Appendix 179 Companion Bible: II. DATES OF “THE BEGETTING”

II. DATES OF "THE BEGETTING"
(he gennesis, Matthew 1:18,20 (see Revised Version marg.). John 1:14)
OF OUR LORD AND HIS BIRTH.
(Luke 2:7. John 1:- 14.)

TEBETH (29)

 1 =25-26

DECEMBER (7) (5 B.C.).

 

 2 = 26-27

 

 

 3 = 27-28

 

 

 4 = 28-29

 

 

 5 = 29-30

 

 

 6 = 30-31

 

 

 7 = 31-1

 

 

 8 = 1-2

JANUARY (31) (4 B.C.).

 

 9 = 2-3

 

 

 10 = 3-4

 

 

 11 = 4-5

 

 

 12 = 5-6

 

 

 13 = 6-7

 

 

 14 = 7-8

 

 

 15 = 8-9

 

 

 16 = 9-10

 

 

 17 = 10-11

 

 

 18 = 11-12

 

 

 19 = 12-13

 

 

 20 = 13-14

 

 

 21 = 14-15

 

 

 22 = 15-16

 

 

 23 = 16-17

 

 

 24 = 17-18

 

 

 25 = 18-19

 

 

 26 = 19-20

 

 

 27 = 20-21

 

 

 28 = 21-22

 

 

 29 = 22-23

 

SEBAT  (30)

 1 = 23-24

 

 

 2 = 24-25

 

 

 3 = 25-26

 

 

 4 = 26-27

 

 

 5 = 27-28

 

 

 6 = 28-29

 

 

 7 = 29-30

 

 

 8 = 30-31

 

 

 9 = 31-1

 

 

 10 = 1-2

FEBUARY (29) (Leap Year)

 

 11 = 2-3

 

 

 12 = 3-4

 

 

 13 = 4-5

 

 

 14 = 5-6

 

 

 15 = 6-7

 

 

 16 = 7-8

 

 

 17 = 8-9

 

 

 18 = 9-10

 

 

 19 = 10-11

 

 

 20 = 11-12

 

 

 21 = 12-13

 

 

 22 = 13-14

 

 

 23 = 14-15

 

 

 24 = 15-16

 

 

 25 = 16-17

 

 

 26 = 17-18

 

 

 27 = 18-19

 

 

 28 = 19-20

 

 

 29 = 20-21

 

 

 30 = 21-22

 

ADAR (29)

 1 = 22-23

 

 

 2 = 23-24

 

 

 3 = 24-25

 

 

 4 = 25-26

 

 

 5 = 26-27

 

 

 6 = 27-28

 

 

 7 = 28-29

 

 

 8 = 29-1

 

 

 9 = 1-2

MARCH (31)

 

 10 = 2-3

 

 

 11 = 3-4

 

 

 12 = 4-5

 

 

 13 = 5-6

 

 

 14 = 6-7

 

 

 15 = 7-8

 

 

 16 = 8-9

 

 

 17 = 9-10

 

 

 18 = 10-11

 

 

 19 = 11-12

 

 

  __________

 

 

 78 | 78

 

 

 20 = 12-13

 

 

 21 = 13-14

 

 

 22 = 14-15

 

 

 23 = 15-16

 

 

 24 = 16-17

 

 

 25 = 17-18

 

 

 26 = 18-19

 

 

 27 = 19-20

 

 

 28 = 20-21

 

 

 29 = 21-22

 

NISAN (30)

 1 = 22-23

 

 

 2 = 23-24

 

 

 3 = 24-25

 

 

 4 = 25-26

 

 

 5 = 26-27

 

 

 6 = 27-28

 

 

 7 = 28-29

 

 

 8 = 29-30

 

 

 9 = 30-31

 

 

 10 = 31-1

 

 

 11 = 1-2

APRIL (30)

 

 12 = 2-3

 

 

 13 = 3-4

 

 

 14 = 4-5

 

 

 15 = 5-6

 

 

 16 = 6-7

 

 

 17 = 7-8

 

 

 18 = 8-9

 

 

 19 = 9-10

 

 

 20 = 10-11

 

 

 21 = 11-12

 

 

 22 = 12-13

 

 

 23 = 13-14

 

 

 24 = 14-15

 

 

 25 = 15-16

 

 

 26 = 16-17

 

 

 27 = 17-18

 

