Nazarene Space

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.

 

As many of you know my wife went in the hospital on Aug. 3rd for surgery.  Things did not  go well.  On August 9th she was moved to ICU and was rushed into an emergency surgery.  She was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator for two days and was incoherent for two days after that.  After several days in ICU she was downgraded to PCU.  However she was still septic and having more complications.

On August 28th she went back in for more surgery.  This was supposed to be a simple one hour procedure, but turned into a five hour operation, after which she was moved back into ICU on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma for three days.  She spent a two more days in ICU before being moved back to PCU (a step down from ICU).

So far she has, during this hospitalization, had three major surgeries, been in ICU twice, for about five days each, and been on a ventilator in a medically induced coma for two or three days twice!

Today is Thursday Sept. 20th. My wife Kitty Trimm has been hospitalized for 49 days. I have been with her the whole time sleeping on a cot. She is still dealing with a lot of pain. She is such a fighter, pushing herself so hard in physical therapy

We thought we might go home last, but the infection returned.  Earlier this week the surgeon went back in and removed some necrotic tissue that may have been harboring the infection.

We are hoping she will be cleared to go home next week.  Then the real struggle will begin.  Kitty has serious surgical wounds from three major surgeries.  She will have to have a home healthcare company come in twice a week to redress her wounds, which are attached by long tubes to a "wound vac" which sucks fluids out of the open wounds.  She will also go in once a week for the surgeon to do this himself.  She will have difficulty getting around or doing much.  And these wounds will literally take months to heal. 

I will write more about our return home soon, but I want to wrap this up for now.

This is hitting us hard financially as well (our daily co-pay is $200 plus for me to eat here is $10 for a guest tray each meal - that adds up). If you would like to donate, donations can be sent by PayPal to donations@wnae.org.

When this crisis began, there were a lot of donations, but as the situation got "old" donations slowed down, and now we are very low on funds. 


This is not a time that I need to be worried about ministry funds.  And yet this has created substantial additional expenses for us at a time when we can least afford it, and right as our rent and many of our bills are due

While we were here we got news that $1,ooo we anticipated receiving while we were here, and for which we were tightly budgeted, would not be coming in.


We have a substantial daily co-pay every day she is here and  I am having to eat from the hospital (they feed my wife free, but charge me $10 a meal for a guest tray).

****If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work, now is the time!****

Background for those who don't already know:

As some of you may know, back in 2015 my wife had two major abdominal surgeries.  Due to complications from those surgeries she had to have an additional surgery last August (2017).  This surgery had an even harder recovery and we were at the hospital several days.

About two months ago I had to rush my wife to the Emergncy Room and learned that her surgery about a year ago had failed, and she would have to undergo a fourth abdominal surgery, on August 3rd.



Is this work worthy of your support? What other ministry provides this kind of teaching?

What other ministry is reaching the Jewish people with Messiah and the world with Torah like this ministry is?

Now is time to step up to the plate!


You can donate by going to the pay-pal counter at http://www.nazarenespace.com or donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

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