Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Christmas Trees

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays

 

The origins of Christianity and the original customs thereof come not from pagans. They come from the Holy Bible and ancient Hebrew thought.

Christmas comes not from pagan worship but from ancient Jewish thought and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures by the early Church.  The claims that Christmas is founded in paganism are based upon either outright lies or applying pagan parallels which can be done to virtually everything in the Scriptures, including the Old Testament.  Many are well-meaning in their desire to discard “pagan” elements of Christianity but in so doing are inadvertently attacking the entire Christian faith and the Holy Bible at the same time.

On one side, Christmas trees & other customs can be linked to pagans as these things (Christmas trees, wreaths etc.) were symbolically used in various ways by various cultures but on the other side they can be traced back to the Bible and shadows of Messiah embedded in nature.  In order to see how these things became incorporated into the ancient celebration of Christmas one must look at the writings (source documents) of the Church.  We cannot assume that these customs were adopted by Christians from their pagan neighbors if there is not legitimate evidence (multiple witnesses – Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19) of this.

If we are convicted not to celebrate Christian holidays or participate in customs such as Christmas trees we shouldn’t condemn our brothers in Messiah who do so as “pagans” when there isn’t good evidence that the origin of these customs come from paganism. We should receive them as brothers as God does in accordance with Romans 14. If they are doing it unto the Lord then they are glorifying Him and we shouldn’t speak against them and slander them (Psalm 59:19-23).

It’s up to each one of us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), being fully persuaded in our own minds (Romans 14:5-6), seeking to not put a stumbling block before our brothers (Romans 14:13-14). We are all going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and He will judge whether or not someone was doing a custom unto Him or not (Romans 14:10).
Let each person be convinced in his or her own mind and follow the Lord wholeheartedly in that conviction (Romans 14:5-6). We all have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling so we ought not to point the finger of condemnation at others as each one of us falls or stands according to the Lord, not man (Romans 14:4).  Regardless of what ‘side’ one chooses, we are to receive each other as the Lord has received us (Romans 14:1-4), bearing one another in love (Romans 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:7).

 

 

Christmas Trees

Christmas tree 1
Contrary to popular belief, the origins of the Christmas tree are relatively modern and are unrelated to ancient pagan practices.  The custom traces back to the Middle Ages and the Paradise plays which were performed on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Tree.. Pagan???

“The Christmas tree does not date from early Germanic times. Its origins are to be found in a tradition that has virtually disappeared from Christianity, the Liturgical Drama. In the Middle Ages liturgical plays or dramas were presented during or sometimes immediately after the services in the churches of Western Europe. The earliest of these plays were associated with the Mysteries of Holy Week and Easter. Initially they were dramatizations of the liturgical texts. The earliest recorded is the Quem quaeritis (“Whom do you seek?”) play of the Easter season. These plays later developed into the Miracle and Morality plays. Some were associated with events in the lives of well-known saints. The plays were presented on the porches of large churches. Although these liturgical dramas have now virtually disappeared, the Passion Play of Oberammergau, Germany is a recent revival of this dramatic form.

One mystery play was presented on Christmas Eve, the day which also commemorated the feast of Adam and Eve in the Western Church. The “Paradise Play” told the well-known story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Paradise. The central “prop” in the play was the Paradise Tree, or Tree of Knowledge. During the play this tree was brought in laden with apples.

The Paradise Tree became very popular with the German people. They soon began the practice of setting up a fir tree in their homes. Originally, the trees were decorated with bread wafers commemorating the Eucharist. Later, these were replaced with various kinds of sweets. Our Christmas tree is derived, not from the pagan yule tree, but from the paradise tree adorned with apples on December 24 in honor of Adam and Eve. The Christmas tree is completely biblical in origin.

The first Christmas tree dates from 1605 in Strasbourg. By the 1700s the custom of the Christmas tree was widespread among the German people. It was brought to America by early German immigrants, and it became popular in England through the influence of Prince Albert, the German husband of Queen Victoria.

The use of evergreens at Christmas may date from St. Boniface of the eighth century, who dedicated the fir tree to the Holy Child in order to replace the sacred oak tree of Odin; but the Christmas tree as we know it today does not appear to be so ancient a custom. It appears first in the Christian Mystery play commemorating the biblical story of Adam and Eve.

How legitimate is it to use a fir tree in the celebration of Christmas? From the very earliest days of the Church, Christians brought many things of God’s material creation into their life of faith and worship, e.g., water, bread, wine, oil, candles and incense. All these things are part of God’s creation. They are part of the world that Christ came to save. Man cannot reject the material creation without rejecting his own humanity. In Genesis man was given dominion over the material world.

