Christmas Trees & the Bible

christmas-trees-the-bible

xmas-tree-bible

In the previous article it was displayed that applying Jeremiah chapter 10 to Christmas trees is not sound Bible interpretation.  Does the Bible speak of or allude to Christmas trees in any other portions of the text?  I believe the answer is yes.

Isaiah 55:13 speaks of evergreen trees as an everlasting sign of God’s name.  Isaiah declares that instead of the curse/death (tree of knowledge) there will be blessing & life (tree of life).  This is the story of the Christmas tree which came forth from the Paradise plays depicting Jesus Christ’s victory over the tree of knowledge (sin & death) through the cross (tree of life).  The cross/Christmas tree reveals God’s name/character of love revealed through the life of Christ.

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’ – which was displayed in ancient times as a cross) being put on the foreheads of true believers.  What is the symbol for Christ?  An X (a cross), for the letter Χ ‘Chi,’ the first letter in Χριστός ‘Christos.’  We see this in Xmas as an abbreviation of Christmas.

Isaiah chapter 60, connects this imagery with the wise men who came to worship the newborn King.  Hosea 14:5-8; Song of Songs 5:18 speak of Christ in evergreen imagery and Messiah is spoken of as the BRANCH in Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15; Zechariah 6:12.  The promise of the Branch coming to defeat the enemy is linked to the time of winter.  Evergreens are conspicuous during the winter due to deciduous trees casting forth their leaves and as a result portray life amidst death.  The Promised Seed/Branch portrays this same imagery (1 John 3:5,8; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14) and as a result, evergreen trees have become representatives of the BRANCH, the One who would bring victory over death.

The temple, which is a picture of Messiah (John 2:21), was also built from cedars of Lebanon (1Kings 5:5-6; Zechariah 11:1).  The appearance of Christ is likened unto Lebanon which is the land of the evergreen (Song of Songs 5:15).  The ‘smell’ of Christ is linked to the Temple which was built from cedars and the smell linked thereto (Psalm 45:7 – Numbers 24:6).

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 {אות ‘oht’} that shall not be cut off.

The evergreen is a sign, just as the Virgin birth.

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign {אות ‘oht’}; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

xmas-tree-name-of-lord

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.

Isaiah 55:13 is a part of a prophecy of the coming of the Messiah.  Advent is the name for the Christmas season and literally means the “coming” of Christ.

Isa 55:1  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Isa 55:2  Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Isa 55:3  Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Isa 55:4  Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

Isa 55:5  Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
Isa 55:6  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Isa 55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isa 55:12  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
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 fir and myrtle are both evergreen}

The Hebrew word for fir tree is ברוש ‘berosh’ which comes from the root בר ‘bar’ which is the Hebrew word for ‘my son’ (Psalm 2:12).

Hos 14:8  Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree {ברוש ‘berosh’}. From me is thy fruit found.

The word here for green is רען ‘ra`an’ which means a green flourishing field.  רען ‘ra’an’ comes from the root רע ‘ra’ which means shepherd, as one who leads his flock to these green pastures.  The link to Messiah here is obvious (John 10:11).

The temple was built from cedars of Lebanon (1Kings 5:5-6; Zechariah 11:1) which is a picture of Messiah (John 2:21).  Christ is likened unto Lebanon which is the land of the evergreen.

Son 5:15  His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance (מראה ‘mareh’ – appearance) is as Lebanon (white), excellent (בחר ‘bachar’ – chosen) as the cedars.

It is interesting to note that the smell of the garments of Messiah are linked to the smell of the Temple which was built from cedars and the smell linked thereto (Psalm 45:7 – Numbers 24:6).

Hos 14:5  I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom as the lily and cast out his roots like Lebanon.

Hos 14:6  His branches shall go out, and his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his scent as Lebanon to him.

Son 4:11  Your lips, My spouse, drip like the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue. And the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.

John Gill commentary

such are Christ’s robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, which are said to “smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia”; with which the saints being arrayed, the smell of their raiment is as “the smell of a field the Lord has blessed”, and so like the smell of Lebanon, a mountain abounding with odoriferous trees and plants; see Psa_45:8.

isaiah-55-13

Isaiah 55:13 speaks of the fir tree as an everlasting sign of God’s name.  Isaiah chapter 60, connects this imagery with the wise men who came to worship the newborn King.

Isa 60:1  Arise {קום ‘qum’}, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isa 60:2  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Isa 60:3  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Isa 60:4  Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
Isa 60:5  Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
Isa 60:6  The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.

