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Bethlehem "the city of David"
But you, O Bethlehem Eph'rathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
- Micah 5:2

The name Bethlehem [Beit Lehem in Hebrew, Beit Lahm in Arabic] means House of Bread, reflecting its fertile grain-growing location. This village, on the edge of the Judean desert, was the birthplace & home of David who was anointed king of Israel by the prophet Samuel. Jesus, from the line of David, was born here in fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy of Micah (5:2). Bethlehem's 40,000 residents, which is almost entirely Christian, and the surrounding villages of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala are home to most of the Palestinian Christian minority.
Basilica of the Nativity marks the birthplace of Jesus

church bell tower

The Shepherds' Field 

frotressed entrance to Basilica

town of Bethlehem
 

Fr. Guido Gockel, director for the Pontifical Mission for Palestine inspects  construction of the Marie Doty Park on a hillside overlooking the center of Bethlehem. The park caters Palestinian mothers with their children. 

overlooking the town of Bethlehem



Shepherds today tend their flocks much like David did of old 

Also see | Church of Nativity | Bethlehem Park | Beit Sahour | Beit Jala | If Only I Could Do Smothing: Praying for Peace in the Holy Land by Fr. Guido Gockel |

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager