Micah Table of  Contents

Main Table of Contents


Minor Prophets: Major Messages

Chapter Five of Micah


Micah 5:1


“Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops; he has laid siege against us; they will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “…however much they may infest…”


AC 9049 [8]

  • “That…‘to smite the cheek’ denotes to destroy truths, is plain from passages in the Word where mention is made of ‘smiting the cheek.’ And because in the genuine sense this signifies the destruction of truth, therefore in the opposite sense it signifies the destruction of falsity…it occurs in these passages…” Micah 5:1 is cited as an example.


AE 727 [7]

  • “…in the spiritual sense…destroying the falsities of evil in the church…is signified by ‘smiting…” Micah 5:1 is cited.


Derived Doctrine


“Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops…”

  • To “gather” signifies “…that they [are to] receive the truths that are given by the Lord…” (AE 294 [7])
  • “The power of a faith formed from a multiplicity of truths, as opposed to falsities and evils, may be compared to…a battalion [troops] formed…where the soldiers stand side by side, and thus form and act as one force…” (TCR 353 [2]) (Emphasis added.)
  • A “daughter” signifies “…the affection of internal good…” (AC 6024 [6]) A “daughter” signifies “…the affection of truth…” (AE 195 [9]) A “daughter” signifies the “…affection of interior truth…” (AC 3774) So if “troops” signify the multiplicity of truths, the Lord is instructing (calling for) those “troops” to be inspired, and united, by an internal affection for truths.


“…he has laid siege against us; they will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.”

  • “…to ‘lay siege to it’ signifies to distress the church by evils and falsities…” (AE 633 [3])
  • “‘…to strike’ signifies to injure…” (AC 9065) To “strike the judge” has an interesting meaning to reflect on. AC 7154 mentions that a “judge” signifies the “Divine disposal.” AC 8723 teaches that a “judge signifies the appearance of some particular and singular things as from another source…” In other words, the Hells try to distract and call into question the disposal of the Lord’s good and truth by meddling with the facts in particular and singular things. They call into question the Divine and try to ascribe His love and wisdom to other sources. AC 6372 explains that a “judge denotes that [the Lord] acts from good. Hell strikes at this idea, trying to obfuscate the correctness of this truth.
  • The “rod” signifies “that…doctrine, by the power of natural truth from the spiritual, will refute and convince those who are in falsities and evils…” (AE 723) Hell doesn’t want anyone to experience power from the literal sense. So they try to stir up our understanding and cause equivocations to surface. They offer nit-picking ratiocinations, blurring the literal sense to keep the spiritual sense from convincing us or refuting falsity and evil.
  • “…to smite the cheek” with a rod, in a negative sense, denotes to destroy truths. (AC 9049) In the positive sense, “To smite the enemies upon the cheek” signifies “…to destroy interior falsities with those who are opposed to the goods and truths of the church…” (AE 556)


Putting It All Together


Notice how P&P phrased the meaning and summation of Micah 5:1. “…however much they infest…” Can you sense what the Divine ending of this sentence will be? Doesn’t this capture the futility of Hell? The Hells sensed a battle was coming their way. What do we say regarding an effective strategy of warfare? “The best defense is a good offense.” 


Hearing the Lord call for the “troops” to assemble, hearing the call for the “daughter of troops,” Hell launches the first wave of its desired heartless carnage. They lay siege, hoping to cause distress, panic, and uncertainty in the church. The plan involves calling into question (criticizing) the particulars and singular teachings of the Word. Most notably, they pick on the rigid, stern, and gloomy stories of the literal sense. Who, they challenge, is responsible for the formation of the Word? “Didn’t people write the words? People are human and fallible.” Hell loves to call forth “apparent inconsistencies” in the Word.


The Lord calls for the forming of the troops. He calls the battalions to stand side by side, and to “thus form and act as one force…” (TCR 353 [2]) He promises the multiplicity of troops. The fighting corps will be inspired by an internal affection for truths. Falsity and evil cannot and will not prevail in the presence of the Lord’s holiness. Like a ball of wax, they will melt and disintegrate in the heat of Lord’s love. Wave after wave of their attack will end in dismal failure. However much they attack, belittle, and question the Word of the Lord and want to infest the New Church, it will not happen.


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 5:1.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • The theme of hope and triumph continues in our study of Micah. Isn’t it great to read good news? One of the criticisms heard about the Word is that it is full of gloom and doom. Don’t you want to shout out what we are reading? “Here is a great and optimistic message from the Lord. Let’s join hands and form a solid line of confidence and take in the Lord’s message of justice winning out over evil.”
  • Are you personally familiar with Hell’s war on the literal sense of the Word? Nit-picking, finding fault, ridicule of the literal sense, obfuscation of the facts, all in an attempt to slap the Lord on the cheek with the rod of falsity. Again, don’t you want to shout out the good news that Hell’s efforts will not work?
  • How would you complete this quote from P&P after reading the spiritual sense of Micah 5:1? “However much they [Hell] may infest…” 


Micah 5:2


“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “The coming of the Lord who is the God of the church…”


AC 2135 [4]

  • “They who abide in the literal sense, as do the Jews, know indeed from this passage that the Lord should be born there; but as they are expecting a leader and a king who will bring them back into the land of Canaan, they therefore explain the words found here according to the letter; that is, by the ‘land of Judah’ they understand the land of Canaan; by ‘Israel’ they understand Israel, although they know not where Israel now is; and by a ‘Leader’ they still understand their Messiah; when yet other things are meant by ‘Judah’ and ‘Israel;’ namely, by ‘Judah’ those who are celestial, by ‘Israel,’ those who are spiritual, in heaven and on earth; and by the ‘Leader’ the Lord.” 


AC 4594 [4]

  • “In Micah…5:2…from these prophecies it was known to the Jewish people that the Messiah or Christ would be born at Bethlehem…”


AC 9485

  • “…‘Ephrathah’ is Bethlehem, where the Lord was born (Micah 5:2…)…”


AC 9594 [4]

  • “…‘Ephrathah’ where He was to be found, is Bethlehem, where He was born…Micah 5:2…”


AC 10248 [8]

  • “That ‘an age’ is predicated in general of every church, but specifically of the celestial church, is evident from the following passages…where by ‘the days of an age’ is meant the time of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial. And in Micah…5:2…where the sense is the same.”


Doctrine of the Lord 37 [3]

  • “That the Lord existed before His advent into the world, is evident from the following passages…Micah 5:2…”


AR 47

  • “…‘the Ancient of Days’ is the Lord…Micah 5:2…”


AR 291

  • In the words found in Micah 5:2, “…‘the Ancient of Days’ is the Lord from eternity…”


TCR 845

  • “When [the Jews are told] that the kingdom of the Messiah, because He is the Son of God, will not be on earth but in heaven, they reply that the land of Canaan will then be heaven. When told that they do not know where Bethlehem Ephrathah is, where the Messiah is to be born, according to the prediction in Micah 5:2…they reply that the mother of the Messiah will nevertheless there give birth to Him; and some say that wherever she brings forth there is Bethlehem…”


Derived Doctrine


“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah…”

  • In order to extract and appreciate the deeper spiritual significance and meaning of “Bethlehem,” we must turn to the Word and consider first the literal meaning of the word “Bethlehem.” We need to recall that Rachel died in Bethlehem following the birth of her son Benjamin; therefore, Benjamin, Benoni, (son of sorrow), was born in Bethlehem. Also, David was born in Bethlehem.
  • “Bethlehem” means “House of Bread,” and “Ephrath” comes from a root meaning of fruitful or plentiful.
  • A “house” “signifies the church, the mind of the man of the church (wherein are the things of the will and of the understanding, or of charity and faith)…” (AC 710)
  • Bread signifies love and charity.” (AC 4211, emphasis added.) “Bread signifies celestial things and refreshment from them.” (AC 1727) “Bread signifies the appropriation of good from the Lord’s Divine natural.” (AC 4209)
  • Bethlehem was the birthplace of Benjamin. It was also the place of his mother’s death when she gave birth to him. Drawing on our correspondential derived doctrines, we get an insight that the power of truth can be gained through good when there is a series of “labors” and hard and painful struggles with the eventual death of our maternal inclination toward self-love.  
  • “‘Bethlehem’ signifies the Word in respect to its spiritual sense; and there He chose to be born because the Lord is the Word.” (AE 700 [9])
  • “[Things contained in the internal sense cannot be explained without adequate terms.]…In order therefore that those who desire to know may receive some idea of what the spiritual and celestial is…‘Bethlehem’…I will briefly explain it. In the supreme sense the subject is…the glorification of the Lord’s natural, and in the relative sense the regeneration of man as to his natural.” (AC 4585 [4])
  • “Ephrathah denotes…the spiritual celestial sense of the Word.” (AC 9406 [4]) The spiritual signifies “such as are of faith” (understanding), and the celestial signifies “such as are of the will.” (AC 1203) The spiritual celestial sense of the Word represents “truth conjoined with love.” (AE 449)


