The Book of Micah
Chapter 5 Summarized:
Contents: The birth and rejection of Christ foretold. His ultimate eternal kingdom after His rejection.
Conclusion: Christ, who existed from eternity as the Son of God, was to be born into the world as the child of woman, to be the Saviour of the world. Rejected, except by a remnant, He would await the consummation of the age, when He will be given a kingdom glorious to Himself; happy for His subjects; disastrous to sinners.
Key Word: Israel’s ruler (Christ), v. 2. Strong Verse: v. 2. Promise: v. 4.
Christ Seen: v.2. See Isa. 7:13, 14; 9:6, 7. Note that the “child” was born in Bethlehem, but the “Son” was from everlasting.” Christ was pre-existent; else He could not have by His atonement made propitiation for the sin of the world.
Introduction: In this chapter we have, I. A prediction of the troubles and distresses of the Jewish nation (v. 1). II. A promise of the Messiah, and of his kingdom, to support the people of God in the day of these troubles. 1. Of the birth of the Messiah (v. 2, 3). 2. Of his advancement (v. 4). 3. Of his protection of his people, and his victory over his and their enemies (v. 5, 6). 4. Of the great world by it (v. 7). 5. Of the destruction of the enemies of the church, both those without, that attacks it, and those within, that expose it (v. 8-15).
First Advent of the Messiah (5:1—6)
Verse 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.
They are not free to rest yet; right now they must face the judgment of God.
They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek—a slap on the face is the greatest of insults in the Orient. Zedekiah, the judge of Israel, was insulted many times by the Chaldeans, as were other princes and judges (Lam. 3:30). This insult marks the victory of Israel’s enemies over her. The expression “judge” instead of “king” could have been chosen to create wordplay with the word for “rod”. But if the term “judge” was not chosen for poetic reasons, it could refer to a period when no one from the house of David ruled in Israel. This was true of the time of Jesus Christ. Our Lord was the next successor to the Davidic throne, and he was treated in this insulting way at his trial (Isa. 50:6; Matt. 26:67; 27:30). He was not the judge of Israel only, but of the whole world.
Verse 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 of Judah. Ephratah distinguishes Bethlehem of Judah from the Bethlehem in Zebulun. Bethlehem Ephratah is located a few miles southwest of Jerusalem and means “the fruitful house of bread.” This town, set amidst prosperous farmland, was the famed city of David.
Though thou be little among—Bethlehem was so small in population that it was not even mentioned among the cities of Judah in either Joshua 15:21 or Nehemiah 11:25. It became a city under Rehoboam (2 Chron. 11:6). Matthew 2:6 says “thou art not the least,” which seems to contradict what Micah says. Bethlehem was insignificant, but became important as the birthplace of the Messiah (John 7:42). God often chooses the little things of the world to accomplish his plan.
Ruler—in this small town God’s plan would be fulfilled with the birth of the Messiah. God would be revealed in the Son and the father would be glorified (Matt. 3:17; 12:18). This Messiah from Israel is the just ruler on whose shoulders the government is.
Goings forth . . . from everlasting—this phrase in Hebrew is a very strong proclamation of Jesus Christ’s eternal nature (Psa. 90:2; Prov. 8:22, 23; John 1:1). As a man, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem; as God he has lived forever. The first promise of the God-man Messiah was very general (Gen. 3:15), but through the ages the promises have become more and more specific (Gen. 26, 27). Finally the race, nationality (Gen. 12:3), tribe (Gen. 49:10), family (Psa. 89:19), and town of the Messiah’s birth have been named. As the time of his birth came closer, all of the prophecies focused on Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah and Savior of all men (Heb. 1:1, 2).
Verse 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.
Therefore—introducing the logical result of the emergence of Israel’s ruler.
she which travaileth hath brought forth—Because a ruler will one day come to deliver Israel, it is clear that God will send her into exile for only a period of time (Hos. 1:9; 3:4, 5). Israel’s rebirth has been traditionally interpreted as a symbol of the virgin birth of the Messiah (Isa. 7:14). When the Messiah comes to redeem Israel, the birth pains will be over (Rom. 11:26). The Messiah was physically born 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, but Israel is still not redeemed. So, according to this view, the time spoken of here is the second coming of the Messiah when he will redeem Israel and his church at the end of this age. The remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel—all those who have been sent into other lands will be brought home to Canaan.
Verse 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.
He shall stand—the kingdom of Christ will be everlasting. He will be the Good Shepherd guarding and watching his flock on every side (Isa. 61:5).
