Micah’s Unique Bethlehem Prophecy

Prophecies throughout the Scriptures foretell many things about the Messiah, but only one prophecy foretells the location from where he would come forth – Bethlehem Ephrathah.[1]

Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” –New King James Version

Translations of the Micah prophecy in the Jewish and Greek Bibles are in harmony with English translations, though in Jewish Bibles it appears one verse earlier: 

Micah 5:1 But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.” – Jewish Publication Society[2]

Micah 5:2 And thou, Bethleem, house of Ephratha, art few in number to be reckoned among the thousands of Juda; yet out of thee shall one come forth to me, to be a ruler of Israel; and his goings forth were from the beginning, even from eternity.” – Septuagint LXX [3]

One noteworthy exception is the Targum Jonathan, the Aramaic Talmud translation, which uses the word Mashiach, Hebrew for “Messiah”:[4]

“Out of thee Bethlehem shall Mashiach go forth before me, to exercise dominion over Israel. Whose name has been spoken of Old from the day of Eternity.”

Hebrew text of Micah’s prophecy not explicitly saying Mashiach (Messiah) opens the door to controversy over its meaning. Counterviews, in essence, contend the future ruler of Israel would possess no messianic qualities.

Some argue the “ruler of Israel” refers to a future general or that Bethlehem Ephrathah refers to a family clan, not a town location.[5] Others claim the meaning of the “days of old” and “ancient times” refers to the golden area of David’s reign some 300 years earlier. A few even go so far as to say Targum Jonathan was mistranslated.

All sides agree it is a prophecy about a future ruler of Israel who will come from the lineage of David leaving the controversies to hinge on two questions. Would the future ruler come forth from the physical location of the town of Bethlehem Ephrathah or merely as a descendant of the Biblical person, Bethlehem Ephrathah?[6]

Detractors of the prophecy foretelling the the birth location of the Messiah are lined up against some very highly respected Jewish sages. Comments by Rabbi Rashi, revered as a Jewish sage on the Talmud and its Mishnah, appear in The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary:  [7]

And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah”: [Rashi:] whence David emanated, as it is stated (I Sam. 17:58): “The son of your bondsman, Jesse the Bethlehemite.” And Bethlehem is called Ephrath, as it is said (Gen. 48:7): “On the road to Ephrath, that is Bethlehem.”

“from you shall emerge for Me”: [Rashi:] the Messiah, son of David, and so Scripture says (Ps. 118:22): “The stone the builders had rejected became a cornerstone.”

“and his origin is from of old”: [Rashi:] “Before the sun his name is Yinnon” (Ps. 72:17).

Rashi identified the future ruler of Israel as “the Messiah, Son of David” and “Yinnon” (Yinon) has been his name “before the sun.” Reflected in the Rabbi’s commentary, Talmud Nedarim 39b says the name of the Messiah has existed before the Sun and shall endure forever.[8] Talmud Sanhedrin 98b identifies Yinnon along with Shiloh and other names for the Messiah (Moshiach) with a quote from the Isaiah 52-53 parashah considered by many to be a Messiah prophecy.[9]

Medieval era Rabbi David Kimchi (Kimhi or Radak) is highly regarded by Jewish authorities for his written comments in the margins of the Torah 1347 edition, The Prophets.[10] An excerpt of Kimchi’s commentary on the prophecy is translated from Hebrew text using Google Translate: [11]

“And this is King Christ and it means to be you avoided in the cities of thousands of young Judah now against them and though yes from you Christ came to me because of David’s seed. Who was from Bethlehem will be and that is what he said and his origins promoted from the world because the origins of the Messiah at that time would say that a long time ago were from Bethlehem it is David because there is a long time between David and the King of Christ and it is to him that he was from ancient times…”

Further evidence of a special status for Bethlehem is found earlier in the Book of Micah. A contemporary prophet to Isaiah, Micah prophesied judgment of utter destruction and singled out 10 towns or cities by name in the land of Abraham that would experience God’s wrath – Bethlehem was not one of them.[12]

Just the opposite. Micah specifically pointed to Bethlehem Ephrathah, “out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel.” Not just any ruler, but one described with divine characteristics, “whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.”

