A small Palestinian town, 1.5 km to the east of Bethlehem. It is approximately 650 - 700 meters above sea level and consists of 7 thousands acres.
It is believed that the word “Sahour” a Chaldean Aramaic word means the watchful and the origin of the name is the house of watchful, where the shepherds stay up in the fields of the town watching their sheep. Others believe that the word “Sahour” originates from the word “Saher” (means inspiring in Arabic), where the shepherds believed to have be inspired at that spot by the birth of Christ. Both former beliefs are undoubtedly linked to the story of the birth of Christ where the shepherds were taking care of their sheep, so the town is also known as the “Town of Shepherds”.
Some believe that the name came from the Greek language and means the "House of the Magi", a name which the ancient Persian priests were called. Some also argue that the name is originally “Beit Suher” meaning “the prison” in Hebrew, and is related to an Israeli prison that was located in that spot.
First inhabited by the Canaanite tribes during the Bronze Age during 3000 B.C., then by the profit Jacob after the death of his wife Rachel, in the mid eighth century, who died near Bethlehem, where Jacob buried her, while delivering their son Benjamin. It is said that Jacob had dug the well known today in the town as the well of the Virgin Mary.
Bo’ez met his wife Ruth in the fields of Beit Sahour, where they got married and from their descendants came King David, who’s the forefather of Jesus Christ.
The Israeli occupation forces have confiscated large area of Beit Sahour lands, especially with the construction of the separation wall and bypass roads that connect the Jewish-only settlement, constructed on the Beit Sahour mountain of Abu Ghnaim, and the settlements east of the town.
Beit Sahour is famous for its handicrafts industry, the most important being olive wood and mother of pearl, as well as some factories including Cartoon Boxes, Pasta, Electric Plates, Plastic and so on. It contains five private and two public schools (for both males and females).