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The Birth of Yeshua at Sukkot Luke 2:1-7

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

Luke 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 ERA which is ambiguous in Aramaic. ERA (Strong's #772) is the Aramaic equivalent of Hebrew 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.


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Comment by GARY ATKINSON on September 25, 2015 at 8:47pm

James you are so wrong on this one -read close it says in 6th month not the 6 month after Elizabeth pregnancy. The 6th month puts the delivery in the 3rd month of God's calendar which puts this at Passover. Another witness was the Shepherds were out in the field . The only time the Shepherds were out in the field was in the spring at the time Sheep were dropping babies. Yeshua was the Lamb that was birthed to be led to slaughter for the sins of us all.

And in the sixth month, the angel Gavri'el was sent from the presence of Eloah to Galilee, to the city whose name is Natzaret; (Luke 1:26)--If Gabriel was sent in 6th month of God's calendar then she was impregnated in 6th month very clear.

Comment by Mikha El on September 26, 2015 at 9:41am

Gary, I thought shepherds stay with their flocks at all times to protect them from predators? Also, can we assume that when Gaviel showed up to share the message impregnation occurred at the same moment? 

Comment by GARY ATKINSON on September 26, 2015 at 2:01pm

No [Only during birthing if you research]--Yes-Now faith is-He is a now Elohim-it happen now

i could ask you the same what makes you think Angel waited around?

1. this 6th mo on GOD's calendar sets Elizabeth's pregnancy which is told until about 10 verses later.

2. She took off running immediately to Elizabeth to tell her but John was already jumping up in down in Elizabeth's womb to Mary pregnancy this happen in the 6th mo

i'm sure brother Trimm does not want me go on & on but i have a more detailed teaching on this

hope this helps 

Comment by Mikha El on September 27, 2015 at 12:28am

I don't think the angel "waited around" or had anything to do with the virgin birth aside from letting her know what would occur.

Luk 1:35  And the messenger answering, said to her, “The Set-apart Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you. And for that reason the Set-apart One born of you shall be called: Son of Elohim.

The operative phrase to consider is in this verse...

Luk 1:39  And Miryam arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Yehuḏah,

"In those days". Can anyone say with certainty when the miraculous conception occurred, or when Miriam "ran" to Elisheḇa's, aside from saying that yes it was prior to Yocannan's birth? Not knowing the exact timing here requires evidence from other known events as posited in the opening post IMO. 

Comment by GARY ATKINSON on September 27, 2015 at 7:54am

Their is a reason that 6mo is in scripture. If you do not want to put any emphasis on this that is your choice but we know that Elisabeth was at least on her 6 mo of pregnancy giving the benefit of all doubt . Also "6mo & with haste" is all I need to know the truth. This took place in the 6th month. I say if GOD did not want 6mo to be a key to Mary pregnancy then I do not believe he would confuse us by putting it in there. YaH is not the author of confusion. Then again to further pinpoint Mary tells Elizabeth immediately.

Also if the pregnancy did not happen immediately Joseph and Mary would have made some type of quick marriage arrangements. We see how much he loved her and the way Mary approached Joseph would have been much different I'm sure. 


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