Christmas Temple House

The modern custom of celebrating Christmas displays a type of “reenactment” of worship in God’s Temple.

To begin, the Scriptures speak of the LORD’s house being decorated with trees, in particular evergreens.

Isa 60:13  The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
Isa 61:3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Psa 92:12  The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Psa 92:13  Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

The Hebrew word for “beautify” in Isaiah 60:13 is פּאר pa’ar’ which literally means to decorate.  In Isaiah 61:10, פּאר pa’ar’ is translated as “ornament”. Strong’s defines this word, in part, as “going over the boughs”.  In other words, decorating trees is the essence of this word.


A primitive root; to gleam, that is, (causatively) embellish; figuratively to boast; also to explain (that is, make clear) oneself; denominatively from H6288, to shake a tree: – beautify, boast self, go over the boughs, glorify (self), glory, vaunt self.

The the etymology of the word ‘decorations,’ links back to the Temple as well.  To decorate something in Hebrew is the word עדה ‘edah’ which is translated as ‘ornaments’ in Exodus 33:5.

עדה ‘edah’ comes from the root עד ‘ed’ which means a witness as ‘ornaments’ were used to witness to the rank of an individual.  עדה ‘edah’ is also the word used for the Tabernacle of Witness (Numbers 17:7-8).

In other words, the temple was like a “decoration” which displayed Christ (Hebrews 8:5; 9:23).

Literally, עד ‘ed’ means to ‘see the door.’  Who is the door?  Messiah (John 10:9).

Joh 10:9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

עד ‘ed’ is the root of the word מועד ‘moed’ which means feast or holiday which is a witness to others.

Going further is the word ‘bauble’ which is a small decoration used during the winter holidays.  This word traces back to the Hebrew word בבה ‘babah’ which means the pupil of the eye.  The pupil of the eye is associated with a close relationship with another, as in being the ‘apple of God’s Eye’ or the ‘little guy in His Eye.’

Christmas displays the concept of “little guy in the Eye” of God.

Christmas is a holiday which reminds mankind of the birth of our Savior and displays the “little guy in the Eye” imagery to the world as the world remembers Christ as an infant.  The English word ‘baby’ comes from the Hebrew בבה ‘baba’ which means the pupil, the apple of one’s eyes.   Interestingly, the English word hug (as in holding a baby in your arms) traces back to the Hebrew word חג ‘chag’ which is translated as feast/holiday but literally means to encircle as in the embrace of two people in a hug.

When we hold our children in our arms at the bosom, it is the perfect distance to see our faces in their pupils.  This is the relationship our Heavenly Father desires to have with us (Psalm 17:8; Zechariah 2:8; Psalm 27:8).  God associates redeeming His people from Egypt as gathering them under the shadow of His Wings where they appeared as the “little guy in His Eye” (Deuteronomy 32:9-11).  The Egyptian redemption was a type/shadow of the redemption of mankind through Christ which was proclaimed at His birth (Luke 1:69-75; 2:10-11, 25-32).

Psalm 17:7-8 also links the salvation that comes through God’s Right Hand (Christ – Isaiah 63:5-8; 52:10; 53:1; Psalm 44:3; 98:1-3; 118:14-16) to this state of being a little guy in His Eye (Psalm 17:7-8).

Christmas celebrates the birth of the Lord and recalls the shepherds and wise men who came to seek His face as well as the imagery of the infant Christ being held in the arms of His parents.  They came to seek the face of the Lord their Savior which we are to do as well (1 Chronicles 16:11; John 6:40; Hebrews 12:2).

Joh 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The imagery of the infant Christ in the arms of His parents reminds us of the love we feel for our children when we hold them in our arms.  It is a taste of the love of God that He desires us to walk in.

Seeking the Face of God (Jesus) leads us to love as He does (John 15:12).  This is the essence of being a “little guy in the Eye”. Love. Walking in close relationship with God who is love (1 John 4:8) and extending that love to our fellow man (1 John 4:12). Its not about religion or doctrine, its about relationship with the Most High. Each one of us must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling as God works through us according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). If we keep focused on Him and not on religion He will be able to transform us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) until we are formed into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

The Holy Scriptures speak of the Word of God being the apple of our eye (Proverbs 7:2).  When we look into the “eyes of God” we see ourselves, when He looks into our eyes He sees the Word, Himself.  The ultimate goal of walking with God is that at the end of our journey we will look into His eyes and see the Word as well, His image being formed in and through us.  To accomplish this, our eyes should be on Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:1)…the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).Heb 12:2  Looking {ἀφοράω ‘aphoraō’ – fix eyes upon} unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Scripture speaks of Jesus as the “Face” of God, His Image (Psalm 44:3; 42:5; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 14:7-9; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:12-20; John 17:21-23).  To be a little guy in the Eye of God is to look unto Jesus.

