Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy 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: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
Yahwey wanted His people in Jerusalem to witness when Yahushua was born. He wanted people to be there to witness Yahushua’s death on the Passover. He also wanted people to be in Jerusalem to witness when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Feast of Weeks. (Pentecost) These times were His divine appointed times and He had a purpose for these events. He wanted us all to know. This will be pointed out in the definition of ‘feast’, which is later in this study. The word feast in Hebrew is moed, which means an appointed time. This is why Yahwey said, even these are My feast’s. They were appointments that He wanted kept.
Josepheous recorded that 2 1/2 million people would be there during the time of the festivals. This is not counting the priests, who offered the sacrifices among their other priestly duties.
Luke 1: 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharia, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
What is the course of Abia and what does it mean?
During the time of King David’s reign, he had the priest’s duties divided into 24 separate groups (divisions) of about 1,000 each. This is all explained in the book of first Chronicles, chapter 24. Zacharia (z’kharyah), whose name means ‘Yahweh remembers’. Zacharia was a Jewish priest who was a minister of Yahwey who worked in the temple, managing it’s upkeep and teaching the people the scriptures and directing the worship services which always included the sacrifices, as well as other priestly duties. He was married to Elizabeth (elisheva, whose name means His oath) who was also the daughter of a priestly line.
Zacharia was a member of the Abijah division on duty during the week that is mentioned here in Luke. In the morning, the priest would enter the Holy Place in the temple and burn incense. The incense was offered daily before the morning sacrifice at about 9 AM, and after the evening sacrifice, about 3 PM in the afternoon. It was probably the evening offering that was assigned to Zacharia.
Lots were cast to decide who would enter the sanctuary, and one day the lot fell to Zacharia. It was not by chance that the lot fell to him.
They (the priest’s) threw the lots, it was always up to Yahwey how they landed, so this may have even been a once in a lifetime experience that Zacharia served in the Holy Place at this time of the year, when the angel (Gabriel) of the Lord appeared to him to tell him that Yahwey had heard the prayers of his wife Elizabeth, for a child and that she would soon bear a son and give him the name of John. (John the Baptist)
Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
After four hundred years, Yahwey’s silence was broken. Zacharia was standing next to the altar of Incense when all of this happened. Silence fell upon Zacharia.
What we do not want to miss is that Yahwey often calls upon His chosen while they are busy with their daily tasks. Moses and David were called while they were caring for the sheep; Gideon was called while he was busy threshing wheat; Peter and his partners were called while mending nets; and Paul was on a business trip out of town when he got called upon. Yahwey guides the events of history and He was at this time, preparing the way for Yahushua to come to the earth. ‘Yahweh remembers’.
Psalm 89:34-37 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
According to David’s guidelines, each division served at the temple twice a year and at the major holydays. Fifty-six priests from one of the divisions served each day. It has been estimated that there were as many as 8,000 to 18,000 priests throughout Israel at that time. During the festivals, all the priest would minister together.
Passover begins in the first month of the Hebrew calendar. The first week is served in the first Sabbath of Nisan and the second week would be the second course and so on, all having different names. The 14th is the Passover and the week of unleavened bread begins on the fifteeth.
Zacharia and Elizabeth were both descendants of the Levitical priestly line. The Holy Spirit tells us through Luke in chapter 1 that Yahwey considered both of them to be righteous individuals. It was this righteous couple that Yahwey had chosen to break through Zacharia’s silence and keep His oath to David; that his dynasty will go on forever; his kingdom will endure as the sun and that it would be as eternal as the moon, because God is the faithful witness in the sky.
We must not forget as well, that the mother of John the Baptist was the first person mentioned in the New Testament that was filled with the Holy Spirit of Yahwey. She was also the first woman of faith, recognized in scripture, even when her husband did not have faith in Yahwey and was struck dumb because of his disbelief, and could not speak until John was given his name after his birth.
Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Luke 1:24-25 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men
Chronicles 24:1-3 Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. However, Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore, Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office. And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.
Every one of these courses ministered its week from Sabbath to Sabbath. The course that went out did not depart until the Sabbath was over, and that which came in, entered when it began. They served a week only at a time, so that the attendance of each course was required twice in the year. Eleazar’s descendants were divided into sixteen groups and Ithamar’s into eight, because there were more family leaders among the descendants of Eleazar.
1st Chronicals 24:4-6 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar, there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers. Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar. And Shemaiah the son of Nethaneel the scribe, one of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and before the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and one taken for Ithamar.
