view northeast from
with Herodium (center horizon) & Judean wilderness in distance
Hebrew: "House of
A Judean town 6 miles
southwest of Jerusalem
on the main route to Hebron
& Egypt that in ancient times was a fortified outpost. It
was the reputed burial site of Jacob's wife Rachel
& later the hometown of David. The town lost
strategic importance during the Hellenistic era (4th c.
but retained symbolic significance for Jews because of a
prophecy of Micah predicting that another great king would
come from Bethlehem. This prophecy figured in the formation of
the birth stories of Jesus.
Gen 35:19, 48:7.
Ruth 1:1-2, 19, 22; 2:4, 4:11.
1 Sam 16:4; 17:12, 15; 20:6, 28.
Micah 5:2 (cf. John 7:42).
Matt 2:1, 5-8, 16.
Luke 2, 15.
Church of the Nativity at
Bethlehem with waist-high entrance (center)
Perspective on the
World of Jesus
Copyright © 1999-2019
Mahlon H. Smith
All rights reserved
an American Theological
Library Association Selected Religion Website
OCLC catalog no.: 62046512