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Did Jesus celebrate Hanukkah?


Luke 2:46 - 52

NKJV - 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 14 2017 1513258974 cathy Tomcala

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Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
John mentions 6 feasts Christ attended (Jn. 2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 7:2,10; 10:22; 12:1; 13:1).

New Testament speaks of feast of re-dedication as Hanukkah. Greek: engkainia (G1456), renewal; from kainos (G2537), new. The feast was appointed by Judas Maccabaeus to commemorate the purification of the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes on the 25th of Chisleu (December), 164 B.C. He offered a sow on the altar and polluted the temple by sprinkling its broth all around (1Macc. 4:52-59). 

It lasted 2 days (later 8 days) and could be celebrated elsewhere. It was about 3 1/2 months after the feast of tabernacles of Jn. 7:2 and about 4 months before the passover and the crucifixion.

December 16 2017 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The observance of Hanukkah was not commanded in the Old Testament canon, but is based on events (recorded in the deuterocanonical books of First and Second Maccabees) that occurred in connection with the rededication of the temple in the second century BC following its defilement by the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who had erected a statue of Zeus in the temple, and offered swine (which were ceremonially unclean animals (Leviticus 11:7-8)) on the temple's altar. At the time of the rededication, a one-day supply of lamp oil miraculously lasted for eight days, leading to the use of the menorah as a symbol of those days in connection with their observance. 

The New Testament refers to Hanukkah as the Feast of the Dedication, and records a specific instance of Jesus' observance of it in John 10:22-23.

December 15 2017 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
In the Bible, Hanukkah is not mentioned by name, but it is found one time in John 10:22, the “Feast of Dedication.” This is the same as Hanukkah, an 8-day holiday which falls close to the Christmas holidays. It is not the Jewish Christmas, but a distinctive Jewish holiday.

The background of this holiday began with Antiochus IV of Syria, coming in peace and through flattery gaining the loyalty of the Jews. But he began to forbid the practice of the Jewish religion and he imposed Greek customs and way of life upon them called Hellenization. He became unpopular to the devout Jews. Some referred to him behind his back not as Antiochus Epiphanes the “glorious one,” but Antiochus Epimanes meaning the “mad one.” 

In 167 BC, Antiochus in anger desecrated the Jewish temple, brazenly put a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies, and sacrificed a pig, an unclean animal, on the altar. This, led to the revolt headed by the priest Mattathias and his five sons of the Hasmon family. Although outnumbered, they supposedly rallied behind the words, “Who is like You among the mighty, O Lord!” The first letter of each word in the Hebrew language forms the acronym “Maccabee” meaning “Hammer,” giving them the nickname, Maccabees. Judas the son of Mattathias retook and cleansed the temple and restored worship, with the Hasmoneans ruling as high priests for 70 years. 

In the process of repairing and restoring the temple, the workers realized they had only a small, sealed jug holding a one-day supply of pure oil. They needed 8 days to cleanse the temple. They went ahead and lit the candlestick known as the menorah. Miraculously, the oil lasted 8 days. From this arose the Festival of Lights, Feast of the Maccabees, or the Feast of Dedication, annually celebrating, especially including the lighting of a menorah. 

In John 10, at the Feast of Dedication, Jesus walked in the temple at Solomon’s porch or colonnade on the east side of the temple, which provided cover from the rainy season. Probably due to the holiday and reminded of Antiochus, the Jews surrounded Him and asked if He was the Messiah, John 10:24. Without stating it, Jesus said they had already been told, but explained how they could know who He was, John 10:25-38. For the so-called blasphemous claims, they took up stones to stone Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

Jesus being at the temple during the Feast of Dedication is the only indication of Him observing the holiday. However, His presence there was meaningful. He was there at the time of year when His incarnation took place, meaning Jesus is “God with us.” Then He had come to the temple which had been restored by the Maccabees and which will one day be restored in glory by Him. Finally, He is the light that shines in the darkness, John 8:12. It is not known how He celebrated Hanukkah, but Jesus fulfilled the meaning of Hanukkah.

June 13 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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