Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.

Email: (

The translation is my own.

Visit Dr. Northrup's Web Site: (


Let me introduce myself in order that you may understand the aching of my heart for the chosen people of the Eternal because of the centuries of anguish which they have suffered. I am a Christian Hebraist who has studied the Tenach for more than forty years and has taught it in the Hebrew and in the English languages to young men who were preparing to serve the Eternal. In the more than fifty years that I have walked with Him I have found that He always is faithful to His Word.

"You have dealt with Your servant, Oh Eternal Lord, according to Your Word" (Psa. 119:65).

I have seen His faithfulness displayed in countless ways in those many years. He is faithful. He keeps His word. Therefore

"I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts" (Psa. 119:63).

My burden for Israel became so great that I began to wonder about my ancestors of the Stahl and Weichert families and their ethnic roots. Could it be that there was a link here with descendants of Abraham and Sarah long ago? Could that be the reason for the continually growing burden of concern for His exiles? I do not know. But I do know that the burden was there and that it has continued to grow over the years.

When I began studying the Tenach in Seminary in that beautiful language in which it was written I began to recognize that my understanding of those great things which He had promised to His ancient people, Israel, had been very vague and almost empty. As I read the in the ancient Hebrew language words of the Eternal which had been brought to His people by their heavy hearted prophets, my heart also began to become heavy for the people of Israel. After serving as an Old Testament professor for years, the door opened for me to work with men of faith in some of the more remote and backward parts of the world. My responsibility was to check the accuracy of their translation work of the Tenach and the New Testament into their own languages, many of them otherwise unwritten. My burden for the people of hagalut increased greatly on my last trip into the Himalayas of India to check work done on the great book of Leviticus; by men from three tribes of the hill country of East India. Mani Singh who is a pastor in the Manipuri tribe was retranslating into English the work that he had done in translating Leviticus into Manipuri, his mother tongue. He had just finished back-translating the initial instructions concerning the feast of unleavened bread in Leviticus 23:5-6 when he hesitated and turned to me with a very strange look on his face. Then before I could comment on the accuracy of his translation he said: "Uncle, we do exactly the same thing every spring in our tribe!" Once again, before I could respond, Pu Jam, who was the translator for the Paite tribe, interrupted and said: "We do too in our tribe, Uncle!" And just as quickly Thang, the little translator from the Tedim Chin tribe; of western Myanmar, Burma, piped up and said: "Why, we do too, Uncle!"

I knew immediately that this could mean only one thing. Only those who had been exiled from the land of Israel, who once faithfully had kept His word, could possibly still have a memory of the Feast of Passover and the feast of unleavened bread. I had been having the priceless privilege of working with exiled descendants of God's people of .i.the northern kingdom;, Israel, of helping them to have an accurate translation of their Tenach in their own languages! Because of their continual disobedience to the Eternal Lord, He had given their ancestors into the hand of the Assyrian king in in his conquests of the northern kingdom, Israel, in 745 B.C. or in 722 B.C. The Assyrian king, the rod of the Lord's anger and the staff of discipline in the hand of the Eternal (Isaiah 10:5-6) had carried them away, scattering them to the east, to the far corners of the world which he knew. And now once again faithful men among them were teaching them the things of the Eternal and were leading them into ways of righteousness! How my heart was touched with the privilege of ministering to these people of hagalut so far away from their ancestral home! How my heart longed for the day that they would hear the trumpet call of assembly when He would fulfill His ancient promises of reassembling His chosen people in His land! Of that regathering He says through the prophet Ezekiel,

"'I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst, and the nations will know that I am the Eternal Lord,' says the Eternal Lord God, 'when I am set apart in you before their eyes. For I will sprinkle clean water upon you and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and I will cause you to begin to walk in My statutes, and you will begin to keep My judgments and will do them. Then you will live in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you will be My people, and I will be your God'" (Ezek. 36:22-27).


(Psalm 42)

Bernard E. Northrup

My heart is a wild ass snuffing the wind for ways solitare and alone.

It would drink from the pools left by traders long ago and eat

The dry heath, free to roam. But He seeks me out who, long, long ago,

For price rare and precious to Him, bought me, tattered, forlorn,

All begrimed and undone and he made the wild ass all His own.

From Nebo's high cliffs over Jericho's plain I toss my wild mane

In the wind for His path wends from home by the way I have come;

He follows my way, follows on. I snort in my fear for He now is near,

For He calls and I plunge away. How I tremble to think of His hand

On my flank and His brush on my coat flecked with foam.


My heart is a wild ass; He is my Lord. Oh why do I seek to be free?

For I snuff the wild wind tinged with aloes and myrrh, reminder

Of death and His tomb. I snort, not with fear but now with the joy

Of seeing Him stand by the trail, His garments all stained

From His patient pursuit to bring the wild one to His home.


Out of the many years that I have taught Israel's Tenach to young Gentile spiritual leaders, my burden for God's chosen people has grown greater and greater. When I would read in the words of a prophet like Micah of his agony for the troubled events that still lay in future of that nation before Ezekiel's prophecy would come to pass, my heart would ache for God's people still in exile. More and more it became my longing that somehow Israel might read their ancient prophecies, accepting at face value the word of their Lord and understanding the long delays in its fulfillment. More and more I realized the crucial importance of the agony that Micah expressed over the long and trying chain of events which lay between his own day and the ultimate fulfillment of the kingdom promises. It is for this reason that I now share with Israel, the chosen people of the Eternal Lord Who keeps His word forever, this study of the sad event series which had to precede the fulfillment of the parallel prophecies of Isaiah (Isaiah 2) and Micah (Micah 4-7) concerning that yet future day when

". . . the mountain of the house of the Eternal Lord will be established on the top of the mountains, and will become exalted above the hills, and all nations will flow to it. Many people will come and will say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Eternal Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths, for out of Zion the law will go forth and the word of the Eternal Lord will go forth from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will rebuke many people. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up a sword against another nation, neither will they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:2-4).



Micah's heart has poured out its grief as he has been instructed by the Eternal Lord to call all of earth's peoples and the earth itself to listen to the Lord's charge in His court which He had against Judah and Israel. Micah, in bringing the Lord's sentence against His people, has reported His promise to pour the stones of the capital of the northern kingdom down into the valley below (Micah 1:5b-7). He has agonized over Judah as he has reported in Micah 3 the waywardnesses of Judah's kings and prophets. He has brought the sentence coming from the court case of the Eternal against them to its terrible declaration.

"Therefore because of you Zion; will be plowed like a field. Jerusalem will become heaps of ruins and the mountain of the house [of the house of the Lord] will become like the barren hills of the forest" (Micah 3:12).

With such a terrible backdrop, the words of the prophet from the Eternal Lord which open Micah 4 are utterly startling. In the light of the preceding context they are the most improbable words that he possibly could have uttered. Yet the Spirit of the Eternal Lord leads him to say this.

"But in the latter days it will come to pass that the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established on the top of the mountains and will be exalted above the hills and many peoples will flow into it" (Micah 4:1).

There have been many Gentiles who have been touted as great Old Testament scholars who have refused to believe that the words of the Eternal ever would be fulfilled in the rebuilding of the ancient temple of God's people on earthly Mount Zion. Somehow they have sought to transfer the meaning of these words to the Church, denying in the process that God would ever deal with His ancient people once again. They have supported the claims of Israel's ancient enemies, not only to the land but to that holy site Mt. Moriah where the temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel and Herod once stood. They have dared to say that the Eternal Lord never would respond to the agonizing contemplation of Asaph when he cried:

"O God, why have You cast us off forever? Why does Your anger continue to smoke against the people of Your pasture? Remember Your congregation which You purchased long ago, the tribe of Your inheritance which you redeemed. Remember this Mount Zion where You dwelt! Lift up Your feet toward the perpetual desolations. The enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary. Your enemies have roared in the midst of Your meeting place. . . . They have said in their hearts, 'Let us destroy them altogether!' . . . O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the enemy continue to blaspheme Your name forever? . . . Remember this, O Lord, that the enemy has reproached and that a foolish people has blasphemed Your name! Oh do not deliver the life of Your turtledove to the wild beast and do not forget the life of Your poor one forever. Have respect to the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of cruelty. Oh do not allow the oppressed ones to return ashamed! Let the poor and needy ones praise Your name. Arise, O God, plead Your own cause! Remember the way that the foolish ones reproach You daily. Do not forget the voice of Your enemies for the tumult of those who rise up against You continues to increase" (Psalm 74:1-2, 8a, 18-23).

Has the Eternal Lord forgotten? No! Or is it that His people have forgotten His promises? Moses warned of that. He said:

". . . I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt and turn away from the way which I have commanded you. Then evil will come upon you in the latter days because you will practice evil in the sight of the Eternal, provoking Him to anger through the works of your hands" (Deuteronomy 31:29).

The Eternal Himself has said to His people Israel through Moses:

"For the Eternal Lord will judge His people and He will have compassion on His servants when He sees that their strength is gone and no one bond or free. . . . Now see that I Myself am He and there is no other God besides Me. I kill and I make alive. I wound and I heal, neither is there anyone who can deliver another out of My hand. The reason is that I have raised My hand and I have said: 'If I whet my glittering sword and My hand takes hold on My judgment, I will begin rendering vengeance on my enemies and I will repay those who have hated Me'" (Deuteronomy 32:36, 39-41).

He will keep His promise, in the the words of the New Testament,

". . . when the fullness of the times [is] come" (Galatians 4:4).

How beautifully this matter of the Lord's controlling of the timing of events is stated in the Tenach!

"When I choose the proper time, I will judge uprightly. The earth and all of its inhabitants will be dissolved. I have set it up on its pillars firmly. Selah" (Psalm 75:3).

But perhaps the words of the Eternal Lord to Messiah best demonstrate His complete control over the timing of such events as His having compassion on His wayward people. His words follow the recommission of the Messiah. Whereas He had been commissioned to regather the nation of Israel and then a light of the Gentiles before His rejection (Isaiah 42:6), He now speaks to Him concerning the yet future time when

"In an acceptable time I will hear you, and in the day of salvation I will help you. I will preserve you and give You as a covenant to the people [of Israel] to restore the land [of Israel], to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages . . ." (Isaiah 49:8-9).

That is the yet future day of which Micah is speaking in the rich truths unfolded in chapter 4.

He Who promised to have compassion on His servants has promised this.

"Now it will come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of house of the Eternal Lord will be established on the top of the mountains and it will be exalted above the hills and peoples will flow into it" (Micah 4:1).

He will keep His word. He has assured the nations of the world and His own nation of that which yet would come to pass in the future.

"Yet will I establish My King [Messiah] on My holy [earthly, not heavenly] hill of Zion" (Psalm 2:6).

The assurance of the future of the nation of Israel will be found to be established in the divine decree which He made in eternity past concerning the future of the the land of Israel and of her long promised King, the Messiah. Messiah, the son of David, had been rejected exactly as David had prophesied long ago (Psalm 2:1-3 and Acts 4:25-28). In that future day when the Eternal Lord would establish Him and His great kingdom on earth, He would establish that rule exactly as the decree had promised.

"Ask of Me for I am determined to give to You the nations for Your inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. You will break them with a a rod of iron. You will smash them into pieces like the vessel of a potter" (Psalm 2:8-9).

In that future day, as prophesied by Isaiah and Micah, the peoples of the earth will flow into Jerusalem and into the presence of the King of the entire earth.

"This is what the Eternal Lord of Hosts says: 'Peoples still will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. The people who live in one city will go to another saying: 'Let us continue to go and pray before the Eternal Lord and seek the Eternal Lord of Hosts. I myself also will go with you.' Indeed, many peoples and strong nations will come to seek the Eternal Lord of Hosts. This is what the Eternal Lord of Hosts says: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations will take hold of the sleeve of a Jewish man and will say: 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'" (Zechariah 8:20-23).


The prophet Micah, along with Isaiah in Isaiah 2:3, now prophesies precisely the same thing.

"Many nations will come and they will say: 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Eternal Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, and we will begin to walk in His paths . . .'" (Micah 4:2a).

In 1965 when I was in the land of Israel for the first time on a scholarship with the States of Israel and the United States, I heard an important man in the Israeli Bible Society teach the group of college and seminary professors with whom I traveled. He spoke from this verse but misapplied it to events which were happening in Israel at that time. He spoke of how Israel had shared their technology and skills of farming in a very arid country with those of the nations that lay around the perimeter of the great Sahara Desert. He spoke of the many young scholars from places like that who were flowing to Israel for the excellent education that they could receive from the great schools of the land of Israel. But then, regretfully, he applied the text entirely to that present scene, entirely forgetting the greater context of the Lord's work of restoring the temple and Messiah's kingdom when this verse would see its fulfillment. For Micah plainly had said:

"The Eternal Lord says that in that day I will gather the lame ones and will assemble the the outcasts, even those whom I have afflicted. I will make the lame ones a remnant and the outcasts a strong nation. In this way the Eternal Lord will begin to reign over them in Mount Zion from now on even forever. And you, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you it will come, even the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem" (Micah 4:6-8).

Later after everyone had left the room but the speaker, I dared to point out to an important man in the Israeli Bible Society that Micah actually prophesied that there would be eight crucial events which had to precede that glorious day when, in the latter days, the mountain of the Eternal Lord's house would be established and peoples would flow into it to fulfill Isaiah's great prophecy in his great second chapter. When that great leader of Israel suddenly saw from Micah that not only the Babylonian captivity but Israel's anguish of birth pains in the tribulation, as well as other events that he did not want to face were in that great prophecy, he suddenly had to leave with his hat shaking in his hand. My heart long has ached for the scene that I saw the next day. He stood with our group of visiting teachers on the top of a building near the line which divided the people of Israel from old Jerusalem and the site of the temple where his ancestors once had worshiped. There was a look of longing anguish on his face as he looked across the little valley between us and that great ruined city where so many crucial events had taken place in the past. Since then, even though I have been privileged to walk through that old city's streets and visit so many of its sacred sites, my heart still longs for that day when not only Israel in exile but hordes of Gentiles will flow through its gates to worship the Messiah, their long promised Davidic King.


The reason for the flood of Gentiles pouring into Jerusalem now is plainly stated by Micah. He continues to speak of the work of the Messiah saying:

"For the law will go forth out of Zion and the word of the Eternal Lord will go forth from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:2b).

How like the words which the Eternal Lord speaks as He introduces His Servant, the Messiah, in Isaiah 42:1-4!

"Behold My Servant Whom I will uphold, My Elect One in Whom My soul delights! I will place My Spirit upon Him. He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. . . . He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor will He become discouraged until He has established justice in the earth and the isles continue to wait for His law."

The "reformed" or "covenant" theologians (what misnomers!) would see this fulfilled in an imagined reign by the Messiah over the earth from heaven today. These who follow the errors of Augustine utterly ignore the unchangeable, irrevocable Word of the Eternal Lord which He spoke in the Biblical covenants to the ancestors of the nation of Israel, apart from attempting to transfer their promises to the Church. It is fascinating to note how carefully they skirt the curses and judgments of the great Biblical covenants and refuse to apply them to the Church! But that perversion of the original intent of this revelation from the Eternal Lord utterly ignores the impact of the following verses and their yet future fulfillment.

"He will judge between many people and will rebuke strong nations that are far off. They will beat their swords into plowshares and they will beat their spears into hooks for pruning trees. One nation will not lift up a sword against another nation, neither will they learn war anymore" (Micah 4:3).

How this great prophecy, found also in Isaiah 2:4, parallels that which has been found in Psalm 2:6-9! There a careful examination will reveal that the promises of the earthly Messianic kingdom are directly based upon decisions made by the Godhead in the decree in eternity past! It is the Messiah Himself Who utters the details of the decree relative to the yet future establishment of the kingdom under His rule in ancient Zion. Immediately after the Eternal Lord has expressed His determination to establish His king upon Mount Zion in spite of the rejection of the Messiah in Psalm 2:1-3 by Israel and by the Gentiles, He gives the decreed basis for that determination and the assurance of the Eternal Lord concerning Messiah's future kingdom. The great book of Hebrews in the New Testament confirms the fact that verses 7-9 of the Psalm are spoken by the Messiah in its quotation of part of these words in Hebrews 1:5. In the Psalm Messiah emphatically says:

"I am determined to relate the details of the decree: 'The Eternal Lord said to Me, 'You will be My Son. This day I do become Your Father. Ask of Me for I am determined to give to You the heathen for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron. You will smash them in pieces like the vessel of a potter'" (Psalm 2:7-9).

The expression, "this day," does not refer to some point in the time which lies between the eternities. It is part of the eternal decree which the Eternal made before the foundation of the earth. Failure to recognize the implications of the clause which introduces this great statement by the Eternal Lord to the Messiah in eternity past has resulted in all kinds of theological confusion.

The prophet Micah speaks of the establishment of that kingdom in this way, focusing on the result of that great battle in which Messiah would subdue the nations and deliver Israel.

"He will judge between many people and will rebuke strong nations that are far off. They will beat their swords into plowshares and they will beat their spears into hooks for pruning trees. One nation will not lift up a sword against another nation, neither will they learn war anymore" (Micah 4:3).

But how unlike the words which were spoken through the prophet Joel in Joel 3:9-16 (in English texts) concerning the divine invitation which would bring the nations together to the battle of Armageddon to bring about the subjection of the nations of the world to Messiah's rule! There the prophet looks forward to the final battle and focuses upon the call of the Eternal to the nations to gather for that battle in which Messiah would subdue them! Joel says:

"Proclaim this among the Gentiles: 'Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men! Let all of the men of war come near. Let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak ones say: 'I am strong!' Assemble yourselves and come, all of you heathen, and gather yourselves together around about. O Eternal Lord, there cause Your mighty ones to come down! Let the heathen be awakened and let them come to the valley of Jehoshaphat [The Eternal Lord will judge!], for there I will sit to judge all of the heathen around about. Put in the sickle because the harvest is ripe. Come! Get down because the winepress is full and the vats overflow because their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision because the day of the Eternal Lord is at hand in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will become darkened and the stars will withdraw their shining. The Eternal Lord will also roar out of Zion and He will utter His voice from Jerusalem. Then the heavens and the earth will shake, but the Eternal Lord will become the hope of His people and He will be the strength of the children of Israel. So you will come to know that I am the Eternal Lord your God who is dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem will become holy and no strangers will pass through her any more" (Joel 3:9-17).

Joel looks at the initiation of that great battle which will bring in the Kingdom for Israel. Micah and Isaiah primarily look at the results of that great battle when the land of Israel will abound in that peace for which the nation long has longed.


One of the remarkable themes found in several of the Old Testament prophets is the transformation of the land of Israel in that future day when the great Messianic kingdom will be established. It is obvious that, under the hands of the remnant which will return to the land that the barren old hills of Israel will be totally transformed. On my first trip to Israel in 1965 I saw one of the poorly trained professors who was traveling in our scholarship group look out over the ruined terraces and desolate hills and shake his head in amazement. Then he uttered that which has been on the minds of many tourists who have seen the same scene. "Land of milk and honey! What on earth!" He did not recognize the desperate ruin of the land which had been brought by the Arab occupation in the last millennium. Years ago a British biologist was commissioned by the Arab king who then ruled the land to write a book about the land. His first statement in his book condemned the rape of the land by the tragic overgrazing of the land by the herds of sheep and goats of the Bedouin. He spoke of the destruction of the once beautifully terraced hills when their cover of grapevines were stripped away to satisfy the command of the Koran. Rain now washed away the soil as it was trampled by the sharp feet of the animals and as the grass was eaten below the surface and killed. This destroyed the terracing that now lay without cover He also spoke of the way that the sheiks in latter years found delight in pursuing the wild animals in their automobiles and gunning them down with machine guns.

But it will not be so in the latter days. The prophet Micah briefly describes the idyllic scene of that future day in this way.

"But everyone will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree and no one will make them afraid because the mouth of the Eternal Lord has spoken it" (Micah 4:4).

He is speaking of the same future period as Amos who makes it clear that he speaks of the day when the Eternal Lord will

". . . raise up the tabernacle of David that has fallen, and I will close up the breaches of it and will raise up his ruins and will build it as in the days of old" (Amos 9:11).

He describes the prosperity of that glorious future day in the close of that chapter.

1. The prosperity and peace of that day (4:4a)

The description of the bounty of the land of Israel in that future day when the Davidic kingdom will be restored closes the book of Amos.

"See, the Eternal Lord says, 'the days are coming when the plowman will overtake the one who is reaping and the one who treads the grapes will overtake the one who sows the seed. Then the mountains will drop sweet fresh grape juice and all of the hills will melt. Then I will bring the captivity of My people of Israel, and they will rebuild the waste cities and they will live in them. Then they will plant vineyards and they will drink the wine from them. Also they will make gardens and eat of the produce from them, and I will plant them upon their land, and no more will they be pulled up out of their land which I have given to them,' says the Eternal Lord your God" (Amos 9:13-15).

