Hello and welcome to my study on “The Tower of the Flock“
Today we are going to take a quick look at Micah 5:2 nasb, where the prophet Micah spoke about the birthplace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We all know the story, how Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, couldn’t get a place at the Inn to have her baby (Luke 2:7 nasb), so they went to a stable and Mary gave birth to Jesus and laid Him in a manger. But what this verse doesn’t tell us is where the stable was, or if it was even a stable. We constantly see this depiction during the holidays of Jesus laying in a manger in a stable surrounded by different animals, but was this really the case?
Lets look at Micah 5:2 nasb and break it down a bit:
2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
This prophecy is clearly speaking about the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem Ephrathah. There are actually two Bethlehem’s in the Bible, one in the north from the tribe of Zebulun (Joshua 19:15-16 nasb), and one in the south from the tribe of Judah (Bethlehem Ephrathah). The prophet Micah was clearly identifying that the Bethlehem which the Messiah was to be born was the one in the land of Judah near Jerusalem.
Now that you know which Bethlehem Jesus was prophesied to be born, where exactly was this ‘stable’ that we always see depicted in the holiday themes? The Bible does tell us where it is but it may not be exactly what you think. Lets start with Micah 4:8 nasb:
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.
This is another prophecy from Micah identifying exactly where Jesus was to be born. Here we can clearly see that this passage is speaking about Jesus. The ‘daughter of Jerusalem’ is Apocalyptic Literature for Jesus Christ. Also in this verse we see the term “tower of the flock,’ but what is this tower and why is it mentioned here? The Hebrew translation for this term here is Migdal Eder (tower of the flock). We also see this same term and location mentioned in Gen 35:19-21 nasb:
19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21 Then Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
This passage confirms that there was a tower somewhere around the city of Bethlehem, and this was the tower which would come the Messiah (Micah 4:8 nasb). But what kind of a tower was this?
Bethlehem was the historical location for the Shepherds Fields. These ‘towers’ (Psalm 48:12 nasb) were actually watch towers the shepherds used to keep an eye on their flocks (tower of the flock). Take a look at this commentary from Dr. Juergen Buehler:
This area on the outskirts of Bethlehem is also mentioned in the Talmudic writings. According to the Talmud, all cattle found in the area surrounding Jerusalem “as far as Migdal Eder” were deemed to be holy and consecrated and could only be used for sacrifices in the Temple, in particular for the peace and Passover sacrifices. There was thus a special, consecrated circle around the city of Jerusalem.Dr. Juergen Buehler – The Tower Of The Flock 2012
So this area (Migdal Eder) was used to hold the flocks that were to be used for the sacrifices in the Temple, and this specific Tower mentioned was used to birth the newest members of this flock. The priest would grab the newborns of the flock, wrap them up and lay them in the manger until they were looked over and ready to be released. These were also no ordinary shepherds, but shepherds specifically chosen to pastor the flocks of the sacrificial system (most likely Levitical Priest of the tribe of Levi).
So by looking at all the information presented, we can see that Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem, but He was not born in a typical horse stable that the inn keeper suggested. Jesus was born at Migdal Eder (the tower of the flock), an area run by Levitical Priest who guarded over the flocks specifically used for the sacrificial system in the Temple. How symbolic is it that Jesus Christ (the Lamb of God) was brought to this location to be brought forth into the world to eventually be the ultimate and final sacrifice for all our transgressions?
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And always remember, why is it important to study Bible prophecy? Because never have we been closer than today..