Nazarene Space

From my commentary on Luke (http://www.lulu.com/nazarene)

Birth of Yeshua at Sukkot Luke 2:1-7
By James Trimm



2:1-2 And it happened that in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the Land should be enrolled. This enrollment first happened during the governorship of Quirinius in Syria. –

that all the Land should be enrolled - “all the Land” The Old Syriac Aramaic has )(r) hlwk which is ambiguous in Aramaic. )(r) (Strong's #772) is the Aramaic equivalent of Hebrew Cr) eretz (Strong's 776). This word can mean "world" (as in Prov. 19:4) "earth" (as in Dan. 2:35) or "land" (as in Dan. 9:15) and is often used as a euphemism for "The Land of Israel" (as in Dan. 9:6). The Greek translator mistook the word to mean “world” here causing scholars to mistakenly think that Luke was speaking of one of the three empire-wide censuses which were in 28 B.C., 8 B.C., and 14 A.D. None of these dates fits well with the time of the birth of Messiah. However we learn from the Aramaic text that Luke actually refers a much smaller local census and not one of these empire-wide censuses at all. This is supported by the fact that Luke uses the phrase “this enrollment first happened” so as to contrast this enrollment by another ordered by Quirinius in 6 C.E. which Luke mentions in his second book (Acts 5:37). That census was a local census of Judah and so it stands to reason that this census was also a local census of Judah or “Ha-Eretz” “The Land” as well.

during the governorship of Quirinius in Syria - This is the reading of the Peshitta. The Old Syriac Aramaic says “in the years of Quirinius governor of Syria” .

His full name was Publius Sulpicius Quirinius. Skeptics have made much of the fact that Quirinius is known to have become Governor of Syria in 6 C.E. (several years to late to fit the time of Yeshua’s birth). However there are two very workable solutions to this apparent problem.

The first is that Quirinius may have served as governor of Syria once before, perhaps as a military governor, prior to his installation in 6 C.E.. A Latin inscription has been found recording the career of a distinguished Roman officer who, when he became imperial legate of Syria entered upon that office ‘for the second time’ (Lat. iterum). This Roman officer could very well be Quirinius.

The second is that “the years of Quirinius” actually began before he actually became governor of Syria. Quirinius was governing in Syria as a Roman Senator in charge of being the assessor of property in Syria as well as Judea (which the Romans regarded as part of Syria). His name was also mentioned in "Res Gestae - The Deeds of Augustus by Augustus" which was found in the city of Antioch Pisidia placing him as consul as early as 12 B.C.. The Greek geographer and historian Strabo (circa 63 B.C. - circa A.D. 23), seems to indicate Quirinius may have been in Syria with a special commission for military operations between 10 and 7 B.C. Moreover the Roman historian Tacitus mentions that Quirinius was appointed by Augustus to be an advisor to his young son Caius Caesar in Armenia. Caius was sent to administer Syria in 1 C.E. with Quirininus as his advisor. So there is good evidence that “the years of Quirinius” in Syria began several years before his installation as governor in 6 C.E..

2:7 and laid him in a manger – Or a Sukkah booth.

There is evidence that Yeshua was born at Sukkot. The key to calculating the date of the birth of Messiah is Luke 1:5 where we learn that Zechariah the father of Yochanan was a priest of the course of Abijah.

The priests became to numerous to all serve at the Temple all the time,
so they were divided into 24 courses (1Chron. 24). Each course served
for two weeks each year, once in the former rain (first half of the
year) and once in the latter rain (second half of the year). There were
also three weeks in which all the priests were required to serve, these
were the three pilgrimage festivals (Dt. 16:16). 24 times 2 is 48 plus
three is 51. 51 weeks is 357 days fitting nicely within the 360 day
lunar year.

The course of Abijah is the eighth course (1Chron. 24:10) which
serves the tenth week during the former rain portion of the year (this
is because during Passover and Shavuot (Pentecost) all for the priests
serve together Dt. 16:16). Zechariah had his vision while serving in
the course of Abijah in the tenth week (It will become apparent that he
was serving his first course not his second as the timing will show as
we progress). Thus Zechariah's vision took place during the 10th week of the year (The religious year beginning at Nisan/Abib around 14 days before Passover). We must add two additional weeks before Yochanon (John) could be conceived, due to the purity laws (Lev. 12:5; 15:19, 25). So Yochanon was concieved in the 12th week of the year. He was born about 40 weeks later during the 52nd week of the year (12 + 40 = 52) which brings us to Passover. Thus Yochanon was born at Passover, the very time that Elijah was, according to Jewish tradition, supposed to appear.

Yeshua was conceived 6 months (about 25 weeks) after Yochanon's
conception. This means Yeshua was conceived around the 37th week around Chanukah. This would mean the light of the world was conceived during the festival of lights.

