WHEN WAS HE BORN?
After Yeshua was born in Beit-Lechem in the land of Y’hudah during the time when Herod was king, Magi from the east came to Yerushalayim and asked, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1,2)
Here it is, December 25, 2019, and all around the world millions of people are celebrating “the birth of Christ.” I wonder if many of them know He was not born on this day. Do they know when He was born? Do any of us know when He was born? The answer to this question may be found, through following clues in Scripture. Curious? I urge you to follow the trail left by various scribes and prophets, as they unknowingly left tidbits for us.
Let’s begin when and where it happened – Bethlehem, Israel. This little town is a suburb of Jerusalem. It can be quite cold for the sheep and the shepherds to be outside at night. Sheep are usually brought into shelters around the middle to late October. No shepherd wants his sheep to die of cold.
In Luke 2:1-3, we read – Around this time, Emperor Augustus issued an order for a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This registration, the first of its kind, took place when Quirinius was governing in Syria. Everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. Although the name of the festival is not mentioned, it will soon become clear it is the Feast of Succoth, the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated in late September, early October. However, these are not the most convincing clues. We must dig deeper. Let’s look at events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist.
John’s father, Zachariah, was a priest at the Temple. Indeed, we are quite clearly told he belonged to the Aviyah Division, which is the eighth, as we read in 1 Chronicles 24. By the drawing of lots, when the Temple was ready for services, well before the birth of Messiah, it was determined when the divisions would serve. The first division, Y’hoyariv, served during the time of Pesach, Passover, held for eight days between April and May. All divisions served the same period of time, approximately 15 days. Aviyah was the eighth division and, so, its dates of service were, approximately, during the month of Sivan, the third month of the Judaic calendar. Are you with me, do far? Let’s go to the next clue.
Following his service in the Temple, Zechariah returned home and, miraculously, his elderly wife, Elishiva, Elizabeth, conceived. Their son was born nine months later, during the month of Adar, just before Passover.
As we read, in Luke 1:36, Miryam was sent to be with Elishiva, when she was six months pregnant. At this point, Miryam conceived Adonai Yeshua. This would have been some time in December, Julian calendar, or Kislev, Judaic calendar. Assuming a normal gestation period, our Messiah would have been born during the month of Tishrei, sometime in late September, early October. Given the festival associated with Luke 2, this would have been the Festival of Sukkot.
So, using Scripture as our guide, it is clear that Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, was not born on December 25, but probably on the 15th of Tishrei, the first day of Sukkot.
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.
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