Micah 2:12-13 reads:
“I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob,
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel.
I will put them together like sheep in the fold;
Like a flock in the midst of its pasture
They will be noisy with men.
“The breaker goes up before them;
They break out, pass through the gate and go out by it.
So their king goes on before them,
And the Lord at their head.” (NASB)
In the King James Version the Hebrew word “Bozrah” (בצרה , botsrah, Strong’s H1223 & H1224) is kept instead of “fold”, as it’s translated in the New American Standard Bible; “Bozrah” means a “fold” for sheep. It is also a place name in southern Jordan, SE of the Dead Sea, currently the town Busheira in the highlands on the eastern escarpment of the Jordan rift valley . It is the original location of Edom, the alternate name of Esau. Bozrah is first referenced in the Bible as the abode of Esau’s grandson in Genesis 36:33.
This Micah 2 passage is popular with ‘End Times’ prophecy teachers – in it they see Israel in the last days of this age being gathered by the Lord in the desert where they are then freed (“the breaker goes up before them”) by the returning Messiah. It is often linked with this clear Messianic passage in Isaiah 63, since it too mentions Bozrah:
“Who is this who comes from Edom,
With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,
This One who is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?
“ I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me.
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment.
“For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
And My year of redemption has come.
“I looked, and there was no one to help,
And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;
So My own arm brought salvation to Me,
And My wrath upheld Me“
This passage, along with Zechariah 14:3,4, “Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east”, foresees Yeshua the Messiah returning to vanquish the enemies who have invaded Israel and besieged Jerusalem, but what of this mention of coming from “Edom” and “Bozrah” before arriving in Jerusalem? One scenario has Yeshua setting free His people who have taken refuge in (or perhaps been cornered in ??) Bozrah, just prior to His appearance on the Mt. of Olives.
A question arises with this particular understanding of these Bozrah passages – what device moves millions of Jews into the wilderness of southern Jordan? The following might be one possibility, which several Israeli news outlets have been reporting:
Home Front Officer: Missile attack would force massive evacuation of Tel Aviv
DEBKAfile Special Report June 12, 2012, 6:18 PM (GMT+02:00)
Col. Adam Zusman, Home Front Commander of Israel’s Dan region (Tel Aviv and its environs), told AFP Tuesday, June 12, “In case of a missile attack on the centre of Israel, especially unconventional attacks and if buildings are destroyed, the population from Tel Aviv and other cities will be evacuated and relocated in other areas of the country.“
The officer did not say to where the roughly two million inhabitants of the Dan region’s core towns of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Holon, Petakh Tikva, Ramat Hasharon, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bein Brak, Herzliya, Or Yehuda, Givat Shmuel and Kiryat Ono, would be evacuated. debkafile’s military sources estimate they will be relocated in the southern mostly desert Negev region. The outer Gush Dan ring includes some 3 million people…
So perhaps a future missile or WMD strike against Israel will prompt a mass exodus to the southern Israel Negev desert. The Negev is less than 20 miles west of Busheira. At its closest point near Idan, the Israel border is only about 16 miles as the crow flies. What might prompt a massive crossing of the border by Jews after seeking refuge in the Negev? Perhaps a redirected attack on these evacuees? Seeking shelter from fallout or chemical weapons? Or will they be chased there by pursuing armies of the surrounding nations? It could even be that knowing God’s Micah 2 promise to rescue them from the “sheep fold” will inspire many to trust Him for a Bozrah breakout. A more thorough biblical search needs to be done on these possibilities.
The ancient fortress of Busheira is on a mountaintop, standing alone above a canyon dropping toward the desert and Israel – it might be seen as a place of safety, of shelter or of last resort – a fold for lost sheep.