All tasks were assigned to the various groups by means of sacred lots so that no preference would be shown, because there were many qualified officials serving Yahwey in the sanctuary from among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar. Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, acted as secretary and wrote down the names and assignments in the presence of King David and the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the family leaders of the priests and Levites. It was the descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar who took turns casting lots. Eleazar was the first-born of Aaron so Ithamar’s family was the second in order so it was one of the principal families of Eleazar that was first taken, and then one of Ithamar’s, and then alternately till all was finished.
1st Chronicals 24:7-18
The first lot fell to Jehoiarib.
The second lot fell to Jedaiah.
The third lot fell to Harim.
The fourth lot fell to Seorim.
The fifth lot fell to Malkijah.
The sixth lot fell to Mijamin.
The seventh lot fell to Hakkoz.
The eighth lot fell to Abijah. (Eighth, which by the way is the number of new beginnings)?
The ninth lot fell to Jeshua.
The tenth lot fell to Shecaniah.
The eleventh lot fell to Eliashib.
The twelfth lot fell to Jakim.
The thirteenth lot fell to Huppah.
The fourteenth lot fell to Jeshebeab.
The fifteenth lot fell to Bilgah.
The sixteenth lot fell to Immer.
The seventeenth lot fell to Hezir.
The eighteenth lot fell to Happizzez.
The nineteenth lot fell to Pethahiah.
The twentieth lot fell to Jehezkel.
The twenty-first lot fell to Jakin.
The twenty-second lot fell to Gamul.
The twenty-third lot fell to Delaiah.
The twenty-fourth lot fell to Maaziah.
1st Chronicals 24:19 These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him.
Passover week: beginning the second Sabbath in Nisan (March-April).
1st course: Sabbath to Sabbath 1st week of April Jehoiarib
2nd course 2nd week of April Sabbath to Sabbath Jedaiah
3rd course – Week long feast of un-leaven bread Sabbath to Sabbath Harim
4th course 4th week of April Sabbath to Sabbath Seorim
5th course 1st week of May Sabbath to Sabbath Malkijah
6th course 2nd week of May Sabbath to Sabbath Mijamin.
7th course 3rd week of May Sabbath-to-Sabbath Hakkoz
Pentecost week: beginning the first Sabbath in Sivan Aproximately May-June depending on a leap year.
8th course 4th week of May Sabbath-to-Sabbath Abijah
The Course of Abia /Abijah, Zacharia was serving in the last week of May beginning on the Sabbath that began the Feast of Weeks. (Penticost)
Leviticus 23:15-16 ¶ And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
9th week: 1st week of June Sabbath-to-Sabbath Jeshua and so on.
Luke 1: 10-11 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
The whole multitude was there at the Feast of Pentecost. Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy 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: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
Luke1: 6-7 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
Luke 1:24-26 And after those days (After he finished his course) his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
Taking us to the end of November:
(1) (2) (3)
June to July- July to August- August to September-
September to October October to November (five months) second week of November
We also know that Elizabeth carried her child to its full term.
Luke 1:57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
Full time tells us that Elizabeth’s child came at the appointed time, which means 38 weeks of gestation.
Luke 1:26-27 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
November to December
The end of December, Mary conceives. It takes 9 months and two weeks to carry a child, (Normal human gestation period is considered to be 38 weeks from conception.) which takes us to the end of September, first of October:
Feast of Tabernacles. Emanuel: Elohim with us! Have we not read in the book of John?
John 1:14 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.
The word dwelt is skenoo, pronounced skay-no’-o in Greek, which means to tent or encamp, i.e. (figuratively) to occupy (as a mansion) or (specially), to reside (as Yahwey did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion): — dwell.
Of course, we have reason to rejoice!
Deuteronomy 16:14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
Yahwey wanted the whole house to rejoice. All peoples of the earth!
Psalms 113 through 118 are the Psalms of Hal El which is Hallelujah = Hebrew meaning Praise Ye. These Psalms are sung during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Psalm 118:14-15 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation <y@shuw`ah> is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
Psalm 118:21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
The word salvation in these Psalms is <y@shuw`ah> in Hebrew. Do you see that?
His Hebrew name: Yahushua
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Luke 2: 8-11 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Great joy to all people.
Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
We can imagine thousands of little huts like creations of succah’s all over Jerusalem, all over the Mount of Olives with aprox 2 1/2 million Hebrew celebrating. The festival of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) would cause every inn to be full, and the shepherds abiding in their fields watching over their flocks could have been in succah’s too. The Bible does not tell us that they were, but this is the rainy season in Jerusalem and it was the Feast of Tabernacles after-all.
In the book of Exodus, the tabernacle began to be built on the Feast of Tabernacles. This is where Yahwey dwelt by His Spirit.
