Birth of Christ & Feast of Tabernacle

The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us . John 1:14

Many scholars believe Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles.The Hebrew word “stable” is called a sukkoth (Gen. 33:17).

In John 1:14, the word “dwelled” is literally “tabernacled” in the Greek – and this comes as the climax to John’s “version” of the story of Christ’s incarnation.

Feast of Tabernacles is a week-long fall festival commemorating the 40-year journey of the Israelites in the wilderness. The word Sukkot means “booths.”

Was the Birth of Christ during the Feast of Tabernacles?

To the Israelites the Feast of Tabernacles depicted their forty years of wandering in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land. Peter and Paul referred to our physical bodies as tabernacles, or temporary dwellings (II Corinthians 5:1-4, II Peter 2:13-14).

Matthew Henry states:

It is supposed by many that our blessed Saviour was born much about the time of this holiday[Feast of Tabernacles]; then He left his mansions of light above to tabernacle among us (John 1:14), and he dwelt in booths. And the worship of God under the New Testament is prophesied of under the notion of keeping the feast of tabernacles, Zec.14:16.

The gospel of Christ teaches us to dwell in tabernacles, to sit loose to this world, as those that have here no continuing city, but by faith, and hope and holy contempt of present things, to go out to Christ without the camp, Heb. 13:13, 14.

When Was Jesus Born?

The Bible does not specifically say the date of Jesus’ birth. We know it was not during the winter months because the sheep were in the pasture (Luke 2:8). A study of the time of the conception of John the Baptist reveals he was conceived about Sivan 30, the eleventh week.

When Zechariah was ministering in the temple, he received an announcement from God of a coming son. The eighth course of Abia, when Zekharya was ministering, was the week of Sivan 12 to 18 (Killian n.d.). Adding forty weeks for a normal pregnancy reveals that John the Baptist was born on or about Passover (Nisan 14).

We know six months after John’s conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33). Therefore, Jesus would have been conceived six months later in the month of Kislev. Kislev 25 is Hanukkah.

Was the “light of the world” conceived on the festival of lights?

Starting at Hanukkah, which begins on Kislev 25 and continues for eight days, and counting through the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, one arrives at the approximate time of the birth of Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles (the early fall of the year).

During the Feast of Tabernacles

During the Feast of Tabernacles, God required all male Jews to come to Jerusalem. The many pilgrims coming to Jerusalem for the festivals would spill over to the surrounding towns (Bethlehem is about five miles from Jerusalem). Joseph and Mary were unable to find a room at the inn because of the influx of so many pilgrims. They may have been given shelter in a sukkah, which is built during a seven-day period each year accompanying the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. Due to the difficulties during travel, it was common for the officials to declare tax time during a temple Feast (Luke 2:1).

We know our Messiah was made manifest into a temporary body when He came to earth. Is it possible He also was put into a temporary dwelling? The fields would have been dotted with sukkoths during this harvest time to temporary shelter animals. The Hebrew word “stable” is called a sukkoth (Gen. 33:17).
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 (Luke 2:7).

Joseph and Mary took the child and flew to Egypt and remained there until they were told by God that Herod was dead. Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus into Jerusalem forty days from His birth for Mary’s purification and the child’s dedication (according to Torah this had to be done within forty days of the birth of a male child-not doing so is considered a sin).

This indicates that Herod died within the same forty days, because as long as Herod was alive, they could not appear at the Temple. (According to Josephus’ calculations, Herod’s death occurred during the Autumn in the fourth year before the Common Era 4 b.c.e.).

Later in His life, Yeshua celebrated His birthday on a mountain with three of His disciples. In contrast to birthday parties, such as Herod’s, where people were killed for entertainment, His was a celebration of life. On the Festival of Succoth, Moshe and EliYahu (Elijah), from centuries past, representatives of the Torah and the Prophets, appeared and talked with Yeshua.

One disciple, Kepha (Peter), suggested building three succoth for Yeshua, Moshe, and EliYahu, because it was required for the festival, but he did not understand that these three were fulfilling that which the festival symbolized: they were dwelling in their succoth (temporary tabernacles) of flesh, awaiting their eternal resurrection temples (Killian n.d.)

A number of Christians are celebrating Christ’s birth during the Feast of Tabernacles, complete with decorations and lights on the sukkah, and music celebrating Jesus’ birth.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Spiritual Lessons from The Feast of Tabernacles

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  1. Teresa Smith says:


    Very well put. Most Christians do not look at the Scriptural evidence. “Yes, we do know at what time of year Messiah was born!!” It was not in winter and not at Passover.

