The Appointed day remembering the destruction of Nicanor is overlooked by most believers today. This is unfortunate as it remembers a very important moment for the Israelite’s (Jews) in the scriptures and symbolizes true human liberation and morality. For this very reason it should also resonate with all believers.
Here I will give the background to this important appointed day according to biblical interpretation, and what led to it being appointed.
To understand why this day was appointed you will need to read the Apocrypha (hidden) scriptures. This will shed light on the events that lead up to the destruction of Nicanor.
So Who Was Nicanor?
Nicanor was a Greek general that was appointed by King Demetrius around 160 BC, this is just 160 years before the Messiah was born. He was given the task of going to war with the Jews army, the leader of which was Judas Maccabeus at the time.
This period was just after Alexander the Greek had died leaving his kingdom to his generals. King Demetrius was through the Linage of Ptolemy one or the generals that took over a portion of Alexanders kingdom when he died and it was divided.
At this time there was a lot of war in the Land of the Jews (around the middle east and Israel). This even created divisions among the Jews themselves, which caused many to side with the Greeks (Europeans) sinful customs and denounce the one true Power.
1 Macabees 1:11-15
11 In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow.
12 So this device pleased them well.
13 Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen:
14 Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen:
15 And made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief.
Also there were many Jews that had true faith and stood against the Greeks and there lawlessness and in doing so were punished by death in many cases.
1 Macabees 1:41-50
41 Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people,
42 And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king.
43 Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath.
44 For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land,
45 And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days:
46 And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:
47 Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:
48 That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:
49 To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.
50 And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.
So it was during this period that Judas Maccabees rose up to defend Israel (the Jews).
So back to Nicanor… When Nicanor eventually met with Judas he decided to form a treaty with him instead of try to defeat him in war as King Demetrius had ordered him.
He upheld this treaty for a long time, but when a former Jewish Priest (a traitor) called Alcimus heard Nicanor and Judas were living in harmony he informed the king Demetrius, who then ordered Nicanor to carry out the capture and imprisonment of Judas.
2 Macabees 14:26-27
26 But Alcimus, perceiving the love that was betwixt them, and considering the covenants that were made, came to Demetrius, and told him that Nicanor was not well affected toward the state; for that he had ordained Judas, a traitor to his realm, to be the king’s successor.
27 Then the king being in a rage, and provoked with the accusations of the most wicked man, wrote to Nicanor, signifying that he was much displeased with the covenants, and commanding him that he should send Maccabeus prisoner in all haste unto Antioch.
Nicanor could not resist King Demetrius, so he devised a plan to eventually capture Judas. But before he could do this Judas noticed that Nicanor had changed so he went into hiding.
2 Macabees 14:30
30 Notwithstanding, when Maccabeus saw that Nicanor began to be churlish unto him, and that he entreated him more roughly than he was wont, perceiving that such sour behaviour came not of good, he gathered together not a few of his men, and withdrew himself from Nicanor.
Nicanor eventually finds out that Judas is hiding in Samaria, so he devises a plan to attack him on the 7th day of the week knowing that this is the day of rest for Jews. But he doesn’t succeed with this plan.
What is interesting to note is that there were actually Jews who traveled with Nicanor to destroy Judas who pleaded with him not to attack on a sabbath day.
This lets us know that even the rebellious Jews still had a respect for the laws that the Most High gave, even though it was in vain. Here are the scriptures concerning this issues.
2 Macabees 15:1-5
1 But Nicanor, hearing that Judas and his company were in the strong places about Samaria, resolved without any danger to set upon them on the sabbath day.
2 Nevertheless the Jews that were compelled to go with him said, O destroy not so cruelly and barbarously, but give honour to that day, which he, that seeth all things, hath honoured with holiness above all other days.
3 Then the most ungracious wretch demanded, if there were a Mighty one in heaven, that had commanded the sabbath day to be kept.
4 And when they said, There is in heaven a living Lord, and mighty, who commanded the seventh day to be kept:
5 Then said the other, And I also am mighty upon earth, and I command to take arms, and to do the king’s business. Yet he obtained not to have his wicked will done.
You can see the mindset of the Greeks (Europeans) that ruled then, is no different from what we have today. Men in their own conceit feeling they are as mighty as the Most High is…
The Battle With Nicanor
Judas and Nicanor eventually meet in battle and Judas and his men are victorious, Nicanor is killed, his head and arm are cut off and carried to Jerusalem, to pay homage to the most high.
Nicanor’s tongue is also cut out and his head hung up for all people to see what the Most High could do to his enemies, because it was obvious that Nicanor had out numbered Judas and his men. After prayer and exultation of the Most High the appointed celebration of that day was established for remembrance. i.e. The Day of Nicanor
2 Macabees 15:35-36
35 He hanged also Nicanor’s head upon the tower, an evident and manifest sign unto all of the help of the Lord.
36 And they ordained all with a common decree in no case to let that day pass without solemnity, but to celebrate the thirtieth day of the twelfth month, which in the Syrian tongue is called Adar, the day before Mardocheus’ day.
Know you know the significance of remembering the appointed day of Nicanor. It is to bring to remembrance that there are men that do compare themselves with the Most High, but they will not succeed in the end.
In the world it is commonly said that civilization started with the Greeks, but the scriptures say different
1 Macabees 1:7-9
7 So Alexander reigned twelves years, and then died.
8 And his servants bare rule every one in his place.
9 And after his death they all put crowns upon themselves; so did their sons after them many years: and evils were multiplied in the earth.
So we all need to strive to serve the Most High not man!