Bet-Lechem: House of bread

Symbol in scripture

Now we have spent a bit of time looking at both the Ecclesial household and the bread from heaven, as individual symbols in scripture, we will now look at the joint symbol–Bet Lechem.

Where is Bet-Lechem? There are actually TWO cities called Bet-Lechem: the first in the north, in the inheritance of Zebulan (Josh 19:15); the second, which is our main focus, in Judah – often distinguished as Bet-Lechem-Judah. Generally the smaller city is distinguished with additional qualification. an example of this today would be york and new york. So, it would seem that the largest city was the one in the north (in the area of the Jezreal valley). Unless otherwise stated I would assume that all references to Bet-Lechem are of the northern city. The only other occurance is where Ibzan judged Israel from the northern Beth–lehem (Judges 12:8).

Judges 12:8 And after him Ibzan of Beth–lehem judged Israel.
9 And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.
10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Beth–lehem.

There is not much to go on here, and I’ve not had time to look at this in detail. If anyone has any ideas as to why this Bet-Lechem of the north existed, or the lessons we can learn from it? I would be interested to hear about them. But for the remainder of this study we will be looking at the Bet-Lechem of the south Bet-Lechem Judah.

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