Bethlehem

Jesus was born in a cave. This was at the inn and is where the animals stabled for the nite:

  1. "A Farther Notice of the Churches at Bethlehem. For without delay she dedicated two churches to the God whom she adored, one at the grotto which had been the scene of the Saviour's birth; the other on the mount of his ascension. For he who was "God with us" had submitted to be born even in a cave? [Literally, beneath the earth. It seems to have been characteristic of the age of Eusebius to invest the more prominent circumstances connected with the Lord's life on earth with a degree of romance and mystery equally inconsistent with Scripture and with probability. It is obvious that Scripture furnishes no authority for the caves either of the nativity or ascension. See ch. 41, supra.­Bag.] Compare discussion by Andrews, Cave of the Nativity in his Life of our Lord (N. Y.), 77-83] of the earth, and the place of his nativity was called Bethlehem by the Hebrews. Accordingly the pious empress honored with rare memorials the scene of her travail who bore this heavenly child, and beautified the sacred cave with all possible splendor. The emperor himself soon after testified his reverence for the spot by princely offerings, and added to his mother's magnificence by costly presents of silver and gold, and embroidered hangings. And farther, the mother of the emperor raised a stately structure on the Mount of Olives also, in memory of his ascent to heaven who is the Saviour of mankind, erecting a sacred church and temple on the very summit of the mount. And indeed authentic history informs us that in this very cave the Saviour imparted his secret revelations to his disciples.?55 And here also the emperor testified his reverence for the King of kings, by diverse and costly offerings. Thus did Helena Augusta, the pious mother of a pious emperor, erect over the two mystic caverns these two noble and beautiful monuments of devotion, worthy of everlasting remembrance, to the honor of God her Saviour, and as proofs of her holy zeal, receiving from her son the aid of his imperial power. Nor was it long ere this aged woman reaped the due reward of her labors. After passing the whole period of her life, even to declining age, in the greatest prosperity, and exhibiting both in word and deed abundant fruits of obedience to the divine precepts, and having enjoyed in consequence an easy and tranquil existence, with unimpaired powers of body and mind, at length she obtained from God an end befitting her pious course, and a recompense of her good deeds even in this present life." (Eusebius: The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine; book 3, Chapter XLIII. A Farther Notice of the Churches at Bethlehem)
  2. Bethlehem.196 [City of David. In the lot of the] tribe of Judah (in which our Lord and Savior was born.] It is six miles south of Jerusalem near the road descending to Hebron. There the tombs of Jesse and David are pointed out. [One mile farther. near the tower of Ader, which means "tower of the flock," is where the shepherds heard prophetically of the Lord's birth before it happened. Also near this same Bethlehem is pointed out the tomb of one of the kings of Judaea, Archalaeus, which is reached first on a narrow path diverting from the main highway to our cell.] Also called Bethleem is the son of Efratha, (i.e. of Mary) according to Paralipomenon (book it is fully spoken. Read the story well!). (http://www.bible.ca/history/eusebius-onomasticon/eusebius-onomasticon.htm#Eusebius_preface)

By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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