At the temple in Jerusalem, it is business as usual. Every day people come to offer sacrifices to God to pay for their sins, to thank God for blessings, to dedicate their firstborn sons. And each person requires an animal as close as possible to perfection as their sacrifice. They could bring their own, of course, but they run the risk of not passing inspection. So, many people purchase sacrificial animals at the temple. Year-old, first-born male lambs without any imperfections are required for many sacrifices, and those sold at the temple are carefully selected from a special flock set aside as Holy and belonging to God. They are raised by hereditary shepherds in the little town of Bethlehem. It’s not a glamorous job and it’s very hard work, but these particular shepherds take their jobs very seriously. They know they’re raising lambs for the Lord, and they feel that is a great honor, even if the rest of society doesn’t feel that way.
Deuteronomy 15:21, Leviticus 1:10-13, Exodus 13:2