Micah 5:3
Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travails has brought forth: then the remnant of his brothers shall return to the children of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Therefore will he give them up.—There is a suggestion here of a parable, setting forth the smallness of Bethlehem, which gave birth to the mighty Ruler that was to come from it. So the nation was to be brought very low before the nativity of the Virgin-born.

Micah 5:3. Therefore will he give them up — The particle לכןrendered therefore, should rather be here rendered, nevertheless. The meaning is, Notwithstanding the promise of so great a blessing, God would give up his people into the hands of their enemies, or leave them to be exercised with troubles and afflictions, till the appointed time of their deliverance should come. Until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth — Until the daughter of Zion, compared here to a woman in travail, shall be delivered out of captivity. Or rather, till the church of God, of which the daughter of Zion was a type, shall bring forth spiritual children of Jew and Gentile extraction unto God, by the preaching of the gospel: see Galatians 4:27. This prophecy will be more fully completed in the general conversion and restoration of the Jewish nation in the latter days: see Isaiah 66:7-11. Then the remnant of his brethren — The brethren of the Messiah, those of Judah and Benjamin especially, who were carried captive; shall return unto the children of Israel — Or, be converted with the children of Israel. Then the remnant of the dispersed Jews, upon their conversion, shall join themselves to the true Israelites, and make one church with them. Both the LXX. and Chaldee read, the remnant of their brethren: but if we follow the present Hebrew, we may understand it of the believers that were to be added to the church; for Christ vouchsafes to call all believers his brethren: see Hebrews 2:11; Matthew 12:50.5:1-6 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.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" (Malachi 3:24, Hebrew). In the first sense, Micah foretells the continual inflow of the Jews to that true Israel who should first be called. All in each generation, who are the true Israel, shall be converted, made one in Christ, saved. So, whereas, since Solomon, all had been discord, and, at last, the Jews were scattered abroad everywhere, all, in the true Prince of Peace, shall be one (see 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.

3. "Therefore (because of His settled plan) will God give up to their foes His people Israel, until," &c.

she which travaileth hath brought forth—namely, "the virgin" mother, mentioned by Micah's contemporary, Isa 7:14. Zion "in travail" (Mic 4:9, 10) answers to the virgin in travail of Messiah. Israel's deliverance from her long travail-pains of sorrow will synchronize with the appearance of the Messiah as her Redeemer (Ro 11:26) in the last days, as the Church's spiritual deliverance synchronized with the virgin's giving birth to Him at His first advent. The ancient Church's travail-like waiting for Messiah is represented by the virgin's travail. Hence, both may be meant. It cannot be restricted to the Virgin Mary: for Israel is still "given up," though Messiah has been "brought forth" eighteen and a half centuries ago. But the Church's throes are included, which are only to be ended when Christ, having been preached for a witness to all nations, shall at last appear as the Deliverer of Jacob, and when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, and Israel as a nation shall be born in a day (Isa 66:7-11; Lu 21:24; Re 12:1, 2, 4; compare Ro 8:22).

the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel—(Compare Mic 4:7). The remainder of the Israelites dispersed in foreign lands shall return to join their countrymen in Canaan. The Hebrew for "unto" is, literally, "upon," implying superaddition to those already gathered.

Therefore, or nevertheless, as the particle will bear,

will he, God, the God of Israel,

give them up, to the Chaldeans, to be wasted by them, and to be led into captivity, and to be afflicted there for their sins committed in their own land against God, until the time, until seventy years be expired, the time appointed for the punishing the Jews,

that she which travaileth, the daughter of Zion, compared here to a woman in travail,

hath brought forth; be delivered out of captivity, compared here to a woman’s bringing forth, as Micah 4:9,10.

Then the remnant of his brethren, i.e. the brethren of the Messiah, those of Judah and Benjamin who were carried captive, shall return unto the children of Israel; being set free by Cyrus, shall return to their own land, and be there established; and they shall return with Israel rather than to: all this referring in the letter to their redemption out of Babylon, (which was the effect of the Messiah’s power and mercy towards them, as Micah 4:10 5:2) hath a further reference to a more glorious redemption, and to intervening afflictions which should fall upon the Jews, from after their restitution and resettling in Canaan. unto the coming of the Messiah in the flesh when born of the Virgin; and that of Isaiah 7:14 shall be fulfilled, when Messiah, Ben David, shall set up his kingdom, and deliver the whole Israel of God from their captivity under ignorance, sin, and hell, and shall bring in the Gentiles, that remnant of his brethren, and unite them to the true Israel, and make them one church to God.

Therefore, or nevertheless, as the particle will bear,

will he, God, the God of Israel,

give them up, to the Chaldeans, to be wasted by them, and to be led into captivity, and to be afflicted there for their sins committed in their own land against God, until the time, until seventy years be expired, the time appointed for the punishing the Jews,

that she which travaileth, the daughter of Zion, compared here to a woman in travail,

hath brought forth; be delivered out of captivity, compared here to a woman’s bringing forth, as Micah 4:9,10.

Then the remnant of his brethren, i.e. the brethren of the Messiah, those of Judah and Benjamin who were carried captive, shall return unto the children of Israel; being set free by Cyrus, shall return to their own land, and be there established; and they shall return with Israel rather than to: all this referring in the letter to their redemption out of Babylon, (which was the effect of the Messiah’s power and mercy towards them, as Micah 4:10 5:2) hath a further reference to a more glorious redemption, and to intervening afflictions which should fall upon the Jews, from after their restitution and resettling in Canaan. unto the coming of the Messiah in the flesh when born of the Virgin; and that of Isaiah 7:14 shall be fulfilled, when Messiah, Ben David, shall set up his kingdom, and deliver the whole Israel of God from their captivity under ignorance, sin, and hell, and shall bring in the Gentiles, that remnant of his brethren, and unite them to the true Israel, and make them one church to God. Therefore will he give them up,.... Or "notwithstanding", as this particle signifies; see Hosea 2:14; though all this shall be, yet, previous to the birth of this person, the Lord would give up the Jews to trouble and distress, and into the hands of their enemies; and the time from this prophet to the birth of Christ was a time for the most part of great trouble to, the Jews; not only was their country invaded and their city besieged by Sennacherib in Hezekiah's time, but, some years after that, they were wholly carried captive into Babylon: and when they returned it was troublesome times with them; they met with many enemies that disturbed them while they were rebuilding the city and temple; and after that they endured much tribulation, in the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, or of the Maccabees; nor were they long in any quiet, nor in any settled state, unto the coming of the Messiah. Or else this is to be understood of what should be after his coming; for though Jesus was born at Bethlehem, according to this plain prophecy, and had all the characters of the Messiah in him, yet the Jews rejected him, and would not have him to reign over them: wherefore he, the Messiah, as Japhet interprets it, gave them up to judicial blindness and hardness of heart, and into the hands of their enemies the Romans; by whom they were destroyed or carried captive, and dispersed among the nations; in which condition they still remain, and will, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled; so long will Jerusalem be trodden under foot, or the Jews be given up to their will, according to Luke 21:24; or, as here expressed,

until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: that is, according to the first sense until the Virgin Mary travailed in birth with the Messiah, and brought forth him her firstborn, Matthew 1:25; or according to the latter, until Zion, or, the church of God, travailed in prayer, in the ministry of the word, and brought forth many children to Christ, both among Jews and Gentiles; and the sense is, that the Jews shall be given up to distress and trouble, till the time of their conversion, see Isaiah 66:7; The Jews have a tradition in their Talmud, that

"the son of David would not come until the kingdom spreads itself over the whole world for nine months; as it is said, "therefore will he give them up until the time that she that travaileth hath brought" forth; which is the time of a woman's going with child.''

This both Jarchi and Kimchi take notice of. In one place (p) it is called the kingdom of Aram or Syria; and in another (q) a blank is left for Edom, that is, Rome; for by the kingdom is meant the Roman empire, and which did extend all over the world before the coming of the Messiah Jesus, as appears from Luke 2:1; as well as from all profane history;

then the remnant of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel; that is, the brethren of the Messiah, as Kimchi and Abendana interpret it; who should return with the children of Israel, as both they and Jarchi explain it; to which the Targum agrees. Kimchi's note is,

""the remnant of his brethren"; they are the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, which remained when the ten tribes were carried captive; and the surnames, his brethren, relate to the Messiah.''

So Abendana (r),

"and "the remnant his brethren"; they are the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, they shall return with the children of Israel, who are the ten tribes; as if he should say, these and these shall return to their land, and King Messiah shall reign over them; and the surnames, his brethren, respect the Messiah.''

And to the same purpose R. Isaac (s),

"the remnant of the brethren of the Messiah, who are the children of Judah and Benjamin, that are left and remain of the calamities and persecutions of the captivities, shall return to their own land, together with the children of Israel, who are the ten tribes.''

Meaning either the remnant, according to the election of grace, among the Gentiles; who with those among the Jews should be converted to Christ in the first times of the Gospel, those immediately following the birth of Christ; the Gospel being preached both to the Jews and Gentiles, and some of both were called and converted, and whom Christ owned as his brethren, and were not ashamed of; see Matthew 12:49 Hebrews 2:11; or the Lord's chosen people, and brethren of Christ, those of, he two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and those of the ten tribes of Israel; who shall join and coalesce together in seeking the Messiah, embracing and professing him, and appointing him the one Head over them, when they will turn to the Lord, and all Israel shall be saved; see Jeremiah 50:4.

