Micah 5 Study Notes


5:2-5a God would raise up another ruler from David’s hometown of Bethlehem Ephrathah (Ru 4:11) who would be his servant (for me; cp. 1Sm 16:1). This “ruler” will extend God’s kingdom to the ends of the earth (see Ps 2:8; 72:8) and bring God’s “wholeness” or peace (Hb shalom) with his righteous reign (Is 9:6). His people will live securely in his kingdom. His origin (lit “goings out”) will be from antiquity (miqedem), and from ancient times (miymey olam, lit “from days long ago”). Both terms can refer just to a very long time ago, perhaps the beginnings of messianic prophecy (Gn 3:15; 12:3; 49:10, etc.), or to eternity (Ps 74:12; Pr 8:23; Hab 1:12, etc.). God had not forgotten his promise of granting an eternal kingship to David (2Sm 7:4-17). This coming Davidic ruler would appear when she who is in labor has given birth. Varying interpretations of this woman include: (1) the mother of Messiah (i.e., Mary); (2) Bethlehem, the birthplace of Messiah; (3) a righteous remnant bringing forth salvation; and (4) a historical reference to the upcoming exile (4:10). The exiles would go forth as from the womb into captivity and return once more (v. 3). See Matthew’s application of these verses (and 2Sm 5:2) to Jesus in Mt 2:6.


Hebrew pronunciation [dah RAK]
CSB translation tread, guide, bend, march
Uses in Micah 4
Uses in the OT 63
Focus passage Micah 5:5-6

Darak, related to derek (way), means tread (Dt 11:24), trample (Ps 91:13), step (1Sm 5:5), or set foot (Dt 1:36). One strides (Am 4:13), walks (Is 59:8), comes (Nm 24:17), marches (Mc 5:5), or marches on (Jdg 5:21). Eleven times darak refers to treading grapes in winepresses (Am 9:13), and darak alone connotes treading/trampling grapes (Is 16:10; Jr 25:30).

5:5b-9 People confident in their own strength believed that they could raise up for themselves numerous leaders against their enemies, even ruling over Assyria and Nimrod, or Babylon. Micah asserted that only he [God’s ruler] will rescue us from Assyria, not any human leaders. God would make the faithful remnant . . . like dew and rain showers, which are God-caused phenomena that humans cannot control (Jdg 6:36-40; Jb 38:28). People must not rely on human strength and initiative for their future but must instead trust in God’s power and wait for him to act. He can make a feeble remnant become like a young lion to execute judgment on their enemies.

5:10-15 God revealed how he would bring about eschatological peace. He would purge his people of anything that hindered their relationship with him—such as reliance on military might (vv. 10-11), divination (v. 12), and idolatry (vv. 13-14)—judging any nation that refused to submit to his rule (v. 15). Objects of military strength hampered their faith. God would remove these hindrances, causing his people to rely on him alone (Ps 20:7). Sorceries . . . fortune-tellers, and idolatrous worship were spiritual hindrances (Is 8:19-20). The people needed purification by God. All people (including Israel) must submit to him or face his anger and wrath as the holy and sovereign ruler.