Nazarene Space

 

Three Reasons to Celebrate Channukah

By James Scott Trimm

 

1. Yeshua observed Channukah. 

 

John 7:1 tells us that starting at that time, Yeshua avoided going to Judea and taught only in Galil because the Judeans wanted to kill him:

 

 After these things, Yeshua was walking in Galil,

for He did not want to walk in Y’hudah,

because the Judeans wanted to kill Him.

(John 7:1 HRV)

 

The next few verses tell us that when Sukkot came, Yeshua felt compelled to go to the Temple in Jerusalem, but came there secretly, not even letting his family know, and traveling apart from them:

 

2 And the Feast of Tabernacles of the Judeans was near.

3 And His brothers said to Yeshua, Depart from here and go into Y’hudah, that Your

talmidim might see the works that You do:

4 For there is no one who does anything in secret, and desires that he be [known] in

public. If you do these things, show your nefesh to the world:

5 For not even His brothers had trust in Yeshua.

6 Yeshua said to them: My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.

7 The world is not able to hate you, but it hates Me because I testify against it; that its

works are evil.

8 Go up to this feast: I will not go up now to this feast, because My time is not yet

fulfilled.

9 He said these things, and He stayed in Galil.

10 And after His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He also went up: not in the open,

but in a secret manner.

(John 7:2-10 HRV)

 

Yochanan then goes on to cover the events which transpired during this Sukkot visit (John 7:11-10:21).

 

John 10:22 then opens with:

 

Now the Feast of Chanukkah was held in Yerushalayim,

and it was winter.  And Yeshua was walking in the Temple,

in the porch of Shlomo.

(John 10:22-23 HRV)

 

Clearly Yeshua had returned to Jerusalem, something he normally avoided doing at this point in time, just as he had come for Sukkot, now he had come for Channukah.  In context John 10:22 is not simply incidental, it is intended to be read in context with John 7:1-10 to indicate that Yeshua risked his life to come to Jerusalem to be there for Channukah, juts as he had done so for Sukkot.  Normally in this time he avoided Judah and taught only in Galil.  Clearly Yeshua had come to observe Channukah just as he had come to observe Sukkot, despite the fat that many Judeans wished to kill him, because he thought it urgently important to observe the feast.

 

He who says, I am in Him,

ought to conduct himself

according to His conduct.

(1Jn. 2:6 HRV)

 

 

2.  The Scripture instructs us to observe Channukah.

 

Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.

(1Macc. 4:59 KJV)

 

And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.

(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)

 

Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …

(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)

 

Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.

(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)

 

5  Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.

6  And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.

7  Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.

8  They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.

(2Macc. 10:5-8 KJV)

 

1st and 2nd Maccabees were originally part of the Canon.

(see: http://nazarenespace.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2182335%3ABlogPost%3... )

 

All English-language Protestant Bibles in the 16th Century included the books of the Apocrypha—generally in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments; However, Puritan theologians were inclined to reject books which owed their inclusion in the Biblical canon to ecclesiastical authority. Starting in 1630, volumes of the Geneva Bible were occasionally bound with the pages of the Apocrypha section excluded. After the Restoration in 1660, Dissenters tended to discourage the reading of the Apocrypha in both public services and in private devotion.

The 1611 KJV included the Apocrypha but many publishers sought to satisfy a demand for cheaper and less bulky Bibles. In 1615 public notice was made that no Bibles were to be bound and sold without the Apocrypha with a penalty of one year in prison. None the less publishers continued seeking to increase their profit margin and soon it became difficult to find an ordinary edition of the KJV which contained the Apocrypha. (Today publishers are doing the same thing with the rest of the Tanak, simply printing the New Testament alone).

 

 

3.  The Beit Din as Empowered by the Torah Established Channukah as Halachah.

 

 We read in the Torah:

 

9: And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and inquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:

10: And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:

11: According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.

(Deut. 17:9-11 KJV)

 

2nd Maccabees opens with two attached letters from the Jerusalem Council, the first is addressed to the Jews in Egypt in general (1:1-9) and the second is to Aristobulus, a teacher of King Ptolemy and to the Jews in Egypt (1:10-2:32). The two letters are from “the people that were at Jerusalem and in Judea, and the council, and Judas” (1:10). 2nd Maccabees is very much like the letter from the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:23-29 relaying an official decree from the Council to Jews in the Diaspora. That which we find written in 2Maccabees chapters 1-2 is “the sentence of judgment” of “the judge that shall be in those days” (Deut. 17:9) and we are therefore directed by Torah to “observe to do according to all that they inform you” (Deut. 17:10) and not “decline… to the right hand, nor to the left” (Deut. 17:11).

