The Ruler Goes Forth
Micah 5:2 Pinpoints the Messiah
Micah 5:2 Pinpoints the Messiah
Micah 5:2 is one of the clearest indicators given in the Hebrew Scriptures for identifying the Messiah, a prophecy which both pinpoints the exact birth location of the Messiah, as well as telling us much about the charactre and power of this Anointed One. For this reason, Micah 5:2 has also been one of the most maligned prophecies in the Bible, discounted and twisted by those who choose not to see the clear fulfillment of this passage as it is found in Matthew's Gospel. By altering the understanding of what Micah 5:2 is saying from the understanding that has been traditionally held by both Jews and Christians, opponents of the Gospel hope to cast doubt on Matthew's claim of fulfillment of this prophecy by Jesus Christ.
Micah 5:2 (v.1 in the Hebrew text) reads,
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
Attacks upon this passage centre primarily around three objections:
Each of these objections will be addressed in turn, and will be shown to be groundless for a number of reasons that will be considered and explained.
Bethlehem Ephratah - Person or Place?
The first objection we will address in detail is that which argues that the Bethlehem Ephratah in Micah 5:2 is the name of a person, or of a clan, and is not a geographical location. I will begin by referring to a portion of Glenn Miller's outstanding essay concerning prophetic fulfillments by the Lord Jesus Christ.
How possible is it that Micah 5.2 could be referring to a PERSON named 'Bethlehem Ephrathah'? Although Jim discounts this later in the paragraph, he does raise this issue as something that 'confuses the matter'. So we should probably investigate this issue briefly.
First of all, we need to verify that there WAS such a person mentioned in the verses cited.
Let's look at the passage first...
1Chr. 2:50 These were the descendants of Caleb. The sons of Hur the firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim,
1Chr. 2:51 Salma the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth Gader.
1Chr. 2:52 The descendants of Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim were: Haroeh, half the Manahathites,
1Chr. 2:53 and the clans of Kiriath Jearim: the Ithrites, Puthites, Shumathites and Mishraites. From these descended the Zorathites and Eshtaolites.
1Chr. 2:54 The descendants of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth Beth Joab, half the Manahathites, the Zorites,
1Chr. 2:55 and the clans of scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, Shimeathites and Sucathites.
Could the Bethlehem of verses 51 and 54 have been a PERSON instead of a CITY? What data do we have from the passage? Ephrathah was an alternate spelling of Ephrath (v. 19)--the WIFE of Caleb. Bethlehem (vs. 51) is in the middle of the following literary structure:
Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim (a city name)
Salma the father of Bethlehem (a ? name)
Hareph the father of Beth Gader (a city name)
This literary structure argues STRONGLY that Bethlehem in this verse is a CITY NAME as well. The word for 'father' in these passages, in light of the numerous place names, is generally understood as 'chief' or 'ruler' in verses 24,42,45,49-52 (Brown, Driver, Briggs ,Hebrew Lexicon of the Old Testament, 3d.9).
Bethlehem itself is understood as a place name in ALL OT REFERENCES (and NEVER as a person) in the scholarly reference works (BDB, 111d.1; TWOT, I.106f). in verse 54, Bethlehem is in parallel to Atroth Beth Joab--a Place name. in verse 4.4 (also cited by Lippard) the phrase 'father of Bethlehem' is paralleled in verse 5 with 'father of Tekoa'--a known place name (and not a person).
Additional data that supports the position that IT COULD NOT BE A PERSON'S name:
"Beth" compound words occur hundreds and hundreds of times in the OT Hebrew, and they NEVER refer to human beings. [The two 'exceptions' are foreign loan-words: Abraham's brother in Mesopotamia (e.g. Gen 22.22) and a foreign deity (e.g. Zech 7.2)]
IF 'Bethlehem Ephratah' was referring to a 'Bethlehem SON of', the Hebrew form would have typically been "Bethlehem BEN-Ephratah" which of course is NOT what the passage says. (cf. Ben-Hadad, Ben-Hur, Ben-Hail).
Early Hebrew lineage descriptions ALWAYS used the FATHER's name as surname--NOT the MOTHER'S (esp. with a living father). So a person would have been referred to as "Bethlehem Ben-Salma" (father); "Bethlehem Ben-Hur" (grandfather); or "Bethlehem Ben-Caleb" (great-grandfather).
Finally, the 1st century Jews all understood the reference to be the town of Bethlehem (the passages cited by Jim above).
