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So I was in a debate with someone and I pointed out to them that the writer of Matthew took some serious liberties in his book, presenting uncorroborated fantasies and making assumptions on prophecies, etc. I pointed out Micah chapter 5 as an example where the writer of Matthew quotes from in his book at Matthew chapter 2 (I think verses 5 and 6). I pointed out that the original 'prophecy' had NOTHING to do with any prediction about Jesus as can be seen from reading further in Micah 5 where the messiah being spoken of was supposed to be a hero that would deliver the Judaites from the Assyrians. This makes sense because Micah lived in the das of King Hezekiah during an Assyrian threat on Judah. Anyway, the person responded with this:

 

 

Another one of those yawners. First and foremost, who quoted the 'prophecy'? It was the chief priests and scribes of the people together. Herod 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 ...".

 

So what is really happening here? In Judaism, the citation of a scriptural reference implies the whole context and not just the portion quoted. Micah's prophecy actually reads: "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.” It is bad exegesis to simply take from it the figurative location of Jesus' birth. The more direct reference is the duality of the prophecy which includes the promise of the Messiah "The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." It should be obvious that no one in Micah's time, or even none of the Messianic pretenders could lay claim to the bolded portion of the verse, none of them being born in Bethlehem.

 

The weakness in the translation is the partiality of the verse quoted. Jesus was the only one whose qualifications included his goings-forth being of old and from ancient of days. It was of him John stated: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." (1:1-2, NKJV).

 

 

Now, I am VERY knowledgeable about the Bible as I eat, drank and slept the Bible for over 15 years. I can respond to much of this, but he raised tha part about "The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." With this mention in the 'prophecy,' he uses that to show that the passage is a 'dual prophecy' which includes a mention of Jesus based on the idea that he believes Jesus existed prior to his earthly appearance. How would you guys respond to this?

 

 

Thanks

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Now, I am VERY knowledgeable about the Bible as I eat, drank and slept the Bible for over 15 years. I can respond to much of this, but he raised tha part about "The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." With this mention in the 'prophecy,' he uses that to show that the passage is a 'dual prophecy' which includes a mention of Jesus based on the idea that he believes Jesus existed prior to his earthly appearance. How would you guys respond to this?

 

I would say he is right. This dovetails perfectly with 2 Sam. 7:12,13:

 

"When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever."

 

and...

 

Isa. 9:6,7:

 

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, [a] Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."

 

confirmed by Luke 1:32,33:

 

"He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

 

and Jesus in Matt. 19:28:

 

"Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things (millenium), when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks

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I wouldn't let the Christian have his cake and eat it too.

 

First, since Matthew murders other texts to shoe horn them into his shoe, there is no reason to suppose that he hasn't just put this into the mouths of Herod's advisers. Was Matthew a fly on the wall when this was discussed? There is no other record of the slaughter of the innocents that followed so one could also doubt Matthew's report of this use of Micah.

 

Then if one accepts Matthew's Jew's reading of Micah, there is no compelling reason not to accept their rejection of Jesus as the fulfiller of the Prophecy as well. Therefore, one should consult Jewish commentary today rather than a Christians, because by your Christian's admission they are closer to the matter and would know their own Messiah.

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I wouldn't let the Christian have his cake and eat it too.

 

First, since Matthew murders other texts to shoe horn them into his shoe, there is no reason to suppose that he hasn't just put this into the mouths of Herod's advisers. Was Matthew a fly on the wall when this was discussed? There is no other record of the slaughter of the innocents that followed so one could also doubt Matthew's report of this use of Micah.

 

Then if one accepts Matthew's Jew's reading of Micah, there is no compelling reason not to accept their rejection of Jesus as the fulfiller of the Prophecy as well. Therefore, one should consult Jewish commentary today rather than a Christians, because by your Christian's admission they are closer to the matter and would know their own Messiah.

 

Oh not to worry Chef. I am well aware of Matthew's liberties with 'scripture.' This is the same writer that claimed dead people got up out of their graves and walked into Jerusalem as Jesus gave up the ghost. Of course no one happened to notice this bit of unprecedented news but him.

 

The writer of Matthew clearly proves he would present his 'facts' at all cost and proved from time to time he was willing to force his messiah into Old Testament "prophecies." I already know all of this, however, this guy wants to shift the focus from this to trying to focus on the prophecy's mention of Jesus' alleged eternal past. Was Micah just blowing smoke out his ass, did he mean something else as in, this 'ruler' would have ties to some ancient legacy ('whose going forth is from old') or was he just echoing a common Jewish belief that a Messiah would come from God who resided with God until the appointed time to send him?

