26/04/20 – Micah 5:4-8
Micah 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.
“he” here will refer to “he” who will give them up (Micah 5:3) which we accepted last time as referring to their Messiah who would be born at Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Therefore, their Messiah will stand and feed “the remnant of his brethren” – “the children of Israel” (Micah 5:3).
shall stand – to stand; remain; endure; take one’s stand; present one’s self; attend upon or to; be appointed; continue; hold one’s ground.
feed – ra‘ah (feed; pasture; tend; graze; shepherd; teach) Same word used for “shall waste” in Vs 6 below.
the strength – might; strength – from a root word meaning “to be strong; prevail” thus could be seen as “prevailing strength”.
the majesty – exaltation; majesty; excellence.
shall abide – to dwell; remain; sit; sit down; stay; have one’s abode, remain undisturbed. It could mean to have assurance of or security for their future, to remain undisturbed in their land.
Christ their Messiah will take His position (He will present Himself to His people, “the children of Israel” – see Micah 5:3) and will shepherd (feed, protect, and provide for) His flock according to His prevailing strength and with the majesty (the authority of His exalted position) given to Him by His Father.
Ephesians 1:19-23 – 19And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
1 Corinthians 15:28 – And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
They will abide; that is, they won’t be moved on or taken captive by another nation (they will not be disturbed), for their Messiah shall be great (be magnified) over the whole earth. Not one person on earth may prevail against the strength of the Lord who feeds, protects and provides for them now.
Psalm 78:70-72 – 70He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: 71From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. 72So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
Psalm 2:7-8 – 7I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession.
Ezekiel 34:23-25 – 23And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, [even] my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken [it]. 25And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
The good shepherd feeds his flock, as opposed to the false shepherds who instead destroy the flock to feed themselves.
John 10:10-12 – 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Micah 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.
And this one, their Messiah, shall be their peace when the enemy comes in to destroy. (See John 10:10-12 above – the good shepherd gives even His life for the safety of the sheep.) For Israel this can only occur when the enemy is defeated at Armageddon and Israel is reclaimed as God’s people once again. Of course, God begins to redeem His people Israel from the start of their final 7 years (the testing and purifying of the Great Tribulation) but Israel appears to finally begin to recognise this just before the lead-up to Armageddon.
Revelation 11:13 – And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
peace – shalowm or shalom (completeness; soundness; welfare; peace)
shall tread – tread; tread upon; bend; lead; march; march forth; bend a bow (and arrow).
palaces – or “fortresses”
the Assyrian – At a superficial level this could apply to Sennacherib, yet in Micah’s day, Judah did not defeat Sennacherib who actually withdrew from his siege of Jerusalem due to bad news of trouble back home (Isaiah 37:6-7). And, given the context, “the Assyrian” would have to apply to a time in the future when Israel is once again the people of God, thus this would have to be the end times leading up to the millennium. Therefore “the Assyrian” does not refer to Sennacherib, but instead would be either a future Assyrian enemy of Israel, or possibly even refers to the antichrist and his tribulation efforts to take control of God’s people, Israel, and their city, Jerusalem. (I think the latter view that “the Assyrian” is the antichrist is the correct one.)
when the Assyrian shall come – While some suggest Sennacherib who would besiege Jerusalem during the lifetime of Micah, this does not fit well with the rest of the verse, although it may well have 2 layers of prophetical fulfilment like other passages. That is, it refers to what the people of Micah’s day felt about Sennacherib the Assyrian, and applies this to a similar personage in the future who would come to overthrow Israel. Therefore, Sennacherib would then be a type of a future enemy, probably the antichrist. At this time the Messiah will be their peace (He will establish their peace) by raising 7 shepherds (where 7 is the perfect number) and 8 principal (or anointed) men (where 8 may be seen as more than sufficient?).
The numbers 7 and 8 may not necessarily be exact numbers but instead could represent a sufficiency and more than enough to overthrow the threat to Israel’s future during the tribulation when the antichrist and his people tread down (or trample) Jerusalem and the temple area (note Vs 6 below), leading up to Armageddon where the antichrist makes his biggest effort yet to take the holy city and destroy God’s people Israel (a make or break time for Israel!).
These shepherds and anointed men represent those who are called to play significant roles in the future end-times.
shall …. raise – cause to arise; set up; rouse; stir up; establish.
The Messiah will be their peace at this time. When the battle looks grim for Israel, and Jerusalem has begun to be taken captive, their Messiah will oppose “the Assyrian” by raising shepherds (pastors) and leaders; the Messiah will be the peace of Israel.
Zechariah 14:1-3 – 1Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
Psalm 72:7-8 – 7In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. 8He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
Ezekiel 34:25 – And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
Ephesians 2:14 – For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Isaiah 9:6-7 also could be noted here.
Micah 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.
shall waste – ra‘ah (feed; pasture; tend; graze; shepherd; teach) It is translated 1 time as “shall waste”, yet “feed” 75 times, “shepherd” 63 times, “pastor” 8 times, out of 173 occurrences altogether. It can mean “to break” or “to feed”. “with the sword” does suggest that laying waste is the correct term. It is translated “have broken” in Jeremiah 2:16 – Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head. (Where it could mean “shall feed on, lay waste, depasture” as in going bald which was shameful for a Jew.) Thus “shall waste” could therefore refer to the deforestation and burnt-earth process that armies applied to prevent enemies from having food and shelter. Or it could mean that they will give the Assyrians a taste of the sword!
