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.”
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