3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
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 shepherd my people Israel.’[b]”
A prophecy had been fulfilled.
This passage is very interesting. It notes a couple of things that paint a really neat picture surrounding the whole story.
King Herod was disturbed that another King was supposed to have been born in his realm… only nobody informed him that he nor his sons would continue to be King. Wouldn’t this freak anyone out?
So the priests confirm the birthplace from the prophecy written in Micah 5:2 (written in the eighth century b.c.). Right about now if I was the king… I’d be freaked out.
The scroll not indicates Bethlehem as the birthplace but that the ruler to come would be a shepherd. That too is clever. The use of the word “ruler” indicates great strength, the town indicates humble beginnings & the use of the word “shepherd” help to indicate what kind of “ruler” this newborn would be.
A shepherd born in Bethlehem would have made so much sense since Bethlehem was a sheep town. Go figure.