King Herod’s expert Jewish religious council of chief priests and scribes believed Micah’s prophecy foretold the future “King of the Jews” or Christos would come forth from the location of the nearby town, Bethlehem Ephrathah. According to Matthew, the Magi did indeed find Jesus in Bethlehem and worshiped the child while Herod sought to kill him.

Foretelling the location of the birth of the Messiah far into the future sets a standard of predictability that seems virtually impossible. In a small town of little significance in a land disdained by its rulers, a Messiah prophecy raises the level of difficulty of accuracy to the extreme. Impossible is controlling the circumstances of one’s own birth. Chances of intentionally fulfilling this prophecy without divine intervention…extremely improbable.

Nazareth was the expected location of the birth of Jesus and it appeared nothing was be able to change that – except for a Roman Caesar. Months in the making, the decree of Augustus announced by the Town Crier set in motion the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem 90 miles away.  Meanwhile, Magi, already traveling in parallel time, were destined to arrive in that little town at a single moment in time. If Micah’s prophecy foretells the Messiah would come from Bethlehem Ephrathah, was the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem a fulfillment of that prophecy?

 

Updated 22 December 2021.

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REFERENCES:

[i] Killian, Greg (Hillel ben David).  “Bethlehem – Beit Lechem – The House of Bread.”  Betemunah.org.  n.d. <http://www.betemunah.org/bethlehem.html>  “Bethlehem.” Lexicon-Concordance Online Bible.  n.d <http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=bethlehem>[2] Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translation. 1917. Benyamin Pilant. 1997. <http://www.breslov.com/bible/Micah5.htm#5>
[3] English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible. Trans. Brenton, Lancelot C. L. 1851.  <http://www.ecmarsh.com/lxx/Michaeas/index.htm>
[4] “Targum.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14248-targum>  “Historical Jewish Sources.” The Preterist Archive. “Overview:  About Targums.”  n.d. <http://www.preteristarchive.com/BibleStudies/JewishSources/Targums/index.html>
[5] “Jesus Christ is a False Messiah.”  Ed. Chris Thiefe.  EvilBible.com. Point #8, A & B. <https://www.evilbible.com/do-not-ignore-the-old-testament/jesus-is-a-false-messiah>  “Jesus of Bethlehem.” MessianicJewishTruth.com. n.d. <http://web.archive.org/web/20131103080951/http://www.messianicjewishtruth.com/Jesusbethlehem.html>  “Who will emerge from Bethlehem.” Teshuvas HaMinim. 2011. <http://web.archive.org/web/20120902023316/http://www.teshuvashaminim.com/michah51.html>
[6] I Chronicles 2:19, 24,50; 4:4.
[7] Bolding and brackets added by author.  The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi’s Commentary. Micah – Chapter 5.
[8] “Nedarim 39b.” Soncino Babylonian Talmud. Ed. Isidore Epstein. 1935-1948. <https://israelect.com/Come-and-Hear/nedarim/nedarim_39.html#39b_11>
[9] Sanhedrin 98b. Soncino Babylonian Talmud. 1935-1948. <https://israelect.com/Come-and-Hear/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_98.html> “Nedarim 39b.” Soncino Babylonian Talmud.  Steinsaltz, Adin. “Masechet Sanhedrin 98a-104b.” Orthodox Union. 2010. <https://www.ou.org/life/torah/masechet_sanhedrin_98a104b>
[10] “Kimhi” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/9320-kimhi>  Marlowe, Michael.  Editions of the Hebrew Text of the Bible. Bible Research. “The Incunabula.”   2012. <http://www.bible-researcher.com/hebrew-editions.html>  Rosenau, William. Jewish Biblical Commentators. 1906. pp 87-91. <http://www.archive.org/stream/jewishbiblicalco00rose/jewishbiblicalco00rose_djvu.txt>  Mindel, Nissan. “Rabbi David Kimchi – RaDaK.” Chabad.org. 2019.  <http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/111880/jewish/Rabbi-David-Kimchi-RaDaK.htm>
[11] “Redak on Micah.” Micah 5:1. Sefaria.org. Hebrew text translated using Google Translate. <https://www.sefaria.org/Radak_on_Micah.5.1.1?lang=bi>  CR Yehoshua, Avram. “Messiah’s Diety and Micah 5:2.” Quote cited from Mikraoth Gedoloth. n.d. <http://seedofabraham.net/Messiahs-Deity-and-Micah-5.2.pdf>
[12] Micah 1: Gath, Beth Leaphrah, Shaphir, Aaanan, Beth Ezel, Maroth, Jerusalem, Lachish, Achzib, and Mareshah. Wood, Leon J. “Eighth-Century Prophets: Isaiah and Micah.” 1979. <http://www.ldolphin.org/isaiah/woodisaiah.html>  Miller, Fred P. “The Prophecy Of Micah.” 2016. <http://www.moellerhaus.com/Micah/micahcom.htm>

