Tishri 15 . . . or December 25?

Birth of Christ

TISHRI 15 . . .

OR

DECEMBER 25?

~ ‘Christmas’ is a Pagan Tradition ~

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

The physician Luke’s account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes very pertinent information that none of the other Gospel writers have included in their accounts. It is not that Matthew, Mark and John had overlooked this information – it just appears that Almighty God gave Luke the insight of recording the historical and legal information for our benefit.

To say Scripture is silent concerning the birth of Jesus Christ is to not take the Author of the Scriptures, YEHOVAH, at His Word. Man is to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4; Deut. 8:3), and he can truly know when the Christ child JESUS entered into this world – when God took on human form (John 1:1,14). From examining His Scriptures we can know when Christ was born. We will start with an important piece of information given to us as recorded by the apostle Luke in verse 1:5 of the Gospel – the word “Abia” (or “Abijah”). This is our referenced starting point and it is from here that we will calculate towards the birthdate of the Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Course of Abijah

From Scripture, the Levite priests of the sons of Aaron were allotted to serve at the Temple as recorded in the Law of Moses and these courses were divided into twenty-four divisions, as recorded in 1Chronicles 24:1-19.

Each course served for two weeks of each year, once in the first half and once in the second half of the Hebrew year. The Temple priests also served collectively for three weeks during the year as commanded by God during the three pilgrimage festivals as recorded in Deuteronomy 16:16 “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles”.

The Jewish Calendar

To calculate when the course of Abijah would appear in the year we need to first understand the Jewish calendar. The time period when Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Jewish calendar would be using the post exilic sacred months as recorded in the diagram hereafter.

The year starts off in the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) and the months are based on the lunar calendar of 30 days per month. The Jewish calendar would therefore equate to a 360-day lunar year. In accordance with the courses that the priests would appear in the Temple, the calculation would be:

MONTH

PRE- / POST EXILIC

OF YEAR SACRED / CIVIL

MODERN

EQUIVALENT

MONTHS

Abib / Nisan

1 / 7

March / April

Ziv / Iyyar

2 /8

April / May

Sivan

3 / 9

May / June

Tammaz

4 / 10

June / July

Ab

5 / 11

July / August

Elul

6 / 12

August / September

Ethanim / Tishri

7 / 1

September / October

Bul / Heshvan

8 / 2

October / November

Chislev

9 / 3

November / December

Tebeth

10 / 4

December / January

Shebat

11 / 5

January / February

Adar / Adar I

(Leap Year)

12 / 6

February / March

24 Courses multiplied by 2 Temple duties a year equals 48 weeks, plus the three pilgrimage weeks which totals 51 weeks.

The 51 weeks equate to 357 days which fits within the 360-day lunar year calendar.

As a result, the course of Abijah, i.e. the eighth course (1Chr. 24:10), would serve the tenth week during the first half of the year, as a result of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread being celebrated starting on 14th/15th Nisan (Lev. 23:5-8) and the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot (Pentecost)] (Lev. 23:15,16).

Zechariah had his vision while serving in the eighth course of Abijah, which fell in the tenth week of the year, calculating from the month Nisan. As with the manner of women, we add two weeks to comply with the purity laws (Lev. 15:19,25) which brings the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later (for we are not sure of the exact day of conception calculated at about 39 weeks from Elisabeth’s last menstruation cycle) during the fifty-first week (12 + 39 = 51) that brings us to the birth of John at the Passover festival. Therefore, in God’s providence John the Baptist was born at Passover at the very time that Elijah was to appear.

The Seder Table and Elijah

During the Passover feast, Jewish tradition has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at ‘Elijah’s place’ at the seder (lit. set order) table, each year awaiting his arrival. A quote from a book titled Christ in the Passover sets out a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times . . . these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66).” (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83).

During the Passover, a child opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and this is done every year as they await his “arrival”! We read in Scripture that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John, reading in Matthew 17:10-13

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33].

From the preceding calculations, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit six months (about 26 weeks) after John the Baptist’s conception. For God’s Word says thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her” (Luke 1:36). Therefore, Christ Jesus was conceived about the 38th week around the festival Hanukkah. This means the “Light of the world” [John 1:9] was conceived during the festival of lights! Conceived, not born in flesh entering into the world, as the ‘Christmas’ man-made tradition dictates – there is a huge difference here!

To fulfill prophecies, God, being a God of divine order, is exact and precise in bringing His Word to pass, so too was the birth of His Only Begotten Son precisely “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4).