 

 28 = 18-19

 

 

 29 = 19-20

 

 

 30 = 20-21

 

ZIF (29)

 1 = 21-22

 

 

 2 = 22-23

 

 

 3 = 23-24

 

 

 4 = 24-25

 

 

 5 = 25-26

 

 

 6 = 26-27

 

 

 7 = 27-28

 

 

 8 = 28-29

 

 

 9 = 29-30

 

 

 10 = 30-31

 

 

 11 = 1-2

MAY (31)

 

 12 = 2-3

 

 

 13 = 3-4

 

 

 14 = 4-5

 

 

 15 = 5-6

 

 

 16 = 6-7

 

 

 17 = 7-8

 

 

 18 = 8-9

 

 

 19 = 9-10

 

 

 20 = 10-11

 

 

 21 = 11-12

 

 

 22 = 12-13

 

 

 23 = 13-14

 

 

 24 = 14-15

 

 

 25 = 15-16

 

 

 26 = 16-17

 

 

 27 = 17-18

 

 

 28 = 18-19

 

 

 29 = 19-20

 

SIVAN (30)

 1 = 20-21

 

 

 2 = 21-22

 

 

 3 = 22-23

 

 

 4 = 23-24

 

 

 5 = 24-25

 

 

 6 = 25-26

 

 

 7 = 26-27

 

 

 8 = 27-28

 

 

 9 = 28-29

 

 

 ________

 

 

 156 | 156

 

 

 10 = 29-30

 

 

 11 = 30-31

 

 

 12 = 31-1

 

 

 13 = 1-2

JUNE (30)

 

 14 = 2-3

 

 

 15 = 3-4

 

 

 16 = 4-5

 

 

 17 = 5-6

 

 

 18 = 6-7

 

 

 19 = 7-8

 

 

 20 = 8-9

 

 

 21 = 9-10

 

 

 22 = 10-11

 

 

 23 = 11-12

 

 

 24 = 12-13

 

 

 25 = 13-14

 

 

 26 = 14-15

 

 

 27 = 15-16

 

 

 28 = 16-17

 

 

 29 = 17-18

 

 

 30 = 18-19

 

THAMMUZ (29)

 1 = 19-20

 

 

 2 = 20-21

 

 

 3 = 21-22

 

 

 4 = 22-23

 

 

 5 = 23-24

 

 

 6 = 24-25

 

 

 7 = 25-26

 

 

 8 = 26-27

 

 

 9 = 27-28

 

 

 10 = 28-29

 

 

 11 = 29-30

 

 

 12 =30-1

 

 

 13 = 1-2

JULY (31)

 

 14 = 2-3

 

 

 15 = 3-4

 

 

 16 = 4-5

 

 

 17 = 5-6

 

 

 18 = 6-7

 

 

 19 = 7-8

 

 

 20 = 8-9

 

 

 21 = 9-10

 

 

 22 = 10-11

 

 

 23 = 11-12

 

 

 24 = 12-13

 

 

 25 = 13-14

 

 

 26 = 14-15

 

 

 27 = 15-16

 

 

 28 = 16-17

 

 

 29 = 17-18

 

AB (30)

 1 = 18-19

 

 

 2 = 19-20

 

 

 3 = 20-21

 

 

 4 = 21-22

 

 

 5 = 22-23

 

 

 6 = 23-24

 

 

 7 = 24-25

 

 

 8 = 25-26

 

 

 9 = 26-27

 

 

 10 = 27-28

 

 

 11 = 28-29

 

 

 12 = 29-30

 

 

 13 = 30-31

 

 

 14 = 31-1

 

 

 15 = 1-2

AUGUST (31)

 

 16 = 2-3

 

 

 17 = 3-4

 

 

 18 = 4-5

 

 

 19 = 5-6

 

 

 20 = 6-7

 

 

 21 = 7-8

 

 

 22 = 8-9

 

 

 23 = 9-10

 

 

 24 = 10-11

 

 

 25 = 11-12

 

 

 26 = 12-13

 

 

 27 = 13-14

 

 

 28 = 14-15

 

 

 __________

 

 

 234 | 234

 

 

 29 = 15-16

 

 

 30 = 16-17

 

ELUL (29)

 1 = 17-18

 

 

 2 = 18-19

 

 

 3 = 19-20

 

 

 4 = 20-21

 

