st Maccabees 1:54 “Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, .…” Verse 59: “Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God.” This was not coincidental at all, instead it was a clear sign that the most High was with them and caused his prophecies to be fulfilled.
When reading the prophecy of Daniel, we could see this was truly a symbol of his mercy. Daniel 12:10 “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Verse 11: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” As we look at the time, the most High gave an exact amount of days, of deliverance and when the sanctuary shall be cleansed. Several months before the abomination of desolation, Antiochus Epiphanes had ransacked the temple and took away the daily sacrifice. The abomination of desolation was setup in the 145th year, while the feast was established in the 148th year, that is three years later. A thousand two hundred and ninety days equals to three years and seven months, that is the exact amount of time of the dedication of the altar.
1st Maccabees 4:55 “Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success.” A person might ask themselves, why are we celebrating an altar being dedicated that currently doesn’t exist? Those that question whether we should keep the feast do not understand, how great or important was establishing this feast for all future generations. The courageous acts of our forefathers in resisting the Greeks preserved the Bible and the heritage of Israel. They were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, whom the prophecies said will come to his temple. Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”
They were not merely celebrating that their lives were preserved from an invading army. Essentially the feast of dedication of the altar is celebrating the preservation of the truth, that was cast down by the Greeks. John 10:22 “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.” Verse 23: “And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.” The prophecies that Christ had to fulfill would not have been possible, if the sanctuary was not cleansed. This alone is a tremendous reason for our fathers to rejoice, and their faith is commendable in the hope of salvation by our King.
1st Maccabees 4:56 “And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise.” Verse 57: “They decked also the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold, and with shields; and the gates and the chambers they renewed, and hanged doors upon them.” Verse 58: “Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away.” The dedication of the altar is actually based on laws that God gave unto Moses, this is one of the reasons they kept it for eight days. At that time it was understood that the altar was holy by a miraculous event; fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings. Also Solomon being wise consecrated the temple during the feast of Tabernacles, and on this occasion his prayer was heard, by the evident sign of fire as it was with Moses. See, Leviticus chapter 9, 2nd Chronicles 7:1, and 2nd Maccabees 2:8-12.
However once the temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, or to be defiled by the Greeks, to dedicate the altar they relied on the prophecies. As from Ezekiel, when he instructed Israel in dedicating the altar according to the law. Ezekiel 43:26 “Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves.” Verse 27: “And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.” This shows how truly wise and learned were our forefathers in the laws. Wouldn’t you rejoice wholly before the most High within those eight days knowing you are accepted of him?
1st Maccabees 4:59 “Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.” Every year we are commanded to keep this feast. With confidence we could say, that our fathers were led by God in making this ordinance. But how are we to keep this feast? Some have been led to believe a fable instead of what the feast is actually about. Titus 1:14 “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” A commandment of men is to light candles on each day of the festival, on lamps that have eight or nine branches, which is not based on the law. According to the law there was only one type of Menorah. A Talmudic fable is taught to justify this practice and renaming the celebration to festival of lights. This wicked custom began long AFTER Judas Maccabeus, and is not of our fathers, this is the reason there has been invented a new menorah called the “Hanukkah Menorah”. In which they claim a miracle happened with the oil of the menorah, that it continued for eight days giving light although it was only enough for one day. This is to turn you away from the truth, and to simulate the rituals of the pagan celebrations of Christmas.
So far you know it is for eight days, there is another reason why. 2nd Maccabees 10:5 “Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.” Verse 6: “And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.” Our fathers ordained the Feast of Dedication to be kept as the Feast of Tabernacles which lasted eight days. Besides the fact that they understood the laws and their history, another reason they provided is that they held tabernacles in the mountains instead of the temple. 2nd Maccabees 1:18 “Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, and of the fire, which was given us when Neemias offered sacrifice, after that he had builded the temple and the altar.”
2nd Maccabees 10:7 “Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.” Verse 8: “They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.” Therefore we must be reminded of the statutes of the Feast of Tabernacles. One was already mentioned, that they carried boughs and palms to build booths (tents) as in the Feast of Tabernacles. The first day of the feast and the eighth day are Sabbaths of rest. Leviticus 23:35 “On the first day shall be an holy convocation [assembly]: ye shall do no servile work therein.” Verse 36: “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.” In these days, as the scripture commands us, we are not to do any work, or buying and selling. Read, Nehemiah 10:31. Yet cooking is allowed for the feast as long as it doesn’t fall on the weekly Sabbath.
Note: Cooking on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week is not allowed. See, Exodus 35:2-3. This means that if the Feast of Dedication coincides with the weekly Sabbath you must prepare the meal before the Sabbath; since you will not be able to cook. Please refer to the Sabbath report for more information.
1st Maccabees 4:60 “At that time also they builded up the mount Sion with high walls and strong towers round about, lest the Gentiles should come and tread it down as they had done before.” Verse 61: “And they set there a garrison to keep it, and fortified Bethsura to preserve it; that the people might have a defence against Idumea.” Herein we are told the Biblical name of the Gentiles or Greeks, that our fathers defended mount Sion against. 1st Maccabees 5:3 “Then Judas fought against the children of Esau in Idumea …” Today it is a mystery whom the ancient Edomites were, this scripture shows us that Idumea is the Greek form of their name Edom. The Greeks whom they fought were in fact Edomites, whom today we know as Caucasians (whites). The feast of Purim, traces the lineage that helps us discover whom the Edomites are. In Matthew 24:15, Christ prophesied of Jerusalem’s invasion and the destruction of the temple by the Roman armies. He called the Romans by the identical name of abomination of desolation. That meant that the Romans are the same people as the Greeks, they also would be classified today as Caucasian and were the same Edomites. For our ancestors in the Romans period, the history of the Maccabees was influential as it is with us, in understanding our salvation in Christ.
Therefore let us keep this ordinance remembering the sacrifice that our forefathers did to live according to the laws. Commending them for their wisdom in the scriptures, being guided by God in judgments. For God will save us again by his Son from the hands of Idumea. Isaiah 34:5 “For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.” Shalam (Peace)!