Then Israel journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder. Gen 35:21
Think on this.
Migdal Edar (or Eder) means tower of the flock. You first run into it in Gen 35:21.
Jacob, also known as Israel, travels with his entire family toward Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. His beloved wife, Rachel, goes into labor.
She dies in childbirth but gives birth to a son she calls Ben-oni, son of my sorrow.
Israel renames him Benjamin, son of my right hand. They bury her on the way to Bethlehem and Israel journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
This tower is about a mile north of Bethlehem. It the years preceding the death of Jesus the lambs raised around this tower and adjacent area were Levitical paschal lambs, used for sacrifice.
The Mosaic Law required around 1,500 lambs each year for sacrifice and it’s essential to raise them close to the Temple in nearby Jerusalem, only five miles away.
Micah prophesied something important happening at Migdal Edar – tower of the flock.
And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. Mic 4:8
In almost the same breath, Micah went on to say, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Mic 5:2
Now I already believe the great possibility of Jesus birth at Migdal Eder and Micah’s prophecy strengthens that belief.
It is on the way to Ephrath (Bethlehem Ephratah) that Rachel gives birth to a son – Ben-oni – son of my sorrow.
Isaiah prophesies about the Messiah saying, “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Isa 53:3
Jesus is a man of sorrow – a son of sorrow – that now sits at the right hand of God, thus making Him the Son of My Right Hand!
In know that is the name for Benjamin and Jesus is of Judah, but when the nation split in the days after Solomon, the Northern tribes of Israel numbered ten. The southern tribe of Judah also included the tribe of Benjamin, so it links the two together.
Next time I’ll dig deeper into this story and I haven’t forgotten about the timeline!