Therefore, concerning God’s precise mandate and ordination of all things, Jesus was born thirty-nine weeks later (around week 76 from the preceding year’s month of Nisan; that is week 25 of the following year) which brings us to the autumn Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the month Tishri (i.e. September/October). God fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah (7:4) when He revealed Himself as God the Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and entered into this world as the God-Man? – “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Mat. 1:23).

The Feast of Tabernacles

It all points to the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, Booths). A combination of two aspects – firstly, the taxing that Caesar Augustus decreed (Luke 2:1-4), and secondly, every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 16:16), and this would have resulted in Jerusalem being “booked out” where the Temple was situate as well as Bethlehem just five miles away. Therefore, it would be understandable that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). We must remember that Jews attending the Feast of Sukkot would be residing in booths for the duration of the festival according to the Jewish Law.

In Genesis 33:17 ~ 17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth*. [*That is Booths]

The Hebrew word for “booth” is [+] 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair– booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Lev. 23:42,43) which is known as the chag hassukkôwth, the Feast of Booths (Deut. 16:13,16). This reminded the Israelites that they lived in booths when the LORD brought them up from Egypt (Lev. 23:43).

Therefore, Joseph and Mary stayed in a booth during the Feast of Booths at the time of Jesus’ birth and not in a cave nor in a stable. His birth was on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:34), and He was circumcised on the “eighth great day”. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is observed immediately after Tabernacles on 22nd Tishri, as laid down in the Pentateuch: “on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation . . . it is a solemn assembly (Atseret);” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) which celebrated the Law of Moses. The Son of man entered the covenant (circumcised) on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.” Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body) with us. John 1:14 reads ~ 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Greek word “dwelt” is [+] 4637 – skēnoō; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):- dwell.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ~ Luke 2:8

The word “abiding” is the only time that this word is used with the Greek word agrauleō [+] 63 – agrauleō; to camp out – abide in the field. The shepherds were camping out which would not be the case if they were in the Gregorian month of December. Winter would have set in and the latter rainy season would have commenced from late October and it would be unlikely that the shepherds would have their flocks out in the fields at night. When the rainy season started in the late fall, temperatures would also be freezing, the shepherds would have already brought their sheep in from the fields and sheltered them. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields no later than October 15th!

The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month: 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; ~ Song of Solomon 2:11. And in Ezra 10:9,13 we are told in “the ninth month” there was “the great rain” and “a time of much rain.” The ninth month referred to is Chislev (November/December).

Swaddling Clothes

Also note the “clothing” that the baby Jesus was wrapped in at the time of His birth which would not be appropriate for the middle of winter. We read pertaining the swaddling clothes:

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And 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 2:6,7

The Greek word for “swaddling” is [+] 4683 – sparganoō from sparganon (a strip from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strip or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):- wrap in swaddling clothes. This reveals that Joseph and Mary were not only poor by the offering that they offered at the Temple, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 12:6-8), but the clothes were also strips of wrap. From the evidence, the birth of Jesus Christ could not have been in the middle of winter.

The Wise Men

Another misconception about the practice of ‘Christmas’ is depicting the “three wise men” at the birth of Christ handing over three gifts to Jesus. This shows the inaccuracy that the world portrays during Nativity scenes, school and church productions of Jesus’ birth and on ‘Christmas’ cards, alike. We need to consult the Scriptures in Matthew 2:1-12, 16-18 to see the correct events as they happened concerning them coming to worship King Jesus. It would have taken them months to travel before arriving in Jerusalem, where they asked king Herod where is he that is born King of the Jews. When king Herod heard this – in order to fulfill Scriptures – “he demanded of them where Christ should be born” (Mat. 2:4b).

The shepherds were the first to see the baby Jesus lying in a manger and they broadcast the good news (see Luke 2:17,18) – the first evangelists!

A false depiction is given of the “three wise men” around the manger when the historical facts relate to two descriptions of Jesus. In the manger the word for “babe” is used [+] 1025 brephos, bref’-os; of uncertain affinity; an infant (properly unborn) literal or figurative:- babe, (young) child, infant. However, when we read the account of the wise men meeting Jesus, He is a “young child in a house” and the Greek word for “child” in Matthew 2:11 is [+] 3813 paidion, pahee—dee’-on; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figurative an immature Christian:- (little, young) child, damsel.

At least two years had elapsed from the time the star first appeared to the wise men, and them informing king Herod, for when Herod saw that he was “mocked” by the wise men who did not report back to him, he fulfilled an ancient prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 31:15 when he “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” So when the wise men saw Jesus he was not a babe, but a young child.

