Micah 5:2 Index
"But thou, Beth–lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
Research Material

" . . . Beth-lehem . . . " (Genesis 35:19)

  • a town about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, the modern Beit Lahm. The town was called Ephrath (Genesis 35:19; Ruth 4:11) and Bethlehem-judah, doubtless to distinguish it from Bethlehem in Zebulun (Joshua 19:15; Joshua 19:16). Bethlehem was the birthplace of David (1 Samuel 16:1; 1 Samuel 16:4; Luke 2:11). (4BC 1024)
  • As in old time Cyrus was called to the throne of the world's empire that he might set free the captives of the Lord, so Caesar Augustus is made the agent for the fulfillment of God's purpose in bringing the mother of Jesus to Bethlehem. She is of the lineage of David, and the Son of David must be born in David's city. (DA 44)
  • At the time of Christ's first advent the priests and scribes of the Holy City, to whom were entrusted the oracles of God, might have discerned the signs of the times and proclaimed the coming of the Promised One. The prophecy of Micah designated His birthplace; Daniel specified the time of His advent. (Micah 5:2Daniel 9:25). God committed these prophecies to the Jewish leaders; they were without excuse if they did not know and declare to the people that the Messiah's coming was at hand. Their ignorance was the result of sinful neglect. The Jews were building monuments for the slain prophets of God, while by their deference to the great men of earth they were paying homage to the servants of Satan. Absorbed in their ambitious strife for place and power among men, they lost sight of the divine honors proffered them by the King of heaven. (GC 313)
  • . . . through patriarchs and prophets, as well as through types and symbols, God spoke to the world concerning the coming of a Deliverer from sin. A long line of inspired prophecy pointed to the advent of “the Desire of all nations” (Haggai 2:7). Even the very place of His birth and the time of His appearance were minutely specified.
    • The Son of David must be born in David's city. Out of Bethlehem, said the prophet, “shall He come forth ... that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2, margin). (PK 697)

" . . . thousands . . . "

  • Hebrew, 'alaphim, which means define tribes, or clans, from a numerical point of view. Hence the translation "clans" (RSV). "Little" may thus refer either to the clan represented by the inhabitants of Bethlehem or possibly to the town itself, which never assumed very great importance. (4BC 1024)

" . . . shall He come forth . . . "

  • The Jews recognized this prophecy as Messianic, and in response to Herod's request as to where the Messiah was to be born, they quoted this passage in Micah (Matthew 2:3-6; John 7:42). (4BC 1025)

" . . . goings forth . . . "

  • Hebrew, mosa'oth, the plural of mosa'ah, from the root yasa', "to go out."
  • It is not entirely clear just what is referred to by this term. Since the Messiah is here represented as a king, some he thought that the reference is to a king going forth in kingly function. Others see a reference to the various Old Testament appearances of Christ, such as to Abraham (Genesis 18) and Jacob (Genesis 32:24-32). (4BC 1025)

" . . . from everlasting."

  • Micah clearly sets forth the pre-existence of the One who was to be born in Bethlehem. The "goings forth" of Christ reach to eternity in the past. "In the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1; John 1:2; John 1:3). "From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father" (DA 19; DA 530; Ev 615). (4BC 1025)
  • With solemn dignity Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM (John 8:58).
    • Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, “whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2, margin). (DA 470)
  • The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1; John 1:2) Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.... When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Proverbs 8:22-30). (PP 34)