By the time of the Feast of Dedication, the Jewish people had been exiled to Babylon and Assyria and could very easily have incorporated ‘foreign’ words into their vocabulary just as we have with the days of the week: Thursday for Thor, Wednesday for Odin, even Saturday for Saturn. Perhaps even to worship the God of Israel in their exile, they used the term shamash in order to remain alive.
In the Jerusalem Temple the killing of pigs
Left an ugly mess that was very, very big
The Levite priests went to work that day
To clean the whole place until they could say
The Holy Temple was ready to worship Yahweh.
In John chapter 10, it is winter and the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah has arrived. Yeshua is walking around in Solomon’s Porch, the covered area on the far eastern side of the Temple. It connected with the Court of the Gentiles where God-fears could come to the Temple and worship the God of Isra’el. It was in this area of the Temple that Yeshua’s Jewish brothers and sisters surrounded him and demanded that he reveal his identity.
Hanukkah is more than just jelly-filled donuts, lights and candles, it is about purifying ourselves from everything that contaminates our temples and purify our walk with God. Hanukkah is about standing firm in the Truth and not assimilating into the pagan culture around us. Hanukkah is about being willing to die for what we believe so we remain God’s holy people.