Sunday, 2 October 2016

Exact day of the birth of Yah'shua

Towards the end of each year the season of feasts arrives in many cultures and dawns upon us once again.

Ask yourself what are you celebrating?

These feasts include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Muharram, Dasara, Mawlid an Nabi, Christmas, Diwali, Muharram, Ashura, Rohatsu and the like.

They all celebrate something or some one ...

Go on ... google the origins thereof for yourself.

Originally 25 December celebrates the birth of the evil Baal god, Tammuz ... not the birth of Christ 
(see here and here). This date was imposed on Christians by Roman emperor Constantine in the 3rd century AD.

Incidentally, did you know that the celebration of birthdays is a western culture thing? Nothing wrong with it ... but Jesus never said to celebrate His birthday ...

With all these feasts and celebrations going on ... and as followers of the Truth, what is our role in all this?

Is the day even important?

Well, Jesus didn't say it was.

Yet, to our surprise the real date of birth of Christ can be accurately determined from scripture itself if we really want to.

If Jesus did not say to celebrate his birthday, then what's to celebrate?

There is only one feast that Jesus suggested to celebrate as often as we could - He Himself! Life! (1Co 11:26)

But Daniel ...

The purpose of determining the exact date of the birth of Jesus is of mere academic value. Yet, it will bring a better perspective to our appointed man-made feasts in the sense that the these feasts are from pure pagan origin and nothing more. It will show that our so-called Christian feasts are mere pagan rituals, that they are all about worldly decorations, bright lights, spending, fake giving and our going to church a mere facade.

These holidays, dedicated to our religious lusts, are nothing but compromised days of the year to celebrate what we have been brain-washed with over the centuries. In Christianity days like Christmas day was improvised to suit the power-hungry needs of someone like Constantine the Great when he concocted and mixed up Babylonian pagan worship with Christianity to pacify the Roman masses for purposes of his own dictatorship and justify his rule. The result - a corrupted Christian world view that continues even today!

Instead of celebrating certain days, laws and rituals, God calls us for intimacy and relationship with Him!

But ... what about our feasts?

What about our feasts?

He says about man's feasts in Isaiah 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

... and then goes on to explain, through out the whole of the book of Isaiah, that Jesus Himself is the appointed feast! (see our posts on Jesus as the feast here and here)

Jesus is the feast!

Still in need of a date?

Let's get the date then
, if you really want a date.

In order to determine the date we'll go step by step:

Step 1: The Temple Duty Cycles

We can accurately determine the date of birth of Christ following the cycle of temple duties dates instituted by King David himself 
(See 1Chr 24 and 28). We can use these as a constant and a reference to look at the father of John the Baptist who was a Levite priest responsible for priestly service at the exact appointed times that were determined for him ... and we can use this as our constant to determine the date.

The Bible is very specific with regards to the dates determined for temple duty for the Levites and these dates were strictly adhered to from generation to generation leading right up to the birth of Christ.

According to scripture, King David determined the set cycle dates for Levite priest groups to perform yearly temple duty as per instruction of God (See 1Chr 28:11-13; 1Chr 24:1-4).

24 groups (courses) were determined to perform temple duty in a fixed sequence. According to 1 Chronicles 24:7-18 these were

1. Jehoiarib

2. Jedaiah

3. Harim

4. Seorim

5. Malchijah

6. Mijamin

7. Hakkoz

8. Abijah (note that this course is in bold)

9. Jeshuah

10. Shecaniah

11. Eliashib

12. Jakim

13. Huppah

14. Jeshebeab

15. Bilgah

16. Immer 

17. Hezir

18. Aphses

19. Pethahiah

20. Jehezekel

21. Jachim

22. Gamul

23. Delaiah

24. Maaziah

It is even accounted for outside of the Bible

According to historian, Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 7, Chapter 14, Paragraph 7) the distribution of the course were determined by lot, in the presence of David, Zadok and Abiathar, the high priest. The course which came up first was written down as the first, and accordingly the second, and so on to the twenty-fourth. This partition hath remained to this day.

