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Abrahams hand was stayed, and God provided a substitute sacrifice, just as He would provide in His Son, Jesus. I am currently researching the shepherds from Luke and shepherds/shepherding throughout the Bible. It all fits together, for thats the place where sacrificial lambs were born! According to the Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors. It was extremely important that he did not have any imperfections (blemishes). WebThe bawling of sheep rang across the fields of Bethlehem. The historian Josephus records contemporary Passover celebrations in which he estimates that the participants who gathered in Jerusalem to perform the sacrifice in the year 65 CE were not less than three million (Josephus, Wars, 2:280). He was born in the very birthplace where tens of thousands of lambs, which had been sacrificed to prefigure Him, the Lamb of the Eternal. So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel [Heb. On that night, the Israelites were ordered to eat the paschal lamb, and several restrictive rules were added to this feast. We do it on December 25th merely because it is a centuries old, entrenched tradition and we use this time to bring the good news and of the Nativity story in Matthew and Luke. According to the laws of the time the sheep that were used for the offerings had to be a one-year-old male sheep that had been outside for 365 days (one-year). Once the lambs were of age, the shepherds would take them to Jerusalem for the temple sacrifices. He was the Eternals First-fruit, the First of many to be resurrected. The hills around Bethlehem were home to the hundreds of lambs used in ritual worship at the Temple. He proclaimed, It is finished, and then passed away. [7] The ancient rabbis referenced this passage in the writings of the Mishnah and Targum. Joseph belonged to the family of David, which is why they were in Bethlehem that night. After we were finished taking pictures of the incredible Franciscan church we made our way to a natural cave close by. 21 And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar[Heb. The heat cycle averages about 17 days and she is fertile or receptive to the ram during that period for only 24 to 36 hours. Sin came into the world through Adam in the Garden of Eden, as presented in the early chapters of Genesis. PROCLAIMING THE MESSAGE OF YESHUA THE MESSIAH. Thank you Habib. The angel announced that this newborn child was YHVH the Messiah (Isa 53:1; Christ the Lord)the Savior (Luke 2:8 cp. In the Bible we find several other names for Bethlehem, includingEphratah (Micah 5:2) andEphrath (Genesis 35:16, 19; 48:7). Every important event in Yeshuas life corresponds to a Festival or day commanded by the Eternal. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. I thought it was quite intriguing that all of the fixtures within the church served purposes, which are absolutely amazing tour guide Habib explained. In Proverbs 14:4, in the Septuagint [Greek translation of the Old Testament], the word means a stall or a crib. What, then, was the stall or manger referred to in the New Testament; and what kind of animals were fed or housed there? But some scholars maintain that this date has been doctored because there still exists a page in his writings stating that springtime is the proper season of Yeshuas birth. How did they know about Yeshua? And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin. Once they would know to purchase the libation and meal offering, this would be out of pocket expense, they would then abandon the animal. The symbolism of the eating of the paschal lamb with the matzah and bitter herbs was a reminder to the Israelites of an enslaved past. It was in this special manger, Migdal Eder, that Jesus was born after Mary and Joseph could not find other lodging. The first month, on the first day of the month. However, based on biblical record (Micah 4:8)and other evidence we must conclude that Yeshua was not born a dirty stable of an inn where donkeys and other animals were kept. And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him. So the December birth date is, at the very least, doubtful. There is a teaching in the modern church that shepherds were outcasts, sinners, untrustworthy, banned from the Temple because they smelled and were unclean. literally House of God], he and all the people that were with him. What they saw was not a star but a rare phenomenon that happens every 6000 years and it pointed them to Israel and to Yeshua. On that day, God came down and tabernacled with man. They saw it at the time of Yeshuas birth and they journeyed from their country to look for him and honour him. Their job was to raise animals that were healthy and without blemish and pure enough for the temple sacrifices as stated in the Eternals instructions in the book of Leviticus. Lastly, Gods ultimate plan of redemption is reflected in the Feasts of the Lord, which God established as yearly rehearsals by the people of Israel, beginningwith the Feast of Passover and the shedding of the blood of an innocent lamb (Leviticus 23). The need for a substitutionary sacrifice and shedding of innocent blood to atone for sin is well established in Scripture, beginning in Genesis 3:21, where God made use of animal skins to cover the nakedness and shame of Adam and Eve following their disobedience. [3] From all accounts it appears that Bethlehem was a special place for raising sheep, unlike other areas where they were raised in the wilderness. When Habib was explaining the many intricate steps of the sheeps life I was astounded by the parallelism to Jesus Christ. Location: Canada. HE KNOWS