The Prophecy - The Birthplace Of Our Messiah:
Old Testament Prophecy
New Testament Fulfillment
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.' "
Seven hundred years before it happened, Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. So insignificant was the town that it was not even mentioned in the list of towns in Joshua 15:33-60 or Nehemiah 11. David, Israel's greatest king, was born here (1 Sam. 17:12). The story of Ruth, which gives the account of David's paternal ancestors, took place in this town (Ruth 1:22). (1)
A ruler (the Messiah) will be born in Bethlehem. The description of this ruler also makes it clear that this ruler will be "from everlasting" meaning that the ruler is eternal.
This prophecy is specific. It identifies Bethlehem as "Ephrathah" which is the older name for Bethlehem (Gen. 35:19; Ruth 1:2; 4:11). This distinguishes this Bethlehem from other towns named Bethlehem such as the one in Zebulon (Josh. 19:15).(2)
The Messiah was born in Bethlehem. To some it seemed to be odd that the Lord would use such a place to be the birthplace of the most important person ever. However, we find that in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God often chose people and places that were not at the center of attention.
See also Luke 2:1-6
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The Hebrew word for Bethlehem is Bait Lechem which means house of bread. Out of this town came the one who was the bread of life. Bethlehem means "house of bread."
And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst (John 6:33).
In the Hebrew, this verse can be translated "whos going forth are from BEFORE the foundation of the world." The only thing that was before the foundations of the world was God. Read more about how Isaiah foretold of The Divine Nature Of Our Messiah.
And you Bethlehem-Ephrathah who are too little to be counted among the thousands of the house of Judah, from you in My name shall come forth the Messiah who is to be ruler in Israel and whose name has been called from eternity, from the days of old." (Targum Jonathan on Micah 5:1 in the Tanakh)
From the Talmud: "The King Messiah... from where does he come forth? From the royal city of Bethlehem in Judah." (Jerusalem Talmud, Berakoth 5a)
Bethlehem was also a grain producing region in the district of Ephrathah, 5 miles south of Jerusalem.(1)
Related Articles To The Birth Of Our Messiah Include:
1). RBC Ministries, Our Daily bread, December 25, 2008.
2). Midwest Messianic Center newsletter, Aug 2011.
Translation for this verse is word for word from The Stone Edition - Tanach - by Artscroll p.1381.
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