Posted October, 2005
"When the moment of time had come", so begins the story of the birth of Yahshua (Jesus). He was the son of a young maiden called Miriam. She was the wife to Joseph of the House of David. That Miriam is the most famous woman in earth's history is an understatement. She is revered by Catholics, Protestants and Moslem's alike. Even the Hindus of India have a sacred site for the burial of Miriam. Yet for a young maiden, fourteen years of age and having just celebrated her bat Mitzvoth, what made her so remarkable that an angelic messenger would state in an introduction to her:
Luke 1:28 - "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
by Vittore Carpaccio, Italian (1450-1525)
Soon after the conception of Jesus at the beginning of Hanukkah, Miriam went to live with her cousin, Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah the priest. Elizabeth was in her sixth prenatal month with John later to be called the Baptist.
According to the gospel story, as Miriam approached her cousin Elizabeth, the "babe leaped in her womb" (Luke 1: 41) and Elizabeth shouting for in the spirit, stated:
Luke 1:42-43 - "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
And so Miriam responds:
Luke 1:46-49 – "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of his maidservant: for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed, for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His name."
What made Miriam so unique? Was she the only young maiden the Almighty One could entrust to carry in utero the Son of God? Was she one of those special kinds of people who would be recognized as having the potential as being the 'ideal' mother? Within her womb, she would carry for nine months not just the “Divine One, but the promised Messiah (Maschiach) of the House of David (ben David).
Was Miriam unique in her genetic background? Did her genealogical ancestors give her the honored position to live at a genealogical crossroad? Was she, either by marriage or by her ancestral pedigree to combine both the actual bloodline of King David and carry also the Davidic titular rights to his throne? Was this what was promised by the prophets about a future messiah at the time of the end?
must also consider that she, Miriam, may have been that last female of a
special ancestral lineage who had been protected by the providences of God,
in which the genetic pool had been maintained pure and free of any genetic
manipulation and mutations.
Roman Christian orthodoxy and the Christian traditions that have been preserved to our day continue to pursuit this latter statement with the idea that Mary, the mother of Jesus was born by immaculate conception that is without parentage, or no human mother or father.
The Immaculate Conception, as stated in the Catholic Encyclopedia, called the New Advent:
New Advent - "In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."
That original sin was crucial as to whether Yahshua would inherit a genetically damaged body or a morally impaired mind has been a crucial philosophical battle for thousands of years. Once again in the New Advent, the online Catholic Encyclopedia, the original sin would have been transmitted to Jesus by:
New Advent -
1. "the sin that Adam committed;
2. a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam."
"From the earliest times the latter sense of the word was more common, as may be seen by St. Augustine's statement: "the deliberate sin of the first man is the cause of original sin" (De nupt. et concup., II, xxvi, 43). It is the hereditary stain that is dealt with here."
And so to the opinions of Roman orthodoxy, when the soul of man is formed it is formed outside of the body and then infused into the earthly body. Continuing on with original sin:
New Advent - "The term conception does not mean the active or generative conception by her parents. Her body was formed in the womb of the mother, and the father had the usual share in its formation. The question does not concern the immaculateness of the generative activity of her parents. Neither does it concern the passive conception absolutely and simply (conceptio seminis carnis, inchoata), which, according to the order of nature, precedes the infusion of the rational soul."
Therefore the union of the sperm and the ova from the parents of Mary continued in a normal process of physiological development. A divine sperm and the egg was not implanted into the body of Mary's mother, according to Catholic doctrine, sometime after the formation of the ovum and the embryonic splitting of the cells, the perfect and untainted soul was infused into that embryo.
New Advent - "The person is truly conceived when the soul is created and infused into the body. Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her animation, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect in her soul.
But what of the body, was the body stained yet the soul was perfect? The Catholic conception of the soul would seem to imply that the vessel that carried the 'spirit of God' is immaterial yet the purity of the moral soul is critical.
New Advent - "The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; it was excluded, it never was in her soul.
As in the dialogue and the doctrinal formation of the Trinity in which the concept of creation of this world by the Lord of Creation was a Hebrew idea implanted on a Greco-Roman philosophy, so also the Torah concept of the soul also became Hellenized. The Roman orthodox concept of the soul does not affirm the testimony of the Torah;
Genesis 2:7 – "So the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul"
The Roman Catholic concept of the human soul would appear to be:
Body + Created Soul à Human Conception
The Torah concept of the human soul is:
Formed Body as a Vessel + Spirit of God (Image of God) à Living Soul
The orthodox Christian doctrine suggests that the rational soul is totally separate from the body and the body can remain a tainted, stained and genetically damaged while the soul remains pure. In other words, a sinful soul can damage a body, but a sin stained body cannot affect the soul. Is it no wonder that celibacy, abrogation of any body care and comfort, the denial of all body senses have always been the struggle of the orthodox Christian consciousness?
On the other hand the Jewish conscious celebrates life in its fullest, all the five senses and the emotions are to be used to preserve, care for and assist in the procreation not only of human life but the continuance of human life. The Torah concept of "Be fruitful and multiply" suggests that the joys of a fruitful life with all the five physical senses included the sexual senses should be in full harmony with the command to have a fruitful and enjoyable life but also to multiply.
The concept of Original Sin has many mysteries, but it still failed to answer the question, why Mary? The bishops of Rome also wanted Mary not to have any “original sin” but also be a perpetual virgin, and denying the continuing fruitful command of the Torah. This concept was established in the Council of Trullo in 692 CE. Convened by Justinian II in the Trullus Palace, this council stated that she was to be an "ever virgin".
Seeking to confirm the apostolic precedence for celibacy, a non-Torah command, the Western Roman Church validated the opinion of Jerome, the doctor of the law:
With a pathologic preoccupation with virginity at the expense of chosennes by the Lord, the early Christian Church formulated one perpetual error after another. Even this orthodox concept, the doctrine of the ever-virginity of Mary came even against the testimony of the New Testament authors who clearly stated that Jesus was Mary’s ‘firstborn son’ (Luke 2:7, Matthew 1:25) which implied that she had other sons and daughters. As Matthew later stated:
Matthew 13:55 – “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brothers, James, and Joses (Joseph), and Simon, and Judas. And his sisters, are they not all with us?”
Here we find that Jesus was identified with Joseph as the carpenter’s son, without identifying Joseph as the father. It does affirm that Mary was his mother along with four brothers and at least two sisters. For James, Joses (Joseph, Simon, and Judah to have been brothers or brethren of Christ, they would have had to have had a common parent either by the father or mother.
According to Jewish law, if a woman is widowed, the wife and children are placed under the custody of the next male kin of the husband who is of the age to be married. For Miriam to been under the halachah of Jewish law and still have children, the next marriageable brother of Yosef (Joseph) would have become her next husband. Of interest, if a brother of Yosef (Joseph) would have agreed to marry Miriam, the children of Miriam and Joseph’s brother would have half-brothers to Jesus through their mother, Miriam and cousins by half blood through their father, who was the brother of Joseph.
It is also of interest that three of his brother’s names are also featured names among the twelve disciples of Jesus, who went with him on his three and one-half years of ministry predominately in Galilee. Also three of the brothers or their descendants are mentioned as being part of the dynastic succession of leaders of the Nazarene Congregation, or the Hebrew followers of Yahshua after His death until the 4th CE.
