Jesus - The Reason for The Season


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MYTH: Easter is derived from false pagan goddess

What Is A Christian Nation

Biblical References in Give Me Liberty Speech by Patrick Henry

HISTORICAL RECORD: Winter Months Grazing for Sheep in Bethlehem area

Fox News December 24, 2013: Too cold for shepherds in December

The Real Lincoln - Despot

Is the Constitution Really Inimical To States Rights? - Part Fourteen

MYTH: Too cold for shepherds to Tend Flocks in December - Part 2

Gun Control Coming to the Senate Floor on Monday

74th Anniversary of 'Gone with the Wind' premiere

The First Thanksgiving Day - flyer

The Death of Jefferson Davis - December 6 1889

Marietta Daily Journal - on The First Thanksgiving

Demonstration against Lindsey Graham & Southern demographic displacement

MYTH: Too Cold For Shepherds in December

December 4 was First Thanksgiving, in Virginia, not Plymouth

Next League Demonstrations Against Southern Demographic Displacement

Federal Government Propaganda Machine

What is wrong with Thumping the Bible?

Drones for our protection. For those who will believe anything!

 

HISTORICAL RECORD: Winter Months Grazing for Sheep in Bethlehem area

The following is from Bible Study notes and Biblical commentaries by Dr Tim Bulkeley Tekoa was in the vicinity of Bethlehem and would have not only had the same flock grazing methods but would have shared some pasturage with the shepherds headquartered in Bethlehem. This is from material about the prophet Amos.

Many say that it was too cold for the shpeherds to be tending their flocks in December in the vicinity of Bethlehem. However this area has average lows about the same as Lake City, Florida, is warmer than where Jacob tended Laban's flocks and it is where the forage would have been.

View toward Bethlehem Tekoa, on the Eastern slopes of the Judean hills, is most often identified as the modern Khirbet Taqu`a. (See map on left.) This region is on the edge of the rain shadow of the higher hills to the west, and was therefore too dry for reliable cultivation.

From the hills of Taqu'a Bethlehem (about 8Kms north) and Jerusalem (twice as far again) can just be seen. The main road south along the ridge is not far off, and a small route leads down to the Dead Sea near En Gedi (the "Ascent of Ziz"). Chart showing terrain of Topka

The descent from the Judean ridge to the Dead Sea forms a series of broad "steps" (see the wireframe 3-D map right).

Map showing relative distance to BethlehemThough this area is dry, there is sufficient vegetation to allow grazing for part of each year. In the winter flocks are grazed on the lower "terraces" and in summer on the high ground above Tekoa.

The probability that the sheep farmers of Tekoa in Amos' day were semi-nomadic removes one of the most telling objections to this identification of Tekoa. For, while it is true that Sycamore figs (see Am 7:14) do not grow and fruit in the highlands, they are found lower near the Dead Sea.

In any case 7:12 seems to suggest a Southern origin for the prophet. As does the choice of language to speak of Amos as prophet, cf. esp 7:12 (hozeh) and 14 (nabi').

Despite the mention of Tekoa as a "city" built by Rehoboam for Judah's defense (2 Chron 11:6) there is little evidence that the site was a town, although investigations, including a brief dig under the auspices of ASOR in 1955 show the area was inhabited in this period.

A cave was excavated (a tomb?) where among other finds were lamps and pots with the shape and style typical of the pre-exilic, "Iron II" period (1000 BCE - 586 BCE). 

MYTH: Too cold for shepherds to Tend Flocks in December (Part 2)

What is the average temperature around Bethlehem in December? Average Low Temperature by month

Remember, Bethlehem is a few miles south of Jerusalem at about 2,500 feet which is the same as Jerusalem. The flocks would have been tended more in the valley than at the top of the mount, so the temperatures faced by the shepherds would have been warmer than either recorded in Jerusalem or those that Jacob experienced.

With very little effort this information is easily available. The Weather Channel website provides the recorded average low temperature by month for many locations, including Jerusalem. In fact it will compare the average lows per month between two locations. Doing a little research with this tool gives an interesting comparison between Lake City, Florida and Jerusalem, Israel (Click here and then select Avg Low option).

As you will see from either using the link or from the image at the right, the December temperature in Jerusalem is two degrees cooler than Lake City Florida; 42 vs. 44 degress. The same is true for Jacksonville, Florida. However the average low temperature for Valdosta, Georgia and Albany, Georgia are a degree or two cooler than Jerusalem. So the average December low temperature in Jerusalem (at the top of the mount) is the equilvalent of extreme south Georgia or extreme north Florida. Not exactly Arctic conditions so to speak.

And that is at the top of the mount in Jerusalem and the valleys where the sheep would be tended would be warmer. So the average December temperatures that the shepherds would have faced would be warmer than Lake City, Florida.

Anyone who has ever been around Lake City, Florida can tell you. December winters in the area are rather mild, while there may be a few nights with a freeze or frost, they are NOT severe. Certainly the hardy people of the Biblical times would have been capable of facing this rather mild climate! Jacob certainly was.

So the statement that it is too cold in December for the shepherds to be tending their flocks is incorrect!

Most of the people who make the claim that it is too cold for shepherds to be in the fields with their flocks have never tended sheep (or goats). Some information on sheep herding and care for sheep will verify that once again that this is a false claim.

 

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