 

And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.

(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)

 

Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …

(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)

 

Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.

(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)

 

And as we see also recorded in 1st and 2nd Maccabees:

 

Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.

(1Macc. 4:59 KJV)

 

5  Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.

6  And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.

7  Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.

8  They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.

(2Macc. 10:5-8 KJV)

 

And as we also read in the Talmud:

 

What is the reason for Channukah? For our Rabbis taught: On
the 25th of Kislev begin the days of Channukah, which are
eight, during which lamentation for the dead and fasting are
forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they
defiled all the oils in it, and when the Hasmonean dynasty
prevailed against and defeated them, they [the Maccabees]
searched and found only one cruse of oil which possessed the
seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient oil for
only one day's lighting; yet a miracle occurred there and they
lit [the lamp] for eight days. The following year these days
were appointed a Festival with the recitation of Hallel and
thanksgiving.
(b.Shabbat 21b)


It was also recounted in the Megillat Antiochus (c. 200 CE):

The Hasmoneans entered the Sanctuary, rebuilt the gates,
closed the breaches, and cleansed the Temple court from the
slain and the impurities. They looked for pure olive oil to light
the Menorah, and found only one bottle with the seal of the
Kohen Gadol so that they were sure of its purity. Though its
quantity seemed sufficient only for one day’s lighting, it lasted
for eight days owing to the blessing of the Elohim of heaven
who had established His Name there. Hence, the Hasmoneans
and all the Jews alike instituted these eight days as a time of
feasting and rejoicing, like any festival prescribed in the Torah,
and of kindling lights to commemorate the victories Elohim
had given them.
(Megillat Antiochus)

 

The Torah commands us to “observe and to do” according to what the “judges that be in those days” direct us to do, and the Jerusalem Council at the time of Judas Maccabee officially directed us to observe Channukah.

 

I often ask the question, is this work worthy of your support? Ask yourself, have you learned anything from this ministry? If so then chip in and do your part to help spread this truth.


Tithes and offerings in August and September were extremely low and while they picked up somewhat in October, we are still way below budget. We need your financial support to help us continue to bring the message of Torah and Messiah to the world.

If you have considered supporting this ministry... now would be a good time!

Help us keep the lights on as we bring the light of Torah and Messiah to the world.

If you believe the work we are doing is important then this message is for you:
WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

I cannot do this alone, the work of WNAE is made possible by supporters like you. Your tithes and offerings make all of this work possible.

I know you are out there and I know you support the work we are doing because you have so often told us how invaluable you believe this ministry is to restoration of Torah truth and Messiah truth to the world.

Now we need you to put your money where your faith is. I often ask the question, is this work worthy of your support? Ask yourself, have you learned anything from this ministry? If so then chip in and do your part to help spread this truth.

I truly want to thank each of you for the support that you give to us in order to present the truth of Torah and the goodnews of Messiah to this lost world.

Stand up and support this work with your contributions, tithes and offerings. We are reaching a lost world with Torah and Messiah. Through our blogs, literature and podcasts we are also feeding young believers milk and mature believers nice juicy steaks.

Ultimately it is up to you to make this work possible.

You can donate by going to the pay-pal counter at http://www.nazarenespace.com or donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

 

Views: 990

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

The Torah in Debarim 17:9-11 tells us to seek the priest and the Judges for a sentence of judgement not new decrees. That is to Say that if you have a problem that needs settling or do not understand Torah you can tell them what's up and they will pass a sentence/judgement upon the situation according to Torah. Debareem 17:9-11 does not give liscence to the preist or judges to make new Torah up as they go!  Not even those that sit/sat in the set of Moshay have the authrity to make stuff up as they go and call it Torah (this semms to be the mentallity of the Catholic preist, thinking that they could change or add to Torah).

 

 I do not see anything wrong with keeping Channukah, but to preach that others have to is a different story. I see no problem observing Veterens Day or our Independance Day either, but to say that others must do so in order to keep Torah would be wrong.

