John 10:22, Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah)

by Phil Haines

Jesus, being a Jew, would naturally have kept this feast that starts today (Sunday) at sundown. It mentions in John 10:22-23 "Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter, and Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch." Today the feast of dedication is called Hanukkah although it commerates the same event.

You can learn more about this by reading Daniel 8, particularly vs. 9-14.

It was in 168 BC that Antiochus IV Epiphanes from Syria swept down and conquered Jerusalem. It was his goal to wipe out the Jewish religion. He killed thousands and thousands of Jews. He offered swine in the temple upon the altar. He set up idols in the temple to be worshipped. Anyone who circumcised their sons would be killed. Three years later a representative of Antiochus went to Modein, a town 20 miles northwest of Jerusalem. There he commanded a priest named Mattathias to offer a swine as a sacrifice. He refused and was threatened death. The priest rose up and killed the Syrian and this started the revolt. Mattathias soon died and his son Judas led the continuing revolt. This was Judas Maccabees. Soon the enemy was overthrown and the Temple cleansed. After the cleansing they found only one small cruse of oil with which to light their holy lamps. Miraculously the cruse provided oil for eight days instead of the expected one. During Hanukkah each evening one additional candle is lit until the last evening when all 8 are lit. It is also sometimes known as the Feast of Lights, or again the Feast of Dedication. I believe this was Satan's attempt to destroy the Jews so there would be no coming Messiah. Although we might not keep Hanukkah we ought to have a knowledge of it and remember the importance of the cleansing of the Temple and restoration of true worship.

Phil Haines, December 9,2001


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December 9, 2001