Part III: The Holy Angels

Part III: The Holy Angels

“Angels are created spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence, but without physical bodies. Angels have not always existed; they are part of the universe that God created” (Grudem, 2000, p. 397). The mention of Angel of the Lord is the form God took at various times to appear to human beings. Some angels were not totally righteous and at times used bad judgment regarding their actions. An example is that of the angels that rebelled against God in Heaven (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). They were severely punished for their sin against God as were the Watchers who lusted after human women.

There are two or three views about when the angels were created: the first is based on Gen. 2:1 which says “Thus the heavens and the Earth were finished, and all the hosts [angels and other creatures] of them. The second view is based on Exodus 20:1 that states “In six days the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the sea, and all that is in them.” By following that line of thought, the angels may have been created by the sixth day. Still, another view is that God created the angels in Heaven with Him where they had been given their ranks, and duties to carry out following the Creation of Earth.

Supporting that idea is Job 38: 6-7, “The morning stars (heavenly beings) shouted for joy at the time when God laid the foundations of the cornerstone and sunk its bases in the process of forming or founding it” (Grudem, 2000, paraphrased p. 402). Prior to the temptation of Eve (Gen. 3:1), the angel, Lucifer, and his followers sinned against God by trying to usurp His throne. This event must have occurred after the seventh day because in Gen. 1:31, God saw everything that He had made and beheld and said, “It is very good.”

For in Your sight a thousand years are but a day that passes, or a watch of the night (psalm 90: 4);But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8).

The nature of angels

First and foremost, angels do the biding of God and Jesus (1 Peter 3:22, NKJV). They obey and worship God, carry out His plans, carry out punishment and watch over the Earth. They praise and glorify God, sing, shout and have emotions. Two examples are when Jesus was born and when someone turns to Jesus for salvation (Ps. 103:20; 148: 2, Rev. 4:8; Luke 2:14; Heb. 1:6; Luke 15:10; Grudem, 2000, pp. 405-406). In addition to singing and praising, angels can speak to people (Matt, 28: 5; Acts 12: 6-11; Rev. 4: 11; 5: 11). Angels, being spirits or spiritual creatures, usually do not have physical bodies (Heb. 1: 14; Luke 24: 39). However on important occasions, they take on the appearance of human men. They also are charged with guarding and protecting us (Num. 22:31; Luke 2: 13; 2 Kings 6: 17; Matt. 28: 5; Heb. 13:2). Angels observe God’s people with interest (Luke 12: 8-9; 1 Cor. 4: 9; 1 Tim. 5:21). Angels appear to have the ability to fly “. . . while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice” (Daniel 9:21, NIV). “And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people” (Revelation 14:6, NIV).

We are cautioned to aware receiving false doctrine from evil angels because even Satan can disguise himself as an angel (that he once was). Do not worship or pray or seek them Col. 2:18; Gal. 1:8; 2 Cor. 11: 14; Grudem, 2000, p, 407). Angels will not always be superior to mankind. Just as our Lord’s humanity is, in resurrection, superior to angels in every way (Heb.1:4 – 2:18). Angels should neither be worshiped nor disrespected. It is important to keep in mind both their present superiority and their eventual subordination to us. Angels are not to be disrespected (Luke 10:20; 2 Peter 2: 10-12; Jude 1: 8-10; Rom. 13: 7), but neither are they to be worshipped (Rev. 19: 10, 22:9; 2 K 17: 16; Jer. 19: 13; Col. 2:18 NIV).

The apostle John mistakes an angel for God and the angel replied: And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that. I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19: 10 NKJV).

Humans and angels are the only moral and highly intelligent beings created, however angels are not made in the image of God (Gen. 1: 26-27; 9: 6), and they are not subject to the limitation of human flesh (Job 4: 18). Angels are powerful, mobile, and knowledgeable but not omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent (2 Thes. 1:7; 2 Peter 2:11; Gen. 28: 28: 12; 2 Sam. 14: 20; Matt. 24: 36; Rom. 8:38; Dan. 10: 13). At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. (Matthew 22:30, NIV).


There is much more to the nature of angles to include in an article such as this. In the sources section, there are references that you can follow up with and that will lead you to other sources. I hope this series has been helpful for you.