How did it work?

Very specifically, each one of the 24 groups (courses) of priests would begin and end their service in the temple on the Sabbath. The length of duty was one week (2Chr 23:8, 1Chr 9:25). After group 24 had completed their temple duty the courses would start again from course 1 until course 24 (Maaziah) is reached and it will all repeat again year after year.

There are three exceptions, though. On occasion of the three major Jewish feasts of each year, all the men of Israel were required to undertake a pilgrimage and travel to Jerusalem. The feasts were known as the festivals of the Lord and are:
  1. the Feasts of Unleavened Bread;
  2. Pentecost; and
  3. Tabernacles (Deut 16:16).
During the festivals of the Lord hundreds of thousands of people would come to Jerusalem. For this reason all the priests of all 24 groups were required to do temple duty simultaneously. Keep this in mind for now ...

According to the Hebrew calendar - let's get technical

Remember that these events and temple duties took place in accordance with the Hebrew (Jewish) lunisolar calendar (see here for the Hebrew calendar). 

Note especially that the Jewish calendar begins in spring (northern hemisphere), during the month of Nisan. The first group scheduled for temple duty would be that of the Jehoiarib family serving for one week, Sabbath to Sabbath. The courses of temple duty will repeat throughout the Jewish calendar year, which runs for 51 weeks or 354 days.

A Jewish calendar year features twelve lunar months of twenty-nine or thirty days, depending on the month. An extra lunar month is added every two or three years to fix the difference between the twelve lunar months and the longer solar year. The beginning of each Jewish lunar month is based on the appearance of the new moon in the sky. The appearance had to be confirmed by more than one witness (priests). Confirmation came at the very moment the new moon appeared and was spotted. Keep in mind that the western Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar, a Babylonian inheritance imposed by Constantine and the Roman empire and later refined and renamed after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in 1582.

Take note that in a one year period each group of priests would perform temple duty twice in addition to the 3 major festivals. This brings the tally 
of Temple duty courses per group to five weeks each.

So, here we have our constant that we may now use to calculate our dates.

Step 2 - Zachariah's turn and how this accounts for the birth of Jesus

The book of Luke painstakingly points out the temple duties of Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist. This is done for a reason. So that you and I, by applying our constant even today, may know the exact day of Christ' birth.

Check it out! And look out for the constant ...

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. (Luke 1:5)

And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, ... 
(Luke 1:8)

And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 
(Luke 1:23)

As soon ... meaning in the Hebrew the very moment ... and what did he do?

You've got it right!

And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived. (Luke 1:24)

Step 3 - Can we get the date and time here please?

Applying our constant now!

Zachariah's temple duty, according to the Levite courses had to be in the spring (March-April), during the 10th week of that year. Why? Because he was a member of the course of Abijah, the 8th course.

Both the Feast of Unleavened Bread (15-21 Nisan) and Pentecost (6 Sivan) would have occurred before his scheduled duty. So, the dates of Zacharias' Temple duty is easily determined to have commenced on the second Sabbath of the third month, Sivan (May-June). He would have completed his temple service on the third Sabbath of Sivan and returned home and then immediately impregnated his wife, Elizabeth, procreating his son, John. Scripture tells us that John the Baptist was conceived shortly after the third Sabbath of the month of Sivan.

Also, John the Baptist could not have been conceived any time before the temple duties of Zachariah since priests had to abstain from intercourse in preparation for their temple duties.

Step 4 - From here, how do you get to Jesus?

We have another date to work from!

This is very important for our calculation.

The reason why the information about John is so critical, is because Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in exactly the sixth month of Elisabeth's pregnancy (according to the book of Luke). 

Let's continue in Luke 1 again and see where we get ...

And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
(Luke 1:24-27)

Context please

We have to note here that verse 26 emphasizes the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy (not Elul, the sixth month of the Hebrew calendar, but six months after the conception of John as  clarified by the context of verse 24 as well as verse 36).

