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Micah Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Micah 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.

smite the judge of Israel. See Matthew 26:67; 27:30. Smiting an official on the cheek was considered a bitter insult, and the ultimate insult was for the representatives of a godless pagan government to strike the true Judge of Israel and of all the earth on the cheek—as they did repeatedly during the mock trial of Christ. The entire context here is Messianic, involving aspects of both comings of Messiah. It goes well beyond any public humiliation of King Zedekiah by the Babylonians, as many have interpreted it.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Bethlehem-Ephratah. This remarkable prophecy of the birthplace of the coming Messiah was fully accepted as such by the Jewish scribes at the time of Christ (Matthew 2:4-6). Bethlehem, as indicated, was an insignificant village, hardly the place for a king to be born; there were numerous more likely cities in the land of Judah, especially Jerusalem. Yet the prophet foresaw, over five hundred years in advance, the unlikely village of Bethlehem as His birthplace.

from everlasting. The Messiah was to be brought forth as a baby in Bethlehem, but was also to have been “going forth” from eternity. Such an amazing prophecy sounds impossible, but was literally fulfilled when God became man, in divine incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ. The “goings-forth” of Deity also imply the perpetually outflowing energy which sustains the created universe, “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3).

Micah 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

she which travaileth. “She which travaileth” probably refers both to Mary, the human mother of Jesus (Luke 1:31; 2:7), who “brought forth” Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem, and also to the age-long promise of the coming “seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15) who would conquer Satan. See also Revelation 12:1-17.

Micah 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

Micah 5:5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

the peace. “This man” is the “ruler in Israel” and He is “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7), so He can put down all human rebellion and establish perfect peace in the world.

the Assyrian. Since Assyria was the chief threat to Judah at the time Micah was writing, many expositors assume that “the Assyrian” in this verse is simply a metaphor for all her enemies. The context in this passage, however, is strongly Messianic and prophetic, and Assyria was a dead nation long before even the first coming of Christ. With this context in mind, it seems most likely that “the Assyrian” here is a name for the Antichrist of the last days, the leader of the last great invasion of Israel before the second coming of Christ. He is an Assyrian not by nationality (the Assyrians of antiquity have long vanished from history) but by geography, since his capital will be at restored Babylon (see on Zechariah 5:5-11).

eight principal men. In the last days, the “Assyrian” (or Antichrist, or the Beast) will be seeking to establish his world government and especially to eliminate the nation Israel and all Christians in every nation. At that time, this particular prophecy will become clear. There has been no historical fulfillment of this prophecy as yet, which makes it even more obvious that the major context of this whole section must relate to the future. At that time, the Lord will raise up leaders —perhaps from Israel—to organize escape routes and resistance to the Assyrian's armies and death squads.

Micah 5:6 And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.

land of Nimrod. Assyria was still recognized as “the land of Nimrod” in the days of Micah, at least twelve centuries after Nimrod had built Nineveh, its greatest city.

from the Assyrian. Although the seven shepherds and eight principal men may play important roles in the end-time resistance by God's people to the Beast of revived Assyria/Babylonia, it will be the one born in Bethlehem, returning as the “ruler in Israel” (Micah 5:2) who will finally “deliver us from the Assyrian.”

Micah 5:7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.

the remnant of Jacob. Despite Israel's apostasy, God always had a faithful remnant, and the remnant shall finally prevail in the kingdom age. See note on Micah 2:12 and note on Romans 9:27.

Micah 5:8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

Micah 5:9 Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.

Micah 5:10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots:

Micah 5:11 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds:

Micah 5:12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:

Micah 5:13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.

Micah 5:14 And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities.

Micah 5:15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.