As our story draws to a close…
As we approached Jerusalem, I got that same sick feeling I had gotten when we came up with my Father, many moons ago. Jerusalem was still completely desecrated. No children played in the streets. The shrubs were overgrown like a jungle and the gates were torn down. We cried out and tore our clothes. There was much work to be done.
Judas sent men to remove any remaining Greek soldiers, and he headed directly to the temple. Our family was in the priestly line, so we found many believing priests that were able to put their hands to the work with us. Our first job was to remove that disgusting altar. There was no way to use it. It must be rebuilt from scratch with natural stones that had not been cut. We were not sure how to do everything the right way, so sometimes we set the work aside until we could ask a prophet.
The work was very tiring. We had to move heavy stones, and rebuild walls. Much repair had to be done, and everything needed a good thorough cleaning. Even the shrubs outside needed to be tended to. After all, YHVH’s people were now occupying Jerusalem again! And it did not go unnoticed! Believers who had fled the city now began to return. They helped put gates back into place. Artisans began recreating the articles in the temple. Children now peeked around corners to see what we were doing, and then ran off giggling with each other.
What a happy day when we brought the new lamp stand into the Temple and filled it with oil, and its light once again filled the Holy Place. We put the showbread on the table and hung the curtains. The beautiful smell of holy incense once again reached my nose. The fragrant spices were such a contrast to the wicked incense that had burned here before. It had only made me sick.
On the twenty fifth day of the ninth month, the very day that Antiochus Epiphanies had sacrificed a pig, we sacrificed a proper sacrifice unto YHVH, and He accepted our offering once again. For eight days, we consecrated the temple and rejoiced before YHVH! Harps and cymbals and singing could be heard all over the city. We even hung up decorations of gold to celebrate the dedication of the temple.
It was quickly decided that every year, starting on this day and for a full eight day feast, we would remember this victory. We would remember how YHVH had given us the victory and enabled us to rededicate His temple, and worship Him in the proper way once again.
Jonathan did get his wish and was later appointed high priest to serve in the temple he loved so much.
We hope you enjoyed this retelling of the story of the Maccabees. The true story is incredibly miraculous! We hope you have a wonderful Chanukah celebration!
And, for your enjoyment we offer one more little Chanukah treasure…