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BIBLE STUDY: The Jewish Festival Of Hanukkah - A Look At Its Biblical Significance For Christians Today

Did you know the New Testament actually records that Jesus kept this holiday? This “Festival of Lights”, as it is sometimes called, was also used by the Jews in the temple on at least one occasion, to try and stone to death Christ! Remarkably, Jesus used the occasion to bring many Jews to Salvation - through faith in Him as the Messiah (John 10:22-42)!!! Both the Prophet Daniel and the Apostle John, warn us that the events that preceded the first Hanukkah are destined to happen again; will you be ready for them?

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Hanukkah (sometimes spelled as “Chanukkah”), is rich in history, tradition, and when examined by Christians, should serve to remind us of end-time Biblical Prophecy. As followers of Christ Jesus, and students of the Word of God, we should all take a few moments to learn this fascinating history, which is retold each year as The Hanukkah Story; then teach it to others!

Hanukkah is a Jewish tradition and holiday (distinct from the commanded Biblical Holy Days) celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th day of the month of Kislev, in the modern Jewish calendar, which is based on the Biblical or Hebrew calendar of old; and coincides with the Roman calendar this year from sundown Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 thru sundown Wednesday, December 20th, 2017.

We should remember here that God always numbers His months, starting with the first in Spring. This system existed in the pre-flood world (Genesis 7:9-13, 8:1-7). Moses was taught this same pre-existing system by God, to re-educate His People who had since lost this knowledge in Egyptian captivity! Notice that God uses numbers as names for each month; NOT Names! Most of us have grown up using names for months, instead of numbers; and we don’t even realize it is proof of our generational curse, that we have been consumed by the pagan societies that enslaved our ancestors so many centuries ago (Jeremiah 16:10-18). “What is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? (verse 10)” – Let’s see: How many of you will keep a pagan feast to a pagan god, using a pagan time keeping system such as “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Birthday Jesus” on December 25, 2016? There is NOT one Biblically obedient precept contained in this entire activity or in the way most reconcile when to observe it!!! If this offends you, read Deuteronomy 12:1-4, 28-32 / Jeremiah 10:1-6; then watch our video on the Truth about Christmas at!!!

Let’s read what God says about Pastors who teach pagan systems to their flocks in Jesus Christ’s name (Jeremiah 23:1-2, 7-8)! This is where we are now, today in 2016 A.D.; we (even the Jewish community) use pagan and Babylonian names and Roman-Catholic reckoning to figure out our system of time keeping – even after God has restored a remnant of Israel (Benjamin, Levi, and Juda) to Samaria or what we today refer to as the nation of Israel in the holy land. But God says he will eventually send His Son to earth to again restore (as He did with Moses), God’s time keeping mechanisms and Holy Days (Jeremiah 23:3-6)!!! Soon the whole world will keep the Signs of God (Exodus 31:12-18 / Zechariah 14:16-19 / Isaiah 66:23-24)!!!


Secular/Pagan Weekday Name

Hebrew "Name"

Biblical Meaning


Yom Reeshone

First day


Yom Shaynee

Second day


Yom Shlee´shee

Third day


Yom Revee´ee

Fourth day


Yom Khah´mee´shee

Fifth day


Yom Ha´shee´shee

Sixth day







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Meaning of
Babylonian Months

Theme of Month
(Babylonian & Biblical)


Meaning of Biblical Months
(Harvesting Schedule)

Biblical Feasts



Their flight




Ripening of grain
[Barley, Wheat]

Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits



(natural) healing

Self improvement


Splendor or Radiance [Flowers]
(Barley harvest)




Bright - their covering

Giving of Torah


(Wheat harvest)

Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)



Hidden - giver of the vine
(A Phoenician deity)

Sin of the Golden Calf, guarding of the eyes







Av the Comforter






A vain thing - nothingness



(Fruit harvest)




Beginning (from reishit)

Month of the Strong or Month of the Ancients


Ever-flowing streams

Rosh HaShannah, Yom Kippur, Succot




The Flood
(of Noach)


Produce (in the sense of rain)




Security, trust

(Restful) Sleep






Good (from "Tov")

Divine Grace






meaning unknown

Tree of Life







Good Fortune





* Adar II




* Babylonian / Hebrew calendars add an additional month added during Leap Years (a new year starts at the first sighting of a spring new moon, AND buds of spring are evident- if it is still too cold, the month is moved back to Adar II or a 13th month is added). About every 3rd year. There are 7 leap years in a 19 year. This knowledge had been totally rejected by the time of the Julian (Roman) and Pope Gregory XIII (January 1502 - 10 April 1585 A.D. or the Gregorian or Catholic) calendars; which stay fixed on a permanent 12 month cycle.

