The Actual Birth Month
By D. J. Love, Minister, TSN, SBC
Please be aware that although there has been much controversy concerning the years of births, deaths, and the reigns of various kings, and governors, this in no way alters the months in which the following events took place.
Luke 2:2-8, 21-24 (KJV)
1 ¶ And it came to pass in those days (The Age of Caesar Augustus), that there went out a decree from (Octavian) Caesar Augustus (Click), that all the (Roman) world should be taxed (not just the Jews).
2 (And this taxing [assessment/enrollment] was first (originally) made when (while) Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed (enrolled/assessed), every one into his own city (according to Tribe. See Joshua chapter 15).
4 And Joseph, also, went up from Galilee (far north), out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea (Herod's southern jurisdiction), unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)(Tribe of Judah)
5 To be taxed (enrolled or assessed) with Mary (Miryam) his espoused wife, being great with child (final stage of pregnancy).
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And 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.
8 ¶ And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field (also going to their own city with their property/flock) , keeping watch over their flock (taxable property) by night (Not a windy COLD & WET winter's night).
Some recent records in Israel include:
Israel is located, between 29°-33° north of the equator.
|_The rainy season extends from October to early May, but the rainfall PEAKS in December through February.
Humidity is usually in the 90% range all the time.
Song of Songs 2:11
11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
_The average low temperature for the whole month of December in Bethlehem (South) is 42°F at night, and 39°F for Nazareth (North) at night; this does not include a soaking wet nighttime windchill factor.
_Shepherds do not watch or expose their flocks or themselves to these conditions, and neither do pregnant women on donkeys.
|_If Messiah Yahshua had been born on December 25th. Joseph would not have departed for Egypt until after February 4th (forty plus days later) after Mary's (Miryam's) purification was completed and they had made their sin and burnt offerings. The average night time low at this time in Bethlehem would be a cold and wet 39°F with a much lower windchill factor; Nazareth would be even colder. These are poor travelling conditions for anyone on foot or donkey, much less for or with a newborn baby. Shepherds aren't stupid either.
Luke 2:21-24 (Continued)
21 ¶ And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called YAHSHUA, which was so named of the angel (messenger of YHWH) before he was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished (40 days later), they brought him to Jerusalem (colder and north from Bethlehem), to present him to YHWH;
23 (As it is written in the law of the YHWH, Every male that openeth the womb [First Born] shall be called Holy to YHWH;)
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of YHWH, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
1 ¶ And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean (not pure).
3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days (40 days total); she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.
5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days (80 days total is twice that of a male).
6 ¶ And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:
7 Who shall offer it before YHWH, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.
8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.
_Because this was a Roman TAXATION (Enrollment/Assessment) that was proclaimed prior to the assessment period, ALL Jews would have already returned to their TRIBAL city (Joshua Chapter15) in time for the TAXATION (Assessment) on or about September 2nd (year not important).
_Therefore, Mary (Miryam), Joseph, and child would not have stayed in Bethlehem any more than 40 days after the birth of Yahshua. That would be seven days for her issue of blood, the eighth day for Yahshua's circumcision, and the eight day was, also, the first day of her final thirty-three days of purification. Thus the day after forty days from the Messiah's birth they (now considered "Clean") departed north from Bethlehem to Jerusalem (for sin & burnt offerings), and then escaped to Egypt (where they remained for more than two years).
I really do not believe that it was winter time yet (when all of this occurred), even after more than forty days in Bethlehem plus their short trip to Jerusalem. Why? Because travelling by night in the winter would have been a horrible experience for anyone on foot or donkey, especially with a baby. Additionally, ALL assessments, whether grain, fruit, sheep or other form of property assessment (except money) would out of necessity need to be transferred and placed into storage areas prior to the settling in of winter, which is when they would be needed.
12 And being warned by G-d in a dream that they (the Wise men) should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
13 ¶ And when they (the Wise men) were departed, behold, the angel (messenger) of the LORD appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt (from Judea /Jerusalem / Bethlehem), and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15 And was there (Egypt) until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of YHWH by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my (first appointed) son.
16 ¶ Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and 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 (a period of two years).
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
19 ¶ But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel (Messenger) of YHWH appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young childs life.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign (beginning 1 BC) in Judea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there: notwithstanding, being warned by G-d in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
_When Assyria conquered Jerusalem, the Jewish people became their property (slaves), and as such were required to pay taxes to and/or work for their Assyrian conquerors. Later, when the Assyrians were conquered by the Romans, both the Assyrians and their Jewish slaves were required to pay taxes to Rome. These tax assessments took place at least twice during the thirty-seven year period in question and on the anniversary of the Battle of Actium; which took place ON September 2nd. 31 BC.
