Chanukah is the Jewish Holiday that Celebrates G-D’s Great Olive Oil Miracle.
Chanukah is an 8-day Jewish holiday celebrated every year on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. This year Chanukah begins Thursday evening after sundown on December 10, 2020. This is a time for rejoicing for a great miracle whereby the LORD our G-D caused a tiny amount of pure olive oil that could only be burnt for a few hours to miraculously burn for eight days.
Olive Trees are one of the Seven Biblical Species of the Land of Israel.
For the LORD thy G-D is bringing you into a good land, a land of rivers of water, of springs, that flow out in the valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey (Deuteronomy 8:7-8).
Hellenistic Greeks Polluted the Holy Temple in Jerusalem with their Abominations
The Hellenistic Greeks under Antiochus IV had invaded the land of Israel and polluted the holy temple in Jerusalem with their abominations. After the Maccabean Revolt 167-160 BCE, led by Judah Maccabee, succeeded to drive the Greeks out of the land and out of G-D’s holy temple they needed to purify and rededicate the Temple to the LORD our G-D. The word Chanukah means to dedicate. The Maccabees found only a tiny bit of the pure olive oil that G-D had commanded for lighting the 7-branched menorah (candelabra) in the temple, but miraculously the LORD caused it to burn for eight days. In fact, the lamps in the temple were supposed to be continually lit with olive oil. This is called the ner tamid, the eternal light symbolic of the eternal light of the LORD our G-D, which never goes out.
And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure pressed virgin olive oil for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually (Exodus 27:20).
The Highest Quality Olive Oil was also used to Anoint the High Priests and the Kings of Israel
Olive oil of the highest quality was called yitzhar in biblical times and was also used to anoint the high priests and the kings of Israel. The Hebrew word for anointed is mashiach (messiah). In fact, the prophet Zechariah had a vision of the 7-branched gold menorah in the temple with a bowl on top. On each side of the bowl was a branch from an olive tree – on the right side an olive branch and on the left side an olive branch.
Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive branches upon the right side of the menorah and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two that are anointed with the purest olive oil who stand by the LORD of the whole earth (Zechariah 4:11-14).
Olive Trees are very Hardy and can Live for Thousands of Years
The olive tree is very hardy and survived the flood during the time of Noah. Noah sent a dove out of the ark and the dove returned carrying an olive branch in its mouth. This showed Noah that the waters had gone down (Genesis 8.11).
Olive trees can live for thousands of years. In the Garden of Gethsemane, called gat shemanin (olive Press) in Hebrew on the Mt. of Olives in Jerusalem, are some very ancient olive trees that may be more than 2000 years old. Some of them are too knarled and hollowed out to be tested to discover their true age. Also, olive trees can grow back from their roots if they are cut down. A few of the trees that could be tested were found to be at least 900 years old. However, if these regrew after having been cut down, then they may be much older.
As the Days of a Tree shall be the Days of My People
The book of Isaiah describes how life will be in Messianic times after the geula (redemption) and states that the LORD’s people will live long lives like the days of a tree:
For, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; And the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of wailing.
There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man, that hath not filled his days; For the youngest shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner who dies at a hundred years old shall be reckoned accursed.
And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; And they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
They shall not build, and another inhabit, They shall not plant, and another eat;
For as the days of a tree shall be the days of My people, And Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain, nor bear children for terror; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox: and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD (Isaiah 65:18:22).
Olive Oil is Obtained by Pressing the Oil out of the Olives
Olive oil is obtained by pressing the oil out of the olives. This does not lead to the use of any kinds of chemicals such as the solvents that are used to extract oil from rape seeds to make canola oil, or from other vegetable seeds. I have even witnessed people making olive oil by pressing olives in a large pail. However, if you have olive trees and live in Israel you can take your olives to a place that has an olive press. Olives from an entire tree may only give you one or two bottles of olive oil. The oil that comes from the first press is considered to be the most pure and healthy.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has many Healing Properties
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has many healing properties and consuming it can lead to good health. During the 1950s it was noted that Mediterranean countries like Greece where olive oil is often the only oil or fat used in the diet had lower rates than other countries of heart disease, strokes, dementia, gall bladder disease and certain kinds of cancers, especially colorectal cancer. They also had a longer lifespan. Research also showed that low rates of coronary heart disease were even found in people who had classical risks for heart disease like obesity, high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol and diabetes. Greeks are the highest consumers of olive oil in the world. This prompted additional research and it was discovered that extra virgin olive oil, which is a key nutrient and often the sole fat in the Mediterranean diet helps to prevent cardiovascular disease events such as heart attacks and strokes.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Researchers discovered that extra virgin olive oil helps to prevent cardiovascular disease by:
- Strengthening blood vessels and the heart
- Helping to prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Raising blood levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol
- Combating inflammation
Oleocanthal in Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Anti-inflammatory
Researchers discovered that oleocanthal found in extra virgin olive oil is anti-inflammatory. It produces a similar effect like ibuprofen, but without ibuprofen’s dangerous side effects. It can also help to reduce pain. Massaging extra virgin olive oil into the joints can help reduce inflammation and lessen pain.
FDA Allows Labeling that 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil Daily may Reduce Risk of Coronary Heart Disease
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows this kind of labeling on olive oil products:
Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.A Food Labeling Guide, see page 114
Extra Virgin Olive Oil may be Protective Against Gastrointestinal Diseases
Research has also shown that extra virgin olive oil may be protective against gastrointestinal diseases such as gall bladder disease, stomach ulcers and colorectal cancer.
Olive Oil is widely Used in Skin, Hair Care Products
Olive oil is widely used in many skin and hair care products. Olive oil shampoo and conditioners beautify and strengthen hair, especially if combined with common myrtle myrtus communis extracts. All kinds of natural soaps use olive oil as one of their chief ingredients.
It is never too late to change your dietary habits. Try using extra virgin olive oil as the only fat and oil in your diet in the hope that this will lead to better health and a longer lifespan.