So...the data is rather conclusive that the phrase in Micah 5.2 COULD NOT HAVE BEEN referring to a PERSON.
Miller's arguments from the literary structure and other elements of the passages under study are very good. Still, some may object to the argument that he makes concerning the word translated as "father" meaning "chief" or "head" in this passage. The word in Hebrew is aviy, which can have these meanings, but yet also does have the very literal meaning of "father" in the majority of the places in which it is used. Thus, critics and "anti-missionaries" still have a foot in the door to try to claim that this passage is, in the very least, speaking of a clan or sib if not a specific person, rather than a specific geographic location.
However, as we will see, in the society of Israel at the time in which this prophecy was written, to speak of a clan and to speak of a geographical location, would be to speak of the same thing. Society in ancient Israel, especially in first temple Israel, was centred about the institution of the extended family, the mishpahah, the clan or sib which represented the greater unilineal body to which one's own extended household (the beit 'ab) belonged. The clan was the central unit through which the land was retained within the body of the several tribes. Bendor notes, for instance, that the role of the mishpahah in Israel was largely to preserve the inheritance of each group in Israel, and that marriage among the several batei 'ab within the clan was the means by which this was effected1. The emphasis which the Hebrew scriptures place on retaining the inheritances divided to Israel by Joshua strongly supports this. We note the legal prohibition against permanent land alienation and the restoration of inheritances at the Jubilee (Lev. 25:23-28), the redemption process for lands so as to retain them "within the family" (Ruth 2:20, 3:9-13, 4:3-9; vis Lev. 25:25), the institution of Levirate marriage (Deut. 25:5-6), and specific legal examples such as the confinement of the daughters of Zelophehad to marriage within their own tribe to prevent the inheritance from being transferred to another tribe (Num. 27:1-11, 35:1-11).
Within Israel, the ties to the land of their inheritance was such that the clans within the various tribes were more or less geographically tied to the villages or cities of their inheritance2. Even in the monarchic period in Israel's history, the mishpahot remained attached to the geographical locations of their inherited divisions, as Bendor states,
"The mishpahot and the batei 'ab continued to exist in the cir. They did not disintegrate but rather merged with the locality. It was they who developed the community of neighbours during the long period of the infiltration, and in the impetus of settlement in the days of "David's mighty men" (2 Samuel 23:8ff). Even if the manner of settlement was different during these periods, the settlers were batei 'ab and mishpahot. Even the foreign elements did not undermine the structure of the mishpaha and beit 'ab, but were absorbed in keeping with their socio-economic condition and with the historical circumstances. The attachment to the locality did not undermine the kinship structure, for the simple reason tat the attachment to place was also an attachment to the inheritance, that is, to the patrimony."3
This emphasis on the geographic location of the tribal and clan inheritance extends even into the return of Israel from the Babylonian captivity, for which the records of familial descent proved most necessary for the reallotment of lands to the returnees.
Noting the importance of the patrimony to the various tribes, we then can see that the lists given in I Chronicles 2:50-55 (as well as elsewhere), are describing the foundation of the various cir, the cities, in which the descendants of these members of the clans were gathered and had their inheritance. Miller is correct that this list describes the foundation of cities. In the context of the passage, knowing what we now do about the ties between clan, land, and city, the term abiy in I Chronicles 2:50-55 is almost certainly used in the sense of a founder of a tribal unit. This word definitely shows this sort of usage elsewhere in the scriptures (e.g. applied to Abraham in Deut. 26:5, Isa. 51:2, etc.). Payne cites the chapter of I Chronicles 2 as an example of the application of the name of a tribal founder to the city or cities in which his descendants lived4.
The use of the term alaphiym, "thousands" as it is translated in Micah 5:2, reinforces this view that a geographic location is in view, rather than just a clan or familial descent. This term is one which is intimately bound up with the notion of clan association and mutual protection. The term 'eleph is more than anything else a military one which denotes cooperation among the men of related or nearby villages and cities5. In the context of what we have seen about clan localisation about the patrimony, these "local militias" almost certainly were organised on the basis of drawing men from the clan's villages in the specific area of the inheritance. For example, In Judges 6:15, Gideon questions the prediction that he would deliver Israel by citing his 'eleph as the smallest in the tribe of Manasseh, and he the least in his household (beit 'ab). Here, the 'eleph fits nicely into the pattern of tribe - clan - household, and its use seems to be synonymous with that of the clan, but is used in the specifically military context of the passage (delivering Israel from the Midianites). Bendor supports this view, citing this passage about Gideon, and stating that the use of the term indicates that it serves as a kinship group, rather than as a mere number6. The concept of 'eleph simply would not be possible as it is presented in the scriptures in any other sort of system other than clans gathered around cities and villages in specific geographical locations. How would an 'eleph be called together to repel an invasion of the patrimony if its members were scattered all over Israel?
