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Verses 6-7

Luke 2:6-7. And while they were there, the days were accomplished, &c. Whatever views Mary might have in going up to Bethlehem, her going there was doubtless by the direction of Divine Providence, in order that the Messiah might be born in that city, agreeably to the prophecy of Micah 5:2. And she brought forth her firstborn son Τον υιον αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον , her son, the firstborn; that excellent and glorious person, who was the firstborn of every creature, and the heir of all things. See note on Matthew 1:25. And wrapped him in swaddling-clothes By her doing this herself, it is thought her labour was without the usual pangs of childbearing. And laid him in a manger Though the word φατνη , here used, sometimes signifies a stall, yet it is certain it more frequently signifies a manger, and certainly the manger was the most proper part of the stall in which the infant could be laid. As to the notion of Bishop Pearce, that not a manger is here meant, but a bag of coarse cloth, like those out of which the horses of our troopers are fed when encamped; and that this bag was fastened to the wall, or some other part, not of a stable, but of the guest- chamber, or room for the reception of strangers, where Joseph and Mary were lodged; this odd notion is amply confuted by Dr. Campbell in a very long note on this passage. Tradition informs us that the stable, in which the holy family was lodged, was, according to the custom of the country, hollowed out of a rock, and consequently the coldness of it, at least by night, must have greatly added to its other inconveniences. Because there was no room for them in the inn The concourse of people at Bethlehem being very great on this occasion. It seems there was but one principal inn at Bethlehem, now but a small village, and that when Joseph came thither it was full, so that he and Mary were obliged to lodge in a stable, fitted up as a receptacle for poor travellers, in which they, and the animals that brought them, were meanly accommodated under the same roof. Now also there is seldom room for Christ in an inn. It will not be improper to observe, on this humiliating circumstance of our Lord’s birth in a stable, how, “through the whole course of his life, he despised the things most esteemed by men. For though he was the Son of God, when he became man he chose to be born of parents in the meanest condition of life. Though he was heir of all things, he chose to be born in an inn, nay, in the stable of an inn, where, instead of a cradle, he was laid in a manger. The angels reported the good news of his birth, not to the rabbis and great men, but to shepherds, who, being plain honest people, were unquestionably good witnesses of what they heard and saw. When he grew up he wrought with his father as a carpenter. And afterward, while he executed the duties of his ministry, he was so poor that he had not a place where to lay his head, but lived on the bounty of his friends. Thus, by going before men in the thorny path of poverty and affliction, he has taught them to be contented with their lot in this life, however humble it may be.”

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