Hanukkah, Israel, and Antichrist

In the Hanukkah account, we see of foreshadow of how Antichrist will persecute Israel. Read on to see the link between Hanukkah, Israel, and Antichrist.

Hanukkah, Israel, and Antichrist

This is the Second Article in our holiday series about Hanukkah. The first article (READ HERE) provides a lot of important background information and I recommend you read it first.

Antiochus’s FIRST Assault on the Temple

In the previous article, we explained the that Antiochus IV is a foreshadow of the coming Antichrist.  We also concluded that article by describing his attack on Egypt which is a foreshadow of the Second Seal events that will take place in the future (Rev. 6:3-4).

After that successful attack on Egypt (King of the South), Antiochus turned his attention on Israel’s Temple. This parallels Dan. 11 as well:

1 Mac. 1:20-24

Dan. 11:28

After Antiochus had defeated Egypt in the one hundred and forty-third year, he returned and went up against Israel and against Jerusalem with a strong force. He insolently entered the sanctuary and took away the golden altar, the lampstand for the light with all its utensils, the offering table, the cups and bowls, the golden censers, and the curtain. The cornices and the golden ornament on the facade of the temple—he stripped it all off. And he took away the silver and gold and the precious vessels; he also took all the hidden treasures he could find. Taking all this, he went back to his own country.

Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land.


Antiochus’s original attack on Israel was one on the Temple itself, essentially he looted it of all the Holy vessels that the Jews used for their sacrifices.

How this foreshadow will play out in the future is not sure. The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has finished construction of an altar and most of the vessels for temple worship already (READ HERE). Will the Antichrist steal these items after the Second Seal just as Antiochus did? Maybe he will. We can’t be sure.

This next event however, is clearly recorded in prophecy: the Invasion of Israel at the midpoint.

The Invasion of Israel

This assualt on Jerusalem and Judah is well documented in scripture:

1 Mac. 1:29-32

Dan. 11:29-30

Zech. 14:2

Two years later, the king sent the Mysian commander to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a strong force. He spoke to them deceitfully in peaceful terms, and they believed him. Then he attacked the city suddenly, in a great onslaught, and destroyed many of the people in Israel. He plundered the city and set fire to it, demolished its houses and its surrounding walls. And they took captive the women and children, and seized the animals.

At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled


Maccabees again documents specifics of what occurred in the second century BC and what might happen in the future. First, we notice that it was two years after the Second Seal type events of the war with Egypt.  Since we know this invasion of Israel happens at the midpoint (3 1/2 years into the 70th Week), we can surmise the Second Seal may occur 1 1/2 years into the 70th Week. This is an incredible prophecy insight!

Second, Maccabees indicates that initially the Syrian commander deceived the residents of Jerusalem before he attacked. Is this also something to be anticipated in the future? Perhaps.

The Abomination of Desolation

After the invasion of Jerusalem, Antiochus set up the Abomination of Desolation just as the Antichrist will. The first step was the elimination of the Jewish sacrifices:

1 Mac. 1:37-39

Dan. 11:31

They shed innocent blood around the sanctuary; they defiled the sanctuaryBecause of them the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled away, she became the abode of strangers. She became a stranger to her own offspring, and her children forsook her. Her sanctuary became desolate as a wilderness; her feasts were turned into mourning, Her sabbaths to shame, her honor to contempt.

Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice


According to prophecy the next step will be the Antichrist setting up the Abomination of Desolation. But in the Hanukkah account, we see that something else happens first:

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and abandon their particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many Israelites delighted in his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. (1 Mac. 1:41-43)

The first step Antiochus took, and likely the first step the Antichrist will take is to require everyone to worship his God (Allah).  Then Antiochus began to punish those who continued to worship the one true God:

1 Mac. 1:50-53

Dan. 11:32

Whoever refused to act according to the command of the king was to be put to death. In words such as these he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people, and he ordered the cities of Judah to offer sacrifices, each city in turn. Many of the people, those who abandoned the law, joined them and committed evil in the land.They drove Israel into hiding, wherever places of refuge could be found.

By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant


What is interesting here that is not recorded elsewhere in prophecy is that Antiochus appointed inspectors to assure that the Jews were following his orders of apostasy. This required the Jews of Antiochus’s day to go into hiding. God will assist the Jews in the future (the Woman) by taking them into hiding and protecting and providing for them.

And then Antiochus set up the Abomination of Desolation:

1 Mac. 1:54

Dan. 11:31

Matt. 24:15

On the fifteenth day of the month Kislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five, the king erected the desolating abomination upon the altar of burnt offerings, and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars.

They will set up the abomination of desolation.  Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)



In our next installment in this series about Hanukkah, we will discuss the “Great Tribulation” that the Jews underwent during this time and lessons for us as we prepare for the future.

9 thoughts on “Hanukkah, Israel, and Antichrist”

      1. Nelson,
        Allah was promoted by Mohammad. History shows that it is an ancient pagan deity. The AC is Satan’s attempt to mirror the Son of God. The very name, Allah, is man made. Allah is not in scripture, so Jesus, The Word, didn’t speak it. If Jesus didn’t speak it, it’s not of God.

    1. You are correct, Wayne. However, Jesus celebrated the feast in John 10 which is good enough for me. The foreshadows of the end times are obvious as well. If you carefully read the first article in the series, you will see the warnings I gave about taking the Maccabees text as literal scripture.

  1. Nelson,
    This a great analogy series of the rise of the end time first beast, world king. I’m with you except for the Islam AC, Allah worship for the following reasons.

    The false prophet, which is the second beast to arise, will call the AC god, and will promote his religious system that will ride the coattails of the AC. The false prophet will be the great deceiver. He may promote Allah to appease the Islam, or Jesus to appease christians and so on for all gods created by men.

    The first beast, the AC, arises from the seas, meaning peoples. This sea has many gods that people follow, including no god at all. Once the AC takes power, mid week, he will sit as god and announce his foreign god, a god of fortresses. It will not be Islam or Allah, nor the religious system promoted by the false prophet. One clue is that the AC destroys this religious system in favor of Satan’s rule over the earth once he takes power at the Abomination set up.

    Satan is the Father of Lies who hates the very God who created him. If he doesn’t honor God his creator, why would he honor any god created by man, such as Allah or Zeus etc. Satan has one goal, to destroy all of God’s creation including all of mankind, except himself of course. In this manner, in his mind, he becomes as powerful as God. God creates it, he destroys it. This is why the patience of God finally runs out at the end of the thousand year reign of Jesus. God must destroy the destroyer. The first beast will not favor any god of men, including allah. IMO

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