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In Jacob's time, it was called Ephrath, which meant "fruitful." Jacob buried his favorite wife Rachel there after she gave birth to Benjamin. After the conquest of the Promised Land, it was called Bethlehem-judah (Ruth 1: 1). Famine drove Elimelech and Naomi from Bethlehem to Moab, where their sons married Ruth and Orpah. When all three husbands died, Ruth returned to Bethlehem with Naomi and gleaned in the fields of Boaz. She and Boaz married, and their great-grandson was David. In his childhood, David cared for the sheep of his father Jesse in the fields of Bethlehem, possibly the same fields where his great-grandmother Ruth gleaned. A thousand years later, Jesus was born in Bethlehem and angels announced His birth to shepherds caring for their sheep in the fields near there. These fields have become known as The Shepherds' Fields.
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V. Gilbert and Arlisle F. Beers

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