The History of Hanukkah Foreshadows the Reign of Antichrist!
Hanukkah or Chanukah is an eight day festival to celebrate the ancient victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians whose leader typifies the Antichrist. This “Feast of Dedication” is popularly known as the “Festival of Lights.” This festival is associated with the miracle in which the lamps stayed lit for “eight” days while the Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated, although there was only enough oil to fuel the Temple’s lamps for only “one” day.
After the death of Alexander the Great, who died without leaving an heir to his throne, the Greek Empire was divided among his four generals known as the Diadochi. Nicator Seleucus took control of the eastern provinces. Antiochus IV, a later Seleucid king, named himself Epiphanes which means “god manifest.” But Antiochus’ brutality and megalomania was better expressed sarcastically by his subjects privately who referred to him as Epimanes – the Madman.
One of the smallest states of the Grecian world empire was the kingdom of Judea. It lay between two giant powers, Egypt to the south and Syria to the north. Egypt was ruled by the Ptolemies and Syria was ruled by the Selucids. Judea was surrounded on all sides by countries who had succumbed to Greek culture. This culture came to be known as Hellenism. People everywhere began to speak Greek, dress like the Greeks, embrace Greek philosophy and worship the gods of Greece. Only in Judea, did the people live in a markedly distinct fashion from their Greek oppressors.
The southern kingdom of Israel, though small and poor, was the corridor which linked Asia, Europe and Africa. Through it troops could be moved from one continent to another. The trade routes of commerce and caravans cut across it from east to west and from north to south. It was a highly prized territory and was buffeted back and forth between its greedy neighbors.
Daniel chapter 11 is a prophetic depiction of the future conflicts, wars and alliances between the kings of the Ptolemies to the south and the kings of the Selucids to the north. Judea and the holy city of Jerusalem were caught between these two warring factions.
The Selucid king, Antiochus Epiphanes was the prophesied evil monarch from Syria – the ultimate “king of the north” – who came down and defeated “the king of the south” and took possession of Judea (Daniel 11:21-30).
Antiochus had the Jewish High Priest assassinated, and installed a man of his own inclination in his place. He instituted Greek customs throughout the Jewish population and finally ordered the Jewish religion abolished completely and replaced it with his own pagan gods. Anyone who failed to abide by his decrees, he had executed. His forces desecrated the Jerusalem Temple and its altar of worship by slaughtering a swine on the altar and erecting a statue of Zeus with his own likeness in the sanctuary. Antiochus typifies the Antichrist who will set up an abomination (an idol of himself) that causes desolation (those who love the true God to flee Jerusalem).
A revolt started in Modein where Mattathias killed a Jew making a profaned sacrifice and then killed the king’s official who enforced such sacrifices. Mattathias fled to the hills with his sons. Seleucid troops from Jerusalem pursued the rebels and slaughtered a group of women and children on the Sabbath. His successor, Judas Maccabee, along with many pious Jews – called the “Chasidim” (pious ones) – joined the revolt. They would descend from the mountains and would strike the Syrians with swift unexpected attacks (Maccabee – “Battle hammer”). After three years of fighting against overwhelming odds, the Maccabees regained control of the Temple.
After cleansing the Temple, the lamps of the sacred lampstand needed to be lit. There was only enough oil found to keep the lamps burning for one day. It would take a messenger a week to bring fresh supplies, but no one wanted to wait that long to rededicate the sanctuary. Miraculously, they lit the lampstand and the oil lasted eight full days!
‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” Haggai 2:9
Solomon’s Temple (the former house or first Temple) contained five glorious elements that were missing in the present house (the 2nd Temple rebuilt under Zerubbabel) of Haggai’s day:
· The fire from heaven on the altar
· The ark of the covenant
· The glory of the divine Presence (Shechinah)
· The Urim
· The Thummim
In addition to these missing spiritual elements, the physical structure of Solomon’s Temple was so ornate and elaborate than the 2nd Temple, that those who were old enough to remember it (the survivors of the Babylonian exile) wept aloud when the foundation was laid.
Why then was it prophesied that the glory of the physically inferior 2nd Temple which lacked the Shechinah glory and the Ark of the Covenant would be even greater than that of The Temple built and dedicated by Solomon? In addition, how did the LORD God give peace in this place (the 2nd Temple) if it was completely destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD? Why did the miracle of Hanukkah last eight days, when the oil could be replaced in seven days?
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:22-24
The latter glory of the second house was greater than that of Solomon’s Temple because the glorious Son of God, the “Light of the World” had come into the Temple. Jesus came into the Temple during the Feast of Dedication. The Light of the World who filled the Temple with glory was asked, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” He had confirmed again and again that He was the Messiah by his signs, wonders and miracles. Even the eight day miracle of Hanukkah pointed to Yeshua the Messiah.
In Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, as well as Greek, the language of the New Testament, each letter possesses a numerical value. Gematria is the calculation of the numerical equivalence of letters, words, or phrases. And, on that basis, Gematria helps to gain insight into interrelation of different concepts and exploring the interrelationship between words and ideas. Most Christians are familiar with the concept that the value of the name of the Antichrist is calculated to be 666.
By utilizing principles of Gematria, we can determine that the following numerical values can be determined in relation to Jesus:
TITLE TOTAL VALUE DIVIDED BY 8
Messiah 656 8 x 82
Lord 800 8 x 100
Son 880 8 x 110
Savior 1,408 8 x 8 x 22
Christ 1,480 8 x 185
Emmanuel 25,600 8 x 8 x 8 x 50
JESUS 888 8 x 111
During the Festival of Lights, the Menorah is lit by a servant candle. Although the “Shamash” is located above the other candles, it must bow low to light them. Jesus humbled himself, took on the form of a servant, and shared his glorious light with us.
The fulfilled prophecy of Haggai 2:9 is only one of over 300 prophecies fulfilled that confirm that Yeshua (Jesus) is truly the promised Messiah of Israel. The probability of one man fulfilling only 48 of the over 300 prophecies is one in 10 to the 157th power. Not only did the miracles that Yeshua performed attest to the fact that He is the Son of God, but the statistical evidence is proof beyond any shadow of doubt that Yeshua is Adonai (Jesus is Lord).
Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the suffering servant Messiah at the First Advent, when the Lamb of God was slain and gloriously resurrected. When Yeshua returns as the conquering king Messiah, He will sit on his throne in Jerusalem.
“The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.
During the time of the Maccabees, the arrogant murderous ruler Antiochus IV had defiled the Temple and set up an image of himself demanding that he be worshipped. After three years, his army was defeated and he was overthrown. The Temple was cleansed and rededicated to the worship of the God of Israel.
This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.
There is literal fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 11:36 still to come concerning the last world empire and the evil Antichrist king who will exalt and magnify himself. As the number seven represents heavenly perfection and completeness, the number six represents sinful man who is imperfect and incomplete. The number 666 may remind us that man falls short three ways—in body, soul, and spirit—of God’s glorious nature. Antichrist exemplifies this complete “triple six” sinfulness of mankind. He is totally corrupt and debased, carnally minded, blasphemous, and lives in spiritual darkness. He is the bond servant of Satan, numbered 666.
Revelation 19:19-21 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
After 3 ½ years, the Antichrist and his armies will be defeated and the Temple will be cleansed and rededicated to the worship of the God of Israel just like in the times of the Macabees. Jesus Christ will sit on his throne in Jerusalem and rule over the nations.
…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-12
Is He the Lord of your life?