Re: Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner
Every day is special, but today is specialer (LOL)
Today is the first day of the Jewish observance of Chanukah, an eight day festival. For the origins of this holiday, we must go back to the reign of Alexancer the Great, when he conquered Syria, Egypt and Judea. Alexander allowed the people in these areas to continue to practice their own religion, and gave them a certain degree of autonomy. A century later, however, Antiochus the 4th came into power, and was a cruel and despotic ruler. He oppressed the Jewish people and desecrated the temple by having pigs sacrificed on the altar there. The people, who had to a large degree assimilated into Alexanders rule, now went into revolt and threw off their Greek rulers, regaining control of their land. They immediately cleansed the temple and re-dedicated it. There was a problem, though, The temple lamp, called the Menorah, was supposed to burn day and night, but the Greeks had defiled the oil for the lamp. There was only enough pure oil to burn it for one day. They lit it, then dispatched people to secure more oil. It took them seven more days before pure oil could be secured, and during that period the Menorah continued to burn. This was a miracle, and is the reason for this celebration. The Jewish people do not celebrate the success of the revolution, because Jews do not glorify war, but they do celebrate the miracle of the lamp. This is the reason this eight day period is known as the Festival of Lights.
Due to the proximity of this holiday to the Christian Christmas, the Jews have adopted many of our customs in relation to this, which is actually a rather minor holiday of theirs. They exchange gifts, decorate, and generally celebrate their holiday during the same period that we celebrate ours.
And where did the Jewish people get such odd practices as an eternally burning lamp in the temple?
From the book we call the Bible:
Exodus 27:20-21 (KJV);
And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
May God bless each one of you!
Christ told me to arm myself. If you want me disarmed - - Molon Labe.