Nativity of Christ
Nativity Of Christ
The birth of our Savior was exactly as predicted by the prophecies of the Old Testament (Isa 7:14; Jer 31:22). He was born of a virgin, of the house of David, and of the tribe of Judah (Mt 1; Lu 1:27). His coming into the world was after the manner of other men, though his generation and conception were extraordinary. The place of his birth was Bethlehem (Mic 5:2; Mt 2:4,6), whither his parents were wonderfully conducted bv Providence (Lu 2:1,7). The time of his birth was foretold by the prophets to be before the sceptre or civil government departed from Judah (Ge 49:10; Mal 3:1; Hag 2:6-7,9; Da 9:27). The exact year of his birth is not agreed on by chronologers, but it was about the four thousandth year of the world; nor can the precise season of the year, the month, and day in which he was born be ascertained. SEE CHRONOLOGY. The Egyptians placed it in January; Wagenseil in February; Bochart in March; some, mentioned by Clement of Alexandria, in April; others in May; Epiphanius speaks of some who placed it in June, and of others who supposed it to have been in July; Wagensell, who was not sure of February, fixed it probably in August; Lightfoot on the 15th of September; Scaliger, Casaubon, and Calvisius in October; others in November; and the Latin Church in December. It does not, however, appear probable that the vulgar account is right; the'circumstance of the shepherds watching their flocks by night agrees not with the winter season. Dr. Gill thinks it was more likely in autumn, in the month of September, at the feast of Tabernacles, to which there seems some reference in Joh 1:14. The Scripture, however, assures us that it was in the "fulness of time" (Ga 4:4); and, indeed, the wisdom of God is evidently displayed as to the time when, as well as the end for which Christ came. It was in a time when the world stood in need of such a Saviour. and was best prepared for receiving him.
The date of the Nativity is discussed in most treatises on chronology. See also Jarvis, Introd. to Hist. of the Church; Strong's Iarmnony and Exposition, Append. 2: Stud. und Krifiken, 1846, 4:1007; New-Englander, 1847, page 215 sq.; Anon. The Month of the Nativity (Lond. 1848, 24mo); and the monographs cited by Volbedling, index Programmatum, pages 10, 12, 13; Hase, Leben Jesu, pages 45, 46, 50. SEE JESUS CHRIST.