An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 16 of 223
to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from
everlasting' (Micah 5:2).
The quotation offered by the chief priest and scribes is recorded by
'And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the
princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule
My people Israel' (2:6).
A fairly long list of omissions and alterations could be compiled when
we compare the original of Micah and the quotation given by Matthew.  We do
not feel, however, that there is any call for a minute analysis.  The chief
priests answered Herod's question by quoting enough from memory from the
prophecy of Micah to settle the main point -- 'Beth -lehem'.  The ancient
name Ephratah is omitted, as it would be common knowledge that the city of
David was intended, and not a town named Beth -lehem in Zebulon.  The
'thousands' of Judah of the Authorized Version Old Testament became 'princes'
in the New Testament for the Hebrew eleph is not only translated 'thousand'
but 'family' (Judges 6:15), and just as the Romans spoke of a 'centurion'
because he commanded a 'hundred' men, so a 'thousand' was a unit, over which
a leader took command.  The omission of the words by the priests and scribes
'whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting', may have been
by design or because the portion they had quoted was sufficient for the
Beth -lehem was so 'little' that it was not included in Joshua's
survey, even though it must have existed, being the home town of Naomi and
ultimately of Ruth.  From this little village the Saviour 'shall come forth'
said the Lord, but He had 'goings forth' from of old, from everlasting.  The
two expressions 'shall come forth' and 'going forth' are translations of the
Hebrew yatsa, in the second instance the participle noun motsaoth is used.
Here, Micah speaks of a going forth from Beth -lehem which was fulfilled in
the reign of Herod the king, and a series of goings forth that can be given
no date within the cognizance of men, they have been from of old, from the
olam or the age.  It is a poor view of the Majestic Person of the Redeemer,
that stops at the reference to Beth -lehem with the high priests and scribes,
and will not go all the way with Micah the inspired prophet.
This word yatsa means 'to come or to go forth' in almost any manner.
It is applied to the growth of vegetables, to the offspring of man, to beams
of sunlight, to fountains of water.  Hosea makes reference to His goings
forth, saying, 'His going forth is prepared as the morning' (6:3) or as the
Revised Version reads 'as sure as the morning' and refers to the hope of
resurrection expressed in the second verse.  Between them, Hosea and Micah
span the whole of time, Micah looking back to the distant past, Hosea looking
forward to the distant future, and both past and future of these 'goings
forth' are pivoted upon the 'coming forth' from little Beth -lehem.  Eternity
poises upon time!  Beth -lehem the hub of the universe!
From chapter 6:1 to 7:10 the call to hear is once more heard.  Israel
are reminded of the deliverance from Egypt and the frustration of Balaam.
They are rebuked for their senseless trust in ceremonial, and are brought
back to right and truth by the words:
'Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands
of rivers of oil?  shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the