He tabernacled among us: Yeshua’s obvious link with the Festival of Sukkoth

“And the Dvar (word) HaShem took on gufanyiut ( corporealty) and made his mishkan (tabernacle)  among us an we gazed upon his Kavod ( glory), the Shechinah ( cloud of glory) of the Ben Yachid from Elohim haAv, full of HaShem’s chesed ( compassion) v’ Emes ( truth).”

          Yochanan, OJB, verse 1:14

(John) Yochanan’s Gospel transcribed in a Jewish context, like in the Orthodox Jewish Bible version will enlighten details one would not even be able to notice. It is very important to understand the very Jewish concepts that come out in Yochanan’s text.

What is Sukkoth about?

Leviticus 23:41-43: ” You are to observe it as a feast to HaShem seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation, kept in the seventh month. You are to live in sukkoth for seven days; every citizen of Israel is to live in a sukkah to that generation after generation of you will know that I made the people of Israel live in sukkoth when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

The celebration of Sukkoth usually takes place on the 15th of Tishrei (usually between late September and late October, depending on the year.) The feast, that lasts 7 days, strongly contrasts with the preceding one, Yom Kippur, that is about repentance and forgiveness.

Sukkoth is the essence of JOY. 

“For seven days you are to celebrate in the presence of the Lord your God at the place where the Lord will choose; for the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in everything you do, and your joy will be complete.” Deuteronomy 16: 15

For seven days you are to celebrate in the presence of the LORD your God at the place where the LORD will choose; for the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in everything you do, and your joy will be complete.

Sukkot customs: “arba minim”: the four species

The four spieces used during Sukkoth are:

-etrog ( a big lemon)

-hadas ( myrtle)

-lulav ( date palm)

-aravah ( willow)

These four types of species represent the four types of Jewish people. They are bound together symbolically, meaning that we need all of them.

The etrog, this huge lemon, has both: flavor and taste. It stands for the Jew who studied Torah and who is loving in his actions.

Hadas, the myrtle smells good, so it has a taste, but you wouldn’t be able to eat it. It symbolizes the person with good deeds, but who is deprived of wisdom.

Lulav, the date palm, is edible, yet has no smell. It represents a person filled with wisdom, but who lacks good deeds.

Finally, aravah, the willow tree, has zero taste and zero smell, so it refers to a person with no Torah study and no good actions.

The Gospel of John, Chapter 7 pictures Yeshua during Sukkoth

“Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of Salvation “( Isaiah 12:3)
וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם-מַיִם, בְּשָׂשׂוֹן, מִמַּעַיְנֵי, הַיְשׁוּעָה

Once again, it is very important that we read Yochanan, John, in context.

The Gospel of John has often been wrongly used by antisemites to spread their hateful views against Jewish people, especially because the recurrent term that appears in John’s text are ” the Jews”…”the Jews” seem to always oppose Yeshua. Many people have understood that “the Jews” were actually Yeshua’s enemies.

Let us think logically. Yochanan, Yeshua’s disciple is a Jew. Yeshua our Messiah Himself is a Jew. So why would Yochanan attack the “Jews” in his gospel? It would be like self-stabbing and it doesn’t make sense, right?

The explanation lies in the mistranslation of the term “Jews”…Yochanan did not speak of the Jews, he spoke of the Judeans, the inhabitants of Judea as opposed to the Galileans.

Each time you come across a translated text that says “the Jews” replace the expression by the Judeans and you will see that it truly makes sense.

Do not forget that in John 7, Yeshua traveled from Galilee and came to Judea to secretly celebrate Sukkoth.

“After these things Yeshua went into the land of Galil, continually passing through. For he did not desire to walk into Yehudah since the “Yehudim” (Judeans) were seeking to pu him to death.  The festival of the Yehudim was drawing near-the Festival of Sukkoth.

His brothers said to him,

Arise and go from there to the land of Yehudah, so that your disciples may also see the deeds that you do. For no one who wants to be known does a thing in secret. If you are doing things like this, be shown to the world!

For even his brothers did not believe in him. ” Yochanan  7:1-5, Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels

The Judeans are suspicious about Yeshua. Their intentions to kill Him are quite clear. Yochanan is telling us that even Yeshua’s brothers did not believe in Him. ( However, at some point, Yaakov and Yehudah, both brothers of Yeshua, became believers…maybe it was post resurrection…)

The Judeans knew that Yeshua was very observant in His practice. They sought Him. 

People were speaking about Yeshua, whether in good or in bad, but always secretly, because they all feared the religious establisment. 

His brothers preceded Yeshua who stayed in the Galil.