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Now, I am VERY knowledgeable about the Bible as I eat, drank and slept the Bible for over 15 years. I can respond to much of this, but he raised tha part about "The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." With this mention in the 'prophecy,' he uses that to show that the passage is a 'dual prophecy' which includes a mention of Jesus based on the idea that he believes Jesus existed prior to his earthly appearance. How would you guys respond to this?

 

I would say he is right. This dovetails perfectly with 2 Sam. 7:12,13:

 

"When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever."

 

and...

 

Isa. 9:6,7:

 

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, [a] Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."

 

confirmed by Luke 1:32,33:

 

"He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

 

and Jesus in Matt. 19:28:

 

"Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things (millenium), when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

Thank you, but why do I get the feeling you're a Jehovah's Witness?

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I already know all of this, however, this guy wants to shift the focus from this to trying to focus on the prophecy's mention of Jesus' alleged eternal past.

 

Don't allow him to shift it, he's only doing that to take away from the complete and other bullshit surrounding it.

 

Was Micah just blowing smoke out his ass,

 

Do we even know for sure that some dude named Micah wrote the book of Micah? If so, it is just a story, so what difference does it make? How can one line, negate the overwhelming evidence of failed messianic prophecies?

 

or was he just echoing a common Jewish belief that a Messiah would come from God who resided with God until the appointed time to send him?

 

If Micah existed...probably.

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Try looking at:

 

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2815

And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah whence David emanated, as it is stated (I Sam. 17:5icon_cool.gif: "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 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 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 "Before the sun his name is Yinnon" (Ps. 72:17).

 

and http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2041

 

Micah 5 -

 

The correct translation from Micah 5:1

 

"And you of Beth-Lechem of [the district of]Ephratah, you should have been the lowest [person] of the tribe of Judah [because of your questionable lineage]. [Yet instead,] out of you one shall come to Me who is to be a ruler over all of Israel."

 

This is a Messianic verse, but you will notice that the Christian version seems to look a bit different than the original. The non-Jewish version speaks of an area called Judea, which had taken over the province called Ephratah long after Micah was dead. At the time of Jesus, the district of Ephratah no longer existed. (Which is not to be confused with the modern day town of Efratah which is in the district of Gust Etzion). That is why over and over we read in the Christian bible "Bethlehem of Judea." The other problem, however, is that this verse does not speak of where the Moshiach will be born, but from where his beginnings lie. You'll see that more clearly in a moment.

 

Another problem with the non-Jewish translation is that is sounds like the verse was talking about a town instead of a person. Remember, it said, "And you Bethlehem…are not the least among the princes of Judea". A place, a town cannot be a member of the tribe of Judah! No, obviously it is talking about a person, not a place, as Matthew would have you believe. The prophet is not predicting where the Messiah will be born, but is recalling the source of the messianic lineage, King David, which is why it says, "And you of Bethlehem" or "And you of [a person of] Bethlehem."

 

Let me support that translation by giving you a little background in Hebrew.

 

The verse, transliterated, says "v'atah bais-lechem Ephratah" (and you Bethlehem Ephratah). How do we know that this verse is talking about someone "of" Bethlehem and not about Bethlehem itself? This type of grammar is very common in Biblical Hebrew. A good example of this is where we read in 1 Chronicles 2:54:

 

Sons of Salma of Beth-Lechem

 

Which really means…

 

[The] sons of Salma [were living in] Beth-Lechem…

 

One might incorrectly read it as "Sons of Salma of Beth-Lechem...", indicating that it was Salma who was living in Beth-Lechem. Instead, we read it differently, as you see above, to show that the focus is on the sons, the first objects in the sentence. The sentence could also read, "Sons of Salma were Beth-Lechem…", but that too would be invalid because we know that Beth-Lechem was a town, and therefore the relationship of "Beth-Lechem" to "sons" is not as a name, but must be places relating to the sons. In this case, they are locations, and so I infer this with "were living in" to make the sentence more grammatically accurate.

 

In the same manner "And you [of] Beth-lechem [of the district of] Ephratah…lowest of the tribe of Judah…" we need to focus on what the author meant by "you". We know that "you" must be a member of a tribe, and since Beth-Lechem cannot be a member of a tribe, then "you" must be a resident of Beth-Lechem and "you" is not Beth-Lechem itself. It therefore becomes a valid translation to use "And you of Beth-Lechem" rather than "And you Bethlehem".

 

Next, Matthew left out the portion about "you should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah" but instead implies the opposite. Why is this unnamed person the lowest of the other members of the tribe of Judah? This is because King David's father, who lived there, had a Moabite grandmother, and therefore had a questionable lineage. A Moabite man is forbidden to convert to Judaism and the problem of a Moabite woman also came into question. It was later ruled that it was not a problem for a Moabite woman to convert, but some people still questioned anyone of that descent. Because of that, this man was the least likely of all of the tribe of Judah to be the source of Moshiach.

