In 168/167 Antiochus Epiphanies ordered pigs to be sacrifice to Zeus in the temple at Jerusalem.  His atrocities led to the Maccabean revolt; the sacrilege in the temple continued for 2 and one – half years.  In 164, the Maccabees retook Jerusalem and purified the temple and established Hanukkah.

I Maccabees 4:

Then Judas Maccabeus and his brothers said, “Now that our enemies have been crushed let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it.”  They found the sanctuary desolated, the altar desecrated, the gates burnt, weeds growing in the courts…and the priests chambers demolished.

Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, that is, the month of Chislev, they arose and offered sacrifice according to the law on the new altar of holocausts they had made.  On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it, on that very day it was reconsecrated with songs, harps, flutes and cymbals.

For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered holocausts and sacrifices of deliverance and praise.  They ornamented the façade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests’ chambers and furnished them with doors.  There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed.

From a Jewish Prayer book: Blessed is the Lord our God, ruler of the universe, for you have kept us, sustained us, and brought us to this holy season.

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