“…though you are little among the thousands of Judah…”

  • “Little” “signifies that there was little of truth...little in comparison to those who are in the affection of good.” (AC 2429)
  • “‘Thousands’ signifies primary truths which are in the first degree under the truth immediately from the Divine…” (AC 8696)
  • “Judah” “signifies the Lord in respect to celestial love.” (AE 433 [3]) “Judah” “signifies those who are in the good of love, with whom the church was to be set up.” (AC 10,327)


“…yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel…”

  • In spite of their spiritual limitations, or the “littleness” of their truth, the remnant will be used by the Lord to bring forth His mighty plan of salvation. Their weakness is utilized and bolstered to become His strength.
  • AC 5489 [2] has a wonderful description of what the Lord does for those who desire and intend the Lord to be the One ruler and reign in their lives. His plan to “come forth” is as follows: “…with the regenerate the memory knowledges which are truths of the church…are stored up by the Lord…and therefore when the Lord insinuates into such persons a zeal for good, these truths show themselves in their order; and when He insinuates a zeal for truth, this good is present and [He] enkindles it.”


“…whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”

  • Is this another way of calling our attention to the “Alpha and Omega” teaching? The Lord does not change. He has been the same from the beginning to the end. With Him, there is no “old.” He is everlasting, unchangeable, and cohesively true.


Putting It All Together


The Word is the Lord’s. The Word is from the Lord. The Word has “reference to the Lord, to His heaven, to the church, to religious belief, and to all things connected…” (AC 1)


Being that the Word is from the Lord, “it must of necessity contain within it such things as belong to heaven, to the church, and to religious belief, and that unless it did so it could not be called the Lord’s Word, nor could it be said to have any life in it.” (AC 2)


In AR 224, we are urged to “Read the Word and believe in the Lord, and you will see the truths which should constitute your faith and life…Everyone whose soul desires it is capable of seeing the truths of the Word in the light…”


The Word is indeed a Bethlehem—a house of bread. The Word is also Ephrathah, in that it is fruitful and plentiful. The Lord’s birth occurred in Bethlehem. As often as the Word is read and loved, His advent occurs again and again within the heart of the reader.


The Word has its literal sense, its spiritual sense, and its celestial sense. It has been carefully written by the Lord so as to tell us about His love for us. It is written to tell us how the Lord took on our human nature and fought to overcome inherited tendencies toward evil and falsity. He glorified His human and thoroughly (soundly) defeated the Hells. Every event of His life—even the least of things—is a significant detail in His redemptive plan. What He wants and seeks to implement for us is for us to give Him our hearts and minds. He wants us to diligently read His Word so that its spiritual celestial degrees can help us to “come forth” to Him so that He will be the “One Ruler” in our lives. The Lord promises to add a zeal for good; He promises to show us His truths in their heavenly order; and in the end, He promises to enkindle, emblazon, and enliven (refresh) our lives with His “House of Bread.”


Will His Word ever grow “old”? Never! It is a story that lasts. In the Lord’s plan, the Word is written to tell us of the past that will be relevant for the present, and it will apply to the things of the future. It will be read to eternity and never be exhausted. What other book could possibly match this eternal source? It is an everlasting love story that will always thrill our soul. The depth of His story will never be exhausted—nay, it is an eternal story we as angels will thrive on. The bread of heaven is plentiful, and it is spiritually satisfying.


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 5:2.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • Does this chapter challenge us regarding the absolute necessity of reading the Word? Are we ready to put aside our excuses for why we don’t read the Word daily?
  • This is probably a long-standing debate in our hearts and minds. We try, but we can’t seem to get it together. We lapse in our effort. Well, will AC 1&2 and AR 224 provide us with answers of encouragement to help us stand up and bolster our fortitude to persevere? What methods have you used to read the Word?
  • How about signing up to receive some daily inspiration? Use your computer to sign up for a free source. Type in www.newchurch.org. Then click on News, and you will see an opportunity to register to receive daily inspiration. Every morning, you will receive a thoughtful quote from the Writings. It is a short reading that one can meditate on. From there, you can slowly branch out to read other lessons from the Word. Something has to motivate us. Bottom line: Spiritually, we cannot afford to continue offering weak excuses. The Lord has written His Word in such a way that it will meet all levels of the mind. His Word has avenues that will open us to the fruitful and plentiful Bread of Heaven. There is a struggle involved in getting to use His truth—but what dividends it pays for the health of our soul! The Lord will enliven our effort. He will add the zeal. Don’t let Hell talk you into procrastinating another moment or another day.
  • The House of Bread waits. It has a plentiful supply of love and wisdom. If you feel unsure that you will be successful in reading, why not get a friend to join you? Ask them to join you in a daily reading time. It is worth the effort. The Lord’s Word is not “old” or stale; it is fresh news each and every day you go to it for help and inspiration. Give it a try 5 days a week. If you miss one day, do not berate yourself. Go right back and pick it up with a positive feeling. In no time, you will be so dedicated you will look forward to (and protect) the reading and reflection time.
  • No more excuses! Let’s be done with our wimpy, pitiful, whining ways! Instead, hold to your promise. Let the one-to-five minutes a day be as important as lesser mundane chores. Can we do it? Yes, we can!
  • There was a song I sang enthusiastically as a child called “Trust and Obey.” Do you recall the first lines of that song? “When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way. As we do His good will, He abides with us still…” I passionately believe the words of this hymn. I still hum it today, recalling the positive message about the rewards one gets while reading the Word. What song or passage might inspire you to faithfully read the Word?
  • Pause for a moment to reflect on the words of Micah 5:2. “Though thou art little…yet out of you shall come forth…One to be Ruler…” How often do we feel small or insignificant? Hell loves to tell us how futile our efforts are. Well, in the hands of the Lord, our little can become much. He is the ruler. He can bring to bear what is necessary to help us become an angel. We are little. In the Lord’s plan of Providence, we can give birth to spiritual things that will let us reach upward to things eternal. The Lord’s “goings forth are from of old—from everlasting.”


Micah 5:3-4


“Therefore He shall give them up, until that time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel. And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth.”



Passages from the Writings



  • The Lord “…will gather the church together and teach those who are in it.”


AC 6674 [4 & 7]

  • “…the Lord as to the Divine Human is the ‘name’ of Jehovah, or His whole quality; hence all Divine worship is from the Divine Human, and it is this which is to be worshiped…Micah 5:4…”


AC 9422 [2-3]

  • “…‘sitting’ signifies remaining in a state; for movements from place to place signify changes of state of the interiors…Consequently ‘sitting’ signifies a permanent abiding in the state of the interiors…it unfolds in the following passages…Micah 5:4…”


AR 81

  • “…in heaven no other names are given but what involve the quality of any one and the quality of God is all that by which He is worshiped. He who does not know this signification of ‘name’ in the Word, can only understand name; and in this alone there is nothing of worship and religion…” Micah 5:4 is one of many passages cited as examples.


AE 687 [15]

  • “In Micah…5:4…[it] is said of the Lord and of the doctrine of Divine truth from Him, which is meant by ‘Then shall he stand and feed in the name of Jehovah;’ that men of the church will be in that doctrine is signified by ‘they shall sit;’ and that the doctrine of Divine truth will endure to eternity is signified by ‘he shall increase unto the ends of the earth.’”


