House in Bethlehem



This drawing shows what a large house, such as the “habitation of Chimham” near Bethlehem, mentioned in Jer. 41:17, may have looked like. Rooms were arranged around the central courtyard, which had a well for drawing water. One, or perhaps more of the upper rooms, seen in the foreground, were reserved for important guests, while servants would have stayed on ground level.
In Luke 2:7, we are told that there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn. The word “inn” is kataluma in Greek, and means an upper room or guest room. When Joseph and Mary arrived at their ancestral home, they were told that the upper room was occupied and the only available space was in the stable block, which can be seen at the top of the drawing.