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6

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler

who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”


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6. And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda—the "in" being familiarly left out, as we say, "London, Middlesex."

art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, &c.—This quotation, though differing verbally, agrees substantially with the Hebrew and the Septuagint. For says the prophet, "Though thou be little, yet out of thee shall come the Ruler"—this honor more than compensating for its natural insignificance; while our Evangelist, by a lively turn, makes him say, "Thou art not the least: for out of thee shall come a Governor"—this distinction lifting it from the lowest to the highest rank. The "thousands of Juda," in the prophet, mean the subordinate divisions of the tribe: our Evangelist, instead of these, merely names the "princes" or heads of these families, including the districts which they occupied.

that shall rule—or "feed," as in the Margin.

my people Israel—In the Old Testament, kings are, by a beautiful figure, styled "shepherds" (Eze 34:1-10, &c.). The classical writers use the same figure. The pastoral rule of Jehovah and Messiah over His people is a representation pervading all Scripture, and rich in import. (See Ps 23:1-6; Isa 40:11; Eze 37:24; Joh 10:11; Re 7:17). That this prophecy of Micah referred to the Messiah, was admitted by the ancient Rabbins.




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