The bountiful richness, fertility and productivity of the land and the peace which will bless that old land, so long troubled by war is delightfully summarized by the words of the prophet.

Both the prophets Isaiah and Micah have spoken of the fact that, under Messiah's worldwide rule, the instruments of war will be converted into tools of agriculture (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3). Isaiah describes the transformation of the land itself from a wilderness and a wasteland into a place of abundance and great joy at the arrival of their God in the day when He would bring vengeance on their enemies and salvation to His chosen people.

"The wilderness and the wasteland will rejoice for them [Israel], and the desert will rejoice and it will blossom like the rose, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, and the excellence of Carmel and Sharon [will be restored]. They will look upon the glory of the Eternal Lord, the excellency of our God" (Isaiah 35:1-2).

Three of the prophets speak of the elevation of the water tables of the land which makes possible the transformation of the barren and fruitless places of the land of Israel. The great prophet Ezekiel devotes much of his forty seventh chapter to this geological phenomenon which will follow the arrival of the Messiah. He speaks of

"water flowing from underneath the threshold of the temple toward the east for the front of the temple will face west. The water will be flowing from under the right side of the temple on the south side of the altar" (Ezekiel 47:1).

He describes the vision that he had of the continual swelling flow of this water toward the east in this way.

"And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits. Then he brought me through the waters. The waters came up to my ankles. Again he measured one thousand [cubits] and brought me through the waters. The waters came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and he brought me through it. The water came up to my waist. Again he measured one thousand [cubits] and it had become a river that I was not able to cross because the waters were too deep, waters in which a person must swim for it was a river that could not be crossed" (Ezekiel 47:3-5).

I personally have concluded that the waters which well up in northern Israel to supply the Sea of Galilee comes through the deep fractures of the great African Rift Valley from the highlands of Africa. Someone else has pointed out that there is a fish which is common only to the Sea of Galilee and to Lake Victoria. It appears that the raising of Israel's water tables at the arrival of Messiah will result from a change in the flow if this water as the valleys are lifted up and the mountains are made low (Isaiah 40).

The prophets also describe the effect of Messiah's raising of the water tables of the land in that day. Ezekiel speaks of the transformation of the vegetation which will result from this remarkable event.

"When I came back, there were very many trees there along the banks of the river on both sides. . . . Along the banks of the river on both sides will grow all kinds of trees that are useful for food. Their leaves will not wither, neither will their fruit fail. They will continue to bear fruit every month because of the waters which will flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves will be for medicine" (Ezekiel 47:12).

Isaiah indicates that the same remarkable change of water tables will transform the wilderness into a place with standing pools of water.

". . . Waters will burst forth in the wilderness and streams [will flow] in the desert. The parched ground will become a pool and the thirsty land [will develop] springs of water. There will be grass with reeds and rushes in the habitation of jackals where they lay" (Isaiah 35:6b-7).

The prophet Joel turns to the mountains and hills of Judah, joining his description of the changed water tables with its effect on the productivity of the land.

"And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains will drip with grape juice. The hills will flow with milk and all of the brooks of Judah will be flooded with water. A fountain will flow from the house of the Eternal Lord and it will water the Valley of Acacias" (Joel 3:18 in English).

But surely the words of the prophet Amos most graphically describe that which happens to the land of Israel when the Eternal Lord fulfills His ancient promises to reestablish the rule of the house of David over the land and indeed, over all mankind.

"'Behold, 'the Eternal Lord says, 'the days will be coming, when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the one who treads the grapes will overtake the one who sows the seed. The mountains will drip with grape juice and all the hills will flow'" (Amos 9:13).

2. The source of the peace of that day (4:4b)

Peace has been the longing of Jewish heart for centuries as the ancient people have been driven, slain, tormented and uprooted from one land after another by Gentiles who foolishly refused to believe that the Eternal ever would fulfill His great covenant promises to the blood descendants of Abraham. But the prophet Micah describes the peace of that future day in simple language which, without errant presuppositions, any child should be able to understand.

". . . no one will make them afraid because the mouth of the Eternal Lord of Hosts has spoken it" (Micah 4:4b).

No description of that great day of peace which yet is ahead for the nation of Israel is more beautiful than that brought by the prophet Hosea. He says:

"I will heal their backsliding. I will love them freely because My anger will have turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel. He will grow like the lily and he will lengthen his roots like Lebanon. His branches will spread. His beauty will be like an olive tree and his fragrance will be like Lebanon. Those who live under His shadow will return. They will be revived like grain and they will grow like a vine. Their remembrance will be like the wines of Lebanon. Ephraim will say: 'What do I have to do with idols anymore? I have heard and I have observed Him. I am like a green cypress tree. Your fruit is found in Me. Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him understand them because the ways of the Eternal Lord are right. The righteous ones will walk in them, but the transgressors will stumble in them" (Hosea 14:4-9).

Zephaniah speaks of that wonderful day when

"The Eternal Lord your God will be in your midst . . . ,"


"He will rejoice over you with with gladness. He will quiet you with His love and He will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

Imagine a day when the Eternal Lord will sing over His wayward people after He has brought them back to Himself! What a time that will be! He says to Israel,

"See, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you. I will save the lame ones and will gather those who have been driven out. I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they had been put to shame. At that time I will bring you back, even at the time that I will gather you because I will give you fame and praise among all of the peoples of the earth when I return your captives before your eyes' says the Eternal Lord" (Zephaniah 3:19-20).

3. The worship of that day contrasted with that of the pagans (4:5)

For centuries the exiles of the people of Israel rightly have scorned the vagrant worshipers of trees, animals and idols of plaster even though at times they also became involved in this desperate degradation of true worship of the Creator. Isaiah had mocked those who were satisfied to worship things which they had made (Isaiah 40:18-20). Yet a king like Manasseh and others who followed him turned to this very thing.

"Manasseh . . . rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed. He built up altars for Baal and he made a wooden image. . . . He made his son to pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and he consulted with the spiritists and the mediums. . . . He even set up a carved image of Ashera which he had made in the house about which the Eternal Lord had said to David and to Solomon, his son: 'In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all of the tribes of Israel, I will place My name forever'" (2 Kings 21:1, 3, 8-9).

The prophet Jeremiah was the prophet whom the Eternal Lord choose to record the New Covenant in which He promises,

"'See,' the Eternal Lord says, 'the days are coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not after the manner of the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which covenant of Mine they broke even though I was as an husband to them' says the Eternal Lord. But this will be the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel: 'After those days' says the Eternal Lord, I will place My law in their inward parts and I will write it in their hearts, and I will be their God and they will be My people. And they will teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: 'Know the Eternal Lord!" The reason is that they all will know Me from the least ones of them to the greatest ones of them,' says the Eternal Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember no more their sin" (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

But Micah contrasts the way that the heathen continually have turned to idols and other abominations with the way that transformed Israel will worship the Lord in the future.

"For all peoples do walk, each one of them, in the name of his god, but we [Israel] will walk in the name of the Eternal Lord our God forever and ever" (Micah 4:5).


Already we have noted the great Aliyah, the regathering and return of Hagalut, the exiled peoples of the nation of Israel under their Lord. Micah describes this which will happen in the latter days.

"The Eternal Lord says: 'In that day I will assemble the lame ones. I will gather the outcasts and those whom I have afflicted. I will make the lame a remnant and I will make the outcasts a strong nation. In this way the Eternal Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on and even forever'" (Micah 4:7).

This is the day which Isaiah describes, directly linking it with the return of the Eternal Lord to the land of Israel in Isaiah 35:4.

"Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame man will leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb man will sing because waters will burst forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert" (Isaiah 35:5-6).

The New Testament scholar, reading this, will remember that which is recorded by Luke about this passage.

". . . John when he had called two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus saying: 'Are You the One Who is to come or do we look for someone else?' When the men had come to Him [Jesus], they said: 'Are you the Coming One, or should we look for someone else?' And in that very hour He healed many who had infirmities, afflictions and evil spirits, and He gave sight to many blind people. Then Jesus answered and said to them: 'You go and tell to John those things which you have seen and heard, that the blind people see, the lame ones walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf people hear, the dead are raised, the poor people have the gospel preached to them. And he who is not offended because of me will be blessed'"

It is obvious that the Lord Jesus was telling John the Baptizer that the many healings which He had performed plainly indicated that He fulfilled the promises of the Tenach about the One Who was promised to come to them.

Jeremiah gloriously reports that which the Eternal Lord declares to the Gentiles about this future day of the return of Israel.

"Hear the word of the Eternal Lord, O you nations, and announce it among the coastlands that are far off, and say this: 'He Who has scattered Israel will gather him and will keep him in the way that a shepherd keeps his flock. For the Eternal Lord will redeem Jacob and will ransom him from the hand of one who is stronger than he is. Therefore they will come and will sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the Eternal Lord . . . " (Jeremiah 31:10-12a).


The Eternal Lord promises Israel and the old citadel of Zion through the prophet Micah,

"And you, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, It [the kingdom] will come to you, even the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem" (Micah 4:8).

The final element of Micah's great description of the events which would come in the latter days is the reestablishment of the Davidic kingdom from the citadel which David had captured from the Jebusites. It is that of which Isaiah prophecies of the day when to Israel

". . . a Child will be born," when "unto us a Son will be given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. For His name will be called 'Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, The Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace.' There will be no end of the increase of His government and peace upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from that time forward even forever" (Isaiah 9:6-8).

It is of that day of which the Psalmist David reports in Psalm 2:6-8).

"Yet will I [in spite of the rejection of the Messiah in verses 1-3] establish My King on My holy hill of Zion" (Psalm 2:6).

Hebrews 1 in the New Testament makes it clear that it is the Messiah Who quotes that which the Eternal Lord had said to Him in the eternal decree.

"I am determined to relate the details of the decree: 'The Eternal Lord said to Me: 'You are My Son. At this time I do become Your Father. Ask of Me for I am determined to give you the nations for Your inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. You will smash them with a rod of iron. You will dash them into pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psalm 2:7-9).

All of these wonderful things will take place in the latter days. But Micah reveals that an entire series of events will precede that glorious day when King Messiah will return to earth, will return them to their land, delivering them from their enemies and establishing His rule over the whole world from Jerusalem. Micah introduces many of these events by the adverb "now."


JEREMIAH 17:5-13

Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.

The man who is trusting in man, who makes out of flesh his arm,

Whose heart departs from the LORD, who is trusting not in His Word,


But he who trusts in the LORD, whose heart is fixed on His Word,

Like a tree by the waters forever he spreads out his roots by the river


But Oh, how the heart leads astray! deceitful and wicked its way!

To turn from the LORD as a fool, to cling to one's wealth as his pool---


A glorious high throne is the place of Him Who gives us His grace.

Should one leave the searcher of hearts or the fountain of waters depart?


Micah explains that there would be approximately twenty major events which befall the nation of Israel in punishment for her continual waywardness before their Messiah would establish the kingdom which had been promised so long ago in the great, unchangeable covenants. Some of these events stand alone and are introduced by the adverb "now." Others are related and are linked together. Still others grow out of those events which are introduced by the adverb.



The first event which inescapably had to come upon the people of Israel and Judah relates to their rulers. Although Micah prophesied at about the same time as Isaiah in the late 700's B.C. and the end of the single kingdom did not come until the early part of the 500's B.C., He very plainly prophesied the end of the rule of the house of David over the Southern Kingdom. Furthermore, he clearly states that this event would occur before the great Messianic kingdom would be set up.

"Now [that is, before the fulfillment of these great kingdom promises] why do you cry aloud? No king in your midst? Has your counselor perished?" (Micah 4:9a).

His message parallels that which Jeremiah had spoken to Zedekiah, the final king of the Davidic dynasty. Zedekiah repeats it to Jeremiah in great anger.

". . . Why do you prophesy and say, 'This is what the Eternal Lord says: 'See, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will take it, and Zedekiah, king of Judah will not escape from the hands of the Chaldeans but surely will be delivered unto the hand of the king of Babylon, and will speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye. Then he will lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he will be until I visit him . . ." (Jeremiah 32:3-5).



Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.

Here stands the ox, a humble, faithful laborer who pulls the cart

And plow cross the rocky field to serve its master's will.

And here the ass who gives his little graying back,a seat,

a humble throne where master, seated back upon his hips may ride.

These stand and feast upon the fodder and the grain

Within the master's barn--within the master's trough,

Content to eat their fill. But Israel, rebellious, sinful, stubborn, bold,

And knowing not their Lord, weighed down with sin, iniquity,

Revolts and turns away. What bruises, sores and ragged,

Oozing, rotting wounds! Her cities lie in ruins and strangers

Eat their crops while few from Sodom flee! Now come and wash!

You have no more a sacrifice to cover all your sin--no offering to bring

That I should hear your prayer!


Now come to me! A fountain from my spear-pierced side is flowing yet

For you to wash as white as snow and cleanse you from your sin!

You will not come? Ah, nation full of harlotry, My furnace I will heat

To melt away your dross that you may be redeemed!

Ah, Israel! soon you will blush with awful shame, embarrassed

At your way. your warriors will be punk; their work will be a spark!

But you will come! And you will know I am the Lord who came

And gave His life that you might come to live through me, the Christ!


The second tragedy which must befall the nation before the Messianic kingdom would be established is a time of great trouble. This period of Israel's history is much like one which Jeremiah describes vividly. He says:

"For this is what the Eternal Lord says: 'We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now and see whether a man ever is in labor with a child? As a result, why do I see every man with his hands upon his loins like a woman who is in labor and having all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day will be great so that none is like it and it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but he will be saved out from it'" (Jeremiah 30:5-7).

Micah describes this time, the time of Jacob's trouble, in the same way, but he is not at this point referring to the same event. After he has described the cessation of the rule over the nation by king and counselor, he gives the reason for this time of great trouble.

"For birth pangs have seized you like a woman who is in labor. Be in pain and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman who is in birth pangs . . ." (Micah 4:9b-10a).

In the context here in Micah it is clear that at this point Micah is not referring to the great tribulation which is fully described in the New Testament book of Revelation. He is referring to the awful chaos which came upon the nation when the Babylonians returned returned three times to encircle and harass Jerusalem, finally carrying away most of its people. That event is more fully described in the next event which still faced Judah in the days of Micah.


Most of the pre-exilic prophets spoke of this third impending event, the carrying away of Judah by the Babylonians. This too had to take place before the Messianic kingdom could be established. It also is the subject of several of the Psalms. Micah briefly develops the subject in this chapter but plainly gives this captivity as the cause for the end of the Davidic dynasty and for the fierce agony which the nation must suffer before their Messianic hopes would be fulfilled. Micah says:

"For now you will go forth out of the city. You will live in the field and you will go to Babylon" (Micah 4:10b).


(Psalm 137)

Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.

By the slowly flowing rivers,

By the stream of Babylon,

There we hanged our harps in sorrow,

There we wept and wiped our eyes

As we thought of Zion's towers

In the courts of Babylon.


"Sing the songs of Zion, Captive!"

"Sing of mirth and happiness!"

Sing? The songs of our Jehovah?

Sing of Him in foreign land?

How can I forget my city,

Oh, Jerusalem, my Joy!


Habakkuk was informed of this terrible event by the Eternal Lord in this way.

"Look among the nations and watch. Be totally astounded because I will do a work in your days which you would not believe even if it were told to you. For surely I will be raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation that marches through the breadth of the earth in order to possess dwelling places that do not belong to them. They are terrible and dreadful. Their judgment and their dignity comes from themselves. Also their horses are faster than leopards and fiercer than wolves of the evening. Their chargers charge ahead; their cavalry comes from far off. They fly like the eagle that hurries to eat. They all come for violence. Their faces are set like the east wind. They will gather captives like sand. They will scoff at kings and princes will be scorned by them. They will mock at every stronghold because they heap up mounds of earth and seize them. Then his spirit will change and he will transgress. He will commit an offense by ascribing the power to his own god" (Habakkuk 1:5-11).

The book of Daniel begins after the first wave of the Babylonian invasion had carried Daniel and his friends away to the Babylonian court. Jeremiah uses the illustration of two baskets of figs, one good and the other far over ripe, to convey the message that those who had been carried off to Babylon were the righteous ones who had been delivered from the horrors of the Babylonian captivity (Jeremiah 24). The book of Ezekiel begins two years later. It is written by Ezekiel, one of the priestly family who also had been carried away. Seven years later he receives the news in Babylon that Jerusalem had fallen (Ezekiel 33:21). This great event series which culminated in the carrying away most of Judah fulfills the words of Micah when he says:

"Now, why do you cry out aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor died? . . . " (Micah 4:9a).

But when Micah wrote, these things were still future, scarcely contemplated by his own people. His simple announcement that they would leave Jerusalem, living in the field (v. 10) as they traveled to Babylon nevertheless held great impact on those who would read his prophecy and believe. It is the prophet Jeremiah who received the information from the Eternal that the Babylonian captivity would last for 70 years.

"Therefore this is what the Eternal Lord of Hosts says: 'Because you have not listened to My words, look. I will take all of the families of the north,' says the Eternal Lord, ' with Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, My servant, and I will bring them against this land, against those who live in it, and against all of these nations which live around it, and I will utterly destroy them and will make them an astonishment, a hissing and continual desolations. Furthermore I will remove from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. Then this whole land will become a desolation and an astonishment and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. Then this is what will happen when the seventy years have been completed. I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity' says the Eternal Lord, 'and I will make it to be perpetual desolations '" (Jeremiah 25).


It was the prophet Daniel, now a high government official in Babylon after it had been conquered by the Persians, who read the words that Jeremiah had written and understood that the 70 years of captivity were near their end.

"In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Eternal Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would complete 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem" (Daniel 9:1-2).

He began to pray earnestly over the sins of his people, confessing them as if he had been involved in them (Daniel 9:3-19). In direct response to Daniel's prayers the Eternal moved the heart of Cyrus, the king of the Persians who had conquered Babylon, and allowed the remnant of Israel to return from their exile to their own land (Ezra 1:1-4). In so doing this king fulfilled the words of the prophet Micah and brought the fourth event which stood in the way of the establishment of the Messianic kingdom into Israel's history. No longer must Israel wait for the fulfillment of the prophet's words:

". . . And to Babylon you will go. There you will be delivered. There the Eternal Lord will redeem you from the hand of your enemies" (Micah 4:10c).


The fifth event which had to come to pass before the establishment of the long promised Messianic kingdom according to the prophet Micah is one which spans many centuries of Israel's history.

"Now also many nations will gather against you who will be saying, 'Let her become defiled and let our eyes look on Zion'" (Micah 4:11).

One can interpret the prophet's words to refer to the many agonizing centuries of troubles which now are past, centuries in which the nation of Israel, both in their land and then in a greater exile, have suffered unjustly at the hands of many nations. After all, the prophet Daniel had described the buffeting of Israel that yet awaited them at the hands of other nations. He had spoken of the four beasts which would arise out of the sea of the nations (Daniel 7:1-8). This vision had been interpreted for him as representing four great kingdoms, the latter of which would climax in the rise of ten kings. They in turn would be succeeded by yet another king who desperately would afflict Israel.

"The ten horns are ten kings who will rise up from this kingdom and another will rise up after them. He will be different from the first ones and he will subdue those kings. He will speak great words against the Most High and will persecute the saints of the Most High. And he will seek to change the times and the law. Then they will be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court will be seated and they will take away his rule . . ." (Daniel 9:24-25).

It is true that Israel suffered much throughout the four kingdoms which Daniel describes. And it is true that Antiochus Epiphanes did all of the things of which Daniel prophesies (Daniel 11:21-45). Cannot that suffering may be a part of the trials prophesied by Micah? Perhaps.

But on the other hand, these troubles still are continuing even though a remnant of the nation has returned to that little, war torn strip of land which lies between Europe, Asia and Africa. That which had been described by Asaph as happening in his own day has become horribly relevant to the trials of Israel in the land today. And the prayer of Asaph is so appropriate for God's troubled people there as they once again are faced by so many enemies round about and even far away.

"Do not continue to keep silent, O God! Do not continue to hold Your peace and do not continue to be silent, O God! For see, Your enemies are making a tumult and those who hate You have lifted up their heads. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people and have made a compact together against Your protected ones. They are saying: 'Come! Let us cut them off from continuing as a nation in order that the name of Israel will be remembered no more.' For they have talked together with one consent. They have formed a confederacy against You. The tents of Edom and of the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagerenes,Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Palestine and the inhabitants of Tyre. Assyria also has joined with them. They are helping the children of Lot. Selah" (Psalm 83:1-8).

