QUESTION #4: What are some of the interesting details regarding the shepherds?
Dr. Jimmy DeYoung:
“There’s an interesting event unfolding in the Shepherd’s Field, as Mary and Joseph appear there. In verse twelve it says … remember, priestly shepherds in the fields were watching over their sheep, and the Angel said, verse twelve, “This shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Now that’s interesting. It says it’s a sign, but what’s the significance of the sign? Well, I want to tell you those priestly shepherds knew because in verse sixteen it says that with haste they went to the location of the birthplace of Jesus Christ there in the Shepherd’s Field. Let me remind you again, Micah chapter 5 verse 2, Bethlehem, Ephrata.
But look across the page. If you have your Bible at hand, look up Micah chapter 4 and verse 8. “And thou, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughters of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come unto the daughters of Jerusalem.” So much to explain there. We don’t have time to do it. But let me say that it’s talking about the King of kings, the Lord of lords, coming to the tower of the flock, ultimately then to be in Jerusalem as the King of kings and the Messiah.
What’s the tower of the flock? …In chapter 35 of the book of Genesis, after the burial of Rachel, it says that Jacob then went over to the shepherd’s fields, actually to Migdol Adar. That’s what it is in Hebrew. Migdol, tower, Adar, flock. That’s where Jacob went and rested, pitched his tent. And the only other time that phrase “migdol adar” or “tower of the flock” is mentioned is in chapter 4 and verse 8. Now the tower of the flock was a two-story stone tower right on the edge of the Shepherd’s Field.
In the top story of that stone tower, the chief priestly shepherd would look over the field to make sure that the sheep were okay. They were going to be offered as sacrifices. No mark, no blemish at all could be upon these sheep. That was the top floor. In the bottom floor, the priestly shepherds would bring in the expectant mother lamb, carefully extract this newborn lamb from the mother lamb, reach back, pick them up some swaddling, wrap this newborn lamb in swaddling clothes, and lay it up in a manger because if that little lamb went off and marred its body, it could not be sacrificed. So, they wrapped it in swaddling clothes, laid it up in a manger for it to calm down, then they would unwrap it, and then a lamb would run off to its mother to get something to eat. That’s why those priestly shepherds in the fields, chapter 2, verse 16, went with haste to the location. It was Migdol Adar. God’s Word is so exact it tells us the time he would be born. It tells us the exact location, Migdol Adar, on the fields of the shepherds there in Bethlehem.
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