Posts Tagged ‘Hanukkah’

Isaiah 60:22 – Daily Bible Study

November 30, 2020

“The smallest will grow to a thousand, the weakest will become a mighty nation. I, Adonai, when the right time comes, will quickly bring it about.

The Hebrew word for ‘smallest’ is קטן or katan and means ‘small, young or unimportant.’ It also has the nuance of ‘weak’ and ‘insignificant.’

The Hebrew word for ‘thousand’ is אלפ or alef. This is the first letter of the Hebrew alef-bet and stands for 1000. In Hebrew letters pictures this letter is an Ox and means ‘first’ and ‘strength.’

The Hebrew word for ‘weakest’ is צעיר or tzair and means ‘smallest, youngest, most insignificant.’ It also means ‘few’ in number.

The Hebrew word for ‘mighty’ is עצים or atzum and means ‘mighty and numerous.’ It is also used for King David’s special forces known as the ‘mighty men.’

Adonai or LORD is the representation for the Hebrew יהוה or Yahweh, the memorial name that God gave to Moshe at the burning bush in Exodus 3:15-16.

The Hebrew word for ‘time’ is עת or eth and means ‘in its time.’ The ‘right time’ according to the Amplified Version is ‘appointed time’ suggesting there’s an ‘appointed time’ for when God quickly takes action. As I write this, the next ‘appointed time,’ is Hanukkah, the memorial to the cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. This holiday is all about a few have victory over the multitude.

The Hebrew word for for ‘quicken’ is חוש or chush and means ‘to hasten,’ ‘to be eager with excitement,’ ‘to hurry,’ and to ‘come quickly.’

The weak and insignificant will grow strong like an ox, the smallest and most insignificant will become a numerous nation. I, Yahweh, when the ‘appointed times’ comes, will come quickly and bring it about.

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

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 found in Judges 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. With this act, she sets Isra’el free from God’s judgment for worshipping idols. The second time is found in the book of First Kings where it is recorded that the stones for building the Temple were prepared at the quarry so that no ‘hammer’ was heard while it was being built.

Though King David lived long before the Maccabean Revolt, Psalm 74 reveals how the sanctuary of Elohim was destroyed when Isra’el was taken captive as judgment by God for disobeying His commands and worshipping idols. Hammers were used by the enemies of God’s people to destroy the Temple, specifically to smash the intricately carved woodwork.

“If a prophet has a dream, let him tell it as a dream. But someone who has my word should speak my word faithfully. What do chaff and wheat have in common?” asks Adonai. “Isn’t my word like fire,” asks Adonai, “like a hammer shattering rocks?” (Jeremiah 23:28-29).”

The Word of God is like a hammer that shatters rocks. Through His Spirit, Elohim changes the heart of stone into a heart of flesh; He shatters the rock-hard heart so that it desires to obey His commandments. However, the prophet Jeremiah speaks about shepherds who lead the people of Adonai astray – shepherds like the false priests who succumbed to the Hellenization of their faith and began to worship other gods.

The Hebrew word for ‘hammer’ is מקבות or maqqebeth or in English, Maccabee. This word is significant to the celebration of Hanukkah as 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 Isra’el.

Rather than assimilating into the Greek culture worshipping foreign gods, Judah and his ‘hammer’ rebels fought for their freedom to worship the God of Isra’el. 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 in order to regain control of the Temple in Jerusalem and restore it to its original glory and worship.

As hammers were used to destroy the Temple, The Hammer was used to restore it.

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Helper: Hebrew: Shammes

שמש

The Hebrew words shamash שמש or the Yiddish shammes שמש (spelled identically but with a different vowels) mean ‘helper’ and is used to describe the person who looks after the synagogue. The shamash or shammes also refers to the ‘set apart’ candle on the Hanukkiah that is used to light the rest of the candles for the eight nights of Hanukkah.

Hebrew Word Pictures

ש  Shin is a picture of a ‘tooth’ and means to ‘consume’ and also corresponds to the Shekinah or glory of Elohim

 מ Mem is a picture of ‘water’ and means ‘chaos’

ש  Shin is a picture of a ‘tooth’ and means to ‘consume’

The word pictures can mean ‘consuming the chaos with the glory of Elohim’

Some suggest that because the word shamash has ties to the Babylonian/Assyrian god known for truth and justice or the sun god. The Hebrew word shemesh does mean ‘sun,’ but doesn’t imply that the Jews worshipped the sun god as pagan cultures or that Hanukkah is rooted in a pagan festival and should not be celebrated. When studying the god shamash: he was responsible for maintaining the order of the universe, nothing could be hidden from his bright light which banished darkness and revealed lies. It was said that his ‘eye’ could see everything.

The Jewish people had by the time of the Feast of Dedication been sent to live in foreign cultures. They had been dispersed 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, they used the term ‘shamash’ in order to remain alive. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. What I do understand is the struggle to find ways to express dearly held beliefs in order to fit into an intolerant culture.

From a different perspective, perhaps the multi-god cultures of Babylon and Assyria saw the power of the God of Israel in the Jewish people. Perhaps they saw how He helped His chosen people, remain a light in their midst, and remain faithful to the Truth or Torah. Perhaps they chose the Hebrew word shamash for their god. Remember that Sha’ul saw in Athens idols with names for all manner of gods, but there was one unnamed that they worshipped in ignorance. Of course, he revealed the name of that God, the yod hey vav hey.

In either scenario, one word that means ‘helper’ in Hebrew does not a pagan practice make. With its Hebrew word pictures possibly depicting the ‘destruction of chaos by the glory of Elohim’ presents an extraordinary view of Hanukkah that fits the description found in Maccabees. There was great chaos caused by the Syrians (Assyrians) who murdered the Jewish people for their faith and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple and its altar had to be rededicated back to Elohim and according to the commands in Torah, that dedication must last eight days. For these reasons alone should Hanukkah be commemorated in support of the people and nation of Israel.

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Bubbe’s Hanukkah Poem

This is a poem I wrote for my grandson’s first Hanukkah.