Conclusion

Based on all the true facts given in this document we should have absolutely nothing to do with a man-made pagan tradition such as ‘Christmas’. We are never commanded in God’s Word to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we are commanded:

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Soli Deo Gloria

________________

Footnotes:

[+] Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance

Published by Repent and Believe South Africa

Please visit the website for more information.

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

Gospel Tract Distribution in Alexandra Park

A panoramic view of the venue in Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg On Sunday 27 November 2016, I went to Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg to distribute Gospel literature at the “1st Annual Christmas Festival.”

'1st Annual Christmas Festival' poster Had some conversations with various faiths and denominations, inter alia Christians, Orthodox, Muslim, Hindus, an Indian Anglican that agreed that Anglicanism is very close to Roman Catholicism, and a very fruitful conversation with a Zimbabwean named Naison, whose wife is a ‘Methodist’, and who is looking for a place to fellowship! Judging from the various people groups who attended this secular “Christmas Festival” it would appear that the true Gospel of the true Christ was missing! It was just another commercialised money-making secular event that pampered to the world with their advertising an “inflatable water theme park, beer garden, snake shows, live band and night market”! All these activities pamper to the flesh! The Lord Jesus Christ is no-where to be seen in events of this nature! You cannot put the true CHRIST back into “Christmas” for He never was in it to begin with!

Set-up on Park Drive This event surely needed the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! So i set-up on Park Drive to engage the ‘whosoever’ would be attending this event. Also had the privilege of a Hindu lady threaten taking the “Reincarnation . . . or Resurrection? ~ A Message to Hindus” tract to The Witness newspaper seeing that she is a Hindu as she pointed out! Writer did ask that if she did so that she must make sure that they quote the full tract in context! Please pray for Hindu communities to come out of idol-worship bondage! For GOD the Creator says,

4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 
6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:4-6

A sample of our own printed tracts

TISHRI 15 . . .

OR

DECEMBER 25?

~ ‘Christmas’ is a Pagan Tradition ~

 

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa CC logo

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

The physician Luke’s account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes very pertinent information that none of the other Gospel writers have included in their accounts. It is not that Matthew, Mark and John had overlooked this information – it just appears that Almighty God gave Luke the insight of recording the historical and legal information for our benefit.

To say Scripture is silent concerning the birth of Jesus Christ is to not take the Author of the Scriptures, YEHOVAH, at His Word. Man is to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4; Deut. 8:3), and he can truly know when the Christ child JESUS entered into this world – when God took on human form (John 1:1,14). From examining His Scriptures we can know when Christ was born. We will start with an important piece of information given to us as recorded by the apostle Luke in verse 1:5 of the Gospel – the word “Abia” (or “Abijah”). This is our referenced starting point and it is from here that we will calculate towards the birthdate of the Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Course of Abijah

From Scripture, the Levite priests of the sons of Aaron were allotted to serve at the Temple as recorded in the Law of Moses and these courses were divided into twenty-four divisions, as recorded in 1Chronicles 24:1-19.

Each course served for two weeks of each year, once in the first half and once in the second half of the Hebrew year.  The Temple priests also served collectively for three weeks during the year as commanded by God during the three pilgrimage festivals as recorded in Deuteronomy 16:16 “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles”.

The Jewish Calendar

To calculate when the course of Abijah would appear in the year we need to first understand the Jewish calendar. The time period when Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Jewish calendar would be using the post exilic sacred months as recorded in the diagram hereafter.

The year starts off in the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) and the months are based on the lunar calendar of 30 days per month. The Jewish calendar would therefore equate to a 360-day lunar year. In accordance with the courses that the priests would appear in the Temple, the calculation would be:

MONTH

PRE- / POST EXILIC

OF YEAR SACRED / CIVIL

MODERN

EQUIVALENT

MONTHS

Abib / Nisan

1 / 7

March / April

Ziv / Iyyar

2 /8

April / May

Sivan

3 / 9

May / June

Tammaz

4 / 10

June / July

Ab

5 / 11

July / August

Elul

6 / 12

August / September

Ethanim / Tishri

7 / 1

September / October

Bul / Heshvan

8 / 2

October / November

Chislev

9 / 3

November / December

Tebeth

10 / 4

December / January

Shebat

11 / 5

January / February

Adar / Adar I

(Leap Year)

12 / 6

February / March

24 Courses multiplied by 2 Temple duties a year equals 48 weeks, plus the three pilgrimage weeks which totals 51 weeks.

The 51 weeks equate to 357 days which fits within the 360-day lunar year calendar.

