In the sixth month of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, an arc-angel appears to Mary, announcing that she will shortly give birth to the Messiah. This is Saturday, December 22nd of 4 BC, the last day of the Feast of Lights. Since Mary knows that she won’t get married to (her fiancée) Joseph until the following April, she asks “How can this be, since I’m a virgin and won’t be married for months”? This is when Gabriel reveals that the Spirit of Yehovah will quicken her womb, and the child shall be called “the Son of Elohim”. As a sign that it shall come to past, Gabriel reveals that her (much) older cousin Elizabeth, who had been barren, is six months pregnant, and shall give birth to a son.
Mary soon departs with her entourage and travels (four days?) to the house of Zachariah and tells Elizabeth what Gabriel had told her. It is at this time, December 29, 4 BC, that the baby in the womb of Elizabeth is given the Spirit of God, and Mary is impregnated. Mary stays with Elizabeth to assist with the birth, which occurs on the 15thday of Nisan, the first day of the moadim of Unleavened Bread, which was March 31, 3 BC. On the eighth day, April 7th, Mary accompanied Elizabeth for the circumcision of the baby boy. The child is called “John” (actually, “Yochanan”, for there is no “J” in Hebrew). It is then that Zachariah could again hear and speak, and confirmed the child’s name.
It is important to note that I said that Zacharias’ home was near Bethlehem. Remember this, because it becomes important later. If you read Luke 1:67–79, you will see the prophesy that Zacharias speaks about his son, Yochanan. This was conveyed about in the area, which would later lead to the murder of Zacharias. The next day, Zacharias gives his priestly garments to Mary to be used to wrap her coming child in (swaddling clothes), and she departs and returns to Nazareth (Natzeret), being three months pregnant. After being told in a dream whose child it was, Joseph (the carpenter) goes through with the planned April wedding, with Mary “beginning to show”. They became the victims of gossip.
About five and a half months later, a decree from Caesar Augustus stated that “all the world should be taxed”. Joseph and Mary lived in Natzeret. They both were of the lineage of King David, of which mostly had lived in the town of Bethlehem. But because of political circumstances, many of the line of David had to move, and they settled in a town which was called “Natzeret”, which you may know in English, mistranslated as “Nazareth”.
A “netzer” is a branch (“Branch”, Isaiah 1:11), that grows out of a (apparently) dead olive tree trunk, and comes out of the ground several feet away from the tree trunk that has been sawed off.
Since the clan of David moved away from Bethlehem, and established a new town, the name of “Natzeret” was given. Also, since the people of Natzeret were ostracized and ridiculed, the phrase “can anything good come out of Natzeret” was often cited. Therefore, Matthew 2:23 should say “He shall be called a Netzer”.
With his wife about nine months pregnant, Joseph has to leave Natzeret and travel six days to Bethlehem, arriving about Monday, September 23rd, 3 BC. Since the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) was approaching, many men of the David line had traveled to Bethlehem, and secured rooms for their wives at inns while the men would build a sukkah (mistranslated as “manger”) to eat and live in for the eight days of the feast. By the time that Joseph arrived (he had to travel slowly), there were “no more rooms” for Mary to stay in. So Joseph built his sukkah, which is a temporary hut to commemorate Israel’s sojourn of forty years in the desert before crossing the Jordan River. Both he and Mary had to stay in it.
Joseph finished the hut in time for the feast of Sukkot. After sundown, on Thursday, September 26th of 3 BC, Mary gives birth to Yeshua, which is the 15th day of the seventh month (Tishri), fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 14:16-19. Every year, after Yeshua sets up His kingdom on Earth, all nations will send representatives to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, to celebrate His human birthday. If they fail to do so, their nation shall have no rain for a year. If they fail to do so the second year, their nation shall have the plague. In the meantime, Yeshua was circumcised on the eighth day, on October 3rd, 3 BC. It was the 22nd day of Tishri, also known as “the Last Great Day”.
Remember the prophecy spoken by Zacharias? People at the time mistakenly felt that his son Yochanan, having a known miraculous birth, would probably be the Messiah. It is now Sunday, December 21st of 2 BC. It’s the 23rd day of the ninth month (Kislev). The band of astronomers (12?) from Babylon finds the house of Joseph in Bethlehem. The guardian and the parent of Yeshua had decided to stay in Bethlehem. The astronomers give the bequeathed wealth of Daniel to the family, and return to Babylon by another route, bypassing King Herod.
On the 24th day of Kislev, December 22nd, Joseph is warned in a dream to flee to Egypt. The gospels fail to tell us that Zacharias was also warned, but could not flee because he had to report for duty in the Temple for Hanukkah, which started on the 25th day of Kislev. Yochanan was about twenty months old, and Yeshua was fourteen months. Elizabeth fled to the dessert with Yochanan, not having enough money to live elsewhere. With the wealth supplied by Daniel (the coming of the Messiah had been revealed to him), the “poor” family of Joseph was able to live comfortably in Egypt. It also supported Yeshua during His seventy week ministry.
Meanwhile, during the start of Hanukkah, King Herod realizes that the astronomers have forsook him, and he issues the order to kill all male infants two years and under in the region of Bethlehem. This includes the house of Zacharias. The Temple guards sent to kill the infants heard of the account of Yochanan, and sought out to find him, but could not find him. So since they knew that his father was serving in the Temple, they seized Zacharias in the Temple and demanded to know where his son was. Of course, he refused to tell them, so they murdered him right there “between the Temple and the altar”. Yeshua later expounded concerning Zacharias’ death (Matt 23:35).
Catholic (false) doctrine tries to teach that Joseph had four sons and two daughters from a prior marriage before he married Miriam (Mary). If so, where did they stay while Joseph and Mary were in the sukkah? Mary probably had already given birth to another child when Joseph was told to come back from Egypt. Since their younger children were with them when they left Jerusalem after Passover in 11 AD, Joseph and Mary thought Jesus was among them in the caravan. No one said anything. But when Jesus could not be found that first night, they returned to Jerusalem the next day and spent three days searching for Jesus. They finally thought to look in the Temple, and there they found Jesus, safe and sound, conversing with the Temple scholars, and he was just 12 ½ at the time. Yeshua’s question to his parents was “How did you look for me?”, not “Why did you look for me?”. He was inferring that if they would have first looked for Him in the Temple (His Father’s house), they would have immediately found Him, instead of wasting three days looking elsewhere.
In the next chapter, pagan sun worship that is instilled in gentile Christianity.