Is the Lord Jesus Christ FROM EVERLASTING or did He have ORIGINS and is only FROM ANCIENT DAYS? - Micah 5:2
ESV 2001 edition - "...from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, WHOSE ORIGIN is from old, FROM ANCIENT DAYS."
Micah 5:2 - How to Dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ
Some modern versions undermine and attack the eternal deity of the only begotten Son of God. Can you prove from the King James Bible that the Lord Jesus Christ had a beginning or an origin? No.
Can you prove from the NIV, RSV, ESV 2001 edition, Holman Standard, modern Catholic bibles or the Jehovah Witness versions that He had an ORIGIN? Yes.
Micah 5:2 KJB -"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 of old, FROM EVERLASTING."
Micah 5:2 NIV, ESV 2001 edition, RSV - "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose ORIGINS are from of old, FROM ANCIENT TIMES."
The ESV 2001 edition read: "...whose ORIGIN is from of old, FROM ANCIENT DAYS."
But then they changed this in the 2007 ESV edition to now read: "whose COMING FORTH is from of old, FROM ANCIENT DAYS."
Dan Wallace’s NET version - “As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah – from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose ORIGINS are IN THE DISTANT PAST.”
John Gill comments on the traditional, Trinitarian exposition of this verse and the meaning of the phrase "whose goings forth have been...from everlasting."
John Gill - "whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting; which is said of him, not because his extraction was from David, who lived many ages before him; for admitting he was "in him, in his loins," as to his human nature, so long ago, yet his "goings forth" were not from thence: nor because he was prophesied of and promised very early, as he was from the beginning of the world; but neither a prophecy nor promise of him can be called his "going forth"; which was only foretold and spoken of, but not in actual being; nor because it was decreed from eternity that he should come forth from Bethlehem, or be born there in time; for this is saying no more than what might be said of everyone that was to be born in Bethlehem, and was born there: nor is this to be understood of his manifestations or appearances in a human form to the patriarchs, in the several ages of time; since to these, as to other of the above things, the phrase "from everlasting" cannot be ascribed."
"As commonly interpreted - his eternal generation and sonship, the only begotten of the Father, of the same nature with him, and a distinct person from him; the eternal Word that went forth from him, and was with him from eternity, and is truly God. The phrases are expressive of the eternity of his divine nature and person; so as the former part of the text sets forth his human birth, this his divine generation; So Eliezer produces this to prove the name of the Messiah before the world was, whose "goings forth were from everlasting, when as yet the world was not created."
Jamieson, Faussett and Brown likewise explain: "goings forth . . . from everlasting--The plain antithesis of this clause, to "come forth out of thee" (from Beth-lehem), shows that the eternal generation of the Son is meant. The terms convey the strongest assertion of infinite duration of which the Hebrew language is capable (compare Psalm 90:2, Proverbs 8:22) Messiah's generation as man coming forth unto God to do His will on earth is from Beth-lehem; but as Son of God, His goings forth are from everlasting."
John Wesley tersely remarks: "Going forth - Whose generation, as he is the Son of God, equal with his father, is eternal."
Matthew Henry says: " How the Messiah is here described. It is he that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Here we have, (1.) His existence from eternity, as God: his goings forth, or emanations, as the going forth of the beams from the sun, were, or have been, of old, from everlasting, which is so signal a description of Christ's eternal generation, or his going forth as the Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, that this prophecy must belong only to him, and could never be verified of any other. It certainly speaks of a going forth that was now past, and must here be taken in the strictest sense (the same with Ps. 90:2, From everlasting to everlasting thou are God), and can be applied to no other than to him who was able to say, Before Abraham was, I am, Jn. 8:58."
Adam Clarke writes in his Bible commentary: "Whose goings forth have been from of old - In every age, from the foundation of the world, there has been some manifestation of the Messiah. He was the hope, as he was the salvation, of the world, from the promise to Adam in paradise, to his manifestation in the flesh four thousand years after.
From everlasting - מימי עולם miyemey olam, "From the days of all time;" from time as it came out of eternity. That is, there was no time in which he has not been going forth-coming in various ways to save men. And he that came forth the moment that time had its birth, was before that time in which he began to come forth to save the souls that he had created. He was before all things. As he is the Creator of all things, so he is the Eternal, and no part of what was created. All being but God has been created. Whatever has not been created is God. But Jesus is the Creator of all things; therefore he is God; for he cannot be a part of his own work."
The King James Holy Bible - 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 of old, FROM EVERLASTING."
