Bethlehem

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The main street leading from the Church of Nativity, Bethlehem, 1880.

Bethlehem (Arabic: بيت لحم‎ Bayt Laḥm (help•info) "House of Meat" Bēt Laḥm,lit. "House of Bread"; Hebrew: בֵּית לֶחֶם Bēṯ Leḥem, Modern: Bet Leḥem [bet ˈleχem], lit. "House of Bread"; Ancient Greek: Βηθλεέμ [bɛːtʰle.ém]) is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank, about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem. It is thought the original name was Beit Lachama, from the Canaanite god Lachama. The earliest mention of the city is in the Amarna correspondence, 1350-1330 BCE, as "Bit-Lahmi". The Hebrew Bible identifies it as the city David was from and where he was crowned as the king of Israel. The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. The city is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.

Quotes[edit]

Grotto (Jesus birthplace in the center, Manger at the right - In Bethlehem the cave is pointed out where He was born, and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. And the rumor is in those places, and among foreigners of the Faith, that indeed Jesus was born in this cave who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians.
Birth place of Jesus Christ - Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. - Bible.
Adoration of the Magi The Star of Bethlehem is shown as a comet above the child. Giotto witnessed an appearance of Halley's Comet in 1301. - The Star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope. - Jesus Christ.
Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the eternal love? - Henry Van Dyke.
  • And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:
    And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam;
    And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sun rising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia,
    And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah;
    And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel:
    And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.
  • And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?
    And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem:
    And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table.
  • And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!
    And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD.
  • So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
    And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
  • Matthew 2:16 - Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
    • Bible in: Bible verses related to Bethlehem from the King James Version, King James Bible Online.
  • Micah 5:2 - But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.
    • Bible in Bible verses related to Bethlehem from the King James Version, King James Bible Online.
  • The Star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope.
  • Eternal God, this holy night is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light. May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem this night fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. May we share the divine life of your son Jesus Christ, even as he humbled himself to share our humanity. Amen.
  • One response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to find a room where the Child could be born. The innkeeper was not hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied. This§ is the answer that millions are giving today. Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they cannot find room for Christ. All the accommodations in their hearts are already taken up by other crowding interests. Their response is not atheism. It is not defiance. It is preoccupation and the feeling of being able to get on reasonably well without Christianity.
  • Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ's birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehem's of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.
The Magi and the Star of Bethlehem.
We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light. - John Henry Hopkins, Jr..
  • The Magi and the Star of Bethlehem.
    We three kings of Orient are;
    Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
    Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
    Following yonder star.
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright,
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.
  • Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
    Gold I bring to crown Him again,
    King forever, ceasing never,
    Over us all to reign.
  • Frankincense to offer have I;
    Incense owns a Deity nigh;
    Prayer and praising, voices raising,
    Worshipping God on high.
  • Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
    Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
    Sealed in the stone cold tomb.
  • The triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 7 B.C. was seen in the constellation Pisces in the months of May, September, and December. This provides sufficient time for the magi to see the first conjunction, begin their trip west to Judea, visit Herod by the second conjunction or at least soon afterwards, and perhaps not reach Bethlehem until the third conjunction when it is said to have appeared in the southern sky, and Bethlehem is just south of Jerusalem. Remember how the magi rejoiced to see the star again as they departed Jerusalem for Bethlehem.
...This Advent, let's go to Bethlehem and find our kneeling places. - Ann Weems.
  • In Search Of Our Kneeling Places
    In each heart lies a Bethlehem,
    an inn where we must ultimately answer
    whether there is room or not.
    When we are Bethlehem-bound
    we experience our own advent in his.
    When we are Bethlehem-bound
    We can no longer look the otherway
    Conveniently not seeing stars
    not hearing angel voices.
    We can no longer excuse ourselves by busily
    tending our sheep or our kingdoms.
  • Ann Weems in: Kneeling in Bethlehem, Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 19
  • This Advent let's go to Bethlehem.
    and see this thing that the Lord has made known to us.
    In the midst of shopping sprees.
    let's ponder in our hearts the Gift of Gifts.
    Through the tinsel let's look for the gold of the Christmas Star.
    In the excitement and confusion, in the merry chaos
    Let us listen to the brush of angels’ wings
    This Advent, let's go to Bethlehem and find our kneeling places.
    • Ann Weems in: Kneeling in Bethlehem, p. 19.

The Magi Visit the Messiah[edit]

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, w:MagiMagi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.

Mathew in: Matthew 2 New International Version (NIV) The Magi Visit the Messiah, Bible Gateway

  • When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
  • But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
    for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.
  • Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.
  • After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

External links[edit]

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