Isa 60:7  All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
Isa 60:8  Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
Isa 60:9  Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
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.

xmas-cross

The origin of the Christmas tree traces back to the Paradise plays of the middle ages which centered around the tree of knowledge of good and evil in which the first Adam brought death to the world but victory over sin and death came on another tree, where the Last Adam, Jesus Christ brought everlasting life on the cross.

Hence, 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).

xmas-tree-love

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’ – which was displayed in ancient times as a cross) being put on the foreheads of true believers.  What is the symbol for Christ?  An X (a cross), for the letter Χ ‘Chi,’ the first letter in Χριστός ‘Christos.’  We see this in Xmas as an abbreviation of Christmas.

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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 links to the menorah as olives were used to make the oil for the light (Exodus 25:6). The prophet Zechariah further displays this imagery (Zechariah 4:11-14).

The word Christmas comes from the Old English word ‘Cristes mæsse’ 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 Jesus known to the world.  Believers are said to “make known the knowledge of Him” as a “sweet smell”.  The Christmas tree displays this Gospel message and “sweet smell” in concrete form.
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.
The word 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 his character, or what makes him what he is.  The character of God is love, revealed in the work of Christ on the cross (John 3:16).

xmas-tree-light
The Christmas tree is a representation of the ‘Light of the World’ which traces back to both the Tree of Life and the tree of knowledge and the serpent in the Garden of Eden (in Hebrew the word for serpent is נחש ‘nachash’ which means the shining one, ie. Lucifer the ‘light bringer’).  Christ Jesus took upon Himself the ‘serpent on a tree’ imagery to destroy the works of the devil where His death could bring life to the world (John 3:14; Colossians 2:15; 1 John 3:8).
The Christmas tree is a great tool to preach the Gospel.  Sin and death (darkness of winter) entered the world through a tree and sin and death was conquered on a tree (light).  The Christmas tree points back to the tree of knowledge, as does the cross.  Yet, in the cross the Messiah triumphed over His enemies, as the Tree of Life (Colossians 2:14-15).

Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

The Christmas tree displays the victory of the Seed of the woman over the seed of the serpent prophesied in the beginning.  The birth of Christ in winter is appropriate as the winter season pictures this ancient prophecy.

Winter in Hebrew is חרף ‘charaph’ which has the meaning of piercing, as in the piercing cold winds of this time of year.  This word is linked to the promise in the Garden of the LORD to Eve that her Seed would defeat the serpent.

charaph

Psalm 89 links this prophecy with the Messiah, in specific verse 51.

Psa 89:19  Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one; and You said, I have laid help on a mighty one. I have exalted a chosen one from the people.
Psa 89:20  I have found My servant David; I have anointed him with My holy oil.

Psa 89:22  An enemy will not exact against him; nor the son of iniquity afflict him.
Psa 89:23  And I will beat down his foes before him, and plague those hating him.
Psa 89:24  But My faithfulness and My mercy is with him; and his horn shall be exalted in My name.
Psa 89:25  And I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.
Psa 89:26  He shall cry to Me, My Father, You are my God, and the rock of my salvation.
Psa 89:27  And I will make Him My first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.
Psa 89:28  I will keep My mercy for him forever, and My covenant shall hold fast with him.
Psa 89:29  And I have established his Seed forever, and His throne as the days of the heavens.

Psa 89:35  Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David.
Psa 89:36  His Seed shall be forever, and his throne as the sun before Me.
Psa 89:37  Like the moon, it shall be forever; and a faithful witness in the sky. Selah.

Psa 89:50  Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Your servants, my bearing in my bosom the insults of the many peoples (This is in reference to Messiah carrying the sins of mankind Isaiah 53; Romans 15:3)
Psa 89:51  with which Your enemies have cursed (חרף ‘charaph’), O Jehovah; with which they have cursed (חרף ‘charaph’- pierced) the footsteps (עקב ‘aqav’ – heel) of Your anointed ( משיח ‘mashiyach’ – Messiah/Christ/Anointed).

The word translated ‘cursed’ above is from the Hebrew חרף ‘charaph’ which means to pierce, referring back to Genesis 3 and the piercing of the heel of the Seed of the woman.

The word חרף ‘charaph’ comes from the root word חל ‘chal’ which means a twisting in pain.  This word is used in reference to the piercing of Messiah in Isaiah 53.

Isa 53:5  But He was wounded (חלל ‘chalal’) for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His wounds we ourselves are healed.

At the last supper Messiah offered the cup of the covenant which was offered to the bride and also spoke of His death (Matthew 26:68; 1 Corinthians 11:25-26).  Amazingly, חרף ‘charaph’ ‘winter’, the time of darkness and death and a picture of the piercing of Messiah is also the word in Hebrew for betrothal.

