The Blogging Hounds are posting a special series of articles about the Birth of Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. We personally do not celebrate Christmas because of it’s Pagan History and connections. We want to educate you about the truth of Jesus/Yeshua’s birth date. This article was written in October 2009
Yeshua/Jesus was born, on the first day of Succoth…2000 years ago. While the “world” (with the exception of the Eastern Orthodox church, who celebrate it on Jan 7th) will celebrate His birthday on December 25th, it should have been properly celebrated on this past Friday night. Is this the correct viewpoint of the celebration, by the “world”…or, could it actually be Biblically connected to God’s Holy days in the Fall, as stated in the Bible? We will let the Bible clarify that answer. First, let’s see if there is any physical record of His birth. Are there any Temple records of Messiah’s birth?
There are no surviving records to show when Yeshua/Jesus was born or of His circumcision. Yeshua/Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day, blessed and dedicated in the Temple in Jerusalem, as shown in Luke 2:21-38.
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”),and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvationWhich You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
The circumcision records were kept in the Temple in Jerusalem. These records were destroyed along with the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 7CE (common era) by the Roman troops led by General Titus. Let’s further search the Scriptures to see if we can further solve this mystery, and center on a certain individual…a Levite, by the name of Zacharias.
Luke 1:5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
Luke 1:23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
God has given us a clue in these verses about Zacharias in that he belonged to the division of Abijah.
The 24 courses of Temple Priesthood
God gives to King David, in 1 Chron 24:1-31, instructions to divide the sons of Aaron, the high priest, into 24 groups, divisions, or courses. David sets up a schedule in which the Temple of the Lord would be staffed withy priests, all year round, in an orderly manner…just as God is orderly. (1Chronicles 28:11-13). 24 groups, divisions, or courses of priests, are established, lots are drawn to determine the order that each group would serve in the Temple. (1Chronicles 24:1-31)
Here is the order that follows:
1Chronicles 24:7….. 1. Jehoiarib….. 2. Jedaiah
1Chronicles 24:8….. 3. Harim….. 4. Searim
1Chronicles 24:9….. 5. Malchijah….. 6. Mijamin
1Chronicles 24:10…. 7. Hakkoz….. 8. Abijah
1Chronicles 24:11…. 9. Jeshua….. 10. Sheconiah
1Chronicles 24:12…. 11. Eliashib….. 12. Jakim
1Chronicles 24:13…. 13. Huppah….. 14. Jeshebeab
1Chronicles 24:14…. 15. Bilgah….. 16. Immer
1Chronicles 24:15…. 17. Hezir….. 18. Happizzez
1Chronicles 24:16…. 19. Pethahiah….. 20. Jehezkel
1Chronicles 24:17…. 21. Jachin….. 22. Gamul
1Chronicles 24:18…. 23. Delaiah….. 24. Maaziah
1Chronicles 24:19 “These had as their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the Lord according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him”.
Now each one of these 24 courses of priests would begin their service in the Temple on the Sabbath; their tour of service being for one week. (1Chronicles 9:25 and 2Chronicles 23:8)
Three occasions, during the year, all the men of Israel, were required to travel to Jerusalem for the Festivals of the Lord. On these occasions, all the priests would be needed in the Temple to accomodate the crowds. The 3 Festivals being…Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
Deut16:16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you”.
The Yearly Cycle of Service in the Temple
The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar which begins in the Spring, during the month of Aviv-Nisan. The first course of priests would be of the family of Jehoiarib, who would serve for 7 days. The second week, would be the responsibility of the family of Jedaiah. In the third week, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread, all the priests would be present for service. The schedule resumes with the third course of priests from the family of Harim. By this plan, when the 24th course was completed, the cycle of courses would repeat. This schedule would cover 51 weeks, or 357 days, enough for the lunar Jewish calendar (about 354 days). In the period of one year, each group of priests, would serve in the Temple, twice under scheduled course, in addition to the 3 major feasts, for a total of about 5 weeks of duty.
The Conception of John the Baptist
We now come back to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist.
Luke 1:23 “And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying”, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Beginning with the first month of the Hebrew Calendar, Aviv-Nisan, in the Spring (March-April), the schedule of the priests’ courses would result with Zacharias serving in the Temple during the tenth week of the year. This is because he was a member of the course of Abijah, the 8th course; both the Feasts of Unleavened Bread (15th thru 21st Aviv-Nisan) and Shavout-Pentecost, 6th Sivan, would have occurred before his scheduled duty. This places Zacharius’ administration in the Temple as beginning on the second Sabbath of the third month of Sivan (May-June).
Having completed his Temple service on the third Sabbath of Sivan, Zacharias returned home and soon conceived his son, John, with Elizabeth. John the Babptist was probably conceived shortly after the 3rd Sabbath of the month of Sivan (May-June).
The Conception of Yeshua/Jesus Christ
How is John the Baptist connected with the conception of Yeshua? The reason that the information about John is important, is because, according to the Gospel of Luke, Yeshua was conceived by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) in the 6th month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.
Luke 1:24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. Note that verse 26 (above) refers to the 6th month of Elisabth’s pregnancy, not to Elul, the 6th month of the Hebrew calendar. This is made plain by the context of verse 24 and again in verse 36.
