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EDER (1)

e'-der ('edher, "flock"):
(1) One of the "uttermost cities" of Judah in the Negeb ("South") near the border of Edom (Josh 15:21), possibly Kh. el `Adar, 5 miles South of Gaza, but probably this is too far west. (2) Eder (the King James Version Edar) or better Migdal Eder, mighdal `edher, "the tower of the flock"; Gader. After Rachel died and was buried "in the way to Ephrath (the same is Bethlehem) .... Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder" (Gen 35:19,21). In Gen 35:27 he is described as proceeding to Hebron. This "tower of the flock," which may have been only a tower and no town, must therefore be looked for between Bethlehem and Hebron. Jerome says that it was one Roman mile from Bethlehem. In the Septuagint, however, 35:16 and 21 are transposed, which suggests that there may have been a tradition that Migdal Eder was between Bethel and Bethlehem. There must have been many such towers for guarding flocks against robbers. Compare "tower of the watchman" (2 Ki 18:8, etc.). The phrase "Migdal Eder" occurs in Mic 4:8 where Jerusalem is compared to such a tower.
E. W. G. Masterman
Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'eder (1)'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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