“Then came the feast of the Dedication in Jerusalem” (John 10:22)
The NET Bible (p. 1972) succinctly summarizes what took place at the first Hanukkah:
The feast of the Dedication (also known as Hanukkah) was a feast celebrating annually the Maccabean victories of 165-164 B.C. – – when Judas Maccabeus drove out the Syrians, rebuilt the altar, and rededicated the temple on 25 Kislev (1 Macc. 4:41-61). From a historical standpoint, it was the last great deliverance the Jewish people had experienced, and it came at a time when least expected. Josephus [the Jewish historian] ends his account of the institution of the festival with the following statement: “And from that time to the present we observe this festival, which we call the festival of Lights, giving this name to it, I think, from the fact that the right to worship appeared to us at a time when we hardly dared hope for it (Ant. 12.7.6 [12.325]).
Isn’t it amazing, throughout history, when enemies amassed mighty armies against the Jewish people, God gave the Jews miraculous victories! Think back: Pharaoh tried to destroy the Jewish children, and so did Herod some 1525 years later. Haman sought to destroy the Jewish race, but ended up hanging on a 75-foot gallows he had erected for Mordecai. Then there were the Spanish inquisitions, the Russian pogroms, the European holocaust and a host of other attempts (especially today) to eliminate God’s chosen people – – the Jews! But guess what? – – there are approximately 15 million Jews in the world today. (By the way, they’ve been around for c. 3,000 years)!
Due to the limited amount of space in my article, let me draw some conclusions:
1. All attempts to annihilate the Jews and destroy Israel (their country) stem from the devil himself, so that he can try to subvert God’s eternal plan for them. He is the father of murderers and liars (John 8:44).
2. For all eternity, there will always be a remnant of Jews. God said so!
3. God will forever curse all who seek their demise (Genesis 12:3 et. al). The greatest Jew of all, Jesus Christ said so! So trust Him and bless His chosen people with favor!