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What You Didn’t Know About Baby Jesus’ Swaddling Clothes

What You Didn’t Know About Baby Jesus’ Swaddling Clothes

You’ve read or heard the verses in Luke 2 about the Savior’s birth a thousand times. You’ve also heard the term “swaddling clothes” just as many. But today you’ll learn some details you perhaps never knew before. Luke 2:7 tells of Mary and the manner in which she cared for the baby Jesus as a newborn babe:

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now here’s where things get really interesting.

portraits of jesus

Shepherds Told of Swaddling Clothes “Sign”

When the angel Gabriel appeared to the shepherds in the field, he declared Christ‘s birth to them and he gave them a sign. And what was that sign? Luke 2:9-12 reads

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

For the shepherds, there was great significance in finding the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. See, these weren’t just any shepherds. They were Levitical shepherds. And the sheep? They weren’t just any sheep. They were sheep that were being raised to be offered as sacrifices in the temple. 

What the Sign Meant

Rabbi Jason Sobel goes into great detail in the video below about who these shepherds were, what their role was, and why swaddling clothes was a sign that would hold great meaning for them.

This is a video you will not want to miss. You’ll never hear the term “swaddling clothes” the same way again. (The first minute he talks about The Chosen, but the last minute he brings you the golden nugget!)

Click the Facebook link to watch the video >

What You Learn About Swaddling Clothes

  • The swaddling clothes was the sign
  • The shepherds who the angel appeared to were Levitical shepherds
  • These shepherds were raising the sacrificial Passover lambs for the temple

swaddling clothes

Anurag Nelson

Monday 29th of May 2023

Let’s keep the narrative simple. Normally a newborn child would be found in a house wearing baby’s clothes. Mary and Joseph were apparently poor teenagers without the support of family. The best they could do was layers of clothing. We already know there was no room in the inn.


Sunday 1st of January 2023

This could be correct, but to me, the sign was being "in a manger". That is the unusual thing. Wrapping a baby is a common occurrence. But I would like to learn more.

Clarification: Messianic Jews are Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah. They are Christians.

Brian Monson

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

The references point out that swaddling clothes had distinctive patterns for the purpose of carefully identifying the newborn as belonging to the birth parents. I read years ago from some BYU scholars that cloth that Mary used signified the royal descendency of Jesus all the way back to King David. Thus . . .

SHILOH -- whose right it is to rule and reign.

Aliu Emmanuel

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

The shepherds wee not jews. They were from the region of Persia. Modern day Iran. They were not levitical priests. They were Zoroastrians. Even levitical priests were not allowed to work. That's if I'm not mistaken. They were total foreigners. It's a reason they could go to herod to know about Jesus and not to Caiaphas. Follow my channel for more clarity

Josiah Benton

Monday 6th of December 2021

@Aliu Emmanuel, ur mistaken u are referring to the Magi or as they call them the three wise men they are different from the shepherds Shepherds arrived at the birth of Jesus and the Magi arrived some time after to see Jesus after some time passed as the star appeared at Jesus birth the Magi were such a long distance away and took them a long time to get to Jesus

Kenny Mazzanti

Saturday 14th of December 2019

Another thought about "swaddling" clothes from a BYU scholar.