The following excerpt is from and article by Till at the infidels website. The idea that Gospel authors fudged OT passages to appear to be prophecies is nothing new but this thought was to me significant. Many times I have read that the author of Matthew was compelled to add the birth narrative, as it is not in the earlier Mark, to compete with the mystery cults birth stories and to add prestige to his main charactor by having him be born in the "City of David". The following information makes the matter even more interesting. First lets read the Micah verse. These following is an excerpt from the website I mentioned........
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 (Micah
In the context of the passage in which Micah made this statement, he was
speaking of "many nations [that] have gathered against you [Israel]"
(4:11). Inparticular, there seemed to be concern about "the Assyrian
com[ing] into our land" (5:5), so it makes good sense to assume that
Micah, rather than predicting the coming of a Messiah in the distant
future, was talking about a "ruler" who would arise to help Israel
during the present threat to its national security. There is serious
doubt, then, that Micah even intended his statement to be a Messianic
prophecy beyond the sense of someone arising to lead Israel through its
For the sake of argument, however, let's just assume that Micah did
intend this to be a prophecy of the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. Even if
this were so, there would still be serious problems to overcome before
Ross or anyone could prove that a birth in the town of Bethlehem
fulfilled this prophecy. First, it is questionable that Micah 5:2 was
even referring to the *town* of Bethlehem. Several translations suggest
that he meant a tribal clan and not a town. Many people who cite Micah
5:2 as a case of amazing prophecy fulfillment don't realize that a
person named Bethlehem was an Old Testament character who had descended
from Caleb through Hur, the firstborn son of Caleb's second wife,
Ephrathah ( 1 Chron. 2:18; 2:50- 52; 4:4). Young's Analytical
Concordance, p. 92, identifies Bethlehem as the name of this person as
well as the name of two different villages.
The NIV translates the relevant part of Micah 5:2 like this: "But you,
Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the *clans* of
Judah...." A clan, of course, is not a town, so if this translation is
accurate, the prophet was speaking not of a place but a tribal family
that would give rise to a ruler. The RSV, NRSV, NAS, NAB, NEB, REB, the
Amplified Bible, the Jerusalem Bible, and others give similar renditions
that agree that Micah was referring to a family clan rather than a town.
Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible refers to the Bethlehem
Ephrathah in this passage as something that is "little to be among the
chiefs of Judah," another implication that the prophet was speaking of a
person or clan, but even more damaging to Matthew's attempt to apply
this statement to the town of Bethlehem is the Septuagint translation of
"And thou, Bethlehem, *house of Ephrathah*, art few in number to be
reckoned among the thousands of Judah: yet out of thee shall one come
forth to me, to be a ruler of Israel "(Brenton Translation).
Three statements in this version are significant. First it was said that
Bethlehem was "few in number to be reckoned among the thousands of
Judah." If this was a reference to the town of Bethlehem, then indeed it
would have been "few in number." *One* is about as "few" as you can get.
Secondly, this Bethlehem was too few to be "reckoned among the thousands
of Judah. The towns in Judah could not have been reckoned in terms of
thousands; the country was just too small to have "thousands" of towns.
The statement, however, makes sense if interpreted as a reference to the
family clans in Judah. Finally--and this is the clincher--this Bethlehem
was described as the "house of Ephrathah." When we encounter expressions
like "house of David" or "house of Levi" in the Bible, we immediately
recognize them as references to family clans, not towns or cities, and
we should do the same here. Matthew obviously distorted Micah 5:2 to
try to make it a reference to the town of Bethlehem, and this becomes
more apparent when we consider that Matthew usually quoted the
Septuagint version when he referred to the Old Testament. But he didn't
here, possibly because the Septuagint shows too clearly that Micah 5:2
was referring to a family group or clan.