The Real Place of Jesus’ Birth

Andy Richardson
2 min readDec 17, 2023

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“As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).

Micah predicted the birthplace of Jesus seven centuries before it happened.

The birthplace was identified in two ways: by location and by historical connection.

Bethlehem was nearby to Jerusalem and familiar to everyone for a thousand years and more. It was known as the House of Bread and thought to be the oldest town in Palestine. Its history stretched past king David, who was born there, and went back to the age of the Patriarchs when Jacob buried his wife Rachel there.

Genesis 35 tells us that Rachel died on the way to Ephrathah, which is just along the road running past the fields outside Bethlehem. While grieving and burying his wife, Jacob pitched his tent next to Migdal Eder, the strong tower, that stood in that location. This is the same location that the prophet Micah identified as the future birthplace of the Messiah (4:8 & 5:2), the specific site where Jesus would be born (4:8).

By the time of Christ’s birth, the strong tower of Migdal Eder had become the inspection site for the lambs used in the Temple sacrifices. Each lamb was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger to be sure they were without spot or blemish according to Levitical law. The shepherds were a special class of herders who kept their flocks outdoors all year long, including on one cold winter night when singing angels appeared in the sky.

When the angels told these shepherds that they would find the baby born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling cloths, they knew exactly where to go… Migdal Eder, the strong tower. Because the town of Bethlehem had no vacancies, Joseph and Mary found refuge in the seclusion of the strong tower that Micah had predicted so long ago.

The Lamb of God, without spot or blemish, entered the world according to the Scriptures, in Bethlehem Ephrathah.

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Andy Richardson

pastor, business owner, contractor, sports fan, and freelance writer