Luke 2: 8-20 “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them… And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (ESV)
What a glorious birth announcement this message was to the shepherds in the field that night! This was the long expected announcement the nation of Israel had waited and watched for so long. The Messiah had come! His birth place had even been prophesied by Micah the prophet.
Micah 5: 2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
The Messiah was to be born in the city of Bethlehem and this was exactly where Jesus was born. God has told them four hundred years before His birth the exact location.
Bethlehem at this time was known as the region where the “sacrificial lambs” for temple worship were raised. Located about 6 miles from Jerusalem and the Temple mount, this was a perfect location for lambs to be raised and cared for by the priests whose duty was to make sure there was not spot or blemish on the lambs that were to be offered as a burnt offering.
Numbers 28: 3 “And you shall say to them, ‘This is the offering made by fire which you shall offer to the Lord: two male lambs in their first year without blemish, day by day, as a regular burnt offering.
Thousands of lambs were raised on the hills of Bethlehem. Two male lambs without spot or blemish was offered per day as a daily sacrifice. One was offered in the morning and one was offered every evening. In addition, there were other offerings during the year that required lambs to be sacrificed such as during Passover.
The shepherd priests cared for these little lambs with great care for even a bruise would disqualify them from becoming the acceptable offering. It is said that during the lambing season, the ewes ready to lamb were brought into of a tower with a large room at the base and a watch tower at the top. The tower was called “The Tower of the Flock” or Migdal Eder in Hebrew. It was here that the birthing of the lambs took place. It had to be a ceremonially clean birthing place. Once born, the lambs would be wrapped in swaddling cloths made from strips of old priestly garments in order to prevent them from injuring themselves. They were placed in depressions of limestone rock within the tower known as a manger and later inspected for spot or blemish.
Scripture makes reference to the Tower of the Flock: Micah 4: 8 “And you, O tower of the flock,The stronghold of the daughter of Zion,To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come,The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”
The Shepherd Priests would have known the prophecy concerning the Messiah. Some suggest that perhaps Jesus was born in the very place these sacrificial lambs were born wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manager.
Regardless of this thought, whether true or not, the parallels to the Tower of the Flock is evident as Jesus was the Lamb of God announced by John the Baptist in John 1: 29 …“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus became the sacrificial lamb to die for the sins of the world—yours and mine!
God did not spare the details of the sacrificial system throughout the Old Testament that pointed directly to His Lamb Jesus. God did not spare the details concerning the coming of His Son the Messiah for prophecy had been recorded for hundreds of years before Jesus was born. God’s amazing details were laid in place before the creation of the heavens and the earth in order for God to make His plan known to mankind and above all to bring glory to Himself.
If you do not know Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, as your personal Savior, please click on this link to find out how to be saved from sin and death: