What does Bethlehem mean?

Definitions for Bethlehem
ˈbɛθ lɪˌhɛm, -li əmbeth·le·hem

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Bethlehem.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Bethlehemnoun

    a town in eastern Pennsylvania on the Lehigh River to the northwest of Philadelphia; an important center for steel production

  2. Bethlehem, Bayt Lahm, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Bethlehem-Judahnoun

    a small town near Jerusalem on the West Bank of the Jordan River; early home of David and regarded as the place where Jesus was born


  1. Bethlehemnoun

    A city in Palestine, believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.

    Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem

  2. Etymology: From the Βηθλεέμ from the בית לחם.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BETHLEHEMnoun

    An hospital for lunaticks.


  1. Bethlehem

    Bethlehem (; Arabic: بيت لحم Bayt Laḥm; Hebrew: בֵּית לֶחֶם Bēṯ Leḥem) is a city in the West Bank, Palestine, located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of Jerusalem. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate, and has a population of approximately 25,000 people. The city's economy is largely tourist-driven; international tourism peaks around and during Christmas, when Christians embark on a pilgrimage to the Church of the Nativity, revered as the location of the Nativity of Jesus. At the northern entrance of the city is Rachel's Tomb, the burial place of biblical matriarch Rachel. Movement around the city is limited due to the Israeli West Bank barrier. The earliest-known mention of Bethlehem is in the Amarna correspondence of ancient Egypt, dated to 1350–1330 BCE, when the town was inhabited by the Canaanites. In the Hebrew Bible, the period of the Israelites is described; it identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of David as well as the city where he was anointed as the third monarch of the United Kingdom of Israel, and also states that it was built up as a fortified city by Rehoboam, the first monarch of the Kingdom of Judah. In the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke identify the city as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. Under the Roman Empire, the city of Bethlehem was destroyed by Hadrian, who was in the process of defeating Jews involved in the Bar Kokhba revolt. However, Bethlehem's rebuilding was later promoted by Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great; Constantine expanded on his mother's project by commissioning the Church of the Nativity in 327 CE. In 529, the Church of the Nativity was heavily damaged by Samaritans involved in the Samaritan revolts; following the victory of the Byzantine Empire, it was rebuilt a century later by Justinian I. Amidst the Muslim conquest of the Levant, Bethlehem became part of Jund Filastin in 637. Muslims continued to rule the city until 1099, when it was conquered by the Crusaders, who replaced the local Christian clergy—composed of representatives from the Greek Orthodox Church—with representatives from the Catholic Church. In the mid-13th century, Bethlehem's walls were demolished by the Mamluk Sultanate. However, they were rebuilt by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, following the Ottoman–Mamluk War. At the end of World War I, the defeated Ottomans lost control of Bethlehem to the British Empire. It was governed under the British Mandate for Palestine until 1948, when it was captured by Jordan during the First Arab–Israeli War (see Jordanian annexation of the West Bank). In 1967, the city was captured by Israel during the Third Arab–Israeli War. Since the Oslo Accords, which comprise a series of agreements between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, Bethlehem has been designated as part of Area A of the West Bank, nominally rendering it as being under full Palestinian control.While it was historically a city of Arab Christians, Bethlehem now has a majority of Arab Muslims; it is still home to a significant community of Palestinian Christians, however. Presently, Bethlehem has become encircled by dozens of Israeli settlements, which effectively separate Palestinians in the city from being able to openly access their land and livelihoods, and has likewise triggered their steady exodus.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bethlehemnoun

    a hospital for lunatics; -- corrupted into bedlam

  2. Bethlehemnoun

    in the Ethiopic church, a small building attached to a church edifice, in which the bread for the eucharist is made


  1. Bethlehem

    Bethlehem is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank, neighboring south Jerusalem, with a population of about 25,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of Palestinian Authority. The economy is primarily tourist-driven. The Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem as the city David was from. The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. The town is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, although the size of the community has shrunk due to emigration. Bethlehem was sacked by the Samaritans in 529, but rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. Bethlehem was conquered by the Arab Caliphate of 'Umar ibn al-Khattāb in 637, who guaranteed safety for the city's religious shrines. In 1099, Crusaders captured and fortified Bethlehem and replaced its Greek Orthodox clergy with a Latin one. The Latin clergy were expelled after the city was captured by Saladin, the sultan of Egypt and Syria. With the coming of the Mamluks in 1250, the city's walls were demolished, and were subsequently rebuilt during the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Bethlehem

    a village 6 m. S. of Jerusalem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ and King David, with a convent containing the Church of the Nativity; near it is the grotto where St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin.

Suggested Resources

  1. bethlehem

    Song lyrics by bethlehem -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by bethlehem on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Bethlehem

    Hebrew for “house of bread.” Hence Bethlehem Hospital, the original name for a lazar or poor house.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce Bethlehem?

How to say Bethlehem in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Bethlehem in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Bethlehem in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of Bethlehem in a Sentence

  1. Rula Ma'aya:

    In history, Bethlehem and Jerusalem were always twin cities, now, Bethlehem is being isolated.

  2. Joey Canavati:

    Business has been booming, we have never seen it like this ever before, (With) the number of tourists that have been coming in this year we have a huge lack of rooms here in Bethlehem.

  3. Jesse Jackson:

    Great things happen in small places. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Jesse Jackson was born in Greenville.

  4. Mazen Karam:

    If Joseph and Mary came back to Bethlehem, they would be shocked, bethlehem doesn't deserve to be crowded with people and heavy traffic. It should be more open with wide spaces so people can go and enjoy the home of Jesus.

  5. Swedish Carol:

    Dear brightest star o'er Bethlehem, O let your precious light shine in with hope and peace toward men in every home tonight.

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Translations for Bethlehem

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"Bethlehem." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Bethlehem>.

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