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Chanukah : The Past is Present

| fri, november 30, 2012 |

First Night of Chanukah

This year the Jewish festival of Chanukah, which means "dedication," will begin on December 8th and 9th*, or the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew Calendar. This year Chanukah will begin in the shadow of the U.N. vote that just 10 days prior elevated the position of Palestine from non-member observer entity to non-member observer state, effectively creating a Palestinian state on paper within the pre-1967 borders. Once again, rulers of foreign nations have sought to change the face of Israel.

*The Hebrew calendar date Kislev 25 falls upon both December 8th and 9th. Chanukah festivities begin after sundown on the 8th, though the first day is the 9th on the Gregorian. This can be very confusing. First date is the 8th, first day is the 9th.

Chanukah celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple, commemorating the Jewish men and women that defeated Hellenistic repression, which began to take root in Israel with conquests of Alexander the Great and reached the height of brutality under the wicked reign of Antiochus IV. Throughout the many years of the Syrian-Greek domination in the land of Israel, dominance that spanned from 333 BC to 165 BC, various atrocities were committed against the Jews, most of which were enforced by anti-Semitic diktats that attempted to wipe the Jewish identity from the land of Israel.

This dominance would have likely continued if not for a rebellion that eventually materialized in 165 BC. Judah Maccabee, son of the Hasmonean High Priest Mattathias, led a revolt that successfully removed the Syrian-Greeks from Israel.

Tradition has it that when the Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated and cleansed there was only enough undefiled oil to keep the Temple menorah burning for one night, certainly not enough to keep the menorah burning continuously until more sanctified oil could be properly prepared. Despite this, the choice was made to light the oil and prepare more sanctified oil. Miraculously the menorah burned for eight days, the amount of time needed to prepare additional sanctified oil. This part of the Chanukah tradition is said to have begun around 500 AD, around the time the Gemara, a commentary on the Mishnah in the Talmud, was completed.

Chanukah is a time of joy, not a time of sadness. It is a time to reflect on the miracles of the past and the hope of the future, especially the hope of the Mashiach, whom Messianic believers know to be Mashiach ben Yosef, known to Gentiles as Jesus Christ.

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12

Though Chanukah is not meant to be a time of sadness, the observance alone causes us to reflect upon the miraculous events born out of tragedy, an image of light piercing the darkness, a reminder that the HAND of YAHWEH is always in control no matter the occasion.

As I reflect on the festival of Chanukah this year, I am reminded of a Chanukah observance that took place last year, though this celebration was different than the others. It took place at the White House, where President Obama himself lit a menorah to observe Chanukah; only he decided to perform the ceremony two weeks early on December 8, 2011, thirteen days before Chanukah was set to begin.

Second Night of Chanukah

This is what E.W. Bullinger has written about the number 13.

As to the significance of thirteen, all are aware that it has come down to us as a number of ill-omen. Many superstitions cluster around it, and various explanations are current concerning them.

Unfortunately, those who go backwards to find a reason seldom go back far enough. The popular explanations do not, so far as we are aware, go further back than the Apostles. But we must go back to the first occurrence of the number thirteen in order to discover the key to its significance. It occurs first in Gen 14:4, where we read "Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and the thirteenth year they REBELLED."

Hence every occurrence of the number thirteen, and likewise of every multiple of it, stamps that with which it stands in connection with rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, revolution, or some kindred idea.

Remember, chanukah in Hebrew means dedication, Obama's observation of Chanukah appears to be more a "dedication" of rebellion than an observance of the "rededication" of the Second Temple.

Unfortunately, performing the Chanukah observance thirteen days early wasn't Obama's only fault; he also lit all the candles of the menorah! Even if he had waited and correctly observed the start of Chanukah on the properly appointed night, the menorah would not have had all the candles lit on the first evening.

On the first evening, when the stars become visible, it is the Shamash, or centermost candle of the nine-branched menorah that is lit first, followed by the recital of the Hebrew Blessings.

Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctifies us with Thy commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of the Chanukah.

Which is followed by the second blessing, the she'asah nissim,

Blessed art thou, Lord our God, Master of the universe, who performed miracles for our fathers in those days at this time.

Only on the first night of Chanukah is a third blessing added at the time the first candle is lit and placed in the rightmost holder.

Blessed art thou, Lord our God, Master of the universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and has brought us to this special time.

After the first candle is lit, with the Shamash, or "Servant Lamp," the Shamash is then placed back in the middle position and the Haneirot Hallalu is recited.

Third Night of Chanukah

Here is a transliteration of the Haneirot Hallalu recital:

We kindle these lights (to commemorate) the miracles and wonders and the saving acts that You have performed for our forefathers, in those days at this time, by Your holy priests. And all throughout the eight days of Chanukah, these lights are holy, and we are not permitted to make use of them, but only to behold them, in order to offer thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, for Your wonders and for Your salvation.

The second night the procedure is repeated, though instead of lighting only one candle (besides the Shamash) another candle is added and these candles are then lit from left to right with the flame of the Shamash. This continues throughout the eight days of Chanukah until all eight candles are lit, nine including the Shamash. On the final night a fully lit menorah is displayed. For Messianic believers, the Shamash, or "Servant Lamp," is a type for Yeshua HaMashiach.

