Micah 5

A Ruler Will Come From Bethlehem

1 Jerusalem, you are being attacked. So bring your troops together. Our enemies have surrounded us. They want to slap the face of Israel's ruler.
2 The LORD says, "Bethlehem, you might not be an important town in the nation of Judah. But out of you will come a ruler over Israel for me. His family line goes back to the early years of your nation. It goes all the way back to days of long ago." Bethlehem was also called Ephrathah.
3 The LORD will hand his people over to their enemies. That will last until the promised ruler is born. Then his relatives in Judah will return to their land. The LORD will rule over them and the people of Israel.
4 The promised ruler will stand firm and take care of his flock. The LORD will give him the strength to do it. The LORD his God will give him the authority to rule. His people will live safely. His greatness will reach from one end of the earth to the other.
And he will bring them peace.

The LORD Will Save His People From Their Enemies

5 The Assyrians will attack our land. Enemies will march through our forts. But we will raise up many shepherds against them. We'll send out against them as many leaders as we need to.
6 They will use their swords to rule over Assyria. They'll rule the land of Nimrod with swords that are ready to strike. The Assyrians will march across our borders and attack our land. But the promised ruler will save us from them.
7 Jacob's people who are still left alive will be scattered among many nations. They will be like dew the LORD has sent. It doesn't wait for a man's command. They will be like rain that falls on the grass. Rain doesn't wait for someone to give it orders.
8 So Jacob's people will be scattered among many nations. They will be like a lion among the animals in the forest. They'll be like a young lion among flocks of sheep. Lions attack and tear as they move along. No one can keep them from killing what they want.
9 Lord, your powerful hand will win the battle over your enemies. All of them will be destroyed.
10 "At that time I will destroy your war horses," announces the Lord. "I will smash your chariots.
11 I will destroy the cities in your land. I will tear down all of your forts.
12 I will destroy your worship of evil powers. You will no longer be able to put a spell on anyone.
13 I will destroy the statues of your gods. I will take your sacred stones away from you. You will no longer bow down to the gods your hands have made.
14 I will pull down the poles you used to worship the goddess Asherah. And I will destroy your cities completely.
15 I will pay back the nations that have not obeyed me. My anger will burn against them."

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Micah 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

The birth of Christ and conversion of the Gentiles. (1-6) The triumphs of Israel. (7-15)

Verses 1-6 Having showed how low the house of David would be brought, a prediction of the Messiah and his kingdom is added to encourage the faith of God's people. His existence from eternity as God, and his office as Mediator, are noticed. Here is foretold that Bethlehem should be his birthplace. Hence it was universally known among the Jews, ( Matthew 2:5 ) . Christ's government shall be very happy for his subjects; they shall be safe and easy. Under the shadow of protection from the Assyrians, is a promise of protection to the gospel church and all believers, from the designs and attempts of the powers of darkness. Christ is our Peace as a Priest, making atonement for sin, and reconciling us to God; and he is our Peace as a King, conquering our enemies: hence our souls may dwell at ease in him. Christ will find instruments to protect and deliver. Those that threaten ruin to the church of God, soon bring ruin on themselves. This may include the past powerful effects of the preached gospel, its future spread, and the ruin of all antichristian powers. This is, perhaps, the most important single prophecy in the Old Testament: it respects the personal character of the Messiah, and the discoveries of himself to the world. It distinguishes his human birth from his existing from eternity; it foretells the rejection of the Israelites and Jews for a season, their final restoration, and the universal peace to prevail through the whole earth in the latter days. In the mean time let us trust our Shepherd's care and power. If he permits the assault of our enemies, he will supply helpers and assistance for us.

Verses 7-15 The remnant of Israel, converted to Christ in the primitive times, were among many nations as the drops of dew, and were made instruments in calling a large increase of spiritual worshippers. But to those who neglected or opposed this salvation, they would, as lions, cause terror, their doctrine condemning them. The Lord also declares that he would cause not only the reformation of the Jews, but the purification of the Christian church. In like manner shall we be assured of victory in our personal conflicts, as we simply depend upon the Lord our salvation, worship him, and serve him with diligence.

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with a prophecy of the siege of Jerusalem, Mic 5:1; and then follows another concerning the place of the Messiah's birth, Mic 5:2; and of the case of the Jews, either before or after it, Mic 5:3; and of Christ's office as a shepherd, and of his grandeur in the world, Mic 5:4; and of his being a peacemaker, and protector of his people from their enemies, Mic 5:5,6; and of his people, the great increase of them, and their usefulness, and also of their courage, strength, and prowess, Mic 5:7-9; likewise that the Lord will remove from them their vain confidence, and all occasion of it, and whatsoever illicit arts and practices were found among them; and all idolatry, and the instruments of it, Mic 5:10-14; and the chapter is concluded with a threatening of vengeance to the Heathens, Mic 5:15.

Micah 5 Commentaries

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