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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in February 2010.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
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22/02/2010 "[Micah] 5:1-6 The birth and exaltation of the Messiah The focus now shifts from renewed Zion to the renewed house of David. The oracle is framed by a reference to Micah and the remnant with him in the first person plural (`we' and `us') as they endure the Assyrian invasions. 1 `Now' (unfortunately omitted by the NIV) links this oracle with the preceding (9, 11); all of them begin with the present distress (1) and move to salvation (2-6). To fortify spiritually the blockaded city Micah commands: Marshal your troops, O city of troops. The siege ... laid against us is Sennacherib's blockade in 701 BC (cf. 1:9, 12; 2:12-13; 4:11). They [the Assyrian horde] strike Israel's ruler (Hezekiah] on the cheek with a rod (`sceptre'), showing that he has no defences of his own, even as God's enemies later struck the greater Son of David to humiliate him (Mt. 26:67; 27:26, 30)." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1997, p.828. Emphasis original) 22/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 2 The word But shifts the scene from besieged Jerusalem to Bethlehem, Israel's future hope. Like the personification in 4:8, God addresses Bethlehem directly. The names, Bethlehem Ephrathah and Judah, recall the days of Jesse, David's father (cf. 1 Sa. 17:12). God is about to start all over again. David's decadent line will be cut down like a dead tree but, as Isaiah expressed it, `a shoot [the Messiah] will come up from the stump of Jesse' (Is. 11:1). Though ancient Bethlehem was small (`least'; cf. Jdg. 6:15; 1 Sa. 9:21) among the clans of Judah (and even omitted from the extensive lists of Judah's towns in Jos. 15:33-60) today it has achieved universal acclaim through Christ's birth, which was itself as inauspicious as Bethlehem was before his birth (cf. 1 Sa. 16:1-13). Matthew (2:6) interprets the verse to emphasize Jesus Christ as ruler, not as one of Jesse's descendants. He omits `Ephrathah', changes `clans' to `rulers' thereby forming a better contrast with `ruler over Israel', rightly explains the text's intention by adding `by no means least', and replaces the end of the verse with 2 Sa. 5:2." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1997, p.828. Emphasis original) 22/02/2010 "[Micah 5:2] In contrast to Israel's self-serving rulers (cf. 3:1-4), the Messiah will come for me (i.e. for God's advantage, not his own). The veiled reference to the Messiah's historical roots, through the allusions to Jesse by the names at the beginning of the verse, is unveiled at the end of the verse: his origins are from of old, from ancient times, referring to the times of Jesse. The Hebrew behind from ancient means from `the remotest times', `from time immemorial' (`long ago' in Jos. 24:2; Je. 2:20) when used with reference to some historical event; when it is used of God, who existed before creation, `everlasting' is an appropriate translation (e.g. Ps. 90:2). The addition of times (lit. `days') shows this to be a historical reference. The full phrase is rendered `as in days long ago' in 7:14, 20." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1997, p.828. Emphasis original) 22/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 3 From the promise that Zion's new age will be inaugurated with the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem, Micah concludes that Israel will be abandoned without a human king until she who is in labour gives birth (see 4:9-10) to the Messiah. The prophecy found fulfilment about 700 years later through the faithful Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna, Joseph and, above all, Mary (Lk 1:5.- 2:40 - cf. Is. 7:14).. The nucleus of Zion's new kingdom centring on the Messiah consists of the rest of his brothers, who are related to him not only by blood and history but also in spirit. They return (a word that signifies conversion) from their captivity to sin and judgment to join the true Israelites (a term that has a religious meaning). Having gathered the elect remnant, Christ inaugurated his kingdom from heavenly Zion when he sent the Holy Spirit on the brothers gathered in the upper room, and they turned the world upside- down (Lk. 3:16; Acts 2)." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1997, pp.828-829. Emphasis original) 22/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 4 The reigning Messiah will stand (i.e. endure forever; cf. Ps. 33:11; Is. 14:24) and shepherd his flock, providing for their every need, including spiritual food, and protecting them (Jn. 10; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4). Through faith he will rule in the strength of the LORD, not through human engineering and manipulation (cf. 5:10-15). His subjects will live securely for, conquering Satan (Mt. 12:22-29; Rom. 16:20), he will extend his kingdom to the ends of the earth (4:3-4; Mt. 28:18-20; Jn 17:2). Christ gives his elect people eternal life and no-one can snatch them from his hands (Jn 10:28)." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1997, p.829. Emphasis original) 22/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 5-6 The theme that Christ's universal rule secures the peace of his kingdom is now elaborated. Micah uses we, our and us (see above) to identify himself and the faithful with him as part of that triumphant kingdom (see 5:1). He surrounds this conclusion with the promises that the Messiah will be their peace (5a) and he will deliver us (6b). The Messiah will both defend his kingdom from enemy attack (5b) and rule over his enemies (6a)." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1997, p.829. Emphasis original) 22/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 5 Micah refers to future attacks against the Messiah's kingdom as being carried out by the Assyrians, who were destroyed in 612 BC, centuries before Christ's advent. Prophets did not see the centuries that separated them from the fulfilment of their predictions but saw future happenings as imminent events on a flat tableau. Moreover, they described the future in terms drawn from their own experience (see 4:1; Is. 25:10; Am: 9:12). Under the Messiah's rule the faithful community will raise up seven (the perfect number) shepherds (an image for protectors), even eight (i.e. more than enough) leaders (a rare word found in Sargon's annals for his commanders). " (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1997, p.829. Emphasis original) 22/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 6 They, the Messiah's under-shepherds (cf. 1 Pet. 5:1-4), will rule the land of Assyria, which represents all the enemies of the kingdom of God especially the spiritual forces arrayed against it under its arch-enemy, Satan (Eph. 4:7-12; 6:10-18). The land of Nimrod is Babylon (Gn. 10:8-12), the Rome and Mecca of Micah's pagan world. The mention of Babylon after Assyria supports the date in the book's heading (1:1). In Micah's time Babylon was subordinate to Assyria. The later Neo-Babylonian empire destroyed Assyria in 612 BC and was itself destroyed in 539. In the light of the NT the sword symbolizes God's word ministered in the Holy Spirit." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1994, Reprinted, 1997, p.829. Emphasis original) 23/02/2010 "Coming Mighty Leader To Be Born in Bethlehem and To Restore the Remnant of Jacob. 5:2-15. 1) The Messiah To Be Born in Bethlehem. 5:2,3. [Micah 5:] 2. Bethlehem (Heb. House of Bread) in the district of Ephratah was too small to have a place among the thousands (or families) of Judah, yet was destined to be exalted throughout the world; for the Messiah was to be born in this humble place, in the village of his great ancestor David. His goings forth are from everlasting, for this future ruler in Israel is the eternal "Angel-Jehovah" coequal with Jehovah throughout the OT." (Carlson, E.L., "Micah," in Pfeiffer, C.F. & Harrison, E.F., eds., "The Wycliffe Bible Commentary," Oliphants: London, 1962, Reprinted, 1963, pp.857-858. Emphasis original) 23/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 3. She who is in travail refers to Israel in affliction, or the personal mother of the coming One; the latter is preferred. Then, there shall be a return of the residue (or remnant) of his brethren (fellow Judeans) to Jehovah and home." (Carlson, E.L., "Micah," in Pfeiffer, C.F. & Harrison, E.F., eds., "The Wycliffe Bible Commentary," Oliphants: London, 1962, Reprinted, 1963, p.858. Emphasis original) 23/02/2010 "2) The Messiah's Beneficent Reign. [Micah] 5:4-7. 4. He ... shall feed his flock (ASV). Messiah is to become the shepherd who works in the strength and majesty of Jehovah (cf. Jn 10:11; Heb 13:20; I Pet 5:4). Enemies will be unable to molest, for his name shall be great to the ends of the earth. "[Micah 5:] 5,6. This man shall be the peace (cf. Eph 2:14) within men's souls, between men, between nations. When Assyria shall come. Assyria was the foe most feared in Micah's day, and it is here used to typify Israel's enemies. In the One who is Peace. there is power to raise up leaders who will protect Israel and overcome enemies. Micah points to the victory of the Coming One over world powers." (Carlson, E.L., "Micah," in Pfeiffer, C.F. & Harrison, E.F., eds., "The Wycliffe Bible Commentary," Oliphants: London, 1962, Reprinted, 1963, p.858. Emphasis original) 23/02/2010 "THE COMING OF THE REDEEMER. [Micah] v. 2-15 With this section we include ii. 12, 13. Verse 2 begins a new chapter in the Hebrew Bible. It and the next verse reveal the expectations of longing Israel. A Deliverer shall come to be ruler in Israel. His birth in Bethlehem implies that He will be another David and so be a true shepherd of God's people (4, RV). This remarkable prophecy has had both a literal as well as a spiritual fulfilment in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ at Bethlehem (Mt. ii. 5, 6), and there may be a reference to the incarnation in verse 3. He who is here looked for is clearly no ordinary, earthly man. He is clothed with timeless dignity, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (2). The work which the Deliverer will do will be of a pastoral character, and He will be the shepherd of the people. He shall stand (4); carefulness, confidence and strength are here implied. And feed (4); RV `and shall feed his flock'; i.e. He will nourish His people, leading them in pastures of tender grass and beside the waters of quietness, through the grace and power of God. He shall be regarded with awe and reverence, because He is kingly, and bears the name of the Lord, and His fame shall spread abroad unto the ends of the earth." (Fraser, A., "Micah," in Davidson, F., et al., eds, "The New Bible Commentary," The Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, Second Edition, 1954, Reprinted, 1968, p.724) 23/02/2010 "In his capacity as shepherd the coming ruler is also described as a breaker [Micah] (ii. 13), i.e. one who removes obstacles and opens up a way. God's people are pictured as sheep penned up in a narrow fold (ii. 12) and longing to be set free;, the breaker not only flings wide the gate but pulls down part of the wall to facilitate their release. He then passes on in front of them as their divinely appointed Leader and Lord. With such messianic visions the prophet Micah helped to keep alive through weary centuries the hope of a Saviour in the hearts of longing Israel. He apprehended one essential role of the deliverer, which was that of shepherd, and in the unusual thought of the breaker he reveals to us another aspect of the many-sided glory of the Son of God." (Fraser, A., "Micah," in Davidson, F., et al., eds, "The New Bible Commentary," The Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, Second Edition, 1954, Reprinted, 1968, p.724) 23/02/2010 "[Micah 5] Verses 5 and 6 form in Hebrew a strophe of ten lines. They envisage a different and more immediate historical situation than the foregoing. The word man supplied by the AV in verse 5 is better omitted. Read, `this shall be the peace'. Invasion is anticipated, and with good reason, from Assyria. An indefinite number of national leaders, seven or eight, shall be raised up against the invader, so that the enemy is beaten back into his own country (5, 6). But then the several leaders are merged into one; thus shall he deliver us (6)." (Fraser, A., "Micah," in Davidson, F., et al., eds, "The New Bible Commentary," The Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, Second Edition, 1954, Reprinted, 1968, p.724) 23/02/2010 "The prophet Micah was probably from an obscure family, since his father's name is not given. Certainly he came from an outlying provincial town, Moresheth, bordering upon the Philistine territory of Gath. His concern and interest seem to be centred a little more upon the plight of the oppressed lower classes than was the case with his contemporary, Isaiah (who was apparently a citizen of Jerusalem itself). His career began in the reign of Jotham, perhaps after Ahaz had already become co-regent with his father in 743, but before Jotham's death or deposition in 736. Ahaz ruled on until 728, when Hezekiah his son came into power, and Micah continued his ministry well into his reign. (Exact dating in this period is notoriously difficult. For a slightly variant view, see Introduction to 1 and 2 Kings, pp. 321ff.) We have no reliable evidence for a terminus ad quem to his career. Certainly he received revelations concerning the Babylonian captivity and the subsequent restoration, just as Isaiah did (and for this reason it is customary for some critics to deny the authenticity of such passages in both prophets). This may possibly suggest a date after the Assyrian invasion of 701 BC, but the criteria for this are quite tenuous." (Archer, G.L., "Micah," in Guthrie, D., et al., eds., "New Bible Commentary," , Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester, Third Edition, 1970, Reprinted, 1987, p.752) 23/02/2010 "[Micah] 5:1-6 The divine-human Victor will defend His flock and destroy the world powers 1 is numbered as 4:14 in the Hebrew Bible, but improperly so, since this verse introduces a new movement in the thought: the coming of the Messiah. Translate (with RV), Now shalt thou gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops (RSV's Now you are walled about with a wall involves extensive and unwarranted emendations of the Hebrew text). Besieged Jerusalem gathers its various detachments and troops of defenders (hence its title here bat gedud, `daughter of a troop') in the great national crisis which now looms up (presumably the assault of Nebuchadrezzar's armies in 587)-the word now (`atta) here indicates a new point in time-the preliminary series of events leading up to the advent of Christ. As the ruler of Israel (i.e. her executive head) is to be smitten on the cheek, he will be defeated and crushed (as Zedekiah was by the Chaldeans, 2 Ki. 24). Possibly the defeat of the Jewish king, Aristobulus lI, by Pompey's forces in 63 BC is also had in view." (Archer, G.L., "Micah," in Guthrie, D., et al., eds., "New Bible Commentary," , Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester, Third Edition, 1970, Reprinted, 1987, p.757. Emphasis original) 23/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 2 In contrast to this vanquished king of Israel, a new ruler is to rise over God's people, and He is going to come from a town almost too small to be included among the 1,000-family towns of Judah, namely Bethlehem (which for the sake of added solemnity is here addressed by its ancient name of Ephrath or Ephrathah (cf. Gn. 35:19; Ru. 1:1, 2) meaning, perhaps, `Fruitful'). RSV renders 'alepe by `clans of', rather than `thousands of' (RV), but even though this is a possible rendering for 'elep, it does not seem appropriate as a term for a municipal unit. This new ruler from Bethlehem is no mere human being, for His origin (better, as RV, `goings forth', since mosa' otayw is plural) has been from the remotest age, from ancient days (AV and RV retain `from everlasting'). This phrase, yeme `olam, means literally `the days of the age', and is elsewhere used of the earliest beginnings of human history (Dt. 32:7f.), or of the days of Moses and Joshua (Is. 63:9), or even of the time of David (Am. 9:11). In Mi. 7:14 it refers to the time of David. When used without yeme, `olam may mean `eternity'. Cf. Ps. 90:2 where me'olam (`from eternity') refers to beginningless eternity. But with `days of' it refers only to antiquity. In the present context, therefore, it views the Messiah's ancestry as reaching back to the early founders of Israel, the promises and predictions of Him as dating from the earliest times, and Himself as pre-existing the actual date of His appearing." (Archer, G.L., "Micah," in Guthrie, D., et al., eds., "New Bible Commentary," , Inter- Varsity Press: Leicester, Third Edition, 1970, Reprinted, 1987, pp.757-758. Emphasis original) 24/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 3 Since this Ruler is to redeem God's people in due time, Yahweh will give up the Israelites to disciplinary judgments in order to prepare them for His coming. He will be brought forth by a woman who will give birth. She who is in travail (yoleda; cf. Is. 7:14) is probably the virgin Mary, although it may possibly refer to the nation Israel. His brethren as a believing remnant (the rest of, yeter) will return to Him from the captivity of sin and judgment. In the first instance the Jews who would be converted to the Christian faith, although possibly also the Gentile believers (children of Abraham by faith, cf. the `sheep ... not of this fold', Jn. 10:16), are intended. 4 As the good Shepherd, Christ will feed His flock on the bread of life, defending them from the malice and deceit of Satan, guaranteeing them an eternal security (Jn. 10:28), and extending His saving power to the ends of the earth as the church carries out the great commission. 5 Christ will constitute the peace and welfare of His people as they come under the attack of their foes, who are (very appropriately for Micah's time) represented by the Assyrian, but doubtless this term here includes all the future enemies of Israel and the church: the Seleucid Syrians, the Romans, the Inquisition, the Modernists and the Marxists. All these will be checked and repulsed by Spirit-empowered leaders: the Maccabean patriots, the apostles, Athanasius, Augustine, Wycliffe and Luther, and whoever else would be needed to preserve the community of true believers from conquest or extinction. The number seven represents the full and perfect work of God, and would be quite sufficient, but one more (eight) is added to ensure that there will be more than enough to furnish the proper leadership against all assailants. Instead of upon our soil, which rests upon a reading of the LXX and Syriac, AV reads, `shall tread in our palaces', which faithfully renders the Hebrew text, and fits in perfectly well with the context." (Archer, G.L., "Micah," in Guthrie, D., et al., eds., "New Bible Commentary," , Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester, Third Edition, 1970, Reprinted, 1987, p.758. Emphasis original) 24/02/2010 "[Micah 5:] 6 The tone of this verse is more definitely eschatological, and lends support to the view that v. 5 may also refer to the conflict of the last days and the overthrow of the world powers at Armageddon. They shall rule (ra'a means `govern the flock as a shepherd') with the sword would seem to point to the imposition of Christ's authority by force as His millennial kingdom is established. Assyria, symbolic of the area formerly held by the hostile world power, was called the land of Nimrod because he was the original founder of historic Assyria (Gn. 10:8-11). Render with RV, `and he shall deliver us', referring to Christ's irresistible power at His second coming. There is no textual warrant for RSV's they shall deliver, nor for its substitution of the drawn sword for the `in the entrances therefore' of the Hebrew text." (Archer, G.L., "Micah," in Guthrie, D., et al., eds., "New Bible Commentary," , Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester, Third Edition, 1970, Reprinted, 1987, p.758. Emphasis original) 24/02/2010 "Authorship and Date Of Micah himself we know no more than we are told in 1:1. His name is a shortened form of Micaiah, as Jer. 26:18 shows, and means `Who is like the LORD?' He came from the township of Moresheth in the southern uplands of Judah, and as the prophecy itself makes clear, he shared the small- town attitudes of his neighbours towards the capital and its decadence. There is some difference of opinion among scholars as to whether he was a relatively well-to-do farmer, or a member of the depressed and exploited classes about whose plight he protests so vehemently. Of the dates of his ministry, we can set outer and inner limits from 1:1, but we have no sure means of attaining greater precision. His work began not earlier than the accession of King Jotham c. 740 B.C. and ended not later than the death of Hezekiah in 687 B.C. Some of his oracles seem definitely linked with the Assyrian invasion of 701 B.C., and it appears probable that the bulk of the recorded prophecies come from the last quarter of the eighth century." (Clark, D.J., "Micah," in Bruce, F.F., ed., "The International Bible Commentary," , Marshall Pickering / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second edition, 1986, Reprinted, 1994, p.928. Emphasis original) 24/02/2010 "iii. The future ruler (5:2-4) In this brief section, the prophet's attention reverts to the future. Whereas in 4:8 the emphasis was on the extent of the territory to be restored to Israel, here it turns to the ruler himself. The terms used are such as to transcend the nature or achievements of any merely human leader, and could be completely fulfilled only in the Messiah. This ruler over Israel will arise from the Davidic line, indeed from the same town of Bethlehem, which despite its obscurity (small among the clans of Judah) gave birth to the line's founder. The origins of this line are from of old, stretching back not merely three centuries, but as the expression from ancient times implies, beyond time altogether (cf. NIV mg). God may abandon His people to their enemies, but only temporarily, until the time is ripe for Him to act. The description of the woman who is in labor stands in the same vein of prophetic revelation as Isa. 7:14. Here the woman is probably best understood as referring to the nation of Israel. The duration of her labour is limited, and when she ... gives birth, that is, when the labour is over, then the ruler's `fellow countrymen who are in exile will be reunited with their own people' (v. 3, GNB). Micah himself may have seen in these words only the return from Babylon, but from our postresurrection vantage point, we cannot but see `great David's greater son' delivering His people from the captivity of sin. In v. 4, the ideal qualities of a Davidic king are magnified to a messianic scale. He will not only shepherd his flock (contrast the ravages wrought by the leaders of ch. 3), but will do so with the strength and majesty that come from the LORD... God Himself. His greatness will extend far beyond the boundaries that David's kingdom knew, and will reach to the ends of the earth. With no external enemies left unvanquished (cf. 1 C. 15:25-28; Phil. 2:9-11), His people will at last live securely. Most modern translations (NEB, JB, GNB) as NIV, fittingly conclude this paragraph with the first phrase of v. 5, thus understanding the Messiah himself to be ... peace (cf. Isa. 9:6- 7)." (Clark, D.J., "Micah," in Bruce, F.F., ed., "The International Bible Commentary," , Marshall Pickering / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second edition, 1986, Reprinted, 1994, p.934. Emphasis original) 24/02/2010 "iv. The nation's future characteristics (5:5-15) The prophet here looks into the dark tunnel of the exile to see what awaits the nation there. 