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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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At a Place Called Migdal Eder

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby….” —Luke 2:8

In the fields just outside of Bethlehem (the “House of Bread”), a few miles from Jerusalem and the Herodian Temple, there was a tower called “Migdal Eder” (translated: “watchtower of the flock”).

There is evidence to suggest that these particular fields were set apart by the Levitical temple priests solely for the shepherding care of sheep/ lambs identified and designated “unblemished”. Apparently, the fields were dedicated to overseeing the animals deemed worthy of being sacrificed on the Holy Days of the Jewish calendar,….most notably on Passover.

If this is indeed true, then the shepherds who watched over these particular flocks were probably not “ordinary” shepherds. They most certainly would have been temple-appointed, assigned and trained shepherds….perhaps, "priest-shepherds".

Seven centuries before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Micah wrote:

“As for you, O watchtower of the flock [Migdal Eder], O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem.” (Micah 4: 8)

Watchtower of the Flock


“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over all Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times….He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD.” (Micah 5: 2-4)

It is intriguing and fascinating to ponder the implications…..

At a Place Called Migdal Eder

In the fields of Migdal Eder,
Shepherd priests awaiting dawn…
From the Tower they were watching
Darkness fleeing…darkness gone1.

At a place called Migdal Eder ,
Just outside the House of Bread…
Shepherds heard the Word of Life there
In a manger for a bed.

Shepherds saw at Migdal Eder…
There!...The last Passover Lamb2!
There they trembled in his Presence,
Bowed before the true I AM3.

In the fields of Migdal Eder,
Mercy came to heal the blind4
Light of Life there condescended5,
Light who searches heart and mind6.

In the fold of Migdal Eder,
‘Neath the Tower of the Flock…
There!... Unblemished Lamb from Heaven7!
Cornerstone8… (and stumbling block).

There The Gift9 appeared from Heaven,
Virgin-born10, the Servant-King!
Into darkness Light exploded,
Herald Angels there did sing!

Born in time at Migdal Eder,
Precious Gift so long foretold11!
There…Eternal Truth delivered!
Born into that Tower-fold.

There!...Behold Shekinah Glory!
Shepherds quaked in Holy fear…
Word Incarnate revelation
That the wise man comes to hear.

In the fields of Migdal Eder,
Shepherds found the promised Christ…
Holy Love, true Grace extended…
God with us…The Ransom Price12.

In a manger, The Anointed ,
There Emmanuel the Son!
God’s true Light with man now dwelling
Calling out His Bride to come13.

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on
whom his favor rests.” —Luke 2:14

The Nativity (Domenico Ghirlandaio)

1 Isaiah 42:16

2 1Corinthians 5: 7

3 Exodus 3: 13-14

4 Psalm 146:8

5 Philippians 2: 6-8

6 Jeremiah 17:10

7 John 1:29

8 Ephesians 2:20

9 John 4: 10

10 Isaiah 7:14

11 Genesis 3:15

12 1Timothy 2:5-6

13 Revelation 19:7