(Micah 5:2-9) “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labour has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth. This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men. They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory. Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the Lord, Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men. The remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations, Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears, And there is none to rescue. Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, And all your enemies will be cut off.”
(Vs.2a) “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah”
There are two Bethlehems in Israel. The birthplace of the Lord Jesus Christ, Bethlehem, means “house of bread”, and is one of the most famous Bible Places of Bible History. It is so famous in fact that it has eclipsed another town that existed in Israel by the same name. The Bethlehem where the Messiah was born is in the south, near Jerusalem, in the territory of Judah. The other Bethlehem is in the north, near Nazareth, in the territory of Zebulun. The fact that they “were too little to be among the clans of Judah” specifically teaches us that the Lord Jesus the Messiah would come out of obscurity. There would be nothing ‘spectacular’ about him by the standards of the world (Isaiah 53:2).
Bethlehem was the scene of the story of Ruth, and hence the place where in later years David was born. It was at Bethlehem where David was anointed king by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:4-13).
It was because of Jesus’ ancestry to King David that Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem when He was born, at the time of the census under Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:16-18). In an attempt to kill the newborn Messiah, Bethlehem was the scene of the “slaughter of the innocents” by Herod (Matthew 2:16-18). Satan through Herod was trying to stop God’s plan of salvation and his prophetic plans and purposes for the Jewish people. Today Satan is still trying to destroy Israel because He now knows who the Messiah is and wants to prevent His return. Of course Satan will fail. Satan well knows that the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah depends on God’s prophetic promises and purposes for Israel.
(Vs 2b) “From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”
The Lord Jesus the Messiah was is the Living and eternal Word of God made flesh and the one God sent from heaven to tabernacle among us. He is the one who has always existed from times of eternity and will always exist because He is God the Son (John 1:1-5, 15). The first time He came it was in the character of Joseph the suffering servant, In His Second Coming He will be in the character of King David the all-conquering KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Hence Micah prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus, “to be ruler in Israel” which He will be after He has returned and reigns from Jerusalem in the Millennial Kingdom of God (Isaiah 2:1-5).
(Vs.3) “Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labour has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel.”
Israel was constantly disobedient to the LORD. There were always a faithful remnant but on the whole the nation turned away from the LORD and went after idols and immorality and hedonistic living. God sent them prophets to bring about correction and repentance but time and time again they stoned and killed the prophets. Then finally He sent them His One and only Begotten Son. The Lord Jesus was not only equal with God as God manifest in flesh but the ultimate prophet, high priest and king.
“She who is in labour”
“She who is in labour” has two applications. One is that it refers to Mary the Messiah’s mother in labour, but also to the nation of Israel “labouring” under the weight of sin and the curse of the Law because they had forsaken God for idols, embraced the ways of the pagans and rejected Torah Law. There were those who were ready for the first coming of the Lord Jesus but they were far and few between, they were the faithful remnant. Just before the Lord Jesus comes again there will only be a faithful remnant waiting eagerly for Him to come back. Today Israel is still in ‘labour’ because of its sin, rejection of Torah and unbelief in the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Only the Messiah can deliver them. Tragically it will take the Time of Jacob’s Trouble to bring about Israel’s deliverance (Jeremiah 30:1-7).
The broken curse
At the cross the curse attached to the law was broken when the Lord Jesus became a curse for us and died in our place. As it is written; “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” —He redeemed us so that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:13-14). When a Jewish person repents, forsakes their sin and unbelief in the Messiah and turns back to Him by faith the curse of the law is broken over their lives and they become a new creation in the Messiah (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Galatians 6:15). They receive the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit. (Romans 2:28-29).
(Vs.4) “And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.”
Once again we see two applications here referring to the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Firstly; “And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.” In His first coming He was the shepherd of Israel and the only door into the sheepfold of God’s Kingdom being the good shepherd (John 10:1-16). He shepherded the flock who followed his voice, namely the disciples and those in Israel who believed Him to be the Messiah of Israel. Again it was a faithful believing remnant. He was their shepherd. He also wanted to be Israel’s true Shepherd as His Father was but when the Lord Jesus came to His own they did not receive Him Him but to all who received Him He gave the right to become the children of God, not born physically, but spiritually reborn from above by the Spirit producing in them the circumcision of the heart (John 1:12-13) (John 3:3) (Romans 2:28-29). As the apostle Paul writes; “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3).