Christmas celebrates the great mystery of the Incarnation. In that mystery God the Word became man. In order to redeem us, God became one of us. He became part of His own creation. The Incarnation affirms the importance of both man and the whole of creation. “For God so loved the world…”

A faith which would seek to divorce itself from all elements of the material world in search for an absolutely spiritual religion overlooks this most central mystery of Christmas, the mystery of God becoming man, the Incarnation. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Enjoy your Christmas tree.”  {Christmas Tree.. Pagan???}

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.

The Promised Seed

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

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

O Christmas Tree: The Origin and Meaning of the Christmas Tree

“But from where did Christians get the idea of the Christmas tree? Was it a new idea or was there a historical custom upon which they were building?

Karas has amply demonstrated that evergreens have been a symbol of rebirth from ancient times. Bringing greenery into one’s home, often at the time of the winter solstice, symbolized life in the midst of death in many cultures. The Romans decked their homes with evergreens and other greenery during the Kalends of January.

Living trees were also brought into homes during the old German feast of Yule, which originally was a two-month feast beginning in November. The Yule tree was planted in a tub and brought into the home. However, the evidence just does not exist which shows that Christians first used trees at Christmas as a symbol of rebirth, nor that the Christmas tree was a direct descendent of the Yule tree. On the contrary, the evidence that we have points in another direction. The Christmas tree appears to be a descendent of the Paradise tree and the Christmas light of the late Middle Ages.

From the eleventh century, religious plays called “mystery plays” became quite popular throughout Europe. These plays were performed outdoors and in churches. One of the most prevalent of these plays was the “Paradise play.” The play depicted the story of the creation of Adam and Eve, their sin, and their banishment from Paradise. The play would end with the promise of the coming Savior and His Incarnation (cf. Gen. 3:15). The Paradise play was simple by today’s standards. The only prop on stage was the “Paradise tree,” a fir tree adorned with apples. From this tree, at the appropriate time in the play, Eve would take the fruit, eat it, and give it to Adam.

Because of abuses that crept into the mystery plays (i.e., immoral behavior), the Church forbade these plays during the fifteenth century. The people had grown so accustomed to the Paradise tree, however, that they began putting their own Paradise tree up in their homes on Dec. 24. They did so on Dec. 24 because this was the feast day of Adam and Eve (at least in the Eastern Church). The Paradise tree, as it had in the Paradise plays, symbolized both a tree of sin and a tree of life. For this reason, the people would decorate these trees with apples (representing the fruit of sin) and homemade wafers (like communion wafers which represented the fruit of life). Later, candy and sweets were added.

Another custom was to be found in the homes of Christians on Dec. 24 since the late Middle Ages. A large candle called the “Christmas light,” symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world, was lit on Christmas Eve. In western Germany, many smaller candles were set upon a wooden pyramid and lit. Besides the candles, other objects such as glass balls, tinsel, and the “star of Bethlehem” were placed on its top.

For many Christians the Christmas tree still retains the symbolism of the Paradise tree. The tree reminds us of the tree in Eden by which Adam and Eve were overcome and which thrust them into sin. But more importantly, the tree reminds us of the tree by which our sin was overcome, namely the tree upon which Christ Jesus was crucified. Is it a stretch to refer to the cross as a tree? Hardly, for this is the language of the New Testament itself! For example, Paul writes in Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” (quoting Deut. 21:23). And Peter writes, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” Therefore, the Christmas tree is a wonderful symbol and reminder of our salvation and forgiveness through Jesus Christ!”

THE ORIGIN OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Adam and Eve’s Feastday

The Customs of Christmastide

 

Here’s a couple of links from a former “anti-Christmas” follower of “Armstrongism” who inspected the issue further and found Herbert Armstrong’s claims about the “pagan origins” of Christian Holidays to be false.

 On Nimrod and Christmas Trees – part I

 On Nimrod and Christmas Trees – part II

 On Nimrod and Christmas Trees – part III

 Jeremiah 10 and Christmas Trees?

 

Jeremiah 10

Are Christmas trees described in Jeremiah 10?  The context of Jeremiah 10 is cutting a tree down and forming it into an idol not bringing a tree into your house and decorating it.  If one is convicted that Jeremiah is talking of a Christmas tree then this custom is to be avoided but there is certainly not enough solid Biblical backup for condemning this custom for those who don’t share your conviction.

