Festival of Lights
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The Bethlehem Christmas Shepherds: Migdal Eder

 

Migal Eder-"Tower of the flocks"

Alfred Edersheim, author of the excellent "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah", wrote the following:

"And yet Jewish tradition may here prove both illustrative and helpful. That the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, was a settled conviction. "

Equally so, was the belief , that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder, 'the tower of the flock.' This Migdal Eder was not the watchtower for the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheepground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem."

 "A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion, that the flocks, which pastured there, were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and, accordingly, that the shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds."

 "The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism, on account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life, which rendered strict legal observance unlikely, if not absolutely impossible."

"The same Mishnaic passage also leads us to infer, that these flocks lay out all the year round, since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before Passover--that is, in the month of February, when in Palestine [Israel] the average rainfall is nearly greatest."

"Thus, Jewish tradition in some dim manner apprehended the first revelation of the Messiah from that Migdal Eder, where shepards watched the Temple-flocks all the year round"

 " Of the deep symbolic significance of such a coincidence, it is needless to speak". --

(Afred Edersheim in The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah, p186-187) 

Micah 4:8-

"And thou , O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem"

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