The birth of Jesus Christ is the one of the most significant events in all of history and when we understand the truths regarding the true date of his birth it will thrill and inspire your heart. Tradition has made December 25th the birthday of Jesus. but the Bible clearly reveals he was not born on that day. It was not until the 4th century after Christ that December 25th began to be celebrated at the day of Christ’s birth. It was the old pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice and the birth of the sun god and celebrated when the days began to get longer. In Rome it was the festival called Saturnalia and later the Roman Empire baptized it and began to celebrate the birth of Jesus. All biblical scholars know that Jesus was not born on December 25th. Tradition is never an accurate measurement for truth.
God has a significant meaning in everything He does and this does not exclude the birth of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The subject of the entire bible is Jesus Christ and his first coming was prophesied first in the book of Genesis right after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. This prophecy of the future coming of Christ became the polestar of the Old Testament. When it seemed that all was lost and the devil had succeeded in ruining Adam and Eve, God promised a coming Savior, who will redeem mankind from the penalty of sin and ultimately crush the devil into oblivion. This was a promise of hope, goodness, and salvation, as God would not leave the world helpless, but would give them His only begotten Son. What a God of love and goodness to promise this to His children who had just committed high treason against Him. God threw the glorious light of His Word right back at the serpent, as the coming redeemer would not only restore everything Adam and Eve lost in the garden, but utterly destroy the devil and all his works. This was the final death blow of the curse of God on the devil that was boldly pronounced in the garden. God heralded forth this good promise so every fallen angel, including the devil himself, would hear about His magnificent goodness and shudder about their ultimate defeat.
Genesis 3:15 (Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible):
And enmity shall I put between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed,-
He shall crush thy head, but thou shall crush his heel.
This is a declaration of war! This verse sets forth the fulcrum point of all history and defines the ceaseless battle that has raged since Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden. This verse is the central theme of all scriptures, as the red thread of the coming Redeemer is interwoven into every book of the Old Testament. Its message is even written in the heavens, as each night the stars proclaim the sufferings and glorious triumph of Christ.
Who is the seed of the woman? In conception the seed comes from the male, but God’s Word clearly refers to the woman’s seed here. Seed implies birth, and this verse indicates a virgin birth of a man who would crush the arch-enemy of God. This man is the Savior, the Redeemer, the Liberator, the Messiah, the Second Adam, and the Conqueror over sin and death. This man is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Satan has raging hostility toward the second Adam, for he knows that his head will be crushed by him. This is a fatal blow from which there is no recovery. Once a serpent’s head is crushed, he cannot inject his poison into the world anymore or operate his schemes and deceptions on all mankind. The devil knew that there was a genealogical Christ line that would pass through Eve, as the seed of the woman would have to be born. Later, the Word of God was more specific that this Christ line would pass through Abraham and King David. The entire Old Testament is a record of the fierce attempts of the devil to wipe out the Christ line, and prevent Jesus Christ, the seed of the woman, from ever being born. It is a record of God’s magnificent works and actions that repeatedly delivered the Christ line from extinction. Sometimes the survival of the Christ line rested on the faith of one individual like Noah, Joseph, Abraham, and Esther. Read the Old Testament with this truth in mind, and the Word of God will come alive in new and wonderful ways.
There is not enough space in this article to go into detail of the countless schemes and plots of the devil to destroy this Christ line, and God’s miraculous protection of it. The salvation and redemption of the human race depended on the preservation of the Christ line. The devil started with the murder of Abel and was absolutely relentless to try to destroy the Seed of the woman who would utterly crush and defeat him. He was not going to go out without a vicious and violent battle where he marshaled all his evil forces to bring about the destruction of the Christ line.
O what a day his birth would be! It had been anticipated and prophesied about for about 4000 years. How glorious it must have been when the angel of the Lord pronounced to the shepherds in the fields:
Luke 2:11-14 (NIV 1984):
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
The question becomes when was the “Today” that the angel proclaimed his birth? The book of Revelation gives us critical information in determining the day of the birth of Jesus Christ and it is so amazingly accurate that we can pinpoint the birth of Jesus Christ to a specific day and even that it occurred sometime within a time frame of eighty one minutes during that day.