5b-6. There seems to be no special significance to the numbers seven and eight. Probably they are used in the same manner in which Amos uses three and four (Am. chs. 1 and 2), and simply indicate a number of leaders adequate to meet the exigencies of the situation when the Assyrian invades our land. Not only will they deliver us from the Assyrian invader, but they will rule the land of Assyria itself. The land of Nimrod is a parallelistic synonym for Assyria; Nimrod was the founder of its capital Nineveh in the tradition of Gen. 10:8-12. These verses are rather difficult and admit of more than one interpretation. If referred to the background of Sennacherib's siege, they portray not merely deliverance but even military conquest of Assyria itself-they will rule the land of Assyria with the sword. Such a situation is so out of keeping with the historical realities that it seems preferable to view these verses either as a reference to events still future, or perhaps as a figurative description of Judean leadership coming into positions of prominence during the exile, and delivering the people in the sense of preventing their assimilation and disappearance as a distinct religious and ethnic group. Though this last view is by no means fully satisfying, it does attempt to keep these two verses in the same field of reference as their context." (Clark, D.J., "Micah," in Bruce, F.F., ed., "The International Bible Commentary," , Marshall Pickering / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second edition, 1986, Reprinted, 1994, p.934. Emphasis original) 25/02/2010 "Date and Authorship. The date of the ministry is given in terms of the reigns of Jotham (739-735 B.C.) , Ahaz (735-715 B.C.), and Hezekiah (715-687 B.C.), kings of Judah (Mic 1:1). Micah began his work at the time of Jotham and served through the entire reign of Ahaz and perhaps through all of that of Hezekiah. His writings, which show a close relationship to those of Isaiah, were written during the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah. Both Micah and Isaiah, though addressing their prophecies primarily to Judah, make it clear that God's judgment will also fall on the Northern Kingdom. That Micah prophesied during the reign of Hezekiah is further attested by Jer 26:18,19." (Carlson, E.L., "Micah," in Pfeiffer, C.F. & Harrison, E.F., eds., "The Wycliffe Bible Commentary," Oliphants: London, 1962, Reprinted, 1963, p.851) 25/02/2010 "VSS. 1-15. THE CALAMITIES WHICH PRECEDE MESSIAH'S ADVENT. HIS KINGDOM, CONQUEST OF JACOB'S FOES, AND BLESSING UPON HIS PEOPLE. 1. gather thyself in troops-i.e., thou shalt do so, to resist the enemy. Lest the faithful should fall into carnal security because of the previous promises, he reminds them of the calamities which are to precede the prosperity. daughter of troops-Jerusalem is so called on account of her numerous troops. he hath laid siege-the enemy hath. they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek-the greatest of insults to an Oriental. Zedekiah, the judge (or king, Amos 2:3) of Israel, was loaded with insults by the Chaldeans; so also the other princes and judges (Lam. 3:30). HENGSTENBERG thinks the expression, `the judge,' marks a time when no king of the house of David reigned. The smiting on the cheek of other judges of Israel was a type of the same indignity offered to Him who nevertheless is the Judge, not only of Israel, but also of the world, and who is `from everlasting' (vs. 2; Isa. 50:6; Matt. 26:67; 27:30). " (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., & Brown, D., "Commentary Practical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible," , Oliphants / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Revised edition, 1961, Reprinted, 1966, pp.816-817. Emphasis original) 25/02/2010 "2. Beth-lehem Ephratah - (Gen. 48:7), or, Beth-lehem Judah; so called to distinguish it from Beth-lehem in Zebulun. It is a few miles southwest of Jerusalem. Beth-lehem means `the house of bread'; Ephratah means `fruitful': both names referring to the fertility of the region. though thou be little among-though thou be scarcely large enough to be reckoned among .... It was insignificant in size and population; so that in Joshua 15:21, etc., it is not enumerated among the cities of Judah; nor in the list in Nehemiah 11:25, etc. Under Rehoboam it became a city: II Chronicles 11:6, `He built Beth-lehem.' Matthew 2:6 seems to contradict Micah, `thou art not the least.' But really he, by an independent testimony of the Spirit, confirms the prophet, Little in worldly importance, thou art not least (i.e., far from least, yea, the very greatest) among the thousands, of princes of Judah, in the spiritual significance of being the birthplace of Messiah (John 7:42). God chooses the little things of the world to eclipse in glory its greatest things (Judg. 6:15; John 1:46; I Cor. 1:27, 28). The low state of David's line when Messiah was born is also implied here. thousands-Each tribe was divided into clans or `thousands' (each thousand containing a thousand families), which had their several heads or `princes'; hence in Matthew 2:6 it is quoted `princes,' substantially the same as in Micah, and authoritatively explained in Matthew. It is not so much this thousand that is preferred to the other thousands of Judah, but the Governor or Chief Prince out of it, who is preferred to the governors of all the other thousands. It is called a `town' (rather in the Greek, `village'), John 7:42; though scarcely containing a thousand inhabitants, it is ranked among the `thousands' or larger divisions of the tribe, because of its being the cradle of David's line, and of the Divine Son of David. Moses divided the people into thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens,, with their respective `rulers' (Exod. 18:25; cf. I Sam. 10:19). unto me-unto God the Father (Luke 1:32): to fulfil all the Father's will and purpose from eternity. So the Son declares (Ps. 2:7; 40:7, 8; John 4:34); and the Father confirms it (Matt. 3:17; 12:18, cf. with Isa. 42:1). God's glory is hereby made the ultimate end of redemption. ruler-the `Shiloh,' `Prince of peace,' `on whose shoulders the government is laid' (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 9:6). In II Samuel 23:3, `He that ruleth over men must be just,' the same Hebrew word is employed; Messiah alone realizes David's ideal of a ruler. Also in Jeremiah 30:21, `their governor shall proceed from the midst of them'; answering closely to `out of thee shall come forth the ruler,' here (cf. Isa. 11:1-4). goings forth ... from everlasting-The plain antithesis of this clause, to `come forth out of thee' (from Beth-lehem), shows that the eternal generation of the Son is meant. The terms convey the strongest assertion of infinite duration of which the Hebrew language is capable (cf. Ps. 90:2; Prov. 8:22, 23; John 1:1). Messiah's generation as man coming forth unto God to do His will on earth is from Beth-lehem; but as Son of God, His goings forth are from everlasting. The promise of the Redeemer at first was vaguely general (Gen. 3:15). Then the Shemitic division of mankind is declared as the quarter in which He was to be looked for (Gen. 9:26, 27); then it grows clearer, defining the race and nation whence the Deliverer should come, viz., the seed of Abraham, the Jews (Gen. 12:3); then the particular tribe, Judah (Gen. 49:10); then the family, that of David (Ps. 89:19, 20); then the very town of His birth, here. And as His coming drew nigh, the very parentage (Matt. 1; Luke 1 and 2); and then all the scattered rays of prophecy concentrate in Jesus, as their focus (Heb. 1:1, 2)." (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., & Brown, D., "Commentary Practical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible," , Oliphants / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Revised edition, 1961, Reprinted, 1966, pp.816-817. Emphasis original) 25/02/2010 "3. `Therefore (because of His settled plan) will God give up to their foes His people Israel, until ... .' she which travaileth hath brought forth -viz., `the virgin' mother, mentioned by Micah's contemporary, Isaiah 7:14. Zion `in travail' (ch. 4:9, 10) answers to the virgin in travail of Messiah. Israel's deliverance from her long travail pains of sorrow will synchronize with the appearance of Messiah as her Redeemer (Rom. 11:26) in the last days, as the Church's spiritual deliverance synchronized with the virgin's giving birth to Him at His first advent. The ancient Church's travail-like waiting for Messiah is represented by the virgin's travail. Hence, both may be meant. It cannot be restricted to the Virgin Mary: for Israel is still `given up,' though Messiah has been `brought forth' almost two thousand years ago. But the Church's throes are included, which are only to be ended when Christ, having been preached for a witness to all nations, shall at last appear as the Deliverer of Jacob, and when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, and Israel as a nation shall be born in a day (Isa. 66:7-11; Luke 21:24; Rev. 12:1, 2, 4: cf. Rom. 8:22). the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel - (Cf. ch. 4:7). The remainder of the Israelites dispersed in foreign lands shall return to join their countrymen in Canaan. The Hebrew for `unto' is, lit, `upon,' implying superaddition to those already gathered." (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., & Brown, D., "Commentary Practical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible," , Oliphants / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Revised edition, 1961, Reprinted, 1966, p.817. Emphasis original) 25/02/2010 "4. he shall stand-i.e., persevere: implying the endurance of His kingdom [CALVIN]. Rather, His sedulous care and pastoral circumspection, as a shepherd stands erect to survey and guard His flock on every side (Isa. 61:5) [MAURER]. feed-i.e., rule: as the Greek word similarly in Matthew 2:6 (Margin), means both `feed' and `rule' (Isa. 40:11; 49:10; Ezek. 34:23; cf. II Sam. 5:2; 7:8). in the majesty of the name of the Lord-possessing the majesty of all Jehovah's revealed attributes ('name') (Isa. 11:2; Phil. 2:6, 9; Heb. 2:7- 9). his God-God is `His God' in a oneness of relation distinct from the sense in which God is our God (John 20:17). they shall abide-the Israelites ('they,' viz., the returning remnant and the `children of Israel' previously in Canaan) shall dwell in permanent security and prosperity (ch. 4:4; Isa. 14:30). unto the ends of the earth-(ch. 4:1; Ps. 72:8; Zech. 9:10). " (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., & Brown, D., "Commentary Practical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible," , Oliphants / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Revised edition, 1961, Reprinted, 1966, p.817. Emphasis original) 25/02/2010 "5. this man-in Hebrew simply `This.' The One just mentioned; He and He alone. Emphatical for Messiah (cf. Gen. 5:29). the peace-the fountainhead of peace between God and man, between Israel and Israel's justly offended God (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 9:6; Eph. 2:14, 17; Col. 1:20), and, as the consequence, the fountain of `peace on earth,' where heretofore all is strife (ch. 4:3; Hos. 2:18; Zech. 9:10; Luke 2:14). the Assyrian-Being Israel's most powerful foe at that time, Assyria is made the representative of all the foes of Israel in all ages, who shall receive their final destruction at Messiah's appearing (Ezek. 38). seven shepherds, and eight -'Seven' expresses perfection; `seven and eight' is an idiom for a full and sufficient number (Job 5:19; Prov. 6:16; Eccles. 