“Is Micah 5:2 a Messianic prophecy?”Micah 5:2 predicts, A Ruler from Bethlehem"2 (Verses 5:2-15 are numbered 5:1-14 in Hebrew text)But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah.Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.3 The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the woman in labor gives birth.Then at last his fellow countrymen will return from exile to their own land.4 And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord's strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.Then his people will live there undisturbed,for he will be highly honored around the world.5 And he will be the source of peace.When the Assyrians invade our land and break through our defenses,we will appoint seven rulers to watch over us, eight princes to lead us.6 They will rule Assyria with drawn swordsand enter the gates of the land of Nimrod.He will rescue us from the Assyrians when they pour over the borders to invade our land.
The Remnant Purified
7 Then the remnant left in Israel (Hebrew in Jacob) will take their place among the nations.They will be like dew sent by the Lord or like rain falling on the grass,which no one can hold back and no one can restrain.8 The remnant left in Israelwill take their place among the nations.They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a strong young lion among flocks of sheep and goats,pouncing and tearing as they go with no rescuer in sight.9 The people of Israel will stand up to their foes, and all their enemies will be wiped out.10 "In that day," says the Lord,"I will slaughter your horses and destroy your chariots.11 I will tear down your walls and demolish your defences.12 I will put an end to all witchcraft, and there will be no more fortune-tellers.13 I will destroy all your idols and sacred pillars, so you will never again worship the work of your own hands.14 I will abolish your idol shrines with their Asherah poles and destroy your pagan cities.15 I will pour out my vengeanceon all the nations that refuse to obey me."
The verse clearly speaks of a coming king in Israel, but does it predict the coming of the Messiah?Micah 5:2 makes a couple of predictions.
First, the birthplace of this future "ruler of Israel" would be Bethlehem Ephrathah. Since there were two locations known as Bethlehem at the time of Micah's writing, the addition of Ephrathah is significant. It specifies the Bethlehem in Judah, the portion of Israel in which the capital, Jerusalem, was located. Bethlehem was considered "little," or insignificant, among the cities of Judah, yet would serve as the birthplace of this future ruler.Second, the coming ruler of Jewish background was one "whose coming forth is from old, from ancient days." What else could this refer to other than the Messiah? Only the Messiah fits the description of a ruler in Israel whose origin was from times past. In fact, "from ancient days" is sometimes synonymous with "eternal" as in:
Habakkuk 1:1212 O Lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal-surely you do not plan to wipe us out?O Lord, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us,to punish us for our many sins.
Only the Jewish Messiah could be a ruler in Israel from eternity past.This interpretation is strengthened by the fact that the Jewish religious leaders in the first century identified Micah 5:2 is a Messianic prophecy.
In Matthew 2, wise men from the East visited King Herod in Jerusalem and asked where the king of the Jews had been born. Herod assembled all the chief priests and scribes, and "he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea,'" basing their answer on Micah 5:2.Only Jesus Christ fits the Messianic claims of Micah 5:2
He was born in Bethlehem Ephrathah
Matthew 2 Luke 2:1-20
The Birth of Jesus
2 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.5 He took with him Mary, his fiancÔö£┬«e, who was now obviously pregnant.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
The Shepherds and Angels
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified,10 but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.11 The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven-praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.18 All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished,19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the ruler of Israel John 4:25-2625 The woman said, "I know the Messiah is coming-the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."26 Then Jesus told her, "I Am the Messiah!"("The 'I Am' is here"; or "I am the Lord"; Greek He also fits the description as being "from ancient times" or eternal John 1:11 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.Colossians 1:16-17.16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.He made the things we can see and the things we can't see-such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. No other ruler in Israel fits these requirements. Dozens of other direct prophecies in the Old Testament (some scholars cite hundreds) fit Jesus' birth, ministry, and death.Jesus told the Jews that the Law and the Prophets provided a clear witness that He was who He claimed to be.John 5:3939 "You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!
Still today, those who investigate the prophecy of Micah 5:2 and other Messianic passages find compelling evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.