Showing by symbolism and timing
Yeshua’s dedication and conception on Hanukkah (the Feast of
His birth on the first day of Hag Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles),
and His circumcision and naming on Shimini Atzeret (the Eighth Day).
To every thing there
is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to
be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up
that which is planted –
Dedication of Yeshua on Hanukkah
God, through the
angel Gabriel, dedicated Yeshua at conception to be the ultimate
“Hanukkah” is a
Hebrew word meaning dedication. The term is found in Numbers 7:10,
11, 84, & 88, 2 Chronicles 7:9, Ezra 6:16-17, Nehemiah 12:27, Psalm
30:1, and John 10:22 (translated into Greek egkainia, thence
into English Feast of Dedication). Psalm 30 is Biblically
titled: A Psalm for Hanukkah / Dedication of the Temple.
Following the listing of Holy Days in Leviticus 23, the elements of
Hanukkah appear for the dedication of the Tabernacle.
“Command the sons of
Israel that they bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the
light, to make a lamp burn continually”
– Leviticus 24:1-9.
The Tabernacle and
Temple were to be built exactly according to the pattern from
heaven, because they were temporal pictures of Messiah.
“And see that you
make them according to their pattern, which was shown you in the
“And I saw no temple
therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of
Hanukkah was from
creation the time established for the Temple of God to be dedicated:
the Temple at Jerusalem, and the heavenly living Temple of God after
which the former was patterned. The oil used in the Temple menorahs
(candelabra, a major symbol in the celebration of Hanukkah) is
symbolic of the Spirit of God, by which Yeshua was conceived to be
the Light of the World. The Hanukkah dreidel, which proclaims
“A great miracle happened there,” refers to the lasting menorah oil
– symbolizing the miracle of the virgin’s conception of the eternal
Messiah by the Spirit of God.
When Zechariah was ministering in the
Temple, he received an announcement from God of a coming son. The
second course of Abia, when Zechariah was ministering, was a week in
the middle of the month Sivan. If Zechariah’s promised son –
John the baptizer – were conceived soon thereafter, then Yeshua’s
conception, which was six months later, would be late Kislev
to early Tevet, at Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication); His
birth nine months later would thence be at mid Tishri, at the
Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles).
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named
Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the
daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They
were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all
the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they
had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both
advanced in years. 8 Now it happened that while he was
performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of
his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly
office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and
burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people
were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11
And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of
the altar of incense. 12 Zechariah was troubled when he
saw the angel, and fear gripped him. 13 But the angel
said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your petition has
been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you
will give him the name John. 14 You will have joy and
gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he
will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or
liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his
mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of
Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 "It is he who will
go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to
turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the
disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a
people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah said to the
angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my
wife is advanced in years.” 19 The angel answered and
said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I
have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
20 And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until
the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my
words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” 21
The people were waiting for Zechariah, and were wondering at his
delay in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he was
unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision
in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute.
23 When the days of his priestly service were ended, he
went back home. 24 After these days Elizabeth his wife
became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months,
saying, 25 “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in
the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace
among men.” 26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel
was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27
to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the
descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28
And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is
with you." 29 But she was very perplexed at this
statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.
30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you
have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will
conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the
Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father
David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob
forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said
to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35
The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon
you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for
that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36
And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in
her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth
Now the first lot came out for Jehoiarib, the second for Jedaiah,
8 the third for Harim, the fourth for Seorim, 9
the fifth for Malchijah, the sixth for Mijamin, 10 the
seventh for Hakkoz, the eighth for Abijah , 11
the ninth for Jeshua, the tenth for Shecaniah, 12 the
eleventh for Eliashib, the twelfth for Jakim, 13 the
thirteenth for Huppah, the fourteenth for Jeshebeab, 14
the fifteenth for Bilgah, the sixteenth for Immer, 15 the
seventeenth for Hezir, the eighteenth for Happizzez, 16
the nineteenth for Pethahiah, the twentieth for Jehezkel, 17
the twenty-first for Jachin, the twenty-second for Gamul, 18
the twenty-third for Delaiah, the twenty-fourth for Maaziah. 19
These were their offices for their ministry when they came in to the
house of Yahweh according to the ordinance given to them through
Aaron their father, just as Yahweh God of Israel had commanded him
– 1 Chronicles 24:7-19.
