At Chimham’s Inn in Bethlehem

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Darkness reigned in Palestine.
Souls were wild and fearful.
Herod ruled in Palestine
(Terrorized and tearful).

Caesar ordered through the land
Registration for each man.
David’s lineage to uphold,
Joseph walked toward the untold.

Displaced, weary, tremulous,
Mary carried Jesus mild,
In her womb an unborn child–
Holiness and tenderness.

Rachel’s tomb brought mem’ries fresh
Of Mary’s womb of fragile flesh.
Joseph sought a refuge stay
Like David asked of Barzillai.

As Noah’s ark upon the flood,
The stable rose above the press.
The animals beheld a birth
And Hope was placed in courteous creche.

Multitudes of heavenly hosts,
To David’s son, the newborn king,
“Glory to God Most High!
Peace, good will towards men!” did sing.

Star and rainbow, cov’nants new,
Heavenly portents, angels too,
Give honor, glory, blessing true,
To Him to whom all praise is due.

By Jill Woodliff

Note on the title:  In 2 Samuel 19, King David wants to reward Barzillai the Gileadite for providing the king with food while he was in exile during Absalom’s revolt. David offers to include Barzillai in his court in Jerusalem. Barzillai declines because of his great age, but sends Chimham in his stead.

On his deathbed, David instructs Solomon to show kindness to the sons of Barzillai (1 Kings 2:7).  Four centuries later, reference is made to Chimham’s lodging place in Bethlehem (Jeremiah 41:17).  It has been supposed that, considering the stationary character of Eastern institutions, it was in the stable of this inn that Jesus was born.

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