Zawadi's alleged false prophecies in the New Testament
Bassam Zawadi has tried to discover what he feels are false prophecies of the NT, much like those found in the Quran and placed on the lips of Muhammad:
With the exception of one specific text, every single one of the prophecies he raises have been fully addressed here:
In light of this, we will only be addressing that one specific passage which has not been discussed before:
Matthew 2:26 takes Micah 5:2 out of context.
6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.
2"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans [a] of Judah,
out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins [b] are from of old, from ancient times. [c] "
Matthew 2:6 says that Bethlehem is not least among the rulers of Judah while Micah 5:2 says otherwise.
To further disprove that it is not Jesus which Matthew 2:6 thinks Micah 5:2 is talking about, look at verses 5-6.
5 And he will be their peace.
Deliverance and Destruction
When the Assyrian invades our land
and marches through our fortresses,
we will raise against him seven shepherds,
even eight leaders of men.
6 They will rule [d] the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. [e]
He will deliver us from the Assyrian
when he invades our land
and marches into our borders.
When did Jesus do all this? Clearly, Matthew took Micah 5:2 out of context.
Let us see who in fact has distorted the passage and has taken things out of context:
"Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek. But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. THEREFORE HE SHALL GIVE THEM UP UNTIL THE TIME WHEN SHE WHO IS IN LABOR HAS GIVEN BIRTH; THEN THE REST OF HIS BROTHERS SHALL RETURN TO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, THEN WE WILL RAISE AGAINST HIM SEVEN SHEPHERDS AND EIGHT PRINCES OF MEN; 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. Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers on the grass, which delay not for a man nor wait for the children of man. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which, when it goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver. Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off. And in that day, declares the LORD, I will cut off your horses from among you and will destroy your chariots; and I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds; and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes; and I will cut off your carved images and your pillars from among you, and you shall bow down no more to the work of your hands; and I will root out your Asherah images from among you and destroy your cities. And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey." Micah 5:1-15 ESV
Let us repeat the specific part again, this time using a different translation:
"Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel's ruler on the cheek with a rod. But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans 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. THEREFORE ISRAEL WILL BE ABANDONED UNTIL THE TIME WHEN SHE WHO IS IN LABOR GIVES BIRTH AND THE REST OF HIS BROTHER RETURN TO JOIN THE ISRAELITES. 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. And he will be their peace." Micah 5:1-5 NIV
One will note that in most translations verse 5 is broken up so that the reference regarding Assyria is visually separated from what precedes it. The reason should now be obvious why certain translators have broken up the text in this manner. The text DOES NOT SAY THAT THE RULER WOULD COME TO DELIVER HIS PEOPLE FROM THE HANDS OF THE ASSYRIANS! Rather, the text says that Israel would be abandoned and then a remnant would return which would mark the time of the birth of this ruler. It even mentions that Israel will raise up seven shepherds and eight princes to defeat the Assyrians, which obviously makes little sense if the ruler was to deliver his people from the hands of the Assyrian king.
In other words, the text is saying that the ruler would only be born after God first hands Israel over to her enemies such as the Assyrians and then causes a remnant to return to the land.
Jesus perfectly fulfills this prophecy since Israel had already gone into exile and a remnant had already returned long before Mary had given birth to him.
Regarding Matthews quote where he says Bethlehem is the least in contrast to Micah which reads small, this again exposes the sheer desperation of the author to try to find errors in the Holy Bible. The Hebrew word for "small" is tsa`iyr and means:
1) little, insignificant, young
Micahs point is that Bethlehem was small, or insignificant, in comparison to the rest of the clans of Judah, and yet from this insignificant place would come the ruler of Israel. In other words, Micah is in perfect agreement with Matthew since the Hebrew word does mean someone or something that is least or insignificant in comparison to someone or something else.
Furthermore, as everyone knows clans have rulers that preside over them. Thus, for Bethlehem to be the least among the other clans essentially means that its ruler would be insignificant. This is why the prophecy is all the more shocking since the ruler which would arise from there wasnt insignificant in the least. This ruler was actually the greatest ever since, although coming from Bethlehem, his origins actually predate his human birth and go back to eternity itself!
Finally, if Matthew misunderstood or distorted the meaning of Micah then so did the rabbinic Jews since they too understood this to be a prophecy of the Messiah:
And you, O Bethlehem Ephrath, you who were too small to be numbered among the thousands of the house of Judah, from you shall come forth before Me THE MESSIAH, to exercise dominion over Israel, he whose name was mentioned from before, from the days of creation. Targum Jonathan (bold and capital emphasis ours)
These Jews obviously didnt have a problem viewing Micah as a messianic text despite the reference to Assyria and the land of Nimrod. They obviously saw that the passage wasnt saying that this ruler was to deliver Israel from the hands of the Assyrians, and therefore could not be the Messiah who only came long after God already delivered his people from their Assyrian enemies.
Hence, as it stands there are no problems with Matthews citation of Micah 5:2. The only problem is with Zawadis blatant distortion and ignorance of the definition of words and the precise contextual meanings of the passages in question.
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