THOSE WHO ARE HIS.JESUS BLESS YOU WITH MUCH FAVOUR,AND GRACE TO CONTINUE DOING HIS WILL. . Therefore, according to the Jewish regulations, the flocks under the care of the shepherds near Bethlehem must have been for the Temple-services. These shepherds watched over sheep destined as sacrifices in the Temple at Jerusalem. Everything points to these shepherds watching over sheep used for sacrifice. The Hag HaPesach reenacts the events of the 14th of Nisan (the pre-exodus period), and the Hag HaMatzot marks the actual departure from Egypt of the Israelites, which was concluded with the crossing of the Red Sea (exodus period). Pronounced: ah-doe-NYE, Origin: Hebrew, a name for God. So the minimum age for any sacrifice is eight days. As far as shepherds keeping sheep in the fields as Luke 2 mentions, sheep can stay outdoors all year due to their heavy wool coats, so this piece of info the Luke records isnt strange to me. Gestation period for a ewe is about 5 months. The priests stood in rows, and in their hands were basins of silver and basins of gold. The observance of the first Passover in Palestine is mentioned in the Book of Joshua(5:10-11). This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The lambs were born in this Tower of the Flock known as. And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him. How so? They were not there when Yeshua was born but around two years later they found him and his parents living in a house. These verses are a clear indication that the general function of the Passover pageantry was to serve as a constant reminder to the Israelites of their struggle against slavery and their wondrous deliverance from Egyptian bondage. However, the other evidence provided here is strong; and I believe the case for confirming Migdal Edar as the birthplace of Jesus is compelling. A Talmudic passage (dating from the period of the Second Temple [515 BCE 70 CE]) describes the Temple ritual on the 14th of Nisan. New-born lambs were put in a manger after swaddling them to keep them from being trampled and to keep them calm. 6 How old did sheep have to be to be used for sacrifices? But he did understand that God was all-powerful and that He was good, holy, and righteous. [Alfred Edersheim The Life and Times of Jesus Messiah (1899)]. [10] Micah 4:8 composite translation, also uses definitions from Strongs Exhaustive Concordance. It is the new year, everything starts anew. He was also the first to baptize converts, and he might have even started the first church as the disciples of Jesus were initially following John before they were instructed to follow Jesus (John 1:3537; Acts 1:1526). He sent the Set-Apart Spirit to his disciples on, In the writings of Hippolytus, early church father (ca. Probably not. Just try to leave out the pagan trappings! The Lords incarnation brought God down to man. The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional". The church was designed to have only one high point in order to represent a tent that the shepherds would live in. We headed to the Shepherds Fields within Bethlehem that was specifically dedicated to the shepherds depicted within the nativity story. I believe that Jesus was born in this same Tower of the Flock, and these shepherds went to see Jesus and His mother and father in that structure. All other offerings were generally slaughtered by the priests. What does it mean that baby Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes? It was not just any stable in Bethlehem. It should be noted that Ephrath (or Ephratah) was the ancient name for the area which later was called Bethlehem. He is, indeed, the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.. When the Second Temple was completed in 515 BCE, the entire biblical ritual of Passover was restored. Suppose each family brought one or two animals (which, down through history, was the norm). The description reflects the procedure in the time of the First Temple: The paschal lamb was slaughtered in three groups when the first group entered and the Temple court was filled, the gates of the Temple were closed. Isa 53:6, 1011). He died on Passover when the sacrificial lambs were sacrificed. I believe all of the following will ultimately be shown to point to Migdal Edar as the birthplace of Jesus: The shepherds who while watching their flocks by night became aware of exactly where to find the newborn Messiah in Bethlehem, The special lambs born and raised in the fields of Bethlehem, to be used specifically as Temple sacrifices, The account of the death of Jacobs wife Rachel, on the outskirts of Bethlehem. Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty, be fruitful and multiply: a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee will I give the land. When a baby was born, the umbilical cord was cut and tied; then the baby was washed and rubbed with salt and oil, and wrapped with strips of cloth. I live where the altitude is just under 5,000 ft and we dont always have snow in December or else just for a few days. Some scholars believe that it is more likely that Yeshua was born in the autumn festival of the Feast of Tabernacles but there is a problem with this theory because all males had to be in Jerusalem for this Festival, as specified in the Torah. By clicking Accept All, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here. This is the location that showed the entire group how fortunate that we have Habib as our tour guide. I want to thank Habib for helping this entire experience come to life for this group from Wabash College. What makes Bethlehem so unique, aside from being Yeshuas birthplace, is the fact that the lambs born and raised in Bethlehem were used for the temple sacrifices, according to rabbinic writings. