Christian Churches of God
Commentary on Micah
(Edition 1.0 20150107-20150107)
God used Micah and Isaiah to utter similar prophecies one following the other. Isaiah is followed by Micah some seventeen years later and the comparison is contained in the appendix. Thus Amos, Hosea and Isaiah precede Micah and the entire structure of the prophecies covers from the Assyrian captivity to the Last Days and the Messianic advent and the establishment of the Millennium.
Commentary on Micah
The prophet Micah came from the lowlands of the Shephelah near the Philistine border. He prophesied in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah (739-693 BCE). He was the younger of his contemporaries Hosea and Amos (cf. Soncino p. 153). Micah has much in common with the two earlier prophets and we see from the texts that he takes the condemnation of the structure and the priesthood and its influences from the Baal Sun cults and the prophecies as to how God is to deal with Israel. Isaiah is compared to Micah in the Appendix.
The Structure of the book
Micah, as in the other prophets, contains the main structure of denunciation and threat on the one hand and then comfort and promise on the other. Chapters 1-3 (except for two verses) consist of denunciation of sin and proclamations of punishment. Chapter 4 and 5 contain words of hope and cheer and chapters 6-7 combine the two elements. Modern critics allege that the work was grouped by the prophet or his followers in a logical order rather than a chronological order and according to their themes rather than the order in which they were delivered.
As we have seen from the others of the Twelve prophets the order actually deals with the future dealings of God with Israel and Judah and how God is to deal with the people over the entire history to the Last Days and the Coming of the Messiah and in some cases right up through the millennial system. Amos and Hosea are the precursors to the subjugation and restoration of the nation. The Soncino writers note that such explanations are not adequate and they ask, for example, why there are abrupt transitions and changes of theme which would not be expected in a systematic compilation. They ask, for example, why there is a threat of exile in verses 9f. among the Messianic prophecies of chapter 4. We will see why this occurs as we progress.
Also they pose the question as to why the denunciations in 6:9-7:6 were not grouped with the other denunciations on chapters 1-3. The answer is that they relate to other times and concentrate on other sins of the nation. God punished the nation on a repeated and consecutive basis. However the priests teach for hire as we see and they are condemned by God for it. The order of the prophecies was arranged in the order God delivered them to the prophet and refer to the sequence of the punishment and deliverances ahead in the next twenty eight centuries.
The time of the prophecies
In the eighth century BCE Israel emerged as a prosperous nation from the foundations laid by Jeroboam II (783-743) in peace and security for Israel and established by Uzziah (778-740 BCE) for Judah.
They ruled from Damascus to the Red Sea and from the Mediterranean to the Desert and the Hebrews then commanded the major trade routes of the time.
However, they were corrupted by sin and disregard of the laws of God and of empathy, charity and brotherly love. The Biblical land systems that ensured an egalitarian society were disregarded and the society broke into the class divisions that the Bible protected the people from becoming. The rich built up large estates with the help of a corrupt judiciary. They built house on house and field on field as they were forbidden to do and the society reflected all the evils that we see in our societies now in the last days. There was no redress for the poor.
Cities built up and the landless were forced into them in search of a living, as it is today. Wealth and luxury lived side by side with sin and vice and the poor were exploited because of it.
The trade system brought with it the false gods of the pagans especially from the north and the Assyro-Babylonian system and also from Egypt. Baal and Ashtoreth (or Ishtar) invaded Israel and corrupted it all along with the wealth the systems of trade delivered.
He saw that a society built on tyranny, corruption and false and inequitable standards of wealth was doomed by God to destruction and this was the message with which he was entrusted. Micah is not directed against idolatry and political movements but rather through Micah God condemns the demoralizing pursuit of wealth which strikes at the very heart of the obligations placed on man by God from the beginning. Micah is used by God to strike at the very fabric of a corrupt society. Through Micah God condemns the expropriation of houses and estates, the misuse of the law for the expropriation of peasants, the misuse of the rights of creditors to exploit the poor and the corruption of rulers and judges and the shocking condition of the priests and prophets and their venality and obtaining wealth by flattery of the rich.
Whereas God used Amos and Hosea to outline the captivity of Israel and Judah and their idolatry and perversion, He uses Micah to strike at the very corruption of their social fabric by misuse of their social system and obligation under the laws of God. As it was 28 hundred years ago it is now as bad or worse and Judah and Israel and their social system is hopelessly corrupt and the wealthy exploit the poor. Banks seize lands that they have no right to seize under the laws of God. The wealthy own the vast majority of the wealth of the people that were given the inheritance of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They have seized it by stealth and dishonesty. The top 10% of the people own up to 80% of the wealth as in the USA. As it was in the days of Micah so is it now and what was said by God then through Micah is to be executed on the heads of the nations today right up through the coming of the Messiah and the people who say they are Jews but are not will be sent into captivity. However, Micah is given the vision of the end of days and the brighter future of the nation when Messiah re-establishes it under God and God’s laws for the millennial system.
We see that Micah (abbreviated form of Micaiah meaning who is like unto God) was from the town of Moresheth-gath (v. 14) (Mareshah v. 15) or was prophesying in the area of Judea near the Shephelah firstly concerning Samaria and then Jerusalem.