As a result, the course of Abijah, i.e. the eighth course (1Chr. 24:10), would serve the tenth week during the first half of the year, as a result of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread being celebrated starting on 14th/15th Nisan (Lev. 23:5-8) and the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot (Pentecost)] (Lev. 23:15,16).

Zechariah had his vision while serving in the eighth course of Abijah, which fell in the tenth week of the year, calculating from the month Nisan. As with the manner of women, we add two weeks to comply with the purity laws (Lev. 15:19,25) which brings the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later (for we are not sure of the exact day of conception calculated at about 39 weeks from Elisabeth’s last menstruation cycle) during the fifty-first week (12 + 39 = 51) that brings us to the birth of John at the Passover festival. Therefore, in God’s providence John the Baptist was born at Passover at the very time that Elijah was to appear.

The Seder Table and Elijah

During the Passover feast, Jewish tradition has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at ‘Elijah’s place’ at the seder (lit. set order) table, each year awaiting his arrival. A quote from a book titled Christ in the Passover sets out a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times . . . these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66).” (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83).

During the Passover, a child opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and this is done every year as they await his “arrival”! We read in Scripture that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John, reading in Matthew 17:10-13

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33].

From the preceding calculations, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit six months (about 26 weeks) after John the Baptist’s conception. For God’s Word says thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her” (Luke 1:36). Therefore, Christ Jesus was conceived about the 38th week around the festival Hanukkah. This means the “Light of the world” [John 1:9] was conceived during the festival of lights! Conceived, not born in flesh entering into the world, as the ‘Christmas’ man-made tradition dictates – there is a huge difference here!

To fulfill prophecies, God, being a God of divine order, is exact and precise in bringing His Word to pass, so too was the birth of His Only Begotten Son precisely “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4).

Therefore, concerning God’s precise mandate and ordination of all things, Jesus was born thirty-nine weeks later (around week 76 from the preceding year’s month of Nisan; that is week 25 of the following year) which brings us to the autumn Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the month Tishri (i.e. September/October). God fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah (7:4) when He revealed Himself as God the Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and entered into this world as the God-Man? – “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Mat. 1:23).

The Feast of Tabernacles

It all points to the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, Booths). A combination of two aspects – firstly, the taxing that Caesar Augustus decreed (Luke 2:1-4), and secondly, every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 16:16), and this would have resulted in Jerusalem being “booked out” where the Temple was situate as well as Bethlehem just five miles away. Therefore, it would be understandable that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). We must remember that Jews attending the Feast of Sukkot would be residing in booths for the duration of the festival according to the Jewish Law.

In Genesis 33:17 ~ 17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth*. [*That is Booths]

The Hebrew word for “booth” is [+] 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair– booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Lev. 23:42,43) which is known as the chag hassukkôwth, the Feast of Booths (Deut. 16:13,16). This reminded the Israelites that they lived in booths when the LORD brought them up from Egypt (Lev. 23:43).

Therefore, Joseph and Mary stayed in a booth during the Feast of Booths at the time of Jesus’ birth and not in a cave nor in a stable. His birth was on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:34), and He was circumcised on the “eighth great day”. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is observed immediately after Tabernacles on 22nd Tishri, as laid down in the Pentateuch: “on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation . . . it is a solemn assembly (Atseret);” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) which celebrated the Law of Moses. The Son of man entered the covenant (circumcised) on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.” Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body) with us. John 1:14 reads ~ 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Greek word “dwelt” is [+] 4637 – skēnoō; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):- dwell.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ~ Luke 2:8

The word “abiding” is the only time that this word is used with the Greek word agrauleō [+] 63 – agrauleō; to camp out – abide in the field. The shepherds were camping out which would not be the case if they were in the Gregorian month of December. Winter would have set in and the latter rainy season would have commenced from late October and it would be unlikely that the shepherds would have their flocks out in the fields at night. When the rainy season started in the late fall, temperatures would also be freezing, the shepherds would have already brought their sheep in from the fields and sheltered them. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields no later than October 15th!

The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month: 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; ~ Song of Solomon 2:11. And in Ezra 10:9,13 we are told in “the ninth month” there was “the great rain” and “a time of much rain.” The ninth month referred to is Chislev (November/December).

