Dr. Lindstrom, Below is part of a discussion on the validity of Christ as the Savior. It seems way off base but I’m not sure how to respond to this person. What are your thoughts? Thank you. Here’s the scripture and the following discussion: Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me One who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancinet times.” Micah 5:2 is significant because it appears to prophesize the birth of the Messiah. The gospel of Matthew 2:5-6 (And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 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) claims that the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Micah 5:2. But this is unlikely for two reasons. 1. “Bethlehem Ephratah” in Micah 5:2 refers not to a town, but to a clan: the clan of Bethlehem, who was the son of Caleb’s second wife, Ephrathah. 2. The prophecy does not refer to the Messiah, but rather to a military leader, as can be seen from Micah verse 5:6(And they 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.) This leader is supposed to defeat the Assyrians, which, of course, Jesus never did. It should also be noted that Matthew altered the text of Micah 5:2 by saying: “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda” rather than “Bethlehem Ephratah” as is said in Micah 5:2. He did this, intentionally no doubt, to make the verse appear to refer to the town of Bethlehem rather than the family clan.
1. EPHRATH is a shorter form of Ephrathah, the place where Rachel was buried (Genesis 35:16). There were two Bethlehems in Biblical times. Consult you Bible map. Bethlelem of Judea where the tribe of Judah settled and Bethlehem of Zebulon where the tribe of Zebulon settled. 2. The Military Leader is Jesus. At the Second Comingm, He is called the ‘Lord of Hosts’. He will come back and defeat the armies of the world and set up His Kingdom and rule over the earth as “Lord of Lords, and King of Kings. The Assyrian is the Antichrist who will take over the middle east and Christ will defeat him. Jesus will defeat the Assyrian at the Second Coming. As with many of the prophecies of the Messiah, they refer to the two comings of Christ. Jesus came out of the tribe of Judah. No wonder His birth was in a city of Judah named Bethlehem. Jesus of the flesh was related to DAVID. David was born in Bethlehem.