In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil. John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. John Hyrcanus was the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
If you order one of our Hanukkah Lots or Jewish - Biblical Starter Sets, we will be happy to provide a coin identification lesson for your family over the telephone or instant messenger.