Rabbi Rashi and the Messiah Prophecies

Rabbi Rashi, considered one of Judaism’s greatest interpreters of the Talmud, emerged at a time when the Dark Ages were transitioning from rule by barbarian tribes like the Huns, Goths and Franks into the feudal era when kings, queens, knights & lords ruled Europe.[1] In the year 1040, Shelomoh Yitzha was born in Troyes, France.[2]

As a Rabbi, Rashi was renowned for his wisdom and interpretation of the Talmud in simple terms. Jewish academies widely accepted and valued his commentaries mostly captured and documented by his students.[3]

Commentaries of Rashi include some prophecies foretelling the arrival of the Messiah also recognized as such by Christian authorities. One of the earliest is found in  Jacob’s blessing of his son, Judah:

Gen 49:8-10 “Judah, [as for] you, your brothers will acknowledge you. Your hand will be at the nape of your enemies, [and] your father’s sons will prostrate themselves to you.  A cub [and] a grown lion is Judah.  From the prey, my son, you withdrew. He crouched, rested like a lion, and like a lion, who will rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the student of the law from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him will be a gathering of peoples.” (The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary)

Rashi’s interpretation of Jacob’s prophecy included three prophetic aspects. Judah like a lion foreshadowed David who would become like a lion when the people made him their king. The scepter represents the royal lineage of “David and thereafter.” Shiloh refers specifically to the “King Messiah, to whom the kingdom belongs.”[4]

Another Messiah prophecy involved Moabite King Balak who realized his army could not defeat the Hebrew’s. His strategy instead was to press the Gentile prophet Balaam to place a curse on the approaching Hebrew nation. Balaam’s response was a prophecy doing just the opposite:

Num 24:17  “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.” NASB

Hebrew text translations vary slightly between Christian and Jewish Bibles. The Christian Bible translations typically read “I see him, but not now.” The Jewish Bible translations read “I see it, but not now” without the pronoun “him” although it is inferred by the remainder of the prophecy about a king, a male.[5]

Rashi’s comments that the opening phrase refers to the “greatness of Jacob” at a future time. Hebrew word shebet is translated in the Jewish version as “staff” whereas the same word is earlier translated as “scepter” in Jacob’s prophecy.[6] Consistently, the Rabbi’s commentary says shebet represents “a king who rules dominantly.”

Micah 5:2 (verse 1 in Jewish Bibles) is a prophecy making specific reference to a future ruler of Israel and Bethlehem Ephrathah, the home town of King David. Micah’s prophecy is understood by Rashi, though opposed by some, to mean the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah in the royal lineage of King David .[7] His remarkable phrase-by-phrase breakdown:

Mich 5:1 (or v.2) “And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah – you should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah-from you [he] shall emerge for Me, to be a ruler over Israel; and his origin is from of old, from days of yore.”

“And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah”:  [Rashi] “whence David emanated, as it is stated (I Sam. 17:58): “The son of your bondsman, Jesse the Bethlehemite.” And Bethlehem is called Ephrath, as it is said (Gen. 48:7): “On the road to Ephrath, that is Bethlehem.”

