Micah 5:2, “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.” In one verse, we are told where the Messiah would be born, that He is eternal and would rule.
“The child was born in Bethlehem, but the Son was from everlasting.” [Scofield Reference Notes]
Bethlehem, a city in Judah, means “house of bread, food” and was the birthplace of King David. It was little, insignificant, and in my opinion perfect for one coming as the suffering Messiah. Ephratah means “ash-heap: place of fruitfulness” and is another name for Bethlehem, avoiding any confusion as which Bethlehem was being referenced.
Among the many prophecies of the coming Messiah is Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
As is often the case, prophets describe one event while pointing further into the future, the later days. Isaiah 66:7-8, “7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. 8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”
I would summarize the above Isaiah passages as referring to the virgin birth, the coming Messiah, the birth of a man child and prophesied the birth of the State of Israel in one day. The following takes the prophecy to the time of the Second Coming.
“In verse 7 Israel brings forth a male child (the Messiah) before the time of her birth-pangs (the Great Tribulation). In verse 8 she brings forth sons after her time of travail. The first birth took place nearly two thousand years ago at Bethlehem. The second is the spiritual rebirth of Israel, which will occur after the Tribulation. Nothing will hinder God from accomplishing this purpose.” [Believer’s Bible Commentary]
Yesterday, Thanksgiving, I had dinner at my neighbors who are Reformed Seventh-day Adventist and believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is false. Today, a day late I find the following quotation in a commentary referencing the expression goings forth in Micah 5:2. “To Christians, who believe in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the plural would express the continual generation or the Son from the Father from everlasting and to everlasting, never beginning and never ending; as the Council of Lateran says, "Without beginning ever and without end, the Father begetting, the Son being born (nascens), and the Holy Ghost proceeding." [The Pulpit Commentary]
Micah 5:2, such a short verse but with such depth.