Hanukkah!

THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Reading Time 20 Minutes

 John 10:22-23 LEB – The Feast of Dedication (Emphasis Mine)

      22 Then the feast of the Dedication (Hanukkah) took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple in the Portico of Solomon. 

 

What is Hanukkah? Hanukkah is a joyous, eight-day celebration marking the reclaiming and rededication of the holy Temple from the Syrians more than 2,000 years ago in 164 BC.  When the Hasmoneans, also called the Maccabees, liberated the Temple they found only enough pure ritual oil to fuel the Menorah for one night, yet the oil miraculously lasted for eight full days and nights, a miracle indeed.  Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah) is Hebrew for “dedication” and this joyous Festival of Lights memorializes the “Miracle of the Oil”.

 

WHAT IS THE “MIRACLE OF THE OIL” ? After the Jewish victory, it was necessary to cleanse and purify the Temple before worship could be restored.  The cleansing was completed and the rededication of the Temple began on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev – late November to December on the Gregorian calendar and this year, 2018, Hanukkah begins at Sundown on December 1st.  The Temple Menorah was required to burn perpetually, day and night, fueled by the first fruits of the Olive pressing, prepared specifically in accordance with Levitical law, requiring 8 days of preparation. The flame of the Menorah was lighted and, in a miracle only God could perform, the single cruse of holy oil lasted for 8 full days and nights. 

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THE HANUKKIAH MENORAH

 

 SIDETRACK – Hanukkiah – is the 9 branched candelabrum pictured above and used only during Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.  The Hanukkiah celebrates the “Miracle of the Oil” and the 8 miraculous nights during which the ritual oil burned for the rededication of the Temple.  The most recognizable Menorah is the Temple Menorah, pictured below, which contains 7 branches.  

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THE TEMPLE MENORAH IS ALWAYS 7 BRANCHES

Hanukkah is much more than a celebration of victory in battle or even the recovery of the Temple. Israel was given clear, physical evidence Yahweh had also returned to the Temple as well. The Temple, without Yahweh, is merely a building.  The Syrians had sought to stamp out Israel’s national identity, their worship of Yahweh, yet had only succeeded in strengthening their resolve. Though the flames burned, the Oil was not consumed, affirming the PRESENCE of Yahweh. Today, Hanukkah is celebrated not only to remember the defeat over the Syrians, the restoration of the Temple of Jerusalem, and the “Miracle of the Oil”, but those who understand the true fuel in the flame also celebrate – the Presence of Yahweh – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach!

HOW IS HANUKKAH CELEBRATED?  This holiday is all about the faithfulness and might of God to preserve Israel when they faced overwhelming might and numbers far greater than their own in battle.  The 8 days of celebration reflect the 8 days of the “Miracle of the Oil” – God’s provision.  The number 8 is also reflective of New Beginnings.  The Hanukkah should be lighted just before sunset by lighting the Shamash candle, also called servant candle, and then lighting the first candle on the right only.  The second night the servant candle is lighted, followed by the 2nd day candle (left of the one lighted the previous night) and the 1st night candle.  Blessings are recited before the lighting on each night and families linger around the Hanukkiah and recite stories of faith and joy for about 30 minutes.  

Fried foods are the order of the day, to remind everyone of the Miracle of the Oil.  Potato Latkes and Jelly filled Doughnuts are two favorites.  Dairy foods are also a star of the show.  Small gifts or money, termed Hanukkah Gelt, is given to the children.  Oftentimes the gelt is in the form of chocolates wrapped with golden or silver foil and stamped to look like coins.  The coins are a memorial to the new coinage after the Maccabean Revolt which celebrated the return of Israel as a nation with its own government and the restoration of the Temple Service.  It is also customary to increase one’s charitable giving during Hanukkah as an expression of appreciate for all the material blessings of Yahweh.

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ONE OF MANY VARIATIONS OF THE DREIDEL

Playing games with the dreidel is customary.  Each player is given an equal amount of candies or nuts to begin.  A dreidel is a four sided top, one spins in a “game of chance” to win .  The letter tells the one who spins whether they are to put in or take out candies. The game ends when all the candies are held by one person, or more likely when they’ve all been eaten!  Historically, according to 19th century rabbis, the dreidels were used to study Torah since the Greeks did not understand the Hebrew lettering and Torah was taught using the Dreidel.  