The Galil, near Migdal..I took this picture last September, on the way to Tsfat. This picture is subject to copyright. Please ask before using it. Thanks.

Yeshua came halfway through the Festival. Our rabbi offered His teachings in the Temple and, well, the Judeans were amazed at His wisdom.

“Halfway through the festival, Yeshua went up to the Temple and taught. The Yehudim were amazed an said: “How has he become such a scholar not having studied?” Yochanan, Chapter 7, verse 14, Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels

In John, Chapter 7, people start questioning if Yeshua is the Messiah.

“Some of the people who lived in Yerushalayim said: ‘Is this not the one they sought to kill? Here he is speaking in public, and they do not reprimand him. Surely our leaders know that  this is the Maschiach! But when the Maschiach comes, no one will know where he is from.”  Yochanan 7:25-27

I never paid attention to this verse, but a more attentive examination of it allows me to understand that it mixes a statement of faith ( this is the Maschiach) and an expression of doubt ( but when the Maschiach comes, no one will know where he is from).

Yeshua’s link with Simchat beit hashoeivah

What is Simchat beit hashoeivah or the Joyous Water drawing ceremony?

The Joyous Water drawing ceremony is deeply linked with Salvation. You will understand why.

The Jewish custom is for priests to leak living water onto the altar during the six days of the festival while people would join in prayers, reciting the verse of Psalm 118:25:

“We beseech you Lord, save now”

אָנָּא יְהוָה, הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא;    אָנָּא יְהוָה, הַצְלִיחָה נָּא

During these 6 days people will stand in circle around the altar. They would hold their palms in their hands and sing the verse mentioned above.  On the 7th day of the festival, the worshippers would prepare for the final libation, staying around the altar and shaking their palms while generating a sound of wind and water.

These rituals symbolize the accomplishment of Isaiah’s words:

 וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם-מַיִם, בְּשָׂשׂוֹן, מִמַּעַיְנֵי, הַיְשׁוּעָה

Isaiah 12:3

Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of Salvation 

To check it more in depth, I invite you to explore the following link.

“On the last, great day of the festival, Yeshua stood  and called out, saying: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” Yochanan 7:37 Hebrew Delitzsch Gospels

Note that, by making the following statement, Yeshua declares that He is the Source of the Living Water.”

The Living Water is the promise for Messianic times. When Yeshua is making this solemn declaration, He is revealing publicly that He IS the Messiah.

This raises, of course, a big controversy within the religious establisment.

Naqdimon, Yeshua’s secret disciple and ally from the Sanhedrin, takes His defense:

“Does our Torah judge a man before investigating to know what he has done?” Yochanan 7:51

Yeshua’s detractors think that the Messiah cannot come from Galilee.

Their opinion is due partly to the ignorance of Isaiah’s prophecies that point at the “Galil of the nations” and also to their ignorance of  Yeshua’s place of birth : Bethlehem.

וְאַתָּה בֵּית-לֶחֶם אֶפְרָתָה, צָעִיר לִהְיוֹת בְּאַלְפֵי יְהוּדָה–מִמְּךָ לִי יֵצֵא, לִהְיוֹת מוֹשֵׁל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל; וּמוֹצָאֹתָיו מִקֶּדֶם, מִימֵי עוֹלָם 

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:1

Rejoice, for Yeshua is the Source of Eternal Life.

May He bring Salvation to the whole nation of Israel and to all who are willing to repent and receive it with humble hearts.


© 2017 by Isabelle Esling


Chronological timing of our Messiah’s birth

All Gospel quotations are taken out of the Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels.

A lot of confusion reigns about our Messiah’s birth and many people accept Christmas as Yeshua’s official birth date. Some others will argue that it doesn’t really matter if Yeshua was born on December the 25th or not. Actually, it DOES matter, because our Messiah’s birth is intimately linked with the Festival of Sukkoth, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. John 1:14 specifies that Yeshua “ tabernacled among us.”

Most confusions about our Messiah’s birth chronology are due to huge mistakes in calculation ( mostly based on the Gregorian calendar.) One must understand that the Gospels would, of course, refer to the Jewish religious calendar. The universe of the Gospels depicts Torah-observant families in Israel of the 1st Century. Yet so many individuals prompt to forget about it.

It also comes from the ignorance of geography and meteorological conditions at different times of the year in Israel.

Timing of Zechariah at the Temple

The Gospel of Luke offers a precise timing of the events that are depicted, but a clear understanding of these events will require quite a good knowledge of some Tanakh references.