Once we begin to review the genealogical records preserved in the archives of history a new dynamic relationship of the historical Jesus begins to develop, with his mother, his father and also with the ‘Brethren of Jesus’.
Parents of Mary, Joachim and Anna
It must be noted that in the canon of the New Testament, the parents of Mary are unknown. Any historian and scholar must reach outside of the canon to find a name for Miriam’s parents. To do so was must accept that these books are valuable at least historically. They are called the books of the Apocrypha or the historical books and traditions of other cultures outside of the Roman Catholic Church. The bishops who composed the canon of the New Testament used these books to help them to flesh in the narration of the birth of Jesus.
We walk in perilous straits because to deny the historical validity of any of these books and traditions, we will keep ourselves confined only to the source material that was compiled by the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. To accept the historicity of these books, we must also affirm the early Roman Church's manipulation and distortions of the literature of the original Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem under the leadership of James the Just the brother of Jesus. How so you exclaim?
By HansFries, Dutch (1527-1604)
When the early Christians began to establish an identity by formulating creeds, they first expelled all the Jewish scholars and disavowing having any Jewish identity. The early Roman Christian Church soon separated themselves from the emerging primitive apostolic congregation in Jerusalem, called in Acts the Jerusalem Church.
Also they replaced the Hebrew philosophical base of their theology with a Greco-Roman philosophical base. Then they successfully stole the core ideas and concepts of the Jewish Sect called the Jerusalem Nazarene Ecclesia (Jerusalem Church of Acts) and merged it with the new theology of the Christian Church which was Greco-Roman philosophically based theology.
For those prophetic and apocalyptic minded Christians who believe that the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church have dutifully corrupted the primitive story of the life of Jesus and his message to mankind must pause at this moment. To stay only within the hedges and confines of Christian literature whose descent has come down only within the Roman orthodoxy must lead one to ponder, are we jumping into bed with strange bedfellows? Have our images, views and theology also become corrupted along the way? We must also with caution accept that all the Christian Protestant Churches are daughters and offspring of Roman orthodoxy who have revolted only in part to certain parts of their parent Church, the Roman Catholic Church.
The ecumenical movement is in part not to celebrate the independence of the Protestant Movement but to draw these daughters back into the fold of Roman Christian orthodoxy. That Yahshua said to his authentic Torah observing Jewish followers, "Follow me" suggest that the pathway to salvation, spiritual knowledge and even enlightenment must come only from following Jesus and the historical, spiritual and philosophical traditions which He believed, lived, observed and died for.
We have already looked into the Christian traditions of the immaculate conceptions of the birth and the ever-virginity of Mary and their affect on Christian orthodox theology. Let us now begin to look at the parentage of this remarkable young maiden.
As stated above, if we depend only upon the evidence in the official canon of the New Testament for the historical painting of the birth of Jesus, we would never know that by Christian tradition, the parents of Miriam and the grandparents of Jesus were Joachim and Anna. The main source of stories about Joachim and Anne come from two apocryphal books , The Gospel of the Birth of Mary and the Protoevangelium of James the latter attributed to James the Just, the brother of Jesus yet dated as late as 150 CE. (Protoevangelium of James, chap. I. v. i ; chap II, v. i, chap. V.v. 9., Lost Books of the Bible, World Bible Publishers, reprint 1926 ed. Alpha House, Inc.)
According to these texts, Joachim and Anna lived in Jerusalem near the temple by a pool called the Probatic Pool and in Bethlehem. Being very wealthy, they gave a third if their income to the temple and the priests, a third to the poor and dispossessed and lived a chaste life on the remaining third. Joachim, reputed to be a shepherd was according to legends very generous in his gifts to the temple.
According to the Infancy stories, Joachim was told by the high priest, Issachar (Gospel of the Birth of Mary) or Reuben (Protoevangelium) that he was unworthy and cursed since he and his wife were barren and had failed to raise a child. He retreated to the desert for fasting for forty days and forty nights.
At the end of forty days, Anna, in a garden in Jerusalem, was visited by an angel and informed that she was to be with child. She ran to the Golden Gate and met Joachim returning from the wilderness, had commanded his shepherds to prepare ten she-lambs without spot or blemish to sacrifice to the Lord, twelve calves for the priests and elders and one hundred goats for a feast for all the people. Joyfully they met embraced at the blessings of God on her conception. (Mary, ch. i-iii, Protoevangelium ch i-iv.)
Also in the Protoevangelium of James, (7:1-2) it is documented that Joachim and Anna fulfilled their vows of dedicating Miriam after she was three years old. There she was left at the temple for permanent residence to be trained in dedication to the Lord by the temple priests. What is the validity of these Apocryphal texts? Are they truly mythical, truly historical but with a heretical theology? If they were heretical was it to the Christian orthodoxy of the Greco-Roman traditions or according the Jewish-Hebrew traditions according to the halachah of the Mosaic Torah.
The Gospel of the Birth of Mary was accepted by the church fathers as a book of antiquity and its authorship was attributed to the Apostle Matthew. It was found in the works of Jerome, the 4th century father of the Roman Church and was the source of this present translation. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis accepted the authenticity of this work. Using another text but with the same name though, Faustus, the Bishop of Riez, a native Brit living in Provence, France sought to prove that Jesus was not the Son of God till after his baptism like many of the early Gnostic worshippers believed. Also he believed that Jesus was not of the house of David or Judah because according to the text he was of the house of Levi and the Joachim was a priest.
It was the Collyridians that first established the ritual of offering manchet bread and cracknels (fine wafers) to the Mary. To them Mary was born of the virgin, Anna and thus established the present Catholic tradition of the virgin birth of Mary. (Introduction to The Gospel of the Birth of Mary, World Bible Publishers, reprint 1926 ed. Alpha House, Inc.)
The Book the Protoevangelium of James was also recognized by the early church fathers as a book of antiquity for it was written in Hebrew or Syriac (Aramaic). This book was accepted in a large part of the Christian world up to the fourth century by scholars including Epiphanius, Hilary, Chrysostom, Cyril, Euthymius, Thephylact, Occumneius and all of the Latin Church Father to Ambrose and the Greek Fathers thereafter.
It was Postellus who brought the Protoevangelium of James from the Middle East and translated it into Latin. He sent it to Oporimus a printer in Basil, Switzerland where Bibliander the Protestant professor of Divinity in Zurich had it printed in 1552. The Protoevangelium was still accepted by the Eastern Catholic Church as canonical and written by the authorship of James the Just the brother of Jesus. It was rejected by the Western Catholic and Protestant Churches. (Introduction to the Protoevangelium in the Lost Books of the Bible, World Bible Publishers, reprint 1926 ed. Alpha House, Inc.)
Miriam would have been the firstborn female in her family. She would have been brought to the temple eighty days after her birth along with a lamb and either two turtle doves or two pigeons as an atonement for her mother, that Anna would be purified and clean. Anna (Hannah) would have isolated herself from society until all evidence of any post-partum bleeding would have been completed and then she could present herself to the priests as ceremonially clean after an additional 66 days.
