The Tower of the Flock or Migdal Eder, Bethlehem -- an early twentieth-century photograph
I wrote this carol largely to find a use for Alice Nevin's interesting and unusual tune "Cecil." I suggest that Micah's prophecy that the "Tower of the Flock" in Bethlehem, where the sacrificial lambs were raised for the Temple in Jerusalem, would be the place that would see the arrival of the kingdom of God, lay behind the Lukan account of the Visitation of the Shepherds. Indeed, that the idea that lay behind this in the early church was that the shepherds were custodians of the sacrificial lambs for the Jerusalem Temple, just as Jesus, the Lamb of God, was sacrificed as the Paschal Lamb. As I understand it, it does indeed seem to scholars that much of this theology may lie behind the tradition handed down in Luke 2:8-20, though the author of Luke's Gospel himself was quite possibly ignorant of much of this.