Yeshua was born 40 weeks later (around week 77 that is week 25 of the following year) this brings us to the time of the fall feasts.

There are several clues that Yeshua was born at Sukkot:

1. Bethleham was "booked solid." This would not have been due
census which would have taken place over the period of a year.
Every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for Sukkot (Dt. 16:16)
this would have over run Jerusalem as well as Bethleham just
five miles away.

2. Yeshua was born in a “manger” or stable. The Hebrew word for "stable" is "sukkah" (as in Gen. 33:17) so it is likely that Yeshua was born in a Sukkah/booth.

3. If Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot then he would
have been circumcised on the "eighth great day" a festival following
Sukkot. This day was the original "Simchat Torah" (Rejoicing in
the Torah) which is now held the following day in Rabbinic Judaism.
So Yeshua would have entered the covenant on the day of "rejoicing
in the Torah."

4. When the angels appeared to the shepherds they made a statement
which closely echoes the ancient Sukkot liturgy "...behold, we have come to declare to you glad tidings of great joy." (Lk. 2:10-11)

5. Sukkot is symbolic of Elohim dwelling in a "tabernacle" (body?) with us.

 

I am asking you all to step up as the Sons of Light and chip in to help support the work that we are doing here at WNAE.

September has come to a close and as many of you know from the pay-pal counter, donations were substantially lower than what normally comes into this ministry. As a result we have been unable to pay our bills. I cannot remember the last month the tithes and offerings coming into this ministry were so low.

I know you are out there and I know you support the work we are doing because you have so often told us how invaluable you believe this ministry is to restoration of Torah truth and Messiah truth to the world.

Now we need you to put your money where your faith is. I often ask the question, is this work worthy of your support? Ask yourself, have you learned anything from this ministry? If so then chip in and do your part to help spread this truth.

Stand up and support this work with your contributions, tithes and offerings. We are reaching a lost world with Torah and Messiah. Through our blogs, literature and podcasts we are also feeding young believers milk and mature believers nice juicy steaks.

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Views: 822

Comment by GARY ATKINSON on October 9, 2011 at 5:52am

LK 1:26 says the angel Gabriel was sent to Mary in the 6th month-that would have been Yah's Calendar not pagan Rome. Verse 36 speaks of Elizabeth being 6 months pregnant and Mary would have been in her 1st month. The Aramaic says she went instantly to Elizabeth in the 6th month of Elohim's Calendar. This would put Yeshua's birth in the 3rd month of YHWH calendar not Rome. Savuot  not Sukkot -If it was Sukkot everyone would have been staying in Sukka s and their would have been plenty of rooms in the inn.

 

Comment by James Trimm on October 9, 2011 at 6:39am
I think "the sixth month" in Luke 1:26 is a follow up to the "five months" in Luke 1:24, thus it was not the sixth month of the year, but the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy.
Comment by Henri Orquera on October 9, 2011 at 2:37pm

In goyim bibles, it is said Yeshua was laid in a manger. This is a deceiving goyim translation because the Hebrew word is sukkah. So Yeshua was in a sukkah, eventually during Sukkot.

According to Luke, shepherds were in the fields (hence not on 25th december, very cold in Beit Lehem). They heard trumpets (choffarim), so it might be near Yom Teruah times.

Furthermore, in Revelation, John gives an accurate description of the position of stars in the sky a the very moment of Yeshua birth. Astronomers tell us this description exactly corresponds to the first day of Sukkot.

And HaShem instituted Sukkot feast to remind of the humble life of Hebrew people in the desert. This humility is exactly the vocation of Mashiakh ben Yossef, i. e. Yeshua life.

Comment by Wayne Ingalls on October 10, 2011 at 7:29am
As I have mentioned before, my view is that using Bereshiyt/Genesis 33:17 is not a very strong argument in favor of Yeshua being born in a sukkah. Reason being is that the Targums for this verse use use “metalan” (plural of metalah for “booths"), while retaining the Hebrew “Sukkot” for the place name.

In contrast, the Aramaic word used in Luke 2 is aurya, a cognate for urvah, as shown in examples below:

1 Kings 5:6* (CJB) Shlomo also had 40,000 stalls (urvah) for the horses used with his chariots and 12,000 horsemen.

(* 1Kings 4:26 in Christian Bibles)

2 Chronicles 32:28 (NASB) storehouses also for the produce of grain, wine and oil, pens for all kinds of cattle and sheepfolds (urvah) for the flocks.

It appears that Luke's Aramaic witness speaks literally of a sheepfold, stable or stall, not a sukkah.

