Under His rule Israel will attain to perfect peace. Mic 5:5. “And He will be peace. When Asshur shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our palaces, we set up against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men. Mic 5:6. And they feed the land of Asshur with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in his gates; and He rescues from Asshur when he comes into our land and enters into our border.” זֶה (this man), viz., He who feeds His people in the majesty of God, will be peace, i.e., not merely pacis auctor, but He who carries peace within Himself, and gives it to His people. Compare Eph 2:14, “He is our peace,” which points back to this passage. In this relation the Messiah is called the Prince of peace in Isa 9:5, as securing peace for Israel in a higher and more perfect sense than Solomon. But in what manner? This is explained more fully in what follows: viz., (1) by defending Israel against the attacks of the imperial power (Isa 9:5, Isa 9:6); (2) by exalting it into a power able to overcome the nations (Isa 9:7-9); and (3) by exterminating all the materials of war, and everything of an idolatrous nature, and so preventing the possibility of war (Isa 9:10-15). Asshur is a type of the nations of the world by which the people of the Lord are attacked, because in the time of the prophet this power was the imperial power by which Israel was endangered. Against this enemy Israel will set up seven, yea eight princes, who, under the chief command of the Messiah, i.e., as His subordinates, will drive it back, and press victoriously into its land. (On the combination of the numbers seven and eight, see the discussions at Amo 1:3.) Seven is mentioned as the number of the works proceeding from God, so that seven shepherds, i.e., princes, would be quite sufficient; and this number is surpassed by the eight, to express the thought that there might be even more than were required. נְסִיכֵי אָדָם, not anointed of men, but installed and invested, from nâsakh, to pour out, to form, to appoint; hence Jos 13:21, vassals, here the under-shepherds appointed by the Messiah as the upper-shepherd. The meaning “anointed,” which is derived from sūkh, neither suits Jos 13:21 nor Pro 8:23 (see Delitzsch on Psa 2:6). On the figurative expression “feed with the sword,” for rule, see Psa 2:9 and Rev 2:27; רָעוּ from רָעָה, not from רָעַע. The land of Asshur is called the land of Nimrod, after the founder of the first empire (Gen 10:9.), to indicate the character of the imperial power with its hostility to the kingdom of God. בִּפְתָחֶיהָ, in his gates, i.e., cities and fortresses; gates for cities, as in Isa 3:26; Isa 13:2, etc.: not at his gates = on his borders, where the Assyrians stream together for defence (Hitzig, Caspari, etc.). The borders of a land are never called gates; nor could a land be devastated or governed from the border, to say nothing of the fact that ב[תחיה corresponds to “in thy palaces” in Mic 5:4, and leads to the thought that Asshur is to be fully repaid for what it has done to the kingdom of God. The thought is rounded off with וְהִצִּיל מֵאַשּׁוּר וגו, and so He saves from Asshur, etc., not merely by the fact that Asshur is driven back to his own border, and watched there, but by the fact that he is fed in his own territory with the sword. This victorious conflict with the imperial power must not be restricted to the spiritual victory of the kingdom of God over the kingdoms of the world, as Hengstenberg supposes, appealing to Mic 5:10., according to which the Lord will make His people outwardly defenceless before it becomes fully victorious in Christ (Hengstenberg). For the extermination of the instruments of war announced in Mic 5:10 refers not to the period of the exaltation of the people of God into the world-conquering power, but to the time of consummation, when the hostile powers shall be overcome. Before the people of God reach this goal, they have not only to carry on spiritual conflicts, but to fight for existence and recognition even with the force of arms. The prediction of this conflict and victory is not at variance with the announcement in Mic 4:2-3, that in the Messianic times all nations will go on pilgrimage to Zion, and seek for adoption into the kingdom of God. Both of these will proceed side by side. Many nations, i.e., great crowds out of all nations, will seek the Lord and His gospel, and enter into His kingdom; but a great multitude out of all nations will also persist in their enmity to the Lord and His kingdom and people, and summon all their power to attack and crush it. The more the gospel spreads among the nations, the more will the enmity of unbelief and ungodliness grow, and a conflict be kindled, which will increase till the Lord shall come to the last judgment, and scatter all His foes.