Glimpses of Israel - Bethlehem

by Joseph Hunting

"God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen ... (1st Corinthians 1:27,28).

There is no truer example of this than is the choice of a remote village tucked away in the Judean hills to be the birthplace of Messiah. Perhaps this village owes its very existence to the fact that it was an overnight stopping place for travellers on the ancient highway that connected Samaria and Judea with Hebron and Beersheba. Its name "House of Bread" suggests that this was so.

It was here that Jacob bade farewell to his beloved Rachel after the birth of Benjamin. Later we read of the tender love of Boaz for the Moabitess Ruth in the fields of Bethlehem. Their child was to be the father of King David.

Cities there are by the score which boast some feature or other in the world's Register of Fame, but none are accorded the honour given Bethlehem. "But thou, Bethlehem-Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2).