Was Yeshua born during Tishri at Sukkot?
Yeshua's cousin, John the Baptist, was conceived mid Sivan (May/June) & born 40 weeks later on Nisan 15, Passover.
- 1John's father (Zachariah) was a Levite who was assigned to serve in the Temple during the course of Abijah, the 8th course of the year. (Luke 1:5, 1 Chronicles 24:10) — See Chart
- 2Since the cycle of service began on the first Shabbat of Nisan, but both Passover and Shavuot require all priestly courses to serve, the actual time the 8th course would serve would be during the 10th week of the year. This places Zachariah's service in the Temple as beginning on the second Sabbath of the month of Sivan (May/June).
- 3It is written that John was conceived shortly after this service period (Luke 1:23-4). Therefore, John the Baptist was probably conceived shortly after the third Sabbath of the month of Sivan1.
- 4Therefore John the Baptist was born around Passover, Nisan 15. Yeshua said John the Baptist was a type of Elijah the prophet (Matthew 17:10-13, compare Luke 1:17). Even today it’s customary to set out a special cup of wine during the Passover meal in anticipation of the arrival of Elijah for the festival.
Yeshua was conceived in late Kislev (Nov/Dec) and born 40 weeks later during Sukkot
- 1Yeshua was conceived six months after John the Baptist (Luke 1:24-27, 36). Note that the sixth month refers to Elizabeth's pregnancy, not the month of Elul (see Luke 1:36).
- 2Six months added to late Sivan is late Kislev, which is the time of the conception of Yeshua (note that the first day of they Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated on the 25th day of Kislev, and Yeshua is called the Light of the world — John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46).
- 3From the 15th day of Nisan (John's birthday), we add six months to arrive at the 15th day of the 7th month, Tishri — the first day of the festival of Sukkot.
- 4If the day of His birth was the first day of Sukkot, the day of His circumcision would be the eighth day, Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah, which, like the first day, is a day of sacred assembly (Leviticus 23:39). On this day the Jews complete their annual cycle of Torah readings and start again from Bereshit2. Simchat Torah is considered to be a time of fulfillment of the Torah. The circumcision of Yeshua at this time indicates how He had come to fulfil the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17-18).
- 5The Word3 was made flesh4 and dwelt5.
- 6Look at the priestly courses again below. Jesus dwelt with man at His birth during the 13th and 14th priestly courses. The names of these courses were Huppah6 and Jeshebeab7. Surely this can’t be mere coincidence.
- 1John 1:14 states the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Greek word dwelt [skēnoō, σκηνόω] comes from the word skēnos (σκῆνος), which the LXX8 uses for the Mishkan9. The name given for the Feast of Tabernacles itself is called Heortē Skēnōma (ἑορτή σκήνωμα) in the LXX.
- 2King Herod most likely used the opportunity of the Festival of Sukkot in Jerusalem to perform the census10.
- 3Shepherds would not be out with their sheep in the dead of winter in Israel. The angel who appeared to them said, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people (Luke 2:10). Since Sukkot was known as both a Festival of Joy and also as the Festival of the Nations, the angel was actually giving them a greeting for the Festival of Sukkot. This is the only festival where the nations are positively encouraged to participate (Zechariah 14:16-19).
- 4After Yeshua returns and sets up His Kingdom on Earth, it is written that only one festival will be celebrated by the nations: Sukkot (Zechariah 14:16)
- 5Why is that? It's quie likely Yeshua was born during Sukkot being conceived during Hanukkah. The 1st day of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated on 25th Kislev, and Yeshua is called the Light of the World (John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46). The same verb that says He dwelt with us (skēnoō, σκηνοω in John 1:14) derives from the same root used in the Septuagint to refer to both the Mishkan11 and the individual tents of Sukkot (σκηνος). So … could it be that Sukkot will be a worldwide Birthday party for Yeshua? All the other festivals having been fulfilled — but the remembrance of His birth would remain as a celebration!
- 6We know Yeshua was 30 years old when He started His ministry (Luke 3:23), and, assuming as many Bible scholars do, that He ministered for 3.5 years, counting backwards from the crucifixion (during Passover in Nisan) 6 months you arrive at His birthday in Tishri.
- 7Since Zachariah served during the tenth week and Elizabeth conceived shortly thereafter, we can place the date of Yeshua' birth during the festival of Sukkot.
The precise time of Yeshua’s birth is in a sense irrelevant, since we know the date of His crucifixion on Erev Pesach, and His resurrection on Nisan 1712. Both of which are of more fundamental significance (see 1 Corinthians 2:2;1Corinthians 15:3-4). In light of these uncertainties, it’s perhaps advisable to take a humble attitude and confess our ignorance in the matter. The important thing, of course, is that our LORD was indeed born and ransomed us from the wages of our sins. Hallelujah!