Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” (Micah 4:2a)
I’ve just finished reading Anne Rice’s Christ out of Egypt, and one thing (among others) that Rice does in this book is to give a sense of the Jewishness of Jesus and his extended family, even as they have interactions with gentiles and other sorts of Jews. Rice starts her story in Alexandria, where Jesus’s family has fled in the face of Herod’s slaughter of the innoncents. This is essentially a gentile city, of course, with Greek being the argot (Rice even has a very young Jesus being a student of Philo’s), but even when they return to Judea, there are plenty of Romans and others around, and the boundaries between them and other groups are important. (In addition, there are the internecine difference between ‘regular’ Jews, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, etc.)
In the light of this typically human division, the verses from the Old Testament, such as this one from Micah, are always a fresh surprise. Here, Micah prophesies that people from many nations present themselves on God’s holy mountain, desiring to follow in God’s ways. And, of course, it has come true that many nations have learned to love the God of Israel and Jesus, the Son of God. So much so that it’s sad to consider the terrible history of the treatment of Jews at the hands of Christians. May God truly teach all nations the right path.