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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Micah 5

 

 

Verses 1-15

CHAPTER 5

1. The siege and the smitten judge (Micah 5:1)

2. The smitten judge: Who he is (Micah 5:2)

3. The events of the future: (Micah 5:3)

4. The Rejected One, the Shepherd of Israel (Micah 5:4-6)

5. The remnant of Jacob and the kingdom (Micah 5:7-15)

Micah 5:1. This interesting chapter presents difficulties, but they all vanish if we view all in the light of the future as revealed in the prophetic Word. Here it is necessary to divide the Word of Truth rightly, or we shall never find our way through this great Messianic chapter. The daughter of troops gathers herself in troops to besiege Jerusalem. It is the Assyrian army gathering before the city. But it is not the Assyrian of the past, whose invasion both Isaiah and Micah describe prophetically, but it is the Assyrian of the future, the great troubler which invades the land of Israel at the end-time, the time of Jacob’s trouble, the great time of travail and final deliverance. This last invader, the king of the north (see Joel 2:1-32), besieges Jerusalem. And the reason of it all, their long history of trouble, culminating in the great tribulation, is the rejection of the judge of Israel. It is the Messiah, our Lord. They despised Him, insulted Him, smote Him with a rod upon the cheek. He is called the judge of Israel, because the judge held the highest official position in Israel; the king of Israel held this office. The smiting upon the cheek was considered the greatest disgrace; thus Zedekiah smote the prophet Micaiah upon the cheek and asked him, “Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak to thee?” (See 1 Kings 22:24 and Matthew 26:67-68). In Job 16:10 we read Job’s complaint, “They have gaped upon me with their mouth, they have smitten me reproachfully upon the cheek; they have gathered themselves together against me.”

Micah 5:2. This great verse is a parenthetical statement, giving a description of the judge of Israel. It shows forth Him who is to be the Ruler and the Judge, the Redeemer and the King. It is the passage which the chief priests and the scribes quoted to wicked Herod, when he demanded to know where Christ should be born Matthew 2:4-23. This great prophecy was therefore known when our Lord was born to predict the birth of the Messiah, in fact, the Jews always believed this. But after He was born and lived among them and was rejected by them they attempted deliberately to explain it away, and invented fables to accomplish this. It was Tertullian, and other prominent teachers of the early Church, who argued with the Jews, that if Jesus was not the promised Messiah, the prophecy given by Micah could never be fulfilled, for none of David’s descendants was left in Bethlehem.

But here is more than an announcement of the birthplace of Christ. We have a wonderful description of His Person. He is to be the Son of David, coming out of David’s city, destined to be the Ruler in Israel. But He is more than a descendant of David, “His goings forth have been of old, from everlasting.” Even this plain announcement has not been left unattacked by the infidel critics. Dr. R.F. Horton in his comment on this passage says the following: “We are not called on to explain away this wonderful and solemn forecast, especially when we have seen it in the Babe of Bethlehem, who came into the world out of the bosom of the Father. Micah could not understand his own deep saying; but how foolish of us to discredit it when history has made its meaning plain.”

Here we have His deity fully revealed as well as His humanity; He is the God-Man. In this passage Micah’s testimony harmonizes with Isaiah’s in Isaiah 9:6-7.

Micah 5:3. The meaning of this verse becomes plain if we connect it with the first verse and treat the second verse as a parenthesis. They smote the judge of Israel upon the cheek, they rejected the Lord of Glory, and as a result God gave them up. “Therefore will He give them up, until the time when she that travaileth hath brought forth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.” It is often applied to the birth of Christ and connected with Revelation 12:1-17, the birth of the manchild. There can be no question that the manchild in the chapter of Revelation is Christ, and the woman described is Israel; but its exegetical meaning is in connection with the last days, when Israel will be in travail pains to give birth to the remnant, so prominently mentioned in prophecy. Since the nation rejected the Messiah they have had nothing but suffering, but the great travail pains come in the future. “For thus saith the LORD: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it, it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-24). That godly remnant turning then to the Lord, born in that future travail, are called here “His brethren.” They are the same of which our Lord spoke in the description of the judgment of nations, which He executes when sitting upon the throne of His glory. (See Matthew 25:31.) That remnant will resume their place as and with Israel, not becoming a part of the true Church, which is then no longer upon the earth, but having all the earthly Jewish hopes realized in the kingdom, of which they are the nucleus.

Micah 5:4-6. This refers to His second coming. He will stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah, for He is the LORD and they (saved Israel) shall abide. Yea, more than that, “He shall be great unto the ends of the earth.”

How beautiful is the opening sentence of the fifth verse! “This Man shall be peace (or our peace) .” Of Him Isaiah spoke, too, as “the Prince of Peace,” and that “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” David in his great prophetic psalm (Psalms 72:7) concerning these coming days speaks of “abundance of peace.” Zechariah likewise in predicting the future says, “He shall speak peace to the nations” Zechariah 9:10. He made peace in the blood of His cross and for all who trust in Him He is peace, “for He is our Peace.”

Here it concerns the peace He has and gives to His restored people Israel. He will be the peace for them, when the Assyrian, the king of the north, enters their land, and by His power will strike down the invader. Who are the seven shepherds and the eight principal men? They will be those who will be used in that day to stem back the invading hosts. Who they are is unknown, but it will be known at the time of fulfillment. Then Assyria, the land of Nimrod, as well as all opposing world powers will be completely ended.

Micah 5:7-15. The restored and blessed remnant of Jacob will possess a double character. They will be used in blessing and refreshing among the nations, “as dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass.” On the other hand, they will be in the midst of many people as a lion and as a young lion, to avenge unrighteousness and opposition. All the adversaries and enemies of Israel will be cut down and cut off Numbers 24:9; see exposition of Balaam’s parables at the close of annotations on Numbers). All the instruments of war will be done away with, as well as witchcrafts and the soothsayers. Spiritism, Christian Science, theosophy and all the other demon cults flourishing now, and still more before He comes, will find their ignominious end. Idolatry, the graven images, and the standing images will be abolished. Before the Lord comes the evil spirit of idolatry will once more seize hold on Israel, that is, among the apostates. (See annotations on Matthew 12:43-45.) While all this refers to Israel it also includes the rest of the world. All offences will be gathered out of His kingdom. The better rendering of Micah 5:15 is, “And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the nations which hearkened not.” That is, during the end of the age God sent forth a testimony to the nations and those who hearkened not will fall under the wrath of the lion of the tribe of Judah.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Micah 5:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/micah-5.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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