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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Dedication, Feast of the

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DEDICATION, FEAST OF THE . After the desecration of the Temple and altar by Antiochus Epiphanes, Judas Maccabæus re-consecrated them in b.c. 165 on the 25th day of Chislev (December); cf. 1Ma 4:52-59 , 2Ma 10:6 . This event was henceforward celebrated by a feast all over the country ( John 10:22 ). It lasted 8 days. There was no suspension of business or labour, and but few additions were made to the ordinary synagogue services. The special feature of the festival was the illumination of private houses, whence came its alternative name ‘the Feast of Lights.’ (There were divergent rules for these illuminations in the various schools of traditionalists.) It was an occasion for feasting and jollity: the people assembled at the synagogues, carrying branches of palms and other trees; the services were jubilant, no fast or mourning could begin during the period, and the Hallel ( Psalms 113:1-9; Psalms 114:1-8; Psalms 115:1-18; Psalms 116:1-19; Psalms 117:1-2; Psalms 118:1-29 ) was chanted. The resemblances of this celebration to the Feast of Tabernacles were perhaps intentional.

A. W. F. Blunt.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Dedication, Feast of the'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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