Insights, Mistaken Perceptions

Not Yeshua’s Birthday

On April 04, 2019 we looked at Yeshua’s real birthday – Nisan 1, as verified by many scriptures, and even by a few secular sources. Today we will look at three other theories, and see how incompatible with scripture they truly are:

Other Bad Date Theories
Luke 2:8 – “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.”
Several other theories have been set forth as the “actual” day of Yeshua’s birth. Two of those theories are: 1) Sukkot which falls between mid September and mid October, and 2) Hanukkah which falls between late November and the latter days of December. Theory 3), the worst of the bunch, of course, is December 25th. All three are assumptions that are not supported by the scriptures:

Sukkot (Tabernacles)
Deuteronomy 16:16 – “Three times a year all your men are to appear in the presence of Yahweh your God in the place which he will choose — at the festival of matzah, at the festival of Shavuot and at the festival of Sukkot.”

The word translated dwelt is the Greek word skēnoō [σκηνόω G4637], which in Hebrew would be translated tabernacled. The theory also assumes that Yeshua was born in a sukkah (or booth) and that this temporary shelter was later referred to as a manger, or that his earthly body was a like a sukkah in that his earthly body was a temporary structure until he was resurrected and received his permanent, glorified body. The first tabernacle, was a tent!

Sukkot is an eight day feast. The eighth day is called the day of “Rejoicing in the Torah”. If Yeshua was born during this feast, then the majority of the Jews would have been living outside in booths, or tents. So, when the inn was full, they would have given her a shelter, or booth, outside. If Yeshua was born on the first day of the feast, then on the eighth day he would have been circumcised – and scripture tells us that he was, indeed, circumcised on the 8th day (Luke 2:25-38). The eight days of the Feast of Sukkot are also called the “seasons of our joy” (Leviticus 23:36). Joseph and Mary would have been rejoicing in the Word, giving thanks that the Word had been made flesh, and tabernacled amongst us!

These assumptions are not supported by the scriptures. In fact, if the shepherds were out in the fields during Sukkot, they would have been in gross violation of the Torah which states that all males must be in Jerusalem at the Feast of Sukkot (Deuteronomy 16:16)! The birth of Yeshua would not have caused Joseph to be in violation of this requirement.

This theory also attempts to establish the timeline of Yeshua’s birth by studying the timeline of Zachariah’s priestly duties as a member of the Abijah division. The timeline is as follows:
Zachariah is the father of John the Baptizer. After his duties, Zachariah returned home and John was conceived in mid July to mid August, or the Hebrew month of Av. Nine months later would bring one to Nisan, and six months after that would bring one to Tishri, or mid September to mid October. The theory then assumes that Yeshua would have been born on Sukkot, which is also called Booths or Tabernacles, and then ties that to John 1:14. This theory has no proof of the actual dates or time of Zachariah’s or Abijah’s service, however, unlike the truth of Yeshua’s Real Birthday on Nisan 1.

Chanukah (Feast of Dedication)
This theory assumes that Yeshua is born in December, either on Hanukkah or December 25th, because either day falls in this month, and Hanukkah and December 25 are often the same day when the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars mesh or dovetail. Again, these assumptions are not supported by the scriptures. This theory links the gestation period of humans to the Feasts of Yahweh and the patterns that they represent, according to some scholars:

  • Pesach (Numbers 9:5): On the 14th day of the first month, the egg appears.
  • Chag Ha’Matzot (Numbers 28:17): The egg must be fertilized within 24 hours or will die.
  • Reishit Katzir (Numbers 28:24-26): The egg attaches to the womb and begins to grow within the next 2-6 days.
  • Shavuot (Leviticus 23:15-16): The embryo takes on a human form with legs, arms, etc. around the fiftieth day.
  • Yom Teruah (Numbers 29:1): On the first day of the 7th month hearing develops. Sounds from outside the womb can be heard.
  • Yom Kippurim (Numbers 29:7): On the tenth day of the 7th month, the baby’s own blood forms.
  • Sukkot (Numbers 29:12): On the fifteenth day of the 7th month, the lungs become fully developed.
  • Chanukah (John 10:22): Birth generally takes place on the tenth day of the ninth month after conception.

December 25th (Christmas)
The traditional celebration, on December 25th is merely a custom or tradition, brought into Christian worship by Constantine, who was a worshiper of Sol Invictus. The reasons Yeshua was not born at this time are many:

  • December is cold! It is too cold to put a pregnant woman, or a newborn baby, in an open stable in December.
  • December is a month susceptible to snow – even in Israel! You would not put a pregnant woman, nor a newborn baby, in an open stable in a snow storm.
  • December is too cold for shepherds to be out in the open fields with their sheep. Not to mention that lambs are only born in the springtime, unlike humans who can give birth any old time.
  • Caesar’s decree for a census required everyone to return to their home town for registration (Luke 2:1-5).
  • Harvest time would not be a time of travel – too many crops to bring into the barn – everyone would have been in the fields working.

Unlikely Dates Conclusions
These three dates for Yeshua’s birth are not in accordance with scripture, and the most unlikely date of Yeshua’s birth is December 25th. The weather in December is too cold to put a pregnant woman, or a newborn baby, in an open stable, or for shepherds to be out in the fields at night.

Hanukkah falls short for the same reason – too cold and too wet for either travel or grazing sheep. The weather in December is cold, wet, and not the least bit suitable for travel by a pregnant woman, Mary. Neither is it suitable for shepherds to be “out in their fields,” nor for Romans to hold a census at a time that would require families to travel in such poor weather.

Sukkot, or as some call it “Tabernacles”, falls short in that Yeshua was not born in a sukkah or a booth [H5523 סֻכּוֹת], but came and tabernacled or pitched his tent, a mishkan [מִשְׁכָּן – H4908]. Additionally, it would be a violation of Torah for any male to be in Bethlehem at that time. The weather in late fall can also be windy, wet, and cold, not at all a time to be traveling on foot or with a pregnant woman.

Related Links:
Christmas-Dec-25-by-Richard-Rives
December-25th-A-Happy-Birthday-by-Richard-Rives
Was Jesus Born-on-December 25th
Jesus Wasn’t Born-December 25th