Jer 10:2  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Jer 10:3  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
Jer 10:4  They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
Jer 10:5  They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
Jer 10:6  Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
Jer 10:7  Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
Jer 10:8  But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
Jer 10:9  Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.

Jer 10:10  But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
Jer 10:11  Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
Jer 10:12  He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
Jer 10:13  When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
Jer 10:14  Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
Jer 10:15  They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

“The verses that the concerned readers repeatedly cite are 10:2-4: “Do not learn the ways of the nations . . . For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.  They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.” “Aha!” these readers say. “Jeremiah is talking about the Christmas tree!” But closer examination reveals that he certainly is not!

First, there is the immediate context of this passage. The very next verse, 10:5, goes on to say, “Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” This passage and the passages that follow make it crystal clear that the “decorated tree” that Jeremiah was talking about in 10:3-4, was a tree that was cut down and made into an idol, a very common custom in the ancient world. 10:8-10 also confirms this, where the wooden idols are contrasted with the LORD, who is the true and living God. Keil and Delitsch, the well-respected Old Testament commentary, confirms this interpretation that the trees in question were idols that were then worshiped (C. F. Keil and F. Delitsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, “Jeremiah, Lamentations,” vol 8 (Grand Rapids: William B. Eeerdmans Publishing Company, 1980), 196-199).

Second, when we search the rest of the Old Testament, we find many other examples of trees being planted, cut down, or carved into idols. One of the most common examples of a tree idol was the Asherah, mentioned often in the Old Testament. Asherah was a pagan goddess that was worshiped throughout the Mediterranean world. She was considered to be the goddess of the sea, the consort of El, and the mother of Baal. She was always represented as a tree or pole, either planted or erected, then decorated. There are many warnings in the Old Testament about the Asherah tree. For example, in Exodus 34:12-14, we read, “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” From a more thorough study we learn that the Asherah idol was sometimes planted (Deut. 16:21; Micah 5:14), sometimes erected at high places (1 Kings 14:23, 2 Kings 17:10), with altars and incense stands next to them where they would be worshiped (In Judges 6:25, Gideon is commanded by God to “Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.” See also Isaiah 17:8 and Jeremiah 17:2). The Asherah, along with other man-made idols, were often decorated with various cloth hangings (2 Kings 23:7), as well as gold and silver.

Isaiah 44:14-19 gives a detailed picture of how a tree was cut down and fashioned into an idol – and the absurdity of it all.

He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow. It is man’s fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it. Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.” From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me; you are my god.” They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. 19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”

From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that the “decorated tree” to which Jeremiah 10 refers is an idol, very likely the Asherah. Therefore, it is very superficial Bible interpretation and pure silliness to understand this passage as directly referring to the use of a fir tree for Christmas! If, and I repeat, if those who set up a Christmas tree fall down and worship it as a god or goddess, complete with altars and incense stands, then Jeremiah 10 applies here. Or if someone loves their Christmas tree more than God, then such a thing might also be considered spiritual idolatry. But apart from these exceptions, I think it is abundantly clear that Christians who erect Christmas trees are NOT worshiping them as gods or goddesses, nor are they loving them more than their Savior Jesus Christ. They are simply using the Christmas tree as a fun custom, one that can remind them of Jesus who is the branch of David (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15), the root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1). One that can remind them of the tree that led Adam and Eve to sin, but more importantly, the tree on which Christ Jesus died to make atonement for the sins of the whole world (Acts 5:30; Gal. 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24).

Christians should know that they can use a Christmas tree with a good conscience. It is unfortunate and wrong when well-meaning Christians call something sin that is not sin, and enslave the consciences of their fellow believers with imaginary sin! Shame on such Christians! Those who continue to believe that the Christmas tree is pagan and sinful, even after having their conscience correctly informed, should not use them. For it is not right to sin against conscience. This is regrettable, however, since there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a Christmas tree.”  {Jeremiah 10 and the “Pagan” Christmas Tree}

Is it evil or sinful to bring trees into one’s house as decorations?

