Bethlehem is called the city of David in the Old Testament and the City of the Messiah in the New Covenant.
Bethlehem or House of Bread is the born village of Yeshua, Jesus, the Messiah.
Bethlehem of Judah was a small Jewish village in the first century where Jesus, the Messiah born and today is one of most important city in the Palestinian Territory.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
(Matthew 2:1 KJV)
The Christian Era
In the NT Bethlehem is mentioned as the birthplace of the Messiah Jesus (Mt 2:1,5; Lk 2:4,25) in consequence of which event occurred Herod’s “massacre of the innocents” (Mt 2:8,26). Inasmuch as Hadrian devastated Bethlehem and set up there a sacred grove to Adonis (Jerome, Ep. ad Paul, lviii.3) it is clear that veneration of this spot as the site of the Nativity must go back before 132 AD.
Constantine (circa 330) founded a basilica over the cave-stable which tradition pointed out as the scene of the birth, and his church, unchanged in general structure though enlarged by Justinian and frequently adorned, repaired and damaged, remains today the chief attraction of the town. During the Crusades, Bethlehem became of great importance and prosperity; it remained in Christian hands after the overthrow of the Latin kingdom, and at the present day it is in material things one of the most prosperous Christian centers in the Holy Land. “Bethlehem,” ISBE, n.p.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
(Matthew 2:8, 23 KJV)
Bethlehem Judah, or EPHRATH or EPHRATHAH (which see) is now Beit Lahm (Arabic = “house of meat”), a town of upward of 10,000 inhabitants, 5 miles S. of Jerusalem and 2,350 ft. above sea level. It occupies an outstanding position upon a spur running E. from the watershed with deep valleys to the N.E. and S. It is just off the main road to Hebron and the S., but upon the highroad to Tekoa and En-gedi. The position is one of natural strength; it was occupied by a garrison of the Philistines in the days of David (2 Sa 23:14; 1 Ch 11:16) and was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Ch 11:6).
The surrounding country is fertile, cornfields, fig and olive yards and vineyards abound. Bethlehem is not naturally well supplied with water, the nearest spring is 800 yds. to the S.E., but for many centuries the “low level aqueduct” from “Solomon’s Pools” in the Artas valley, which has here been tunneled through the hill, has been tapped by the inhabitants; there are also many rock-cut cisterns.
“Bethlehem,” ISBE, n.p.
David the Bethlehemite
Ruth, famous chiefly as the ancestress of David, and of the Messiah, settled in Bethlehem with her second husband Boaz, and it is noticeable that from her new home she could view the mountains of Moab, her native land. David himself “was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-judah, whose name was Jesse” (1 Sa 17:12). To Bethlehem came Samuel to anoint a successor to unworthy Saul (1 Sa 16:4): “David went to and fro from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” (1 Sa 17:15). David’s “three mighty men” “brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David” (2 Sa 23:14,16). Tradition still points out the well. From this town came those famous “sons of Zeruiah,” David’s nephews, whose loyalty and whose ruthless cruelty became at once a protection and a menace to their royal relative: in 2 Sa 2:32 it is mentioned that one of them, Asahel, was buried “in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem.” “Bethlehem,” ISBE, n.p.