Micah 5:1

"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." NIV translation

In the Hebrew Bible, this verse is included in chapter four as it speaks of the Babylonian captivity and the fact that King Zedekiah and his family line would be eliminated by Nebuchadnezzar. When the king was captured, they killed his sons while he watched and then blinded him (see 2 Kings 25:7). With this event, the people of Israel would have been thinking that the line of David was done but it is in this time of darkness that God promises a King from the line of David.

Micah 5:2

"'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 old, from ancient times.'" NIV translation

In chapter 4, Micah predicted that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed but also that it would be rebuilt in the last days. Now, he goes on to describe the new King that will rule over that city during the Millennial Reign. Today, Bethlehem is a good sized city but during this period of time it was a little village about ten miles south of Jerusalem. Shepherds grazed their flocks nearby and it was the birthplace of King David (see 1 Samuel 16). This verse speaks of the first coming of Jesus in the form of a baby and it was significant that He was born in the same town that King David had been. Jesus would enter this world as a baby but, as we see here, He was with the Father in the beginning and this was a part of God's plan. Even as the prophet was telling them of their coming exile in Babylon, he was also reassuring them that there was reason for hope in the end. That hope is the presence (glory) of God dwelling with His people and the start of that future glory would come in a small shepherd's town in the middle of the night. This hope would sustain them through their coming darkness and it is our hope of His second coming that can carry us through the dark times in our lives.

Micah 5:3

"Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites." NIV translation

Micah continues by telling the people that God would no longer make them a nation until their King was ready to assume the throne which will happen during the Millennial Reign. The return of "the rest of his brothers" speaks of the fact that both Jew and Gentile will be united in this new Kingdom. The Hebrew word that is translated as "abandoned" here is "nathan" and it actually means to give and speaks of the fact that God would turn Israel over to her enemies but He did not "abandon" them. There is a lot of effort, today, to return the Jewish people to their homeland and that is a good thing but that is not what this verse is referring to. The "return to join the Israelites" is talking about Jews that accept Jesus as the Messiah and become citizens of the kingdom through His blood.

Micah 5:4

"He will stand and shepherd his flock in their 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." NIV translation

This verse tells of the fact that, during the Millennial Reign, the glory of the Lord will be in all the earth. Everyone will know of the Lord because of the fact that He intervened on behalf of His people to save them from the nations. So, what does it mean that He will "shepherd his flock"? First and foremost, a shepherd spends time with his sheep so that they get used to hearing and responding to his voice. This speaks of the Millennial Reign being a time of learning to listen and know the ways of God. But, it also speaks of the fact that He is shepherding us, as Christians in the world today. During the thousand years, it will be the voice of the King but, for now, we have the voice of God living in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. The second thing is that the shepherd protects the flock from its enemies and, during this time, nobody will threaten His people anymore.

Micah 5:5 & 6

"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, 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." NIV translation

This passage refers to the fact that the presence (glory) of the King will not only bring peace between nations but also an internal peace so that fear is driven out. It speaks of the Assyrians who were known for creating fear in their enemies through their brutality. As we saw in the previous part of our study, the shepherd was known for guiding and protecting the flock and the "seven shepherds" speaks of the complete protection of God's people while the "eight commanders" speaks of a new era in which God's people will rule with the Messiah over their enemies. Even as Judah was getting ready to be conquered by the Babylonians, the prophet assures them of a time when they will be the rulers and not the slaves. We also see that Assyria was called the "land of Nimrod" and we are reminded that he was a man full of pride which led him to want to take the place of God (see Genesis 10:8).

Micah 5:7

"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." NIV translation

After the Babylonian captivity, the Jewish people were, in fact, scattered in the nations and this verse reminds us that this was the will and action of God. The "remnant of Jacob" has been misunderstood and used to describe different groups of the Jewish people but what is being referred to here is the fact that a portion of the Jewish people would accept Jesus as their Messiah. Like dew or a rain shower, they are not produced by the efforts of man but by the will and the direction of God. This is a picture of the fact that this remnant will be filled with the Holy Spirit and it is the group that John describes as the 144,000 witnesses of Revelation 7.

Micah 5:8 & 9

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

This remnant of Jewish believers will be recognized as people of God much as an adult lion is recognized as the king of the beasts by the other animals. They will finally be a people of victory because of their relationship with Jesus Christ. This will all take place during the Millennial Reign.

Micah 5:10-15

"'In that day,' declares the Lord, 'I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots. I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds. I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells. I will destroy your idols and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles when I demolish your cities. I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.'" NIV translation

This passage speaks of the transition from the Millennial Reign to eternity. During the Millennial Reign, the people will see that God is their defender and provider and there will be no more need for military power. There will be no doubt that there is only one God and people will make a final choice of whether to accept Him or not. After that time comes the final judgment and all things that are not of the kingdom will be removed.

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