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Biblical Dates for the Birth of
Yochanan the Immerser and
for the Conception and Birth of
Yeshua HaMashiach

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December 25 is the day that is marked on the Gregorian calendar (the calendar we currently use, created by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582) as the date of birth for Yeshua HaMashiach, but as we have demonstrated elsewhere, that date was selected by Constantine’s Roman “church” because the pagans of the Roman Empire who were declared by imperial fiat to be members of the new “church” were already used to participating in the Saturnalia festivities on that day in honor of the Roman god Saturn,[1] which was simply another name for Nimrod, the sun god of the ancient Babylonian Mystery Religion.

However, when we use the evidence of Scripture, it is a simple task to calculate the actual birth date of Mashiach to within a very few days; the exact date is then easily extrapolated.

The Conception of Yochanan the Immerser [Luke 1:5-25]

In the days of Herod, King of Y'hudahJudea, there was a cohen[priest] named Z'kharyah who belonged to the Aviyah division [of the priesthood]. His wife [also] was a descendant of Aharon, and her name was Elisheva. Both of them were righteous before God, observing all the mitzvotcommandments and ordinances of ADONAI blamelessly. But they had no children, because Elisheva was barren; and they were both well along in years.

One time when Z'kharyah was fulfilling his duties as cohen during his division’s period of service before God, he was chosen by lot (according to the custom among the cohanimpriests) to enter the Temple and burn incense.[2] All the people were outside, praying, at the time of the incense burning, when there appeared to him an angel of ADONAI standing to the right of the incense altar. Z'kharyah was startled and terrified at the sight.[3] But the angel said to him, “Don't be afraid, Z'kharyah; because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elisheva will bear you a son, and you are to name him Yochanan. He will be a joy and a delight to you, and many people will rejoice when he is born, for he will be great in the sight of ADONAI. He is never to drink wine or other liquor, and he will be filled with the Ruach HaKodeshHoly Spirit even from his mother's womb. He will turn many of the people of Isra'el to ADONAI their God. He will go out ahead of ADONAI in the spirit and power of Eliyahu to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for ADONAI a people prepared.”

Z'kharyah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man; my wife too is well on in years.”

“I am Gavri'el,” the angel answered him, “and I stand in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you, to give you this good news. Now, because you didn’t believe what I said, which will be fulfilled when the time comes, you will be silent, unable to speak until the day these things take place.”

Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Z'kharyah; they were surprised at his taking so long in the Temple. But when he came out unable to talk to them, they realized that he had seen a vision in the Temple; speechless, he communicated to them with signs. When his period of his Temple service was over, he returned home. Following this, Elisheva his wife conceived, and she remained five months in seclusion, saying, “ADONAI has done this for me; He has shown me favor at this time, so as to remove my public disgrace.” (Luke 1:5-25, CJB)

1 Chronicles 24 tells us that the Levitical priesthood was divided into 12 divisions of priests with 2,000 priests in each division. The ancient Jewish Historian Josephus (Antiquities 7) tells us that each division served for a period of one week. The first division began its period of service on the first day of the year — 1 Nisan (also called Aviv or Abib) — as God had established the calendar in Exodus 12:2. Three weeks out of each year — during the weeks of Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost), and Sukkot (Booths/Tabernacles) — all 24,000 priests served together (see the priest’s calendar).

As Zekharyah was in the division of Aviyah (Luke 1:5), his term of service began in early Spring on the first day of the eighth week (27th of Ayyar, 1 Chron 24:10) and ran for one week through the 4th of Sivan. As the following week (5-11 Sivan) was Shavuot, the Feast of Pentecost, he would have stayed in the temple and served that week also with all the priests. Luke 1:23-24 tells us that Zekharyah finished his duties at the Temple, and that Elisheva conceived shortly after his return home. This sets the date for Yochanan’s conception at approximately the third week of Sivan. [In Gregorian year 2001, that week corresponded to the first week of June. Adding nine months to that date puts the birth of Yochanan sometime near the first week of the Gregorian month of March.]

