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Jesus' Birthday

Zechariah 14:16 (New King James Version)
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Tonight concludes the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. This year it happened to coinside with the week of Christmas. Part of our family's holy-days celebration is to light the menorah each night of Hanukkah. This year I wanted to understand this holiday a little more, so I did a little more research through which I ran across this interesting online article about "The Messiah in Hannukah" at BiblicalHolidays.com, a portion of which I am quoting below:

Was Jesus Conceived on Hanukkah?
Many believe that our Messiah, the “light of the world,” was conceived on the festival of lights—Hanukkah. The Bible does not specifically say the date of Jesus’ birth. 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 (Luke 1:8-13, 24). Adding forty weeks, for a normal pregnancy reveals that John the Baptist was born on or about Passover (Nisan 14). Six months after John’s conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33); therefore Jesus would have been conceived six months after Sivan 30 in the month of Kislev—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 (emphasis added).

The "Light of the World" concieved during the "festival of lights?" It's interesting to note God's timing in the fact that the event commemorated by Hannukkah took place approximately 165 years before Christ's birth. This gave enough time for the celebration to become rooted in the culture. This event is also during the 400 years know as the inter-testmental period, during which its thought that God did not speak to his people. Yet could the the purification and restoation of the temple been prophetic?

Furthermore, it make sense for Jesus, "Emmanuel" - God With Us (or as it could be translated, "God who tablernacles with man") to come during this season. In fact, the day following the conclusion of the 7-day Sukkot festival is called Simkat Torah, the day on which the year-long reading of the Torah is concluded and started again. And now, as John said in his description of the incarnation, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among men" (John 1:1-4,14).

And now we come to today's reading, where it says that all nations will come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tablernacles. Not Passover, not Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), not Pentecost, but Tabernacles - when God came to live with men. I wish I had more time to write because this has so many implications. I can't wait to do some more research on the subject. Nevertheless, During the season that I as a Christian celebrate Jesus' birth, I am pointed to a day when as it says in Revelation 21:3-4, 23 (NKJV):

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The city (the new Jerusalem) had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light."

For more basic information on the Feast of Tabernacles I reccomend the following articles: "The Festival of Booths" and "Succot", @ Hope4Israel.org 's blog as well as "Sukkot: A Practical Guide for Believers in Messiah" hosted @ Emmanuel Messianic Jewish Congregation's website

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 29, 2008 10:54 AM.

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