Bethlehem, an old city located in West Bank, it is not known exactly when it was founded. but the first known mentioned of the name was 1350–1330 BCE. The name is a combination of the two Hebrew words bayit “house” and leḥem “bread”. So, the literal meaning of the name is “House of bread.” And is not just a normal or like other cities, its important Jerusalem. Also, it is identified as the birthplace of Jesus. for that many of Christians come every year to visit Church of the Nativity.
Arabic Bethlehem City has been inhabited since 1872 and has a rich history. Around 2000 BC, the Canaanites founded and inhabited it. They gave it the name Beit Eilo Lahama, which means “home of the Deity Lahama,” who they believed to be the god of food and nourishment. In conjunction with this name, the city’s name in Arabic also denotes the meaning of food (house of meat). According to legend, the city was given its name after the temple of this deity because of the abundance of rich and grazing plains, where cattle and sheep used to breed and graze.
Mary and Joseph would hardly recognize the “small town of Bethlehem” if they arrived there today. And they most definitely wouldn’t have trouble finding a place to stay in this booming metropolis, which is now undoubtedly the Palestinians’ crowning achievement.
Given that Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus Christ, there are naturally a significant number of tourists there (the exact spot of his birth can even be visited). But this stunning city cannot be ignored since it is brimming with biblical heritage and wonder. In sharp contrast to the large, unattractive man-made wall with towers that bounds Bethlehem, Bethlehem is now a primarily Muslim town where people of many religions coexist in some measure of harmony.
What can you visit in Bethlehem?
THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY
The most significant landmark in Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity, which marks the location of the nativity. Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem a little more than 2,000 years ago. Located 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem in the Palestinian Authority’s West Bank, Bethlehem is a vibrant city today. The Nativity Church is the city’s main draw. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 2012.
In Bethlehem, a city south of Jerusalem, you may find Rachel’s Tomb. For many years, it stood by a lonesome crossroads, and Rachel’s descendants would come here to express their love to her—the mother who lives in a solitary cemetery by a road to be there for her suffering children. As she prays for them and invokes God’s promise that they would return to the Promised Land, Rachel is a constant comfort to her kids.
THE MILK GROTTO
Near the Nativity Church in Manger Square is this modest, serene chapel. According to tradition, a few milky drops fell on the ground as Mary was nursing Jesus, making the rocks white. Before making their way to Egypt, it is thought that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus sought safety in a church.
The West Bank’s Harodium is a truncated cone-shaped hill that is located 5 miles (3.1 kilometers) southeast of Bethlehem and 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of Jerusalem. It is situated south of a military facility and between the Palestinian communities of Za’atara and Jannatah. It is also close to the Israeli community of Sdeh Bar.
KING DAVID’S WELLS
A few streets from the Church of the Nativity, near the Catholic Action Center, are King David’s Wells. In eastern Bethlehem, three enormous cisterns that are still in use today were discovered. King David’s troops allegedly broke past the Philistine defenses here to bring him water, but despite risking their lives to do so, he declined to drink it. Some others think the King is really interred at the nearby Church of St. David rather than in the tomb in Jerusalem.
MONASTERY OF MAR SABA
A 20-minute drive from Bethlehem, the stunning Mar Saba monastery clings to the hills of the Kidron Valley. It’s breathtaking to see the Greek Orthodox Monastery in the middle of the desert. Mar Saba, which is carved out of the rock, displays a manner of life that has not altered since Constantine’s time. Its namesake Saint Saba’s body is on display in the main church, and his tomb is outside in the courtyard.
What To Do
Everybody connects Bethlehem to the nativity narrative, which includes Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the birth of Jesus Christ. There are regular reminders that this is the Bethlehem that the New Testament describes thanks to street names like Manger Street and Star Street. Any excursion to the city, which is unlike the picturesque town shown on Christmas cards, must thus include a stop at the holy scene, which is currently located beneath the altar in the Church of the Nativity.
Mary reportedly gave birth to Jesus in a cave, not a stable, and the precise location is marked by a star and decorated with candles. Although Bethlehem is an odd and unsettling destination to visit, it has much more to offer than just holy places.
Where To Eat
Given Bethlehem’s popularity as a tourist destination, there are plenty of food alternatives there. Restaurants may be found all throughout Manger Square and its neighboring streets, as well as more traditional shawarma joints up in the Old City.
The market also features a section dedicated to fresh produce, which you should visit even if you have no intention of making a purchase just to take in the vibrant, disorganized piles of fruit and vegetables.
Where To Stay
If you want to spend the night in Bethlehem, there is no possibility you will wind up in an inn’s stable. There are several sizable hotels accessible, all of which are often less expensive than Jerusalem, as well as more charming smaller lodgings.
Weather and Climate in Bethlehem
The height of Bethlehem affects its moderate climate, which has pleasant, sunny summers and mild, dry winters (with chilly nights) (during which thunderstorms often break out).
The star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope: Jesus Christ.
There are many different factors that effect each route and so the bad news is – no one rule fits all. But, the good news is that Hopper, a Boston-based start up that analyses flight data and predicts the best time to book a specific flight is doing a great job (they are right 95% of the time), so we suggest checking out their predictions for your flight.
the high season is from June to August, so those will obviously be the most expensive months to fly to Bethlehem. Now, the cheapest month may fluctuate, and the reason for that is that Jewish holidays do not always fall in the same month, for example, one year Passover may fall in March and the next it will be in April.
“Bethlehem, isn’t that dangerous?” It is not dangerous, because of all the security, the city is probably one of the safest cities . Since tourism is Bethlehem’s main source of income, the city is actually relatively safe. Bad reputation is the last thing Bethlehem needs. The roads are secure. It is a lovely location.