What does it mean when it says His "goings forth" are from everlasting. Well, comparing Scripture with Scripture it is easy to see what is meant here. God determined from the foundation of the world that He would "send forth" His Son into the world to redeem His people. The Lord Jesus often spoke of this saying such things as: "If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I PROCEEDED FORTH AND CAME FROM GOD; neither came I of myself, but HE SENT ME." (John 8:42). "I CAME FORTH FROM the Father, and AM COME INTO THE WORLD: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." (John 16:28)
"WHOSE GOINGS FORTH HAVE BEEN FROM OF OLD, FROM EVERLASTING"
This reading in Micah 5:2 - "whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" - is found in the KJB, NKJV, Bishop's Bible, 1568, Coverdale's Bible 1535, the Great Bible 1540 and Matthews Bible 1549 - whose out goynge hath bene from the begynning, & from euerlastynge.", the Geneva Bible 1587, the Bill Bible 1671, Webster's Bible 1833, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, the Revised Version of 1885, the American Standard Version of 1901 -"whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.", The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - "whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998 - "And his comings forth are from of old, from everlasting.", The Context Group Version 2007 - "whose goings out have been from of old, from everlasting.", the Bond Slave Version 2009, The New European Version 2010 - "whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.", The New Heart English Bible 2010 - "whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.", the Natural Israelite Bible 2012 and the Hebrew Names Version 2014 - "whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."
Miles Coverdale version 1535 -"And thou Bethleem Ephrata, art litle amonge the thousandes off Iuda, Out off the shal come one vnto me, which shall be ye gouernoure in Israel: WHOSE OUTGOINGE HATH BENE FROM HE BEGYNNYNGE, AND FROM EVERLASTINGE."
The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "His goings forth are from long ago, FROM EVERLASTING."
NASB - "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity."
The NASB at least agrees with the meaning found in the King James Bible in that it shows the two natures of the Son of God. He is both man and the eternal God. He was born in Bethlehem as a man, but His goings forth are from everlasting.
Green’s Literal 2005 - “and His goings forth have been from aforetime, from the days of eternity.”
The Work of God’s Children Bible 2011 - “and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity.”
The Longman Version 1841, The Biblos Interlinear 2011, The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010 also read this way - "whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity."
The older Catholic Douay Version 1610 and the Douay 1950 both read like the King James Bible here in Micah 5:2. They say: "AND THOU, BETHLEHEM Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity."
Martin Luther's 1545 German Bible reads like the King James Bible with: "welches Ausgang von Anfang und von Ewigkeit her gewesen ist." = "who exit of beginning and from eternity was.", as does the French Martin of 1744 - "et ses issues sont d'ancienneté, dès les jours éternels.", and the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 - "y sus salidas son desde el principio, desde los días de los siglos.", the Spanish Reina Valera of 1960 (but not the 1995 edition!) - "y sus salidas son desde el principio, desde los días de la eternidad.", the Portuguese Almeida - "e cujas saídas são desde os tempos antigos, desde os dias da eternidade." and the Italian Diodati of 1649 - "le cui uscite sono ab antico, da’ tempi eterni."
However, modern "scholarship" is in the tail spin of apostasy and all roads are leading back to the whore of Babylon. The liberal Revised Standard Version of 1946 (RSV), NRSV 1989, the 2001 ESV and the modern Catholic bible versions like the Jerusalem Bible of 1968, St. Joseph New American Bible of 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 we read: "But you, O Bethlehem Eph'rathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose ORIGIN is from of old, FROM ANCIENT DAYS."
Note - To see how times have changed in the ever changing world of "scholarship", please see the article I put together showing how less than 60 years ago the Dallas Theological Seminary professors openly criticized this reading first introduced in the liberal RSV and warned of its theological errors.
The NIV - "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose ORIGINS are from of old, FROM ANCIENT TIMES."
Jehovah Witness New World Translation 1961 - "And you, O Bethlehem Ephrahah, the one too little to get to be among the thousands of Judah, from you there will come out to me the one who is to become ruler in Israel, WHOSE ORIGIN IS FROM EARLY TIMES, FROM THE DAYS OF TIME INDEFINITE."
The Catholic St. Joseph New American bible of 1970 reads: "Whose ORIGIN IS FROM OF OLD, FROM ANCIENT TIMES."
while both the Jerusalem bible 1968 and the Catholic New Jerusalem of 1985 read: "whose ORIGINS GO BACK TO THE DISTANT PAST, TO THE DAYS OF OLD.
The modern "evangelical" versions are in fact the new Catholic bible versions, put together as a joint effort between the Catholic church and modern day Evangelicals through the "United" Bible Society to produce an "interconfessional" text that can be accepted by all. For Undeniable Proof that the ESV, NIV, NASBs are the "new" Catholic bible versions, see -
The JW's basic doctrine about Jesus Christ is that He is NOT the eternal and everlasting God, but was a created being who had an origin, and they use Micah 5:2 as one of their "proof texts" to teach that the Son of God is a lesser god and a created being who had an origin!