 

The spiritual purpose of Hanukkah recalls and celebrates the faithfulness and Blessing of Yahweh to the Hebrew people and the assurance of His PRESENCE for those who seek to know and follow Him.  This is termed in Hebrew Tikkun Olam, or standing up for what one believes – Religious Freedom.  The purpose of all the “feasts” or “celebrations” to the Israelites has always been to convey the understandings of a faithful God to a new generation.  The joy of knowing your place in the Father’s Heart is only compounded when you also know His Son and what He has done for all who accept His Sacrifice on the Cross for our sins.

SIDETRACK– Hellenization – to become like the Greeks. The Hellenistic period covers the period from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC to the emergence of the Roman Empire in 31 BC.  Hellenization is the historical spread of ancient Greek culture, religion and, to a lesser extent, language, over foreign peoples conquered by the Greeks or brought into their sphere of influence following the campaigns of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC. Hellenization saw elements of Greek origin overwhelm and replace the cultures of the people conquered, thereby assuring their assimilation as “Greeks”.

 

THE PERSECUTION OF ISRAEL

We must learn to appreciate the present by examining the past!  Without the horrors and darkness of the past, there would be no appreciation for the Festival of Lights or ultimately . . . The Light of the World . . . Yeshua ha’Mashiach . . Jesus the Christ!

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JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

The Syrian ruler, Antiochus III, reigned from 222 BC to 186 BC over the Syrian-Greek empire, encompassing the land of Israel.  Antiochus fought Ptolemy of Egypt and gained Israel by Right of Conquest. Why was Israel ripe for conquest initially?  She had forgotten her first love, Yahweh, and prostituted herself with fallen angels masquerading as gods.

Antiochus III was initially favorable and beneficent to the Jewish people, yet when his kingdom was conquered by Rome and levies of gold were demanded, those taxes came from his subjects, including the Hebrews. Upon Antiochus III’s death, his son, Seleucus IV, took command in his father’s stead, further oppressing Israel and demanding greater tribute in gold.

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ALEXANDER THE GREAT BROUGHT CONQUEST, BUT ALSO THE WAYS OF THE GREEKS!

 

THE ENEMY WITHIN

 

The systematic Hellenization of Israel was also well under way.  The conquerors detested the “otherness” of the Jewish people and their steadfast refusal to assimilate into Syrian-Greek society.  Many of the Israelites were delighted to be “set free” from the moral and ethical restrictions of Torah and Levitical Law. They chafed at the restrictions placed upon them by the Rabbis and welcomed the interlopers.  These “Hellenized” Israelites sought position with their new rulers, personal freedom to worship pagan idols and enjoyed the idealization of aesthetics and outward beauty.  If betrayal of their own brothers brought riches as well, so much the better.  Judaism, conversely, taught truth and moral purity with faith in only one God – Yahweh.  The real enemy of Israel, as with any country, is its own people.

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THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE TEMPLE WERE INTEGRAL TO JUDAISM!

John (Hebrew – Yochanon), the High Priest at the time, insisted the people steadfastly resist Hellenization and the temptation to indulge in the customs practiced by the pagans.  The Hellenized hated those who insisted Torah and the Temple must be maintained and the Jewish people must remain separate and distinct from its captors.  To garner favor, the Hellenists gave testimony to the Commissioners of Rome, relating tales of vast amounts of gold held within the Temple, not only in its furnishings, but also in the ½ shekel temple tax given annually by each Jewish male for maintenance of the Temple.  The Temple Treasury also contained the orphans’ fund, the inheritance of children whose parents had died, kept in trust until they reached their majority.

This betrayal was valuable to a heavily taxed King Seleucus, who sent his minister, Helyodros, to demand the temple treasury. When Yochanon refused, begging him not to pass beyond the Outer Court and enter the Temple for it was forbidden to Gentiles, Helyodros refused to listen.  He entered the Temple Gate, immediately became pale and fainted. Once revived after this encounter, Helyodros never attempted to enter the Temple again.  Upon Seleucus’ death in 174 BC, his brother Antiochus IV Epiphanes, became the ruler in his place and Satan had a willing consort in his efforts to destroy Israel.

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ONLY HEBREWS WERE ALLOWED TO PASS BEYOND THE COURT OF THE GENTILES

 

ANTIOCHUS IV EPIPHANIES

 

The new king, Antiochus IV Epiphanies, was contemptuous of religion, those who practiced it and any behavior unlike his own. He would later be known simply as Epiphanies (meaning the visible god), surely this presumptuous thought must have come directly from the Old Dragon himself. Polybius, a noted historian, identified Antiochus IV as a madman, a well-deserved epithet for this harsh, cruel king.  Epiphanies is the unquestioned Old Testament pattern and type of Antichrist who will persecute Israel and the World during the Day of the Lord. The cruelty of Epiphanies remains unmatched by all the villains of history from ancient to modern times and this world has seen great evil.  Surely the accounts of torture and mayhem visited upon the Jewish people by The Madman Epiphanies is overstated, you might suggest, for this world has known Mao Zedong of China, Adolph Hitler of Germany, Leopold II of Belgium and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, to name only four.

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ANTIOCHUS IV EPIPHANIES FOCUSED ON TOTAL SUBMISSION TO HIS RULE!

To unify his kingdom, Epiphanies forced the righteous High Priest Yochanon (John) out, replacing him with his brother, Joshua, who preferred to be known by his Hellenized name, Jason, as High Priest. Jason was instrumental in spreading more and more pagan customs among the priesthood and into the fabric of Jewish society.  Jason was later replaced by Menelaus, another Hellenized Jew, for he promised to bring in even more revenue for the king’s treasuries. When the retired Yochanon protested the increasing Hellenization of the priesthood and people, Menelaus hired assassins and had him murdered.

 

Antiochus IV was in Egypt, engaged in successful combat to gain their land by Right of Conquest, when he received a message from Rome demanding his immediate return.  He did so grudgingly and the battle with Egypt as well as the new land was lost. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, a rumor spread of Antiochus IV’s death leading to a rebellion against Menelaus, causing him to flee with his followers.  Antiochus returned, enraged at Rome for interfering in his battle and powerless to protest the mighty Caesars.  When he learned of the rebellion of the Jewish people, he had found the perfect outlet for his rage and ordered his army to fall on the Jewish people, killing thousands.

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THE TEMPLE TREASURY AND FURNISHINGS WERE LOOTED

Epiphanies enacted harsh rules against Israel – forbidding their worship of Yahweh, confiscating the Torah scrolls and burning them. Sabbath Rest, Dietary Laws and Circumcision were prohibited and his rules strictly enforced, under penalty of death.  Rabbi Eliezer, a respected Jewish Elder of 90, was ordered to eat pork to entice  others to follow his example.  When the old Rabbi refused, they suggested he put it to his lips to convince others he was eating it.  His predictable refusal resulted in his torture and murder.

With the faithful priests murdered or unwilling to perform any rituals, women circumcised their own sons and were murdered. They were led to the public gallows, their murdered babies hung around their necks for all to see as they died.  Epiphanies thought these acts of extreme torture and cruelty would serve as a deterrent, yet they only hardened the resolve of the Israelites.

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MURDER AND MAYHEM WERE THE ORDER OF THE DAY!

 

THE FIRST ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

 

On Kislev 25, 167 BC, Epiphanies entered the Jewish Temple, though it was absolutely forbidden under Levitical Law, erecting a pagan altar to Zeus where he  sacrificed a pig. This desecration of the holy Temple was the final straw for many and led to the Maccabean Revolt, which would retake Israel from her conquerors and re-establish Temple worship three years later, on the anniversary of this first abomination of desolation, Hanukkah. Coincidence is not a Kosher word.

 

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EPIPHANIES BELIEVED HE COULD MURDER YAHWEH BY MURDERING HIS PEOPLE

  

CHANAH AND HER SEVEN SONS

 

Thousands upon thousands sacrificed their lives during this time, including the famed Chanah and her seven sons.  They were devout adherents to Torah who refused to abandon their beliefs or be discreet in their practice. Epiphanies heard of the unrelenting refusal of the Jewish people to submit to his harsh decrees and returned to Jerusalem, taking a direct hand in forcing their submission. He commanded Chanah and her seven sons be brought to him so he could teach them an object lesson in obedience and humility the rebellious people would never forget.  He taught the lesson and, just as he suggested, the Jewish people have never forgotten.  The revulsion to Epiphanies behavior led to rebellion.

Chanah and her children were bound and brought before The Madman.  When the king sought to reason with the eldest, encouraging him to abandon Torah and save himself and his family, the young man refused with a lofty, determined speech. Antiochus ordered his tongue, hands and feet severed and thrown into the fire while his Mother and six brothers watched his agonizing death.