The Conception of Yeshua [Luke 1:26-55]

In the sixth month [of Elisheva’s pregnancy], the angel Gavri'el was sent by God to a city in the Galil called Natzeret, to a virgin engaged to a man named Yosef, of the house of David; the virgin’s name was Miryam. Approaching her, the angel said, “Shalom, favored lady! ADONAI is with you!” She was deeply troubled by his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Don't be afraid, Miryam, for you have found favor with God. Look! You will become pregnant, you will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Yeshua. He will be great, He will be called Son of Ha`Elyonthe Most High. ADONAI, God, will give Him the throne of his forefather David; and He will rule the House of Ya`akov forever — there will be no end to His Kingdom.”

“How can this be,” asked Miryam of the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered her, “The Ruach HaKodeshHoly Spirit will come over you, the power of Ha`Elyon will cover you. Therefore the holy child born to you will be called the Son of God. You have a relative, Elisheva, who is an old woman; and everyone says she is barren. But she has conceived a son and is six months pregnant! For with God, nothing is impossible.”

Miryam said, “I am the servant of ADONAI; may it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. Without delay, Miryam set out and hurried to the town in the hill country of Y'hudah where Z'kharyah lived, entered his house and greeted Elisheva.

When Elisheva heard Miryam's greeting, the baby in her womb stirred. Elisheva was filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and spoke up in a loud voice, “How blessed are you among women! And how blessed is the child in your womb! But who am I, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For as soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy! Indeed you are blessed, because you have trusted that the promise ADONAI has made to you will be fulfilled.”

Then Miryam said, “My soul magnifies ADONAI; and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior, who has taken notice of His servant-girl in her humble position. For — imagine it! — from now on, all generations will call me blessed! The Mighty One has done great things for me! Indeed, His name is holy; and in every generation He has mercy on those who fear Him. He has performed mighty deeds with His arm, routed the secretly proud, brought down rulers from their thrones, raised up the humble, filled the hungry with good things, but sent the rich away empty. He has taken the part of his servant Isra'el, mindful of the mercy which He promised to our fathers, to Avraham and his seed forever.” (Luke 1:26-55, CJB)

Near the end of the sixth month of Elisheva’s pregnancy the angel Gavri'el appeared to Miryam and told her about Elisheva saying, “this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.” Miryam immediately left Natzeret (verse 39, “with haste”) and went to the “hill country” near Jerusalem to the home of Zekharyah and Elisheva. We know for sure that Miryam was already pregnant with Yeshua because Yochanan, still in Elisheva’s womb, recognized the unborn Yeshua. [What further evidence do the baby-killers need that life begins at conception?]

This sets the conception of Yeshua about the end of Kislev during Chanukah (mid-December), the Feast of Lights, thus demonstrating in a very special way that Yeshua is the Light of the World.

“Yeshua is shown celebrating Chanukah in John 10:22,23. It is at this celebration that He declares ‘I and My Father are One’ [John 10:30], which testifies to His Divine origin in His conception. It also reinforces Chanukah as the time of His conception.” [MRav Dr. David Hargis]

The Birth of Yochanan [Luke 1:56-80] (at Pesach)

Miryam stayed with Elisheva for about three months and then returned home. The time arrived for Elisheva to have her baby, and she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard how good ADONAI had been to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day, they came to do the child's b'rit-milah [covenant of circumcision]. They were about to name him Z'kharyah, after his father, when his mother spoke up and said, “No, he is to be called Yochanan.”

They said to her, “None of your relatives has that name,” and they made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called.

He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone's surprise he wrote, “His name is Yochanan.”

At that moment, his power of speech returned, and his first words were a b'rakhah [blessing] to God. All their neighbors were awestruck; And throughout the hill country of Y'hudah, people talked about all these things. Everyone who heard of them said to himself, “What is this child going to be?” For clearly the hand of ADONAI was with him. His father Z'kharyah was filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and spoke this prophecy:

“Praised be ADONAI, the God of Isra'el, because He has visited and made a ransom to liberate His people by raising up for us a mighty Deliverer who is a descendant of his servant David. It is just as He has spoken through the mouth of the prophets from the very beginning — that we should be delivered from our enemies and from the power of all who hate us. This has happened so that he might show the mercy promised to our fathers — that he would remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore before Avraham avinuAbraham our father to grant us that we, freed from our enemies, would serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. You, child, will be called a prophet of Ha`Elyon; you will go before the Lord to prepare his way by spreading the knowledge among his people that deliverance comes by having sins forgiven through our God's most tender mercy, which causes the Sunrise to visit us from Heaven, to shine on those in darkness, living in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the paths of peace.”