Swaddling Clothes

Also note the “clothing” that the baby Jesus was wrapped in at the time of His birth which would not be appropriate for the middle of winter. We read pertaining the swaddling clothes:

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And 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 2:6,7

The Greek word for “swaddling” is [+] 4683 – sparganoō from sparganon (a strip from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strip or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):- wrap in swaddling clothes. This reveals that Joseph and Mary were not only poor by the offering that they offered at the Temple, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 12:6-8), but the clothes were also strips of wrap. From the evidence, the birth of Jesus Christ could not have been in the middle of winter.

The Wise Men

Another misconception about the practice of ‘Christmas’ is depicting the “three wise men” at the birth of Christ handing over three gifts to Jesus. This shows the inaccuracy that the world portrays during Nativity scenes, school and church productions of Jesus’ birth and on ‘Christmas’ cards, alike. We need to consult the Scriptures in Matthew 2:1-12, 16-18 to see the correct events as they happened concerning them coming to worship King Jesus. It would have taken them months to travel before arriving in Jerusalem, where they asked king Herod where is he that is born King of the Jews. When king Herod heard this – in order to fulfill Scriptures – “he demanded of them where Christ should be born” (Mat. 2:4b).

The shepherds were the first to see the baby Jesus lying in a manger and they broadcast the good news (see Luke 2:17,18) – the first evangelists!

A false depiction is given of the “three wise men” around the manger when the historical facts relate to two descriptions of Jesus. In the manger the word for “babe” is used [+] 1025 brephos, bref’-os; of uncertain affinity; an infant (properly unborn) literal or figurative:- babe, (young) child, infant. However, when we read the account of the wise men meeting Jesus, He is a “young child in a house” and the Greek word for “child” in Matthew 2:11 is [+] 3813 paidion, pahee—dee’-on; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figurative an immature Christian:- (little, young) child, damsel.

At least two years had elapsed from the time the star first appeared to the wise men, and them informing king Herod, for when Herod saw that he was “mocked” by the wise men who did not report back to him, he fulfilled an ancient prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 31:15 when he “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” So when the wise men saw Jesus he was not a babe, but a young child.

Conclusion

Based on all the true facts given in this document we should have absolutely nothing to do with a man-made pagan tradition such as ‘Christmas’. We are never commanded in God’s Word to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we are commanded:

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Soli Deo Gloria

________________

Footnotes:

[+] Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance

Published by Repent and Believe South Africa

Please visit the website for more information.

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

“Happy Birthday Lord Jesus”

So where were all the posts in social media by Christians ‘congratulating Jesus on His birth’? If any ‘day’ holds the credence of being the Birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ – The Messiah – this would be the day. Tishri 15 in the Hebrew calendar (Tishri 15, 5777 = October 17, 2016; ט״ו בְּתִשְׁרֵי תשע״ז) being the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot I)* holds the truth according to the Holy Scriptures given to Jew and Gentile by GOD.

Christians and heathens alike cannot say, “The Holy Bible is silent on the date of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ” – the sent and anointed Son of GOD – when the Word of GOD speaks specifically pointing to the Feast of Tabernacles when one starts reading in the historical, literal and grammatical context the Gospel account by the physician Luke in chapters 1 and 2, cross referencing other Scriptures, for Scripture confirms Scripture.

Why will true Christians hold to pagan and heathen tradition ‘celebrating with the world and cult religions’ a false birthday and birth date of the sovereign King Jesus?

Here is a Birth Chart worth considering (click to enlarge) –

Birth of ChristSoon we will be entering the silly season with all its deceptive man-made traditions given to the world by Satan through the Roman Catholic institution. Almighty GOD YEHOVAH has not commanded Christians to celebrate HIS ‘birthday at December 25th’, but the fulfilment of GOD manifest as man in the Person of Jesus Christ is in accordance with HIS WORD at the Feast of Tabernacles, and no other. To remember and celebrate at a date nowhere confirmed in the Holy Scriptures is to ‘worship another Jesus’ for HE was not born on that day! It is tantamount to compare it to the Muslim Isa of their Qu’ran, who is not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible, for Isa is not the Son of YHVH, Isa is not the incarnate YHVH, and Isa did not die upon a cross for sinners! So, as Isa is not the true Lord Jesus Christ, so the ‘Jesus’ born on December 25th is not the true Lord Jesus Christ born on Tishri 15! For the incarnate and sovereign YEHOVAH our Lord Jesus Christ confirmed how we are to remember HIM,

19  And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. ~ Luke 22:19,20

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For more posts pertaining to this true historical fact kindly visit the following links –

