Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” 1 Sam 16:10-11
Think on this.
The shepherds north of Bethlehem raised sheep destined for Levitical use in sacrifices.
Traditional makes us believe that Joseph and Mary found no room in the inn and ended up in a stable or cave behind the inn, where they laid the Baby Jesus in a manger.
The Mishnah is the oral tradition of the Law given by the Rabbi’s. According to Mishnah, animals required rearing in the wilderness, not in the cities. (Mishnah (Baba Kama vii. 7)
So a manger – a feeding trough for animals – would not be located in the city of Bethlehem.
The couple found no room in Bethlehem and perhaps headed back to Jerusalem and it’s greater lodging possibilities.
On the way, Mary goes into labor and they find shelter at Migdal Edar, just a mile from Bethlehem.
If, indeed, it is the last night of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) then it is Tishrei 21 and the Sukkot guest is David.
Joseph, Mary, and Jesus all are of the lineage of David.
After His birth there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”Luke 2:8-12
Do not let the language convince you Jesus birth is in the city. If you asked me where I live I’ll tell you either San Augustine or Broaddus. I live in neither and ten miles from either. Even if you live a mile outside your city limit you would say you live in that city.
The closest manger for the shepherds is the one at Migdal Edar.
It is interesting to think of David as a shepherd. Perhaps he also raised lambs for sacrifice.
Given a date for Jesus as Tishrei 21, next time lets look at another miraculous birth.