 The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Mo'resheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezeki'ah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Sama'ria and Jerusalem.
The time of his calling was from Jotham and Ahaz to Hezekiah which was from 739-693 BCE. His visions concern both Samaria and Jerusalem and their punishments. Samaria was still capital of Israel and lasted until the captivity in 722/1 BCE.
The punishment is to be inflicted on both Israel and Judah for the sins of Samaria and Jerusalem. Micah sees them both in captivity firstly Samaria which was made into a heap of ruins in 722 and then Jerusalem’s fate was also pronounced (3:12) but did not occur until the Babylonians in 597 yet it was nevertheless sure as we see from verse 9 below. It was pronounced over 100 years before it occurred. The fate of Samaria was pronounced as a warning to Jerusalem but the fate of both was pronounced and the prophecy then carried on concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Micah is directed at all Israel in its various cities and the punishment that will ultimately be inflicted on the whole earth because of the harlotry of Israel (cf. vv. 2-4). Thus the punishment is to take place over all the earth from the Assyrian invasion to the Last Days under the Messiah.
 Hear, you peoples, all of you; hearken, O earth, and all that is in it; and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.  For behold, the LORD is coming forth out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.  And the mountains will melt under him and the valleys will be cleft, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.  All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Sama'ria? And what is the sin of the house of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?  therefore I will make Sama'ria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards; and I will pour down her stones into the valley, and uncover her foundations.  All her images shall be beaten to pieces, all her hires shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste; for from the hire of a harlot she gathered them, and to the hire of a harlot they shall return  For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches.
It is the idolatrous harlotry of Israel in Samaria as a commercial and urban civilisation that is the wound inflicted in Judah as we now see, and the commercial and idolatrous harlotry of the Assyro-Babylonians will destroy the world under the wrath of God. Israel was placed there to prevent the destruction and by its harlotry it failed. Jeremiah 4:23ff shows how God shows through the prophets that the failure and harlotry of Israel is the cause of the catastrophes of the earthquakes and destruction which reduces the whole earth (cf. vv. 4-5 above). Thus they allowed the development of the High Places as idolatrous worship also.
From verse 9 the text is in prophetic perfects showing that it will come to pass and nothing can stop it. Jerusalem is the gate of the people of Israel and Judah as the seat of the Temple of God.
 For her wound is incurable; and it has come to Judah, it has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem.  Tell it not in Gath, weep not at all; in Beth-le-aph'rah roll yourselves in the dust.  Pass on your way, inhabitants of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame; the inhabitants of Za'anan do not come forth; the wailing of Beth-e'zel shall take away from you its standing place.  For the inhabitants of Maroth wait anxiously for good, because evil has come down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem.  Harness the steeds to the chariots, inhabitants of Lachish; you were the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, for in you were found the transgressions of Israel.  Therefore you shall give parting gifts to Mo'resheth-gath; the houses of Achzib shall be a deceitful thing to the kings of Israel.  I will again bring a conqueror upon you, inhabitants of Mare'shah; the glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.  Make yourselves bald and cut off your hair, for the children of your delight; make yourselves as bald as the eagle, for they shall go from you into exile.
This text abounds in Paronomasia or plays on words and is impossible to reproduce in translation.
Tell it not in Gath is likened to a reference to 2Samuel 1:20. Gath had been taken from the Philistines by Uzziah (2Chr. 26:6) and thus they were no longer there and it must have been a current proverbial saying (cf. Soncino fn.).
Weep not at all (Lit. Weeping do not weep (Heb. Bacho al tibku); the LXX suggests weep not on Acco.) The reference is probably a reference to Balah (omitting ain) as referring to Baal the Sun God (cf. Soncino fn.) and its coming destruction.
The name beth-le-aphrah means the house of dust and is unknown. It probably refers to the temples of Baal and Dagon of the Philistines. It is kethib hithpallashti or have I rolled myself but seems to be a play on words referring to the Philistines.
Verse 11 says pass ye away which is taken to mean into exile. This is both to Israel and Judah.
Nakedness is taken to mean in the garb of a captive (cf. v. 8).
Zaanan is taken to mean Zenan in the Shephelah (Josh. 15:37). Not come forth is a word play on the verb Yatsa as go forth. Zaanan is discouraged by the wailing from Beth-ezel (House of nearness) discourages them.
Maroth (v. 12) is bitterness contrasted with good as help.
Bind the chariots (v. 13) is taken to mean prepare for flight. However, it has a deeper meaning. Laish was a Canaanite centre in the north in Dan near the descent of the demons on Hermon. Lachish is a city in Judah lying midway between Jerusalem and Gaza but the word is also a play on Larechesh to the swift steeds. Judah was to rely on Egypt for cavalry horses. It was a frontier fortress of strategic importance between Judah and Egypt fortified by David and then by Rehoboam (2Chr. 11:9) and Asa probably strengthened it (14:7). Sennacherib made it his temporary HQ in 701 BCE. It may even look forward to the binding of the demons. This is supported by the term beginning of sin which is regarded as an obscure phrase by the commentators. The beginning of sin came from the demons at Mt. Hermon. Jewish commentators suggest that Lachish was the seat of an idolatrous form of worship (which we know as the Golden Calf in Dan which was named from the Moon God Sin, as Jericho is also Moon City). It is a very old centre and was used in the Hyksos domination and is referred to a La-ti-sa in the 18th Ahmosid Dynasty. It was under Egyptian and Hyksos domination from the 12th to the 22nd dynasty.