Interestingly, the English word ‘hibernate’ comes from חרף ‘charaph’ as well.  Winter is a time where animals go into their dens for 3 months and sleep until spring.  This is a picture of Messiah in the earth for 3 days and 3 nights where He resurrects during the Spring season. Further linking winter and hibernation is the Latin word for winter which is ‘hiberna’ from whence comes the French word for winter ‘hiver’ and Spanish ‘invierno.’

In English, the word winter traces back to the Celtic word ‘vindo’ which means white.  This is linked to the white snow on the ground as snow and winter are related terms in many languages.  It is interesting to note that the bride, the betrothed one, is dressed in white (Revelation 19:8).  The English word ‘snow’ comes from the Hebrew word 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 35:3  Draw out the spear (חנית ‘chaniyt’ from the same Hebrew root word as Hanukkah) and close ranks to meet my pursuers; say to my soul, I am your salvation {ישועה ‘yeshuah’ – source of the name Jesus}.

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’)His truth is linked with His צנה ‘tsinah.’  His truth is His Word.

Shadows of Messiah – Winter

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The Temple (God’s House) was decorated with trees
Isa 60:13  The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify {פּאר pa’ar’ – decorate} 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.
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 Concordance defines in part this word as “going over the boughs”.   In other words, decorating trees is the essence of this word.

paar-decoration

Strongs
H6286
פּאר
pâ’ar
paw-ar’
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.

Isaiah declares that instead of the curse/death (tree of knowledge) there will be blessing & life (tree of life).  This is the story of the Christmas tree which came forth from the Paradise plays depicting Jesus Christ’s victory over the tree of knowledge (sin & death) through the cross (tree of life).
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.

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.

 

Christ’s work on the cross fulfilled the sabbath which depicted man’s life in the Garden before sin entered the world.  The Sabbath Psalm (Psalm 92) speaks of the imagery of righteous like unto evergreens planted in God’s house.  It is interesting to note that in the Aramaic Targum’s, this Psalm is attributed to Adam.  Recall that the true origin of the Christmas tree is the “Feast of Adam and Eve” on Christmas Eve in the Middle Ages.

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 promise of the Branch coming to defeat the enemy is linked to the time of winter.  Evergreens are conspicuous during the winter due to deciduous trees casting forth their leaves and as a result portray life amidst death.  The Promised Seed/Branch portrays this same imagery (1 John 3:5,8; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14) and as a result, evergreen trees have become representatives of the BRANCH, the One who would bring victory over death.

The prophecy of Isaiah of the Son being given further connects this tree imagery.  The Hebrew word for Counselor in Isaiah 9:6 is יעץ ‘yâ‛ats’ which comes from the root word עץ ‘ets’  which means tree.

Isa 9:6  For a Child is born; to us a Son is given; and the government is on His shoulder; and His name is called Wonderful, Counselor {יעץ ‘yâ‛ats’ from the root word עץ ‘ets’  which means tree}, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The coming Messiah being spoken of as “The Branch” connects to the “Gospel in the Stars”.

The constellation of Virgo (the Virgin) is a picture of the prophecy of the virgin who shall give birth to Emmanuel (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).

She holds in her hand an ear of corn, with 5 stars which represents the 5 mentions of THE BRANCH in the Scriptures (Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15; Zechariah 6:12).

The Branch = the Son
Psa 80:15  And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch (בן ‘ben’ = son) that thou madest strong for thyself.
Psa 80:17  Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

The Branch is the LORD our Righteousness  (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15). In Zechariah 3:8, the Branch is Servant  from whence iniquity removed in one day.  This is speaking of the Servant of Isaiah 53.  In Zechariah 6:12 the name of the BRANCH is Jesus who shall be a king & priest (Psalm 110).

Spica is the star in the hand of the constellation Virgo and corresponds to the Hebrew word צמח ‘tsemach’ (the BRANCH Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12). צמח ‘tsemach has the meaning of a sprouting plant.  The Messiah is likened to a plant rising from the ground (Isaiah 11:1, 10; 53:1-2).

Zec 6:12 And speak to him, saying, So says Jehovah of Hosts, saying, Behold! The Man {Joshua – Hebrew origin of the name Jesus} whose name is THE BRANCH! And He shall spring up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of Jehovah.

The Branch is capitalized in most English versions of the Scriptures because it is a direct reference to the Messiah. The word used here is צמח ‘tsemach and is used 5 times in reference to the Messiah in Scripture.

Isa 4:2 In that day the Branch of Jehovah will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth for pride and for glory for the survivors of Israel.

Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and act wisely, and He shall do justice and righteousness in the earth.

Jer 23:6 In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. And this is His name by which He shall be called, Jehovah our Righteousness.

