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races are also set with vines and fruit-trees. ... The scene of Joshua's miracle was vividly set before us. The glorious sun was sloping westward, about to sink in the Mediterranean Sea, and his horizontal rays were falling full upon the hill of Gibeon ; at the same time the moon was rising, and soon after poured her silver beams into the quiet vale (beneath). It was strangely interesting to look upon the scene where the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man.'”—Narrative of Mission to the Jews, pp. 201, 202.
“ So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, the daughter-in-law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley-harvest.” — Ruth i. 22. (v. 19, ii. 4, iv. 11. See the whole Book of Ruth.)
“ And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem : and the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably : I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord ; sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth ; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. ... Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by ... Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said, ... The Lord hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him : for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him; for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren : and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.”—1 Samuel xvi. 4, &c.
“Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-judah, whose name was Jesse ; and he had eight sons :. .. and David was the youngest, and the three eldest followed Saul. But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.”1 Samuel xvii. 12, &c.
“And Rehoboam ... built cities for defence in Judah; he built even Bethlehem,” &c.—2 Chronicles xi. 5, 6.
“ But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall be come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel ; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”- Micah v. 2.
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews ? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.... And he (Herod) sent them to Bethlehem ; ... and they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him. ... Then Herod . . . sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem,... from two years old and under. ...-Matthew ii. 1-16.
“And there were in the same country (about Bethlehem) shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not ... unto you is born this day in the city of David (Bethlehem) a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And ... ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will towards men!”—Luke ii. 8, &c.
[John vii. 42 ; Judges xvii. 7, xix. 1, 2, 18; 2 Sam. ii. 32, xxi. 19; 1 Chron. ii. 51; Ezra ii. 21; Psalm cxxxii. 6.]
“ The whole district about Bethlehem is exceedingly rocky, more so than usual in this rocky country. .... The country to our right, that is, west of us, rose higher, and on the side of the ridge were several villages ; most of them had pleasant groves of trees near them; and there were extensive districts abounding with the olive, and plains finely adapted for cultivation. ..."
In another place, still speaking of Bethlehem and its vicinity, Mr. Paxton observes—" The district over which
we passed was exceedingly rough and rocky. The hollow, along the side of which we passed, became deep, rough, and had very little space left at the bottom; and the sides of the hills that bordered it really appeared given up to rocks and stones. The little earth, however, that was to be seen, was fertile, for the rock was a soft limestone, which always forms a good soil. About half way from the pools to Bethlehem, we passed a place where the valley spread out so as to leave, for a few hundred yards, a strip of level land from twenty to fifty yards wide. This was divided into lots, and walls made across it to prevent the washing away of the earth. Trees and garden herbs were planted, and the whole had a most pleasing appearance among the wilderness of rock by which it was surrounded. On the adjoining hill were a few low huts, some of them more in the ground than above it, where the owners of this green spot dwell.
“The hills in the immediate vicinity of Bethlehem were finely terraced, and many olive and fig trees planted. I could not but notice the number and beauty of the watch houses or little towers, which were placed in the vineyards. . . . The ground on which Bethlehem stands is rough and uneven. It is a poor-looking place, and has but a small population.”—Paxton's, Letters, pp. 136, 145.
From the roof of the Latin Convent at Bethlehem, " It filled us with unmingled pleasure to gaze upon the undulating hills and valleys stretched out at our feet; for we were sure that among these David had often wandered with his flock, and in some of them the shepherds had heard the voice that brought the tidings of a Saviour born. Remounting our horses, we wound slowly down the northern slope of Bethlehem, amongst vineyards and barley-fields, where the reapers were engaged as in the days when Ruth and Naomi returned from the land of Moab. We soon arrived at the point where the Holy City comes in view. We could not but linger at the spot. Behind us lay Bethlehem, before us Jerusalem
on the one hand, the spot where Jesus was born, on the other, the spot where Jesus died !”—Mission of the Jews, p. 187.
SCRIPTURE NOTICE. “ AND they journeyed from Bethel, and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath. ... And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave : that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.”— Genesis xxxv. 16-20. (xlviii. 7.)
“ This is merely an ordinary Muslim Wely, or tomb of a holy person ; a small square building of stone with a dome, and within it a tomb in the ordinary Muham