DAY OF MIDIAN
Isaiah predicts a victory for God's people. It will be a time of "a great light" which the Church connects with Christmas. Isaiah compares it with a famous battle of the past. Midia was a region northern Arabia. Moses had lived peacefully with them–even marrying a Midianite woman, Zipporah..
During the time of the Judges (c. 1225-1100 B.C.) Midian raiding parties had wreaked havoc on Israel. One Judge, Gideon, won a decisive victory–here referred to as "The Day of Midian."
Until the end of the 19th century, many cultures had a custom of baby swaddling. The infant would be tightly wrapped in narrow strips of cloth most of time. The arms and legs would be bound, preventing movement. Parents did this in the belief that it protected the baby not only from injury but also disease. Some infants might be left in these wrappings for days. Usually, though, the wrappings were removed and changed regularly. The midnight Mass Gospel notes that Jesus was swaddled.
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