Jeremiah, the Significance of December and the Shepherds in the Field

I’m not writing this to justify having lights up or giving gifts or having a tree at this time of year or saying merry Christmas or anything like that. I’m only making known what I have found in my research. Before I start I want to go into a bit of disinfo as far as Scripture is considered and how easily a Scripture can be misinterpreted and twisted.

Context is crucial

What are these verses talking about? A christmas tree or an idol/graven image? Context is crucial. Look at the pics below. I can suggest to you that Rev. 9 locusts is a blackhawk helicopter but most scholars will say they are in fact demons that come out of the abyss.

The power of suggestion is a great influence on what people think and how they react. You can put a picture to any scripture and say this is what it’s taking about. That’s a dangerous way to interpret scripture. It’s no different than saying Jesus is a black man because the book of Revelation (1:15) says “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.” Then I show you a picture of black Jesus to prove it. Thats more along the lines of private interpretation and eisegesis. Very bad eisegesis at that.

Consider this. If I didn’t put a picture meme with these scriptures than you may not think that it means something in particular. I would be suggesting something by doing that. The recent push of the “Christmas Tree is Pagan” has come from Alexander Hislops nook The Two Babylons. It’s a good book but some of it is from his own presuppositions. It still doesn’t take away the Catholic/Babylon types and shadows.

The most used verses for proving the christmas tree is mentioned in Scripture is this one. I believe context is crucial and using this Jeremiah passage cannot, in my opinion, prove that this is 100% talking about a Chrismas tree. Here is Jeremiah 10:1-5 and you tellme what you think. Christmas tree or idols?

LXX (Greek)
Hear ye the word of the Lord, which he has spoken to you, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord, Learn ye not the ways of the heathen, and be not alarmed at the signs of the sky; for they are alarmed at them, falling on their faces. For the customs of the nations are vain; it is a tree cut out of the forest, the work of the carpenter, or a molten image. They are beautified with silver and gold, they fix them with hammers and nails; they will set them up that they may not move; it is wrought silver, they will not walk, it is forged silver. They must certainly be borne, for they cannot ride of themselves. Fear them not; for they cannot do any evil, and there is no good in them.

Amplified (Word Study Translation)
Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord, “Do not learn the way of the [pagan] nations, And do not be terrified and distressed by the signs of the heavens. Although the pagans are terrified by them; For the customs and decrees of the peoples are [mere] delusion [exercises in futility]; It is only wood which one cuts from the forest [to make a god], The work of the hands of the craftsman with the axe or cutting tool. “They adorn the idol with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with hammers and nails. So that it will not fall apart. “They are like scarecrows in a cucumber field; They cannot speak; They have to be carried, Because they cannot walk!
Do not be afraid of them, For they can do no harm or evil, Nor can they do any good.” There is none like You, O Lord; You are great, and great is Your mighty and powerful name.

KJV (Hebrew)
Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people arevain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

“Jeremiah 10:1-5. The first 16 verses of chapter 10 are parenthetical. Before continuing his discussion of the coming Exile, Jeremiah focused on the nature of the God who would bring this judgment. God addressed the entire house of Israel, which included the Northern Kingdom already in exile, and explained the foolishness of idols. Israel was not supposed to learn the ways of idolatry practiced by the nations around her, nor was she to be terrified by signs in the sky. These ”signs“ were most likely unusual occurrences such as eclipses or comets which were thought to be signs of coming events given by the gods.

Such idolatrous practices were worthless (heḇel, ”breath“; cf. comments on heḇel in Ecc. 1:2) because the ”gods“ being honored were created by their worshipers (cf. Isa. 40:18-20). A person would chop down a tree, give the wood to a craftsman who fashioned it to the desired shape. This ”god“ was then covered with silver and gold and fastened to a base so that it would not totter. Once the god was made by man it had to be carried to its destination. It was as lifeless as a scarecrow in a melon patch. Certainly such a ”god“ could not speak to impart knowledge to its followers. So God exhorted His people not to fear those false idols. The idols had no power to harm those who disregarded them or power to do any good for those who followed them.”
(Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. 1983-c1985. The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures. Victor Books: Wheaton, IL)

There is in no way these verses are talking about a Christmas tree in our present day. There is no mention of Osiris penis or Nimrods penis or any other phallus for that matter. There is no mention of a triangle or its shape. It is talking about wood being taken and fashion for an idol that was then overlayed with silver or gold. Sins like an idol. It even goes onto say that its just wood, nothing more.

If you made it this far, I suggest you read Isaiah 44:12-29 to compare to Jeremiah 10:1-5. Read scripture in context and quit taking everyone’s word for it. Or you’ll be reading Genesis 1 thinking that just because God said every herb was good, Jesus was smoking. That’s what some would like you to think. Trust me.

