A Start Of Something New

Birthday
 
 
 

My name is Karabo Mokgoko. And I’m turning 21 today. Today is also Father’s Day, also winter solstice. 21 is a big deal, I’m officially an adult. But I’d like to have one more reason to celebrate on this day. That is my blog. I’m not familiar with this blogging for everyone thing and that’s the challenge I’m willing to take on. I previously used a Tumblr platform, pretty much blogging for myself but I noticed many people enjoyed visiting my blog. So here’s to a start of something new; my blogs chosen birthday, because, why not? 🙂 gathered some history on birthdays, interesting read. Enjoy!

William F. Dankenbring

Almost everybody, today, celebrates birthdays. Around the world, friends and relatives hold birthday parties, give gifts to the one being honored, and wish “Happy birthday!” to the one whose birthday is being celebrated.
But why?
Where did this universal custom originate?
Though you look in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you will find no mention anywhere of any of the saints of God observing their birthdays.  In fact, strange as it may seem to many, even the exact date of the birth of Jesus Christ is NOWHERE REVEALED in Scripture!
We read in the Encyclopedia Judaica, “The celebration of birthdays is unknown in traditional Jewish ritual” (vol.4, p.1054).  It points out that the only reference to a birthday in the Bible is that of Pharaoh of Egypt.
The universal custom of observing Christmas as the birth of Christ, on December 25th, is acknowledged by all the historical authorities as having no basis in actual fact. Jesus Christ was born nowhere near December 25th, in the dead of winter.  See our article, “When Was Jesus Born?”
If the very day of Jesus’ birth is deliberately left out of the Bible, doesn’t that fact tell us something?  If birthdays should be celebrated, why did God leave the date of His own Son’s birth out of Holy Scripture?
The plain truth is that birth day celebrations are only mentioned twice in the Scriptures —  once in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament – and both times in reference to customs being observed by unconverted, pagan people — an Egyptian Pharaoh, and wicked king Herod!  Notice what happened on these two instances of “birth day celebrations” recorded in the Word of God.

Pharaoh of Egypt

In the book of Genesis we read: “And it came to pass the third day, which was PHARAOH’S BIRTHDAY, that he made a feast [BIRTHDAY PARTY] unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: but he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them” (Genesis 40:20-22).
Notice! This was a birthday party, nothing less! It was being observed by a pagan Egyptian Pharaoh — not a man of God. This is the only example of a clear cut birthday celebration in all the Old Testament — and it was being observed by a PAGAN KING!

The Origin of Birthdays

This fact, however, should not be overly surprising. Writes Linda Rannells Lewis in Birthdays, “Birthdays have been celebrated for thousands of years. In early civilizations, where the development of a calendar made an organized reckoning of birth dates possible, the horoscopes of ruling monarchs, their successors and rivals had to be cast with care and birthday omens meticulously examined, for the prospects of the mighty would affect the prospects of the entire society. By the time of Ptolemy V this practice was well established: ‘Ptolemy, the ever living, the beloved of Ptah, the son of the two Brother-Gods, was born on the fifth day of the month DIOS, and this day was, in consequence, the beginning of great prosperity and happiness of all living men and women’” (p. 12).
Ptolemy V was an ancient Egyptian king. It was common in his day for kings and rulers to have their horoscopes made by astrologers and their birthdays were considered very important omens of the future.
The false science of astrology, of course, makes a great deal out of the positions of the sun, moon and stars at the moment or day of one’s birth. Astrology teaches that the position of the sun, moon and stars at the moment of one’s birth determines their future destiny, their character, their personality, talents, health, and so forth. They cast horoscopes, or birth charts, to understand the supposed significance of a person’s birthday.
Astrology, as the Word of God plainly shows, is a pagan, false religious deception — a fraud and a mythological pseudo-science.
God Almighty says to the daughter of Babylon (Isa. 47:1), the great pagan religious deception which has engulfed the world, “Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the ASTROLOGERS, the star-gazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as STUBBLE; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame” (Isaiah 47:13-14).
Writes Lewis, in Birthdays, “Birthday celebrations, even at this early stage, were not strictly reserved for the great rulers. Society adapts for its communal use those practices of the elite which it admires and can afford. In the fifth century before Christ, the Greek historian Herodotus, describing the festivals of the Persians, wrote: ‘IT IS THEIR CUS-TOM TO HONOR THEIR BIRTHDAY ABOVE ALL OTHER DAYS: and on this day they furnish their table in a more plentiful manner than at other times. The rich then produce an ox, a horse, a camel, and an ass, roasted whole in an oven; but the poor produce smaller cattle.”
Lewis continues, “In Egypt households of the same period birthdays were celebrated similarly. A part of the family budget was set aside to buy birthday garlands and animals for sacrifice, just as we might plan to spend a certain sum for balloons, party hats, and an ice cream cake” (pages 12-13).
This author goes on, “Among prosperous Greek families a birth feast, a coming-of-age feast, and feasts after death held on the anniversary of the day of birth were observed, but otherwise there were no annual birthday ceremonials. The birthdays of the immortals were ritually acknowledged once a month, however, the third day of each month being sacred to Athena, Ares, and Saturn, for instance” (ibid.).
The emperors of Rome often went to extreme in their own birthday celebrations. When the first birthday of Drusilla, the daughter of Caligula, approached, the emperor arranged a party suitable for the infant daughter of a “god” (himself). To celebrate her birthday, two days of horse racing were held, and a ritual slaughter of 300 bears, and 500 various beasts from Libya, in the amphitheater of Taurus, was held.

 
 
 

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