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Unto US a Child is Born

by Dave Everett on December 15, 2019

"For UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (Is. 9:6-7)

Jesus, this Child, this Son has been born unto us.


CHRISTmas is all about CHRIST, our Messiah being born and given to us. Today I want to revisited the birth of our Messiah and examine many of the characters and components of this amazing CHRISTmas story. In doing so, we will see the awesome beauty of God orchestrating every single detail throughout the ages to bring us this Child, the Worthy Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.

Please know I am not here to boycott many of the the traditions that have portrayed the CHRISTmas story. Many of the traditions do not devalue the Truth that Jesus was born, crucified, buried and rose again for our justification. Many of the traditions do not devalue the Truth that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Nonetheless, through this journey of the Scriptures I hope you begin to appreciate all the more, how the Old Testament reveals how this Child is born unto us, the Worthy Lamb of God.

"
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with Child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.'" (Lk. 2:1-10)

SHEPHERDS


I want to begin our study by briefly examining these Bethlehem shepherds. These were not just any shepherds. These were priestly shepherds. Please understand the volume of sacrificial lambs that the priests needed to harvest.

According to the Levitical Law the priests need male lambs for the burnt offerings (Lev. 1:10) and female lambs for the peace offerings (Lev. 4:32). In addition to annual Passover Lamb the priests were required to perform burnt offering twice a day (Nym. 28:1-8; Ex. 29:38-42). Once in the third hour of the morning and again in the ninth hour of the evening.

Likewise they when they hoisted up, Christ being our burnt offering, to crucify Him, it was the third hour of the morning.

"Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him." (Mk. 15:25)

Then when Christ died it was the ninth hour.

"
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is translated, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, 'Look, He is calling for Elijah!' Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, 'Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.' And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last." (Mk. 15:34-37)

The twice-daily burnt offering of a male lamb as commanded in the Torah was known as the TAMIYD meaning "continual." It was offered up as the first and last offering of each day and scripturally, is the only sacrifice that strictly called for a male lamb without spot or blemish that could not be replaced.

"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.” (Micah 4:8)

MIDGAL EDER

Scripture reveals the Messiah as coming from the Tower of the Flock which is Midgal Eder in Hebrew. Midgal Eder is a station where priestly shepherds brought their flocks destined for sacrifice. Priestly shepherds were specifically trained for the the royal tasks of maintaining strict ceremonial births, insuring the sacrificial lambs destined for sacrifice were indeed unblemished and undamaged.

THE MANGER


 
The lower level of Midgal Eder was a birthing room. Once birthed, the newborn lamb would be placed in a manger. A manger was a hewn depression of limestone rock.

"So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Lk. 2:6-7)

Swaddling cloths or swaddling bands were used by priestly shepherds to subdue animals prior to sacrifice. Wrapped in swaddling cloths the priestly shepherds would then inspect the animal prepared for sacrifice to prevent it from blemishing itself. What is more, a sacrifice had to be bound in order for it to be valid.

"Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood." (Gen. 22:9)

"B
ecause there was born to you to-day a Saviour -- Who is Christ the Lord -- in the city of David, and this [is] to you the sign: Ye shall find a babe wrapped up, lying in THE manger.'" (Lk. 2:11-12, YLT)

Again, Christ was born to us in the city of David (Bethlehem). And this was the sign that the angels gave these priestly shepherds, they would find:

  1. The Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths
  2. Lying in the manger.

This is one of my favorite parts of the Scriptural account of the CHRISTmas story. It makes me appreciate the Old Testament in  avery deeper way. Base on this sign, these priestly shepherds would know precisely where to go. There were many mangers within the region. But the definite article "the" specifies what manger these priests would find this Child that was born unto us.

Throughout the ages, God had these priestly shepherds perform the same ceremonially ritual, year after year, illustrating what Jesus the Worthy Lamb of God would accomplish, once and for all. Then God orchestrated multiple events throughout the ages so that Christ our Savior would be born in the precise location of Midgal Eder, wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in the manger.

