and the Birth of Jesus Christ, What Do They Have in Common?
Part I: Some Essential Background
for the Festival of Lights, taken out of Josephus' "Antiquities
of the Jews", (translated by William Whisten, Kregel Publications,
pp. 256-257, 258-262.)
Now Antiochus [Epiphanes IV], upon the agreeable situation
of the affairs of his kingdom, resolved to make an expedition
against Egypt, both because he had a desire to gain it,
and because he contemned the son of Ptolemy, as now weak,
and not yet of abilities to manage affairs of such consequence;
so he came with great forces to Pelusium, and circumvented
Ptolemy Philometer by treachery, and seized Egypt.
He then came to the places about Memphis,
and when he had taken them, he made haste to Alexandria,
in hopes of taking it by siege, and of subduing Ptolemy,
who reigned there. But
he was driven not only from Alexandria,
but out of all Egypt
by the declaration of the Romans, who charged him to let
that country alone. Accordingly,
as I have elsewhere formerly declared, I will now give a
particular account of what concerns this king,--how he subdued
Judea and the temple; for in my former work I mentioned
those things very briefly to go over that history again,
and that with great accuracy."
here is where we can get a real historic picture of just
how evil this Antiochus was.
The Bible often uses a prior historic type to represent
a future coming event, and Antiochus is just such a fore-type.
The famous secular historian Santayana is often quoted
as saying "He who forgets the lessons of history is
doomed to relive them."
We'd be wise to take note of this guy, as we live
in such perilous times with the world filled with weapons
of mass destruction and mad dictators with itchy trigger
fingers. And when
we see a temple being built in Jerusalem,
we'd be extra wise in putting our spiritual affairs in order,
as the time will be getting shorter to the final fulfillment
of these prior events. And if Antiochus is a type of a future European
dictator who touches off World War III, Judas Maccabee is
a type of Yeshua the Messiah and his conquering army, coming
to save the world (cf. Zechariah 14:1-15 and Revelation
Judas hardly lost a man in many of the battles he fought.
"3. King Antiochus [Epiphanes] returning
out of Egypt [Hereabout Josephus begins to follow the first
book of the Maccabees], for fear of the Romans, made an
expedition against the city of Jerusalem; and when he was
there, in the hundred and forty-third year of the kingdom
of the Seleucidae, he took the city without fighting, those
of his own party opening the gates to him.
And when he had gotten possession of Jerusalem,
and slew many of the opposite party; and when he had plundered
it of a great deal of money, he returned to Antioch.
Now it came to pass,
after two years, in the hundred and forty-fifth year, on
the twenty-fifth day of that month which is by us called
Chasleu.that the king came up to Jerusalem, and, pretending peace, he got possession
of the city by treachery:
at which time he spared not so much as those
that admitted him into it, on account of the riches that
lay in the temple; but, led by his covetous inclination,
(for he saw there was in it a great deal of gold, and many
ornaments that had been dedicated to it of very great value,)
and in order to plunder its wealth, he ventured to break
the league he had made.
So he left the temple bare, and took away the golden
candlesticks, and the golden altar [of incense], and table
[of shewbread,] and the altar [of burnt-offering;] and did
not abstain from even the veils, which were made of fine
linen and scarlet. He
also emptied it of its secret treasures, and left nothing
at all remaining; and by this means cast the Jews into great
lamentation, for he forbade them to offer to God, according to the law. And when
he had pillaged the whole city, some of the inhabitants
he slew, and some he carried captive, together with their
wives and children, so that the multitude of those captives
that were taken alive amounted to about ten thousand.
He also burnt down the finest buildings; and when
he had overthrown the city walls, he built a citadel in
the lower part of the city [this citadel seems to have been
a castle built on a hill, lower than mount Zion, though
upon its skirts, and higher than mount Moriah, but between
them both.], for the place was high, and overlooked the
temple on which account he fortified it with high walls
and towers, and put into it a garrison of Macedonians.
However, in that citadel dwelt the impious and wicked
part of the [Jewish] multitude, from whom it proved that
the citizens suffered many and sore calamities. And when
the king had built an altar upon God's altar, he slew swine
upon it, and so offered a sacrifice neither according to
the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country.
He also compelled them to forsake the worship which
they paid their God, and to adore those whom he took to
be gods; and made them build temples, and raise idol altars,
in every city and village, and offer swine upon them every
day. He also commanded them not to circumcise their
sons, and threatened to punish any that should be found
to have transgressed his injunction.
