Bethlehem, Israel: Birthplace of Jesus
The town where Jesus was born certainly rates high on any visitor’s list of places to see in the Holy Land. Located about five miles south of Jerusalem, it remains fairly small and somewhat primitive in appearance with many houses built as they were in the time of Jesus’ birth. Often-times houses were built on top of caves, the caves being a place to keep the livestock safe at night.
Of all the towns you may visit in the Holy Land, this is the one that most resembles what life must have looked like around the time of Jesus’ birth.
The major sites to see in Bethlehem include:
There are many shops located in Bethlehem. The specialty of this area is, of course, olive wood carvings and mother-of-pearl items. One store that we can recommend is “The Good Shepherd’s Store”. This store is run by Christians, and we encourage you to patronize Christian shops whenever possible. The number of Christians living in the Holy Land has dropped dramatically and we encourage you not only to support them but also to pray for them. Click here for the link to the store.
To arrive in Bethlehem these days you have to drive past the wall built to separate Israel from the West Bank (certainly one of the ugliest sights you will encounter) then get off the bus (or exit your car), pass through a security check point and then get back on the bus (or car). A bit of a hassle but certainly you don’t want to miss one of the most important historical and religious places in the world.