Derived Doctrine


“Therefore He shall give them up…”

  • To understand the meaning of “give them up,” we must look at the negative and positive usage of these words. In AE 659 [23], we are taught that to “give them up” means to “release them to the devilish loves, and thence to evils and falsities which are from hell.” In the positive sense, AC 9642 [2] teaches, “to give them up” means to not withhold them. It is akin to elevating them from the pit of ignorance and the oppression of the hells.
  • Since it is the Lord (He) “giving them up,” we can focus on the positive meaning because He is talking about the vital roll the remnant will play when He calls them to His new church.


“…until the time that she who is in labor has given birth.”

  • The phrase “until the time” occurs in the Word more often than one might expect. Looking at the 34 citations given in the Writings, its usage seems to point to a period of spiritual latency with a glimpse, or mention, of the potency that will eventually bring about many corrective results. For instance, look at CL 416: “…the chick is latent in its seed…with every requisite until the time of hatching…” AC 407 mentions that “There always remains some nucleus of a church [in]…a remnant…until the time…” AE 632 [3] illustrates the latency (potency) of the new church: “…the total destruction of the church by evils of life and falsities of doctrine until the time…signifies until evil is consummated…” Evil and falsity, for a time, may appear to have made the Lord and His church ineffective until the time when the Lord calls out and enlivens His remnant; His chicks; His overcoming the disorders of Hell. Thus, “until the time” is an announcement that spiritual recovery and restoration are now underway. (Emphasis added to all of the above quotes from the Writings.)
  • “…she who is in labor…” AC 4504 teaches that “‘she’ represents the affection for all truths, and so means the church itself…” AC 9278 [3] explains what “labor” and “combat” represent: “when a man is in external things he is in labor and combat…into which the hells flow from all sides, continually endeavoring to infest and even subjugate…but the Lord continually protects and sets him free.” AR 531, explaining the spiritual sense of Revelation 12:1, the story of the woman travailing to give birth, tells us that “It treats…of the New Church and its doctrine: by ‘the woman’ is here meant the New Church, and by ‘the offspring’ which she brought forth, its doctrine: and it also treats of those in the present church, who from doctrine believe in a Trinity of Persons, and in the duality of the Person of Christ, likewise in justification by faith alone; these are meant by ‘the dragon.’ Then it treats of the persecution of the New Church by these, on account of its doctrine, and its protection by the Lord, until from a few it increases among many.” (Emphasis added.)


“Then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.”

  • AE 746 [2] states: “That formerly all who were of one church called themselves brethren and that the Lord calls those brethren who are in love to Him and in charity towards the neighbor, can be seen from many passages in the Word…” (Emphasis added.) Micah 5:3 is cited.
  • With this quote and two other quotes from the Arcana, we are given a possible meaning of the words “…the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.” AC 7975 teaches us that the sons of Israel represent “genuine goods and truths which are of the spiritual church…” AC 1443 explains that “…the entrance of the sons of Israel represents the entrance of the faithful into the Lord’s kingdom.”
  • To “return” signifies to give up the things of self-love (evil and falsity), returning to a useful spiritual state, becoming orderly (getting right) with the Lord and His church.


“And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God…”

  • The word “stand” indicates a watchful, listening state in which one awaits further orders. Standing is a mental and physical attitude of attention and alertness. AR 369 teaches that “‘to stand’ signifies to hear and do what He [the Lord] commands.” Our passage indicates it is the Lord who is standing. Are we to assume that the Lord is telling us about His ever-watchful, alert, listening care over His flock? Is He attuned to what we really need? Is He promising us that He “stands ready” to feed us in a prompt spiritual fashion?
  • To “feed” signifies “to instruct in truths.” (AE 482) To “feed” signifies to instruct in the things of “doctrine.” (AC 3787)
  • His “flock” signifies “those who are in the church…those who are in good…” (AC 3767)
  • What is the “strength of the Lord”? It signifies His Divine truths fighting to free us and rescue us, with the arms of His salvation holding us. See AC 9809 [4].
  • What does “majesty of the name of the Lord” signify? Consider this passage in AE 76: “…man has two kinds of sight, one from cogitative faith, the other from love: when he has sight from cogitative faith only, his sight is unattended with awe before the Lord’s Divine majesty; but when this sight is from love, it is attended with awe at the Divine majesty: this is because man is then turned to the Lord, for love turns him, but cogitative faith apart from love does not [turn him in awe]…”
  • “…the name of the Lord His God…” signifies all those things by which He is worshipped…” (AE 295 [13]) The name of the Lord “signifies all the quality of faith and love by which He is to be worshipped, and by which man is saved by Him…” (AE 815 [12])


“…and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth.”

  • What is implied in the words “they shall abide”? Love, wisdom, and use are forever conjoined (wed). They are the essentials of the Lord. Hell, from the beginning, has endeavored to separate them. We are taught they are not to be separated. They can be looked at one at a time, but ultimately, they must be put together. These words of the Lord assure us that, in Him, these essentials will abide forever.  His church will endure because Love, Wisdom, and Use in Him are a one.
  • The words “He shall be great to the ends of the earth” signify “to instruct in truths all those who belong to the church, and thereby to dissipate falsities.” (AE 316 [23]) AE 569 [11] says these words signify “the extension of rational and spiritual things…” AE 294 [8] teaches us these words signify to “establish the church, thus to reform those who are therein.”


Putting It All Together


P&P sums up this section with a powerful and positive statement: The Lord “will gather the church together and [He will] teach those who are in it.” (Emphasis added.)


The Lord is in a standing position. He is alert. He is watching. He is listening. He is prepared to feed His flock. This feeding of the flock will not come about without some painful resistance. Hell has no intention of ceasing its tormenting of the church and the people within it. So the Lord tells us the church (she) will labor and will be in travail in the birthing process. The dragon will seek to devour the child about to be born, but the Lord will provide for its safety. “Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) The gift of the kingdom is a definite promise.


What are the key qualities involved in the successful gathering of the brethren? Love and dedication to the name of the Lord are one facet. Another is to be in “awe” of the Lord. How does that come about? When our sight comes from a deep and abiding love for the Lord, we are taught that love turns us in the right direction. Love opens our sight and gives to it an “awe” of His Divine majesty. Awe makes us appreciate the name of the Lord and all of the qualities of faith and love by which He is to be worshipped. This spirit of awe is not fear. Instead, it is a calming feeling of being special. We are brethren. We are His flock, and He stands ready to care for and feed us. We shall be great. We shall abide. The Lord will instruct us “to the ends of the earth.” Hell and its disorders will be dissipated. These teachings are a bold and positive promise of the majestic name of the Lord.


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 5:3-4.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • The word “awe” has many meanings: profound and reverent dread; veneration and solemn wonder; respect. What other words come to mind after reading the passage from AE 76? Awe comes when love turns our sight to see the majesty of the Lord. I don’t hear fear and dread in these words. Instead, I hear healing, calm, spiritual power and the dissolution of evil and falsity. Awe also brings to our hearts and minds the qualities that are to be loved and worshipped within the Lord. Any other insights come to mind?
  • I like the repetition of the Lord’s promise that His flock will be gathered together as brethren. The Lord’s New Church will provide unity of thought and purpose. Picturing the Lord in the standing position, ever watchful and alert, is another important “touchstone” to carry with us. Hell loves to convince us of our estrangement from the Lord. Hell wants to separate all forms of love, wisdom, and use. But here, in this little prophecy of Micah, we are given a positive and bold promise of wholeness and success. How glad can we be with this prophecy? I hope it is a calming voice that tells and reminds us to “fear not, little flock.”
  • Just a reminder: The theme of each Minor Prophet comprises a message of hope and restoration. I am willing to offer this observation: Hell doesn’t want any of us reading the prophets. The evil spirits would prefer that we be ignorant of the Lord’s prophecies. The conspiracy of Hell is to discourage us. The plan of the Lord is to feed us and call us all together into His church. Can we join hands as brethren and have our eyes “turned” by the Lord to see and love Him?


Micah 5:5-6


“And this One shall be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land, and when he treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princely men. They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian, when he comes into our land and when he treads within our borders.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “He [the Lord] will utterly destroy reasonings from falsities.”


