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Dig Deeper

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Remember Rachel? She had trouble conceiving children, when she finally bore Jacob a son, she named him "Joseph," which means, "Do it again," or "Let there be another."

When she became pregnant a second time, the family was in the process of moving back to the promised land. Something went wrong and Rachel died birthing the answer to her prayer. With her last breath she named the baby Benoni, "Son of my sorrow." Jacob could not bear thinking of Rachel’s sorrow every time he calls his son’s name, so he changed the child’s name to Benjamin, "Son of my right hand." Then Jacob set up camp just outside of Bethlehem by Migdal Eder to mourn Rachel’s death.

A thousand year later, God was allowing Babylon to march the children of Israel off into exile because of their sins.  On the way, many of them walked down the road past Rachel’s tomb.  Jeremiah sees this and speaks for God by saying, “This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”

When Jesus is born, Matthew quotes Jeremiah concerning Rachel’s weeping and “refusing to be comforted” but this time it is applied to the children killed in Bethlehem by King Herod.

God knows that unless He implements a rescue plan, His children are destined to be exiled to Hell because of their sins.  Isn’t it interesting that in order to do this, He allows His Son to be acquainted with sorrows but ultimately Jesus will be the son on God’s right hand.  It seems that both names, Benoni and Benjamin, are fulfilled in the event that changed the world and it all started right by Migdal Eder.

Rachel wept.  The mothers in Bethlehem wept.  In response, God sent a Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace!  If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you recognize Him as your Mighty God!   Today would be a good day to worship that Everlasting Father!


O Little Town Of Bethlehem:

Can we find our way to the baby king?
Can we worship him now in the hay?
And can we believe he can change everything?
Or is Bethlehem too far away?

From the song “Is Bethlehem Too Far Away” by Carolyn Arends

Dave Lyman

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Contributed by Larry Stephan

Bethlehem’s Connection to Rachel

Dave Lyman

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The Probable Route Taken By Mary and Joseph to get to Bethlehem:

A Jew traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem would want to avoid the mountainous terrain and Samaria. As a result they would either travel along the cost or the Jordan river.  Due to the mountain range west of Nazareth, it is most likely that Joseph would have taken the route along the Jordan as shown.