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Bethlehem: town in Judaea, birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth.
- Already mentioned in the Amarna Letters (fourteenth century BCE), when king Abdu-Heba of Jerusalem asks the king of Egypt for archers to recover Bit Lahmi
- Birthplace of Davidnote[1 Samuel 16.]
- Walled city, garrisoned by the Philistinesnote[2 Samuel 23.14.]
- Fortified by king Rehoboam
- Prediction by the prophet Micah: "out of you will come one who will be ruler over Israel".note[Micah 5.1-6.] This line was read as Messianic
- Birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth (according to the gospels of Matthew and Luke); later, caves were mentioned as the real birthplace
- The emperor Hadrian (r.117-138) expels the Jews;
- 339 CE: Basilica of the Nativity by the empress Helen
- 384 Jerome settles in Betlehem, lives in one of the caves