The Mystery of the Hidden Light
The first time God speaks in Genesis He says, “Let there be light, and there was light.” (Gen. 1:3). But what light is this referring to since the sun, moon, and stars were not created until day four? One answer that the ancient Jewish commentators give to this question is that the light of the first three days was actually a special divine primordial light known as the Ohr Hagganuz that radiated from God Himself.
This light shone for the first three days of creation but then the Lord decided to hid it because He saw that the wicked would ultimately misuse it and cause great harm to the word. It was this divine light that emanated from the Eternal One that was the original source of life and light.
Hidden Light Revealed
But where did God hide it and how can we experience it? Let us explore! There are three answers given to this question:
The first place that it is believed that God hid this divine light was in the Torah. King Solomon alludes to this in Proverbs 6:23, “For the commandment is a lamp; and the Torah is light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.”
I also believe that it is no coincidence that the word light, Ohr in Hebrew, occurs five times in the account of the first day of creation. This is meant to allude to the five books of the Torah, which is the foundational source of illumination for Israel. And it is for this reason that Antiochus Epiphanies outlawed the study of the Torah and many of its key commandments.
By trying to extinguish the light of Torah, he hoped to snuff out the spiritual light and life of God’s people, which is rooted in His Word. It is also important to note that there are five books that form the foundation of the New Testament, the four Gospels and the Book of Acts. When we diligently study and wrestle with the Torah and the Brit Hadasha, the New Covenant, we experience His Spiritual light! Torah is literally and spiritually “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa 119:5). The Hanukkah lights are a call to get light through a radical re-dedication of our lives to seek His presence and the study of His word!
The second place that the Lord hid His divine light was in the Messiah. It should be of no surprise but important to note that Jewish tradition clearly makes this connection:
What special divine light is the Jewish people yearning for? For the light of the Messiah, as it is written, “And God saw the light that it is good.” This teaches us that God foresaw Messiah and his activities even before the creation of the world. Pesikta Rabati ch. 37
Abba said: “And the light dwells with Him” alludes to the royal Messiah. Ber. Rabba 1:6
The New Covenant stands in agreement with these texts and elaborates even further:
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. NKJ (John 1:4-9)
Then Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.NKJ (John 8:12)
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God…. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. (NKJ Rev. 21:10-11, 22-25).
Based upon these passages, we must conclude that Messiah is both the source of this special light and the one who will cause the lost light of the first three days of creation to shine again in the Messianic Age, so that all the redeemed ones might bask in the Lord’s divine light, thereby finding healing and blessing. As Rabbi Paul states, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Messiah” (1 Cor. 4:6). Hanukkah reminds us that Yeshua is the Light of the World!
A third-place that it is believed that God hid His light is in the menorah. The menorah that was placed in the Tabernacle symbolized both the light of the Lord’s eternal Presence as well as the perpetual light of Torah, God’s Wisdom as found in His Word.
The Hanukkah miracle of the oil burning for eight days is meant to allude to this reality! Antiochus who named himself Ephinanes, god manifest, tried to place himself and his laws in the Lord’s rightful place. But in the end, he was extinguished while the Torah and Israel have not only survived but have thrived!
There is also a deeper connection between the divine light and Hanukkah. During Hanukkah, we light 36 candles in total over the eight nights (not including the smash which is technically not part of the miracle). 36 is the exact number of hours that the primordial divine light of creation shone for thirty-six hours- 12 hours a day for three days.
Commenting upon this one of our sages said:
The 36 candles on the menorah correspond to the 36 hours when Adam and Eve were bathed in The Primordial Light of creation. Today, as we kindle our own lights, we call forth a revelation of this now hidden and intense light. (12th century Kabbalist, R. Eliezer of Worms)
The Hanukkah story took place in the 36th century of the Hebrew Calendar and the concept of light occurs a total of 36 candles times in the Torah corresponding to the 36 hours that the special divine light as well as the Hanukkah candles. As we kindle the light of the menorah today, we should be reminded of the Ohr Hagganuz, which is the light of Messiah, and we should pray that the Lord would bring forth into the world this divine light through us. As Yeshua said concerning His followers, “You are the light of the World” (Mat. 5:14). So become the light you were destined to be and help bring healing to this hurting world!
Journey Deeper: Birth of a Jewish King: The Christmas Story Revealed
This course was designed for you. Filmed in the Holy Land, you will see God, His Word, and the celebration of Christmas in a new, transforming way, gaining a deeper understanding of the context of the first Christmas and all the prophecies and promises connected to it. Journey Deeper