I had always wondered the significance of December 25th and Christianity. In the age of memes, we are bombarded with “Christmas is Pagan” on a daily basis. Most of these have no fact check and are actually way off base. With that said, Catholics will sometimes defend Christmas to the “death”.

Let it also be known that the date December 25th is not connected to the pagan festival Saturnalia as this festival actually ends on December 23rd. It’s gotten lumped in due to guilty by association. It is the debunked Zeitgeists biggest argument..and only one that is pointless. I’m sure some will disagree with me but facts are facts. Now remember, I’m talking about the date not what the date has been associated with. So with that said, what’s the deal with December 25th?

As everyone knows, the mainstream view is that the 25th of December is the birth of Jesus. I don’t agree with this view. I personally believe Jesus was born in September sometime around the 9th-11th of 2/3 BC. I won’t get into why because there are a ton of sources for that study but my personal belief is that His birth fulfilled Feast of Tabernacles. Hence the date in Fall and not Winter.

The Birth in Scripture

Scripture (Luke 2:7) tells us that at the birth of Jesus the shepherds first came to a “manger” to see a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes (esparganōsen
ἐσπαργάνωσεν). Then in Luke 2:12 Jesus is called a baby (brephos
βρέφος). This was at the birth and this means a new born or can even mean a fetus in the womb. This same word is used for when Mary met Elizabeth and John jumped or lept in her womb when hearing Mary was pregnant. This should tell you right here that abortion is killing a baby. Scripture is clear and these verse were given to us by Luke, who was in fact a Doctor.

Then scripture tells us that the magi showed up. When they showed up Jesus was called a child (paidion
παιδίον) which by definition is a young infant under 7 years old. We will see that Jesus was younger than that wth Herods words. Herod ordered that all young males from 2 years and younger in Bethlehem be killed (Matthew 2:16). Knowing this testimony we see that Jesus could not be over 2 years old and was at least a year old because he was called an infant. We will see how this timing of under 2 years is significant with when the magi showed up in Jerusalem.

Everyone seems to combine these two events in Scripture as one event. They aren’t. Jesus being in swaddling clothes at His birth denotes He is a baby. A newborn. When the magi show up (and there weren’t just 3, more like 500 to 800 people in that caravan). Jesus was a toddler. Two different words that represent two different times. We will get to more of this in a minute.

The lights

If Jesus was born in September like I believe and not in December, than what is the significance of Decembers holiday season with lights and all of that “stuff”? I see it like this. If Jesus was born in September than Mary was conceived through the Spirit 9 months before. This would make it around mid December. My daughter was conceived on Christmas Eve and she was due on my birthday but was born a week earlier on September 9th. This was 9 months later. So if Mary was overcome by the Spirit of God then this would be in mid December in order to have a September 9/11th Tabernacle birth.

This would put conception around what the Jews celebrate as Hannakah. Hannakah was when the Jews took back the Temple and only had enough only for a night and it lasted several nights. Oil and light both represents the Holy Spirit and in order to have light back then, you needed oil. Jews actually call this holiday the Feast of Dedication or LIGHTS. Mary concieving Jesus through the Holy Spirit at this time represents that new Temple covenant where we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Could this be why Christmas lights are put up in this season? Jesus is the light of the world and what better way to celebrate the Light tabernacling with man than lighting up the season of the voldest darkest time. Jesus is the light in our dark world.

Now let mention John 10:22. It says Jesus went to Solomon’s Porch during winter to the time of the Feast of Dedication. It doesn’t say whether He celebrated it or not. This word for dedication is enkainia (ἐνκαίνια). It is made of two words, en (preposition meaning in, on, at) and kainos (meaning renewal). This means a renewal of sorts. Now if you look at kainos you will actually see it means “properly, new in quality(innovation), fresh in development or opportunity – because “not found exactly like this before.” (Helps Word Study). Thayers says, “new, which as recently made is superior to what it succeeds: of a new kind; unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of.”

I suggest the renewal of the oil at the temple wasn’t what was intended to be celebrated but was the conception of Mary. And I shouldn’t even say it that way, that sounds to Catholic for my liking. It should be the Holy Spirit overcoming Mary with the Holy Spirit with the God incarnate, Jesus. That was what needed to be recognized. Never Mary, always Jesus. Mary was concieved through the Holy Spirit and that was to be what was recognized not necessarily celebrated. The old temple concept passed away and the light of the would was in the new temples, our bodies. And you can argue that life starts at conception not birth. In this case it does.