With all this in mind, we can see that to speak of the Ruler coming forth from a clan WOULD BE to speak of Him coming forth from a geographical location. Indeed, we note the fortuitous circumstance in the Gospel accounts of the census for taxation which was made by the Romans and which necessitated that Joseph, a descendant of David, bring his pregnant wife to the patrimonial location of his mishpaha, Bethlehem. The Romans, as a general rule, tended to allow the fulfillment of their orders to provinces to be carried out through the traditional means already present in the societies of those provinces. As such, this census was made on the basis of the familial structure and descent that was characteristic of the Jewish society, even into the Roman period. Though the society of Jesus' day was more "fluid" than that of Israel when Micah was written, the prophecy still pointed specifically to a PLACE from which the Ruler was to come forth, as that is how the passage would have been understood by those reading it in Micah's day. As Matthew indicates, this was certainly how the advisors of king Herod still understood it. This, coupled with the light that Glenn Miller sheds on the matter, confirms that this prophecy of the Ruler denotes a specific geographical location. Now, it may very well be that the lineal descent of the Ruler may ALSO be understood from the prophecy, but the fact of a geographical intent being tacit and inherit in that prophecy cannot be denied. The argument that many "anti-missionaries" make that Matthew "messed up" his understanding of the Micah prophecy and wrongly thought that he had to include a fulfillment in Bethlehem simply does not hold water in light of what is seen above.
Jesus a Ruler?
Rather than reinvent the wheel at this point, I will instead direct the reader back to Glenn Miller's excellent treatment of this subject, as he really covers this particular point in great detail. Miller first scripturally covers what the expected conditions for this ruler to fulfill would be (hint: not exactly what critics and "anti-missionaries" think), and then shows how Jesus did indeed fulfill these expectations.
There are many who would claim, then, that even if Jesus did fulfill the intended conditions, that He still failed to be the Messiah as He did not establish His rule and reign. Instead, He died the miserable death of a criminal upon a Roman cross. The Messiah is supposed to reign, to restore Israel, to rule the nations with a rod of iron. How could Jesus be the Messiah if He did not do this?
This objection comes from a partial understanding of what the Hebrew scriptures say about the Messiah. Over the centuries, it became the tendency in later Judaism to focus on the triumphal aspects of the Messiah, which is understandable given the suffering of the Jewish people during their dispersion among the nations. Of course, it is also the natural tendency on the part of anybody to want to focus on triumph and victory instead of suffering or sorrow, and later Judaism's concentration on the "this-worldly" understanding of the Messiah reflects this. Yet, we need to understand that Hebrew scriptures themselves point out that the Messiah would fulfill BOTH roles - that of a suffering servant who bears the sins of His people, and a triumphant ruler who will exercise authority over the nations and who will rule His people Israel. The Messiah indeed does have a dual-role assigned to Him in the Hebrew scriptures, and this fact, in addition to playing a rather key role in Christian theology about Jesus, was ALSO well-understood by many of the Jewish theologians and Rabbis, both before and after the time of Christ.
The verses to which Christians would point in the Hebrew Scriptures in support of both Messianic aspects are well-known. To demonstrate the Messiah in His role as sufferer and sin-bearer, one need only to look at passages such as Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Zechariah 12:10, and others. To see the Messiah in His role as conquering king, ruler, and High Priest, passages are used such as Psalm 2:7, Psalm 110:1-4, Isaiah 63, and so forth. In Isaiah 61:1-2, we see a passage which speaks to both missions of the Messiah.
Though "anti-missionaries" will decry the claim of a dual role for the Messiah, and usually claim that it is some sort of Christian trick to work Jesus into the role of Messiah, the fact yet remains that both aspects are clearly presented in the Tanakh, both apply to the Messiah, AND both have been understood by many Jewish commentators, both before and after the advent of Christianity, often in ways similar to how Christians have interpreted the scriptures about the Messiah. This is shown by the persistence with which the idea of TWO Messiahs (Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David, the first who came to suffer, the second who came to rule) threaded its way through the development of later Jewish theology, though more often these have been combined in the personage of one Messianic figure.
