Our first reading tells us that in the year “one hundred and forty eight” they rededicated the Temple.
(That was our year 164 B.C.)
For a century and a half, Jerusalem had been ruled by the Seleucid dynasty. Their dynasty had been founded in 312 by Seleucus , a general who took over from Alexander the Great. Counting from 312, their year 148 translates to our year 164 B.C.
In i68 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanes, the tenth descendent of Seleucus, tried to convert the Jews to worshipping with the Greeks. He put a statue of Zeus on the Temple’s altar, and he tried forcing young Jews to eat pork.
Mattathias, a Jewish priest, led a rebellion against the Greeks; and at his death, his third son, Judas Maccabeus, led a resistance, concluding with his men purifying the Temple from all remnants of idol worship. He instituted the feast for rededicating the Temple., and Jewish people celebrate it as Hanukah around Christmas every year.
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