Long before Jesus was born, it was prophesied where He would make His entry on earth. But, is there a deeper reason why Bethlehem should be Jesus’ birthplace?
Jesus’ birthplace, Bethlehem
Micah 5:2 declares, “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 Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” In Micah 4:8 it says, “And you, o tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion. To you shall it come, even the former dominion shall come, the Kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”
This reveals that promised Messiah would be born not just in Bethlehem, but specifically, in Migdal Eder or the tower of the flock. Migdal Eder was a tower built with rocks and stones that served as a shelter for the shepherds and their sheep. It was located in a field where the Levitical shepherds tended sheep. The sheep they guarded were those used in sacrificial offerings in the temple and the shepherds were very careful to keep the lambs free from having blemishes or scars.
According to Rabbinic tradition, the priest would come to Migdal Eder before a high holy day to inspect the lamb. The lamb was then placed in a manger to be checked. Next, they wrapped it in a swaddling cloth to bring it to Jerusalem to ensure its purity.
The shepherds who first received the news of Jesus’ birth were not just ordinary shepherds. They were Levitical shepherds.
Therefore, the birthplace of Jesus was a foreshadow of His mighty to come. He was placed in a manger, wrapped in swaddling cloth because He was the Lamb of God – unblemished and pure, worthy to be the sacrifice for the remission of sins.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'” Luke 2:10-12
Reference: One for Israel Ministry