_______ November 23, 2016 ________


Happy Hanukkah!

Day One: Festival of Light  

By Brian Reed  December 18, 2008  (Link)

First, what is Chanukah? The word literally means “dedication.” It celebrates the Jewish victory over the Greeks. Under the rule of the wicked king Antiochus, the Greeks sought to uproot the Torah way of life and even went so far as to have the Temple defiled by having idols erected on the holy site. A priest named Mattityahu, outraged by what was happening, gathered his sons together to have them fight the Greeks and to reclaim the Holy Temple. No matter how many troops Antiochus sent (at one point it was up to 40,000), he could not overpower the Maccabees. The Maccabees went to Jerusalem to reclaim the holy site and built a new altar. z226776266Upon lighting a newly built menorah (the original was stolen by the Syrians), the Maccabees discovered that the oil supply was defiled. They managed to find on vessel that was not defiled bearing the seal of the High Priest Yochanan. However, it would only be enough oil to light the menorah for one day and it would be eight days before a new batch could be made. Miraculously, Ha’Shem allowed the oil to burn for eight days and eight nights. We memorialize this event by lighting the Chanukah menorah for eight days.

Before we get to the particulars, let’s discuss the significance of Chanukah. Chanukah symbolizes the power of light and its ability to dispel darkness from the world. As a new flame is kindled each night, the light grows stronger representing our spreading of light to others in the world around us which in turn causes a brighter light to shine. The basic idea is dispelling darkness with the power of light.

A similar theme is found in the Gospel of John when he says, “In Him [Yeshua] was life, and the life was the light of the sons of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5). John goes on to say that “the true Light which gives light to all mankind was coming to the world” (John 1:9). Genesis Rabbah chapter 1, says the following: Rabbi Abba said, ‘And light dwells with Him’ (Daniel 2:22)–this is King Messiah, as it says: ‘Rise, shine, for your Light has come’ (Isaiah 60:1).

Just as the Chanukah menorah has a servant candle that in turn lights the individual candles, so too, Messiah is the servant spoken of in Isaiah 53 (this interpretation is seen in the rabbinic writings) who brings the light of Hashem into the world just as John said that this life was the light of the sons of men. When our souls are kindled by the light of the Messiah, our light grows and shines before men as the Master said it should.

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I normally don’t post much of anything during Hanukkah (just pre-posted repeats), but I read something that took my breath away… about Hanukkah in the Old Testament.  Wait, you say, Hanukkah isn’t IN the Old Testament!  That’s what I always believed, too – that the only reference was in the New Testament, when Messiah Yeshua was in the temple for the Feast, and declared Himself (ironically!) the ‘Light of the World’.

But it’s true – Hanukkah IS in the Old Testament… and would you believe it’s RIGHT in my beloved Leviticus 23?  I kid you not.  Turn to Leviticus 23, and take a look:

Lev 23:1-2 ……. Intro to the Feasts.
Lev 23:3-4 ……. The Sabbath, our weekly Feast.
Lev 23:5 ………. Feast #1: Pesach/Passover
Lev 23:6-8 ……. Feast #2: Unleavened Bread
Lev 23:9-14 …… Feast #3: Firstfruits
Lev 23:15-22 …. Feast #4: Shavuot/Pentecost
Lev 23:23-25 …. Feast #5: Rosh Ha’Shana/Feast of Trumpets
Lev 23:26-32 …. Feast #6: Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement
Lev 23:33-44 …. Feast #7: Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles

And that’s the end of the chapter.  Except… it isn’t.  Whoever put in the chapter/verse designations SUPPOSEDLY did so splitting things up where there were subject changes.  This is NOT the case with Leviticus 23.  Someone split off at the wrong place.  Because what’s next?

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Command the children of Israel, that the bring unto thee pure oil – olive beaten – for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.  Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statue forever in your generations.  He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.  Leviticus 24:1-4

Did you see that?!  Lamps burning continually during a ‘Feast of Lights’.  It happens ‘in the congregation’ – before the people, and like Genesis 1, it specifies that ‘all day’ means evening unto the morning.  More, it says that this is to be done ‘forever in your generations’, just like the other feasts.

This should NOT have been separated from the others, because it is another feast commandment… to celebrate Hanukkah!!  And what’s amazing?  The Hebrews didn’t have our chapter/verse designations, so the command to celebrate Hanukkah wasn’t ‘cut away’ from the collection of feasts for them… which is WHY we find Messiah celebrating it (called ‘Feast of Dedication’) in the temple.  It’s something christians did – taking a feast out of the grouping!  The Jews have ALWAYS celebrated it – even before Antiochus Epiphanes – because they knew Torah pre-destined it!

Hanukkah *IS* in the Old Testament, right where it belongs!  I’m still trying to figure out if Leviticus 24:5-9 is a reference to Purim or not… but that’s irrelevant.  The point is, Hanukkah is there!  And we’re commanded by Yehovah to celebrate it for ALL generations.  Y’don’t see that about X-mess, now do ya?

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