This word occurs only in (Luke 2:7,12,16) in connection with the birth of Christ. It means a crib or feeding trough; but according to Schleusner its real signification in the New Testament is the open court-yard attached to the inn or khan, in which the cattle would be shut at night, and where the poorer travellers might unpack their animals and take up their lodging, when they mere either by want of means excluded from the house.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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