 

I must ask, was the Apocrapha ever cannonized by any of the Yahu-Deem? And if not why would it be thought that just because of some false teachers cannonized them, we that are trying to restore the original Torah Covenant should have to? Aafter all we are not trying to add to Torah but to uphold it. I can not aford to buy any books so I will only be able to learn what is posted about the Apocrpha in open forum. I have been being told that the Apocrpha was never cannonized by the Yahu-Deem. If this is not true then I would like to be told the truth of this matter, but if it was not I would have to raise the question "why not?".

I think of it like an Israelite Independence Day. It is a good time to reflect on their overcoming Greek intrusion-- without the trappings of a modern "Xmas" like way of doing it. I don't feel *compelled* to do it but Hanukkah symbolizes triumph over heathenistic ways and observances. Simply reading over Maccabeas with family and friends and reflecting is good enough.

 

Ayina,

I totally agree with what you have said, except that if one wants to celebrate/observe this date in time I see no problem with them doing so as long as they do not call it TORAH, just as the 4th of july should not to be claimed to be within TORAH.

I was referred to this blog by brother James from his missive on "Channukah and the Last Days". I enumerated my response there, then realized my error. Upon reflection, I concluded that they should have been made here, as my answers were in response to this thread. Here is what I wrote:

1. Yeshua observed Channukah. This simply has no basis in fact. Contrary to your assertions, there is not the slightest indication in scripture that Messiah observed the feast of the Dedication. He attended. Period. Just as he attended numerous other venues where people gathered. He came to teach. He was present at harvests, when fishing fleets came to port and at markets. While all of the activities of these groups of farmers, fishermen and merchants were used illustratively in His teachings, I wouldn’t characterize His attendance at any of these occasions as particularly prophetic - even though His teachings were. Incidently, His teachings that surrounded this man-made event as recorded in the Book of John were primarily in the form of corrections and rebukes to those in charge of directing the people. Now there is some context for you...

 

2. The Scripture instructs us to observe Channukah. Really? While you may regard 1st and 2nd Maccabees as canonical, they are not Torah ("Instructions") or Nevi'im ("Prophets"). They do not rise to the level of the instructions of the Most High. They are Ketuvim ("Writings") and are primarily historical record. Though there are legitimate prophets and their instruction recorded in the Writings, I don’t see much of that going on in Maccabees. Gee, there are numerous accounts in the Writings that depict evil. This through legitimate ‘judges’ that had the priesthood of the day in their proverbial pockets; Levites and judges of Israel doing and authorizing despicable things. Does that mean that we should run right out and start worshipping idols and false gods? Probably not. It is easy to go wrong by following the traditions of man. And there are plenty of examples of these man-made ordinances and traditions recorded in the Writings. But you can NEVER go wrong by following the Torah ("Instructions") of YHVH. He is not a man that He should lie. It is proven that halacha and tradition often contradict Torah. But Torah does not contradict Torah. It is the standard by which all things are to be measured.

 

 

3. The Beit Din as Empowered by the Torah Established Channukah as Halachah. Now this is a topic that has led many astray. I subscribe to the notion that the ‘judges of Israel’ were to follow Torah in their judgments instead of creating new laws willy nilly (laws that were convenient for them, though not so much for Israel as Messiah repeatedly noted). I do not believe that these ‘judges and Levites’ had Carte Blanche to create new appointed times or new ordinances that had nothing to do with the proper application of Torah. Any student of the truth does not have to look very far to discern the nature of these ‘judges’ (read kings) and High Priests that founded the Hasmonean dynasty. How many of the Maccabees were of the line of David? How many were of the linage Zadok (whose name means Righteous)? The answer is none. Halacha that contradicts Torah should not be observed according to the Master (remember, He said, ‘Follow Me’). So what happens when Halacha even contradicts Halacha as is the case with the Maccabees? Is not the king to come from the tribe of Judah according to Torah? Is he not the lawful judge of Israel? Is not the High Priest to come from the linage of Zadok according to prophecy and halacha? Which among Mattathias, Judas Maccabeus, Jonathan Maccabeus, Simon Maccabeus, John Hyrcanus, Aristobulus I, Alexander Jannaeus, Salome Alexandra, Hyrcanus II, Aristobulus II, Antigonus, Aristobulus III met the requirements of Torah, prophecy or halacha? Is is any wonder that the Temple Priests (‘Sadducees’ or ‘Zadokim’[Righteous Ones]) in the days of Messiah were referred to as the ‘self-righteous ones’ by the people? They were political appointments, just like in the time of the Hasmonean dynasty. Hallacha? Really?

