Messiah in Chanukah

Mattathias and the Maccabees

Chanukah originated over 150 years before Yeshua was born. The Hebrew people had fallen to hard times; a clear warning that their relationship with God was not well (see Deut 28). Israel’s enemies to the north attacked and took control of the Hebrew state. The invaders made it illegal to worship the one true and living God. If anyone was found studying or even obeying the Torah, he would be executed. Many people were even forced to worship idols. When the evil soldiers came to the town of the Hasmoneans, now known as the Maccabees (“Hammer”), to force this idolatry on the people the town’s patriarch, Mattathias (Matityahu in Hebrew), refused to offer sacrifice to the false god. There was a volunteer from the crowd however, who worked his way forward to offer sacrifice. In holy indignation Mattathias killed him.

English: Mattathias and the Apostate (1 Macc. ...
English: Mattathias and the Apostate (1 Macc. 2:1-25) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mattathias and his sons then killed the soldiers and fled to the mountains. From there they gathered together a brave company of men who decided it was time to reclaim their heritage and land. The Maccabees realized that it was the sins of the nation of Israel that resulted
in their conquest: so they earnestly sought God in repentant prayer. They sought HaShem and HaShem heard them.

Though they were terribly outnumbered, they chose to fight. Backed by their faith in the Covenant God of Israel who had promised through Moses that: “…five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” They fought and they won just as God said they would. The small Judean army was victorious in battle after battle. They even retook the beautiful Holy Temple. While they are not canonized scripture it is nonetheless beneficial to read the historical books of 1 and 2 Maccabees for the details.

Remembering the Holy Days

English: A model of the second jewish temple i...
A model of the second Jewish Temple in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because they rededicated the Jerusalem Temple and returned to the Torah in the winter and due to the fact that up until this time they were unable to celebrate the Holy Days, they then returned to the last Holy Day they missed which was the eight-day festival of Sukkot. (Feast of Tabernacles, see Leviticus 23). This holy time is all about the Messiah dwelling with His people in the coming future. Even today generation after generation of Torah-believing people light miniature menorahs (chanukiahs) on Chanukah to celebrate and remember HaShem’s gift of deliverance. Chanukah honors two types of salvation: physical deliverance from oppressors and the spiritual deliverance from sin.

It should be noted that the Temple was the most sacred place in the Hebrew world. It was at the Temple where HaShem promised to meet with the people and fellowship with them. Each and every day Bible-believing people would sacrifice offerings and draw close to HaShem at the Temple.

Chanukah and the Messiah

The last night of Chanukah; Menorah with all 8...
The last night of Chanukah; (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About 150 years later the Hebrew people were again under foreign domination, but this time to Rome. Israel had again fallen into a spiritual malaise. They cried out for God to send them the promised deliverer, the Messiah. Many of the Judeans, (some of the progeny of the Maccabees) believed that a humble stonemason named Yeshua might very well be the Messiah. They tried to make Him King but He refused. It wasn’t until after His execution and resurrection that His followers realized the He did provide deliverance. It is important to note while the history of Chanukah is given outside of scripture it was predicted by the Prophet Daniel and the celebration is confirmed by Yeshua Himself in John 10.

He didn’t provide the Maccabeean style of deliverance from Rome they had hoped for, but deliverance from an even more evil and powerful enemy, sin. In addition, Yeshua promised to return one day to deliver His people from their mortal enemies as well.  We eagerly await that promised return.

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4 thoughts on “Messiah in Chanukah”

  1. Rabbi was at Winners church last night and his teachings were amazing and this website is very informative. There is so much i don’t know. Do you offer a bible study for Christians like me?

    1. Yes! We have Bible study every Tuesday night which you can join in person or online ( We also have a significant amount of teaching on Shabbat (Saturday morning) during Shabbat School and our Torah Service (9:30 AM and 10:30 AM respectively). I’ll add your email address to the webcast invitation list.

  2. Hi I appreciate your Work. It is important for people to learn the roots of the Faith.

    I do though have some mis-givings about disguising the Protestant Faith as the the True Faith of Israel which “YSHUA” Himself testified to and gave His Life for. Today’s Christianity is a far cry from Ancient Jewish Christianity which incorporated and embraced the teachings of all of the Faithful Talmudim of “YSHUA”, including Miriam of Migdala (Mary Magdalene), both Judas’ , Bartholamew, Thomas etc. We know for a fact that the New Testament has been edited by various Catholic scribes at various times and that the Second Council of Niciea brought about a huge amputation and censorship of Inspired teachings of the “LORD” Himself and some of his closest and most intimate disciples. Could G-D have really entrusted the “Holy” Roman Empire and Emperor with such Sacred documents ? If a ‘good tree’ bears ‘good fruit’ , why did this tree go on to massacre countless amounts of people including the Communtiy of Mary Magdalene in Provence, France and the countless other peoples though-out the world including our beloved tribesmen, the Jewish People. I believe whole heartedly in YESHUA HA MOSHIACH. (Birth, Death and Resurrection) but I do not fully prescribe to the false teachings of the Catholic Church and their Protestant predecessors (who still hold to many of their false teachings that they have concocted from their ‘dark and futile imaginations’. For one, ‘Eternal Damnation and Tormentation’ is not a Jewish Teaching.”YSHUA” used “Gehinnom’ as a metaphor for a possible future retribution, not a definite theology of the afterlife. That is why in the parable about Lazarus in the Bosom of Abraham, he referred to the rich man as a ‘certain’ rich man. Whenever a Rabbi is expounding a parable , he uses the term ‘a certain’.
    Hell, Hades, Gehenna, Sheol do exist (with even the possibllity of Purgatory according to Jewish and catholic belief) but not on the level that Protestantism teach it) Protestantism teaches that G-D will let people suffer forever even if He Himself has the Power to stop this suffering. That is contradictory to G-D’s own Will and Nature. (1 Peter) not to mention it breaks G-D’s own Holy Law of retribution. ‘measure for measure’ (middah ke-neged middah)
    (Rom 2:6) Who will render to every man according to his deeds.

    For G-D to justly carry out a sentence of ‘Eternal Tormentation’, the person being sentenced would have had to have tormented someone else forever. (Or else it is not just according to
    G-D’s own Holy Law.) Maybe if ‘Christianity’ would doctrinally clean House and dig deeper into it’s own sacred roots, it would find the Spiritual nutrients and Sustenance that sustained and edified the Original ancient Church for the first 300 years. i.e. If Mary Magdalene was the first to see the LORD risen and the first one to preach His Resurrection to the Apostles, then why has her book been edited out of the Scriptures? Is the Coucil of Nicea greater than the HOLY SPIRIT ? G-D forbid. When the True Church goes back to Her Roots, She will see her Jewish
    Flowers blossoming again and bearing Fruit beyond compare.

    “For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? ”
    Romans 11:15

    Shalom .. Tony Martin

    1. Hi Tony,

      Thanks for commenting. Other points aside, I’m not sure where in this article or on our website we promote the “Protestant Faith” at all, let alone as the “true faith of Israel.” We at Beth Sar Shalom unapologetically promote a Torah-pursuant lifestyle in light of Messiah Yeshua and strive to better understand the faith and mindset of Yeshua’s earliest followers. Indeed, we agree that the natural byproduct of such obedience will be the attention of Jewish hearts.

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