The city of Bethlehem in Palestine has a distinguished location among all parts of the world, although it does not have many natural properties that lead to a great city. Yet, it has received great attention from Christians, geographers, historians, archeologists, mainly because it is the birthplace of Christ.
Nature and geography of the place: The city of Bethlehem is located in the southern part of the Hebron Mountains, which extends parallel to the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, and is about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem, and about 73 kilometers northeast of the Gaza Strip and the Mediterranean Sea, and about 75 kilometer to the west is the city of Amman, the Jordanian capital, and about 59 kilometers to the southeast of Tal al-Rabi`. Bethlehem is located at an elevation of about 775 meters (2,543 ft) above sea level, 30 meters (98 ft) higher than nearby Jerusalem. Bethlehem is situated on the southern portion in the Judean Mountains.
The names given to the city of Bethlehem: The historians have disagreed about the name of the city of Bethlehem, where several names were Tel el-Amarna letters indicate that the name of Bethlehem is delivered from a city located in the south of Jerusalem known as the house of (Ilo Lahama), which is the god of food for the Canaanites, who built the city and its first inhabitants after migrating to it from the Arabian Peninsula.
It is worth noting that Micah the prophet mentioned the city of Bethlehem or the city of "Ephrata, and assured that Christ will be born in it. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” (Mi 5: 2).