Never knew Jesus was born in the House of Meat. Must have been a town with a lot of butchers or something.
So... in all my years of Sunday school... seminary...etc. I never knew that.
Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1). "Kids do as well as they can."
I was aware early on that Jesus wouldn't have pronounced it the English way But my dad is a linguistics nut so I know a lot of that kind of stuff that's trivia to most.
The beth part definitely means house. However, the lehem part is up for debate. A commonly assumed meaning for the name is House of Lahmu and Lahamu. Lahmu and Lahamu are a pair of Mesopotamian agricultural deities. This is according to www.etymonline.com. I've also heard lehem comes from lachem meaning bread.
And Bethel, as in the town mentioned in the Bible, means house of God.
The original pronunciation is just that, "beit" and "lekhem." And the word "lekhem" in Hebrew means "bread."
So it's "the house of bread."
It was called by that name throughout the intervening millennia-plus of Jewish sovereignty, and was still called "Beit Lekhem" in Jesus' time.
The name didn't change to the Arabic one for another 600-plus years, at least, till the Arabs first arrived in the 7th century.
Just for another perspective.
Mom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one