Soli Deo Gloria

__________________________

Footnote

* Sukkot / סוכות

Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת, sukkōt, or sukkos, Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Hebrew for Christians

letterchart I have recently found a Hebrew for Christians website that will be found to be very useful in studying and learning to read, write and speak the Hebrew tongue and to also study the etymology, pictographs and history of the language. From a Biblical perspective, from what I have gleaned in a very short period of time whilst studying, you will see how the Hebrew Aleph-Bet (pronounced “ah-lef”-“bate”) has YHVH (GOD) in the very letters and words of His divinely inspired Aleph-Bet. When Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) said that He is the “Aleph and Tav” (Alpha and Omega in Revelation 1:8,11; 21:6; 22:13) He was saying the whole of YHVH’s Word from the first letter to the last letter speaks of Him! This is why no-one, especially modern-day bible translators and publishers, are NOT to add to or diminish from the Word of God! Our Lord Yeshua said,

18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. ~ Matthew 5:18

17  And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. ~ Luke 16:17

A “jot” is the Strong’s Greek word #2503 iota “. . . of Hebrew origin (the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet) . . .” which is the Yod (pronounced “Yode” and is an ) and a “tittle” is the Strong’s Greek word #2762 keraia which refers to “. . . something horn-like, i.e. (special) the apex of a Hebrew letter (figurative the least particle).”

What is very helpful is if you have a Hebrew and English Tanakh (Old Testament) and also a Brit Chadashah (New Testament) which you can compare as you study. I have both and the English Scripture portion that runs side-by-side with the Hebrew is the Authorised King James Holy Bible! You can obtain copies for yourself and for distribution among the Jews from:

THE SOCIETY FOR DISTRIBUTING

HEBREW SCRIPTURES

Joseph House, 1 Bury Mead Road,

Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1RT

England

What you will also find very helpful is that there are audio links for pronunciations of various Hebrew letters, words and sentences.

Here is an example of the gems of information that will be very helpful to understand YHVH’s historical language and it will be very helpful to you also when it comes to evangelising Jew and Gentile alike. To get a feel for what you can expect, I have copied the first Hebrew letter hereunder:

aleph-head

Phonetics

The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is called “Aleph” (pronounced “ah-lef”). Aleph has no sound of its own, but usually has a vowel associated with it.

In modern Hebrew, the letter Aleph can appear in three forms:

aleph-write

Manual Print (block)

Notice that the manual print form of Aleph, resembles the book print version – except that the strokes of the lines are all even. You will learn manual print in order to recognize the printed Hebrew letters as they appear in Hebrew texts. You write the manual print version of the letter Aleph according to the following pattern:

aleph_block

The numbered arrows show the order and direction for drawing the lines (the gray rectangle indicates the letter proportions in a graph paper cell).

Hebrew Script (cursive)

Manual print is important to learn to help you recognize printed Hebrew type; however, handwritten communication is normally written using Hebrew cursive. You write the cursive version of the letter Aleph according to the following pattern:

aleph_script 

Write the letter from right to left, beginning with the stroke labelled 1 and then to the stroke labelled 2.

Practice

Write the letter Aleph (from right to left) in both manual print and script several times. You may want to use graph paper to make sure you are sizing the letter correctly:

grid

Note: Aleph is known as a guttural letter since it is used to be pronounced in the back of the throat. Other guttural letters are Ayin, Hey, and Chet. Note also that Aleph sometimes does not take a vowel in a word, and thus is considered “quiescent.”

Summary

aleph-sum

Advanced Information

scripts-aleph

The letter Aleph is the “father” of the Aleph-Bet, whose original pictograph represents an ox, strength, and leader. It’s numerical value is one (and also 1,000) and it is a silent letter. Aleph therefore is preeminent in its order and alludes to the ineffable mysteries of the oneness of God. Indeed, the word aluph (derived from the very name of this letter) means “Master” or “Lord.”

In the classical Hebrew script (ketav Ashurit) used for writing Torah scrolls, Aleph is constructed with two Yods (one to the upper right and the other to the lower left) that are joined by a diagonal Vav. Ketav Ashurit was the script that Jesus would have read (ketav Ivri was an older script, similar to ancient Phoenician, but was not the script used when Moses received the Torah from the LORD on Sinai. Ketav Ivri is also sometimes called the Temple Script because samples of it are extant dated to the time of Solomon’s Temple).

