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Micah, Part 4 - Christogenea Internet Radio 03-14-2014
In Micah chapter 4 we see that Yahweh God in the time of His choosing ultimately prevails over all of His enemies, because even though His people Israel were going into captivity, they would indeed be established as a great nation which in the “last days” would be exalted above all other nations. However we also saw that first the children of Israel must go to Babylon, and there they must await their redemption, where suffering many things they were portrayed as a woman in travail. We discussed how Babylon in that vision is not a reference to the place itself, but rather it must be a reference to something which transcends geography. That woman, we pointed out while discussing Micah 4:10-11, is the same woman as the woman of the visions in Revelation chapters 12 and 17, where Israel the bride flees into the wilderness, for which we can also compare Micah 4:7, and later becomes the whore of Babylon. Yet Micah chapter 4 holds out a promise of hope for the children of God, that they shall one day indeed “arise and thresh”, to be the instruments by which Yahweh gathers His enemies as “sheaves to the floor”.
However here in Micah chapter 5 the focus of the prophecy seems to once again be on the more immediate trials which the children of Israel must face, where a siege is laid against them and where the “judge of Israel”, which must be a reference to God Himself, is smitten upon the cheek. Yet this would be an incomplete assessment. Rather, here in Micah chapter 5 apparently we see a prophecy of the more immediate results of those judgments which were pronounced upon Israel by the prophet in the first three chapters of his writing, however the elements of this chapter are also relevant to Micah chapter 4, and what we have here is a Hebrew parallelism. Parallelism is a common element of Biblical literature, whereby the same subject is described twice using somewhat different terms. A simple form of parallelism is found in Psalm 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” The phrases “lamp unto my feet” and “light unto my path” both essentially mean the same thing, and both describe “thy word”, but the parallelism is a poetic device used for emphasis, which can also make for beautiful poetry. The Bible, both New Testament and Old, is replete with such language. From Revelation 1:8: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Here we shall hopefully see that while much of Micah chapter 5 is pertinent to the time immediate to Micah and what was to befall Israel at the hand of the Assyrians, elements of it are also parallel to the prophecy of Micah chapter 4, the Assyrians being a type for the nations to be gathered against Israel in the “last days”. This is parallelism on a grander scale that the simple one-verse forms which we have just illustrated.
Micah 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
The Judge of Israel is Yahweh God Himself, and God incarnate as Yahshua Christ. When Yahweh uses other peoples to chastise the children of Israel, He permits those peoples to harm Israel, and it is He Himself who is being despised and smitten with “a rod upon the cheek”. So He was smitten when the Assyrians and Babylonians carried Israel into captivity, and He was smitten again when He came in the flesh to suffer on account of the sins of Israel, and He is once again being smitten in this present day, because all of Christendom is overrun with beasts on account of their own sin.
Hezekiah acknowledged this when the Assyrians had Jerusalem under siege, and spoke haughty words to Judah before the walls of the city through Rabshakeh, the messenger sent by Shalmaneser king of Assyria. King Hezekiah then responded through his own messengers, as the account reads in 2 Kings chapter 19: “3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. 4 It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.”
Not all of the Psalms were written by David, and many of them were written by a man called Asaph. The Psalms of Asaph, at least 12 in number (50, 73 through 83), were written during the early years of the captivity of Judah. Here, from Psalm 74: “8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. 9 We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long. 10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?”
When Israel suffers reproach at the hands of the enemies of Yahweh, it is Yahweh God Himself who is being reproached. Yet Yahweh suffers that reproach for the sake of Israel, that they be chastised for their sins. From Isaiah 53: “5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
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.
The apostle Matthew recorded the priests at Jerusalem as having cited this prophesy in reference to the birth of Christ upon the inquiry of Herod, in chapter 2 of his Gospel where he wrote: “4 And when he [Herod] had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” The Septuagint reading of Micah 5:2 as Brenton has translated it may be clearer yet: “And thou, Bethlehem, house of Ephratah, art few in number to be reckoned among the thousands of Juda; yet out of thee shall one come forth to me, to be a ruler of Israel; and his goings forth were from the beginning, even from eternity.”
