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Laid in a manger significance

One Jewish scholar Alfred Edersheim, drawing on Jewish tradition and lore, suggested that the place Jesus was born was Bethlehem’s Migdal Eder, the tower which was used to watch over the special sacrificial flocks of the temple from birth to temple sacrifice. The tower had a table where ewes delivered the lambs which were then wrapped in swaddling strips. Edersheim offers several important connections:

Migdal Eder (literally ‘Tower of the Flock’) is mentioned in Genesis 35 as the place where Rachel died giving birth to a son, Benjamin. The name Benjamin means “Son of my Right Hand” but it wasn’t his original name. He was first called Ben-Oni meaning ‘Son of Sorrow’. So, there is a connection between Migdal Eder, Bethlehem and a child who is both a Sorrow’ and ‘Son of my Right Hand’.

Micah 4 establishes the expectation of a godly King intrinsically linked with Migdal Eder who would ultimately restore people and lead them victorious over evil. This Messianic figure would bring ultimate peace because he would establish among the nations.

According to Jewish writings, the shepherds of Bethlehem would tend the sheep for the temple sacrifices. In addition, it was said that when a lamb which met the requirements for the Passover sacrifice was born, the shepherd would wrap it in cloth and lay it in a feeding groove on the floor of Migdal Eder to prevent it from any harm.

Simon Ponsonby

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From the book "Amazed by Jesus"

Available on amazon.co.uk*

Available on amazon.com*

Available on amazon.com.au*


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