Well said Philip.
It's too bad most people don't, can't, or won't, listen to reason....

Philip,

 

I had not responded because I have been working on several projects and because I thought your objections were weak enough, that a response was probably not needed.  But here goes:

 

1.  I made a clear and defined argument that Yeshua was observing Channukah in John 10 and not just coincidentally there.  In fact even without the argument I made, the fact that the text says Yeshua was at the Temple at Channukah, while Channukah celebrations were under way, should be enough.  If a book said that "It was Easter and grandma was in Church" the obvious meaning is that grandma was observing Easter.  In fact so strong is the implication, that the burden would be on the writer to specify otherwise, if that was the case.  In many of us would not go to a Christmas party, lest our attendance be interpreted as endorsement of the holiday.  If Yeshua objected to Channukah, he would have never attended a Channukah celebration, which is exactly what he is doing in John 10.

 

2.  At least three instances in 2Maccabees are directives to keep Channukah, not just records that Channukah was created:

 

And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.

(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)

 

Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …

(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)

 

Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.

(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)

 

3.  Clearly the letters prefaced to 2Maccabees imply that there was a halachic question as to whether Channukah was valid or not, and this dispute was clearly settled by the Beit DIn in the letters presented.  Also the Beit Din in question was that of which Yeshua would later say: "...whoever says to his brother, You are nothing: he will be condemned to the council of the synagogue...." (Mt. 5:22)  "and On Moshe’s seat, sit the scribes and P'rushim." (Mt. 23:1-2)

Shalom Brother Trimm,
Whether weak or no, whether valid or true, the strength of my objections is in the perception of the gentile reader. I am pleased that you responded. I was curious as to your reasoning. I just happen to disagree with your conclusions. In my opinion, you are much more willing to make assumptions about the actions and motives of Messiah than I, and you lend too much weight to the edicts to the Beit Din for my tastes, both then and now. But we should all be allowed an opinion, as long as it is acknowledged as such. Now to your response:
  • Assuming grandma is celebrating Easter because she attended church on Easter is reasonable. Assuming the same for the Dedication and for the Son of the Most High is not. That is of course, unless grandma is an outspoken critic of the leadership and practices of the leadership of the church and has the clarity of understanding of Messiah. So perhaps not a reasonable assumption after all.
  • Then there is also the matter of office. The gravity and consequences of misjudging grandma’s action and intent are not nearly so severe as misjudging the Truth of Torah or Messiah. If she showed up only for the bake sale, then there is little harm to the reader in your error (the harm to grandma's reputation notwithstanding). It is in my estimation however, a very dangerous practice when making assumptions with the Word. Especially so when you teach.
  • To say that Messiah was present at the Dedication is indisputable. To say that He was there “just as He was for Sukkot” is assumption and not supported by the p’shat. From scripture, we are not privilege to His motive for being there or whether He participated. It is reasonable to speculate. I don’t believe that it is reasonable to state your speculations as fact.
In support of the authority of the Beit Din, you quote scripture that is often misused to the benefit of clergy. But there is much more to that passage than you quoted. Even if we only read just one more verse, the context changes radically.
Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Many people believe that what we were bid to observe and do coming from the seat of Moshe was Torah, - including me. Clearly Messiah not only gave criticisms of their rulings, He also gave direction about what to and what not to follow: Do what they bid you observe from Torah. Do not participate in their errors.
.
.
Brother James, I do not dispute that there are things written in the Maccabees that direct the people to keep the Dedication. My point is that Torah does not. And while you seem to accept the directives of the Beit Din of that era as authoritative, even when the appointment of their leaders, their actions and their judgments clearly violate Torah, I do not. This too was not done in the dark. It was common knowledge. I can understand why the people of Judea accepted their decisions. They were subjects of that corrupt government. But we are not. So I question why you do...
.
.
I am reminded of what His talmidim said when confronted by a Beit Din. The Beit Din both then as now would have us deny both the Son and the Name. Where do we draw the line? The same place they were supposed to draw the line: Torah. The Beit Din condemned Messiah. Obviously, there is a limit to their authority - as they will undoubtedly be made painfully aware.
.
.
I will say it again: Neither the traditions of man or the rulings of a Beit Din hold precedence over Torah. They never have and they never will.
.
.
Your Servant in Him,
Phillip