From the Phoenician/Ketav Ivri, the letter Aleph morphed into the Greek letter Alpha α/A, from which came the Latin A:

alephhist

1. Mysteries of Aleph

In Kabbalistic literature, the upper Yod (meaning an arm) represents the hidden (and infinite) aspect of YHVH called ein sof (אֵין סוֹף, lit. "without end"), whereas the lower Yod represents the revelation of YHVH to mankind. The Vav, whose meaning is “hook,” shows connectedness between the two realms. Vav is also thought to represent humanity, since Adam was created on the sixth day. Vav is diagonal since it is humbled in the face of God’s mystery and His revelation. The two Yods also indicate the paradox of experiencing God as both hidden and close, far and near.

aleph-p

2. The Gematria of the Parts of Aleph

The basic gematria for Aleph is one, indicating the One and only God who is the Master of the universe. Note, however, that the gematria for the parts of the letter Aleph add up to 26 (Yod+Yod+Vav). This is the same number as the sacred Name YHVH, also indicating a link between the Aleph and God Himself. This is also demonstrated in Exodus 3:14-15, where the LORD reveals His Name to Moses as ehyeh asher ehyeh (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה) “I AM THAT I AM.”

aleph-p2

There is a midrash (fable) that asks why Aleph was not selected to be the first letter of the Torah. In the story, all of the letters come before the LORD giving reasons why they should be the first letter – all, that is, except for the letter Aleph. When the LORD asked why, Aleph explained that since he was silent, he had nothing to say. But the LORD honored Aleph’s humility and declared him to be the first of all the letters – and to be honored as the letter of the first word of the Ten Commandments:

אָנכִי יְהוָה אֱלהֶיך

3. In the Beginning — Aleph-Tav

In Or Torah, Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch, explained first words of Torah: Bereshit Bara Elohim Et – "In the beginning God created et" (Gen 1:1). Note that et is an untranslatable word used to indicate that "a definite direct object is next" (thus there needs to be an et before the heavens and the earth). But Dov Ber points out that et is spelled – Aleph-Tav, an abbreviation for the Aleph-Bet.  Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav the last, so, he reasoned, in the beginning God created the Aleph-Bet. Since God did this before creating the heavens and the earth, the letters are considered to be the primordial “building blocks” of all of creation.

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi stated that if the letters were to depart even for an instant, all of creation would become absolute nothingness (Zalman, Shneur. 1981. “Igeret Hateshuvah.” Likkutie Amarim – Tanya. Brooklyn: Kihot. 289).

4. Aleph and the Divine Names

There are a number of divine Names that begin with the letter Aleph, including the following:

el11 – El

elohim11 – Elohim

eloha1 – Eloha

ehyeh-asher-ehyeh2 – ehyeh asher ehyeh

adonai11 – Adonai

adon-olam1 – Adon Olam

adir1 – Adir

5. Aleph is a picture of the God-Man

As One who is composed of both the upper realm of heaven and the lower realm of the earth, connected by the humility of the body, Aleph is a picture of the God-Man unity that is Yeshua HaMashiach, “Who, being in the form of God . . . took upon him the form of a servant . . . as a man . . .” (Phil 2:6-11).

Moreover, in Revelation 22:13 Jesus refers to Himself as the Aleph and Tav, the First and the Last, and thereby told us directly that the Hebrew Alphabet would provide revelation about Him:

rev22-13

Note that this phrase is a direct reference to Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12, where Adonai Himself says that He is the First and the Last – and explicitly declared that there is no other “god” beside Him.

6. Aleph is a picture of Messiah’s Intercession

From a Messianic point of view, Aleph represents Yeshua the Mashiach as our Intercessor and Kohen Gadol. The two Yods represent outstretched arms or hands reaching both to mankind and to God. The diagonal Vav represents the sacrifice of Yeshua on our behalf. And since Yeshua is the Aleph and the Tav, the letter represents His divinity, His humility in silence as He opened not His mouth when He was unjustly accused, and so on.

7. Aleph is a picture of Oneness in Unity

Aleph also is a picture of three-in-one, or hashilush hakadosh. Just as there are three parts to Aleph, but Aleph is One (echad), so there are three Persons to the Godhead, yet God is absolutely One. The gematria of the word Aleph (אָלֶף) is 111 (Aleph=1, Lamed=30, and Pey=80).

aleph-p3

8. Aleph is Eschatological

Yeshua is called the Aleph and the Tav, and the letter Aleph itself has overtones of the acharit hayamim, or “end of days” spoken of in prophecy. The idea that there are 6,000 years of the Olam Hazeh (the present age before the arrival of the Messiah to set up His kingdom) comes from the fact that there are 6 alephs in the first verse of the Tanakh, and each represents 1,000.