Moresheth-Gath was in the Philistine territory and the unimportant town of Achzib in the Shephelah (Josh. 15:44) is a play on words with a deceitful thing is achzab which is non perennial stream (cf. Jer. 15:18). It is today a thorn in the side of Israel.
Micah is given this vision from his home town and sees far in advance through the invasions to the Last Days. These cities mentioned here from verses 10-15 are not between Samaria and Jerusalem but between the gates of Jerusalem and the coast of the sea plain of the Philistines. This was the route by which all invaders of Judea have come from Sargon (719 BCE against Egypt and 711 against Ashdod), and Sennacherib in 704-1 when he attacked the Shephelah simultaneously with his invasion of Judea; on through the Egyptians and to the Romans under Vespasian and through the Middle Ages under Saladin and Richard (G.A. Smith; cf. Soncino fn). This prophecy shows Micah looking forward to all the invasions and how they were to occur into the Last Days and finally to the Beast Power of the King of the North in Daniel 11:40-44.
Chapter 2 is a further denunciation of the sins that were never repented of in chapter 1. It refers to the breaking of God’s laws regarding the Jubilees and the ownership of lands and estates. Because of their sin God sends them into captivity. They have none to serve in the Assembly of God by lot. That also refers to the restoration of the lands by lot in the Jubilees. For so also was the land of Canaan distributed amongst the tribes. However, they disregarded God’s laws and did not restore the families and the servants in the Sabbaths and Jubilees. To this day the churches of God disregard the Jubilees and exploit the brethren of the churches of God and follow the false calendar of modern Judah. For these sins they will be punished. The taunt song is a dirge or lamentation taken up as we see also in Jeremiah 9:9; Amos 5:1. The great estates unjustly acquired are to be split up and allocated to conquering armies of sinner nations.
 Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand.  They covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.  Therefore thus says the LORD: Behold, against this family I am devising evil, from which you cannot remove your necks; and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time.  In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you, and wail with bitter lamentation, and say, "We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! Among our captors he divides our fields."  Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the LORD.
Here we see the opposition to Micah’s prophecy coming from the corrupt priests and prophets. They teach that disgrace will not overtake them but it is God that accuses them not Micah. The pleasant houses are the happy families they destroy. This is endemic today and for that they will be sent into captivity and stripped of their wealth.
 "Do not preach" -- thus they preach -- "one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us."  Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?  But you rise against my people as an enemy; you strip the robe from the peaceful, from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war.  The women of my people you drive out from their pleasant houses; from their young children you take away my glory for ever.  Arise and go, for this is no place to rest; because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction.  If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, "I will preach to you of wine and strong drink," he would be the preacher for this people!  I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob, I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men.  He who opens the breach will go up before them; they will break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king will pass on before them, the LORD at their head.
The hatching of evil schemes of usury, foreclosure of mortgages, and subornation of witnesses and of bribery in judgment are followed immediately by their implementation
The priests and prophets preach lies to them and prophesy wealth and strong drink and they misuse the women and the children and take the wealth, which is the Israel of God, and misuse it.
Then in Chapter 3 we see the evil done in Israel to the poor and needy.
 And I said: Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice? --  you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people, and their flesh from off their bones;  who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces, and chop them up like meat in a kettle, like flesh in a caldron.  Then they will cry to the LORD, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil.
The religious teachers and especially the prophets cry peace when they are well fed but declare war on those who do not feed them because of their iniquity. So has the church of God become over the last century of the Last Days. They declare of God’s prophets in the churches of God that we are those of Revelation chapter 10 that make prophecy as sweet as honey in the mouth but the stomachs shall be bitter because of it. God will deal with these false teachers in the Last Days. Not once in the twentieth century did these false prophets of the churches of God get a prophecy correct and they were covered in darkness (see the paper False prophecy (No. 269)).
 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry "Peace" when they have something to eat, but declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths.  Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them;  the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God.  But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.  Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity,  who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong.  Its heads give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for hire, its prophets divine for money; yet they lean upon the LORD and say, "Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No evil shall come upon us."  Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
Corruption is now so rampant in the nations of the world that the death penalty will have to be reintroduced so that all politicians and bureaucrats and judges and corporation heads will be put to death to stamp out this evil from among us.
Chapter 4 then goes on to the Latter Days when the mountain of the house of the Lord is established in Zion under the Messiah. The Laws of God will be restored and the whole world will keep the sequence and the Feasts or they will be punished and get no rain in due season and suffer the plagues of Egypt as God showed mankind through the prophet Zechariah, and they killed him because of his prophecy. As a rule the priests and prophets of Israel have been the source of the evil rather than the solution. It is they that have killed the prophets that God has sent and persecuted the elect of the church of God. Their worship is that of Baal and the Sun cults and not the laws and Testimony of God.
This prophecy is millennial through the sequence of the captivities.
 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it,  and many nations shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more;  but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.  For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.  In that day, says the LORD, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away, and those whom I have afflicted;  and the lame I will make the remnant; and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and for evermore.  And you, O tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.  Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, that pangs have seized you like a woman in travail?  Writhe and groan, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail; for now you shall go forth from the city and dwell in the open country; you shall go to Babylon. There you shall be rescued, there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.  Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, "Let her be profaned, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion."  But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.  Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I will make your horn iron and your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples, and shall devote their gain to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.
Thus Judah was told in advance that it was to be sent into captivity and did not repent and then was returned to establish the conditions for the Messiah and then the second captivity and dispersion from 70 CE at the end of the 70 weeks of years of Daniel 9:23-27 (see also the Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013)).
Chapter 5 then goes on to detail the coming of the Messiah and the place of his clan at Bethlehem Eph’ratah. The prophecy then deals with the Messiah being given up (cf. Ps. 110:1ff) until all his brethren, who are the elect of God (of Zech. 12:8) are brought forth over the 40 Jubilees of the church in the wilderness in accordance with the Sign of Jonah on a Jubilee for a year basis.
 Now you are walled about with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike upon the cheek the ruler of Israel.  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.  Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in travail has brought forth; then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel. [The First Resurrection]  And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.  And this shall be peace, when the Assyrian comes into our land and treads upon our soil, that we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men;  they shall rule the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod with the drawn sword; and they shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border.
Thus the Messiah was to have been pre-existent and was to stand in the power of the Lord His God (as we saw from Ps. 45:6-7; cf. also Ps. 72:7; Isa. 9:6-7; Zech: 9:10). See also the paper Micah 5:2-3 (No. 121).
The Messiah is given seven shepherds that destroy the Assyro-Babylonian system and also eight princes of men. The fact is that there are seven angels of the Seven Churches and seven eras of the churches of God. These destroy the religious system of the Sun and Mystery cults. Also the eight princes of men are the forces that are available from God’s people under leadership in the Last Days. They form eight nations and eight armies. The power of the Assyro-Babylonian system will be destroyed and relocated into the Middle East again.
Then the remnant of Jacob shall be used among the nations so that the Gentiles will be brought in and of them Ephraim shall stand as the community of nations and in him shall the Gentiles trust (Gen. 48:15-16).
 Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers upon the grass, which tarry not for men nor wait for the sons of men.  And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which, when it goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver.  Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off.  And in that day, says the LORD, I will cut off your horses from among you and will destroy your chariots;  and I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds;  and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more soothsayers;  and I will cut off your images and your pillars from among you, and you shall bow down no more to the work of your hands;  and I will root out your Ashe'rim from among you and destroy your cities.  And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance upon the nations that did not obey.
The entire system will be purified in the Wars of the Last Days and the Vials of the Wrath of God (No. 141B). The Sunday worshipping system of the Sun and Mystery cults of Christmas and of Easter will be destroyed and every priest of that system will repent or die. They will keep the Sabbaths and New Moons or die (Isa. 66:23-24). They will keep the feasts of God or die (Zech. 14:16-19).
Every obelisk and phallus on every church, cathedral, temple or mosque and every idol and icon will be destroyed. No unrepentant priest, rabbi, imam, or sheik, abbot or monk will be left alive.
Chapter 6 then is the Lord appealing to Israel and reminding them of His intervention and His salvation of them and they did not heed Him nor were they thankful.
 Hear what the LORD says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.  Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel.  "O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me!  For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of bondage; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.  O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Be'or answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the LORD."  "With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"
God has shown them that He does not require massive sacrifice but He requires justice and kindness and to walk humbly with our God. He wants obedience not sacrifice as He said through the prophet Samuel.
 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?  The voice of the LORD cries to the city -- and it is sound wisdom to fear thy name: "Hear, O tribe and assembly of the city!  Can I forget the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed?  Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights?  Your rich men are full of violence; your inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
God then condemns the rulers and rich of Israel both of tribe and the city. They are fraudulent and deceitful and their rich are full of violence. False weights and measures are among them and false witness is rampant among them. The God pronounces their fate. He has begun to smite them and He will make them desolate because of their sins. He will strike us with hunger and we will not be able to save and what we do will be put to the sword. All over the Last Days will that increase so that if the Messiah were not sent there would be no flesh left alive.
 Therefore I have begun to smite you, making you desolate because of your sins.  You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be hunger in your inward parts; you shall put away, but not save, and what you save I will give to the sword.  You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.  For you have kept the statutes of Omri, and all the works of the house of Ahab; and you have walked in their counsels; that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing; so you shall bear the scorn of the peoples."
Note that they keep the false statutes of the nations and of the Sun and Mystery cults of Ahab and Jezebel but not the Laws of God. They keep the Babylonian dictates and those of the Nations in Union but not of the Laws of God. For that they will all be punished. Every aspect of the Sun and Mystery cults will be wiped out.
