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Bethlehem

In Jeremiah’s time (Jer.41.17) the caravan inn of Kimham (see 2Sam.19.37-2Sam.19.40) near Bethlehem was the usual starting place for Egypt. The inn mentioned in Luke.2.1-Luke.2.52 was a similar one and may have been the same. Here the Messiah was born (Matt.2.1; Luke.2.1-Luke.2.7), for whom this town that was “small among the clans of Judah” (Mic.5.2) achieved its great fame. Its male children under two years of age were murdered in Herod’s attempt to kill the [[King of the Jews]] (Matt.2.16). [[Justin Martyr]], second century a.d., said that our Lord’s birth took place in a cave close to the village. Over this traditional manger site the emperor Constantine (a.d. 330) and Helena his mother built the Church of the Nativity. Rebuilt more sumptuously by Justinian in the sixth century, it still has part of the original structure and is a popular attraction for tourists today. The grotto of the nativity is beneath a crypt, thirty-nine feet (twelve m.) long, eleven feet (three and one-ha