This ruler prophesied to come out of Judah must be Yahweh God Himself, since only of God may it be said “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” For that reason, Isaiah wrote in a similar Messianic prophecy: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). If Christ is the “Alpha and Omega”, the first and last or beginning and ending, as He says four times in the Revelation alone, then He indeed must be Yahweh God in the flesh, and this prophecy of Micah is one more testimony of that fact.
Bethlehem is called Ephratah (another form of Ephrath) because Ephrath was the original name of the city, before the conquest of Canaan by the children of Israel. From Genesis chapter 35: “15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel. 16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. 17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. 18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni [son of my sorrow]: but his father called him Benjamin [son of the right hand]. 19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. 20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.” Likewise, from Genesis 48: “7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.”
[All of this needs to be fully explained, because there is a coven of clowns and misfits claiming to be Identity Christians who promote an Ephraim-Scepter heresy and assert that because Bethlehem is called Ephrath, a word which is related to the same Hebrew word from which the name Ephraim is also derived, that therefore Christ must have come from the tribe of Ephraim, and Micah 5:2 is wrong to mention Judah. If that were true, then all the land of Ephraim would be called Bethlehem because twice in Genesis we are told that Bethlehem is Ephrath. However that was never the case, and there was no land of Ephraim in the time of Jacob, when Ephraim himself was not even born! The land of Ephraim was not established until the time of Joshua! The Greek texts of Matthew mention Judah, and many other places in the New Testament inform us that Christ was of the tribe of Judah. While there was another town called Bethlehem in the land of Zebulon (Joshua 19:15, Judges 12:8, 10), it is clear from the Old Testament, that the Bethlehem which was in Judah was once called Ephrath (Judges chapters 17 through 19, Ruth chapter 1 and 1 Samuel 17:12). It is sad, that so many so-called Identity Christians give audience to the clowns promoting such ridiculous heresies.]
3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
“She which travaileth” is Israel, and the children of Israel would therefore be given up, until the time when she brings forth the Ruler prophesied in verse 2. The children of Israel were alienated from Yahweh in the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations, and then later they were reconciled in Christ. Here we see much the same picture which is drawn of Israel as a woman and the birth of the Christ child in Revelation chapter 12. Yahweh God manifest in the flesh as Yahshua Christ therefore becomes “firstborn among many brethren”, as Paul explains at Romans 8:29. The only way that Yahshua Christ could be first born, over 5,000 years after the creation of Adam, is to be the fleshly manifestation of Yahweh God Himself. He is the “last Adam”, as Paul calls Him, because only two Adamic men were created directly by Yahweh. Therefore He is indeed the “beginning and end” of His creation. [There is a certain fool who claims to have exclusive “truth from God” and he asserts that Christ is Adam come a second time, but that is certainly not Scriptural. Sadly, many so-called Identity Christians also give that clown an audience.]
4 And he shall 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 shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
And this can only describe the Messiah Himself. From Isaiah chapter 53: “2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.... 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
As for the phrase “and they shall abide”, the reference is to the “remnant of His brethren” and “children of Israel” in verse 3. The people of God can only abide in Christ. The “ruler in Israel” became “great unto the ends of the earth” because all of Israel in their dispersions accepted the Gospel of Christ when it caught up with them. This alone is one of the most profound proofs of Christianity, that the Old Testament prophets foretold these things, and that they foretold them many hundreds of years before they actually happened can be established from history and archeology with all certainty.
5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.
The word man was added to the text of the King James Version by the translators, and nearly all translations from the Masoretic Text agree even though there is no explicit word for man in the text. Rather, the pronoun for this is often interpreted as he. The Septuagint rendering of Micah 5:5 by Brenton reads “And she shall have peace when Asshur shall come into your land, and when he shall come up upon your country; and there shall be raised up against him seven shepherds, and eight attacks [the Greek word is literally bites or stings] of men.” The Septuagint reading understands the subject, where it says “and she shall have peace”, to be the woman in travail of verse 3. Brenton's rendering of this passage is a very fair reading of the Septuagint Greek.
The authors of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (Abegg, Flint and Ulrich) interpreted Micah 5:5 quite differently, and in a manner with which is indeed quite agreeable. The first clause of the verse is rendered “And this shall be our peace”, where it is attached to the end of verse 4, something which is absolutely true concerning the Messiah who is the subject there. Then they begin a new paragraph with the words “when the Assyrian...”, and they render the remainder of the verse as “When the Assyrian comes into our land, and when he treads in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight leaders [agreeing with the MT] of men.”