11:2). principal men-lit., `anointed (humble) men' (Ps. 62:9), such as the apostles were. Their anointing, or consecration and qualification to office, was by the Holy Spirit [CALVIN] (I John 2:20, 27). `Princes' also were anointed, and they are mentioned as under Messiah (Isa. 32:1). English Version therefore gives the probable sense. " (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., & Brown, D., "Commentary Practical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible," , Oliphants / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Revised edition, 1961, Reprinted, 1966, p.817. Emphasis original) 25/02/2010 "6. waste-lit., `eat up': following up the metaphor of `shepherds' (cf. Num. 22:4; Jer. 6:3). land of Nimrod- Babylon (ch. 4:10; Gen. 10:10); or, including Assyria also, to which he extended his borders (Gen. 10:11). in the entrances-the passes into Assyria (II Kings 3:21). The Margin and JEROME, misled by a needless attention to the parallelism, `with the sword,' translate, `with her own naked swords'; as in Psalm 55:21 the Hebrew is translated. But `in the entrances' of Assyria, answers to, `within our borders.' As the Assyrians invade our borders, so shall their own borders or `entrances' be invaded. he ... he- Messiah shall deliver us, when the Assyrian shall come." (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., & Brown, D., "Commentary Practical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible," , Oliphants / Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Revised edition, 1961, Reprinted, 1966, p.817. Emphasis original) 26/02/2010 "Fulfilled Messianic Prophecies. There were dozens of predictive prophecies in the Old Testament regarding the Messiah (see PROPHECY AS PROOF FOR BIBLE). Consider the following predictions, made centuries in advance, that Jesus would be: 1. born of a woman (Gen. 3:15; cf. Gal. 4:4). 2. born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; cf. Matt. 1:21f.) (see VIRGIN BIRTH). 3. cut off (would die) 483 years after the declaration to reconstruct the temple in 444 B.C. (Dan. 9:24f.; this was fulfilled to the year. See Hoehner, 115-38). 4. The seed of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3 and 22:18; cf. Matt. 1:1 and Gal. 3:16). 5. of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10; cf. Luke 3:23, 33 and Heb. 7:14). 6. a descendant of David (2 Sam. 7:12f.; cf. Matt. 1:1). 7. born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; cf. Matt. 2:1 and Luke 2:4-7). 8. anointed by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 11:2; cf. Matt. 3:16-17). 9. heralded by a messenger (Isa. 40:3 and Mal. 3:1; cf. Matt. 3:1-2). 10. a worker of miracles (Isa. 35:5-6; cf. Matt. 9:35; see MIRACLES IN THE BIBLE). 11. cleanser of the temple (Mal. 3:1; cf. Matt. 21:12f.). 12. rejected by Jews (Ps. 118:22; cf. 1 Peter 2:7). 13. die a humiliating death (Ps. 22 and Isa. 53; cf. Matt. 27:31f.). His death would involve: enduring rejection by his own people (Isa. 53:3; cf. John 1:10-11; 7:5, 48). standing silence before his accusers (Isa. 53:7; cf. Matt. 27:12-19). being mocked (Ps. 22:7-8; cf. Matt. 27:31). having hands and feet pierced (Ps. 22:16; cf. Luke 23:33). being crucified with thieves (Isa. 53:12; cf. Mark 15:27-28). praying for his persecutors (Isa. 53:12; cf. Luke 23:34). the piercing of his side (Zech. 12:10; cf. John 19:34). burial in a rich man's tomb (Isa. 53:9; cf. Matt. 27:57-60). the casting of lots for his garments (Ps. 22:18; cf. John 19:23-24). 14. being raised from the dead (Ps. 2:7 and 16:10; cf. Acts 2:31 and Mark 16:6). 15. ascending into heaven (Ps. 68:18; cf. Acts 1:9). 16. sitting at the right hand of God (Ps. 110:1; cf. Heb. 1:3). These prophecies were written hundreds of years before Christ was born. They are too precise to have been based on reading trends of the times or just intelligent guesses, like `prophecies' in a supermarket tabloid. (Geisler, N.L., "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.132-133. Emphasis original) 26/02/2010 "Further, it has been calculated that there are 191 prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah. These include where he would be born (Micah 5:2), how he would die (Isaiah 53), when he would die (Daniel 9), that he would rise from the dead (Psalm 16). The odds that forty-eight of these prophecies were fulfilled in one man is about 1/10157 . That is a 1 with 157 zeros after it. If a gambler had managed to guess forty-eight horses right without a single mistake, it would be reasonable to suspect that he had inside information. Likewise, it is highly probable that the Old Testament prophets had some help to know so much about events that happened hundreds of years after their deaths. It is certainly the reasonable thing to believe." (Geisler, N.L., "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.360) 26/02/2010 "Unique Biblical Prophecy. Biblical prophecy is also unique in that, while most predictions are vague and often wrong, the Scriptures are remarkably precise and accurate (see PROPHECY, AS PROOF OF THE BIBLE). God foretold not only the coming of the destruction of Jerusalem (Isa. 22:1-25), but also the name of Cyrus, the Persian ruler who would return them (Isa. 44:28; 45:1). This was 150 years before it all happened. The very place of Jesus' birth is cited in about 700 B.C. (Micah 5:2). The time of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem was predicted accurately by Daniel in 538 B.C. (Dan. 9:24- 26). No fortune-teller can boast of anything like this accuracy or consistency. Christ predicted his own death (Mark 8:31), the means of his death (Matt. 16:24), his betrayal (Matt. 26:21), and his resurrection from the dead on the third day (Matt. 12:39-40). There is nothing like this anywhere in the occult prophecies or miracles. The prediction and resurrection of Jesus stands alone as the unique and unrepeatable event of history." (Geisler, N.L., "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.478. Emphasis original) 26/02/2010 "Contrary to the `Passover Plot,' messianic prophecy is supernatural (see PROPHECY, AS PROOF OF THE BIBLE). And in the case of Christ there are many reasons that he could not have manipulated events to make it look like he fulfilled all the predictions about the Old Testament Messiah. First of all, this was contrary to his honest character as noted above. It assumes he was one of the greatest deceivers of all time. It presupposes that he was not even a good person, to say nothing of the perfect man the Gospels affirm him to be. There are several lines of evidence that combine to demonstrate that this is a completely implausible thesis. Second, there is no way Jesus could have controlled many events necessary for the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. For example, he had no control over where he would be born (Mic. 5:2), how he would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14), when he would die (Dan. 9:25), what tribe (Gen. 49:10) and lineage he would be from (2 Sam. 7:12), and numerous other things. Third, there is no way short of being supernatural that Jesus could have manipulated the events and people in his life to respond in exactly the way necessary for it to appear that he was fulfilling all these prophecies, including John's heralding him (Matt. 3), his accuser's reactions (Matt. 27:12), how the soldiers cast lots for his garments (John 19:23, 24), and how they would pierce his side with a spear (John 19:34). Indeed even Schonfield admits that the plot failed when the Romans actually pierced Christ. The fact is that anyone with all this manipulative power would have to be divine-the very thing the Passover hypothesis is attempting to avoid. In short, it takes a bigger miracle to believe the Passover Plot than to accept these prophecies as supernatural." (Geisler, N.L., "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.585-586. Emphasis original) 26/02/2010 "Jesus Manipulated Events to Fulfill Prophecy. Another argument used by critics was popularized by Hugh Schonfield's *Passover Plot. He argued that Jesus manipulated people and events so as to make it appear that he was the predicted Messiah. This interesting theory is destroyed by the facts. First, numerous miracles (see MIRACLES IN THE BIBLE) confirmed Jesus to be the Messiah. God would not confirm a fraud to appear to be his Son (see MIRACLES, APOLOGETIC VALUE OF). Second, there is no evidence that Jesus was a deceiver. To the contrary, his character is impeccable (see CHRIST, UNIQUENESS OF). Third, Jesus had no control over some predictions over which he had no control, such as, his ancestry (Gen. 12:3; 49:10; 2 Sam. 7:12-16); birthplace (Micah 5:2), time of death (Dan. 9:24-27); and conditions of his death (Isaiah 53). Fourth, in order to manipulate all the people (including his enemies) and even his disciples in order to make it appear that he was the promised Messiah, Jesus would have needed supernatural powers. But if he had such powers, he must have been the Messiah he claimed to be." (Geisler, N.L., "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.616. Emphasis original) 27/02/2010 "BORN AT BETHLEHEM. PROPHECY `But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.' Micah 5:2 FULFILLMENT ` . . Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea. : ` Matthew 2:1 (Also see John 7:42; Matthew 2:4-8; Luke 2:4-7.) In Matthew 2:6 the scribes tell Herod with great assurance that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem. It was well known among the Jews that the Christ would come from Bethlehem (see John 7:42). It is only fitting that Bethlehem, meaning the house of bread, should be the birthplace of the one who is the Bread of Life. ... God now eliminates all the cities in the world, save one, for the entrance of His incarnate Son." (McDowell, J., "Evidence That Demands a Verdict," , Here's Life Publishers: San Bernardino CA, Revised edition, 1988, Twenty-ninth printing, Vol. I, pp.149-150. Emphasis original) 27/02/2010 "HIS PRE-EXISTENCE. PROPHECY `But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.' Micah 5:2 (Also see Isaiah 9:6,7; 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Psalms 102:25; Proverbs 8:22,23.) FULFILLMENT `And He is before [or, has existed prior to] all things, and in Him all things hold together.' Colossians 1:17 (Also see John 1:1,2; 8:58; 17:5,24; Revelation 1:17; 2:8; 22:13.) Jewish source: Targum Isaiah says, `The prophet saith to the house of David, A child has been born to us, a son has been given to us; and He has taken the law upon Himself to keep it, and His name has been called from of old, Wonderful counsellor, Mighty God, He who lives forever, the Anointed one (or Messiah), in whose days peace shall increase upon us' (Isaiah 9:6). ... Jewish source: Targum Isaiah states, `Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his saviour the Lord of hosts; I am He, I am He that is from of old; yea, the everlasting ages are mine, and beside me there is no God' (Isaiah 44:6). ... Hengstenberg says about Micah 5:2, `The existence of the Messiah in general, before His temporal birth at Bethlehem, is asserted; and then His eternity in contrast with all time is mentioned here.' [Hengstenberg, E.W., "Christology of the Old Testament," Kregel: Grand Rapids MI, 1970, p.589]" (McDowell, J., "Evidence That Demands a Verdict," , Here's Life Publishers: San Bernardino CA, Revised edition, 1988, Twenty-ninth printing, Vol. I, p.151. Emphasis original) 27/02/2010 "Chapter 5:2 912. `And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, too small art thou to be among the thousands of .Judah, out of thee will come forth (one) to nae to be a ruler in Israel, and his goings forth are of old, the days of eternity.' The prophet considers Bethlehem as a type of the Jewish, people in their misery, described in the forego in; verse, and its wonderful exaltation by the Divine omnipotence, as a pledge of a like result for the whole people.-Bethlehem and Ephratah ... are so distinguished from one another, that the former alone designates the city, the latter, at the same time, its whole environs. Bethlehem Ephratah, therefore, is, i. q., Bethlehem lying in Ephratah." (Hengstenberg, E.W., "Christology of the Old Testament," , Keith, R. transl., Arnold, T.A. abridg., Kregel: Grand Rapids, MI, 1970, Tenth printing, 1992, pp.586-587) 27/02/2010 "But if we compare Gen. 35 19, where Ephratah is explained as perfectly identical with Bethlehem, and observe, that the prophet before alludes to the contents of this chapter ... and considers the former events, which happened in the vicinity of Bethlehem, as a type of the future ; that, in the second verse, he parallelizes the new birth, there about to happen, with a former one, which had taken place in its immediate vicinity, in the relation of which precisely the same designation occurs ; we shall find ourselves obliged here also to regard both as a designation of the city, without deciding whether the above-mentioned distinction be well grounded or not with reference to other passages.-The ground of the twofold designation of the place, is commonly sought solely in an intentional distinction from another Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebulon, comp. Josh. 19.15. But then, instead of Bethlehem Ephratah, we should expect rather the usual Bethlehem Judah. That the writer, in the choice of his language, was guided by a regard to the passage in Genesis, is not to be doubted." (Hengstenberg, E.W., "Christology of the Old Testament," , Keith, R. transl., Arnold, T.A. abridg., Kregel: Grand Rapids, MI, 1970, Tenth printing, 1992, p.587) 27/02/2010 "But it is highly probable, that lie -would at the same time allude to the appellative import of those names, bread-house and fruit-field, and give to them a typical import. The place whose blessing in inferior things is expressed by its name, shall hereafter, in a higher relation, be blessed and made fruitful. That Bethlehem is addressed as masc., is explained by the circumstance, that the prophet beholds the city under the image of its ideal representative, without, indeed, afterwards retaining this image (see on Zech. 9.8). In such personifications, the genus may be disregarded ... The littleness of Bethlehem appears even from the circumstance, that it is omitted in the catalogue of the cities of the tribe of Judah, in the book of Joshua [Josh 15]. This induced the Alexx. to insert it, Josh. 15.60 [LXX], together with several other cities which had been omitted, probably not so much with regard to its outward importance, as the interest which it received from the recollection of an event of former times (comp. Gen. 35), its being the birth-place of David, and still more from the prophecy before us, which directed the eyes of the whole people to its external insignificance. The assertion of Jerome, that the Jews have omitted the name in the Hebrew text, in order that Christ might not appear as sprung from the tribe of Judah, has been refuted ... more thoroughly than it deserved. Among the" (Hengstenberg, E.W., "Christology of the Old Testament," , Keith, R. transl., Arnold, T.A. abridg., Kregel: Grand Rapids, MI, 1970, Tenth printing, 1992, pp.587-588) 27/02/2010 "Micah, like his great contemporaries Isaiah and Amos, prophesied during the eighth century B.C., a time when Israel and Judah had risen to heights of economic affluence but had fallen to depths of spiritual decadence. Under the able leadership of Jeroboam II of Israel (786-746) and Uzziah of Judah (783-742), the territories of both kingdoms became almost as extensive as they were during the reign of Solomon. It was a time of great economic prosperity, fostered, for a time, by the absence of international crises and by the mutual cooperation of both kingdoms. Excavations at the site of the ancient city of Samaria have yielded ivory inlays that attest to the accuracy of Amos's description of the luxurious life enjoyed by the prosperous citizens of this city (Amos 6:4)." (McComiskey, T.E., "Micah," in Gaebelein, F.E., ed., "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel and the Minor Prophets," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, Vol. 7, p.395) 27/02/2010 "Date The superscription (1:1) places Micah in the milieu of eighth-century prophetism. The reference to the destruction of Samaria (v.6) places the beginning of his prophetic career sometime before the capture of that city (722/721 B.C.); and this is :agreement with the superscription that fixes the beginning of his ministry in the reign of Jotham (750-731). The prophetic indictments of social and religious corruption fit well the time of Ahaz and could even be appropriate to the prereformation period of Hezekiah, who reigned 715-686 B.C. The reference to Micah's prophecy in Jeremiah 26:18-19 fixes at least a portion of Micah's message in the time of Hezekiah. There is no convincing reason for rejecting the period of time delineated in the superscription." (McComiskey, T.E., "Micah," in Gaebelein, F.E., ed., "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel and the Minor Prophets," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, Vol. 7, p.398) 27/02/2010 "[Micah 5:2] The statement of doom is followed by one of hope, as the preceding picture of Jerusalem's fate and the ignominy of her king is followed by the prediction of a king who will bring lasting security to Israel and whose influence will extend to the ends of the earth. Ephrathah is the ancient name of Bethlehem (Gen 35:16, 19; 48:7; Ruth 4:11; cf. Josh 15:60 LXX) and distinguishes it from other towns named Bethlehem, such as the one in Zebulun (Josh 19:15). Its use identifies Bethlehem as the town in which David was born (1 Sam 17:12), thus establishing a connection between the messianic King and David. The ruler is to come forth "to me" (li), according to the Hebrew text. Yahweh is represented as speaking here, and the close identification of the king with the purposes of God is thus implied. Some commentators apply the phrase "from ancient times" to the remote beginnings of the monarchy, but this is unsatisfactory. The term applies grammatically to the ruler. It is he whose activities stem from the distant past, yet whose coming is still future." (McComiskey, T.E., "Micah," in Gaebelein, F.E., ed., "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel and the Minor Prophets," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, Vol. 7, p.427) 27/02/2010 "The words `whose origins' is a translation of the Hebrew word mosa' otdayw (lit., `his goings forth'). The expression `to go forth' means primarily `to conduct one's activities' (cf. 2 Kings 19:27). Beyond that the phrase has a military connotation referring to the departure of an army for battle (2 Sam 3:25; cf 3:22; 5:2; 10:16; Num 27:17; Isa 43:17) and may speak of the kingly activities of the Messiah in terms of his might and power, a fitting contrast to the weakness and subjugation of the Israelite monarchy pictured in the preceding verse." (McComiskey, T.E., "Micah," in Gaebelein, F.E., ed., "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel and the Minor Prophets," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, Vol. 7, p.427) 27/02/2010 "The terms `old' (qedem) and `ancient times' (yeme `olam) may denote `great antiquity' as well as `eternity' in the strictest sense. The context must determine the expanse of time indicated by the expressions. In Micah 7:14, 20, for example, yeme `olam is used of Israel's earliest history. But the word qedem is used of God himself on occasion in the OT (Deut 33:27; Hab 1:12), of God's purposes (Isa 37:26; Lam 2:17), of God's declarations (Isa 45:21; 46:10), of the heavens (Ps 68:33 [34 MT], and of the time before the Creation (Prov 8:22-23). At any rate the word qedem can indicate only great antiquity, and its application to a future ruler-one yet to appear on the scene of Israel's history-is strong evidence that Micah expected a supernatural figure. This is in keeping with the expectation of Isaiah in 9:6, where the future King is called 'el ('God'), an appellation used only of God by Isaiah. It is also in keeping with the common prophetic tradition of God's eventual rule over the house of Israel (Isa 24:23; Mic 4:7; et al.). Only in Christ does this prophecy find fulfillment." (McComiskey, T.E., "Micah," in Gaebelein, F.E., ed., "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel and the Minor Prophets," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, Vol. 7, p.427) 27/02/2010 "[Micah 5:]2. But reverses the situation from one of the present defeat to one of the Messiah's triumph. The kings born in proud Jerusalem failed; the Messiah incarnated in lowly Bethlehem triumphs. The Lord addresses personified Bethlehem with the announcement that he will launch the Messianic age from there. He chose Bethlehem to exhibit paradoxically Messiah's inauspicious and yet at the same time his most auspicious origins. Ephrathah, evocatively meaning `fruitful', is the name of a district in Judah where Bethlehem was located (Ps. 132:6). [The LXX reads `Bethlehem (= Heb., bet-lehem], House [= Heb., bet] of Ephrathath'. For this reason some critics delete Bethlehem and read instead, `But you, O House of Ephrathah' (cf. JB). Since all texts and versions read `Bethlehem', it is preferable to explain `House' with Ephrathah in the LXX as due to dittography from bet-lehem.]" (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Baker, D.W., Alexander, T.D. & Waltke, B.K., "Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1988, Reprinted, 2001, p.182) 27/02/2010 "The address, by drawing heavily upon 1 Samuel 17:12 (of the seven words in v. 2a, b three occur here: Bethlehem, Ephrathah, Judah; cf. Ru. 1:2), reaches back for the Messiah's origins in the pure springs of Jesse and David and ignores his later decadent and disappointing lineage born in Jerusalem. Isaiah presented the same truth by comparing the Messiah to a branch springing from the stump of Jesse (Is. 11:1). The implication becomes explicit in the last clause, whose origins are ... from ancient times. The oracle is moulded into a form of an ancient tribal saying to match its content (see 4:8). Micah in this chiaroscuro takes us back to the cradle of David's line and exhibits the Messiah as representing a new beginning out of a famous heritage. As God unexpectedly anointed David and rescued his people upon the failure of Saul, so he will give his people David's true successor after the defeat of David's descendants." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Baker, D.W., Alexander, T.D. & Waltke, B.K., "Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1988, Reprinted, 2001, p.182) 27/02/2010 "The clause qualifying Bethlehem Ephrathah reads literally, `insignificant with regard to its existence among the clans of Judah'; that is, as David was the least of his brothers, so Bethlehem played only a very limited role among Judah's clans. The adjective rendered small describes here not a quantity but a quality. Elsewhere it occurs in connection with `weak' and `despised' (Jdg. 6:15; Ps. 119:141) and is rendered by `least' and `lowly' m the NIV (cf. 1 Sa. 9:21, where it is contrasted with the normal word for `small'). Matthew 2:6 reformulates the text to make its meaning plain: by virtue of its divine choice as the site for the Messiah's birth the most insignificant place will bring forth the most pre-eminent person. Bethlehem, too insignificant to be mentioned by the cartographer of the book of Joshua or in Micah's catalogue of Judah's cities of defence (Mi. 1:10-15; cf. 2 Ch. 11:5-12), is today incredibly the centre of pilgrimages from around the world and is universally renowned because Jesus Christ fulfilled this verse. That fulfilment confirms both the word of God and its message that the Lord delights to chose the weak and despised things of this world to shame the wise and strong, that man may boast in the Lord alone (1 Cor. 1:18-31)." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Baker, D.W., Alexander, T.D. & Waltke, B.K., "Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1988, Reprinted, 2001, pp.182-183) 27/02/2010 "Clans designates the military-political subdivisions of a tribe consisting of about a thousand men each. Matthew reads `clans' (Heb., b'lpy) as `chiefs' (Heb., b'lwpy; cf. NIV note). Again, the difference may not be textual but interpretative. By the change he aims to form a better contrast between the `ruler' (Gk., hegoumenos) who comes out of Bet (Gk., hegemosin) who come out of the other tribes. Matthew also conflates 2 Samuel 5:2 into the text." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Baker, D.W., Alexander, T.D. & Waltke, B.K., "Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentarieses," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1988, Reprinted, 2001, p.183) 27/02/2010 "The next clause is awkward: `from you for me he will come forth to be ruler in Israel'. For me, which enjoys an emphatic position, may owe its inspiration to 1 Samuel 16:1, underscoring the fact that the Messiah, like David, serves the Lord's plans. He is not a sultan but a vicegerent under his superior. The prophets studiously avoid entitling him `king'. Note how Micah speaks instead of a ruler." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Baker, D.W., Alexander, T.D. & Waltke, B.K., "Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1988, Reprinted, 2001, p.183) 27/02/2010 "`From everlasting' (AV; cf. NIV mg.) was probably based on a presumption of Christ's pre-existence. The Hebrew (olam), used in connection with either the created order or God himself, can mean `from eternity on' (cf. Pss. 25:6; 90:2). It can also designate `ancient times' within history, i.e. the distant past. If the reference to Bethlehem aims to evoke the memory of Jesse and David, then the latter meaning fits this context best." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Baker, D.W., Alexander, T.D. & Waltke, B.K., "Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1988, Reprinted, 2001, p.183) 27/02/2010 "Origins, in cognate Semitic languages, may celebrate a supernatural, quasi-divine origin of the king. On this evidence some scholars suggest that the word here also aims to underscore the Messiah's supernatural origins. This is possible, but see the NIV Mg. `Goings out' is from the same root as the verb rendered literally in the previous line of this verse, `he will come forth' (cf. AV.) There it refers to his historical origins, which is probably true also in this parallel line. The Messiah, humanly speaking, will have the finest royal blood flowing in his veins (that is, he will be a servant of the Lord) and be an heir of God's eternal covenant with David (cf. 2 Sa. 7:8-16; Ps. 89:35-37)." (Waltke, B.K., "Micah," in Baker, D.W., Alexander, T.D. & Waltke, B.K., "Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries," InterVarsity Press: Leicester UK, 1988, Reprinted, 2001, pp.183-184) 27/02/2010 "[Micah 5:1-4] The messianic predictions of Micah that pyramid to the surprise announcement of a coming Ruler (5:1-4) mount up iii three stages. (1) Micah first envisions a day when the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established above the highest mountains. This is in direct juxtaposition with his earlier prediction that Jerusalem will be a heap of ruins and the mountain of the house of God a forest (3:21), but that is not how things will remain." (Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, pp.151-152) 27/02/2010 "[Micah 5:1-4] (2) The tower of David that lost its ancient dominion will recover its former position. Micah 4:8 addresses the people of Micah's day at two sites: the `watchtower of the flock' (migdal `eder) and the `stronghold [lit., Ophel] of the Daughter of Zion.' The former alludes to Genesis 35:16-21, where the patriarch Jacob returned from burying his wife Rachel just north of Jerusalem to a place about a mile from Bethlehem called `Tower of the Flock.' [The church father Jerome, who lived in Bethlehem in the fourth century A.D., declared that Tower of the Flock was near to Bethlehem.] If this identification is accurate, then the Tower of the Flock (Migdal Eder) refers to David's birthplace, marked by a tower out in the field among the flock where he once pastured. Ophel ('stronghold'), on the other hand, is the well-known acropolis on the eastern slope of the old city of Jerusalem (2Ki 5:24), the city also known as `the Daughter of Zion.' Thus, both Bethlehem and Jerusalem are put on notice that their former dominion and prominence will be restored. Micah christens the Tower of the Flock as the emblem of the future kingdom for the new David who is to come. It will also be the symbol of the royal house of David, since he was a resident of Bethlehem and kept the flock there as well. Jerusalem will again turn to David's heir, at the same time as the nations of the earth turn to Jerusalem to worship the King." (Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, p.152) 27/02/2010 "[Micah 5:1-4] (3) The greatest stage in this build-up of messianic promises will be achieved when the predicted Ruler comes from Bethlehem in that future day. At the same time as the prophet sees Zion in difficult straits, besieged and captured and her ruler treated shamefully, then the royal line of David will recommence its ancient rule and return to its original home. The description of sorrows begins in Micah 4:11, where the theme of many nations' being gathered together against the nation Israel parallels events often described as the final eschatological battle. That the nations will initiate that eschatological battle to settle the so-called `Jewish Question' appears in such passages as Ezekiel 38-39; Joel 3; and Zechariah 12 and 14. Micah notes the purpose of this international assembling of nations against small Israel: `Let her be defiled:' It will be as if Israel were a virgin daughter whom the nations lustfully attempt to seize, only to hand her over to international genocide as the world stares insultingly at this outrage with little regard except that of a voyeur." (Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, pp.152-153) 27/02/2010 "[Micah 5:1-4] Zion is then told in Micah 5:1 to `marshal [her] troops,' for their king will be insulted with a smarting slap across his cheek. The great day of the Lord is on. But whereas the final king of Judah will suffer such a humiliating and degrading insult, the world had better sit up and notice what God is going to do to make amends. Soon after Jerusalem has labored and her birth pangs have ended, God will give a son to the family of David from the ancient city of Ephrathah [Ephrathah was either the ancient name for Bethlehem (David's father was known as `an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah,' 1Sa 17:12; cf. Ge 35:19; 48:7; Ru 4:11) or the district in which Bethlehem was located.], now known as Bethlehem. The ancient promises will be fulfilled." (Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, p.153) 27/02/2010 "[Micah 5:1-4] Micah's prophecy of the Messiah affirms at least three things about him. (1) He will be an ancient Ruler, even though he arrives on the scene in times that are closer to our own day than Abraham's day. The clause, `his going forth is from the beginning' (or, as the NIV has it, `whose origins are from of old'), attests to the fact that he is eternal and not merely temporal. Modern translations and scholars are loathe to render umosa' otaw miqqedem mime `olam straightforwardly as `whose going forth is from of old, [even] from the days of eternity.' The Messiah only has two goings forth: one at the Incarnation and the other applied to his eternal generation. Since the temporal birth of the Messiah is still represented as being future to the time when this prophecy is given, the present clause must refer to his eternal generation. This, of course, harmonizes with other prophecies of the Messiah, where he is said to be God (Ps 2:7; 45:7; 110:3; Isa 9:6)." (Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, pp.153-154) 27/02/2010 "[Micah 5:1-4] (2) This Ruler will be a unique person, for he will come forth `for me.' This new David will not only be a man after God's own heart in a way that even surpasses David, he will do absolutely everything that the Father wants him to do." (Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, p.154) 27/02/2010 "(3) His birth and coming will signal a new day for God's people (Mic 5:4). His birth will mark the end of the days of abandonment (v. 3). When the woman who is with child (a reference that parallels Isa 7:14) gives birth, that coming Ruler will bring unity to his people as he stands and rules in their midst. The nation can count on peace, security, and success after he is installed as king over both his `brothers' and all `the ends of the earth' (vv. 3-4)." (Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, p.154) 27/02/2010 "The Messiah is the great Ruler who will come one day. According to his human heritage, he will descend from the family of David who lived in Bethlehem and will be born in that same town, even though he has a divine line of descent that takes him clear back to eternity. He will be both human and divine. What a mystery!" (Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Messiah in the Old Testament," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, p.154) 28/02/2010 "Micah Chapter 5 begins with a statement of doom concerning a siege laid against Israel and its ruler. It is immediately followed by a statement of hope, the foretelling of a future King who will bring lasting security to Israel and whose influence will extend to all the earth. ... Note that the prophecy is specific. It identifies Bethlehem as `Ephrathah' (the older name for Bethlehem - Gen. 35:16,19; 48:7; Ruth 1:2; 4:11) -- which distinguishes this Bethlehem from other towns named Bethlehem such as the one in Zebulun (Josh. 19:15). Use of the term `Ephrathah' also identifies Bethlehem as the town in which David was born (1 Sam. 17:12) further establishing the Messianic connection between the Messiah and King David's throne...." (Ankerberg, J., Weldon, J. & Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists," Harvest House: Eugene OR, 1989, p.74) 28/02/2010 "The Explanation of the Text Grammatically, the term `from ancient times' must apply to the ruler from the days of eternity. ... This ruler's activities are said to stem from the ancient past, yet his coming is still future. The term `old' literally means from `ancient time, aforetime.' The word `old' (qedem) is used of God Himself on occasion in the Old Testament (Deut. 33:27; Hab. 1:12). The words `from the days of eternity' (mee mai- oulom) literally mean from `ancient time or eternity.' Both `old' and `ancient times' can thus refer to eternity: The Hebrew word for `ancient times' is used in Micah 4:7 where it says, `And Jehovah shall reign over them ... forever (eternally).'" (Ankerberg, J., Weldon, J. & Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists," Harvest House: Eugene OR, 1989, pp.74-75. Emphasis original) 28/02/2010 "The fact that such terms were used of a future ruler indicates that Micah expected a supernatural figure. This harmonizes with Isaiah's expectation of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 where the future Messianic King is called `eternal' and `God' (EI), a word Isaiah uses only of God. ... Hailey comments that the words `from old, from ancient times' `indicate more than that he descends from an ancient lineage; it relates Him to God, the Eternal One. His rule reaches back into eternity.' [Hailey, H., "Commentary on the Minor Prophets," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1976, p.209]" (Ankerberg, J., Weldon, J. & Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists," Harvest House: Eugene OR, 1989, p.75) 28/02/2010 "The meaning of this verse revolves around two key points: (1.) Like his ancestor King David, this future ruler of Israel will be born in insignificant Bethlehem. (2.) His goings forth, His activities, extend back into eternity. According to the scholar Hengstenberg, the Prophet Micah describes, "first, the existence of the Messiah before his birth in time, in Bethlehem, is pointed out in general; and then, in contrast with all time, it is vindicated to eternity. This could not fail to afford a great consolation to Israel. He who hereafter, in a visible manifestation, was to deliver them from their misery, was already in existence, - during it, before it, and through all eternity." [Hengstenberg, E.W., "Christology of the Old Testament," MacDonald Publishing: MacDill AFB, FL, n.d, pp.358-359] Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem 700 years later." (Ankerberg, J., Weldon, J. & Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists," Harvest House: Eugene OR, 1989, p.75) 28/02/2010 "Was Micah 5:2 Recognized by the Jews as Messianic? This book has long been acknowledged as Messianic. Gloag remarks that: `All the ancient Jewish interpreters adhere to the Messianic meaning .... So also the testimony of the Targums is in favor of the Messianic interpretation of the prophecy. Thus the Targum of Jonathan says: `And thou, Bethlehem of Ephrathtah, little art thou to be reckoned among the thousands of the house of Judah: out of thee shall proceed in my presence the Messiah to exercise sovereignty over Israel; whose name has been called from eternity, from the days of the everlasting.' `Thou art little,' observes Rabbi Jarchi, `But out of thee shall come forth to me King Messiah.' " [Delitzsch, F. & Gloag, P., "The Messiahship of Christ," Klock & Klock: Minneapolis MN, Reprinted, 1983, Part II, pp.118- 119] Edersheim states that among the rabbis, `The well-known passage, Micah 5:2, is admittedly Messianic. So [also] in the Targum, ... and by later Rabbis.' [Edersheim, A., "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1972, p.735]" (Ankerberg, J., Weldon, J. & Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists," Harvest House: Eugene OR, 1989, pp.75- 76. Emphasis original) 28/02/2010 "That the Jews recognized this as a Messianic prophecy is also evident from the fact that the priests and scribes of Herod's day knew that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem on the basis of this prophecy (Mt. 2:5, 6). Thus, the common Jewish belief at the time of Christ was that they `unanimously regarded this passage as containing a prophecy of the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem.' [Keil, C.E. & Delitzsch, E., "Commentary on the Old Testament: Vol. 10: Minor Prophets," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1978, p.481] This is proven by Matthew 2:5, 6 and John 7:42." (Ankerberg, J., Weldon, J. & Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists," Harvest House: Eugene OR, 1989, p.76. Emphasis original) 28/02/2010 "Clues to Identify the Messiah Whoever the Messiah is, He must fit the following descriptions: Clue #1 - He, a male child (the Hebrew text specifically uses a 3rd person, singular, masculine pronoun `he'), will be born of the seed of the woman. Clue #2 - He will come from the race of the Jews, and specifically from the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Clue #3 - He will be a great prophet, with the authority to teach like Moses. Clue #4 - He will be mocked, and people will cast lots for His garments while He suffers. Clue #5 - He will be David's Lord. Clue #6 - He will be the child born who is God, and will have an everlasting kingdom. Clue #7 - He will be wounded and bruised, smitten and spit upon, mocked, killed with thieves, bear the sins of many, be rejected by His own people, pierced for our transgressions, be buried in a rich man's tomb, and come back to life after His death. Clue #8 - He will be Jehovah our Righteousness. Clue #9 - He will be the Messiah who comes to Jerusalem 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem is given. At that time He will be killed. Clue #10 - He will be born in Bethlehem but has existed eternally." (Ankerberg, J., Weldon, J. & Kaiser, W.C., Jr., "The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists," Harvest House: Eugene OR, 1989, pp.76-77) 28/02/2010 "The first verse names Micah of Moresheth as the one who received and communicated the vision concerning the future judgment and salvation of Samaria and Jerusalem. The name Micah is common in the Old Testament (a longer form of the name is Micaiah) and means `who is like Yahweh?' Moresheth was a village approximately twenty-five miles southwest of Jerusalem. The village was located on the edge of the rolling hills of the Shephelah, near the coastal plain. Scholars are not certain why Micah's parentage is not mentioned, but it may be because his family was not prominent. He is identified by means of his hometown because his ministry took place at a different city (probably Jerusalem). Micah is mentioned in only one other place in the Old Testament (Jer. 26:17ff.). When Jehoiakim came to the throne in Judah, the priests and the false prophets tried to put Jeremiah to death. Some elders interceded for him and cited the ministry of Micah as a justification for Jeremiah's prophecy of judgment. In the past, critical scholars have argued that the genuine oracles of Micah are restricted to the first three chapters. If one grants the possibility of predictive prophecy, however, there are no persuasive reasons for denying Micah the authorship of any part of the book." (Longman, T., III, "Micah," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, p.650) 28/02/2010 "The first verse once again is our source of information on the date of Micah's ministry. Three kings of Judah are listed to provide the period of time during which Micah preached threat and hope among the people: Jotham (750-732 B.C.), Ahaz (732-716), and Hezekiah (715-686). Of course, Micah's work may have begun toward the end of Jotham's reign and ended at the beginning of Hezekiah's, so we cannot be certain about the actual length of his ministry. The reference to the coming judgment of Samaria (1:6) indicates that Micah's preaching began well before 722 B.C., the year in which Samaria fell to the forces of Assyria. Another oracle which may be fairly certainly dated is the lament in 1:8-16. The cities mentioned in this section coincide with the probable route of Sennacherib's army as he approached Jerusalem in 701 B.C. Of course, the reference in Jeremiah 26:17ff. cites Micah 3:12 as an oracle delivered during the reign of Hezekiah." (Longman, T., III, "Micah," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, pp.650-651) 28/02/2010 "A brief overview of the history of Israel and Judah that relates to the prophecy of Micah begins with the downfall of Samaria at the hands of the Assyrian army under the leadership of Shalmaneser V (722 B.C.). During the reign of Sargon II, Israel did not rebel, but upon this strong king's death and the accession of his son Sennacherib, Hezekiah joined a coalition led by a Babylonian rebel, Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 18ff.). In reaction Sennacherib threatened the independence of Jerusalem (701 B.C.), but through the ministry of Isaiah and Micah, Hezekiah repented of his sins and God spared the city. Nevertheless, it was not long after Hezekiah's death that the rulers of Judah turned against the Lord. Manasseh, his son, for instance, brought much grief to Judah. Micah's prophecy looks forward to the destruction of Judah at the hands of the Babylonians, which took place in 586 B.C., and even further ahead to the restoration from captivity (539 B.C.)" (Longman, T., III, "Micah," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, p.651) 28/02/2010 "[Micah 5:1] The next oracle (5:1-6) is similar to the previous two in that it begins with the word now. Further, like the others this oracle begins by describing a time of distress for Israel from which she will be delivered. This third oracle, however, reverses priorities and concentrates on the positive note of deliverance. The first line of the oracle is extremely difficult. Some versions translate `marshal your troops, O city of troops,' but it is best to read along with many commentators, `Now gash yourself, daughter of marauder!' The act of cutting oneself was a well-known expression of mourning in the nations surrounding Israel. Israel, however, was forbidden to engage in this practice (Deut. 14:1), thus giving the command a sarcastic tone. The reason for mourning is clearly given. The Israelites are under siege and the ruler is publicly humiliated (slapped with a rod)." (Longman, T., III, "Micah," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, pp.655-656) 28/02/2010 "[Micah 5:2] At this point, however, the mood of the oracle changes. Israel moves from the low point of humiliation to the high point of deliverance. That the deliverance will come from Bethlehem Ephrathah is a surprise! God uses the small and the weak of the world to accomplish his mighty purposes. Indeed, the choice of Bethlehem has further significance, in that David came from this small village (1 Sam. 16). The connection with David is explicit in the passage when Micah refers to the ancient pedigree of the coming ruler. That pedigree is Davidic and the roots of the fulfillment predicted in verse 2 may be found in the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7)." (Longman, T., III, "Micah," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, pp.656) 28/02/2010 "[Micah 5:3] However, a delay is anticipated in the fulfillment of this great hope. This is expressed in the metaphor of verse 3: the one in labor (a symbol of the distress of the siege) must give birth first (the distress must first end). At that point the promised deliverer from Bethlehem will come and establish a kingdom of peace. He will shepherd his people. Kings were frequently titled `shepherd' in the ancient Near East. This metaphor points to the king, the one who guides and protects his people. The king predicted in these verses will excel at his job. In fact, he will be their peace." (Longman, T., III, "Micah," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, pp.656) 28/02/2010 "[Micah 5:4-5] The connection of the next two verses to this oracle is not certain. It may be a separate oracle. However, it does continue the theme of the security of Israel in the face of her enemies. In these two verses an Assyrian invasion is anticipated and calmly considered. The defense will be sufficient ('seven, even eight' signifies that there will be more than enough). Assyria here may stand for any potential enemy of Israel." (Longman, T., III, "Micah," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, pp.656) 28/02/2010 "[Micah 5:1-6] Of course, readers of the New Testament are aware that these verses find their fulfillment in the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus comes out of Bethlehem (Matt. 2:6). He is the one `whose origins are of old, from ancient times.' He is the son of David (Rom. 1:3), our peace (Eph. 2:14)." (Longman, T., III, "Micah," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, p.656) 28/02/2010 "CONTEMPORARY OF the well-known prophet Isaiah, Micah was a prophet from the small town of Moresheth located in the hilly region of Judah between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea. He is one of the few prophets who is referred to specifically in another prophetic book. When Jeremiah was threatened with death for his prophecies of doom against Jerusalem, he was spared by elders who reminded the people that Micah had prophesied the same more than one hundred years earlier (Jer. 26:18-19). This gives some indication of the prominence of Micah as a spokesman for the Lord." (Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H., "A Survey of the Old Testament," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 