Weekly Bible Teaching

Why Bethlehem
By Rev. John Cortright on 12/18/2011


Matthew 2:1-2
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. However, when the Magi came seeking the young king, they came to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is God’s city. It is the capital of Israel and has several names in Scripture. One name is “The city of David” (II Samuel 5:7-9). Yet, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Why Bethlehem?

Genesis 35:19
- First mention of Bethlehem in the Scriptures
This region is also called Ephrath or Ephratah.

Ruth 1:1-2, 22; 2:1; 4:10-17

Naomi’s husband was from Bethlehem. After her husband and sons died in Moab, she returned home with her daughter in law, Ruth. They came back to Bethlehem. Boaz, a relative of Elimelech, was also from Bethlehem. The father of Boaz is Salmon (Salma) who is called “Father of Bethlehem” (I Chr 2:51). Boaz married Ruth, and they had a son named Obed, who is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

I Samuel 16:1-13

Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint David as king of Israel.

II Samuel 7:11-16

God promised David that one of his descendants would rule and establish his throne forever.

Micah 5:2

The prophet wrote that this ruler of God’s people, Israel, would come forth from Bethlehem.

Luke 2:1-4

Joseph and Mary lived in Galilee – Nazareth. Yet, they were descendents of the house of David. Joseph was from Bethlehem, and they went back home at the time of this census. Bethlehem is also called the “City of David” because this is where David was born. God’s divine providence was upon this move since it fulfilled prophecy

Matthew 2:1-6

The magi came to Jerusalem asking, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” Herod gathered the chief priests and scribes and inquired as to where the Messiah would be born? The answer was “Bethlehem.”

Matthew 2:13-23

Being warned of God, Joseph and Mary took Jesus and departed into Egypt. After the death of Herod, they returned, but rather than returning to Bethlehem, they went back north to Nazareth in Galilee.

John 7:40-43

Some have had difficulty accepting that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Believing in him and accepting this truth are essential for Christian faith.

John 20:30-31

The Scriptures reveal the truth about Jesus. He is the Christ, the Messiah, of the seed of David, born in Bethlehem, according to the Scriptures.

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