Micah 5 – The Coming Ruler and His Reign & Hamilcar Barca

ThinkingThe other day, we had discussed Alexander the Great’s Army and I mentioned Hannibal as being the second best, if not the best, military mind up to that time (and may still be).  

Some say he was cruel, some say otherwise.  In my mind, I believe he was fair to those that didn’t oppose him or his ideals.  He didn’t go out of his way to destroy just to destroy, but he really wasn’t much of a negotiator.  If you chose to go against him he’d stomp your head without a thought.1 What reason do you have

I have found only one site that states he believed in God Almighty, but I have found none that say he worshiped one of those ridiculous pagan gods.  

Therefore, it is quite likely that he did believe, especially since God helps those that walk with Him.  When you are in need of help God is always there with a helping hand.  He may cause something to take place, or just give you the knowledge needed.

Remember, Hannibal almost destroyed the Romans, but he surprised them with his powerhouse.  Could it be possible that God had initiated…

Micah 5
The Coming Ruler and His Reign

 

2 Bethlehem 1880
Bethlehem, 1880
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank, neighboring south Jerusalem, with a population of about 25,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of Palestinian Authority. The economy is primarily tourist-driven.

The Bible identifies Bethlehem as the city of David. The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. The town is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, although the size of the community has shrunk due to emigration.

1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.

Jerusalem will be besieged, and her kings will be seized and taken to Babylon (the last king, Zedekiah, was blinded).  The following verses are clearly Messianic, but less obvious is the relationship to the failed kingship of Micah’s ear.

Mighty Jerusalem bows to the village of Beth-lehem, whose coming ruler finds his strength not in military power but “in the strength of the Lord.”

2 But thou, Beth-lehem 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.

3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

“The peace” – Jesus is “our peace” (Eph 2:14).  In addition to freedom from war, the Hebrew word for “peace” also connotes prosperity in the Old Testament.

“Seven…eight” – a figurative way of saying “many”.

6 And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.

7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.

8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

3 Bethlehem today
Bethlehem today is the high spot for many visitors to the West Bank, a picturesque hilltop town overlooking the Judean Desert where the Church of the Nativity marks the birthplace of Christ.

The exact routes taken by the Nazarene in life remain unknown, and the Gospels do not even agree on chronology, but over the ages there has been a broadening consensus on the exact site of his birth.

“Lion” – like the previous simile this pictures the inevitable progress of the people of God toward triumph over their enemies.

9 Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.

10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots:

5:10-14 – in the Messianic era the people of God will not depend on weapons of war or pagan idols.  The successes of His people are always achieved by dependence on Him. 

11 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds:

12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:

4 King Nimrod Founder of Babel
King Nimrod, Founder of Babel

13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.

14 And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities.

15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.

Hamilcar Barca

Best known as the father of Hannibal, Hamilcar Barca (barca means “lightning”) was a brilliant commander in his own right who restored the fortunes of Carthage following its defeat by Rome in the First Punic War.

Roman chronicler Cornelius Nepos portrayed Hamilcar as a warmonger who hated the Romans and required young Hannibal to swear an oath never to befriend them. Anxious Romans viewed Hamilcar’s Spanish campaign as the prelude to an invasion of Italy—a nightmare that later materialized when Hannibal crossed the Alps with his army.

In fact, Rome bore as much responsibility for the Second  Punic War as Carthage did. Stripped of Sicily and other colonies by Rome and forced to pay heavy indemnities following the first war, Carthage faced a bleak future until Hamilcar conquered much of Spain and acquired its mineral wealth.

In the process, though, he antagonized Rome, which would not tolerate a rival to its imperial ambitions.

…Hannibal’s Elephants.

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