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“Why Bethlehem?”

Last week our friend Faye Shaw told Pam and me about Migdal Eder, the Tower of the Flock.  This reportedly was the place where lambs to be sacrificed in the Temple at Jerusalem were born and kept until the appointed time.  A number of Bible students apparently now believe that this is the place where Jesus was born.

According to this understanding, the birth of Jesus occurred at Migdal Eder, which is the traditional location where Passover lambs were born.  These special lambs were cared for by particular shepherds who provided the necessary care for them, including keeping them in stalls and wrapping them in swaddling clothes.  Part of the responsibilities of these shepherds were to inspect the newborn sheep to confirm that each one was fit to be serve as a Passover lamb.

When the angels announced Jesus’ birth, they appeared to these unique shepherds who watched over the Passover flock. The details in the announcement the angels gave to the shepherds – that the babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger – meant that these shepherds would know the specific place where they would need to go to find the newborn babe.  Ultimately this understanding explains why these particular shepherds were notified of the birth:  they were ordained to certify each Passover lamb upon birth, including Jesus, the Lamb of God, at His birth.

For more information on this topic, here are some introductory articles on the topic:

CBN article

Moody Radio article

This next link is to a video that covers some of the high points of this

A more in-depth study is provided in this next link to a video covering key scriptural and historical writings.

Additional discussions are found on other websites as well, such as these:

Of truth, Jesus fulfilled all that was prophesied of Him. Nothing in His life, suffering, and death to take away the sins of the world were left to chance.  In this regard, it is helpful to remember how Moses foretold of the Messiah’s coming.  The prophecy is found in Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

15) The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

16) According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

17) And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Both before and after His death and resurrection, Jesus confirmed this prophecy given by Moses.

Before His death and Resurrection: John 5:39-47

40) Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.

41) And ye will not come to me that ye might have life, lest ye should honor me.

42) I receive not honor from men.

43) But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

44) I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

45) How can ye believe, who seek honor one of another, and seek not the honor which cometh from God only?

46) Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is Moses who accuseth you, in whom ye trust.

47) For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

48) But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

After His death and Resurrection: Luke 24:25-27

24)  Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

25)  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

26)  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

May we then believe all that the prophets have spoken of our Redeemer Lord, Jesus Christ.