Hanukkah, Jerusalem, and Redemption

Hanukkah is about a lot more than menorahs and dreidels. Yes, it’s the Festival of Lights, but it’s also known as the Feast of Dedication. There is one mention of this feast in the Gospels:

At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.” (John 10:22-23)

Some say that this is proof Yeshua observed the feast. Whether that is true or not, what we do know is that Hanukkah was observed in Yeshua’s day even though it’s not one of the Appointed Times specified in Leviticus 23.

It seems that significant events regarding the Temple and Jerusalem happen around the time of Hanukkah. On the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah takes place in the ninth month (Kislev), beginning on the 25th day. That puts this prophecy in perspective:

Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the [ninth] month, saying, “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another. On that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’” declares the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:20-23)

A lot of shaking has been going on around Jerusalem in this season. it started with the Maccabees, who miraculously recovered the Temple from the Greeks and established Hanukkah. In the recent past, the British Army liberated Jerusalem from the Turks at Hanukkah in 1917, and in the days before Hanukkah in 1947 the United Nations decreed the division of the land of Israel into a Jewish state and an Arab state. In 2017, just one week before Hanukkah, President Trump announced the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, and event that is rocking the international order.

So what is Hanukkah all about? That’s what we discuss in this show. Yes, we’ll talk about menorahs and dreidels, but this conversation goes in many unexpected directions!

Our show just happens to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem by the Allied Army commanded by British General Sir Edmund Allenby on December 11, 1917. The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem is commemorating the event with an exhibition called, “A General and a Gentleman: Allenby at the Gates of Jerusalem.” Here is some of the artwork from that exhibition:

General Allenby enters Jerusalem at the Jaffa Gate, December 11, 1917.

General Allenby addresses the residents of Jerusalem at the steps of the Tower of David.


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