Bible Gateway.

Bible Verses about Angels. (2015). Compiled and edited by BibleStudyTools Staff.

Grudem, W. (1994/2000). Systematic theology: An introduction to biblical doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan.

New King James Study Bible. (2nd.ed., 2007). Nashville, TN. Tomas Nelson, Inc.

Life Application Study Bible (2012). Carol Stream, IL. Tyndale House.

Luginbill, R. D. Dr. (2017). Angelogy: the study of angels

Part II: Angels

Part II: Exploring the fallen Watchers/angels listed in the Book of Enoch

Note: This group errant Watchers is listed in ancient Hebrew/Jewish writings of 250 BC in the Book of Watchers, which was merged with other writings to create what we know as the book of Enoch, and used in Orthodox Ethiopian Christian Cannon (one of the first Christian movements in the world); but was omitted by the Roman Catholic Western Cannon around 700 AD, and considered heretical due to the confusion over the order of chapters, parables and visions inserted in the wrong places; and the fact that that this account was written when the Earth was young. References to Watchers/angels are found in the Book of Enoch, Dead Sea Scrolls and Tobit. Note that the names may differ depending on text eg: Zadkiel also known as Sachiel. New and more accurate translations are available with the material in the proper order.

Background of the Book of Enoch

“The book is probably what it appears to be; well preserved, ancient and genuine.  Enoch was the great-grandfather of Noah, and father of Methuselah, and his book gives a unique view of the world before the flood; which recent research suggests may have occurred as long ago as 17,000 BC. Enoch wrote his book, after his grandson Lamech was born, but before Noah was born.  Noah is only named in the section that Methuselah wrote, (see section 10 at 107.3), and of course in his own section (section 11, The Book of Noah).  So, there may still have been 40 – 80 years left before the flood, at the time when Enoch wrote his book. There is a long gap between the time of the flood and the time when Moses gave praise to Enoch in Genesis. Genesis dates from around 1400 BC, and forms part of the Torah (the first five books of the bible).   In Genesis, there is Enoch’s family; as named by him in this book, and a quick recap of some of Enoch’s story. It seems likely therefore, that copies of the Book of Enoch survived into Egyptian times, 3500 BC, and was known to Moses around 2,000 years later” ( McCracken,2002).

Fallen watchers/angels and their fate

The Watchers/angels discussed in this section of Enoch were not the angels associated with the treasonous archangel, Lucifer. These were 200 rebel Watchers whose leaders conspired, under the threat of being cursed, to take human females as mates. The rebels were described as blonde, stature much like giants, white hair, and capable of changing into human form of men. (This is also mentioned in the Old Testament (OT). It should be noted that the abode of the Watchers was Heaven and Enoch referred them as angels as well as Watchers because of their divinity (McCracken, 2002).

The leaders of the 200 Watchers and of all the others with them were: Semyaza, who was their leader, Urakiba, Ramiel, Kokabiel, Tamiel, Ramiel, Daniel, Ezeqiel, Baraqiel, Asael, Armaros, Ananel, Zaqiel, Samsiel, Satael, Turiel, Yomiel, and Araziel. These leaders taught their hybrid families charms and spells, the cutting of roots and trees. This information was forbidden to be shared. The children born to the fallen Watchers are described as giants and these hybrid children became a disastrous race of beings with horrendous appetites. They ate all crops of the people and when all that was devoured, they ate any animal they could get their hands on. When they depleted the animal source, they turned on each other and became cannibals and drank the blood of their victims. At some point, the people of Earth complained that the world had changed and nearly destroyed by the wicked Watchers and their offspring. The holy Watchers petitioned God on their behalf for a solution. It was at this time that God ordered the destruction of the rebel leaders and foretold the flood to cleanse the Earth (Enoch).

Following are the leaders and the forbidden knowledge they passed on to their families: Azazel taught men to make swords, and daggers, and shields, and breastplates.  And he showed them the things after these, and the art of making them; bracelets, and ornaments, and the art of making up the eyes, and of beautifying the eyelids, and the most precious stones, and all kinds of colored dyes. See then what Azazel has done; how he has taught all iniquity on the earth and revealed the eternal secrets that are made in Heaven.

 Semyaza used known spells to rule over those who are with him.

