Christmas Gifts

xmas-gifts

The Gospel, which was announced at the birth of Christ (Luke 2:10)  is associated with gift giving.  The Hebrew word for the Apostles, who spread the Gospel to the world, comes from the word שלח ‘shalach’ which means to send something forth, as in a gift that is sent.

Luk_2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

As seen in the Shadows of Messiah Tidbit study, the Gospel being taken to the world by Apostles is likened unto taking the bread of life to the world.   Interestingly, the etymology of the word Christmas traces back to the Latin word ‘massa’ which is speaking of bread and the Latin word ‘missa’ which means to ‘send abroad.’ A missionary is one who is sent forth and comes from this word.
The word apostle comes from the Hebrew word שליח ‘sholiach’ which means the sent one.   שלח  ‘shalach’ also means to send as in a gift שילוח ‘shiluach’ by the hand of a messenger/apostle שוליח ‘sholiach.’  Jesus was the ‘Sent One’ or ‘Apostle’ of the Father (Hebrews 3:1; John 5:28; 6:29; 7:29; 8:42; 17:3, 18-21) who came with the gift of salvation.  Jesus would then send His Apostles with the message of this gift of salvation to the world.  In Hebrew the word for gospel is בסורה ‘besorah’ which has the meaning of a feast which is prepared when good news is brought.  The ‘food’ that the Apostles were to take to the world is the message that Jesus is the bread of life, whose flesh brings life (John 4:32-34; 6:51).

shalach-gift

Who is THE Sent one/Apostle?  Christ Jesus (Hebrews 3:1; John 5:38; 6:29; 7:29; 8:42; 17:3, 18-21).

Eph 4:7  But to each one of us was given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Eph 4:8  Because of this, He says, “Having gone up on high, He led captivity captive,” and gave “gifts to men.” Psa. 68:18

The concept of the apostles bringing the gift of the message of the Gospel/Bread of Life is further seen in the word תנה ‘tanah’ which is translated as ‘rehearse’ in the English (Judges 5:10-11).

Joh 3:34  For the One whom God sent speaks the Words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.

The link between gifts and eating is further seen in the Hebrew word ברה ‘barah’ which also traces back to the word for ‘my Son’ mentioned earlier: בר ‘bar.’  A related word is ברות ‘berot’ which means meat and ברית ‘briyt’ which means covenant.

Joh 6:48  I am the Bread of life.

Joh 6:49  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and died.

Joh 6:50  This is the Bread coming down out of Heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die.

Joh 6:51  I am the Living Bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever. And indeed the bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Isa 42:6  I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

Isa 49:8  Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Another word for give is הב ‘hav’ which is linked to the sacrifice of Messiah on the cross.  הב ‘hav’ is the source of the most common Hebrew word for love, אהב ‘ahav.’

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 15:13  Greater love than this has no one, that anyone should lay down his soul for his friends.

from the root:

The pictograph meaning of love:

The first and last letters spell out the word for Father (אב ‘av’) and the middle letter ה ‘heh’ is a picture of a man with outstretched arms.  The Love of the Father is revealed through Christ on the tree, gathering all mankind back to their Creator.

Further linking Messiah as the gift from the Father to mankind is the word נסאת ‘nasat’ which means a gift from the root נס which literally means a banner lifted up.  Who is the Banner?  Messiah.(John 3:14; 12:32; Isaiah 11:10-12)

Gift giving is linked with trees.  The Hebrew word for giving counsel is יעץ ‘ya’ats.’  This word is also translated as ‘give’ as in the giving of advise.  Christmas celebrates the birth of THE Counselor, Jesus Christ.

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The English word ‘gift’ comes from the Old Norse word ‘gift/gipt’ meaning gift or good luck and is linked to the Germanic word ‘mitgift’ meaning dowry.  In the tidbit on the winter, it is seen that betrothal is linked to to the winter and is associated with the crucifixion of Messiah which is the gift of the Father to mankind of redemption.  The Old English word ‘gift’ also meant bride price or marriage gift.

Isaac Mozeson traces the English word ‘gift’ back to the Indo European root ‘ghabh’ which means to give or receive and the Anglo-Saxon word ‘gifan’ all the way back to the Hebrew word הב which was described above in reference to the love of the Father revealed in giving His Son as a propitiation for our sins.

Giving gifts to children is said to be done because the Magi gave gifts to the baby Jesus when they arrived in Bethlehem.  This does have legitimacy as giving to the “least” of us is equated with giving to Christ Himself.

In Matthew 25:31-46 Messiah states that when we give to the ‘least’ of our brethren, we are giving it to Him.  The Greek word for least is ἐλάχιστος ‘elachistos’ which can also be translated as small children.  The Hebrew word קטן ‘qatan’ means the least, small one, or child (Genesis 44:12, 20).

xmas-tree-gifts

The gift of salvation was given on a tree.

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Gal 3:13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us; for it has been written, “Cursed is everyone having been hung on a tree;” Deut. 21:23
1Pe 2:24  who “Himself carried up in His body our sins” onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness, of whom “by His wound you were healed.”

The Christmas tree custom is backed up by Scripture.  Scripture speaks of the fir & myrtle trees (evergreens) being used as everlasting signs of God’s name.

Isa 55:13  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

The Christmas tree is a representation of the cross.  Isaiah 55:13 speaks of evergreens being a sign of God’s name.  The cross reveals the name of God.

The Hebrew word for name is שם ‘shem’ which literally means one’s breathe or character.  What is the character of the Almighty?  Love (1 John 4:8).  The Hebrew word for love is אהב ‘ahav’ which is consists of the letters  אב ‘av’ which means father and the middle letter ה ‘heh’ which has the meaning of revelation.  The Father revealed.  In ancient Hebrew, the letter ה ‘heh’ was depicted as a man with outstretched arms, like unto Messiah on the cross. How was the love of the Father revealed?  Through the giving of His only begotten Son on the cross as an atonement for the sins of mankind (John 3:16).

The book of Revelation speaks of God’s name in the forehead of believers (Revelation 14:1; 22:4) which can be linked to Ezekiel 9:4 which speaks of a mark (תו ‘tav’ – cross) being put on the foreheads of true believers.  What is the symbol for Christ?  An X, for the letter ‘Chi,’ the first letter in Χριστός ‘Christos.’  We see this in Xmas as an abbreviation of Christmas.

Family Gatherings and Gifts

xmas-family-gathering

Both Christmas and Hanukkah are a time in which families gather together in fellowship.  This desire to gather together during this time of year is ingrained within the souls of man by their Creator.  Winter is the time of year when the weather is dark and cold.  The Hebrew word for cold is קר ‘qar’ which literally means ‘the gathering together of heads’ as in people gathering together in their homes to escape the cold weather.

Winter is the time of the early rains in the mideast.  This is the time of cold where men gather in homes to קרא ‘qara’ read scrolls and teach or ‘dedicate’ their children.  Hanukkah means dedicate and comes from the root word חנך ‘chanak’ which means to train up or dedicate a child (Proverbs 22:6).

Pro 22:6  Train up {חנך ‘chanak’} a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The early rains (יורה ‘yorah’) also mean ‘teaching.’  Winter is the time of year to spend in doors teaching children the ways of the Lord.  The Hebrew word for read and ‘call upon’ the Lord is קרא ‘qara’ which comes from the word for cold, קר ‘qar.’

Christmas ‘proclaims the Word’ as it displays the Light of the World, Jesus. As this is a time to dedicate and teach children, it is no surprise that the winter holidays are focused upon children. It is important that we teach them the truth of the Word during this time of year that the corrupted aspects of the holidays don’t lead them astray.  Scripture is clear that causing a child to stumble is a very grievous sin (Matthew 18:6).

Mat 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 18:4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 18:5  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

Mat 18:6  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Just as winter is a time in which people desire to gather together, it is also a time of joy.  This too was ingrained in the souls of men by their Creator.

