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Did God command us to light the Chanukah candles?

by Theodore Wright.

Chanukah (Hanukkah) is a beautiful Hebrew tradition celebrated throughout the whole world. At this time, during the lighting of the candles, it is said…

“Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by thy commandments, and commanded us to kindle the light of Chanukah.”

I did not have to open my Bible to search where God commanded us to light the Chanukah candles because it will not be in there. That is because Chanukah began during the 2nd Century B.C. after the Holy Scriptures were written.

No, this commandment was not given in the Apocrypha during that time. This was not given as a command in the Talmud, therefore, even Jewish traditions do not show that the lighting of the Chanukah candles was ever commanded by God.

Although the New Testament does not command this holiday, nontheless, it does mention this holiday under its Biblical name in the Gospel of John…

Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
– John 10:22 (NKJV)


So, it should very well be asked, “Where do they come off by saying this?” We do not find that God ever commanded the lighting of the Chanukah candles which is the forefront of its celebration. Yet, the words stating that He commanded us to light the candles are recited every Chanukah.

There are webpages you may find on the internet that speak out on the justification of this “commandment” as truly being from God. Frankly, I did not find any of these pages convincing. Believing such would be living in a fantasy world since evidence is completely lacking about God ever commanding this. The beauty of this tradition gets tarnished with this lie.

I would not think that Christmas is such a great improvement, yet either. Chanukah is Biblical. Yes, the birth of Jesus the Messiah is Biblical, too. Yet, Jesus was very most likely NOT born on December 25th. There is no real life Santa Claus said to bring gifts to children worldwide these days and there was hardly one matching the myths of such a person in the past.

Dare I mention also, that the pressures of gift shopping for Christmas can be enormous, too. NO! Such pressure is NOT present during Chanukah since it goes on for 8 days with the gifts getting better and better. Hey, if you didn’t get a good enough gift on the last trip, you can try again!

The point of the matter is, wouldn’t you rather like to get past all the unscriptural nonsense and find out what God really commands and said about who the Messiah to save us would be as stated in the Holy Scriptures? Would you perhaps find believing fairy tales instead more attractive?

Well, God didn’t really command us to light those Chanukah candles actually. Did He now? Hmmmm? Oh, how there are some rabbis who will try very hard to justify saying God commanded this when, in fact, God never commanded this!

There is nothing wrong with lighting Chanukah candles and celebrating this holiday. Chanukah is a beautiful celebration. Still, there is no mandate from God about it.

Actually, Chanukah is the least significant of the Jewish holidays. It is not in the Law of Moses nor given later in the prophets. So, why then is it so very popular? You mean, you don’t know? The reason why Jews observe the holiday of Chanukah is for the distinct purpose of competing with the holiday of Christmas and has, as a result, become one of the most beloved of Jewish holidays.

How long should we tolerate the commandments of men being placed as the authority of the word of God? As it is written…

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29 (NKJV)







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