Skip to comments.Hanukkah and the Bible -- Maccabees
Posted on 12/23/2005 11:15:36 AM PST by Willie Green
2 Maccabees 10
1 When Maccabeus and his companions, under the Lord's leadership, had recovered the temple and the city,
2 they destroyed the altars erected by the Gentiles in the marketplace and the sacred enclosures.
3 After purifying the temple, they made a new altar. Then, with fire struck from flint, they offered sacrifice for the first time in two years, burned incense, and lighted lamps. They also set out the showbread.
4 When they had done this, they prostrated themselves and begged the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, and that if they should sin at any time, he might chastise them with moderation and not hand them over to blasphemous and barbarous Gentiles.
5 On the anniversary of the day on which the temple had been profaned by the Gentiles, that is, the twenty-fifth of the same month Chislev, the purification of the temple took place.
6 The Jews celebrated joyfully for eight days as on the feast of Booths, remembering how, a little while before, they had spent the feast of Booths living like wild animals in caves on the mountains.
7 Carrying rods entwined with leaves, green branches and palms, they sang hymns of grateful praise to him who had brought about the purification of his own Place.
8 By public edict and decree they prescribed that the whole Jewish nation should celebrate these days every year.
Well it didn't escape MY notice...
So to express my gratitude, I decided to spend a little time reading the biblical passages that reference Hanukkuh....
(((sigh))) nothing is "easy", I suppose...
Oh 1 & 2 Maccabees was easy for me (a Catholic) to find...
but it doesn't specificly detail the 8-day miracle of the oil
(but maybe my bifocaled eyes missed that part).
Worse... I was reminded by Internet references that most Protestants and Jews don't recognize 1&2 Maccabees as part of their biblical canon...
Yikes! I'm getting in over my head!
But it seemed like a good topic for discussion by those who are better informed than I...
So where DO we get the detailed story of the 8-day miracle of the oil???
And why aren't these Maccabee books included in other versions of the Old Testament...
Oh, and BTW... Happy Hanukkah!!!
The Reformers adopted this methodology.
The Catholics and Orthodox adopted the methodology which said that any book generally acknowledged throughout the Christian Church as Scripture was canonical.
The miracle is referenced in the Talmud, specifically in the Gemara of the tractate Shabbat on page 21b of the standard edition.
My heroes have always been Maccabees!
The First Book of Maccabees may have been written in Aramaic, but some scholars argue that the Aramaic text to which Origen and Jerome refer may have been a paraphrase. It
The Second Book of Maccabees was almost certainly composed in Greek and there is no evidence presented by ancient writers that it ever existed in Hebrew or Aramaic versions.
It was not included because it encouraged rebellion.
You're not going to find a single rabbinical source that puts that forward as a criterion for noninclusion in the canon. That's a retroactive political interpretation, certainly not one found in the historical record.
Does the book of Ben Sirach promote rebellion? No. How about the Wisdom of Solomon? No. How about the Letter of Baruch? No. How about the long version of Daniel? No again. Or the Book of Tobit? No.
There were reasons above merely political considerations for excluding the deuterocanonicals.
After the 67 and 135, this was seen as suicidal.
These books were excluded from the canon before 135. And of course, exclusion never meant that they weren't read and cherished, simply that they were not incorporated into the liturgy.
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