First century evangelists who believed that Jesus was the savior son of god, but who had no knowledge of his biography, used scripture as a blueprint to invent Jesus' life details. One passage in particular, Micah 5:2, created an expectation that the Jewish messiah would be born in Bethlehem. The unknown gospel-writers, believing that Jesus was the son of god ― the Invisible Man In The Sky ― and that he must have fulfilled the messianic events in the Hebrew bible, wove the Bethlehem birth story into their tale of Jesus' life. However, these unknown authors  had no idea what the Hebrew bible "prophecy" verse was really about.

Matthew's Bethlehem Story:
Matthew said that "the prophet" predicted the birthplace of the savior would be the town of Bethlehem.

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea....Herod the king gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." (Matthew 2:1-6)

The Prophet Micah:
Verses written by Micah apparently caused Matthew to believe that Jesus' birth was predicted to occur in the town of Bethlehem. Evidence shows that Micah was not referring to a town, but a person, the head of a clan from whom would come a great leader who would save his people from the Assyrians.

Here are the Micah verses:

"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. But thou, Bethlehem 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....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. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land....and they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword..." (Micah 5:1-6)

Bethlehem Was a Person:
The evidence below suggests that "Bethlehem" here actually referred to a person, not a place, and his ancestor's name was Ephratah:

"These [are] the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and  Zebulun,[snip many names]...These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah; Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim, Salma the father of Bethlehem, Hareph the father of Bethgader." (1 Chronicles 2:1-51)

Thus, the "Bethlehem" spoken of in Micah 5:2 was the "Bethlehem [of the house of] Ephratah" spoken of in Chronicles above. Further evidence that Micah was referring to a person, not a town, comes from the editors of the NIV, RSV, and NAB. Here is how the NIV translates that Micah verse:

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans (or, rulers) of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel..." (Micah 5:2)

The above verse says that Micah did not mean that any savior would be born a town called Bethlehem, but that the Jewish messiah (also fictitious) would come from either the clan of Ephratah, or from the man called Bethlehem, Ephratah.

Micah refers to the "thousands of Judah" (KJV), which Matthew may have thought meant "thousands of towns in Judah."  Is it possible there were thousands of towns in Judah in 800 BCE? NO! To justify the use of the word "thousands" to describe anything, how many would there have to be? Three thousand or more? There are only about 50-100 towns or villages in that area today. Is it believable that there were thirty times as many towns and villages in Judah 2,800 years ago, when the population of that region was vastly less than it is today? Or is it more likely that Micah was referring to clans and not towns?

Micah Doesn't Refer to a Distant Future Savior

The evidence disputing Matthew's apparent claim that Micah was referring to the town of Bethlehem is not the most convincing; the case against Matthew gets far worse, below.

Micah is talking about a person who will save them from the Assyrians. Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was destroyed and Assyrian power ceased to exist 606 years before Jesus was born. Thus, if the savior prophesied by Micah really did come, he would have to have done so six centuries before the birth of Jesus.

Also, as any schoolchild knows, the adversaries of the Jews at the time of Jesus were not the Assyrians. It was the Romans, not the Assyrians, who ruled the land of Judah during the lifetime of Jesus. Even if Micah's prophecy had referred to a savior freeing Israel from the Romans, it could not have applied to Jesus, who never lifted a finger against them.

It should be evident to all, but the religiholics, that Micah was not prophesying that a messiah would be born in a town called Bethlehem. Additionally, the hero in Micah could not have been Jesus since Micah's events were to occur 600+ years before the Jesus story was conceived. The Micah story involved  a savior/hero who would vanquish Assyrians ― not the Romans. One more time; the "Bethlehem" in Micah is not a town, but the person, Bethlehem Ephratah.

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, once we practice to deceive!" Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)


Citation of Hebrew scripture and sources in articles or analyses is not in any way an acceptance, approval or validation of the Jewish religion, its works or scriptures. The Hebrew bible, like the Christian New Testament and Muslim Qur'an, is fictitious; From a 6-day creation of the universe; a cunning, walking, talking snake; big fish tales; world flood and an "Invisible Man in the Sky" ― it is all fiction, a bold sham perpetrated on mankind.