~Previously posted December 22, 2009 on my former blog, www.msbonnersinil.blogspot.com~
Behold the Lamb
The prophet Micah foretold the birthplace for the coming Messiah seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Micah said that the Messiah would be born in the little insignificant village near Jerusalem called Bethlehem. The actual location of the birthplace of Jesus Christ is also found in the prophecy of Micah, the location was Migdal Eder which in Hebrew is the “tower of the flock”.
“And you, O tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.” Micah 4:8“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:2
Migdal Eder, the tower of the flock mentioned in Micah 4:8, is the watchtower where the priestly shepherds would watch over their flocks in the shepherd's fields there at Bethlehem.
This tower is where they would watch over their flock from the second story and where they birthed the newborn lambs in the lower portion of the two story tower there in the fields of Bethlehem. In the lower portion of this watchtower that the birthing of the lambs would take place, ewes were brought to give birth to the lambs. In this shelter the priests would bring in the ewes which were about to lamb for protection.
The shepherds would wrap the newborn lambs in swaddling clothes to protect the body of the lambs, keeping the new lambs without spot or blemish, they would then be laid in a manger until they had calmed down.
These were not just any flock and herd.
Migdal Eder was the watchtower that guarded the Temple flocks that were being raised to serve as sacrificial animals in the Temple. 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.” These special lambs came from a unique flock which were designated for sacrifice at the temple in Jerusalem.
These lambs would be offered as sacrifice at the Temple just four miles away in Jerusalem.
With the establishment of Temple worship in Jerusalem, the fields outside of Bethlehem became the place where this special group of shepherds raised the lambs that were sacrificed in the Temple. Being themselves under special Rabbinical care, they would strictly maintain a ceremonially clean stable for a birthing place. The Tower of the Flock was used for birthing ewes, and the surround fields were where these shepherds grazed their flocks. These shepherds customarily kept their flocks outdoors twenty-four hours a day every day of the year, but brought the ewes in to deliver their lambs where they could be carefully cared for.
It was to this place that Joseph took Mary. It was in this special stable at “Migdal Eder” that Christ was born!
The "swaddling clothes" that wrapped the lambs was also used to wrap the Lord Jesus.
These priestly shepherds in their fields near Bethlehem on that Christmas Eve knew where to go to find the newborn Messiah, Jesus Christ. He would be found where the angel had told them, wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger in the lower floor of the tower of the flock, Migdal Eder
Luke 2:8-18 records that there were shepherds in the fields keeping watch over their sheep by night.
“And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night … And the angel said to them, ‘Be not afraid: for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:8,10,11
These shepherds were none other but the shepherds from “Migdal Eder”. The angels told the shepherds that they would find the Babe wrapped in "swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." There was no need for the angels to give these shepherds directions to the birth place because they already knew. These were the men who raised sacrificial lambs that were sacrificed in the Temple. When the angelic announcement came, they knew exactly where to go, as Luke 2 indicates, for the sign of a manger could only mean their manger at the tower of the flock!
Migdal Eder at Bethlehem is the perfect place for Christ to be born. He was born in the very birthplace where tens of thousands of lambs, which had been sacrificed to prefigure Him, were born. God promised it, pictured it and performed it at Migdal Eder.
It all fits together, for that's the place the place where sacrificial lambs were born!
The Lamb born at Migdal Eder was the Lamb to be sacrificed to take away the sin of the world.
You see our Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem where all sacrificial lambs were born, and our Lord Jesus died in Jerusalem where all sacrificial lambs were killed.
John the Baptist proclaimed of Jesus,
"Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." John 1:29
Jesus is presented in the Bible as being “in type” as a sacrificial lamb. It was not by chance but by choice that Christ identified His death with the time of the observance of the Passover.
Peter spoke of our redemption as wrought by the
"Precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" 1 Pet. 1:19
and Paul told us that
"Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" 1 Cor. 5:7
Even the first fulfilled type by which Christ is to be revealed in Heaven is as the Lamb (Rev. 5:6-13).
The baby grew up! He grew into a man to fulfill the plan for our salvation. He grew up to be the advocate, the intercessor, the "one mediator between man and God, the man Christ Jesus." (1 John 2:1, Heb 7:25, 1 Tim 2:5)
He grew up so that He could die, thereby offering a perfect, sinless life in sacrifice for our sins. He grew up to be raised from the dead, conquering death and instilling a living hope of eternal life in all who come to Him. He grew up so that he might become “the source of eternal salvation." (Heb 5:9)
I'm glad that Jesus was born. But I rejoice even more in the life He lived, the death He died, and the accomplishment of His resurrection! While the world remembers a baby in a feeding trough, let our remembrance of His death help us to look to the Man, the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the year.
Behold, the Lamb.
Credits/Sources for this article:
This is by no means "mine". It is very much a copy and paste along with some editing and my own bits pieced together.
I was first introduced to this subject through Brock and Bodie Thoene's historical fiction novel: "Jerusalem's Hope" . Which I loved, and highly recommend.
Within weeks of finished that novel for the first time I received my copy of Friends of Israel's magazine: "Israel My Glory" (the copy is Nov/Dec 2008 if you would like to request a copy from FOI). In this magazine there was an article (page 25) on this very subject! I was so excited! It was from there that my fascination really took off!
The Internet is a wonderful place to search to your heart's content and your time is your only limitation. I've included some of my preferred links if you would like to explore yourself, but many of the writers refer to the following as their "sources":
The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Jimmy's Prophetic Perspective on the News, Dec. 23, 2005
I hope you enjoy your explorations as much as I did.