The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
A Roman Census in Judea?
[The nineteenth century theologian Emil] Schürer notes that a Roman census with the purpose of imposing a Roman tax would not have occurred in Judaea. For Schürer, the sovereignty extended to client kings precluded direct Roman intervention over administrative matters. ¹¹², ¹¹³ However, a number of scholars question Schürer, pointing out that evidence from Josephus strongly suggests Augustus exercised considerable control over Judaea, displaying a personal interest in Herod’s affairs and interceding when he was displeased, or concerned, about Herod’s actions.¹¹⁴
An Empire-wide Census?
[The nineteenth century theologian Emil] Schürer interprets Luke 2:1 as describing a single, empire-wide Roman census ordered by Augustus around 6 BCE. There is currently no historical evidence of any such imperial edict.
Did Joseph & Mary Have to Go to Bethlehem?
[The nineteenth century theologian Emil] Schürer argues that Roman censuses did not require travel for registration purposes, pointing out that Rome would have considered such activities ‘troublesome’ and ‘inconvenient’, as well as outside the normal structure of a Roman census.¹
The Jews are very silent about this city: nor do I remember that I have read any thing in them concerning it, besides those things which are produced out of the Old Testament; this only excepted, that the Jerusalem Gemarists do confess that the Messias was born there before their times.
Whose Borders Have Been From of Old
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
Thou, Bethlehem, Are or Are Not the Least?
“Thou Bethlehem… art not the least among the princes of Judah.” (Matthew 2:6)
Roman Law Did Not Require Joseph and Mary to Leave Nazareth
“…when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.” (Luke 2:2)
Fading from the Scene — King David and the Estate of Chimham
David having won the battle, and recovered his throne, prepares to repass the Jordan, and return once more to his capital. His friends again congregate around him, for the prosperous have many friends. Amongst them, however, were some who had been true to him in the day of his adversity; and the aged Barzillai, a Gileadite, who had provided the King with sustenance whilst he lay at Mahanaim, and when his affairs were critical, presents himself before him. He had won David’s heart.
Mary and Joseph Travel to Bethlehem
Traveling to their ancestral city of Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph are unable to find a room in an inn. Instead, they find shelter in a place where animals are kept. Based upon the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 4-7.
(1.) A city in the “hill country” of Judah. It was originally called Ephrath (Genesis 35:16, 19; 48:7; Ruth 4:11). It was also called Beth-lehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2), Beth-lehem-judah (1 Samuel 17:12), and “the city of David” (Luke 2:4). It is first noticed in Scripture as the place where Rachel died and was buried “by the wayside,” directly to the north of the city (Genesis 48:7). The valley to the east was the scene of the story of Ruth the Moabitess. There are the fields in which she gleaned, and the path by which she and Naomi returned to the town. Here was David’s birth-place, and here also, in after years, he was anointed as king by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:4-13); and it was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his heroes brought water for him at the risk of their lives when he was in the cave of Adullam (2 Samuel 23:13-17). But it was distinguished above every other city as the birth-place of “Him whose goings forth have been of old” (Matthew 2:6; comp. Micah 5:2). Afterwards Herod, “when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men,” sent and slew “all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under” (Matthew 2:16, 18; Jeremiah 31:15).
beth ́lē̇-hem (בּית־לחם, bēthleḥem; Βαιθλεέμ, Baithleém, or Βηθλεέμ, Bēthleém, “house of David,” or possibly “the house of Lakhmu,” an Assyrian deity):
Beth’-lehem, (Heb. Beyth-Le‘chem, בֵּיתאּלֶחֶם house of bread, perh. from the fertility of the region; Sept. and N.T. Βηθλεέμ [but v. r. Βαιθμάν in Joshua 19:15; Βεθλεέμ in Ezra 2:21; Βαιθαλέμ in Nehemiah 7:26]; Josephus, Βήθλεμα; Steph. Byz. Βήτλεμα), the name of two places.
No room at the Inn
Welcome to Bethlehem
Bethlehem of Galilee
Bethlehem of Galilee (Hebrew: בֵּית לֶחֶם הַגְּלִילִית, Beit Lehem HaGlilit; lit. “the Galilean Bethlehem”) is a moshav in northern Israel. Located in the Galilee near Kiryat Tivon, around 10 kilometres north-west of Nazareth and 30 kilometres east of Haifa, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Jezreel Valley Regional Council. In 2014 it had a population of 781.