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FRAMEWORKS: Micah 5: A Ruler & a Remnant


v.1-6 A promised ruler from Bethlehem


v.1 A call to stand against the siege of Jerusalem


v.1  Marshal 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.


v.2 Yet a ruler will come from nearby Bethlehem


v.2  ‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.'


v.3 But before this Israel must be abandoned (punished) for a time


v.3  Therefore 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.


v.4 This ruler will come as a shepherd in the power of the Lord


v.4  He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.


v.5,6 He will cause deliverance from the enemies of the north


v.5  And 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,
v.6  who 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.


[Comment: 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.]



v.7-13 The Final Remnant


v.7 The remnant (after discipline) of Israel will be the work of God


v.7  The remnant 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.

v.8,9 The remnant will be strong & victorious among the nations


v.8   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.
v.9  Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
    and all your foes will be destroyed.


v.10-15 A six-fold work of God Purging and Purifying


v.10  ‘In that day,' declares the Lord,

‘I will destroy your horses from among you
    and demolish your chariots.
v.11  I will destroy the cities of your land
    and tear down all your strongholds.
v.12  I will destroy your witchcraft
    and you will no longer cast spells.
v.13  I will destroy your idols
    and your sacred stones from among you;
you will no longer bow down
    to the work of your hands.
v.14  I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles
    when I demolish your cities.
v.15  I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
    on the nations that have not obeyed me.'


[Comment: 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.]



Continue to Chapter 6