Revelation 12:1-5 (KJV):
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
The Greek word for “wonder” in verse 1 means “sign” and God’s Word declares that there will be a sign in the heavens when Mary went into labor and gave birth to Jesus Christ. The Word of God is written across the heavens and in the stars. The signs of the Zodiac were originally not used in astrology but each one signified a characteristic of the life and ministry and kingship of Jesus Christ, the promised Savior and Son of God. The sign of the women that the Bible is referring to here is to the constellation Virgo and the twelve stars are the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Revelation 12 further states that this woman was “clothed with the sun” another celestial body. The sun, as it appears to travel through the ecliptic each year, enters into the mid-body between the neck and the knees of the constellation Virgo, clothing her with the sun for approximately a 21 day period during any given year. In the year 3 B.C. which we later show by other celestial events in the heavens to be the year of the birth of Jesus Christ, the sun was in this position from August 27th through September 15th. Revelation also declares that “the moon was under her feet.” With these two specific details, we can pinpoint the birth of Christ very precisely. In 3 B.C. the sun and the moon in Virgo occurred on only one day and that was September 11. The configuration of the sun and the moon was visible inPalestine between sunset and moonset, this twilight period being called “night” in the Bible. On September 11, 3 B.C., sunset was at 6:18pm and moonset at 7:39pm. Jesus Christ was born on September 11, 3 B.C sometime in that eighty-one minute span of time between 6:18pm and 7:39pm. Amazingly this corresponds to Tishri 1 on the Jewish Calendar which is the First day of the festival of the Feast of Trumpets. We will discuss the wonderful significance of this in a minute but I also wanted to share that was another significant astronomical display on September 11, 3 B.C.
From sunset of September 11, 3 B.C. to September 11, 3 B.C. Jupiter and Regulus could be seen approaching conjunction before dawn. Although the precise astronomical conjunction occurred on September 14, the angle of observation and Jupiter’s slow apparent motion would have made their close rendezvous obvious as early as the predawn hours of Thursday, September 12, within hours of the Messiah’s birth. At that time the king planet Jupiter could be seen approaching the king star Regulus in the constellation of Leo, the sign ofJudahfrom whose seed the Messiah, the promised seed came.
Exactly one month before (on August 12) the world would have witnessed the close conjunction of Jupiter (reckoned astrologically as the Father) and Venus (the Mother) when they were only .07 degrees from one another when they appeared as morning stars on the eastern horizon. This was a very close union. But then, nineteen days later (August 31), Venus came to within .36 degrees of Mercury in a very similar astronomical display. Then, on September 11th, the New Moon occurred which represented the Jewish New Year. This happened when Jupiter (the King planet) was then approaching Regulus (the King star). And, on September 14, Jupiter and Regulus came to their first of three conjunctions in this extraordinary year. Then, over an eight month period, Jupiter made its “crowning effect” over the King star Regulus. There could hardly have been a better astronomical testimony to the birth of the new messianic king from the Jewish point of view. Why? Because every one of these celestial occurrences I have mentioned happened with the Sun or planets being positioned within the constellation of Leo the Lion (the constellation of Judah — from whence the Messiah was destined to emerge) or in Virgo the Virgin. The apostle John may have seen importance in these extraordinary occurrences when he symbolically showed that Jesus was born at the New Moon of Tishri, the Day of Trumpets (Revelation 12:1–3).
Jesus Was Born on the Day of Trumpets
If one can realize that the New Testament shows Jesus born on the Day of Trumpets (the first day of Tishri ― the start of the Jewish civil year) an impressive amount of symbolic features emerge on the biblical and prophetic scenes. Before the period of the Exodus in the time of Moses, this was the day that began the biblical year. It also looks like this was the day when people were advanced one year of life ― no matter at what month of the year they were actually born.
Notice that the patriarch Noah became 600 years of age “in the first month [Tishri], the first day of the month [later to be called the Day of Trumpets]” (Genesis 8:13). That was the very day when “Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry” (v. 13). This was not only Noah’s official birthday, it became a new birth after the Flood for the earth as well.
There is more. Even the first day of creation mentioned in Genesis 1:1–5 could be reckoned as being this very day. The early Jews discussed whether the actual creation took place in spring or in autumn. But since the autumn commenced all biblical years before the Exodus (Exodus 12:2), and since all the fruit was then on the trees ready for Adam and Eve to eat (Genesis 1:29; 2:9, 16–17), it suggests that the month of Tishri was the creation month, beginning near the autumn. If so, then the first day of creation mentioned in Genesis was also the first of Tishri (at least, Moses no doubt intended to give that impression). This means that not only was this the birthday of the new earth in Noah’s day and what was later to become the Day of Trumpets on the Mosaic calendar, but it was also the day which ushered in the original creation of the heavens and the earth.