In chapter 7 we see that there are no godly men left on the earth of any note or quantity. There are no upright men left. They lie in wait for blood and each hunts his brother with a net. So is it now through the entire world and the Semites are turned to barbarism. Uprightness and justice have fled from mankind. Bribery and corruption rule over all the world.
Trust no one even she at your bosom. Even in the churches of God we have seen sons treat fathers with contempt and we have seen those die in their youth because of their heresy.
However the just shall live by faith and they will be redeemed by God as we see here.
 Woe is me! For I have become as when the
summer fruit has been gathered, as when the vintage has been gleaned: there is
no cluster to eat, no first-ripe fig which my soul desires.
 The godly man has perished from the earth, and there is none upright among men; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts his brother with a net.  Their hands are upon what is evil, to do it diligently; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together  The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. The day of their watchmen, of their punishment, has come; now their confusion is at hand.  Put no trust in a neighbor, have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom;  for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.  But as for me, I will look to the LORD, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.  Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.  I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I shall behold his deliverance.
Note that we are to bear the indignation of the Lord because we have sinned all of us. Anyone who says he is without sin is liar and the truth is not in him (1Jn. 1:8-10).
Through the love and righteousness of the elect all mankind will be ashamed and they will return to Israel from all over the world. The earth will be desolate because of their sin but they will return to be restored and the miracles of God under the Messiah will bring repentance to the nations.
 Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, "Where is the LORD your God?" My eyes will gloat over her; now she will be trodden down like the mire of the streets.  A day for the building of your walls! In that day the boundary shall be far extended.  In that day they will come to you, from Assyria to Egypt, and from Egypt to the River, from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.  But the earth will be desolate because of its inhabitants, for the fruit of their doings.  Shepherd thy people with thy staff, the flock of thy inheritance, who dwell alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old.  As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt I will show them marvelous things.  The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might; they shall lay their hands on their mouths; their ears shall be deaf;  they shall lick the dust like a serpent, like the crawling things of the earth; they shall come trembling out of their strongholds, they shall turn in dread to the LORD our God, and they shall fear because of thee.  Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger for ever because he delights in steadfast love.  He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.  Thou wilt show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as thou hast sworn to our fathers from the days of old.
The millennial system is run from Jerusalem and using the sons of Jacob and the descendants of Abraham to provide leadership and guidance through the Messiah and the elect.
Appendix to Commentary on Micah
Micah is from around the same era as Isaiah son of Amos. Isaiah’s life in the book is supplemented in part by 2Kings esp. 18:13-20:21. It is assumed that he was born in Jerusalem about or before 760. His call came to him in the year that King Uzziah died (i.e. 742). He was married and refers to his wife as a prophetess (Isa. 8:3). His ministry extended over 40 years over the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah (Isa. 1:1). The last we hear of Isaiah is in Sennacherib’s threat to Jerusalem in 701 BCE.
He received his call in the Temple near the sanctuary.
He was reportedly sawn in half during the reign of Manasseh son of Hezekiah (687-642 BCE) (cf. Heb. 11:37 and 2Kgs. 21:16 and Jos. Antiq. x, 3.1). Manasseh was 12 when he became king and was subject to the Assyrian influence and restored Baal worship and the High Places. Undoubtedly he was opposed by Isaiah and the other prophets and reportedly had many of them killed.
Also Jeremiah quotes directly from Micah 26:16-19 and conjecture concerning some of the texts of Micah not being written by him are later spurious assumptions.
It appears that Isaiah and Micah were chosen by God to establish his judgment in the mouth of two witnesses (cf. Isa. 1:1 and Mic. 1:1).
We saw that Micah was from just before the end of Jotham’s reign in 735 from 739-693 BCE. So Isaiah was called and active from 742 BCE and Micah followed a few years afterwards and lasted some eight years after we last hear from Isaiah but probably only a few years after his death. Bullinger’s dates are incorrect in this regard. However he has made some useful comparisons in his texts to the Companion Bible.
Bullinger says that we can see “by comparing Mic. 4:10 with Isa 39:6, we have another case of similar words occurring in two different prophets; and some, having concluded that one prophet copied from another, have built upon this, certain theories as to dates, &c. But no valid argument can be based on such coincidences: for the simple reason that we are not dealing with the words of the Prophets, but with the words which God spake by them (Heb 1:1, &c). Surely God may speak the same message, even in identical words, by two, three, or more of His prophets. If the need were the same, why should not the words be the same?" As we saw the period covered by Micah and Isaiah was almost exactly the same. “It is no wonder that the circumstances did call for similar utterances, constituting a confirmation of the Word of Jehovah ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses’. Both were independent, without any idea of ‘copying’ one from the other, as is alleged by the writer in The Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh (Cambridge) edition, 1910, 1911, vol. xviii, p. 357, who says: ‘it is impossible that much, if any, of these chapters (Mic. 4-7) can be ascribed to Micah himself’. This is said in face of the fact that Jeremiah (Mic. 26:16-19) definitely quotes and refers to Micah.
The following texts form useful comparisons:
Mic 1:9-16, Isa 10:28-32.