Yes, Israel even today is going through continuing trials as many nations repeatedly have joined themselves together to destroy the nation of Israel and to cause their memory to cease. Indeed, these very things were prophesied by Zechariah as events which would take place when Israel began to return from their worldwide exile after the sale of their Shepherd for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:1-17). Zechariah looked forward to the day when returning Israel would live in the land outside of the Old City of Jerusalem, constantly troubled and defending themselves against "the peoples around and about them" (Zechariah 12:2-4). These "peoples round about," who would besiege the new city of Jerusalem repeatedly according to Zechariah, are the combined group of peoples mentioned in Psalm 83, They have three things in common, the Arabic language, the Moslem religion and their hatred for the ancient people of Israel.

"`The burden of the word of the Eternal Lord for Israel,' says the Eternal Lord . . . See, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all of the peoples round about when they will be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. Then in that day I will make Jerusalem to be a very burdening stone for all of the peoples [the peoples which have their kingdoms around Israel]. Everyone that burdens themselves with it will be cut into pieces even though all of the peoples of the land are gathered against it.' The Eternal Lord says: `In that day I will strike every horse with astonishment and his rider with madness, but I will open My eyes upon the house of Judah and I will strike every horse of the peoples [the Arab peoples mentioned above] with blindness'" (Zechariah 12:1-4).

This passage does not refer to the battle of Armageddon as many students including Unger mistakenly have concluded. That battle is not described until Zechariah 14 and is an event which follows the conversion to their Messiah of part of the peoples of Israel who would be living in the land (Zechariah 12:10-13:1). The three and one half years of the great tribulation's trial follow for the remnant as it is purified before the arrival of their King (Zechariah 13:2-9).

Now it appears perfectly logical to say that the initial stages of the present return of Israel from their worldwide exile surely is prophesied here in Zechariah. Furthermore, the continual aggression which has troubled those in the land for all of the 20th century, including the series of battles since Israel became an independent nation, precisely harmonizes with Zechariah's prophetic words. Indeed, the astonished reaction of the generals of Judah at their victories against overwhelming odds also accords with their inner reactions at their amazing victories against the Arab armies. The prophet describes this in this way.

"And the generals of Judah will say in their hearts, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem have been my strength through the Eternal Lord of Hosts!' In that day I will make the generals of Judah like a firepan in the pile of wood, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves. They will devour all of the peoples who live around about on the right hand and on the left hand, and Jerusalem will be inhabited [by Jews] again in her own place, even in Jerusalem" (Zechariah 12:5-6).

The Hebrew word which I have translated "generals" actually is the modern Hebrew word for Israel's generals.

But there are several events prophesied by Zechariah which have not yet been fulfilled at this point in Israel's history. While Jerusalem has been captured by Israel, it is by no means fully occupied by Israel. Even the holy temple site is occupied by their enemies who constantly maneuver to take away their land and their rights and drive them into the sea. Furthermore, the ancient people of God's covenants and promises have not yet been invaded by the goyim (Zechariah 12:9) who will invade them out of the north according to Ezekiel 38:15; 39:2 and Joel 2:20. That is described By Isaiah 63 as an event which precedes the repentance of Israel in the land in a time when their cities are burned with fire and their tribulational temple will have been destroyed (Isaiah 64). And that is the relationship of these two events which Zechariah sets forth. It is the invasion by the goyim which causes many in the land to consider [the Hebrew word nabhat] Him Whom they pierced.

"It will be in that day that I will seek to destroy all of the goyim [Gentiles] that will come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication. Then they will begin to look on Me Whom they pierced and they will begin to mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son and they will grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son" (Zechariah 12:9-10).

The time of repentance, conversion and cleansing which is described in Zechariah 12:11-13:9 also has not yet taken place. Neither has the invasion by the armies of Armageddon, long prophesied by the prophets, yet been fulfilled. These are events which yet face the nation of Israel before the establishment of the great Messianic kingdom which had been promised to David concerning his greater Son (2 Sam. 7:12-17. It is futile for the interpreter of the Davidic Covenant to seek fulfillment only in David's near son, Solomon. There are several ways in which the prophecy only has a near relevance to him while the fulfillment of the prophecy and covenant awaits another. There are crucial elements in 2 Samuel 7:14 which could not possibly relate to Solomon. The Eternal Lord says something through the prophet Nathan which translators have ignored for centuries. The Hebrew text actually says of the Son who would be born to the lineage of David:

"If He is caused to be guilty of iniquity, I will cause the chastening of Him with the rod of mankind and with the strokes of the sons of men."

The first verb is a Hophal [a causative passive] and the second verb is a Hiphil [a causative active].

According to Isaiah 53:10 it was indeed the Eternal Lord Who brought about the bruising of His servant when

". . . He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows . . ." (Isaiah 53:4a), when ". . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we were healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5).

The Hophal [causative passive] verb in 2 Samuel 7:14 which I have translated

"If He is caused to be guilty of iniquity . . ."

surely refers to the act of the Eternal Lord in making His Servant an offering for sin for us.

"When You made His soul an offering for sin . . ." (Isaiah 53:10).

The Hiphil verb [causative active] in the following clause already has been fulfilled.

"I will cause the chastening of Him [the Messiah] with the rod of mankind and with the strokes of the sons of men."

It has its counterpart in Zechariah's words,

". . . Whom they pierced."

Both passages refer to the event prophesied by David in Psalm 2:1-3.

"Why do the nations rage and the peoples imagine a vain thing? The kings of the land set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Eternal Lord and against His Messiah, saying: 'Let us break Their bonds in pieces and throw away their cords from us.'"

It is upon this greater Son of David that the remnant of Israel in the land must look, concerning Whom they must repent, before that One establishes the great Davidic kingdom for Israel promised so long ago.

And, according to Israel's prophets and the prophecies of the New Testament, they still face a greater trial of many nations yet in the future, the battle of Armageddon. Micah introduces that event when describing the way that the nations in the final days of Israel's great trial, the tribulation, gather themselves to attack the poor little nation.

"But they do not know the thoughts of the Eternal Lord, neither do they understand His counsel. The reason is that He will be gathering them like sheaves are gathered on the threshing floor" (Micah 4:12).

That which happens when the nations gather for the battle of Armageddon is the described in several of the great prophets of the Tenach.


Micah's brief description of the resulting event which still lies ahead on Israel's horizon involves both the Eternal in His strengthening of the warriors of Israel and the fierce warfare of that nation as they throw off their enemies with His help.

"Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I [the Eternal Lord] will make your horn like iron and your hooves like bronze. You will consecrate their gain to the Eternal Lord, even their wealth to the Eternal Lord of the entire earth" (Micah 4:13).

Later Micah will develop this theme of Israel's victories in their final great battle.

"Then the remnant of Jacob will be among the Gentiles, even in the midst of many peoples, like a lion which is among the beasts of the forest and like a young lion which is among flocks of sheep, who, when he passes through them, both treads down and rips into pieces and no one is able to deliver them. Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries and all of your enemies will be cut off" (Micah 5:7-9).

Zechariah describes this phenomenal strength of the warriors of Israel, fully empowered by the great Warrior, the Messiah Who will be fighting alongside of them.

"This is what will happen in that day. A great panic from the Eternal Lord will be among them [the armies of Armageddon who will have gathered to destroy Israel]. Everyone will seize his neighbor's hand and will raise his hand against his neighbor's hand. Judah also will fight at Jerusalem and the wealth of all of the surrounding nations will come to be gathered together, gold, silver and clothing in great abundance" (Zechariah 14:13-14).

It is obvious that this great event which Micah has prophesied as an event still in the future of Israel still awaits her in the future. What great trials and victories lie ahead!

Now this remarkable victory by the remnant of Israel which will have returned to the land is the subject of prophecy by Zechariah. And the message of that Prophet exactly parallels that which follows in Micah 5. Zechariah 9 begins by describing events which would precede the arrival of the Messiah. Zechariah 9:1-8 remarkably foretells of the judgments which would the Eternal would bring by means of Alexander the Great upon Israel's surrounding nations even while delivering Israel from that judgment. The actual events are well described in Josephus as he described the campaign of Alexander as his army traveled south along the Levant through Israel into Egypt. I have actually seen an ancient, lewd representation of Alexander in a hieroglyph text at Karnak in Egypt. But that which is parallel to the prophecy of Micah follows in Zechariah 9:9-11:17. That prophet describes the entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem ready to deliver the nation from their Roman oppressors at that time.

"Rejoice greatly, Oh daughter of Zion! Shout, Oh daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King is coming to you. He is righteous and having deliverance, lowly and riding upon a donkey, even a colt, the offspring of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9).

The context which follows describes the deliverance of the nation which could have followed, had the nation received their Messiah. It is a context which describes those of Judah and of the northern kingdom overthrowing their traditional enemies as the Eternal appears over them, defending them and saving them.

". . . The battle bow will be cut off. He will speak peace to the nations. His dominion will be from sea to sea and from the river even to the ends of the earth" (Zechariah 9;10b).

It anticipates the return of the exiles and apparently even the resurrection of the Old Testament dead, who at that time were confined as prisoners in the pit that had no water (Zechariah 9:11). His defense and deliverance of them is dramatically portrayed.

"Then the Eternal Lord will be seen over them and His arrows will go forth like lightening. The Eternal Lord God will blow the trumpet and will come with the whirlwinds from the south. The Eternal Lord of Hosts will defeat them. They will devour and they will subdue [their enemies] with sling stones. . . . The Eternal Lord their God will save them in that day" (Zechariah 9:14a, 15a).

The prophet describes the marvelous provision of rain on their land (Zechariah 10:1). He prophesies directly concerning the cause of their sins by their spiritual leaders and of the judgment which would fall upon those false religionists.

"For the teraphim have spoken delusion and they have told false dreams. They have comforted in vain. For this reason the peoples wander in their way like sheep. They are in this trouble because there is no shepherd. My anger is kindled against the shepherds and I am going to punish the goat herders because the Eternal Lord of Hosts will visit His flock, the house of Judah, and He will make them like horses in the battle" (Zechariah 10:2-3).

He speaks of the transformation of a people who suddenly become great warriors (Zechariah 10:5-7). He describes that which should have followed Messiah's appearance in Zion, the return of exiles who would have been scattered in the far countries of the world.

"I will whistle for them and I will gather them because I will redeem them. Then they will increase in the way that they once increased. I will have sown them among the peoples [the Gentiles] but they will be remembered in far countries. They will continue to live, together with their children, and they will return. I also will return them from the land of Egypt and will gather them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon and room for them will not be found" (Zechariah 10:8-10).

Rashi said of Zechariah 9:9, "This can only refer to King Messiah of whom it is said, 'And his dominion shall be from sea to sea,' since we do not find any ruler with such wide dominion during the days of the Second Temple.' "Ah," those will say who refuse to to listen to the correct interpretation of Zechariah 9:9 given by Rashi, "This could not possibly be referring to the Messiah because the deliverance of the nation from her enemies did not happen! The victorious war described did not happen! Instead, those who had returned to Israel from Babylon were overthrown by the Romans and exiled in 70 a.d. and in 135 a.d.! Surely the writers of the New Testament gospels were wrong when all of them used this to describe the ride of Yeshua to the temple on the colt" (Matthew 21:1-16; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-46 and John 12:1-14).

How often the intent of the Divine Author is perverted by interpreters who deliberately or unintentionally ignore the context of that which they misapply! This context which has described the glories which should have followed the arrival of the Messiah at the temple after the deliverance of the nation from the terrible danger that came in the conquest by Alexander of much of the eastern world (Zechariah 9:1-8). But the following context in chapter 11 describes the awful ruin of the nation by the Romans in 70 and in 135 a.d. which brought about hagalut which lasted 1,800 years. Once again it is well to listen to the words of some of the wiser of Israel's Rabbis. The Babylonian Talmud contains this painful recognition of the meaning of Zechariah's words which open Zechariah 11. "Forty years before the destruction of the [Second] Temple . . . the doors of the Temple used to open of their own accord, until Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkai rebuked them saying, 'O Sanctuary, Sanctuary! Why dost thou terrify thyself? I know well that thine end is to be destroyed, for Zechariah the son of Iddo prophesied against thee long since: 'Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.'" 2

Other Rabbis also recognized that Zechariah was prophesying the destruction of the destruction of the temple which was rebuilt by Herod in his words:

"Open your doors, Oh Lebanon, in order that fire may devour your cedar woods! Wail, Oh cypress wood, because the cedar wood has fallen, because the mighty [woods] are ruined. Wail, Oh oak woods from Bashan, because the thick forest has come down. There is a sound of the wailing of the [spiritual] shepherds because that which was their glory is in ruins! There is the sound of the roaring of lions because the pride of the Jordan is in ruins" (Zechariah 11:1-3).

Rabbi Isaac who was the son of Tavlai said: "Why is the temple called Lebanon [white mountain]?" The answer was given in this way: "Because it makes white the sins of Israel." Rabbi Zutra who was the son of Tobiah asked this question: "Why is the temple called 'forest' ?" He gave the answer, Because it is written, 'The house of the forest of Lebanon" This is a reference to 1 Kings 7:2 where the Solomonic temple is so described. And there were other Rabbis who correctly recognized that Zechariah in 520 b.c. prophesied of the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans. They are Abarbanel, Joseph ben Gorim, Aben Ezra, Abraham the Levite, Alshech and Rabbi Isaac of Troki. 3

The following context shows that in reality Messiah would not regather the nation but rather they would come to be sold as slaves and exiled from their land.

"Thus says the Eternal Lord my [Zechariah's] God, Feed the flock of the slaughter [i.e. destined for the slaughter house], whose owners will slaughter them and will feel no guilt. Those who will sell them will say, 'Blessed is the Lord because I have become rich!' Furthermore their shepherds will not pity them. The reason is because no longer will I have pity on the inhabitants of the land' says the Eternal Lord. "But surely I will give everyone into the hand of his neighbor and into the hand of his king. They [the troops of the king] will attack the land but I will not deliver them out of their hands As a result, I fed the flock to the slaughter, even the afflicted ones of the flock . . ." (Zechariah 11:4-7a).

That is exactly what did happen to those who were besieged by the Romans in 70 a.d. and then later after the crushing of the revolt of the false Messiah, Simon bar Kochba.

But there is even more specific detail here in Zechariah which describes the awful judgment which fell on Israel in 70 a.d. The Prophet describes the end of the leaders of the three factions which warred with each other within the walls of Jerusalem even while the Romans were advancing to destroy them.

"I proceeded to cut off the three shepherds in one month, 'because My soul despised them and furthermore their souls despised Me" (Zechariah 11:8).

Josephus leaves no doubt concerning the meaning of this verse. In a section which describes events before the battle against Titus which brought the fall of Jerusalem he describes these leaders,and their men in this way. "Now this Simon, who was without the wall, was a greater terror to the people than the Romans themselves, as were the Zealots who were within it more heavy upon them than both of the others; and during this time did the mischievous contrivances and courage [of John] corrupt the body of the Galileans; for these Galileans had advanced this John and made him very potent, who made them a suitable requital from the authority he had obtained by their means; for he permitted them to do all things that any of them desired to do, while their inclination to plunder was insatiable, as was their zeal for searching the houses of the rich; and for the murdering of the men, and abusing of the women, it was sport to them. They also devoured what spoils they had taken, together with their blood, and indulged themselves in feminine wantonness, without any disturbance, till they were satiated therewith; while they decked their hair, and put on women's garments, and were besmeared over with ointments; and that they might appear very comely, they had paints under their eyes, and imitated, not only the ornaments, but also the lusts of women, and were guilty of such intolerable uncleanness, that they invented unlawful pleasures of that sort. And thus did they roll themselves up and down the city, as in a brothel-house, and defiled it entirely with their impure actions; nay, while their faces looked the faces of women, , they killed with their right hands; and while their gait was effeminate, they presently attacked men, and became warriors, and drew their swords from under their finely dyed cloaks, and ran everybody through whom they alighted upon. However, Simon waited for such as ran away from John, and was the more bloody of the two; and he who had escaped the tyrant within the wall, was destroyed by the other that lay before the gates. So that all attempts of flying and deserting to the Romans were cut off, if any had a mind to do so."4

Eventually Simon gained control of Jerusalem after John of Gischala's men began a sedition. Josephus speaks of the three factions in the city in this way. "And now there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other. Eleazar and his party, that kept the sacred first-fruits, came against John in their cups. Those that were with John plundered the populace, and went out with zeal against Simon." 5 It should be remembered that Zechariah prophesied of the destruction of these three leaders ". . . in one month." Josephus begins book 6 of his description of the wars of the Jews with this heading: "Containing the interval of about one month from the great extremity to which the Jews were reduced to the taking of Jerusalem by Titus." It was a horrible time which had been predicted in Deuteronomy 28:53-57. The unspeakable way that the people within the wall would treat each other, even to a woman eating her own offspring, is described there. Jeremiah also records the prediction of the eating of one another in the first captivity in Jeremiah 19:9 and Lamentations 4:10. Josephus tells of the ultimate fulfillment of this terrible prophecy when a woman named Mary roasted her own child and ate him.6 Throughout this whole time Josephus, who was outside of the city's walls with Titus, continued to beg his people to give up and not be slaughtered by the Romans. It is in this section of the history written by Josephus that Eleazar of Damascus, Simon, son of Giora and John of Gischala died. Actually Simon was taken to Rome for the triumphal procession and there slaughtered.7

Woe! Woe! Woe! Why did these terrible things happen instead of those things which Zechariah had prophesied would come after the arrival of the Messiah? The answer to this strange succession of events is found later in the same context. To understand the reason which the Prophet Zechariah gives for this terrible turn of events, one must understand the way that the Prophet unfolds the reason for the ruin of Jerusalem in the following verses. The prophet must be viewed in this chapter as acting out, not his own actions, but in a very special sense, as the representative of God. This is seen in such expressions which he utters as:

"I cut off three shepherds in one month" (v. 8) and ". . . in order that I might break the covenant which I had cut with all of the people [of Israel]" (v. 10).

Neither Zechariah nor any other prophet made a covenant with the people, nor could they but the Eternal Lord only. He here is speaking the words of the Eternal Lord. Now Zechariah finally gives the reason for Messiah's failure to establish the promised kingdom when he had come riding into Zion on the colt (Zechariah 9:9). Now it appears that as a prophet, he actually is speaking the words of the disciple who would betray the Messiah into the hands of the High Priests who already had determined that they must kill them or their own little corrupt world would be turned upside down.

"Then I said to them, 'If it is satisfactory with you, give to me my wages, and if not, do not.' As a result, they weighed out thirty pieces of silver for my wages. Then the Eternal Lord said to me, 'Throw it unto the potter', that goodly price that they had placed on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and I threw them in the the house of the Eternal Lord for the potter" (Zechariah 11:12-13).

The good Shepherd of Whom Isaiah had prophesied in Isaiah 40:had been betrayed, tried and crucified. Is there any wonder that Zechariah then proceeded to prophesy of that false Messiah who arose 40 years later and demanded the subservience of all those remaining in the land as he began another utterly futile battle with the Romans (Zechariah 11:15-17)? Simon was wounded on his right arm and his right eye in precisely the same way that Zechariah describes in verse 17.

It is obvious, then, that Zechariah clearly has described the great battle which could have taken place when Israel's King Messiah rode the colt into Jerusalem. It is obvious that the glories of that kingdom which could have been established are described in Zechariah 10 in a similar way that they had been described centuries before by the Prophet Micah in Micah 4:1-8. It is so sad that Messiah's people still do not recognize that both of these great prophets gave a crucial reason for the delay of the fulfillment of the Eternal's promises concerning the glories that would belong to the Chosen People in Israel's latter days. Like Zechariah, Micah now turns to the rejection of their Messiah as a major event which which would take place before the establishment of the Messianic kingdom. Indeed, the next event which would take place before the kingdom would be, along with the two kingdom's sins enumerated in Micah 1-3, a major cause for the delay of the the long promised Messianic kingdom.


Surely the Rabbis who arranged the chapter division between Micah four and five recognized the danger to their teachings against Jesus when here alone in the book they refused to follow the normal chapter divisions found in translations of Micah. In the separating the first verse from the second verse with the chapter division, the pair of crucial events which still lay ahead of Micah's time appears to have been deliberately obscured to the reader of the Tenach in Hebrew and in the Jewish translations of Micah. But the adverb which introduces the first verse of Micah five in English clearly shows that the events contained in the last verse of Micah 4 and 5:1 in the Jewish texts (Micah 5:1-2 in other translations) are part and parcel of the event series which would have to occur before the nation of Israel would see their Messiah set up the great kingdom which long ago had been promised to David. This seventh great event which had to precede the fulfillment of the promises concerning the Messianic kingdom is introduced by Micah in the same way as several other of these events by the adverb "now." The Prophet says:

"Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops. He will lay siege against us. They will smite the Judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek" (Micah 5:1).

