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"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord;"  (Luke 2,11)    


Bethlehem (House of Bread - House of Lahmu) is located about 10 Kilometers (6 miles) southwest of Jerusalem by the hill country of Judea on the way to Hebron. It is first mentioned in the Armana letters fourteen centuries BCE.

David, the youngest son of a Bethlehem-farmer (a shepherd) is chosen and anointed by the Prophet Samuel on behalf of the Lord as a king. (First Samuel 17:12). According to Matthew 2 and Luke 2, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and Matthew interpreted this as the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy. In effect it became a sort of official rightful place of the family line of David.

Christian tradition, perhaps as early as the second century CE, identified a cave as the site of Jesus' birth. About 338 CE Constantine, the Roman emperor and his mother, Helena, built a church over the grotto and In 527 Justinian the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire resettled in Bethlehem, his reign was one of great prosperity and expansion of churches. The site of the Nativity is a central pilgrimage destination for Christians from all over the world.

The Population of Bethlehem today is made up of Christians and Moslems. Among the Christians: Catholics of Latin, Syrian, Malachite, Armenian and Maronite rites and Orthodox of Greek, Syrian and Armenian denominations. Protestants are present in the Judean town.

 

Bethlehem Map

 

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