by Rabbi Mike L Short

A little known prophecy about MIGDAL EDER and the Lord's first coming can be found in small book of Micah. This teaching was first given by Rabbi Mike Short about 7 years ago at Beth El Messianic Congregation, in Glendale, AZ. We pray you will be a blessed.


Shalom - The Messiah taught his disciples that Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalmist all wrote of Him. Tonight I want us to take an in-depth look at the subject of MIGDAL EDER. We will look at many Scriptures, and we'll search out the hidden. Lets starte with Luke 24:44:

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. KJV

            Also in the Book of Hebrews Chapter 10 and verse 7

7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. KJV

And of course we know that the BOOK is, what is known, as the Tanakh(Old Testament), so if we want to find the Messiah we should look in the book that he taught. Edersheim says in his book, Bible History- Old Testament in the introduction, "For, properly understood, the Scripture is full of Christ, and all are intended to point to Christ as our only Saviour. It is not only the Law, which is a schoolmaster unto Christ, nor types, which are shadows of Christ, nor yet the prophecies, which are predictions of Christ; but the whole Old Testament history is full of Christ."

So we will begin by doing a study on some very interesting names in the Bible and how they apply to the Messiah.  So let's get started please turn to Genesis 35: 16-21.

Genesis 35:16-21 

16   And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.

17   And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.

18   And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.

19   And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.

20   And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.

21  And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar. (KJV)


In these few verses is the story of the Messiah!!!

 Bethel = "house of God"; (Strong's #1008)  Beyth-' El-  
He came from the House of G_d

['Epraataah]  (Strong's #672), Ephrath, "fruitful or ashy."   Or place of fruitfulness 

Gen 49:22

22       Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

Rachel = "ewe"; Strong's #7354  Rachel (raw-khale');  Rachel means 'Little Ewe' or Lamb; Ewe of course is female and the female lamb was used for the peace-offerings . He became our peace offering with the Father.

[Ben-'Owniy]  (Strong's #1126), Ben-oni, "son of my pain."  Or son of my sorrow     

He became the Son of sorrow


[Binyaamiyn]  (Strong's #1144), Binjamin, "son of the right hand." 

He is the Strong right hand of G_d


 [Beeyt-Lechem]  (Strong's #1035), Beth-lechem, "house of bread."

He came from the House of Bread to be the Bread of life.


            In Genesis 35:10 Jacob's name is changed

10        And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

Strong's #3478  Yisra'el-Israel = "God prevails";  he will rule as God;
Surely Yeshua will rule as God!!!

[`Eeder]  (Strong's # 5740), `Eder, "flock, fold." Migdal Eder (flock-tower) was a watch-tower built for the protection of flocks against robbers . He is our strong Tower; where the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" Prov. 18:10.

Prov. 18:10

10        The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

            Now let's expand a little on these verses and add some support.

Verse 21. As they travelled onward, Jacob pitched his tent on the other side of Migdal Eder. Migdal Eder (flock-tower) was a watch-tower built for the protection of flocks against robbers or animals or any thing that could cause a blemish (2 Kings 18:8; 2 Chr. 26:10; 27:4) on the other side of Bethlehem, but hardly within 1000 paces of the town, where it has been placed by tradition since the time of Jerome.

2 Kings 18:8

8     He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.

2 Chr. 26:10

10    Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.

2 Chr. 27:4

4     Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.

Genesis 35:16-26

Rachel, who had provided the inspiration and the love Jacob needed, came to the end of her way. She died in giving birth to her second son, whom she named Ben-oni, [son of my sorrow]. But Jacob chose the name Benjamin, [son of my right hand]. Rachel must have been buried somewhere south of Bethel, on the road to Hebron (Gen 35:16,19). Bethel was ten miles north of Jerusalem, and Bethlehem was about six miles south of Jerusalem. It is usually concluded that Rachel was buried in the immediate vicinity of Bethlehem. The traditional site is still pointed out to visitors to that city.

Verse 16-22a. On the journey, Rachel dies at the birth of her second son. "A stretch." It was probably a few furlongs. "Fear not." The cause for encouragement was that the child was born, and that it was a son. The reason for this was Rachel's desire and hope expressed at the birth of Joseph were therefore, fulfilled Gen. 30:24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.

"When her soul was departing." This does not express annihilation, but merely change of place.

This is the same way a believer should feel about going home to be with the L_rd! A change of place!   This presupposes the perpetual existence of the soul.

"Ben-oni," son of my pain, or son of my sorrow, is the natural expression of the departing Rachel. "Benjamin." The right hand is the seat of power. The son of the right hand is therefore, the child of power.