“you should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah”: [Rashi] You should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah because of the stigma of Ruth the Moabitess in you.

“from you shall emerge for Me”: [Rashi] the Messiah, son of David, and so Scripture says (Ps. 118:22): “The stone the builders had rejected became a cornerstone.”

“and his origin is from of old”: [Rashi] “Before the sun his name is Yinnon” (Ps. 72:17). – The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

The Rabbi expressed his distaste of Ruth, a Gentile, being in the prophetic lineage of the Messiah, unsavory in a Hebrew lineage.[8] He cites “the stigma of Ruth the Moabitess” as the reason Bethlehem is called “the lowest of the clans of Judah.”

Ruth was the Moabite daughter-in-law of the Hebrew Naomi whose inheritance was redeemed by marriage to the Hebrew Boaz. The couple were the grandparents of Jesse, great grandparents of King David.

Just one generation earlier, another Gentile appears in the lineage of David and the Messiah. Rahab, the Gentile prostitute, was spared from death after she helped the two Hebrew spies escape the Jericho King’s posse.[9] Rahab went on to marry the Hebrew, Salmon, their son being Boaz.[10]

Leaving no doubt his interpretation of Micah 5:1 (2) i a Messiah prophecy, Rashi explicitly said the future ruler of Israel would be “the Messiah, Son of David” citing Psalms 118:22, another messianic prophecy. The Messiah’s divine characteristic, “and his origin is from of old,” is called Yinnon by Rashi, a Hebrew epithet meaning “be continued.”[11]

Zechariah 12:10 is a prophecy foretelling the Messiah’s manner of death, according to Rashi. Taking a side in the split view of Talmud contributors in Sukkah 52, he commented, “And our Sages expounded this in tractate Sukkah (52a) as referring to the Messiah, son of Joseph, who was slain.”[12]

Christianity’s agreement with Rashi on the Messiah prophecies of Jacob, Balaam, Micah and Zechariah, they part company on another prophecy, Isaiah 7:14.[13] Rashi taught Isaiah’s prophecy was not about a virgin birth, rather it referred to Manoah’s wife, mother of Sampson, the Biblical strongman.[14]

As a Rabbi, Rashi obviously did not believe Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah primarily due to a particular disqualifying factor – Jesus was hanged. Specifically, according to JewishEncyclopedia.com citing Rashi, it was not that Jesus was killed, rather it is the circumstances of his death:

“The very form of his punishment would disprove those claims in Jewish eyes. No Messiah that Jews could recognize could suffer such a death; for “He that is hanged is accursed of God” (Deut. xxi. 23), ‘an insult to God’ (Targum, Rashi).”[15]

Crucifixion of Jesus as a historical fact is undisputed by Judaism. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem in the royal lineage of the House of David is also an undisputed fact by Judaism. The ultimate question between Christianity and Judaism remains…what are the odds Jesus was a fulfillment of the Messiah prophecies?

 

Updated October 2, 2021.

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This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

REFERENCES:

[1] “Dark Ages.” New World Encyclopedia. 2013. <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Dark_Ages>  “Middle Ages,” “Feudalism,” & “Renaissance.”  Encyclopædia Britannica.  2017. <https://www.britannica.com/event/Middle-Ages> <https://www.britannica.com/topic/feudalism> <https://www.britannica.com/event/Renaissance>  “feudal system.” Vocabulary.com. n.d. <https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/feudal%20system>
[2] “Rashi (Solomon Bar Isaac).” Jewish Encyclopedia.  2011. http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12585-rashi-solomon-bar-isaac>  “Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi).”  Chabad.org. 2017. <http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/rabbi-shlomo-yitzchaki-rashi> Segal, Eliezer.  “Rashi’s Commentary on the Talmud.”  University of Calgary.  n.d.  <http://people.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/TalmudMap/Rashi.html>
[3] “Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi).”  Chabad.org.
[4] Rashi. The Compete Jewish Bible – with Rashi Commentary. Gensis 49. <http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9952#showrashi=true>  “Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki).”  Jewish Virtual Library. 2017.  Mindel, Nissan. “Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi).”  Chabad.org.
[5] Net.bible.org. Hebrew text. <http://classic.net.bible.org/bible.php>
[6] Net.bible.org. Hebrew text shebet <07626>  Numbers 24:17. Rashi. The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary  Commentary.
[7]  “Jesus of Bethlehem.” MessianicJewishTruth.com. n.d. Archive.org. 2013.  <http://web.archive.org/web/20131103080951/http://www.messianicjewishtruth.com/Jesusbethlehem.html>      “Who will emerge from Bethlehem.”  Teshuvas HaMinim.  2011.  Archive.org. 2012.  <http://web.archive.org/web/20120902023316/http://www.teshuvashaminim.com/michah51.html>
[8] Mendel. “Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki).”

