To the casual observer, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that occurs around Christmas-time and has something to do with lighting a menorah-like candelabra, and somehow relates to some important event that occurred a long time ago in Jewish history. Some Bible teachers even claim that Hanukkah is pagan-based holiday that in some way honors the demonic sun god of antiquity. But as we shall see below, there is a hidden truth behind the Hanukkah holiday that the devil doesn’t want people to know about. In fact, by the end of this study, you will hopefully see that Hanukkah celebrates the truth of the Messiah’s incarnation better than Christmas ever did and minus all the pagan trappings. You’ve probably never heard this before and wonder how this could be, so read on.
Anyone who has barely scratched the surface of the historical origins of Christmas’ realizes that they are profane and unbiblical. Christmas is the Christianization of some vile pagan traditions based on celebrating the winter solstice in honor of the demonic sun god through lewd and drunken, orgiastic and satanic rituals. Though the tradition of the Christmas tree came later, it is rooted in pre-Christian sex worship rituals that come straight out of demonic sun god worship, and is something that the Bible in many places condemns and forbids the saints from practicing.
Hanukkah, on the other hand, doesn’t share Christmas’ pagan origins. Rather, this holiday links back directly to one of YHVH’s seven commanded biblical festivals. Though Hanukkah isn’t a commanded biblical holiday, and is of man’s creation, it still has prophetic implications that are worth noting. What’s more, it doesn’t carry the pagan baggage the Christian holidays like Christmas, Easter, Lent, All Saints Day (i.e. Halloween) and the others all do.
In our study of the origins of Hanukkah, let’s first demonstrate that a correlative link exists between the biblical fall festival of Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:33–43) and Hanukkah. How is this? Interestingly, both Hanukkah and Sukkot along with the Eighth Day last for eight days. According to the intertestamental book of Maccabees, Hanukkah was a second, belated Feast of Tabernacles (Heb. Sukkot and the Eighth Day (Heb. Shemini Atzeret; see 1 Macc 4:44–59; 2 Macc 1:7–9; 10:1–8). After the Jews defeated the Greeks’ attempt to destroy Judaism and the Jewish people, the Jews had to cleanse and reconsecrate their temple from pagan defilement before again worshipping YHVH there. The temple wasn’t ready to be rededicated at the biblically prescribed time of Sukkot in the seventh month of the biblical calendar (in September/October), which is when Solomon dedicated the first temple (2 Chr 5:3; 7:8–9). Instead, the Jews rededicated the cleansed temple roughly two months later in the ninth month (in December), and they celebrated a belated or second Sukkot roughly two months later after the temple was finally cleansed.
Manger. (Gr. phatne)The Greek word phatne literally means “feeding trough” and according to the word’s etymology and lexicology as stated in TheTDNT, there is no indication that this manger is anything but a standard feeding trough or manger. Nevertheless, this manger may have been a sukkah or tabernacle, which is the flimsy little hut that Israelites build during the biblical Feast of Tabernacles (Heb. Chag Sukkot) as commanded in the Torah (Lev 23:33–43). Here’s why.
We see the connection between a manger and a sukkah in Genesis 33:17 where Jacob built booths (or tabernacles; Heb. succot or sukkot is the plural form of sukkah) for his livestock showing us that the Hebrew word sukkah (pl. sukkot) can also mean “livestock barn or manger” as well as a temporary habitation where Israelites dwell during the biblically commanded festival of Sukkot.
This raises the possibility that Yeshua was born in a festival sukkah during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot and not just in an animal barn as Christian folklore would have us believe. The LXX Greek word for sukkah in Gen 33:17 is skenas meaning “habitation, dwelling or tabernacle” and is the same word used in John 1:14 and Rev 21:1–3 in reference to Yeshua tabernacling with his people.
Putting all the pieces together, Yeshua may have been born in a sukkah-manger prior to or during the Feast of Tabernacles with a human sukkah (or body, of which the physical sukkah during Sukkot is a metaphorical picture) in order to redeem man from sin, so that Yeshua might tabernacle with redeemed men forever in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:3).
Luke 2:8, Shepherds living out in the fields. According to the Mishnah (a rabbinic Jewish legal-historical document from the end of the second century AD), these were no ordinary sheep or shepherds, but were shepherds who watched over sheep that were destined to become burnt offerings, peace offerings and the Passover offering for the temple service in Jerusalem (Mishnah Sheq 7:4; The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, by Alfred Edersheim, pp. 132–133).
Such sheep were kept in the environs of Jerusalem including Bethlehem which lies just five miles south of that city.
These sheep were apparently kept outdoors all year round. Presumably they were carefully watched over to keep them safe from incurring any blemish that might render them unusable for the temple service.
Imagine the spiritual and prophetic significance of heaven’s angelic messenger revealing to these shepherds the birth in Bethlehem of the spotless and sin-free Lamb of Elohim who was destined to be sacrificed from the beginning of the world (Rev 13:8; John 1:29; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:22; 1 John 3:5). The angel announced that this newborn child was YHVH the Messiah (Isa 53:1; Christ the Lord)—the Savior (Luke 2:8 cp. Isa 53:6, 10–11). He once and for all would take away the sins of the world (Heb 10:10, 12), thus rendering their jobs as temple shepherds unnecessary.
At this time of year, we think of the birth of Jesus (Yeshua). Most people who are knowledgable know that he wasn’t born in December, but in the early fall. But nine months before this puts us at the end of December when Yeshua was conceived — when the life of our Savior began in Mary’s womb. It was at this time that the heaven-sent Yeshua miraculously pierced the spiritual darkness of the this world at the darkest time of the year. This divine spark of life in the womb of a woman would become the spiritual light of this world to lead men out of the darkness of sin and evil and to the supernal light of his Father, Elohim, and to eternal life.
Whether you celebrate the birth of the babe in the manger in December or in the fall, Yeshua’s arrival is still heaven’s ultimate love gift to humanity as John 3:16 says. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Please stop for a moment and quiet your heart and mind to reflect on the significance of this momentous event that occurred in the tiny town of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago.
For years since I was a child, my mind fully believed what the Bible tells us about the birth of Yeshua. But it wasn’t until years later, as an adult, that while I was alone one night and quietly seeking Elohim, that the revelation of the priceless nature of Elohim’s love gift to me literally pierced my heart like a lightening bolt from heaven. As a result of this supernatural revelation and an overwhelming sense of Elohim’s love that accompanied it flowing Continue reading →