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Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship

Chanukah Is Here

Chanukah Tov


This is year, 5767 in the Hebrew calendar.  The Feast of Chanukah starts the evening of December 15, 2006 and ends eight days later on December 23, 2006.


Chanukah - Hanukkah


Ha'Chanukah - The Dedication

The Story & A Study


Israel While Under Syrian Rule


Over 2,100 years ago there was a time when the land of Israel was part of the Syrian Empire, dominated by Syrian rulers of the dynasty of the Seleucids.


To illustrate the move of G-d in the story of Chanukah we must teel the entire story as reported in history. We start this story of Chanukah with Antiochus III, the King of Syria, who reigned from 3538 to 3574 (222-186 B.C.E.).  He had waged war with King Ptolemy of Egypt over the possession of the Land of Israel. Antiochus III was victorious and control of the Land of Israel was added to his empire. When he took over control of the land of Israel he treated the Jews favorably.  Antiochus III was later defeated by the Romans and required to pay taxes.  The burden fell upon those people in his empire who were forced to furnish the gold for these taxes. The Jews in Israel took a great part of this burden.  Antiochus died and his son Seleucus IV took over, and further oppressed the Jews.


The Jewish Hellenists, Greek - Syrian Influence 


There was a new group of Jews who called themselves Hellenists. These Hellenists accepted idol-worship and the Syrian way of life.  Yochanan ha’Cohan Gadol, the High Priest, recognized this Syrian-Greek influence as a danger to the nation of Israel. The infiltration of Syrian-Greek  idol-worship and the Syrian way of life could influence the Jews away from Ha’Shem (G-d).  It was mandatory to work to keep the Jewish people from giving up their faith in G-d and accept the idol-worship of the Syrians.


Yochanan was therefore opposed to any attempt on the part of the Jewish Hellenists to introduce Greek and Syrian customs into the land. The Hellenists hated Yochanon and told the King’s commissioner that in the treasury of the Temple there was a great deal of wealth.


The temple treasury assets were the ½ shekel given by each Jew each year to support the sacrifices and maintain the temple. The orphan’s endowment was also maintained in the Temple treasury.


Seleucus needed money in order to pay the Roman tax. He sent his minister Helyodros to take the money from the treasury of the Temple. Yochanan told Helyodros not to defile the temple by entering it unclean.  Helyodros did not listen and entered the gate of the Temple. Suddenly, he became pale with fright. The next moment he fainted and fell to the ground.  After Helyodros came to, he did not dare enter again.


The madman & the gods’ beloved - Antiochus IV.


A short time later, Seleucus was killed and his brother Antiochus IV began to reign over Syria (in 3586 - 174 B.C.E.). He was a tyrant and am man of an evil heart. He was called "Epiphanes," meaning "the gods’ beloved."  Polebius, a historian of this time, gave him the title Epimanes ("madman").


Desiring to unify his kingdom through the medium of a common religion and culture, Antiochus tried to root out the individualism of the Jews by suppressing all the Jewish Laws.  There was a start of restrictions on Torah Study, circumcision, and Shabbis worship.  He removed the righteous High Priest, Yochanan, from the Temple in Jerusalem, and in his place installed Yochanan’s brother Joshua, who loved to call himself by the Greek name of Jason.  He was a member of the Hellenist religion, and he used his high office to spread more and more of the Greek customs among from the priesthood to the Jews.


Yehoshuah or Jason was later replaced Menelaus, who promised to bring in more money for the king.  The king needed funds for a war he was fighting against Egypt.  Yochanan, the former High Priest, protested against the spread of the Hellenists’ influence in the Holy Temple, Menelaus the High Priest hired murderers to assassinate him.


Antiochus was at that time engaged in a successful war against Egypt. But messengers from Rome arrived and commanded him to stop the war, and he had to yield. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, a rumor spread that a serious accident, had befallen Antiochus IV. Thinking that Antiochus IV was dead, the people rebelled against Menelaus.


The Martyrs


Antiochus IV returned from Egypt enraged by by the news of this revolt against his appointed Temple priest.  When he heard about the rebellion in Jerusalem, he ordered his army to attack the Jews.  Thousands of Jews were killed.  Antiochus then enacted a series of harsh decrees against the Jews. Jewish worship was forbidden; the scrolls of the Law were confiscated and burned. Sabbath rest, circumcision and the dietary laws were prohibited under penalty of death.  Even one of the respected elders of that generation, Rabbi Eliezer, a man of 90, was ordered by the servants of Antiochus to eat pork so that others would do the same.  When he refused they suggested to him that he pick up the meat to his lips to appear to be eating.  But Rabbi Eliezer refused to do even that and was put to death.  Thousands of Jews lost their lives. The famous story of Hannah and her seven children was during this time period.