[9] Joshua 6:25; I Chronicles 2:11; Matthew 1:5.
[10] Joshua 2.
[11] Yinon (Yinnon).” eTeacherHebrew.com.  2016. <http://eteacherhebrew.com/Hebrew-Names/yinon-yinnonInterlinear Bible.  Psalms 72:17. BibleHub.com.  2014. <http://biblehub.com/interlinear>
[12] The Compete Jewish Bible – with Rashi Commentary. Zechariah 12:10  <http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/63255/jewish/The-Bible-with-Rashi.htmSoncino Babylonian Talmud. Sukkah 52a. <http://www.halakhah.com/rst/moed/16b%20-%20Succah%20-%2029b-56b.pdf>
[13] The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary.  Isaiah , Chapter 7.  “Who is the Almah’s son?” Teshuvas HaMinim. 2011.  Archive.org.  2012.  <http://web.archive.org/web/20120425022737/http://www.teshuvashaminim.com/isaiah714.html>  Robinson, B.A. “Isaiah 7:14 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive…””  Religious Tolerance. 2007. <http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_proi.htm>  Gill, John.  John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible.  Isaiah 7:14.  2017. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb.html>
[14] The Compete Jewish Bible- with Rashi Commentary.  Isaiah 7:14. CR Judges Chapter 13.
[15] “Jesus of Nazareth.”  Jewish Encyclopedia.  2011.;

Bethlehem – An Amazing Small Town Story

Bethlehem, one of the oldest cities in the world, should be as anonymous, if not forgotten, as nearly all the other small Judean towns of ancient Palestine. But a string of connected events over hundreds of years would not allow that to happen. Bethlehem became the home town of a king, the subject of a unique Messiah prophecy and the town where Jesus of Nazareth was born.

Sometimes called Bethlehem Ephrathah in the Old Testament or Tanakh, Bethlehem means “house of bread” or “the dwelling of bread” while Ephrathah means “fruitful.”[1] Practically a suburb of Jerusalem, it is located just 5 miles to the south. [2] Today’s Bethlehem in many ways is no different than it was while under Roman rule:

“…Bethlehem, today as it was 2,000 years ago, grottoes are used as livestock pens.  Mangers are carved out of rock.  Here, in the bulls-eye of this volatile place, ringed by Jewish settlements, imprisoned within a wall, encircled by refugee camps, hidden amid a forest of minarets, tucked below the floor of an ancient church, is a silver star.  This, it’s believed, is where Jesus was born.” – National Geographic[3]

By the time Judea came under Roman rule, Bethlehem had already been a town for millennia.[4] Jacob’s wife, Rachel, died there while giving birth to Benjamin, Israel’s 12th son, some 2500 before the rule of King Herod.  She was buried in the district of Ephrath just outside of Bethlehem where today her tomb is a revered religious site of both Jews and Muslims. [5]

Some 3000 years ago, seven generations removed from Judah, Jacob’s son, was born Boaz of Bethlehem, famous in Hebrew lore for his story of redemption, a goel.[6] The story involved another Bethlehem resident, Naomi, and her Gentile Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth.

Naomi’s husband and both sons had all died leaving Naomi and Ruth as widows in Moab.[7] Ruth wanted to stay with Naomi when she moved back to Bethlehem. Later, Boaz discovered Ruth gleaning for leftovers in his barley field and inquired about her. He discovered Ruth’s connection to Naomi whom was his relative.