AC 1186 [5]

  • “‘Asshur’ here is reasoning concerning spiritual things…In Micah…5:5, 6 the subject here is Israel, or the spiritual church, of which it is said that ‘Asshur shall not enter in,’ that is, that reasoning shall not; ‘the land of Nimrod’ denotes such worship as is signified by Nimrod, in which the interiors are evil and false.”


AC 9659 [3]

  • “What is full and in every way is also signified by ‘eight’ after ‘seven,’ in…(Micah 5:5, 6); ‘Asshur’ denotes reasoning about the goods and truths of the church from man’s own intelligence; total or complete deliverance from the falsity thence, is signified by the ‘eight princes of men who shall destroy;’ the ‘princes of men’ denote the primary truths of good.”


Derived Doctrine


“And this One shall be peace.”

  • What is peace? AE 365 develops a wonderful word picture of what peace is and what peace is not. Let’s begin with what peace is not: dissensions arising in the church when the “understanding of the Word is destroyed.” With the destruction of the Word, “good” becomes a casualty. When good is lost, no illustration from the Lord and heaven can be given when the Word is read. “So far as a person is in good, the Lord flows in and gives the affection of truth, and thus understanding…” Unless there is good within the mind of a person, it cannot be opened, still less can it experience peace or conjunction with the Lord. Peace, on the other hand, is “in its first origin from the Lord; it is in Him…and by His conjunction with heaven and the church, and in particular from the conjunction of good and truth in each individual…‘Peace,’ in the highest sense, signifies the Lord…” In a word, peace is being in the “One” of the Lord’s Love, Wisdom, and Use. Peace is adherence to the order and directions of the Lord’s End, Cause, and Effect principle. To do otherwise causes peace to cease and dissension to enter the heart and mind of the church.


“When the Assyrian comes into our land, and when he treads in our palaces…”

  • In Hosea 12:1, we read, “Ephraim…daily increases lies and desolation. Also they make a covenant with the Assyrians…” Assyria’s association with Ephraim and their making a covenant with lies and desolation suggest that “Assyria” signifies something subtly destructive in the mind. AE 304 [26] refines for us that “Assyrian…signifies the reasonings from falsities against truth.” AE 962 [3] teaches that “Assyrians…signify the rational perverted as to good and truth.”
  • The “Assyrian” coming “into our land” signifies reasonings of falsity entering into the church. See AE 365 [14].
  • That the “Assyrian…treads in our palaces” is a significant statement about the intent of Assyria. AE 675 [14] talks about the meaning of “palaces” in the negative sense. In this sense, a “palace” is a place where the proud live. It is a place of embellishment in the external form to appear magnificent.


“…then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princely men.”

  • “…seven signifies what is holy…” (AC 716) “Seven” signifies the holy things of the Word. (AR 738) “Shepherds” signify all the goods of the church. (AE 601 [15]) “Shepherds” signify those who by truths lead to good. (AE 388 [17])
  • “Eight” signifies the beginning of a new state. See AC 2866. “Princes” signify primary truths. See AC 5044 [5].
  • Putting these pieces of derived doctrine together, we get a picture of the holiest things of the Word drawn together. Drawing them together to rise up against Assyria requires the guidance of the Lord’s “holy” shepherds leading to the good of life. The Lord also brings His eight (new state) primary truths to the fore to enlighten the state so the people can see past the embellishments of the false reasonings and lies of the Assyrians.


“They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances…”

  • In the story of Joseph saving Egypt in the time of the great famine, the Word (Genesis 42: 13-26) describes a series of things that were laid to waste. The people’s money ran out (was laid to waste), and they came to Joseph for bread. In exchange for seed and bread, the Egyptians gave him their cattle. When their supply ran out, they gave Joseph their land in exchange for seed and food. The Word remarks that the land was laid to waste. The spiritual explanation for Joseph’s saving series of exchanges and for the things laid to waste is quite positive: “…‘the ground be not laid waste,’ signifies that the mind must be cultivated with the memory-knowledges of the church; ‘and Joseph bought all the ground of Egypt for Pharaoh,’ signifies that the internal appropriated to itself the whole natural mind where memory-knowledges are, and placed it under general auspices…[the] subjection of all things which are of service to the church…”
  • Is it a stretch, then, to view the “sword” as the “truth of faith combating” falsity (AC 2799 [2]), laying waste to all of the lies, desolation, and reasonings of Assyria and Nimrod that threatened the mind of the church? This passage illustrates the work of the Lord. He was saving the people during the famine times of the church. The Lord was emptying out the memory-knowledges of the desolated church and providing the basis for restoration and nurturing.
  • Where did the sword do its work? “…at its entrances...” The wasting of the spiritual lies and evil and falsity was cut off right at the source. Check this reference to the meaning of “entrances” in AE 540 [9]: “…entrance means sensual knowledge, through which there is entrance into the natural man; it is by this that falsifications are made.”


“…thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian, when he comes into our land and when he treads within our borders.”

  • Can we not see the meaning of these words? The Lord, with His sharp two-edged sword, will lay to waste the twisted lies of Assyria. He will cut off the very source of their lies. The Lord knows when the enemy comes near our borders. He knows when Assyria wants to tread on the church. Treading is described in AE 697 [5]: “…to devour, to tread down…signifies to utterly destroy the church…[treading] is some evil and diabolical love…” directed toward the church.


Putting It All Together


P&P sums up this section with these words: “He [the Lord] will utterly destroy reasonings from falsities.”


How will the Lord do all of the above? He will do it featuring His many forms of unity—completeness. His “Oneness” will reflect the harmony of Love, Wisdom, and Use. He will act from the orderliness of His End, Cause, and Effect. With such a powerful, awe-inspiring alignment, the lies and false reasoning of the Assyrian and Nimrod nations will crumble and be laid to waste. How? The Lord outlines His plan with the mention of the seven shepherds and the eight princely men. The seven shepherds are the holiest things from the Word. Guiding principles, like caring and faithful shepherds, will lead to the “good of life.” These seven shepherds will stand in stark contrast to the fickle and self-serving lies of the evil and falsity Assyria and Nimrod offered. The eight princely men represent the beginning of a new state—new and fresh opportunities to serve the Lord under His Kingly leadership. We are His children. We, under His Royal leadership, will become princely heirs in the kingdom of heaven.


The sword of the Lord will waste (utterly destroy) the lies and false fronts of hell. He will cut them off at the very source of their attempted entrance into our minds. Our part in this wonderful plan is to actively long for the riddance of evil and falsity. We need to honestly confess our sins and make ourselves guilty for any evil and falsity we might have chosen to follow, and then we need to supplicate the Lord for His help while desiring to be made new. Atonement means to be at-one-moment with the Lord. He is the One, and He wants to draw us unto Himself. His plan of salvation is certain: He will keep the Assyrians and Nimrods away from our borders, and He will keep our enemies from treading on the holy things of the church. 


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 5:5-6.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • When you take the time to look at the teachings of the Lord, do you feel a sense of enlightenment happening? By that I mean that each word, each verse, and each paragraph opens new vistas for our understanding. Do what were once mere words become personal messages that are uplifting and practical? I guess I’m asking you, as a faithful student of Micah, what insights are you getting from this study?
  • What makes for peace? What makes for that which is not peace? Peace ceases when dissensions regarding the Word remove “good.” When good is removed from the person reading the Word, sad things happen. The Lord sees the absence of good, and “no illustration from the Lord and heaven can be given.” How can we remind ourselves to get into a peaceful state prior to and during our reflection time with the Word?
  • When we reflect on the Oneness of the Lord, do we remind ourselves of the oneness of His Love, Wisdom, and Use? How about the unity of His End, Cause, and Effect? DLW 187 reminds us that we must seek truth in its proper sequential order. Looking from effects to causes to ends is the wrong approach. Peace and illustration come when love stimulates wisdom and wisdom inspires use. Reversing this process brings one falsity after another and multiples them in harmful ways. Can we see why this is so? 
  • Do we have a strong belief in the spiritual meaning of “seven shepherds”? What is your understanding of the spiritual meaning of the “eight princely men”?
  • The Lord’s announcement that He will totally destroy the evil and falsity must strike terror in the hearts of Hell. If we believe this message, the Writings teach that it causes the hells to flee from our presence. Do we utilize this teaching enough? If we say this often, with good in our hearts, we can be effective members of the Lord’s New Church. Can we, in a united way, begin practicing this teaching? Doing so puts Hell back into its place of squalor and maniacal disorder.