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachels grave unto this day. The idea was to restore the livestock to its owner. WebJohn 2:14. What was the tower of the flock in the Bible? Because of the planets involved and their position in the sky they deduced that a Righteous King would be born in Judea. The word in Hebrew means repetition, which means that it was memorized material. Ill take sheep smell any day over that of chickens, for example. He sent the Set-Apart Spirit to his disciples on Shavout (Pentecost). He was born in the very birthplace of tens of thousands of lambs, which had been sacrificed to prefigure Him. A statue of Hippolytus in Rome today still mentions April as the month of Yehsuas birth [This date varies from year to year as the Hebrew months are based on the moon. When the shepherds heard the spectacular announcement by the multitude of heavenly host praising God, they knew exactly where to go to find the baby, wrapped in swaddling cloths, just like the newborn Temple lambs. The diminishing sunlight in their eyes due to the changing seasons triggers hormones that kick the ewe into heat. He was born in the small city of Bethlehem. This unique ritual included the slaughtering of the lamb on the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan (Leviticus 23:5). He once and for all would take away the sins of the world (Heb 10:10, 12), thus rendering their jobs as temple shepherds unnecessary. Jesus is the perfect lamb sacrifice, which God provided to pay for the sin debt of mankind. Where did the shepherds get the Lambs for sacrifice? Cooper P. Abrams III states in his article regarding Migdal Edar in Jerusalem: This watch tower from ancient times was used by the shepherds for protection from their enemies and wild beasts. They were not to eat it rare or boiled in water (Exodus 12:9). Why is it that most of us have never heard of Migdal Edar, let alone in referenceto the birth of Jesus? On our farm, we generally kept the rams with the ewes all the time. In his address to the priests and Levites he said, Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the God of Israel (II Chronicles 29:10). My position is that they went to where the newborn lambs were typically wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger in the Tower of the Flock (Migdal Edar), not far from where they were tending the sheep which birthed the lambs used for sacrifice in the Temple. A tekiah, teruah, and again a tekiah were then blown on the shofar. It seems the officers, whose province it was to take care of the temple, permitted a market of these animals, and other things necessary for sacrifice, to be kept in the court of the Gentiles, in order that the worshippers might be supplied with victims requisite for the altar. They were born on or around Passover. If theres snow on the ground, they will be in the barn not because its cold but because they cant get to the grass, and the hay is in the barn. That the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, was a settled conviction. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously. The festival served as a repudiation of idolatry. Why are shepherds banned from the temple in the Bible? The word of the lord. Once the other group left the cave Habib informed us that there is much more to the story of the shepherds. Many of Bethlehem's sheep were raised for sacrifice at the Temple. Every part of their lives revolves around the Temple. It was prophesied that he would be a descendant of David, the shepherd king who was also born in Bethlehem around a thousand years prior to Yeshua (for more information see THE BIRTH OF YESHUA ) The Magi, who were astronomers from the east saw a special star in the sky. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. I give credit to Cooper P. Abrams, III and his article Where Was the Birth Place of the Lord Jesus? Whether shepherds were tending the flocks in the field with their sheep in December is another issue, which I cant address. It would have to be a Spring Festival as everything would have to be in order. When his time had come Jesus was led to Jerusalem to be sacrificed. A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion, that the flocks, which pastured there, were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and, accordingly, thatthe shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds. Many people including me have covered this topic over and over again for decades, so all the info is out there already. December would have been too cold and probably too rainy for the shepherds to be out at night watching their flocks. A baby was not unusual in first-century Israel. The lambs sacrificed daily in the Temple ceremonies as well as the lamb sacrificed annually for the nations sins at Passover in the Temple were but a foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice of God. 301 W. Wabash Avenue These bands helped to provide comfort to the child, the tight bands replicating the feeling of the womb. Since these sheep needed to remain outside the shepherds were also outside, not using the cave during the awful winter (rainy season). When Messiahs presence comes, everything that was before is old everything now is new. Shepherds would typically only watch flocks in the open at night during the lambing season. However, you may visit "Cookie Settings" to provide a controlled consent. Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.

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where were the sheep raised for temple sacrifices

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