by Christine Egbert
Many accuse those of us, who have returned to the Hebraic roots of our Christian faith in Israel’s Messiah, of not wanting to celebrate Yeshua’s (Jesus) birth. But that’s simply not true! We want to celebrate Yeshua’s birth. We just want to do it in Spirit and in TRUTH. This cannot be TRUTHFULLY done when celebrating His birth on December 25th! Therefore, we celebrate Yeshua’s birth on the “Mikraei Kodesh,” the Appointed Time.
In 273 A.D. Aurelian brought the worship of Baal back to Rome from Syria, thereby instituting the cult known as Sol Invictus (the Invincible Sun). Proof of this comes from a Roman calendar known as the Codex Calendar. It was drawn up by a Christian in 354 A.D, and it declared that December 25th was the birthday of the sun-god, Sol Invictus. In declaring December 25th the birthday of Sol Invictus, Aurelian amalgamated the worship of all sun gods who shared this December 25th birthday into one. Even after claiming to have become a “Christian,” Constantine continued to worship Sol Invictus, and had “Committed to Sol Invictus,” inscribed on all of Rome’s coins.
The Church & December 25th
Colliers Encyclopedia says this: “After the triumph of Constantine, the church at Rome assigned December 25th as the date for the celebration of the feast (Christmas), possibly about A.D. 320 or 353. By the end of the fourth century the whole Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day, with the exception of the Eastern churches, where it was celebrated on January 6th. The choice of December 25th was influenced by the fact that on this day the Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the sun-god (Natalis Solis Invicti).”
We know that our Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, (Jesus) was not born on December 25th. Israel’s Messiah came into the world “to TABERNACLE with man” on Tishrei 15th during the Feast of TABERNACLES, a Day known as the “Season Of Our Joy.”
How Do We Know?
We must begin with John’s Birth. In Luke 1:5-13, we learn that while Zacharias served in the temple (during the course of Abijah), the Angel Gabriel told him that his wife, Elizabeth, would bear a son named John.
1st Chronicles, chapter 24 gives the courses in which the priests served in the temple, and in verse 10 we learn that Zacharias’ course, the course of Abijah, was the 8th course.
According to 2nd Chronicles 23:8, each course began and ended on a Sabbath. Deuteronomy 16:16 declares that 3 times a year, at each of Lord YHVH’s pilgrimages feasts, all males were required to appear before Him.
The Jewish calendar year has only 51 weeks. Each of the 24 priestly courses served twice each year (for a total of 48 courses), plus 1 week for each of the 3 pilgrimage feasts (48 weeks + 3 weeks = 51 weeks). Each course therefore served a total of five weeks during each year. The eighth course would serve in the first half of the year, during the 10th week, allowing for the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot).
Elizabeth conceived John after Zecharias finished his Temple service, between Sivan 19th and 25th. Luke 1:23 informs us that when Zecharias’ time of service was completed, he returned home. That’s when his wife became pregnant. Then Elizabeth remained in seclusion for five months. Forty weeks later, the time of a normal pregnancy, John the immerser, whom Yeshua declared in Matthew 11:14 was “Elijah to come” was born at Passover. At each Passover Seder it is a Jewish tradition (and no coincidence) that a place is set for Elijah, and a child is sent to go and open the door to see if Elijah has arrived.
Six months after John’s conception, according to Luke 1:26, Gabriel was sent to Miriam (Mary) to inform her that she would conceive a son, whom she was to name Yeshua (which means He will Save). In verse 32 we learn that Yeshua would be great and would be called Son of the Most High, that the Lord God would give Him the throne of His father David. And in verse 33, we learn Yeshua would reign over the house of Jacob through the ages, and of His kingdom there will be no end.
Elizabeth conceived John after the third Sabbath in the Hebrew month of Sivan. Six months later, after the third Sabbath of Kislev (between Kislev 19 to 26), Yeshua, the LIGHT of the WORLD, was conceived during Chanukah, on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which is also known as the Feast of Lights. Nine months later, on the 15th day of the 7th month of Tishrei, Yeshua came to tabernacle with man.
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and of truth.”
This Moed, Feast Day, the Feast of Tabernacles, known also as the Feast of Booths (in Hebrew Sukkot) is called the Season Of Our Joy!
Luke 2:10-11 “And the angel said to them, ‘Do not fear. For behold, I proclaim good news to you, a great joy to all people, because today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born to you in the city of David.’”
The biblical commandment to “rejoice” on Sukkot appears three times in the Torah. Zachariah, the Prophet, prophesied in chapter 14:16-17 that during the millennial reign of the Messiah, “everyone who is left from all the nations that came against Jerusalem shall go up, from year to year, to worship the King, YHVH of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (17) And it shall come to pass that on whoever will not go up to Jerusalem from the families of the earth to worship the King, YHVH of Hosts, there shall be no rain.”
In December No Shepherds Are In The Field!
Scripture informs us that shepherds were in the field watching over their flock by night when the angel came to announce tidings of great JOY, and shepherds are never in the field during winter! They are, however, still in the field on the 15th of Tishrei, which always falls during late September or October on the Gregorian calendar.
Swaddling Cloths & The Feast Of Tabernacles
It’s no coincidence that in Luke 2:12 baby Yeshua was “wrapped in swaddling cloths.” Swaddling cloths were used as wicks to light the 16 vats of oil in the temple court of the women during the Feast of Tabernacles, and “swaddling cloths” wrapped the “LIGHT of the world”, Yeshua.
What’s A Manger?
The Feast of Sukkot, one of the three yearly pilgrimage Feast to the temple in Jerusalem, created a housing shortage. There was no room in the Inn. Thus Yeshua was laid in a manger. In Greek the word for manger is “phatn’e”. It’s the very same Greek word that’s translated as “stall” in Luke 13:15. The Hebrew word for “stall” is “marbek”, found in Amos 6:4 and Malachi 4:2.
Genesis 33:17 says that Jacob journeyed to Sukkot and made booths (sukkah in Hebrew)
Leviticus 23:34 says, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, in the 15th day of this 7th month shall be a Feast of Booths for seven days to Jehovah…(42) “You shall live in booths seven days…Lev 23:35 tells us that the 1st of those 7 days is is holy, a convocation on which no laborious work should be done. Then in the next verse it speaks of an 8th day, on which we’re commanded to hold a solemn assembly. Why? On the 8th day (the Great Day of the Feast) Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua, was circumcised.
Sukkot, not the 25th of December, is the appropriate time for all worshipers of Israel’s Messiah to celebrate HIS birth and to worship HIM not only in SPIRIT but in TRUTH! Sukkot is the perfect time of the year to sing, “Joy to the world; the Lord has come. Let earth receive her KING!”