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication (Chanukah), and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. John 10:22-24 KJV

Chanukah is a deeply spiritual and reverential time for the believer. Some Jewish scholars have even debated whether Chanukah is actually a later celebration of Sukkot. It is said that the Hasmoneans would not have been able to celebrate Sukkot during the rebellion against the Syrian-Greeks and that Chanukah may have been a later observation of Sukkot, which is one of the most sacred of the Jewish holidays.

Tragically, Obama did not even attempt to adhere to the traditional procedure involved in lighting the menorah nor did he openly demonstrate true reverence to the history surrounding Chanukah. His disrespect was further demonstrated when he even joked about the ceremony and remarked, "And we never need an excuse for a good party." The scene instantly drew upon the remembrance of another Babylonian party, the final hours of Belshazzar's feast when he had misused Temple instruments to perk up his party. Only Belshazzar did not live to see the next morning, his once mighty kingdom making no more than a whisper as she fell to the Medes and Persians during the night.

Yet in a strange way it almost seems as if Obama was meant to light the menorah early in 2011. December 8th, the night that Obama held the Chanukah observance at the White House meant that it was already December 9th, in Israel. Oddly, this is the date that Chanukah would begin in 2012. Was the providential hand of YHVH giving us a sign of something a year in advance? Could this rebellious act and party held at the White House in 2011 be a sign of the timeframe a year later that the Babylonian kingdom would be punished? I don't know for sure, but these are the very questions I have asked myself as I have studied and prayed about the matter.


Fourth Night of Chanukah

At this point I would like to list some events that appear to be connected, some of which I have listed before in previous posts. Considering the approach of Chanukah I feel it is timely to present these connections again for prayerful consideration.

December 1, 2011 - President Obama lights the National Christmas Tree. He lit the tree seven days before he held the early Chanukah observance at the White House. This was the first time this specific National Christmas Tree had been lit, as the previous tree had fallen about nine months prior on February 19, 2011.

February 19, 2011 - On a Sabbath, just 72-days after Obama lit it for the last time, the National Christmas Tree fell. This specific tree had stood unmoved since the Jimmy Carter administration. Carter was the first US president to broker a peace treaty between the Israelis and another Arab country. The treaty was between Israel and Egypt.

December 9, 2010 - President Obama lit the National Christmas Tree, which had stood since the Carter administration, for the last time. It would fall 72-days later.

If the date the National Christmas tree fell, 2/19/11, is written in number form it would be 21,911. If the number of days (72) that passed from the time President Obama lit the tree for the last time on December 9, 2010, is subtracted from 21,911, the date that it fell, than the number would be 21,839. The 21,839th verse in the Bible is Daniel 4:1. Daniel chapter four is about the vision Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had concerning a tree in the midst of the earth.

Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. Daniel 4:10-16

Beginning in Daniel 4:1, there are seventy-two scripture verses between Daniel 4:1 and 6:5. Contained within these passages of Scripture are:

1. The vision of the tree being hewn down.
2. *The fall of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian King.
3. The party of Belshazzar.
4. Temple instruments (which a menorah is a part of) being misused at the party.
5. The handwriting on the wall, pronouncing the charge and verdict against Babylon.
6. The fall of ancient Babylon to the Medes and Persians.
7. *The introduction to Darius.

*Both of these events are often viewed as types and shadows of the Antichrist and Tribulation.

I find it interesting that it is this segment of Scripture that is revealed when using the method I listed above.

Fifth Night of Chanukah

I have found even more Scripture connected to Babylon and her destruction when I used the number of days between the hewing down of the National Christmas Tree on February 19, 2011, and the tree that was hewn down on the White House lawn June 9, 2009. The duration was 620 days.

Using the Bible Wheel, the first instance of a word possessing the Gematria (numerical value) of 620 is the Hebrew word Shinar, used in Genesis 10:10.

And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

This is the first time the land of Babylonia is referred to and the first time Babel is listed.

The last instance of a word possessing the numerical value of 620 is the Greek word pepotiken, which is used only once and is used in Revelation 14:8.

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

It is intriguing to me that the first and last instances of a word possessing the numerical value of 620 is so intimately associated with the land of Babylon.

Genesis thru Revelation covers the span of time, the beginning of creation "earth" to end of creation "earth," or as with the first and last instances of the words possessing the numerical value of 620, the beginning of Babylon and the end of Babylon.

Digging deeper into the research of 620 one will find the four words found in Genesis that possess the numerical value of 620 are as follows and in the order they are found.

1. Shinar: (H8152) - Land area of Babylonia or a plain of Babylonia (Genesis 10:10)
2. karath: (H3772) - to cut (off, down or asunder); by implication, to destroy or consume; specifically, to covenant (i.e. make an alliance or bargain, originally by cutting flesh and passing between the pieces). (Genesis 15:18)
3.‘esriym: (H6242) - twenty; also (ordinal) twentieth. (Genesis 18:31)
4. sha'ar: (H8180) - a measure (as a section). Note: KJV renders hundredfold, better translated measure or fold. (Genesis 26:12)

When these four words are placed together, it would seem to read, the plain of Babylonia cut twenty measures or fold.

