“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” (NASB)
-Since this promised ruler is quoted and referred to Jesus in Matt. 2:6, some feel that this passage implies that he pre-existed.
-The final Hebrew phrase in Micah 5:2 is y’mai olam. This same phrase occurs in:
a. Micah 7:14 (the previous times when God’s people would feed in Bashan and Gilead)
b. Micah 7:20 (the love which God swore to the forefathers)
c. Deut. 32:7 (the times when God rescued Israel out of Egypt)
d. Isa. 63:11 (the time of Moses)
e. Amos 9:11 (the dynasty of David as it was in its glory days)
-It seems that the Hebrew y’mai olam does not suggest notions of pre-existence. Rather, it points the reader back to a definitive point in history which was recognizable and relevant.
-The goings-forth of the promised ruler extend back to the promises given to David (2 Sam. 7:12-16), not back into pre-history.
-It is also important to note that Micah writes in 5:4 that this coming ruler will shepherd the flock in the majesty of the name of Yahweh his God. Therefore, the promised ruler is distinct and subordinate to Yahweh, the one God of Israel.