Thus it might be translated “they shall feed the land of Assyria with the sword”?
As stated before, Sennacherib might have been a type of “the Assyrian” (also in Vs 5 above), but the actual prophecy must apply to the end times leading up to the millennial reign of Christ their Messiah, making “the Assyrian” a type of the coming antichrist. See notes for Vs 5 above for more information on this.
Therefore the land of the antichrist would be wasted (fed) with the sword; that is, the enemy’s land would be devastated by violence.
the land of Nimrod – Nimrod’s kingdom started with Babel and other cities in the land of Shinar.
Genesis 10:10 – And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Note that the tower of Babel was built on a plain in the land of Shinar (Genesis 11:2-4). Babel became Babylon. Thus Babylon was built on the land of Nimrod. Revelation 17 & 18 refers to mystery Babylon as the power that gives the antichrist his authority, the esoteric religion of Babylon that is the foundation, the source, for so much of satan’s activity and power over much of mankind. It was mystery Babylon (the Babylonian Talmud) that the Jews brought back from Babylon when they returned to Judea after their captivity, and it was mystery Babylon that turned the worship of God into the false worship of the pharisees. Ultimately it was mystery Babylon that caused the Jews to reject their Messiah and the salvation He offered, leading to the Gentile Church replacing Israel for 2000 years until their times are fulfilled (Romans 11:25). It is this power of Nimrod’s Babylon that will also be wasted with the sword (in their gateways or entry-points to their country).
shall …. deliver us – to snatch away; deliver (from enemies or troubles, or death, or from sin and guilt); rescue; save; recover.
Note Romans 11:25-27 – 25For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Thus shall their Messiah deliver them from “the Assyrian” (the antichrist) when he comes into their land (declares war upon Israel) and when he treads (marches) within their borders (that is, when the antichrist invades Israel).
Revelation 11:2 – But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.
Revelation 12:12-17 – 12Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child]. 14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Zechariah 12:10 – And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.
Micah 5:7-8 – 7And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people (peoples) as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. 8And 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.
the remnant of Jacob – those remaining, the remnant of the Messiah’s brethren (Micah 5:3)
Micah 4:7 – And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.
Isaiah 10:20-23 – 20And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21The remnant shall return, [even] the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. 22For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, [yet] a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. 23For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.
in the midst of many peoples – Including those nations (goy) who have gathered against Israel. Micah 4:11 – Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.
And those peoples (‘am) whom they have pulverised – Micah 4:13a – Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people
“people” here is ‘am (plural) therefore “peoples” or nations in general (not the word goy generally used for Gentile or non-Jewish nations).
Firstly, this remnant of Jacob will be, for the peoples around them, a dew from God. This does suggest some kind of benevolent influence upon the nations around them, somewhat like those nations being blessed by God’s people. Israel is the spiritual rain in the same way that the Church was to be the salt of the earth, blessing those around them by their good savour. It is from God through (or because of) His people and is not dependent upon man to provide but is provided according to God’s will which is independent of the wishes and actions of man.
In the same way Israel received rain from God when she was obedient but still couldn’t influence when it came, other than to trust God that it would indeed come at the right time for their crops. The blessing of Israel would be to those who were obedient to God.
Leviticus 26:3-7 – 3If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. 6And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make [you] afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Also note Deuteronomy 32:2?
The remnant of Jacob would also be in the midst of the Gentile nations as a lion, that is, having great strength and power. They would be like young lions among the flock; that is, they would be something to be feared by those who were not obedient to God. If these young lions went through a flock of sheep looking for victims, many would be trodden down (trampled) and torn to pieces, and not one would be able to deliver themselves or others from the destruction.
Cambridge says that this is comparable on the one hand to the softly-falling, beneficent dew, and on the other to the fierce, destructive lion.
The picture is of benevolence toward those nations who were supportive of Israel, and invincible power against those who dared oppose Israel. Israel literally is seen as both benevolent yet invincible.
Ellicott says: There is righteous wrath as well as all-embracing mercy with God. Christ, whose graciousness is likened to the dew, and His gentleness to the lamb, is at the same time the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
During the millennium there will be those who obey God, receiving material blessings for their service, and there will also be those who rebel against God, receiving punishment for their disobedience.
Zechariah 14:16-19 – 16And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17And it shall be, [that] whoso will not come up of [all] the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that [have] no [rain]; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Talking about good and bad shepherds, I note that there are many false shepherds today. Yet, people do not recognise them as false, just as it is certain that in general Israel did not recognise such shepherds to be false. In Jesus’ day most people trusted the teachings of the priests and pharisees, believing that their false pronouncements of God’s law were indeed God’s law.
Matthew 15:7-9 – 7[Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
How many of Israel were deceived and condemned to hell because they believed these lies (without checking them out first)? How many were blinded, rejected by God, because they trusted these liars? In fact, it is the false shepherds who lead their trusting followers into hell who are the greatest criminals of all. Those who are blind because they don’t want to see are leading those who place blind trust in their wilfully blind shepherds.
Jesus said of the blind pharisees and their besotted blind followers:
Matthew 15:13-14 – 13But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Except that here it is the ditch of hell; the false shepherds are leading their gullible unsuspecting besotted followers into hell with them. And no-one may stand before God and plead that their shepherds misled them. And our word “pastor” means “shepherd”!
Matthew 10:28 – And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.