When was the first Hanukkah?

 by Murrell Selden  5/22/2014


    Wars of the Jews"   Book 1 by Josephus starts with the heading "From the Taking of Jerusalem By Antiochus Epiphanes to the Death of Herod the Great (167 Years).  We believe it has been proven that Herod the Great died just after a solar eclipse on 1/10 in 1 B.C.E.  That is Julian day number 1,721,067.00 at noon.  What is 167 years earlier?  It should date the taking of Jerusalem (not yet the desolation of the  temple altar).

    167 years x 365.242  is an interval of 60,995.41 days.  That brings one to Jan., 11, 168 B.C.E.  This also tells us that the desolation of the altar of the Jews could not have happened before 168   B.C.E.  I analyzed the prophecy (Daniel 8:14)  about this matter, and here are two pics showing the analysis. [Note that many translations of the Bible says 2300 evenings and mornings, which is 1150 days.] The first shows the specific analysis, and the second shows it could have been only two periods. The first period does not qualify by history or the calculation as noted above




So What Really Happened?

    Wikipedia says that Antiochus IV   ruled from 175 B.C.E. to 164 B.C.E.  In 168 he made a second attack on Egypt.  Later that year he must have took Jerusalem.

    Had it been later, one might conclude Jospehus was in error or that he was right. Moreover, if it was 167 B.C.E., then we might wonder if Herod the Great died even later (as 1 C.E.).  In any case, it is obvious that Herod did not die earlier than 1 B.C.E. 

     It appears from this analysis of Hanukkah, that only the period from 165 B.C.E. to 162 B.C.E. could be possible for fulfillment of Daniel 8 (regarding the 2300/2 days).

    What happened with Hanukkah?  The account of Josephus says that after Antiochus IV Epiphanes conquered Jersusalem with difficulty, he forbid sacrifices on the Jewish alter for 3.5 years.  This happened in 168 B.C.E., and that brings one to most likely sometime in 165 B.C.E.  But, when Onias the High Priest got mad and went to his enemy Ptolemy for setting up a temple for alternative sacrifices, he went mad and then sacrificed pigs on the altar in Jerusalem (namely Kislev, or Chislev 15 in 165 B.C.E.).  This is when Judas Maccabees became extremely angry and began to  go on the warpath.  Eventually he beat off the army of Antiochus and became a national hero.  Then Antiochus IV died in 164 B.C.E.  But the altar was not replaced or repaired to meet the standards of holy sacrifice until Kislev 25 in 162 B.C.E.  I believe many err in thinking the 3.5 years period began with slaughter of the pigs, but mathematically 3.5 years would be 1260 prophetic days, and that is too big  (360x3.5=1260).  1260 days would never fit for Kislev 15 to Kislev 25 for any combination.  No, that period is a roughly 3 year period.  Moreover, no other interpretation is possible after 168 B.C.E. (even an interpretation of 2300 days, as in a six year period).



(1)  In conclusion, all of the events related to Hanukkah happened after 168 B.C.E.    I believe this analysis is correct, because it appears the numbers could only be found this way.   If someone can show differently,  don't be a naysayer because some authority says so.  (Denying simple math is  foolish.)

(2) This analysis confirms the opinion on the death of Herod in 1 B.C.E. (or later) by means of the testimony of Josephus.  I cannot recall anyone claiming after 1 B.C.E. in C.E.


Contact:  This web page by Murrell Selden at MurrellSelden@gmail.com.    I am almost 71, but you can try to email me.  See also  http://pmcbags.com/hanukkah.html

Anyone can use the information on this page freely.  When it comes to Bible study, I will never deny anyone the freedom of inquiry.  

This is simply a report of what I found and believe.  As always, I could be in error.  If I find that I am, I will  adjust.