Epiphanies was certain this would force the family into immediate submission.  However, the courage of the eldest sibling and apparent insanity of the madman king served only to strengthen their resolve. They also refused to submit, though members of Antiochus own court begged them to relent.  The brothers, one by one, refused, giving meticulous and glowing testimony to Antiochus and the court of their preference for honorable death in service to Yahweh rather than to live a life of luxury and privilege as a cruel tyrant, such as the king and his henchmen, all of whom, they were assured, were doomed to an eternity in the pit.

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ABRAHAM BOUND ONLY ONE SON ON THE ALTAR

Throughout the torture of six of her sons, Chanah stood by as silent witness and encourager to her sons until only her youngest remained – a 7-year old.  Antiochus besought him with gold and silver to relent and save himself and his Mother.  The child displayed the same courage as his brothers, even taunting the king to complete the task and allow him the honor of death for Yahweh, as his brothers had been given.  When reading the accounts of Chanah, recall these quotes are taken from the Talmud and Israelites were not permitted, according to man’s tradition, to speak the name of Yahweh or God.  Thus, He was addressed as either Adonai when speaking.  When written, The Name (Yahweh or YHWH) would not be spelled out, but written as G-D in English or simply The Name.  The quotes below honor their source and are offered as printed in the Talmud.

Chanah asked the King for permission to speak to her son, intimating she would encourage him to capitulate.  Yet, when she reached the young boy she kissed him and said in the hearing of all in the room,

“My son, I carried you in my body for nine months, I nursed you for two years and I have fed you until today. I have taught you to fear Adonai and uphold His Torah. See the heaven and the earth, the sea and the land, fire, water, wind and every other creation. Know that they were all created by the word of Adonai. He created man to serve Him and He will reward man for his deeds. The king knows he is condemned before G-d. He thinks that if he convinces you, G-d will have mercy on him. G-d controls your life’s breath and can take your soul whenever He desires. If only I could see the greatness of your glorious place where we would be illuminated with G-d’s light and rejoice and exult together.”

 

Chanah turned to face the king, confidently declaring,

“I was unable to prevail upon him.”

The exasperated king again addressed the child once again with dire warnings, scoldings and inducements only to receive his answer,

“Whom are you seeking to overpower with your words and enticements? I laugh at your foolishness. I believe in the Torah and in G-d Whom you blaspheme. You will remain an abomination upon all mankind, loathsome and far from G-d.”

The Talmud, Jewish rabbinical teaching, is explicit about the King’s outrage. Antiochus gave the boy one final chance to save himself by ostensibly bowing down to retrieve his signet ring, yet the boy again refused. As they seized him, Chanah begged to be allowed to kiss the boy one last time.

As if speaking to all seven children, Chanah said,

“My children, tell your ancestor Abraham, ‘You bound only one son upon an altar, but I bound seven.”

Antiochus ordered the child be tortured even more than his brothers while Chanah looked on.

The grieved Chanah, mother in this world no more, was left surrounded by the mangled bodies of her sons, a prayer exalting Adonai on her lips.  The distraught woman threw herself from the roof and rested in the arms of God with her martyred sons.

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JUDAH THE STRONG AND THE MACCABEAN REVOLT

 

THE SEEDS OF REVOLT

 

In the small village of Modiin, 17 miles NW of Jerusalem, Matthew the elderly Priest lived with his five sons.  They were called the Hasmoneans after one of their ancestors and would become the ruling dynasty in Israel when she was restored.  One day the Syrians rode in and commanded Matthew to make a sacrifice, for they had built an altar in the town square. They commanded the esteemed Rabbi to perform a ritual sacrifice to the Greek gods.  Upon his refusal, a Hellenist Jew from the town approached and offered to make the sacrifice on behalf of the town.  Matthew drew his sword and killed the Hellenist while his sons and other villagers fell upon the Syrians, killing many and allowing only a few to survive by fleeing.  No longer safe in their own village, the rebel Hasmoneans fled to the hills around Judea where they were joined by thousands more who had been displaced, their families murdered and their farms and possessions seized.

This encounter began the resistance, later called the Maccabean Revolt.  The revolt was guerrilla warfare from the hills and caves upon the armies of the Syrians. The Israelites were too outnumbered to engage the armies directly, yet the rebels’ numbers were growing with every persecution staged by Epiphanies.  Matthew the Elder, directed his son, Judah the Strong, to continue the attacks and lead the revolt to take back their land upon his death bed.  The people hailed Judah Maccabee, meaning “Who is like God”.  They did not offer worship to Judah, but implied his efforts, strength and success came directly from Yahweh.  Under Judah Maccabee’s strong leadership, the Jewish people ultimately defeated three large armies sent separately by Epiphanies, and reclaimed their land as well as the Temple.

