What Is A Manger In The Bible


The manger is an important part of the biblical narrative and has a deep spiritual significance for many. The word “manger” is an anglicized version of the Latin word “mangare” which means “to eat” or “to graze.” It is a receptacle in a stable that is used to hold food or water for animals or humans, and it appears in a variety of books throughout the Bible. The manger is significant in the birth of Jesus as a symbol of humility and hospitality. It is also a symbol of humble beginnings, of service to God, faith, and redemption.

The manger plays an important role in the Christian faith, particularly during Christmas and Easter celebrations. Both of these holidays explore the Incarnation, when Jesus took on human form, and the Resurrection, when Jesus was resurrected after his death. By placing a manger in the stable, it serves as a reminder of the humble circumstances of Jesus’ birth, as well as what he had been born to do.

Biblical References

The most popular reference to the manger in the Bible is found in the Gospel of Luke, when Mary and Joseph are struggling to find shelter before Jesus’ birth. The text describes how “she laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Stothard’s painting of the scene demonstrates how the manger provided a safe place for Jesus to sleep. This scene has been interpreted as an illustration of God’s mercy in providing an unlikely place of refuge and His faithfulness in honoring His promises.

The Bible also makes references to the manger in the book of Isaiah. “A manger shall be for the cattle” (Isaiah 42:11), and “we shall lie down in peace, for you alone, O Lord, will make us to dwell in safety” (Isaiah 32:18). These verses express the security that comes from trusting in the Lord and being sheltered in His arms.

Symbolic Significance

The manger is a powerful symbol of faith and devotion, humility, and redemption. It’s a reminder of Jesus’ humble birth and of His faithful service to his father. It’s also a reminder that His sacrifice and teachings were ultimately meant to secure our salvation. The manger is a physical manifestation of the significance of Christmas and Easter, and as such, it’s an important symbol in the lives of many Christians.

The manger also serves as a reminder that there’s still work to be done in the world. In reflecting on the manger, we are reminded that we are each called to respond to the needs of others by caring, serving, and giving generously. There are many in need, and the manger reminds us of our obligation to fulfill Jesus’ command to love one another.

The Manger Today

The manger is an integral part of the Christmas story and is often seen in nativity scenes and church decorations. It’s a reminder of the modest circumstances of Jesus’ birth, and it serves to remind us of the way He grew up and of His message of compassion and forgiveness. The manger has also become an important part of Easter and the message of renewal that it conveys.

Although the traditional manger is often seen as a stable or a trough for animals, the modern manger can symbolize any receptacle for food and water, including plates and bowls. The manger is not only a physical reminder of Jesus’ birth, but it’s also a reminder of the redemption that He brought to all humanity.

Practical Significance

The manger has a practical significance in the life and faith of many Christians as well. One way that many Christians use the manger is to use it as a way of counting their blessings. Placing a token or a small item in the manger each morning helps to remind the person of God’s generous provision, whether it is a good night’s sleep, a healthy meal, or a loving conversation.

The manger also serves as a reminder of hospitality, of the need to welcome strangers or those in need. It’s a reminder of the importance of providing food and shelter for those in need, and of caring for those who are less fortunate. This is an important part of being a Christian, and the manger serves as a powerful reminder.

Meaning in the Home

The manger also has a practical significance in the home. Many Christian families put a manger in their homes as a reminder of the birth of Jesus and the humble circumstances of his entry into the world. It’s a powerful image that can help to teach children about the importance of humility and hospitality. Placing a manger in the home also provides a powerful visual representation of the story of Jesus’ birth and can serve as a helpful conversation starter as children learn about Jesus.

The manger can also serve as a reminder of the need to take care of our bodies. Eating healthy foods and drinking water are important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and a manger can serve as a reminder of this. It can also be used to teach children the importance of good nutrition and physical activity.

Modern Significance

Today, the manger still holds immense spiritual significance for many Christians. The manger is a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, and of the importance of sacrificial love. It’s also a reminder of humble beginnings, of service to God, faith, and redemption. As we approach Christmas and Easter, the manger is a reminder of the Incarnation and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and of the love and grace that they symbolize.

The manger is a powerful reminder of the humility and service of Jesus, and of the love that he showed for all of humanity. The message of the manger is one of hospitality and service; of feeding the hungry and caring for the needy. This message is one that all of us should strive to follow, and the manger reminds us of this message each day.

Spiritual Significance

The manger is a powerful reminder of the spiritual significance of the Bible. It is a reminder of the promises of God and of the power of prayer and faith. It is a reminder that there is hope for all of us, no matter our circumstances. It is a reminder that no matter how insignificant we feel, God will always provide in His own way.

We can look to the manger as an example of how to live our lives. We are all called to serve one another and to show love and kindness in our everyday lives. The physical presence of a manger in the home can serve as a reminder of this calling and provide a tangible reminder of the light and hope that Jesus brings into our lives.


The manger has been a part of Christian faith and culture for centuries, and it continues to have an important spiritual significance today. It is an important reminder of Jesus’ humble birth, and of the love, mercy and sacrificial nature of Jesus. It serves as a visible reminder of God’s faithfulness and of the need to show hospitality and kindness to those in need.

The manger also serves as a practical reminder of the need to take care of our bodies and to be mindful of our nutritional needs. And it is a powerful reminder that no matter how small or insignificant we feel, God is always there, providing for us in His own way.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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