Awmane

Shalom grouch,

 

Since Messiah specified the scribes and P'rushim, it is safe to say, that is who He was talking about. The scribes were basically government lawyers operating in the service of Herod Antipater. The P'rushim were the majority sect. There is no shortage of opinions about them, both good and bad. However, Messiah spoke to His talmidim in the hearing of everyone as we read in verse one:

Mat 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

For that reason, I don't think His remarks were intended for any one sect of Judaism, but were instead intended for everyone.



Shalom Samuel,

Do you then believe that the Messiah was just a man? Do you believe that He taught with the same authority as the Beit Din of the people of Judea? If so, I can understand how you might confuse His teachings with the halacha of men. I believe differently. So did He.

Concerning the ‘new’ teachings you referenced, it is helpful to understand the Torah teachings He was referencing. Here is not the place for a complete dissection of the Beatitudes, but some clarification is in order. An ‘eye for an eye’ was never meant to be purely punitive. It was a way of illustrating that to do wrong to your brother was to do wrong to yourself. Messiah’s logical extension of those Torah principles you mentioned only served to expose spiritual truths concerning good and evil. Murder does indeed start in the heart before it progresses to the tongue or hand. His teaching was a practical illustration of the sacrificial love we are to have for our brothers and sisters. After all, we are bene Elohim, as scripture reveals, Jew and gentile alike. And yes, many things changed with the coming of Messiah. But the case can be made that these things too were foretold. So are they really new? I don’t think so.

Torah is sometimes described as being authored by Moshe. Not so. Torah was authored by Adonai. The Prophets and the Writings do not verify Torah. Torah verifies the rest of scripture. It is the standard by which all other writings are measured. That is how it is proven as scripture. There were many 'prophets' whose writings were stored in the Temple. But when their pronouncement were found to be false, they were destroyed and often the ‘prophet’ with them. Anything that contradicts Torah cannot be scripture.

By the way, our Master quoted from 34 different books of scripture. It seems His favorite was Deuteronomy. He never quoted from Maccabees in case you were wondering. As a matter of fact, He never quoted any work written in the 400 years prior to His coming. That includes the entire Apocrypha. I find that interesting.

You say that the Beit Din that directed us to observe Channukah was correct to do so. And you hold to this view;

  1. Despite the fact that the leader of Judea at that time was an Edomite serving at the pleasure of Rome;
  2. Despite the fact that a High Priest was a political appointment and often not even an Aaronim, much less a Zadokim;
  3. Despite the fact that the majority theocratic party was busy divvying up the Temple concessions for political favors;
  4. Despite the fact that these are the same people that brought us such ‘truisms’ as swearing on the gold of the Temple and the gift on the Altar of Sacrifice were binding but swearing on the Temple or Altar itself was not;
  5. Despite the fact that these were the same people that brought us the many practices that made the commandments of Elohim ‘of none effect’!

But you equate their authority with that of the Son? Brother Samuel, I don't.

You said, "...if your objections are to be received, brother Philip, then we must also reject some of Yeshua's own directives." I cannot understand your reasoning. You are welcome to receive or reject anything you like. I can and do reject the self-serving actions of men, whether they be traditions or rulings that have no basis in Torah. For this cause I DO NOT have to reject the directives of Messiah! As it is written:

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

You believe Paul's advice to Timothy:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

This is good. I too believe this. But I find it helpful to remember that although inspired, scripture contains records of lies and errors too. Just because scripture is inspired does not mean that its contents are suddenly true or right. Just because a group of politicians were called a Beit Din does not make their assembly legal under Torah or their rulings righteous. Direct quotes of Adonai and Torah MUST be treated differently than the historical accounts of the actions of a corrupt and illegal government. Messiah was very careful to point that out to us. Be careful to receive it my brother.

 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

 

 

 

















 

LINKS

 

 

 

 

Badge

Loading…

© 2019   Created by James Trimm.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service