Amezarak taught all those who cast spells and cut roots.

Armaros taught the release of spells.

Baraqiel taught astrologers.

Kokabiel taught portents.

Tamiel taught astrology,

Asradel taught the path of the Moon.

“And the world was changed. And there was great impiety, and much fornication, and they went astray, and all their ways became corrupt” (Enoch).

The punishment

God instructed archangels Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael to carry messages to the rebel leaders of their doom and then proceed to destroy them. Raphael was ordered to “Bind Azazel by his hands and his feet and throw him into the darkness. And split open the desert, which is in Dudael, and throw him there. And throw on him jagged and sharp stones and cover him with darkness.  And let him stay there forever.  And cover his face so that he may not see the light. And so that, on the Great Day of Judgment, he may be hurled into the fire.”

And the Lord said to Gabriel:  “Proceed against the bastards, and the reprobates, and against the sons of the fornicators.  And destroy the sons of the fornicators, and the sons of the Watchers, from amongst men.  And send them out, and send them against one another, and let them destroy themselves in battle; for they will not have length of days. They will see their families destroyed by fighting amongst themselves during their lifetime.  They will suffer in the afterlife and the societies they founded will be wiped away by a flood.” He says, at 10.22, that there will never again be another flood like the one to come.”

The Lord also said: “When all their sons kill each other, and when they see the destruction of their loved ones, bind them for seventy generations, under the hills of the earth, until the day of their judgment and of their consummation, until the judgment, which is for all eternity, is accomplished. And in those days, they will lead them to the Abyss of Fire; in torment, and in prison they will be shut up for all eternity. And then Semyaza will be burnt, and from then on destroyed with them; together they will be bound until the end of all generations. And destroy all the souls of lust, and the sons of the Watchers, for they have wronged men. Destroy all wrong from the face of the Earth and every evil work will cease.

And the Lord said, “And restore the Earth which the Angels have ruined.  And announce the restoration of the Earth.  For I shall restore the Earth so that not all the sons of men shall be destroyed because of the knowledge which the Watchers made known and taught to their sons. And the whole Earth has been ruined by the teaching of the works of Azazel; and against him write: ALL SIN.”

Coming: Part III: the holy angels and their works


McCracken, A., Trans. (2002). The Book of Enoch.

Enoch. (Dated before the Great Flood of Noah; approx. 17,000 B.C.E.). The Book of Enoch. a23973d939b

A Study on Angels (3 Parts)

Part I: Creation and Purpose

Angels are mentioned 273 times throughout the Old and New Testaments, and other ancient-related records because God wants us to be knowledgeable about their purpose. He created the angels following the initial Genesis of Earth to glorify Him (as were we, Gen. 2). Angels are spiritual beings above us temporarily until we reach Heaven. They are subject to Christ and they neither marry nor die and we are cautioned not to worship them. Angels are also called messengers, Watchers, military hosts, Sons of the Mighty, and Sons of God (I Peter 3: 22; Luke 20: 36; Matt. 22: 30; Rev. 4:8; Heb. 1: 16; Col. 2:18; Rev. 22: 8-9).

Description of Angels

When most of us think of angels, we envision handsome, quite tall, blonde male figures dressed in long white robes and adorned with a pair of beautifully-feathered long wings. While this may be the description of some angles, it does not describe all of them. There is a hierarchy of angles whose assignments and positions are determined by God. There are nine levels of angels that will be discussed. They are as follows according to rank: 

Seraphim: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory… (Isiah 6; Job 38:7; Rev. 4: 8; Rev. 5:11-12). Angels (Sons of God) were with God at the Creation

Cherubim: Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight. Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. … (Ezek. 10).

Archangels of Thrones, Dominions or Lordships, Virtues of Strongholds, Powers of Authorities, and Principalities of Rulers: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him (Colossians 1:16).

Archangels: The archangels are listed in ancient Hebrew Scriptures: The seven Archangels that are talked about come from Jewish writings of 250 BC in the Book of Watchers, which were merged with other writings to create what we know as the book of Enoch, and used in Orthodox Ethiopian Christian Cannon (one of the first Christian movements in the world); but was omitted by the Roman Catholic Western Cannon around 700 AD, and considered heretical due to the confusion over the order of chapters, parables and visions inserted in the wrong places. References to the seven archangels are found in the book of Enoch, Dead Sea Scrolls and Tobit. Note that the names may differ depending on text eg: Zadkiel also known as Sachiel. New and more accurate translations are available with the material in the proper order.         

