Mic. 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.

This chapter continues in context from the previous chapter, and is a call for the people of Jerusalem to join together in defense of the enemy.  The Hebrew for daughter is a reference to “apple of the eye,” and Jerusalem is recognized as the pride of Israel.  The judge of Israel is a reference to the one who governs or rules Israel.  I don’t know if the last phrase is an idiom, but it certainly is a picture of disgrace of Israel’s leader.   The leader of Israel/Judah never recovered from this disgrace.  We know that Israel never had a king after their return from the Babylonian captivity.

 

Mic. 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.

The prophet now has a word of encouragement from God.  There will be a future ruler of Israel born in Bethlehem (house of bread) Ephratah (fruitfulness), one of the smallest towns in Judah.  This coming ruler is described as one whose family descent is from old, “the front of place or time.”  In fact, His descent is from everlasting, “always, perpetual” (Hebrew), “existing or continuing without end, immortal” (Webster).  This is a declaration that He will be Divine.

 

This verse was referenced by Matthew as he detailed the birth of Jesus.

Matt. 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

This is just one of many prophecies fulfilled by the birth of Jesus, who called Himself “the bread of life.” 

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

He also described Himself as One Who would produce much “fruit” through His followers.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

He also boldly declared Himself as the Son of God, the same as God.

John 9:35-37 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?  And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.

 

John 10:36-38 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.  But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

 

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

 

John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

 

Mic. 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.

Mic. 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.

“Therefore will he give them up” – This is a statement of God’s intention to abandon Israel to her enemies until He once again intervenes in their history by sending His Son Jesus as the Messiah to redeem them and eventually establish His kingdom.

 

Verse 3 can be a bit confusing.  Travail is a term associated with childbirth.  It seems to be saying that when Jesus is born, Israel will be delivered from her enemies and established in strength under the leadership of this ruler.  We have the privilege of hindsight and knowing that the prophets didn’t always understand that time intervals were involved in their revelations.  Pastors often teach that they saw the mountain peaks without realizing there were valleys in between those peaks. 

 

It is true that when Jesus came, His disciples/followers became established as the believing remnant of that day, those whose hearts were truly turned to follow God in faith and obedience.   Verse 4 jumps ahead to the time when Jesus is established as King in the name of YHWH, His Father, and the people of Israel are gathered together from all over the world to dwell in Israel under His strong and protective care.  Abide is a reference to continuing and remaining; in other words, Israel will never again be driven out of their land.  Not only will Jesus be ruler over Israel from the throne of David, His rule will extend to the “ends of the earth.” 

 

This is the kingdom that was prophesied by the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.

Dan. 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

And by Daniel’s dream.

Dan. 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Dan. 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

And by the prophet Isaiah.

Is. 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Is. 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.

 

Mic. 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.

Mic. 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.

“this man” = Jesus, the Son of God, the ruler referenced above

1Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus….

“The Assyrian” is a term that continually shows up in scripture as an enemy of Israel.  The Assyrian King Shalmaneser carried off the people of the Northern Kingdom to Assyria as captives .

2Kings 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

Babylon was actually part of Assyria until the early 600’s BC, so the title could also make reference to Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian King who took the Southern Kingdom captive.  There are many scriptures that seem to reference Satan/Lucifer as the power behind the evil Assyrian. (See journals on Isaiah 14, 30, and Ezekiel 31.)  I believe that in context with reference to the millennial kingdom of Messiah that this is a reference to the Antichrist who will seek to establish his throne in God’s temple in Jerusalem. 

2Th. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2Th. 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

 

“then shall we raise…” – This last half of verse 5 is a mystery to me.  I looked for help, and most commentators take this to be a general reference to their being a sufficient number of men willing to follow God’s leading in destroying Israel’s enemy.  Somehow, I think there is more.  Shepherds and principal men have to identify with leaders, both spiritual and royal.  The word and is not in the Hebrew, and most translations consider the eight to include the seven, which would lead me to conclude that the eighth is Jesus. 

