My wife found these two verses as we were looking into a place called Migdal Eder. This Christmas connection adds support to the story we know and love.
Migdal Eder is a new place and term for us. We heard about it in connection with the sheep and shepherds around Bethlehem. In my post (Jeremiah – A Christmas Connection) we talked about Jeremiah 31:15 because of Rachel and her death and mourning. Both of these things are part of the history of Bethlehem. Migdal Eder was a tower that was used to guard the sheep that were used for the Temple. This tower/cave/birthing pen/stable might have been where Jesus was born. The reference in the Bible is Micah 4:8 and uses the term watchtower and stronghold and in 5:2 we have Bethlehem added as the location. There are many opinions and much uncertainty about Migdal Eder but I feel it has a place in the Story.
During the study we saw Job 38:7 – “the morning stars sang together and all of the angels shouted for joy” (NIV). This is part of the Lord’s answer to Job. It also would fit very well into the Genesis narrative of the story of creation. It describes the angel’s songfest for the shepherds on the first Christmas. So, how does a creation idea work into Christmas? Jesus’ arrival marked a new beginning for mankind and especially Israel. The Bible is the story of the children of God and our history. First, with natural Israel and then with spiritual Israel. The two stories need to be told together to get to all that the Lord God wants to show us.
Over the years, we have heard many facts and traditions about the swaddling clothes or strips of cloth that Mary put on Jesus and that the shepherds were to be looking for. These two things are tied to Migdal Eder.
They could have been at THAT stable for the lambs for the Temple. There seems to be a few facts about the wrapping up of Temple lambs in strips of cloth from the worn-out priest robes. Some people reference tour guides in Israel as their source of information and others quote an eighteenth-century book about a third-century oral tradition. Do your own study – the idea is nice but very few solid facts about wrapping up baby lambs.
Ezekiel 16:4 does talk about the practice of child care after birth. The child was washed in water, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in strips of cloth. This verse and story of how God treated Jerusalem can also be used as part of the Exodus story as the washing might be the trip through the Red Sea after they were delivered from Egypt. The rubbing with salt may be the forty years of wandering and the wrapping up could be the protection God gave Joshua and David.
These verses are good additions to my other Christmas Connection verses.