Birth of Jesus: City of Bethlehem, Address Migdal Eder

Micah 4:8 As for you, tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you it will come— even the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.

Many believe this is the location and address of the birth of Jesus Christ. The address is the “tower of the flock”. In the original Hebrew, it is “migdal eder

Per Strong’s Concordance, migdal eder means: tower of the flock.

The following paragraph is from The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfred Edersheim.

At the time of the birth of Jesus, Migdal Eder was a specific place. It was the location where shepherds brought their sheep. The sheep were to be sacrificed at the Temple. These were not just any flock and herd. The shepherds who kept them were men who were specifically trained for this royal task. They were educated in what an animal that was to be sacrificed had to be and it was their job to make sure that none of the animals were hurt, damaged or blemished. During lambing season the sheep were brought to the tower from the fields, as the lower level functioned as the birthing room for sacrificial lambs. Being themselves under special rabbinical care, these priests would strictly maintain a ceremonially clean birthing place. Once birthed, the priestly shepherds would routinely place the lambs in the hewn depression of a limestone rock known as “the manger” and “wrap the newborn lambs in swaddling clothes,” preventing them from thrashing about and harming themselves “until they had calmed down” so they could be inspected for the quality of being “without spot or blemish”.

Custom of the day utilized swaddling cloths for newborn infants as well as sacrificial lambs. These cloths or bands were also used for restraining lambs prior to sacrifice. The swaddling bands held the lambs for inspection to insure they met the standard set forth in the law (Numbers 28:3, Exodus 12:1-6). The lambs were restrained to keep them from harming themselves and disqualifying them from sacrifice. Lambs had to be without blemish.

See also http://hethathasanear.com/Birth.html

Today, the exact location of Migdal Eder is speculation.

Luke 2:7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

The angel had directions for the shepherds in the hills. Luke 2:12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Notice, the shepherds did not need guidance. Migdal Eder was a destination. Any shepherd in the area knew the exact location. Directions were not necessary. These guys knew the specific address.

Luke 2:15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

Luke 2:16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, was born in the same location as sacrificial lambs for the Temple. Jesus was wrapped “snugly” in swaddling cloth like a sacrificial lamb for inspection.

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