 

And David was the son of this Ephrasah man from Beth-Lechem... [2]

 

Yishai, who was David's father, incorrectly believed that David's mother was an adulteress and that David was not his son. The reason for this is that David's mother swapped places with Yishai's concubine in the night, because, for various reasons, Yishai would not bed with her. The result of that union was David, and so David was thought to be a mamzer by his own father and brothers, and was treated like an outsider.

 

Ruth was the least likely Matriarch, Yishai was the least likely descendent to become the patriarch, and David was the least likely candidate for King over all of Israel. It is from this least likely lineage that Moshiach will be born. Hence, the prophecy given by Matthew was not stating where Moshiach would be born, but, rather, where his roots had already begun.

 

A final problem with Matthew on this verse is that the author prematurely pulled out another part of the prophecy. As you can see in the valid translation, the descendent of King David would "come to Me", meaning that such a person would fully accept all of Torah and mitzvos. This becomes a problem in the Christian tradition, so Matthew just discarded it.

 

The rest of the actual prophecy speaks of the time period when Zion will be lead by a warrior king who will establish his kingdom with the help of several princes. As far as we can tell, Jesus was not the warrior king! In fact, unlike king David no prophet ever anointed Jesus with that special anointing oil. Further, in 5:4, we read that there shall be peace, but Jesus did not bring peace. (Furthermore, he claimed that he was not here to bring peace, but the sword. [3] ) Remember that Beth-Lechem is not only the prophecy about where the lineage would begin, but what such a person would do. There were lots and lots of baby boys born in Beth-Lechem, but not one of them did what this prophecy says that the Moshiach will do.

 

But the key of all of this is that Jesus did not become the king over all of Israel.

 

And so this prophecy cannot refer to him.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

[1] Matthew 2:5-6

 

[2] 1 Samuel 17:12

 

[3] Matthew 10:34

 

and http://www.kosherjudaism.com/html/matt0206.html

 

All of those should give you some help with dealing with this issue.

 

mwc

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But the key of all of this is that Jesus did not become the king over all of Israel. And so this prophecy cannot refer to him.

 

[JB] He was king but the Jews would not have him. Jesus fulfilled Zech. 9:9:

Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king [a] comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

 

When Jesus comes, he will be King of kings and Lord of lords:

Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev. 19:15,16)

 

 

 

 

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[JB] He was king but the Jews would not have him. Jesus fulfilled Zech. 9:9:

Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king [a] comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

By this loose definition anyone that came riding on a donkey met the criteria. Just like many of the other wonderful "prophecies" that were "fulfilled." Messiah's don't get multiple chances. When they die they're run for glory dies with them.

 

Also, the Jews did want him. In Acts they were converting in record numbers. Prior to his death he drew crowds that were unheard of for such an area. I'd have to check but 5000 people here and 4000 there would be nearly 1/4 to 1/2 the population of Jerusalem. To say he was being rejected is just silly. To condemn everyone because the leaders rejected him is not righteous.

 

mwc

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Try looking at:

 

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2815

And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah whence David emanated, as it is stated (I Sam. 17:5icon_cool.gif: "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 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 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 "Before the sun his name is Yinnon" (Ps. 72:17).

 

and http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2041

 

Micah 5 -

 

The correct translation from Micah 5:1

 

"And you of Beth-Lechem of [the district of]Ephratah, you should have been the lowest [person] of the tribe of Judah [because of your questionable lineage]. [Yet instead,] out of you one shall come to Me who is to be a ruler over all of Israel."

 

This is a Messianic verse, but you will notice that the Christian version seems to look a bit different than the original. The non-Jewish version speaks of an area called Judea, which had taken over the province called Ephratah long after Micah was dead. At the time of Jesus, the district of Ephratah no longer existed. (Which is not to be confused with the modern day town of Efratah which is in the district of Gust Etzion). That is why over and over we read in the Christian bible "Bethlehem of Judea." The other problem, however, is that this verse does not speak of where the Moshiach will be born, but from where his beginnings lie. You'll see that more clearly in a moment.

 

Another problem with the non-Jewish translation is that is sounds like the verse was talking about a town instead of a person. Remember, it said, "And you Bethlehem…are not the least among the princes of Judea". A place, a town cannot be a member of the tribe of Judah! No, obviously it is talking about a person, not a place, as Matthew would have you believe. The prophet is not predicting where the Messiah will be born, but is recalling the source of the messianic lineage, King David, which is why it says, "And you of Bethlehem" or "And you of [a person of] Bethlehem."

 

Let me support that translation by giving you a little background in Hebrew.