Actually, we will need to go back to the first Book of Chronicles, Chapter 24. This text informs us precisely about the division of Levitical priesthood by King David. There were 24 divisions and King David’s clever organization allowed each division to be able to worship at the Temple.

Abiyah was programmed to serve during the second half of the Jewish Calendar which corresponds to late May to Mid-June ( and to Shavuoth Feast).

We know from the Gospel of Luke that Zechariah belonged to the division of Abiyah ( Abijah in English).

Contrary a popular opinion, Yeshua wasn’t born in a stall, but in a SUKKAH.

To the attentive reader, who has heart to replace the Gospel reports into their, true original, cultural and cultual context, it is obvious that Yeshua’s place of birth completely differs from Christianity’s made up fairy tales.

This is how a sukkah looks like:

(N.B: this statement wasn’t made to pick on Christians, but rather to restore true facts where they actually belong. As a follower of Yeshua our Messiah, I am committed to speaking out the truth, whether people like it or not.)

So, what is a sukkah and what is its purpose?

A sukkah is a holiday hut that is constructed by Jewish families as a temporary home topped with branches and under the open sky ( it must provide shade) during the whole Festival of Sukkoth ( i.e 7 days). The material used to build it obeys very precise rules.

There are several points to remember about the Festival of Sukkoth:

  • Sukkoth seals the unity of all Jewish people
    • a sukkah is a protection from the Lord ( For the day of trouble, He will hide me in His sukkah ( Psalm 27:5)
  • It is a strong reminder of the deliverance from Egypt
  • during Sukkoth it is a mitzvah to invite guests to sit inside of the Sukkah 
  • the upshpizin or guests are very important and are also a reminder of Abraham’s three visitors in Genesis 18

“You shall rejoice in your Festival, you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, the Levite, the stranger, the orphan and the widow who are within your cities.” Deuteronomy 16:14

Being aware of the details mentioned above will help us do away with some made-up stories and go back to a Jewish, Torah-observant context that makes sense.

First and foremost there are two other points that also disprove a birth in December:

  • Luke speaks of a compulsatory census that has been ordered by the Roman authorities. Considering the cold and bad weather in Israel in the month of December, it is obvious that the Romans wouldn’t plan a census that implied people to be traveling during Winter time.
  • We also know from Luke’s mouth that the shepherds were keeping the night time duty on their flock ( which is only possible if the weather is mild enough).

Knowing that the Jewish tradition states that ” all Jews should sit together inside of the Sukkah”, we can understand easily that Yosef probably requested hospitality in Bethlehem for his highly pregnant wife and himself. But, despite the emergency situation he was facing and mostly due to the fact there were many travelers because of the census, Yosef could not be given hospitality by the inhabitants of Bethlehem. Facing emergency, he probably requested help from a few people to build his own Sukkah. When Miryam had given birth to Yeshua, she probably didn’t find any appropriate space for Yeshua, so she placed Him in the existing manger inside of the sukkah.

The conditions of birth of our Messiah are a call to humbleness. King of the Kings, of the lineage of King David, but of modest condition, Yeshua tabernacled among us, even literally speaking.

Timing of Yochanan’s conception, Yochanan’s birth, followed by Yeshua’s birth

“When the days of the service had been fulfilled, he returned to his house.

After these days, his wife Elisheva conceived and kept herself hidden for 5 months, and she said,

this is what Hashem has done for me, to gather up my disgrace from the sons of men.” 

Luke 1:23-25

Logically, we can assume that Zechariah returned home a few days, or maybe a few weeks after Gabriel’s apparition, so five months after Yochanan’s conception is probably around late November. Yonachan was probably born in late March or at the beginning of April.

We also know that, six months after Yochanan’s conception, the angel Gabriel visited Miryam in the little Galilean town of Nazareth. 

Gabriel spoke to Miryam in these terms:

“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you shall name him Yeshua.He will be great and will be called Son of the Highest.Hashem, God, will give him the throne of his father David.He will reign on the House of Yaakov forever.There will be no end to his kingdom.”

Yaakov was named Israel so House of Yaakov can be transcribed by House of Israel.

Miryam wasn’t married at this time.  She was a virgin. She was afraid and wondered how this would happen.

The angel Gabriel reassured her:

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.
Therefore the one that is born will be called holy- the Son of God.”

Yeshua’s conception happened after Gabriel had spoken. Six months after Yochanan’s conception leads us to late December ( around December the 25th that is wrongly mistaken as Yeshua’s birth date.)

If Yeshua was conceived around December the 25th, His birth probably happened around September the 25th to early October, which is excellent news, because Yeshua is the Word who became flesh and tanernacled among us all.

