The Apostle Paul said that the gospel we preach is “according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4). If Jesus lived and died in fulfillment of Bible prophecy, and He DID, and we can know so many intimate details about Him as revealed in the scriptures, why can’t we also know WHEN He was born? Obviously, we can, it is just that so many are “willingly ignorant” (1Peter 3:5), choosing rather to make the word of God of “none effect by their tradition” (Matthew 15:6). Jingle Bells!
When did Jesus die? In fulfillment of the oblations of Leviticus 23:4-20, He died on Wednesday afternoon as the Passover lambs were bleating and being slain. Matthew 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31, 42. He was our Passover lamb (Exodus 12:3-5)! He was soon put into the ground because the next day was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Certainly, Jesus was the bread of life that was put in the oven of hell (Acts 2:27, 7:31) where He suffered the punishment of our sins so that we may now escape! Then, after being in the grave exactly 72 hours, as He said He would (Matthew 12:40), He arose on Sunday, (“a Sabbath” Lev. 23:39) the Feast of First Fruits because He is “the firstfruits” of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20). He promised not to leave the disciples comfortless and showed Himself alive after “many infallible proofs” for 40 days. Then a few days after His ascension, the Holy Ghost fell on the Day of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks)!
So, were only four of the seven feasts mentioned in Leviticus 23 accurately fulfilled? Don’t be ridiculous! Someday, the “time of Jacob’s trouble” will secure the nation of Israel’s Feast of Atonement and the Feast of Trumpets will trump the Lord’s second advent, His return.
Jesus’ birth into this world was heralded as “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), because Jesus was God tabernacling in the flesh! He was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles , then circumcised on the “eighth day”, the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
There is ALL KINDS of internal evidence that proves this position to be true.
First, I must state that practically everyone knows that Christ died being 33 ½ years of age (Luke 3:23). If He were born on December 25, as the Catholic Church teaches, He would have just been a little over 33 years of age. But if He were born on the Feast of Tabernacles in late September/early October, He was definitely 33 ½ years of age when He died, after the Gospels declare a three and ½ years of ministry!
Secondly, let us remember that the God of the Bible is the God of nature and nature’s God. It is significant to remember that there really is a longest and shortest day of sunlight for the year, and that there is spring and fall calendar dates that divide the year into exact quarters. Since the Jewish year was established by lunar reckoning, with each month corresponding with a 30 day month, let us use this diagram for understanding.
first day of winter
shortest day of year
September 23 March 23 first day of autumn first day of spring
first & longest day of summer
This division of the year will help us also keep track of what other events took place in the Bible in regards to the birth and life of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament record that clearly establishes the date of Jesus Christ’s birth begins with the date of John the Baptist’s birth! Luke 1:5 tells us that Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father, was serving his turn at being the priest; his course being the “course of Abia”. Twice yearly the men of the priest families took their turn of ministry in the Temple. The “courses” were changed every week, beginning with the Sabbath. “Abia” was the eighth course (1Chronicles 24:10). The first fell by lot to Jehoiarib and the eighth to Abia or Abijah (1 Chronicles 24:10). This counting began with the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles when Jehoiarib began his ministration (Leviticus 23:29). Bear in mind that all the courses served together at the three Great Feasts. The dates of the two yearly ministrations of Abijah would be:
First – 12-18 Chisleu – December 6-12
Second – 12-18 Sivan – June 13-19
Zacharias lived in the hills of Judah (Luke 1:23, 39) so it probably took him a few days to get home to his wife to tell her the news! Thus, John the Baptist was conceived around June 22, so forty weeks later, he was born around March 25! (Approximately the dates on the calendar diagram above around 2 B.C.)
Jesus was only six months younger than his cousin, John the Baptist, according to Luke 1:26.So that makes Jesus conceived around December 21-25 and birthed around the end of September.
So, we see December 25 was the day on which Jesus was “begotten of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18, 20), and His birth took place around the 15th of Ethanim, September 29 or so, in the year following the “Word became flesh” (John 1:14) on 1st of Tebeth or December 25 (5 B.C.) and tabernacled with us on 15th of Ethanim or September 29 (4 B.C.). The 15th day of Ethanim or Tisri was the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus’ circumcision, therefore, took place on the eighth day (John 7:37) of the Feast, 22nd Ethanim of October 6-7 (Leviticus 23:33-34).
And besides all this, the Bible states internal evidence of:
Mary was indoors when cold (December) and angel makes announcement.
She lays Jesus in manger in a corral or pasture. (September)
Shepherds were outdoors, not in sheep cotes. (September)
Taxing of people. (September – Harvest time, lots of money being exchanged)
Lastly, we must note that the whole world has been intent on doing its own thing and claiming to celebrate and worship the King on the wrong day and giving gifts to one another, instead of the rightful heir. Well, during the 1,000 year reign of Christ, the world will finally get it right because every year EVERYONE will be required to “cut down the trees” to make booths and keep the Feast of Tabernacles! (Zechariah 14:16-19). “And it shall be that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And …the plague, where with the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:1-5)