Posts Tagged ‘Visit the holy land’

Of all the Biblical places, I think Bethlehem was the image that I had most clear in my mind before visiting the Holy Land. After all, every Christmas, we would sing, “O Little Town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie . . . Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light . . .” that wonderful hymn written by Phillip Brooks. In my mind’s eye, it was always dark with the moon shining down on it, buildings grey shadows against a blue-black sky. I would imagine that scene or similar ones as I practiced the song on the piano in the second grade and later as I listened to Christmas albums on the record player at home before Christmas. If there was a biblical place I thought I understood, it was Bethlehem.

But Bethlehem is so much more than that Christmas hymn. It is not Phillip’s fault that we are stuck with that imagery. Rather, we are woefully uninformed about the land of the Bible. I am including some photos of Bethlehem and surrounding regions, so you can get the feel for the geography there. It is a land of rolling rocky hills and ancient caves, of shepherds still today minding their sheep, alone out in fields and pastures largely untouched by time, weather and war. The hills of Bethlehem today are not that different from what they would have been in the days of Mary and Joseph–and Messiah Yeshua.

Bethlehem region
Bethlehem region
Bethlehem region – view from Herodian
Bethlehem region
Bethlehem field

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