• Gene Benjamin II

Bethlehem Ephrathah

Bethlehem Ephrathah

All Scriptures taken from the Son Of Man Bible, SOMB.bblx e-Sword Bible program module. Original work at www.unfoldingword.org. Son Of Man Bible e-Sword module (SOMB.bblx and SOMB.bbli), The Word module (SOMB.ont), and MySword module (SOMB.bbl.mybible), were created and edited by Gene Benjamin II. These Bible modules are available for download on PC, Apple, Android, and other Linux devices from www.biblesupport.com and www.wordmodules.com. On biblesupport.com do a search for “Unlocked Literal Bible 9” then scroll down, and on wordmodules.com do a search for “Son Of Man Bible” then scroll down.

I happened to catch a TV program the other night while relaxing before bedtime. It was one of the Discovery Channel’s Exploration Unknown episodes. That guy was looking for the actual birthplace of Yeshua HaMashiach. He checked out the Bethlehem south of Jerusalem, which by the way would have been in the land of Judah/Benjamin in Yeshua’s day. But then he found some so-called scholar or researcher who tried to convince him that Yeshua was born in the Bethlehem up north in the Galilee. We’ll discuss that one briefly later on in this post.

First, let’s look at the prophecy of Messiah’s birth in Micah 5:2-3, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, even though you are small among the 1,000-resident cities of Judah, out of you one will come to me to rule in Israel, whose beginning is from ancient times, from everlasting. 3Therefore, the Almighty will give them up, until the time when she who is in labor bears a child, and the rest of his brothers return to the people of Israel.”

This prophecy was made by Micah about 600 years before Yeshua’s birth in 6 BC. Notice he didn’t just say Bethlehem, but Bethlehem Ephrathah. Did you know that was a family name from the family line of Judah?

Take a look at 1 Chronicles 4:1 and 4, “Judah’s descendants were Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. . . 4 . . . These were descendants of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah father of Bethlehem.”

According to this verse, it’s very possible that both Ephrathah and Bethlehem were each male descendants of Judah, son of Israel. This is where the city of Bethlehem Ephrathah got it’s name originally. It is the city of Bethlehem in Judah/Benjamin, south of Jerusalem.

This is the area where Rachel was buried: Genesis 35:19-20, “Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem. 20Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave. It is the marker of Rachel’s grave to this day.” Genesis 48:7, ““But as for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, while there was still some distance to go to Ephrath. I buried her there on the way to Ephrath”, that is, Bethlehem.”

Now, believe it or not, there is another Bethlehem mentioned in Scriptures and it is located up north in the land of Zebulun, in the Galilee, just west of the Sea of Galilee. Joshua 19:15-16, “This region included the cities of Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem. There were twelve cities, including their villages. 16This was the inheritance of the tribe of Zebulun, that was given to their clans, the cities, including their villages.” Notice this town was not called by the name Ephrathah. So, there is two different villages with the name Bethlehem. So, why didn’t Joseph and Miriam just go to Bethlehem in the land of Zebulun, instead of traveling all the way to Bethlehem Ephrathah in the land of Judah for their Census enrollment in 6 BC? Well, because Joseph was in the family line of Judah (as was Miriam). Luke 2:1-6, “Now in those days (c. 6 BC), it came about that Caesar Augustus sent out a decree ordering that a census be taken of all the people living in the world. 2This was the first census made while Quirinius was the imperial representative in Syria. 3So everyone went to his hometown to be registered in the census. 4Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. 5He went there to register along with Miriam, his wife who was pregnant. 6Now it came about that while they were there, the time came for her to deliver her baby.”

Now, if you read Yeshua’s genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, you see that both his Mother Miriam, whose lineage is revealed in Matthew 1, and his Father Joseph, whose lineage is revealed in Luke 3, are from the line of Judah, through David. That is why they went to Bethlehem Ephrathah in Judah for the census. David’s family was from Bethlehem Ephrathah, see 1 Samuel 16:18; 1 Samuel 17:58. So, the lesson to learn is, don’t just swallow all the information you see and hear on secular TV, even though it seems convincing or true, much of what you see on TV or on the internet is nothing but lies and misinformation. Do your own research.

Yeshua was either born in the spring around Passover, while ewes were lambing in the fields with shepherds overseeing them, or in the summer at the second lambing season. The Romans knew when the Judean harvests took place, so they would not interrupt the harvest to take a census. The census could have occurred in the winter, before harvest, or during the summer between the spring grain and the fall fruit harvest. Israelites would not have wanted to travel in the winter, so the best time for Quirinius’ first census probably took place in the summer of 6 BC.

Joseph and Miriam were in Jerusalem for Passover, and for Shavuot 50 days later, so they probably just stayed in Jerusalem so they could easily travel to Bethlehem Ephrathah for the census that summer of 6 BC. Don’t let TV personalities fool you with a bunch of fancy camera work and video editing and lots of letters after their names.

Ask for my Yeshua genealogy spreadsheet, if you’re interested. The text for all my videos appears later on my blog at http://ourdailydrink.wordpress.com. Check it out!

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