    Thank you for stating it so clearly,

  2. Sonya says:

    To say most Christians do not look at the Scriptural evidence is misleading. But of course we do look…as it applies to us!

    The Jewish Holidays keep in constant remembrance the awesome miracles of the Lord God King of the Universe in history, to sustain His chosen people and uphold His promises to them.

    Some of these Festivals do not apply directly to Christianity. Some were not appropriated by the early church fathers into the formal Christian liturgy. Some were, but changed and celebrated in light of Jesus Christ’s atonement, resurrection and upholding of His promises to us.


    “Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated for eight days, commencing on the 25th day of the month of Kislev (November/December), to commemorate the victory of the Jews over the Hellenist Syrians in 165 BCE.

    Following their victory, the Maccabees, sons of the Priestly Hasmonean family which led the Jews in their revolt against the Syrian overlords, entered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem defiled by the Syrian invaders, cleansed it and dedicated it anew to the service of God. Then, in memory of their victory, the Maccabees celebrated the first Hanukkah. (Hanukkah is the Hebrew term for dedication).

    The Talmud, the body of Jewish oral law, relates how the Judean heroes, led by Judah Maccabee, were making ready to rededicate the Temple and were unable to find enough undefiled oil to light the lamps. However, in one of the Temple chambers, they finally came upon a small cruse of oil which, under normal circumstances, would have lasted only one evening. Miraculously, this small amount of oil kept the Temple lights burning, not for one night, but for all the eight nights until new oil fit for use in the temple could be obtained. This is the miracle commemorated by the kindling of the Hanukkah lights.”

    SOURCE: http://www.ort.org/ort/edu/festivals/hanukkah/index.html

    • Cary says:

      Sonya – chances are you won’t even see this since your reply was almost 6 years ago. However, God gave 1 set of instructions to ALL people not just the ‘Jews’ – which isn’t correctly said since there were 12 tribes and only one of them what Judah which the term ‘Jew’ comes from.

      So to think that God gave the Jews one set of instructions and gentiles something different is not what scripture teaches us.

      The ‘Church fathers’ as you noted did change God’s word adding and subtracting from it….which hopefully you realize we’re taught not to do that. So these men removed God’s set apart appointed days (Feasts & Festivals) and add their own ‘holy’ days such as Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Lent and so forth. These were attached to pagan festivals and evolved into recognized holidays world wide. What does scripture say about attaching anything pagan to a holy God? Yes, He does not like it one bit!

      So do you choose to serve a God based on man’s traditions and man’s terms or do you choose to serve God on His terms. It’s a choice and decision that we all have to make and this is one of those choices in which we will be held accountable for. My recommendation is to choose wisely. For me, I choose to honor and obey Him on HIS terms.

      Praise YHVH

      • Jimmie Howard says:

        That is a “spot on” perfect reply Cary! I don’t know that you will ever see my response to your post, but I will wish you a Happy “Feast of Tabernacles.” It is the time of our rejoicing in Yeshua, and the Torah that he walked to perfection!

        All Glory to YHVH

      • Amanda Luhr says:

        Thank you Cary for your comment. You are so very right! I am grappling with this in my heart right now because I do go to a Messianic Sabbath worship service but for the last five years I’ve been teaching the three year olds in another church. They are getting ready to do their celebration of Christmas which is a pagan holiday and I want to share with them some words of wisdom, the truth about Jesus Christ’s birth. And you and I know this year October 16th 2016 was Jesus’s true time of His birth, the celebration of the Feast of Sukkot. I will share this truth this morning during our prayer group time, before our children’s church begins. You have given me encouragement to do so. Amanda Luhr

      • Mariel says:

        Amen! Cary, you may not rrad my response either since it is a year after you posted.
        I wish our Christian leaders would return Jesus’ flocks to the TRUE WAY.

      • Krista says:

        Truth!! Well said! He is the same yeterday today and forever one set of instructions are given for all including the foreigner.

    • The fact that you say “Jewish Holidays” belies your lack of knowledge. YHWH tells Moshe that these feasts are “My feasts”, they are not Jewish except that the Jews have obeyed YHWH in their observance. Your remark, “as it applies to us” shows ignorance of what Paul says to Timothy, “All scripture..is profitable..”.The Jews were given the responsibility to guard YHWH’s Torah and observe His calendar, which in every aspect reveals His plans through Yeshua the Messiah. Paul teaches we are no longer stranger (Gentiles) but have been grafted into the Olive Tree Israel. Because Yeshua kept the Torah, and we are in him, we are accredited that obedience. But Paul also says, Shall we continue in sin (sin is the transgression of the Torah) that grace may abound? YHWH forbid!