Luke 1:36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
Mary stayed with her cousin, Elisabeth, for the last 3 months of her pregnancy, until the time that John was born.
Luke 1:56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home. 57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.
Working with information about John’s conception late in the 3rd month of Sivan, and advancing 6 months, we arrive late in the 9th month of Kislav (Nov-Dec) for the time frame of the conception of Yeshua. It is very interesting that the first day of the Jewish Fesival of Hannukkah, the Feast of Lights, is celebrated on the 25th of Kislav, and Yeshua is called “The Light of The World” (John 8:12, 9:5, 23:46).
It is very interesting that the first day of the Jewish Fesitval of Hannukkah, the Feast of Lights, is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev (December) and Yeshua/Jesus is called “the Light of the World” (John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46). It does not appear to be mere coincidence. In the Book of John, Hannukkah is called the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22). Hannukkah is an 8 day Festival celebrating the re-lighting of the Menorah in the re-dedicated Temple. According to the story of Hannukkah, the oil lamps stayed lit miraculously, for 8 days, on only one day’s supply of oil.
The Birth of John
Based on a conception date shortly after the third Sabbath of the Month of Sivan (May-June}, projecting forward an average term of about 10 lunar months (40 weeks), we arrive in the month of Aviv/Nisan (March-April). It would appear that John the Baptist may have been born in the middle of the month which would have coincided with Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is interesting to note that, even today, it is customary for the Jews to set out a special goblet of wine during the Passover Seder meal, in anticipation of the arrival of Elijah that week, which is based on the prophecy in Malachi. (Malachi 4:5) “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes”. Yeshua/Jesus identified John as “The Elijah” whom the Jews expected. Matthew 17:10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.The angel that appeared to Zacharrias in the Temple also indicated that John would be the expected Elijah (Elias). Luke 1:17 “and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th day of the first month of Aviv/Nisan (March-April); this is the likely date for the birth of John the Baptist, the expected Elijah.
The Birth of Yeshua(Jesus)
Since Yeshua was conceived 6 months after John the Baptist, and we have established a likely date for John’s birth, we need only to move 6 months further down theJewish Calendar to arrive at likely date for the birth of Yeshua. From the 15th day of the first month of Aviv/Nisan, we go to the 15th day of the 7th month of Tishri which corresponds to September-October. What do we find on this date? It is the Festival of Succot/Tabernacles. The 15th day of Tishri (September-October) begins the 3rd and last festival of the year to which all the men of Israel were together in Jerusalem for Temple services.Leviticus 23:34 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord”. Immanuel Issiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”. Immanuel means “God with us”. The Son of God had come to dwell with or tabernacle on earth with His people.
John1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”. The word for dwelt, in Hebrew, is Succah. The name of the Feast of Tabernacles, in Hebrew, is Sukkot…a festival of rejoicing and celebration. Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Why was there no room at the Inn? Bethlehem is only about 5 miles from Jerusalem and all the men of Israel had come to attend the Feast of Tabernacles, as was required by the Law of Moses. There was a Roman census and taxation taking place at the same time. Every room, for miles, around Jerusalem, would have been already taken by pilgrims; so, all that Mary and Joseph could find for shelter, was a stable. Also of note is the fact that the Feast of Tabernacles, is an 8 day feast (Leviticus 23:36&39). Why 8 days? Could God have ordained 8 days as a time span for an Infant born during this time to be circumcised and dedicated to God and circumcised on the 8th day after birth. Luke 2:21 “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb”. So, the Infant, Yeshua(Jesus) would have been circumcised on the 8th and last day of the Feast of Tabernacles/Succot…a Sabbath day. The Jews today, consider this a seperate festival from Tabernacles and they call it Sheminiatzeret.
If you have followed the above reasoning, based on Scriptural evidence, a case can apparently be made that Yeshua(Jesus) was born on the 15th day of the month of Tishri-on our calendar of September-October…on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Tabernacles Future Fulfillment
It is also interesting to note that Tabernacles was a feast of ingathering of the harvest (Exodus 23:16 and 34:22). If Yeshua’s first coming was indeed on the 15th of Tishri (Sept-Oct), the first day of Tabernacles, then it is quite reasonable to presume that the harvest of this earth, the ingathering of believing Jews and Gentiles, at the 2nd Coming of Yeshua(Jesus) might also occur on this same date. The unknown factor would be the year that this would happen.
Mixing the Holy With Unholy…God or Man? CONCLUSION
In the final conclusion to the real date of Yeshua’s(Jesus’) birthday, what does God say about Holiness and mixing of the Holy with the unholy…and…Is it in perfect accord with what man says? Let these following verses show what God has to say about the Christmas business.
Leviticus 19:2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Leviticus 11:44 “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. 45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 20:7 “Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.” vs 26 “You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.”
Mixing Holy With the Unholy Leviticus 10:8 “And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, 9 “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 10 You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.” Leviticus 18:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. 3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. 4 You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.” Lev. ch 18:24 “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, 25 and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you…” Leviticus 18:29 “For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.”
Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Ezekiel 44:21 “No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court. 22 They shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman, but only virgins of the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.”