Jesus Christ’s birth is one of the most famously celebrated events in history, but many may not be as familiar with the place where Jesus was born: a little town called Bethlehem.
Bethlehem is located six miles south of Jerusalem, and even today is celebrated as a sacred and holy place. It was a significant city in the Bible and is referenced and seen as a backdrop for important events many times. Bethlehem is where Jacob buried Rachel, his treasured wife after she passed away in childbirth (Genesis 35:19). It was also the native land of King David of Israel and is called the “city of David” in his honor (Luke 2:4). The prophet Samuel anointed David to be the king of Israel in Bethlehem (1 Samuel 16).
In Matthew chapter 2, in verses 1 and 2 it says, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His Star in the East and have come to worship Him.’”
Hundreds of years earlier, the prophet Micah had prophesized about the location of Jesus’ birth as well. In Micah 5:2, he proclaimed, “But you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
Today, Bethlehem is still seen as a sacred location that millions flock to visit, especially during Christmas time. Located there is the Church of the Nativity, pictured in this article above, which is the oldest church that is still in use. It stands as a traditional symbol of Christ’s birthplace and is widely viewed as one of the holiest sites in the Christian world.