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Micah 5

Not Turning the Other Cheek

1 Now you are walled around with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the ruler of Israel upon the cheek. 2 But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. 3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. 4 And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; 5 and he shall be the one of peace. If the Assyrians come into our land and tread upon our soil, we will raise against them seven shepherds and eight installed as rulers.

Choosing Sides

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Musings

Now it goes from straight-forward warning to more symbolic hope speech. There's really nowhere to go but up after Assyrian wipes out Jerusalem, so Micah begins to look for hope in the future. Bethlehem's main claim to fame is that it was the city of David, so will salvation come from her again? The prediction never materialized in the short run, although the Persians let the Israelites rebuild Jerusalem, there was to be no kingdom. The symbolism is not lost on Christianity with the ties to Bethlehem, David, kingship and Jesus. Sheep have infinite faith in their shepherds (like dogs to their owners).


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