As shown before, among the Jews this day was called Rosh ha-Shanah (the Feast of the New Year). The majority belief of Jewish elders (which still dominates the services of the synagogues) was that the Day of Trumpets was the memorial day that commemorated the beginning of the world. Authorized opinion prevailed that the first of Tishri was the first day of Genesis 1:1–5. It “came to be regarded as the birthday of the world.” 1 It was even more than an anniversary of the physical creation. The Jewish historian Theodor H. Gaster states,
“Judaism regards New Year’s Day not merely as an anniversary of creation ― but more importantly ― as a renewal of it. This is when the world is reborn.” 2
Gaster’s insight is so germane to the interpretation of the significance of biblical festivals that I will be referring to his research several times in my following references.
When Was the “Last Trump”?
The matter does not stop there. Each of the Jewish months was officially introduced by the blowing of trumpets (Numbers 10:10). Since the festival year in which all the Mosaic festivals were found was seven months long, the last month (Tishri) was the last month for a festival trumpet. This is one of the reasons that the day was called “the Day of Trumpets.” The last trump in the seven months’ series was always sounded on this New Moon day. This made it the final trumpets’ day (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1).
This was the exact day that many of the ancient kings and rulers of Judahreckoned as their inauguration day of rule. This procedure was followed consistently in the time of Solomon, Jeremiah, and Ezra 3 The Day of Trumpets was also acknowledged as the time for counting the years of their kingly rule. Indeed, it was customary that the final ceremony in the coronation of kings was the blowing of trumpets.
- For Solomon, “Blow ye the trumpet, and say, ‘God save king Solomon’” (1 Kings 1:34).
- For Jehu, “And [they] blew with trumpets, saying, ‘Jehu is king’” (2 Kings 9:13).
- At the enthronement of Jehoash, “The people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets” (2 Kings 11:11).
There could well be a reflection of this symbolic feature in the New Testament. The Day of Trumpets was the time for the start of the seventh month (since the time of Moses), and the time for the “last trump” to introduce festival months. Note that in the Book of Revelation, we have the record of a heavenly angel who will blow the seventh and last trumpet blast. And recall what happens at the exact time this “last trump” is sounded.
“And the seventh angel sounded [blew the last trump]; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever [for the ages of the ages].’”Revelation 11:15
In New Testament parlance this shows the time of the coronation of Jesus, and it
In New Testament parlance this shows the time of the coronation of Jesus, and it happens at the seventh (or last) trump in the Book of Revelation ― the Day of Trumpets.
Further Significance of the Day of Trumpets
The early Jews also recognized that the Day of Trumpets was a memorial day for considering those who had died. It was not a simple type of “Memorial Day” that we moderns are accustomed to. Gaster said it was a symbolic time when “the dead return to rejoin their descendants at the beginning of the year.” 4 Such a day was a time when Israel would rally to the call of God for the inauguration of God’s kingdom on earth. Gaster also states this was the time that became “a symbol of the Last Trump.” 5 Since the apostle Paul was Jewish, it is possible that his reference to the “Last Trump” and the resurrection from the dead was also connected with the same biblical theme. The “Last Trump” of the early Jews was when the dead were remembered. To Paul the “Last Trump” was the time for Jesus’ second advent and the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Truly, the Day of Trumpets theme is that of kingship. There may even be a reference to this in the elevation of the patriarch Joseph to kingship on this New Moon day which began the month of Tishri. Notice that he had been in a dungeon for “two full years” (Genesis 41:1). It was not simply a two year period which Moses was intending, but the passage of two full years. The implication is that the story of Joseph’s rise to kingship happened on a New Year’s Day. This is manifest in Psalm 81, a New Year’s psalm commemorating Joseph’s royal enthronement (Genesis 41:40). As with Jesus, in Revelation 11:15, the kingdoms of the world became Joseph’s on the day intended for coronations ― the day that later became the Day of Trumpets. Of course, Pharaoh retained top leadership, but as the New Testament shows, God the Father still maintains supreme rule over Jesus even when Jesus is prophesied to rule the kingdoms of this world.