2000, p.503) 28/02/2010 "The Writing of the Book The superscription of the book gives plain information about the time of Micah's prophetic activity. He is said to have prophesied during the days of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. These three kings reigned during the last half of the eighth century B.C., and it is a safe assumption that the prophecies would have been recorded at that time. The fact that the prophecies were remembered over a century later also suggests that they had been preserved." (Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H., "A Survey of the Old Testament," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 2000, p.503) 28/02/2010 "The only sections of the book of Micah that some scholars identify as later additions are the oracles of hope (2:12-13; 4:1-5:9; 7:8-20). This is consistent with their belief that oracles of hope were not given by preexilic prophets, for that would have weakened the power of their oracles of judgment. But such an assumption is unwarranted, because the hope oracles represent a significant theological response to questions about the Lord's faithfulness to his covenant promises. Prophetic affirmations of eventual restoration generally did not offer hope to the generation hearing them, but rather confirmed that the judgments of God coming on that generation did not mean an end to the covenant. There is therefore no reason to eliminate the oracles of hope from collections of preexilic oracles." (Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H., "A Survey of the Old Testament," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 2000, pp.503-504) 28/02/2010 "The Background Micah ministered during the great Assyrian crisis. He was a witness to the events that brought about the destruction and deportation of the northern kingdom of Israel. (The Assyrian rise to power is described in chapter 3.) It was a time of fear and anxiety among the small nations of the west. Micah's oracles are not dated, so it is difficult to assign them precisely to one incident or another. There were several major invasions of Judah by the Assyrians during Micah's lifetime, and any of them could have served as the backdrop for some of his prophetic pronouncements. The most threatening of these, and the one that is typically thought to provide the historical setting for many of Micah's prophecies, was the campaign of Sennacherib that culminated in a siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C. In this campaign many cities of Judah were besieged and destroyed-most notably, Lachish (cf. 1:13). This not only fulfilled some of the judgment oracles of Micah, but also provided an opportunity for the Lord's deliverance. Though Sennacherib's armies had surrounded Jerusalem and were prepared to overthrow her, the Assyrian annals offer no conclusion to the campaign. That is understandable, because 2 Kings 19:35 records that the Assyrian army, 185,000 strong, was slain in the night by `the angel of the LORD In these critical times the Lord sent Micah with a message for the people. It was a time of both political upheaval and social unrest." (Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H., "A Survey of the Old Testament," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 2000, p.504) 28/02/2010 "The Deliverer Two places in the book of Micah speak of royal deliverers who would serve as the Lord's instruments for saving Israel from her enemies. In 2:13 the king is depicted as leading the people as they "break out of" the enclosure. The fact that the king is paralleled by the Lord has led some interpreters to insist that the king pictured here is the Lord (cf. 4:7), while others contend that the parallel merely shows that the king was acting in the power of the Lord. Since 2:12 speaks of a remnant (survivors) being gathered in an enclosed place, and chapter 1 had referred to the destruction of towns in Judah, it is likely that 2:12 is a reference to the refugees from all the towns of Judah gathering for safety in Jerusalem in the wake of the Assyrian onslaught of 701 B.C. If this was the incident referred to, it was the Lord who brought deliverance in response to King Hezekiah's request." (Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H., "A Survey of the Old Testament," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 2000, p.506) 28/02/2010 "In 5:2-9 the deliverer is not referred to as `king' but as `ruler.' The term Messiah was not used in the preexilic prophets to refer to the future, ideal Davidic king, so such a person must be recognized by function rather than title. His emergence from Bethlehem signifies that he was to be a new David and indicates some discontinuity from the reigning administration, whose heirs would have been born in Jerusalem. He is depicted as the one who would eventually bring deliverance for the remnant. There is no question that Micah was discussing the ideal Davidic king whom we are accustomed to referring to as the Messiah. Yet there is little to indicate that Micah received any revelation as to when this person might come on the scene or how he might carry out his function. It must again be stressed that the interpreter's primary task is to understand the message of the prophet. Identifying when or how fulfillment took place is not unimportant, but it is secondary." (Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H., "A Survey of the Old Testament," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 2000, pp.506-507) 28/02/2010 "Micah's message about a deliverer was clear. The Lord intended to provide one after the necessary judgment was complete (5:3). However, his identity and the timing of his appearance remain obscure in the text. As history progressed, the New Testament authors offered new insight into the significance of Micah's prophecy. They did not hesitate to see Jesus, born in Bethlehem, as "the new David" who was anticipated by Micah and the other prophets. This insight offered fresh understanding of the Lord as a God of deliverance." (Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H., "A Survey of the Old Testament," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 2000, p.507) 28/02/2010 "Micah 3:1-5:15. Judgment Followed by Restoration (1) 3:1-12. A second denunciation in which the prophet further describes the people's sinfulness, culminating in the announcement of Jerusalem's destruction, v. 12. (Note the similarity of phraseology, `mountain of the house,' between the passage which is acknowledged to be genuine and the disputed passage -I:1.) (2) 4:1-5:1. The establishment of God's glorious kingdom. 4:1-3 occurs, with slight variations, in Isa. 2:2-4. It is possible that Micah has the original, but it may also be that bath prophets drew from an earlier prophecy. At any rate, the prophecy in Micah has a closer connection with the verses which follow than is the case in Isaiah. Without doubt such glorious promises of the future salvation were current in the eighth century B.C. If these remarkable promises be denied to the prophets of the eighth century, then those prophets remain little more than fault-finders, men who condemn sin and demand repentance but who have no hope to hold out to the nation. Compare also 4:3 with Joel 3:10; 4:7 with Isa. 24:24; 4:9 with Isa. 13:8 and 21:3; 4:13a with Isa. 41:15, 16; 4:13b with Isa. 23:18. (3) 5:2-15. The birth of the new King and His kingdom. In v. 2 the future birth of the Messianic King is declared. His humanity is set forth in that He is to come forth out of Bethlehem, and His true deity, in that the places of His going forth (motsa' othau) are from of yore (miqqedem) , from days of eternity (mime Want). Compare 5:5 with Isa. 9:6; 5:13 with Isa. 2:8." (Young, E.J., "An Introduction to the Old Testament," Tyndale Press: London, 1949, Seventh printing, 1958, p.285. Emphasis original) 28/02/2010 "Mi 5:2a (1 v.): a revelation of the Lord addressed to the town of Bethlehem, `Thou ... art little,' yet `out of thee shall One come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel,' indicating the Messiah's `descent from the ancient Davidic family.' [Cheyne, T.K., "The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: Micah," 1909, p.44] But it also designates the place of His appearance and was so quoted to the wise men in Mt 2:6; cf. John 7:42. Fulfillment (per. 13): the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, Mt 2:1, Lk 2:4-7, dated by Finegan to December or January, 5/4 B.C. [Finegan, J., "Handbook of Biblical Chronology," 1964, pp.392, 409]" (Payne, J.B., "Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: The Complete Guide to Scriptural Predictions and Their Fulfillment," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1973, Fourth printing, 1997, pp.430-431) 28/02/2010 "Mi 5:2b: that the ruler born in Bethlehem ... will be One `whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.' Attempts have been made to minimize either the uncreatedness or the eternity of the One whose coming forth is here anticipated: the RSV, for example, reads that from Bethlehem `shall come forth for me one whose origin [not, coming forth] is from of old, from ancient days [not, from everlasting].' Yet the nouns mosa, and mosa'a, `coming/going forth,' are never found at any other point in Scripture to signify `origin'; [Koehler, L. & Baumgartner, W., "Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros," 1958, p.505] and their verbal root, in the line just preceding, clearly maintains the standard meaning of `come forth.' In reference to the eternity, Horton has commented, `From everlasting gives a deeper tone to the prophecy, which might come as easily to Micah as to any later prophet; it shows that Messiah will not be only David restored, but One who was in the beginning with God. We are not called on to explain away this solemn and wonderful forecast, especially when we have seen it fulfilled in the Babe of Bethlehem... . Micah could not understand his own deep saying; but how foolish of us to discredit it when history has made its meaning plain.' [Horton, R.F., ed., "The Century Bible: The Minor Prophets," 1930, I:251] Fulfillment (per. 13): the entrance into history of God the Son, who had been eternally with the Father; `this speaks to us of the Incarnation, for only God Himself is from eternity.' [Purkiser, W.T., "Beacon Bible Commentary: Hosea through Malachi," 1969, V:217]" (Payne, J.B., "Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: The Complete Guide to Scriptural Predictions and Their Fulfillment," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1973, Fourth printing, 1997, pp.431) 28/02/2010 "Mi 5:3a: concerning the Israelites, that God "will give them up," referring to the defeat of v. 1 (No. 26, above) ' [Keil, C.F. & Delitzsch, F., "The Twelve Minor Prophets," Vol. I , 1971:476-477, relates the defeat backward to 586 B.C. in 4:9; but he allows for the Roman fulfillment as well.] until the birth of the Messiah in v. 2 ... It is Yahweh who decrees this humiliation, `Because the great divine Ruler of Israel, from whom alone its redemption can proceed, will spring from little Bethlehem, and therefore from the degraded family of David.' [Ibid., I:483]. Fulfillment (per. 12): as stated by Laetsch, `We think of bloody persecutions under ... Herod. At this time when the sceptre had departed from Judah, when an Idumean ruling by the grace of Rome, pompously calling himself Herod the Great, was king of the Jews, at this time of deepest humiliation and degradation, the Messiah came !' [Laetsch, T., "The Minor Prophets: Bible Commentary," 1956, p.271]" (Payne, J.B., "Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: The Complete Guide to Scriptural Predictions and Their Fulfillment," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1973, Fourth printing, 1997, p.431)
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Created: 22 February, 2010. Updated: 10 April, 2010.