But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
– Micah 5:2 –
Prophet Micah prophesied about the imminent judgment of God on His people due to their centuries of rebellion. Instead of leading the people to worship and obey God, their kings have been leading them astray. Instead of shepherding and caring for the people, their leaders have been greedily devouring their own people. Therefore, God has pronounced exile as the punishment on the nation of Israel.
However, the prophets declared good news in the midst of the ‘bad news.’ Micah, for example, prophesied that despite the grim outlook, God would bring forth a ruler. This new ruler will come from the clans of Judah and will be born in Bethlehem. However, although this new ruler is from the clan of Judah (fulfilling Gen 49:10), the origin of this ruler is actually from ‘of old’ or from ‘ancient days,’ which really testifies to the divinity of this ruler. In the following verses of Micah 5, it is said that this ruler will ‘shepherd the flock in the strength of the LORD,’ and His flock will dwell securely in peace.