Chief Archangel Michael is especially considered to be the Guardian of the Orthodox Faith and a fighter against heresies, and a military commander. His name in Hebrew means “Who is equal to God?” Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee (Jude 9). He is associated with protecting and being a leader of God’s army

Archangel Gabriel is the messenger of God and whose name means “God is my strength.” He is in care of the mysteries of God.

Archangel Raphael is associated with healing. His name means “It is God who heals.”

Archangel Uriel’s name means “God is my light,” and who is usually seen as an angel of repentance.

Archangel Jophiel is the angel of justice, wisdom and understanding.

Archangel Zadkiel is associated with freedom, benevolence and mercy.

Archangel Cameal is associated with strength, courage and war.

God created the chief angels in this order: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, and Gabriel. The three angels in Rev. 14: 6-12 are believed to be preparing the world for the Second Coming. Lucifer was guardian of the throne and in charge of music


Part II: Exploring the angels and fallen angels listed in the Book of Enoch.

Part III: The Nature of Angels

Sources for Part I:

Elwell, Walter A. “Entry for ‘Angel.” (1997). Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.

Life Application study Bible. (NIV, 2005). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois

And Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Luginbill, Robert Dr. (n.d.). Angelology: the study of angels.

New King James Version Study Bible. (2007). Pub. Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Noah: Before and After the Great Flood

Noah Before and After the Great Flood

Copyright 2019 by Joan Berry

            To more fully understand the story of Noah, it is pertinent to view the lineage and his connection to Enoch, his great-grandfather. Enoch ruled over the City of Enoch that was founded by Cainin. Enoch was also a prophet of God, scribe, and the seventh generation from Adam.  Enoch recorded that God sent angels and Watchers to ensure safety and as helpers for His people. The account of the angels and Watchers is presented in a separate paper available at this site.

            Adam created ca. 3815 BCE

            Seth born 3685 BCE

            Enos born 3580 BCE

            Cainan [Cainin] born 3490 BCE

            Mahalaleel born 3420 BCE

            Jared born 3355 BCE

            Enoch born 3193 BCE

            Methuselah born 3128 BCE [lived 969 years]

            Lamech born 2941 BCE

            Noah born 2759 BCE

            Prior to the flood, people had long life spans as recorded in Genesis 5. Days were from sunup to sundown. A year was measured as Earth’s rotation around the sun just as it does today. Adam lived 930 years and Noah was born ten generations later; 20 years after Adam died. From Adam to Noah was a span of 1056 years. Noah was 500 years old when God called him to build the huge vessel. Traditionally, there is 369 years between the death of Noah and the birth of Moses. Moses is credited with compiling the Book of Genesis; most of which came from the writings of Enoch.

            The Midrash Tanchuma states that before Noah [Noach] was born, God cursed the ground for Adam’s sake: “…with toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life.”  When Adam asked God how much longer the curse would last, God responded, “…Until a person is born circumcised” When Lamech saw that his son was born circumcised, he said …”this one will bring about our consolation.” It is assumed that Noah studied the Torah because  he knew that he was to take seven kosher animals and birds into the vessel along with non-kosher animals and birds two-by-two [male and female].  The Midrash Tanchuma also states that Noah passed away after the flood and after he saw the world was settled with 70 nations descended from him.

The Birth of Noah

            Lamech was not only surprised by his son’s prenatal circumcision but in addition he was born with white skin (white as snow) and red as a rose [newborns often have red areas]; his hair was long and white as wool and his eyes were beautiful and full of light. His fingers were not webbed as well [earlier humans had webbed fingers]. Upon his birth, the child immediately spoke to the Lord. Lamech thought that his son looked like the offspring of angels and thought his wife had been unfaithful. Lamech went to his father, Methuselah, to discuss the matter. Methuselah in turn went to his father, Enoch, to inform him of this unusual event.