Luke 2:6-7 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 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.
The days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
These words confirm to us that Mary, like Elizabeth, carried her child to full term. People were there in Jerusalem in the droves during this time: The Feast lasted seven days with the Great Eighth Day following.
Swaddling clothes: in the Greek is sparganoo, pronounced spar-gan-o’-o which means: (a strip; from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strap or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom): –wrap in swaddling clothes.
It has been written and I can not remember where, but the wicks in the tabernacle were the used worn out garments of the priests, torn in strips. So my question is, were these the swaddling clothes that Yahushua was wrapped in? They were after all, priestly garments even though they had been torn, they were still priestly garments.
Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
So on the eighth day of His life, I also believe to be the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, we find Yahushua in the temple, shedding his blood confirming His covenant with Abraham. We have been taught that the Feasts are for the Jews but when we read the truth, it says this:
Leviticus 23:1-2 Â And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.
If we are children of the Lord God of Israel, these days are to be holy convocations celebrating the feasts of the Lord. He did say, even these are My feasts. (Appointments)
“Prayer is the spirit, speaking truth to truth.”
It was not a cold December’s night, as man would have us to believe. It was actually in late September, early October, as near as I can tell.
The Passover each year is the beginning of the year as is explained in the book of Exodus.
It really does not matter much to me when Yahushua was born, just that He was! But for some reason, the Holy Spirit, Whom has anointed the writings of scripture has left key information for folks to find.
What does the birth of Yahushua mean to me? Life
Life here and life ever after. The life here is a cleansing one preparing me for the next one, which will be with our King.
The birth of Yahushua means to me that I have all kinds of room for Yahwey here in my heart even though back on the night of His birth, there was no room for Him. I think this in itself is a tell tale sign because the city was so full of people. I think it was because it was during the feast.
The birth of Yahushua means a lot of rejoicing when I think of the angel who visited the Shepard’s who were near by in a field. The angel was so excited and full of great joy as the angel shared the news of the birth of Yahushua. Then before you know it suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising Yahwey and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
What a pure delight to know that the time that Yahushua was born, that angels were so excited that one of them dropped down from the heavens and started a bunch of singing in the highest! Makes me want to sing too! Perhaps he was the leader of the great heavenly choir. Who knows?
His birth means so much to me because I do not have to travel from a far like
the wise men did, just to give Yahwey my gifts. I can just bow down on my knees
and start rejoicing, singing and praising His Holy Name.
What a marvelous joy for Mary it must have been when so many people made such
a fuss over her new born baby. And what about Joseph? Wow, to be a step dad to
a King! What an honor.
It brings my heart such great joy when I think of what means that right there and what this must represent to children whom are adopted. Yahushua was raised by a man who was not his natural father and Joseph loved him no differently. What a tribute that is to folks who adopt children to know that Yahushua was in a sense, adopted by Joseph. What about Joseph and Mary’s parents? They were grandparents to a King.
Wow, I tell you it just goes on and on and the birth of Yahushua is a representation of true unselfish love from the very thought of Yahwey, who purposed a life, born of a virgin, born in a manger in some very small village in the middle of no where really.
From the least likely place in all the world, Yahushua, the man who would sacrifice His life to save us from the result of sin and death, was born on a pile of hay. Pretty humbling when I think about that. Yahwey could have wisped Yahushua in on a beautiful gold colored cloud and yelled from the heavens, “Here is Your King!”
However, He did not. Yahwey turned something that was so small in scale to be something so grand beyond all measure, a pure Holy thought, into a life form to bring forgiveness of transgressing His Holy law, to a world and it is people. and placed a King on a pile of hay. Angels, Shepard’s, and even wise men, came and worshiped.
WOW! Stunning! Awe Inspiring! I can hardly wait to get to watch it all as it was, that very night, in my minds eye, when we finally get to live and reign with our King.
If folks really feel compelled to celebrate His birthday, they should celebrate the Feast’s of the LORD as the Hebrew and the Gentiles who traveled out of Egypt were commanded to do. When they get to the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated during the Fall Feast’s of the LORD, they might understand this scripture:
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. He dwelt with us… He still does.
Thank You Father that You sent us Yahushua to show us
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. ~ Psalm 119:1
Thank You. Father that You have torn the curtain and revealed
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. ~ Psalm 119:142
Thank You Father for Your Spirit whom provides
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from
the law of sin and death. ~ Romans 8:2
His death set us free from the ‘penalty’ of death. My sin was transgression of ‘the law’.
1st John 3:4 ¶ Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
He just hasn’t dealt with death yet but He will when He rises me from the grave!
1st Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
By Eudora Nachand
December 21st, 2007