This future event which faced Israel would be unintelligible apart from the obvious relationship of this verse with the context which follows and inescapably is linked with this verse. And since that is true, it is of the utmost importance that the verse be examined and discussed in that light.


Isaiah 53:1-5

Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.

Who would have dreamed of what we heard, this message concerning God's Son:

"Born of a Virgin, Man and God!" or thought that our king must be born?

Who ever dreamed that Galilee would raise One from Bethlehem town?

Capernaum? No! Nor Nazareth, the place where Christ would be found?

When was the Arm of Jah revealed as He walked on our dusty roads,

Sapling from trunk of Judah's kings, this root grown up from dry clods?


What in that One was there to see of beauty or comeliness rare?

Cause for delight was not in Him nor form like a king for our care.

He was despised by all who saw, despised and forsaken of these;

Man with our pains acquainted well, Who healed all our fearsome disease.

Oh how our sin did blind our eyes that He should be hidden from us!

He was despised, considered not, no great One in whom we should trust.


But, were the truth then known to us, our sickness He carried away.

This One who healed the sick and the dead bore all our pains on His way.

Hatred, yet joy prevailed within on seeing His kingdom work fail.

All did regard Him stricken there, yes, smitten, afflicted of El.

Scarce could we dream that this was done that He to that cross could be sent.

We did not see the plan of God or know what the purpose He meant.

But He for all our sins was bruised, was smitten of God with our grief.

He bore the sins of everyone there when He prayed on that cross by the thief.



The second part of this compound of two great events which are revealed in these chapters containing events which precede the establishment of the Messianic kingdom is as transparent as the preceding verse was obscure. When the wise men arrived at Jerusalem after traveling far from the East, they were asking the question:

"Where is He Who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and we have come to worship Him" (Matthew 2:2).

When Herod sought the answer for that question

" . . . from the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. So they responded to him: 'In Bethlehem of Judea, for this was written by the prophet: 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, you are not the least among the rulers of Judah because out of you will come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel" (Matthew 2:4b-7).

There was no doubt, at least at that time, concerning several important facts about the meaning of Micah 5:2 (in English).

1. The verse positively identified the birthplace of the Messiah as Bethlehem Ephrathah, the city from which His human ancestor, David, had come long ago.

2. The verse also speaks of the exaltation of that humble little village since it had been revealed centuries before His human birth that it would be exalted as a result of His birth there.

3. Furthermore the verse looks forward to the One Who would be born there as the One who would become the Ruler in Israel.

4. Then the verse reveals a truth which will be difficult for most of Israel to understand. The recognition by some that Messiah would have human ancestry makes it almost impossible for them to understand the means by which the Eternal had planned to provide redemption for all mankind. The member of the Godhead Who assumed a sonship relationship to the Eternal Lord in eternity past (Psalm 2:7) would both be perfect man and perfect God. This was necessary (in the same order) for Messiah to be a perfect human substitute Who would die in the place of and for the sins of every man. Furthermore, He has to be perfect God in order for this great act to be effectual for every man. This great being, the Messiah, did not have His beginning with His human birth. Rather He was a being Who was eternal. For the prophet said long ago:

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, even though you are small among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you will come forth unto Me the One Who is to become Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, even from everlasting" (Micah 5:2).

While the Micah 5:2 of itself and its prophecy of the birth of Judah's future king does not cast much light of itself upon the meaning of the previous verse, Micah 5:1 (Engl.), that which immediately follows in verses three and four suddenly gives that verse great significance and relevance.

"Therefore He will give them up until the time that she who is in travail has brought forth. Then He will stand and feed [his flock] in the strength of the Eternal Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Eternal Lord His God . . ." (Micah 5:3-4).

The word "Therefore" significantly introduces verse three. It is the clue that there is a very important link between verses one and two, since there is nothing in verse two which could by itself be antecedent to to this word which says that the basis for Messiah's giving the people of Israel up lies in the preceding context. That leaves only verse one as containing the factor which causes Messiah to give His people up. What is it that is there in that verse which possibly could provide the cause for the "Therefore" which leads to the exile of Israel which is referred to in verse three? The answer can only lie in the last clause of verse three.

"They will smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek."

Suddenly the connection between the twofold pair of events, which lay far in the future for the nation of Israel in the times of Micah, now becomes obvious. The reference of verse one can only be to the rejection by Israel of the One Who would be born in Bethlehem. And that is precisely the reason given in Zechariah 11 for the delay of the promises concerning the establishment of Israel's glorious kingdom. That One Who would be slapped on the cheek by Israel, Who would have been born in Bethlehem, would have a direct relationship to the Eternal Lord to Whom He would come. He could only be perfect God and perfect man to fulfill the language of the prophecy. For Him to be born in Bethlehem Ephratah, He must be perfect man. For Him to have come forth

". . . from of old, from everlasting,"

He must be perfect God. And this is the Judge of Israel Who, when He came to shepherd Israel, would be rejected by those whom He came to deliver.



Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.

1. FROM ZECHARIAH'S HAND (Zechariah 11:1-17; 9:9-17)

A stream of silver bells cascades upon the limestone blocks,

Bright shekels on the pure white temple floor.

Its ringing clangor shatters holy calm. the white-robed priests aghast

Are frozen, chilled with fear to hear the clamor loud.

The prophet's hand is high once more. The son of Iddo flings with might

The thirty silver pieces bright against the hallowed floor.

"Thy doors of woods of Lebanon throw wide--throw open wide!

Howl, cedar, fir and oak within! The fire shall come and burn thy beams!

Howl loudly! Oaks of Bashan, howl for fire shall wrap its flickering tongue

Around your carvings, posts and beams. A fire shall climb your lovely veil.

Your roof shall crash in fiery sparks, your golden treasures, golden streams

Will run, cascading to the floor to slip between the limestone blocks

And thus be seen no more!" Again the prophet's hand is filled

Within the hairy shepherd's bag that dangles at his belted waist.

Once more the coins are flung with tears. The prophet sweeps his shepherd's staff

Above the coins that roll upon the floor, then smashes crook with fearful force

Among the gleaming shekel horde. He turns unto the spellbound priests

Whose trembling robes show growing wrath and cries: "Here is my price!

Now cast these thirty silver coins unto the potter's muddy field!"

He throws the broken staff and turns. "Now lead unto the slaughter house

My flock, my wayward, wicked flock. To ruin they go, to ruin and death!

No longer will I hear their cry nor from their foes deliver them!"


The tears now flow upon his face. The prophet speaks but speaks as God.

He hears prophetic on his ears the donkey's feet upon a street

That joins with Kidron, Olive's ridge. He hears the happy children's cries,

The teeming crowds on temple's steps: "Hosanna! Save us now, Oh, Lord!"

He hears, but knows the bitter truth. "How oft would I have gathered you,

Jerusalem, my wayward flock, But you would not; but you would not.

Ah, woe! Three shepherds in one month will die with you, will fall to wrath!"

Again the prophet plays his part. Another staff is in his hand.

He draws a sword within the court! One swinging slice, the staff is split;

Another chops the staff in two. "So Israel and Judah now

Are split apart--no brotherhood." The prophet bows with sobbing groans.

Again he takes a shepherd's tools and speaks for God in woeful pain

Of that which yet must fall on them beyond the dreadful Roman heel

Which soon would crush Jerusalem. "You'll kill the Shepherd whom I send,

Your Shepherd King who rides the colt, the just, the lowly Savior-King!

Now, little shattered, scattered flock, my little tattered, faithless flock

Who will not bow before your King; and those whom He will send to you!

Another shepherd now I give. A foolish shepherd for the land,

A son of darkness, not of light. No tender, loving shepherd this

To gently carry of His flock the poor and helpless little lambs.

This shepherd harsh will beat my sheep and bring their judgment once again.

Behold what punishment is his! My sword will blind his willful eye

And wither helpless his right arm and you who know will understand."

The prophet slumps upon the floor. The weight of judgment presses down,

The burden of poor Israel. He sits among the silver horde

His hand had flung upon the floor And weeps. He sits and waits the word

That God would one day lift the load, would hear the scattered of the flock

Which He would send both far and wide.


The white robed priests in white-faced fear stand rooted by the word they heard.

He asks: "Oh Lord, will Zion be restored? Will not Messiah keep His word?

Will He not come who rode the colt and break the bow from sea to sea?"

"Hatikvah! He will come and save poor Israel by His own blood

Of covenant which they have shed! Ye prisoners! Come forth to Him!

Come out to Him! Turn from the pit! Cry out and call! he will return

And save Jerusalem!" The prophet rises from the floor.

He leaves the shattered shepherd staves, The thirty shekels that betrayed

The king who yet would come to die. The burden of millennia

Now rests upon his weary back. He droops, then views with vision's eye

Jerusalem in siege again, his people weeping, heard of God,

Delivered! Weeping yet again! Once more a siege and bloody war!

They look for Him Whom they of old had pierced. They stand and look aloft

For joy! The Olive mount is rent in two! The mountains tremble at His face

Who comes to free and save poor Israel who waited long before they called

That He might come and save His own!

2. FROM JUDAS' HAND (Acts 1:16-20; Psalm 69:22-28; Psalm 109:1-20)


Once more the hallowed halls of sacred grounds in temple fairly rang.

The pealing silver clang of thirty silver coins from traitor's hand were flung.

Cascading down, they leaped in brilliant song that shattered age-long calm,

A loud, didactic psalm, accented then by bitter tears of pain.

Thrice raised the blood-stained hand the silver horde that once had charmed.

Thrice downward swept the arm till thirty peals like silver bells loud chimed,

A silver fall on stone that echoed long, that clamored, beating strong

For attention to a wrong against a soul more pure than sacred coin.

The beat of ringing coins died out. A single piece transfixes all.

It dying coils it nears his feet. A welt of tortured, anguished sound

Leaps from tormented mind and chest. The dying coin soon rests in falling tears

That from his eyes now streamed. The wretched crying echoes through

Herodian halls of fair-carved stone. The figure stoops alone, in shame

And shrinks from once-loved shining glint. His bitter cries now hold the priests.

"Betraying innocence I sinned! For these alone I sinned!

A spotless One by me condemned!" He turned with anguished, leaden steps--

To death. None gathers silver wealth Till finally one with stealth

Stacks silver coins in chief Priest's hands. "And what to us? See thou to that!"

Contemptuous words had burned! "This sacred coin with blood is stained;

For treasure chest of Holy Place not fit!" Against the darkening evening sky

By Zion's hill a hanging figure turned. Close by the fire of potters burned;

With flickering light the traitor's form outlined.

The tortured rope now gave and broke. To shattered end a silent body plunged!

Akeldama was bought, the field of blood with silver stained by blood.

That the Messiah was to be the Judge of Israel is obvious from the way that the Eternal Lord introduces Him in Isaiah 42. He says of Him:

"He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out neither raise His voice nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. He will not break a bruised reed, neither will he snuff out a smoking flax lampwick. He will bring forth justice according to truth. He will not fail nor will He become discouraged until He has established justice in the earth and the isles will wait for His law" (Isaiah 42:2-4).

Isaiah 11 already has spoken of the offspring of King David's father, Jesse, and of the remarkable rule that this Judge would come to have.

Undoubtedly many students of the Holy Scriptures have failed to grasp the fearful event series which is prophesied in Micah 5:1-3 in the English text. In Micah's presentation the order of the first two events is reversed But the two events are arranged in the order in which they would occur elsewhere in the Tenach. I have just referred to Isaiah 42 and the clear message that the Servant of the Eternal Lord, the Messiah, would be the Judge of the whole earth. The Lord Who says of Him,

"He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles" and "He will bring forth justice according to truth" (Isaiah 42:1, 3)

also says this to Him:

"I, the Eternal Lord, will call You in righteousness and I will hold Your hand. I will keep You and will give You to be a covenant of the people [Israel], as a light unto the Gentiles" (Isaiah 42:6).

It is the Messiah Himself Who in Isaiah's prophecy addresses the Gentiles in Isaiah 49 to tell them of a sad turn of events in His relationship to the covenant people and of the benefit which now would come to the Gentiles. He speaks of the preparation of Him by the Eternal through His birth and the years of maturing before He assumed the role as the ideal Israelite through Whom glory would come to the Lord (Isaiah 49:1-4). But He also speaks of the responsibility which He as the Lord's Servant had been given of regathering Israel.

"And now the Eternal Lord says, the One Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him with the result that Israel would be regathered to Him . . . " (Isaiah 49:4).

These words make it positively clear that the attempt of the Rabbis of Israel to explain away the Servant of the Eternal Lord in most of Isaiah 42-53 as only a reference to the nation of Israel misses the truth. While previous contexts do indeed refer to the nation of Israel as the servant of the Lord, it also makes it clear that this servant had failed the Eternal in the responsibilities given to the nation with the result that they as the servant of the Eternal Lord were to be replaced by Messiah the Servant. This truth strongly is developed in Isaiah 42. He alone could fulfill the promise of Isaiah 42:6 above. After all, the nation of Israel could not possibly become

". . . a covenant to the people [Israel] and a light to the Gentiles."

The words of Isaiah 42:16-24 which speak of the failing servant could only be applied to the nation of Israel.

"Hear, you deaf people and look, you blind people in order that you may come to see. Who is blind but My servant or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as perfect, even blind as the servant of the Eternal Lord who is seeing many things but you do not observe, opening the ears, but he does not hear. The Eternal Lord is well pleased for His righteousness' sake. He will exalt the law and He will make it honorable. But this [the servant, Israel, above] is a people that is robbed and that is plundered. All of them are snared in holes and they are hidden away in prison houses. They are for a prey but no one delivers; they are for a plunder, but no one says: 'Restore!' Who among you will give ear to this? Who will listen and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob for plunder and Israel to the robbers? Was it not the Eternal Lord, He against Whom we have sinned?" (Isaiah 42:18-22a).

This prophecy is set in a context which was prophesying Israel's return from the Babylonian captivity at a day far in the future. As so often is true in Old Testament prophecy, the event which now is in the past for us is only the local relevance of the prophetic utterance. The situation against which the prophet speaks in his own day has been designed by the Divine Author also to be relevant to a nearly identical scene far in the future, an event which the human author did not really understand. Israel's failure to be a witness to the Nations concerning the greatness of the God Who ransomed them from Babylon (Isaiah 48) was the historical event which brought about the replacement of the Lord's servant Israel by the Lord's Servant, the Messiah, Who was given the task bringing God's wayward people back to Him.

The failure of the Messiah to accomplish this task when He came to regather Israel is obvious in Isaiah 49:5-6. That Israel had refused to be regathered by the Messiah and that Messiah now was given a far more significant ministry of providing salvation to the ends of the earth inescapably is the meaning of these verses.

"And now the Eternal Lord says, the One Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him with the result that Israel would be regathered to Him with the result that Israel would be gathered to Him . . . He says, 'It was a light thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel. I also will give you to be a light to the Gentiles in order that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth."

And Isaiah by no means is alone in presenting the fact that the Messiah would be rejected in His ministry of regathering the nation of Israel.

Regrettably, there are many in the Church who make the dreadful mistake of concluding that, because of Israel's rejection of their King, the Eternal Lord has no more future for the people of Israel as a nation. But it will be seen in the following great event that, even though more than 1,900 years have passed since they cried,

"We have no king but Caesar!" (John 19:15)

that this absolutely is not so. Isaiah 49 and numerous other great chapters in the Tenach reveal that both the mistake of some churchmen and that which Israel made are false. Indeed, when thoughtfully and prayerfully examined, Isaiah 49 absolutely devastates the misguided concept that God forever has set aside the nation of Israel and has given their blessings to the Church because of their rejection of Christ. Some actually go so far as to say that the Church today is Israel. But the Eternal Lord absolutely denies this heretical, unbiblical doctrine. After the Eternal Lord has set aside the regathering of Israel as a light thing and Messiah's recommissioning to be a light for the Gentiles, He makes it clear that He says this.

"This is what the Eternal Lord says, the One redeeming Israel, His Holy One, to the One despised of soul, to the One Who despised by the nation, to a Servant of rulers, `Kings will see and they will arise; even princes, and they will prostrate themselves because of the Eternal Lord who is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, for he has chosen You.' This is what the Eternal Lord says: `In an acceptable time I will hear You. In a day of salvation I will help You for I will snatch You away and I will give You to be a covenant of the people, to raise up the land ['Eretz Israel], to cause the desolate inheritances to be inherited [again], saying to the prisoners: `Go forth,' to those who are in darkness, `Show yourselves.' They will feed in the ways. and their pasture will be in all of the smooth heights" (Isaiah 49:7-9).

Furthermore, having promised that in a yet future, acceptable time to Him, that the Eternal Lord would give the Messiah to be a covenant for the people Israel just as had been promised in Isaiah 42, promises that He then would bring that people back to their own land from afar (Isaiah 49:10-13. Isaiah anticipates the sad state of the people who, by that time would have concluded that it was all just a myth and old men's traditions.

"But Zion will say, `The Eternal Lord has forsaken me and my Master has forsaken me'" (Isaiah 49:14).

And that is precisely the attitude which has permeated so much of Judaism and has turned them to secular humanism and its perversions. Strongly the Eternal denies that He has forgotten Israel. Absolutely He denies that the Jew has been set aside because of Israel's terrible sins of the past.

"Could a nursing mother forget her child and no longer have compassion on the son from her womb? Surely! They can forget, but I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15).

Then Messiah speaks of the scars on His hands which have been a continual reminder of the terrible trauma through which He went on their behalf.

"See, I have you inscribed upon the palms of My hands. Your walls continually are before Me" (Isaiah 49:16).


(Psalm 42; Psalm 1)

Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.


Ah, for a moment's quiet peace beneath that cool and still retreat,

Ein Gedi's hidden waterfall! My heart is pounding wild with fear;

My flanks are wet and white with foam. My panting tongue is dry as dust.

Along the rocky limestone ridge, down through the fertile coastal plain

My foes have hard pursued like hounds behind a weary stag.

I tremble so to hear them cry. I pant for waterbrooks, alone.


But why despair, my troubled child? Why listen to your mocking foe?

Is he who counsels flight your friend, who scorns to rest in saving grace?

Remember well God's help of old. Has He who keeps you failed before?

Remember Jordan long ago and how He stayed the flooding stream.

Now stand and rest. Now fly no more and never let your faith grow dim.


I pause beneath a tree and gasp and long for just one quenching drink.

Behind me comes the yelping pack; before me stretches desert waste.

Above, rich boughs of verdant leaves with fruit abounding, hanging there.

Where shall I flee? How shall I go? These greening shrubs along the course

Of wandering streams beneath the sand provide a way that I must run.

My foes! In terror I must run!


You could have scorned these driving fears that pound and drive you on.

You could have stood, secure and strong and, like the tree by which you stand,

Thrust deep your roots to drink, transplanted here between two streams.

But you refuse to rest in me! Then run, my child, and thirst--and cry,

So driven as the weary hind until you fall into my arms. Then run!

After Isaiah 53 has described that event when the Eternal Lord made Him an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10), he describes how Messiah will deal with Israel, calling them to Himself to receive the righteousness that is from Himself (Isaiah 54). He describes how the post-resurrection invitation of the Messiah would be extended even to the Gentiles, offering all free bread and free wine, so that they all would be included in Israel's worship service in their temple (Isaiah 54:1-56:8). But at that very point, Isaiah is led to allow his tears to flow with the ink of his pen as the fact bursts forth that once again Israel would reject their Messiah after this post-resurrection offer of His redemption and regathering of the nation. At the turn of a verse he begins to berate the leaders of Israel who are shepherds without understanding. They have refused that which Messiah has offered to them. With the announcement of that coming rejection there begins an awful section which speaks of Israel's judgment during this present time. In that he greatly expands the words of the Prophet Micah, his contemporary, who has said:

"Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor will have given birth" (Micah 5:3a).

Isaiah seems to weep with anguish as he cries out:

"Every beast of the field, come to devour! Yes, come every beast of the forest. His [Israel's] watchmen all are blind. They are without knowledge! They are all dumb dogs. They cannot bark, ravening, lying down, loving to sleep. Yes, the dogs are fierce. They do now know when they are satisfied for they are shepherds who do not know understanding by experience. All of them turn to their own ways, each one to his unjust gain, every one of them. [They say:] "All of you come! I will bring wine and let us fill ourselves with strong drink because the day, tomorrow, will be just like this one and it will be even more abundant' (Isaiah 56:9-12).