Blessings,
Wayne
Comment by GARY ATKINSON on October 10, 2011 at 9:55pm
Very good Wayne very interesting the Aramaic in Luke 1:26 I think is clear that the angel going to Mary in the Jewish 6th month.
Comment by Phillip Hawley on October 13, 2011 at 5:51am

Shalom All,

 

When my wife found out that she, as the former director of children's church for a 'spirit filled' assembly, had taught error to children concerning Christmas, she was devastated. Unbeknownst to me, she threw herself on the floor crying,  wailing and begging forgiveness. I later learned that this heart-wrenching scene went on for hours. Ultimately she prayed that I be given wisdom and revelation concerning the birth of the Messiah so that I could teach her the truth of the matter. I had no idea that these events happened, as I was away that night. Here is what followed the next morning:

 

The previous thirty-six months or so, I had been compiling a study of the sevens in scripture that specifically related to the redemption of His creation. There was marvelous progress made. I was sorting out all types of repeated symbolism in scripture and noting correlations between the days of creation, the appointed times, the furnishings of the tabernacle, the seals, trumpets and cups of the revelation, the covenants, numerous other interesting sevens and the meaning of the ancient Hebraic pictographs. So I was kind of surprised to find myself reading the first chapter of Luke that morning while my wife slept.

 

At this time, I too agreed with the presumption that the birth of Messiah must have occurred on one of His  Moedim, His Appointed Times. I agreed that it probably happened around Sukkot, having read all the compelling arguments in favor of this view. But when I started reading Luke that morning something amazing happened. Words and phrases appeared to lift from the page as if the words had a life of their own. With every new word I read in scripture, other words, pictures, charts, animations, facts and conversations came to mind with stunning clarity. I have had episodes like this in the past and I knew that something supernatural was happening. It felt the presence of Adonai and His hand at work, so I simply hung on and enjoyed the ride.

 

There was a particularly interesting account of this view on Sighted Moon as I recall and it was linked to a flash slide presentation. As I started remembering all these details, I knew that He had been preparing me for this morning for quite some time. Strangely enough, it was the very proofs that had led me to believe the Sukkot scenario that He used to show me otherwise. The first thing that He showed me was about the month names. There were those among the Israelites in Judah that refused to use the month names that came from Babylon. Those names were associate with idols – false gods. They chose to keep Torah and not even allow these names to pass their lips. So they designated each month in the ancient way, according to its order from the Aviv (or first month), as second month, third month, etc.

 

The second thing that caught my eye was the use of the phrase 'in those days'. I remembered that often  in scripture, that phrase was used to indicate a specific season or event relating to the Moedim. 'The sixth month' is the first thirty days of Teshuva; it is the first month of the forty days Moshe ascended Sinai the second time, seeking atonement for the golden calf fiasco. He descended on Yom Kippur and five days later they were building the greatest Sukkot of all time, the wilderness Tabernacle.


I started thinking about the how  Messiah fulfilled all that was written about Him. Most people agree that He became 'the Lamb that was slain' on Passover; He 'humbled Himself even unto death' at Unleavened Bread and became the 'Firstfruit of those who slept' and 'the Firstfruit of the Resurrection' on the Day of Firstfruits. As this all came to mind I felt as though He were prodding me to examine these scriptures in Luke with this in mind. Then it hit me. In order to be born around Sukkot, He would have to be conceived around Hanukkah. Everyone knows that although wonderfully symbolic, Ha

Comment by Phillip Hawley on October 13, 2011 at 6:08am

Opps, it appears as though the computer ate part of my post. Allow me to continue. Where was I? Oh yes, I was saying, "Everyone knows that although wonderfully symbolic, Hanukkah is not a Moed of Adonai. But if it were the 'sixth month', the next Moed is Yom Teruah!"

 

Let me back up for a moment. There were a couple of things about the story of Zechariah and Elisabeth that need to be addressed. For instance, what about the mention of the course of Abija? Why was it mentioned? Could we isolate when Zechariah served in the Temple and the appearance of Gabriel occurred? No, we can't, not with certainty. Could it have another purpose? Again the answer came unbidden. It seemed so simple. The courses of the Aaronic priests were ordered by name. It is how the gentle reader might understand which Zechariah Luke was describing.

 

This Zechariah and Elisabeth were renown. In the mind of the people, Zechariah, Elisabeth and their son were very special. This mainly due to a miraculous annunciation of Elisabeth's pregnancy via Gabriel, a miraculous birth by a couple that were well stricken in years, a father killed in the courtyard of the priests by Herod's goons mistakenly in search of a likely cadidate for Messiah, a son that grew up to be the first prophet in Judah in over four hundred years; all of these events were well known and indicative of the great workings of the Most High that surrounded this family.



