A manger or trough is a rack for fodder, or a structure or feeder used to hold food for animals. The word comes from the Old French mangier (meaning "to eat"), from Latin mandere (meaning "to chew").
In the Old Testament of the Bible, a manger was used to place the best lambs for sacrifice. The lambs were swaddled and placed in the manger so they would be calm and unblemished to therefore be used in sacrifice. Jesus was born in a place used for birthing sacrificial lambs. The male lambs born in that place, and others like it in the Bethlehem area, were to be used exclusively in the temple. They were set aside to be the tamil, or the morning sacrifices which began each day. They were also used for the burnt offerings. The female lambs were used in the temple for peace offerings. However, the most common usage for these lambs that were born in Bethlehem was this: they were destined to become Passover lambs. The manger is symbolic of Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, becoming the sacrifice for all mankind’s sins.
A manger is also a Christian symbol, associated with nativity scenes where Mary and Joseph, forced by necessity to stay in a room for animals instead of a guest room, used a manger as a makeshift crib for the Baby Jesus. (Greek: φατνη phatnē; Luke 2:7).
Donkey eating apples from a steel trough
- Harper, Douglas. "manger". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
- Mahoney, Leonardo (1996). 5,000 years of Architecture in Malta. Malta: Valletta Publishing. Format. p. 123-124. ISBN 9990958157. ISBN 9789990958157
- William, Francis Dawson (1902). Christmas: Its Origin and Associations. E. Stock. Retrieved 2014-12-25.