The Bible never says Jesus was born in a 'stable' but in a 'manger'
Last week we went over what the Star of Bethlehem probably was and some events associated with the birth of Yeshua around the Feast of Sukkot.
This week I want to go tie all this together and give you the probable scenario relating to that night. Joseph and Mary come to Jerusalem for the festival of Sukkot and stay in nearby Bethlehem to register for the census.
They couldn’t find a room so they are given shelter in a "sukkah because it was the time of Sukkot and people would have had them built to live in for 7 days."
During that night the wise men or "chachamim" arrive in Jerusalem and ask Herod about the newborn King, expecting him to be in Jerusalem.
At the same time Mary gives birth. There is an interesting fact here. The Bible never says that he was born in a "stable" but it says that when Yeshua was born, he was "in a manger."
Now, the Greek word for "manger" is "phatne" and it means "stall" and it is translated that way in Lk 13.15.
Phatne means a "hitching place for livestock." In Gen 33.17 we know that Jacob made stalls for his livestock and called them "sukkot" which is the Hebrew plural for "sukkah."
So, both the Hebrew "sukkah" and the Greek "phatne" both mean a place for livestock.
So you can say that Yeshua was not in a manger but a "sukkah." At any rate, Mary gives birth and angels appear to the shepherds saying that the Messiah has been born.
They make their way to the sukkah where he was while at the same time the wise men are making their way to Bethlehem following the "star" or kivod of God that had been leading them.
The shepherds leave Yeshua and go around praising and glorifying the Lord to everyone they came in contact with. At that time someone had compassion on the new mother and child and they were moved into a house.
The wise men arrive that night to Bethlehem from Jerusalem,which is only 3 miles away and find him in the house, pay homage and are warned by God to go home another way.
Joseph is also warned that night and to flee to Egypt until Herod is dead.
Wjile in Egypt, Herod dies soon after this and the couple return to Israel where they stop at the Temple for Mary to go through the ritual purification after the birth of a male child (Lev 12) and to dedicate Yeshua.
It is clear that they could not have gone to the Temple while Herod was alive.
It is while they are there that they receive the prophecies of Anna and Simeon.
When this is done, they return to Galilee. All of this happens within 40 days of Yeshua’s birth.