Leviticus 12:5 – "But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days."
According to the Levitical rites given to Moses at Sinai, upon presenting herself to the priest, Anna (Hannah) the mother of Miriam would present herself along with an offering of a yearling lamb as a thanksgiving burnt offering and a pigeon or turtle dove as a sin offering. (Leviticus 12:5-8)
The Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem
If we can accept the history of the Protoevangelium of James which states that Joachim and Anna lived in Bethlehem and that Joachim's profession was not a priest but a wealthy shepherd with many flocks of sheep, goats and cattle, then we must reevaluate the nativity story of Jesus.
When Joseph in the Gospels returns to Bethlehem to pay his taxes, it must be questioned whether Joseph is going to the place of his birth or was Miriam returning to the place of her birth. Let us relook at the text again of this account and the accuracy of its rendition.
Luke 2:4-7 – "Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
If we were to change the historical perspective from a Roman orthodox story to the story of a Jewish family and a Jewish babe called Yahshua (Jesus), we might recreate a different visual image, an understanding of the current Jewish events and cultural mores without changing one word of the canonical text.
The setting of the birth of Jesus is consistent with His birth at the time of the fall Festival of Tabernacles when all the pilgrims coming from Galilee and the Diaspora are crowding into Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside. The accommodations from the festival were make-shift Succots or temporary dwelling huts in celebration of the deliverance of the Israelites by the hand of the Lord in Egypt. Truly there was no room in the inn for upwards to a million people would have been living in the surrounding communities near Jerusalem during this eight day festival. In the canon there are no references to caves or barns, yet there is a reference to a manger, or a feeding trough for the animals. This “manger” could have quickly been brought from Miriam's family estate to a Sukkot and converted quickly into a make-shift crib.
The orthodox tradition states that Joseph was taking Mary and child to his home place because Joseph was an heir to the house of David. Maybe so, for Joseph truly was of the bloodline of David and was an heir to the titular throne of Israel. Also in the text on the “Birth of Mary”, it states that Joseph after he was betrothed to Mary, he returned to his home in Bethlehem to "set his house in order' for his new bride and make the necessary preparations for the wedding feast. (Mary vi, 6) What is not implied in Christian traditions was that Joseph was also the legal heir by levirate laws of marriage to the inheritance to the parents of Mary, who lived in Bethlehem and very well had a home in the city of Jerusalem also.
When we reread the nativity story of Mary and Joseph going to the town of Bethlehem, what was also not highlighted in Christian traditions was that Mary, at the age of fourteen (Mary, v, 3), was returning not only to the ancient ancestral seat of the Joseph of the house of David, but also to her own home that also was of the House of David.
Does not the text say, "Joseph…was registered with Mary" and not Mary being registered with Joseph. The text also states that "she brought forth her first born son", not that she brought forth Joseph's first born son or that they brought forth their firstborn son. It is true again, for Joseph by tradition was an older man and had prior children according to the text. (Protoevangelium viii, 13) If the relationship of Joseph to Jesus was a father to son relationship, then for God to proclaim that Jesus was His only Begotten Son would not have made a symbolic relationship of Joseph to Jesus consistent, for Jesus was not Joseph’s only begotten son.
On these hillsides around the city of Bethlehem, the shepherds were guarding their flocks in a true pastoral scene consistent with the month of September and the festival of Sukkot. This village was the site where the flocks for the temple of Herod were kept.
It was here on Bethlehem’s rolling hills that once a year the High Priest would come to visit to select the most perfect lamb that would be sacrificed on the Passover temple altar. There, standing on the side of the road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, thirty thousand cohenim would line on either side of the road waving the palm branches and chanting, “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.”
Why then are there no traditions that affirm by association that these flocks of sheep and goats could have been owned by Joachim and Anna. Could they have been still living here in the family homestead fourteen years after her birth? Is it possible that they were still managing the flocks of sheep, goat and cattle for the temple services in Jerusalem?
According to the calculations of the birth dates for John the Baptist and the interlinking dates for the birth of Yahshua, the conception of Jesus came on the 25th day of Kislev, the Jewish month that was equivalent to the Roman month of December, which was the second day of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of Lights. Is it no wonder that this one day of all the holidays of the Hebrews, called the "Miracle of Light", that the One who was to be the "Light to the World" was born?
On the 24th day of Kislev, 167 BCE, the menorah was being prepared to be lit in the newly repaired, rebuilt and cleansed Temple of Zerubabbel. The temple had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes IV, when he sacrificed a pig on the altar. His troops ransacked the temple and abducted the golden menorah, taking it to Syria three and one-half years before.
When the menorah in the temple was lit, on that memorable day, only one day of virgin olive oil was available in the city of David. By faith, the menorah lamp was lit. By faith, they waited, knowing that it would be at least a week before they could get any more purified oil from the Mount Carmel region. Then by a miracle, the menorah lights did not flicker, neither did they go out as the sun arose over the eastern horizon on the second day. For a total of eight days, one day's worth of oil kept the new menorah lit on this first celebration and feast of Hanukkah.
So began the first festival of Hanukah, called the Feast of Dedication, which was celebrated throughout all the land of Judea. Hanukkah officially entered the festival cycle of the Jews in preparation for the soon to arrive messiah.
Therefore the miracle of the menorah remaining lit for eight days occurred not on the first day, but on the second day when the 24 hours of oil did not run out and the lamps of the menorah remained lit for a total of eight days. On the evening of the 25th day of Kislev and the eve of the 26th day of Kislev, the miracle of lights occurred. Is it any wonder that the only festival recorded in the gospels by name that Yahshua attended in the temple was Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication?
John 10:22 – “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.
Using 7 BCE as the year of Jesus' birth, then on this day, a hundred and sixty years later (40 x 4 years) after the temple had been desecrated, the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) overshadowed the body of Miriam (Mary). At that time, Yahshua (Jesus) the "Light of the World" was conceived.
The true Christmas celebration was not the birth of Jesus but the real "mystery of the Lord God" was when the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) infused the World of the Divine (Spirit of God) into the earthly vessel or the ovum in Miriam's womb. At this moment the cellular reproduction of that ova began in a rare genetic process called parthenogenesis in which the ova begins to reproduce on its own without the introduction or the penetration of the male sperm cell.
As the body of clay formed by Elohim Yahweh was infused with the Spirit of God and Adam became a living soul on that sixth day of creation, so also the single ova as an earthen vessel in the womb of a maiden was infused also with the Spirit of God and the Second Adam became a living soul. As the Word became flesh so also the Torah became flesh in the human body of the Son of Man. As Adam was created in the 'image of God' so also Yahshua was re-created as the Second Adam.
If Yahshua (Jesus) was conceived on the second day of Hanukkah, than birth as a full term child nine months later would have put the birth of Jesus during the harvest festival of Sukkot at the end of the month of September or early October. The festival of Sukkot was called the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Dwelling. At this time the Son of God came down to tabernacle and dwell among men.