The 10th month of the Biblical calendar, which occurs during the winter holidays, is known as טבת ‘tevet’ (Esther 2:16).

Est 2:16  So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

טבת ‘tevet’ comes from the word טב ‘tov’ which means good.  טב ‘tov’ literally means to ‘surround the house’ as in people gathering together during the cold of the year.  This word is also translated on some occasions as ‘merry’ (Judges 16:25; 1 Samuel 25:36; 2 Samuel 13:28; Esther 1:10; Proverbs 15:15) and as joyful (Ecclesiastes 7:14; Isaiah 65:14).

Jdg 16:25  And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry {טב ‘tov’}, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

1Sa 25:36  And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry {טב ‘tov’} within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.

2Sa 13:28  Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry {טב ‘tov’} with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.

Est 1:10  On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry {טב ‘tov’} with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

Pro 15:15  All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry {טב ‘tov’} heart hath a continual feast.

Ecc 7:14  In the day of prosperity be joyful {טב ‘tov’}, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

Isa 65:14  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy {טב ‘tov’} of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.

The word merry is also translated from the Hebrew word הילול ‘heylool’ which also means to give praise. הילול ‘heylool’ comes from the root הל ‘hal’ which literally depicts a traveler moving in the direction of his home and the joy and desire in which that person has in coming home after a long journey. The traveler would use the stars as his directional guide to get home. As an ancient traveler would draw near to his home, he would see the light of the tent shining in the distance which would bring joy and praise.  This is what the ‘wise men’ experienced as they traveled to meet the King of Heaven (Matthew 2:9-10).

Mat 2:9  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

Mat 2:10  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

הלל ‘halal’ which comes from this root הל ‘hal’ means to give praise as in הללויה ‘halleluYah’ (praise ye the LORD).  This word הלל ‘halal’ also means to shine, to celebrate and to give thanks to another.  This is origin of giving gifts during this time of year.  As mentioned previously, winter was a time which people gathered together and it has always been a custom of people to bring gifts to those they are visiting (Genesis 43:11; 1 Samuel 25:27; Proverbs 19:6).

Gen 43:11  And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:

1Sa 25:27  And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.

Pro 19:6  Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.

This custom of bringing a gift to one who you are visiting is seen in a number of Hebrew words.  The first is תשורה ‘teshurah’ which is speaking of a present brought by a traveler, in specific a traveler who is a part of a caravan.  This word comes from the root שור ‘shur’ which is speaking of a caravan whose loads are pulled by an ox (שור ‘shor’).  This word and the cognates of it have fascinating connections to the customs of the winter holidays.

The first connection is the ‘Christmas tree’ which some link back to the אשרה ‘asherah’ of old.  In reality, the Christmas tree has no legitimate, historical links to אשרה ‘asherah’ but for the purposes of understanding we’ll examine the meaning of this word as אשרה ‘asherah’ were trees used by the heathen in their worship.  The word itself literally means something upright which is why it was used of upright idols.

אשרה ‘asherah’ or ‘grove’ comes from the root שר ‘shar’ which has the meaning of a cord tied together.  אשרה ‘asherah’ is speaking of an upright tree as a cord pulled tight is straight or ‘upright.’  אשר ‘asher’ means happy as one who lives their life ‘straightly’ is happy and content.  אשר ‘asher’ is also speaking of a traveler who walks in a straight path.

The Hebrew word for relative שאר ‘shaar’ also comes from the aforementioned root word.  The Hebrew word for singing is שיר ‘shir’ which links back to the cords of a stringed instrument.  Here then in this family of Hebrew words is seen the custom of family members traveling to meet one another during the winter season, a time of joy and singing.  On a deeper level, the word שגר ‘shagar’ is also in this family of words going back to the two letter root שר ‘shar.’  שגר ‘shagar’ means to give birth, further connecting the family concept and the celebration of the Nativity.