Gifts on the 25th

So to me, that makes sense and in no way is it justifying anything. Putting up Christmas lights isn’t considered a sin last time I looked. The memes you see at this time of year is always for tree (which we already went over) not lights. So what about giving gifts? Why do people that recognize Christmas as the birth of Jesus give gifts. Well I think the answer is obvious. They base it on the 3 magi bringing gold, frankincense and myhrr, there was no silver and gold like the songs suggest. But that’s not exactly how it went. If He was born in September then December 25th can’t be based on Jesus birth. But it can be based on the caravan of Magi showing up with their gifts.

Almost every honest scholar will tell you that this caravan of Magi from Persia traveled for well over a year following the star of the Messiah. I believe this to be true. They didn’t just hop in a bus and hit the road, it took time and remember, they were astrologers and astronomers reading the signs of the stars. This took time and the time it took very well could’ve been over a year. This would put the time around the end of the year or what we call December. And remember, when they showed up Jesus was a toddler according to the Greek text. He was anywhere from 1-2 years old and this is confirmed with Herod killing every male 2 and younger. Why would Herod kill even 2 year olds if Jesus was a newborn. Because time had passed and it could’ve been up to 2 years according to the prophecy in Scripture.

So if it took over a year for the caravan to show up then it very well could’ve been around December 25th. Is this why we give gifts to each other and recognise Jesus being born? Are we mimicking the gifts of the Magi but honoring Jesus in giving each other gifts out of love?

The Shepherds

One other cool bit of scriptural info I want to bring up is the shepherds in the field that came to see Jesus at His nirth. They were very significant. This absolutely destroys the Jewish thought that Jesus wasn’t God in the flesh and this is even using their own books.

“Alfred Edersheim (1825-1889) provides an intriguing answer to our question. He was Jewish by birth and training. Later, he became a follower of Jesus, studied and taught biblical theology in Scotland, and wrote The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Writing about these shepherds, Edersheim referenced the Jewish Mishnah.

The Mishnah is a collection of documents recording oral traditions governing the lives of Jewish people during the period of the Pharisees. As such, an understanding of the Mishnah gives us insight into how Jewish people lived during the time of Jesus.

One regulation in the Mishnah “expressly forbids the keeping of flocks throughout the land of Israel, except in the wildernesses – and the only flocks otherwise kept, would be those for the Temple-services” (Bab K. 7:7; 80a).

Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and their surrounding fields were not in the wilderness where ordinary flocks of sheep were kept. Therefore, according to the Jewish regulations, the flocks under the care of the shepherds near Bethlehem must have been “for the Temple-services.” These shepherds watched over sheep destined as sacrifices in the Temple at Jerusalem.”

“Migdal What?!

Migdal Eder seems to have been known as the “Tower of the Flock” located not far outside Bethlehem proper. The exact location is unknown though several credible sites have been suggested. Heretical, I know. But bear with me. I think the imagery alone makes it a theory worth considering.

It was Pastor Mark Spansel who offered the theory on the birthplace of Jesus in a recent sermon at our church, although it seems to have been Alfred Edersheim (1899) who gets most of the credit for breathing relatively new life into it. In Chapter 6 of The Life and Times of Jesus Messiah, he allegedly wrote:

And yet Jewish tradition may here prove both illustrative and helpful. That the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, was a settled conviction.

Equally so, was the belief , that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder, ‘the tower of the flock.’ This Migdal Eder was not the watchtower for the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheepground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem.

A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion, that the flocks, which pastured there, were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and, accordingly, that the shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds.

The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism, on account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life, which rendered strict legal observance unlikely, if not absolutely impossible.

The same Mishnaic passage also leads us to infer, that these flocks lay out all the year round, since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before Passover–that is, in the month of February, when in Palestine [Israel] the average rainfall is nearly greatest.

Thus, Jewish tradition in some dim manner apprehended the first revelation of the Messiah from that Migdal Eder, where shepards watched the Temple-flocks all the year round. Of the deep symbolic significance of such a coincidence, it is needless to speak.

Here’s the theory in summary. There was place just outside of Bethlehem city, but still within the region commonly known as Bethlehem, where Passover lambs were kept by specially trained and purified shepherds. The lambs were born in this “tower of the flock” known as Migdal Eder under the watchful eye of the shepherds who would then inspect and either certify them for use as sacrifices in the temple or designate them to be released for common use. The new lambs would, according to some sources, even be wrapped in special swaddling clothes once certified. (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithwalkers/2012/12/was-jesus-born-away-in-a-manger-at-migdal-eder/

“Another authority of the highest rank, Dr. Alfred Edersheim, who considers it likely that the angel appeared to the shepherds at the traditional site, states: “This Migdol Eder was not the watchtower for the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheep-ground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town” (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah 1:186).” (http://nabataea.net/birthdate.html)

So to me, that’s amazing. The shepherds were raising the sheep for the Passover sacrifice and the Lamb of God was born in that same area. Jesus was the final sacrifice and the shepherds witnessed His birth.