And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 
(Luke 1:36)

So, six months after Elizabeth, Mary conceived.

Step 5 - Still counting months ...

Then, as we discover from scripture, Mary stayed with Elizabeth for the last 3 months of her (Elizabeth's) pregnancy, until John the Baptist was born.

And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son 
(Luke 1:56-57)

And John the Baptist was born.

We'll get to the simple-mathematics-part shortly ... but first ...

Some biology please

Human gestational averages 38 weeks (8.74 months) from conception. 

However, pregnancy is customarily measured from the date of the last menstruation — about 2 weeks before conception. By this scale, pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, or 9.20 months. Counting then from the conception of John the Baptist shortly after the third Sabbath of the month of Sivan, a term of 10 lunar months (40 weeks), takes us to the month of Nisan for the birth of John the Baptist.

It is therefore abundantly clear that John the Baptist was born in the middle of the month, coinciding with Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 15th day of Nisan (first month on the Jewish calendar, early Spring - April in ours). It becomes even more interesting to note that even today, the Jews in accordance with the prophecy in Malachi 4:5, would set out a special place at the Passover Seder meal in anticipation of the arrival of Elijah at this ate on their calendar.

Elijah returns

Even Jesus identified John as the "Elijah" that the Jews had been expecting.

And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. Mat 17:10

And the angel that appeared to Zachariah in the temple also indicated that John would be the expected "Elias". Wow!

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:17

Step 6 - Counting months to the birth of Jesus

Now, let's do the simple-mathematics-part ...

Since Jesus was conceived exactly six months after John the Baptist and we have determined the date for John's birth, we need only to add six more months to arrive at the date for the birth of Jesus.


Doing this simple math brings us to the 15th day of the 7th month (Tishri - September/October on our western calendar).

But is it significant?

What did you think?

Amazingly, we arrive at the date of yet another Jewish feast. The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot is celebrated on the 15th of Tishri! (see here and here and here).

Go on ... google it if you still don't believe me!

The 15th day of Tishri is the beginning of the third and last major festival (festival of the Lord) of the Jewish year for which all Jewish men were required to travel to Jerusalem (Lev 23:34). On the western Gregorian-Roman calendar this date brings us to the end of September or, in some years, the beginning of October. The dates between the two calendars obviously don't line up, but these are the last days of Summer in Israel. (Remember the dates on the western calendar differs every year because of the length of the Jewish lunar year being 353, 354 or 355 days, while a leap Hebrew calendar year can have a length of 383, 384 or 385 days, compared to our fixed 365¼ days.)

Also, Jesus was not born in the Winter since we have proof that the Shepherds were out at night with their flocks in the open field. Shepherds never do this in the cold of Winter.

Prophecy fulfilled!

The birth of Jesus Christ is the brilliant fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles that starts on 15 Tishri on the Hebrew calendar (The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot - see here, here and here)

Yes, Almighty God came to tabernacle amongst man!

What is our role?

Focus on Jesus.

Not just the baby Jesus in the crib, the way the enemy wants the world to see Him ...

... but the all-mighty, all-victorious, all-lovely, all-loving, resurrected and abiding Jesus, who resides within you right now, giving you authority and power over the wiles of the enemy!

Help people to celebrate Jesus, our King and lover, our precious Saviour, our wonderful Redeemer and Victor by celebrating His body and His blood as often as they can!

Take Communion!

This is the feast of the finished work of Christ!

The only feast that mattrers!

Why celebrate the beginning when you can celebrate the victorious outcome and restoration that goes with it?

In retrospect ...

Now that you know what is celebrated out there and what Jesus said we ought to celebrate, you can make an informed decision what to celebrate and what not.

Let the real celebration start ...

All honour, all power, all glory, all praise to Him who sits upon the throne and onto the Lamb that was slain!


From before time was.

Forever more!
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