The eight days of חֲנֻכָּה Chanukah (Festival of Dedication, John 10:22–39), historically parallel the eight days of Sukkot (Festival of Tabernacles). But there is a startling parallel to eight women in the Bible for whom having children would have been miraculous — including the mother of Yeshua — yet these women dedicated themselves to God’s mission to restore the Earth.
In Luke 3:1–20, Luke provided many historical events to place these happenings in time, reinforcing that this is real history. The forerunner of Messiah Yeshua, Yokhanan the Immerser (John), begins his mission by “preaching a baptism for repentance for the forgiveness of sins,” based on the prophecy from Isaiah 40.
Yokhanan’s officiating at the mikvah, or washing, of Yeshua (Luke 3:21-22) was connected to God being well-pleased with the Son of God, the “last Adam.” This connection is related to Yeshua’s statement that He needed baptism “to fulfill all righteousness.”
The importance of linking the last Adam to the “first Adam” is emphasized through the two genealogies of Yeshua (Luke 3:23–38). Some skeptics try to use the “telescoping” nature of Matthew’s genealogy for Yeshua, which skips generations to emphasize three groups of 14 generations, as the basis for saying that the genealogies of the first people in Genesis 5 and 11 also are telescoped, thus allowing for many, many more generations and vast amounts of time in history. However, unlike the genealogies in Genesis, these do not have specific ages when one generation “begat,” or “fathered,” the next, with Luke linking each name with just the Greek equivalent for “of.” And the three groups of generations in Matthew seem to represent four periods in God’s working in history to correct the sin of the first Adam with the obedience, sacrifice and deliverance of the last Adam.
Followers of Messiah have long meditated on seven “oracles” in Luke 1–2 that were recited by the Angel Gabriel, Miriam, Elisheba, Zakharyah, and Shimon. We are going to meditate on them today and next time.
The births of Yokhanan ben Zakharyah (John the Baptist) and Messiah Yeshua are amazing in that they illustrate how God planned throughout time to “pitch His tent” among mankind in a physical way and hadn’t abandoned the work He started in Israel. God foretold of the coming of a herald for the Messiah via the prophet Malachi announced the arrive of that messenger to Yokhanan’s father, a righteous priest in a priesthood led by wicked men. The coming of the herald and the Messiah followed a specific plan. The seven “oracles” in Luke 1-2 show that the same plan God put in place at the beginning of time still was active even at a dark point in Israel’s history.
What do the following six important women in the Bible have in common? How did these women feel about their experiences?
The people of Israel being making the different parts of the Tabernacle in Exodus 38-39. In Exodus 40, the people assemble the Tabernacle with Moses handling the final touches. The book of Exodus ends with God’s signaling His approval of the work of the people’s hands by visibly dwelling within the Tabernacle.