He also appointed overseers, who should compel
them to do what he commanded. And indeed many Jews there were who complied
with the kings commands, either voluntarily, or out of fear
of the penalty that was denounced: but the best men, and
those of the noblest souls, did not regard him, but did
pay a greater respect to the customs of their country than
concern as to the punishment which he threatened to the
disobedient; on which account they every day underwent great
miseries and bitter torments; for they were whipped with
rods, and their bodies were torn to pieces, and crucified
while they were still alive and breathed: they also strangled
those women and their sons whom they had circumcised, as
the king had appointed, hanging their sons about their necks
as they were upon the crosses. And if there were any sacred book of the law
found, it was destroyed; and those with whom they were found,
miserably perished also.
When the Samaritans
saw the Jews under these sufferings, they no longer confessed
they were of their kindred."
Is that any wonder?
Also if you look at history in
II Kings 17:5-6, 24, Assyria in 721BC took all of
Samaria captive and replaced the population with other races,
deporting the ten tribes of Israel to the Caspian Sea region,
never to return. So these Samaritans were a pretender race that
wasn't really related to any of the 12 sons of Joseph, the
12 tribes of Israel. This Antiochus Epiphanes was also a forerunner
of a super-dictator who will come out of Europe, as prophecied
in Daniel, and come into Jerusalem by flattery, and take
it and the temple captive, cutting off the evening and morning
sacrifices (cf. Daniel 8:5-25; 11:33-40).
Classic pre-Millennialists believe this event marks
the beginning of the tribulation, when in Matthew 24 Jesus
warns the people who will read and understand this warning
of his in Matthew 24 to flee to the mountains when they
see Jerusalem compassed with armies "and the abomination
that makes desolate standing in the Holy place where he
ought not." [It
is my guess, these will be Messianic Jewish Christians,
as the Orthodox Jews wouldn't be regarding Yeshua's warning
in the New Testament.] So a greater repeat of this "Antiochus history"
is yet to come to the Israeli nation [this event will spill
over into this world as World War III begins].
let's go back to Antiochus Epiphanes IV, where we see here,
the temple has been polluted with swine's blood.
How is the Messiah going to come to the temple, and
go through all the ceremonies prescribed by the law of Moses
for a Jewish newborn male child? Think, if Jesus, Yeshua, didn't go through this,
he would have been disqualified as the Messiah and his death
couldn't have paid for the sins of the world.
Yeshua, Jesus, was totally sinless throughout his
life, from the very beginning to the very end.
Here we see Antiochus being used by Satan to try
to thwart God's plan of salvation for the world.
What follows is truly miraculous, for Antiochus's
army was huge and powerful when compared to the forces Judas
Now at this time there
was one whose name was Mattathias, who dwelt at Modin, the
son of John, the son of Simeon, the son of Asamoneus, a
priest of the order of Joarib, and a citizen of Jerusalem. He had five sons; John, who was called Gaddis,
and Simeon, who was called Matthes, and Judas, who was called Maccabeus, [his banner read: "Mi Kamoka Be
Elim, Jehovah?" ("Who is like unto thee among
the gods, O Jehovah?" Exod. Xv. 11,)] and Eleazar,
who was called Auran, and Jonathan, who was called Apphus.
Now this Mattathias lamented to his children the
sad state of their affairs, and the ravage made in the city,
and the plundering of the temple, and the calamities the
multitude were under; and he told them that it was better
for them to die for the laws of their country, than live
so ingloriously as they then did."
This Mattathias and
his sons were really something, one courageous bunch of
guys, as you'll read here.
Like father, like son, they were.
"But when those
that were appointed by the king were come to Modin, that
they might compel the Jews to do what they were commanded,
and to enjoin those that were there to offer sacrifice,
as the king had commanded, they desired that Mattathias,
a person of the greatest character among them, both on other
accounts, and particularly on account of such numerous and
so deserving a family of children, would begin the sacrifice,
because his fellow-citizens would follow his example, and
because such a procedure would make him honoured by the
king. But Mattathias said that he would not do it;
and that if all the other nations would obey the commands
of Antiochus, either out of fear, or to please him, yet
would not he nor his sons leave the religious worship of
their country; but as soon as he had ended his speech, there
came one of the Jews into the midst of them, and sacrificed
as Antiochus commanded [probably swine].