The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he lived in the wilderness until the time came for him to appear in public to Isra'el. (Luke 1:56-80, CJB)

The prophet Mal'akhi (Malachi) tells us that Eliyah (Elijah) the prophet must come to prepare the hearts of the fathers and their children before Mashiach comes.

Remember the Torah of Moshe my servant, which I enjoined on him at Horev, laws and rulings for all Isra'el. Look, I will send to you Eliyahu the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible Day of ADONAI. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers; otherwise I will come and strike the land with complete destruction. [Look, I will send to you Eliyahu the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible Day of ADONAI.] (Malachi 4:4-6, CJB)

Therefore, in anticipation of the coming of Mashiach, when Pesach (Passover) is celebrated, a place at the table is set and a cup of wine is poured for Eliyah (Elijah), and the door of the house is left open so that he may come in to the celebration. It is clear that for centuries before the birth of Messiah the Jews had been anticipating the return of Eliyah during Pesach.

The way in which Gavri'el worded his announcement to Zekharyah makes it clear that Yochanan was to be the fulfillment of Mal'akhi’s prophecy: “He will turn many of the people of Isra'el to ADONAItheir God. He will go out ahead of ADONAI in the spirit and power of Eliyahu to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for ADONAI a people prepared.”

Luke 1:56 tells us that Miryam stayed with Elisheva for three months, which would have been up until the time Yochanan was born. We can now calculate the date of Yochanan’s birth with a great deal of accuracy (see the calendar).

Therefore, Yochanan was born at Passover, most certainly on the first day of Unleavened Bread. He was circumcised on the eighth day, which would be the last day of Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. His birth therefore exactly fulfills both Mal'akhi’s prophecy and the Jewish expectation of that fulfillment to occur at Passover.

The Birth of Yeshua / Luke 2 (Sukkot)

Around this time, Emperor Augustus issued an order for a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This census was the first of its kind, and it took place when Quirinius was governing in Syria. Everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. So Yosef, because he was a descendant of David, went up from the town of Natzeret in the Galil to the town of David, called Beit-Lechem, in Y'hudah, to be registered, with Miryam, to whom he was engaged, and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in cloth and laid him down in a feeding trough [better translated as “food tray” for reasons we will see later], because there was no space for them in the living-quarters. (Luke 2:1-7)

For the past several hundred years, Gentile Christians have taught that poor Mary and Joseph were forced to go to Bethlehem to register for their taxes, and that there were so many people trying to register at the same time that all the motels and hotels were full. Most of us have seen the Christmas play in which a third-grader with a pillow tied to his tummy and a cotton beard hanging by strings from his ears comes to the door and tells Mary and Joseph that the inn is full, but they are welcome to sleep in his barn out behind the inn. They trudge through the snow out out to the barn where Joseph moves the cattle, sheep, donkeys, and sometimes even chickens out of the way to find some clean straw, and he makes a bed in a manger for their baby Jesus to sleep in. It’s a beautiful story, but it’s simply not true … it’s only a Gentile myth.

First of all, when the decree was issued, citizens were given a full year during which to register for the census. There was absolutely no reason for thousands of Bethlehemites to have to come to their home town all at once to register. That being the case, we must ask why Yosef would bring his wife Miriam all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register when her pregnancy was so far along.

There were three great feasts during the year which the people of ADONAI were expected to make every reasonable effort to attend at the Temple in Jerusalem: Pesach (Passover and Unleavened Bread), Shavuot (Pentecost, the feast of harvest), and Sukkot (the feast of ingathering, booths, or [as erroneously rendered] “tabernacles”[4]). [“You shall observe a feast to me three times a year.” Exodus 23:14]

During these three feasts, the population of “the metropolitan Jerusalem area” would swell from about a hundred twenty thousand to something over two million people (according to Josephus). Every home in the entire area was open to guests, and of course all the “hotels and motels” (if any had existed) would have been booked up for months.

