on John 10 :22
The feast of the dedication - This was a feast instituted by Judas Maccabeus, in commemoration of his purifying the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes. This feast began on the twenty-fifth of the month Cisleu, (which answers to the eighteenth of our December), and continued for eight days. When Antiochus had heard that the Jews had made great rejoicings, on account of a report that had been spread of his death, he hastened out of Egypt to Jerusalem, took the city by storm, and slew of the inhabitants in three days forty thousand persons; and forty thousand more he sold for slaves to the neighboring nations. Not contented with this, he sacrificed a great sow on the altar of burnt offerings; and, broth being made by his command of some of the flesh, he sprinkled it all over the temple, that he might defile it to the uttermost. See Prideaux's Connection, vol. iii. p. 236, edit. 1725. After this, the whole of the temple service seems to have been suspended for three years, great dilapidations having taken place also in various parts of the buildings: see 1 Maccabees 4:36, etc. As Judas Maccabaeus not only restored the temple service, and cleansed it from pollution, etc., but also repaired the ruins of it, the feast was called τα εγκαινια, the renovation.
It was winter - Χειμων ην, or, it was stormy or rainy weather. And this is the reason, probably, why our Lord is represented as walking in Solomon's porch, or portico, John 10:23. Though it certainly was in winter when this feast was held, yet it does not appear that the word above refers so much to the time of the year as to the state of the weather. Indeed, there was no occasion to add it was winter, when the feast of the dedication was mentioned, because every body knew that, as that feast was held on the twenty-fifth of the month Cisleu, it was in the winter season.
John has here omitted all that Jesus did from the time when he left Jerusalem, after the feast of tabernacles in September was ended, until the feast of the dedication in the December following: and he did it probably because he found that the other evangelists had given an account of what our Lord did in the interval. St. Luke relates what our Lord did on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem, to this feast, Luke 17:11-37; Luke 18:1-14. Observe, likewise, that this time here mentioned was the fourth time (according to John's account) that Jesus went up to the feasts at Jerusalem in about a year: for, first, he went up to the feast of the passover, John 2:13; next to the feast of pentecost, as it seems to have been, John 5:1; then to the feast of tabernacles, John 7:2, John 7:10; and, lastly, to the feast of the passover in which he was crucified. John seems purposely to have pointed out his presence in Jerusalem at these four feasts, because all the other evangelists have omitted the mention of every one of them. See Bishop Pearce; and see the note on John 5:1.
on John 10 :22
The feast of the dedication - Literally, the feast of the renewing, or of the renovation. This feast was instituted by Judas Maccabaeus, in the year 164 b.c. The temple and city were taken by Antiochus Epiphanes in the year 167 b.c. He killed 40,000 inhabitants, and sold 40,000 more as slaves. In addition to this, he sacrificed a sow on the altar of burnt-offerings, and a broth being made of this, he sprinkled it all over the temple. The city and temple were recovered three years afterward by Judas Maccabaeus, and the temple was purified with great pomp and solemnity. The ceremony of purification continued through eight days, during which Judas presented magnificent victims, and celebrated the praise of God with hymns and psalms (Josephus, Ant., b. xii. ch. 11). "They decked, also, the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold and with shields, and the gates and chambers they renewed and hanged doors upon them:" 1 Macc. 4:52-59. On this account it was called the feast of renovation or dedication. Josephus calls it the feast of lights, because the city was illuminated, as expressive of joy. The feast began on the 25th day of Chisleu, answering to the fifteenth day of December. The festival continued for eight days, with continued demonstrations of joy.
It was winter - The feast was celebrated in the winter. The word here implies that it was cold and inclement, and it is given as a reason why he walked in Solomon's porch.
on John 10 :22
10:22 It was the feast of the dedication - Instituted by Judas Maccabeus, 1 Macc. iv, 59, when he purged and dedicated the altar and temple after they had been polluted. So our Lord observed festivals even of human appointment. Is it not, at least, innocent for us to do the same?