Do you know who the seven shepherds and eight leaders of men are in Micah 5:5?


Micah 5:5 is apocalyptic literature. This is a kind of literary style which was common in Jewish writings in the centuries immediately before and after the ministry of Jesus. It is also common in the Bible, with examples such as most of Revelation, most of Zechariah, significant portions of Joel, Daniel, Ezekiel, Micah and others. With apocalyptic literature the style is to use highly figurative language. The rule for interpreting apocalyptic literature is to assume that any detail is to be taken figuratively, not literally. With other biblical wriings an accepted rule is to take things literally unless the context demands one to take it figuratively. The exact opposite applies to apocalyptic writing such as Micah 5:5. I believe that “us” in Micah 5:5 is the Christians and Assyria is symbolic of those who would oppose Christ and Christianity. This might be a double prophecy referring to a historical event as well, but I am sure that Micah 5:2f is messianic.  As further evidence, not only is Micah 5:2-3 clearly messianic, Micah 5:7 also seems to be a prophecy concerning the church. So, I do not believe that there are seven literal shepherds or eight literal leaders in mind in the prophecy in Micah 5:5.

John Oakes

Comments are closed.