The Feast of Tabernacles, Hanukkah, and…Christmas? (Part 8: Signs in the Heavens)

 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

Genesis 1:14

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Matthew 2:1-2

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:  And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

Revelation 12:1-2

Many Christians have speculated over the past two thousand years what the star the wise men followed was.  But with today’s advances in science, we are finally able to see exactly what the skies of Jesus birth looked like.  And the story told in the stars is fascinating.

The vision of John written in the Book of Revelation is a powerful clue indicating where we should begin looking in the heavens.  The constellations are powerful signs in the heavens that God ordained as indicators of His prophetic plan for humanity. God ordained the stars, named each one of them, and planted a story in the heavens that tells of His overwhelming love for mankind and His plan for redemption and restoration.  John’s vision in Revelation 12 is seen in the heavens at the precise timing that we have been looking at for the birth of the Messiah – in September of 3 B.C.  At that very moment in time, Jupiter (which is known in every ancient language as the King Planet), came into perfect conjunction with Regal (also known in every ancient language as the King Star).  This conjunction takes place directly above the constellation, Virgo (meaning Virgin), when it is clothed in the Sun, with the moon at its feet.  John connects this vision with a clear prophecy of the Birth of the Messiah.  This is a powerful sign!  We may be close to discovering the birth date of the Savior.

The moon in this vision gives us a better picture.  The Hebrew calendar was based upon the phases of the moon.  The beginning of the new month was determined by the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon.  And in the sky that September night, we find the first sliver of the new moon being sighted.  Combine this with the fact that this would not only indicate the beginning of a new month, but that moon indicated the sighting of the seventh moon of the Jewish religious calendar.  This moment is the very start of the Feast of Yom Teruah, also called the Feast of Trumpets: the Day of the Awakening Blast.  Trumpets are sounding in the Heavens!

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.  His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

Psalm 19:1-6

The conjunction between Jupiter and Regulas – the King Planet and the King Star – is also very significant.  Again, if you refer to the above picture, you see that Jupiter is moving in retrograde motion (appearing to move back and forth in the sky) between the feet of Leo – the Lion.  The symbol of the tribe of Judah, which is the tribe that Jesus was from, is the Lion.

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Genesis 49:10

Some key words in this prophecy by Jacob over his son, Judah, unlock the meaning of this passage.

First, the word “scepter” in Hebrew is “shebet”.  Below is the meaning of the Hebrew:

Shevet

The second important word is “feet”, which in Hebrew is “regel”:

Regel

The third important word is “Shiloh”:

shiloh

“Shiloh” is understood as being a Messianic title. (Click Here for further explanation).

With a closer look at these three Hebrew words, we see a curious picture taking shape.  A “branch, which indicates rule” will remain between the “feet” of Judah (which we know is represented by the lion) until “Shiloh”, or the Messiah, comes.

The Messiah is referred to numerous times in the Old Testament as “the Branch”.  But if you look at the last description of “regel”, or “feet”, it indicates the importance of the number three.

This unlocks the vision of John in Revelation 12!  Due to the optical illusion known as retrograde motion, Jupiter – the King Planet – comes into conjunction with Regulas – the King Star – within the feet of Leo – the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – three times beginning on September 11, 3 B.C. – the Feast of Trumpets! 

Is there any wonder that the Magi, upon seeing this sign in the heavens, made their way to Jerusalem looking for the newly born Messiah!

It’s as if the Father is screaming from the heavens that His Son is being born!  It is time!

But it is very possible that this moment in the heavens is only the beginning of the celebration to come.  The next clue is in John 1:

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

Again, we have to look at the root meaning of one of the words in this verse: dwelt.

Skenoo

So this verse could very correctly be translated, “And the Word (a reference to Jesus) became flesh and tabernacled among us…”

Since the Feast of Tabernacles begins just fifteen days following the Feast of Trumpets, and it is during this time that Jupiter is coming into conjunction with Regulus between the feet of Leo, could this be another indication of the birthday of the King?

IF the Feast of Trumpets was September 11, 3 B.C., and that began the prophecy of the scepter remaining between the feet of the Lion until Messiah comes, and IF the Messiah was born on Feast of Tabernacles, what would be that date?

September 25, 3 B.C.

Theoretically, the signs in the heavens, along with the beautiful symbolism of the Feasts of the LORD, seem to indicate that Jesus was born on September 25, 3 B.C.

There is precedence for this theory.

It is clear from Scripture, and from historical evidence, that Jesus was crucified on the Feast of Passover.  He was buried, and carried away the sin of mankind, on the Feast of Unleavened bread.  He was resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits.  The Holy Spirit was sent, initiating the New Covenant and writing the Torah on the hearts of God’s people, on Shavuot.  Wouldn’t it only make sense that God would send His Son, to dwell among mankind, on the Feast of Tabernacles – the day that celebrates the dwelling of God among His people?

I believe that this is the case.  Scripture points to the fact that Jesus was born in August or September. Historical evidence indicates that He was born between 3 B.C. and 2 B.C.  The signs in the heavens, which the Magi followed looking for the birth of the Messiah, suggest that he was likely born during the Fall Feasts of 3 B.C.  And John tells us that the Word “tabernacled” among us.

So if we go back nine months from the Feast of Tabernacles, September 25, 3 B.C., what date do we come to for the Immaculate Conception?

We come to December 25, 4 B.C.  Could this be the first Christmas?

They celebrated it for eight days with gladness like Sukkot
and recalled how a little while before, during Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles),
they had been wandering in the mountains and caverns like wild animals.
So carrying lulavs …they offered hymns of praise
to God who had brought to pass the purification of His own place.

II Maccabees 10: 6-7

In Jewish tradition, this time in December of 4 B.C. would be celebrated with lights and gifts.  It was Hanukkah.  It was the remembrance of the Maccabees rising up against the tyrants who were commanding them to reject the Torah and forcing them into idol worship.  The Temple was desecrated, and on the Hebrew date of Kislev 25, Judah Maccabees and his soldiers amazingly conquered the mighty Greeks and reclaimed the Temple.  Because the Temple had been desecrated, Israel had been unable to observe the Feasts of the YHWH.  It is believed by Jewish historians that the Maccabees commanded that the Feast of Tabernacles be celebrated after the Temple was rededicated.  An annual tradition continued called the Feast of Dedication, and the Temple courts were illuminated so greatly that the lights could be seen for miles around Jerusalem.  The people sang songs and waived lulavs (palm branches).  It was a joyous time, which was celebrated throughout Israel.  It is also called the Festival of Lights.

We know that Jesus celebrated Hanukkah.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 8:12

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 9:5

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication (Hanukkah), and it was winter.  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

John 10:22-23

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

John 11:9

Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light…

John 12:35-36a

The Light of the World – a clear reference to Jesus – was prophesied by Isaiah to arrive in the Galilee, where Nazareth is:

Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.  Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.  For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.  For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:1-7

The Light of the World – Jesus – was conceived of the Holy Spirit during Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.  He was born, nine months later, during the Feast of Tabernacles, when He “tabernacled” among us.  The symbolism is simply stunning.

I believe that Jesus was conceived on what has become known as “Christmas Day,” which was also during Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.  I believe He was born on Feast of Tabernacles.  The connections between these three celebrations – in both ancient Israel, and among modern Jews and Christians, shows once again that God’s heart is passionately trying to reveal itself to mankind.

But there is one more piece to our puzzle.

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