"...'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" (Jn. 1:29)

MARY & JOSEPH


"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.”
(Micah 4:8)

When you study the genealogies throughout Scripture, you will discover that both Mary and Joseph are direct descendants of David (2 Sam. 5:14; 1 Chr. 2:2-15; 1 Chr. 3:5; 1 Chr. 14:4; Mt. 1:5-6). What is more Boaz is the great-grandfather of David. Joseph came from the lineage of David and Bathsheba's son Solomon and Jacob was his father (Mt. 1:16). Whereas Mary came from the lineage of David and Bathsheba's son Nathan and Eli was her father (Mk. 3:23). Both Mary and Joseph came from the seed of royalty.

Therefore, when Caesar Augustus decreed a census be taken everyone returned to their his ancestral home (Lk. 2:1-3), Mary and Joseph returned to ancestral home, Bethlehem.

Scripture further teaches us that when a daughter is the only heir, she can own her father's possessions, if she marries within her own tribe. There is no mention in Scripture of Mary having brothers. Therefore, Joseph became Eli's heir by marriage when Mary and Joseph became bequeathed.

Now Boaz owned a home in Bethlehem with a threshing floor. This inheritance would have been handed down through the generations through the lineage of David.

Therefore, when Mary and Joseph returned to their place of origin, they found themselves at Midgal Eder in Bethlehem, the Tower of the Flock. Midgal Eder was the sacrificial birthplace of the sacrificial lambs. Again, God orchestrated so many events throughout the ages so that this would be the precise birthplace of our Messiah, Who was born unto us.

"...'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" (Jn. 1:29)

"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.” (Micah 4:8)

Guest-Chamber (Inn)


"And she brought forth her son -- the first-born, and wrapped him up, and laid him down in the manger, because there was not for them a place in the guest-chamber."
(Lk. 2:7, YLT)

Again, tradition would have us believe that Joseph and Mary became "stuck" in an animal stable as a means of last resort to give birth to our Messiah. However, there is no evidence found in Scripture to support this assertion. The Greek word that is used for inn is KATALUMA which is the same word as translated "guest-chamber." Therefore, as Young's Literal Translation reads, the Scripture reads; "There was not for them a place in the guest-chamber"--not "inn".

"And ye shall say to the master of the house, The Teacher saith to thee, Where is the guest-chamber where the passover with my disciples I may eat?" (Lk. 2:11, YLT)

"And wherever he may go in, say ye to the master of the house -- The Teacher saith, Where is the guest-chamber, where the passover, with my disciples, I may eat?" (Mk. 14:14)

Now please understand. According to Levitical Law, anyone who had an issue of blood had to live separated from everyone (Lev. 15:19-23). This include childbirth. During child birth there is a loss of blood. Therefore, a mother could not give birth to her child in a common place. She had to leave the home and give birth elsewhere.

This seems cruel. But again, can you see the hand of God orchestrating the events throughout the ages so that Mary would not only travel back to Bethlehem but be directed to Midgal Eder the sacrificial birthplace of the Lamb destined for sacrifice?

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

Bethlehem Ephrathah was the ancient name for Bethlehem. Bethelehem Ephrathah is just above the shepherd's field and northeast of modern Bethlehem lies the ruins of Bethlehem Ephrathah: the burial site of Rachel.

"So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)." (Gen. 33:19)

"But as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).” (Gen. 48:7)

This is beautifully amazing! Mary and Joseph return to their ancestral home in Ephrath Bethlehem, the David's birthplace, whose local roots contain the Seed of royalty. This goes back centuries and is the sacrificial birthplace of the lambs destined for sacrifice in the Temple of God.

Wisemen


"
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 
saying, 'Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.' When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.”' Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.' When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way." (Mt. 2:11-12)

The word wise men in the Greek is the word MAGUS which is also translated "magi." Some people think these men might have been kings. The identification of the wise men s kings is linked to Old Testament prophesies that seem to have the Messiah being worshiped by kings (Is.60:3; Ps. 62:29; Ps. 72:10), although not specifically mentioned. Therefore there is no Scriptural or historical evidence to support the conclusion that these wise men were indeed kings.