Mic 2:1, Mic 2:2, Isa. 5:8.
Mic 2:6, Mic 2:11, Isa 30:10,11.
Mic 2:11, Isa 28:7.
Mic 2:12, Isa 10:20-23.
Mic 3:5-7, Isa 29:9-12.
Mic 3:12, Isa 32:14.
Mic 4:1, Isa 2:2.
Mic 4:4, Isa 1:20 .
Mic 4:7, Isa 9:7.
Mic 4:10, Isa 39:6.5.
Mic. 2-4, Isa 7:14.
Mic 5:6, Isa 14:25.
Mic 6:6-8, Isa 58:6, Isa 58:7.
Mic 7:7, Isa 8:17.
Mic 7:12, Isa 11:11.
Bullinger’s notes from the Companion Bible are as follows.
Destruction in Israel and Judah Micah 1:1
The word of the LORD. The only occurrence of this expression in this book: bidding us to receive it from Jehovah, not Micah, and to note Micah's pen but Jehovah's words.
the LORD. Heb. Jehovah. Ap. 4.
Micah = Who is like Jehovah? An abbreviated form of Micaiah (2Ch 18:7, &c.); it is used in Jer 26:18 (in the Heb). Cp. 7:18.
Morasthite: Mareshah (v. 15) or Moresheth-gath (v. 14); now Tel Sandahanna, in the Shephelah, or plain, between Judea and Philistia. In the excavations at Sandahanna the ancient name is seen as Marissa. Marissa was a Sidonian colony (cent. 3 B. C), and was afterward used as the capital of Idumea by the Edomites during the captivity of Judah (see Records of the Past, vol. iv, part x, pp. 291-306).
which he saw. Cp. Isa 1:1. Oba 1:1. Nah 1:1.
concerning, &c. This furnishes the subject.
Hear, all ye people. Micah begins by taking up the concluding words of the other Micah or Micaiah (1Ki 22:28), and recurs to them in 3:1, 9; 6:1, 2. Five times, not three, as some say; and forms no part of the Structure of the whole book. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 32:1). Ap. 92.
all ye = ye peoples, all of them.
people = peoples. Including ourselves.
all that therein is = her fullness.
let the Lord GOD be witness. Ref. to Pent. (Gen 31:50).
the Lord. Heb. Adonai. Ap. 4.
GOD Heb. Jehovah. Ap. 4.
the LORD*. One of the 134 places where the Sopherim say they altered "Jehovah" of the primitive text to "Adonai". See Ap. 32.
from His holy temple. Cp. Psa 11:4. Jon 2:7. Hab 2:20.
holy. See note on Exo 3:5.
Micah 1:4 the mountains, &c. This verse foretells the calamities of 2Ki 17 and 25.
transgression = rebellion. Heb. pasha'. Ap. 44.
sins. Heb. chata'. Ap. 44. Aram, and Syr. read sing.
What = Whose.
is it not Samaria? = is it not Samaria's [idolatry]? Fig. Erotesis. Ap. 6.
high places. Cp. 1Ki 12:31; 14:23. Eze 6:6. These existed in Jerusalem (Jer 32:35); hence the mention of them in the further question. Fig. Erotesis. Cp. 2Ki 16:4.
are they not Jerusalem? = is it not Jerusalem's [idol altars]?
discover, &c. This has now recently (1911) been done in the unearthing of Ahab's wine-cellars.
graven images. Heb. pesilim. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 20:4). Ap. 92.
hires. The technical Pentateuchal word for a harlot's hire, to which idolatry is compared. Cp. Hos 8:9, 10; 9:1. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 23:18). Ap. 92.
they shall return, &c.: i.e. the wealth gained by idolatry shall be taken away by the Assyrian idolaters.
wail = lament. Cp. the Structure above; and note weight of the prophetic "burden".
dragons = jackals.
owls. Heb. daughters of a doleful cry.
wound = stroke. Heb. makkah (fem.)
it. Aram. and Syr. read "she". Referring to her stroke, which is fem.
he = he, referring to some unnamed foe. Aram, and Syr. read "she", referring to the "stroke" of judgment.
the gate. Cp. Oba 1:11, 13.
Pass ye away: i.e. go into exile.
Saphir, having thy shame, &c. Here we have contrast. Saphir = Beautytown, with beauty shamed; now es Suafir.
inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth. Heb. not gone forth hath . . . Zaanan. Heb. Fig. Paronomasia (Ap. 6): lo yatz'ah . . . tz'anan = not gone out [to weep] hath the inhabitant of Outhouse.
in the mourning . . . his standing. Commence a fresh sentence here; thus: "The trouble of Beth-ezel (Neighbour-town) shall be a useless neighbour". Gr. "the Bystander's house will, from you, get its standing-room".
he shall receive, &c. : or, he will take from you its support.
Maroth waited carefully. The inhabitress of Bitter town bitterly grieved for her goods [taken from her].
evil = calamity. Heb. ra'a'. Ap. 44.
the LORD. Heb. Jehovah. Ap. 4. Not by chance.
the gate of Jerusalem. In Taylor's Cylinder, Sennacherib mentions his breaking of this gate (col. iii, lines 22:23).
inhabitant = inhabitress.
