After His birth in a stable in Bethlehem, the baby Jesus was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for livestock. This manger may have been hewed out of rock. Stone mangers about tree feet long, eighteen inches wide, and two feet deep have been discovered in the ruins of King Ahab’s stables at the ancient city of Megiddo.
The “swaddling clothes” in which Jesus was wrapped after His birth were strips of cloth that were wound tightly around a newborn’s body to restrict movement. This custom is also mentioned in Ezekiel 16:4.
The inns or public lodging places of Bible times were nothing like our modern motels. They were little more than primitive shelters or camping sites near a well where people and their animals could bed down for the night. Travelers were expected to provide their own bedding, food, and cooking utensils.
The inn at Bethlehem had no lodging spaces left when Mary and Joseph arrived in town. But they were allowed to sleep in the adjoining stables where the animals of travelers were kept.
LUKE 2:7 – She [Mary] brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.