Secondly; “And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.” In His foreknowledge the LORD knows those that are His (2 Timothy 2:19). Through the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom His name is known around the world today in almost every nation in the world. In the Millennial Kingdom His name will be known in every nation and by those born during the Millennial Kingdom. As the prophet Habakkuk writes; “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). In that day the Messiah will be Israel’s shepherd and His kingdom will be great to the ends of the earth.
(Vs 5-6) “This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men. They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory.”
The Hebrew prophets prophesied for three time frames.
Firstly for their own time, secondly for the First Coming of the Messiah and thirdly for the Second Coming and the Last days and some even for the Millennial kingdom. Now in verses 5-9 the prophet Micah focuses on the last days leading up to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah and the time period when the Islamic Antichrist and his forces will be ravishing the earth and ultimately invade Israel. The “Assyrian” is a direct reference to the Antichrist who comes in the character of the Assyrian King Sennacherib who attacked Jerusalem in the time of King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet and was defeated by the power of God. According to the prophet Ezekiel Israel will be invaded again in the Last days (Ezekiel 38-39). Half of the city of Jerusalem will be taken, the women raped and the people exiled. The rest of the people will be left in the city (Zechariah 14:1-2). Possibly it will be East Jerusalem which the Israelis took from the Muslims in the 6 day war in 1967 because the Temple Mount is located in east Jerusalem.
Eight leaders of men
The Islamic Antichrist will be resisted by Israeli patriots in the character of the Maccabees who resisted Antiochus who was a major type of the Antichrist to come. Other nations will also fight Antichrist’s forces (Daniel 11:28-45). Even though the Antichrist will reign from the Temple Mount for three and a half years wreaking havoc on the Jewish people just like Antiochus did, he will be resisted by these other nations and his forces decimated. God will raise up against Antichrist’s forces seven shepherds (rulers) and eight leaders of men. These leaders of nations will be fighting the forces of Antichrist that are decimating Israel. There will be seven leaders and an eighth one who would have to be the Lord Jesus the Messiah who will bring about ultimate victory over the Antichrist and his forces.
The most ruthless of nations
Ezekiel the prophet writes about these nations that will opposes the Antichrist’s forces; “Therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon you, The most ruthless of the nations. And they will draw their swords Against the beauty of your wisdom And defile your splendour. They will bring you down to the pit, And you will die the death of those who are slain In the heart of the seas. ‘Will you still say, “I am a god,” In the presence of your slayer, Though you are a man and not God, In the hands of those who wound you?” (Ezekiel 28:7-9) The Antichrist will ultimately come to his end in Israel (Daniel 11:45). The final destruction of his army will be at the hands of the Messiah our Lord Jesus at His Second Coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8) (Isaiah 63:1-6) (Revelation 19:11-21).
The Warrior Messiah
The Warrior Messiah is seen in the characters of Joshua, Gideon and especially King David. The Messiah is seen fighting down in Edom at Bozrah (Isaiah 63:1-6). which not only refers to Southern Jordan but also includes Saudi Arabia. He will be fighting Islam. At this time all of the armies of the Islamic nations primarily will be once again gathered against Jerusalem and will meet their demise in the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:1-16). These shepherds and leaders of men that God has raised up will shepherd (rule) the land of Nimrod with the sword until the Lord Jesus comes back. As it is written in the prophet Daniel; “The end will come like a flood, and until the end there will be war; desolations have been decreed” (Daniel 9:26b)..
Types of the Antichrist
Nimrod was the first major type of the Antichrist who built the original kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon. We are told that “Nimrod was a mighty hunter in the face of God” (original Hebrew text). He was a rebel against God. In the Bible the kings of Assyria and Babylon are major types of the final Antichrist who will also be a Middle-Eastern potentate and a Muslim. The Antichrist in the character of nimrod will, like him, try to build a global empire to defy God. The crescent moon and the star of Islam go all the way back to Nimrod and Semiramis and the Tower of Babel. Today in Saudi Arabia you have the four clock towers overlooking the Kaaba in Mecca with a crescent moon sitting on the highest pinnacle. Today they call this great tower Mt Babel.