In the Book of Enoch sections 106.13-14-16, Enoch tells Methuselah that the child is Lamech’s and he is to name him Noah [connected to the Hebrew word for comfort]. Enoch further tells Methuselah that the Lord would do new things on Earth and that he had seen those things in a vision and those that he, Enoch, had revealed to him [Methuselah]. Enoch also tells his son that Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives would be saved from the coming of the Great Flood.

The Torah and the Bible say that God walked with Noah and when Noah was 500 years old, God called him to build the ark. The Book of Noah relates that God further tells him that the angels were in the process of building the wooden structure and when it was finished, He [God] would put His hand on it and keep it safe. He would also make a change so no dry land would remain empty.

Immediately before the departure of Noah and his family to board the ark, Noah relates to Lamech that the Earth is shaken and has tilted and hot springs are running cold. Professor Charles Hapgood determined that the North Pole shifted from the area of Hudson Bay [an inland seaindenting east-central Canada] to its present position. He posits that when the poles shifted a huge ice melt occurred and supported the Great Flood. Hapgood is known for his works on crustal shifts.  Albert Einstein corresponded with Hapgood about pole shifts, supported the theory, helped with the study, and wrote the foreword to Earth’s Shifting Crust.”

 “Just because the Earth is massive, this does not mean it cannot flip very quickly. The Earth is spinning, like a top, and in a zero g, and zero friction environment, it doesn’t take much more than a gradual buildup of an opposed magnetic field, to change that top from positive stability to negative stability, until eventually, some minor perturbation triggers the rapid switch, whereby the top wobbles, and then inverts, resuming positive stability, even whilst it retains its angular momentum. A little force is all it takes to persuade a spinning top that it is better spinning the other way up. Every 12,000 years the polarity of the ambient magnetic field (about the Earth) inverts.”

White, Black, and Red Skin

Consensus among many anthropologists is that all early mankind had black skin [shades of brown were included in this category]. White skin was unusual and sometimes considered to be albino. Noah was not an albino. Red skin came as a combination of the colors. Due to intermarriages, they posit, skins began changing to various colors as well as eye color. Biblical scholars/anthropologists in tracing the genealogy of biblical families report that Abraham was black and had two black wives and then Sarah who was white. Moses married a black woman in Cush [Ethiopia/political]; Joseph married an Egyptian; sons of Jacob married Canaanite women of various colors. From these intermarriages, scholars/anthropologists say that we now have many skin and eye colors. Jesus is described as having skin the color of burnished brass [Revelation, Letter to Thyatira].

Also Prior to the Great Flood

            Sacrifices were made to God before the Great Flood and this rite was continued by Noah following the flood. Some of the occupations included farming (Cain); shepherds (Abel); musicians (Jubal); metal works (Tubal-cain); they ate and drank and married. There was one city known (City of Enoch founded by Cain) but there may have been more. In Genesis 6, Nephilim are mentioned and described as being mighty men who were old men of renown. A very good description of these people can be found in the Book of Enoch. There are also mentioned angels fallen angels, Watchers, and human-angel hybrids. Wickedness and violence within humanity began early such as Cain killing Abel, Lamech also killed. Noah was the exception because he walked with God.

The Flood

            For 40 days, the flood was upon the Earth; the water rose 15 cubits above the highest mountain. The water covered the Earth for 150 days and then the rain ceased and the springs of the deep closed and the water began to recede. In the seventh month on the seventeenth day, the ark came to rest atop Mount Ararat. The water continued to ebb away until the first day of the tenth month when mountain peaks could be seen. Forty days later, Noah opened the window and sent out a raven that did not return. [Ravens eat carrion and no doubt found much of it in the water]. He then sent out a dove, but it found no perch and returned. Noah waited another seven days and sent the dove out again. The dove returned, but this time it had an olive tree twig in its beak. After another seven days, the dove once again was sent out, but it did not return this time. In Noah’s 601 year, on the first day of the first month, the water had receded from the Earth. By the27th day of the second month, the Earth had dried up. The event had lasted 364 days. Noah then built an altar and offered up burnt offerings to God and God was well pleased.

After the Flood

God placed all of Earth’s creatures in the care of Noah and his sons.  And then God made a covenant with Noah to never destroy the Earth with water again. He set a rainbow in the clouds as a sign of the covenant and now a reembrace for us.            