 

 5 = 21-22

 

 

 6 = 22-23

 

 

 7 = 23-24

 

 

 8 = 24-25

 

 

 9 = 25-26

 

 

 10 = 26-27

 

 

 11 = 27-28

 

 

 12 = 28-29

 

 

 13 = 29-30

 

 

 14 = 30-31

 

 

 15 = 31-1

SEPTEMBER (29)

 

 16 = 1-2

 

 

 17 = 2-3

 

 

 18 = 3-4

 

 

 19 = 4-5

 

 

 20 = 5-6

 

 

 21 = 6-7

 

 

 22 = 7-8

 

 

 23 = 8-9

 

 

 24 = 9-10

 

 

 25 = 10-11

 

 

 26 = 11-12

 

 

 27 = 12-13

 

 

 28 = 13-14

 

 

 29 = 14-15

 

ETHANIM (TISRI) (15)

 1 = 15-16

 

 

 2 = 16-17

 

 

 3 = 17-18

 

 

 4 = 18-19

 

 

 5 = 19-20

 

 

 6 = 20-21

 

 

 7 = 21-22

 

 

 8 = 22-23

 

 

 9 = 23-24

 

 

 10 = 24-25

 

 

 11 = 25-26

 

 

 12 = 26-27

 

 

 13 = 27-28

 

 

 14 = 28-29

 

ETHANIM OR (TISRI)

 15 = 29-30

SEPTEMBER

 

 ____________

 

 Days on Jewish reckoning,

 280 | 280  days, on Gentile reckoning.

 

 _____  _____

 

 According to Jewish reckoning.

 

 According to Gentile (Western) reckoning.

TEBETH 29 days

 

DECEMBER 7 days

SEBAT 30 days

 

JANUARY 31 days

ADAR 29 days

 

FEBUARY 29 days

NISAN 30 days

 

MARCH 31 days

ZIF 29 days

 

APRIL 30 days

SIVAN 30 days

 

MAY 31 days

THAMMUZ 29 days

 

JUNE 30 days

AB 30 days

 

JULY 31 days

ELUL 29 days

 

AUGUST 31 days

ETHANIM 15 days

 

SEPTEMBER 29 days

 __________

 

 __________

   280  

   280

 ==========

 

 ==========

280 days = 40 weeks – forty sevens, the perfect period of human gestation [7x5x8=280].

The Component Numbers of 280 are highly significant in this connection.

7 denotes Spiritual Perfection.

5 denotes Divine Grace.

8 denotes Resurrection, Regeneration, etc. (Appendix 10).

1st TEBETH = 25th December (5 B.C.)

15th ETHANIM = 29th September (4 B.C.).

From 1st TEBETH to 15th ETHANIM (inclusive) = 280 days.

From 25th DECEMBER (5 B.C .) to 29th SEPTEMBER (4 B.C.) = 280 days.

  1. It thus appears without the shadow of a doubt that the day assigned
    the the Birth of the Lord, viz. December 25, was the day on which
    He was "begotten of the Holy Ghost", i.e. by pneuma hagion = divine
    power (Matt. 1:18, 20 marg.), and His birth took place on the 15th of Ethanim,
    September 29, in the year following, thus making beautifully clear the
    meaning of John 1:14, "The Word became flesh" (Matt. 1:18, 20) on
    the 1st Tebeth or December 25 (5 B.C.), "and tabernacled (Gr.
    eskeno-sen) with us", on 15th of Ethanim or September 29 (4 B.C.).

    The 15th of Ethanim (or Tisri) was the first
    day
    of the Feast of Tabernacles.  The circumcision therefore took place
    on the eighth day of the Feast = 22nd Ethanim = October 6-7 (Lev.
    23:33-34).  So that these two momentous events fall into their proper
    place and order, and the real reason is made clear why the 25th
    of December is associated with our Lord and was set apart by the Apostolic
    Church to commemorate the stupendous event of the "Word becoming flesh"
    – and not, as we have for so long been led to suppose, the commemoration
    of a pagan festival.

  2. An overwhelmingly strong argument in favor of the correctness of
    this view lies in the fact that the date of "the Festival of Michael
    and All Angels" has been from very early times the 29th day of September,
    on Gentile (Western) reckoning. 
    But "the Church" even then had lost sight of the reason
    why this date rather than any other in the Calendar should be so indissolubly
    associated with the great Angelic Festival.

  3. The following expresses the almost universal knowledge
    or rather want of knowledge of "Christendom" on the subject:  "We
    pass on now to consider, in the third place, the commemoration of September
    29, the festival of Michaelmas, par excellence.  It does not
    appear at all certain what was the original special idea of the
    commemoration of this day"  (Smith’s Dict. of Chr. Antiqq. (1893), vol. ii, p. 1177 (3) ).

    A reference, however, to the Table and statements above,
    makes the "original special idea " why the Festival of  "Michael
    and All Angels" is held on September 29 abundantly clear.  Our Lord
    was born on that day, the first day of the "Feast of Tabernacles"
    (Lev. 23:39).  This was on the fifteenth day of the seventh
    Jewish month called Tisri, or Ethanim (Ap. 51. 5), corresponding
    to our September 29 (of the year 4 B.C.)

    The "Begetting" (gennesis) Day of the Lord was
    announced by the Angel Gabriel.  See notes on Dan. 8:16 and Luke 1:19.
    The "Birth" Day, by "(the) Angel of the Lord", unnamed
    in either Matthew and Luke.

    That this Angelic Being was "Michael the Archangel (of
    Jude 9), and Mika’el hassar haggadol – "Michael the Great Prince"-
    of Dan. 12:1, seems clear for the following reason:  If, "when again (yet future)  He bringeth the First-begotten into the world, He saith,
    Let all the Angels of God worship Him" (Heb 1:6; quoting  Ps.
    97:6) – then this must include the great Archangel Michael himself.  By parity of reasoning, on the First "bringing" into the world of
    the only begotten Son, the Archangel must have been present.  And
    the tremendous announcement to the shepherds, that the Prince of Peace
    (Isa. 9:6) was on earth in the person of the Babe of Bethlehem, must therefore
    have been made by the same head of the heavenly host (Luke 2:9-14). 
    In mundane affairs, announcements of supremest importance (of kings, &c.)
    are invariably conveyed through the most exalted personage in the realm.  The point need not be labored.

  4. The fact of the Birth of our Lord having been revealed
    to the shepherds by the Archangel Michael on the 15th of
    Tisri (or
    Ethanim), corresponding to September 29, 4 B.C.  – the first
    day of the Feast of Tabernacles – must have been known to believers in
    the Apostolic Age.  But "the mystery of iniquity" which was "already
    working" in Paul’s day (2Thess. 2:7) quickly enshrouded this and the other
    great fact of the day of the Lord’s "begetting" on the first day of the
    Jewish month Tebeth (corresponding to December 25, 5 B.C.) – as
    well as other events connected with His sojourn on earth, (*1) – in a rising
    mist of obscurity in which they have ever since been lost.

    The earliest allusion to December 25 (modern reckoning)
    as the date for the Nativity is found in the Stromata of Clement
    of Alexandria, about the beginning of the third century A.D. (See
    note 3 p. 197). (*2)

    That "Christmas" was a pagan festival long before the time of
    our Lord is beyond doubt.  In Egypt Horus (or Harpocrates (*3), the
    son of Isis (Queen of Heaven), was born about the time of winter solstice.
    (*4)  By the time of the early part of the fourth century A.D., the
    real reason for observing Christmas as the date for the miraculous
    "begetting" of Matt. 1:18 and "the Word becoming flesh" of John 1:14 had
    been lost sight of.  The policy of Constantine, and his Edict of
    Milan, by establishing universal freedom of religion furthered this. 
    When many of the followers of the old pagan systems – the vast majority
    of the empire, it must be remembered – adopted the Christian religion as
    a cult, which Constantine had made fashionable, and the "Church" became
    the Church of the Roman Empire, they brought in with them, among a number
    of other things emanating from Egypt and Babylon, the various Festival
    Days of the old "religions".  Thus "Christmas Day, " the birthday
    of the Egyptian Horus (Osiris), became gradually substituted for the real
    Natalis
    Domini
    of our blessed Savior, viz. September 29, or Michaelmas Day.

  5. If however, we realize that the center of gravity, so to speak, of
    what we call the Incarnation if the Incarnation itself– the wondrous
    fact of the Divine "begetting", when "the Word became flesh" (see
    notes on Matt. 1:18 and John 1:14) – and that this is to be associated
    with December 25, instead of March – as for 1,600 years Christendom has
    been led to believe – then, "Christmas" will be seen in quite another light,
    and many who have hitherto been troubled with scruples concerning the day
    being, as they have been taught, the anniversary of a Pagan festival, will
    be enabled to worship on that Day without alloy of doubt, as the time when
    the stupendous miracle which is the foundation stone of the Christian faith,
    came to pass.

    The "Annunciation" by the Angel Gabriel marked the gennesis
    of Matt. 1:18, and the first words of John 1:14. 
    The announcement to the shepherds by the Archangel Michael
    marked the Birth of our Lord.  John 1:14 is read as though "the Word
    became flesh (R.V.) and dwelt among us ", were one and the same thing,
    whereas they are two clauses.

    The paragraph should read thus:

    "And the Word became flesh; (Gr. ho logos sarz egeneto.)

    And tabernacled with (or among) us." (Gr. kai eskenosen en hemin).

    The word tabernacled here (preserved in R.V. marg.)
    receives beautiful significance from the knowledge that "the Lord of glory"
    was "found in fashion as a man", and thus tabernacling in
    human flesh.  And in turn it shows in equally beautiful significance
    that our Lord was born on the first day of the great Jewish Feast of Tabernacles,
    viz. the 15th of Tisri, corresponding to September 29, 4 B.C. (modern reckoning). 
    The Circumcision of our Lord took place therefore on the
    eighth day, the last day of the Feast, the "Great Day of the Feast"
    of John 7.37 ("Tabernacles" had eight days.  The Feast of Unleavened
    Bread had seven days and Pentecost one.  See Lev. 23)

  6. The main arguments against the Nativity having taken place
    in December may be set forth very simply:

    1. The extreme improbability, amounting almost
      to impossibility, that Mary, under such circumstances, could have undertaken
      a journey of about 70 miles (as the crow flies), through a hill district
      averaging some 3,000 feet above sea-level, in the depth of winter:

    2. Shepherds and their flocks would not be found
      "abiding" (Gr. agrauleo) in the open fields at night in December
      (Tebeth), for the paramount reason that there would be no pasturage at
      that time.  It was the custom then (as now) to withdraw the flocks
      during the month Marchesvan (Oct.-Nov.) (**1) from the open districts
      and house them for the winter.

    3. The Roman authorities in imposing such a "census
      taking" for the hated and unpopular "foreign" tax would not have enforced
      the imperial decree (Luke 2:1) at the most inconvenient and inclement season
      of the year, by compelling the people to enroll themselves at their respective
      "cities" in December.  In such a case they would naturally choose
      the "line" of least resistance" and select a time of year that would cause
      least friction, and interference with the habits and pursuits of the Jewish
      people.  This would be in the autumn, when the agricultural round
      of the year was complete, and the people generally more or less at liberty
      to take advantage, as we know many did, of the opportunity of "going up"
      to Jerusalem for the "Feast of Tabernacles" (cp. John 7:8-10, &c),
      the crowning Feast of the Jewish year.

    To take advantage of such a time would be to the Romans
    the simplest and most natural policy, whereas to attempt to enforce the
    Edict of Registration for the purpose of Imperial taxation in the depth
    of winter,- when traveling for such a purpose would have been deeply resented,
    and perhaps have brought about a revolt,- would never have been attempted
    by such an astute ruler as Augustus.

  7. With regard to the other two "Quarter Days", June 24, March 25, these
    are both associated with the miraculous (Luke 1:7) "conception" and birth
    of the Forerunner, as December 25 and September 29 are with our Lord’s
    miraculous "Begetting" and Birth; and are therefore connected with "the
    Course of Abiah."

(*1)  Notably the day of the crucifixion, &c. (see Ap. 156,165).

(*2)  His statements are, however, very vague, and he mentions
several dates claimed by others as correct.

(*3)  Osiris reincarnated.

(*4)  See Wilkinson’s Ancient Egyptians, Vol. III, p.79
(Birch’s ed.).
(**1) It is true that the Lebanon shepherds are in the habit of keeping
their flocks alive during the winter months, by cutting down branches of
trees in the forests in that district, to feed the sheep on the leaves
and twigs, when in autumn the pastures are dried up, and in winter, when
snow covers the ground.  (cp. Land and Book, p.204), but there
is no evidence that the Bethlehem district was afforested in this manner.

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