The astronomical signs were also prepared in the heavens by the Father of the Christ Child. In the months of May, July, October and December of 7 BCE, there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces, the fish. (Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, The Pentecost Revolution, The Story of the Jesus Party in Israel, AD 36-66, Macdonald and Janes’s, St. Giles, 49/50 Poland Street, London, W.I., 1974, p 55) The magi of the east, the spiritual followers of that great prophet of the Jews, Daniel, the prime minister of Babylon, had their “eyes open” as they were waiting for the sign of the coming of the Messiah of David. When the conjunction of the two largest planets in the heavens, Jupiter and Saturn, the light in the evening sky doubled, the Parthian magi from the regions of Commagene, Osrhoene (the province where Edessa and Harran are located) and Armenia, took great notice. They first saw the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in May. When the second conjunction came on July 29, 7 BCE, it also heralded a new sign, the quadruple conjunction with Mercury (“Morning Star”) and Regulus (“Little King”) which came at the same time as the helical rising of Sirius following by the Sun. All these were in the constellation of Leo the Lion. (Adrian Gilbert, Magi, Bloomsbury Publ., London, 1996, pg 222-229)
Almost a century later, the Apostle John during the persecution during the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 CE) wrote:
Revelation 5:5 – “But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep, Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
With the birth of Yahshua on the first day of the Festival of Tabernacles, the rites of circumcision were conducted by the Torah Law; the moment in time with the blood clotting factors in the blood of the babe were at their peak, was to be performed on the eighth day.
Leviticus 12:2-4 - If a woman has conceived and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled."
The seven days of uncleanliness were over for Miriam the mother. Most of the postpartum bleeding would be completed and the stretching and tearing of the perineum would have been healed. Even so, this circumcision ritual was done by a priest at their Bethlehem home because the mother, Miriam, had to continue her days of purification for another thirty three days until the forty days of blood purification was completed. During this time Miriam was not allowed to enter the sanctuary for it was ceremonially pure and she was ceremonially unclean.
Jesus was now seven days old and preparations were made for him to be circumcised but also this was a time of great significance for it was when the baby was given a name.
How interesting it is that the significance of an individual is dependant upon knowing his name. We meet daily with many people in our lives, but the people that we know by name are the ones that have significance in our lives.
Do an experiment sometime when you are checking out your groceries at the local supermarket. First say thank you to the cashier. If you notice, most of the time you will get a response from the checker in affirmation of your thanks. The next time, when you say, ‘thank you’, say the person’s name first. For a moment in time, life will stand still and then a smile will sweep across the face of the checker. At that moment a bond of friendship will register between two individuals. A human is not a recognized person without a name. So also the ‘giving of a name’ is of critical importance in the identity of a human being.
On this day, Tishri 23, the eighth day of Jesus' life, while Jesus was being circumcised, all the pilgrims were celebrating the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles. This day was called Simhat Torah. It was the one feast day of the only week of the year which commemorated the Shekinah (Sh’chinah), the Glory of God as coming down to ‘tabernacle' or to 'dwell among men.’ On that day the Word (Torah) itself would ‘come to life’ or be made flesh.
The angel of the Lord had told Miriam in advance the name of her child. On this day he was to receive His name. During the ritual of circumcision of the Christ child, he was to be given His name, Yahshua, which came from the Hebrew root, yasha, means 'to save'.
Matthew 1:21 – "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Yahshua (Jesus), for He will save His people from their sins."
On that day, Joseph obeyed the command of the Lord and he, the adopted father named his son and thereby claimed him as his own.
Matthew 1:18 – "Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he (Joseph) called His name Yahshua (Jesus)."
It has been charged that Jesus is a corruption of the name Yahshua, but as Ariel points out,
The English name, Jesus, is a transmigration through several languages. Hebrew has an "sh" sound, Greek has a hard "s"; the Hebrew "y" changes to a Greek "i"; then through Latin to the English "j."
Vowel patterns change; this is simply the nature of languages. His name shifts from the Hebrew Yahshua, to the Greek Iesous, to Latin Iesus, to English Jesus. So, Jesus is not a substitute name for Yahshua, it is the English equivalent.
While the family of Jesus were introducing their young son to the world of humanity, the rest of the Jewish population were celebrating in marching, dancing and singing the moment in time in which the Lord of hosts would come down in the flesh and dwell among them.
On the eighth day, the pilgrims were to leave their festival booths, called the sukkoths and begin preparing to return back into their homes. On the seventh day, one day prior, the Shemini Atzeret was celebrated with seven, the final day of the agricultural season and the beginning of a new harvest season. The universal or global celebrations during Sukkot were highlighted by the 70 sacrifices for the nations of the world. Now was a time for the pilgrim to become intimate with their Creator. As the Zohar states, "Now bring a sacrifice for yourselves."
Simhat Torah, The Celebration of the Torah coming Alive - artist Art Levin
The memories of the ancient processional marching around the city of Jericho were still vivid in the Jewish consciousness. Once a day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day, the pilgrims and celebrants would walk around the temple as they did around that ancient city of Jerusalem. This processional marching is called Hakkofot and was the one ritual that was performed on Simhat Torah. On this day, all the Torah Scrolls were removed from each of their Arks in the synagogues and carried on the central platform seven times around the temple altar.
Leviticus 23:40 – "And you shall take of yourselves on the first day (of Sukkot) the fruit of a goodly tree, a palm branch, the myrtle branch, and the willow of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days."
The lulav (palm branches) and also the aravot (willow branches) were carried around the temple altar once a day for six days and on the seventh day it was carried around seven times. This was accompanied with dancing and acrobatic feats of ecstatic joy. Today in Jerusalem on Simhat Torah there is a mass dancing procession going through the city to the Western Wall. Its procession is led by scrolls of the Torah that are carried under canopies as thousands eight to ten abreast march towards the site of their ancient temple.
Jesus also being the first-born of Miriam was consecrated to God as the first born who ‘opens the womb’ of his mother. This came directly as a command from the Lord of hosts on Mount Sinai.
Exodus 13:1-2 – "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine."
This dedication came after his mother, Miriam, had spent forty days in seclusion and returned to the temple for her rites of purification as prescribed for a firstborn son. Here we see again clearly the detail account of obedience by the parents of Jesus to the Torah and the halachah (teachings and customs) of the Jews.
Whereas the time of dedication of a newborn infant girl was after the eighty days of seclusion, the time of dedication of a newborn infant boy was after forty days of seclusion. When we read the story of the dedication of the child, the Torah commands are specific.
Leviticus 12:6 – "When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting."
Provisions were made for the poor and those unable to bring a lamb to the temple.
Leviticus 12:8 – "And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons – one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'"
And so Miriam, after the forty days of isolation and her time of purification was over, she brought Jesus to the temple and presented Him to the Lord.
Luke 2:22 – "Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law (Torah) of the Lord), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."
So Miriam, according to the provisions of the law for the poor, brought only a pair of turtledoves or pigeons. Why did Luke not specify just which one, doves or pigeons? Obviously Miriam at the age of fourteen was without financial means. Joseph was closing in on his years as a senior citizen and there is evidence that he could have been an Essene and had given all his possessions to the 'brethren' and would have been recognized as one of the 'poor'.
What about Miriam's parents? By all accounts, they were living in the area of Bethlehem and surely had an unblemished lamb to give to their daughter. Yet it appears that the purpose was not to make an appearance that was not true for as Peter stated many years later to the cripple by the temple gate, "What I have I give to thee." It was not the will of God to borrow from your family to give the appearance of affluence. Yet at the same time, Miriam did bring a lamb, she brought the Lamb of God and the lamb for purification was not necessary.
