Page images
PDF
EPUB

what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned, they thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a reproach to them, because the heathen had defiled it: wherefore they pulled it down, and laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them. Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former; and made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts. They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table. And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple. Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.

2

3

Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Chislev, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning, and offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made. Look, at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs, and harps, and lutes, and cymbals. Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success. And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise. They decked also the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold, and with shields; and the gates and the chambers they renewed, and hanged doors upon them. Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away. Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the

1 whole stones. Stones unhewn by any iron tool, as was prescribed in Ex. xx. 25.

2 December, 165 B. C.

3 The altar was thus rededicated exactly three years after its desecration. The Feast of the Dedication was duly observed down to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and has continued to the present, chiefly as a festival of lights. According to the original arrangement of John's gospel, it was during this feast that Jesus presented himself as the Light of the world (John viii. 12).

dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Chislev, with mirth and gladness. At that time also they builded up the mount Sion with high walls and strong towers round about, lest the Gentiles should come and tread it down, as they had done before.

COMFORT YE, COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE, SAITH YOUR GOD.
SPEAK YE COMFORTABLY TO JERUSALEM, AND CRY UNTO her,
THAT HER WARFARE IS ACCOMPLISHED, THAT HER INIQUITY
IS PARDONed; for sHE HATH RECEIVED OF THE LORD'S HAND
DOUBLE FOR ALL HER SINS.

THE VOICE OF HIM THAT CRIETH IN THE WILDERNESS: "PRE-
PARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE STRAIGHT IN THE
DESERT A HIGHWAY FOR OUR GOD." EVERY VALLEY SHALL
BE EXALTED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE MADE
LOW: AND THE CROOKED SHALL BE MADE STRAIght, and tHE
ROUGH PLACES PLAIN: AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD SHALL
BE REVEALED, AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE IT TOGETHER: FOR
THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »