Monday, 26 September 2011

Grotto of the Nativity - Why Bethlehem instead of Nazareth? The flight to Egypt.

Travel article Nr. 3 related to the important historical places in the “Life of Jesus”.

It was very busy in the Basilica and we had to wait in line together with many other people to enter the Grotto. At the place Jesus was born, they placed a silver star on the ground, representing the star the three wise men followed to find the Holy child. It was a strange experience and we could all touch the star and the place Jesus was born. Why was he born in this cave in Bethlehem? Well 2.000 years ago this was the town of David and the city were Joseph came from. All people had to be counted and registered and for that reason Joseph and Maria travelled to Bethlehem, expecting their son to be born soon. They did not find a sleeping place and stayed in the grotto. After the birth of Jesus, an angel spoke to some shepherds about the new born messiah. News spread and king Herod ordered three wise men to investigate what was going on. The wise men found the Holy family and Jesus and showed their respect, they did not return to Herod who was afraid of his position as king of Jews. After discovering that the wise men betrayed King Herod, the king ordered his soldiers to kill all young boys up to 2 years old in his kingdom, as revenge and with the goal also to kill Jesus. This was on 28 December, the day of the innocent children. In the middle of the night, an angel warned Joseph and Maria, they escaped to Egypt and stayed there for several years until king Herod died.

Het was zeer druk in de Basiliek en we moesten redelijk lang wachten om de grot binnen te gaan. Op de plaats waar Jezus geboren werd ligt nu een zilveren ster op de grond, deze stelt de ster voor die de wijze mannen hebben gevolgd in hun zoektocht naar het Heilige kind. Het was een unieke ervaring en alle bezoekers konden de ster en plaats van geboorte aanraken. Waarom werd Jezus in deze grot in Bethlehem geboren? Ongeveer 2.000 geleden was dit de stad van David, het dorp waar Joseph oorspronkelijk vandaan kwam. Alle mensen moesten geregistreerd zijn en uit deze beweegreden gingen Joseph en Maria naar Bethlehem (stad van David) in blije verwachting van de geboorte van hun zoon. Ze konden geen plaats vinden om te overnachten en kwamen in deze grot terecht. Na de geboorte van Jezus verkondigde een engel aan enkele schaapherders dat de Messias geboren was. Het nieuws verspreidde zich snel en de ongeruste koning Herodes stuurde drie wijze mannen op onderzoek uit. De wijze mannen ontdekten de Heilige familie en toonden hun respect. Ze besloten niet terug te keren naar de koning. Toen Herodes hun verraad ontdekte liet hij uit wraak op 28 december alle mannelijke kinderen jonger dan twee jaar ombrengen, de dag van de onschuldige kinderen. Hij hoopte ook Jezus te doden, die hij zag als een bedreiging voor zijn troon. In het midden van de nacht werden Joseph en Maria gewaarschuwd door een engel en vluchten zij naar Egypte. Ze bleven daar tot na de dood van Koning Herodes..

Grotto of the Nativity Bethlehem
Grotto of the Nativity Bethlehem
Grotto of the Nativity Bethlehem
Grotto of the Nativity Bethlehem
Our travel articles related to the important historical places in the “Life of Jesus”:
1. The Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth
2. The House and carpentry of Joseph in Nazareth underneath the Saint Joseph church
3. Grotto of the Nativity - Why Bethlehem instead of Nazareth? The flight to Egypt.
4. Capernaum in Galilee, the Town of Jesus.
5. Baptismal site in the Jordan River where John baptised Jesus.
6. Sermon on the mount, our visit to Mount of Beatitudes.
7. Tabgha, the miracle of the loaves and the fishes.
8. The Mount of Olives, one of the must important places for Jesus and the Jews.
9. The Basilica of the Agony, the evening before the arrest of Jesus.
10. An emotional visit on the Via Dolorosa where Jesus carried the cross.
11. Touching the rock on which Jesus died, the church of the Holy Sepulchre.
12. The Stone of Unction in the church of the Holy Sepulchre.
13. The Tomb of Jesus and the Resurrection, Church of the Holy Selpuchre.

Return to main page


  1. It is my wish to experience this too, I just could not imagine what the feelings would be like when I am actually there, you are so blessed to have been to that place. thanks for sharing.

  2. Very nice pictures of one of these magic places of the world.

  3. WOw! I dunno when can I touch that holy place. That's amazing!

  4. Pretty powerful to touch this spot ( wonder how they know this was the right place). Amazing art work all around this. Bet there are a gazillion people who visit this.