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Jesus Christ Was Not Born On ‘Christmas Day’, By Nigerian Femi Aribisala

Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles. He was not born on “Christmas Day.”

Jesus was not born on December 25. That is the date of a pagan festival of the sun god Tammuz merged with Christianity under Constantine. However, the evidence is overwhelming that Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Coming of Elijah

Zachariah, John the Baptist’s father, was ministering in the Temple when an angel told him he would have a son. He belonged to “the priestly group of Abijah.” (Luke 1:5). Abijah was eighth in line according to the Jewish time-table for priests ministering in the Temple: “The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah.” (1 Chronicles 24:7-10).

That means Zechariah would have been ministering in the Temple in June, when it was officially the turn of Abijah. If his wife therefore conceived in June, John the Baptist would have been born around March the next year during the Passover. It is the Jewish tradition to reserve a special glass of wine for Elijah during the Passover meal, in expectation of his attendance. So it makes sense for John the Baptist to be born during the Passover.

The angel told Zachariah John the Baptist would come “in the spirit and power of Elijah.” (Luke 1:17). Indeed, Jesus confirms that John the Baptist is the expected Elijah. He told the disciples: “‘Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17:11-13).

Birth of the Messiah

If John the Baptist was born during the Passover, then Jesus must have been born during the Feast of Tabernacles. There are six months between both feasts, and we are told Mary became pregnant six months after John’s mother, Elizabeth:

“(Zechariah’s) wife was expecting a baby, and for five months she did not leave the house. She said to herself, ‘What the Lord has done for me will keep people from looking down on me.’ One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary.” (Luke 1:24-27). “Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son.” (Luke 1:36).

Think about it. Does it not make perfect sense that “the light of the world” should be born during the “Festival of Lights;” when lamps illuminate the entire city of Jerusalem? That is the Feast of Tabernacles. It is also known as “the Season of our Joy;” so it makes sense for the angel to tell the shepherds he brings “good tidings of great joy” concerning Jesus’ birth during the joyful season of the Feast of Tabernacles:

The angel said: “Behold, I give to you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11).

International feast

Quite appropriately, the Feast of Tabernacles is the only Jewish festival which is for “all people,” both Jews and non-Jews. It is for all the families of the earth:

“It shall be, everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be, whoever will not come up from all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, even on them shall be no rain.” (Zechariah 14:16-19).

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The Feast of Tabernacles is also known as “the Festival of the Nations;” showing it is not exclusively for the Jewish nation. All the men of Israel are required to come to Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Tabernacles: “Three times in a year shall all your males appear before Jehovah your God in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Deuteronomy 16:16).

This means Jerusalem becomes filled up with visitors during the festival, and they spill over into the surrounding regions including Bethlehem, which is only about five miles away. As a result, there is likely to be a shortage of guest-houses in Bethlehem; accounting for the difficulty of Mary and Joseph in finding suitable accommodation.

Tabernacle of God

In writing about the incarnation of Jesus, John employs the terminology of tabernacles. He says the Word became flesh and “tabernacled” among us. (John 1:14). Indeed, one of Jesus’ spiritual names means “God with us:” “‘A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:22-23). It therefore makes sense that God would choose to come down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to tabernacle with men during the Feast of Tabernacles.

It is also quite conceivable that the wise men from the east were Jewish rabbis, anticipating the coming of the Messiah according to Daniel’s prophecy. (Daniel 9:24). At the time of Jesus’ birth, the largest Jewish population was not in Palestine but in Babylon, where they had been carried into exile by Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon is east of Palestine; and a “magi” or wise man is another expression for a “rabbi.” Daniel for example, who was named Belteshazzar, was regarded as one of the magi of his time. (Daniel 4:9).

Star of Bethlehem

During the seven-days of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jewish families live in booths built with branches of trees. It is customary to leave a hole in the roof so as to be able to look at the stars at night. Therefore, the Feast of Tabernacles is the perfect time for Jewish magi east of Palestine to notice the appearance of the star of Bethlehem.

That is why it is important to note that the magi did not get to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth, as erroneously portrayed on Christmas cards. By the time they arrived, Jesus was already a young child: “When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.” (Matthew 2:9).

It must have taken them up to two years to get there, which is why, in the bid to kill Jesus, Herod killed all the children in Bethlehem from two years old and under: “When Herod found out that the wise men from the east had tricked him, he was very angry. He gave orders for his men to kill all the boys who lived in or near Bethlehem and were two years old and younger. This was based on what he had learned from the wise men.” (Matthew 2:16).

All this point to one thing. Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles. He was not born on “Christmas Day.”