The first two courses served one week each, all served at Feast of
Unleavened Breads, the next five courses served one week each, all
served at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), then the eighth course of
Abijah served in mid-Sivan.
Hanukkah, the winter Feast of Dedication of the Holy Temple (see
John 10:22-36), as an occasion to explain how He was sanctified and
sent into the world.
And it was at Jerusalem at (Hanukkah) the Feast of the Dedication,
and it was winter. And Yeshua walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
Then the Jews came round about
him, and said to him, ‘How long will you make us to doubt? If you
are the Messiah, tell us plainly . . .
do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the
world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God
'?” – John 10:22-24.
The Birth of
Yeshua on Sukkot
Messiah’s birth, about AM 3750 - 3756
(10 - 4 BC), was expectantly awaited (Matthew 2:1-18) because
within about 40 years Daniel’s prophecy concerning Him must be
The prophet Micah wrote that He was
destined to be born in Beth-Lechem (Bethlehem) — the House of Bread
(Micah 5:2). God called Him the Bread from Heaven (John 6:32-36),
though men say Manna (Exodus 16:31) – What is It? It was because of
Micah’s prophecy that King Herod had the children of Bethlehem
killed, to protect his throne against the coming promised king.
The sages who translated the
Septuagint taught from the prophet Isaiah that He would be born of a
virgin (Isaiah 7:14) and would be called Immanuel – God with Us.
(Modern rabbis deny this interpretation.)
In the expected time and place, on
the Festival of Sukkot,* in a succah (tabernacle, temporary
dwelling) where Passover lambs were raised in the city of the
shepherd David, a Son was born to a virgin descended from that
Messiah David (Matthew 1, Luke 3:23-38). At an angel’s command
(Matthew 1:21), He was named Yeshua, meaning “Yahweh is Salvation.”
God would dwell with us in a sukkah of humanity that would be
bruised by the serpent, then crush that old serpent!
The apostle Yochanan (John) tells us
that the Word (of God) became flesh and “dwelt in a sukkah” (tabernacled)
among us (John 1:14). The author views Sukkot as figurative of
Messiah"s coming to dwell among His people; this reference is not
submitted as proof of a dogmatic date.
The month of Tishri (Sukkot
begins on Tishrei 15 – in the fall) also fits with the season of
shepherds being out with their flocks by night, as they were when
Yeshua was born; during winter the lambs are kept indoors.
Later in His life, Yeshua celebrated
His birthday on a mountain with three of His disciples (Matthew
17:1-9, Mark 9:1-10). In contrast to birthday parties, such as
Herod’s (Matthew 14:6-12), where people were killed for
entertainment, His was a celebration of life. On the Festival of
Sukkot, Moses and Elijah, from centuries past, representatives of
the Torah and the Prophets, appeared and talked with Yeshua. One
disciple, Kepha (Peter), suggested building three sukkot for Yeshua,
Moses, and Elijah, because it was required for the festival, but he
did not understand (Mark 9:6) that these three were fulfilling that
which the festival symbolized: they were dwelling in their sukkot
(temporary tabernacles) of flesh, awaiting their eternal
Circumcision and Naming
Immediately following the seven days
of the Feast of Tabernacles is Shimini Atzeret – the Eighth
Day, a Holy Day (Leviticus 23:36).
A male child is to be circumcised on
his eighth day of life.
“On the eighth day the flesh of
his foreskin shall be circumcised” – Leviticus 12:2.
circumcised and named on His eighth day after birth, as symbolized
by Shimini Atzeret.
“And when eight days had passed
for His circumcision, His name was then called Yeshua, the name
given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb” – Luke
Drawing Out Living Waters
“Whoever did not see
the rejoicing of (this water drawing ceremony) never saw rejoicing
in his lifetime”
– Mishnah: Sukkah 5:1.
