Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

May they prosper who love you

- Psalm 122:6

The First Hanukkah: Zechariah 14:6-9, 16

The First Hanukkah: Zechariah 14:6-9, 16

Zechariah 14:6-9, 16

It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish.  It shall be one day which is known to the Lord—neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light.

And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter it shall occur.

And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.  In that day it shall be— “The Lord is one,” and His name one….

And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Jews preferred the date for their dedication celebration to be on the Feast of Tabernacles, the 15th day of the seventh month, the same date that King Solomon had dedicated the first Temple. 

But the defiled Temple wasn’t ready, it still needed cleansing.  So the dedication celebration was delayed until the month of Kislev, about two months later.  Nevertheless the celebration took on the symbols of Tabernacles:

  • 8 days of celebration
  • Illuminating Jerusalem and the houses of Jerusalem with candles.

By the time of the prophet Zechariah the holiday was highly symbolic of the Messianic Kingdom when the Messiah would rule from the Temple in Jerusalem.