After the flood, God told Noah and his family to venture out to repopulate the world. Noah and his wife settled near where the ark landed on the Mount of Ararat. He lived 350 years after the flood.

Shem lived 600 years and inherited the Promised Land displacing the descendants of Ham. Shem had five sons and he is the ancestor of all Semites. Twenty-six nations were formed by his descendants.

Japheth inherited the coastal lands around the Mediterranean Sea as well as the islands.  He had seven sons who established 14 nations. He and Shem lived in harmony with each other. Japheth’s descendants lived to the north and west of Israel and their language was considered Indo-European.

Ham occupied what today are northern Iraq, Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya. He had four sons and whose descendants founded 30 nations. Ham’s son, Canaan, was cursed for his error with Noah, but the curse landed on Ham as well.  

The lands settled by Noah’s sons. Photo courtesy of Google Images.


Black History in the Bible (2016). Biblical and Historical Evidence of Black Hebrews).

The Real Book of Enoch resurfaced at the beginning of the 17th century when it was discovered in Ethiopia, written in an Ethiopic language. In fact, the book of Enoch is preserved in its entirety in the Church at Ethiopia, and is included in their Bible. The Ethiopians claim it was divine scripture. [Written before the Great Flood].– [ ].

The term “Book of Jasher” is a bit misleading. This was not a book written by someone named “Jasher”. In fact the word “Jasher” (Hebrew: Yashar) means “Upright” so that the Hebrew Sefer HaYashar is “The Upright Book”. The definite article “Ha” tips us off that this is not a person’s name but a modifier for the word “book”.

Book of Methuselah: One of the books attached to of the Book of Enoch. [Written before the Great Flood].

Book of Noah: One of the books attached to the Book of Enoch. [Written before the Great Flood].

Eisenstein, A. and Hapgood, C. (2006). The Einstein and Hapgood Papers, Crustal Shift/Physics Forums.

Kabbala/Zohar: Kabbalah is the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible, first transmitted orally and using esoteric methods (including ciphers). It reached the height of its influence in the later Middle Ages and remains significant in Hasidism. The Zohar (Hebrew: זֹהַר, lit.”Splendor” or “Radiance”) is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah. It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and scriptural interpretations as well as material on mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology.

Kranz, Jeffrey (2013). What was it like before Noah’s flood? In Bible Facts.

Midrash Tanchuma The genre of Jewish literature known as Midrash has been poetically described as “the hammer that awakens the slumbering sparks on the anvil of the Bible.” The Midrashic process utilizes a variety of methods, including expositions, explanations, gematria, plays on words, legends, and parables, to broaden our understanding of the full meaning of the biblical text.

New King James Version Study Bible (2nd ed). (2007). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

            [Genesis, Ezekiel, Isiah, I Chronicles, Matthew, Luke, Hebrews, I and II Peter]

Torah: (Judaism) the scroll of parchment on which the first five books of the Hebrew Scripture is written; is used in a synagogue during services. Judaism – the monotheistic religion of the Jews having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud.

 Yalkut Shimoni: The Yalkut Shimoni (Hebrew ילקוט שמעוני), or simply Yalkut, is an aggadic compilation on the books of the Hebrew Bible. It is a compilation of older interpretations and explanations of Biblical passages, arranged according to the sequence of those portions of the Bible to which they referred.     

Exgeting the Prophet Micah: Use of Hebrew Poetry as a Message

Copyright 2019 by Joan Berry

Exegeting the Prophet Micah: Use of Hebrew Poetry as a Message

The prophet Micah, who spoke of impending judgments and promises of blessings to come on Israel and Judah, was born in Moresheth Gath located in Judah and was a contemporary of Isaiah in Jerusalem and Hosea in northern Judea (NKJV). He served God in capacity of prophet during the latter part of the eighth century (752-699 B.C.) throughout the governances of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (NKJV). Micah faced the crisis of political and social upheavals and Assyrian invasions that began in in 730 B.C. and lasted until 701 B.C. His purpose was to warn God’s people, his original audience, under the condition that unless they repented and were pardoned, judgment was coming. Key areas involved in in Micah’s book were Samaria, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem (NIV).  The main ideas discussed in this book are the indictment of injustice against the people, the throne of David to be filled by a Deliverer, and what God required of His people (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 641). In this essay, the focus will be on Micah 5:1-5 (NIV) with a background summary up to chapter five, preceding the focused passage.

