Description
In verses 12 to 13 of this chapter, Micah describes the Battle of Bozrah when Jesus will break the Jews out of captivity in the wilderness, to lead them back to Jerusalem.
Commentary
Micah was a prophet of Judah during the 8th century BC, and was a contemporary of the Prophet Isaiah. In chapters 1 to 3, his main focus was God's coming judgment of Israel and Judah that would be fulfilled by the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC, and the Babylonian conquest of Judah in 586 BC. The main focus of chapters 4 to 7 is God's end-time deliverance and restoration of Judah by their Messiah king.

The Battle of Bozrah and exodus of Judah
Verses 12 to 13 of chapter 2 break with the main focus of coming judgment, and jump forward to God's end-time deliverance of the remnant of Israel. Verse 12 portrays God as a shepherd who gathers the remnant of Israel like sheep in a fold. The Hebrew word for fold is Bozrah, which was also the name of the capital city of Edom, located slightly south of the Dead Sea near Petra in modern-day Jordan. The remnant is so numerous that they make a lot of noise. It is God who gathers them into the fold, but the fold then holds them in, possibly as prisoners. For in verse 13, Israel's king then breaks them out of the fold, allowing them to pass through the gate and leave. The poetic parallelism between the statements "Their king will advance before them" and "The Lord himself will lead them" implies that the king and the Lord are one and the same. This is Jesus breaking the Jews out of captivity and back to Israel in an end-time exodus.

The bible portrays an end-time exodus of both Israel and Judah. Given that Micah's primary focus was the southern kingdom of Judah, it is most likely the exodus of Judah that is in focus here. In the end-times, the Antichrist will invade and conquer Jerusalem as portrayed in Ezekiel 38 and Zechariah 14. According to Zechariah 14:2-5, when Jerusalem falls, half the city will go into exile. The Lord (Jesus) will then appear on the Mount of Olives and split it in two, creating a valley in the middle of it through which the exiles will escape. This likely corresponds with Revelation 12:6, according to which Israel escapes to a place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she will be taken care of for 1,260 days, the duration of the Great Tribulation. Here in Micah 2:12-13, the 'Bozrah' sheepfold likely equates with their place of safety in the wilderness, and these verses portray Jesus breaking them out of it at the end of the Great Tribulation, in order to lead them back to Jerusalem, where he will restore them as a nation. When Moses broke the Israelites out of Egypt to lead them to the promised land, the armies of Egypt resisted them leaving, so God defeated them and drowned them in the Red Sea. God will protect the Jews in their end-time wilderness location, but it is likely there will be similar resistance to them leaving. So Jesus will have to defeat armies to break them out. This end-time battle is depicted in Isaiah 34, especially verse 6, "The Lord’s sword is dripping with blood, it is covered with fat; it drips with the blood of young rams and goats and is covered with the fat of rams’ kidneys. For the Lord is holding a sacrifice in Bozrah, a bloody slaughter in the land of Edom". The armies that resist Jesus in this battle are depicted as rams and goats that he slaughters in a great sacrifice. This battle of Bozrah is also depicted in Amos 1:12, "So I will set Teman on fire; fire will consume Bozrah’s fortresses", and in Isaiah 63:1, "Who is this who comes from Edom, dressed in bright red, coming from Bozrah? Who is this one wearing royal attire, who marches confidently because of his great strength? “It is I, the one who announces vindication, and who is able to deliver!” This is Jesus as a warrior. Isaiah goes on to explain why his clothes are bright red as though he has been stomping grapes in a winepress. They are splattered with the blood of those whom he has slaughtered. Revelation 19:13-15 later portrays Jesus in the same blood-stained clothes entering the battle of Armageddon to defeat Antichrist and liberate Jerusalem.

Exodus of the northern tribes
Micah portrays the end-time exodus of the Jews, the people of Judah. Other end-time prophecies clearly indicate that at the end of the Great Tribulation and beginning of the Millennium, God will also restore the lost ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel (Search by Tags: Restoration of Israel and Judah). For example, Jeremiah 23:8 says, "But at that time they will affirm them with “I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the descendants of the former nation of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them.” At that time they will live in their own land.’” So there is also an associated end-time exodus of the exiles of Israel. Isaiah 43:18 proclaims that the end-time exodus will be so great that they can forget the ancient exodus, implying it will pale in significance to what God does in the end times. According to Isaiah 43:5-6, God will regather his people from north, east, south and west. Various scriptures portrays Millennial Israel as a reunified kingdom of Israel and Judah (e.g. Isaiah 11:10-16). Micah briefly refers to this in 5:3.
Tags
Places: Israel, Judah, Bozrah, Edom
Symbols: Bozrah as a sheepfold
Tags: Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Second coming appearance, Jesus as a mighty warrior, End-time exodus, Battle of Bozrah, Israel restored in the wilderness, Great Tribulation
Land Robbers Will Lose Their Land
1 Beware wicked schemers,
those who devise calamity as they lie in bed.
As soon as morning dawns they carry out their plans,
because they have the power to do so.
2 They confiscate the fields they desire,
and seize the houses they want.
They defraud people of their homes,
and deprive people of the land they have inherited.
3 Therefore the Lord says this: “Look, I am devising disaster for this nation!
It will be like a yoke from which you cannot free your neck.
You will no longer walk proudly,
for it will be a time of catastrophe.
4 In that day people will sing this taunt song to you –
they will mock you with this lament:
‘We are completely destroyed;
they sell off the property of my people.
How they remove it from me!
They assign our fields to the conqueror.’
5 Therefore no one will assign you land in the Lord’s community.
6 ‘Don’t preach with such impassioned rhetoric,’ they say excitedly.
‘These prophets should not preach of such things;
we will not be overtaken by humiliation.’
7 Does the family of Jacob say,
‘The Lord’s patience can’t be exhausted –
he would never do such things’?
To be sure, my commands bring a reward
for those who obey them,
8 but you rise up as an enemy against my people.
You steal a robe from a friend,
from those who pass by peacefully as if returning from a war.
9 You wrongly evict widows among my people from their cherished homes.
You defraud their children of their prized inheritance.
10 But you are the ones who will be forced to leave!
For this land is not secure!
Sin will thoroughly destroy it!
11 If a lying windbag should come and say,
‘I’ll promise you blessings of wine and beer,’
he would be just the right preacher for these people!

The Lord Will Restore His People
12 I will certainly gather all of you, O Jacob,
I will certainly assemble those Israelites who remain.
I will bring them together like sheep in a fold,
like a flock in the middle of a pasture;
they will be so numerous that they will make a lot of noise.
13 The one who can break through barriers will lead them out
they will break out, pass through the gate, and leave.
Their king will advance before them,
The Lord himself will lead them.
(NET)