Understanding Prophecy - 1st Coming of Christ - David Yamartino - 15 Para

Ruler From Bethlehem (34:1)

Verse from Old Testament (34:2)

But thou, Bethlehem 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. (mic 5:2) (34:3) see

Predictions (34:4)

Well, it seems that Micah has given the precise place where he "that is to be ruler in Israel" is to come from. From this verse, the seeker would no doubt understand that a ruler - a great ruler, for he is described as one "whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" - would come from Bethlehem. It is not stated whether this will be the birth place or the dwelling place of this great one. It also is not explained what is meant by the term "shall he come forth unto me" (34:5)

As with all prophecies of the Bible, the prophet - in this case Micah - says nothing to indicate that some of his words should be taken literally, and others symbolically. One acquainted with this verse would look for that "ruler in Israel" who would come from "Bethlehem" (34:6)

Fulfillment (34:7)

And When he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born (34:8)

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, (34:9)

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (mat 2:4-6) (34:10) see

Commentary (34:11)

Once again we see that the seeker would have great difficulty being led to Christ through this prophecy. The name Bethlehem was to be taken literally in Micah's prophecy, but "ruler in Israel" was to be taken symbolically. How was the seeker to know? Is the seeker to assume a meaning and then judge the Promised One by his assumptions? Is the seeker to guess the meaning, when what is at stake is the salvation of His soul? (34:12)

Did Micah explain that by "ruler" was meant a purely heavenly ruler or that He would rule the souls of men? Did he indicate that he would have divine authority rather than earthly sovereignty? (34:13)

No. Micah is silent as to the meaning of his prophecy, and it was left up to time and the coming of Jesus to reveal what his words meant. There was no way for anyone to know with certainty the meaning of Micah's words before they were fulfilled (34:14)

This great prophecy, predicting the Sovereignty of the Savior, and His place of birth, was revealed in heavenly words, not earthly. Its meaning is correctly understood only in the light of the words revealed by the One who fulfilled it; He Whose kingdom was not of this world (34:15)

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Understanding Prophecy - 1st Coming of Christ - David Yamartino