On each of the seven
days of Sukkot, the High
Priest took a golden pitcher and filled it with water drawn from the
Pool of Siloam. It was brought into the Temple through the Water
Gate (hence the name), and poured into a bowl at the Altar,
alongside the pouring of the wine, during the daily burnt-offering
(Talmud: Sukkah 4:9). This water libation was performed only during
The Talmud states (Sukkah 4:4), "Why
is the name of it called the Drawing Out of Water? Because of the
pouring out of the Holy Spirit, according to what is said: ‘With joy
shall ye draw out of the wells of salvation’ (Isaiah 12:3)".
Now on the last day, the great day of
the feast, Yeshua stood and cried out, saying, "If any man is
thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as
the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of
living water.’" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who
believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given,
because Yeshua was not yet glorified –
Light of the
At the end of the first day of the
Feast, three eighty foot high golden candlesticks were set up in the
Temple’s Court of Women. Four golden bowls were placed on each
candlestick, and four ladders rested against each. A youth of
priestly descent stood at the top of each ladder, pouring oil from a
ten-gallon pitcher into the bowl (Talmud: Sukkah 5:3) The worn-out
liturgical garments of Priests were used for wicks. The light from
these candlesticks was so bright that it was state, "There was no
courtyard in Jerusalem that was not lit up with the light at the
water-well ceremony" (Talmud: Sukkah 5:3).
Yeshua spoke publicly on Sukkot,
saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall
not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life."
hanukkiah (eight-branch Hanukkah menorah) is lighted each of the eight nights
and placed where outsiders may see it through a window.
(in the center or on one side) is taller; it is called the shamish (meaning
servant) and is renewed each night and used to light the branches. It represents
branches represent the eight days, from right to left. On the first night, one
candle is placed on the right branch and lighted. On the second night, a new
candle is placed on the right branch and another on the second from right
branch, but they are lighted from left to right, the current day's first. On the
third night, new candles are placed on the right and second from right branches
and another on the third from right branch, and they are lighted left to right,
the current day's first. This order is followed through the eighth night. They
are lighted after sunset except on Erev Shabbat (Friday night) when they are
lighted before sunset -- before the Sabbath candles.
following blessings are recited: (After the first night, omit the third
are You, Yahweh our God, King of the universe, Who sanctified us by Your Word,
and taught us to kindle Hanukkah lights.
Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the universe,
Who performed miracles
for our ancestors long ago at this season.
Blessed are you, Yahweh our God, king of the universe,
Who has kept us alive,
sustained us, and brought us to this season
Do you know what a
dreidel is? Well, it’s a four-sided dancing dandy top. Give it a twist and it
will dance and spin and prance and when out of energy, the dancer will bow and
then ever so gently fall – plop – on its Nun, Gimmel, Hay or Shin.
This dancing dancer has a magnificent
story to tell. Each of its four sides has one Hebrew letter - Nun, Gimmel, Hay
or Shin. These letters stand for the Hebrew words, Nes Gadol Haya Sham: in
English this means, "A great miracle happened there."
Firstly, in Israel over 2,100 years ago,
the Syrians conquered the tiny land of Israel and enslaved the Jews. Under the
leadership of Judah Maccabee, the Jews fought back and defeated the Syrians. On
this date, they recaptured and cleansed the Holy Temple. They wanted to relight
the golden Temple Menorah, but, alas, there was just one tiny jar of Holy Oil,
enough for only several hours. But, "A great miracle happened there,"
and the oil burned for all eight days and nights of the Feast of Dedication
(according to the Talmudic story).
Secondly, about this date over 1900 years
ago, a Jewish girl named Miryam (Mary in English) was visited by an angel. She
was told that, while still a virgin, she would conceive a child by the Holy
Spirit – a child dedicated to be the Holy Temple of God. "A great miracle
"You shall call His name Yeshua
(Jesus), for He shall save His people from their sins."
The four Hebrew letters make up a
sprightly Hanukkah game. Each player places some candies, nuts, or if you’re
rich, some money into a kitty. Now, spin the dreidel and follow the
instructions. May the player with the best and longest spin win!
Nun means "nisht"
or nothing. You win nothing, lose nothing.
means "gantz" or all of the pot – you take all.
Hay means "half" or take
half of the pot.
Shin means "shel Tzu" or
put one item or coin in the pot.