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7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

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7. first-born—So Mt 1:25; yet the law, in speaking of the first-born, regardeth not whether any were born after or no, but only that none were born before [Lightfoot].

wrapt him … laid him—The mother herself did so. Had she then none to help her? It would seem so (2Co 8:9).

a manger—the manger, the bench to which the horses' heads were tied, on which their food could rest [Webster and Wilkinson].

no room in the inn—a square erection, open inside, where travellers put up, and whose rear parts were used as stables. The ancient tradition, that our Lord was born in a grotto or cave, is quite consistent with this, the country being rocky. In Mary's condition the journey would be a slow one, and ere they arrived, the inn would be fully occupied—affecting anticipation of the reception He was throughout to meet with (Joh 1:11).

Wrapt in His swaddling—bands,

And in His manger laid,

The hope and glory of all lands

Is come to the world's aid.

No peaceful home upon His cradle smiled,

Guests rudely went and came where slept the royal Child.


But some "guests went and came" not "rudely," but reverently. God sent visitors of His own to pay court to the new-born King.