Chanukah, Nine-Branched Menorah

6 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 09 DECEMBER, 2009 Why is there a nine-branched menorah used for Chanukah, when there was a seven-branched menorah used in the Temple? By and large in Judaism, there is a prohibition on recreating objects used in Tabernacle/Temple worship to be used in the local synagogue. This tradition developed during the time when the Temple was still in operation, and the synagogue was largely a place of assembly for teaching. As Chanukah developed as a holiday, the chanukia was formulated as an emblem that looked substantially similar to the seven-branched menorah, but it was intended to be lit for eight […]


Chanukah, Eight Days of Oil

5 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 09 DECEMBER, 2009 Where can I find information about the menorah being lit for eight days, on one cruse of oil, following the Maccabees’ rededication of the Temple? The Maccabees drove the Seleucids out of the Land of Israel in the month of Kislev 165 B.C.E., which is in about the month of December. They had the task of cleaning up the mess that the Seleucids had left, notably in the city of Jerusalem and in the Temple complex. Antiochus’ forces had completely ransacked the Temple and made it into a haven of idolatry. The Temple needed to be […]


Chanukah, Celebrated instead of Sukkot

2 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 09 DECEMBER, 2009 What can you tell me about the Feast of Dedication being celebrated in place of Sukkot by the Maccabees when they rededicated the Temple? When the Seleucid Greek invaders occupied the Land of Israel, it was forbidden for any of the Biblical holidays to be celebrated, possibly under the threat of death. Obviously, this would have included Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles. Many Jews continued to celebrate the appointed times in secret, or in some limited way without being caught. Some in the independent Messianic community, who largely frown on observing Chanukah, say that when […]

Biblical Studies & Scriptural Reliability

The Impact of the Maccabees on First Century Judaism

2 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

originally posted 02 December, 2009 reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper For most Messianics I know who celebrate Chanukah, they hear a great deal about the military exploits of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Temple. Many of them honestly take the time to flip through the Books of 1&2 Maccabees in the Apocrypha, the principal historical record that influences our understanding of the wars fought by the Maccabees. When Jerusalem was recaptured and the Temple was rededicated, much more really did take place. This goes beyond the lives of Judah Maccabee and his brothers. Sadly, too many […]


Chanukah, Actions of Antiochus

1 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 09 DECEMBER, 2009 In what way did Antiochus Epiphanes commit the “Abomination of Desolation”? I thought this was a future event. The event describing the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus, even though it actually was carried out by an Athenian senator (2 Maccabees 6:1), was in fulfillment of the Prophet Daniel’s words in Daniel 11:31: “Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.” It may seem confusing for us because the eschatological term that often describes “the Abomination of Desolation” in […]