Jesus’ birth is an amazing divine appointment that is near and dear to the heart of every believer. Without Messiah’s birth, He could not have been crucified and resurrected, and without His resurrection, there would be no salvation for mankind! However, thanks be to God Almighty, He became flesh and dwelt among mankind, giving salvation to all who believe in the name of Jesus (Yeshua)!
John 1:14, “And the Word became 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.”
Romans 10:13, “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Although most believers celebrate Messiah’s birthday on December 25th, it is not the day that He was born. So, the questions is, “Did Messiah’s birth occur on one of God’s holy feast days in Leviticus 23?” Before we explore this mystery, it is important to understand that Messiah’s First Coming events, as well as His Second Coming events, are prophesied in Leviticus 23.
Leviticus 23 – The Seven Feasts of the Lord
The Four Spring Feasts – Fulfilled at Messiah’s First Coming
- Passover (Died) – (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 18-19)
- Unleavened Bread (Buried) – (Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42)
- FirstFruits (Resurrected) – (Matthew 28:1-7, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-10)
- Shavuot/Pentecost (Holy Spirit poured out) – (Acts 2)The Three Fall Feasts – Unfulfilled
The Three Fall Feasts – Unfulfilled (Will be fulfilled in exact order at Messiah’s Second Coming events on God’s appointed year)
- Trumpets – The Feast of Trumpets Idioms (Events); The day of the awakening blast, seven-year tribulation, the opening of the books/gates, the hidden day, the wedding of the Messiah, and the coronation of the Messiah
- Yom Kippur (Second Coming)
- Tabernacles (Millennial Reign)
Certainly, God Almighty preordained Messiah’s divine appointments for His First and Second Coming events. Remember, Messiah is “the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), which confirms that God preordained Messiah’s divine appointments with mankind. The Almighty also had King David write the psalms to Messiah’s First and Second Coming events, called the Hallel (Psalms 113-118). Assuredly, if God preordained all of these events on his holy feast days (Leviticus 23), then we can have total confidence that Messiah’s birth occurred on the holy feast days, as well!
Which feast day did this divine appointment occur on?
Please note, most of western civilization uses the Caesar/Gregorian (Roman) calendar, but it is not the calendar God used or uses for His divine appointments. For us to understand the divine appointments of Messiah on the Gregorian calendar, we have to first understand the events on the Hebrew Calendar, and then correlate them on the Gregorian calendar.
To understand what feast Messiah’s birth occurred on, let us first explore the Torah. In Deuteronomy, God commanded the children of Israel to be in Jerusalem three times a year for His feast days.
Deuteronomy 16:16, “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover), at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and at the Feast of Tabernacles.“
As we have discovered in previous articles*, this was commanded by God so that the children of Israel would be in Jerusalem when Messiah was crucified, buried, and risen (Passover/Unleavened Bread, Nisan 14-16), when Messiah poured out His holy spirit (Feast of weeks/Shavuot), and also when Messiah would tabernacle among mankind for 1,000 years (Millennial Reign)!
It is very important to understand that the Lord’s seven feasts are His feasts, not the Jewish people’s feasts, not Israel’s feasts, but His feasts. So, if you are saved in Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah, then you are “grafted into” (Romans 11) the commonwealth of the Israel of God (Ephesians 2:11-13, Galatians 6:16) and are also included into the promises of the everlasting covenants (Galatians 3:26-29), and thus should celebrate and proclaim His feasts!
Leviticus 23:1-2, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”
Which of the three feasts in Deuteronomy 16:16 did Messiah’s birth occur on? For the answer, let us explore the book of Luke, as it gives us an accurate, chronological account of Yeshua’s birthday.
Luke 1:1-4, “Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.“
To confirm Messiah’s birthday, we will begin with Zacharias’ priesthood schedule and when his son, John the Baptist, was born. In the beginning of Luke’s detailed account of Messiah’s birth, he gives us great insight into this mystery, as an angel appears to Zacharias to prophesy about John the Baptist’s birth.
Luke 1:5, “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah.”
In 1 Chronicles 24, King David divided the priesthood (Levites) according to the schedule of their service. Zacharias, John’s father, was of the division of Abijah, the 8th course.
1 Chronicles 24:10, “Abijah was the eighth.”
What does this mean?
Each priest would minister two weeks out of the year, one week at the beginning of the year and once at the end, except on the three commanded feasts by God (Deuteronomy 16:16). Why would all of the priests minister on the three commanded feasts? According to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, 2.5 million people would be in Jerusalem during the feasts, thus requiring all of the priests to minister.
