There are myriad thoughts and studies on this issue, so let’s see what Scripture itself reveals about Yeshua's birth:
Luke 2: 1. Now it happened in those days that a decree went out from Augustus Caesar that the names of all the people of his dominion should be written down. 2. This census first happened during the governorship of Qurinius in Syria. 3. And everyone went in his own city to be registered. 4. And Yosip was also going up from Nasrath, a city of Galeela into Yehuda to the city of Dawid, which is called Beth-Lekhem, because he was from the house and from the clan of Dawid, 5. With Maryam his bride while she was pregnant, that there they might be registered.
6. And it happened that while they were there, her days of pregnancy were fulfilled. 7. And she bore him a firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room where they could lodge. 8. At this time shepherds were there in that region were they were lodging and keeping watch there at night over their flocks. (AENT)
So … Miriam was forced to give birth in a stable because there was no room at the inn - because people from all over had gathered in Jerusalem for the census! (In those days you returned to your native home to be registered.) Not to mention, as we'll see later, it was also the festival of Sukkot - Tabernacles - when many pilgrims came to celebrate in Jerusalem ... which meant the inns were full....
Bethlehem is only about 5 miles from Jerusalem and so Y'shua was born there because there was no room at any of the inns in either Jerusalem or Bethlehem. Yeshua had to be born in Bethlehem because the name Bethlehem means "House Of Bread", with the strong connotation of House Of Battle. And as we all know, Y'shua is the Bread of Life" (John 6:43-51).
There are 7 historical anchors to the date of the Messiah's birth which narrow the range of the birth to the first two weeks of September, 5 BCE (Gregorian proleptic calendar). This article does not provide the details but here are the 7 anchors:
- Both Matthew and Luke agree that Yeshua was born in the last days of King Herod the Great
No significant astronomical events were observed prior to 7 BCE which would direct the Magi to the birth of the Messiah
- The "shepherds" were living in the fields, (Luke 2:8), so it was not yet winter
- The purification period of Yeshua's mother Mary for the birth of a boy required 41 days. Herod does not order the slaughter of the male infants till this purification period has ended and Mary and Joseph must stay in the area the whole time.
- Three references in the Gospels about astronomical events reveal the time Herod was told of the birth which led Herod to kill infant boys two-years old and under Jupiter, the "King Star" was observed rising in the east in late May, 5 BCE "There was no room at the inn" reveals more than commonly known. The "inns" are filled because there was a census and observant Jews were preparing for the annual Sukkot celebration.
All of these historical events narrow the date of the birth to the first two weeks of September (Gregorian), 5 BCE. Please click here to read more about this very interesting topic.