Suleiman the Magnificent
We may well see a Turkish Ottoman Caliphate established that will supersede the one under Suleiman the magnificent commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the West and in his realm was the tenth and longest-reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to his death in 1566. Under his administration, the Ottoman state ruled over 15 to 25 million people. In his time he was regarded as the most significant ruler in the world, by both Muslims and Europeans. His military empire expanded greatly both to the east and west, and he threatened to overrun the heart of Europe itself. In Constantinople, he embarked on vast cultural and architectural projects. Istanbul in the middle of the sixteenth century was architecturally the most energetic and innovative city in the world.
His legal system
While he was a brilliant military strategist and canny politician, he was also a cultivator of the arts. Suleiman’s poetry is among the best poetry in Islam, and he sponsored an army of artists, religious thinkers, and philosophers that outshone the most educated courts of Europe. Suleiman is remembered for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th century Europe, presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire’s military, political and economic power.
Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies to conquer the Christian strongholds of Belgrade, Rhodes, and most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed most of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large swathes of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. At the helm of an expanding empire, Suleiman personally instituted legislative changes relating to society, education, taxation, and criminal law.
The Caliphate revived
If the Turkish Ottoman Islamic Caliphate is re-established there will be an uprising of fundamentalist Islam all over the world. The western powers will be hard pressed to resist Antichrist’s forces but they will still be able to “shepherd him with the sword” because God will be enabling them to do it. In fact the “we” who raise up these leaders of men will be the Trinity. This thought is reflected elsewhere where we read of the Triune God in the phrase; “Let Us” (Genesis 1:26; 11:7) (Isaiah 6:8). Ultimately the “He” who will deliver Israel from the ‘Assyrian’ and his forces will be the Messiah Himself, the eighth leader of men. The ruthless of nations will be used by the Lord Jesus to bring the antichrist down and the Messiah Himself will destroy all of his armies at His Second Coming. Antichrist’s destruction will be at the command of the Lord Jesus and by the breath of His mouth and by the splendour of His Second Coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Israel will also fight at Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:14). The Messiah will finish what the ruthless of nations started.
(Vs.7-9) “Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the Lord, Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men. The remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations, Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears, And there is none to rescue. Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, And all your enemies will be cut off.”
Like a Firepot among the wood
The faithful remnant in Israel that have survived the Time of Jacob’s Trouble also called the Great Tribulation will fight under their Messiah the Commander in chief of heaven’s armies as personified in King David, Joshua and Gideon, all who led the victorious armies of Israel against their enemies. Zechariah the prophet writes; “Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.’ “In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem. “The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah.” (Zechariah 12:5-7). “Judah will also fight at Jerusalem” (Zechariah 14:14).
The Rider on the White Horse
It will not be the seven leaders of nations that bring about the final demise of the Antichrist although they will be an integral part of his downfall, but the Lord Jesus the Messiah, the rider on the white horse, accompanied by the angels, the glorified saints and the surviving remnant of Israel will bring about the demise of Antichrist (Revelation 19:11-21). In fact we are told that by the time the Lord Jesus comes back all of armies of the nations will be gathered against Jerusalem. All the nations that have sought to desecrate, destroy and divide up the land of Israel and persecute the Jewish people will be in the valley of decision and judged for what they have done to God’s people. (Joel 3:1-3)
“The Beast wounded by the sword yet lives”
Today the beast empire that is arising in the earth is the Islamic Empire, “the beast wounded by the sword and yet lives.” It was the Empire of Islam that finally conquered what was left of the Roman Empire at Constantinople (Istanbul today) in 1453. The Turkish Ottoman Empire lasted until the end of WWI when the allies defeated the Turks. After that the Caliphate was disbanded. Today it is being revived. Indeed it would seem that the beast wounded by the sword and yet lives is Islam and all they need is a leader, the 12th Mahdi of Islam to bring about a global Islamic Caliphate and if Erdogan has his way it will be ruled from Istanbul. If Erdogan of Turkey succeeds in his ambitions to be the Caliph or someone coming after him who is now waiting in the wings to successfully establish a revived caliphate, the kingdom of Islam will be established across the whole of the Middle-east, expand into North Africa and sweep up into much of Europe.