 

I just finished reading these verses several times again, and I sure wish I knew Hebrew.  I couldn’t get out of my mind the similarity of the wording to a section in Revelation

Rev. 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

Rev. 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

It was the wording of the NIV and CJB that caught my attention.

NIV - Mic. 5:6   They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrian when he invades our land and marches into our borders.

 

CJB - Mic. 5:5   They will shepherd the land of Ashur with the sword, the land of Nimrod at its gates; and he will rescue us from Ashur when he invades our land, when he overruns our borders.

I still can’t put it together yet, but it sounds like there could be a connection here.  All of the kingdoms referenced in Revelation 17 (if I am correct) included/will include Assyria except Egypt.  There was an intriguing verse in my study of Isaiah, however, that would include Egypt as well.

Is. 52:4 For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.

An excerpt from that journal:

In recent years I heard a teaching by Chuck Missler that cast an interesting possibility regarding this scripture.  A quote from one of the articles on his website states:

“Much has been speculated about the specific Pharaoh in this book.  Stephen gives us a clue when he notes that, "Another king arose who knew not Joseph."   The Greek term used was 'eterwV, heteros, another of a different kind, not  alloV, allos, another of the same kind.  This Pharaoh was of a different race and dynasty. (Josephus also makes mention of this fact, who describes "the crown being come to another family.")  It seems that he was the Assyrian of Isaiah 52:4.”

This would seem to make a bit more sense to me in reference to the phrase “oppressed them without cause.”  This Pharaoh had no cause to oppress the Jews.  They had been invited to Egypt during the famine and had been given the land they occupied.  The only reason the Hebrews were placed in bondage were because of Pharaoh’s fear that they would turn on him—not because of anything they had done to him or his country. 

The Antichrist (as have all kings empowered by Satan) and his leaders will rule with the sword, but that will be worthless in defense when Jesus, the man of peace, comes to rescue His people and His land with the sword of His mouth.

Rev. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Rev. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Rev. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

I’m going to have to do some more studying and thinking about this.

 

Mic. 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.

Mic. 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.

I like the CJB translation of these verses.

Then the remnant of Ya‘akov, surrounded by many peoples, will be like dew from ADONAI, like showers on the grass, which doesn’t wait for a man or expect anything from mortals.  The remnant of Ya‘akov among the nations, surrounded by many peoples, will be like a lion among forest animals, like a young lion among flocks of sheep — if it passes through, tramples and tears to pieces, there is no one to rescue them.

Again, “the remnant of Jacob” would be a reference to the believing remnant that God is preserving in order to fulfill His covenant with Abraham.  Dew and showers are representative of God’s blessings.  Point is being made that in Messiah’s Kingdom Israel will stand as the strong young lion among the Gentile nations that are pictured as sheep in comparison. 

 

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

I liked the NIV wording for this verse.

Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed.

 

Mic. 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:

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

“cities” = a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch)

“strong holds” = fortifications

 

In other words, the people of Israel will have no need for any source of protection other than the mighty hand of their King, Jesus. 

 

The Lord prophesied through Moses that the people would one day ask for a king, and He very carefully instructed that they didn’t provide themselves with horses (which would include chariots) to defend themselves. They were to depend solely on God for their defense.

Deut. 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;

Deut. 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

Deut. 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

 

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

In the Messiah’s Kingdom witchcraft and soothsayers will not be tolerated.  At that time the people of Israel will serve God in obedience and look to Him for their every need.

 

Mic. 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.

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

Idolatry will be a thing of Israel’s shameful past. 

 

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

The time of God’s wrath is coming when He will execute vengeance “in anger and fury” upon the Gentile nations.  The KJV is the most confusing translation of this verse; the reason for His wrath is their refusal to listen to God and obey Him.

 

First off, vengeance is the sole prerogative of God according to scripture.

            Psa. 94:1 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth….

 

Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

Heb. 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

Also important to note is that God will only direct His vengeance, anger and fury against His enemies—those who reject Him as Lord.

Nah. 1:2 God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.