Micah 5 is a well-known chapter as it prophesized that Christ would come from Bethlehem.
Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Mat 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
Mat 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Joh 7:42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
Although many people know Micah 5 for prophesying that Christ would come from Bethlehem, the chapter is much more than that.
Micah 5 is actually one of the most challenging Bible prophecy chapters in the entire Bible. The chapter is so challenging that I have not seen many Bible prophecy commentators seek to account for Micah 5 in their analysis of prophecy events. I have been asked to share my thoughts on Micah 5, but I haven’t shared my thoughts on the chapter until now because I have not had a viewpoint about the chapter that I’ve felt comfortable enough to share until now.
Today I will share my current thoughts on Micah 5; including where I currently think the chapter may fit in the end time prophecy puzzle.
- Please note that my opinion of Micah 5 is subject to change as what I discuss today is only preliminary.
I think Micah 5 is a chapter that may possibly relate to the end times siege of Jerusalem which I have written about in the past. The context of the chapter is a siege that is underway as verse 5:1 mentions that there is a siege taking place. The “he” in verse 1 is identified as the “Assyrian” in verse 5:5.
- Mic 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
Verse 1 adds that the judge of Israel will be attacked during the siege. This detail about the leadership of Israel being attacked is noteworthy because it is also found in passages which I think relate to the end time siege of Jerusalem. The passages that this aspect of Micah 5:1 has some commonality with are shown in the following table.
Mic 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
Isa 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,
Isa 3:2 The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,
Isa 3:3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
Isa 3:13 The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.
Isa 3:14 The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
Zep 1:7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.
Zep 1:8 And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.
Zep 1:9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit.
Jer 4:9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
Eze 7:27 The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Isa 22:1 The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?
Isa 22:2 Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle.
Isa 22:3 All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far.
Another interesting aspect of Micah 5:1 is the reference to the “rod”. The Assyrian is depicted as the “rod” of the Lord’s anger in Isaiah 10, a chapter that some believe has some end times implications.
- Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
- Isa 10:6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
In sum, the idea that Micah 5:1 seems to convey is that the “Assyrian” shall unleash a siege that will impair the leadership of Israel.
Verse 2-4 focuses on Christ, including how He will be from Bethlehem and how the remnant of Israel will eventually be safe with His rule being everlasting.
- Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
- Mic 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
- Mic 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
Verse 3 appears to touch on how the people of Israel will be exposed to danger for a period of time. I think “the time that she which travaileth” is a reference to the distressful time period the people of Israel will endure during the end times instead of a reference to the Messiah’s birth (although I would not dismiss the possibility of multiple applications in verse 3).
- The imagery of a woman in travail is found in Isaiah 66:6-9, which may be in context of the end times siege of Jerusalem based on how Isaiah 66:6 parallels passages that describe the Lord intervening to attack the besiegers like Joel 3:16-17 and Isaiah 59:18-20 and how Isaiah 66:6 parallels Jeremiah 4:31, which may be in context of the end time siege of Jerusalem (see verses 4:27-30 and the rest of Jeremiah 4).
Mic 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
Isa 66:6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies.
Isa 66:7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.
Isa 66:8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
Isa 66:9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.
Jer 4:27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
Jer 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Jer 4:29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.
Jer 4:30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
Jer 4:31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.
Isa 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.
Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Isa 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
Joe 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
Joe 3:17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
Verse 5-6 indicates that Christ will help lead a group who will bring the people of Israel victory over the Assyrian (notice how verse 6 gives credit to Christ when it says “thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian”). Verse 6 indicates that the group that Christ will lead shall bring destruction as far as the “land of Assyria” and the “land of Nimrod”.
- Mic 5:5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.
- Mic 5:6 And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.
The allusion to the Assyrian’s defeat is significant because the Assyrian’s defeat is described in Bible prophecy passages which I believe pertain to the time period surrounding the end times siege of Jerusalem. A sample of these Bible prophecy passages is shown in the following table:
Isa 10:24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
Isa 10:25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
Isa 10:26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.
Isa 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
Isa 30:30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.
Isa 30:31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
Isa 31:7 For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.
Isa 31:8 Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.
Isa 31:9 And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.
The detail that Christ’s group shall bring destruction as far as the “land of Assyria” and the “land of Nimrod” is something that I don’t fully grasp yet. Zephaniah 2 indicates that the Lord will destroy Assyria and Nineveh during the Day of the Lord.
- Zep 2:2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you.
- Zep 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.
- Zep 2:13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.
In addition, Isaiah 11:11, Isaiah 27:13, and Zechariah 10:10-11 indicate that there will be a remnant of Israel located in the land of Assyria. The remnant of Israel in Assyria may not be in good physical health as Isaiah 27:13 describes them as those “which were ready to perish”.
Isa 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
Isa 27:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
Zec 10:10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.
Zec 10:11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.
I don’t know for sure why the fighting is brought to the “land of Assyria” and the “land of Nimrod” by the group that Christ will help lead.
- One theory I have is that the fighting may be part of a “war of liberation” to rescue the remnant in Assyria that will be perishing at the time (perhaps the remnant of Israel in Assyria will also participate in the fighting that will take place).
The remainder of Micah 5 appears to focus on the remnant of Israel after the defeat of their enemies. The remnant of Israel will no longer be threatened (5:8-9), will no longer need to rely on weapons of war (5:10), and will not worship ungodly objects (5:12-13).
- Mic 5:7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.
- Mic 5:8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
- Mic 5:9 Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.
- Mic 5:10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots:
- Mic 5:11 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds:
- Mic 5:12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:
- Mic 5:13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.
- Mic 5:14 And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities.
- Mic 5:15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
Please feel free to share any ideas that you may have on Micah 5, particularly how the chapter may relate to the end times. Micah 5 is not an easy chapter, so I definitely could be wrong about how this chapter fits into the end times puzzle.