1 Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops. He has laid siege against us. They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
2 "But you, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you he shall come forth to me who is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
3 Therefore, he will give them up until the time that she who travails has brought forth. Then the remnant of his brothers shall return to the children of Israel.
4 And he will stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall abide, for now he will be great to the ends of the earth.
5 And this one will be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, we shall raise against him seven shepherds and eight principal men.
6 And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword and the land of Nimrod in its entrances. Thus he will deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our borders.
7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, which do not wait for man, nor delay for the sons of men.
8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goes through, both treads down and tears in pieces, and no one can deliver.
9 Your hand shall be lifted up upon your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off.
10 "And it shall come to pass in that day," says the LORD, "that I will cut off your horses out of the midst of you and destroy your chariots.
11 And I will cut off the cities of your land, and throw down all your strongholds.
12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of your hand, and you shall have no more soothsayers.
13 Your engraved images I will also cut off, and your standing images out of the midst of you, and you shall no longer worship the work of your hands.
14 And I will pluck up your groves out of the midst of you. Thus I will destroy your cities.
15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen who have not heard."
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
This chapter begins with a prophecy of the siege of Jerusalem (verse 1); and then follows another concerning the place of the Messiah's birth, (verse 2); and of the case of the Jews, either before or after it (verse 3); and of Christ's office as a shepherd, and of his grandeur in the world (verse 4); and of his being a peacemaker, and protector of his people from their enemies (verses 5-6); and of his people, the great increase of them, and their usefulness, and also of their courage, strength, and prowess (verses 7-9); likewise that the Lord will remove from them their vain confidence, and all occasion of it, and whatever illicit arts and practices were found among them; and all idolatry, and the instruments of it (verses 10-14); and the chapter is concluded with a threatening of vengeance to the Heathens (verse 15).
[v.2a] - "ruler" - Or, "Ruler," that is, Christ. Reference, Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 9:6-7; Ezekiel 34:23-24, 37:22-25; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 28:18; Luke 1:31-33; Revelation 17:14, 19:16.
[v.2b] - Quoted in Matthew 2:6.
[v.3] - "remnant" - Reference, 1st Kings 19:18; Isaiah 10:22; Romans 9:27, 11:1-7.
[v.4a] - "And he shall stand" - Micah is still speaking of Christ.
[v.4b] - "and feed" - That is, feed his flock. From John Calvin's Commentary: "As to the word 'feed,' it no doubt expresses what Christ is to his people, to the flock committed to him and to his care. Christ then rules not in his Church as a dreaded tyrant, who distresses his subjects with fear; but he is a Shepherd who gently deals with his flock. Nothing therefore can exceed the kindness and gentleness of Christ towards the faithful, as he performs the office of a Shepherd: and he prefers to be adorned with this, title, rather than to be called and deemed a kings, or to assume authority to himself." Reference, Ezekiel, ch. 34; John 10:11, 14.
[v.5a] - "And this one will be peace" - In other words, this man (the one spoken of in verses 2-4) will be peace, that is, our peace. Several translations use either "he," or "this man," but the Hebrew does not assign gender; however, gender assignment is implied based on the context. This passage can be understood as, "And Christ will be our peace." Reference, Isaiah 9:6-7; Zechariah 9:10; John 14:27, 16:33; Ephesians 2:14-17; Colossians 1:20-21.
[v.5b] - "principal men" - Literally, "princes of men."
[v.7] - "which do not wait for man, nor delay for the sons of men" - From John Gill's Exposition: "This seems to be connected with the dew, though it agrees with both dew and rain, which do not delay for men's desires or merits, but descend according to the will of God." From the Pulpit Commentary: "This refers to the dew, which is wholly the gift of God, and is not artificially supplied by man's labor."
[v.14] - "your cities" - This may also be rendered, "your enemies."