The Crowning of Kings
As we have shown from the Bible, the blowing of trumpets was the sign that kings could then begin to rule (1 Kings 1:34; 2 Kings 9:13; 11:11). Jewish authorities long acknowledged this royal import to the Day of Trumpets. Gaster states, “The Sovereignty of God is a dominant theme of the occasion [and] it is one of the cardinal features of New Year’s Day.” 6 The main issue that prevailed in the significance of the day was the triumph of God as a king over all the forces of evil. The symbolic motif of the Day of Trumpets, as Gaster shows, was God
“continually fighting His way to the Kingdom, continually asserting His dominion, and continually enthroning Himself as sovereign of creation. At New Year when the world was annually reborn that sovereignty was evinced anew.” 7
The theological thrust of the early Jews within their synagogue services for the Day of Trumpets was the fact that God rules over all and that he is the King of kings. On Trumpets it was common to quote Zechariah 14:16. “The king, the Lord of hosts.” Indeed, some scholars have suggested that psalms which begin “Yahweh is become king [or ‘The Lord reigns’]” (Psalm 93 and 97) were originally designed for recitation at the New Year festival.” 8 Recent study shows this to be true. It is postulated by many scholars that in Israel, Yahweh was crowned annually at the “New Year feast of Yahweh.” The scholar Mowinckel has argued that the “enthronement psalms” (Psalms 47, 93, 96–99) in which Yahweh reigns were a part of the liturgy of the ancient synagogues. 9 There is no doubt that this is true. This was also the very day when Jesus was born.
Jesus as the King of Kings
The central theme of the Day of Trumpets is clearly that of enthronement of the great King of kings. This was the general understanding of the day in early Judaism and it is certainly that of the New Testament. In Revelation 11:15, recall that the seventh angel sounds his “last trump” and the kingdoms of this world become those of Jesus. This happens at a time when a woman is seen in heaven with twelve stars around her head and the Sun mid-bodied to her, with the Moon under her feet. This is clearly a New Moon scene for the Day of Trumpets.
And note: Professor Thorley who reviewed the first edition of my work has shown that there are exactly twelve stars surrounding the head of Virgo as we see them from earth. And indeed there are. If one will look at Norton’s Star Atlas, twelve visible stars will be seen around Virgo’s head. They are (according to astronomical terminology): (1) Pi, (2) Nu, (3) Beta (near the ecliptic), (4) Sigma, (5) Chi, (6) Iota — these six stars form the southern hemisphere around the head of Virgo. Then there are (7) Theta, (8) Star 60, (9) Delta, (10) Star 93, (11) Beta (the 2nd magnitude star) and (12) Omicron — these last six form the northern hemisphere around the head of Virgo. All these stars are visible and could have been witnessed by observers on earth.
Thus, the description of the apostle John describes a perfectly normal heavenly scene that could be recognized by all people. Here was Virgo with twelve stars around her head, while the Sun was in uterine position and the Moon under her feet. And again, the only time this could have occurred in 3 B.C.E. was on the Day of Trumpets. This is when the “king of kings” was born.
Another explanation of the Twelve Stars around the head of Virgo is that it represents the headship position (the “head” of Virgo is situated in the last ten degrees of Leo) for the beginning of the story found within the Twelve Constellations as reckoned in the biblical Zodiac. In the biblical Zodiac, the tribe of Judah (the Lion, or Leo) was situated around the Tabernacle directly east of its entrance. This meant that half of the tribe of Judah was south and the other half north of the east/west line from the Holy of Holies through the court of Israel and then eastward through the camp of Israel (in this case, Judah) to encounter the altar outside the camp where the Red Heifer was burnt to ashes. This means, unlike some Gentile reckonings which started their zodiacal story with the zero line between Cancer and Leo (that is, at the very commencement of Leo), the biblical Zodiac that Drs. Bullinger and Seiss were talking about began with the 15th degree of Leo (ofJudah). This signifies that the first constellation to be met with in this celestial story would have been the “head” of Virgo the Virgin which occupied the last ten degrees of Leo. So, John began his story at this point.
The Significance of Being Born on New Year’s Day
The Day of Trumpets in the biblical and Jewish calendars is New Year’s Day for commercial and royal reckonings (just as we have January the first on our Roman calendar as the start of our New Year). This New Year’s Day signified a time of “new beginnings” to all those in Israelwho accepted the teachings of the Bible. As a matter of fact, the Jews over the centuries have held to the belief that the Day of Trumpets was a cardinal date in the history of Adam (our first parent). It was the very day when Adam and Eve came to the recognition of whether to obey God or to defy him (see The Complete Artscroll Machzor, p.xvi). But that was not all that occurred on that day. No day in the year could be reckoned as being of more esteemed value and symbolic influence than Rosh Ha-Shanah. That day is important for the birth of the Messiah in several ways that are very profound in Jewish symbolism.
The book The Complete Artscroll Machzor gives some chronological details that the early Jewish theologians and scholars worked out from indications in the Old Testament to show when important individuals were born or major events happened in association with their lives. And what an array of significant things occurred on the Day of Trumpets and the month of Tishri. The book gives a summary of accounts found in the Jewish Talmud (Rosh Ha-Shanah 10b–11a).