Hebrew law allowed Boaz to redeem Naomi’s lost inheritance through marriage to Ruth if the first successor relative declined to marry her.[8] The relative declined and Boaz wed Ruth and they had a son named Obed. His own son was Jesse who is mentioned in two messiah prophecies by the prophet Isaiah.[9]

Samuel, the prophet, was sent by God to Jesse’s house in Bethlehem. His mission was to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the king-in-waiting to replace King Saul who had rejected God.[10]

Jesse’s youngest son, David, was surprisingly anointed as God’s choice to be the next king of Israel. The giant slayer went on to become the most iconic king in the nation’s history. Six prophecies by three prophetsIsaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah – would foretell the future Messiah would come from House of David.[11]

Generations after David’s reign, the prophet Micah would again shine the spotlight on Bethlehem Ephrathah prophesying the future Messiah of the tribe of Judah would come from that little town of Bethlehem. Translations of the Micah prophecy in Greek and Jewish Bibles are in agreement with the English translations…

Micah 5:1 (5:2) But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days. – Jewish Publication Society[12]

A 1000 years after the House of David and in his royal lineage, Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem under bizarre, unforeseen circumstances. His parents, Mary and Joseph, were compelled by a decree of Roman Caesar Augustus to travel 90 miles by foot from Nazareth to Bethlehem just days before his mother was to give birth.

Today, some 2000 years later, the famed little town of Bethlehem is the backdrop for the Christmas Nativity scene detailed by Luke and Matthew. Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger for his crib according to Luke. Later after traveling hundreds of miles, the Magi located baby Jesus and his parents in a house, according to Matthew.

Bethlehem, an unbelievable small town story with a legacy going back three millennia – home town of a famous Hebrew King, the place of a unique messianic prophesy and the birthplace of the most controversial personage in human history, Jesus of Nazareth. Was the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem an improbable coincidence or a fulfillment of prophecy?

 

Updated October 21, 2021.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

REFERENCES:

[1] Ryrie Study Bible.  Ed. Ryrie Charles C.  Trans. New American Standard.  Moody Press. 1978. Footnote on Micah 5:2.   The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi’s Commentary.  Micah – Chapter 5 commentary.
[2] Map of Israej (untitled)l.  Google Maps.  n.d.  <https://www.google.com/maps/@31.743205,35.21307,13z?hl=en>  Josephus, Flavius.  Antiquities of the Jews. Book VII, Chapter XII. The Complete Works of Josephus. 1850.  <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>
[3] Finkel, Michael.  “Bethlehem 2007 A.D.” National Geographic.  December, 2007.
[4] Matthew 1:5; 1 Chronicles 2:10; Ruth 4:21.
[5] Genesis 35:16-19; 48:7. “The Story of Abraham.”  The History of Israel.  n.d.  <http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/story-of-abraham.html>  Pratt, John P.  “Divine Calendars Testify of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”   JohnPratt.com. <http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2003/abraham.html> “Rachel’s Tomb.” Chabad.org. n.d. <http://www.chabad.org/special/israel/points_of_interest_cdo/aid/602502/jewish/Rachels-Tomb.htm>
[6] “Salvation” and “Hosanna.”  Jewish Encyclopedia.  2011.  link Isaiah 44:6,  23, 48:20, 52:9, 59:20.   NKJV. Net.bible.org. Ruth 2:20 Hebrew text “wnlagm.” <http://classic.net.bible.org/strong.php?id=01350>
[7] Ruth chapters 1-4.  Ryrie. “Introduction to the Book of Ruth.” Matthew 1:1-5.
[8] Net.bible.org..Ruth 2:20 Hebrew text. “goel.” Dictionary.com.
[9] Isaiah 11:1-2; 10.
[10] I Sam. 16: 4. 2 Samuel 16:11-13. I Chronicles 2:13.
[11] Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:14-17; 33:20-26; Zechariah 12:10-12.
[12] Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translation. 1917. “Micah.” <http://www.breslov.com/bible/Micah5.htm#3>