On God’s calendar**, the Hebrew calendar, the first month of the year is Nisan. This is when Luke began his timeline for Messiah’s birthday. To understand Abijah and the eighth division, let us review the order of the priests. Nisan 1 is the beginning of the “month of Aviv,” which is the first Hebrew month (Exodus 12:1). This date corresponds to the end of March or beginning of April on the Gregorian calendar, so for simplicity we will use April 1 to understand this mystery.
On the 1st week of April, the 1st priest would minister, the 2nd week of April, the second priest would minister, and the 3rd week would be the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover weekend), so ALL of the priests would minister. The 4th week, the 3rd priest would minister, the 5th week, the 4th priest would minister, the 6th week, the 5th priest, the 7th week, the 6th priest, the 8th week, the 7th priest, and finally the 9th week, the 8th priest would minister. So, Zachrias would be ministering at the end of May/early June, the eighth course. To confirm the math, the following week, the 10th week, is the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), where ALL of the priests would minister. Luke’s chronological account of Messiah’s birth proclaims the following:
Luke 1:8-11, “So it was, that while he (Zacharias) was serving as priest before God in the order of his division (8th), according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.”
After Luke writes that Zacharias was serving as the 8th priest (9th week), he states, “as he was serving as priest in the order of his division, they burned incense,” which is the “hour of incense.” The hour of incense is the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), the week after Zacharias’ 8th division (9th week). Luke also tells us, “the whole multitude of the people were there,” referencing the 2.5 million people there for Shavuot, just as God commanded (Deuteronomy 16:16). This confirms that Zacharias was ministering the week (9th week-end of May, early June) before Shavuot (10th week), as ALL of the priests were commanded to minister. After the Feast of Shavuot (3rd week of June), Zacharias’ duties were completed, and he went home.
Luke 1:23-24, “So it was, as soon as the days of his (Zacharias) service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months.”
After the Feast of Shavuot, John returned home and Elizabeth conceived. This would place John the Baptist’s conception around the last week of June. Luke tells us Elizabeth hid herself for five months, carrying us from the end of June unto the end of November. At this point, Luke writes that in the “sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy,” which places us at the end of December, Gabriel appeared to Mary.
Luke 1:26-28, “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
As we discussed, Luke’s account of Messiah’s birth is in chronological order, so he is continuing the timeline of Messiah’s birthday. Gabriel confirms this to Mary, as well.
Luke 1:36, “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.”
The sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy takes us to the end of December (months of Kislev to Tevet on Jewish calendar), the exact time when Gabriel confirmed Mary’s conception. Interestingly enough, if we calculate when Mary conceived Yeshua, we come to the end of the twelfth month, Kislev, which is exactly during Chanukah/Hannukah, also known as the Feast of Dedication/Festival of Lights! So Messiah, as the light of the world (John 8:12, 9:5), was conceived during the Festival of Lights! (Stay tuned, as we will explore this in much more depth in December).
As we all know, a pregnancy is nine months, which places the birth of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah at the end of September or early October, which is right during the Feast of Tabernacles!
Although the Feast of Tabernacles fluctuates on the Gregorian calendar, it is the same day on the Hebrew calendar (Tishri 15-21), and we can be certain that God Almighty had His only begotten Son born on one of His divine appointments (feasts), which is the Feast of Tabernacles. The book of John also gives us great insight into the mystery of Jesus’ birth.
John 1:14, “And the Word (Yeshua) became flesh and dwelt among us.”
The New Testament was written in ancient Greek. Using the Strong’s Dictionary, when we translate “dwelt” into the Ancient Greek, it is the word “skēnoō” (#4637), which in turn, means tabernacle. So, in the original text, John states, “And Yeshua became flesh and tabernacled among us,” referencing the Feast of Tabernacles!
In Exodus, we see a “prophetic foreshadow” of Messiah’s birth on the Feast of Tabernacles, as God tabernacles among the children of Israel after their Exodus from Egypt.
Exodus 25:8, “And let them make Me a sanctuary (tabernacle), that I may dwell among them.”
Please note, the children of Israel started building the tabernacle on the Feast of Tabernacles!
As we discovered earlier, the people were commanded to be in Jerusalem three times a year, including the Feast of Tabernacles. Also, the Jewish historian Josephus wrote that there were 2.5 million people in Jerusalem at the feasts during Yeshua’s days on earth.
Luke 2:6-7, “So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Have you ever thought about why there was “no room in the inn?” The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus answers this question for us as there were 2.5 million people in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles. That is why there was no room at the inn! Also, Luke tells us that Yeshua was wrapped in “swaddling clothes.” Using the Strong’s dictionary, when we translate “swaddling clothes” into the ancient Greek, it is the word “sparganoō“, (#4683), which in turn means, “to wrap with clothes.” In Messiah’s day, the high priests would use their worn out priestly garments for wicks in the four large golden lamp stands in the temple. So, when Luke tells us that Messiah was wrapped in “swaddling clothes,” it means He was wrapped in the discarded priestly garments. As we know, Messiah’s “ancestors” were of the Levites, the priest tribe of Israel. After all, Messiah is the one and only Rabbi (John 1:38, John 3:26, Mark 9:5) and the Eternal High Priest in the order of Melechizedeck (Hebrews 7:17) (Melech=Hebrew word for King (Strongs# H4428, Zedeck=Hebrew word for righteous (Strongs# H6664))!