_Now Herod died (Click) approximately 1BC (current estimate) some time after a January lunar eclipse, but prior to the Passover (March/April). Thus The Messiah must have been born approximately 3 to 4 BC, at least two years prior to Herod's death, because Herod had all the children in Judea from two years and less murdered (Matthew 2:16). However, it is not the year that is so very important, but the anniversary date of September 2nd in which month the Roman taxing (Enrollment/Assessment) occurred on the anniversary of the Battle of Actium.
Note: September 2, 1 BC on the Julian Calendar is actually August 31, 1 BC on the present day Gregorian Calendar. Thus Messiah would have been born very early in September (1 BC). There is no zero BC or zero AD. . While Messiah may have been born on the "Day of Atonement" (Yom Kippur), BUT since the symbolism is so Spiritually extreme, I believe he was born on the first day of "Sukkat" (Succoth in a three sided Sukkah) and circumcised seven days later on "The Last Great Day of Sukkat" (eighth day of Succoth). Three months later it would become 1 AD.
Antiquities of the Jews - Book XVIII
By Josephus, a Renoun Jewish Historian.
CHAPTER 1. (Selections)
1. Now "CYRENIUS" (Quirinius), a Roman senator, and one who had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts, was of great dignity, came at this time into SYRIA, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to be a judge of that nation, and to take an account of their substance. Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power over the Jews. Moreover, "CYRENIUS" came himself into JUDEA, which was now added to the province of SYRIA, to take an account of their (JEWS) substance, and to dispose of (Herod's son) Archelaus's Money; (after Herod's death and Archelaus's removal) but the Jews, although at the beginning they took the report of a(nother) TAXATION (Enrollment/Assessment) heinously, yet did they leave off any further opposition to it, by the persuasion of Joazar, who was the son of Beethus, and high priest; so they, being over-persuaded by Joazar's words, gave an account of their estates (tribal property inheritances), without any dispute about it.
CHAPTER 2. (Selections)
1. When "CYRENIUS" had now disposed of Archelaus's Money, and when the TAXINGS (Enrollments/Assessments) were come to a CONCLUSION, which were made in the thirty-seventh year (on the Anniversary) of CAESAR'S VICTORY over MARK ANTHONY at ACTIUM, . . .
* Luke's TAXATION was then an event that took place during a year on the Anniversary of the historic "Battle of Actium", which took place on September 2, 31 B.C. ;This completely rules out the month of December in any year on any calendar (Julian, Gregorian or Hebrew). It is interesting to note that Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashanah or Trumpets) is equivalent to August 30, 1 BC (Julian), and August 28, 1 BC (Gregorian).
* Since Taxation, and the "Battle of Actium" both occurred on September 2; and Since ALL Jews left for their Own City (Tribal City) so as to be present for the TAXATION according to The Decree Of Caesar, The Messiah's Birthday would have had to Coincide within the same annual time frame as the Hebrew Holy Days of The "FEAST OF TRUMPETS" (Rosh Hashanah), the "DAY OF ATONEMENT" (Yom Kippur), the "FEAST of BOOTHS" (Succoth or Sukkat), and the "LAST GREAT DAY" (Also, Succoth). All of which occur between the last few days of August and early October every year, depending on the interaction between the Hebrew Calendar, and the present day Gregorian Calendar.
* THIS IS SIGNIFICANT, Because G-d's Word is symbolism rich, and these last four Holy Periods are Spiritually symbolic of Messiah Yahshua's future return at His Second Coming (First Resurrection of The Dead). Thus, we have the physical parallel of the "First Coming" Old Testament Physical "BIRTH", And The Spiritual New Testament "Second Coming", as well as, the actual Time of the Year Yahshua Messiah was born! EARLY SEPTEMBER!
This is much more probable than a windy cold wet rainy December; no shepherds (or pregnant women on donkeys) would be out all night with their flocks (or husbands) under those conditions. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of Jews (or more) would have been required to travel back to their city of birth under cold and rainy weather conditions in order to pay their taxes (be assessed/enrolled). This would, also, be a great inconvenience for the Romans too! But more than that, September 2nd is the anniversary of the Battle of Actium, and the historic time of the Roman taxation.
Note: * The Sabbath Month (7th Hebrew Month) Is Tishri., and Somehow It Just Makes Spiritual Sense That The "LORD Of The Sabbath" Would Be Born During The Hebrew Sabbath Month (Tishri), Which Is The Parallel Of The Sabbath Millennium when Messiah Yahshua Returns AGAIN... This is just another one of Yahweh's many physical to Spiritual parallels (anthropomorphisms).
