Not only did God foretell His lineage and manner of conception but also the exact place He would be born, Bethlehem: "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 going forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). Both the learned and the common people knew that the Messiah would come from this little Judean town (Matthew 2:4-8; John 7:42). And, indeed, so it happened (Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7).
His birth in Bethlehem ties Jesus directly to the house of David, cementing His claim to his everlasting throne. However, the meaning of the name, "house of bread," points to another title of Christ, "the bread of life" (John 6:35, 48). As Jesus says in verse 51: "If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever." This sign guarantees that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah through whom we can receive eternal life.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Born of a Woman
This prophecy does not necessarily state where the Messiah would be born but that the home base, town, or city of the family of the Promised Seed would be Bethlehem Ephrathah. He was indeed born there. David's particular family line (see Ruth 4:18-22) begins with a son, Perez, that Tamar bore to Jacob's son, Judah. Five generations later, Salmon was born into that family line, and his son was Boaz, who married Ruth the Moabitess. These two, who made their home in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1, 19; 2:4), produced Obed, who fathered Jesse, David's father. Jesse and David were also from Bethlehem (I Samuel 16:1, 4, 18).
John W. Ritenbaugh
Leadership and Covenants (Part Eleven): Signs
He is prophesying of the birthplace of the Messiah. He makes it clear that it will be in Bethlehem of Judea, the place of David's birth as well. But when did He reveal the precise location of where a person could find Him? Not until He had an angel lead the Magi right to the house where the Messiah was at the time they arrived there. It came at the last moment. Will the timing of His second coming be similar?
We all know that He is coming. We all know that He will circle the earth when He comes, that He will come with a great horde of angels, but when precisely will He arrive? When will God reveal the exact moment? It looks as if it will be right at the end.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 3)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Micah 5:2: