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Bible verses about Bethlehem
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Micah 5:2

He is prophesying of the birthplace of the Messiah. He makes it clear that it will be in Bethlehem of Judea, the place of David's birth as well. But when did He reveal the precise location of where a person could find Him? Not until He had an angel lead the Magi right to the house where the Messiah was at the time they arrived there. It came at the last moment. Will the timing of His second coming be similar?

We all know that He is coming. We all know that He will circle the earth when He comes, that He will come with a great horde of angels, but when precisely will He arrive? When will God reveal the exact moment? It looks as if it will be right at the end.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 3)


 

Micah 5:2

Not only did God foretell His lineage and manner of conception but also the exact place He would be born, Bethlehem: "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). Both the learned and the common people knew that the Messiah would come from this little Judean town (Matthew 2:4-8; John 7:42). And, indeed, so it happened (Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7).

His birth in Bethlehem ties Jesus directly to the house of David, cementing His claim to his everlasting throne. However, the meaning of the name, "house of bread," points to another title of Christ, "the bread of life" (John 6:35, 48). As Jesus says in verse 51: "If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever." This sign guarantees that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah through whom we can receive eternal life.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Born of a Woman


 

John 7:25-27

This is a clear example of a "private interpretation" (II Peter 1:19-21). Nowhere in the Old Testament does it say that no one would know where the Messiah was from. In fact, it says just the opposite! Matthew shows that Micah 5:2 names Bethlehem in Judah as the town in which He would be born, and that Isaiah 9:1-2 identifies Galilee as where He would launch His ministry.

Where did the Jews get such an outrageous, unbiblical idea? It was someone's private opinion that over time had become tradition, an accepted "fact." It became a proverb that is just as true as, "If you touch a toad, you'll get warts."

Is it any wonder that the people argued about Him so much? Earlier in John 7, we see some of this:

And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him. Some said, "He is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, He deceives the people." (verse 12)

They had no idea what to expect because they were burdened by their traditional yet wrong understanding about the Messiah.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
No Private Interpretation


 

John 7:27

The Jewish people at that time had a tradition that when the Messiah came, He would just suddenly materialize. Nobody would know where He was from. Everyone familiar with Scripture ought to know this is not true. The book of Micah 5:2 plainly says that the Savior would come out of Bethlehem. It also says in Isaiah 9:1 that He would shine from the lands of Zebulon and Naphtali, "in Galilee of the Gentiles." They knew that. They were not facing up to the truth of the Scriptures.

Was the information about where Jesus was born available to them? Yes, it was. They knew that Jesus descended from David and that Bethlehem was the city of his birth. All they had to do was check the records or ask Him or His family. It would have been easy to verify that He was born of Bethlehem in Judea at such a time and that His family lived in Galilee, fulfilling both prophecies. Those pieces of truth would have fallen into place.

Instead, what are the people relying on? Fables, traditions that the Messiah would just suddenly materialize out of nowhere.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Truth (Part 2)


 

John 7:41-52

Had these doubters really searched, they would have found that several prophets came from Galilee:

• Micah was from Moresheth-gath, in Galilee (Micah 1:1).
• Elijah, of Gilead, was a native of Galilee (I Kings 17:1).
• Jonah was from Gath Hepher, in Galilee (II Kings 14:25; see Joshua 19:13).

Nahum and Hosea may have hailed from Galilee as well. These people's argument—that no prophet arose from Galilee—was completely without merit! Most important, their argument totally neglected Isaiah's prophecy about Christ's own Galilean ministry. He was to shine as a light in the darkness, in the inheritances of Naphtali and Zebulun, in "Galilee of the Gentiles" (Isaiah 9:1-2).

As so often happens, the jingoists among the Jews mixed truth with fallacy. They correctly understood two things about Christ's birth and descent:

First, they understood Isaiah 11, Jeremiah 23, and Jeremiah 33, which indicate that Christ would descend from David. He would be of Judah—the Scepter tribe (Genesis 49:10).

Second, they understood that Christ would come from Bethlehem, the home of David (I Samuel 20:6):

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2)

Yet notice the detail of Micah's prophecy they missed. He does not say that the Messiah would reside in Bethlehem, but that He would "come forth" from it, which is exactly what He did! Joseph had come to Bethlehem at Jesus' birth because he had to pay taxes in his home town. We can deduce from Christ's genealogies that both Joseph and Mary hailed from Bethlehem. Their ancestors include David, Jesse, Obed, and Boaz (Luke 3:32)—all men of Bethlehem (see Ruth 1, 2 and 4; I Samuel 16 and 17).

Sometime after Christ's birth, Joseph returned to Nazareth, in Galilee, where he and Mary reared Jesus. He began His ministry from Galilee, not Judah, as Isaiah 9 foretold. Mark 1:14-15 records a partial fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. Compare this passage with its counterpart, Matthew 4:12-17, which quotes Isaiah 9:1-2 and points out that Christ fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy regarding His Galilean ministry.

Believe it or not, this group of people failed to recognize their Messiah because of His place of residence—because He lived in Galilee! Thus, we have dubbed them jingoists, people driven by inordinate nationalism. Behind their reason for rejecting Christ—that no prophet ever did or ever would come from Galilee—lurks an irrational, arrogant prejudice against anything not of Judea. These people were part of the power-elite of the day, part of the religious establishment centered in Jerusalem. Classic xenophobes, they wanted nothing to do with Galilee.

Situated to the north of Judea, Galilee was home to an enclave of Judeans who had migrated northward since the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. Geography and doctrine separated Galilee from Jerusalem.

• Geography

• Doctrine

: Though far from perfect, the Galileans were doctrinally purer than the Jews to the south. For example, the Galileans observed a 14th Passover, while many of those in Jerusalem, as we know, kept Passover on the 15th of Nisan (John 18:28).
: Between Judea and Galilee was Samaria, home to the Gentile "interlopers" the Jews hated. These were the people the Assyrians brought into the area when they deported the House of Israel, the northern ten tribes, around 721-718 BC.

Charles Whitaker
Recognizing the Second Witness


 

Find more Bible verses about Bethlehem:
Bethlehem {Nave's}
 




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