A Better Birthday – The Fast of the Firstborn
A Better Birthday
In my ongoing adventure in biblical chronology studies, I recently came across another jewel of Scripture. Yahovah’s humor may be the priceless pearl here!
Here is the Torah instruction on redemption of the firstborn sons. Exodus 13:11-16 “And it shall be when Yahovah brings you into the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, 12you shall set apart to Yahovah every one opening the womb, and every firstling, the offspring of animals which are yours; the males belong to Yahovah. 13And every firstling of a donkey you shall redeem with a flock animal. And if you do not redeem, you shall break its neck. And every first-born of men among your sons you shall redeem. 14And it shall be when your son asks you in the future, saying, What is this? You shall say to him, Yahovah brought us out from Egypt by the might of His hand, from the house of slaves. 15And it happened when Pharaoh hardened himself against sending us away, Yahovah killed every first-born one in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of men even to the first-born of animals. On account of this I sacrifice to Yahovah every one of the males opening the womb, and I redeem every first-born of my sons. 16And it shall be for a sign on your hand, and frontlets between your eyes. For Yahovah brought us out from Egypt by the might of His hand.”
Yeshua was the firstborn son of virgin Mariam (Mary). We know that Yeshua did not need to be redeemed, because He was sinless Divinity, but Yahovah did sacrifice His only begotten Son, the Firstborn among many brethren!
Doctor Luke gives us more details about the birth of Yeshua, even the time of year. Luke 2:7-24 “And she bore her son, the Firstborn. And she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in the manger, because there was no room where they could lodge. 8And shepherds were in the same region living in the fields and keeping guard over their flock by night [Why were they in the fields watching over their flocks at night?]. 9And, behold, a cherub of Yahovah came on them. And the glory of Yahovah shone around them. And they feared with a great fear. 10And the cherub said to them, Do not fear. For, behold, I proclaim good news to you, a great joy, which will be to all the world, 11For today is born to you in the city of David, the Savior, who is Yahovah, the Messiah. 12And this is a sign to you: You will find an infant having been wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger. 13And suddenly there was with the cherub a multitude of the heavenly host, praising Yahovah and saying, 14Glory to Yahovah in the highest, and peace on earth, good will among men. 15And it happened as the cherubs departed from them into the heaven, even the men, the shepherds, said to one another, Indeed, let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this thing occurring, which Yahovah made known to us. 16And hurrying, they came and sought out both Mariam and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. 17And seeing, they publicly told about the word spoken to them about this Child. 18And all those hearing marveled about the things spoken to them by the shepherds. 19And Mariam kept all these words, meditating in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned [Why return to the fields at night?], glorifying and praising Yahovah for all things which they heard and saw, even as was spoken to them. 21And when eight days had passed to circumcise the Child, His name was called Yehoshua, the name called by the cherub before He was conceived in the womb. 22And when the days of her cleansing according to the Law of Moses (Lev. 12) were fulfilled, they took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to Yahovah, 23as it has been written in the Torah of Yahovah: Every male opening a womb shall be called a holy one to Yahovah; (Exo. 13:2) 24and to offer a sacrifice according to that said in the Torah of Yahovah, a pair of turtledoves, or two nestlings of doves.” (Lev. 12:8)
The offering made by Mariam was not for Yeshua, it was for her cleansing from the uncleanness of blood at birth, per Leviticus 12, 40 days after birth. Leviticus 12:6-8 “And when the days of her cleansing are fulfilled for son or for daughter, she shall bring in a lamb, a son of a year, for a burnt offering, and a young dove or a turtledove for a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to the priest. 7And he shall bring it near before Yahovah, and shall atone for her; and she shall be cleansed from the fountain of her blood; this is the law of her who bears, whether a male or a female. 8And if her hand is not able to find a lamb, then she shall take two turtle doves, or two young doves one for a burnt offering, and one for a sin offering, and the priest shall atone for her; and she shall be cleansed.” You have heard this story told countless times, and so often the reason why Mariam presented two turtledoves is stated because she and Joseph were poor, but I want to inform you that is NOT the reason. The reason Mariam presented doves instead of the required yearling lamb, is because ALL THE LOCAL YEARLING LAMBS WERE SET APART FOR THE PASSOVER SACRIFICE THAT MONTH!!!! Mariam literally could not find a yearling lamb to offer for her cleansing 40 days after Yeshua’s birth, because all the yearling lambs had been slaughtered for Passover!! The same reason Joseph and Mariam could not find a hotel room is the same reason they could not find a yearling lamb 40 days later, Passover! They were not poor, Joseph was a skilled man!
