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|December, 2001 (5762)||Vol. 27 No. 12|
THERE WOULD BE NO CHRISTMAS
By Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo
Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo
A word definition of the two holidays are in order. CHANUKKAH is a Hebrew word meaning 'Dedication' and the events surrounding this feast dates back to 168-165 B.C. It is celebrated on the 25th day of Kislev (equivalent to the month of November-December), and is commemorated for eight days. CHRISTMAS comes from two words in our English language, "Christ" and "Mass", and the event it looks back upon is The Birth of Jesus that took place almost 2,000 years ago. It is celebrated, generally speaking, on the 25th day of December.
The reason I chose the title for this brochure, "Without Chanukkah There Would Be No Christmas", is because of the close and indispensable association between Chanukkah and Christmas. Today we are aware, through The Holy Bible and history, that Jesus was born of a Jewish virgin (Miriam-Mary), from one of The Tribes of Israel, namely Judah.
Long before the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ to this earth, we know and have read about a ruthless people towards The Nation of Israel, namely, The Syrians. Their commander in Chief was ANTIOCHUS. He wanted to conquer the entire Middle East of that day (168 years Before Christ); and in order to have access to Egypt from Syria, his troops needed to pass through The Land of The Jews. Not only did this prove to be extremely difficult, but Antiochus had an obsession regarding The Jewish people living in The Land of Israel, that is, their belief in only ONE GOD; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Therefore, this Syrian malefactor, not only wanted to conquer the Jews physically, but most importantly, Antiochus wanted to destroy the religion of the Jews.
Through many and sundry maneuvers, Antiochus finally ordered and sent one of his generals to desecrate The Temple in Jerusalem, by sacrificing a pig upon the altar. The LORD GOD in His might ensured not only the continuity of His people Israel, but also used a family from a City in Israel (MODIN) to stand against the entire Syrian force; and the name of this family was The MACCABEANS. Not only did they resist their enemies, The Syrians, even though they were out numbered 1,000 to 1; but The LORD used this revolt which reached the capitol of Israel (Jerusalem), and the Maccabean fighters to recapture The Temple and RE-DEDICATE the altar to The LORD GOD.
The Priests had a cruse of oil that should have lasted only one day, and to their surprise it lasted eight days. Thus, we have The Feast of Chanukkah being observed for eight days in honour of The Lord and The Maccabeans. It was through the valor of the few in Israel (empowered by The Almighty) that The Temple altar was re-dedicated and the onslaught of The Jewish people was stopped.
You see, if The Emperor Antiochus, of Syria, would have had his way ALL the Jews would have been destroyed 165 years before Christ. Thusly, the Birth of Christ, who was born humanly speaking, in Bethlehem, Israel from a Jewish woman could not possibly have taken place. But GOD, Who oversees the affairs of mankind, gave might and power to this small band of Jewish men to not only defend themselves, but to be victorious in The Land of Israel over 2150 years ago.
The 25th day of KISLEV falls either in the month of November - December. Remember that KISLEV is the name of the Jewish month, and on the 25th day, the altar in The Temple in Jerusalem was re-dedicated in 165 B.C.
As Believers, we are interested in knowing as much as possible about The Life of our Saviour Y'shua (Jesus), and His activities while He was on earth. Therefore, I would like to remind ourselves that even our LORD observed and celebrated CHANUKKAH as recorded in The Gospel according to John 10:22 - 23,
"And it was at Jerusalem The Feast of The Dedication (Chanukkah), and it was winter. And Jesus walked in The Temple in Solomon's porch".
The very presence of our LORD in The Temple, in observance of The Feast of Dedication (Chanukkah) should stimulate you as a child of God to consider the importance of observing Chanukkah and also its direct relationship with *CHRISTMAS.
The conclusion of it all is extremely important, because, the happenings and events that transpired 165 years before The Birth of Christ, allowed the fulfillment of prophecy, to take place in relationship to The First Coming of our Messiah. He had to be born from a virgin (see: Isaiah 7:14), and from The House of David (see: II Samuel 7:12), and from The Tribe of Judah (see: Genesis 49:10).
Just as Abraham was faithful and obedient to GOD'S call; so also The Maccabean family which stood in the power of God against insurmountable odds, defeated The Syrians; and, 165 years later resulting in The Birth of Christ.
This year as we observe and remember The Birth of our Lord on December the 25th, let us not forget what took place on KISLEV the 25th at The Hand of GOD.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty GOD, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace".
*Please read our brochure "IS CHRISTMAS IN THE BIBLE."
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