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An eight-day festival that commemorated the cleansing and rededication of the Temple following the victories of Judas Maccabeus in 167/165 B.C. See John 10:22 ).

The word Hanukkah means “consecration,” “dedication.” After Antiochus Epiphanes conducted pagan worship in the Temple, Judas Maccabeus cleansed the Temple from the pollution of pagan worship. He made a new sacrificial altar and holy vessels, burned incense on the incense altar, lit the lampstands to give light to the Temple, placed bread on the table, and hung new curtains. He dedicated the new altar with sacrifices, song, and joyous worship for eight days.

Hanukkah's ongoing significance lies in its commemoration of the victory of the few whose desire for freedom to practice their religion impelled them to battle against great odds.

After the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 the feast was observed by the lighting of lamps in private homes. Thus, the description Feast of Lights.

Gary Hardin

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Hanukkah'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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