SIDETRACK – Mikvah (singular) mikva’ot (plural) is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism. In Scripture, the word is employed in its broader sense generally meaning a collection of water. Levitical Law specified full immersion in water is required to regain ritual purity after ritually impure incidents have occurred.

Ritual uncleanness resulted from three processes of normal human life. Touching a dead body was the most grievous of all uncleanness and required ritual cleansing with the ashes of the red heifer before they could attend the Temple. Intentionally or not – an individual was deemed ritually unclean for 7 days and required cleansing.   All other ritual cleansing was performed by Mikvah – ritual bathing.  A woman, during her normal menstrual cycle and for 7 days thereafter, or for a specific period after childbirth was considered ritually unclean and required to undergo cleansing prior to attendance at Temple.  A man who had a seminal emission, even nocturnally, was considered unclean, requiring ritual cleansing before he could attend the Temple. The point of the cleansing rituals was the introspection and examination of one’s heart, the ashes and water were the outward evidence of the inner purification.

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MIKVA IN THE OLD CITY – JERUSALEM

 

THIS HISTORY IS DARK – WHY BRING IT UP?

 

If we do not learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it.  The Miracle of the Oil and the Festival of Lights, not surprisingly, has another level of meaning all Believers in Yeshua should focus on. Israel and many of her people will likely be unable to see this aspect of Hanukkah until after we are gone, but see it they will.

John 8:12 LEB – YESHUA IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (Emphasis Mine)

          12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 

 

The Israelites were so focused on ritual purity and observance of the Laws of Moses, they overlooked the lesson in all of their laws which pointed to the heart issue, the holiness of Yahweh and the Person of Messiah – Jesus the Christ (Hebrew – Yeshua ha ‘Mashiach). Not only did Yeshua create the Sun, Moon, Stars and all that is within the universe – He, Himself, IS the LIGHT!

What is the purpose of light?  The PRESENCE of light effectuates the REMOVAL of darkness.  Darkness does not “battle” with light for supremacy, although we think of it in this way in the Spiritual realm.  Darkness can only exist where there is an absence of light. Once light in sufficient quantities arrives, darkness simply vanishes.  Walk into a darkened room and flip on a switch – voila’ !

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THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

 

The New Heaven and New Earth will have neither Sun nor Moon, for Yahweh is the light of the whole world throughout eternity.  We do not understand it, we cannot truly comprehend it, yet we know it is true for Isaiah spoke of this truth and John the Revelator confirmed it.

Revelation 21:24 CJB – THE SH’KINAH (GLORY) OF GOD ILLUMINATES (Emphasis Mine)

           22 I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb. 23 The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.

 

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LIGHT BECOMES FLESH AT THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS!

 

WAS YESHUA CONCEIVED AT HANUKKAH?

 

Many scholars believe Yeshua was conceived in Mary’s womb by Holy Spirit during Hanukkah. What more appropriate time could there be for the Light of the World to come to earth in the flesh than during The Festival of Lights? This is not stated explicitly in scripture, but we begin at the conception of John the Baptist in Sivan (June), based on the established Courses of the Priesthood when Zechariah was foretold of the birth of his own son, as he served in the Temple.  Six month’s later Gabriel announces the coming of Messiah to Mary who departs “immediately” or “with haste” to see Elizabeth, the Mother of John.  Scripture confirms Mary was already with child and remained there for 3 months.  These dates place the conception of Yeshua on or about Hanukkah with Yeshua’s birth some 9 months later in early September, likely on the Feast of Trumpets.

 

Luke 1:39-45 LEB – THE BABY LEAPED IN ELIZABETH’S WOMB (Emphasis Mine)

           39 Now in those days Mary set out and traveled with haste into the hill country, to a town of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zechariah, and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened that when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby in her womb leaped and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud shout and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby (John the Baptist) in my womb leaped for joy! 45 And blessed is she who believed that there will be a fulfillment to what was spoken to her from the Lord!” 

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ONLY ONE KING . . . BECAME A BABY!

 

Mary’s reply, clearing under the anointing of Holy Spirit,  is often referred to in Orthodox assemblies as The Magnifcat and by others as The Song of Mary!

