Bethlehem in Easton's Bible Dictionary
house of bread. (1.) A city in the "hill country" of Judah.
was originally called Ephrath (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7;
It was also called Beth-lehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2),
Beth-lehem-judah (1 Sam. 17:12), and "the city of
2:4). It is first noticed in Scripture as the place
died and was buried "by the wayside," directly to
the north of
the city (Gen. 48:7). The valley to the east was the
the story of Ruth the Moabitess. There are the
fields in which
she gleaned, and the path by which she and Naomi
returned to the
town. Here was David's birth-place, and here also,
years, he was anointed as king by Samuel (1 Sam.
it was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his
brought water for him at the risk of their lives
when he was in
the cave of Adullam (2 Sam. 23:13-17). But it was
above every other city as the birth-place of "Him
forth have been of old" (Matt. 2:6; comp. Micah
Herod, "when he saw that he was mocked of the wise
and slew "all the children that were in Bethlehem,
and in all
the coasts thereof, from two years old and under"
18; Jer. 31:15).
Bethlehem bears the modern name of Beit-Lahm, i.e.,
flesh." It is about 5 miles south of Jerusalem,
standing at an
elevation of about 2,550 feet above the sea, thus
higher than Jerusalem.
There is a church still existing, built by
Great (A.D. 330), called the "Church of the
Nativity," over a
grotto or cave called the "holy crypt," and said to
"stable" in which Jesus was born. This is perhaps
existing Christian church in the world. Close to it
grotto, where Jerome the Latin father is said to
thirty years of his life in translating the
Latin. (See VERSION -T0003768.)
(2.) A city of Zebulun, mentioned only in Josh.
Beit-Lahm, a ruined village about 6 miles west-
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