Jer 33:15 In those days, and at that time, I will cause a Branch of Righteousness to grow up to David. And He shall do judgment and righteousness in the land.

Jer 33:16 In those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell in safety. And this is the name that shall be called on her: JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Zec 3:9 For, behold, I will bring forth My Servant, the BRANCH. For behold, the stone which I have given before Joshua, on the one stone are seven eyes. I will engrave its engraving, says Jehovah of Hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

The New Testament further links the BRANCH (צמח ‘tsemach) to the heavenly bodies.

Luk 1:78 through the tender heart of mercy of our God, in which the Dayspring from on high will visit us,

Dayspring in this verse is translated from the Greek word ἀνατολη ‘anatolē’ which is the same word used for BRANCH/צמח ‘tsemach’ in the Septuagint.

Al Mureddin, another star in Virgo, has the meaning of ‘the branch that cometh.’

The first ‘decan’ constellation of Virgo is Coma which is a picture of a woman with a child on her lap.  The name coma means the ‘desire of all nations’ (Haggai 2:7).

Albumazer, an Arabic astronomer of the 8th century, said that the Persians, Chaldeans and Egyptians said this was a young woman, which is the same as saying virgin in Hebrew (עלמה ‘alma’) nourishing an infant boy which has a Hebrew name ‘Ihesu” which in Greek is called Christos.

Now, going back to the “Counselor” (יעץ ‘yâ‛ats’) of Isaiah 9:6 we see a fascinating connection to this constellation of Virgo and the Branch she holds in her hands.  Recall יעץ ‘yâ‛ats’ (counselor) comes from the root word עץ ‘ets’  which means tree.  How does a “counselor” connect to a tree?

The Hebrew word for tree is עץ ‘ets’:


Elders, or those who give counsel, are likened to trees.  The Hebrew word for elder is עצה ‘etsah’ which is also translated as tree.

עצה ‘etsah’ is also translated as “spine” in modern Hebrew as the spine of the human body is like a tree.  The English word spine comes from the Latin word ‘spica’ which is the name of the stars in the hand of Virgo.   In the hand of the Virgin is a sheaf of wheat with 5 stars, 5 stars corresponding with the 5 mentions of “The Branch” in Scripture.  Spica is the more modern name of this star, the old name was the Arabic “Al Zimach” which trace back to the Hebrew word צמח ‘tsemach,’ the word translated as “BRANCH.”

menorah tree2

The main reason for this ‘Festival of Light’ is to proclaim the Light of the world.  The Christmas tree is a representation of the “Light of the World” which traces back to the tree of life and tree of knowledge and the serpent, (in Hebrew the word for serpent is נחש ‘nachash’ which means the shining one, ie. Lucifer the ‘light bringer’).   Messiah took upon Himself the ‘serpent on a tree’ imagery to destroy the works of the devil where His death could bring life to the world (John 3:14; Colossians 2:15; 1 John 3:8).

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.

Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Col 2:14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col 2:15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Col 2:16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Col 2:17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

1Jn 3:8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

 

In the Scriptures the Lord is likened to an evergreen tree which displays why this custom originated (Hosea 14:8).

Hos 14:8  Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.

The Hebrew word for fir tree is ברוש ‘berosh’ which comes from the root בר ‘bar’ which is the Hebrew word for ‘my son’ (Psalm 2:12).

Psa 2:12  Kiss the Son {בר ‘bar’}, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

The word Christmas comes from the Old English word ‘Cristes mæsse’ 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.

christmas-tree-hanukkiah-4
It is during winter that Hanukkah is celebrated in which the imagery of the menorah is prominent.  The Christmas tree and its meaning connects back to the menorah as well. Both the Christmas tree and the Hanukkiah are proclamations of the Light of the world.  As both symbols have identical meanings, it is important for believers not to judge others for their usage of these symbols (Romans 2:22).

Rom 2:22  Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

Those who have quit setting up Christmas trees in their homes should not be pointing the finger in judgment if they are celebrating Hanukkah and lighting Hanukkiahs.

Walking in the love of God dictates that we should be patient and understanding of our brethren who may not see or understand exactly was we do in certain aspects of our walks.  The love of God also dictates that we should be praying for other believers to grow in the Lord and that their ignorance be pardoned/covered (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9; 1 Peter 4:1-2, 8).

Pro 10:12  Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
Pro 17:9  He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
1Pe 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1Pe 4:2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
1Pe 4:3  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
1Pe 4:4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
1Pe 4:5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
1Pe 4:6  For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
1Pe 4:7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1Pe 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

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

Next article: On Nimrod and Christmas Trees – “As Bereans Did”

 

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