  3. Wonderful, that’s exactly what I was shooting for! You just spared me alot of digging around

  4. GourmetDan says:

    Hanukkah represented the re-dedication of the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes.

    Likewise, Christ was conceived at Hannukh representing the re-dedication of humanity to the indewelling of the Spirit and obedience to the Father after it had been defiled by sin in Adam.

    This places Christ’s birth at Tabernacles, the time of living in a ‘temporary’ booth. John 1 says that the Word became flesh and ‘tabernacled’ among us.


  5. Of course, what a good website and informative posts, I’ll add backlink – bookmark this internet site? Regards,

  6. Hal Jorden says:

    Wow.. what could be more interesting then a bunch of old housewives (assuming you have anybody) talking about theology and history.. that rich.

  7. cmckeon24 says:

    RT @TopsyRT: Birth of Christ & Feast of Tabernacle # http://t.co/365Ov5H

  8. James Bowen Jr. says:

    Your message Christmas was received by James Bowen Jr. on 12/10/11 4:40 PM.


    The Real Truth of Christmas,

    Some times in life , perhaps the most extraordinary adventure, is to experience what makes us who we are. In most all cases, life influences comes by our generation, education,or peers, (just to mention a few). However, influences is based on the form of information, whether it’s the truth, or a lie. Even if we choose to believe in God, it is our free will to do so, and that free will is based on the foundation of truth through the word of his Holy Spirit.

    Because any thing else would be Vain. ( useless, worthless, unavailing and of course empty). In life , I have learn , that people in general have this desire to reach the peek , of what is debatable, whether it religion, political, tradition or who’s the best football or baseball team. To debate is not the point of who’s right or wrong, it’s the element of the equation that stands in the balance, of who can provide the debating subject with facts.

    Understand,that facts are not based on feeling, what I think, it must have the foundation of the truth. ( scientists used hypothesis). God used the divine word of his Holy Spirit. Let’s examine the word of God. In the book of Luke, we find that , when the angel from heaven, told the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. They ( the angel) informed the shepherds, it shall be a sign unto you , that the baby will be wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. Luke 2:10-12.

    The question is did they believe… No!!!! read 15-18 verse. they had to see it, and then they believed. Zacharias, when the angel Gabriel informed him that his wife (Elisabeth) would give birth. Did he believe… No!!! The angel told him that he would not speak, because of his disbelief, and will not speak until his son John is born.

    I have asked, the reader on this subject (Christmas) to provide scripture, to support their beliefs, that if Dec 25 is the day , that our Lord and Savior was born, and this is the reason.. why they celebrate. But all I’ve gotten is feeling,and this is what we,as Christian do. ( sounds like the do’s and don’t commands).

    So I will take the liberty to provide the truth, through the Holy scripture of God. That Jesus was born, and that he (Jesus ) was not born on Dec 25 as you have so claimed through influence, and lies. It’s really not you fault, but you have the free will to receive the truth in God Holy word. Let’s begin.

    In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1: 5 Herod was king of Judaea. There was a priest named Zacharias, he was the priest in charged of the temple. He performed his duty during the course of Abia. What is Abia? In the book of 1 Chronicles chapter 24:10 eighth to Abijah this means the division of the sons of Aaron who executed the priest office of service, and was distributed by King David. Remember, the eighth to Abia (Abijah ) means the month, Zacharias would be in the temple ( May- June). eighth to the course of Abia.

    Zacharias wife, Elisabeth was barren,and that they was righteous before God, and walked in all the commandment and ordinances of the Lord, blamless. Gabriel the angel of God, informed Zacharias that his wife would give birth to a son, and his named will be John. He Zacharias did not believe, and cause himself to not speak, until his son is born.

    In Luke Chapter 1:23-24 Zacharias has accomplished his duities and return home and his wife conceived, and she (Elisabeth hid her pregnancy for 5(five) months). The angel Gabriel in the sixth month, which is the month of Dec, you will see this in verse 26. (Remember, Elisabeth became pregnant in the month of June after Zacharias accomplished his ministration after the course of Abia).