Lachish . . . swift beast. Note the Fig. Paronomasia (Ap. 6). Heb. larekesh . . . lakish = [bind the chariot] to the horse, O inhabitress of Horse-town,
Lachish. Now Ummtum Lakis, or Tell el Hesy. See notes on 2Ki 14:19; 19:8.
she. Evidently Samaria. Cp. vv. 5:9; 6:16.
give presents to = give up possessions at.
Achzib . . . a lie. Note the Fig. Paronomasia, = the houses of False-town ('Akzib) shall prove false (iakzab).
Achzib. Now es Zib (Jos 15:44; 19:29. Jdg 1:31).
an heir . . . Mareshah. Heb. the possessor (hayyoresh) . . . O Possession (Mareshah). The possessor whom Jehovah would bring was Assyria.
he shall come, &c. The glory: i.e. the nobility (Isa 5:13) of Israel shall go (or flee) unto [the cave] Adullam; as David had done (1Sa 22:1).
Make thee bald, &c. The signs of mourning. Cp. Job 1:20. Isa 15:2; 22:12. Jer 7:29; 16:6; 47:5; 48:37). This is addressed to Judah. It was forbidden under the law (Deu 14:1). Judah had become as the heathen: let them mourn as the heathen.
children = sons.
Woe to Oppressors Micah 2:1
iniquity. Heb. 'aven. Ap. 44. Not the same word as in 3:10. Note the incrimination in vv. 1, 2. See the Structure, p. 1253.
work = plan.
evil = wickedness. Heb. ra'a'. Ap. 44.
is = exists. Heb. yesh. See note on Pro 8:21.
in the power of their hand. A Pentateuchal idiom. Ref. to Pent. (Gen 31:29). Cp. Pro 3:27. Neh 5:5. Does not occur elsewhere.
take up a parable. Ref. to Pent. (Num 23:7, 18; 24:3, 15, 20, 23). Twice in Job (Job 27:1; 29:1); once in Isaiah (Isa 14:4); once in Habakkuk (Hab 2:6). Not elsewhere. Ap. 92. Note the Fig Chleuasmos (Ap. 6).
lament with a doleful lamentation. Note the Figs. Polyptoton and Paronomasia (Ap. 6), for emphasis. Heb. venahah nehi nihyah = wail a wailing of woe.
changed = changed [for the worse]. Heb. mur; not halaph = changed [for the better]. See note on Lev 27:10.
turning away = to a heathen: i.e. our enemy the Assyrian.
cast a cord by lot. Referring to the custom, by which, round every village in Palestine, the land was divided by lot every year to the various families; hence, the expression in Psa 16:6, "cord" being put by Fig. Metonymy (of Cause), Ap. 6, for the portion of land marked out by it. It therefore = divide your inheritances. Ref. to Pent. (Num 26:55, 56). Ap. 92.
congregation = assembly. Cp. Deu 23:1-3, Deu 23:8.
Prophesy = Do not sputter.
say they to them that prophesy = so they sputter.
they shall not prophesy. Not the usual word for prophesy, but Heb. nataph.
they: i.e. these false prophets.
them = as to these things: i.e. these doings of Jehovah.
that, &c. Supply, "[saying], must He put away these suppressers".
Jacob. See notes on Gen 32:28; 43:6; 45:26, 28.
is the Spirit, &c. ? Ref. to Pent. (Num 11:23, the same word). Ap. 92.
Spirit. Heb. ruach. Ap. 9.
do not = are not?
My. Sept. reads "His", as in preceding clause: or = are not My words pleasant [saith Jehovah]?
do good = pleasant.
Even of late = Only yesterday, or recently: this highway robbery was a new and recent evil.
Arise ye, &c. Usually misquoted in a good sense; but the Structure shows it to be part of the lamentation (p. 1253).
this = this [land]. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 12:9). Ap. 92.
it: i.e. this [land].
it is polluted. Ref. to Pent. (Lev 18:27, 28, the same word). Ap. 92.
it shall destroy. Ref. to Pent (Lev 18:28; 20:22; 26:38). Cp. Eze 36:12-14.
wine. Heb. yayin. Ap. 27.
strong drink. Heb. shekar. Ap. 27.
prophet = sputterer; as in 2:6. Lit. dropper [of words].
I will, &c. See the Structure, p. 1253.
Israel. See note on Gen 32:28; 43:6; 45:26, 28.
of Bozrah: or, with Sept., in tribulation. The member (vv. 12, 13) does not speak of mercy, but of judgment, corresponding with the member (1:2-4). Not "a complete change", and no "promise to a remnant" Cp. Isa 34:6. Amo 1:12.
make great noise = be in commotion.
men = human beings. Heb 'adam. Ap. 14.
The breaker = One making a breach. The Assyrian. Heb. paratz, as in Exo 19:22, 24; 2Sa 5:20. 1Ch 14:11; 15:13. Generally in a bad sense.
broken up = broken in.
gone out = gone forth . . . [into captivity].
shall pass = hath passed through.
on = at: for it is Jehovah's judgment. Cp. 1:2-4.
