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Micah 5:3

Context

5:3 So the Lord 1  will hand the people of Israel 2  over to their enemies 3 

until the time when the woman in labor 4  gives birth. 5 

Then the rest of the king’s 6  countrymen will return

to be reunited with the people of Israel. 7 

Micah 5:7-8

Context

5:7 Those survivors from 8  Jacob will live 9 

in the midst of many nations. 10 

They will be like the dew the Lord sends,

like the rain on the grass,

that does not hope for men to come

or wait around for humans to arrive. 11 

5:8 Those survivors from Jacob will live among the nations,

in the midst of many peoples.

They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest,

like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,

which attacks when it passes through;

it rips its prey 12  and there is no one to stop it. 13 

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the people of Israel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn The words “to their enemies” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

4 sn The woman in labor. Personified, suffering Jerusalem is the referent. See 4:9-10.

5 sn Gives birth. The point of the figurative language is that Jerusalem finally finds relief from her suffering. See 4:10.

6 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “to the sons of Israel.” The words “be reunited with” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

sn The rest of the king’s brothers are the coming king’s fellow Judahites, while the sons of Israel are the northern tribes. The verse pictures the reunification of the nation under the Davidic king. See Isa 11:12-13; Jer 31:2-6, 15-20; Ezek 37; Hos 1:11; 3:5.

8 tn Heb “the remnant of” (also in v. 8).

9 tn Heb “will be.”

10 tn This could mean “(scattered) among the nations” (cf. CEV, NLT) or “surrounded by many nations” (cf. NRSV).

11 tn Heb “that does not hope for man, and does not wait for the sons of men.”

sn Men wait eagerly for the dew and the rain, not vice versa. Just as the dew and rain are subject to the Lord, not men, so the remnant of Israel will succeed by the supernatural power of God and not need the support of other nations. There may even be a military metaphor here. Israel will overwhelm their enemies, just as the dew completely covers the grass (see 2 Sam 17:12). This interpretation would be consistent with the image of v. 7.

12 tn The words “its prey” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

13 tn Heb “and there is no deliverer.”



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