At which Mattathias had great indignation, and ran
upon him violently with his sons, who had swords with them,
and slew both the man himself that sacrificed, and Appelles
the king's general, who compelled them to sacrifice, with
a few of his soldiers. He
also overthrew the idol altar, and cried out, "If,"
said he, "any one be zealous for the laws of his country,
and for the worship of God, let him follow me;" and when he had said this, he made haste into
the desert with his sons, and left all his substance in
the village. Many others did the same also, and fled with
their children and wives into the desert and dwelt in caves;
but when the king's generals heard this, they took all the
forces they then had in the citadel of Jerusalem, and pursued
the Jews into the desert; and when they had overtaken them,
they in the first place endeavoured to persuade them to
repent, and to chose what was most for their advantage,
and not put them to the necessity of using them according
to the law of war; but when they would not comply with their
persuasions, but continued to be of a different mind, they
fought against them on the Sabbath-day, and they burnt them
as they were in the caves, without resistance, and without
so much as stopping up the entrances of the caves.
And they avoided to defend themselves on that day,
because they were not willing to break in upon the honour
they owed the Sabbath, even in such distresses; for our
law requires that we rest upon that day.
There were about a thousand, with their wives and
children, who were smothered and died in these caves: but
many of those that escaped joined themselves to Mattathias,
and appointed him to be their ruler, who
taught them to fight even on the Sabbath-day; and told them
that unless they would do so, they would become their own
enemies, by observing the law [so rigorously,] while their
adversaries would still assault them on this day, and they
would not then defend themselves; and that nothing could
then hinder but they must all perish without fighting.
This speech persuaded them; and this rule continues
among us to this day, that if there be a necessity, we may
fight on Sabbath-days. [And Orthodox Israeli soldiers could be seen
fighting alongside their non-Orthodox brothers-in-arms during
the Israeli war of independence in 1948, observing this
same rule laid down by Mattathias.]
So Mattathias got a great army about him, and overthrew
their idol altars, and slew those that broke the laws, even
all that he could get under his power; for many of them
were dispersed among the nations round about them for fear
of him. He also commanded that those boys who were not
yet circumcised should be circumcised now; and he drove
those away that were appointed to hinder such their circumcision.
But when he had ruled
one year, and was fallen into a distemper, he called for
his sons, and set them round about him, and said, "O
my sons, I am going the way of all the earth; and I recommend
to you my resolution, and beseech you not to be negligent
in keeping it, but to be mindful of the desires of him who
begat you, and brought you up, and to preserve the customs
of your country, and to recover your ancient form of government,
which is in danger of being overturned, and not to be carried
away with those that, either by their own inclination, or
out of necessity, betray it, but to become such sons as
are worthy of me; to be above all force and necessity, and
so to dispose your souls, as to be ready, when it shall
be necessary, to die for your laws; as sensible of this,
by just reasoning, that if God see that your are so disposed
he will not overlook you, but will have a great value
for your virtue, and will restore to you again what you
have lost, and will return to you that freedom in which
you shall live quietly, and enjoy your own customs.
Your bodies are mortal, and subject to fate; but
they receive a sort of immortality, by the remembrance of
what actions they have done; and I would have you so in
love with this immortality, that you may pursue after glory,
and that, when you have undergone the greatest difficulties,
you may not scruple, for such things, to lose your lives.
I exhort you especially to agree one with another;
and in what excellency any one of your exceeds another,
to yield to him so far, and by that means to reap the advantage
of every one's own virtues.
Do you then esteem Simon as your father, because
he is a man of extraordinary prudence, and be governed by
him in what counsels he gives you.
Take Maccabeus for the general of your army,
because of his courage and strength, for he will avenge
your nation, and will bring vengeance on your enemies.
Admit among you the righteous and religious, and
augment their power."
When Mattathias had
thus discoursed to his sons, and had prayed to God to be
their assistant, and to recover to the people their former
constitution, he died a little afterward, and was buried
at Modin; all the people making great lamentation for him. Whereupon
his son Judas took upon him the administration of public
affairs, in the hundred and forty-sixth year; and thus,
buy the ready assistance of his brethren and of others,
Judas cast their enemies out of the country, and put those
of their own country to death who had transgressed its laws,
and purified the land of all the pollution's that were in
HOW JUDAS OVERTHREW THE FORCES OF APOLLONIUS
AND SERON, AND KILLED THE GENERALS OF THEIR ARMIES THEMSELVES;
AND HOW WHEN, A LITTLE WHILE AFTERWARD, LYSIAS AND GORGIAS
WERE BEATEN, HE WENT UP TO JERUSALEM,
AND PURIFIED THE TEMPLE.
