Times and Seasons: The Biblical Dates For Yeshua Ha Meshiach’s Conception and Birth
I Chronicles 24 describes the 24 different orders (or clans) that were the descendents of Elazar and Itamar, the two surviving sons of Aaron after Nadav and Avihu died childless as a result of their carelesss handling of the Ark of the Covenant. These 24 different divisions of the descendants of Aaron each spent a week ministering in the temple. They went through the orders twice per year. There were four weeks, during certain holy days, when no order ministered, but the ministry was under the direct control of the Cohen Hagadol, (The High Priest).
When the angel, Gavri-El (meaning "G*d is mighty", Gabriel in English), appeared to Zachar’yah (meaning "G*d is renowned", in English - Zacharias) as he was ministering in the Temple, it was during the ministration of the order of the Eighth clan, Abi’yah (meaning "God the affectionate Father," Abijah in English). We know it was not during the second time of service because Luke 1:9 says that Zachar’yah was chosen by lot to burn incense on the altar. Priests coming from rural areas were chosen by lots to serve at the various altar functions during the first time of service, while those who lived in Yerusalaim served during the second time around.
The whole purpose of this some what technical explanation is to establish this simple fact - if we read the Bible with an understanding of the Word of G*d which respects the Tanakh (Old Testament) as being the living breath of G*d, and we interpret the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) by it’s Jewish roots, it clearly tells us when Yochanan (John the Baptist) was concieved. From that information, combining a casual reading of the Gospels with a rudimentary understanding of the biology of human reproduction tells us exactly when Messiah was born. The first week of the order of Abiyah includes part of the last week of the second Hebrew month (Iyar) and part of the first week of the third Hebrew month ( Sivan). That week ends at Shavuot (Pentecost). Zachar’yah was burning incense at the Altar. This would only have occured on the last day of the week. This was when he received the revelation of his coming son. He immediately went home, and his wife conceived. This puts the conception of Yochanan (John the Baptist) on the last day of Shavuot, the Feast of Pentecost, in the second week of the month of Sivan, the third Hebrew month.
This, if we do respect ALL of the Bible as the word of G*d, gives us an absolute and reliable starting point for discovering the exact time of Messiah Yeshua’s birth. There is no need for us to doubt when he was born. There is no need for us to accept the doubtful legends which came out of Constantinian Theology, legends and ideas which were born out of both ignorance of the Bible and hatred for Jews.
At the end of the sixth month of Elisheva’ s pregnancy the angel Gavri-El appeared to Miriam (Mary). Gavri-El told Miriam about Elisheva, saying "she who was called barren is six months pregnant." This would be the last of the ninth Hebrew month called Kislev, at the time of Chanukah. There are 27 weeks weeks between the end of the service of the clan of Abi’yah and the start of Chanukah (Dedication), which is celebrated eight days, from Kislev 25 to Tevet 2.
Miriam accepts the offer of the angel concerning the conception of Messiah in her, fully gives her permission to be used by the Almighty One in this way, and she immediately rushes from Natseret (Nazareth) to the home of Elisheva and Zachar’yah in the Judean mountains close to Yerushalayim.
Upon Miriam’s greeting to Elisheva, Elisheva responds to Miriam, calling her "the mother of my LORD". She clearly speaks to Miriam as already being pregnant - the fetus of Yeshua was already growing in her womb. Thus, Yeshua was conceived at Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, for He is the Light of the World.
Chanukah often falls very close to Christmas, and at times is on the very same day. The apostate Roman church, under the direction of Constantine, dictated that Christians were to stop celebrating Chanukah. Records of that time, both Jewish, Pagan, and Christian, indicate that Gentile Believers had an almost universal practice of celebrating Chanukah up until this decree was given by Constantine in 325 A.D. Constantine deemed Chanukah to be "too Jewish." Since the Nazratim, those who were Jewish believers in Yeshua, refused to follow the lead of the Gentile Church and allow Constantine to appoint their officers, Constantine was determined to cut all ties between the Jewish and Gentile components of the Ecclesia. The pagan winter solstice rituals of late December coincided with Chanukah on the 25th of Kislev. Most of the rites and rituals of that pagan holiday were used to replace Chanukah to create Christmas, which was set to be celebrated on December 25. This was thinly disguised with a "Christian" veneer by arbitrarily saying it was the Messiah’s birthday.
Yeshua is shown celebrating the feast of Dedication (Chanukah means "Dedication") in John 10:22,23. It is at this celebration that He declares "I and My Father are One" [John 10:30], which testifies to His Divine origin in His conception. It also reinforces Chanukah as the time of His conception.
