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Bishop_Mahonri

The stables significance

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I came across something on BYUTV that I did not know or realize and I am fascinated by it.

The stable where Christ was born was very significant and symbolic to His birth.

In those times there was a special stable kept within the cities gates to hold the lambs for sacrifice at the Temple...those unblemished lambs....those that were deemed perfect for the sacrifice were kept there. And it was within this stable that the Lamb of God was born.

I never knew that...very profound!

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I'll want to read the research and reasoning before I reach any conclusions one way or the other. I don't suppose anyone has a link they could share?

The best I could find was this link, but it ony talks about the possibility that the shepherds visited by the angel were shepherds of sheep raised for temple sacrifice.

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Perhaps we cling to the idea that such a precious child would be born in a more noble place - surely this king of king and lord of lords was not born in a common smelly animal sty? I love the humble surroundings of his birth though...

We just had the nativity event at our church where we display lots of nativities from around the world, play the nativity movie, invite musical groups to perform in the decorated cultural hall, take pictures of people in the nativity etc. etc. Even though perhaps it should not be comforting, it is.. there's something peaceful, natural, earthy about it... to take something as ordinary and simple as an animal stable, and glorify it with Jesus' birth.

I like your post, and the nativity event sounds wonderful. Two thumbs up!

As for the idea in the OP, there are many strikes against it.

Migdal Eder, both by the biblical and Rabbinic sources, would have been a town or village, rather than a single watch tower in Bethlehem. Edersheim got it wrong, as did the many evangelical writers in recent times, like Bryce Hammond's anonymous commentator.

As for there only being one compound for sheep, nonsense. How do we know that Jesus was born in the one set aside for sacrificial lambs? Besides, why would those in charge of the sale allow a woman to give birth there? A woman giving birth was impure. People involved in the sacrificial preparations were extremely cautious regarding purity issues to a degree bordering on the paranoid. This is assuming that these people laid aside their business interests to help a mother-to-be.

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It is my understanding that Jesus was born in a cave called a Kahn near the outskirts of Bethlehem that would be somewhat comparable in culture to a motel today; a place for Travelers. As I Traveler in a strange land myself; I find such symbolism interesting.

That a manger was obtained to keep the child off the ground - that is quite important in that area. And thus the concept of a stable is speculation that may not be accurate.

The Traveler

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I also highly doubt this story of the temple stable. First off, if there were temple stables, they would have been in Jerusalem, and not in Bethlehem. Second, as Volgadon noted, Mary's giving birth would have made the area unclean. The reality is, the reading of the New Testament that there was "no place in the inn", may be wrong, and should state that Bethlehem had no inn for travelers. Instead, there were caves where travelers stayed for such events.

Also, John Gee notes that Joseph may have owned property in Bethlehem (requiring him to appear to pay land taxes), and so was staying with family, or perhaps had rented his own home there, and so stayed in the stable behind his own house on his property.

No Room for an Inn | Interpreter

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I also highly doubt this story of the temple stable. First off, if there were temple stables, they would have been in Jerusalem, and not in Bethlehem. Second, as Volgadon noted, Mary's giving birth would have made the area unclean. The reality is, the reading of the New Testament that there was "no place in the inn", may be wrong, and should state that Bethlehem had no inn for travelers. Instead, there were caves where travelers stayed for such events.

Also, John Gee notes that Joseph may have owned property in Bethlehem (requiring him to appear to pay land taxes), and so was staying with family, or perhaps had rented his own home there, and so stayed in the stable behind his own house on his property.

No Room for an Inn | Interpreter

I'm sure there was probably some place where the choicest lambs were kept before being taken to Jerusalem, makes it easier to estimate how many to be sold, and also one can keep a closer eye on them.

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I like your post, and the nativity event sounds wonderful. Two thumbs up!

As for the idea in the OP, there are many strikes against it.

Migdal Eder, both by the biblical and Rabbinic sources, would have been a town or village, rather than a single watch tower in Bethlehem. Edersheim got it wrong, as did the many evangelical writers in recent times, like Bryce Hammond's anonymous commentator.

As for there only being one compound for sheep, nonsense. How do we know that Jesus was born in the one set aside for sacrificial lambs? Besides, why would those in charge of the sale allow a woman to give birth there? A woman giving birth was impure. People involved in the sacrificial preparations were extremely cautious regarding purity issues to a degree bordering on the paranoid. This is assuming that these people laid aside their business interests to help a mother-to-be.

Do you have any theories or ideas as to why in all of Israel it seems that only a few shepherds received an angelic visit to announce the birth of the Christ - Many good and righteous individuals looked desperately for the Christ (attested to by scripture and history). Not even Levitt priest serving at the temple were visited?

Do you see any symbolism or any possible type and shadow for the second coming - that the angles appeared and announced to shepherds and no one else in Judea?

The Traveler

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