The Puritan Edict

And this seems to be a popular picture that is posted around December 25th. I believe it was the edict of 1659 where Puritans banned Christmas practices or any thing associated with it. Some may say this is a good thing but it brought with it a lot of problems. I won’t get into all the history behind this but I will say that it brought the death of a lot of Quakers (and others) at the hands of the Puritans. It’s one thing to revolt against the Catholic church but to sink to their standards by killing people because of your beliefs. As Christians we don’t go aroind persecuting people based on our disagreements. Name one OT prophet who killed someone over not believing the same thing? I’ll wait….

Now there are a lot of theories that claim Jesus was born on December 25th and some do hold water. But in my research this makes the most sense. Jesus was born on Tabernacles with GOD tabernacling with man. Lights at this time of season may suggest the conception of Mary. God coming in the flash as the LIGHT of this world. The presents representing the magi caravan bringing gifts to the Messiah. We are told to give freely and we do this out of love. You will have to decide for yourself on what any of this means to you. In just telling you what makes sense in my mind. Well being Christians don’t bworship a tree no more than you worship your phone. And I can make more of a case that your phone is more of a golden calf than any tree.

To be fair, I will post arguments on why some believe December to be the birth month of Jesus and how His birth does have anything to do with Saturnalia. Look at them all before you decide.

http://nabataea.net/birthdate.html

http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2015/12/the-date-of-saturnalia-doesnt-line-up.html?fbclid=IwAR29og5IKPuDoDKL7wf3b8Ajj0Bwek1ye6mvMkMdLIRf2OM0LZM5Xa0qg2w&m=1

http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2015/12/no-christmas-is-not-based-on-pagan.html?m=1

http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_ChristmasNotPagan.aspx

I’ll end with this.

The same people that will tell you Christmas and Easter are pagan, celebrate their birthdays, 4th of July and pledge their allegiance to a flag.
The same people who say they don’t eat pork and shrimp, can’t figure out that everything is bad for us, not just pork and shrimp.
The same people who say not to mix fibers, wear cotton/wool/polyester mixed clothes.
The same people who were up in arms about the Arch of Triumph, could care less about the rest of the occult symbology they see the other 365 days of the year.
The same people who sit in the pews on Sunday morning, are hung over from Saturday night.
The same people who say they keep the Law, wanna argue with me on the Sabbath while wearing their cool Yashua t-shirt that hides their super cool יהוה (YHWH) tattoos in Hebrew.
The same people who say that TV and movies are an abomination and evil, watch these same TV shows and movies for “research” purposes.
Listen. Love Jesus. Serve the Lord your GOD. If your going to get caught up in something than you better be ready to not be hypocritical in any other area. We aren’t perfect and keeping things in context of how they are written is key.

5 thoughts on “Jeremiah, the Significance of December and the Shepherds in the Field

Add yours

  1. Thank you Craig, for your continued deep studies. I enjoyed the portion of the sacrificial sheep especially. This week I came acros some beautiful Scriptural encouragements and celestial displays relevant this Christmas time among which the picture of the winter solstice at the celestial Golden Gate reflecting the Lord’s death and resurrection, possibly concurring with our ‘appearance like him’ in 1 John 3:2-3. Insights, well covered by centuries of pagan and worldly layers. It may add to your studies and encourage us onwards towards the Lord’s soon coming: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fFmIvKZ_I5FLRy-Za00siE2V4TxTCFxt/view
    Many blessings, Sabine

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There seems to be a war on Christmas & it makes me wonder why? It reminds me that President Obama claimed that he was going to “win the war on Christmas”, the Queen of England was reported by members of staff when they were recording her annual Christmas message that she said, “I hope you all enjoy your last Christmas”, the Pope warned that if we didn’t change the way we do things this could be our last Christmas celebrating it as we do now, President Trump made “Merry Christmas” a steady campaign talking point. He also threatened a boycott of Starbucks for making coffee cups that weren’t Christmassy enough. We are to wish “Happy Holiday” to replace “Merry Christmas”. There are many instances of removal of any references of Jesus Christ from Christmas, replaced with xmas & elves etc. Why? What do the elite know that we don’t? I know that JW’s were taught not to have Christmas or birthdays for the very reasons set forth now. It never did them any good; & I will most definitely continue to celebrate Christmas & tell the story of the miracle of God’s Son, Lord of Lords, Savior, the Alpha and Omega coming into this world as a baby, fulfilling all the signs & wonders given thousands of years before His birth to save us. Satan tried to stop Him then, & he continues to try to stop Him. But Jesus wins.

    Liked by 2 people

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