Could it be that the final two words possessing the numerical value of 620 found in Revelation explain why Babylonia is divided?

1. eiche: (G2192) - had, to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession; ability, continuity, relation, or condition). (Revelation 9:14)
2. pepotiken: (G4222) - to furnish drink, irrigate. (Revelation 14:8)

What she had (held) she has made (the nations) drink

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Sixth Night of Chanukah

I have also found the number 620 associated with the duration of time between the Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003, and the tree that fell on the White House lawn June 25, 2006.

On June 25, 2006, a powerful thunderstorm blew through Washington, D.C., hewing down a historic elm at the White House, which is visible in the image on the back of the $20 bill. This tree was more than 100 years old.

As the LORD would have it, the next tree to fall at the White House took place exactly 3-prophetic years (1080 days or 3 x 360) later on June 9, 2009. This nearly 70-year-old European linden suffered the same fate as the elm featured on the $20 bill exactly 3-prophetic years prior, within 24-hours after President Obama spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone. In both cases the roots remained in the ground, except no bands were placed upon these stumps, rather they were ground into mulch.

The tree that fell on June 25, 2006, was during the Bush administration; 1080 days later, or 3-prophetic years, another tree would fall at the White House on June 9, 2009, during the Obama administration.

It was 1240 days (620x2) between the Colombia Disaster and the tree that fell on June 25, 2006. 

Both of these events coincided with tragedy for the Israelis. In the Columbia Disaster, Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut in space, along with the rest of the Columbia crew perished upon reentry over Palestine, Texas. On the same day that the tree fell on the White House lawn, 1,240 days later, June 25, 2006, Hamas abducted Gilad Shalit, holding him in captivity for 1,941 days. He was released on the 20-year anniversary of the US led "Peace Talks," October 18, 2011.

I find it also interesting that Ilan Ramon's first name in Hebrew means tree.

In the Columbia disaster a tree (Ilan) is associated with the disintegration of Columbia, over Palestine. Just 1,240 days later a tree is hewn down in the District of Columbia at the White House, followed by 3-prophetic years to the day later another tree being hewn down in the District of Columbia, and finally 620 days after that, yet another tree, the National Christmas Tree is hewn down as well, a tree that ties every president ever associated with the "Peace Process" together. The entire duration of time spanning from the Columbia Disaster to the felling of the National Christmas tree was exactly 420 weeks.

I would like to also note that the tree that replaced the National Christmas tree that fell on February 19, 2011, was replaced by another tree on March 19, 2011. This tree was removed on May 5, 2012, due to transplant shock. This tree was different in that it was removed by man, rather than being removed due to wind or storm. This tree was later replaced on October 27, 2012. This tree was planted a day after Washington D.C., declared a State of Emergency due to the approach of Hurricane Sandy. This tree will have been planted 40-days prior to the tree lighting ceremony scheduled this year for December 6th.

Seventh Night of Chanukah

I have written about Gilad Shalit and Ilan Ramon in the post The Curious Capture of Gilad Shalit. I encourage you to reread this post or read it for the first time, as the information I presented in it last December 9, 2011, seems to be very timely for the current hour.

I am not entirely sure what these connections imply, but it was last year at this time that I wondered if the events surrounding the Columbia disaster, Gilad Shalit, and the various US trees falling all seemed to point to something significant happening to the United States of America in the month of December. At the time I was not aware of the start of Chanukah taking place this year on December 9th. I have only just recently felt to look back on the 2011 White House observance of Chanukah and its possible relationship with the one soon to take place.

I find it also interesting that December 9, 2012, or the start of Chanukah, is exactly 42-months after the linden tree fell on the White House lawn on June 9, 2009, a period of time associated with the reign of the Antichrist during the tribulation. Though I believe we are not currently in the tribulation, could this be pointing to a time yet before us?  

Come this Christmas President Obama will have lit three different National Christmas trees; this too seems strange.

Last year I wondered if the events would take place between December 7, through the 27, but I wasn't sure, I only felt that I needed to present some of the information that I had been researching. As December 2011, came and went I continued to look at and review the information that I had been researching over the past several years. Now I am concerned that the research seems to indicate something significant might in fact take place December of this year.

I realize that there is more room for error than accuracy when attempting to interpret signs, but I would be remiss if I didn't share such things. I have faith in my KING, not in my interpretation. I do not long for the day the United States of America is judged, or the world for that matter, but I know it is a reality, one that I can only face when my face is looking towards JESUS CHRIST, our eternal Shamash.

When I look back at the seemingly foolish move by President Obama to light the menorah two weeks early in 2011, I can't help but now look at the event in a different light, one that seems to point to Chanukah of 2012.

Chanukah will be observed from December 8th-16th. I cannot say for sure that anything will in fact happen during these days to the United States of America, or modern day Babylon, but I have felt the need to present this information for the purpose of prayer.

Only Yeshua HaMashiach holds the keys and only HIS SPIRIT can give wisdom to understand the events before us.

Stay strong in HIM.

God Bless, daniel

Eighth and Final Night of Chanukah