Antiochus’s men went from town to town forcing the inhabitants to worship pagan gods.  In the hills of the Judean hills was one last refuge.  The Syrians pursued the faithful Jews, and many a Jew died a martyr’s death.


Mattityahu, a man of G-d took a stand.


One day the henchmen of Antiochus arrived in the village of Modin where Mattityahu, the old priest, lived. The Syrian officer built an altar in the marketplace of the village and demanded that Mattityahu offer sacrifices to the Greek gods. Mattityahu replied, "I, my sons and my brothers are determined to remain loyal to the covenant which our G-d made with our ancestors!"


Thereupon, a Hellenistic Jew approached the altar to offer a sacrifice. Mattityahu grabbed his sword and killed him, and his sons and friends fell upon the Syrian officers and men. They killed many of them and chased the rest away. They then destroyed the altar.


Mattityahu knew that Antiochus would be enraged when he heard what had happened. He would certainly send an expedition to punish him and his followers.  Mattityahu, therefore, left the village of Modin and fled together with his sons and friends to the hills of Judea.


All loyal and courageous Jews joined them. They formed legions and from time to time they left their hiding places to fall upon enemy detachments and outposts, and to destroy the pagan altars that were built by order of Antiochus.


The Maccabees


Before his death, Mattityahu urged them to continue to fight in defense of G-d’s Torah and the L-rd G-d of Abraham. He asked them to follow the counsel of their brother Shimon the Wise. Yehuda the Strong lead them in waging warfare. Yehuda was called "Maccabee," a word composed of the initial letters of the four Hebrew words Mi Kamocha Bo’eilim Adonai, "Who is like Thee, O L-rd Thy G-d."  This word also can mean Hammer.


Antiochus sent his General Apolonius to wipe out Yehuda and his followers, the Maccabees. Although outnumbered by the Syrians, the Maccabees defeated the Syrians. Antiochus sent out another expedition which also was defeated. He realized that only by sending a powerful army could he hope to defeat Yehuda and his fighting men.  An army consisting of more than 40,000 men swept the land under the leadership of two commanders, Nicanor and Gorgiash. When Yehuda and his brothers heard of that, they exclaimed: "Let us fight unto death in defense of our souls and our Temple!" The people assembled in Mitzpah, where Samuel, the prophet of old, had offered prayers to G-d.  After several battles Yehuda and his brothers defeated the Syrians.


The Dedication


The Maccabees returned to Jerusalem to liberate the Temple. After entering the Temple they cleansed it of the idols placed there by the Syrians and the Hellenists. They built a new altar, which he dedicated on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev, in the year 3622 (165 BCE).


Judah the Maccabee and his followers reclaimed the temple in the village of Modi'in from Syrian King Antiochus IV. The temple was cleansed and prepared for rededication. The Hebrew word Hanukkah means "dedication." When the sacred temple Menorah (lamp stand) was relit, there was only enough kosher oil to burn for one day. Yet, according to tradition, the oil miraculously lasted eight days until more purified oil could be found.  


The golden lamp stand (ha’Menorah) had been stolen by the Syrians.  The Maccabees made a new Menorah out of materials on hand.  The Syrians had taken all of the gold Temple instruments and filaturies. They searched the Temple and found one vial of olive oil marked as sealed kosher by Yochanan ha’Cohanim Gadol.  There was only enough oil for one day. By a miracle of G-d, it continued to burn for eight days, till new oil was made available and sealed as kosher. That miracle proved that G-d had again taken His people under His protection. In memory of this, our sages appointed these eight days for annual thanksgiving and for lighting candles.


The feast of dedication was a seven day event, 2 Chronicles 7:7-10.  G-d made the light for eight days at this time of re-dedication.  As the One Who created all things He is the Supply and the Fuel that creates the light.  Genesis 1:3 - 1 John 1:5 - John 8:12 - Ephesians 5:6-10  

This year (5767 / 2006-2007) Chanukah begins on December 16, and ends on December 23, 2006 (on the 25th day of the month of Kislev). On the evening before each one of the days, the corresponding number of Chanukah candles are lit.