His God—the relationship between God and Jesus Christ is different than that between the individual believer and God (John 20:17).
They shall abide— Isaiah 14:30. Unto the ends of the earth—Psalm 72:8 and Zechariah 9:10. This description of his power matches well with the description of the universal peace he will bring about (4:1-4).
Verse 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—the bridge between God and sinful man is the peace provided by Jesus Christ (Gen. 49:10; Eph. 2:14, 17; Col. 1:20). Isaiah called him the “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). Without his peace there would be only trouble and contempt (4:3).
Assyrian—Because Assyria was Israel’s most formidable foe at the time, this country stands as a symbol for all the world powers that oppress Israel, both present and future (Ezek. 38).
Seven shepherds and eight—seven is the number of perfection and eight indicates that a more than sufficient protection would be theirs).
Principal men—lit. “Anointed [humble] men”; it is often rendered “leaders of men” (NIV, NASB) or “princes of men” (RSV). Princes were men anointed to rule over the people (Isa. 32:1). The expression here refers to the “anointed humble” men like the apostles (Psa. 62:9), who were consecrated by the Holy Spirit to lead the Israelites into spiritual truth (1 John 2:10, 17).
Verse 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.
In the entrances—See 2 Kings 3:21. Just as Assyria had invaded the borders of Israel, so Israel would invade the Assyrians.
Israel to be restored (5:7—15)
Verse 7: And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.
The small nation of Israel would be great in comparison to other nations because of the way the Lord would bless her.
as a dew—The dew, though small in amount, has a great effect on what it touches; so Israel, though small in size, will have a refreshing effect on the rest of the world by awakening them from spiritual drowsiness (Deut. 32:2; Ps. 72:6; 110:3). The proselytizing influence the Jews had after their return from Babylon is just a foretaste of the effect they will have in the coming age (Isa. 66:19; Zech. 8:13).
Verse 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.
As a lion—Micah next depicts the remnant of Israel as a lion threatening its prey. Israel will not only have a refreshing effect on other nations, but will have awful vengeance on those nations that have oppressed her (Isa. 66:15, 16, 19, 24). Judah will be like a lion in terms of its power to intimidate the other nations.
None can deliver—or “no one can rescue” (NIV, NASB). The nations will not be able to stand against the remnant of Israel in the end time.
Verse 9: Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.
Thine hand shall be lifted up—In Isaiah 26:11, Yahweh’s land is lifted up; here Israel takes her stand against her foes whom she is to break in many pieces (4:13; cf. Isa. 54:15). The enemies of Israel are the enemies of God; when Israel takes vengeance, it is God who fights the battle (Exod. 13:9 with 14:8).
Verse 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:
In that day—i.e., the time of the Messiah’s peaceful rule.
Cut off thy horses . . . chariots—Israel had been forbidden to use a cavalry or to take horses from Egypt so that they would not depend on their military strength rather than on God (Psa. 20:7). Solomon had disobeyed God in this respect (1 Kings 10:26, 28). God therefore says he will destroy all these weapons. Israel will take away the weapons of her enemies (Jer. 50:37; 51:21) and God will take them from Israel (Zech. 9:10).
Verse 11: And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds:
Thou shalt have no need of fortified cities; I will be thy defense.
Verse 12: And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:
Thou shalt seek help only in Jehovah thy God. They have had neither soothsayers, images, groves, nor high places, from the captivity to the present day.
Verse 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.
Thou shalt be no more an idolatrous people.
Verse 14: And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities.
Groves . . . cities—All the heathen shrines and altars will be totally abolished. The temples of Baal (2 Kings 10:22-25) and Asherah (2 Kings 21:7) and all other idols will be useless because everyone will worship God.
Verse15: and I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
And he did so; for the empires of the Assyrians, Chaldeans, and others, the sworn enemies of the Jews, have long since been utterly destroyed.
The following material were used in the
preparation of these notes:
Quick Verse 2005: Matthew Henry's commentary, New Commentary on the whole Bible.
E-Source: Barn's notes
Bible Explore 4 (downloaded version): Stong's Hebrew-Greek, ISBE,
All Bible text is from the King James Version
The Book of Micah, Kendzierski's Reference Notes, AncientPath.net, study materials are a ministry of AncientPath.net, and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing that no charge is made for them. No further distribution or use of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright Law without the express permission of AncientPath.net. ©2009 AncientPath.net, All rights reserved.