Haggai 2:18-19 states "Consider now from this day AND UPWARD, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month (Kislev 24) even from the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider it ... from this day I will bless you." The Hebrew meaning of "UPWARD" is "maal" which means forward. The word "alah" from which "maal" is derived, can mean "to ascend, arise up, cause to ascend up, carry up, cause to come up, depart, fetch up, make to go up, lift up, mount up, to rise up, raise, restore, shoot forth up, to spring up, and to take away up" according to Strong's Concordance. Thank you Marilyn Agee!
It is highly probable that Messiah/Christ was conceived the night of Kislev 24, the beginning night of Hanukkah. On that special night He began to be the most important mediator between Abba Father and humankind. According to The Scriptures, human life begins at conception. For centuries now, He is The UPLIFTED ONE in the throne room of Heaven. In His crucifixion, He was literally uplifted in His atoning death. He rose up, was uplifted by the power of The Spirit from the stone slab in the loaner tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Our prayers, praise and worship, rise up and are lifted up like incense before the Throne where He is the Advocate, at the right hand of the Father. With the events of The Blessed Hope, there is the lifting up of millions of men, women, and children to go to be with Him. The Messiah/Christ is the Eternally Uplifted One among all people. Because of The Incarnation, begun on Kislev 24 at the instant of His Conception, we have been able to be uplifted to Him in our repentance, belief, faith, hope, trust, obedience, praise onto Forgiveness, Salvation, and Eternal Life!
There is a another day, The Third Day of Hanukkah before Day 8 begins, with the theme of being lifted up during the Days of Hanukkah. This day is in the midst or middle of the Feast of Dedication/Lights. This day during "the Feast of Fire" would be as day 4 ends and day 5 begins. Lamp position 5 on a hanukkiah is the Lamp LIFTED UP and above the others, symbolic of The Servant Lamp of Messiah/Christ. We read about how The Master mysteriously appeared during one of the days of Hanukkah, the last one of His life. This was THE DAY during Hanukkah when He came out of hiding and when He was seen, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, on the area of Solomon's Porch according to John 10:22. It was A Day of Decision for many. In "Justice On Solomon's Porch: Past and Future" I noted the phrasing of the adversarial Temple authorities as they peppered Him with questions about who He was. From the Greek rather than the Hebrew in Haggai 2:18-19, there is again the theme of being "lifted up" on a day in "the midst' of The Feast of Dedication. "How long doest thou make us to doubt" is also "How long will you take away (or lift up) our very breath, soul, life" in expectation of who you are?
What can be discerned as we compare and contrast these two passages from Haggai and John? The passage in Haggai can be understood as related to the Miracle of The Conception/The Incarnation of The Redeemer of humankind, Emmanuel, on Hanukkah Eve of Kislev 24. He is THE LIFTED UP ONE! Might the "lifting up" of believers in Him be in the midst of Hanukkah, the midst of the hanukkiah (menorah) associated with the LIFTED UP SERVANT LAMP representing MESSIAH/CHRIST? THE SERVANT LAMP on a 7 Lamp Menorah or 9 Lamp Hanukkiah is at position 4 or 5, not 1,2,3 or 6,7,8,9 Lamps. With the original design of the 7 Lamp Menorah, for the Portable Mishkan ( Tabernacle), the number 4 was lifted up. The basin for the olive oil Lamp 4 fed all the other Lamps. All the lamps of either design, menorah or hanukkiah, draw attention to THE SERVANT LAMP, THE LIFTED UP ONE!
The symbolism of the premature Hanukkah party on 12-8 displays THE SERVANT LAMP at day/position 5 as LOWER than the other 8 Lamps. The date of Lamp 5 factors out to Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day this year on Kislev 28 to 29. Some years, day 1 of Hanukkah can be as late as 12-24 to 25. Might the evening of 12-24 may have been the Kislev 24/25 when The Master was conceived?
If The Blessed Hope does not happen by Kivlev 24 to 25 this year, by 12-20 or 21, there are spiritual reasons for a legitimate delay of DAYS until Kislev 28/29. This would be THE THIRD DAY backwards from Hanukkah Day 8 beginning. Hebrew reads from right to left. This would be THE DAY of THE LIFTED UP LAMP given special attention.
The Master warned about a night when people will not be WATCHING. They will be taken by surprise like in the Days of Noah and of Lot. He warns about being deceived by "the cares of life" and overindulgence with food and drink, with "drunkenness" and "sleepiness" when He comes to call for His own. Might Kislev 28-29 match His wise words this year better than Kiskev 24 to 25? We may indeed be near to the Joy of His Appearing. "What I say to you, I say to all. WATCH."
With Love and Shalom,