Biblical verses Referencing Chanukah & The Light

G-d Is Light:

Genesis 1:1-4          In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of G-d was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then G-d said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 G-d saw that the light was good; and G-d separated the light from the darkness.  NASU  

1 John 1:5                This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that G-d is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  NASU

John 8:12                 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.  NASU

Ephesians 5:6-10                Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of G-d comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;  8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the L-rd; walk as children of Light 9(for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),  10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the L-rd.   NASU  

The Feast of Dedication

2 Chronicles 7:7-10          So Solomon observed the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly who came from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt.  9 On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for the dedication of the altar they observed seven days and the feast seven days.  10 Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy of heart because of the goodness that the L-rd had shown to David and to Solomon and to His people Israel.      NASU

Ezra 6:14-18               And the elders of the Jews were successful in building through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they finished building according to the command of the G-d of Israel and the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.  15 This temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar; it was the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.  16 And the sons of Israel, the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of G-d with joy.  17 They offered for the dedication of this temple of G-d 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel 12 male goats, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel.  18 Then they appointed the priests to their divisions and the Levites in their orders for the service of G-d in Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.        NASU

John 10:22-30         At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem;  23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.  24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly."  25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.  26 "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.  27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.  30 "I and the Father are one.           NASU

Father of Lights

James 1:16-18          Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.   NASU

Exodus 25:31-26:1           Then you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand and its base and its shaft are to be made of hammered work; its cups, its bulbs and its flowers shall be of one piece with it.  32 "Six branches shall go out from its sides; three branches of the lampstand from its one side and three branches of the lampstand from its other side.  33 "Three cups shall be shaped like almond blossoms in the one branch, a bulb and a flower, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bulb and a flower -- so for six branches going out from the lampstand;  34 and in the lampstand four cups shaped like almond blossoms, its bulbs and its flowers.  35 "A bulb shall be under the first pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the second pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the third pair of branches coming out of it, for the six branches coming out of the lampstand.  36 "Their bulbs and their branches shall be of one piece with it; all of it shall be one piece of hammered work of pure gold.  37 "Then you shall make its lamps seven in number; and they shall mount its lamps so as to shed light on the space in front of it.  38 "Its snuffers and their trays shall be of pure gold.  39 "It shall be made from a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils.  40 "See that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain.  NASU

Exodus 26:35                     You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand opposite the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south; and you shall put the table on the north side.   NASU

Heberws 9:1-5                   Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary.  2 For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place.  3 Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, 4 having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron's rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant;  5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail.  NASU

Translations of the old text.








ho Theos Foos estin

(That or He or The) G-d Light is

The Chanukah Menorah

7 days to completion

The 8th day represents resurrection

There are 9 candles or lamps on a Hanukkah Menorah.

The 9th candle is the shamis (the serving one).

The Golden Lampstand of The Tabernacle

There are 7 lamps on the golden lamp stand in the tabernacle.  The Chanukah Menorah has 9 candles, one being the Shamis (The Servant)

G-d is light and He illustrates this to us in His word.

There is an interesting factor to take into consideration about this feast of Chanukah.  This is an extra-Biblical feast.  This is not one of the mandatory feasts of G-d that are mandated to the Jewish people, in the Tanach.  This feast is in remembrance of a miracle that G-d made happen.  

First the Jews were able to take a stand and win back the nation and the Temple of G-d from the pagan Syrians, who required pagan idol worship.  They were able to win a war against an army of greater number and superior training.  The goal was to stop the requirement to worship a pagan idol under force by the Syrians.

Second, G-d illustrated His supply in the olive oil.  A measure of oil that should have lasted for one day lasted for eight days.

Oil and Light are two important elements in relationship to Ha'Shem (G-d).   Oil represents the Ruach ha'Kodesh (The Holy Spirit)  The anointing with oil represents the Ruach ha'Kodesh poring down on someone.  The Ruach ha'Kodesh is fuel for the Light in the Temple.  G-d created Light and saw that it was good.  G-d is Light.  Darkness is the absence of Light.  If Light is present then G-d is making His presence known.  

G-d supplied the Ruach ha'Kodesh to bring Light to the Temple.  He did this to let everyone know that it was He Who did it.  He made the oil burn for eight days.  He again reminds us how important the Light is to us.  

The Light of the world is the Son.  The Son is one with the Father.  

Malachi 3:20 or 4:2     But for you who fear My name, the sun (Shemish) of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.  

I believe that G-d is not speaking here about the Shemish (Sun) in the sky.  He is speaking about the Light of the world, His Son, Yeshua.  We do not pray to the sun.  The sun cannot come to earth with wings.  The sun is a burning ball of G-d's creation, fanned by the Ruach, and it illuminates the world.  The Son that G-d is speaking about is Yeshua, His Son.

G-d and only G-d brought victory to Israel by His supply to the Maccabees.  One man stood up for G-d and the nation was saved from spiritual death in idolatry. 