The Passover lambs had to be yearlings, per Torah, which proves that Israeli lambs are born in the spring. In the story in Luke we now have two proofs that Yeshua was born in the springtime, right around Passover. First proof, the shepherds were in the fields watching over their ewes who were lambing, giving birth to their lambs, that would be yearling sacrificial lambs for the next year’s Passover sacrifice! Second proof, Mariam could not find a yearling lamb for her cleansing offering 40 days after Yeshua’s birth, because they had all been sacrificed at Passover!! Exodus 12:1-6 “And Yahovah said to Moses and to Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2This month shall be the head of months for you. It shall be the first of the months of the year for you. 3Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, On the tenth of this month, they shall each take for themselves an animal of the flock for a father’s house, a flock animal for a house. 4And if the house is too small for a flock animal, he and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of souls, each one according to the mouth of his eating, you shall count concerning the flock animal. 5A flock animal, a male without blemish, a yearling, shall be to you. You shall take from the sheep or from the goats. 6And it shall be for you to keep until the fourteenth day of this month. And all the assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the evenings.”
Well, that is the biblical story. But what about the astronomical signs that were occurring in 3/2 BC, that caused the magi from the East to come and see the toddler Yeshua? The astronomical signs began in August, 3 BC and ended in June, 2 BC, soon after Yeshua was born! The Magi would have headed to Israel after seeing the first heavenly sign in the summer/fall of 3 BC, they arrived just in time to see baby Yeshua! John the Baptist was six months older than his cousin Yeshua, so I believe the heavenly signs in August/September 3 BC were heralding the forerunner of the King of kings, and the signs in the spring and summer of 2 BC heralded Yeshua Messiah Himself!! Many believe, as I used to, that Yeshua was born in the fall around Tishri 1, on the Feast of Trumpets. But Yeshua did not come as the King at His first advent, He came as the sacrificial Lamb of Yahovah! He will be coming as King of kings and Lord of lords at His Yeshua Advent 2.0, an event that will occur in the near future!
You can read all about the astronomical signs in Dr. Ernest L. Martin’s book: The Star of Bethlehem: The Star that Astonished the World. Portland, OR: The Associates for Scriptural Knowledge, 1996. It is still available for free online reading at: The Star of Bethlehem
Now for some Jewish tradition. In the Talmud in tractate Soferim 21:3, you will find the teaching on the Jewish Fast of the Firstborn. A custom that commemorates the salvation of the firstborn of Israel when Yahovah destroyed the firstborn of Egypt, because of Pharaoh’s hard heart, during the great Exodus First Passover story. The Jews celebrate this fast on the day before Passover. All firstborn Jewish males fast on this spring fast day. Check out the Hebrew calendar dates with this great calendar website I just found: Torah Calendar online
If this link doesn’t work, just go to www.torahcalendar.com and enter 2 (or 3 if you prefer) in the right hand box, select B.C.E. for the era, and enter the Hebrew month 1, then click View Calendar. Look at the day before Passover, it’s the Jewish Fast of the Firstborn!!
You can find out more about this Jewish tradition at the wikipedia article: Fast of the Firstborn wiki
I propose that Yeshua was born right on this Fast of the Firstborn, just because he loves His Jewish brothers, He has a great sense of humor, the timing is Scriptural, and Yahovah is always exact with His timing!
Gene Benjamin II
September 20, 2014 AD