 

Luke 1:46-56 LEB –  THE SONG OF MARY (Emphasis Mine)

          46 And Mary said, “My soul exalts the Lord, 47 and my spirit has rejoiced greatly in God my Savior, 48 because he has looked upon the humble state of his female slave, for behold, from now on all generations will consider me blessed, 49because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is for generation after generation to those who fear him. 51 He has done a mighty deed with his arm (Yeshua is Yahweh’s arm); he has dispersed the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled those who are hungry with good things, and those who are rich he has sent away empty-handed. 54 He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, 55 just as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” 

56 And Mary stayed with her about three months, and returned to her home. 

 

Mary remained with Elizabeth for about 3 months.  All details in scripture are given for a reason, not simply to fill a page.  The details themselves are time markers to determine when one thing occurs in relation to another.  The 24 courses of the Priesthood established by King David are well known dating instruments.

 

SIDETRACK – TWENTY FOUR COURSES OF THE PRIESTHOOD – King David assigned each of the 24 priestly clans to a weekly watch during which its members were responsible for maintaining the schedule of offerings at the Temple in Jerusalem, in accordance with 1 Chronicles 24:3-5. Prior to that time, the priestly courses numbered a mere eight. These “priestly divisions” repeated itself roughly twice each year. Historically, the assignment by ancestry of the priestly courses enables historians to determine the time of service for particular divisions and/or events.

 

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FOCUS NOT ON RITUAL . . . BUT ON THE LIGHT!

 

In Middle Eastern culture, the birth date of the child is not nearly as important as the date of conception.  Job was troubled when his children drew together to celebrate their “birthdays”, why? Their focus was aligned with “the nations” who celebrated their own birth rather than the Creator’s planting of the seed at conception.  Perhaps his fear was linked also to their behavior during these times as well as the focus on birth date rather than conception.  Job feared his children’s departure from the ways of Yahweh,  becoming “like the nations”.

Wisdom suggests we should focus not on a specific date, or event when Jesus Robed Himself in flesh and came to dwell among us. Rather we should look upon the absolute, historical, scriptural truth He did so . . . HE WAS BORN!  What greater cause for celebrating the Festival of Lights than the actual Light of the World?

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WE CAN NEVER BE GRATEFUL ENOUGH!

 

THE FUEL WAS NOT CONSUMED

 

The “Miracle of the Oil” of Hanukkah should remind us of another Miracle where God “showed Himself” to Moses, at the Burning Bush. The Fuel, the bush, was burning but was not consumed.  It is extremely important to note, Moses experienced The Trinity in this miracle of the Old Testament.  He saw the Angel (Christ) and the Fire (Father God) and he Heard (Holy Spirit) from the midst of the bush.

 

Exodus 3:2-5 LEB – MOSES AND THE BURNING BUSH (Emphasis Mine)

          2 And the angel of Yahweh  appeared to him (He SAW the pre-incarnate Christ – a Theophany) a flame of fire (the Father was the Flame itself) from the midst of a bush, and he looked, and there was the bush burning with fire, but the bush was not being consumed. 3And Moses said, “Let me turn aside and see this great sight. Why does the bush not burn up?” 4 And Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, and God called to him (Holy Spirit) from the midst of the bush, and he said, “Moses, Moses.” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 And he said, “You must not come near to here. Take off your sandals from on your feet, because the place on which you are standing, it is holy ground.” 

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WHEN YAHWEH CALLS . . . BE WILLING TO “TURN ASIDE”

What if Moses hadn’t been paying attention, had not been looking for the small things, the unique and unusual things in life? What if he had been so busy with his own thoughts, he had failed to “turn aside”.  Yahweh “saw” Moses had turned aside and THEN, He “called to Him”.   Israel’s destiny would not have been different, but perhaps Moses’ would.  We must look for God, not only in the huge miracles like the parting of the Red Sea, but also in the small miracles of our own lives when God offers us an opportunity to “turn aside” and “see and Hear Him”.  Yes, Yahweh moves in mighty and magnificent ways, but . . . not always . . . sometimes He is in the small bush off the side of the beaten path we are hurrying down.  

Yahweh told Elijah, I am not in the Whirlwind, the Earthquake or the Fire, but in the Still Small Voice which can only be heard by those who determine to listen.  Be on the lookout for the daily miracles, the winks from God, and you will find the profound and earth shattering as well! When you seek Him . . . God’s whisper becomes a Shout!

 

I pray this peak into the Miracle of Hanukkah brings you to an even greater appreciation of the real Miracle of Jesus Christ, who is . . . THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

Thanks for taking time for me . . . 

BLESSINGS,

Sherry Driskell Griffin

P. S. If this was a Blessing to you . . . be a Blessing and pass it along!

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