Hanukkah Word: Hammer

The dictionary defines a ‘hammer’ as “a tool with a heavy metal head mounted at right angles at the end of a handle, used for jobs such as breaking things and driving in nails.”

The noun ‘hammer’ is found only a few times in Scripture. The first time is when Ya’el, the wife of Heber, uses a hammer to pound a tent stake into the head of Sisra piercing his skull and crushing his temple (Judges 4:21). With this act, she sets Israel free from God’s judgment for worshiping idols. The second time it is used when Solomon built the Temple. That stones were prepared at the quarry so that no ‘hammer’ could be heard while it was being built (1 Kings 6:7).

Though King David lived long before the Maccabean Revolt, but he reveals how the sanctuary of Adoni was destroyed when Israel was taken captive for worshiping idols. ‘Hammers’ were used by the enemies of God’s people to destroy the Temple, specifically to smash the intricately carved woodwork (Psalm 74:6).

The Word of God is like a ‘hammer’ that shatters rocks and changes the heart of stone into a heart of flesh. He breaks the rock-hard heart so it will obey His commandments (Jeremiah 23:28-29).

The Hebrew word for ‘hammer’ is maqqebeth or ‘Maccabee.’ The leader of the Jewish revolt against the Syrian armies of Alexander the Great was called Judah ‘Maccabee’ or ‘The Hammer.’ As a small army of ‘hammers,’ the Maccabees fought against the brutal and overpowering armies of Alexander the Great who wanted to Hellinize the Jewish people.

Judah and his ‘hammer’ rebels fought for their freedom to worship the God of Israel. With faith in the ‘Word’ of Elohim, and the help of the ‘Commander of Elohim’s Armies,’ they ‘hammered’ against their enemies for four years until they regained control of the Temple in Jerusalem re-dedicated it back to God.

As ‘hammers’ were used to destroy the Temple, ‘The Hammer’ was used to restore its glory.

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