In the previous lesson I gave additional information that demonstrates that Jesus, the Lamb of God, was quite possibly born as other sacrificial lambs were, in the Tower of the Flock near Bethlehem. This also requires a change in the possible birth date of the Lord Jesus.
Here is where my views have been changed. In the Gospel of Luke we find that Zecharias was a priest and his wife Elizabeth was also of the lineage of Aaron. They had no children. When Zecharias was serving his course in the Temple, the angel Gabriel told him that Elizabeth would have a very special child. We know the child as John the Baptist.
King David divided the priesthood into twenty-four “courses,” or shifts, if you will. Each course served in the Temple for one week. Zecharias was of the Abijah course, which was the eighth course. (I Chronicles 24:10) All courses served during the holy days when all men were required to come to the Temple. These “feasts” were Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and Tabernacles. This way the fifty-two weeks of the year were filled by the two twenty-four priestly courses, plus the special Holy Days.
From this sequence, I had determined that Zecharias served in late May or early June. Luke tells us that Elizabeth became pregnant after that. From June to December is six months, and when Elizabeth was six months pregnant Mary came to visit her. Mary had just been told by the angel Gabriel that she was pregnant with the Son of God.
If Mary became pregnant in December, I concluded that she gave birth to Jesus in September. This is the time of the Feast of Tabernacles when all men are required to go to the Temple. This explains why “there was no room at the inn” because all the inns were filled with men who came to fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles, and their families.
Based on this, I estimated that the Lord Jesus was born on or near the Feast of Tabernacles.
But if we are to follow the fascinating pattern of the sacrificial lambs being born in the Spring, in Bethlehem, in the protected, ritually clean Tower of the Flock, attended by Levitical shepherds, we must review the timing that Scripture gives us for the birth of the Lord Jesus.
The timing works! The twenty-four priestly courses served two times a year. I had assumed (always a mistake) Zecharias was informed that he would be a father during his first course. Zecharias would have served his second course in late November or early December. Elizabeth would have become pregnant in December or January. The newly-pregnant Mary would have visited her in June or July. Then, the Lord Jesus would have been born in March or April, the same time as all lambs and the same time as the mandatory Feast of Unleavened Bread, or Passover. Again, all the inns were fully booked.
This birth date fits the sacrificial lamb pattern even better than the Fall birth date. If this is correct, we should be celebrating the birth of Jesus at the same time we celebrate His Resurrection!
If this is correct, forget December 25th and burn your Tammuz trees.
Our God is a God of Truth. May the Truth be known. May He have mercy on us for our faulty understandings and for celebrating as the world celebrates. May His name always be praised!