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 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 menorah is an “almond tree of light” which was placed in God’s House
Exo 25:33  Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
Exo 25:34  And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
Exo 25:35  And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
Exo 25:36  Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
Exo 25:37  And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
Exo 25:38  And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
Exo 25:39  Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
Exo 25:40  And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.
Exo 37:19  Three bowls made after the fashion of almonds in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three bowls made like almonds in another branch, a knop and a flower: so throughout the six branches going out of the candlestick.
Exo 37:20  And in the candlestick were four bowls made like almonds, his knops, and his flowers:
Exo 37:21  And a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches going out of it.
Exo 37:22  Their knops and their branches were of the same: all of it was one beaten work of pure gold.
Exo 37:23  And he made his seven lamps, and his snuffers, and his snuffdishes, of pure gold.
Exo 37:24  Of a talent of pure gold made he it, and all the vessels thereof.
Exo 37:25  And he made the incense altar of shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same.
Exo 37:26  And he overlaid it with pure gold, both the top of it, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns of it: also he made unto it a crown of gold round about.
Exo 37:27  And he made two rings of gold for it under the crown thereof, by the two corners of it, upon the two sides thereof, to be places for the staves to bear it withal.
Exo 37:28  And he made the staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold.
Exo 37:29  And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the apothecary.

Is it wrong to put gifts at the base of trees?  The gift of salvation was given at the base of 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 can actually be 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.

Isaiah 55:13 is a part of a prophecy of the coming of the Messiah.

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.

Isaiah 55:13 speaks of the fir tree as an everlasting sign of God’s name.  Isaiah chapter 60, which immediately follows Isaiah 55:13, 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.

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.

Are wreaths and bulbs evil? 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’}

H8333
שׁרשׁרה
sharsherâh
shar-sher-aw’
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).

Evergreen Trees

As seen previously, 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 is 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.

עצה ‘etsah’ is also translated as “spine” 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.”

Yule Log

yule log 2

Some attempt to trace the Christmas tree back to the Yule Log.  This is not a legitimate connection but for the purposes of understanding let’s examine the “yule” aspect connected to Christmas.

The word ‘yule’ traces to the Old French word ‘jolif’ which means festive, merry, pretty.  ‘Jolif’ corresponds to the modern French word ‘joli’ meaning pretty or nice and the English word ‘jolly.’  ‘Jolif’ and jolly trace back further to the Hebrew word גילה ‘geelah’ which means joy and rejoicing, literally “dancing in a circle.”  Dancing in a circle is also associated with carols and the Hebrew word חלל ‘chalal’ which is the root of the Hebrew word for winter, חרף ‘charaph.’

The words ‘jolly’ and especially ‘jovial’ link back to the Latin word ‘Jovis’ (aka Jupiter).  Jove was the chief deity of the Indo-European pantheon of the gods.  Jove is said to be a combination of ‘dyeh-pater’ which means ‘god-father.’  Jove is a corruption of יהוה ‘Yahweh,’ and in Latin can actually be pronounced as “Yahweh.”  The heathens actually applied the Sacred Name to their idols and gods in numerous situations which I believe the Most High allowed in order to give them a glimmer of light preparing them for the Gospel.

Yule and jolly trace back to the Hebrew word גילה ‘giylah’ which comes from the root גל ‘gal.’  It is interesting to note that the word for idol גלול ‘galul’, is from the same root.  Even more interesting is that the words for infant גול ‘gol’ and redeemer גאל ‘goel’ and scroll מגילה ‘megilah’ is also from גל ‘gal’ where Messiah, the Word made flesh redeemed man from His sins at a place called גלגלת ‘golgolet’ which too comes from גל ‘gal.’   גּלה ‘galah’ means to make something bare which is related to the Hebrew word for ice/frost which is קרח ‘qarach.’ גּלה ‘galah’ is translated in the Septuagint as the word φανερόω ‘phaneroo’ which means to make something manifest, as in the coming of the Messiah.

1Jn 3:5  And ye know that he was manifested {φανερόω ‘phaneroo’} to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
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
{φανερόω ‘phaneroo’}, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Heb 9:26  since He must often have suffered from the foundation of the world. But now once for all, at the completion of the ages, He has been manifested
{φανερόω ‘phaneroo’} for putting away of sin through the sacrifice of Himself.

evergreen trees lights

Evergreen trees are linked to Messiah and His coming.

Isa 55:1  Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the water; and he who has no silver, come buy grain and eat. Yes, come buy grain, wine and milk without silver and with no price.

Isa 55:2  Why do you weigh out silver for that which is not bread, and your labor for what never satisfies? Listen carefully to Me and eat the good; and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Isa 55:3  Bend your ear and come to Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will cut an everlasting covenant with you, the faithful mercies of David.

Isa 55:4  Behold, I gave Him a Witness to peoples, a Leader and Commander of peoples.

Isa 55:10  For as the rain and the snow comes down from the heavens and do not return there, except it waters the earth and make it bring forth and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

Isa 55:11  so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in what I sent it to do!