However, Scripture and history does record the Babylonian exile where the Babylonians deported many upper class Jews to Babylon, including Daniel and his three Hebrew friends. Eventually the Persian Empire conquered the Babylonian Empire and the Roman Empire eventually conquered the Persian Empire. Persia is modern day Iran, located east of Israel, whereas Iraq is modern day Babylon.

So then, why in exile in Babylon/Persia Daniel prophecies and writes:

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate," (Dan. 9:24-27)

Daniel, an noble Hebrew in the east, prophecies of the timeline (birth) of the Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem. Wise Hebrews in Persia studied these prophecies. These wise Hebrews, known as Torah keepers had full knowledge of Daniel's writings. No one else would have cared to examine these Scriptures. It would not have been in their interest to do so. Much less, travel 800-900 miles, determined to see their Messiah (Dan. 9:25; Mt. 2:2). Only Hebrews would have been so determined to find their King.

Star


Throughout Scripture, children of Israel were often referred to as stars (Gen. 22:17; Ex. 32:13; 1 Chr. 27:23). What is more, in Numbers 24 we have the story of Balaam. Balaak, the king of Moab hired Balaam to place a curse on Israel. But instead Balaam could only prophecy blessings over Israel. Balaam was from the town of Pethor on the Euphrates River near Persia. As Balaam prophesied he says:

“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult." (Num. 24:17)

Jacob is Rachel's husband who buried Rachel in Ephrath Bethlehem (Gen. 35:19; 48:7; Micah 5:2). These wise men saw the star while in Persia that is in the east (Mt. 2:2).

"
And Jesus having been born in Beth-Lehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, lo, mages from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, `Where is He Who was born King of the Jews? for we saw His star in the east, and we came to bow to Him.'" (Mt. 2:1-2, YLT)

Feast of Tabernacles

Awassi sheep is the most numerous and widespread breed of sheep in south-west Asia, including: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Cyprus and Israel. it is the most dominant and important breed of sheep in the Arab nations. Rams are introduced to the ewe while the lambs are weaning in the spring. Sheep give birth in the autumn.

Jesus lived 33-1/2 years. His ministry began at age 30 (Lk. 3:23). Thus His ministry lasted 3-1/2 years. It was at the baptism of John, when Jesus' ministry began. Approximately six months prior is the first Passover of Jesus' ministry (Jn. 2:13; 1:33-34; 2:23).

The second Passover of Jesus' ministry is recorded in John 5:1. If this was not the Passover it was at least the Feast of Weeks, which is seven weeks after Passover (Ex. 34:22) or the Feast of Tabernacles, which is six months after Passover (Lev. 23:33-34).

The third Passover of Jesus' ministry took place at the feeding of  the 5,000 (Jn. 6:4).

Then the fourth and final Passover of Jesus' ministry is where Jesus our worthy Lamb was crucified (Jn. 11:55; 19:13-15). The Passover was in the spring.

So then, based on this chronological information, 3-1/2 years prior to the Crucifixion would be in the autumn (late September - early October). Six months from the Passover is the Feast of Tabernacles. Which would also be when Jesus was born, 30 years prior.

"And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and Truth." (Jn. 1:14, YLT)

"And I have tabernacled in the midst of the sons of Israel, and have become their God,"  (Ex. 29:45)

Jesus the Word became flesh and dwelt or tabernacled among us. Again, I just love it how God has orchestrated everything throughout Scripture that points to Jesus our Messiah being born unto us.

"For UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (Is. 9:6-7)

"'For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!'” (Lk. 2:11-14)

Beloved friends, Jesus is the Worthy Lamb Who has taken away the sins of the world! This study and journey of the CHRISTmas story gives me a greater appreciation for the Old Testament Scripture as is prophecies of our Messiah, this Child Who was born unto us. I appreciate all the more seeing the testimony of Scripture fulfilled in our Christ. I appreciate all the more that there is no useless details throughout Scripture. For they, the Scriptures testify of Jesus (Jn. 5:39)!

Amen. Selah.

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