Furthermore, on the Feast of Tabernacles, God commands His people to rejoice and sing!
Deuteronomy 16:14, “And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates.”
Remember King David wrote the Hallel, the psalms that the people would sing during God’s divine appointments, His seven feasts.
Psalms 118:14-15, “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation (Yeshua). The voice of rejoicing and salvation (Yeshua) is in the tabernacles of the righteous.”
Psalms 118:21,24-26, “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation (Yeshua). This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.” Amen
The Hebrew word for salvation is Yeshua, and Yeshua translated into English is Jesus! He is our salvation! Also, as they were commanded to rejoice, the texts states, “the voice of rejoicing and salvation (Yeshua) is in the tabernacles of the righteous.” Yeshua is in the tabernacle of the righteous (you and me)! Some Bibles have tents or booths, which is a synonym for tabernacle (Hebrew Strong’s Dictionary #4908). Clearly, this is a direct reference to the Feast of Tabernacles.
As we discovered in the previous article, the Feast of Tabernacles, it is a seven day event (Tishri 15-21), with an eighth day at the end of the seven days that represents “eternal life.” The eighth day is referred to as Shmini Atzeret (Tishri 22).
Does Shmini Atzeret confirm the exact day that Messiah was born?
Luke 2:21, “And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Yeshua, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”
If Messiah was born during the Feast of Tabernacles (Tishri 15-21), and He was circumcised on the eighth day, then He was born on Tishri 15, the first day of the feast! Please note, Messiah came to fulfill “every jot and tittle” of the Torah and the Biblical prophets (Matthew 5:17-18), including Abraham’s covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17).
Luke 2:22-24, “Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
At the end of Messiah’s birth story, Luke refers us back to the Torah to help us understand this Scripture. In Leviticus 12, God gives a ritual after childbirth.
Leviticus 12:6,8, “When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. ‘And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons—one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”
After the days of purification were fulfilled, God commanded a woman to bring a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or turtledove as a sin offering. However, if the woman was poor, then she could bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons. This explains that Mary was poor, as Luke states that she brought a pair of turtledoves or pigeons (Luke 2:24). Although she could not bring a lamb of the first year, she gave birth to a lamb of the first year, the Lamb of God!
Luke 2:32, “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Amen
Make no mistake, the 8th day circumcision law and the 8th day of Shmini Atzeret (eternal life) is not by coincidence! Yeshua fulfilled the covenant of circumcision on the 8th day, Shmini Atzeret, symbolizing that eternal life is only through him! (We will discover Shmini Atzeret, which symbolizes “eternal life” (Chayim Lanetzach), on October 24th (Tishri 22).
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Additional Confirmation that Messiah was not born on December 25
Luke 2: 8-11, “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
As we can see from the pictures above, Jerusalem gets very cold in the winter months. Shepherds would not be outside in the cold and snow exposing themselves or their flocks to that type of climate. As we know, the shepherds would spend the night with their sheep so they would not stray. It was common that the shepherds sent out their flocks into the mountainous and desert regions during the spring-summer months, and summoned them in the latter part of Tishri (end Sept/early October). Without question, in the midst of winter in Jerusalem, it definitely was not a time when shepherds would be keeping their flocks in the field.
In conclusion, according to Luke’s detailed, chronological, and accurate account, Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus the Messiah, the King of Israel, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was born on the Feast of Tabernacles, which usually falls at the end of September or early October on the Gregorian calendar. He was born on Tishri 15, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is today, October 17th! Not only that, He was circumcised on the eighth day, Shmini Atzeret, which symbolizes that eternal life is only through Him! Amen, Amen, Amen!
The Feast of Tabernacles: These events began on the Feast of Tabernacles, when God tabernacled among mankind
- Tabernacled among Adam and Eve
- Tabernacled among the children of Israel after the Exodus from Egypt
- Tabernacled among the children of Israel during His First Coming (Messiah was born on Tishri 15)
The Feast of Tabernacles: These events will begin on the Feast of Tabernacles on God’s appointed time, when Messiah will tabernacle among mankind
- Will tabernacle among mankind during the Millennial Reign
- Will tabernacle among mankind in the New Jerusalem (Eternity) forever and ever! Amen
Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
Luke 1:31-33, ” And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Revelation 22:16, ““I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
*The Feast of Yom Kippur
*The Feast of Tabernacles