When Apollonius, the
general of the Samaritan forces, heard this, he took his
army, and made haste to go against Judas, who met him, and
joined battle with him, and beat him, and slew many of his
men, and among them Apollonius himself, their general, whose
sword, being that which he happened then to wear, he seized
upon and kept for himself; but he wounded more than he slew,
and took a great deal of prey from the enemy's camp, and
went his way; but when Seron, who was general of the army
of Caelesyria, heard that many had joined themselves to
Judas, and that he had about him an army sufficient for
fighting and for making war, he determined to make an expedition
against him, as thinking it became him to endeavor to punish
those that transgressed the king's [Antiochus's] injunctions. He then got together an army, as large as he
was able, and joined to it the runagate and wicked Jews,
and came against Judas.
He then came as far as Bethoron, a village of Judea,
and there pitched his camp; upon which Judas met him, and
when he intended to give him battle, he saw that his [own]
soldiers were backward to fight, because their number was
small, and because they wanted food, for they were fasting,
he encouraged them, and said to them, that victory and conquest
of enemies are not derived from the multitude in armies,
but in the exercise of piety towards God; and that they
had the plainest instances in their forefathers, who, by
their righteousness, and exerting themselves on behalf of
their own laws, and their own children, had frequently conquered
many ten thousands,--for innocence is the strongest army. By this speech he induced his men to contemn
the multitude of the enemy, and to fall upon Seron; and
upon joining the battle with him, he beat the Syrians; and
when their general fell among the rest, they all ran away
with speed, as thinking that to be their best way of escaping.
So he pursued them unto the plain, and slew about
eight hundred of the enemy; but the rest escaped to the
region which lay near to the sea.
When king Antiochus
heard of these things, he was very angry at what had happened;
so he got together all his own army, with many mercenaries,
whom he had hired from the islands, and took them with him,
and prepared to break into Judea about the beginning of
the spring; but when, upon his mustering his soldiers, he
perceived that his treasures were deficient, and there was
want of money in them, for all the taxes were not paid,
by reason of the sedition's there had been among the nations,
he having been so magnanimous and so liberal that what he
had was not sufficient for him, he therefore resolved first
to go into Persia, and collect the taxes of that country.
Hereupon he left one whose name was Lysias, who was
in great repute with him, governor of the kingdom, as far
as the bounds of Egypt, and of the Lower Asia, and reaching
from the river Euphrates, and committed to him a certain
part of his forces, and of his elephants, and charged him
to bring up his son Antiochus with all possible care, until
he came back; and that he should conquer Judea, and take
its inhabitants for slaves, and utterly destroy Jerusalem,
and abolish the whole nation; and when king Antiochus had
given these things in charge of Lysias, he went into Persia;
and in the hundred and forty-seventh year, he passed over
Euphrates, and went to the superior provinces.
Upon this Lysias chose
Ptolemy, the son of Dorimenes, and Nicanor, and Gorgas,
very potent men among the king's friends, and delivered
to them forty thousand foots-soldiers and seven thousand
horsemen, and sent them against Judea, who came as far as
the city of Emmaus,
and pitched their camp in the plain country.
There came also to them auxiliaries out of Syria,
and the country round about; as also many of the runagate
Jews; and besides these came some merchants to buy those
that should be carried captives, (having bonds with them
to bind those that should be made prisoners,) with that
silver and gold which they were to pay for their price;
and when Judas saw their camp, and how numerous their enemies
were, he persuaded his own
soldiers to be of good courage; and exhorted them to place
their hopes of victory in God, and to make supplication
to him, according to the custom of their country, clothed
in sackcloth; and to shew what was their usual habit of
supplication in the greatest dangers, and thereby to prevail
with God to grant them the victory over their enemies.
So he set them in their ancient order of battle used
by their forefathers, under their captains of thousands,
and other officers, and dismissed such as were newly married,
as well as those that had newly gained possessions, that
they might not fight in cowardly manner, out of an inordinate
love of life, in order to enjoy those blessings.