The popular cross-references relate Micah 5:5 to Isaiah 9:6, announcing the birth of the Messiah, or to Zechariah 9:10 which is also related to a Messianic prophecy. However it is evident that no reckoning of “seven shepherds” and “eight principal men” [if we are to follow the Masoretic Text] can add up to one Messiah, or even one Messiah and eleven or twelve apostles, or especially one Messiah and ten thousand heretical so-called Christian sects. Therefore the translators of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, in our opinion, were correct to make the first part of verse 5 as a conclusion to verse 4. Only Christ is our peace. When translating Scripture, one should not take for granted that the verse and chapter divisions which were made by scribes at a late date were always chosen wisely, because they certainly were not. With no modern punctuation in ancient languages, neither can it be taken for granted that even the sentence divisions are always correct, although there are some basic grammatical principles by which ancient languages often, but not always, indicate sentence divisions.
Micah had already prophesied that the impending Assyrian invasion of Israel would be successful with all certainty, which is readily apparent in chapters 2 and 3 of his prophecy. This is summed up in the last verse of chapter 3 where it is concluded that “12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.”
Rather, Christ is our peace, and verses 2, 3, 4 and the first part of verse 5 belong together. The children of Israel are being told to await the Messiah in their captivity, and that He will be their peace. The rest of this verse, from “when the Assyrian shall come into our land...”, should be cross-referenced with Isaiah chapter 10 which we shall cite here at length: “5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. 8 For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? 9 Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? 10 As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? 12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: 14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. 15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. 16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; 18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. 19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. 20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.”
The text of Isaiah chapter 10 fully and explicitly informs us that while Assyria was used as a rod by which Yahweh punished Israel, Assyria itself would in turn be judged and punished by Yahweh, and that the children of Israel themselves would be used by Yahweh to execute that judgment. This is the unmistakable meaning of verses 16 through 19, and verse 20 fully infers that the house of Jacob would not stay in those places where the Assyrian had placed them, after the manner in which we have already interpreted Micah chapter 4. Ostensibly, the popular commentaries cannot properly cross-reference Micah 5:5 for the simple reason that they do not at all understand it.
6 And they [which must be a reference to Israel under the “seven shepherds”] shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.
In our last presentation of Micah, at Micah 4:6-7, we offered several proofs from Scripture and history that the Germanic peoples are indeed the descendants of the children of Israel who went into Assyrian captivity. Micah 5:5 helps to corroborate that assertion, however in conjunction with Isaiah chapter 10 it is beyond doubt. This is because no diaspora of “Jews” destroyed Assyria, but rather, the people who are known from history to have destroyed the cities of the Assyrians towards the end of the 7th century BC are the Scythians, who were the ancestors of today's Germanic peoples.
The following text is from a paper at Christogenea entitled Herodotus, Scythians, Persians & Prophecy: “Isaiah 10:5-16 foretells the destruction of Assyria. 10:17-18, 10:20-27 and 11:16 fully assure that Israelites will be actively involved in that destruction. Isaiah 14:24-27 mentions this destruction again. Herodotus relates that the Medes were already at war with the Assyrians, when the Scythians invaded Media during the reign of the Median King Cyaxares (625-585 B.C., according to Herodotus’ chronology). The Scythians prevented the Medes from destroying Nineveh, and themselves “became masters of Asia”, a position they held for 28 years. While Herodotus states that Cyaxares conquered Nineveh himself, after becoming free of the Scythians, this is impossible since Nineveh was destroyed before 612 B.C., and Herodotus is likely repeating later Median propaganda. Strabo tells us rather that “In ancient times Greater Armenia ruled the whole of Asia, after it broke up the empire of the Syrians”, where he is obviously confusing Syrians with Assyrians (and he mentions “Greater Media” later in the paragraph). Greater Armenia being that first Scythian land according to [the Greek historian] Diodorus Siculus (Diodorus Siculus 2.43), along with the witness of Herodotus, albeit indirectly, shows that Isaiah was correct, the Israelites – and surely with Medes alongside them – destroyed Nineveh, and the Assyrian Empire. (Herodotus 1. 102-106, Strabo 11. 13. 5).”
