Micah 5: A Ruler & a Remnant
A promised ruler from Bethlehem
A call to stand against the siege of Jerusalem
your troops now, city of troops,
for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel's ruler
on the cheek with a rod.
Yet a ruler will come from nearby Bethlehem
you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.'
But before this Israel must be abandoned (punished) for a time
Israel will be abandoned
until the time when
she who is in labour bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
This ruler will come as a shepherd in the power of the Lord
will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
He will cause deliverance from the enemies of the north
he will be our peace
when the Assyrians invade our land
and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
even eight commanders,
will rule the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
when they invade our land
and march across our borders.
Verses 2-6 were clearly taken by the scholars as a reference
to the coming and work of the Messiah – see Mt 2:3-6, but trying
to work out the link between him and the verses that follow is
difficult as an immediate local fulfilment. They would seem to
suggest either a spiritual fulfilment [through Jesus] or an end
times physical fulfilment.]
The Final Remnant
The remnant (after discipline) of Israel will be the work of God
of Jacob will be
in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which do not wait for anyone
or depend on man.
The remnant will be strong & victorious among the nations
The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which mauls and mangles as it goes,
and no one can rescue.
hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
and all your foes will be destroyed.
A six-fold work of God Purging and Purifying
that day,' declares the Lord,
will destroy your horses from
and demolish your chariots.
will destroy the cities of
and tear down all your strongholds.
will destroy your witchcraft
and you will no longer cast spells.
will destroy your idols
and your sacred stones from among you;
you will no longer bow down
to the work of your hands.
will uproot from among you your Asherah poles
when I demolish your cities.
will take vengeance in anger and wrath
on the nations that have not obeyed me.'
Having prophesied judgment on Judah and especially Jerusalem,
this latter part clearly refers to a purged remnant delivered
by God that we would suppose is after the Exile [v.7-9] but not
until after a judgment comes on the land and its idolatry [v.10-15].
There is thus hope but also strong warning in this chapter.]
to Chapter 6