Joy to the World/O Come All Ye Faithful

Joy comes to earth in the form of a human baby, is wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger to protect Him from the elements and harm. He came to the area of Bethlehem known to the shepherds of that time as Migdal Eder ("Tower of Eder"), a tower mentioned in the biblical book of Genesis 35:21 and located near the present-day city of Bethlehem. A prophecy from Micah 4:8 has been interpreted by scholars to mean that the Messiah would be revealed from the "tower of the flock" (Migdal Eder):

"And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem. (Micah 4:8 NRSV)
Why was and is this tower important? Why mention this area? This area of Bethlehem was known to the shepherds of that day because that area used those towers to watch over and protect the flock of sheep which served as sacrificial lambs for the temple. They were watched and kept from harm by a special group of shepherds. These sheep were born in the "watchtowers" and sometimes swaddled and placed in mangers at the base of them to protect them from the elements, safe from wild animals, and free from blemish. Therefore, when the angels appeared to the shepherds in that area, they would have known immediately the symbolism of Jesus' birth in such a setting as was described and possibly where to go to find Him. The shepherds were the faithful who were called to risk their lives every day for a flock of sheep that they couldn't even enter the temple to sacrifice (because of their status) and now these faithful were to be the first to tell the world that the Lamb of God had come. The angels sang joy into the world and called the faithful to come, witness, and tell of the birth of the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world! He is here!


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