 

The verse, transliterated, says "v'atah bais-lechem Ephratah" (and you Bethlehem Ephratah). How do we know that this verse is talking about someone "of" Bethlehem and not about Bethlehem itself? This type of grammar is very common in Biblical Hebrew. A good example of this is where we read in 1 Chronicles 2:54:

 

Sons of Salma of Beth-Lechem

 

Which really means…

 

[The] sons of Salma [were living in] Beth-Lechem…

 

One might incorrectly read it as "Sons of Salma of Beth-Lechem...", indicating that it was Salma who was living in Beth-Lechem. Instead, we read it differently, as you see above, to show that the focus is on the sons, the first objects in the sentence. The sentence could also read, "Sons of Salma were Beth-Lechem…", but that too would be invalid because we know that Beth-Lechem was a town, and therefore the relationship of "Beth-Lechem" to "sons" is not as a name, but must be places relating to the sons. In this case, they are locations, and so I infer this with "were living in" to make the sentence more grammatically accurate.

 

In the same manner "And you [of] Beth-lechem [of the district of] Ephratah…lowest of the tribe of Judah…" we need to focus on what the author meant by "you". We know that "you" must be a member of a tribe, and since Beth-Lechem cannot be a member of a tribe, then "you" must be a resident of Beth-Lechem and "you" is not Beth-Lechem itself. It therefore becomes a valid translation to use "And you of Beth-Lechem" rather than "And you Bethlehem".

 

Next, Matthew left out the portion about "you should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah" but instead implies the opposite. Why is this unnamed person the lowest of the other members of the tribe of Judah? This is because King David's father, who lived there, had a Moabite grandmother, and therefore had a questionable lineage. A Moabite man is forbidden to convert to Judaism and the problem of a Moabite woman also came into question. It was later ruled that it was not a problem for a Moabite woman to convert, but some people still questioned anyone of that descent. Because of that, this man was the least likely of all of the tribe of Judah to be the source of Moshiach.

 

And David was the son of this Ephrasah man from Beth-Lechem... [2]

 

Yishai, who was David's father, incorrectly believed that David's mother was an adulteress and that David was not his son. The reason for this is that David's mother swapped places with Yishai's concubine in the night, because, for various reasons, Yishai would not bed with her. The result of that union was David, and so David was thought to be a mamzer by his own father and brothers, and was treated like an outsider.

 

Ruth was the least likely Matriarch, Yishai was the least likely descendent to become the patriarch, and David was the least likely candidate for King over all of Israel. It is from this least likely lineage that Moshiach will be born. Hence, the prophecy given by Matthew was not stating where Moshiach would be born, but, rather, where his roots had already begun.

 

A final problem with Matthew on this verse is that the author prematurely pulled out another part of the prophecy. As you can see in the valid translation, the descendent of King David would "come to Me", meaning that such a person would fully accept all of Torah and mitzvos. This becomes a problem in the Christian tradition, so Matthew just discarded it.

 

The rest of the actual prophecy speaks of the time period when Zion will be lead by a warrior king who will establish his kingdom with the help of several princes. As far as we can tell, Jesus was not the warrior king! In fact, unlike king David no prophet ever anointed Jesus with that special anointing oil. Further, in 5:4, we read that there shall be peace, but Jesus did not bring peace. (Furthermore, he claimed that he was not here to bring peace, but the sword. [3] ) Remember that Beth-Lechem is not only the prophecy about where the lineage would begin, but what such a person would do. There were lots and lots of baby boys born in Beth-Lechem, but not one of them did what this prophecy says that the Moshiach will do.

 

But the key of all of this is that Jesus did not become the king over all of Israel.

 

And so this prophecy cannot refer to him.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

[1] Matthew 2:5-6

 

[2] 1 Samuel 17:12

 

[3] Matthew 10:34

 

and http://www.kosherjudaism.com/html/matt0206.html

 

All of those should give you some help with dealing with this issue.

 

mwc

 

 

Thanks MWC. By reading your response I was able to construct a very good reply. I think the problem arises from our limited English in regards to the word "everlasting." I think its use in the Bible is similar to that of a synedoche which the Bible uses quite often. What I mean is the Bible's use of "all the world" or "every tongue" or "all nations" when in fact it is only speaking of the KNOWN areas of the world at the time. In one area of the Gospels it states that "ALL" Judea came out to hear John (The Baptist) preach and "ALL" were baptized by him. I'm quite sure no such thng eve happened, but it uses the word "all" for effect. Similarly, I feel this is how the word "everlasting" is being used. It is added for effect, to show the antiquity of the anticipated messiah's family lineage.

 

 

Thanks also to everyone else. If anyone else has more to add PLEASE feel free to do so.

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