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Micah 5:6

This is an interesting verse because it looks like this is one of those few places where OT manuscripts from Ben Asher differ from the Ben Chayyim. If anyone has clarification on this please post in the comments section, this is not my “specialty.”

they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border. (Mic 5:6, ESV)

The word shepherd in the Hebrew used for the ESV, NSB, et. al. (which i assume is the Ben Asher text)  is “raah.” But the word is translated “waste” in the KJV and NKJV, and it turns out the Hebrew is different here (which i assume is the Ben Chayyim text) – “raa”

“raa” is to be evil or to act evil.

“raah” is to pature, tend, graze, devour (as in eating).

Any thoughts on how this verse should be rendered?


About theologian

I'm a child of the King, my Father who is in Heaven, by the precious blood of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. I am married with children and currently reside in Pennsylvania. I am a Pastor with the Association of Charismatic Reformed Churches (ACRC) working as an Urban Missionary in Chester, PA. Throughout my time in ministry God has also blessed me with opportunities for formal education by which I earned my terminal degree (Doctor of Theology) from New Geneva Theological Seminary in 2013.


2 thoughts on “Micah 5:6

  1. J,F&B renders it “waste” as does John Gill. And the Geneva Bible comments,

    “And they shall waste the (g) land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he (h) deliver [us] from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.

    (g) These whom God will raise up for the deliverance of his Church, will destroy all the enemies of it, who are meant here by the Assyrians and Babylonians, who were the chief enemies at that time.

    (h) By these governors will God deliver us when the enemy comes into our land.

    Classic Bible Commentaries
    Courtesy of E-Word Today

    The use of “waste” in lieu of “sheperd” seem to do the contxtual arrangment more justice.

    Posted by David McCrory | December 11, 2006, 2:51 pm
  2. David,

    That’s exactly where i am leaning on this.

    However, Micah 5:5 does speak of seven shepherds. This would make the shepherd reading in verse 6 make a bit more sense.

    Posted by theologian | December 11, 2006, 3:04 pm

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