Bethlehem (' house of bread'), the birthplace of Jesus Christ and of King David, and the Ephratah of the history of Jacob, is now a small unwalled village of white stone houses, 6 miles S. of Jerusalem. The population, about 3000 souls, is wholly Christian - Latin, Greek, and Armenian. The Convent of the Nativity, a large square building, resembling a fortress, was built by the Empress Helena, 327 a.d., but destroyed by the Moslems in 1236, and, it is supposed, restored by the Crusaders. Within it is the Church of the Nativity, with a crypt below, where the blessed Virgin is said to have been delivered.
Bethlehem, a post-borough of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, on the Lehigh River, 55 miles N. of Philadelphia by rail, is the principal settlement in America of the Moravians, by whom it was founded in 1741. It has silk, paint, and flour mills, and is noted for its excellent schools. Two bridges connect it with South Bethlehem, the seat of Lehigh University (1866) and other Episcopal institutions, and possessing iron and steel works. Another borough, West Bethlehem, separated from Bethlehem by Mono-cacy Creek, contains silk and planing mills, machine-shops, and dye-works. Pop. 7762.