Read 1 Chronicles 2:50-55

v 50.  The sons of Hur, the oldest son of Caleb’s wife Ephrathah, were Shobal (the founder of Kiriath-jearim),  Salma (the founder of Bethlehem), and Hareph (the founder of Beth-gader).

The Bible takes us right back to the origins of the town of Bethlehem. Caleb was one the faithful warriors who travelled on the Exodus march from Egypt to the Promised Land. He was given special honours on account of his faithfulness to God when the Israelites finally began to settle there. You can read about that in Joshua 14, along with the blessing bestowed on him by Moses. Hur was Caleb’s eldest son, and so Salma, who founded Bethlehem, was Caleb’s grandson. Hence Bethlehem was established very early on in the time when Israel was just beginning to settle after the Exodus around 1400 BC.  It was already a significant village when Ruth arrived around 1100 BC, with David being born there around 1000 BC. (All these dates are very approximate.)

If you are thus inclined, have a look on a modern map, or Google the map, and see its location about 10 miles south of Jerusalem. (I recall taking a group of 6th Formers there some 45 years ago! You could even book in at the hotel in Manger Square when travel was simpler.) It comes up very often in news these days because of the conflict there between Jews and militant Palestinian groups. When you hear it on the news, remember that it has been there for some 3,000 years and is one of the ‘Heartbeat’ towns in the purposes of God.


Tuesday 4th May Daily Notes from The Hub