In Hebrew, the word "Hanukkah" means "dedication". The name reminds us, today, that this holiday commemorates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C. (Before Christ).               

The Hanukkah Story:                            

In 168 B.C. the Jewish Temple was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus (the head Greek god. The Romans regarded the god Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek god Zeus. Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto who each ruled over their dominions: the sky, the seas, and the underworld respectively).

Although the temple conquest upset the Jewish people, many were afraid to fight back for fear of reprisals. Then in 167 B.C., the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus ruled any observance of the Laws of God was an offense punishable by death! (We can see this again happening to God’s people in the last times. See Revelation 20:4)! He also ordered that all Jews must only worship his Greek gods (The ancient Greeks had over 390 different gods, presided over by Zeus, who ruled over all of them from Mount Olympus. See Acts 14:1-24, 17:13-43).

Jewish resistance began in the village of Modiin, near Jerusalem. Greek soldiers forcibly gathered the Jewish villages and told them to bow down to an idol, then to eat the flesh of a pig (both were forbidden practices: Exodus 20:4 / Leviticus 11:7). Satan and his followers will always profane what God has ordained (Luke 22:19 / John 6:54).

A Greek officer ordered Mattathias, a Jewish High Priest, to acquiesce to Greek demands; but Mattathias refused. When another villager stepped forward and offered to cooperate on Mattathias' behalf, the High Priest became outraged. He drew his sword and killed the villager, then turned on the Greek officer and killed him too. Mattathias' five sons along with the other villagers attacked the remaining soldiers, and killed them all.

(Patriot Note: Almost sounds like an example of God - fearing people exercising their right to keep and bear arms, to defend their Religious Liberties, their way of life, and rid their land of foreign troops).

Mattathias and his family went into hiding in the mountains, where other Jews wishing to fight against the Greeks joined them. Eventually they succeeded in retaking Palestine from the Greeks. These rebels became known as the Maccabees, or Hasmoneans.

Once the Maccabees had regained control, they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem. By this time it had been spiritually defiled by being used for the worship of foreign gods, and by the sacrificing of swine, over the previous three and one half years. Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual olive oil in the Temple's menorah. But to their great dismay, they discovered that there was only one day's worth of oil left (a single jar – still sealed and not polluted). They lit the menorah anyway, and to their surprise, the small amount of oil lasted a full eight days (the time it would take to press and make ready new oil)!

A number of historians believe that the reason for the eight-day celebration was that the first Hanukkah was a belated celebration of the Fall Holy Days: Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) and Shemini Atzeret (The Last Great Day). This was because during the war with the Greeks, the Jews were not able to celebrate these festivals, when lamps were supposed to be lit in the Temple, until later on.

Today, the miracle of the Hanukkah oil is celebrated every year, in the winter, when Jews light a special menorah known as a hanukkiyah for eight days. The current tradition, as it has evolved over many years, is one candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two for the second night, and so on, until all eight candles are lit.

Because many Jews live in predominately Christian societies, over time Hanukkah has become much more festive and Christmas-like. Today, Jewish children usually receive gifts for Hanukkah - often one gift for each of the eight nights of the holiday.


Hanukkah Traditions:                             

Every community has its own unique Hanukkah traditions, but there are some traditions that are almost universally practiced. They are lighting of the hanukkiyah, spinning the dreidel, and eating fried foods.

Lighting the hanukkiyah: Every year it is customary to commemorate the miracle of the Hanukkah oil by lighting candles on a hanukkiyah. The hanukkiyah is lit every night for eight nights. Most now have 9 candles, the center one usually always being lit to provide light continuously while the other eight are being lit. Tradition also suggests that the menorah be placed in a window closest to the street where it can remind those who pass by of this miracle of God.

