QUESTION #1: Why is Hanukkah significant to the Jewish people?
Dr. Jimmy DeYoung:
“Hanukkah came about because of what happened in the city of Jerusalem. Again, we go back to…the city of Jerusalem…In 168 BC, there was a world leader. He was the leader of what we know today as Syria. His name was Antiochus Epiphanes. He came into Jerusalem after being defeated down in Egypt. He wanted to take out his frustration on the Jewish people, so on Kislev 25, Kislev is the Jewish month of December, on December the 25, 168 BC, Antiochus Epiphanes walked into the Temple in Jerusalem, took a pig, a non-kosher animal, split its belly open, threw its innards all over the implements in the Temple, thus desecrating the Temple. He then said that if there’s any sacrifices to take place, it would have to be a pig that would be offered for a sacrifice, not sheep, goats, or a bull.
This happened at 168 BC, and three years later, almost to the day, after a priestly family named the Maccabees, Mattathias Maccabees the father, Judas Maccabees and the rest of his brothers rose up to overthrow Antiochus Epiphanes, to run his army out of Jerusalem. The day that happened was Kislev 25, 165 BC. Remember in BC, you go from higher to lower numbers. So, three years to the day exactly, these Maccabees ran Antiochus Epiphanes out of town, went into the Temple, re-consecrated the Temple. The temple menorah had not been lighted for the entire three years. They went over and found a flask of virgin olive oil, which is how you fuel the seven-branched candelabra of the menorah. They put the oil in the lamps there. They lighted that menorah and had enough oil to burn through twenty-four hours, but miraculously, it burned for eight days. Thus, you have the Feast of Dedication, or in Hebrew, Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights. That is the key to understanding how Hanukkah comes into play and how the Jewish people today observe Hanukkah.
May I just say this. Bottom line, if there had not been a Hanukkah, there would not be a Christmas. They’re connected closely together. It’s amazing to see how God puts current events in times in history, political activities to set the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.”
To listen to the entire program, please click HERE.