The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem
Bible passage: Micah 5:1-2
Written: Sometime between 750-686 BC
In Micah 5:2, there is a prophecy that reveals that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah.
As pointed out in the book, 100 Prophecies, by George Konig and Ray Konig: "The prophecy is effective in a simple way: It eliminates all other cities and towns throughout the world as a place in which the Messiah could be born. It narrows the possibilities to one tiny village just south of Jerusalem."
And throughout the span of the past 27 centuries, from the days of the prophet Micah up through the present time, Bethlehem is credited as being the birthplace for only one person who is widely known throughout the world. And that person is Jesus Christ.
The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke name the town of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Matthew 2:1-6 describes the birth of Jesus as the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy.
In recent years, however, some non-believers have attempted to discredit Matthew's interpretation of Micah 5:2 by claiming that the prophecy refers to a person named Bethlehem, not a town name Bethlehem. This claim has been widely circulated on the Internet by a college professor who describes himself as a former Christian minister.
The first problem with this claim appears in Micah 5:1. In that verse, the prophet establishes that he is speaking of Bethlehem the town, not Bethlehem the person, by setting up a context in which he contrasts the great city of Jerusalem with the humble town of Bethlehem.
A second problem with the claim is that there is also evidence outside of the Bible that shows that Micah 5:2 was regarded as a Messianic prophecy involving the town of Bethlehem. Here is an excerpt from the Jerusalem Talmud, which is a collection of Judaism-related writings completed about 1600 years ago:
"The King Messiah... from where does he come forth? From the royal city of Bethlehem in Judah." - Jerusalem Talmud, Berakoth 5a.
- Research and commentary by George Konig and Ray Konig of www.AboutBibleProphecy.com. Copyright © George Konig and Ray Konig. All rights reserved.
Here is Micah 5:1-2:
1 Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel's ruler on the cheek with a rod.
2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
(New International Version translation)