So, if this is the sixth month of the year that Luke was writing about, what does it really mean? It is my understanding that a team of researchers at one point, put the recorded celestial events mentioned in the Gospels in chronological order. This team then overlaid their findings onto the celestial events both calculated by astronomy (lunar and solar eclipses, comets, etc.) and celestial events observed and recorded by nearby civilizations in order to find a pattern match. They did. This is the same study that many have used to 'prove' the Sukkot birth. But what if it wasn't the birth that was indicated. What if it was the conception?



There were some interesting dates and celestial events that happened in the time frame starting late in 3 B.C.E. These were events that might very well have caught the eye of the astrologers of Babylon, the descendant disciples of Daniel. There were nine major planetary conjunctions in the time period from 3 B.C.E. to 2 B.C.E. On August 12 of 3 B.C.E., Venus and Jupiter came into conjunction. It is a celestial event that would be significant to those with scriptural knowledge of the names of the stars, the astronomical constellations of the tribes of Israel and the prophecy of the birth of Messiah.



August 12, 3 B.C.E., occurred on the astronomical new moon (total darkness of the moon). The conjunction occurred in the constellation of Leo the Lion, the constellation of Judah. Venus is the name of a Roman goddess that was called Ishtar by the Babylonians. She was also known as the 'Queen of Heaven' (sound familiar?). She was the celestial body associated with femininity and fertility. Jupiter comes from the terms Zeus and Pater, meaning Zeus Father and was regarded as the symbol of masculinity and (surprise) virility by the Romans. No surprise either that they inherited those views from the civilations that came before them, including the Babylonians. So the primary celestial bodies representing the heavenly father and mother figures came into conjunction in the constellation of the Lion of Judah, near a star called Regulus (the King in Latin) or Sharru (meaning the King in the Babylonian dialects) or Ha Melech (the King in Hebrew). Getting interested?

A month later on September 14th, 3 B.C.E., it was the first sliver of the new moon - Rosh Chodesh as it was determined in those days. It was also Yom Teruah, the beginning of the 'seventh month'. Jupi

Comment by Phillip Hawley on October 13, 2011 at 6:25am

I guess there is a character limit on my posts. Oh well, I'll try again...

 

...A month later on September 14th, 3 B.C.E., it was the first sliver of the new moon - Rosh Chodesh as it was determined in those days. It was also Yom Teruah, the beginning of the 'seventh month'. Jupiter alone came into conjunction with Regulus on that night. This would have been the time of the conception of the Virgin if we take the view that Luke meant 'the sixth month' and that Messiah keeps His Appointed Times.


Slowly, over the course of months, Jupiter moved past Regulus. Then it appeared to stop and move backwards.  It passed Regulus a second time on Feb. 17 of 2 B.C.E., then reversing direction again. Jupiter moved passed Regulus a third time on May 8.

 

On June 17 of 2 B.C.E., another major conjunctions occurred that was clearly visible after the full moon set. This time, it wasn't just Jupiter. This time, nine months later, Jupiter and Venus came into conjunction near Regulus again. But this time they came so close together as to appear as one bright shining light! They remained together until they set in the west toward Jerusalem - as seen from Babylon. On that night, they became the brightest light in the sky until the rising of the Sun. Amazingly, this occurred on Shavuot, exactly 280 days after Yom Teruah. For those of you counting, 280 days is the exact number of days in a normal human pregnancy.

During all of this, I was reminded of the first seven words of scripture. In the center sits the Aleph and the Tav, bridging the spiritual (Elohim and the act of creation) to the physical (the heavens and the earth). I saw a parallel to the way the Servant Lamp is used to light all the other lights of the Menorah, bridging the fire that came from heaven to ignite the Altar of Sacrifice to the lamps that illuminate the Holy Place. Then I thought of the corresponding Moed to the Servant Lamp, Shavuot.  Shavuot is the anniversary of the giving of the Ten Mitsvahs. It is the day that the Word came down from Sinai to be with man, to give light unto out path and be a lamp unto our feet. Now it seems that Shavuot might well be the time when the Word was made flesh and came down to dwell among man. I can see the order of prophetic fulfillment of the Moedim starting with Shavuot and then illuminating each in succession just as I can see the lighting of the Servant Lamp from the Altar of Sacrifice before illuminating each lamp in succession.


Perhaps this revelation is just for me. I don't think to convince you with these observations. Everyone is equally persuaded to their own views. But I hope that some will be persuaded to investigate further. May He grant you wisdom in these matters.



Blessings,

Comment by Phillip Hawley on October 13, 2011 at 6:31am
Well, I can already see numerous typos like opps for oops or Sukkot for Sukkah. I ask you forgiveness.
Comment by James Trimm on October 13, 2011 at 1:39pm
Unless of course Luke was originally written in Hebrew and the Aramaic is simply a translation from Hebrew.  I am not championing that theory, but I am also not discounting it.

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