The English word ‘gift’ comes from the Old Norse word ‘gift/gipt’ meaning gift or good luck and is linked to the Germanic word ‘mitgift’ meaning dowry.  In the shadow pictures of the winter solstice, it is seen that betrothal is linked to to the winter and is associated with the crucifixion of Messiah which is the gift of the Father to mankind of redemption.  The Old English word ‘gift’ also meant bride price or marriage gift.  Isaac Mozeson traces the English word ‘gift’ back to the Indo European root ‘ghabh’ which means to give or receive and the Anglo-Saxon word ‘gifan.’  These words trace all the way back to the Hebrew word הב ‘hav’ which means love, as in the love of the Father revealed in giving His Son as a propitiation for our sins (John 3:16).

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is through this gift that all the families of the earth are gathered together (John 3:14; 12:32; Ephesians 2:8-19).

Joh 3:14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

Joh 3:15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Joh 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Eph 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Recall that the Christmas tree portrays the tree of which Messiah gave His life to gather mankind back to the Father.  The gathering of families to Christmas trees where gifts are located is a shadow picture of this event.

It is interesting to note that the Hallelujah chorus is traditionally sung during this time of year.  Recall that הלל ‘halal’ means to shine, to celebrate, to give thanks to another.  The word Hallelujah is associated with unity and the love of God.

Yet another word which links travelers and gift giving is שלח ‘shalach’ which means to send as in a gift, שילוח ‘shiluach,’ by the hand of a messenger/apostle שוליח ‘sholiach.’  Jesus was the ‘Sent One’ or ‘Apostle’ of the Father (Hebrews 3:1; John 6:29; 7:29; 8:42; 17:3, 18-21) who came with the gift of salvation.

Heb 3:1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Joh 7:29  But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

Joh 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Joh 17:18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

Joh 17:19  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Joh 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Joh 17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Jesus would then send His Apostles with the Gospel message of this gift of salvation to the world.  In Hebrew the word for gospel is בסורה ‘besorah’ which has the meaning of a feast which is prepared when good news is brought.  The ‘food’ that the Apostles were to take to the world is the message that Jesus is the bread of life, whose flesh brings life (John 4:32-34; 6:51).

Joh 4:32  But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

Joh 4:33  Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

Joh 4:34  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Again, the etymology of the word Christmas traces back to the Latin word ‘massa’ which is speaking of bread and the Latin word ‘missa’ which means to ‘send abroad.’ A missionary is one who is sent forth and comes from this word.  Christmas is a message of the Gospel to the world.

Psa 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

 

Previous articles:

Christmas 2016

In Defense of Christmas

Christmas & Herbert Armstrong

Christmas and the Bible

Christmas – Little Guy in the Eye

December 25th

YES! Evidence Indicates Jesus Really Was Born Dec. 25th – Kurt Simmons

“Unto You is Born this Day” – Kurt Simmons

John the Baptist Six Months Older than our Lord – Kurt Simmons

The Nativity of Christ & Death of Herod the Great – Kurt Simmons

Star of Bethlehem or Nazareth? – Kurt Simmons

Objections to Christmas and the Dec. 25th Birth of Christ Answered – Kurt Simmons

Refutation of Ernest Martin’s “The Star that Astonished the World” – Kurt Simmons

Dating the Birth of Jesus of Nazareth – Michal E. Hunt

How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology Society

Calculating Christmas: The Story Behind December 25 – William J. Tighe

Christmas – Throwback Christianity

December 25th & Paganism

Is Christmas Lawful, or Is It Pagan? – Kurt Simmons

Presbyterian & Puritanial Curmudeons and the War Against Christmas – Kurt Simmons

Christmas Was Never a Pagan Holiday – Marian T. Horvat

Is Christmas Really a Pagan Holiday? – Come Reason Ministries

Christmas: Pagan Festival or Christian Celebration? – Dr. Anthony McRoy

Christmas Trees & Jeremiah 10

Christmas Trees & the Bible

On Nimrod and Christmas Trees – “As Bereans Did”

Next article: Christmas Temple House

 

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