Note what the Machzor states about this particular Day of Trumpets. The quotes are interesting and of value,
“The Patriarchs Abraham and Jacob were born on Rosh Ha-Shanah. Abraham was a new beginning for mankind after its [mankind’s] failure to realize the promise of Adam and Noah. Jacob was a new beginning for the Jewish people, for it was with him that Jews advanced from the status of individuals to that of a united family on the threshold of nationhood”
- Artscroll Machzor, p.xvi, italics and bracketed word mine
The Machzor does not stop with Abraham and Jacob. Look at the following quote,
“On Rosh Ha-Shanah God remembered three barren women, the Matriarchs Sarah and Rachel, and Hannah the mother of the prophet Samuel and decreed that they would give birth. Not only was Rosh Ha-Shanah a turning point in the lives of these great and worthy women, but the births of their children were momentous events for all Jewry, because they were the historic figures Isaac, Joseph, and Samuel.”
- Ibid., italics mine
If the Jewish people would realize that the New Testament in the Book of Revelation (chapter 12:1–5) also places the birth of Jesus on the very same Day of Trumpets, they might begin to understand just how important Jesus is in a Jewish sense as well as to the world. The New Testament states that he is the Messiah. He shares many similarities with the births of Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Joseph and Samuel. People should begin to realize the significant coincidences of the birthdays of these prominent men as understood by the Jewish people. And standing out above them all, is the teaching of the apostle John that Rosh Ha-Shanah is also the birthday of Jesus.
More Significance of the Day of Trumpets
Jewish chronological evaluations show other important events associated with the Day of Trumpets (Rosh Ha-Shanah). The Machzor continues,
“On Rosh Ha-Shanah, Joseph was freed from an Egyptian prison after twelve years of incarceration. He became viceroy of Egypt, provider to the world during the years of famine, and the leader of Jacob’s family. God’s plan called for Joseph to set in motion the years of exile and enslavement that were the necessary preparation for Israel’s freedom, nationhood, and emergence in a blaze of miracles to accept the Torah and march to the Land of Israel.”
This shows Rosh ha-Shanah as a day of freedom. There is more on the theme of freedom. The Machzor continues:
“On Rosh Ha-Shanah, the Jewish people in Egypt stopped their slave labor [they began their time of liberty and freedom], while they waited for the Ten Plagues to play themselves out so that Moses could lead them to freedom”
- Ibid., words in brackets mine
The Final Festivals of Israel
As I stated, this day at the beginning of the month of Tishri was the day when the seventh trump (or the last trump) was sounded to introduce the final month when the festivals of God ordained at the time of Moses would be held. This last trump is mentioned by the apostle Paul as heralding the events associated with the Second Advent of Christ back to this earth (1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17). This last or final trump is also mentioned by the apostle John in Revelation 11:15 as the warning sound that theKingdomofGodwill soon be coming to earth. And soon after, the seven angels of the Book of Revelation will bring on the seven last plagues (in the same fashion as the Jewish analyzers of chronology saw that from the same day of Rosh Ha-Shanah the Ten Plagues were sent forth on Egypt in the time of Moses).
What is certain is the fact that the Book of Revelation (with its teaching that Jesus was born on the Day of Trumpets) is giving us in a symbolic way the time for the nativity of Jesus whom Christians considered to be the king of the world. He was prophesied to lead all people into a time of freedom and profound peace. This is the central reason why the apostle John in Revelation 12:1–5 shows that the birth of Jesus occurred within the first few minutes (the twilight period) of the Day of Trumpets that works out to be September 11th in 3 B.C.E.
Tishri 1 (Sept)
The Feast of Trumpets
This occurs on Tishri 1 in the Fall (Sept.-Oct.). On this day the High Priest blows the ram’s horn announcing the beginning of the New Year. Jewish Tradition gives this day a fourfold meaning:
- New Years day.
- The day of remembrance.
- The day of judgment.
- The day of blowing the Shofar.
On this day Isaiah 60-61 is read in the Synagogues to teach the lesson that eventually the Lord will be revealed as King and be accepted as the ruler of the world. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus read from section of scripture in the synagogue atNazareth for his first sermon as he described his ministry?
Luke 4:16-21 (NIV): He went toNazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,
And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
So on September 11, 3 B.C. Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son was born inBethlehem. Unknown to the people, the trumpet sounds which blew from morning to evening inJerusalemheralded the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What a glorious day in the redemption of mankind for unto this world a Savior was born.