One more passage in support of this is taken from notes which I had written for Clifton Emahiser's Watchman's Teaching Letter #72, April 2004: “This Araxes River, circa 530 B.C., where Cyrus II invades the Scythians, is the ancient boundary between Armenia (but this section lies in Azerbaijan today) and Media (currently Northwest Iran). Diodorus Siculus says of the Scythians [in his Library of History] at 2.43: 'But now, in turn, we shall discuss the Scythians who inhabit the country bordering upon India. This people originally possessed little territory, but later, as they gradually increased in power, they seized much territory by reason of their deeds of might and their bravery and advanced their nation to great leadership and renown. At first, then, they dwelt on the Araxes River, altogether few in number and despised because of their lack of renown; but since one of their early kings was warlike and of unusual skill as a general they acquired territory, in the mountains as far as the Caucasus, and in the steppes along the ocean and Lake Maeotis (the sea of Azov today) and the rest of that country as far as the Tanaïs River ... But some time later the descendants of these kings ... subdued much of the territory beyond the Tanaïs River as far as Thrace ... for this people increased to great strength and had notable kings; one of whom gave his name to the Sacae, another to the Massagetae, another to the Arimaspi, and several other tribes received their names in like manner ...'” From the Sakae and Massagetae came the later Germanic tribes known as the Saxons and Goths, among others. [The land from the “Tanaïs River as far as Thrace” encompasses modern Ukraine, Moldova and Romania. The Greeks had thoroughly explored and had settlements on the coasts of the Black Sea by this time, and they were certainly familiar with the land and its inhabitants.]
While from the testimony of the Classical historians we can be certain that the Israelite Scythians, even in league with the Medes and others, had destroyed Nineveh and the other notable cities of Assyria, we do not as of yet have the historical details which may help us to determine the identity of the “seven shepherds” and the “eight principal men” (if we follow the Masoretic Text, with which the Dead Sea Scrolls apparently agree). Without any major discoveries in archaeology, we may never have those details. However Micah 5:5 certainly does say that these men were raised up as a reaction to what the Assyrians had done to Israel, and therefore as the retribution against Assyria which Yahweh says would come at the hands of Israel in the words of Micah here, and also in Isaiah chapter 10.
It may be asserted that these words at Micah 5:5 have a double fulfillment: once after the Assyrian conquest of Israel and Judah, and again with the Second Advent of the Messiah. The possibility is certainly made manifest in the verses which follow, and especially in verse 10. But neither can we with vain imaginations presume to be able to identify such men. And neither can we properly consider all of the nations gathered against Israel today to be Assyrians, although the Assyrians of antiquity can indeed be a type for the peoples gathered against the Keltic-Saxon children of Israel today. Even after the destruction of Nineveh and the other great Assyrians citie, there is still more to the Assyrian story, which we shall discuss shortly.
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, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.
To begin to understand this, we must understand where it was that the children of Israel were after the destruction of Assyria. When Nineveh was destroyed, the Scythians were in league with the Medes as well as other tribes of the Adamic oikoumenê, and dwelling among the Medes, Persians, Babylonians and others. Some of these were later known to the Greek writers by their Assyrian name, from which we get the name of the Kimmerians, and they crossed Anatolia soon after the destruction of Nineveh, beginning the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 66:19 which we discussed in our presentation of Micah chapter 4. Others tarried behind in Mesopotamia, or dwelt in and around the Caucasus mountains in those countries later known as Armenia and Iberia, and around the Caspian Sea from whence came the later Parthians, and also in the parts north of Persia as far east as Bactria and Sogdiana, which was the land also called Transoxiana. This land corresponds with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and southwest Kazakhstan and it is the land between the Amu Darya (Oxus) and Syr Darya (Jaxartes) rivers to the east of the Caspian Sea. To the Greeks of the late Classical period, all of these were the lands of those Scythians who were also called from their Persian names Sakae and Massagetae, and it was from these tribes that great numbers would later migrate into western and central Europe. Many of the Scythians of these parts were listed as being in league with the Persians who invaded Greece in the time of Xerxes. Diodorus Siculus informs us that as the Scythians migrated into Europe they brought with them as subjects large portions of the Medes and the Assyrians, whom they settled north of the Black Sea, and whom became known as the Sarmatians. Diodorus also tells us that these Sarmatians later fought with the Scythians, and even ravaged much of Scythia. The Sarmatians are, ostensibly, the ancestors of many of today's Central European Slavs, although the lines between the Germanic tribes and the Slavs are obscure and cannot be determined upon language alone. Yet it must also be noted, that all of these places adjacent to Mesopotamia and the steppes of Asia through which the children of Israel moved had already seen settlements of other Aryan peoples from Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia, and modern anthropologists often confuse these other Aryan tribes for the ancestors of the Israelite Scythians.
