Category Archives: shepherds and sheeps

Biblical reason for the shepherds to watch flocks in the open field in December

Disinformation

At the time that the angel announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields [see Luke 2:8]. It was not the custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October.

The truth

Torah requires its adherents to sacrifice animal every day, morning and twilight.

Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs each day, continuously.  The one lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; (Exodus 29:38-39)

This verses created a real need of two lambs (young sheep) in Jerusalem every day in any weather, including December weather. However, citizens were prohibited from raising sheep inside Jerusalem.

One may not raise small cattle [i.e., sheep, goats, etc.] in the Land of Israel, but one may do so in Syria or in the uninhabited parts of the Land of Israel (Mishna Baba Kama 7)1

The sheep farming, which are located close to the highway to Jerusalem, on Bethlehem pasture, supplied and met the daily need.

Shepherding on Bethlehem pasture
Shepherding on Bethlehem pasture
Bethlehem pasture.
Bethlehem pasture. Source: http://www.carrollcrossroads.com/uploads/7/4/9/9/7499075/206870_orig.jpg

The ritual of animal sacrifice needed sheep every day in any season, weather, temperature, and month; and the sheep farming on Bethlehem pasture was always there to meet the need. Here is a reason for the presence of shepherds and their sheep on Bethlehem fields in December.

Conclusion

The shepherds of Judea watched their flocks in the open fields in any month, including December, to meet the need of daily sacrificial lambs in Jerusalem, near the pasture.


 

Bibliography

1) http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04581.html. January 9, 2015. 11:49

A reason for shepherds to be on Bethlehem pasture in December

Torah requires its adherents to sacrifice animal every day, morning and twilight.

Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs each day, continuously.  The one lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; (Exodus 29:38-39)

This verses created a real need of two lambs (young sheep) in Jerusalem every day in any weather, including December weather. However, citizens were prohibited from raising sheep inside Jerusalem.

One may not raise small cattle [i.e., sheep, goats, etc.] in the Land of Israel, but one may do so in Syria or in the uninhabited parts of the Land of Israel (Mishna Baba Kama vii 7)1

The sheep farming, which are located close to the highway to Jerusalem, on Bethlehem pasture supplied and met the need.

Shepherding on Bethlehem pasture
Shepherding on Bethlehem pasture
Bethlehem pasture.
Bethlehem pasture. Source: http://www.carrollcrossroads.com/uploads/7/4/9/9/7499075/206870_orig.jpg

Conclusion

  • The sheep farming on Bethlehem pasture was always there, so were the shepherds, to meet the need of daily sacrificial sheep in any season, weather, month, and temperature.
  • Here is a reason for the presence of shepherds and their sheep on Bethlehem fields in December.

 


Bibliography

1 http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04581.html. January 9, 2015. 11:49

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Shepherds on Bethlehem Pasture in December

This posting provides arguments of shepherds on Bethlehem pasture in December.

Four arguments support  biblical story of shepherds on Bethlehem pasture in December night, in which Jesus was born.

1. Bethlehem is geographically located in Sub-Tropical Zone or Warm-Temperature Zone

Bethlehem is geographically located at 31° 4211North Latitude and 35° 1144East Longitude and at an altitude of 775 asl, suggesting that Bethlehem is located in the SubTropical Zone or Warm-Temperature Zone.

Betlehem berada di Zona Sub-Tropis atau Zona Temperatur Hangat.
Bethlehem is located in Sub-Tropical Zone or Warm-Temperature Zone.

In December, the highest and the lowest temperatures are 28° C and -1° C, respectively; while average temperature ranges from 6°C to 14° C. Snowfall is rare, drizzle is often.1

As long as geographical position of Bethlehem did not significantly shift in 24 last centuries, temperature range of Bethlehem in the time of Jesus Christ is similar to present.

2. Due to thick fleece, sheep naturally survive in the cold.

Sheep grows thick fleece covering its body, due to which, sheep naturally survive in the cold.

Bulu wol pada domba membuat domba secara alamiah tahan terhadap hawa dingin.
Fleece keeps sheep warm in low temperature.

The thick fleece keeps sheep survive at low temperature up to -40° C.2 It implies that both average (6°C-14° C) and lowest (-1° C) temperatures allow sheep on Bethlehem pasture in December.

Ilustrasi kemah gembala dan kalangan yang dibuat di padang gembala.
Illustration of shepherds tent on herding pasture.3

3. Shepherds use animal skins as supporting equipment

The shepherds in the fields did not sleep on the grasses in the open, facing stars in the sky.

They used a large tent, made of animal skin (see illustration above), so that temperature was warmer inside the tent.

In addition, the shepherds used animal skin/ hide/ fur  for their clothing, mat, and blanket, as well.

4. Ritual of animal sacrifices needed 2 sacrificial lambs every day in any weather.

The pasture, on which the sacrificial sheeps were herded, has been located near the road leading to Jerusalem.

Bethlehem pasture
Bethlehem pasture. Source: http://www.carrollcrossroads.com/uploads/7/4/9/9/7499075/206870_orig.jpg

This sacrificial sheeps intended for daily ritual of animal sacrifice. Therefore, sheeps should be available in the pasture near Jerusalem (Bethlehem pasture), either in bad or good weather, because the ritual was held twice a day (morning and afternoon) in any weather. Biblical reason for this ritual is further discussed in the next posting under title “A reason for shepherds to be on Bethlehem pasture in December

Conclusion

  1. Bethlehem climate and temperature in December still allow shepherds and their sheep were on pasture, even if it was night.
  2. The story, narrated by Gospel, of shepherds and sheeps on Bethlehem pasture in December synchronizes with Train of Thought about Christmas December 25.
  3. In any weather and any temperature, 2 sheeps had to available everyday on Bethlehem pasture to supply the daily animal sacrifice ritual in Jerusalem.

 

Bibliography

1. http://www.myweather2.com/City-Town/Israel/Bethlehem/climate-profile.aspx , December 29, 2014 , 9:00 WIB

Suhu rata-rata bulan Desember di Betlehem
Average December temperature in Bethlehem

2. http://www.ontariosheep.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=QaeULBxtXxw%3D&tabid=95,  December 30, 2014, 15:58.

Chambers, Robert. 20xx. Wintertime Ventilation Needs of Sheep. http://www.ontariosheep.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=QaeULBxtXxw%3D&tabid=95
Chambers, Robert. 20xx. Wintertime Ventilation Needs of Sheep. http://www.ontariosheep.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=QaeULBxtXxw%3D&tabid=95

3. http://messianic-torah-truth-seeker.org/Scriptures/Brit-Hadashah/Yochanan/Yochanan10.htm , December 30, 2014, 16:30

Mikhla ha-tson

 

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