Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Micah 5:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Therefore wilt he give them up - Jesus Christ shall give up the disobedient and rebellious Jews into the hands of all the nations of the earth, till she who travaileth hath brought forth; that is, till the Christian Church, represented Revelation 12:1, under the notion of a woman in travail, shall have had the fullness of the Gentiles brought in. Then the remnant of his brethren shall return; the Jews also shall be converted unto the Lord; and thus all Israel shall be saved according to Romans 11:26.

Unto the children of Israel - Taking in both families, that of Judah and that of Israel. The remnant of the ten tribes, wherever they are, shall be brought in under Christ; and though now lost among the nations of the earth, they will then not only be brought in among the fullness of the Gentiles, but most probably be distinguished as Jews.

On this verse Abp. Newcome says, "The sense is, God will not fully vindicate and exalt his people, till the virgin mother shall have brought forth her Son; and till Judah and Israel, and all the true sons of Abraham among their brethren the Gentiles, be converted to Christianity.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Therefore - Since God has so appointed both to punish and to redeem, He, God, or the Ruler “whose goings forth have been from of old from everlasting,” who is God with God, “shall give them up, that is, withdraw His protection and the nearness of His Presence, “giving them up:”

(1) into the hands of their enemies. And indeed the far greater part never returned from the captivity, but remained, although willingly, in the enemy‘s land, outwardly shut out from the land of the promise and the hope of their fathers (as in 2 Chronicles 36:17).

(2) But also, all were, more than before, “given up” Acts 7:42; Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28, to follow their own ways.

God was less visibly present among them. Prophecy ceased soon after the return from the captivity, and many tokens of the nearness of God and means of His communications with them, the Ark and the Urim and Thummim were gone. It was a time of pause and waiting, wherein the fullness of God‘s gifts was withdrawn, that they might look on to Him who was to come. “Until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth,” that is, until the Virgin who should conceive and bear a Son and call His Name Emmanuel, God with us, shall give birth to Him who shall save them. And then shall be redemption and joy and assured peace. God provides against the fainting of hearts in the long time before our Lord should come.

Then - (And). There is no precise mark of time such as our word then expresses. He speaks generally of what should be after the Birth of the Redeemer. “The remnant of His brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.” “The children of Israel” are the true Israel, “Israelites indeed” John 1:47; they who are such, not in name (Romans 9:6, etc.) only, but indeed and in truth. His brethren are plainly the brethren of the Christ; either because Jesus vouchsafed to be born “of the seed of David according to the flesh” Romans 1:3, and of them “as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever” Romans 9:5; or as such as He makes and accounts and “is not ashamed to call, brethren” Hebrews 2:11, being sons of God by grace, as He is the Son of God by nature. As He says, “Whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in Heaven, the same is My brother and sister and mother” Matthew 12:50; and, “My brethren are these who hear the word of God and do it” Luke 8:21.

The residue of these, the prophet says, shall return to, so as to be joined with, the children of Israel; as Malachi prophesies, “He shall bring back the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers” (Hosea 1:11; Isaiah 11:10, etc.). This has been fulfilled in each generation since our Lord came, and shall be yet further in the end, when they shall haste and pour into the Church, and so “all Israel shall be saved” Romans 11:26.

But “the promise of God was not only to Israel after the flesh, but to all” also that were afar off, even as many as the Lord our God should call Acts 2:39. All these may be called the remnant of His brethren, even those that were, before, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and afar off Ephesians 2:12-14, but now, in Christ Jesus, made one with them; all, brethren among themselves and to Christ their ruler.: “Having taken on Him their nature in the flesh, He is not ashamed to call them so, as the Apostle speaketh, confirming it out of the Psalm, where in the Person of Christ he saith, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren” Psalm 22:22. There is no reason to take the name, brethren, here in a narrower sense than so to comprehend all “the remnant whom the Lord shall call” Joel 2:32, whether Jews or Gentiles. The word “brethren” in its literal sense includes both, and, as to both, the words were fulfilled.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Having showed how low the house of David would be brought, a prediction of the Messiah and his kingdom is added to encourage the faith of God's people. His existence from eternity as God, and his office as Mediator, are noticed. Here is foretold that Bethlehem should be his birthplace. Hence it was universally known among the Jews, Mt 2:5. Christ's government shall be very happy for his subjects; they shall be safe and easy. Under the shadow of protection from the Assyrians, is a promise of protection to the gospel church and all believers, from the designs and attempts of the powers of darkness. Christ is our Peace as a Priest, making atonement for sin, and reconciling us to God; and he is our Peace as a King, conquering our enemies: hence our souls may dwell at ease in him. Christ will find instruments to protect and deliver. Those that threaten ruin to the church of God, soon bring ruin on themselves. This may include the past powerful effects of the preached gospel, its future spread, and the ruin of all antichristian powers. This is, perhaps, the most important single prophecy in the Old Testament: it respects the personal character of the Messiah, and the discoveries of himself to the world. It distinguishes his human birth from his existing from eternity; it foretells the rejection of the Israelites and Jews for a season, their final restoration, and the universal peace to prevail through the whole earth in the latter days. In the mean time let us trust our Shepherd's care and power. If he permits the assault of our enemies, he will supply helpers and assistance for us.