On my website (Luke810.com) there was a feature where you can search the website by subject. There was also a disclaimer that many of these lessons were written years ago, and I have learned more and grown more since then. So over time, some of my views have changed and the lessons are invalid. Today’s lesson is to demonstrate a different view from one previously posted.
The Tower of the Flock is first mentioned at the death of Rachel, Jacob’s beloved wife. She died at the birth of Benjamin. (Genesis 35:19-21) This occurred near Bethlehem and near the Tower of the Flock (migdal-eder Strong’s H4029). Interestingly, Rachel in Hebrew means “ewe,” a female sheep.
The Tower of the Flock is not specifically mentioned as the place of the birth of Jesus in Scripture, but it is a fascinating study. According to Alfred Edersheim in his 1883 book, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, the tower was the place where sacrificial lambs were born and specially cared for. Alfred Edersheim was a Jewish Christian. Brother Edersheim reported that the shepherds were Levites and were able to certify that a lamb was unblemished and qualified for sacrifice at the Temple.
John the Baptist, who was of the priestly lineage, also certified the Lord Jesus when he stated, “Behold the Lamb of God.” (John 1:29) Luke chapter two tells us that Mary and Joseph were in a shelter for animals. What better place for the Lamb of God to be born than in the Tower of the Flock, in or near Bethlehem, where other sacrificial lambs were born?
I know that we are not directly told that Jesus was born there, but it seems so appropriate.
There is another fact that helps fill the pattern of the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, being born as other sacrificial lambs were born. The fertility cycle of sheep causes ewes, female sheep, to be receptive to becoming pregnant in the Fall. Lambs are born in the Spring. Sheep farmers will tell you that it is an unusual event for a lamb to be born in the Summer or Fall.
Therefore, to fit in the pattern, or foreshadow, of sacrificial lambs, the Lord Jesus would have to have been born in the Spring!
If this is correct, it completely destroys December 25th as the date of His birth. At the very best, December 25th is a poor guess. At its worst, it is the day when pagans celebrate the rebirth of the pagan god Tammuz. There are other examples of the Second and Third Century church converting pagan celebrations to “Christian” holy days. The celebration of Ishtar, or Asarte, or Easter is an example.
By the way, the legend of Tammuz says that when he was killed some of his blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree, which then sprang back to life. The evergreen tree became the symbol of Tammuz who also came back to life.
In the next lesson I will explain the change to my opinion and how it confirms the “sacrificial lamb” pattern.
Our God is a God of Truth. May the Truth be known. May He have mercy on us for our faulty understandings and for celebrating as the world celebrates. May His name always be praised!