Just this afternoon, while reviewing the description of God’s Wisdom or, as many suggest and I affirm, the description of the pre-human Jesus, I remembered that somewhere in Micah there was a prophetic reference to Bethlehem as the birth place of a “ruler of Israel.”
Flipping over to Micah, I found the verse I was looking for (Micah 5:2), which says:
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,
one whose origins are from the distant past.
(New Living Translation)
The New Revised Standard Version presents that last line as:
….whose origin is from old, from ancient days.
I am of the belief that this verse refers, of course, to Jesus Christ and most every reputable scholar would agree. Further, I think that this also adds credence to the belief that Proverbs 8: 22-36 also refers to Jesus as a personification of God’s wisdom. Granted, there is much debate on this issue because Proverbs 8 would tend to describe Jesus as a “created being.” This was the basis of the Arian conflict in the early church and even today the Jehovah’s Witnesses take that position. Still, I don’t interpret this scripture in this light. From what I have come to understand regarding the actual terms used in Proverbs 8 to describe the concept of “create,” it is more accurately interpreted as “begotten.” As a result, the whole debate here is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot and a way for scholars to spend their time.
I find this scripture in Micah, especially the line about “origins in the distant past,” highly interesting.