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Home>Catalog>Judean&BiblicalCoins>GreekDomination>Hanukkah

Hanukkah

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.


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Ake Ptolemais, Galilee
Click for a larger photo Ptolemais was a maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally Accho, but was renamed Ptolemais under the rule of Ptolemy Soter.

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.
GB70118. Bronze serrated AE 14, Houghton-Lorber II 1478(2), cf. SNG Spaer 1041 and 1043, F, corrosion, encrustation, weight 3.010 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ake Ptolemais mint, 175 - c. 172 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, monogram (control symbol) behind; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, Apollo seated left on omphalos, nude, examining arrow in right hand, resting left on grounded bow behind, aphlaston outer left, control symbol (off flan) in exergue; from Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $38.00 (28.50)

Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Antiochos IV assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes ("God Manifest") and after his defeat of Egypt, Nikephoros ("Bearer of Victory"). But his often eccentric behavior, capricious actions and even insanity led some of his contemporaries to call him Epimanes ("The Mad One"), a word play off of his title Epiphanes.

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.

GB70642. Bronze AE 15, Houghton-Lorber II 1407, SNG Spaer 963 ff., Hoover Syrian 684 (R1), aF, weight 2.678 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch on the Orontes mint, 175 - c. 172 B.C.; obverse veiled and diademed bust of Laodike IV right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, elephant head left, tripod right, uncertain control mark in exergue; from Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $30.00 (22.50)

Hanukkah Lot - 11 Maccabees (Hasmonean) Coins, c. 134 - 37 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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.

Use our website catalog to identify the coins with your children. Enjoy a fun family project that will inspire them to learn ancient Jewish history!

Click here for a discussion on how to read the paleo-Hebrew inscriptions and identify the Judaean king and date.
LT56703. Bronze lot, 10 prutot and lepta, includes one John Hyrcanus prutah struck for the Seleukid King Antiochos VII, and 2 scarcer coins of Mattathias Antigonus, Fine, actual coins in the photograph; $160.00 (120.00)


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Hanukkah