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Was the birth our Messiah during the Feast Of Tabernacles

Many scholars believe Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles. Matthew Henry states: 

"It is supposed by many that our blessed Saviour was born much about the time of this holiday; then He left his mansions of light above to tabernacle among us (John 1:14), and he dwelt in booths. And the worship of God under the New Testament is prophesied of under the notion of keeping the Feast of Tabernacles (Zec.14: 16)."

For the gospel of Christ teaches us to dwell in tabernacles, to sit loose to this world, as those that have here no continuing city, but by faith, and hope and holy contempt of present things, to go out to Christ without the camp (Heb. 13:13, 14).

It teaches us to rejoice before the Lord our God. Those are the circumcision, Israelites indeed, that always rejoice in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:3). And the more we are taken off from this world the less liable we are to the interruption of our joys.

The Bible does not specifically say the date of Jesus' birth. We know it was not during the winter months because the sheep were in the pasture (Luke 2:8). A study of the time of the conception of John the Baptist reveals he was conceived about Sivan 30, the eleventh week.

When Zechariah was ministering in the temple, he received an announcement from God of a coming son. The eighth course of Abia, when Zechariah was ministering, was the week of Sivan 12 to 18 (Killian n.d.). Adding forty weeks for a normal pregnancy reveals that John the Baptist was born on or about Passover (Nisan 14). We know six months after John's conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33). Therefore, Jesus would have been conceived six months later in the month of Kislev. Kislev 25 is Hanukkah. Was the “light of the world” conceived on the festival of lights?

Starting at Hanukkah, which begins on Kislev 25 and continues for eight days, and counting through the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, one arrives at the approximate time of the birth of Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles (the early fall of the year).

During the Feast of Tabernacles, God required all male Jews to come to Jerusalem. The many pilgrims coming to Jerusalem for the festivals would spill over to the surrounding towns (Bethlehem is about five miles from Jerusalem). Joseph and Mary were unable to find a room at the inn because of the influx of so many pilgrims.

They may have been given shelter in a Sukkah, which is built during a seven-day period each year accompanying the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. Due to the difficulties during travel, it was common for the officials to declare tax time during a temple feast (Luke 2:1).

We know our Messiah was made manifest into a temporary body when He came to earth. Is it possible He also was put into a temporary dwelling? The fields would have been dotted with Sukkoths during this harvest time to temporary shelter animals. The Hebrew word “stable” is called a Sukkoth (Gen. 33:17).

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7)."

Joseph and Mary took the child and flew to Egypt and remained there until they were told by God that Herod was dead. Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus into Jerusalem forty days from His birth for Mary's purification and the child's dedication (according to Torah this had to be done within forty days of the birth of a male child–not doing so is considered a sin). This indicates that Herod died within the same forty days, because as long as Herod was alive, they could not appear at the Temple. (According to Josephus’ calculations, Herod's death occurred during the Autumn in the fourth year before the Common Era 4 b.c.e.).

Later in His life, Yeshua may have been celebrating His birthday on a mountain with three of His disciples. In contrast to birthday parties, such as Herod's, where people were killed for entertainment, His was a celebration of life. On the Festival of Succoth, Moshe (Moses) and EliYahu (Elijah), from centuries past, representatives of the Torah and the Prophets, appeared and talked with Yeshua. One disciple, Kepha (Peter), suggested building three Succoth for Yeshua, Moshe, and EliYahu, because it was required for the festival, but he did not understand that these three were fulfilling that which the festival symbolized: they were dwelling in their Succoth (temporary tabernacles) of flesh, awaiting their eternal resurrection temples (Killian n.d.).

A number of Christians are celebrating Christ's birth during the Feast of Tabernacles, complete with decorations and lights on the Sukkah and music.


Miscellaneous:

Articles related to our Messiah's birth include:


Acknowledgments:

This information was used by permission from http://BiblicalHolidays.com. This web site offers many insightful remarks concerning Jewish holidays and is recommended as an additional source of research.

 

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