God loves us (John 3:16) and wants us to reciprocate that love to Him and to our fellow man (Matthew 22:37-40).  Its very simple (2 Corinthians 11:3), yet impossible to realize in our carnal flesh (Romans 7:18).  As a result, we must rely completely and totally on faith in Jesus Christ (Luke 14:26, 33; Philippians 3:7-8).  Each person must make the choice to come to Him in sincerity/simplicity of heart (2 Corinthians 11:3; 2 Corinthians 1:12) with complete faith/reliance in Him, forsaking our knowledge, power and positions in life.  To be a little guy/little girl in the Eye of God, one must be converted as a child (Matthew 18:3), likened to a babe in the bosom of their parents.

Eph 5:1  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

The articles in the Tabernacle/Temple are portrayed in shadow picture form in the customs of Christmas.  Christmas is celebrated during the time of year when people seek to escape the cold and darkness by congregating at a tent/home.

When a priest would enter God’s tabernacle, he would enter a tent without natural light, the menorah would be his only source of light.  The menorah is pictured in the Christmas tree.  The temple itself was made of evergreen trees (1Kings 5:5-6; Zechariah 11:1) and the smell therein is linked to the smell of evergreens (Psalm 92:12-13; Hosea 14:6; Song of Songs 4:11; Psalm 45:8), frankincense and myrrh (Song of Songs 4:6) which are used traditionally during Christmas as a remembrance of the gifts brought to Christ by the wise men (Matthew 2:11).

The priest wore bells round about the hem of his garment so when he walked in the tabernacle ‘sleigh bells’ would have been heard (Exodus 28:34; 39:26).

Christmas carols in the house remind one of the songs of the Temple which were sung unto the Lord (Nehemiah 12:46).

The smell of an open fire would have been continuous at the tabernacle/temple (Leviticus 6:12) which is displayed by the traditional setting of the fireplace warming the home during Christmas.

Manger with hay and swaddling clothes in old stable

Opposite the menorah was the table of shewbread.  The etymology of Christmas is linked to the twelve loaves of bread which sat upon this table.  Is it any surprise that “holydays of Christmas” last twelve days?

The etymology of the word Christmas traces back to the Latin word ‘massa’ which is speaking of kneaded dough (Bethlehem means house of bread which received the Bread of Life – John 6:51) and the Latin word ‘missa’ which means to ‘send abroad.’

The word for a Christmas nativity display is ‘creche’ from the Old French word ‘cresche’ meaning a crib. This word traces back to the Hebrew word ערש ‘eres’ which means a crib or bed. In Numbers 15:20 it is speaking of a kneading trough which is interesting as Bethlehem, which means house of bread in Hebrew, is where Messiah, the Bread from Heaven (John 6) was born. עריסה which is a cognate of ערש means dough (Numbers 15:20-21) and is linked to firstfruits (Ezekiel 44:30).

The English word ‘manger’ comes from the Old French word ‘mangeure’ which means ‘to eat,’ linking to Numbers 15:20 (kneading trough).



Rom 8:29  because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.

1Co 15:20  But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He became the firstfruit of those having fallen asleep.

1Co 15:23  But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruit; afterward those of Christ at His coming.

Rom 11:16  Now if the firstfruit is holy, so also the lump. And if the root is holy, so also the branches.

Notice the connection between the firstfruits, the lump (bread-dough) and the Olive of Israel (tree).

The English word ‘manger’ comes from the Old French word ‘mangeure’ which means ‘to eat,’ linking to Numbers 15:20 (kneading trough).

Jesus sent  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).

The Hebrew word for apostle is שוליח ‘sholiach’ which comes from the word שילוח ‘shiluach’ which means to send something as in a gift.  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.

The Gospel being taken to the world by Apostles is likened unto taking the bread of life to the world.   As mentioned before, 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).

Who is THE Sent one/Apostle?  Christ (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.

