Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is considered to be the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. It is a solemn day to afflict our souls, but it is also a joyful day in knowing that God will forgive our sins. It commemorates the day when God forgave the Jewish people for the sin of the Golden Calf.
It is impossible to understand the festivals (feasts) and high holy days of the Lord without knowing God’s Hebrew calendar and His biblical prophesies. We must also have a heart for understanding God’s Kingdom purposes for the nation of Israel, for Yeshua said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near” (Matthew 24:32, NKJV).
The Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery marked the birth of the nation of Israel, and is considered by the Jewish people to be the single most important event in their history. The delivery itself was both miraculous and divinely orchestrated entirely at His hand. The Lord had sent Moses to Pharaoh to deliver this message; “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness” (Exodus 5:1, NKJV).
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt…” (Exodus 12:1, NKJV).
This chapter details the exodus from Egypt, the laws of the Passover, and the plague of the first-born. But it opens with an intriguing phrase, “in the land of Egypt.” Since we know the story is unfolding in Egypt, why is it necessary for God to reiterate an obvious fact?
The story of Chanukah takes place about two-hundred years before the birth of Christ during the time of the second temple in Jerusalem. A small group of Israelites led by a family of Aaronic priests, called the Maccabees (Hebrew meaning hammer), had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in what is called the Maccabean Revolt. This was not just a fight against a foreign occupying presence, but a spiritual battle against the Hellenization and assimilation of the Jewish people into Greek culture and idolatry.