Micah 5:7


“Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples, like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, that tarry for no man nor wait for the sons of men.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “Then there will be salvation in that church…”


AC 468 [1-3]

  • “…every church…in course of time…decreases, and at last remains among a few…for unless remains were preserved by the Lord in every one, he must needs perish eternally, since spiritual and celestial life are in remains…Of remains as existing in each individual as well as in the church in general, much is said in the Prophets; as in…Micah…5:7…”


AC 3579 [5]

  • “…‘dew’ signifies the truth which is from good, or what is the same, the spiritual which is from the celestial, therefore also in the Word spiritual truth is compared to ‘dew;’ for things which signify serve also for comparison with the same thing, as in…Micah 5:7…where ‘dew’ denotes the multiplication of truth from good, and the fructification of good through truth; and as the dew is that which every morning renders the field and vineyard fruitful…”


AE 278 [5]

  • “In Micah…5:7…The ‘remnant of Jacob’ signifies the truths and goods of the church; ‘dew from Jehovah’ signifies spiritual truth; ‘drops upon the herb’ natural truth…”


Derived Doctrine


“Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples…”

  • In the simplest terms, the spiritual meaning of this passage is the Lord telling us that He always protects (saves) a remnant in which the basic goods and truths are preserved and that He will ensure that information will be in the midst of “many peoples”. AC 9174 [5] speaks of the great abundance of good and truth stored away. “‘Many peoples’ denotes to abound in the goods of intelligence and wisdom, and to communicate them to others out of this abundance.”


“…like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, that tarry for no man nor wait for the sons of men.”

  • AC 3579 [4] states, “In the genuine sense ‘dew’ is the truth of good which is from a state of innocence and peace…” AC 8455 is almost poetical in its description of the meaning of “dew”: “‘Dew’ signifies the truth of peace because in the morning it comes down from heaven and appears upon the herbage like fine rain, and has also stored up in it something of sweetness or delight more than rain has, whereby the grass and crops of the field are gladdened…” The words “from the Lord” signify “the Divine wisdom and Divine love…” (AR 240) In other words, the “dew from the Lord” signifies Divine truth and Divine love clothed in innocence and peace, gladdening the hearts and minds of His remnant.
  • The showers on the “grass” signify “spiritual nourishment” for the “good affections of the natural man.” (AE 405 [30]) “Grass” “signifies the truths of the natural man…” (AE 650 [10]) Can we picture the meaning of these words? The Lord gently lets His dew (love and wisdom) fall on man’s natural mind so that it gets refreshed and nourished after a long period of “spiritual draught” in the church, caused by evil and falsity.
  • These things will happen according the Lord’s timing (Providence). He will not “tarry” to meet man’s directive timetable. Doesn’t this sound like the teaching in the Doctrine of the Lord 3? “In the fullness of times…unless He had then come…and revealed Himself…mankind would have perished…” The Lord didn’t tarry. If He had, we would have died spiritually. The Lord knows precisely when to provide the dew and to bring His innocence and peace to the minds of His people. He does all things with a wonderful timing. Just when the grass and fields were about to lose their fruitfulness, He provided the dew to nourish and strengthen us spiritually.
  • The “sons of man” signify those who are “intelligent in truths…” (AE 684 [14]) The “sons of man” signify the “truths of doctrine and of the church.” (AE 750 [17])


Putting It All Together


P&P sets the course of our thinking and understanding of this passage. “…there will be salvation in that church…”


In what church? It will be the Lord’s New Church. How will He do it? His love and wisdom will come like refreshing morning dew. His innocence and peace will pervade the very core of the church’s existence. He will call forth the abundance of all the good and truth stored away in the “remains” of His people. His “dew” will bring gladness, refreshment, and nourishment to the minds of His people. The doctrines will virtually sparkle in the light of His sunshine. The Word will be enlivened in the worship services. The people will be redeemed and saved from the wiles of Hell.


All of this will happen according to the Lord’s plan. Human prudence will not influence when and how it will occur. The Lord will tarry for no man, nor will He wait for the sons of men. The angels of heaven and the forces of Hell will not aid or thwart the implementation of His plan. The words “…there will be salvation in that church…” have a powerful Divine ring to them. The Lord alone will bring all things to pass, and He will work through the hearts and minds of all who are willing to obey and follow His way. The plan is set. The “timing” of it is sure. Although it is not stated explicitly, the text contains a question: Will we come and obey the call of the Lord?


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 5:7.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • Isn’t it wonderful to picture the Lord in total control of the things in His spiritual church? Boards, meetings, votes, and popular opinion will have no power over His decisions for our salvation.
  • Did the Derived Doctrine section help you picture the wonderful meaning of “dew”? Could you see the morning dew glistening on the field of your mind? How about the gentle, refreshing, and enriching quality of the Lord’s innocence and peace?
  • People often ask for positive teachings from the Word. They complain about the harshness of the lessons from the Word. Does this one verse present yet another “happy” theme? Micah has given us quite a few. Maybe we need to begin writing them down in a special file or notebook so we can share them with others. What do you think?
  • Last question: Did P&P’s summary catch your attention? There is no chance of missing its definite and positive statement from the Lord. Let’s not let Hell take this one away from us!


Micah 5:8


“And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, who, if he passes through, both treads down and tears in pieces, and none can deliver.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “…but in the church in the Jewish nation there will be nothing but falsities of evil.”


AE 278 [5]

  • “In Micah…(Micah 5:7-9). The ‘remnant of Jacob’ signifies the truths and goods of the church…‘a lion among the beasts of the forest,’ and ‘a young lion among the flocks of sheep,’ and ‘treading down and tearing, and none delivering,’ signify power over evils and falsities…”


AC 5897 [6]

  • “In Micah…5:8…are described remains in respect to their quality, and it is known that this quality never belonged to the people called ‘Israel.’ From this also it is manifest that by ‘remains’ are meant other things; and that these are goods and truths is clear, because these are what do no perversity, nor speak a lie, neither is a tongue of deceit found in their mouth.”


AC 6367 [7-8]

  • “In Micah 5:8, 9…where the ‘lion’ and ‘young lion’ denote celestial truth, which are the ‘remains of Jacob.’…That in the opposite sense a ‘lion’ signifies the evil of the love of self in its power…”


AC 7051 [2]

  • This passage is a rather important one in that it cites Micah 5:7-8 to remind us that Israel and “even Christians believe that that nation will again be chosen and will be brought into the land of Canaan…this expectation is vain, and that the kingdom of the Messiah or Christ is not of this world, and thus that the land of Canaan, into which the Messiah will bring men, is heaven.” (Emphasis added.)


Derived Doctrine


“And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many peoples…”

  • “…‘remains’ are not the remains of any people or nation…in the Word, especially the prophetic Word, by ‘Israel’ was not meant Israel, nor by ‘Jacob’ Jacob, but by both the church and what is of the church. And this being the case, by the ‘remains’ are not meant the remains of Israel and Jacob, but the truths and goods which belong to the church…That it has been unknown, and appears strange…[is because] the literal sense, especially where it is historical, withdraws and forcibly withholds from thinking things like these.” (AC 5897 [3])
  • “…Gentiles…denote those who are in evils.” (AC 4169) Therefore, when the Word says that “remains” shall be among, or in the midst, of the “Gentiles,” we are to understand that at the beginning of the rebirth of the church, its goods and truths are surrounded by the enemies of the Lord’s church.
  • Coupled with the threat of Gentiles (those who are in evils) is that of “many peoples.” What do “peoples” denote? AC 6692 teaches that, in the negative sense, “people denote memory-knowledges [that] are opposed to the truths of the church.”  