Spinning the dreidel: A popular Hanukkah game involves spinning the dreidel, which is a four-sided top with Hebrew letters written on each side; and Gelt, which are chocolate coins covered with tin foil and are part of this game.

Eating fried foods: Because Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, it is traditional to eat fried foods such as latkes and sufganiyot during the holiday. Latkes are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions, which are fried in oil and then served with applesauce. Sufganiyot (singular: sufganiyah) are jelly-filled donuts that are fried and sometimes dusted with confectioners' sugar before eating.

The Biblical Significance of Hanukkah:

At the beginning of our study today, we looked at Christ’s example of His keeping this man-made holiday in the winter (John 10:22-23).

Jesus’ example shows us - that it is not wrong to take part in certain celebrations, if and when those celebrations do not have Pagan origins; and if and when they DO NOT violate God’s laws!

Originally, the Jews celebrated Hanukkah as a tradition, then by ancient civil law as a national holiday; not a religious one. However, over time, it evolved much like the Pagan Winter Solstice (now Christ mass) into a commercialized and religious extravaganza, adopting many Christmas customs.

Our modern day (Hallmark Card Store & Retail Sales oriented) society presents several commercialized additional “holidays” that obedient Christians (Deuteronomy 12:1-4, 28-32) can still observe. A few examples would be Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and American Independence Day.

The key is to keep God’s Sabbaths Holy (Exodus 31:12-18) and not to use Pagan practices and Pagan Holy Days (now called “holidays”) as replacements or additions to how God Commands His children to worship Him. Holidays are man-made celebrations, some of which can be used to give Thanks to our Creator God, as in the case of the American Thanksgiving Day. They are not a replacement for or substitute for what God has ordained as Holy, and perpetual (never-ending) throughout our generations (Zechariah 14:16-19, Isaiah 66:23-24, Revelation 22:14-16)!

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights (no connection to James 1:17), or “the dedication”; was first connected with the cleansing of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus after Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated it in 167 B.C. This would set the stage for a later desecration of the altar, more than two thousand years later (See Daniel 8:1-27). Christians must understand the significance of the events leading up to the first Hanukkah, in order to understand what will happen again; “for it shall be for many days” (Daniel 8:26) yet into our future, as well!

The Abomination of Desolation:           

The prophet Daniel called it “the abomination that makes desolate” (Daniel 12:11). Jesus told us to look for armies surrounding Jerusalem as a sign that this desolation was close at hand (Luke 21:20-24). When the desecration happens, it will signify the start of three and a half years of great tribulation, at the end of which Christ will again allow the world’s armies to gather at Jerusalem, at the triumphant return of Christ (Zechariah 14:1-9).

Jesus also tells us that this abomination will desecrate the altar, or holy place, just like Daniel said, and that these things would be advance warning signs to God’s people who were watching for these things to happen – to flee (Matthew 24:15 / Mark 13:14)! God always warns His People (Revelation 1:1-3)! He will show us what to watch for and what to pray for (Luke 21:36, Matthew 24:42-44, 11:27 / Revelation 1:1-3)!!!

As in the days of the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus (167 B.C.), God will again allow Satan to desecrate an altar that God considers Holy to Himself, in the last days (Daniel 12:11-13). Satan’s human prince and false religious leader will again be given power to rule, “that any observance of the Laws of God are an offense punishable by death” (Revelation 13:15-18, 8-9). God will measure His spiritual “temple” (the New Testament Church) or those who follow him (Daniel 5:27, Job 31:6, Proverbs 16:2, 21:2, 24:12, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 / Ephesians 2:19-22). He will take some of His Body of believers to a place of safety for three and one half years; the rest or the luke warm believers will have to go though the great tribulation, and die as martyrs (Matthew 10:39, 16:25, 25:1-13, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, 14:26, 17:33, John 12:25, Revelation 3:1-22, 7:1-17). God will be faithful to humanity throughout this terrible time and will leave two witnesses to proclaim God’s Truth during the last three and one half years of Satan’s reign on this earth (Revelation 10:1-11, 11:1-19, 12:1-17)!              

The last three years of human history will be the worst in all of previous history; but God will cut those days short for the sake of His Elect! (Revelation 13:1- 7 / 2 Peter 3:1-18 / 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 / Matthew 24:21-22 / Luke 21:23-24).                         

One Nation Under God Ministries Bible Study series on The King of the North, The Beast of Revelation, and The Abomination of Desolation; will TEACH YOU what Jesus Christ Said His Church needed to KNOW and DO before His Return! Learn to Get Ready for The King’s Second Coming with this Amazing Bible Study!

God will deliver those who obediently serve Him from the terrible times to come (Revelation 8:13). Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has told us specifically what to do to avoid being caught in this snare. (Luke 21:34-35, Matthew 24:35-51). God’s people will be keeping His commanded Feast Days, they will be watching on the Feast of Trumpets, as Christ told them to! (Revelation 3:10-13, Matthew 24:14, John 17:6-20, 2 Timothy 2:12, 2 Peter 2:9). No matter what happens to us, God’s Word tells us Christ will never leave us; even unto death, that we may receive the Crown He has in store for us! (Revelation 2:10-11, 20:6, 5:9-10).

Hanukkah is an ancient celebration of God rewarding and sustaining His people. God does not change (Malachi 3:6 / Hebrews 13:8); that same God is with us today (John 14:23). If we will faithfully stay upon the path, chosen for us by God, we will receive a very Great reward indeed (John 8:51 / Matthew 25:19-23, 29). Let us celebrate with our Jewish brothers and sisters, this time of giving God Praise and Thanks; for His never-ending Mercy and Blessings. Let us also remember solemnly - to be vigilant and sober in the work the Lord has given us to do, both now and in the troubling times ahead (1 Peter 5:1-11)!!!

Join us next week as Learn about what The Star of Bethlehem really was; just in time for when the world will twist this Sign of God into something it is NOT, and use it to celebrate an Ancient Pagan Holiday, they now call “Christ Mass”!!! Then we will continue to Study Biblical Prophecy, and build upon our Study of Jesus Christ’s Olivet Warnings! We will Learn what Jesus Taught us about How To Use Biblical Prophecy to identify WHO in our modern world, qualifies Scripturally as The King of the North, The Beast of Revelation; and what the Abomination of Desolation that Jesus warned us about, REALLY is - or will be, in the very Last Days BEFORE Jesus Returns (Luke 21:35-36)!!!

We are honored that you joined us today, in the Study of God’s Word! We hope that you will join us again next week, and that you will continue to share what you have learned here, with others – at home, at work, and in your neighborhood (Matthew 28:18-20 / Mark 16:15-20)! May our Great God, Bless you and keep you, until then – in Jesus’ Name!!!

                                                                                                  -  Submitted by Pastor R.C. Brown III

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God is calling YOU to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and the first century church, can you hear His Voice (1 John 2:6 / Matthew 11:29)? The Sabbath and Holy Days show us God’s Plan. When we keep these Holy Days we become the very Voice of God to this fallen world; we are in effect saying, by our actions on each Feast Day, “Come LORD Jesus, Come” (Revelation 22:12, 17, 20-21)!!! We are actually confessing Christ before men (Matthew 10:32-33)!

The faithful and obedient in Christ will always keep God’s True Holy Days and Sabbath; and will reject the pagan lies and substitutions of God’s TRUTH (Revelation 22:11-15)! God’s Holy Days are meant for Christians to ENJOY! They truly are FEAST DAYS, meant to be enjoyed by God’s elect everywhere, throughout time, FOREVER!!!

If you have never faithfully kept God’s seventh day Sabbath holy or God’s Holy Days, the way Jesus Christ did – in the flesh, and in the fellowship of other followers of the Son of Man; we invite you to obediently enter into God’s rest today, and to keep the Feasts of the LORD (Hebrews 4:1-11 / Leviticus 23:1-44)! Contact us to find out where we fellowship and worship God, in your area, on His Sabbath Days (Exodus 31:12-18). We would love to hear from you and help get you started! :o)

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