Luke 2:7

Her firstborn (ton prwtotokon). The expression naturally means that she afterwards had other children and we read of brothers and sisters of Jesus. There is not a particle of evidence for the notion that Mary refused to bear other children because she was the mother of the Messiah. Wrapped in swaddling clothes (esparganwsen). From sparganon, a swathing band. Only here and verse Matthew 12 in the N.T., but in Euripides, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Plutarch. Frequent in medical works. In a manger (en patnh). In a crib in a stall whether in a cave (Justin Martyr) or connected with the inn we do not know. The cattle may have been out on the hills or the donkeys used in travelling may have been feeding in this stall or another near. In the inn (en twi katalumati). A lodging-house or khan, poor enough at best, but there was not even room in this public place because of the crowds for the census. See the word also in Luke 22:11 ; Mark 14:14 with the sense of guest-room (cf. 1 Kings 1:13 ). It is the Hellenistic equivalent for katagwgeion and appears also in one papyrus. See Exodus 4:24 . There would sometimes be an inner court, a range or arches, an open gallery round the four sides. On one side of the square, outside the wall, would be stables for the asses and camels, buffaloes and goats. Each man had to carry his own food and bedding.