When Miryam came to visit her cousin, she knew of her pregnancy, because her baby had moved in her womb out of joy!

In the same way we shall rejoice, because the author of our Salvation came to be one of us.

A little bit food for thought

So, is it wrong to celebrate Christmas knowing that this date doesn’t correspond to Yeshua’s real birthdate ?

A lot of people would argue that this doesn’t matter. 

The trouble is, Christmas is associated with many pagan symbols that IHVH disapproves of like the Christmas tree, Santa Claus, Santa’s little helper and many more.

A true follower of Yeshua is meant to follow our Messiah only and to discard anything pagan.

If you doubt it, please check your heart’s motives and ask our Lord to show you.

May Yeshua bless all of you who are reading this article. All praise to our Lord and Savior. May He develop in you a sincere will to be close to His heart, always.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling


Yeshua, light of the world: birth of child

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given (Isaiah 9:6)

Although I am deeply convinced that our Messiah was born on Sukkoth (many biblical references, when read INTO CONTEXT, point at Sukkoth or Feast of the Tabernacles), I want to set apart this particular time of the year during which many Christians celebrate our Messiah’s birth to reflect on our Messiah’s venue on earth.

Nothing is more beautiful than to think that Abba loved each of us-individually to offer us His most precious gift. Yeshua became as fragile as a baby in order to show us godly love.

Yeshua, as He approached me, is the most gentle person I have ever met. Since this powerful encounter I had with Him, I started reading the New Testament with new eyes.

Yeshua revealed Himself to me as Yeshua haMaschiach, the Jewish Messiah.

I am so much conscious that all New Testament references really make sense  when interpreted rightly after Torah and Tanakh.

I have been accused to “hate Christians”, because I want to examine Yeshua’s sayings at the light of the Torah. No, I don’t hate anyone and there are wonderful Christians who love Yeshua with all their hearts, but I am not in agreement with the mistakes introduced into Christianity.

I want Truth for my Messiah is the Truth and I will walk in truth as long as I live.

What the Gospel teaches us about Zachariah and Elisabeth

“In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zachariah of the class of Abia…” Luke 1:5

The Gospel of Luke teaches us  that Zachariah was a priest of the class of Abia. In the next sentence we are being told that his wife, Elisabeth, was of the priestly line of Aaron. The high priests, like all levitical priests, belonged to the line of Aaron.

Does this matter? Yes, it certainly does matter.

Both, Zachariah and Elisabeth were strict Torah observants. They were obedient to the Commandments of Hashem. It also means that the one people are calling “John the Baptist” is not anyone.

The birth of their son Yokhanan was the fulfilling of a prophecy. In the Gospel of Matthew, Yokhanan is referred to as the “voice in the wilderness”, quoting the Book of Isaiah : “Prepare the way of the Lord; make His path straight.” (Isaiah 40:3)

Yeshua spoke of Yokhanan as Elyahou the prophet, according to the prophecy of Malachi:

“See I will send the prophet Elyahou before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. (Malachi 4:5. )

“And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elyahou, who was to come.” (Matthew 11:14)

One must also know that Jewish families who celebrate the Seder (the Passover meal) always leavean empty seat and an empty cup for prophet Elyahou whose coming must precede the coming of the Maschiach.

The birth of our Messiah on Sukkhot 

John 1:14: The word  became flesh and dwelt among us.

A correct translation of “dwelt” from the Greek renders “tabernacled” with is a very clear reference to the feast of Tabernacles.

Also, one needs to do away with the folkloric representation of the creche to realize that Yosef, Miriam’s husband act was to install his son into a Sukkah.

Many Messianic Jews believe that the date of birth of our Messiah can actually be calculated, based on the accounts of the Gospel of Luke. It is clearly stated that our Messiah was conceived 6 months after His cousin Yokhanan. The website Jewish roots gives us more accurate precisions about an actual calculation of the date of birth of our Messiah, according to the Jewish calender and to Zachariah’s ministery at the Temple.

The following website also reveals us some interesting details about Yeshua’s birth, from a Jewish point of view.

Also meteorology in Israel at the time of Yeshua’s venue shows us that we were not in winter:

“And she gave birth to her firstborn and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no plae for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” (Luke 2:7-8)

Knowing that the weather conditions in winter in Israel are very different from this description, usually cold and rainy, shepherds would not have been able to watch over their flock as they were doing it in the story of Luke.

If you want to have more evidence, check out this detailed article.

The most important we must remember about Yeshua’s coming in flesh is that our Savior accepted to take our human condition. He is our greatest gift, ever. Through Him we are delivered from our sins.

Blessed be His Name, for ever and ever. Amen.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling