The Church of the Nativity is built over the cave which served as a stable in the time of Joseph and Mary. Joseph and Mary had gone to Bethlehem, the City of David so that...
Bethlehem, the City of David, birthplace of our Savior Jesus. It was to here that Joseph came over two thousand years ago to be counted in the Roman census of that day. He was of the line of David and this was his family’s hometown. And so he came with his young wife Miriam (Mary) who was nine months pregnant with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:1-7).
Bethlehem is mentioned in the Bible as early as Genesis 35:19 when Jacob’s wife Rachel died while giving birth
to Benjamin. They were on a journey from the city at the time of her death. Although the Bible mentions acts of debauchery (Judges 19-20) it was also to here that Ruth accompanied Naomi (Ruth 1:1) saying “Your people shall be my people” and married Boaz. Their great-grandson was David,
the ancestor of the Messiah. This was David’s home.
Look to the surrounding hills and imagine the young David tending his father’s sheep on these hills, playing on his harp to sooth them.
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Here, a thousand years later, Micah’s prophecy was fulfilled: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel” (Micah 5:2). The young carpenter Joseph had brought his even younger wife to Bethlehem.
Imagine the couple entering the city. She, large with child, seated on a donkey loaded with provisions for the trip,
he leading the animal, walking beside her. Joseph had probably argued against her coming, seeing as she was soon to give birth, but Mary, a strong minded independent thinker, had probably insisted. And now here they were in Bethlehem, on a cold December morn. The inn was overcrowded.
Joseph probably sought accommodations with a distant relative but every room in town was occupied. But the caravan stables, hewn out of the side of a rock and situated just below the inn, had been cleared of animals and cleaned out to make room for guests. Would he be willing to take his young wife to stay the night there? Yes he was. And so he shouldered his bags and with Mary entered the stable to spend the night.
And what a night it was, the night of the birth of Jesus.
Today you can view the traditional place of his birth,
the very cave where he was born. It is located within the church of the Nativity, but you are going to have to stoop down real low to get in. The entrance was built up during the time of the Crusades to stop the Muslim horsemen from breaking through.
When you visit Bethlehem you will also want to travel a short distance east of Bethlehem to the Christian village of Beit Sahour . Here you will find the Shepherds’ Field spoken of in...
Bethlehem is the town where Jesus was born (Luke 2:4-7). On a cold winter night, Mary gave birth to the master in a stable formed from a cave dug out of the surrounding rock....