Did you know that our Messiah was NOT born on December 25th? It’s true! Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), which falls in the September/October time frame on our Gregorian calendars, and circumcised on the 8th day. How do we know this? Let’s allow Scripture to explain:
The answer about Yeshua’s birth can be found in Scripture:
Luke 2: 1. Now it happened in those days that a decree went out from Augustus Caesar that the names of all the people of his dominion should be written down. 2. This census first happened during the governorship of Qurinius in Syria. 3. And everyone went in his own city to be registered. 4. And Yosip was also going up from Nasrath, a city of Galeela into Yehuda to the city of Dawid, which is called Beth-Lekhem, because he was from the house and from the clan of Dawid, 5. With Maryam his bride while she was pregnant, that there they might be registered.
6. And it happened that while they were there, her days of pregnancy were fulfilled. 7. And she bore him a firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room where they could lodge. 8. At this time shepherds were there in that region were they were lodging and keeping watch there at night over their flocks. (AENT)
Miriam was forced to give birth in a stable because there was no room at the inn – because people from all over had gathered in Jerusalem for the census! (In those days you returned to your native home to be registered.) Not to mention, as we’ll see later, it was also the festival of Sukkot – Tabernacles – when many pilgrims came to celebrate in Jerusalem … which meant the inns were full….
Bethlehem is only about 5 miles from Jerusalem and so Y’shua was born there because was no room at any of the inns in either Jerusalem or Bethlehem. Yeshua had to be born in Bethlehem because the name Bethlehem means “House Of Bread”, with the strong connotation of House Of Battle. And as we all know, Y’shua is the Bread of Life” (John 6:43-51).
YHWH (Yahweh/The Creator) arranged for His divine Son to be born in His timing – as revealed in His Mo’edim – Biblical Feasts/Appointed Times; and that Son, Yeshua (which in Hebrew means “YHWH is Salvation”), has so far fulfilled the first FOUR of the SEVEN Biblical Feasts! One of the Feasts Yeshua fulfilled was His own birthday. Here’s a brief summary of how we know this:
There are 7 historical anchors to the date of the Messiah’s birth which narrow the range of the birth to the first two weeks of September, 5 BCE (Gregorian proleptic calendar). This article does not provide the details but here are the 7 anchors:
- Both Matthew and Luke agree that Yeshua was born in the last days of King Herod the Great
- No significant astronomical events were observed prior to 7 BCE which would direct the Magi to the birth of the Messiah
- The “shepherds” were living in the fields, (Luke 2:8), so it was not yet winter
- The purification period of Yeshua’s mother Mary for the birth of a boy required 41 days. Herod does not order the slaughter of the male infants till this purification period has ended and Mary and Joseph must stay in the area the whole time.
- Three references in the Gospels about astronomical events reveal the time Herod was told of the birth which led Herod to kill infant boys two-years old and under
- Jupiter, the “King Star” was observed rising in the east in late May, 5 BCE
- “There was no room at the inn” reveals more than commonly known. The “inns” are filled because there was a census and observant Jews were preparing for the annual Sukkot celebration
All of these historical events narrow the date of the birth to the first two weeks of September (Gregorian), 5 BCE.
We know there was no ‘single’ “Star of Bethlehem” because the passing of time required to observe astronomical events and the fact that several astronomical events were needed to “direct” the Magi to seek the Messiah. There was a “dance of the planets” spanning 7-5 BCE which were perceived by the Magi as “guiding” them to Jerusalem. Central in that “dance” was Jupiter which ultimately appeared to “pause” over Jerusalem.
If you know the “Star of Bethlehem” was Jupiter, then you know when the Nativity was! The Magi told Herod “the time the star appeared” (Matthew 2:7) and Herod killed infants two years and under in response. That means the Magi were tracking the “King’s Star” for two years, because Herod didn’t stop from killing his own children (and his favorite wife!), per 1st Century Jewish Historian Josephus. In fact, Josephus says that Augustus Caesar himself remarked that he would rather be one of Herod’s dogs than one of his children. The only “star of kings” the Magi would have known was Jupiter. “Magi” refers to Zoroastrian priests from either Babylon or Persia (now Iran or Iraq), both areas are EAST of Israel and the Magi tracked a triple conjunction of Jupiter (the king’s planet) and Saturn (the savior planet for the Jews) throughout 7 BCE in Aries (the zodiac sign for Syria and Israel in their mythology).
Zoroastrians had a myth that their version of Messiah, called “Saoshyant” in their scriptures, would be born “in the west, in a foreign land.” When a triple conjunction (a three-time pairing of Jupiter and Saturn), and other events, all began in 7 BCE, they knew they had to grab their bags and incense and go. Jupiter went into conjunction with the sun and “died”. When it emerged triumphantly from behind the sun the Magi resumed tracking its motion and in mid 6 BCE they continued tracking its apparent westward motion until it “paused” over Bethlehem on Sept. 5 BCE. Planets, of course, don’t “pause”, but the outer planets (Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) do appear to “pause” by retrograde motion. In 5 BCE, Jupiter’s retrograde motion made it “stand still” for several nights, perfectly positioned to look like it was stationary over Jerusalem. That led them to Jerusalem, actually Bethlehem.
There they found the Messiah! But wait! The “pausing” of Jupiter was in the range of the 19th to the 20th of September (Gregorian) in 5 BCE and the Magi found the “boy” in the manger! Only in the ancient languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) does the term “boy” mean something besides “infant”! The magi had arrived after the infant was circumcised! Only after circumcision is a male child called a “boy”. But that only narrows down the date of the birth to at least 8 days before the Magi arrived. But we know the season was Sukkot, there was a census, and that Mary and Joseph were forced to find shelter in a barn or sukkah, we know the date of the birth is narrowed to 11-14 September (Gregorian), 5 BCE.
Now as Paul Harvey would have said: “Here is a strange…” Former Air Force lieutenant colonel, William Welker, and life-long amateur astronomer with degrees in Physics found there was also a “well placed” total lunar eclipse on September 13, 5 BCE, which was the night of 14-15 Tishri that year (by the moon; not by the modern, calculated Jewish calendar) – the beginning of Sukkot. By “well placed”, Welker explained that it began in the evening about 9:30 PM in Israel, and the entire total eclipse was easily seen throughout the entire land with totality ending about 11 PM. This was the day, and possibly the time of the birth of the Messiah!
Furthermore, if that is not compelling enough:
- Shepherds do not “abide in the fields” in December with their sheep in Israel, not 2,000 years ago and not now. It is well known that shepherds stay in shelters starting in November, with the arrival of the rainy season.
- Luke tells us Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, served 15 months in the Temple before Messiah was born. Luke gives us the name of the course of duty: Abijah (Luke 1:5). Guess what? We know when the Priests of the order of Abijah served during this time, we add 15 months it comes to Sept, 5 BCE.
- Likewise we can date the first census of Qurinius as well, as Romans counted folks every 14 years and people in Egypt – like Josef and Mary – were forced to return to their ANCESTRAL HOMES to pay the tax. This is verified in the Bible; it is not open to interpretation!
- Luke and John synch on the same year for the beginning of Messiah’s ministry: 27 BCE. How do we know that? Forty-six years from the beginning of Herod’s temple and the 15th year of Tiberius bring us to the same year. Co-regencies were counted as part of Roman rule, so Tiberius co-ruled with Augustus starting in 12 CE. Josephus says Herod began building the Temple in 19 BCE. Then Luke says Y’shua was “about 30” when he began his ministry. By this clock, he would be 30 years exactly and a few months. (There is no year 0 so 4 years to 1 BCE +26 to arrive at Rosh hashanna = 30 CE).
Yeshua, our Messiah was born 15 Tishri (September 13th (Gregorian proleptic)), 5 BCE, under the “sign” of a total lunar eclipse. (Click to Source)
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