Miriam’s presence in the Synoptic gospels is usually in reference with her association with the brothers of Jesus. These texts include:
Matthew 13:55 - “When he had finished these parables Jesus left that place, and came to his home town, where he taught the people in their synagogue…Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Miriam, his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters here with us?”
Mark 6:1-6 - “He left that place (Capernaum) and went to his home town (Nazareth) accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue……Is not this the carpenter, the son of Miriam, the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?”
Luke 8:18-21 – “On the Galilean hillside, “His mother and his brothers arrived but could not get to him for the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you....’ He replied, ‘My mother and my brothers - they are those who hear the word of God and act upon it.’”
There is an interesting text in one of the Apocryphal texts on Christ. As noted by Jewish historian Schonfield, this text has a particular sacredness to the Nazarenes and it is of interest that his brothers were disciples (followers) of John the Baptist and had planned to be baptized by the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. (Gospel of the Hebrews, quoted by Schonfield, p.303)
Gospel of the Hebrews - “Behold the mother of Jesus and his brothers said to him “John the Baptist is baptizing for the remission of sins. Let us go and be baptized by him.” But he said to them, “In what matter have I sinned, that I should go and be baptized by him? Unless, perhaps I have committed a sin of ignorance.”
Miriam’s last recorded presence is at Calvary, at the foot of the Cross watching the death of her son.
John 19:25 – “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved (the disciple, John the Beloved) standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold you son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ and from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.”
After the ascension of Jesus when He disappeared in a cloud over the Mount of Olives, this was the last record of Mary the mother of Jesus.
Acts 1:12-14 (parts) – "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying….They all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers."
While we assume that Miriam was at the Pentecost revival, this cannot be biblically confirmed. What is known, after the ascension of Jesus, Miriam, the mother of Jesus disappears from the Biblical record. What appears to be evident is that Miriam’s presence is cloaked in secrecy from this day on. Was this due to security reasons for her safety as being the mother of Jesus? They were now hunted by both the Jews and the Romans.
Assuming that Jesus was born to Miriam at the age of fourteen and Jesus died about 30 CE no older than the age of forty, than Miriam would be at the oldest fifty-two to fifty-four years old. Yet we must still ask, did Miriam, the mother of Jesus actually continue in the Biblical and historical record under a different name?
With the two recorded lineages of Jesus in the synoptic gospels of Matthew and Luke, we can now ascertain that there were two quite distinct and variant lines, both of which cannot be strictly male or matrilineal genetic lines.
One of the genealogical tree descents attributed solely comes from the lineage of Nathan, (Luke 3:23-38) son of King David and the other in descent from Solomon., (Matthew 1:1-16) Does the virgin birth actually mean that Joseph’s genealogy as the father of Jesus was actually a dead-end street? If Joseph was the final link in both of the Nathan and Solomonic genealogies, then Jesus truly had no Jewish documentation that He was truly born of the House of David. Or is it possible that one of the ancestral lineages from King David to Jesus actually came through Miriam His mother?
The Apostle Peter affirming the literal relationship of Jesus to King David as fulfillment of the prophesy in Psalms 132:11, "of the fruit of thy body will I set (one) upon the throne," when he preached on that Pentecostal day:
Acts 2:30 – "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch
David … Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn and
an oath to him that of the fruit of his body (loins), according
to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne."
The Apostle Paul, known as Rabbi Shaul the Pharisee, also was comfortable with the claim that Jesus was of the House of David and that this descent was literal and physical.
Acts 13:23 – “He (God) raised up for them David as king to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.' From this man's seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior, Jesus."
Romans 1:3 – “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scripture, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God…"
The genealogies complement each other in their divergence. The Matthew lineage traces the lineage down the genealogical tree not from God and Adam but rather from Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites down to Jesus through the lineage of David's son Solomon. This lineage was the titular lineage that promised the royal rights through Solomon to the throne of David.
If we are to assume that Miriam's lineage is represented in the Book of Luke, then the testimony of Luke traces the ancestral lineage up the genealogical tree from Miriam's father, Heli, through David, Abraham, Noah, to Adam. Yet he does not stop there. In closing Luke states, 'which was the son of Adam which was a son of God."
So the last link in the lineage was the Creator God Himself. Here at the root of the genealogical tree was none other than the Creator of the Universe, the pre-carnate Christ, yes Yahshua Himself. Did not Paul say, "By Him all things were created" (Colossians 1:15) Thus we do have an unbroken blood line of Jesus as not only the offspring of David but as well as the root of David. Did not John the Revelator state:
Revelation 22:13 – "I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
And as if to close the last gap, the Lord said to John:
Revelation 22:16 – "I am the root and the offspring of David."
Here was the Lord of hosts giving the Torah on Mount Sinai, was now to come down and reside in this world as the Word (Torah) made flesh. Here was the Lord Jesus Christ Who stood at the beginning and the end of the seventy generations from Adam to Jesus. Here was the root of David as the Lord of Creation now standing on earth as the offspring of David.
Taking a careful reading of the story of Jesus' birth in the book of Matthew, it would suggest that Matthew was an early confidant of Joseph, for he was trained in the law, or in essence a lawyer. When Jesus already passed his thirtieth birthday, Matthew was already an established tax attorney with a respectable home and banquet hall.
Mark 2:14 – "As He (Jesus) passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me."
Was Matthew Levi old enough to be a contemporary of Joseph, the father of Jesus? Was he aware of the legal difficulties in the birth of Jesus, conception during betrothal yet still out of wedlock? In the viewpoint of Matthew, the nativity narration truly enhances the inner struggles of Joseph, his integrity, the legal issues concerning the birth and the political ramifications with King Herod of having a recognized birth of a legal heir to the throne of David living in Bethlehem all speak to the issues from the masculine and paternal point of view. He presents the perspective of the birth of Jesus from the viewpoint of an adopting father. All along the way, the guiding forces were with Joseph in visions and in dreams as he protected and sheltered the mother and child.
On the other hand, Luke, the physician, appears as any good doctor to fully understand the human dynamics of the birth of Jesus as though he were a personal confidant and counselor of the young maiden, Miriam. Did Luke not testify the following?
Luke 1:1-3 – "Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account."
The Book of Luke appears to depict the birth of Jesus from the viewpoint of Miriam, her non-witnessed visits by the angel, her inner family dialogues known only to her immediate family in the House of Zechariah. Luke not only brings with his book the physician skills of personal history taking, but truly acts as a historian and a scholar.
As tradition does state, Luke, possibly a relative of Paul (Pharisee Shaul) was also trained at the feet of the great Torah scholar Gamaliel, the eminent doctor of the Jewish law. (John W. Taylor, The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK 74402. 1985, pg. 67) If true this is significant.
Gamaliel was the leading Pharisee of the day during the ministry of Jesus in Galilee.
