Genesis 40:20 and Matthew 14:6 are the only Scriptures in the Bible that use the word "birthday." Other texts, such as Job 1:4, allude to an event similar to a modern birthday.Continue Reading
Chapter 40 of the book of Genesis describes Joseph, an Israelite slave, interpreting the dreams of an imprisoned baker. Joseph predicts Pharaoh's execution of the baker within three days. Verses 20 through 22 explain that Pharaoh's birthday was the occasion for the baker's death.
Chapter 14 of the book of Matthew discusses King Herod and his hatred for John the Baptist, who was imprisoned by the king as a result. Verses 6 through 11 explain that a birthday party was the setting for the beheading of John the Baptist, at the request of Herod's daughter.
The fourth verse of the first chapter of Job mentions that Job's sons "feasted in their houses, every one his day." This expression possibly alludes to a birthday celebration. Verse 5 adds the detail that Job was worried his sons had "sinned, and cursed God in their hearts."
Since the only Scriptures that mention birthdays cast the occasions in a negative light, some Christian denominations, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, interpret the Bible as condemning birthdays. Other Christians take the stance that none of these Scriptures explicitly prohibit celebrating birthdays, so it can be considered a matter of personal preference.Learn more about The Bible