How sad! So often the religious leaders of Israel are rebuked in the Tenach for their abuse and misleading of the flock of Israel! Ezekiel 34 summarizes the centuries of their failure to lead the flock of Israel in right ways and speaks sorely of their coming judgment. Is there any wonder then, in the light of the fact that these led the people of Israel in the rejection and crucifixion of their Messiah, and then again in the rejection of the message of the Apostles concerning the resurrected and ascended Messiah, that Micah now develops the ninth awful trial through which the poor, exiled nation of Israel would have to pass before those wonderful last days of Israel when their kingdom at last would be given to them?


Already it has been necessary to refer to the amazing revelation concerning this sad event which, along with the two preceding events, still was far in the future for the nation of Israel from the time of Micah. In this portion of the revelation, utterly hidden to the prophet but nonetheless placed there by the Divine Author for those in much later days, the agonizing centuries which include the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the charade of the false Messiah, Simon bar Kochba and the long, worldwide exile of God's chosen people is prophesied. That it is a prophecy which directly grows out of the two preceding events is shown by the first word of Micah 5:3, "Therefore." Undoubtedly the words which follow in the verse have been covered with tears by the few who have understood their dreadful import.

"Therefore He will give them up until that time when she who will be in labor will have given birth . . . ."

The agony through which those who now for centuries have been in hagalut is incomprehensible to those who have not experienced that. However, it is a forgotten truth that many true Gentile believers like the Anabaptists also have suffered the pit of fire, burning at the stake and other terrible persecutions at the hands of those who turned the true faith in the Messiah into a cruel political institution which demanded absolute subservience to its deviant traditions. We Gentile believers who follow in the bloody trail of our persecuted spiritual ancestors certainly should be able to understand the agony which misguided, political churches have brought to the Chosen People. Even though those Catholic and so called "Covenant" evangelicals never have understood the relevance to themselves of Yeshua's words in the upper room with His disciples, certainly we should. He said:

"Oh you foolish ones and slow of heart to place your faith upon all that the prophets have spoken!" (Luke 24:26).

How sad it is that the words have become applicable to the Chosen People of the Eternal Lord as well! But Baruch Hashem, the sad list of trials through which Micah says that the nation of Israel must pass before their Messiah comes to them, he also asserts that in the last days of Israel He will indeed come to them and rescue them!

In Luke 24:26 Yeshua Hamashiach was speaking of the fact that all of the Tenach from Moses, the Prophets, and indeed all of the Scriptures spoke of Himself (Luke 24:27). But it also is true that other prophets besides Micah spoke of the dreadful times which Israel would suffer because of their slapping their Judge upon the cheek. As we have seen, the prophet Isaiah is the primary contributor on this sad subject. His initial commission by the Eternal had been clear in Isaiah 42:6.

"I, the Eternal Lord, have called You in righteousness and I will hold onto Your hand. I will keep You and I will give You to be a covenant to the people and as a light to the Gentiles. [I have called you] to open blind eyes, to cause prisoners to come forth out from the prison, even those who are sitting in darkness, out of the prison house."

But after the nation of Israel had refused to be regathered by Him, that commission was reversed. The prophet makes it clear to those who do not have a veil of darkness over their eyes (2 Corinthians 3:13-16) that it is only after Messiah's ministry to the Gentiles that the great covenant promises to Israel would be fulfilled. But this painful judgment for the slapping of their Judge upon the cheek is not a dead end street. There is a bright light yet far off for those who read Micah 5:3 thoughtfully. The verse does not end with the statement,

"Therefore He will give them up . . . "

as the covenant theologian and the Catholic would read the verse. Instead the verse teaches exactly the opposite.

"Therefore He will give them up UNTIL. . . "

It actually displays the wonderful light at the end of the tunnel for the nation of Israel by completing that sad announcement in this way.

"Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor will have given birth. Then the remnant of His brothers will return to the children of Israel, and He will stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Eternal Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Eternal Lord His God" (Micah 5:3-4).


Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.


The limestone crypts within the hill near Olive's ridge are cool and still within.

The stone which sealed the ancient door is gone. The early morning's light

Now filters through the trees and silhouettes each crooked limb.

A basin carved into the living stone beside the door awaits the seldom visitor.

No slender stream of cleansing flow now courses down the stone

For those who visit here today. A lizard bobs upon the rim,

Awaiting breakfast served on wing. The Seventy who ruled the land

By Jewish law are also gone from here. Each slender crypt

Into which each was slipped before the end was sealed lies empty,

Still and cold. It has been so from days of old since Roman plunderers

Had spoiled their land and scattered wide their bones.


Not far away within another limestone ridge there lies

Another limestone tomb. The stone which sealed the cross-marked tomb

Is gone. One early morn an earthquake came and the stone

Was rolled away. Then He who lay within stepped forth.

Now we who love that One Who rose there from the dead

Stoop low to enter in. We view the limestone couch,

The stony pillow where they lay His head, the narrow wall

Beside the crypt, the niche where friends had dug a place

In Joseph's tomb to lay His feet.

He is not there nor has He been for He is gone, arisen from the dead.

The morning light falls full upon the chiseled doorway of the tomb.

A singing bird awakes the morn as tourists come to see

The place where once He lay. But soon the long awaited day will come.

Then Moses and the nation with its greatest king, old Jesse's son, will rise

To meet that One Who broke the bars of death and hell and walked

To Olive's hill with those He loved.Until that day a lizard crawls the rock

Where saints of old were once entombed, who even now exalt His name

Before His throne beside the Lord's right hand.


The tenth great event which still lies before Israel before the kingdom will be set up directly relates Israel's Messiah to that nation. At first glance it would appear from the latter part of verse 3 and verse 4 above that the verses describe the actual physical return of Israel's Messiah. But an examination of the several passages of the Tenach and of the New Testament which speak of Israel's great time of labor pains actually describe the scene which brings the Chosen People, still in unbelief, to the recognition that they long have been estranged from their Messiah. This period of Israel's great birth pangs is called by Jeremiah

". . . the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7).

This subject of Israel's birth pangs already has been mentioned by Micah in chapter 4:9 where the imagery undoubtedly is used in connection with the rape of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and with their 70 year exile in Babylon. Here in Micah 5:3 the context is altogether different and must refer to that great trial of Israel which Daniel defines as lasting for one group of sevens or seven years (Daniel 9:27). This period of seven years which still lie ahead for Israel has been preceded by a period of seven years and then by sixty two years, that is, sixty nine periods of seven years or 490 years. Those years clearly lead up to the rejection and death of Yeshua Hamashiach.

"And after the sixty two weeks Messiah will be cut off [suffer a violent death] but it will not be on His own account . . ." (Daniel 9:25).

This reference gives the exact date of Messiah's death, foreknown and planned for our behalf by the Eternal from eternity past. That date is to be calculated from the time that a decree went forth for the rebuilding of Jerusalem. There would be a total of 490 years before Messiah the prince and His death.

It is rather obvious that the calendar with reference to the Messiah and His people does not continue to be set forth prophetically in the same way that the years preceding Messiah's death. Indeed, since that which follows in Daniel 9:26 has never happened in the centuries which have intervened, one must conclude that Daniel's words there describe a time yet future. There is no way that one can calculate the length of time before that future week of years would begin. It is clear, however, that the destruction of Jerusalem would occur before that week of years. Daniel is told:

". . . And the people of a prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary . . ." (Daniel 9:26b).

The Prophet certainly is told of the future arrival of a prince who would come from that same people who would destroy the city and the temple. The Romans are that people. Somehow and at sometime that yet is future a prince will arise out of the Roman people. It is apparent from verse 27 that this prince will have great political influence, for he brings about an important pact between nations. It is a pact which apparently promises that he will maintain peace between many peoples for seven years. But it is not a peace that will last.

"And he will make a firm covenant with many people for one week [a week of seven years], but after half of the week [three and one half years] he [this Roman prince of the future] will cause sacrifices and offerings to cease, even on the wing of detestable things which cause desolation, even until the consummation which is determined, it will be poured out upon the desolations."

This period of seven sevens or seven years obviously is divided into two halves in Daniel 9:27.

"Then he [the prince who is to come in this last seven years of Israel's trials] will confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will cause sacrifice and offering to cease" [in the temple in Jerusalem].

It also is obvious from a section of Daniel 9:26 that this prince faces great judgment. It is referred to in the words:

"But his [the Roman prince's] end will be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."

It is clear that even from Daniel's day the end of that cruel prince was determined. That determination of the time of his end also is referred to in verse 27 in the words,

". . . even until the consummation which is determined . . . ."

Similar terminology is used of Antiochus Epiphanes in the prefulfilment referring to a time of conquest which the Eternal had appointed for him (Daniel 11:29). The researcher must recognize that the language also has eschatological overtones that refer to the eschatological counterpart of Antiochus, the Beast of the tribulation. In him will be seen the fulfillment of the prophetic words spoken to Daniel. Yet another similar term in Daniel 11:36 speaks of the Divine limits placed on the shameful and devastating activities, both of Antiochus and of the more distant Beast.

". . . He will prosper until the indignation [of the Lord against His Chosen People] is accomplished."

But does well to study Revelation 12 and 13 in the New Testament where he will discover that the fierce king of the tribulation, Jacob's time of trouble, will only be given his authority for forty two months (Revelation 13:5), in the Jewish calendar. Now this is 1,260 days. It is said in Revelation 12:4-6 that, after Israel goes through the time of birth pangs in which she recognizes that she already has brought forth the Messiah, it will be necessary for them to flee into the wilderness to a place prepared there for her by God for 1,260 days. This is a time when Israel will be protected by the Lord for time, times and half a time, or 1,260 days (12:13-14). These chronological details agree perfectly with the words spoken to Daniel by the angel Michael (Daniel 12:7).

This calculation of three and one half years of the dreadful desolation of the temple which exists during the time in which Israel goes through her dreadful travail is referred to in several other passages that contribute to our knowledge of its horror. In Daniel 12:1-3 it has been revealed to Daniel that four crucial things will be true at the very end of the time of Jacob's long trials.

1. Michael the Archangel will stand on behalf of Israel.

2. Israel will go through their most terrible time of trouble ever.

3. At that time Israel will be delivered out of their great trial.

4. Then those of Israel who were true believers would be resurrected from the dead.

In Daniel 12:7 it specifically is revealed to Daniel that the length of time during which Israel would go through the terrible time of Jacob's troubles would be three and one half times. It is revealed that it would take this period of time to break the resistance of Israel to that glorious One Who would be coming to deliver them.

"Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he raised his right hand and his left hand up to heaven and swore by the One Who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half of a time, but when the power of the holy people [Israel] would be completely broken, then all of these things would be finished."

Further use of this period of time will be found in Daniel 12:8-11. Daniel asks specifically about the end of these things. It is revealed to him that he would not be able to understand these things until the time of the end.

"Many will be purified, made white and refined, but the wicked ones will continue to do wickedly. But none of the wicked ones will understand while the wise will understand" (Daniel 12:10-11).

This revelation concerning the three and one half times [Jewish years of 360 days] in Daniel 12:7 gives the exact period of time, 1,260 days, that the most terrible stage of the time of Jacob's troubles will last. Only the believers who have come to the Lord in that period of time will understand that chaos which will be happening to the world in which they live.

But Daniel is given yet another time period relating to these days. In the final revelation found in Daniel's prophecy there is reference to the adding of thirty days to the 1,260 days. This information speaks to the specific time when the believers of Old Testament times would be raised from the dead.

"And from the time when the daily sacrifice is taken away [in the middle of the time of seven years] and the abomination of desolation will be set up there will be one thousand, two hundred and ninety days."

That this additional seventy five days looks forward to the time when Old Testament believers will be resurrected is stated in verses 12-13 for Daniel is promised to rise with those of his time to that inheritance which then will be theirs.

"Blessed is the one who waits and comes to the 1,335 days. And you [Daniel], go your way until the end comes, for you will rest but will stand for your inheritance at the end of the [1,350] days" (Daniel 12:12-13).

These chronological references above enable one to know the timing of certain events in Israel's future. But Micah 5:5-6 gives more specific details about the great pressures which will fall upon the nation of Israel in the land during these earlier events in Israel's last days before the kingdom becomes theirs. Micah says:

"And this Person will be the peace with reference to the Assyrian enters into our land. And when he treads within our palaces, then we [the nation of Israel] will raise seven shepherds and eight princes among men against him. These will waste the land of Assyria and the land of Nimrod with the sword, even with the sharp edge of it. In this way He [Messiah] will deliver us from the Assyrian when he enters our land and when he treads within our borders."

This passage in Micah points directly to the Messiah Who will, through the means of others, protect Israel from a people who come from the area of ancient Assyria. I conclude that this reference to Assyria does not indicate that the historical nation of Assyria will rise again but that the name describes a people who come from that geographical area and who come with the violence which characterized that ancient people. It is my conclusion that this passage refers to that invasion which comes out of the north against Israel at a time when they once again have become an independent nation. The national setting is referred to in Joel 2:17 in his report of the agonizing prayer which is raised to the Eternal as that invasion develops.

"Let the priests, who minister unto the Eternal Lord, weep between the porch and the altar. Let them say: `Spare Your people, Oh Eternal Lord, and do not give Your inheritance to be reproached so that the Gentiles should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, `Where is their God!'"

Joel reports the response of the Lord to their prayers in verses 18-20. He countermands the terrible famine which the nation is facing, which is described in conjunction with the locust plague in the earlier section of the book. He promises to remove the reproach which long has been upon Israel by the nations of the earth. But the verse which directly relates to this which Micah has said in Micah 5:5-6 is found in Joel 2:20.

"But I will remove far from you the northern army and I will drive it away into a barren and a desolate land. It will face toward the Eastern Sea [the Dead Sea] with its rear toward the Western Sea {the Mediterranean Sea]. His stink will rise up, even his stench will arise, because he will have done great things."

In a more oblique but far more extensive way the prophet Ezekiel describes this invasion out of the north. I conclude that this invasion of the land of Israel will come at the middle of the tribulation, the time of Jacob's troubles. The association of the passage with Micah 5:5-6 and with Joel 2:20 is logical because of the reference in Ezekiel 38:15 to the invasion force of Gog coming out of the north. It is oblique because of the Prophet's words in verse 17.

"Are you the one of whom I have spoken in former times by means of My servants, the prophets of Israel, who were prophesying in those days for years that I would bring you against them?"

A search of the prophets will never uncover Gog's invasion elsewhere in them. The only logical conclusion is that prophecies concerning the invasion of Israel by Assyria were designed by the Divine Author to have more distant eschatological overtones than were immediately obvious to the human author in his day. Indeed, that possibility actually becomes a necessity in the words of Micah's prophecy. The flow of thought in Micah 5 makes it necessary for the invasion by Assyria to follow the birth of Messiah in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2 Eng.). It must follow the slapping of the Judge of Israel upon the cheek (Micah 5:1 Engl.). It must follow Messiah's giving up Israel temporarily because of that rejection of Himself (Micah 5:3). That invasion by the Assyrian of the future is the occasion of His remarkable elevation before and recognition by Israel. The Prophet Zechariah speaks of that succession of events in this way. He has been speaking of the remarkable, seemingly impossible victories which those in the Land would have over

"all of the peoples around about,"

the Arab peoples, and the way that their generals begin to recognize the human impossibility of these victories. (Zechariah 12:1-8). Then the Prophet changes the reference to Israel's enemies. Whereas he has been speaking of "the peoples around about," the Arab peoples whose nations encircle Israel, suddenly at Zechariah 12:9 he refers to an invasion by haggoyim, the Gentiles, and the destruction of all of these of the nations by the Eternal Lord.

"This is what will happen in that day when I will seek to destroy all of the Gentiles who will be coming against Jerusalem."

What is the purpose behind the Eternal's allowing all of these trials which will come upon His Chosen People? Why would He even allow an invasion force of Gentiles to rise up against Jerusalem? The answer lies in the overtones of Isaiah 63 and 64. The passage speaks of Israel's recognition that someone has been fighting on their behalf over the Jordan River in Edom and Bozrah. They inquire as to the identity of the One Who has fought against their enemies on their behalf, splattering His garments with their blood. This remarkable battle in which Israel apparently has no part begins to turn their thoughts toward the way that the Eternal Lord has fought on their behalf in the past. They begin to recognize that their own way of rebellion against the Lord is very much like the way that Israel acted toward the Lord Who was leading them out of the wilderness. They begin to think of the One Who has delivered them as their Redeemer and ask for Him to look down from heaven on them (Isaiah 63:15-16). For a moment they do that which seems natural to mankind. They blame the Eternal for that which has happened to them and for His hardening His heart toward them (Isaiah 63:17). But through it all, a softening of their own hardened hearts toward the One Who has delivered them from this great army of haggoyim by destroying them. They begin to cry out in the shame of the recognition that it has been because of their own waywardness that He has been so far away from helping them in their centuries of trials. They cry out:, (v. 1 Heb.)

"Just as a fire ignites brush and a fire causes waters to begin to boil, to make Your name known to Your adversaries in order that the nations might tremble at Your presence (v. 2 Heb.) as when You were doing wonderful things which we did not even hope for. Come down! Before You the mountains will quake!" (Isaiah 64:2, 1 Engl.).

Finally, after turning away from their Messiah for centuries, they will be calling for Him to come down to them! And accompanying their cry for His presence there will come the confession for which He has waited on each individual. (5 Heb.)

"Therefore all of us have become like an unclean person and all of our righteousnesses are like the garment of an unclean woman. For this reason all of us have faded away like leaves for our iniquities have taken us away like the wind. (6 Heb.) Indeed, there is no one who has been calling on Your name, who has been stirring himself up to take hold of You because You have hidden Your face from us and You have consumed us by means of our iniquities" (Isaiah 564:6-7 Engl.).

Zechariah, after speaking of the marvelous destruction of the army of haggoyim, explains what the result of that wonderful display by their Lord will be.

"Then I will pour out upon the house of David and upon those who will be living in Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Then they will begin to look upon [consider with their minds] Me whom they pierced. Indeed, they will mourn for Him in the way that a person mourns for his only son, and they will be in bitterness for Him in the way that a person is in bitterness for his first-born son" (Zechariah 12:10).

As a result of their consideration of their Messiah Whom the nation had rejected in the past, they will begin mourning for those years of separation. Private prayer meetings spontaneously will break out among the families in the Land (Zechariah 12:11-14). And the result of these prayers, which directly fulfill Isaiah's prophecy in 64:1-7, many in the land will become the redeemed of the Eternal Lord as they are cleansed of their sin and uncleanness.

"In that day there will be a fountain which has been opened for the house of David and for those who will be living in Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness" (Zechariah 13:1).


Throughout the ten preceding events, which inescapably would come before the fulfillment of the promises of the Messianic kingdom, the event series standing before the kingdom have not been presented altogether in chronological order. In particular, it will be recognized that the slapping of the Judge of Israel on the cheek is presented before His birth in Bethlehem. I conclude that this arrangement is deliberate, resulting in a certain obscuring of this great message until "the last days" of Israel are almost here. This deliberate presentation of parts of the event series out of order is true here also. The effect is that which had been prophesied by the prophet Isaiah.

"And He said, `Go and speak to this people, You certainly will hear but will not understand, and you will most certainly see, but will not know by experience. Make the heart of this people fat and make their ears heavy and shut their eyes lest one sees with his eyes and hears with his heart and returns and He heals him" (Isa. 6:9-10

The promise of the exaltation of Israel among the nations and their strengthening over their enemies actually falls at the end of Micah 7. And even there the fulfillment of the great covenant promises made long ago by the Eternal Lord to the ancestors of the nation will be found only to be the confidence of the believer. The book closes with the absolute assurance that the Eternal will be faithful to all of His promises. It is then when that will be true that Micah's words in this section will be fulfilled.

"At that time the remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Eternal Lord, like showers upon the grass that wait for no man nor wait for a son of man. Then the remnant of Jacob will be among the Gentiles and in the midst of great peoples like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion which is among flocks of sheep, who, when he passes through [the flock] will tread down and will tear [them] in pieces and no one will be able to deliver [them]. Your hands will be lifted up against your adversaries and all of your enemies will be cut off" (Micah 5:7-9; 5:6-8 in Heb.).

