Dedicate (prop. חָנִך, chanak', to initiate, De 20:5; 1Ki 8:63; 2Ch 7:5; elsewhere הִקדַּישׁ, hakdish', to hallow, and other Heb. terms), a religious ceremony whereby any thing is dedicated or consecrated to the service of God; and it appears to have originated in the desire to commence, with peculiar solemnity, the practical use and application of whatever had been set apart to the divine service. Thus Moses dedicated the tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex 40; Nu 7); Solomon his Temple (1 Kings 8); the returned exiles theirs (Ezr 6:16-17); Herod his (Josephus, Ant. 15:11, 6). The Maccabees, having cleansed the Temple from its pollutions under Antiochus Epiphanes, again dedicated the altar (1 Maccabees 4:52-59), and an annual festival was established in commemoration of the event. This feast was celebrated not only at Jerusalem, but everywhere throughout the country, in which respect it differed from the feasts of the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, which could only be observed at Jerusalem. See below.
Not only were sacred places thus dedicated, but some kind of dedicatory solemnity was observed with respect to cities, walls, gates, and even private houses (De 20:5; Ps 30, title; Ne 12:27). We may trace the continuance of these usages in the custom of consecrating or dedicating churches and chapels, and in the ceremonies connected with the "opening" of roads, markets, bridges, etc., and with the launching of ships. SEE CONSECRATION.