Baruch Ha'Shem Yeshua

1 John 1:5                This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that G-d is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  NASU  

Is the spirit of man that is within you filled with Light?  If you are not sure, ask Ha'Shem (G-d) to tell you if Yeshua (Jesus) is the Truth, Light, Life and Salvation.  Ha'Shem never lies.  He answers prayer.  When He tells you don't argue, just ask Him to fill you with the Light of the world.  Yeshua et Adonai.

John 8:12                 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.  NASU

Be healthy, be safe, be healed, be blessed.  Be found in Yeshua ha'Mashiach.

Some Chanukah Blessings

There are three Brachos (blessings) which are recited when the Chanukah candles are lit.

  1. "Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha'olam, Asher kid'shanu b'mitzvosav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Chanukah"

Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to Kindle the Chanukah light.

  1. "Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha'olam, She'asah nisim la'avoseinu, bayamim ha'hem baz'man hazeh"

Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d, King of the universe, Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers, in those days at this season.

  1. Recited on the first night only
    "Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha'olam, She'hecheyanu, vekiyemanu vehigi'anu laz'man hazeh"

Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

After reciting the blessings and lighting the candles, the following paragraphs should recited or sung.

"Ha'Neiros halalu anachnu madlikin al hanisim ve'al hanifla'os, ve'al hat'shu'os ve'al hamilchamos, sh'asisa la'avoseinu bayamim hahem baz'man hazeh, al yedei kohaneicha hakedoshim. Vechol sh'monas yemei Chanukah, haneiros halalu kodesh hem. Ve'ein lanu reshus le'hishtamesh ba'hem, eh'la lir'osam bilvad, ke'dei le'hodos u'lehalel leshimcha hagadol al nisecha ve'al nifle'osecha ve'al yeshu'oshecha."

These lights we kindle upon the miracles, the wonders, the salvations, and the battles which you performed for our forefathers in those days at this season through Your holy priests. During all eight days of Chanukah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them, but to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, Your wonders and Your salvations.

"Ma'oz tzur yeshu'asi
Lecha na'eh leshabe'ach
Tikone bais tefilasi
Ve'sham todah nezabe'ach
Le'es Tachin Mabe'ach
Mitzar ham'nabe'ach
Az egmor beshir mizmor
Chanukas hamizbe'ach."

O mighty Rock of my salvation,
to praise You is a delight.
Restore my house of prayer
and there we will bring a thanksgiving offering.
When You will have prepared the slaughter
for the blaspheming foe,
Then I shall complete with a song of hymn
the dedication of the Alter.

"Ha'Chanukah - The Dedication The Story & A Study"   First Published In 2000

Click on the above link for a good article on Chanukah

Chanukah Games for the Kids.

Click on the above logo

Shema  ---  Hear


He is worthy of all honor glory and praise

Study Compiled by:

Rabbi Ric Worshill

Check out the below SBMF recommended Messianic ministries for details of .

SBMF Members Ministries, Congregations and Worship Service Information 


Congregation Adat Shalom

Dallas, TX.

Congregation Beth HaShem

Deer Park, TX

B'rit Avraham Messianic Congregation

Christian - Jewish Unity Congregation

Riverside County area of Southern California

Congregation Beth Chaim

Eternal Life Style Ministries

Marietta, GA

Beth El Shaddai

Bessemer, AL.

B'nai Avraham Messianic Fellowship

Hampton, Virginia

Congregation Hope of David

North Side of Atlanta, GA.

Congregation Hope of Israel

South Side of Atlanta, GA.

Congregation Kol Dodi

West Side of Central Nashville, TN.

Israel's Fullness

Princeton, WV

Shalom Ministries

Detroit, MI.

Valley Of Blessing

Greensboro, NC

Police Shomreem Ministries

Lindenhurst, IL.

Pasche Institute Of Jewish Studies

A Ministry Of Criswell College

Dallas, TX.


Some of the above web sites have SBMF members attending or associated with those ministries. Some of these above ministries are not directly members as a congregation or ministry. The member of those ministries may be a member of the SBMF.  Not all of our affiliated Messianic congregations or our member's ministries have web sites.  Some of our members have not yet requested us to post links to their web sites.  If you are a member of the SBMF and would like a link to your web site posted and linked, please contact us at the SBMF.


Our intention is to support our SBMF members in their ministries.


The L-rd bless you, and watch over you; The L-rd make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;  The L-rd lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.   [NASU  Numbers 6:24-26]

Be safe, be healthy, be blessed, be found in Yeshua.

Chag Sameach  / Chanukah Tov / Yom Yeshua Tov / Lashanah Tovah

Shalom Alechem


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