Some thoughts on Bethlehem

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Some thoughts on Bethlehem

Postby Og3 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:38 pm

It can be argued that Jesus may not have been born in December. The Bible does not say that he was. But the Bible does say where he was born, and the city bears examination.

It was a small town in Judah's tribal territory, near the border of Benjamin's tribal territory. Think of Judah offering to be a pledge for Benjamin's safety.

Beth-Lehem means "House of Bread." It was known for its bakeries, its wheat fields, its hillside sheep pastures, and for a monstrous resort that Herod the Great built overlooking it.

It is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis: Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin at the turn of the road near Bethlehem. She would have named him "son of my tears" (Benoni) but Jacob insisted on calling him Benjamin, "son of my strength" (literally, son of my right hand).

It is second mentioned in the book of Ruth. It is the city of Boaz, and the ancestral home of Naomi. Thus Naomi returned and brought Ruth, who fell in love with Boaz, and vice versa. Their son, Obed, was King David's grandfather. In Ruth we learn of several things, including the wheat-fields of Bethlehem, and the gleaning provision for the poor. We also learn the odd custom of the left shoe, which is otherwise mentioned only in Leviticus.

It is third mentioned in 2 Samuel, as the hometown of David, son of Jesse, whom Samuel, the last judge, appointed the second King of Israel. Thus it was known as the City of David from then onwards. There was another city known as Bethlehem, but this Bethlehem was also called "Fruitful" because of its large harvests, and was also called the City of David.

Bethlehem was always a very small town.

Finally, it is mentioned in the book of Micah: Bethlehem the Fruitful shall be the source of a King who shall sit on the throne of David, and who shall be of the line of David, and who shall wield the sceptre; as was prophesied of Judah by Jacob: A king shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes.

Bethlehem. A small town with a long history. An humble place with a proud past.

And in dark days, in troubled times, a light comes.
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