The timing of this transformation of the people of Israel appears to be developed in Zechariah 14:14. "Judah also will fight at Jerusalem and the wealth of all of the nations round about will be gathered together." This is after Messiah has appeared on the Mount of Olives to rescue the remnant of the people from the hordes that will have invaded Jerusalem in the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the tribulation (Zechariah 14:1-7) that this strengthening of Israel to fight in that war will happen. It is obvious from Zechariah 12:1-8 that, when the partial, unbelieving remnant of the people of Israel have returned to Jerusalem, this people which has been driven from pillar to pillar, from persecution to persecution and death, suddenly will become great warriors. They will accomplish victories against overwhelming odds which, humanly speaking, are impossible. Now Zechariah 11 clearly speaks of the awful judgments that would fall upon that wayward nation when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Zech. 11:1-11). It also speaks in remarkably plain words of that false messiah, Simon Bar Kochba, in verses Zech. 11:15-17, even describing the wounds that this cruel despot would suffer before his death in his last struggle at Beitar. But Zechariah 12:2 leaps over the 1,900 years to the day when the tattered remnant of the dispersed people somehow would have survived to return to the city of Jerusalem. There they would be besieged by ". . . the peoples all around them" (Zech. 12:2). And that is precisely what has happened since the exiles of Israel began returning to the land that the Eternal gave to them centuries ago. The victories of the ". . . lion among the beasts of the forest. . ." (Mic. 4:8; 4:7 in Heb) have been astounding to the world as a people who had not been warlike for centuries suddenly became

". . . like a young lion which is among flocks of sheep, who, when he passes through [the flock] will tread down and will tear [them] in pieces and no one will be able to deliver [them]."

Zechariah describes the transformation of the returning exiles this century in this way.

"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all of the peoples who are surrounding [them], when they [the Arab peoples] will be in siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. For in that day I will make Jerusalem to be a burdensome stone for all of the peoples surrounding [them]. All who burden themselves with it [with Jerusalem] will be cut into pieces, even though all of the peoples of the land are gathered against it" (Zech. 12:2-3).

This is precisely that which has happened when seven Arab nations gathered themselves to destroy Israel and bring to naught the recognition of Israel as an independent nation in 1948. And that has happened time and time again as the Arab nations surrounding little Israel have been repulsed in a spectacular way by the little army of Israel has risen up like a lion to tear them. Zechariah describes the overthrowing of the Arab aggressors in 12:4. Although many in the land have given the credit for their amazing victories to their military might, in reality the key agent in their remarkable victories of defense has been the Eternal. He Himself says:

"In that day, says the Eternal Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment and its rider with madness, for I will open my eyes upon the house of Judah and I will strike every horse of the peoples [surrounding them] with blindness."

The Eternal promises that the victories which will be accomplished by Israel's military would be so astounding that even their generals would be forced in their hearts to recognize that what had been accomplished in the defense of Israel was impossible unless the Eternal Himself secretly had been fighting on their behalf.

"And the generals [This is the very word used in Modern Hebrew to refer to Israel's military leaders!] will say in their hearts: `The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the Eternal Lord of Hosts, their God!" (Zech. 12:5).

And it is true that the Eternal Lord has been making these same generals to be more capable than humanly possible. As a result, they have accomplished feats which were militarily impossible apart from His secret help. Even though His words are encapsulated in the prophetic writings of Zechariah more than 2,500 years ago, He clearly describes that which would happen as He would use them to defeat the Arab nations which surround them.

"In that day I will make the generals of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire within a sheaf, and they will devour all of the peoples surrounding [them] on the right hand and on the left, with the result that Jerusalem will become inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem" (Zech. 12:6).

In a strange way commentators have mistakenly assumed that this great prophetic passage in Zechariah 12 was referring to the yet future day when Messiah's return will result in another great burst of military might when they fight along with Him against a greater military force in the battle of Armageddon. But the two are not the same. Israel's great tribulation including the return to Messiah by those in the land lies between the two events. And that is indicated by the fact that verses 1-5 clearly refer to the new city which lies south of the old city of Jerusalem. It largely was there where nation was besieged and crucial battles for the possession of the land promised to Israel were fought. But verse 6 mentions both the new city and the old city when it announces that

". . . Jerusalem will become inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem."

Yes, these battles which have been fought and yet may be fought with the Arabs who have claimed the land since 600 A.D. are an important part of the great event series which had to be fought before the Messiah would come again and fulfill the great promises which the prophet Micah set forth before the nation in Micah 4:1-8.

12. ISRAEL'S DEFENSES DESTROYED (5:10-11, 9-10 in Hebrew)

The twelfth event which must take place before Messiah establishes Israel's kingdom is one which seems incomprehensible to one of its warriors today. That which must be eliminated before Messiah will return to the land and His people Israel is the elimination of the cocksure attitude found so often in Israel's defense forces. It is the natural byproduct of that army's remarkable successes in warfare, demonstrating that they have one of the finest armies of the world. I would have felt the same way. But that mood of independence, a mood which actually has marred Israel's relationship to the Eternal for centuries, stands today between the nation and their Messiah. They must depart from the attitude which dominated the nation when the benefits of the resurrected Messiah were offered long ago to the nation of Israel. The response of the leaders long ago still dominates many today. Whereas the resurrected Messiah offered free wine and free bread to those of the nation (and of the Gentiles) who would come to Him, their response was one of arrogance, clearly stated in Isaiah 56:12. Rejecting the offer of the free wine, the salvation which Messiah offered to the nation after His resurrection, their leaders responded in the way that Isaiah had prophesied:

"Come! I will bring wine and we will fill ourselves with strong drink, and tomorrow will be as this day is, but much more abundant." It is that very arrogant attitude, which still rejects Messiah's offer, which brought this awful sentence of judgment on Israel's leaders long ago. "All of you beasts of the field, come and devour, all of you beasts in the forest. His [Israel's] watchmen are blind! They all are ignorant! They all are dumb dogs! They cannot bark, [for they are] sleeping, lying down and loving to stay asleep. Indeed, [they are] greedy dogs that never can have enough. They are shepherds that cannot understand. They all look to their own way, each one for his own unjust gain from one end to the other" (Isa. 56:9-11).

According the prophets Joel and Zechariah that independent, self-sufficient attitude, which has no place for the work already accomplished by the Messiah in their thinking, will be eliminated when a great invasion force will attack them from the north. Joel describes the breaking of that self-sufficiency as a result of a enormous invasion which comes directly from the hand of the Eternal in the day of the Eternal Lord, a period which begins with the opening of the great tribulation. I am convinced from elements in the context that this invasion takes place some six months before the middle of the time of Jacob's troubles. Joel introduces this invasion, making it clear that it is the Eternal who has brought this great invasion force. On the historical level that was an invasion of locusts. On the eschatological level of fulfillment this will be a hostile army which enters the land of Israel to overthrow them. But it is clear from the Eternal Lord's words which Joel quotes that the invasion is intended for the good of the troubled nation. The invasion is designed to bring the nation of Israel to repentance and to a return to their God. "Then the Eternal Lord will give out His voice in front of His army for exceedingly great is His camp for He is strong, executing His word because great is the day of the Eternal Lord and exceedingly dreadful, and who will be able to endure it? And yet, even now the Eternal Lord says:

`Turn to Me with all of your hearts and with fasting and weeping and with lamentation, and tear your hearts and not your clothing, and turn to the Eternal Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, long suffering and full of mercy and He repents of the adversity'" (Joel 2:11-13).

13. ELIMINATION OF THEIR IDOLATRY (5:12-14a, 11-13 in Heb.)

The thirteenth factor which the nation of Israel must pass before the glories of the Messianic kingdom will come to Israel will be the removal of all false and degenerated worship that falls short of true worship of the Eternal. Micah reports the words of the Eternal on the matter.

"And I will cut off witch crafts out of your hand and you no more will have those who practice fortune telling. Then I will cut off your carved images and your pillars from your midst, and no longer will you worship the works of your hands. For I will root out your sacred trees from your midst" (Mic. 5:12-14a, 11-13a in Heb.).

This is a subject of prophecy in Zechariah 13 also. And the setting in which Zechariah prophesies of Israel's purging of herself from false prophets is fascinating. Already we have examined the fact that the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., the selling of the inhabitants of Jerusalem into slavery by Rome and their crushing of the revolt of Simon bar Kochba were the direct result of the selling of the Messiah for 30 pieces of silver (Zech. 11:1-17). We have examined the resettling of some of the tattered remnant of Israel's exiles in the new city of Jerusalem, continually having to fight off "the peoples surrounding them." We have seen that this would result in Israel once again coming into possession of the old city of Jerusalem (Zech. 12:6) because of the secret help of the Eternal Who would fight on behalf of Israel's armed forces. In Zechariah 12:9 we have recognized that an overwhelming invasion force of goyim, the Gentiles, from the north (Joel 2:20) would come against Israel. As a result of obvious divine intervention which will deliver the nation from that invasion force some time in the future and of His miraculous provision of the former and latter rains and their provision of a great harvest (Joel 2:23-28 but 2:21-27 and 3:1 in Hebrew), Israel will turn to re-examine the one whom they had pierced. The Spirit of the Eternal Lord will be poured out upon them and Jews in Jerusalem will begin to be saved (2:30-32 but 3:1-5 in Heb.).

The messages of these two prophets must not be forgotten. The Eternal Lord says through the prophet Zechariah:

"And it will be in that day that I will proceed to seek to destroy all of the Gentiles who will be coming against Jerusalem. Then I will pour out upon the household of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Then they will consider Me, the One whom they pierced, and they will mourn for Him like the intensive mourning for an only son, and the bitterness over Him will be like the bitterness over the first born son. In that day the mourning will become great in Jerusalem like the mourning for Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo" (Zech. 12:9-11).

This mourning for the One whom the nation had pierced will be so great that "In that day a fountain will come to be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness" (Zech. 13:1). And it is that time that the Eternal begins His great work of cutting off all false forms of worship and idolatry from among His people.

But first let us examine the way that the prophet Joel presents this transformation of the people under discipline to a people who receive the blessing of the Eternal and even restoration of communication from Him. Joel delivers the message from the Eternal which promises that, after His destruction of their northern army, He will pour out the blessing of abundant rains in the former and latter rains. These former rains fall from late September to December. The latter rains fall from January through Passover. It is obvious from the context of Joel 2 that this invasion will occur in a time of terrible famine. The New Testament book of Revelation speaks of this famine in such a way that I conclude that it occurs in the latter part of the first half of Israel's 7 years of great trials, the time of Jacob's troubles. And I conclude from the fact that the former and latter rains lie between the destruction of the Northern army and the outpouring of the Spirit upon the nation of Israel in the land that the destruction of that army must take place about the end of the third year of Israel's great trials. As a result, the outpouring of the Spirit after Israel begins to consider with their minds (the implications of the verb) the One Whom they had pierced would take place at the mid-point of the time of Jacob's troubles, the great tribulation. Joel says:

"See, I will send to you grain, wine and oil and you will be satisfied with it, and I no more will make you a reproach among the nations. Instead I will remove the northern one far off from you and will drive him into a land that is barren and desolate . . . . Oh land, do not be afraid but be glad and rejoice because the Eternal Lord has done great things. You beasts of the field, do not be afraid, because the pastures of the wilderness will spring up for the tree will bear its fruit, the fig tree and the vine will give forth their strength. You children of Zion, be glad and dance in a circle for joy in the Eternal Lord your God, because he will give you the former rain according to a just measure and He will cause the rain of the former and the latter rain first of all. As a result the threshing floors will be full of grain and the storage vats will overflow with wine and oil. . . . And you will know [by experience] that I am in the midst of Israel and that I am the Eternal Lord your God, and no other god exists, for my people never will come to be ashamed. Then it will come to be afterwards that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh [in the land of Israel], and your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams; your young men will see visions. And also upon the male servants and upon the handmaidens I will pour out My Spirit . . ." (Joel 2:19-29, 2:20-3:2 in Heb.).

(Once again the chapter division of the Hebrew text obscures the flow of the prophet's great message of the day of the nation's restoration).

Micah and Zechariah particularly focus upon the cleansing of the land of Israel from its false worship and soothsayers. Micah has prophesied:

"And I will cut off witch crafts out of your hand and you no more will have those who practice fortune telling. Then I will cut off your carved images and your pillars from your midst, and no longer will you worship the works of your hands. For I will root out your sacred trees from your midst" (Mic. 5:12-14a, 11-13a in Heb.).

Zechariah speaks of the day after the miraculous deliverance of Israel from the hand of the northern army when their reconsideration of the Messiah brings cleansing of sin and uncleanness. He then reports the words of the Eternal Lord concerning the cleansing of the land of its idolatry and wickedness in this way:

"And on that day, says the Eternal Lord of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land with the result that they will be remembered no more. Furthermore I will remove the prophets and the unclean spirit out of the land. Then if any one appears once again as a prophet, his father and his mother who bore him will say to him, `You shall not continue to live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the Eternal Lord.' Then his father and his mother who bore him will pierce him through when he prophesies. On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his vision in his prophesying. No longer will he put on a hairy garment in order to deceive, but he will say: `I myself am not a prophet. I have been a worker of the ground since my youth" (Zech. 13:2-5).

Surely one of the great steps which the Eternal will take in preparing the children of Israel for the day when the feet of their Messiah will touch and split the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4) will be the cleansing of the hearts of his people in the land through a recognition of the true identity of the Messiah.


This fourteenth event which the prophet indicates will precede the establishment of Israel's kingdom under Messiah is one which brings judgment upon the Gentile nations, not upon the nation of Israel. At this point in his great revelation of Israel's future the prophet Micah indicates that much ruin of important cities will take place, both in Israel and among the nations that long have been persecuting the Jew and troubling the nation. The prophet reports the words of the Eternal in this way.

". . . I Will destroy your cities, and I will destroy your adversaries. Furthermore in anger and in fury I will bring vengeance upon the Gentiles because they did not listen [to My call]" (Mic. 5:14b-15, 13b-14 in Heb.).

Evidently the judgment of which the Lord promises actually falls within the time of Jacob's troubles, the great tribulation. Extensive discussion of this judgment series which falls upon the enemies of Israel will be found in the New Testament book of Revelation, chapters 6-18. This includes the absence of peace (Rev. 6:3-4. 7), terrible famine (Rev. 6:5-6), pestilence (Rev. 6:7-8), heavenly catastrophism and traumatic earthquakes on earth (Rev. 6:12-17). The book describes great judgments of hail and fire (8:7), a great bolide crashing into the sea destroying 1/3 of its ships and undoubtedly destroying many of the ports of earth (8:8-9), another bolide crashing into one of the continents, killing multitudes (8:10-11), terrible insect-like creatures that will torture mankind (9:1-12), a terrible demon-like war force that will kill 1/3 of the population of the earth (9:13-20) and fierce judgments from heaven that will affect the earth and the atmosphere (16:-21). The prophet Isaiah describes the awful judgments which will befall all of the earth, particularly on Edom in 34:1-17.


The fifteenth great event which must precede the fulfillment of the Eternal's promises concerning the great Messianic kingdom is one discussed by several of the prophets. It actually is an event which follows the arrival of the Messiah to establish His earthly kingdom in Israel, but like several other of the great events, this one deliberately is not placed in order. In this case it appears that the Eternal's great court case against Israel is discussed before the final discussion concerning the arrival of the Messiah because of the impact that this great section should have on His people who have gone astray from Him. This trial of living Israel is described by the prophet Ezekiel as he reports the words of the Eternal on the subject. After the Eternal has described the continual rebellion of the nation of Israel as they always turned away from Him, He nevertheless speaks of that day yet in the future when He would deal with the nation and select those who would be allowed to return to the land from their worldwide exile to live in His presence in the kingdom.

"`As I live,' says the Lord God, `Surely I will be king over you with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm. And I will cause you to come out from the peoples and I will gather you out from the countries among which you have been scattered, with a hand of strength and with an outstretched arm, even with fury which is poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples [apparently in Trans-Jordan] and I will plead with you there face to face. In the same way that I pled with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, even in that way I will plead with you' says the Lord God. Then I will cause you to pass underneath the rod and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. Then I will purge out the ones who continually are rebelling from you, even those continually transgressing against Me. I will bring them out of the land where they have stayed [as temporary residents] but they will not enter into the land of Israel, and you will know [by experience] that I am the Eternal Lord" (Ezek. 20:33-38).

The prophet Daniel receives specific information on the precise time when this great judgment of Israel will take place. At his inquiry about the latter end of the time of Jacob's troubles, the three and one half times of Daniel 12:7, he is told that the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous would take place 30 days after the end of those times. That is to say that the judgment of living Israel would take place 30 days after Messiah's arrival and His deliverance of those in the land of Israel from their enemies that would have encircled them (Zech. 14:1-15). But it clearly takes place 45 days before the establishment of the kingdom which had been promised long ago in covenants with Israel.

First Daniel is briefly revealed information about the separation of the wicked from the ones who have purified themselves.

"And I heard, but I did not understand. As a result I said, `My lord, what will be the latter end of these things?' And he responded, `Go your way, Daniel, because the words are shut up until the time of the end. Many will purify themselves, make themselves white and they will refine themselves. The wicked ones will cause wickedness and none of the wicked ones will understand" (Dan. 12:8-10).

Then he is given the chronological setting in which this will take place. The judgment of Israel will take place 3 1/2 Jewish years of 360 days and one month after the defilement of the tribulational temple in the middle of the time of Jacob's troubles.

"And from the time in which the continuous burnt offering will be taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up there will be one thousand, two hundred and ninety days" (Dan. 12:11).

A final event of great significance and its timing, neither of which is revealed through Micah, is the resurrection of Old Testament believers. The timing for that follows the judgment of the living of Israel by 45 days.

"Oh the blessings of the one who continues waiting and comes to the one thousand and thirty five days. Now go your way [Daniel] until the end [of the 45 days beyond the judgment of the living, 75 days after the end of the great tribulation] for you [i.e., your physical body] will continue to rest, but you will stand up to your lot at the end of the [1,335} days" (Dan. 12:12-13).

Like Micah, Isaiah does not give chronological information in much detail when he speaks of the judgment of living Israel in Isaiah 65:1-16. Yet there are important chronological clues concerning the time when this would happen in the preceding context. It will take place at a time when the people of Israel will have come into possession of the place of the Eternal Lord's sanctuary and will have built the tribulation temple there. But this judgment will occur after Israel's tribulation sanctuary has been trodden down by the Gentiles (Isa. 63:17). This event is prophesied several times in the book of Daniel. Further information about this sad event is detailed in Revelation 11:1-14. Isaiah further speaks of the ruin of the temple and also reveals that this judgment of the living of Israel will take place at a time when God's people in the land will cry:

"Your holy cities are a wilderness. Zion is a wilderness; Jerusalem is a desolation. Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised You, has been burned with fire and all of our pleasant things have been laid waste" (Isa. 64:10-11, 9-10 in Heb.).

But most important, the judgment of living Israel will take place after some of the nation has awakened to their waywardness and has become conscious that none of their own acts of righteousness have been worthy of His acceptance.

"You met with favor those practicing righteousness, those who remembered You in Your ways. Look, You were angry for we missed our opportunity through them of old so that we might have been saved. Therefore all of us have become like one who is unclean and all of our righteousnesses are like a woman's garment in her period and we all are caused to fade like a leaf because our iniquities take us away like the wind. Indeed there is no one who has been calling on Your name [the name Yehoshua, the Eternal Lord will save], no one who has been rousing himself up to take hold of You. Surely You have hidden Your face from us and You have consumed us through the hand of our iniquities" (Isa. 64:5-7 = 4-6 in Heb.).

(Once again a crucial prophetic passage is divided in the Hebrew chapter divisions, making it more difficult for the reader to recognize the full significance of the context). It is a context of repentance and confession which acknowledges great wrong doing. It is a context in which Israel begins calling upon the Eternal to come down to deliver them. It begins for the moment with man's natural reaction and blames God for all of their wanderings away from Him.

"Oh Eternal Lord, Why have You made us to err from Your ways and have hardened our hearts from Your fear?" (Isa. 63:17a).

But that attitude changes and is followed by an appeal for the Eternal Lord to return.

". . . Return for Your servants sake, the tribes of Your inheritance! . . . . Oh that You would rend the heavens, that You would come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence in the way that fire ignites the bushes and fire causes waters to begin to boil, in order to make Your name known to Your adversaries that Gentiles might begin to tremble at Your presence, when You did wondrous things which we did not even hope for. Do come down that the mountains might tremble at Your presence!" (Isa. 63:17b; 64:1-3 = 63:17b, 19 and 64:1-2 in Heb.).

It is in such a context that the Eternal Lord begins to speak of the separation of the wicked from the righteous, declaring the awful ways of those who turned from Him to practice all kinds of wicked ways, including their scorning of the poor Gentiles (Isa. 65:2-7). He speaks of sparing the righteous of Israel by separating the wicked of Israel from them.