Yet before the greater part of the Scythians departed from Mesopotamia and the other areas where they were settled, the children of Israel were indeed among the other Genesis 10 nations, many of them Adamic, and many of them Canaanite. For the Assyrians did not entirely supplant the Hittites, Chaldaeans, Hurrians, Amorites and other tribes which they had conquered, but rather over a period of over 500 or 600 years they subjected and absorbed them, so that Mesopotamia itself, as well as Syria, had populations which were more or less composite of all of these peoples and others. The Assyrians engaged in relocating populations that they conquered for political reasons, the outlying areas also came to have diverse populations as well. Yet in the decades leading up to the destruction of Nineveh, and before they began their migrations away from the area, which were prophesied in Micah chapter 4, “the remnant of Jacob” were certainly “in the midst of many people”, as Micah 5:7 tells us they would be. Yahweh said of the children of Israel in Amos chapter 9: “9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. 10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.”
However if we accept this as a prophecy with a dual fulfillment, as verses 10 through 15 of this chapter certainly indicate that we should, and as we saw in Micah chapter 4 that many nations would be gathered against Israel in the last days (Micah 4:11), then in another way this prophecy is already fulfilled. As was indicated in the corresponding prophecy of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, also discussed here in relation to Micah chapter 4, many nations would come in like a cloud to cover the land of the people of Israel. So once again it is true that “the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people”. Here we begin to see that the vision of Micah chapter 5 is prophetically parallel to the vision of Micah chapter 4.
8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles [or nations] 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 go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. 9 Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.
The Scythians did indeed come to dominate the other nations which they were settled amongst. As Herodotus had attested, which we have cited above, the Scythians ruled all of Asia for several decades after the fall of Nineveh. The Persians under Cyrus attempted to conquer the Scythians dwelling north of the Araxes River and failed, which is where Cyrus met his death. Much later, Xerxes managed to subject some of the Scythians for a time, those who remained around the Black Sea as far as Thrace. By this time, many of the Galatae, as they were later called by the Greeks, had migrated in waves down the Danube River valley and into western Europe. After that the Parthians, a branch of the Scythians, conquered and ruled over all of Mesopotamia and Persia for several centuries, and through the Roman period. The Germanic tribes continued to fulfill this prophecy throughout history, which they have dominated ever since the fall of Rome, fulfilling also the prophecy of Daniel chapter 2.
Here we see that Jacob “shall be among the nations in the midst of many people”, which must be a reference to the other Genesis 10 Adamic nations to which the Israelites were deported by the Assyrians, and that Israel would be “as a lion among the beasts of the forest”. This prophetic allegory invites a further discussion.
There are many who call themselves Identity Christians and who make the insistence that every time phrases such as “beast of the field” or “beast of the forest” appear in Scripture, that they refer to so-called non-White or other races of people. This is simply not true. Often these phrases are used as allegories, albeit seemingly derogatory allegories, for the other Adamic nations, or sometimes even for the children of Israel themselves. Sometimes they are pejoratives, and sometimes they are merely poetic descriptions.
First, notice that Jacob is described as a lion. Ask many Identity Christians what the lion stood for in Scripture, and they would most frequently respond with “Judah”. However it is foolish to insist that an allegory or metaphor in Scripture must be interpreted in the same manner everywhere that it appears, which is simply not true and leads to all kinds of errors. Here in this passage we also see another example of parallelism where the same entity, the remnant of Jacob, is described by two phrases: first “as a lion among the beasts of the forest” and then “as a young lion among the flocks of sheep”. While sheep as a metaphor in Scripture is usually used to describe Israel, here we see that word is used as an allegory for the people of the other Genesis 10 nations.