If we have the idea that we must celebrate "SOMETHING SPIRITUAL" in late December, at about the time of the winter solstice, it would be far more accurate to celebrate the conception of Yeshua at Chanukah than to celebrate His birth at Christmas. As we have shown, Christmas is not the birthday of Christ.
Christmas is an invented holiday, the result of a political decision to compromise Biblical truth with pagan tradition in order to accomplish human political goals. The ONLY harmony between the origin of Christmas and any Biblical truth or spiritual value is that it falls at the approximate time of year when Yeshua was conceived by Ruach Ha Kodesh, (commonly referred to as the Holy Spirit.)
Miriam stayed with Elisheva for three months, which was until the birth of Yochanan. Since a full pregnancy term is 41 weeks, and 27 weeks makes up the first six months (two trimesters), which is exactly the time from the service of the order of Abiyah to Chanukah, that leaves 14 weeks to accomplish the last trimester and bring the pregnancy to full term. There are exactly 14 weeks from Chanukah to Passover (Nisan 14-22). Therefore, Yochanan (John the Baptist) was born at Passover. He was circumcised on the eighth day, which would be the last day of Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. Gavri-EI had said that Yochanan would "go forth" in the strength and power of Elijah [Luke 1:17]. Jewish teaching (still prominent today) was that Elijah would come again at Passover.
Nisan, when Yochanan was born, is the first month of the Hebrew spiritual year. (Yom Kippur is the beginning of the civil year, as we deal with our human relationships.) Miriam conceived six months after Elisheva conceived, which means Yeshua’s birth would have to come six months after John’s birth, during the seventh Hebrew month of Tishri. We can exactly fix the time of Yeshua’s birth by counting six Hebrew months from Passover. The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on Nisan 15 and six months later Tabernacles begins on Tishri 15. Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
The first day of Tabernacles is a Sabbath rest, so it fits that Yosef and Miriam planned their journey to Beit-Lechem (Bethlehem) so they would finish their journey before this festival Sabbath. They found lodging in time to avoid violating that Sabbath.
Adonai commanded Israel to observe the Feast of Tabernacles for eight days. They were to build temporary dwellings (sukkahs) and dwell in them [Leviticus 23:34-43]. These sukkahs were designed to give families some bare comforts and food for eight days. Food was placed in what we might call a crib for storage in the tabernacle. Yeshua was not born in a barn! He was born in a temporary tent (tabernacle), a sukkah, which had been built for the celebration. He was placed in a food storage crib, demonstrating that He is the Bread of Life from heaven.
On the eighth day, Yeshua was circumcised according to the scriptural command [Luke 2:21]. For a male, this is what accomplishes a full Hebrew birth. The Feast of Tabernacles is for exactly eight days. The first and last days are both holy Sabbaths. Yeshua was born on the first day, a holy Sabbath, and circumcised on the eighth day, a holy Sabbath. We firmly believe that the Almighty One intended the Feast of Tabernacles to be set aside in order to do two things:
1) To provide a proper setting for the birth of Yeshua,
2) To celebrate Yeshua’s birth into the world.
Please note these very interesting facts: The Almighty One originally provided two holy feasts that lasted eight days, Passover/Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles. At a much later time a third holy feast, Chanukah, lasting eight days, was introduced. Yochanan the Immerser, the forerunner of Messiah, was born on the first day and circumcised on the eighth day of the first of these three Holy Festivals. Yeshua was concieved on the third eight day feast, Chanukah. Six months after the birth of John, Yeshua, the Messiah, was born on the first day and circumcised on the eighth day of the second eight day long holiday. Yochanan came into the world to lead us to the Messiah in the first month of the year. Yeshua came in the seventh month. Yochanan came into the world on the first day of the first month, as a signal that it was a time of new beginnings in our human relationship with G*d. He came to show the way to a true relationship with the Almighty One through the Messiah. The seventh month is the month which symbolizes fullness or completion. Yeshua came into the world on the middle day of the Seventh month, the exact day which symbolizes the ultimate completion of the Almighty One’s plan for mankind, even that He would be EMANUEL, "G*d present among us and interacting with us on a personal basis."
Zechariah 14:16,17 tells us that one day all nations will be required to honor this feast. No specific reason for that coming requirement is listed in Zechariah. For what our opinion is worth, we strongly suspect that it will be because it is the birthday of the King of Kings! We ask you, why not start celebrating it NOW?
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