The Messiah was understood in Rabbinical Judaism to be one who would come to suffer for His people. For example, in the Babylonian Talmud, Zechariah 12:10 is applied Messianically to the slaying of Messiah ben Joseph, which is the cause of the mourning seen in v. 127. Isaiah 53, a very contentious passage between Jews and Christians, was also widely understood to be referring to the Messiah - the interpretation of the Suffering Servant as Israel herself being a minority interpretation until modern times. The Messiah was understood as a sufferer in Isaiah 53, indeed the Messianic name "Leprous" comes about because of Talmudic application of this passage (cf v. 4, describing the Messiah as bearing his people's sicknesses)8. In the Midrash on Samuel, the Messiah is also pointed to as a bearer of these sufferings9. Yet, though the Messiah was understood as a sufferer, He has also been understood as ruling and reigning, via verse 1010.
Yet, the Messiah was also understood triumphantly by the Rabbis. The passages relating to the Son in Psalm 2 were understood to be Messianic, and to describe His future accession to power and rulership. The Genesis Rabbah applies Psalm 2:8 to the Messiah in the role of asking for the rulership from God11. A similar theme, expounded more fully, also appears in the Midrash on Psalms, where the Rabbis take vv. 7-8, apply them to the creation of the Messiah on the day of redemption who will both suffer and yet triumph for the redemption of His people12. Isaiah 63 was understood Messianically, as in the Pirqe of Eliezer, where the Messiah is said to come "to the land" after having seen the destruction of the Gentile opponents of God and His people13.
The examples given above are only a very small portion of what could be discussed on this issue of Jewish Messianic interpretations, ranging from the Targumim to the Talmud. Given that so many rabbinical commentators have understood the Messiah both in terms of a suffering servant or bearer of sins and sicknesses while yet also understanding Him to be a coming ruler, King, High Priest, etc., why should it be considered out of bounds, on the face of it, to consider the Christian understanding of a dual role for the Messiah to be unsubstantiated? From the Hebrew scriptures themselves, it seems clear that the Messiah has two roles, and that these roles would be fulfilled on two different advents (cf. Isaiah 61:1-2, where He has both an "acceptable year" and a "day of vengeance"). Far from excluding a dual role for the Messiah, the Scriptures seem to DEMAND it. Thus, the lack of rulership on the part of Jesus in His coming nearly two thousand years ago does not, in light of the Scriptures, disqualify Him from the position of Messiah.
From Everlasting or Not?
The third and final objection which will be addressed in this article is that which claims that the KJV, and by derivation other Bibles used by Christians, have wrongly translated the final clause in Micah 5:2, giving the verse a meaning which does not exist in the Hebrew. This claim is made concerning the translation of the phrase miymey 'olam as "from everlasting". Perhaps the foremost proponent of this claim is the "anti-missionary" Rabbi Tovia Singer, who attempts to attack the claim that Micah 5:2 points to a Messianic king whose lineage extends to eternity past. Singer's argument is that in the five other passages where some variant of the miymey 'olam phraseology appears (involving either min or one of the inseparable prepositions), even the Christian Bibles translate the phrase as "from days of old". He then argues from this that the reason it appears as "from everlasting" in Micah 5:2 is because Christians are trying to "engineer" a divine Messiah into the passage.
The first thing to point out is that Singer is technically correct in what he says about the appearance of this phraseology in five other passages (Isaiah 63:9,11; Amos 9:11, Micah 7:14, and Malachi 3:4), and their being translated as "from days of old". Indeed, this translation *would* be the normal and typical translation of miymey 'olam, since miymey is a prepositional construction combining "from" (min) and "days" (yemey), with 'olam supplying the time element. It IS translated this way in the KJV in the five other places where it appears.
However, as with most things that are technically correct, this one turns out not to be so once a fuller and deeper investigation of the matter is conducted. There are several things about this particular construction in Micah 5:2 which strongly differentiates it from the five other passages. To begin, we note that Micah 5:2, though it has this particular construction in common with the other passages, places this particular construction into a GREATER constructive element which sharply distinguishes this passage from the others. This element is that of emphatic repetition, a construction which appears, by several means, throughout the Hebrew scriptures. In Hebrew, repetition of the same or similar word forms or adjectives is a powerful means of hyperbolising the meaning of the words being used. One example of this type of repetitive emphasis is expounded by Muraoka, who notes that repetition of a word in paronomastic constructions (in which the same word is used, but in slightly different form, such as an alternate verbal conjugation) is widely used in the Hebrew scriptures to provide emphasis beyond the mere denotation of the word being used and/or to draw the reader's special attention to the particular point being made in the passage14.