With this understanding, we can see in Joel chapter 2 where Yahweh addresses the children of Israel (verse 19) and says “Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength” (verse 22). Then He says “23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God” (verse 23). Yahweh addresses only the children of Israel in that passage, and since He often refers to Israel as sheep, cattle, lions, and other animals, and since we have here another case of parallelism, it is apparent that the term “beast of the field” in this instance also applies to Israel, as a poetic metaphor. On the other hand, in Isaiah chapter 56 where certain beasts are set in opposition to Israel, we can see that similar phrases do indeed mean to describe other races, where it says “All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest” (Isaiah 56:9), which is also an example of parallelism.
From Ecclesiastes chapter 3: “17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.” Without the guidance of the Spirit of God, His Word and His Law, men are indeed little but beasts. For this reason, in the same chapter of Ecclesiastes we read: “10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.” In that exercise Christians find hope.
So while it was true after the fall of Nineveh that the remnant of Jacob was “among the nations in the midst of many people”, this prophecy having a dual fulfillment we see that the same thing is once again true today, since as Micah forebodes in 4:11, “Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion”, which is also the same thing that happened to ancient Israel. In response, however, the Word of Yahweh in Micah says in Micah 4: “12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. 13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people...” With the call in Micah 4 to the people of God to “arise Zion, and thresh”, we see the same idea expressed here in Micah 5:9, of the same “last days” circumstances, where it says that Jacob shall be “as a lion among the beasts of the forest … who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.” Therefore these two chapters of Micah are a parallelism, and they both express in different ways the expectation and method of deliverance which the children of Israel are promised in the “last days”.
10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: 11 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: 12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: 13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands. 14 And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities.
Here we may see that this prophecy certainly does have a dual fulfillment: one in the acceptance of Christianity by the Keltic and Germanic tribes, and another impending in the future. However while the children of Israel seemed to have accepted Christianity, we cannot look at history honestly and find that these things were truly ever fulfilled with any degree of permanency.
Horses and chariots represent the instruments of war, and we still have war with us to this day, although there was at one time a hope for peace and Christian unity among the Christian nations of Medieval Europe. The cities of dispersed Israel are meccas of vice and deprivation unto this day, as they have often been throughout European history, and they need to be cut off since they have all in modern times become as Sodom and Gomorrah. For some time after adopting Christianity, the children of Israel ceased from sorcery, however in modern times sorcery has made a comeback under the guise of the medical and pharmaceutical so-called sciences. Soothsaying has been replaced by market forecasting, news commentators, and a host of other so-called professions. Upon the adoption of Christianity, the children of Israel switched from worshipping graven images of idols and false gods to worshipping graven images of presumed saints and other icons. In modern times, graven images are most often seen in print and on electronic displays. The ancient groves of idolatry have now been replaced by entertainment meccas, sports bars, casinos, and other places where entertainments are offered in commerce, and where the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah are regularly reenacted. So while Christians perceive that pagan idolatry and witchcraft have been put away, in reality they are surrounded by such things and do not even recognize them.
...so will I destroy thy cities. 15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen [or nations], such as they have not heard.
The cities of ancient Israel were destroyed. However the entire prophecy in this chapter refers not to ancient Israel, but to Israel in dispersion.
There is a prophecy very similar to this one, found in Revelation chapter 9. Ostensibly, Revelation chapter 9 relates to the invasions of Christendom at the hands of the Arabs and Turks, for the things described in that chapter compare very precisely to those events of history. Upon the completion of the prophecy of those events, the Word of God says in Revelation 9:20-21 of their aftermath: “20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
While throughout history at diverse times many of the cities of Israel have been destroyed, nevertheless Christ said in the Gospel “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come” (Mark 10:23). Therefore it is evident that the cities of Israel will not be destroyed: until the Marriage Supper of the Lamb which takes place with the Second Advent of Christ. Today, those non-Israel nations who have come against the children of Israel, as Micah 4:11 presages, have filled the cities of Israel, and for that reason they need to be destroyed. Therefore this prophecy of Micah chapter 5 parallels that of Micah chapter 4, and speaks of the revenge of our God on all of the non-Israel nations. One vision ends by expressing the hope of Israel, and the other expresses the cost to Israel, that this old world must be destroyed as a matter of their salvation.
From 2 Peter chapter 3: “7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”