According to Jewish law the highest official in the land in the administration of the Mosaic Law and the ritual was the high priest who was called the Beth-Din (Father of the Court of Justice. According to custom, the Sadducees who controlled the Sanhedrin also controlled the office of the high priest. According to the custom, they gave the office of the deputy to the high priest, the Ab-Beth-Din, to the leading Pharisee, who then presided over the court in the absence of the high priest. The Ab-Beth-Din was given the title of honor, Rabban or 'Master'. According to Rabbinical tradition, this honor was given to Gamaliel who was the first to be called Rabban.
During the last week of Jesus’ life the forces of evil that were surrounding him and upon those within the party of the Pharisees and Scribes, grilled and cross examined Jesus without mercy. In between this inquisition, Jesus spoke to his disciples and the multitude around him.
Matthew 22:34 – "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, (literally – All things therefore whatever they may tell you do ye and keep) but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do."
The seat of Moses was where the interpretation of the 'Oral Law' gave meaning to the Torah or the 'Written Law'. Jesus gave specific instructions that the Torah and the Oral Law were both to be keep by observant Jews. While many appear to attribute the Book of Luke to a gentile Greek, it does appear that Luke may also be a Pharisee trained at the feet of the leading Torah scholar of the day along with his friend and travel accomplice, the Pharisee Rabbi Shaul, whom we know as the Apostle Paul.
That Miriam and Joseph were strict Torah observing Jews is well attested in the Matthew and the Lucian story of the birth of Jesus. Everything was done according to the law and as we shall see later the great discomfort on the part of Joseph with the surprising conception of Jesus had to do with the keeping of the law. It had not anything to do with having sexual relations but when was the proper time to have such relations. Having sexual relations was not according to the sexual moods and desires of the participants but according to the dictates of the Torah. Here sex was for procreation or the propagation of life as opposed to our present generation sex is for the promotion of sensual pleasure and propagation of life is prevented by contraception.
According to the story of Luke, the close kinship between John the Baptist and Jesus was not with the relatives of Jesus' father but with the family of Miriam, Elizabeth and the priest Zechariah and as we shall see later, Joseph of Arimathea. Even though Miriam was betrothed and legally the wife of Joseph when Jesus was conceived, we find Miriam traveling alone and not with Joseph when she goes to visit her aunts, uncles and cousins in the hill country of Judea. With all of Luke's intimate knowledge, he surely would have known who the father of Miriam was. Yet his lineage states that Joseph was the son of Heli (Luke 3:23) yet carefully hedges on the relationship of Jesus with Joseph and in essence the relationship between Joseph and Heli.
Luke 3:23 – "Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph."
It appears that Luke is trying to say something without saying it. If Joseph were the legal ancestor of both Matthew and Luke’s genealogical lineages and Miriam's ancestry is not reflected in either, what is the point of the legitimacy of Jesus' claim to the literal blood line of David? The titular rights to the throne of David would not be valid because Yahshua’s (Jesus’) only right to the house of David was by adoption?
The Daughters of Zelophehad
and the Legal Inheritance of a Family with No Son
The Hebrew blood lineage was always traced officially through the male side of the family. The problem of a legal heir from a family that had only daughters was addressed in the Torah in Numbers 27:1-11. The daughters of Zelophehad, who had no brothers, petitioned Moses for a rare and special exception to obtain the rights of their promised inheritance in the Land of Canaan that was to be given to their father, Zelophehad.
There was one condition, the daughter had to marry a man from her own tribe and then her husband would act as her representative in the genealogical pedigree. Even more so, his name would be recognized as a legal son and not a son-in-law. They would be granted full rights to ownership to their tribal land and did so in this instance under the leadership of Joshua when they entered into the Promised Land of Canaan. As noted, the land of inheritance would still remain within the tribe of her father and also her husband's tribe and her children would still have legal rights to the inheritance of the land of their mother's ancestors.
Under these provisions granted to the family of Zelophehad by Moses and Joshua, Heli, as the father of Miriam, who it appears had no sons, could transfer legal rights to his grandson, Jesus, through his daughter, Miriam. Though Miriam's name is omitted in the genealogy of Luke, the legal precedent was established that Joseph would be recognized as Heli's son, yet the blood line from David to Nathan to Heli to Jesus would remain unbroken through Miriam his mother. Because Miriam married a man, Joseph, of the Tribe of Judah only insured this legal transfer of inheritance.
This produced one addition link in the genealogical information. Heli was of the tribe of Judah and so Miriam was officially of the tribe of Judah, yet her cousins and kinsmen were of the tribe of Levi. How so?
If a daughter of the house of Levi had brothers to carry the family legal inheritance, then she could marry outside the tribe of her family. Whereas the father of John the Baptist, Zechariah, was a Levitical priest, John the Baptist, the cousin to Jesus was of the legitimate priestly family. Yet Jesus was of the house of David, in the tribe of Judah, yet through his mother, Miriam and his grandmother, Anna (Hannah) Jesus was also of the Tribe of Levi. What a potent genealogical ancestry Jesus did have; a priest-king by legitimate rights.
And so we have the following:
Yet how do we know that Miriam was the daughter of Heli. While the evidence appears on the surface to be very small, we shall soon see that the weight of the evidence becomes overwhelming enough to constitute legitimate evidence in court of law. Let us look at this evidence.
According to the teachings of the rabbis in the Jerusalem Talmud Book of Hagigah (77, 4), the wife of Joseph was Beth-Heli, meaning daughter of Heli. This evidence is critical in that the Jewish authors would have had no inclination to swing the weight in evidence towards the traditions of the Christians.
As noted above in the book, Protoevangelium of James, it states that the parents of Miriam were Joachim and Anna of Bethlehem. (Protoevangelium of James, chap. I. v. i; chap II, v. i, chap. V.v. 9., Lost Books of the Bible, World Bible Publishers, reprint 1926 ed. Alpha House, Inc.) What we do know in the history of Judah was that good King Josiah had two sons, Jehoahaz, who was deposed by the pharaoh of Egypt (2 Chronicles 36:3) and in his place he appointed his brother, Eliakim to be king over Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 36:4 – Then the king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’ brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim.
Here we see that linguistically the name Jehoiakim and Joachim are the same. The change between the names Eliakim and Jehoiakim have Biblical precedent. Later the name Eliakim would have been shortened to Eli which is the same as Heli. Therefore we have the following:
Jehoiakim/Joachim = Eliakim = Eli/Heli
As such we can now merge the Christian tradition of the name Joachim with the Jewish name of Jehoiakim. In as much as a Jewish king name was changed from Jehoiakim to Eliakim, we lastly appeal to the Talmud and Luke the physician where the shortened name for Eliakim becomes Eli or Heli.
Here multiple lines of tradition seem to converge. Miriam was truly the daughter of Heli and born into the house of Judah of the lineage of David according to the genealogy of Luke. It is a historical fact that the early church fathers attest to the validity of the apocryphal book, the Protoevangelium of James. The Eastern Catholic (Byzantium) Church accepted it as canonical. The Western Roman Catholic Church and her daughters, the western Protestant denominations rejected the books of the apocrypha.
Even though the obvious legal lineage of Jesus was through Joseph his father as an heir apparent to the throne of David, there was a significant problem to the ancestral lineage of Joseph. There was a blood curse, pronounced upon the Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) and all of his descendants by the Lord of hosts.