Changing the laws
Erdogan’s ambition is to be greater than Suleiman and to change the laws and customs within the boundaries of his empire just like Suleiman did and just like the Antichrist will do. As Daniel writes; “He (Antichrist) will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time (three and a half years of the Great Tribulation). But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever” (Daniel 7:25-26). This Antichrist will cause utter devastation but he and his empire will come to their end.
The city where Satan lives and has his throne
Turkey is the seat of Antichrist today (Revelation 2:12-13) we are told that Pergamum (located in modern day Turkey) was the city where “Satan has his throne” and “the city where Satan lives.” Pergamum was the city where Emperor Worship in the Roman Empire really kicked in with Caesar Augustus having himself deified. He was the one who came just before the first coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah. The Antichrist in the character of Augustus will come just before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah. The whole world is to face its worst nightmare ever, a time of trouble and distress unequalled in past history and never to be equalled again (Daniel 12:1) (Matthew 24:15) (Matthew 24:21-22).
He will cut those days short
For the sake of the earth’s survival and especially for His elect the LORD will cut those days short and send the Lord Jesus back (Matthew 24:21-22). After this will come the judgement of the surviving nations and there will be whole nations (mostly Islamic) sent into the pit of hell especially those that have hated and persecuted Israel and the faithful Church (Psalm 9:15) The nations are actually listed. They are the hordes of Egypt, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and other Muslim nations. (Ezekiel 32) These nations are all Islamic today. They will go into Hades to join Satan there because of their treatment of Israel (Matthew 25:41-46).
Hearing His voice
If you have been reading this article and as yet you have never repented of your sin and rebellion against God and for violating His laws and commandments and asked the Lord Jesus the Messiah to be your personal saviour and Lord then you need to do this right now especially in light of what is coming upon the world. The Bible says; “Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts,’ and again it is written; “Today is the day of salvation” and again it says; “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.” And again it is written; “It is appointed for a man to fie once and after that comes judgement.” The Lord Jesus has shed His blood to atone for your sin and rebellion against your creator. He is willing to forgive you and cleanse you from all and every sin if you are willing to confess and renounce your sins (1 John 1:9).
Seek the LORD now!
Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah for they reveal the heart of God. “Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7). The Great tribulation is coming, the antichrist is coming, war, famine and disease unparalleled in history is coming, but so is the Lord Jesus the Messiah coming back to put everything right. Are you ready for His coming? Is your soul prepared to meet your God? Have you thoroughly repented of your sin and rebellion against God and His laws and commandments? Have you run to Him who shed His blood for you to bring you to heaven and deliver you from hell and from this present evil age?
His blood is the fountain God has opened up for cleansing you from sin and His Spirit is willing and able to make you brand new all over again down on the inside (2 Corinthians 5:17). His righteousness received by faith and imputed to you is what you need if you are to enter heaven (Philippians 3:9). He pardons abundantly and is not stingy when it comes to dispensing forgiveness of repentant ‘sinners.’ Will you come? Good works, morality, self-resilience and self-genertaed righteousness cannot save you, only the Lord Jesus can cleanse you from all and every sin, save you from the power and the penalty of your sin, which is hell and the lake of fire, and rescue you from this present evil age by bringing you to heaven. Come now, do not delay. Tomorrow may be too late. Will you come!
The Sinners Prayer
“Dear Heavenly Father I want to thank you for loving me and for sending the Lord Jesus to die in my place and for my sin. Thank you that His shed blood has fully atoned for all of my sin and rebellion. I acknowledge I have deliberately and wilfully violated your laws and commandments and broken every one of them and deserve death and hell. I have no excuses or conditions.
I now confess my sin and rebellion against you and confess Jesus as Lord over my life and I do believe in my heart that you have raised Him from the dead. I am now willing to turn away from my unbelief and rebellion towards you and from everything in my life that does not please you. I now turn from my own will and take up your good, acceptable and perfect will for my life.
Please make me brand new deep down on the inside and the kind of person you created me to be. Have mercy upon me Lord Jesus, pardon and cleanse me from every sin by your blood. I now receive you as my personal Saviour, Lord and King by faith alone. Please give me your Holy Spirit and your righteousness, thank you Lord Jesus for coming into my life. In Your name I pray this prayer to God my Father in Heaven. Amen.”
If you have prayed this prayer with all of your heart and would like to know more about Him and his power to save you then please do not hesitate to contact us here at Blow the Trumpet in Zion Ministry Website.