Birth of Jesus: Hills of Bethlehem

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Author: Paul Lehr

Micah 5:2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

The first mention of Bethlehem in the Bible is in Genesis 35:19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).  This is Jacob or Israel’s wife. She is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin (Genesis 35:24). The site for Rachel’s tomb is located in modern day northern Bethlehem.

Ephrath or Ephrathah are terms that are synonymous with Bethlehem. See Genesis 48:7, Genesis 35:19.

In the original Hebrew, Ephrathah means “place of fruitfulness”. –Strong’s Concordance.

Bethlehem is the setting for the Book of Ruth.

1 Samuel 17:12 Now David was the son of the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah…

Bethlehem is a place where a young boy named David raised sheep for his father Jesse. 1 Samuel 17:15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s flock at Bethlehem.

The hills around Bethlehem were home to the thousands of lambs used in ritual worship in the Temple. The law required daily sacrifices of spotless and perfect lambs. Bethlehem was the town in Israel that was known for sacrificial lambs.

http://hethathasanear.com/Birth.html

Numbers 28:3 You shall say to them, ‘This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs one year old without defect as a continual burnt offering every day.

That is at least 720 lambs to be sacrificed each year.

See also Exodus 12:1-6 for the qualifications of a sacrificial lamb.

For roughly 1,000 years from the time of King David to the birth of Jesus, Bethlehem continued to be known for the Temple’s sacrificial lambs. We know this place remained the area for sheep because of Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

Jesus is the Lamb of God who was born in Bethlehem, the town known for spotless, perfect, sacrificial lambs. As these lambs were destined for sacrifice, so was Christ.

1 Peter 1:19 …but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ…

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

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Paul Lehr

About Paul Lehr

Paul Lehr is a Speech Pathologist and home health provider. The majority of his work focuses on swallowing disorders in neurologically impaired patients. He has been a business owner for the past 18 years. Paul earned his BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Oklahoma State University. His MA was completed in Speech Pathology at Oklahoma State University. When Paul’s son was born prematurely in 2003, there was lots of support from family and friends. Keeping up with phone calls was too much. So he provided e-mails with updates on health and well-being. In time, his son was healthy and came home. The e-mails stopped but Paul was encouraged to keep writing. Three years later, Paul was asked to assist in writing a Sunday school curriculum. The lessons were well received by the local body and on the church website. Again, he was encouraged to keep writing. Next, Paul taught a Sunday School class for junior high and high school students. He would share notes with others from the class he was teaching. In 2010, a young man at a local church encouraged Paul to start a blog. The website focuses on topical studies such as creation, God’s Appointed Holidays and Feasts, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, end times prophecy, ancient Hebrew cultural customs, the Prophet Isaiah, and various topical studies. Three years later, Paul’s 10 year old son told me, “Dad, you need to do updates on how the news is tied to the Bible.” The “Trend Update” was born. Since then, traffic on the website doubled in each of the next two years. Exposure continues to grow and increase from the previous year as of 2016. In the spring of 2016, a friend and fellow Boy Scout father encouraged Paul to start a YouTube channel. His friend thought it was a natural fit considering the content and subscribers from the website. The videos and written posts have been well received. Between the blog and YouTube channel, God’s prophetic words have reached over 190 countries. Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Friends and family help and support the blog and YouTube channel with content ideas. There is too much happening in relation to Bible prophecy for one person to follow and command the events of our day. That same Boy Scout father would later introduce Paul to the movies of Trey Smith and the God in a Nutshell Project… Guest speak and presenter duties have focused on the topics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in God’s Appointed Spring Feasts, Mystery Babylon, the antichrist, Ezekiel 38-39, and current events related to Bible prophecy. At this time, Paul would like to encourage each individual to learn about who God is. Because one way or another, we are all eternal. The issue is our destiny. Welcome to PaulthePoke and www.paulthepoke.com
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