Femi Aribisala is a scholar and international affairs expert. He is currently an iconoclastic church pastor in Lagos. He is also a syndicated essayist for a handful publications in Nigeria. He tweets from @FemiAribisala.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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Written by PH

5 Comments

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  1. Thought-provoking but not straight to the main point. Lots of info combined. The journey was not so long that it would take the wise men about 2 years. The reference made: when Herod found out that the wise men from the east had tricked him…. “when Herod found out”… It might have taken some time before Herod found out.

  2. The first Council of Nicaea under Emperor Constantine and other similarly successive councils, where the decision to celebrate the festivity in honor of Jesus instead, was made, and where several other doctrines were proposed, made into law, forced on people especially the black race, were more about Emperor Constantine trying to consolidate his authority and, consequently, Europeans trying to usurp power and domination over other races using religion as an instrument, than it was about making sound doctrines for the good of humankind generally. Those who held counter views, those who did not support the council’s decisions, were excommunicated or tracked down and killed.
    Gradually, out of fear and ignorance, the ideas became accepted and continues.

  3. The first Council of Nicaea under Emperor Constantine and other similarly successive councils, where the decision to celebrate the festivity in honor of Jesus instead, was made, and where several other doctrines were proposed, made into law, forced on people especially the black race, were more about Emperor Constantine trying to consolidate his authority and, consequently, Europeans trying to usurp power and domination over other races using religion as an instrument, than it was about making sound doctrines for the good of humankind generally. Those who held counter views, those who did not support the council’s decisions, were excommunicated or tracked down and killed.
    Gradually, out of fear and ignorance, the ideas became accepted and continues.
    The black race must set their own council to review them, and weed out the lies and those designed to lose them in status.

    • I find your comments to be very enlightening. I do believe that the disposition of our “Souls” throughout “Eternity” are our own individual responsibilities. Religions may serve only to offer us avenues to seek knowledge to allow us to make our own “Gnostic” decisions pertinent to our individual “Realities.” I believe that our “Souls” create equity between all of us, and as such they have neither gender nor do they have color. Whether we are “Black, White, Yellow, Purple, or Green” become irrelevant. The only thing that becomes relevant is that we all “LOVE” each other within our “Life’s Journey.” If we can empower the disempowered, raise up the fallen, encourage the disheartened, help the less fortunate, and pay forward the “Message of LOVE” Jesus Christ left for us, we will become blind to “Color” and become “Gender neutral” also, and maybe “All mankind” could walk together, hand in hand, in “Peace and Love.” into and throughout Eternity, and in the process: “OH WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD IT COULD BE”!

  4. Interesting article, and I thank the author for his research to examine historical timeframes. My opinion is that when Jesus Christ was born is irrelevant. That he was born is: VERY RELEVANT! The sequence of his birth and arrival into this world is only relevant for the historical documentation of his existence. His birth, life, death, and resurrection have only relevance to us as individuals to be able to determine how his teachings could impact our decisions pertinent to our own determinations attempting to find our own relationship with a Potential “Creator God of the Cosmic Universe” we are all a part of. If we can entertain accepting as “Reality” that “Eternity” exists, and that we all have a Life enabling eternal “Soul,” then we must seek answers to what our own Purpose may be within that “Eternity.” that we can not deny. As such determining whatever the “Eternal Journey of Life” that we all travel holds for us becomes our own responsibility, and how we choose to live our lives accordingly matters. To this process Jesus Christ’s teachings become very important and relevant, and I believe that if one studies the teachings of Christ as a humanitarian teacher of “Mankind.” and can find “NO” teachings that are detrimental to one’s “Potential Soul,” then I would recommend that one consider his teachings to utilize in one’s own Life. Jesus Christ said: “LOVE THY GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND ALL YOUR SOUL AND LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS YOU WOULD YOURSELF.” I believe that if we travel our “ETERNAL LIFE’S JOURNEYS” dedicated to following these two commandments; then, whether we are “Right” or whether we are “Wrong” pertinent to Eternity, Our Eternal Souls, and even the existence of a “GOD”, will become inconsequential because we could always take solace in the knowledge that we will have lived our “Worldly Lives,” never intentionally doing harm to anyone during our “Worldly Life Realities” and if our belief in the “Probability” for our “Eternal Existence” proves to be a “Reality” after death arrives, we may take solace in knowing that our intentions pertinent to “God, Our Souls, Eternity” and our role and purpose relationship to all three will have been “Sound” and “Validated.” That I believe is the best we could possibly hope for pertinent to finding “Purpose” for our very “Existence” itself. Jesus Christ’s teachings guide us along the way on our “Eternal Life’s Journey.”.

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