DIG for Thursday the 17th of December…… ordinary shepherds or special shepherds…..Luke 2 v 8

For the last couple of DIGs we have been looking at the birthplace of Jesus; if you have not done so, please read those first before you read this one…….

Let me describe Migdal Eder to you; it was a tower that was used as a farm building.

It was like a barn or a stable, but solely for sheep.

It was made up of stalls, or different areas, where individual sheep were kept separate.

Individual stalls were used for single sheep to give birth to the temple sacrificial lambs.

This was written down and in the archaeological record.

Now, if you go to Bethlehem today you will be taken to an area on the edge of the town called Shepherds Field.

A guide will tell you this is where the angel and heavenly host made their visit to the shepherds described in Luke 2. This is the same area shown by the archaeological record and Jewish writings where the lambs for the Passover sacrifices were raised.

At the time of Jesus all the lambs sacrificed in the temple were bred in one place on the edge of Bethlehem. Jerome, an early Saint, said that this area was “1,000 paces from Bethlehem”, so it was very close.

You could say this was in or at Bethlehem, similar to the Greek meaning in Matthew 2 v 1.

At this place sacrificial lambs were born and raised for the temple by the temple shepherds.

It was the job of the temple shepherds to ensure that the lambs used for the Passover were perfect and spotless.

These shepherds were the first people to see the sacrificial lambs.

They knew which lambs were perfect and without blemish; they were the experts when it came to sacrificial lambs.

So we have lots of evidence saying that the sacrificial lambs were raised on the edge of Bethlehem at Migdal Eder or Shepherds Field; I believe that this is the same place.

Could the shepherds we see in Luke 2 have been the temple shepherds raising the sacrificial lambs for the temple?

This mini DIG series about the birth place of Jesus will be concluded tomorrow when we will see where Jesus was really born and who say Him first!

Luke 2 v 8…..And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night


DIG for Wednesday the 16th of December…… the Kingdom shall come at the tower of the flock; Migdal Eder…..Micah 4 v 8

Yesterday we started looking at where Jesus was born; saying we cannot say for certain that He was born in a stable. We need to look at more scripture to answer the question about His birth.

Micah 5 v 2….. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 Micah 4 v 8….. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.

Micah 5 v 2 tells us that the ruler of Israel will be born in or near Bethlehem. This will not just be any ruler but this will be the ruler from “of old, from everlasting”; this is talking about Jesus.

Micah 4 v 8 is a part of a prophecy about the Messiah, and says that He will come at a place called the “tower of the flock”. This is the words “Migdal Eder”. This verse is literally saying that the Messiah will come at the tower of the flock or, literally, Migdal Eder.

So, the Gospels say He was born at or near Bethlehem and Micah says Bethlehem and more specifically a place called Migdal Eder. So what you may be saying. Now we have to move to archaeology and history!

Where or what is Migdal Eder?

Migdal Eder is mentioned in the Targum; this is like a commentary on the Old Testament scriptures that was written by Rabbis. There are a number of translations or paraphrases of the scriptures in the Targum.

The following is taken from the Targum, based on Micah 4 v 8 and Genesis 35…..

“He spread his tent beyond Migdal Eder, the place where the King Messiah will reveal Himself at the end of days”

So the Rabbis, well before the birth of Jesus, took their reading of scripture to mean that Jesus would be born at this place called Migdal Eder.

As well as the Targum, the Jews had a set of oral teaching called the Mishnah. Again this is a set of teachings from respected Rabbis well before the birth of Jesus. We know already that Migdal Eder literally means the “watch tower of the flock”.

The Mishnah tells us that this is the place where the ewes from the special temple flock were kept to give birth to the Passover lambs. This is where the lambs used in the Passover sacrifice were born and checked for purity. They were checked for purity by the special shepherds who were in charge of the temple flock.

You should be getting excited now in the picture that is emerging; more again tomorrow.

Micah 4 v 8….. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem