Updated: Aug 22
John 1:14 - “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”.
The word “dwelt” in Greek is sk'en'e which means “tent, encamp, to occupy (as a mansion), to dwell”. It is the same as the Hebrew word sukkuh. The implication here would seem to imply that Yeshua was born during Sukkot. This adds up scripturally for many different reasons. I will list only a few.
First, since all males were required to travel to Jerusalem for this Feast, the city would have been crowded from the pilgrimages. Hence, it is recorded in the New Testament that it was. In Luke chapter 2 we read that Cyrenius had issued a decree that all go up to their city of birth to be taxed. Hence, Bethlehem would have been on the way to Jerusalem. When Cyrenius gave this decree he would have given the people time to fulfill this obligation. This would have been a perfect time when traveling was already on the agenda. Also, the month of December would not have been the perfect time to travel because it was a winter month and traveling would have been too difficult. The fall of the year, during the festival of Sukkot, would have been a perfect time. In addition, Sukkot (tents or shelters, tabernacles) would have been dotting the landscape. This would have probably been the location of the birth of the Messiah; inside a sukkah.
Second, the shepherds would have still been tending sheep in the fields during the month of Sukkot. However, after the 7th month, the rainy and cold season set in and the sheep would have been brought in from the fields. Thus it would not have been possible for shepherds to have been tending their sheep in the fields during the month of December.
Third, going back to the announcement to Zachariah about the conception of John the Baptist (Luke 1), we can research the course of Abijah, and also understanding that all priests were required to work in the temple during Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and Tabernacles, we can figure the conception and birth of John and then figure the birth of Yeshua. There was 6 months between the birth of Yochanan (John) and the birth of Yeshua according to scripture. Hebrew tradition asserts that John was born at Passover. Yeshua would then be born 6 months later; perfect timing for Sukkot. The course of Abijah and this reasoning would not add up for Yeshua to have been born in December.
Fourth, in Luke 2:10 it states that “great joy” would be to all people. Sukkot was already known as the "Season of Our Joy". What would make it more joyful than a savior being born and tabernacling with us at that very season? Sukkot is a picture perfect time for the birth of The Messiah. Most Messianic Jews teach that Yeshua was born on the 1st day of Sukkot and then circumcised on the 8th day of Shemini Atzeret (incidently, both of these days are Sabbaths). Sukkot would have been perfect timing! Hebrews 9:11 speaks of Yeshua being a more perfect “tabernacle”.
One day in the future, Yeshua will bring complete perfection to the Festival of Sukkot. This is another reason why we should still recognize and honor this time period. As with all of the Appointed Times of Yahweh, they point to Yeshua and his plan of salvation. Sukkot represents the wedding feast of Yeshua and His bride. It also points to the future Millennium reign of Messiah Yeshua. He will then tabernacle among us again. What a Season of Joy!!!!!
Zachariah 14:16-21 and Ezekiel 45:25 speak of this future event. We will all be keeping Sukkot in the future Messianic kingdom. Why not enjoy it now? Furthermore, if you want to celebrate the birth of Yeshua why not do it when He was likely born instead of on a day when it would have been impossible for Him to have been born? Traditions of man are sometimes hard to break even when we KNOW they hold no truth, but Sukkot holds truth, now and forever more!!!!
Indeed - Yeshua is the Reason for the Season!
I hope this short lesson has shed some light on the Jewishness of Messiah Yeshua, His first disciples and the Re-Newed Testament teachings.