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Chapter 5

[a]But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah(A)
    least among the clans of Judah,
From you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel;
Whose origin is from of old,
    from ancient times.
Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
    when she who is to give birth has borne,[b]
Then the rest of his kindred shall return
    to the children of Israel.(B)
He shall take his place as shepherd
    by the strength of the Lord,
    by the majestic name of the Lord, his God;
And they shall dwell securely, for now his greatness
    shall reach to the ends of the earth:
    he shall be peace.[c]
If Assyria invades our country
    and treads upon our land,
We shall raise against it seven shepherds,
    eight of royal standing;

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  1. 5:1–6 Salvation will come through a “messiah,” an anointed ruler. The Book of Micah shares with Isaiah the expectation that God will deliver Israel through a king in the line of David. Bethlehem-Ephrathah is the home of the Davidic line.
  2. 5:2 These words are sometimes understood as a reference to Isaiah’s Emmanuel oracle, given some thirty years earlier (Is 7:14). The Gospel of Matthew reports that the chief priests and scribes cite this passage as the ancient promise of a messiah in the line of David to be born in Bethlehem (Mt 2:5–6).
  3. 5:4 Peace: he will not only symbolize but also bring about harmony and wholeness.