6alephs

9. Aleph and Names of God

The first Name of God revealed in the Tanakh is elohim22222(elohim), which starts with the letter Aleph. Elohim is also the third word in the Scriptures. Other Names that begin with Aleph include El, Eloha, Elah, Adonai, Av, Avinu, Avir, Abba, etc.

elohim-stam

10. Aleph and Metaphors of God

In three places in Scripture the LORD is metaphorically identified with something else. In each case, the metaphor begins with an Aleph:

Fire esh – Hebrews 12:29, Deuteronomy 4:24

Light light – 1 John 1:5; Isaiah 10:17;

Love  love2 – 1 John 4:16

11. Textual Oddities

An undersized Aleph appears in Leviticus 1:1 (Vayikra):

vayik

The sages reasoned that Moses’ humility (anavah) was such that he waited for the LORD to call him into the ohel mo’ed (Tent of Meeting), despite the fact that God had previously granted him full access to His Presence. The Book of Leviticus begins with vayikra (“and he called”) – spelled with an undersized Aleph – as a scribal token of Moses’ humility.

According to the sages, Moses wanted the word vayikra to be written without the Aleph, as “vayikar” (“and He happened upon,” the same word used to describe how the LORD “happened upon” Balaam in Numbers 23:4).  In his humility, Moses did not want to use a word that implied that the LORD regularly called to him. However, God overruled him and insisted that the Aleph be included, but allowed Moses to use an undersized version, as a token of his modesty before others.

12. Aleph Pictograph

The pictograph for Aleph is the ox or bull, representing strength:

ancient-aleph

Note that even though the pictograph may represent the basis for ketav Ivri, it may have pagan overtones (e.g., the “bull” god) derived from ancient Canaanite culture.

–ooo–

Other Biblical historical information that will be very helpful will be the Ten Commandments, Jewish Holy Days,  Blessings, Prayers and much more. An example of a Biblical historical timeline is:

The Sin of the Golden Calf (egel maseikhah)

Before Moses reappeared from the mountain top, however, the people talked Aaron into making a molten calf (egel maseikhah) which they began to worship (Ex. 32:1-6). The LORD told Moses of their idolatry and threatened to destroy the Israelites, but Moses interceded on their behalf. As he rushed down the mountain, with the tablets in hand, he saw the people dancing about the idol. The tablets then became heavy and were smashed to the ground (Ex. 32:19). Moses then destroyed the molten calf and led the Levites (the only tribe that had not contributed gold for the idol creation) in slaying 3,000 of the ringleaders. The next day he returned to God and said: “If You do not forgive them, blot me out from the book that You have written.” despite Moses’ intercession, God sent a plague upon the Israelites.

Some time later, Moses was told to prepare a new set of tablets in order to once again ascend the mountain, where God would graciously reinstate the covenant. This second set of tablets was carved from sapphire by Moses himself (instead of by God) as an atonement for Israel’s sin with the Golden Calf.

According to Rabbinic tradition, Moses carved the new tablets during the month of Elul, during his third 40 days upon Mount Sinai (see Rashi’s comment, below). According to this tradition, Moses ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul and descended on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, when repentance and restoration of the people was complete. The month of Elul therefore represents the time of national sin and the forgiveness obtained by means of teshuvah (repentance) before the LORD.

120days

Rashi wrote concerning these events:

  • On the 6th of Sivan, Moses went up onto the mountain . . . On the 17th of Tammuz the Tablets were broken (1st 40 days). On the 18th he burned the (Golden) Calf and judged the transgressors. On the 19th he went up for forty days and pleaded for mercy (2nd 40 days). On the 1st of Elul he went up to receive the Second Tablets, and was there for forty days (3rd 40 days). On the 10th of Tishri God restored His goodwill with the Jewish people gladly and wholeheartedly, saying to Moses “I have forgiven, as you ask”, and gave him the Second Tablets.

This traditional understanding of the timing of these events explains why:

  • The festival of Shavu’ot (Pentecost) is celebrated as Z’man Mattan Torateinu – the time commemorating the giving of the Torah
  • The 17th of Tammuz is observed as a time of national tragedy
  • The month of Elul is a time of selichot
  • The 10th of Tishri marks the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

According to the Talmud, the script God wrote the Ten Commandments was ketav Ivri (the older script), instead of ketav Ashurit (the divine script that was later restored by Ezra to Israel). The Talmud Yerushalmi explains that it was the Ayin that was miraculously suspended in the tablets, rather than the final Mem and Samekh.

–ooo–

The website can be found here: Hebrew for Christians – Learn Hebrew for FREE!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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