What is present in the passage at hand is a "piling up" of descriptors which is another means of hyperbolising or emphasising a point, in this case a repetition of "from of old, from everlasting". This translation in the KJV is from the Hebrew miqqedem miymey 'olam. In the Hebrew language, there is no superlative construction available to express ideas like "biggest", "best", "fastest", etc. To make up for this lack, this piling up or repetition of related ideas and words is used as an emphatic structure to indicate that the object, etc. being described is being treated superlatively. One example of this that appears elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures is in Proverbs 8:23. The KJV translates this passage as "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was." In Hebrew this verse reads me'olam nisakhtiy merosh miqqadmey-erets. In this verse, we see olam, our word under contention, connected with other adjectives such as rosh and qedem which also denote both primacy of position or order (a derivative of rosh appears as "In the beginning" in Genesis 1:1) as well as a long, indefinitely past time period, all being used to emphasise the eternal pre-existence of divine Wisdom with God.
Likewise, in Micah 5:2 miymey 'olam appears in emphatic combination with miqqedem, a word which also denotes "a long time past", and which is almost universally translated (even when it stands alone)15 as some form of the idea of eternity of everlastingness. The repetition in order and the piling on of similar adjectives indicates that something more than a mere earthly "days of old" is meant in this verse. Indeed, from the way repetition is used throughout the Hebrew scriptures, this repetitive construction can almost be said to demand the translation of miymey 'olam as "from everlasting". This is all the more so when we consider that Micah 5:2 piles on yet more emphatic structures into this verse beyond the one seen above.
Muraoka specifically notes that Micah 5:2, prior to this final clause, has ALREADY been distinguished for the presence of yet another emphatic structure in the verse, this one involving an extraposed pronomial structure for "little" in the first clause of the verse16. There is a contrasting parallel between this emphasis on the "smallness" of the ruler's origin point and the "bigness" of who He really is, and this comes out when the emphatic nature of both these constructions in the Hebrew are understood. Further, Waltke and O'Connor note that where repetition of the preposition min ("from") appears when dealing with adjectives, such as we find in the final clause of Micah 5:2, that the construction is used to provide additional emphasis to the meaning of the adjectives being described by this preposition (Proverbs 8:23 above, which piles three "min"-constructions together, is an excellent example of this)17. Hence, in Micah 5:2, there are THREE emphatic constructions, TWO of which focus specifically on the temporal origin of this ruler who is to come forth to Israel. This is definitely quite a different contextual environment for miymey 'olam than are found in the other five passages Singer argues from.
So what are the particulars of these two words that are being piled together? Looking at 'olam first, we see that it is a word which, when used to describe past events, refers to things that are out of the view or recollection of those with whom the 'olam-containing passage is dealing. The meaning of the word can, but does not always, carry with it the idea of "limitless past", but in either sense always refers to a time long before the immediate knowledge of those living18. This results, perhaps, from the fact that the basic meaning of the 'lm root from which 'olam is derived has the meaning of "being covered, hidden", and is the same root from which 'almah, describing a virgin, is drawn. Just as a virgin in ancient Semitic societies would be covered and hidden away until the time of her marriage, so is the time in the past described by 'olam hidden away from the view of those living presently. Additionally, 'olam also carries with it the idea of perpetuity, of something continuing in duration.
Qedem is a word which also has a general sense of an ancient time or long time past. Additionally, this word denotes an idyllic state for the object being described by it. Coppes informs,
"In poetic passages, qedem describes the created state. So Joseph is blessed with the chief things of the ancient (idyllic) mountains (Deut. 33:15), and God is enthroned (abides) of old (since creation, Ps. 55:19 [H 20]). Our word is used of the Exodus as typifying the intended ideal (Mal. 3:4). The Psalmist recalls the glorious works of God performed then (Ps. 44:1 [H 2]), especially in his times of distress (Ps. 77:5 [H 6]). Surely, these references recall the divine covenant (Ps. 74:2).