"This is what the Eternal Lord says: Even as when grape juice is found in the cluster, then one says: `Do not destroy it because there is a blessing in it, even so will I do for my servants' sake that I might not destroy all of them. For I will bring forth a seed [the remnant] out of Jacob and one who inherits My mountains. [I will do this] so that My elect ones will inherit it and my servants will reside there permanently. for Sharon will be a fold for flocks and the valley of Achor will be a place where herds will lie down for My people who have sought Me" (Isa. 65:8-10).

Isaiah continues to speak of the differentiation of the righteous from the wicked of Israel in verses 11-16 and then speaks of the wholly new condition which will be provided for those who enter Messiah's kingdom in Isaiah 65:17-25. Indeed, Isaiah 66 gives a brief glimpse of the glory of the Messianic kingdom when the King Himself will be present in Israel's midst.


Micah 6-7 is a marvelously states the confusion prophet as he wrestles mentally with the fifteen delays which stood in the way of the fulfillment of the great covenant promises which the Eternal Lord had made to his people. He recognizes the utter plight of the defendant, Israel, as the nation stands before the bar of justice of the Eternal. He cannot see how it is possible for the Eternal to forgive Israel's sin and one day to restore them to the place of fellowship which He has promised to them long ago. His confusion, which fills chapter 7, begins to have its source when he is led by the Eternal to call the nation before that holy bar of justice. His call which fills chapter 6 describes the court case which the Eternal has against His wayward people. The judgment of the nation of Israel is cast in the format of a court trial by the prophet. "Hear now that which the Eternal Lord says:

"Rise up! Contend [in a court case] before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. [Note that the jury is being called]. Hear, oh you mountains the court case of the Eternal Lord, even the imperishable foundations of the earth, because the Eternal Lord has a court case with His people and He will argue the case with Israel" (Mic. 6:1-2).


Micah is the only prophet who details the Judge's plea as He seeks to bring the wandering people back to Himself.

"My people, what have I done to you and in what way have I caused you to be weary? Respond against me. For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of slaves I ransomed you. Yes, I sent Moses, Aaron and Miriam before you. My people, please remember what Balak, the king of Moab, devised and what Baalam, the son of Beor, answered him from Shittim to Gilgal in order that you may know the righteousnesses of the Eternal Lord" (Mic. 6:3-5).

Now the agony of soul of Baalam for his sin appears to follow. He acknowledges that there is no sacrifice which man may offer which could possibly take away the awfulness of his sin. He had attempted repeatedly to curse God's people. Then he apparently counseled Balak to bring judgment on Israel by sending prostitutes among them (Num. 25:1-18). His groaning, recorded nowhere else in Scripture, highlights the impossibility of man doing or offering anything which take away sin. God alone could accomplish that through the future work of the Messiah.

"With what shall I approach the Eternal Lord? Shall I bow myself down to God on high? Shall I come near to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Will the Eternal Lord be satisfied with thousands of rams or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Should I give my firstborn child for my transgression or the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"

The plea of the Eternal Lord includes this agonized cry of Baalam to show the nation of Israel the hopelessness of accomplishing their redemption through anything that they might bring to God or through any act that they might do. It will be seen from the final chapter that even Micah did not know how the Eternal could possibly forgive the northern and southern kingdoms for the sins which have been detailed in chapters 1-3. But it is clear that the prophet, completely trusting in the covenant promises of the Eternal, was certain that somehow He would provide that means. The writer of the New Testament book written to the Hebrews resolves this dilemma.

"For the law, having a shadow of good things to come and not having the very image of the things, can never by means of those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make those who came to it perfect. For then wouldn't those sacrifices have ceased to be offered because the worshipers, having been once for all cleansed no longer would have consciousness of sins. But on the contrary, there is in them a reminder of sins yearly because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (Heb. 10:14).

The writer then speaks of the one means by which sins were fully paid for and completely taken away.

". . . Now on the one hand every priest stood ministering priestly service daily and offering often the same sacrifices. But He [Messiah], after He had offered one sacrifice for sins unto the end of time, sat down on the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:11-12).


The Eternal first addresses each man, setting forth the just requirement which He Himself had set before the nation of Israel (Mic. 6:8). He says:

"He has told you, oh man, what is good, and what is the Eternal Lord requiring from you? Only [that you should] do justice and to love mercy and to humbly walk with your God. Then He makes it clear that nothing that a man can give or do can clear him and cause God to count him pure.". . . Hear the rod and Who has appointed it. Are the treasures of wickedness still in the house of the wicked and the scanty measure which is abominable [to God]? Shall I consider [them] to be pure with wicked balances and with a bag of deceitful weights whose rich men are full of violence and whose residents have spoken lies and their tongues are treacherous in their mouths?" (6:10-12).

In this section the Eternal makes it very clear that He will in no way compromise with the sinner. Discipline is all that can be expected for the wicked, for the Eternal will not bargain with them for their forgiveness.

Now the Eternal One explains the extensiveness and the terrible nature of the punishment which the those who continue to stray from the Eternal may expect from the Lord.

"And I also will begin to smite you, making you desolate because of your sins. You will proceed to eat but you will not come to be satisfied and your sickness will be in your innermost body; yes, you will conceive but you will not bring forth, and whoever you do bring forth I will proceed to give to the sword" (6:3-4).

This judgment which the Eternal would bring upon his erring people would ruin their efforts to remain farmers.

"You will sow but you will not reap. You will tread the olives but you will not get to anoint yourself with oil. [You will tend the vines] but you will not get to drink the wine because you keep the statues of Omri and all of the works of the house of Ahab and in their counsels you continue to walk. [I will do this] in order to make you to be an astonishment and the residents of it into a hissing, for the reproach of my people you will bear" (6:15-16).

The horrors of all that Israel was destined to face because of sins like those enumerated in Micah 1-3 overwhelms Micah. He turns now to the apparent impossibility that any of Israel should escape this awful judgment series and survive. And yet he comes to the realization, which many today have forgotten, that the Eternal never goes back on His word. That which He has promised He also will keep even though He may delay for centuries until His judgment has run its course. He will keep those things which He promised through Micah in Micah 4:1-8 even though this dread series of fifteen events which the prophet has listed will precede the fulfillment of the great covenant promises of the Eternal. Nevertheless the agony which tore the soul of the prophet deeply stains the early verses of chapter 7 as he wrestles with the apparent impossibility of their fulfillment because of the utter waywardness of the children of Israel.



Bernard E. Northrup

Help me, my Lord, that I may know the righteousness of my God!

We as a nation long have sinned, ignoring Your Shepherd's rod.

How may we stand within your court, forgiven of all our sin?

Wherewith shall we before you come that You may restore again?


Rivers of oil? A thousand rams? Or calves for an offering?

Or, like the heathen all around, the fruit of our bodies bring?

"Often He showed you what is good and what He required of you.

What can the Judge of all the earth but righteousness swiftly do?"


"Are there yet treasures with the rich that He will now count them pure?

Should He deceitful scales now use or judge by His counsel sure?"

"Smiting and bruising He will give until you will return to Him.

Exile and travail will be yours who smote Him from Bethlehem."

"But in the last days you will come. Your trouble will make it be,

Pain like a woman in deep travail until you will turn to me."


How difficult it is for one in great travail to recognize the ultimate purpose which the Eternal has for that trial! Oh to learn to "Rejoice in the Lord always. . ." (Phil. 4:4)!



1. The apparent impossibility of deliverance (7:1-6).

The prophet's first thoughts when the realization of the awful judgments which would face his people penetrates his thinking are of the hopelessness of his people. It would appear that they have been left with no way to escape the judgment of the Eternal! All of his people have gone in their own way with nothing to commend them to the justice of their God. Like Elijah he mourns, thinking that he alone is left of the righteous. Israel's sins are universal.

"Woe is me! The reason is that I have become like the last of the summer fruits, like the gleaning grapes left from the harvest. There is no cluster for one to eat, no choice fig for my soul. The saint has perished out from the land and the upright among mankind no longer exists. All of them lie in wait for blood. With a net each man hunts his brother. Their hands are upon the hurtful thing to do it diligently. The prince and the judge both are continually asking for a bribe, and the great man is speaking the thing which is in his soul. In this way they weave it [their sin] together. The best of them is like a thorn. The upright one is more than a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen [i.e., the evil day watched for], even your visitation [for punishment] has come. Now their perplexity has come. Do not trust in a neighbor. Do not come to place confidence in a close friend. From the one who is lying in your bosom keep the doors of your mouth. The reason is that the son is utterly dishonoring the [his] father. The daughter will rise up against her mother-in-law. The enemies of a man will be the people of his own house" (7:1-6).


(MICAH 6-7)

Bernard E. Northrup

Who is like you, Oh Jah, my God, Who pardons iniquity

While our transgressions passing by, delighting in mercy free?

Who is like you, Oh Jah, my God? But how can you pardon me?

Lord, we have sinned but we will wait; Your righteousness we shall see!

Covenant promises you will keep, the mercy that you have sworn.

Nations will fear when you return our heritage from us torn.

Who is a God like you, our God, whose promises all are true,

Who, after judging all our sin, will somehow our sin subdue?



The prophet sets forth his own anguished wait for the promised latter days of blessing. In a remarkable way he sets forth the agony of each Israelite who waits, without understanding of how the Lord will keep His covenant promises to the nation. The faith of the prophet is beautiful. He is painfully aware of the sin which has prevented the fulfillment of the Eternal's great covenant promises for God's people at that time. He bows his head as he faces this great series of events which must intervene before the great Messianic kingdom is established for them in their land. Yet through it all, there is unshaken confidence that, after all of the trials that face them, God will hear their cry and will respond.

"But as for me, I will look to the Eternal Lord. I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy. When I fall down, I will arise. When I sit in darkness the Eternal Lord will be my light. I will continue to bear the indignation of the Eternal Lord until He comes to plead my [court] case and brings my justice because I have sinned against Him. He will bring me out into the light. Finally I will see His righteousness" (7:7-10).

It is sad that for so many in Israel that unshakable faith in the promises of the Eternal has faded away and they no longer can see the glories of the kingdom ahead which He promised through Micah in chapter 4:1-8. But He will come just as He promised to deliver the nation that for centuries has struggled through the troubled waters which have been described in chapters 4:9-6:16. With eager anticipation the prophet looks forward to the day when Gentile oppression will cease. No longer will he and his people suffer the mockery of those who denied that Israel would ever have a future before the Eternal Lord.

"Then my enemy will see and shame will cover her, that one who continually was saying to me, `Where is the Eternal Lord, your God?' My eyes will look even upon her. Now she will come to be trodden down like mire in streets" (7:10).


(Zechariah 14)

Bernard E. Northrup

I hear the sound of the ruffle of some drums far away.

Whence can it come? From a hill? From the field?

Is it borne on the wind? Does it call? Does it warn?

What is the message that rattles on the wind?

That rustles with the leaves as they tremble

On the wind? ''Tis the thrum of a drum

To announce to the world of the coming of the King,

Of the massing of His troops,

Of the coming of the judgment of His foes.

Who will stand? Who will fight?

Will you flee like the chaff that is driven on the wind?

Hear the drums? Hear the trumpets as they peal?



In his anticipation of that glorious future day when the Gentile lies which attempted to strip Israel of the promises of future glory which the Eternal had given to them, the prophet revels as that future scene in vision is unfolded before his eyes. There is an exuberance in His words which are filled with his absolute confidence that the Eternal will keep His word. He has not given up in his wait for that glorious, promised day which awaits the nation. He looks forward over the years of discipline for sin to that day when the cities of the land of Israel will be rebuilt under Messiah's blessing. He says:

"[Oh Israel,] A day [will come] for the building of your walls even though that day is removed far off. That day, even your time will come [when they will come] from Assyria even to the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt and unto the river [perhaps the Euphrates, perhaps a small stream far south of Gaza which flows into the Mediterranean] and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. Then the earth will be desolate for those inhabiting it because of the fruit of their doings" (7:11-13).

Micah looks forward to the day promised in the writings of his contemporary, Isaiah (40:11) when Messiah would tend Israel like a shepherd. He speaks of the nation as His flock.

"Tend your people with your staff, the flock of Your inheritance, which is dwelling by itself in a forest in the midst of a field that is like a vineyard. Let them feed in Bashan and in Gilead even as they did in days of old. As [it was] in the days of your coming out of the land of Egypt, I [the Eternal] will show unto them wonderful things. (7:14-15).

The prophet marvels as he remembers the promises of the Eternal Lord's dealings with the nations as Israel is delivered from their grasp when their Lord Messiah suddenly appears in mighty delivering power. Perhaps he is remembering the words of Isaiah.

"Behold, My servant will prosper. He will be exalted and lifted up high. Even as many were astonished at Him [when] His appearance was so marred no longer to appear human and his form beyond that of the sons of men, even so He will startle many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of Him because they will see that which had not been told to them. Surely they will understand that which they have not heard" (Isa. 52:13-15). In the same vein of thought, Micah says: "The Gentiles will see and, in spite of all of their might, will be put to shame. They will lay their hands upon their mouths. Their ears will be deaf. They will lick the dust like a serpent. Like the things which crawl on the earth they will come out of their strongholds. They will come in great fear to the Eternal Lord our God and they will be afraid because of You" (7:16-17).


One of the most beautiful sections of the book of Micah is this which closes the writing of the prophet. He marvels with unbounding amazement as he considers a God so great that, in spite of Judah and Israel's terrible sins which have brought on all of their trials, yet somehow He will forgive their sins. Micah's absolute assurance that the Eternal will keep His word, which He had promised in covenant with the Fathers Abraham and Jacob, sweeps him up in a remarkable paean of praise.

"Who is a God like unto You, taking away iniquity and passing over the transgressions of the remnant of His inheritance? He does hot harbor His anger forever because He delights in mercy. He will return and He will have compassion on us. Yes, he will throw all of their sins into the depths of the sea. You will give [the] truth to Jacob and [the] mercy to Abraham. which you swore in an oath to our fathers from the days of old" (7:18-20).

Ah, for a remnant of God's people who will cling fiercely to the assurance that He Who promised will keep His word! He will not fail for He is God!



It is crucial that the one who researches this great subject should give consideration to the actual order in which these fifteen great events will take place. Here is my suggestion.


This undoubtedly is a reference to the end of the Davidic dynasty in Judah which, humanly speaking, ended with king Zedekiah in 586 B.C. when the Babylonian captivity fully became a reality. It seems doubtful that there is reference to the Northern Kingdom and the cutting off of the series of many different dynasties at the fall of the Northern Kingdom in 721 B.C. At any rate, this sorrow is long past.


This event also inescapably is a sad part of Israel's history which must be recognized as one of the terrible judgments which already has fallen on the Southern Kingdom, Judah.


Of course the 70 years of Israel's sad captivity in Babylon also of necessity must be counted to be an event of Israel's past.


It is clear that these first four events which Micah prophesied as events which would precede the setting up of the Messianic kingdom all are integrally related and all are a part of Israel's sad discipline for her years of independence from the Eternal.


While it would possible to argue that the gathering of many nations against Israel by the Lord for their judgment actually took place between 586 B.C. and 135 A.D. in the light of all of the trials of that period. But the language of Micah 5:12-13 is such that gathering of the nations must be placed later in Israel's history before the final establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. "The gathering of the sheaves into the floor" for their threshing by the Lord also is found in Isaiah 41:14-16, but there it clearly is in a context which speaks of Israel's future when the Eternal will bring them back to their own land under the King of Jacob. The same is true to Joel's reference to the gathering of the nations by the Eternal for their punishment in Joel 3:2-16 (4:2-14 in Heb.). In its context this inescapably is an event that yet is future. Furthermore, the event is unmistakably described as a future event in Revelation 14:14-16

"Then I looked, and see, a white cloud, and one like the Son of Man sat on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the [heavenly] temple crying out with a loud voice to the One Who sat on the cloud. `Thrust your sickle in and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.'"

It is far better to recognize the fifth and sixth awful events which are described by Micah as falling much later in the event series.

That leaves the reader facing the difficulty of recognizing that the seventh and eighth events which, from the view point of Micah faced Israel in the future, deliberately have been reversed by the Lord as He revealed these events to Micah. It should be obvious that the One who was to be the ruler over Israel, the One whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, of necessity had to be born before He would be rejected and smitten on the cheek in that rejection. for that reason I recognize the birth of Israel's Judge and King as the next event. The question "Why?" is raised concerning the rejection of the Messiah at the beginning of Psalm 2. The reason why the Gentiles and Israel rejected the Messiah and refused to have Him rule over them plainly is explained as part of the plan of the Eternal to provide for man (Acts 4:25-28). It should be noticed that, in the New Testament passage, as much blame is placed upon the Gentiles who were involved as is placed on Israel. This has been dreadfully misrepresented over the centuries by foolish Gentiles. As a result of the fact that even the chief priests and scribes in Herod's day turned to Micah 5:2 (5:1 in Heb.) to find the answer to the question of the wise men who came to worship Him. They had asked,

"Where is He who is born King of the Jews?" (Matt. 2:2).

Herod himself demanded of them to know

". . . where Messiah should be born . . ." (Matt. 2:3).

I am certain that this event also is an event that is in Israel's past, even though most would prefer not to remember that fact. But it must be recognized and accepted as a crucial event upon which other elements of judgment in the later context hinge.


This smiting of the Judge of Israel on the cheek is the subject of several great sources of revelation in the Tenach. Psalm 102, when compared with Hebrews 1, makes it clear that He from Whose hands the heavens and earth had been framed not only would die but would arise and provide grace for Israel and for those who would live after that time. Psalm 22 actually describes His death as does Psalm 69.


Undoubtedly the bitterest of all of the cups of sorrow which began in the past for Israel is this. How sadly He spoke of that which was coming to Him because He was being rejected! He said to His disciples,

". . . See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that has been written by the prophets about the Son of Man will take place. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and spitefully mistreated and spit upon, and they will scourge Him and will put Him to death, and the third day He will rise again" (Luke 18:31-34).

How sadly the Messiah spoke of that which was coming for the nation because it was rejecting Him.

"And when He had come near, he looked at the city and wept over it, saying, `If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong to your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes, for the days will come on you that your enemies will cast a trench about you and will encircle you all about, and they will lay you even to the ground, and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone on another in you because you did not know the time of your visitation'" (Luke 19:41-44).

How sadly He wept over Jerusalem!

"Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who have killed the prophets and stoned them who have been sent to you. How often I would have gathered your children together just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not! See, your house will be left desolate to you. For I say this to you: `You will not see me after this until you will say: `Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord''" (Matt. 23:37-39).


There is a fascinating principle that must be recognized in the study of prophecy. It is called "compenetration of prophecy." This means that the prophet spoke primarily of events which related to the life scene before him, and frequently without any recognition that the Divine Author so directed his words so that they once again would become relevant to circumstances that would face Israel centuries later. A perfect example is the prophecy concerning the birth of a son to an "'almah" in Isaiah 7:14. Any thoughtful examination of the immediate context will indicate that the prophecy was given to Ahaz as a sign that the siege of Jerusalem by Syria and by the Northern Kingdom would be lifted before the child born to Isaiah and his wife would know the difference between good and evil. He would be given the name "Immanuel" by his mother and this would be a sign that God still was with the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Deliverance was just ahead. An Assyrian presence would bring this about as the Assyrian would defeat both of Judah's foes. In the local sense the rather general word 'almah simply meant "a young woman." But any thoughtful examination of the larger context of the 'almah prophecy including Isaiah 9 and 11 will face the researcher with the fact that there was to be another child born to the house of David. He would live in the area of Galilee and would bring great light to that darkened area of the land. Indeed, His names would indicate that this child who would be born would be God in flesh and that the name "Immanuel" would indicate that God in reality was present in their midst. The prophet also reveals that this God/Man child of the house of David actually would one day rule over all Israel as their king.

That same principle of compenetration is in operation in this rather obscure reference to the Assyrian after the clear references to the birth and rejection of the One who was to become the Ruler over Israel, whose goings forth have been from everlasting (Mic. 5:2 or 5:1 in Heb.). Of course the Assyrian nation was destroyed as described by the prophet Nahum many centuries before the events prophesied in events five and six above. What can this reference to the Assyrian mean? One of the fascinating things about Ezekiel's prophecy of the great invasion by Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, is the statement of the prophet in Ezekiel 38:17.

"This is what the Lord God says: `Are you he of whom I have spoken in previous days by the hands of my servants, the prophets of Israel, who were constantly prophesying in those days for many years that I would bring you against them?"