Isa 55:12  For you shall go out with joy and be led out with peace. The mountains and the hills shall break out into song before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap the hand.

Isa 55:13  Instead of the thornbush, the fir tree shall come up; instead of the brier, the myrtle shall come up; and it shall be for a name to Jehovah, 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).  Messiah 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 is 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.

 

Cold

The word for cold in Hebrew is קר ‘qar’ which has the meaning of men gathering to the home to escape the cold.

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 ‘dedicate’ their children.

The Hebrew word for “call” is קרא ‘qara’ which is defined as calling out a name or reading a scroll.  These concepts are linked together as the name of God is His Word (Revelation 19:13; Matthew 12:18-21 – Isaiah 42:1-4; Revelation 14:1; 22:4; Deuteronomy 6:6-8).

qara 2

The Word of God is His “physical manifestation” on earth.  When God “qara’d” He physically manifested Himself, and proclaimed who/what He is.  This is what the reading of the Word does.  The Word proclaims the Name of the Holy One, as it is said in Revelation 19, His Name (שם ‘shem’- character) is the Word.

Calling on His Name brings salvation and is associated with the physical manifestation of the Most High (Matthew 25:53; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Psalm 91:14-16; 86:7-9; 50:15,23; 18:3; 55:16; Romans 10:12-13; Acts 2:21; 22:14-16; Joel 2:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2).

Jesus (the physical manifestation of God on the earth, the Word made flesh) came to reveal and make known the name of the LORD.

Joh 17:6  I revealed Your name to the men whom You gave to Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me; and they have kept Your Word.

The Greek word for revealed in John 17:6 is φανερόω ‘phaneroō’ which means to make something manifest,  visible or known which had previously been hidden.  φανερόω ‘phaneroo’ is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word גּלה ‘galah’ (Genesis 35:7; Isaiah 40:5; 56:1; 98:2).  גּלה ‘galah’ means to make something bare which is related to the Hebrew word for ice/frost which is קרח ‘qarach’ which also means bare or bald.  קרח ‘qarach’ comes from the root word קר ‘qar’ which, as seen above, means cold.

Another Greek word which means ‘manifestation’ or appearance is ἐπιφάνεια ‘epiphaneia’ from whence comes the holiday of Epiphany.  In classical Greek it was used of the appearance of dawn, of an enemy in war, or of a manifestation of a god. As seen in this study, all of these themes are associated with the shadow pictures embedded in winter.  In the Septuagint the word is used for a manifestation of the God of Israel (2 Maccabees 15:27). In the New Testament the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:10 to refer either to the birth of Christ or to his appearance after his resurrection, and five times to refer to the Second Coming.

It is interesting to note that ἐπιφάνεια ‘epiphaneia’ is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word ירא ‘yare.’  A related Hebrew word is used {יראה} in Genesis 22 speaking of the day when the LORD shall be seen (Genesis 22:11-14).  ירא ‘yare’ comes from the root ירה ‘yarah’ which is speaking of rain.  The early rains (winter time in the mid-East) also mean ‘teaching’ which is fascinating.  As mentioned before, winter time is when men gather in their homes to read and teach their children.


Joe 2:23  Then be glad, sons of Zion, and rejoice in Jehovah your God. For He has given to you the early rain
(מורה ‘morah’) according to righteousness, and He will cause the rain to come down for you, the early rain (מורה ‘morah’) and the latter rain in the first month.

The Targum is, “in the Word of the Lord your God;”

Heavy rains in Hebrew is the word סגריר ‘sagriyr’ which comes from the word סגר ‘sagar’ which means to be closed in from the root word סך which is the origin of the word סוכה ‘sukkah.’  Recall that Hanukkah, the midst of which will always occur on the first of Tevet, is just a replay of Sukkot.  The word ‘Hanukkah’ in Hebrew means dedication, as in teaching.

Recall that winter is a portrayal of Messiah’s piercing/death on the cross.  It is through the cross that all the families of the earth are gathered together.

Messiah triumphed over the adversary by His work on the cross.

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

Messiah on the cross is the revelation of God’s love.

The Father revealed what true love is when He gave His only begotten Son, who came from His bosom (John 1:18), as an atonement for the sins of mankind.  The most common Hebrew word for love, אהבה ‘ahavah,’ literally means to give.


What is the ultimate definition of love? Giving one’s life for another

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.

The pictograph meaning of אהב ‘ahav’ displays this concept even further.

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.

Joh 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.