            The prophet opposed the social and moral deviations of the time – corrupt rulers, and priests and false prophets who cried “Peace then there was none” (vs. 2-3; Merrill, 1991, p. 266). Regarding the priests, Solomon’s temple was in use and the people would have been under the Mosaic Covenant at that time. Micah prophesized that God’s coming judgment was to be against Samaria and Jerusalem because the rulers and priests had turned to idolatry and cruel treatment of the poor and women and children that broke the Covenant with God (Halley, 1962, p. 288). In chapter six, Micah brings a lawsuit against them on behalf of God for breaking the covenant. He proclaimed that God would punish them, but later would restore them (Alexander & Alexander, 2009, pp. 498-499). What God wanted from His people was “right behavior,” not manipulated rituals as the proper response to God’s anger” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 641).

            Micah wrote his account as Hebrew poetry using parallelism, imagery, and figures of speech and the intent of the poetry is both figurative and literal. The interpretation is as follows:

Micah 5: 1-5 (NIV) — The Promise of a Deliverer

“1 Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek with a rod.”

            Mighty Jerusalem would be attacked and destroyed by the Assyrians and the city’s king could not prevent it (NIV). Some see the strike on the ruler as a future event when Christ was stuck at the crucifixion trial (Mark 15: 16-20), and still further in the future, Christ would strike back (Rev. 19).

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

The prophet looked ahead to a time when Jerusalem will be the religious center of the world and that Bethlehem in the district of Ephrathah would be the birth place of the Messiah (the Deliverer of God’s people). This is said to be the clearest prophecy of where the birth would occur (Alexander & Alexander, 2009, pp. 498-499; Halley, 1962, p.289). A reminder of who the Messiah will be is in the recognition of Him from ancient times, at the Creation for example.

“3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.”

            While verse two speaks of Christ’s birth – His first coming – verse three speaks of His second coming and His time of rule. Zion is most likely a reference to “she who is in labor.” The remnant are those never forgotten by God and will delight in the coming of Christ (NIV).

“4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.”

            Jesus Christ will rule (Rev. 20: 4-6) and His brethren mentioned above are those who believe in Him. He will be as David who obeyed God and placed his trust in Him. His greatness will extend all over the earth and He will give eternal life to His people, He will be the Good Shepherd (Painter, 2007).

“5 And he will be our peace
    when the Assyrians invade our land
    and marches through our fortresses.
We will rise against them seven shepherds,
    even eight leaders of men . . .”

            As the ruler, Christ will bring peace. This confirms that it will be Christ, not the leaders who will bring the peace. Christ speaks of His peace in John 14:27. The use of we and us implies His loyal people who will stand with Him to win the battle. He will free them, defend them, and rule over their enemies. Micah also predicted that the Assyrians would attack again. This came about in 612 B.C. and the enemy was defeated.  The “seven shepherds and eight leaders of men” is a figure of speech. Seven is a perfect number and eight means they had more than enough to defeat the enemy (Painter, 2007; NIV).


Micah’s message from God could well apply to all nations in all times. He faced the crisis of social and political unrest, the attacks from the Assyrians, corruption in the temple and government. The people had returned to idolatry and were treating the poor and women and children cruelly and in doing so, they broke the covenant with God. Micah told the people they must repent and be pardoned for the sins. He wrote his account in Hebrew poetry form in parallelism, figures of speech, and imagery. Micah gives hope to the people with the promise of a messiah and God’s restoration of their nation.


Alexander, D. & Alexander, P. (2009). Zondervan handbook to the Bible (4th ed.). Grand Rapids.

Halley, H.H. (1962). Halley’s Bible handbook: Billy Graham crusade edition (23  ed,). Minneapolis: MN: Grason Company.

Hill, A.E. & Walton, J. H. (2009). (3rd ed. ). A survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI:   Zondervan.

Life application study Bible (NIV). (2005). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Merrill, E.H. An historical survey of the Old Testament (2nd ed.). (1991). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic

New King James study Bible (NKJV 2nd ed.). (2007). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Painter, L. (2007). Micah speaks a message from God to all the nations. Retrieved from