Do you really understand the true meaning behind Hanukkah?
As we work to reconcile the message of the Messiah with the Hebrew Roots of our faith,
we must yearn to know the real context and uncover the lost stories.
This Teaching will unveil the hidden truth of Hanukkah.
What Is Hanukkah?
- Hanukkah is a man-made holiday that was not commanded by YeHoVaH.
- Hanukkah has no holy components or Biblical requirements.
What Does the Word Hanukkah Mean?
- The word Hanukkah means dedication, specifically an altar.
- Hanukkah is specifically associated with the dedication of the Altar on which the burnt offerings and other sacrifices made by fire would be offered to YeHoVaH.
Does Hanukkah Have Any Biblical References?
- It is referenced in the Bible as The Feast of Dedication (John 10:22). Whether Yeshua was in Jerusalem to celebrate Hanukkah is not clear from the text; many take the liberty to assume that He was there for Hanukkah.
- The Apocrypha which contains the story of the Maccabees, and the story of their Hanukkah Celebration, was part of the Christian inter-testament writings and was never a part of the Hebrew Tanakh or Old Testament.
What Does Hanukkah Commemorate?
- It commemorates the rededication of the Temple Altar by the Maccabees after it was desecrated by the Greeks.
- There is no Temple or Tabernacle Altar to be dedicated in the present time.
Are There Biblical Instructions for Altars to be Dedicated?
- Scripture prescribes the Altar be dedicated over a period of seven (7) days. The Tabernacle in the Wilderness (Exodus 29:37), Solomon’s Temple (II Chronicles 7:8-9) and the rebuilt Zerubbabel’s Temple Altar (Ezra 6:16) were all dedicated.
- In the days of the Maccabees, there was an actual Altar to celebrate the Dedication of the Altar. (Apocrypha, I and II Maccabees)
What Are the Commanded Instructions for Hanukkah?
- There are no commanded Instructions for Hanukkah in the Bible.
- Judas Maccabeus and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained the eight days of dedication of the altar from year to year.
- If you choose to celebrate Hanukkah, do so knowing it is not required by YeHoVaH, but is a manmade tradition stemming from Judaism.
When is Hanukkah?
- 25th day of the month of Casleu
- The 9th month of Casleu on the Biblical calendar corresponds to November-December on the Gregorian calendar.
- It appears, according to second Maccabees, that the Maccabees celebrated the dedication of the Altar in conjunction with the Feast of Tabernacles and then issued a decree that the Feast of Tabernacles should be celebrated in the ninth month when YeHoVaH said Tabernacles was to be celebrated in the seventh month.
- Solomon celebrated the dedication of the Altar and then celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. Solomon did not connect or celebrate the Dedication of the Altar simultaneously with the Feast of Tabernacles. They were two distinct celebrations.
- As it stands, whether they attempted to change the dates of Tabernacles or not, no one is obligated to follow a command to keep a Feast that YeHoVaH had not commanded.
How is Hanukkah Celebrated?
- In the time of the Maccabees, the Celebration included bare branches, fair boughs, and palms. They sang Psalms and kept the eight days with gladness.
- Today Jews do not gather to celebrate the dedication of the Altar, but the focus seems to be on the lighting of candles on a hanukkiah (a nine-branch menorah) in a certain way for eight days, as prescribed by rabbinic tradition.
- Other traditions are games; a miracle about oil that lasted eight days, that never happened; some prayers, which were never commanded; a hanukkiah, a Hanukkah bush; and gift giving.
The only lights lit in the Temple during the dedication were on the
seven-branch Menorah Lamp. 1 Maccabees 4:50
The hanukkiah below, is a special type of menorah made just for Hanukkah.
Instead of having seven branches like a regular menorah, it has nine branches used to commemorate a fictitious story about a miracle of oil that is found nowhere in the Maccabees.