    That would put Elisabeth from June ( July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov,). Gabriel went to Galilee, Nazareth, to a virgin named Mary to inform her that God is highly favoured. And the angel said thou shalt conceive in thy womb, a son , and shall call his name Jesus verse 31 of Luke chapter 1. In verse 36 the angel, Gabriel inform Mary that her cousin Elisabeth was in her 6 month. Mary then went to see her cousin with haste ,verse 39. From June to Dec is 6 month.

    In Dec, when Mary and Elisabeth saluation ( sulating, word uttered welcome).

    Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. verse 41. Later in Luke Chapter 1:56 Mary abode with Elisabeth about (3) three months. In verse 57 Mary cousin Elisabeth gave birth to John in the month of March. From the time Elisabeth got pregnant in June we will count. July, Aug , Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, March will give a full 9 month, a good healthy pregnancy.

    Remember, Mary abode for three months with her cousin Elisabeth. Remember Mary, the baby leaped in her womb in the month of Dec. Let’s do the math, Jan, Feb, March,abode three month with cousin. We have 6 month left, they are… April, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, a full 9 months pregnancy. Jesus Christ the Son of God was born in the month of Sept. In Life we are influence, but be sure it is by the truth, and it’s basis has a foundation to stand. The word Abia is the key to Jesus birth. Not Dec 25, the pagan day of ungodly celebration of Winter Solstice.

    This is truth from the word of God , through his scripture of the Holy Bible.

    Some times it’s hard to swallow the truth.

    God Bless!!!

    James Bowen Jr.

    • fiona says:

      1Chronicles speaks of 24 courses, therefore the course of Abijah would have served twice?

    • olv says:

      According to 2chr 23:8, the divisions served weekly, not monthly… if u say eighth means eigth month so when will the 24th month come within a year? Because according to david they were supposed to serve within a year

  9. Jeff C says:

    It’s strange how people claim that Christians are celebrating a pagan holiday in December instead of celebrating the Festival of Lights. I guess the question is when does God think Life begins. If September 29 is the Birth then December is the Conception. God planned it to occur during the Festival of Lights, giving this celebration A meaning for the christian. The birth during the feast of Tabernacles and he rose around THE PASSOVER. It has all worked out the way God planned it. There are pagan holidays throughout the world in every month. The marvelous CONCEPTION of Christ which Modern science has shown to be possible (it is possible for a virgin to conceive and give birth today with the help of doctors) occurred on December 25, when life begins. the physical birth in september and he rose around Passover, 3 important date for the Triune God

  10. Danny Sean O'Neal says:

    Go read Jeremiah 10:1-5 King James Bible about what God say’s about decking tree’s with gold and silver … Remember the devil is a liar and want’s to stael God’s thunder .

  11. Hope says:

    Not to be trivial or antagonistic, but it was the children of Israel…not “the Jews”. The children of Israel include “the Jews” but Judah is only one tribe of Israel. I do realize that is how most Christians identify the children of Israel, but it is not correct.

  12. […] We know six months after John’s conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33). Therefore, Jesus would have been conceived six months later in the month of Kislev. Kislev 25 is Hanukkah. (read more) […]

  13. […] “booths” or temporary shelters as a a reminder of God’s deliverance from Egypt.  Many believe this is also when Jesus was born and came to “tabernacle” with us.  You can read more about Sukkot in bible times here […]

  14. David says:

    I’m born again christian the holy spirit within me guided me to search about these pagan holidays. I’m glad I learn the truth about these holiday and we do not celebrate them. But it took 56 yr and my mother 78 yr to find out the truth. I ask Father God to forgive me what I did for so long.

    Go and search for yourself
    Google the truth about Christmas,Easter,Halloween,New years eve.

  15. Moshe Zew says:

    בימים ההם יום-הלדת של ישוע
    בחדש השביעי
    (Neh 8:14)
    are by their numeric value 2692

    Seventh month in Hebrew Calender is Tishri
    (September – October)

    * * * * * * *

    יום הלדת ישוע בחודש תשרי
    חמש-מאות ושתים
    five hundred two
    (מספר גדול)
    are by their numeric value 2111

    numeric value is 502

  16. Thank you for the birth date. You sound like my Jewish Pastor. There is one thing I would like to provide for consideration, which I sincerely believe G-d has given to me.

    Yeshua was born in a year where a Roman Census was held, which was once every 20 years. 3 years before the Roman Calendar is one date, but 20 years later was the year 17, on the Roman Calendar.