When he had thus disposed his soldiers, he encouraged
them to fight by the following speech, which he made to
them:--"O my fellow-soldiers, no other time remains
more opportune that the
present for courage and contempt of dangers; for if you
now fight manfully you may recover your liberty, which,
as it is a thing of itself agreeable to all men, so it proves
to be to us much more desirable, by its affording us the
liberty of worshipping God.
Since, therefore, you are in such circumstances at
present, you must either recover that liberty, and so regain
a happy and blessed way of living, which is that according
to our laws, and the customs of our country, or to submit
to the most opprobrious sufferings; nor will any seed of
your nation remain if you be beat in this battle [if you
doubt the reality of what Judas was saying here, go back
and read what Antiochus did at the beginning of this article.]. Fight therefore manfully; and suppose that you
must die, though you do not fight; but believe, that besides
such glorious rewards as those of the liberty of your country,
of your laws, of your religion, you shall then obtain everlasting
glory. Prepare yourselves, therefore, and put yourselves
into such an agreeable posture, that you may be ready to
fight with the enemy as soon as it is day to-morrow morning."
[Some speech! General
Patton couldn't have said better.]
And this was the speech
which Judas made to encourage them.
But when the enemy sent Gorgias, with five thousand
foot and one thousand horse, that he might fall upon Judas
by night, and had for that purpose certain of the runagate
Jews as guides, the son of Mattathias perceived it, and
resolved to fall upon those enemies that were in their camp,
now their forces were divided.
When they had therefore supped in good time, and
had left many fires in their camp, he marched all night
to those enemies that were at Emmaus; so that when Gorgias
found no enemy in their camp, but suspected that they were
retired and hidden themselves among the mountains, he resolved
to go and seek them wheresoever they were.
But, about break of day, Judas appeared to those
enemies that were at Emmaus, with only three thousand men,
and those ill-armed, by reason of their poverty; and when
he saw the enemy very well and skillfully fortified in their
camp, he encouraged the Jews, and told them, that they ought
to fight, though it were with their naked bodies, for that
God had sometimes of old given such men strength, and that
against such as were more in number, and were armed also,
out of regard to their great courage.
So he commanded the trumpeters to sound for the battle:
and by thus falling upon the enemy when they did not expect
it, and thereby astonishing and disturbing their minds,
he slew many of those that resisted him, and went on pursuing
the rest as far as Gadara, and the plains of Idumea, and
Ashdod, and Jamnia; and of these there fell about three
thousand. Yet did
Judas exhort his soldiers not to be too desirous of the
spoils, for that still they must have a contest and battle
with Gorgias, and the forces that were with him: but that,
when they had once overcome them, then they might securely
plunder the camp because they were the only enemies remaining,
and they expected no others. And just as he was speaking to his soldiers,
Gorgias's men looked down into that army which they left
in their camp, and saw that it was overthrown, and the camp
burnt; for the smoke that arose from it shewed them, even
when they were a great way off, what had happened. When, therefore, those that were with Gorgias
understood that things were in this posture, and perceived
that those that were with Judas were ready to fight them,
they also were affrighted, and put to flight; but then Judas,
as though he had already beaten Gorgias's soldiers without
fighting, returned and seized on the spoils. He took a great quantity of gold and silver,
and purple, and blue, and then returned home with joy, and
singing hymns to God for their good success: for this victory
greatly contributed to the recovery of their liberty.
Hereupon Lysias was
confounded at the defeat of the army which he had sent,
and the next year he got together sixty-thousand chosen
men. He also took
five thousand horsemen, and fell upon Judea; and he went
up to the hill country of Bethsur, a village of Judea, and
pitched his camp there, where Judas met him with ten thousand
men; and when he saw the great number of his enemies, he
prayed to God that he would assist him, and joined battle
with the first of the enemy that appeared, and beat them,
and slew about five thousand of them, and thereby the battle
became terrible to the rest of them.
Nay, indeed, Lysias observing the great spirit of
the Jews, how they were prepared to die rather than lose
their liberty, and being afraid of their desperate way of
fighting, as if it were real strength, he took the rest
of the army back with him, and returned to Antioch, where
he enlisted foreigners into the service, and prepared to
fall upon Judea with a greater army [boy these stupid pagans
just don't learn, do they?]."
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS--WHERE IT CAME FROM
the generals of Antiochus's armies had been beaten so often,
Judas assembled the people together, and told them, that
after these many victories which God had given them, they
ought to go up to Jerusalem, and purify the temple, and
offer the appointed sacrifices.
