The Manger: Holy Land Picture #4

The manger is a well known part of the Christmas story. What is less well known and perhaps surprising is the shape and materials of the manger. The manger pictured below was found during an archaeological excavation at Megiddo, Israel. This may be an accurate depiction of what the Christmas manger actually looked like.

A manger

Why stone?

Societies typically build with commonly found materials. If a society lives in a wooded area, they will build with wood. If a society has a lot of clay, they will build with clay. The Holy Land has a lot of stone; thus, Biblical cultures built with stone, and the Christmas manger was probably made of stone.

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The Manger in the Christmas story

Luke was the only gospel writer who mentioned the manger, but he mentioned it three times.

Luke 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

Luke 2:5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

Luke 2:6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

Luke 2:9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;

Luke 2:11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

Luke 2:16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

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“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

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