    2017 is the 70th anniversary of the Dead Sea Scrolls -and- a Jubilee year for Jerusalem.

    2018 is the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel -and- the 40th anniversary of the Israeli Egyptian Peace Pact.

    One of these two years occur on the Hebrew year of 6800.

  17. Ernest Andrews says:

    The commanded Festivals were given in Leviticus 23 and are meant for all believers just as the Sabbath is meant for all believers. “Gentile” means nations or heathen but also unbeliever. If you are a believer you are no longer a Gentile but grafted in “again”. It says that in the Scriptures, Do you know where. So much of the Bible (where is that “Bible” mentioned in Scripture?) has been mistranslated and misinterpreted that it’s no wonder we don’t understand His Word. A Hebrew translation, though not perfect, is by far the most accurate of all translations or versions.
    Abram/Abraham was “the Hebrew” Isaac/Yitshaq and Jacob/Ya’acob were Hebrew The prophets were Hebrew The apostles were Hebrew Moses/Mosheh was Hebrew The TaNaK (Old Testament) was written by and given to Hebrews The Messiah’s mother and stepfather were Hebrew Our Messiah was, is, and always will be Hebrew Paul/Sha’ul was Hebrew Elohim’s chosen priestly tribe was Hebrew The 144,000 are Hebrew The ones to judge all nations will be Hebrew The 12 gates into the city are named for each of the Hebrew tribes Only those doing His commands shall enter into the NEW JERUSALM/YARUSHALAYIM
    Hmmm, I wonder.

  18. Ian G says:

    Not only was Jesus conceived at Chanukah and born at Tabernacles, but the wise men were able to compute the birth death and resurrection of Jesus form information Daniel.

    http://thealmondrod.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/chanukah-in-gospel-of-john-part-one.html and other posts on Chanukah.

    Ian G recently posted..Even the Qur’an admits that the Land of Israel belongs to the JewsMy Profile

  19. Mahmoud says:

    Dear Admin

    I am a Muslim & Arabic researcher; I found that: the messiah has born in 19/9/3 BC.
    I have an article to prove that but it is in arabic language.

  20. bubu says:

    one line of thought has Yeshua born 5bce 0929-1005 (tabernacles Tishrei 15-21) and John the dipper at passover 5bce 0404-10.

    Another has Yeshua’s birth at passover aviv 14; gregorian 5wed-6thur April 1bce, julian 1bce 0408.

    The secular Gregorian calendar was not known or used in the 1st century, being introduced in the mid 16th century by Pope Gregory XIII.
    The Julian and at least two different Jewish calendars (judean[sunset, sadducee] and galilean[sunrise, pharisees]) were in use at the time.

    The birth of Messiah was recognized by the normative Jews as having occurred on the night of Aviv 14, a time when the Galileans and Pharisees were most likely celebrating the Passover meal.
    Passover was celebrated during the time of the full moon in the spring, the lambing season (Jn 1:29, 36)
    the same day, in the calendar of the Galileans, in which He ate the Last Supper, and the same day, in the calendar of the Judeans, on which he died.

    spring equinox sunday 20 march (gregorian) (22 mar julian) 1bce aviv 1;
    monday entry into jerusalem aviv 10;
    thur eats last supper sunset aviv 13; in afternoon Paschal lambs are slain at temple for Galileans & Pharisees; suffers in Gethsemane, and is seized and arrested this night; Talmidim (disciples) scatter, and Peter denies Yeshua before the cock crows;
    fri trial, crucifixion, burial aviv 14; when the Judeans sacrificed their Paschal lambs; 3 April AD 33 (Julian calendar);
    Pharisees rush to bury Yeshua before Sunset in accordance with the commandment in Deut 21:21-23;
    sat aviv 15 feast unleavened bread;
    sun aviv 16 resurrected, feast of 1st fruits.

    Matthew, Mark and Luke record that the Saviour with His apostles ate the Passover meal the night before His death (Mt.26:2,17-19; Mk.14:1,12-16; Lk.22:1,7-8,13-15).

    All four records of the Gospel testify that Messiah died in the afternoon of the day following the night of His Last Supper.

    John 18:28 indicates that for those who sought to destroy Messiah’s life, the morning of ‘Good Friday’ was a time before their eating of the Passover meal.

  21. The Day Jesus Was Born

    […] was in her 6 month. Mary then went to see her cousin with haste ,verse 39. From […]

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