However, during Sukkot every family was (and still is) required by Torah to live at least part of each day in their sukkah [pronounced soo-kah], which is a temporary dwelling usually made out of palm and/or bamboo branches, to remind them that for 40 years their ancestors had lived in temporary shelters in the wilderness on their trek to the Promised Land. At night, these sukkot [the plural form of sukkah and pronounced soo-coat] were available for the overnight lodging of out-of-towners, and the homeowners would stock them with food for the travelers. The food was placed on a food-tray attached to the inside wall of the sukkah to keep it up off the ground and away from ground-dwelling insects and animals. In fact. Easton's Bible Dictionary defines “manger” as “the ledge or projection in the end of the room used as a stall on which the hay or other food of the animals of travellers was placed.” Using the same vocaublary, the tray on one wall of the sukkah would have been called the “manger.”

Beit-Lechem (“House of Bread,” Bethlehem) was a small village in the suburbs just about four miles south of Jerusalem. Miriam and Yosef had apparently decided to register with the census-takers when they made their mandatory pilgrimage up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Sukkot. Evidently they had intended to stop overnight in Bethlehem, register in the morning, and then proceed on into Jerusalem for the feast. The Greek word translated “inn” in verse 7 of the passage is kataluma (kataluma), which simply indicates living quarters. This would most likely have been a large common room in the home in which everyone simply laid their blankets on the floor wherever they could find space to lie down.

I am convinced that Yosef’s plan was to stay at the home of one of his relatives, but when they arrived the room was already overcrowded, and Myriam was probably in the early stages of labor. This would have granted no privacy at all for a 13- or 14-year old woman obviously about to deliver a child. So their host offered them the privacy of his Sukkah.

The accommodations that were offered to Miriam and Yosef, the Sukkah, had been erected and well-stocked with food for the express purpose of sheltering feast-keepers. And when their Baby was born, they laid Him on the food shelf to keep Him up off the damp ground. When the translators of the “King James” Bible got to this passage in Luke’s gospel, they had no knowledge of Jewish tradition or of how the festival of Sukkot was observed. When they came to the word fatne (phatne), which only appears four times in the entire Apostolic Scriptures, and all four times in this single chapter, they had a translation problem.

Thinking only in terms of life in Medieval England, where sheds outside of the farmhouses scattered across the English countryside were used to shelter animals, they assumed that the food tray, since it was not inside the inn, could only have been in that same kind of shed outside the inn and obviously (in their minds) must have been used for the feeding of the animals sheltered there. So they translated phatne, the word for “food tray,” as “manger.” And since “mangers” are only found in stables or barns, the whole Gentile myth of Yeshua’s birth in a stable was created out of an ignorant error in translation.

As to establishing the date for His birth, one thing is very certain … He was absolutely not born during the winter. Luke 2:8 tells us: “There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock."

The weather in Israel is very similar to that in central California. By December it is quite cold, and the sheep have all been brought into the fold for the winter. “As is well known, the shepherds in Palestine do not ‘abide in the fields’ during the winter season. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields not later than the fifteenth of October!” [Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion. Self-published, 1966, p.160]

Since we have already demonstrated that Yeshua was exactly six months younger that Yochanan, it is now easy to establish the time of His birth as mid-Tishrei, or early autumn. The only reason that Beit-Lechem would possibly crowded in mid-Tishrei would be for Sukkot. The first and last days of Sukkot are “high Shabbats” and travel on those days was forbidden. Therefore Yoseph would have planned their trip to arrive not later than a few hours before sunset preceding the first day of Sukkot. According to Luke’s account, Yeshua was born that night, on 15 Tishrei.

In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, when an angel of ADONAI appeared to them, and the Sh'khinah of ADONAI shone around them. They were terrified; but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. Here is how you will know: you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying [on a food tray].” Suddenly, along with the angel was a vast army from heaven praising God: “In the highest heaven, glory to God! And on earth, peace among people of good will!”