What is strange at first is the fact that there are no other references to Gog and his forces by name anywhere in the prophets. This obviously from the context is an invasion which takes place only shortly before the last great battle of the time of Jacob's troubles. There is an invasion described by Joel in Joel 2:2:11-21 which also precedes the final great battle which results in the Eternal Lord, Israel's God, dwelling in Zion (Joel. 3:17, 4:17 in Heb.). The same is true in Zechariah 12:9. This great invasion out of the north clearly is distinguished from the struggles which the remnant returned to the land after centuries suffers from the hand of the peoples all around them, the Arabs. Rather, this is an invasion by the goyim. The context never calls the peoples encircling them and warring with them by that name. The Lord's destruction of the results in Israel turning to the One whom they had pierced. A similar result is found in Ezekiel 39:7.

"In this way I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them pollute My holy name any more . . . ."

It is my conclusion that the Eternal actually is referring to the many of the prophets who refer to the threat of Assyrian invasion, and that the invasion of Gog in Ezekiel 38 probably includes many representatives from that country in its army. It seems highly likely that the invasion force from the north spoken of by Ezekiel includes the great Moslem sectors of Russia. Thus I conclude that the invasion of the Assyrian which is prophesied in Micah 5:5 is that invasion from the north, and that this invasion will take place shortly before the middle of the great time of Jacob's troubles. It is fascinating to read that the Judge of Israel Who had been born in Bethlehem, who had been smitten on the cheek by His people, would be the major force in delivering them when they would be faced with that overwhelming force.

"And He will stand and he will feed in the strength of the Eternal Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Eternal Lord His God; and they will continue to abide because now He will be great to the ends of the earth. And this man will be the peace when the Assyrian will come into our land, and when he will tread in our palaces. . ." (Mic. 5:4-5).

It is clear from Micah that the armed forces of Israel will play a major role in the pursuit and discrimination of the invading forces from the north.

". . . Then we will raise up against him [the Assyrian] seven shepherds and eight important men, and they will waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances of it. In this way He will deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and when he tramps within our borders" (Mic. 5:5b-6).


It appears from the flow of Micah 5:4-6 that the elevation of Israel before the eyes of the nations must follow the destruction of the northern army in the middle of the tribulation, the time of Jacob's troubles. Verses 7-9 directly are linked with the destruction of the Assyrian army. Undoubtedly this remarkable deliverance of the little nation of Israel from the great confederation which will accompany Gog will be attributed to the armed forces of Israel. In reality they will be utterly helpless before this great enemy, and apart from the fact that the Eternal Lord will step in and destroy that great enemy as described in Ezekiel 38:19-39:5, they would be utterly defeated. But, as a result of the Eternal's quiet intervention without visible manifestation of Himself, Israel's army will be able to respond to their enemies and actually take part in the miraculous deliverance of the land of Israel. This appears to be that to which Micah is referring in Micah 5:7-9.

"Then the remnant of Jacob will be like a dew from the Eternal Lord among many peoples, like the showers on the grass that do not wait for mankind nor wait for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob will be like a lion among the beasts of the forest, even like a young lion among the flocks of sheep among the Gentiles in the midst of many people. When he goes through [the flock], he both treads [them] down and tears [them] into pieces and there will be no one delivering [them]. Your [Israel's] hand will be lifted up upon your enemies and all of your enemies will be cut off."

It seems that major retaliation against those who have sent armies against Israel with the army of Gog will be in order.


It is difficult to be absolutely sure just where Micah's prophecy of the collapse of Israel's defense forces is to be places in the great series of the cups of woe which that nation would have to face before their long promised kingdom would be given to them. But it appears that an event will take place after their miraculous deliverance from the northern army which will result in this very thing. There is something hidden away in Ezekiel's prophecy of the destruction of the army of Gog which may be a significant clue. The Eternal says:

"And I will call for a sword against him [Gog] throughout all of My mountains, says the Lord God. Every man's sword will turn against his brother, and I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood . . ." (Ezek. 38:21-22a).

This may relate to a theme which is found several times in Scripture. Daniel refers to that event which divides Israel's time of great sorrow, the tribulation. He speaks of an event which certainly must follow the destruction of the northern army, the "abomination of desolation." He has spoken in Daniel 9:26 of the fact that out of the very people who were involved in the cutting off of Messiah, but not for Himself, a prince would arise who then would come and destroy the city and the sanctuary. This must be a local reference to the Romans and to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. after Messiah was cut off for the sins of the people. But it appears that compenetration of prophecy also is involved. If so, that destruction of Jerusalem was only the prefulfilment of Daniel's prophecy and it is an event which once again would befall the nation of Israel in the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy. It is clear that only 69 weeks or 69 periods of 7 years of Daniel's prophecy in Daniel 9:20-27 have been fulfilled. Thus I insist that the terrible thing which will be done by the future Roman prince is indeed still future and will come in the middle of the 70th week of the prophecy, the middle of Israel's terrible time of troubles.

"And he [the prince of the future] will make strong a covenant [not one of the Biblical covenants made by the Lord with Israel] with many for one period of seven [years]. But at the mid-point of the period of seven [years] he [this future Roman prince] will cause the sacrifice and the offering [in the temple of the time of Israel's great travail] to cease, even on the wing of abominable things which are making desolate, and it will continue until the destruction which is determined will be poured out upon the thing which is desolating" (Dan. 9:27).

This future event will follow that event long ago which foreshadowed its horror. That latter event which first was done by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 B.C is described by Daniel in 11:30-31. Its latter day counterpart is referred to by Daniel in chapter 12. It is one of the three great future events which close Israel's history (Dan. 12:1-2a). These include Israel's great tribulation, her deliverance out of that time of tribulation, and finally the resurrection of the righteous of Israel. Each of these three subjects receive further discussion and the chronological timing of each of them. The most terrible time of trouble for Israel clearly begins in the middle of the time of Jacob's troubles. It begins with the setting up of the abomination in Israel's temple at the middle of the tribulation and will last for 1260 days or 3 1/2 Jewish years (Dan. 12:7). The deliverance and judgment of living Israel will take place within the 30 days which follow the end of the time of Jacob's troubles. That also is dated from the abomination which desolates the temple (Dan. 12:8-11). Daniel is told in 12:12-13 that he will be resurrected in his lot [i.e., with the saints who lived before Messiah's death] at the end of 75 days after the end of the tribulation or 1,335 days after the terrible abomination of desolation.

The Jewish reader may not be aware that Yeshua also spoke of this terrible abomination which would desolate the temple in Jerusalem. For that matter, many Gentile readers will not be aware that what He said relates to two times that the temple will be desolated. He said:

"Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (let whoever reads it understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. The one who is on the housetop must not come down to take anything out of his house, neither should the one who is in the field return to take his clothing. And woe to those who are with child, and to those who are suckling children in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter nor on the Sabbath day, for then will begin the great tribulation such as never has been since the beginning of the world to this time, no, it never will be again. And except those days should be cut off [i.e., their individual lengths be shortened], no one would be saved, but those days will be shortened for the sake of the elect. Then, if anyone says to you, `See, here is the Messiah or there, do not believe it. For false Messiahs and false prophets will arise they will show great signs and wonders, so much so that they would deceive the very elect if it were possible . . . Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all of the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matt. 24:15-22).

It would be easy to assume that Yeshua's warning words had reference only to the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. And it is just as true that many make the mistake of assuming that Yeshua's words refer only to the middle of the tribulation and the beginning of the great tribulation. But both are correct. That which happened when Titus and the Roman soldiers destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. is only the prefulfilment and foreshadowing of the far more terrible abomination which will take place yet in the future. The final New Testament book, the book of Revelation, is a great prophetic book also. It too speaks of the fulfillment of the events spoken of by Daniel and Yeshua. This book gives by far the most extensive information about that desperate time of the 42 months, 3 1/2 times or 1260 days which will face Israel in the later part of the time of Jacob's troubles. It plainly shows that there still is a future aspect to Daniel's prophecy of the abomination which he prophecies would face Israel. It also shows that we do not dare limit the meaning of Yeshua's words to the trials through which Israel went in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 and 135 A.D. Revelation 13 says of the world ruler who will come to power in the middle of the tribulation:

". . . And all of the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon who gave power to the beast, saying: `Who can be compared to the beast? Who is able to make war with Him?' And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him, and power was given to him to continue 42 months [the very extent of Israel's great tribulation, the last half of the time of Jacob's troubles]. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle and those who live in heaven. And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to conquer them, and power was given to him over every tribe and tongue and nation. And everyone who lives on the earth, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world, will worship him. . . . . Then I saw another beast . . . and he had power to give life to the image of the beast in order that the image of the beast should both speak and cause all who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed" (Rev. 12:3b-8, 11, 15).

It is obvious to me that at least part of the abomination which defiles the temple of Israel in the middle of the tribulation is the setting up of an image of the beast which deceives people into thinking that it can talk.

I am forced to the conclusion on the basis of this material that the one who will become the world ruler actually participates in the destruction of the northern army of Gog about 6 months before the middle of the tribulation. Having lifted up his sword to defend Israel from this invading northern horde, he then moves into the land and becomes an overwhelming power from whom believing Israel will flee to the mountains. It is from Jerusalem that he becomes the ruler of the entire world. Finally the world will have that which many foolishly have desired, one world government. As I understand it, the army of the beast will be the force which will destroy the military power of Israel as described in Micah 5:10-11.

"And it will come to be in that day, says the Eternal Lord, that I will cut off your horses out of your midst and I will destroy your chariots. And I will cut off the cities of your land and will throw down all of your strongholds."


It is difficult to believe that Israelites will have turned back to idolatry in their long wait for the arrival of their Messiah and His great kingdom. Yet it is the subject of the prophets. Micah has said:

"And in that day the Eternal Lord says that this will happen. . . . I will cut off witch crafts out of your hands and you no more will have fortune tellers. I will also cut off your carved images and your pillars out of your midst, and no more will you worship the work of your hands. And I will pluck up your groves [places of idolatrous worship among the woods] out of your midst. Even so I will destroy your cities" (Mic. 5:12-14).

The prophet Zechariah makes a great contribution in that he actually tells us that which will bring about this great spiritual cleansing of the people of Israel in the latter days. Already in Zechariah 12:10-14 he has described the consequences of Israel's miraculous deliverance from the Gentile hordes that will invade Israel about six months before the middle of the time of Jacob's troubles. (This timing is based upon the former and latter rains which follow that destruction and the outpouring of the Spirit upon Israel as described in Joel 2:18-29). Zechariah has described those in the land who begin serious consideration of the One Whom they had pierced and the mourning of individual family groups as they turn to Him (Zech. 12:10-14). He has described the fountain of cleansing which will be opened for their sin and uncleanness in Jerusalem at that time (Zech. 13:1). It is at that point in Zechariah where the true believers among Israel begin, under the hand of the Eternal, to cleanse the land from all of its idolatry of that time.

"`And this will come to be in that day,' says the Eternal Lord of Hosts, `that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and no more will they be remembered. And I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to leave the land, and it will come to be that when anyone still will prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him will say to him: `You will not live, because you are speaking lies in the name of the Eternal Lord.' Then his father and his mother that begat him will thrust him through when he does prophesy. And this will come to be in that day. Every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies, neither will they wear rough garments to deceive, but one will say: `I am a farmer because one taught me to take care of cattle from my youth" (Zech. 13:2-5).

Yes, there will be idolatry in Israel in those future days, but the way that the Eternal will deal with the nation will bring about the cleansing of the land of these things before Messiah arrives to deliver Israel and to establish the kingdom.


Micah 5 closes with a very brief statement concerning the terrible events which will fall upon both the people of Israel in the land and the Gentiles who have oppressed them. In Isaiah 64 the prophet is led to utter the agonized cry of the people who finally have come to realize that all of their attempted works of righteousness have produced nothing before the Eternal. As they confess their own iniquities (Isa. 64:5-7), they call upon Him to come down and deliver them. Their own words tell us of the awful destruction which will have befallen their own cities.

"Your holy cities are a wilderness. Zion has become a wilderness. Jerusalem is a desolation. Our holy and our beautiful house where our fathers praised You has been burned up by fire and all of our pleasant things have been laid waste. Will You refrain Yourself for this, Oh Eternal Lord? Will You hold Your peace and continue to afflict us very sore?" (Isa. 64:1--12).

Zechariah reveals that only one third of the Jews who will be living in the land in that time will survive, but all of them who survive will have become the people of the Eternal Lord in a real sense.

"And this will come to be, the Eternal Lord says, that in all of the land two thirds of those in the land will be cut off and will die, but the third will remain in it. And I will bring the third through the fire and I will refine them as silver is refined and I will try them as gold is tried. They will call on My name, and I will hear them. I will say: `This is My people!' And they will say: `The Eternal Lord is My God!'" (Zech. 13:8-9).

Already Ezekiel has described that which would fall upon the capital of the nation out of which Gog's invasion before the middle of the tribulation would come. The Eternal has promised through Ezekiel,

"And I will send a fire on Magog and among those who live carelessly along the sea coasts, and they will come to know that I am the Eternal Lord. Even so will I make my holy name known in the midst of My people, Israel, for I will not allow them to pollute My holy name any longer, and the heathen will come to know that I am the Eternal Lord, the Holy One in Israel" (Ezek. 39:6-8).

The great prophet book of Revelation speaks of the terrible pestilences and famines which will fall upon the nations of the earth in the time of which Micah speaks. It describes supernatural judgments such as hail, fire falling upon the earth destroying one third of earth's vegetation. It describes a great asteroid falling in the sea, killing one third of the creatures of the sea. With them one third of mankind's ships will be destroyed. (Rev. 8:7-9. It describes terrible judgments which take one half of earth's population. Yes, the conclusion of the time of Jacob's troubles will be a terrible time in which the Eternal will pour out awful judgments, both on those living in the land and on the Gentiles who long have oppressed that people of the Eternal Lord.


A theme which reoccurs several times in the prophets is the description of that day when the Eternal will gather the nations of the earth and will begin settling accounts with them for the way that they have treated the people of Israel over the centuries. Micah has described it briefly in Micah 4:11-13. the discussion begins with that word "now" which announces that this is one of the great events which must precede the setting up of Israel's kingdom under the Messiah.

"Now many nations also are gathered against you, that are saying, `Let her be defiled and let out eyes look upon Zion!' But they do not know the thoughts of the Eternal Lord. Neither do they understand His counsel, because He will gather them like threshing sheaves on the threshing floor. `Rise up and thresh, Oh daughter of Zion because I will make your horn like iron and I will make your hoofs like brass, and you will beat many peoples into pieces, for I will consecrate their spoils to the Eternal Lord and their wealth to the Lord of the entire earth" (Mic. 4:11-13).

It is clear now that Micah's description of the invasion of Israel by many Gentile nations is an event which he describes out of chronological order. It is that of which Joel speaks.

"Announce this among the Gentiles: `Prepare for war. Stir up the warlike men; Let all of the men of war draw near and come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak one say: `I am a strong, warlike man!' Come to help; yes, come, all of you nations from all around and gather yourselves together. There lead your mighty warriors, Oh Eternal Lord! Let the nations be stirred up and let them come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat [i.e., "The Eternal Lord will judge!], for there I will sit to judge all of the Gentiles from all around. Thrust in the sickle because the harvest is ripe. Come, tread [the Lord's wine press] because the wine press is full. The wine vats overflow because their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes will be in the valley of decision [i.e., where their fate will be decided by the Eternal Lord, their judge].

The reason is because

". . .the day of the Eternal Lord is near in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:9-14, 4:9-14 in Heb.).

The actual invasion is described in Zechariah 14 where the Gentiles invading actually succeed in encircling Jerusalem and begin dividing it when Messiah suddenly appears on the Mount of Olives to deliver the believers of Israel who are entrapped by their enemies (Zech. 14:1-15).The book of Revelation adds significant details.

"And the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, Euphrates, and the waters of it were dried up in order that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits that were like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. This is because they are the spirits of demons which work miracles, which to forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world in order to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. `Behold, I come as a thief, blessed is the one who watches and keeps his garments lest he walk naked and others see his shame. ' And He gathered them together at a place which is called Armageddon in the Hebrew tongue" (Rev. 16:13-16).


Micah only briefly introduces the battle which long has been called "the battle of Armageddon" in Micah 4:11-13. But in the latter two verses, he clearly speaks of the fact that the warriors of Israel will be allowed the joy of joining in the battle and fighting alongside of Messiah, the great warrior of Israel. His part in this battle is well described in Psalm 110:5-7. It is clear that He presently sits beside the Father while He awaits the subjection of His enemies (Psa. 110:1). While present there He serves as a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psa. 110:4). These two verses, verse 1 and verse 4 are quoted so frequently in the Epistle to the Hebrews that they are the most quoted verses in the Old Testament. Psalm 69 does have more verses quoted in the New Testament but these two verses hold the record for being quoted most. It will be noticed that Zechariah, like Micah, speaks of the strengthening of the warriors of Israel so that they can join into the fight with the Eternal against their enemies (Zech. 14:14-15).

"And Judah also will fight at Jerusalem, and the wealth of all of the heathen from all around will be gathered together, gold and silver and clothing in great abundance" (v. 14).


Here too is a subject which receives much treatment by the prophets. Isaiah 65 is almost totally devoted to the separation of the wicked from the godly of Israel. Indeed, the prophet begins his book describing the Eternal Lord as the Judge of Israel because of their terrible sins which render their sacrifices worthless (Isa. 1:1-31). Indeed, that first chapter ends in almost the same place as this section for it looks forward to the day when the Eternal will purge away Israel's sin. Similarly the prophet Micah has begun his prophetic book with the same terrible theme for he describes the awful judgments which had to fall upon Samaria, the Northern Kingdom, and Judah in the Southern Kingdom. But only Micah places his discussion of that trial in such a way that it is evident that this, too, is one of the great events which must precede the establishment of Israel's kingdom in old Zion under the Messiah. The New Testament book of Matthew has an extensive section describing graphically this judgment of living Israel in 25:14-30. Yeshua told a parable about His own extended time away from Israel and of the judgment which would take place upon His return.

"For it [the kingdom of heaven] is like a man traveling into a far country. He called His own servants and gave his goods to them. And to the one He gave five talents, to another He gave two and to another He gave one, to each man according to his own ability, and He went off on his way. Then the one who had received the five talents went and he traded with them and made another five talents. In the same way the one who had received the two [talents], he also gained two more. But the one who had received one [talent] went and he dug in the earth and buried his Lord's money. After a long time the Lord of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received five talents brought the other five talents saying, `Lord, You gave to me five talents. See, I have gained five talents more besides them.' His Lord said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things. I will make you a ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.' The one who had received two talents also came and said, `Lord, you gave to me two talents. See, I have gained two other talents besides them.' His Lord said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of Your Lord. Then the one who had received the one talent came and he said, `Lord, I knew that you were a hard man, reaping where you had not sown, and gathering where you have not spread abroad, and I was afraid and I went and I hid Your talent in the earth. See, You have that which is Yours.' His Lord answered and said to him, `Wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and that I gather where I have not spread abroad. Therefore you should have put my money to the money changers. Then by the time of my coming I would have received my own [talent] with interest. Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents because to every one who has shall be given, and he will have abundance. But from him who has not, even that which he has will be taken away. And throw the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matt. 25:14-30).

This parable which speaks of Israel while her Lord is far away is immediately followed by teaching concerning the judgment of the Gentiles and the separation of the wicked from the righteous before the entry of the righteous into the great Messianic kingdom (Matt. 25:31-45).


This is a very practical question for an Israelite to ask himself. It only can be answered by a very careful examination of the fifteen sad events which Micah has explained must precede the setting up of the kingdom. Such an examination will give the careful researcher a clear picture of just how close that great event is to being fulfilled. It also will give the researcher a full understanding of that which yet lies ahead of the nation of Israel before Messiah will come and take the nation through their judgment. According to the prophets, this is almost the last of the events which precede the establishment of the kingdom. Daniel does give one more event, and that is the resurrection of the Old Testament believers in preparation for them to enter into the earthly kingdom which had been promised in covenants to Israel long ago.

How long will it be until Messiah keeps these promises? This is a question which no one but the Lord Himself can answer. But the fact that most of these great events already are in the past should make one to be concerned for his own preparation to meet the King upon His arrival. Yeshua puts it in this way.

"Now learn a parable about the fig tree. When its branch is yet tender and it is putting forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you will see all of these things, you will know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, `This race [of Israel] will not pass away until all of these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no man knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father alone" (Matt. 24:32-36).

What should be my reaction to Micah's message? Surely the tragic events which yet face the nation of Israel before their hope of the centuries is fulfilled should stir one's heart to a careful investigation of his or her relationship to the Lord and to the One who will gather Israel into His earthly kingdom. Surely Yeshua's words in Matthew 10:28-30 give the one who is longing for the answer to this question.

"Come to Me, all of you who are laboring and are heavy laden, for I will give rest to you. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."