(p) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 10. 1.((q) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2.((r) Not. in Miclol Yophi in loc. (s) Chizzuk Emunah, par. 1. p. 281.

Therefore will he give them up, until the time that {d} she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

(d) He compares the Jews to women with child, who for a time would have great sorrows, but at length they would have a comfortable deliverance; Joh 16:21.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. Therefore] i.e. because the deliverance of Israel is to be a work of pure grace, and to proceed from the insignificant Bethlehem. It is assumed that the family of David will have sunk down as low as that of Jesse originally was—the same anticipation which we find expressed in Isaiah 11:1, ‘There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse.’

will he give them up] Jehovah will deliver Israel into the hands of its foes.

she which travaileth] i.e. she who is to bear. Probably (though this is not quite free from doubt) this is an allusion to Isaiah’s great prophecy of Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)—a prophecy vague, it is true, and open to various interpretations, but most likely referring to the Messiah (see on Micah 5:5).

then the remnant of his brethren shall return] Rather, and (until) the remnant of his brethren return. ‘Return’ may be taken either in a physical or in a spiritual sense. If in the former, the ‘remnant’ will mean the exiles of Israel, wherever they might be scattered, including those of the Ten Tribes; if in the latter, it will refer rather to the Judæans who had escaped in the Judgment. The return of the long-lost tribes, and the thorough conversion of his own people, were equally upon the heart of the prophet.

unto] Or (if we explain ‘return’ = ‘be converted’), with.Verse 3. - Therefore; i.e. because God hath designed to punish before delivering, and this deliverance is to arise from the little Bethlehem, not from Jerusalem. This presupposes that the house of David will have lost the throne and have been reduced to a low condition. Will he give them up. Jehovah will give up the people to its enemies; this is the way in which the house of David shall come to low estate. She which travaileth hath brought forth. Many commentators have taken the travailing woman to be the afflicted community of Israel, or Zion; but we may not altogether reject the old interpretation which regards this as a prophecy of the birth of Christ from the Virgin, in accordance with the received Messianic exposition of Isaiah's great prediction, "Behold, the virgin shall conceive" (Isaiah 7:14). Such an announcement comes in naturally after the announcement of the Ruler coming forth from Bethlehem. Israel shall be oppressed until the time ordained when "she who is to bear" shall bring forth. Then (rather, and, i.e. until) the remnant of his brethren shall return unto (with) the children of Israel. The remnant of his brethren are the rescued of the Judaeans, who are the brethren of Messiah according to the flesh; these in a literal sense shall return from exile together with the others, and in a spiritual sense shall be converted and be joined with the true Israelites, the true seeder Abraham. To this vision the prophet attaches the last admonition to the rich and powerful men of the nation, to observe the threatening of the Lord before it is too late, impressing upon them the terrible severity of the judgment. Amos 8:4. "Hear this, ye that gape for the poor, and to destroy the meek of the earth, Amos 8:5. Saying, When is the new moon over, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may open wheat, to make the ephah small, and the shekel great, and to falsify the scale of deceit? Amos 8:6. To buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes, and the refuse of the corn will we sell." The persons addressed are the השּׁאפים אביון, i.e., not those who snort at the poor man, to frighten him away from any further pursuit of his rights (Baur), but, according to Amos 2:6-7, those who greedily pant for the poor man, who try to swallow him (Hitzig). This is affirmed in the second clause of the verse, in which שׁאפים is to be repeated in thought before להשׁבּית: they gape to destroy the quiet in the land (ענוי־ארץ equals ענוים, in Amos 2:7), "namely by grasping all property for themselves, Job 22:8; Isaiah 5:8" (Hitzig). Amos 8:5 and Amos 8:6 show how they expect to accomplish their purpose. Like covetous usurers, they cannot even wait for the end of the feast-days to pursue their trade still further. Chōdēsh, the new moon, was a holiday on which all trade was suspended, just as it was on the Sabbath (see at Numbers 28:11 and 2 Kings 4:23). השׁבּיר שׁבר, to sell corn, as in Genesis 41:57. פּתח בּר, to open up corn, i.e., to open the granaries (cf. Genesis 41:56). In doing so, they wanted to cheat the poor by small measure (ephah), and by making the shekel great, i.e., by increasing the price, which was to be weighed out to them; also by false scales (‛ivvēth, to pervert, or falsify the scale of deceit, i.e., the scale used for cheating), and by bad corn (mappal, waste or refuse); that in this way they might make the poor man so poor, that he would either be obliged to sell himself to them from want and distress (Leviticus 25:39), or be handed over to the creditor by the court of justice, because he was no longer able to pay for a pair of shoes, i.e., the very smallest debt (cf. Amos 2:6).
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