But as soon as he, with the whole multitude, was
come to Jerusalem, and found the temple deserted, and its
gates burnt down, and plants growing in the temple of their
own accord, on account of its desertion, he and those that
were with him began to lament, and were quite confounded
at the sight of the temple; so he chose out some of his
soldiers, and gave them order to fight against those guards
that were in the citadel, until he should have purified
the temple. When,
therefore, he had carefully purged it, and had brought in
new vessels, the candlestick [menorah], the table [of shewbread,] and the altar
[of incense,] which were made of gold, he hung up the veils
at the gates, and added doors to them.
He also took down the altar [of burnt offering,]
and built a new one of stones that he gathered together,
and not of such as were hewn with iron tools. So on
the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu, which
the Macedonians call Appelleus, they lighted the lamps that
were on the candlestick, and offered incense upon the altar
[of incense,] and laid the loaves upon the table [of shewbread,]
and offered burnt offerings upon the new altar [of burnt
it so fell out, that these things were done on the very
same day on which their divine worship had fallen off, and
was reduced to profane and common use, after three years'
time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by
Antiochus, and so continued for three years.
This desolation happened to the temple in the hundred
forty and fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month
Appelleus, and on the hundred and fifty-third olympiad;
but it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty-fifth
of the month Appelleus, in hundred and forty-eighth year,
on the hundred and fifty-fourth olympiad.
And this desolation came to pass
according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four
hundred and eight years before; for he declared that
the Macedonians would dissolve that worship [for some] time.
[There was no doubt as to when Daniel 11 was written
in Josephus's mind! I
wonder what Amillennialists find so hard about believing
a respected historian from the first century (far closer
to the event than we are)?]
Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the
sacrifices of the temple for eight days; and omitted no
sort of pleasures thereupon; but he feasted them upon very
rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honoured God, and delighted
them, by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of
their customs, when after a long time of intermission, they
unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship,
that they made it law for their posterity, that they should
keep a festival, on account of the restoration of their
temple worship, for eight days.
And from that time to this we celebrate this festival,
and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty
beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the
name given to that festival.
Judas also rebuilt the walls round about the city,
and reared towers of great height against the incursions
of enemies, and set guards therein.
He also fortified the city Bethsura, that it might
serve as a citadel against any distresses that might come
from our enemies."
That's the background
history of the Festival of Lights, which the Jews call Hanukkah,
as accurately told by the Jewish historian Josephus. As brought out before, the Messiah, Yeshua,
Jesus, could not have gone through the special dedication
ceremonies specified for a Jewish male newborn.
Without following the Mosaic Law of God to the letter,
he could not have been sinless, and his sacrifice for the
sins of the world would have been in vain. Luke 2:21-24-32, "And when eight days were
accomplished for the circumcision of the child, his name
was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before
he was conceived in the womb. And when
the days of her purification according to the law of Moses
were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present
him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to
the Lord;) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which
is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or
two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just
and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon
him. And it was revealed
unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death,
before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when
the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after
the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms,
and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant
depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have
seen thy salvation, [Yeshua, Hebrew for Jesus, means "salvation"]
which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of
thy people Israel."
= Glory of Israel in Hebrew.]
spite of the archaic language of Josephus, I think the power
of God's divine providence and protection shine through,
a power bestowed on Judas Maccabeus so he could fulfill
a special mission from God, in preparation for the coming
Messiah as Jesus, Yeshua of Nazareth. No, there could have been no Christmas without
Hanukkah. If you've
read about any of the battles of Jonathan or David against
their enemies in the Old Testament, you will recognize God's
divine hand in the life of Judas Maccabee, and his father
we have seen, Antiochus Epiphanes IV tried to end the
religion of the Jews--pure biblical Judaism--before it
was corrupted by the Jewish leaders under the yoke of
the Roman government of Yeshua's time. Satan through Antiochus IV tried to destroy
the line Yeshua was to be born into and through. Next we'll look at some information that has
fueled an ongoing controversy, the time of Jesus' birth. Also we'll look at the Festival of Lights and
how it ties into the timing of
Yeshua's miraculous conception.
The following article is written from a non-confrontational
point of view, merely meant to convey the facts as only
Jews knowledgeable in temple detail and timing of priestly
duty cycles can best understand, a paradigm of understanding
often overlooked by other Christian historians.