After the virgin Mary was informed by the angel Gabriel that by “the power of the Highest” she would conceive “and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS” (Luke 1:31,35), she then went to visit her relative Elizabeth, who was the then 6-months expectant mother of John the Baptist. “Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth” (vv. 39-40).
The text does not specify which city of Judah in which Zacharias (the priest) and his wife Elizabeth resided. However the traditional site is that of En Kerem, located 4+ miles west of Jerusalem.
R. Riesner has this entry on “The Birthplace of John the Baptist”:
A literary tradition that can be traced back to the sixth century identifies the birthplace with En-Kerem (Arabic Ain Karim), seven kilometers west of Jerusalem (ELS 44ff.). Remains of two fourth-century churches indicate, however, that the tradition stretches back to a still-earlier time (GBL II.776). (Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, p. 34).
I’m making this post from beautiful Fair Haven, Vermont, where I’m currently presenting an 8-lesson Visualized Survey of the Bible.