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 ‘ab’) and the middle letter is a picture of a man with outstretched arms.  The Love of the Father is revealed through the Messiah 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 ‘nes’ which literally means a banner lifted up.  Who is the Banner?  Christ. (John 3:14; 12:32; Isaiah 11:10-12)

Giving is linked with trees.  The Hebrew word for giving counsel is יעץ ‘ya’ats.’

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 some connection.

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).



The two pillars in front of the Temple of God each had a “wreath” (2 Chronicles 4:12, 13), and were also decorated with round pomegranates (1 Kings 7:20). Pomegranates are another traditional symbol used during Christmas. The Temple, God’s house, was decorated with these things and it pleased Him enough that He chose to fill it with His glory (2 Chronicles 5:14).

In the Bible, wreath and bulb imagery was on pillars at the Temple.

2Ch 3:15  Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.
2Ch 3:16  And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains {שׁרשׁרה ‘sharsherâh’}

From H8327 (compare H8331); a chain; (architecturally) probably a garland: – chain..

Like the Christmas tree, wreaths are connected to the tree of life.

Pro 3:18  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Pro 3:19  The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
Pro 3:20  By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
Pro 3:21  My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

Pro 3:22  So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

Proverbs 3:22 corresponds to Proverbs 1:9 & 4:9 which speaks of an ornament (wreath לויה ‘livyah’) of grace.

Pro 1:9  For they shall be an ornament {לויה ‘livyah’ – wreath} of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

Pro 4:8  Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
Pro 4:9  She shall give to thine head an ornament {לויה ‘livyah’ – wreath} of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

Wreaths (לויה ‘levyah’) were also designed into the bases of brazen lavers in Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 7:29-30, 36).

The modern Hebrew word for holly is צינית ‘tsiniyt’ from the root צנה ‘tsinah.’

which means a piercing thorn translated in Proverbs 25:13 as cold.  צנה ‘tsinah’ is also translated as buckler as seen in the following verses.

Psa 5:11  But let all who put their trust in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever, because You cover them. And let those who love Your name be joyful in You.
Psa 5:12  For You, O Jehovah, will bless the righteous; You will surround him with favor, as with a shield .

His grace/favor is linked with His צנה ‘tsinah’.  His grace is linked with salvation through Messiah (Ephesians 2:5-8).

Psa 35:2  Take hold of a shield and buckler (צנה ‘tsinah’), and arise as my help.

Psa 91:4  With His feathers He will cover you, and under His wings you shall seek refuge; His truth is a shield and buckler (צנה ‘tsinah’)


The word Christmas comes from the Old English word ‘Cristes mזsse’ which means “Christ’s Mass”.  Mass comes from the Latin word ‘missa’ which means to “send abroad” as in the message of a missionary with the Gospel which makes Him known to the world.  Believers are said to “make known the knowledge of Him” as a “sweet smell”.

2Co 2:14  But thanks be to God, the One always leading us in triumph in Christ, and the One revealing through us the odor of the knowledge of Him in every place.
2Co 2:15  For we are a sweet smell to God because of Christ in those being saved, and in those being lost;
2Co 2:16  to the one, an odor of death unto death, and to the other, an odor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
2Co 2:17  For we are not as the many, peddling the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God. We speak in Christ, in the sight of God.

Christ comes from the Hebrew word meaning to anoint with oil.  This anointing is related to the Hebrew word רקח ‘raqach’ which means to rub an ointment bringing forth a perfume.  The “smell” of Christmas with the evergreen tree in the home points to the love of God in Christ.

Eph 5:2  and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell.

The Hebrew word for name is שם ‘shem’ which literally means the “breath” or “aroma” of a person, referring to the breath of man being is character, or what makes him what he is.  The character of God is love, revealed in the work of Christ on the cross.

The Scriptures associate Messiah with the smell of the evergreens of Lebanon (Hosea 14:6; Song of Songs 5:15).

Hos 14:6  His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

Son 5:15  His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

In Hosea 14:6 this association with the evergreen tree likens His beauty to the olive tree which further links to the menorah as olives were used to make the oil for the light (Exodus 25:6).

Exo 25:6  Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,

Zec 4:2  And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:

Zec 4:3  And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

Zec 4:11  Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?

Zec 4:12  And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?

Zec 4:13  And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

Zec 4:14  Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.


Family Gatherings

christmas family gathering

Christmas is 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.  This 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 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 of God’ as it points to 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 our children the truth of the Word during this time of year that the corrupted aspects of the holiday 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.


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”

Christmas Gifts

Merry Christmas






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