Jeremiah 22:30 - "Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.”
Look carefully at the lineage of Jesus in Matthew, (1:11) and we see that Joseph was a direct descendant from Jeconiah through Zerubabbel (who was a type of Christ) to Joseph, the father of Jesus. This obviously was a paradox and an ominous one at that. In the very royal lineage of Joseph was a ‘blood curse; that ‘no man’ of Jeconiah’s ‘seed’ would sit upon the throne of David. It appeared that Satan had sabotaged the lineage of Jesus, through the lineage of Solomon, yet once again the Lord of hosts circumvented the problem.
The Matthew lineage of Jesus was cursed so that no male heir would sit on the seat of David. It has now been determined that Jesus’ second lineage came from Miriam’s lineage through her father, who was evidently from the House of Judah and especially the House of David through an obscure secondary lineage of Nathan.
The genealogy of Luke the physician presents the humanity of Jesus, the Son of Man. In this genealogy, Luke traces the lineage from Adam through King David, then through the House of Solomon/Nathan to Heli, whom many scholars think was the same person as Joachim, the father of Miriam who was the mother of Jesus.
So here we have Jesus born of a maiden, whose father was of the Tribe of Judah and whose mother was of the Tribe of Levi. How do we know this? Well, after becoming pregnant, Miriam went to live with her cousin or kinswoman, Elizabeth (Luke 1:36) who was of the priestly descent (Luke 1:5) along with her husband Zechariah, a priest, who was ministering in the temple at Pentecost at the altar of incense. At this time, the angel to the father, Zacharias standing at the golden altar of incense.
Where does this leave us? Miriam’s mother, Anna (Hannah) must have been sisters with the mother of Elizabeth. Some genealogical records their mother’s name as Bianca.
The fact that there is a discrepancy in the ages of the two cousins, Miriam and Elizabeth, one being 12-14 years of age and the other possibly over 30, suggests that there might have been two fathers. Could one of these fathers be of the House of David/Judah and the other of the House of Levi? Would either lineage be accepted also as a legal heir of inheritance?
We must take note in Mosaic law that there was a provision, which permitted the inheritance of a family as going through a daughter if no sons (or brothers to the daughter) were available. The condition, she must marry within the tribe of her father, the Tribe of Judah.
Is there any documentation of these lineages in the ancient literature? In the Harlein Manuscript in the archives of the British Museum, (38-59, f.193b - Extracts provided by Edward Hepburn, Monkridge, Sidcup, Kent, publ. By Lewis, Lionel Smithett, St. Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury, p.155-156) we find this genealogical descent of Miriam. It confirms the same lineage descent from David to Heli and to Miriam as in the genealogy of the Gospel of Luke with a total of 56 generations. It also confirms the lineage descent from David to Jacob to Joseph in the Matthew lineage of 40 generations.
Since Miriam was of the tribe of Levi and cousin to Elizabeth who was of the House of Levi, we feel that Jesus did trace his priestly lineage through the genealogy of Miriam. This genealogy may have been only through the maternal lineages of Miriam's and Elizabeth’s mother. If so, Miriam would have had to marry in the tribe of her father’s, the tribe of Judah.
This is of interest, since in the Bedouin genealogical lineages preserved on their prized Arabian horses; the most valuable lineages are through the maternal or mare lineages. Whether this is reflected in the Arabic, Middle Eastern treatment of human lineages, of which Israel is a part, is not fully known. What we do know is that the standard legal lineage of inheritance is through the paternal lines.
A study of ancient Hebrew lineages does depict the concept of nobles uterine or the matrilineal inheritance of nobility. It is this concept that we must consider in our appeal to the lineages of Jesus including his royal lineage of the House of David and his priestly lineage of the House of Levi.
The history of the early Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia is also a history of the family of Yahshua (Jesus). According to ancient early Nazarene and Christian sources, James the Just, the brother of Jesus and Simeon the Just, the cousin (and possibly half-brother) of Jesus were recognized as fulfilling the role of the high priest in the Nazarene Ecclesia or what Christians know as the Jerusalem Church of the Book of Acts.
This does suggest that Jesus was from a family of priests that included also James and Simeon the Just. It was the testimony of the Roman Church historian, Eusebius that James the Just, the brother of Yahshua (Jesus) and the first leader of the Jerusalem Nazarene Ecclesia serviced in the temple of Herod as the high priest on Yom Kippur.
Eusebius - “Now Jacob the brother of the Lord, who, as there were many of this name, was termed the Just by all, from the days of our Lord until now, received the government of the Community with the apostles. This apostle was consecrated from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor fermented liquors, and abstained from animal food. A razor never came upon his head; he never anointed himself with oil or used a public bath. He alone was allowed to enter the Holy place. He never wore woolen, only linen garments. He was in the habit of entering the Temple alone, and was often to be found upon his knees and interceding for the forgiveness of the people; so that his knees became as hard as a camel’s …And indeed, on account of his exceeding great piety, he was called the Just (i.e. Tzaddik) and Oblias (i.e. Ophla-am), which signifies Justice and the People’s Bulwark; as the Prophets declare concerning Him.” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, II.1)
This same Eusebius, the early church historian in the 4th century quoting Hegesippus in the mid 2nd century who wrote also about the second nominated leader of the Jerusalem Church (Jerusalem Nazarene Ecclesia):
Eusebius - "After the martyrdom of James and the capture of Jerusalem which instantly followed, there is a firm tradition that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord who were still alive assembled from all parts together with those who, humanly speaking, were kinsmen of the Lord--for most of them were still living and they all took counsel together concerning whom they should judge worthy to succeed James and to the unanimous tested approval it was decided that Symeon son of the Clopas, mentioned in the gospel narrative, was worthy to occupy the throne (i.e., the position of Bishop) of the Jerusalem See. He was, so it is said, a cousin of the savior, for Hegesippus relates that Clopas was the brother of Joseph" (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History. 3.11.1)
According to Jewish historian Hugh Joseph Schonfield, Simeon be Cleopas, the cousin to Jesus was also known as:
Hugh Schonfield - “a certain aged man from among the Elders… who frequented the Holy of Holies.” (Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, The Pentecost Revolution, The Story of the Jesus Party in Israel, AD 36-66, Macdonald and Janes’s, St. Giles, 49/50 Poland Street, London, W.I., 1974, p234 ).
Simeon ben Cleopus, the cousin of Jesus, evidently came from recognized priestly lineage and served as the High Priest or Nasi who entered the Holy of Holiest in the years of 63, 64 and 65 CE.
From the evidence of the ancient historical literature, James the Just and Simeon the Just were recognized as being from the legitimate Zadokian lineage of priests. Since Miriam, the mother of Jesus is the link between the relationships of these three, Jesus (Yahshua) was also of priestly descent.