Note: * In 46 BC, when the Roman "Julian Calendar" was adopted, December 24th was the shortest day of the year. Therefore, December 25th was the first annual day that daylight began to increase. Thus, the origin of the REBIRTH or Annual Birthday of the Invincible SUN.
In accordance with the Roman "Julian calendar," the "Saturnalia" festival appears to have taken place on December 17th; it was preceded by the "Consualia" near December 15th, and followed by the "Opalia" on December 19th. These pagan celebrations typically lasted for a week, ending just before the late Roman Imperial Festival for "Sol Invictus" (Invincible Sun) on December 25th.
In 1582 AD. Roman catholic Pope Gregory the XIII caused the current "Gregorian Calendar" to be adopted, in order to eliminate the solar time shift error that was introduced over the time period of 1,629 years by the inaccurate "Julian Calendar."
By December 1582 AD the shortest day of the year on the Roman "Julian Calendar" had shifted 12 days from Dec. 24, 46 BC. to Wednesday, Dec. 12, 1582 AD.
However, the Original December 25th 'Birth Date' was retained for all pagan Sun gods by the Roman "Saturnalia," "Consualia," "Opalia," and "Sol Invictus" traditions; which were now incorporated into the catholic "Twelve Days of Christ-mass."
On the new Roman catholic Gregorian calendar the shortest annual day was numerically shifted back 10 days to the 22nd of December, where it remains to this day; while the original order of the seven days of the week remained unchanged.
Therefore, Wednesday, December 12th, 1582 AD, became Wednesday, December 22nd, 1582 AD, and the True Sabbath Day (Friday Twilight/Dusk to Saturday Twilight/Dusk) remained unchanged.
Yahweh, the Only True G-d, would never have allowed The True Messiah to be born on or near the December 25th birthday period of the pagan Sun gods; during the time in which virgins were sacrificed, murder was commonplace, and orgies the norm. This would be an entirely unacceptable association of Good and evil.
* The Holy Scriptures by Yahweh.
* Antiquities of the Jews - Book XVIII by Josephus.
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_In the wake of this decisive battle, the Battle of Actium, Octavian emerged as the sole master of the Roman world and would rule the Roman Empire for 45 years, until his death in A.D.14. Although his rise to power was always suspect, he succeeded in overhauling and reforming almost every Roman institution. He also helped to establish the Roman Empire on a much more rational basis. His reforms carried the Roman Empire for almost 200 years, and this, the most creative period of the Roman Empire, is often called the Age of Augustus.
_In 22 BC, he was appointed to oversee Rome's grain supply. Which brings up the next issue concerning taxation. Taxation was not just simply money, but a part of the material wealth of those being taxed; this included the annual harvests, which always culminated in the great fall harvest period. In order to collect as much of this harvest as possible the taxation or assessment (personal wealth) would always occur immediately prior to the harvest, and be based on actual ripe or ripening fruit or grain. Harvest time in Israel and most of the Roman world occurred in the early fall not the winter. In Israel the Jewish Harvest festival is known as Sukkot (Succoth) or the Feast of the Tabernacles (Booths). This is the day for remembering the journey of the Jews through the desert to the Promised Land. For this day Huts are put up in the synagogues and in people's gardens, families gather in them to eat their meals at harvest time. This harvest always occurred in September or early October.
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The Year of Herods Death
_The primary source of information about King Herod, other than the New Testament, is Josephus, a Jewish historian of the first century. From him we learn the following:
1. Herod died shortly after a lunar eclipse, but before Passover
2. Herod reigned 37 years from his appointment to the kingship (by Marc Antony).
3. Herod reigned 34 years from his actual accession after deposing his predecessor Antigonus.
_A recent study by William Filmer, "The Chronology of the Reign of Herod the Great," published in Oxfords Journal of Theological Studies, October, 1966, argues persuasively that the actual dates beginning Herods 37 and 34 years were 39 and 36 B.C., and that Josephus used an accession year reckoning (so the initial year was an "accession year," and "year one" was the next year). These conclusions are consistent only with accepting the 9 January 1 B.C. eclipse as the one mentioned as just preceding Herods death and are equally valid whether Josephus used Nisan or Tishri regnal years.
_Filmer augments his thesis with evidence respecting Herods age, deducing that Herod would have been (as Josephus stipulated) about 70 years old in 1 B.C., and a suggestion that 2 Shebat, listed in the first century Jewish text Megillat Taanit as a celebrated day, marked the day of Herods death. Filmers conclusions are now widely accepted.
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