The word "origin" simply means "the point at which something comes into existence". Webster's dictionary defines it as 1. the beginning of the existence of anything. It then goes on to state that the word "origin applies to the things or persons from which something is derived and often to the causes operating before the thing itself comes into existence."
So what exactly is this "origin from ancient times" of the Son of God versions like the NIV, ESV 2001 edition, RSV, modern Catholic bibles and the Jehovah Witness translation are talking about?
Once the liberal theologians who put together the RSV (they openly denied that Jesus Christ was eternal Deity) and other heretics like the Jehovah Witnesses have a verse in place in their "bibles" that teaches the false doctrine that the Son of God had an origin, then every time after that when a verse might hint at or teach that Jesus Christ is God, then they come back with - "Oh, sure, he was a god, but he was not the eternal God. You see, he had an origin."
These new versions also follow false and perverted Greek texts when instead of saying "GOD was manifest in the flesh" 1 Timothy 3:16, versions like the JW version, RSV, NIV, NASB , Catholic versions like the Jerusalem bible and the St. Joseph New American bible etc. say "He was manifest in the flesh". Well, so what? Everybody is manifest in the flesh! That doesn't make Jesus Christ special in any way, does it?
Dan Wallace’s NET version - “As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah – from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose ORIGINS are IN THE DISTANT PAST.” (No reference to His everlasting Being)
New Century Version 1997 - “...from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. HE COMES FROM VERY OLD TIMES, FROM DAYS LONG AGO.”
New Life Bible 1969 - “...But from you One will come who will rule for Me in Israel. HIS COMING WAS PLANNED LONG AGO, FROM THE BEGINNING.” (Just planned out, but He Himself wasn’t there from everlasting)
The Message 2002 - “He'll be no upstart, no pretender. HIS FAMILY TREE IS ANCIENT AND DISTINGUISHED.” (Nothing about His being the everlasting Son of God)
The Revised Standard Version 1952 and ESV 2001 edition - “one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose ORIGIN IS FROM OF OLD, FROM ANCIENT DAYS.” (Gone is His eternal Deity)
Lexham English Bible 2012 - “and his ORIGINS are from of old, from ancient days.”
The Voice 2012 - “Whose ORIGINS date back to the distant past, to the ancient days.”
Names of God Bible 2011 - “His ORIGINS go back to the distant past, to days long ago.”
Modern English Version 2014 - His ORIGINS are from of old, from ancient days.”
The ESV has now been revised three times within just 10 years - 2001, 2007 and 2011. The ESV 2011 now reads differently than the ESV 2001 edition, but it still is not as strong on the eternal deity of the Son of God as is the King James Bible.
The 2011 ESV now reads: "one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose COMING FORTH IS FROM OF OLD, FROM ANCIENT DAYS." This is sort of a half way house between "origin is from ancient days" and the correct "whose goings forth are from EVERLASTING." The latest ESV 2011 still has a reference to time rather than to eternity.
Let's take a closer look at this word "from everlasting"
King James Bible - Psalm 93:2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.
NIV - Psalm 93:2 Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.
The NIV says God is everlasting/eternal based upon the Hebrew word for everlasting.
But when the NIV and other modern versions get to Micah 5:2 where the reference is to Jesus Christ then suddenly the Hebrew word for everlasting changes to "from the distant past" or "from ancient times" – Now Jesus is not eternal anymore.
Why is God eternal in Psalm 93:2 but Jesus is not eternal in Micah 5:2 according to several modern versions? It is the same Hebrew word.
The Holman Standard - "One shall come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His ORIGIN is from antiquity, from eternity."
The Jehovah Witness version, called the New World Translation, says, "whose ORIGIN is from early times, from the days of time indefinite."
Why do the NIV, RSV, ESV 2001 edition, Holman, modern Catholic bibles and the JW bibles say “origin”? Christ did not have an origin or a beginning, but He Himself is the beginning, the source of all that exists.
Revelation 22:13 tells us, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Compare these words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ with those found in Isaiah 44:6, “Thus saith the LORD, the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”
The JW’s teach that Christ is not eternal God, but rather the first created being, and less by nature than God the Father. The true word of God says, "whose GOINGS FORTH have been from of old, FROM EVERLASTING." Remember, Christ said: "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world."
The KJB says his goings forth are from everlasting. Yet the NIV, RSV, ESV 2001 and modern Catholic bible versions say his origin is from ancient times. Ancient times may be long, long ago, but it is not the same as everlasting.