According to Will Whiston, the translator of the “Compete Works of Josephus” makes this observation:
Will Whiston (translator of “The Complete Works of Josephus”) - “Thus, lastly when Josephus is cited in Suidas, as affirming that Jesus officiated with the priests in the temple, this account is by no means disagreeable to the pretensions of the Ebionites. Hegesippus affirms the very same of James the Just. (Whiston, Will, translator of ‘The Complete Works of Josephus’, Dissertation I in the Appendix of “The Complete Works of Josephus”, Section V, page 645)
Yet was Jesus of the lineage of Zadok, the official high priestly lineage as chosen by the God of Israel to King David? Will Whiston continues with his summarization in Dissertation I:
Will Whiston (translator of “The Complete Works of Josephus) – “There are two remarkable passages in Suidas and Theophylact, already set down as citing Josephus; the former, that Jesus officiated with the priests in the temple; and the latter, that the destruction of Jerusalem, and miseries of the Jews, were owing to the putting Jesus to death which are in none of our present copies, nor cited thence by any ancienter authors, nor indeed to they seem altogether consistent with the other most authentic testimonies. However, since Suidas cites his passage from a treatise of Josephus called, “Memoirs of the Jews’ Captivity”, a book never heard of elsewhere, and since both citations are not at all disagreeable to Josephus’s character as a Nazarene or Ebionite, I dare not positively conclude they are spurious, but must leave them in suspense, for the further consideration of the learned.”
As we conclude, we find such a great admission by the translator of Josephus that Josephus the Jewish priest, commander of the Jewish battalions in Galilee was also an Ebionite-Nazarene. If so, he was a secret follower of Yahshua haMaschiach (Jesus the Messiah), and served under the leadership of James the Just, brother of Jesus in the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia.
So we close this investigation into Miriam, the mother of Jesus by looking at the genealogies of both Miriam and Yahshua.
In the BibleSearcher’s research article, “The Family Nazarene Dynasty of the House of Joseph and the Genealogies to the Royal House of David and the
, we research the various genealogies of the family of Jesus. One of the most fascinating is the realization that Yahshua did claim descent from the famous Simon the Just, the high priest of Israel. Simon I was the son of Onias I, the high priest in the temple of Zerubabbel.
This daughter of this Simon I the Just, high priest of Israel married into the House of David to the Joseph ben Mattathias (house of David), the great great great great grandfather of Yahshua.
Zadok the high priest during the reign of King David
Levi27 ben Yacob (children: Jocheved, Kohath) à Kohath28 ben Levi à Amram29 ben Kohath (married his aunt Jocheved and had three children; Moses, Miriam and Aaron) à Aaron30 ha-Levi à Eleazar31 ben Aaron à Phineas32 ben Eleazar à Abishuah (Abishua) 33 ben Phinehas à Bukki34 ben Abishua à Uzzi35 ben Bukki à Zerahiah36 ben Uzzi à Meraioth37 ben Aerahiah à Amariah38 ben Meraioth à Ahitub39 ben Amariah à Zadok40 ben Ahitub (high priest of King David à Ahamaaz41 ben Zadok à Azariah42 ben Ahimaaz àJohanon43 ben Azariah à Azariah44 ben Johanon à Ahitub45 ben Amariah à Meraioth46 ha-Hohen à ? skip generation47 à Zadok48 he-Kohen à Azariah49 (Shallum) ben Zadok à Hilkial50 be Shallum à Azariah51 ben Hilkiah à Seriah52 ben Azariah à Josedech53 ben Seraiah à Joshua (the first high priest of the new temple of Zerubabbel)54 ben Jehozadak à Joachim55 (Joiakim) ben Joshua à Eliashib (Eolinshib) 56 ben Joiakim à Joiadah (Joiada) 57 ben Eliashib à Johanan (Johanna) 58 ben Joiada à Juddual (Jaddua) 59 ben Johanan à Onias I60 ben Jaddua à Simon ‘the Just’61 ben Onias à daughter62 of Simon ‘the Just’ ben Onias married Joseph ben Mattathias (house of David) à Janna (Janne Jannai)63ben Joseph à Melchi (Melki) 64 ben Janna à Levi65 ben Melchi (Panther) à Matthat (Mathat) 66 (also Barpanther) ben Levi of Arimathea à
(1) Heli67 ben Matthat à Miriam bat Heli68 à Yahshua ben Yosef 69 (Jesus son of Joseph of the Houses of David and Zadok)
(2) Joseph of Arimathea67 à Anna (Hanna) 68 bat Joseph of Arimathea
Simon the Just was known as the high priest Simon I the son of Onias I whom he succeeded about 300 BCE. He presided over the last of the Great Synagogue. To him was attributed the saying, "On three things the world depends--the Law, Worship and the showing of kindness." According to Josephus, Simon was called “the Just” (ho dikaios):
Flavius Josephus - "on account of his piety and his benevolent
disposition toward his countrymen." (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XII, ii, 5)
The God of Israel carefully claimed His own. Miriam the almah, a maiden who was veiled or the hidden one of the Lord, carried in her womb a child. Within her own genetic lineage was one of the most potent genealogical links in Hebrew religious culture. Though married to Joseph of the House of David, his genealogy only symbolic would be irrelevant.
Here was a child who was the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David.
Revelation 5:5 – “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
He was a truly a threat to King Herod the Great. He was also a threat to the Caesar Augustus with His claim to temporal and spiritual powers.
Here also was a child of the loins of Aaron the High Priest of Israel at Sinai. Here also was a child of the loins of Aaron’s descendant, Zadok the high priest of King David whose lineage was the chosen high priestly lineage by the God of Israel.
Miriam also was a chosen one of the Almighty One of Israel. She was chosen to be the vessel in which the divine spark would reside within her, be nurtured and carried to the full term birth as a “Child of man.” Is it no wonder that it took a special emissary, Gabriel, to bring a message straight from the throne of the Father?
Luke 1:28 – “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
Part Five – Was Joseph Betrothed or Espoused to Mary?
Joseph, the father of Jesus
Espousal and Betrothal in the Mosaic and Dynastic Laws of Israel
Dynastic Marriages in the Time of Jesus
The Espousal of Michal to King David
Mary at Ein Karem, the Home of Elizabeth and Zachariah
The Infancy Story of Jesus in the Book of Mary
The Betrothal of Mary by Joseph in the Protoevangelion of James
The Examination of the Pregnancy of Mary in The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
Part Three – Born of a Virgin
Part Five – Was Joseph Betrothed or Espoused to Mary?
Calendar Maven's Hebrew Calendar by Calendar Maven
Hebrew Calendar - Look up a Jewish Holiday from the Gregorian year 1 to 9999.
Original Sin by the Catholic Encyclopedia
Immaculate Conception by the Catholic Encyclopedia
The Canons of the Council of Trullo by the New Advent
Excursus on the Marriage of the Clergy – The Canons of the Council of Trullo by Christian Classic
Jesus' Jewish Parents by Chana Safrai of the Jerusalem Perspective
The Original Doorway Papers by Arthur C. Custance
Doorway Paper Classics by Arthur C. Custance
The Seed of a Woman by Arthur C. Custance
Two Men called Adam by Arthur C. Custance
Journey out of Time by Arthur C. Custance
Why Mary? by Arthur C. Custance
The Virgin Birth and Incarnation by Arthur C. Custance
Shmini Atzeret - Simhat Torah by the Jewish Agency for Israel
The Name of Jesus by Ariel
The Festival of Sukkot by the Temple Institute
Etrog, Lulav and the Four Species by Jewish Post of the New Y
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