The word for family in Hebrew is משפחה ‘mishpochah’ which comes from the root word שפח ‘shaphach.’  This word is related to ספח ‘saphach’ which means to gather and bloodshed.  The English word ‘crucifixion‘ derives from both these Hebrew words.

Messiah gathers His people through the cross.

Joh 10:11  I am the Good Shepherd! The Good Shepherd lays down His life on behalf of the sheep.

Joh 10:14  I am the Good Shepherd, and I know those that are Mine, and I am known by the ones that are Mine.

Joh 10:15  Even as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Joh 10:16  And I have other sheep which are not of this fold. I must also lead those, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock, one Shepherd.

Joh 10:17  For this reason My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, that I may take it again.

Eph 2:11  Because of this, remember that you, the nations, were then in the flesh (those having been called Uncircumcision by those having been called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands)

Eph 2:12  that at that time you were without Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers of the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Eph 2:13  But now, in Christ Jesus you who then were afar off, came to be near by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14  For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition,

Eph 2:15  in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace,

Eph 2:16  and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself.

Eph 2:17  And coming, He proclaimed “peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near.” Isa. 57:19

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

Eph 2:19  So, then, you are no longer strangers and tenants, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and of the family of God,

Eph 2:20  being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the cornerstone,

Eph 2:21  in whom all the building being fitted together grows into a holy temple in the Lord,

Eph 2:22  in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Isaiah prophesies of this exact occurrence which comes forth from the crucifixion of Messiah.  Amazingly, the word for ‘cleave’ is Isaiah 14 where this is prophesied of is ספח ‘saphach’ which is the origin of the word crucifixion.

Isa 14:1  For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

The end of the exile is likened to wounds being bound up (scabbing מספחת ‘mispachat’).

Psa 147:2  Jehovah builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

Psa 147:3  He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their sorrows.

The word for sorrow here is עצבת ‘atsevet’ which is what is used in reference to the punishment of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3.  The word for bind is חבש ‘chavash’ which comes from the root חב ‘chav’ which means to bind or join together.  It is also the root of the word ‘stripes’ which the Messiah received so that mankind may be healed.

Isa 53:5  But He was wounded 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.

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.”

1Pe 2:25  For you were “as sheep going astray,” but now you turned back to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Isa. 53:4-6

The Greek word for family is πατρια ‘patria’ which comes from the word πατηρ ‘patēr’ which means father.

Father

אב ‘av’ (father) has the meaning of a pole:

In English, the word ‘pole’ comes from the Old English ‘pal’ which traces back to the Latin ‘palus,’ which literally means a stake.  The English word ‘pale’ derives from this word.  ‘Pale’ means to fix or fasten and is related to the English word ‘pact.’  A pact is an agreement, treaty, compact which comes from the Latin word ‘pactum’ which means a contract/covenant.  A covenant through a pole/stake…  Here we see אב ‘av,’ the first word of the Hebrew alphabet pointing to the most important event in human history.  The crucifixion of Messiah Jesus, and the New Covenant (Isaiah 42:6; Matthew 26:28)  in His blood which restores mankind back to the Father.

The concrete meaning of the word אב ‘av’ is the pole/pillar of the house/tent.  This traces back to another Hebrew word for family בת ‘bet.’

Literally, the word בת ‘bet’ means the ‘mark of the house.’  This was seen in ancient times in the flag or banner placed in front of the tent with the name or symbol of the family.

Isa 11:10  And it shall be in that day, the Root of Jesse stands as a banner of peoples; nations shall seek to Him; and His resting place shall be glory.

Psa 20:5  We will rejoice (רנן ‘ranan’ –  shout for joy, sing, triumph) in thy salvation (ישׁוּעה ‘yeshu‛ah’ – source of the name Jesus), and in the name of our God we will set up our banner (דּגל ‘dagal’ – raise a flag, conspicuously)

Ps 60:4: “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed (נוּס nus lift up a standard) because of the truth. Selah.”

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

Joh 3:15  that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life

Light of the world

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 even 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.

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 them 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.

 

 

pagan-christianity

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays part 1

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays part 2

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Examine Yourself

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Pagan Christianity?

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – The Earth is the Lord’s

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Alexander Hislop

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Ralph Woodrow

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Pagan Parallels

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Church Fathers & Paganism

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Constantine

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Origins of Christian Holidays

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter & Paganism?

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Eggs

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Lily

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Bunny

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Resurrection Celebration

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Christmas & Paganism?

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Blessing2

 

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