“…like a lion among the beasts of the forest…”

  • AR 241 teaches that “a lion signifies truth in its power…the Divine truth of the Word…lions in the spiritual world…are images representative of the power of Divine truth…”
  • The “beasts of the forest” can have both a positive and a negative meaning. Consider both meanings as we examine the words “beasts of the forest.” AC 775 explains that “The origin of all things (rerum) is in this wise: all things, both in general and in particular, are from the Lord; from Him is the celestial; from Him through the celestial comes forth the spiritual; through the spiritual the natural; through the natural the corporeal and the sensuous. And as they all come forth from the Lord in this way, so also do they subsist from Him, for as is well known, subsistence is a perpetual coming into existence. They who have a different conception of the coming into existence and the rise of things, like those who worship nature and deduce from her the origins of things, are in principles so deadly that the phantasies of the wild beasts of the forest may be called far more sane.” (Emphasis added.)


“…like a young lion among flocks of sheep…”

  • “…the omnipotence of Divine good is compared to a ‘lion,’ and the omnipotence of the Divine truth thence derived is compared to a ‘young lion’…” (AC 6367 [3]) In the opposite sense, “a ‘lion’ signifies the evil of the love of self in its power.” (AC 6367 [2])
  • “…in general a flock signifies all those who are in good, thus who belong to the Lord’s church in the universal world.” (AC 3767) “…sheep signify those who are in love towards the neighbor, which love is charity.” (AE 314 [5])
  • How do we draw the above doctrines to a point of useful application? The Lord is comforting those who are in His church with this promise: He will be in the midst of all who are in good. His Divine truth (the young lion) will assist the good (the flock) by showing them how the neighbor can be prudently loved so that true charity can rule in their hearts. This is, of course, the positive meaning. Hell has another plan. Hell’s lion wants to foster, encourage, and empower the love of self to reign over the neighbor (flock).

“…who, if he passes through, both treads down and tears in pieces, and none can deliver.”

  • How are we to understand the words and meaning of this passage? Is it a message of futility? “None can deliver” sounds hopelessly foreboding. Treading down and tearing to pieces sound scary and destructive. Fortunately, we have the helpful assistance of AE 278 [5] to clear up this misconception. What really is being taught here is the truth that the Lord alone has the power to tread down and tear to pieces evil and falsity. Man’s prudence and “as of self” strength can’t independently defeat evil and falsity. On the other hand, this is a positive Divine message of deliverance and rescue. It is an encouraging word from the Lord to those who place their hope, trust, and confidence in Him; because of Him alone, we shall succeed in our eternal endeavors.


Putting It All Together


There are countless truths in the Lord’s Word. Recall the church teaching that tells us the Word can be studied to eternity and it will never be exhausted. So when we say there are three basic themes to this section, we need to be mindful that as we study and grow spiritually, other points will come to view, too.


The first theme we glean from P&P: “…the church in the Jewish nation [was in]…nothing but falsities of evil.” This is not a new statement in Micah. We have been reading this over and over. The priests of the church were “selling out” their office to the highest bidder. They were more interested in grandeur, pompous dignity, and their individual power than in caring for the people. As often as the Lord called them to repent and return to their uses as pastoral shepherds, they did not heed His call. As they ignored this call, the church languished in vitality and spiritual resources.


The second theme is found in the quote from AC 7051 [2]. Israel is not and was not a favored nation to the extent they believed. Israel, and many Christians, believed that eventually the Lord would call Israel out of their falsities to inherit the promised land of Canaan. In other words, Israel’s belief resulted in an almost arrogant assumption that no matter what they did, they would still be, and would always be, the Lord’s favorite people and nation.


The third theme expounds the truth that no nation, or any peoples, can find salvation through their own merit. The Lord’s new church and His salvation tarries “…for no man nor [will it] wait for the sons of men.” (Micah 5:7) In verse 8, the Lord uses three words to teach us about His eternal sovereignty: “none can deliver.” These words remind all that the work of salvation is strictly His doing. You and I gain all of the gifts of the Lord when we humbly follow and live out the truths of His Word.


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 5:8.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • Do we pray (work) hard enough to ask the Lord to keep our church free from falsities? Are we earnest in our prayers that the priesthood be guided and led by the Lord in the performance of their uses? Do we pray that the laity will stay involved and interested in the teachings of the Word?
  • Do we, in subtle ways, fall into thinking that the external New Church is somehow “favored” among all of the other churches? I understand the terms “old church” and “new church,” but do we ever use these terms in a harmful (snobby) way?
  • How can we bolster the “as of self” while still keeping it humble and mindful of the Lord’s ways? Not one of us can “go it alone” without acknowledgement that it is the Lord alone who overcomes the power and falsity of the Hells. Without Him, we are nothing. Salvation belongs to the Lord alone.


Micah 5:9


“Your hand shall be lifted against your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “…this church will have no power over the Lord’s church.”


Scripture Confirmations IX.5

  • “Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries; all thine enemies shall be cut off. It shall come to pass in that day that I will cut off the horses, I will destroy the chariots, I will cut off the cities, also juggling tricks from thine hand, graven images, statues, groves, and cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations, who have not obeyed (Micah 5: 9-14). He who is from Bethlehem Ephratah will do this, etc. (vers. 1-7).”  


Derived Doctrine


“Your hand shall be lifted against your adversaries…”

  • We must put this verse in its proper spiritual context. Israel had been taught that it must not put its trust in its army or any other imagined self-derived power. They were taught to follow the commands and ways of the Lord. The Lord provided them with the leadership of judges and prophets. Instead of appreciating their divinely inspired leadership, they chose to wander off, trusting in their own prudence. They followed the worship of Baal and the gods of neighboring nations. The consequences of these decisions were devastating. Their nation was plundered, their temple destroyed and desecrated, their families separated and carried off in servitude. It was time now for the Lord to put things straight. The remnant, under the Lord’s leadership, would be given spiritual values and tools so they could lift up their “hand” against the deceiving spiritual adversaries in their midst. A “hand” signifies power. The power of their understanding would be “lifted” up. Do we recall Moses having his arms and hands held up and supported in order to defeat Israel’s enemies? Something similar is represented here as well. The adversaries of falsity and evil will be met and conquered. How thoroughly will the adversary be dealt with in this spiritual “hand-to-hand” combat? Let’s find the answer to this question in the remaining portion of this verse.


“…and all your enemies shall be cut off.”

  • Is there any question, when the Lord is in charge, what the results will be when evil and falsity are faced? The enemy—evil and falsity—will be “cut off.” What does “cut off” signify? AE 433 [11] teaches that “cut off” signifies “…that evil shall be no more…” AE 684 [38] says that “cut off” signifies “that [the evil will] fall away from the Lord…”

Putting It All Together


P&P sums up this section with these words: “…this church [the spiritually lost church] will have no power over the Lord’s church.” Those who worship evil and falsity will try to resist and oppose the truths of the Lord, but they cannot and will not prevail. In the presence of the Lord, they will be “cut off.” They will fall back. Their life of falsity will not be able to stand in the presence of the Lord. Only the Lord has power, and all else is powerless and cannot lift a finger to hurt the good and truth of His order.


We need to hear messages like this from the Lord’s Word. Hell seeks to convince all that its power is unstoppable. Among its bag of tricks is the art of obfuscation. Evil spirits twist and turn things their way to convince the faint-hearted that the Lord’s church is neither substantial nor enduring. But for all of their deviousness and boastfulness, they will not prevail. The Lord’s church is unstoppable. His mighty truths will enable His strong and steady hands to defeat any and all of His adversaries. The desires of evil and falsity are delusional fantasies.


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 5:9.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • Have you found a way to “turn off” the obstinate boasts of the hells? Would you be willing to share these methods with others? What kind of faith system do you have in place to trust in the ways of the Lord?
  • The messages of the Prophets are consistent—the Lord will allow evil and falsity to run their game plan for just so long. He will expose their vulnerability, and they will all fall back and will be cut off. Our prayer needs to be for patience and trust. The Lord will not leave or abandon us.


Micah 5:10-15


“And it shall be in that day”, says the Lord, “that I will cut off your horses from your midst and destroy your chariots. I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds. I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no soothsayers. Your carved images I will also cut off, and your sacred pillars from your midst; you shall no more worship the work of your hands; I will pluck your wooden images from your midst; thus I will destroy your cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury on nations that have not heard.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “…and it will perish with all its falsities and evils.”


AC 7297 [3]

  • “In Micah…5:10-12…From these passages it is evident that by ‘sorceries’ are signified the arts of presenting truths as falsities, and falsities as truths; for by ‘the horses that were to be cut off’ are signified intellectual things…by ‘the chariots that were to be destroyed’ are signified doctrinal things of truth…by ‘the cities of the land that were also to be cut off’ are signified the truths of the church (that ‘cities’ are truths, see 2268, 2451, 2712, 2943, 4492, 4493; and that ‘land’ is the church, 662, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577); by ‘strongholds’ are signified truths in so far as they defend goods. From all this then it can be known what is signified by the ‘sorceries that were to be cut off from the land,’ namely, the arts of presenting truths as falsities, and falsities as truths; these arts also correspond to the phantasies whereby the evil in the other life present before the eyes beautiful things as ugly, and ugly things as beautiful; which phantasies are a species of sorceries, for they also are abuses and perversions of Divine order.”  


AC 9188 [5-6]

  • “That ‘sorceries’ denote…falsities, is also plain in Micah…5:11,12; ‘the cities of the land’ denote the false doctrinal things of their church, which are called ‘sorceries’ because they destroy the truths of faith…‘sorcerers’ who have been taught by themselves, and trust in themselves alone to the extent of loving themselves and desiring to be worshiped as deities…” 


AR 459

  • “…the material of which idols were made, their forms, and their garments, among the ancients, represented the falsities of religion, from which was their worship: ‘idols of gold’ signified falsities concerning Divine things; ‘idols of silver,’ falsities concerning spiritual things; ‘idols of brass,’ falsities concerning charity; ‘idols of stone,’ falsities concerning faith; and ‘idols of wood,’ falsities concerning good works. All these falsities exist in those who do not do the work of repentance, that is, shun evils as sins against God. These things are signified in the spiritual sense by idols which were graven images and molten images, in the following passages…” Micah 5:13 is cited among many other references.


AE 587 [15-16]

  • “…the destruction of the church by the falsities of doctrine…signifies the falsification of truth by applications to favor the loves of self and of the world. ‘Graven images,’ ‘molten images,’ and ‘idols,’ have a similar signification in the following passages. In…Micah 5:10, 13…”


AC 2722 [4]

  • “That the brazen serpent was holy in the time of Moses is evident; but when the external was worshiped it became profane, and was broken in pieces, for the same reason that worship on mountains and in groves was forbidden. These things are still more evident in the Prophets…In Micah…5:13, 14…”


AC 10643 [4]

  • “…when these representatives began to be idolatrously worshiped, it was then commanded that such things should be overturned and broken…And as the Israelitish nation was at heart idolatrous, therefore lest they should set up pillars upon mountains and hills, and in groves, and should worship them idolatrously, they were forbidden to set up pillars and to plant groves, although among the ancients such things were holy things of worship. That this was forbidden to that nation is evident in…Micah 5:13, 14…”


Derived Doctrine


“And it shall be in that day, says the Lord…”

  • The words “in that day” signify “the coming of the Lord.” (AE 548 [6]) “In that day” points to the day of spiritual accountability or a day of spiritual reality. Those who trust in their own prudence when reasoning will find themselves naked (exposed) because they will lose their ability to reason and cover up their blatant falsities, and they will be deprived of any semblance of truth. See AE 357 [22]. “‘…in that day’ signifies the acknowledgement of the Lord and of His Divine...” (AE 654 [9]) In other words, “in that day” is the moment when all the games and insanity and pretenses of the hells will end. It’s over for them. They will become naked and exposed for what they really are. And who says this will happen? Is it Micah? No way! The Lord says so!


“…I will cut off your horses from your midst and destroy your chariots…”

  • In the positive sense, “horses” signify understanding the Word as to its interiors. See AR 437 and White Horse 1. In the negative sense, “horses” signify “the understanding perverted and destroyed.” (AE 573)
  • “Chariots,” in the positive sense, signify the truths of doctrine. (AC 3708 [11]) “…chariots signify doctrine from the Word.” (AE 355 [15]) In the negative sense, “chariots” signify understanding doctrine in a perverted way, thus destroying the positive uses of human understanding. See AE 573.
  • From the above, we get the message that the Lord and His new church will correct the perverted sense of the Word and any adhering doctrines of falsity that human prudence might have attached to the Word through tradition and finite mistakes.
  • Please note the words “cut off.” They occur four times in this section. Is that repetition by happenstance, or some poetical writing style, or is the repetition a vital key to unfolding and understanding the spiritual significance of the Lord’s prophecy? We know the answer to this question. Every jot and tittle (every dot, comma) in the Word is of inestimable spiritual importance.
  • “Cut off” signifies that evil shall be no more. (AE 433 [11]) Whereas “four” signifies what is in conjunction (see AC 9103); “four” signifies goods and the derivative truths that will support any conjunction (see AC 9740). “Four” signifies “union” (see AC 1686). Do we get the picture? Evil and falsity try to form a coalition. Hell believes it has a cohesive union with its “facts,” a union that is invincible, strong enough to defeat the Lord. Not so, says the Infinite and all-knowing God of heaven and earth.   


“I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds…”

  • “…the signification of ‘cities’ as being the interiors of the natural mind. In the universal sense ‘cities’ signify the doctrinal things of the church…but in an individual sense they signify the interiors of man where doctrinal things are, or rather where truths are conjoined with good…The signification of a ‘city’ is circumstanced as is that of a ‘house.’ In the universal sense a ‘house’…with its apartments, out-buildings, and courts, is a city in the least form.” (AC 5287)
  • Remember that “cut off” signifies that evil shall be no more. (AE 433 [11]) Therefore, we are being taught that the false doctrinal things of the church—the interiors of man’s mind, where falsity was conjoined with evil loves—would be thrown down.
  • “‘…stronghold’ signifies doctrine from the Word defending; and ‘it is devastated’ signifies that there is no perception of it and thence no truth; for the same doctrinals from the Word apart from spiritual perception are not truths, for they are falsified by incorrect ideas respecting them.” (AE 514 [5])


“I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no soothsayers.”

  • “‘Sorcery’ has nearly the same signification in the Word as ‘enchantment,’ and ‘enchantment’ signifies such persuasion as causes a man to have no other perception than that a thing is so. Certain spirits possess a power of persuasion that closes up, as it were the understanding of another, and suffocates the ability to perceive; and as the well-disposed…are compelled and persuaded to believe and to do whatever…it is here said that ‘they have been seduced by their sorcery.” (AE 1191)
  • About “soothsayers”: “By ‘diviners,’ ‘augurs,’ ‘sorcerers,’ and the rest…are meant in the internal sense those who destroy the truths and goods of the church by means of memory-knowledges wrongly applied; thus who do so from their own intelligence and through falsities from the evils of the love of self and the love of the world, consequently who learn and teach from the cupidity of profit and of honors, and not from any affection for the truth of faith and the good of life.” (AC 9188 [8], emphasis added.)
  • It is the Lord who promises to cut off evil. He will restore humankind’s perception and will lead His people through freedom. He will destroy the people represented by the “hand,” those who are motivated by desire for power and self-gain to confuse and persuade others to believe whatever they say. Their hands will lose power, and their words will fail to hold any meaning or enchantment.


“Your carved images I will also cut off, and your sacred pillars from your midst…”

  • “…the reason why ‘pillars’ were representative of worship, was that it was in use among the ancients to set up pillars and anoint them with oil and thus sanctify them…The pillars that were set up there signified Divine truth; for the pillars were stones, and a stone signifies truth. Therefore in respect to Divine truth the Lord is called in the Word ‘the stone of Israel.’…But when the representatives of the church…began to be turned partly into idolatry and partly into magic, then such things were abrogated…Hence it is that by ‘pillars’ is signified idolatrous worship from falsities. This is the case with all worship when man becomes external, as when he regards himself and the world as the end, and the Divine things of the church as the means…” (AC 10643 [1-2], emphasis added.)
  • “They who are in works alone and in no truths are like those who act and do not understand, and deeds without understanding are inanimate. They appear before angels like images carved out of wood; and they who have placed merit in their works, appear like those carved images, naked, without covering…inanimate and naked.” (AR 107, emphasis added.)
  • Once again, we must focus on the words “I will…cut off…” The Lord is announcing His intention to end showy merit and stop the heartless, loveless enactment of “religion” in place of worship of the Lord.


“You shall no more worship the work of your hands; I will pluck your wooden images from your midst; thus I will destroy your cities.”

  • “‘The work and doing of the hands’ means in the nearest sense their molten images and idols; but in the spiritual sense the ‘work of the hands’ signifies all the evil and falsity that are from self-love and self-intelligence.” (AE 585 [4])
  • To “pluck” has a positive sense and a negative sense. AE 799 [18] explains the negative sense of plucking as being “expelled from all the good of the church…” In other words, the Lord will see to it that the evil will be separated (removed) and prevented from doing harm to the good of the church. AC 2701 explains what the Lord meant when He taught “If thy right eye causeth thee to stumble…pluck it out…” This means that “the affection is to be subdued if it causes stumbling…”
  • “Wood” corresponds, in the positive sense, “…to good, and in the contrary sense to evil…” (AE 1145 [3]) In AC 3720 [2], we get a further clue in regards to the pernicious misuse and meaning of “wood.” “…those who place merit in good works appear to themselves to cut wood…in that they have believed themselves to have been better acquainted with truth than others, and yet have lived evilly…” Thus, the Lord will “pluck” their wooden image of false thinking.
  • The phrase “destroy your cities” in the literal sense makes the Lord appear vindictive and harsh. The spiritual sense softens and illuminates the meaning. The cities represent the natural mind and the quality of doctrinal things in the mind of the church. For the Lord’s New Church to become established and vital, all evil, falsity, self-love, and self-intelligence must be removed. “Destroyed,” we are taught, represents the removal of all reasonings from falsities. (AE 650 [56]) That makes sense, doesn’t it? The new, the living, and the vital require false reasoning to be destroyed (surgically/spiritually removed) so the New Church can be healthy and useful, not held back by the deadness of the self-serving natural proprium.


“And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury on the nations that have not heard.”

  • There are three words we need to clarify before we can be enlightened regarding this prophecy: “Vengeance,” “anger,” and “fury.”
  • “Vengeance” signifies “a state of damnation.” (AC 488) How does a state of damnation come about? AC 7039 [2] explains that “as soon as the things of faith or of truth are taken away [from those who reject the Lord]…they soon sink down like weights into hell.” In AC 8165, we read, “when truths and goods are rejected and falsities and evils are confirmed…such come into a state of damnation…” AC 7955 explains that a state of damnation occurs when a person falls into “…a state of nothing but falsity arising from evil…”
  • The word “anger” is an interesting study. I suggest you start with CL 363-368, where we are shown the differences, and yet similarities, between “anger” and “zeal” (jealous and zealous). The Lord always has zeal to protect and further the conjugial principle, the zeal to effect the conjunction and marriage of love and wisdom. The quality described by the word “anger” is not something the Lord has within His Being. Instead, He has the “Zeal of Love.” “…the zeal of good love, in its internals, conceals love and friendship; but…the zeal of evil love in its internals conceals hatred and vindictiveness.”
  • Hell has a clever motivational subterfuge. Evil spirits try to blame the Lord for behavior that actually reflects what is in their own hearts. AE 727 [16] reveals that their hearts are full of a desire to rule over all with maniacal infernal falsity. Therefore, when the Lord breaks their yoke, they feel His powerful presence and persuasion to compel to obedience. There is no way Hell wants to comply with His call for obedience. So they project their own feelings on Him and try to convince others that the Lord has a vindictive pattern, or nature, of “fury.” We need to see and understand what the true dynamics are when the restoration of the Lord’s church takes place. The Lord’s motives are to clean up, restore, and return spiritual health to the church.
  • “…nations that have not heard” gives the impression that certain nations hadn’t had the opportunity to hear the Lord’s Word. Why would the Lord “execute vengeance in anger and fury” on them? Is that what is meant, or is the meaning closer to what the Lord said about the Scribes and Pharisees in the Gospels? “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (Matthew 13:13) Consider these teachings as well: “…it follows that ‘not hearing’ means non-acceptance…” (AC 5471) “…not hearing [means] not to receive…” (AC 7223) To not hear “…means disobedience…” (AC 7314) Not hearing signifies “…to reject the truths of faith and the goods of charity….” (AC 7418)
  • “Nations” signify “the goods of the church and in the contrary sense its evils…” (AE 304 [17]) “‘Nations’…does not mean nations, but the evils of life and the falsities of doctrine.” (AE 388 [15])


Putting It All Together


Pulling all of these verses together necessitates the use of patience and mental alertness to methodically apply the doctrine of correspondences. Otherwise, we might rush to judgment about the spiritual meaning and order of this message from the Lord. The spiritual sense keeps the meaning alive and fresh for all earthly generations and the eternity of the angelic heavens. We must not tie, or limit, these truths to a time-line of antiquity. So let’s review and apply the essentials.


  • “…in that day…” when the Lord makes His advent, the Lord promises that He will come to bring about a cleansing and revitalizing of His church. He promises to expose and eradicate the falsities and evils hidden within the veneer of the prudence of finite respectability. The mish-mash self-serving ideas and concepts of the church will be brought to an end. P&P clearly states that the falsities and evils of the church will “perish.”
  • The words “cut off” are used four times. Why? The number four corresponds to that which appears to have a “union” of solidarity. See AC 1686. “Four” signifies “conjunction.” (AC 9103) “Four” signifies the goods and derivative truths that seem to support “the conjunction.” (AC 9740) Therefore, when we read that the Lord will “cut off” various things, we need to mentally picture the Lord disconnecting, unplugging, and dismantling the evil and falsity within the heart and mind of the false and dangerously lost church. He announces that Hell’s unions and conjunctions will cease with His coming. The strongholds, the sorceries, the soothsayers, carved images, sacred pillars, the wooden images, the work of their hands, and the destruction of the cities are all symbols of what will happen to the machinations of evil and falsity. The pride of self-love and its swaggering and pompous ego will not endure in the Lord’s presence. Let’s read again a portion of AC 7297 [3]: Hell has a propensity to follow the “art of presenting truths as falsities, and falsities as truths, these arts also correspond to the phantasies whereby the evil…present before the eyes beautiful things as ugly, and ugly things as beautiful…” Those “arts” will come to an end. Anyone seeking to be faithful in the ways of the Lord must read and ardently believe this important and accurate prophecy.


“…and [Hell] will perish with all its falsities and evils.” (P&P) 


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 5:10-15.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • Repetition is a necessary tool in the learning process of life. But how often must we repeat things before significant and positive change takes place? “How many times must I tell you?” When will we learn from our mistakes? History records the impression that we don’t seem to learn well from past lessons. War, pillage, prejudice, murder, rape, and cheating go on and on. In the face of these things, can we remain optimistic and hopeful for the success and enjoyment of the kingdom of heaven?
  • Let’s turn the above questions to the verses we just studied. Hell works hard at convincing us of the futility of living the good life. Hell tries to win us over to the side that says the Lord is ineffectual in balancing things so that everything is “fair and equitable” for the people of this world. But wait! Is all of this true?
  • So far, this writer has completed workbooks about ten of the twelve Minor Prophets. Guess what the theme has been for all ten of these Books of the Word? The coming of the Lord will bring an end to the reign of terror of Hell. When the Lord comes, He will “melt,” “cut off,” “make naked,” and “utterly destroy” all of the evil machinations of the Hells. This theme is repeated over and over throughout the Word. When will we hear this message? When will we learn that the Lord, not Hell, is completely in charge? The Doctrine of the Lord teaches us that “in the fullness of time,” when it was almost over for humankind, the Lord came to rescue us.
  • So now back to the question: “When will we learn this truth?” How many times must the Lord repeat and tell us this eternal truth?   

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