by Marie Proctor.
There are different “layers” to the Bible. My favourite layer is the “Design of God” layer. I call this the “Why” level. Why Daddy, why did you do it this way?
I have found that this is the place where we find insight into The Ways of God and we come face to face with the supreme Megathos of our Creator. This is the place where revelation abides.
In this blog I would like to talk about the design of the birth of Christ. I am not going to discuss the virgin birth and how God supernaturally protected Jesus etc. Not because it is not important, but because this is well known to us.
However, I will talk about 7 other special design elements around the birth of Christ.
-1- Why did God deem it necessary to orchestrate a census?
Caesar Augustus ordered a census in 6 BCE (on a 14-year rotation) in the whole Roman empire which required every person to return to his place of origin. Joseph lived in Nazareth, but he had to go to Bethlehem because he was from the tribe of Judah. According to Micah 5:2 The Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem.
Why Bethlehem or Beit lechem?
Bethlehem means house of bread. He is the bread of life.
He is the true manna that came down from heaven.
Bethlehem is also known as the city of David. Christ is called the son of David, David = Beloved. The Son of the beloved.
David was a shepherd that became a king of Israel. Jesus is the King of Kings and He came as the Good Shepherd of His people.
-2– When Mary and Joseph came to Bethlehem there was no vacancy in the inn and Joseph and Mary were referred to a stable.
Why a stable? Because Jesus came as the sacrificial lamb of God and lambs are born in stables.
-3– Jesus however wasn’t born in a any stable. Jesus was born in THE STABLE, He was born in Migdal Eder also called The Tower of the Flock.
In Micah 4:8 it says:
And thou, O tower of the flock Migdal Eder, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
In the Jewish Targum Migdal Eder is translated “The anointed one of the flock of Israel.” The place where King Messiah will reveal Himself.
-4- Luke 2:7 gives a short account of the birth of Christ
And she gave birth to her Son, her firstborn: and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger.
In Luke2:11+12 we read the account of the angel appearing to the shepherds.
11 For to you is born today in the town of David a saviour (Jehoshua) Who is Christ (Hamashiach) the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
Why was the news given to the shepherds and not to the mayor of the town? Why are the cryptic clues “a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes” lying in a manger?”
The news was given to the shepherds because they had understanding and could interpret the three clues. They knew exactly where to find this baby and they knew Who This Child was that had been born.
Let me explain.
According to Alfred Edersheim, in his book: The life and times of Jesus The Messiah book 2 chapter 6, Migdal Eder was situated about 1 mile from modern day Bethlehem on route to Jerusalem and about 4 miles from Jerusalem.
In biblical times they built towers on the border of the towns. These towers were used to guard the inhabitants of the town as well as to guard the flocks at night against poachers and predators.
Because Bethlehem was so close to Jerusalem all the flocks for temple sacrifices were kept in this area. The ground in this area was known to be very fertile.
The shepherds that kept these flocks were all schooled in rabbinical law. The flocks as well as the tower, was kept according to strict rabbinical law. In other words, the tower was spotless.
When an ewe was to give birth, the priest or shepherd would bring her into the tower. The new-born lamb would be inspected and if it was without blemish it would be wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid it in a manger, to ensure that the lamb wouldn’t get injured. If the lamb was a boy, it would be for a sin offering and if it was a girl, it would be for a peace offering.
-5- The swaddling clothes used in biblical times was made from the used white linen garments worn by the priests.
If the garments weren’t fit for temple service anymore the tunics were torn into strips and these strips were used as swaddling clothes for babies as well as the sacrificial lambs. The swaddling clothes were considered holy unto the Lord because it had been used in temple service.
-6- Migdal Eder is first mentioned in Gen 35:16-21. This is where Rachel gave birth to Her 2nd son.
Rachel = little ewe. She called her son Benoni = Son of my sorrow
But his Father called him Benjamin = Son of my right hand. Rachel was buried near Migdal Eder.
According to Isaiah 53:3 a man of sorrows
Yet, He was exalted to the right hand of the Father
In Gen 35:10 God changed Jacobs name to Israel = God prevails: he will rule as God.
Proverbs 18:10 “Migdal zo Jehovah”. The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it, and they are saved.
In the book of Ruth, Ruth a Moabite or gentile woman returns with her mother in law to Bethlehem where she meets up with Boaz a wealthy relative of Naomi’s late husband Elimelech =My God is king. Bethlehem is also the place where Boaz (type and shadow of Christ) becomes the freewill kinsman redeemer of Ruth (the gentile) as well as Naomi (the jew).
-7- The star of Bethlehem:
In earlier times many astrological events were correlated to historic events. Example an eclipse on the day Herod died and a comet when Julius Caesar was assassinated. That a special celestial event took place at the Birth of Jesus would not be uncommon. It would be expected. However, the star of Bethlehem has always been a mystery.
In Prague in 1603 a mathematician Johannes Kepler observed the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. Kepler remembered something he read by a Rabbinical writer Abravanel (1437-1508).
Jewish astronomers maintained the when there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces the Messiah would come.
In ancient Jewish astrology Pisces was known as the House of Israel and the sign of the Messiah. Jupitar is the Royal star. Pisces is the point in the heavens where the sun ends its old course and starts its new course i.e. new beginnings. (1st of Nissan).
The hypothesis of Kepler was rejected but in 1925 references to this conjunction was found in the cuneiform inscriptions of the astrological arrives of the ancient School of astrology at Sippar in Babylonia. Excavations at the site of Abu-Haba revealed tens of thousands of clay tablets from the school archives that dated from the Old Babylonian and Neo-Babylonian periods. In 1925 a German P Schnabel found a note on a tablet about the conjunction on Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. This convergence was recorded 3 times over period of 5 months in 7 BCE.
The conjunction in Pisces is observable in the southern sky over Judea and would sit directly over Bethlehem if you were observing them on the way from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
Jesus or Yehoshua the saviour was born in Bethlehem in Migdal Eder, the tower of the flock, the place where the Messiah was to be revealed. This is the place where all the sacrificial lambs for temple sacrifice had been born for centuries. Jesus was Gods sacrificial lamb, the sin offering for the whole world. He was without blemish, wrapped in swaddling clothes, priestly garments, holy unto the Lord laying in a manger. He is The Tower (the Migdal) of His flock.
My prayer for you today is:
Thank you, Father that You show everybody here today your design for their lives present, past and future. In Jesus Name.