The New York Times best-selling author of “The Harbinger,” Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, is out with a new documentary film called “The Mishkan Clue,” in which he sets out to reveal the date of Christ’s birth.
In this film, Cahn embarks on a quest to solve the 2,000-year-old mystery of when Jesus was born. He immediately rules out December 25.
Cahn states that December is perhaps the least likely time for a Jewish couple from Nazareth to be travelling to Bethlehem for the Roman census while Mary was pregnant because the weather would be cold, possibly rainy. This would not be a time of the year for shepherds to be “out in their fields” as the Bible says.
Further, the Romans would not have held their census during winter because it required families to travel back to the father’s hometown to register. Joseph’s family was in Bethlehem.
It is difficult to find a credible reference to December 25 as Christ’s birth date prior to the fourth century time of Emperor Constantine. It is believed that this date was chosen to align with the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. A pagan celebration that included a pagan sacrifice to Saturn along with a public banquet, followed by exchanging gifts and a carnival-like atmosphere.
There is another theory that states Christ’s birth date may have been on Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, but it too would be too cold for shepherds to be out in the fields.
A popular theory is that Christ’s birth date was during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot. It is also called the “Feast of Booths,” and it occurs in late September or early October each year on the Hebrew calendar.
Adherents to this theory say that Jesus was born in a temporary shelter called a Sukkah or booth, and this structure was later referred to as a manger. A manger was a feeding trough for animals. The Inquisitr reports that even the Pope insists that there weren’t any animals around when Jesus was born.
There are those who would insist that Christ was born in a Sukkah. However, Cahn disputes this, saying that the spiritual meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles aligns with the end times—the closing of an era, not the opening or beginning of an era. He notes that Christ’s “birth, death, resurrection and second-coming must come in the proper chronological order.”
He also says that the Tabernacles theory places Mary and Joseph in the wrong place because Jewish families traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
Cahn says, “He was born in Bethlehem not Jerusalem. It would have caused revolution to require travel (for the census) at a time when Jews were supposed to be in Jerusalem.”
He asserts that the couple would have had to travel back home during the onset of winter, which would not be “convenient or comfortable for a pregnant woman.”
The author points out that summer would have been difficult but doable for a pregnant woman, and there is no major Jewish feast day in the summer. “There are no holy days to fulfill, which is how God works,” he says.
According to Cahn, there are connections to Christ’s birth, life and death with feasts. For example, he says that Passover aligns with Christ’s death and He rose on the Feast of First Fruits. With the sending of the Holy Spirit on Shavuot or Pentecost, He created the Church, and the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah foretells his second-coming.
Cahn says that there’s only one option, spring. He says that in Israel it would have been known as the “lambing” season, and only during this time do shepherds watch their flocks by night.
The author says that the holy day that coincides with Jesus’s birth is Nisan 1, the historical first day on the Hebraic calendar that falls in early April on the Gregorian calendar. Some scholars purport that Jesus was conceived in Nisan, according to Hebrew4Christians.
This event changed the calendar forever. Cahn says, “Every calendar changed based on the birth of Messiah, from B.C. to A.D. So, it would put us back to Nisan 1.”
Sadly, because the early Christian Church changed from being Jerusalem-centric to Rome-centric, their history was lost.
Cahn also purports that according to the Talmud, which contains ancient biblical interpretations by Jewish rabbis, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all born and died during the month of Nisan—Isaac being a shadow and type of the coming Messiah.
The author says, “The first commandment was to begin everything in Nisan. It’s been forgotten by modern Judaism.” He goes on to point out that this is real New Year, rather than Rosh Hashanah. He references Exodus 12:1-2 in the Bible.
Hippolytus of Rome stated in his writings that springtime is the proper birth date for Christ. In fact, there is a statue of him in Rome today that mentions April as the month of Christ’s birth.
Lastly, Cahn says that God’s instructions for the “goel” redeemer were given in the Torah. When a man died, his next closest male kin was allowed to marry the widow. He may “redeem” her if he’s not already married. This was seen when Ruth married Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, with whom she bore a son. Boaz is a type of the Father God who brings the childless widow a redeemer. Boaz is the father who brings a son.
Cahn states that another goel redemption is coming, but this time the goel is going to be God. He says that God is going to intervene in the line of Judah, the line of man. He says, “He comes to the virgin Merriam (Mary). God marries the creation. He fathers the child.”
He says that the offspring this time is the Messiah, and it matches the type of Messiah in the book of Ruth, whose son is conceived in Bethlehem at the end of the wheat harvest. Go forward nine months, and that ends up in the month of Nisan for his birth.
“The Harbinger” author presents an intriguing theory, and perhaps, he does correctly reveal the birth date of Christ.
[Image via Insight Guides]