Glimpses of Israel - Bethlehem

The city of Bethlehem is the home of King David and the birthplace of the Messiah. Rachel, the beloved wife of Israel, died giving birth to Benjamin and was buried in Bethlehem. The city was part of the inheritance given to the tribe of Judah.

Literally, the house of bread, Bethlehem speaks of the daily food necessary for mankind's survival. And is a reminder "that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 8:3)

It is not a coincidence that the Messiah announced Himself as the Bread from Heaven and the Bread of Life. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever . . . " (John 6:47-51)

The Scriptures record other historical and significant events in and around Bethlehem. The city provides the background to the amazing story in the Book of Ruth. It was from here that David journeyed to the Valley of Elah where he killed Goliath. It was here that Samuel anointed David as King. King Rehoboam, son of Solomon, built up the city for defensive purposes in Judah. Bethlehem was rebuilt during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah following the Jewish people's return from captivity.

Today, Bethlehem languishes while under Palestinian control. Jewish people are not welcome and Jewish holy sites are suffering under Palestinian administration. Moreover, the large Christian community has diminished since Palestinian control, and they cite the cruel and harsh Palestinian rule as the reason for their decision to leave.