Hanukkah LIGHTS

A Short Introduction to the Maccabees

and Why We Use Hanukkah Lights

City Fathers Dance around the Ice-carved Hannuchiyah.  Click to enlarge.Maccabees means “sons of hammers”; you can read about their tremendous victory against all odds in the book that bears their name.  First Maccabees is found in the apocryphal section of the Bible, if you have it.  It is worthwhile reading.

There is a nice Messianic Hanukkah section at New Jerusalem Gifts.  

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1 Maccabees 2:15-28   20. “I, my sons and my brothers will still follow the covenant of our ancestors.”

Listen to "Children of the Maccabees" from the Royal Klezmerenes

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Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery

 

The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.

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The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

    Hanukkah is a holiday that most of us have heard about but of it we know little.  What we do know is that it is celebrated by the Jews and that it comes along somewhere around Xmas time.  Hanukkah lasts eight days.  As children, I remember that some of us were a little jealous of the Jewish kids in town because they had eight days of ‘Xmas’ and we only had one.  That means seven more days of presents.

   Hanukkah means “dedication.”  It is a remembrance of the recapture and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the King of Greek Syria had a pig sacrificed on the altar.  This event was recorded in prophetic form in the Book of Daniel as the “Abomination of Desolation” and the King is therein referred to as “a contemptible person” in Daniel 11:21.

   A small contingency of righteous Jews known as “the Maccabees” was able to wrest Jerusalem from this powerful King one hundred sixty-five years before Yahshua was born.  Maccabees means “hammers”; you can read about their tremendous victory against all odds in the book that bears their name.  First Maccabees is found in the apocryphal section of the Bible, if you have it.  It is worthwhile reading.

   The temple had to be cleansed and rededicated before worship could again commence.  Within the Temple was found only one cruet of the sacred oil used in the rededication ceremony.  There would be no more until the next growing season.  One cruet was enough to burn for one day.  Unfortunately, the cleansing and rededication ceremony, referred to in 2 Chron 7:9ff, was an eight day affair.  Hanukkah is also called the Feast of Lights because during the eight-day rededication, a miracle of light occurred.  That one cruet of oil should have lasted only a day, but it burned for the entire eight day feast.  In commemoration of this miracle of lights, Jews of all ages light nine candles and give gifts during the eight days of Hanukkah.  Why nine candles for eight days?  I’ll tell you later.

   So what does Hanukkah have to do with us?  We’re not Jews and we’ve never celebrated Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, the Feast of Lights.  Well, here’s why.  First off, the re-conquest of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Maccabees is a prophetic type of the coming of the Messiah.  In like fashion, Yahshua will soon return with the host of heavenly hammers, and where is he going?  To Jerusalem to remake it and rededicate its new Temple, just as the Maccabees had.  Second of all, Yahshua celebrated Hanukkah!  We find that recorded in John 10:22:

John 10:22.  And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.   23.  And Yahshua walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.   24.  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Messiah, tell us plainly.   25.  Yahshua answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.   26.  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.   27.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:   28.  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.   29.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.   30.  I and my Father are one.

   It was during Hanukkah that Yahshua revealed his promise to be a shepherd to his sheep, granting them eternal life.  Hanukkah was also the Feast in which Yahshua revealed his true identity to the world -- that he was the Son of the Mighty One of Israel, and that he and his Father were of one work and one accord.
   So tonight we follow the practice of Yahshua in lighting the Hanukkah candles.  In the first part of our program we remember the Mighty Elohim of Israel, Yahweh Sabaoth, who will win the battle of battles and restore our fortunes, like the brave Maccabees of old.  In the second part of our program, we remember the wonderful child who came into this world as a helpless babe to endure the struggles and passions of our world and die on our behalf.  In the final section, we want to instill you with the hope of his return, that it is soon to happen, and that your fate as a member of his flock, is eternal life in the City of Gold.  May Yahweh Sabaoth bless you as you participate in our program.  May Yahshua Messiah descend like a dove upon your hearts.  Please accept our thanks for your “dedication” to him and his church.

The Ninth Hanukkah Candle

   I promised to tell you why there are nine candles for lit for eight days. Well here goes. It is known as the Shammah. It is the candle from which all other candles receive their flame. Though it is the ninth candle, it is actually the first candle to be lit, reminding us that in the Kingdom of Yahweh, the first shall be last and the last first, the servant of all will be King, the stone which the builders has rejected will become the cornerstone.
   The number nine is also representative of death. Our ninth candle descended to earth as a light for the whole world. Though the darkness tried to snub out his life, it was by means of death and resurrection that his light shines brighter still, bringing hope to a dark and dying generation.
   The Shammah reminds us that he was here at the very first, he will also be here in the last days -- that the Light of the World will soon make his appearance public, make a mockery of the kings who rejected light, and take upon himself the reins of government forever. Let me ask you a personal question. Everything is now lined up exactly as the prophets of old once forecast: So are you ready for his return? Have you made your garments white in the light of the Lamb of Yahweh? Has the first candle become your candle of eternal life and light?  We hope you have.

Jackson Snyder