Acts 2:33, 34

33  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

Acts 5:31

31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 7:55

55  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

Acts 7:56

56   And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Rom 8:34

34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Eph 1:20

20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Col 3:1

1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Heb 1:3

3   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  

Heb 1:13

13  But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Heb 8:1

1   Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

Heb 10:12

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Heb 12:2

2   Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Pet 3:22

22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Rev 1:17

17  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  

Verse 21,22. [Eder.] The tower of the flock was probably a watch-tower where shepherds guarded their flocks by night, in Luke we see that this is so. It was a mile or more south of Bethlehem according to Jerome           

Luke 2:8

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. KJV

According to Edersheim in The Life And Times Of Jesus The Messiah, in Book 2, Chapter 6, this Migdal Eder was not "the watchtower for the ordinary flocks that pastured on the barren sheep ground beyond Bethlehem, but it lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem." A passage from the Mishnah leads to the conclusion that 'the flocks, which pastured there were destined for Temple sacrifices..." (Shekelim 7:4)  In addition, Migdal Eder is also mentioned by the Targums.  Thus, Targum Yonatan, cited by Rabbi Munk, paraphrases Genesis 35:23 and Micah 4:8, "He spread his tent beyond Migdal Eder, the place where King Messiah will reveal Himself at the end of days." What are we to make of all of this information from the writings of the rabbis? First, we know that Migdal Eder was the watchtower that guarded the Temple flocks those who were being raised to serve as sacrificial animals in the Temple. These were not just any flock and herd. The shepherds who kept them were men who were specifically trained for this royal task. They were educated in what an animal that was to be sacrificed had to be and it was their job to make sure that none of the animals were hurt, damaged, or blemished.

Micah 4:8

8      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.

The town of Bethlehem can be seen in the background, Migdal Eder is to the left of the valley, in the center, on the high hill. This is the place of His first dominion...

J. T. Willis has demonstrated the unity of the section (4:14; 5:5) on Beth-Lehem-Ephrathah. Though the latter is too small to be a fighting unit, from there the leader of Israel will arise.
The allusion to a Descendant of David is clear, inasmuch as his wellsprings, or origins, can
be traced from ancient times. The division between Israel and Judah is compared to the abandonment of the Israelites by this Descendant of David until the day when she who is destined to give birth does so, be she either the
almah of Isaiah 7:14 or the daughter of Zion
in 4:10.

Isaiah 7:14

14    Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Micah 4:10

10    Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.

We are always saying that the Rabbi s understand the scriptures concerning the Messiah, well let's look at a question asked about this in Micah:

Micah 6:5-7

5      O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.

6      Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?

7      Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

The Lord recalls his acts of salvation, citing the plot of Balaam. The people respond by asking what type of sacrifice is proper; must they make an offering of the firstborn?   They understood that God required a proper sacrifice.  But of course He did not expect them to supply their first born, He would give His ONLY Son!!!

Micah recognized only one king of Israel, YHWH. He recalls the pressing need of His justice toward Jerusalem and Samaria alike. However, he regards it as the will of YHWH that all Israel rally united around the dynasty which issued from Beth-Lehem. This dynasty has some connection with Ephraim, and is a guarantee of the nation's hope.

This difference between Micah and Isaiah does not preclude many analogies in the theology of the two prophets: the fidelity of the Lord endures despite his "wrath" (Micah 7:9; Isa. 9:11, 16); He remains the light of the faithful (Micah 7:8; Isa. 10:17); He is King of Israel (Micah 4:7; Isa. 6:1); and He has chosen the Descendant of David dynasty for the salvation of the people (Micah 5:1; Isa. 7:1 9; 9:6). Finally, the theology of Micah shares points in common with that of Hosea and Deuteronomy when he speaks of hesed ("mercy"; 7:18, 20), "the love of hesed" (6:8), and when he places mercy and humble submission to God above sacrifices (6:8; cf. Hos. 6:6).  And we all thought Paul made that up!!

 Micah 4:8

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.

[And thou, O tower of the flock] "`Tower of Eder, ' which is interpreted `tower of the flock, ' about 1000 paces (a mile) from Bethlehem," says Jerome (NOTE: de loc. Hebr. Arculf 670 A.D. found "a Church of the Shepherds," a mile from Bethlehem. Early trav. in Pal. p. 6. The Migdal Edar is mentioned also in the Mass. Shekalim c. 7. 4. "Of the herds, in the space between Jerusalem and `the tower of the flock' and on both sides, the males are for burnt-offerings, the female for peace-offerings. R. Jehuda says, whatever male animals are found (there) thirty days before the passover fit for it, are to be used thereto." in Sepp. Heil. Land. ii. 470) who lived there, "and foresignifying (in its very name) by a sort of prophecy the shepherds at the Birth of the Lord."

There Jacob fed his sheep Gen. 35:21, and there (since it was hard by Bethlehem) the shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks by night, saw and heard the Angels singing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The Jews inferred from this place that the Messiah should be revealed there (NOTE: Ps. Jonathan on Gen. 35:21. "This is the place, where in the last days Messiah shall be revealed"). (from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database) Also see above notes.

Luke 2:8-14

8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


Here, then we have two images of lowliness. The lowly Shepherd tower, for Bethlehem, the birthplace of David offers protection to the flock. In lowliness Messiah came, yet is indeed a Tower protecting and defending the sheep of His pasture, founded on earth in His Human Nature, reaching to Heaven in His divine; "a strong Tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" Prov. 18:10.

[Unto thee shall it come] (Literally, "unto thee shall it come (NOTE: The Masorethes seem rightly to have marked this by the accents), and there shall arrive etc.") He saith not at first what shall come, and so raises the soul to think of the greatness of that which should come. The soul is left to fill up what is more than thought can utter. "Unto thee," (literally, quite up to thee) No hindrances should withhold it from coming. Seemingly it was a great way off, and they in a very hopeless state. He suggests the difficulty even by his strength of assurance. One could not say, "it shall come quite up to thee," of that which in the way of nature would readily come to any one. But amid all hindrances God's Might makes its way, and brings His gifts and promises to their end. "And there shall arrive." He twice repeats the assurance, in equivalent words, for their fuller assurance (NOTE: Rup.), "to make the good tidings the gladder by repeating and enforcing them."

[The "first or former, dominion."] The word often stands, as our "former"(NOTE: So, the former time, (Isa. 8:23) deeds, (2 Chron 9:29; 16:11; 20:34) king, (Num 26:26) tables, (Ex 34:1) benefits, (Ps 89:50) days, (Deut 4:32; 10:10) kings, (Jer 34:5) prophets, (Zech 1:4; 7:7,12) temple, (Ezra 3:12; Hag 2:3,9). See Ges. Thes. p. 1251), in contrast with the "later." It is not necessarily "the first," strictly; and so here, not the "dominion" of David and Solomon exclusively. Rather the prophet is placed in spirit in the later times when the kingdom should be suspended, and foretells that "the former dominion," that is, that of the line of David, should come to her, not in its temporal greatness, but the line itself. So the Angel said, "He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever" (Luke 1:32-33).

[Kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem] that is, a kingdom, which should not be of her, but which should come to her; not her's by right, but by His right, who should merit it for her, and, being King of kings, makes His own, "kings and priests unto God and His Father" (Rev 1:6).

The Jews themselves seem to have taken these words into their own mouths, just before they rejected Him, when they hoped that He would be a king, such as they wished for. "Blessed be the kingdom of our father David that cometh in the Name of the Lord" (Mark 11:10). And in a distorted form, they held it even afterward(NOTE: Targum, "And thou, O Messiah of Israel, who art hid on account of the sins of the congregation of Israel, to thee the kingdom will come," (see the sense found in the Septuagint, Vulgate, Aquila, Symmachus, Syriac) and thence obtaining the sense "hidden," in reference to their fable that He was born before the destruction of the temple and hidden by God). (from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c)  by Biblesoft)

Looking back at the text, Jacob was mourning over death of his beloved Rachel. With the tears still fresh in his eyes, he pitched his tent in Migdal Eder the place where, in the future, a special Lamb would be born to comfort Jacob. He would be born where the sacrificial lambs were raised, and would one day offer Himself for the sins of Jacob. He would die an atoning death in the city of God, Jerusalem, and would rise from the dead. Then, as the years multiply and Jacob's trouble would increase, He would always be there to save and deliver Jacob from trials.

Finally some time in the future, this Lamb who was once born near Migdal Eder, will return to Jacob's troubled land and miraculously deliver his descendants who will be besieged by their enemies.

The Lamb will reveal Himself. Then take His rightful place, He will be seated on His throne as the glorious Son of David, as the greatest King of Israel. He will tend the sheep of the house of Jacob and all of those from the nations who have come to reside in that house. Thus, Jacob will finally be comforted from all of his troubles, trials, and heartaches. There will be no more mourning and tears from Migdal Eder. The lowly Lamb, who was incarnated there, will be Jacob s Comforter, and King, and Shepherd and Messiah forever and ever.

"If you would like to write Rabbi Mike Short with your comments,
click the Torah Scroll to
email him (which is much easier to access
than a fancy online
QRCode generator:"


Mayim's Logo
Mayim's Endnote