We are going to continue with our study on the birth of Yeshua at Sukkot, and begin to talk about the Virgin Birth. Now, we definitely believe in the Virgin Birth of Yeshua, but there is more going on here. To be a king sitting on David’s throne, you must be a descendant of David through Solomon. The genealogy of Joseph (Yeshua’s legal right to the throne) in Matthew 1 goes through Solomon. In Luke 3, this genealogy goes through Nathan, another son of David. This is Miriam’s genealogy (physical “seed of the woman” in Gen 3.15). The prophecies say the Messiah must be from David, with the right to the throne of David as king. But, we have a problem. The last king from David in Matthew is a man named Jeconiah (v 12). Another name for this king is Coniah (Jer 22.24) also Jehoichin. The last king of Judah was Zedekiah (not a descendant of Coniah), but all his son’s were killed by Nebuchadnezzar. Jer 22.24-30 says, “As I live,” declares the Lord, even though Coniah the son of Jehoikim king of Judah were a signet ring on my right hand, yet I would pull you off; and I shall give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. I shall hurl you and your mother who bore you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die. But as for the land to which they desire to return, they will not return to it. Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out and cast into a land that they have not known? O land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord. Write this man down as childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.”
Coniah had children (Shealtiel) and his grandson was Zerubbabel, and Joseph was descended from him, but we have a curse on this line. Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, was not from Coniah. He was his uncle placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar. Messiah, to get the right to the throne, must come from Solomon, and Joseph had that right, but there was a curse on that line based on Jer 22.24-30. If Yeshua was born from Joseph, he cannot be the king of Israel.
Isa 7.14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you (Ahaz) a sign. Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.” So, it says a “virgin” shall conceive. The word “virgin” there is the Hebrew word “almah” but it does not literally mean a virgin, but a “young woman” who could be a virgin but doesn’t have to be. When it says the virgin shall conceive, it will be a sign, but a sign of what? Here is the background to this verse. In Isa 7.1 we learn that King Ahaz is being attacked, and he is the father of Hezekiah. Isaiah tells him that the Lord will deliver him from his enemies, and tells Ahaz to ask the Lord for a sign to verify what Isaiah is telling him. Ahaz doesn’t want to “bother” the Lord with a request, so the Lord is going to give him one anyway (Isa 7.14). The “almah” (young woman who doesn’t necessarily have to be a virgin) shall conceive and bear a son. The context of this chapter and Chapter 8 tells us that Isa 7.14 was fulfilled in the 8th century BC. The “young woman” (almah) is Isaiah’s wife and the son is Maher shalal hash-baz (read Isa 8.1-10).
This is the “peshat” of Isa 7.14. Isaiah’s wife was not a virgin, but a young woman. But, this verse was going to happen again. The book of Isaiah was translated into Greek in what is called the Septuagint (LXX) years before Yeshua was born. The Greek word used for almah in the Setuagint is “parthenos” and it can only mean virgin. In the case of Yeshua, in order to fulfill this verse, it means that it was necessary to have a virgin birth because Joseph had a curse on his line, so Yeshua could not descend physically through him. So, Yeshua was his “step-son” but he legally had the rights Joseph had, without the curse. That is why “almah” was used because that word will fulfill what happened to Isaiah, and it would fulfill what happened to Miriam because “almah” can mean “young woman” or a “virgin.”
Now, is there a way to prove that there was a virgin birth? Yes, there is a way to prove it. There was a Temple ceremony called the “Sotah” (the term used for a woman suspected of adultery) in Num 5.11-31 called the “Law of the Sotah.” What was Zechariah in Luke 1? He was a kohen and an elder of the mishmar Abijah. Miriam went to the house of Zechariah and Elisheva until she was three months pregnant (she was “showing”). It is possible that she submitted to the Sotah ceremony in the Temple to show that she was a virgin and was faithful to Joseph. She could have underwent the ordeal and the humiliation of the Sotah, and when nothing happened to her (died), it proved that she was a virgin and innocent, and this was a “sign.” This would have been recorded in the Temple archives, and anyone wanting to check to see if his birth was by a virgin would have found out that Miriam submitted to the Sotah and nothing happened to her after she submitted to the Sotah ceremony. You will notice in the Scriptures, his virgin birth was not a point of contention among his critics. There had to be a “sign” of some sort that would immediately silence anyone who contended that Yeshua could not have been the Messiah because he wasn’t born of a virgin according to the Prophets. We are not saying that this is what happened, but we are saying that there was a way to prove she was a virgin, and have it witnessed before God, the kohanim in the Temple and have a record of it. This would avoid the “curse of Coniah” in Jer 22.
Now, if Yochanon is six months older than Yeshua, and Yochanon was born around Passover and Unleavened Bread, that puts Yeshua’s birth in Tishri, around Sukkot, and possibly on Tishri 15, a high Sabbath. Luke 2.1-7 says that Yeshua was born in Bethlehem, which means “house of bread.” It also means that he was from the “House of David” (2.4). When he was born, he was placed in a “manger” (2.7) which you would find in a stable. The word “stable” in Hebrew is “sukkah” and translated “booths” (sukkot) in Gen 33.17. Now, here is a prophetic picture of the fall festivals. Gen 31 is written in the language of Rosh ha Shannah. Jacob has been out of the land of Israel and with Laban 20 years (a picture of 2000 years). Laban’s sons basically accuse Jacob of stealing their wealth (31.1). This is like people today saying that the “Jews have all the money.” So, Jacob must “arise” and “return” and in Gen 31.42 we read that “judgment was rendered.” These are all Rosh ha Shannah terms, and Rosh ha Shannah is called a Yom ha Din, a “day of judgment.” This is a picture of Israel being regathered back to the land.
In Gen 32, we will find the language of Yom Kippur. Jacob is returning back to the land and he is in the eastern part of the Jordan River. He wrestles with the angel of the Lord. He says that he has “seen God face to face” so he named that place Penuel. The term “face to face” is an idiom for Yom Kippur, a day when Israel “wrestles.
Gen 33 is written in the language of Sukkot. He journeyed to Sukkot (Gen 33.17) and he made “booths (sukkot) for his livestock. A “sukkah” is another name for a stable and we know that is where Yeshua was born. We know that there was no room in the inn at Bethlehem because people were coming up for the festival of Sukkot, so there would have been many “sukkah’s” all over the place. Now, these were made to live in for seven days, so it was like a little home away from home, and it was in a “sukkah” or stable that Yeshua would be born. Obviously, this was nine months after his conception at Chanukah, which would bring us to Tishri, the time of Sukkot. So we have Rosh ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot alluded to in Gen 21 through 32. These terms will be important, especially the ones concerning Sukkot on Gen 32 in our study.
In Part 40, we will pick up in Luke 2.8-9 and talk about who the shepherds were, what kind of sheep were being watched and exactly where they were when Yeshua was born. We will then continue to present more evidence that will show that Yeshua was very probably born at the festival of Sukkot, and not December 25th.