Feb 12, 2023 | Gilbert's Journal



Day 5 of our Bible Study Tour was spent in Bethlehem – where Jesus was born – also known as the city of David because of his ancestry. Bethlehem also happens to be the setting of the beautiful love story between Ruth & Boaz through Naomi – meaning of the word – house of food, bread and meat (according to our local Palestinian guide).
On the way to Bethlehem, we read from Micah 5:2 which later found fulfilment in Matthew. (Scripture Reading – Matthew 2: 1-6)

Mary and Joseph had come to Bethlehem from Nazareth for the census because Joseph belonged to the house and line of David. (Luke 2:4-5)

Having undertaken the journey from Galilee to Samaria and then to Jerusalem by bus, we could better appreciate what it would have meant for them walk such a long distance. Scholars believe it would take between 6 weeks to three months with frequent stops – travel was only by day and some of the stops would have lasted many days or weeks – especially when she met with Elizabeth, her cousin.
Today’s Bethlehem is totally under Palestinian control.

Church of the Nativity

The oldest church building in the world – built by Constantine, the first Roman Emperor who converted to Christianity. The building is 1500 years old.
The Persians later destroyed every church or Christian structure but preserved this building – because they discovered a Mosaic that had the Magi who were of Persian origin.
The three religious group sharing the place mainly because the Nativity church has a grotto that is believed to have been the birth place of Jesus.

The Shepherd Fields

During our visit of the Shepherd’s Field, our local Palestine guide helped us better appreciate the significance of Shepherds in the ancient world and God’s choice to reveal Himself in that setting. They were looked upon as a very lowly set of people and people would could buy sheep in Bethlehem for the Jewish feasts in Jerusalem. (Scripture Reading (John 10; Luke 2). Our time in Bethlehem was also characterized by some heartfelt worship (Worship in Bethlehem) and (Amazing Grace)

The rest of our day was spent in deep fellowship with amazing conversations over lunch and dinner. Smaller groups of some tour participants walked to the old city of Jerusalem from our hotel.

On Day 6, we will be heading to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Temple Mount, the Hezekiah’s tunnel etc – Thanks for your continuous prayers for our safety and for the peace of Jerusalem!


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