And thou, O tower of the flock
The words "Migdal Eder" are left by some untranslated, and think that place to be intended so called, which was near to Bethlehem, ( Genesis 35:19 Genesis 35:21 ) ; and perhaps is the same which Jerom F20 calls the tower of Ader, about a mile from Bethlehem: this is supposed to be the place where the shepherds were watching over their flocks at the time of Christ's birth, the tidings of which were first brought to them here; and the Jewish F21 doctors speak of it as near Jerusalem, and as a place of pasture; for they say, that cattle between Jerusalem and Migdal Eder, and in an equal space to every wind; the males were used for burnt offerings, and the females for peace offerings; and this place is thought to be referred to in the latter clause of this verse: others think that Bethlehem itself is meant, to which the dominion came; but rather, as in the next chapter, the ruler came out of that; others think that the gate in Jerusalem called the sheep gate is meant, ( Nehemiah 3:32 ) ; and the tower at it, through which Christ is supposed to pass when he entered into Jerusalem as King, amidst the Hosannahs of the people; others take it to be the same with the tower of David, and put for Jerusalem itself, whither the tribes were gathered together three times a year, like sheep in a fold, so Kimchi and Ben Melech; here others interpret it spiritually of the church of Christ; but though that is sometimes spoken of as a strong city, and a fortified place, yet is never called a tower, or a strong hold; which phrases, when figuratively used, are always spoken of a divine person; see ( Psalms 18:2 ) ( Proverbs 18:10 ) ( Zechariah 9:12 ) ; and here of the Messiah; and so the Targum interprets it,
``O Christ of Israel:''the church indeed is the "flock": the people of God are often compared to sheep for their harmlessness and innocence, and the church to a flock of them, which is Christ's flock he feeds like a shepherd; the flock of slaughter, a little one, consisting of persons separated from the world, and under his peculiar care; and he is the tower of this flock, in allusion to a shepherd's cottage, called a tower, as a cottage in a vineyard is in ( Isaiah 5:2 ) ; where the shepherds watch, and into which they bring the sick and lame, and take care of them; Christ is a high tower, where his people are safe out of the reach of their enemies; and a strong one, being the mighty God and mighty Saviour, who has all power and strength to defend his church and people, and may be well called their tower: and the strong hold of the daughter of Zion;
"the daughter of Zion" is the church, particularly the church of the converted Jews; Christ is the strong hold of it, into which, as prisoners of hope, they will be directed to turn, ( Zechariah 9:12 ) ; a strong refuge he is to flee unto from the avenger of blood, the justice of God; from the curses of the law; from the storm of divine wrath; from the temptations of Satan, and from the persecutions of men; a strong hold is he to dwell in, and where the saints dwell safely, pleasantly, at ease and peace, and very comfortably, and in great plenty; a strong hold for shelter from every enemy: unto thee shall it come;
not the kingdom, as follows, which our version leads to, and is the sense of Aben Ezra; for there is a considerable accent on the word "come", which makes a large stop; and that it refers, as Jarchi observes, to "her that halteth" "it" or "she" that halteth shall come, being assembled and gathered, or converted by the grace of God unto the Messiah; as to her, or their tower and strong hold, where all blessings of grace, and the supplies of it, and all salvation and safety, are to be had and enjoyed. The promise respects the Jews coming to Christ upon their conversion, even such who have been the halt, the maimed, the lame, and the blind: even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of
or rather, "and the first dominion shall come, the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem": meaning, not the first notice of the Messiah's kingdom, given by John the Baptist, Christ, and his apostles, to the Jews, in the first times of the Gospel; or the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom first to them; but rather he who has the first or principal dominion, and to whom the kingdom belongs, he shall come to the daughter of Zion, as in ( Zechariah 9:9 ) ; though it rather respects here his coming to them at the time of their conversion, when they shall come to him, ( Romans 11:26 ) ; and when the first, chief, and principal kingdom in the world, and which is preferable to all others, will come unto, and be placed among them, as in ( Micah 4:7 ) ; and when it shall be, as some interpret it, as at the beginning, in the days of David and Solomon, and much more abundantly.
F20 De locis Hebr. fol. 89. E.
F21 T. Hieros. Kiddushin, fol. 63. 1. T. Ban. Kiddushin, fol. 55. 1. Misn. Shekalim, c. 7. sect. 4.