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Feast of the Dedication
(John 10:22, 42), i.e., the feast of the renewing
It was instituted B.C. 164 to commemorate the purging of the temple after its pollution by Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 167), and the rebuilding of the altar after the Syrian invaders had been driven out by Judas Maccabaeus. It lasted for eight days, beginning on the 25th of the month Chisleu (December), which was often a period of heavy rains (Ezra 10:9, 13). It was an occasion of much rejoicing and festivity.
But there were other dedications of the temple. (1) That of Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chronicles 5:3); (2) the dedication in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29); and (3) the dedication of the temple after the Captivity (Ezra 6:16).