The Hebrew word olam can be translated as “ancient” when applied to created things or people as it is in Psalm 22:28, “Remove not the ancient landmark”, or as in Isaiah 44:7, “since I appointed the ancient people”, or even "of old" when referring to things and events that began in time like Micah 7:14 "...let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in days OF OLD.", but when the word is applied to the nature of God, it is always translated as “everlasting” as in Psalm 90:2, “from everlasting to everlasting Thou art God.”
The NIV concordance shows that they have translated this word as “everlasting” 60 times, as eternal or eternity 8 times, as “forever” 202 times, but as “from ancient times” only twice - one of them here in Micah 5:2 where they apply it to our Lord and Redeemer!
As you can see from the King James Bible and those that agree with it, they clearly teach the two natures of the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, who would come forth to be ruler in Israel.
The first major version to alter the meaning and teach that the Son had an origin was the liberal RSV, which was put together by scholars who did not believe in the full deity of Christ. This version was generally rejected by Fundamentalist Christians as being "too liberal".
Then later the NIV "softened up" the body of Christ with this heretical reading and now the Catholic New Jerusalem of 1985, the ESV 2001 and Holman Standard of 2003 as well as Daniel Wallace/Dallas Theological Seminary NET version continue this blasphemy.
I have heard some who try to defend the NIV, ESV reading of "origin" by telling us that His origin refers to His family lineage and they tell us His ancestry is from ancient times. There are two big problems with this explanation.
If the NIV, ESV, Holman, New Jerusalem versions wanted to communicate this idea, then just come out and say "whose FAMILY LINE is from ancient times". But they don't do this.
Secondly, if only the family line is from ancient times, then there is nothing special about the Son of God. Everybody's family line is from long ago and ancient times. We all come from Adam!!! It can be said of John, Peter, Paul, Joseph or anyone else that their family line is from long ago. So what is so special about this? It wouldn't prove His deity.
But if we say "His goings forth are from everlasting" then we have witness that He is the eternal Son of God, and the two natures of our Redeemer are clearly revealed. You cannot get this from the NIV, ESV, RSV, NET, New Jerusalem, Holman and JW versions.
Does the Son of God have an "origin"? Of course not. Not if you read and believe the true Bible, the Authorized King James Holy Bible - God's pure and preserved words in the English language.
Another example found in the Revised Standard Version and the 2001 English Standard Version.
Hebrews 2:11-12 "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified ARE ALL OF ONE: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."
John Gill - "all of one: they are both of one God and Father, Christ's God is their God, and his Father is their Father; they are of one body, Christ is the head, and they are members; they are of one covenant, Christ is the surety, Mediator, and messenger of it, and they share in all its blessings and promises; they are of one man, Adam, Christ is a Son of Adam, though not by ordinary generation, they descend from him in the common way; they are all of one nature, of one blood; Christ has took part of the same flesh and blood with them."
Jamieson, Faussett and Brown - "of one--Father, God, as He is Father of His spiritual human sons, Christ the Head and elder Brother, and His believing people, the members of the body and family. "Of one" is not "of one father Adam," or "Abraham," as BENGEL and others suppose. For the Saviour's participation in the lowness of our humanity is not mentioned till Hebrews 2:12, and then as a consequence of what precedes. Christ's Sonship (by generation) in relation to God is reflected in the sonship (by adoption) of His brethren."
Matthew Henry - " Now Christ, who is the agent in this work of sanctification, and Christians, who are the recipient subjects, are all of one. How? They are all of one heavenly Father, and that is God. God is the Father of Christ by eternal generation and by miraculous conception, of Christians by adoption and regeneration."
Hebrews 2:11 "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified ARE ALL OF ONE; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."
So read all Greek texts as well as the King James Bible, the NKJV, TMB, KJV 21, Revised Version, American Standard Version, Darby, Young's, Webster's, Tyndale and the Geneva Bible.
NASB - "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all FROM ONE FATHER; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren," (Note: the word "Father" is not found in any text, but it does fit the context though it limits the scope of meaning.)
NIV - "Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are OF THE SAME FAMILY. So JESUS is not ashamed to call them brothers." (Note: Again, there are no words in any text for "the same family", nor for "Jesus", and the NIV severely limits the scope of meaning, but at least it doesn't teach what we find in the RSV, ESV.)
RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition - "For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified HAVE ALL ONE ORIGIN. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren," Now, we are back again to the idea of Christ, the Son of God, having an origin - just like the RSV, and the 2001 ESV teach in Micah 5:2. Oh, but wait. Now the ESV 2011 has once again changed its text and now reads: "For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified ALL HAVE ONE SOURCE. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers."
This is just one of several theological doctrines that have been twisted and changed in most modern versions. Contrary to what we are often told, the "message" is not always the same.
1 Corinthians 15:45
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