BibleAsk Team

Did Micah predict the coming of the Messiah?

Messianic prophecy – Micah 5:2

The prophet Micah in the Old Testament predicted the coming of the Messiah, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2). The Jews clearly understood and recognized this prophecy of Micah as Messianic, and in response to Herod’s demand as to where the Messiah was to be born, they quoted this prophecy (Matthew 2:3–6; John 7:42).

Two predictions

In this prophecy, the prophet Micah clearly set forth the pre-existence of the One who was to be born in Bethlehem. The “goings forth” of Christ reached to eternity in the past. From the days of eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father. There was not a time where Christ didn’t exist. The phrase “from ancient days” is sometimes synonymous with “eternal” (Habakkuk 1:12).

In addition, the prophet Micah predicted that the birthplace of the Messiah would be in Bethlehem Ephrathah. Literally, Bethlehem means the “house of bread.” Its earlier name, Ephrath (Genesis 48:7), or Ephratah (Micah 5:2), means “fertility” (Genesis 35:19). Beth-lehem is a town 51/4 mi. (8.4 km.) south of Jerusalem, the modern Beit Laḥm. The town was also called Ephrath (Ruth 4:11) and Bethlehem-judah, to differentiate it from Bethlehem in Zebulun (Joshua 19:15, 16).

Bethlehem was also the birthplace of King David (1 Samuel 16:1, 4; Luke 2:11). There, David had watched his father’s flocks (1 Sam. 16:1, 11, 17:15). And there, Samuel anointed David king (1 Samuel 16:13). Also, Ruth in that place gleaned in the fields of Boaz (Ruth 2–4).

Christ fulfilled Micah 5:2

The Son of God fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2 for the gospels tell us that He was born in Bethlehem Ephrathah (Matthew 2; Luke 2:1-20) as, the ruler of Israel (John 4:25-26). Also, Christ fulfilled this prophecy because He existed “from ancient times” of eternity. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Christ has ever been God (Hebrews 1:8). He proclaimed, “I am the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). And He added, I am “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). For “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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