No sooner had the angels left them and gone back into heaven than the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go over to Beit-Lechem and see this thing that has happened, that ADONAI has told us about.” Hurrying off, they came and found Miryam and Yosef, and the baby lying [on the food tray]. Upon seeing this, they made known what they had been told about this child; and all who heard were amazed by what the shepherds said to them. Miryam treasured all these things and kept mulling them over in her heart. Meanwhile, the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen; it had been just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time for His b'rit-milah [covenant of circumcision], He was given the name Yeshua [Hebrew h[wXy, Salvation], which is what the angel had called him before his conception. When the time came for their purification according to the Torah of Moshe, they took him up to Yerushalayim to present him to ADONAI (as it is written in the Torah of ADONAI, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to ADONAI”) and also to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Torah of ADONAI. (Luke 2:21-24, CJB)

The “birth” of a Jewish baby boy was not considered complete until he had been circumcised on the eighth day. On the eighth day, Yeshua’s “presentation” in the Temple included His circumcision according to Torah. Thus we see that the birth of Yeshua HaMashiach spanned the entire eight days of Sukkot, including His birth on the holy Shabbat which was the first day of Sukkot and His circumcision on the holy Shabbat which was the eighth and final day of Sukkot.

At His birth he was placed on the food tray in the Sukkah, thus demonstrating that He is indeed the true Bread of Life (John 6:33-51). God’s preparation of the Feast of Sukkot centuries before His birth gives extra significance to Yochanan’s comment “The Word became flesh, and lived [literally, “tabernacled” — lived in a temporary dwelling, His body] among us. We saw His glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

“Note that God provided two holy feasts that lasted eight days, Passover/Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Messiah, was born and circumcised in the eight days of the first, then six months later Yeshua, the Messiah, was born and circumcised the eight days of the second. John came in the first month of the year and Yeshua came in the seventh month. In ministry, John introduced the way through Messiah and then Yeshua perfected it, even as the first and seventh months signify [in gammatria, or Biblical numerology]. … The Feast of Tabernacles is a most important commemoration. Zechariah 14:16,17 tells us that one day all nations will be required by law to honor this feast. For what greater reason, than it is the birthday of the King of Kings! Why should we delay? [MRav Dr. David Hargis]



  1. Saturn (Latin: Saturnus) is a god in ancient Roman religion, and a character in myth as a god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation. In later developments, he also came to be a god of time. His reign was depicted as a Golden Age of plenty and peace. The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum housed the state treasury. In December, he was celebrated at what is perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, the Saturnalia, a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving and revelry. Saturn the planet and Saturday are both named after the god. [Source: “Saturn (mythology)” Wikipedia, accessed Aug 11, 2019 [RETURN]

 2. This was a once-in-a-lifetime honor for any Levitical priest, and very likely the highlight of Z'kharyah’ priestly career. [RETURN]

 3. If we read casually through the Scriptures we might be inclined to think that the appearance of angelic messengers was a relatively common event. We must remember, however, that the Scriptures span a period of about four thousand years and in four millennia we have recorded only about 25 separate appearances of angels (listed here). This was an extremely unusual event and Z'kharyah was rightfully terrified. [RETURN]

 4. The extremely elaborate Tabernacle that served as the facility in which God met with His people and which housed the Ark of the Covenant until Solomon built the first Temple was the !kXm (Mishkan). The Hebrew word mishkan means a “dwelling place,” and was the dwelling place that God instructed Moses to construct so that He could dwell in the midst of His people. The biblical Feast of Sukkot (or Booths) [Leviticus 23:37-44] is often erroneously referred to as the Feast of Tabernacles because of an unfortunate translation in the Apostolic Scriptures. The Hebrew word hkko (sukkah, or plural sukkot) specifically refers to a “booth” or temporary shelter generally made out of palm branches and not much else. The Greek word skene (skene) is used in the Apostolic Scriptures to refer to the “tent in the wilderness” — the Mishkan — and was translated into English not from the Hebrew Mishkan, or from the Greek text’s skene, but rather from the Latin Vulgate’s tabernaculum, which means “tent.” So the “Fest of Tabernacles” would actually mean “Feast of Tents,” which is not all all what the Torah means. [BACK]

Revised Thursday, 04 June 2020
Revised on 29 October 2019
Originally posted sometime in 2001

Page last updated on Friday, 29 September 2023 11:50 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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