The Significance of Hanukkah


Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends! We say the Hanukah blessing with the lighting of the candles:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, אֱלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִידְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצוֹתָיו, וְצִיוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חַנֻכָה

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tsivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who made us Holy through Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, אֱלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ, בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, she-asah nisim la’avoteinu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.

Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors in those ancient daysat this season.

On the first night of Hanukkah, recite the shehecheyanu, a prayer of gratitude that is said on special occasions.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, אֱלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָּנוּ, וְקִיְּמָנוּ, וְהִגִּיָּענוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch atah adonai elohenu melech ha’olam, shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu lazman hazeh

Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has given us life and sustained us and enabled us to reach this season.

Here are a few significant messages about Hanukkah and its significance for Christians:


From Pastor Enoch Lavendar:

This video dives into the story of Hanukkah and examines the parallells between this ancient defiling of the Temple and a possible future fulfilment. Ultimately, the Battle for the Temple Mount is not only about a site - but about the worship of mankind. This message ends with a challenge to a renewed heart of worship of the One True God.


Notes from message : Is.14:13 – Satan’s ambition involves sitting on the ‘mount of appointment’. This is therefore the site of an epic battle for the worship of mankind as we approach the End Times. But to understand this battle for the Temple Mount and what it looks like, we must go back in time.


Battle for the Temple in the Past We need to go back to what is known as the story of Hanukkah – which took place 170 years before Christ.


How many of you have heard of Hanukkah? Some think of it as the Jewish version of Christmas. Same time of the year - some similar traditions with lights and presents. But like the message of Christmas has been buried in the paraphernalia, so the message of Hanukkah is often lost as well.


It is a story of courage and sacrifice, persecution and ultimate victory. I will give you an introduction to the story – but it is worth studying the story in more detail for yourselves.


Dan 8:17 – This chapter describes in great detail the events of Hanukkah Story of Hanukkah - Dan 8:8 - Alexander the Great conquered known world – and after his death, his kingdom was divided between 4 generals. The two prominent kingdoms known as ‘king of the north’ and ‘king of the south’ - Israel under pressure – Israel was a small nation looking for an alliance or covenant that would protect it and bring peace - Great falling away in Israel – many were leaving the faith to be ‘more like the world’. Greek culture was a seductive force everywhere


Why is it ‘an abomination of desolation’? It was a play on its name – it was called ‘Baal Shamayim’ Lord of the Heavens – but orthodox Jews called ‘baal’ ‘shiqqus’ meaning abomination. So the name for the idol became a word play - ‘shiqqus shomem’ abomination of desolation. It was in truth an abomination that caused desolation – as it was only when it was erected that the very worst persecution broke out.


Jews were forbidden to practice their faith in God on pains of death- and house to house searches were conducted to enforce this measure. If sabbaths were kept, circumcision or food laws, or scrolls of the law found, the whole family was put to death. Babies were hung around their mothers necks, and women were thrown from the walls of the cities.


Heb. 11:35-38 It was impossible to remain safe in the cities, so faithful Jews fled to the mountains where they lived in caves. At this darkest time in history – God raised up a deliverer – He raised up a mighty army! After 3 years of battle, the Maccabees miraculously had put the strongest army in the world to flight.


Future Battle of the Temple Jewish listeners would have been shocked when Jesus warned of a new period of persecution like Hanukkah Matt 24:15 - when you see the abomination of desolation (whoever reads let him understand) – it is as if the gospel writer is saying ‘we don’t need to explain this’ – like a modern day reference to Jews going to the gas chambers is obvious to everyone – so this reference to the abomination in the Temple would also be obvious to everyone. Matt. 24:16,21 then flea to the mountains.... For then there will be great tribulation. Just like in days of Hanukkah – the persecution breaks out when the idol is erected.


Paul further draws the parallel with Hanukkah. 2 Thess 2:3 - that Day (of the Lord’s coming) will not come unless (1) the falling away come first, and the (2) man of sin (lawlessness) is revealed… so that he (3) sits as God in the temple of God Notice how the falling away, the man of sin and this man sitting in the Temple all are linked to the time of the Lord’s coming – and all are paralleled in the story of Hanukkah.


Each year as the Jewish people celebrate the feast of Hanukkah, they are being warned not to enter into a treaty with a certain person – who might seem so promising, but will turn viciously against them.


Summary: We are living in a world today that is rapidly proceeding along the path of the repeat of the story of Hanukkah. God is restoring the Tabernacle of David – in preparation for His coming. But there is a battle looming over the Temple Mount – and ultimately it is a battle for the destiny and worship of mankind.