"qedem is also used of the Davidic period (Neh 12:46). All three ideas (creation - Exodus - Davidic reign) are joined in Ps. 74:12. So we see that the three form a theological model. This is further emphasized in statements about the Messiah (Micah 5:2 [H 1]; Ezk 36:11), and the eternal covenant (Mic 7:20). Finally, Isaiah applies this model (from creation to perfection) to the Lord's coming (Isa 45:23) according to the counsel of God. All is known and done by Him (Isa 45:21)."19
What this all comes down to is that the Hebrew text of Micah 5:2 describes this coming Ruler in an emphatic manner, using a term which describes a state of idyllic origin and perfection. This term when used throughout the Hebrew scriptures builds up a theological model of perfection in God's work, whether it be in creation, in God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt, or in the Davidic reign, which was a prefigurative forerunner of the Messiah's own reign. This emphatic addition of miqqedem in Micah 5:2, piled on with 'olam, does more than just allow the translation of the latter as "everlasting" to be legitimate, it demands it. The emphatic constructions combined with the model being build for qedem throughout the scriptures works to definitely give 'olam a contextual sense of everlastingness, or at least of a time going back to creation.
Further, we note that the miymey 'olam and similar constructions in the six verses given by Singer (including the present one under discussion) all share one more commonality that Singer failed to mention - their contexts are all Messianic and/or describing the days of the Messiah's reign. Isaiah 63:9 and 11 are contained within a confession of dependence upon the LORD, appearing after the description of the Messiah's wrath being poured out upon the enemies of God's people, in this case upon Edom. Amos 9:11 describes the bountiful times that will be enjoyed by Israel under the Messiah's rulership, "in that day". Likewise also does Micah 7:14. Malachi 3:4 describes the purging and cleansing of Israel in "the day of his coming". All of these passages, including Micah 5:2, deal with the future coming of the Messiah - they are all in some form or fashion Messianic. Miymey 'olam then is no mere statement describing a time period not long ago. It attains a special significance when we consider the piling up of this descriptor with qedem, which affirms the idyllic origins of this Messianic ruler, from back to the beginning. When we consider this in light of other Messianic passages which indicate an explicitly deitic nature for the Messiah, such as Jeremiah 23:5-6, the translation of miymey 'olam as "everlasting", and the accuracy of this word in describing the origins of this Ruler coming forth, is certain.
In summation, we have seen that Micah 5:2 is a prophecy which both predicts the coming of the Messiah, and helps to pinpoint this individual. As such, it has become the target of much revisionism and gainsaying by many who wish to deny the Messianism of Jesus Christ. These attacks come from three primary directions, but each turns out not to be the serious problem for Christian interpretations of Micah 5:2 that the "anti-missionaries" would like to think. This passage, appearing in Messianic context in Micah chapter 5, is a remarkable prophecy concerning God's Messiah who will save His people Israel, as well as having brought, and continuing to bring, light to the Gentiles.
(1) - S. Bendor, Social Structure of Ancient Israel, p. 103
(2) - see R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel: It's Life and Institutions, p. 21
(3) - S. Bendor, Social Structure of Ancient Israel, p. 99
(4) - Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, eds. R.L. Harris, G.L. Archer, B.K.Waltke, Vol. I, p. 5
(5) - see C. Meyers, "The Family in Early Israel", in Families in Ancient Israel, ed. L.G. Perdue, pp. 13, 38
(6) - S. Bendor, Social Structure of Ancient Israel, p. 95
(7) - Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a
(8) - Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, 98b
(9) - Midrash on Samuel, Buber ed., p. 45
(10) - e.g. the Targum on Isaiah ascribed this verse to the kingdom of the Messiah
(11) - Midrash Rabbah, Genesis Rabbah on 44:8, Soncino Ed., Vol. I, pp. 365-366
(12) - The Midrash on Psalms, trans. W.G. Braude, Vol. I, pp. 41-44
(13) - Pirqe R. Eliezer, cap. xxx
(14) - see T. Muraoka, Emphatic Words and Structures in Biblical Hebrew, pp. 86, 91-92
(15) - e.g. Habakkuk 1:12, where miqqedem stands alone, but clearly has the contextual meaning of "everlasting", as it is referring pointedly to God
(16) - T. Muraoka, Emphatic Words and Structures in Biblical Hebrew, p. 98
(17) - B.K. Waltke, M. O'Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Sect. 18.2.b, p. 318ff
(18) - see Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, eds. R.L. Harris, G.L. Archer, B.K.Waltke, Vol. II, p. 672
(19) - Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, eds. R.L. Harris, G.L. Archer, B.K.Waltke, Vol. II, pp. 785-786
(1) - S. Bendor, Social Structure of Ancient Israel, p. 103