Micah 5: The Messiah’s coming and God working again through His victorious remnant.
Christ’s birth at Bethlehem is predicted here but also the remnant’s ultimate victory.
Summaries of relevant background information from related passages.
Micah like Isaiah predicts judgments on the divided Jewish nations but he also speaks of restoration. In chapter 3-5 is a cycle of judgments ending in chapter five with restoration because of the coming of the Messiah and then leading the Jewish remnant to victory.
Explaining the Passage – Micah chapter five
In v1, Micah is still speaking on judgment and predicts the siege of Jerusalem, cited as the daughter and the judge is the king smitten with the rod. It is fulfilled in Babylon’s conquest of the city when King Zedekiah is captured and tortured (Jer. 52:9-10). Then restoration begins in v2, by confirming the birth of the Messiah who is the Christ, which is the verse quoted in Matt. 2:6 to direct the Magi to Bethlehem. Then v3 states that God will give them (the Jews) up until two conditions are fulfilled. First a child must be born and in the context, this must be the birth of Christ. A second condition is return of the remainder of His brethren. In Hebrew “remainder” is “yether”, often interchangeably used with “sheerith”, the common word for remnant (e.g. Zep. 2:9), found here also in v7 and v8. Many translations in fact render “yether” in v3 as remnant (e.g. KJV, YLT, DRA). So the second condition is the emergence of a real Jewish remnant who follows the Messiah. Then He the Messiah in v4 will arise to shepherd His flock, the remnant. The interpretation of what follows in v5-15 is difficult for it predicts that Israel will be attacked by enemies (5) but the remnant will efficiently tramples (8) and removes them (9). A common interpretation is to take Pentecost as fulfilling v3 and the remnant to be the Church. But the Church is not the Jewish remnant as Paul explains in Rom. 11:1-2 (see 1-page on this) and also in history, she has not helped to remove Israel’s enemies, as in v9. Another interpretation in v4 is Christ returns to unite Israel and begins in v5-15 His millennial rule. But it is hard to envisage that in His Millennial Kingdom, enemies can ever invade and trample on Israel (6). One interpretation that is both literal and able to fit in all the details is to take the remnant as the rise of the present Messianic Jews. They do accept Christ as their Messiah and take Him as their Shepherd to fulfill v4, and in our time, Christ’s great name has indeed been taken to the ends of the earth by missionaries.
Linking Micah 5-15 with Revelation: The Messiah in v5 is said to be our peace but instantly v5-6 depicts attacks by enemies. So this must be internal peace that comes with their salvation. Note v6, Assyria that exists in Micah’s days is put with Nimrod of Gen. 10:8 in the same timeframe. Thus they must be symbols to represent nasty enemies in the future. In fact the antichrist will invade Israel (Matt. 24:15-16) with initial success in the Tribulation (Rev. 11:1-2). But in v5, the remnant will raise up good shepherd leaders (‘7’ the perfect number and ‘8’ is even beyond) with two leaders (or witnesses) will possess super powers in Rev. 11: 4-6. In Rev. 7:3-4 the remnant are depicted as the 144,000 Jews whom God protects in the Tribulation (Rev. 12:14). So in v7-8, they will be a blessing, as dew and showers but also as young lions they will destroy their enemies (9). Finally v10-15 refers to the nation Israel “in that day” which is the Tribulation. Like the rest of the world and with the antichrist’s invasion, they will be decimated (10-11). Sorcery and idolatry which reemerge during the Tribulation (Rev. 9:20-21) will be cut off (12-14) and then as stated in v15, God will also execute His vengeance on all disobeying nations.