Bethlehem 1

020 = A Kawas,in Arabic meaning the archer or mace-bearer,who opens the procession of personages or solomn manifestations.

021 = Bethlehem
A little town that stands on a rocky hill,about 800m.above sea level. Many of Bethlehem's inhabitants make objects of piety in wood and mother of pearl,and also make souvenirs for the pilgrims and tourists. Bethlehem is first mentioned in the Bible in connection with the death of Rachel.In Bethlehem,David the youngest of Jesse's sons was anointed by the Prophet Samuel,as the King of Israel. The Moslem Caliph Omar visited Bethlehem and promised that the Moslems would pray in the Church as individuals only. On Christmas Day,1100 Baldwin I,king of the Latin Kingdom was crowned in Bethlehem.

022 = Bethlehem - Partial view

023 = Bethlehem - Christmas bells at the tower of the Church of the Nativity

024 = The Church of the Nativity
And the Angel said unto them,"Fear not for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy,which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the City of David a saviour which is Christ the Lord.

The church,170 feet long and 80 feet wide has the shape of a cross.Encircling the facade are the walls of three convants;the Armenian (southeast)the Franciscan (north east)and the Greek (southeast),of the original door there remains a narrow passage that leads into the original narthex.
In the church two entrances lead to the Grotto of the Nativity which is the traditional site of Jesus' birth.In the foruth century the original roof of the cave was replaced.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea unto the cith of David which is called Bethlehem because he was of the house and lineage of David.To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife,being great with child.And so it was that,while they were there,the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brough forth her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.