Rulers Denounced Micah 3:1
Hear. This is no indication of Structure. It is a continuation of the threatening against the rulers (3:1-4, p. 1253, corresponding with "-3", 3:9-12, below).
princes = judges.
Micah 3:3 chop them in pieces, as for the pot = spread them out, as flesh for the pot.
err = go astray.
bite with their teeth. Alluding to the idolatrous practices of the heathen round the altars of Baal, biting an olive in their mouths and crying "peace", of which the olive was the symbol (Gen 8:11). Cp. Zec 9:7.
and he, &c. = but against him that putteth not [the olive] into his mouth they declare war.
war = crusade.
Micah 3:6 that ye shall not divine. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 18:10,14. Num 22:7; 23:23). Ap. 92.
Micah 3:10 iniquity = deceit. Heb. 'aval. Ap. 44. Not the same word as in 2:1.
Zion. See Ap. 68.
be plowed as a field. This is true of the site on Ophel, but not true of the traditional site south-west of Jerusalem. See Ap. 68. Cp. 1:6. Jer 26:18.
Jerusalem. The city proper, on Mount Moriah.
heaps = ruins. Note the Fig. Paronomasia (Ap. 6). Heb. yirushalaim 'iyyin. Cp. 1:6.
the mountain of the house. Moriah and the Temple. See Ap. 68.
the high places of the forest. = a height of a jungle.
Companion Bible Notes, 1909
Peaceful Latter Days
in the last days = at the end of the days. Here we are carried forward to a yet future day. Ref. to Pent. (Gen 49:1, the same phrase. Num 24:14). Ap. 92. Cp. Isa 2:2, &c. Eze 38:8, 16. Hos 3:5
the mountain, &c. Cp. 3:12; and see Isa 2:2-4. Both prophecies are independent, and complementary (see Psa 24:3. Eze 28:16).
the LORD. Heb. Jehovah. Ap. 4.
established: abidingly: not merely for a time.
people = peoples.
tower of the flock. Heb. tower of 'Eder. Ref. to Pent. (Gen 35:21; nowhere else). Used here of Bethlehem (cp. Gen 35:19 with 5:2); coupled here with "Ophel" in next clause, "David's birth-place" and "David's city".
the stronghold. Heb. 'Ophel. See Ap. 68. and Ap. 54, line 21, "citadel", p. 78. See note on 2Ch 27:3.
first = former. For this rendering cp. Exo 34:1 (tables). Num 21:26 (kings). Deu 4:32; 10:10, &c. (days). 2Ch 9:29; 16:11; 20:34 (acts).
why dost thou Cry. ? This refers to the birth-pangs of the new nation which will be brought forth in that day and at that time. Cp. Isa 13:8; 21:3, &c.
now = mean-while: i.e. before that day. Cp. 4:11 and 5:1.
even to = as far as. Cp. Isa 39:7; 43:14.
Babylon. May "not have been on Micah's political horizon", but it was on Jehovah's. Cp. Amo 5:25-27. Act 7:42, 43.
there . . . there. Note the repetition for emphasis: i.e. there and then in that future day.
redeem = redeem [as a kinsman]. Heb. ga'al. See note on Exo 6:6.
Now = Meanwhile: as in 4:10; 5:1. Referring to the then immediately impending hostility.
many nations. Cp. Isa 33:3. Lam 2:16. Oba 1:11-13.
eye. So some codices, with two early printed editions, Aram., Syr., and Vulg.; but Heb. text reads "eyes". Cp. Psa 54:3.
they know not. Cp. Isa 55:8. Jer 29:11.
thoughts = purposes, or plans: i.e. for Israel in purging him of idolatry by his tribulation.
counsel: i.e. with regard to themselves. The reason follows.
for: or, that.
floor = threshing-floor.
thresh = tread as oxen.
horn . . . hoofs. Referring to the strength of the oxen, and to the completeness of the destruction. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 25:4). Ap. 92. Cp. Isa 41:15. Jer 51:33.
I will. Aram., Sept., Syr., and Vulg. read "thou shalt".
consecrate = devote; as in Jos 6:19, 24. Cp. Zec 14:14. Ref. to Pent. (Lev 27:28).
THE LORD. Heb. 'Adon. The Divine title, relating to dominion in the earth. See Ap. 4.
Birth of the King in Bethlehem
Now = Meanwhile; as in 4:10, 11. Showing that 5:1 relates to the interval between the then present time and "that day" of 4:1, 6.
gather thyself, &c.: or, thou shalt have sore tribulation [for thy sins], thou daughter of affliction.
he: i.e. the enemy. The Assyrian.
us. The prophet includes himself.
the judge. Gr. the then ruler (cp. 1Ki 22:24. Lam 3:30; 4:20; 5:8, 12), who would thus be the type of the Messiah (Mat 27:30).
rod = sceptre. Heb. shebet = the club (of defence), as in 7:14; hence, of office; not matteh, the rod or staff (of support), as in 6:9. See note on Psa 23:4.
But thou. This marks out the Structure. Cp. 4:8 with 5:2. Quoted in Mat 2:5, 6. Joh 7:42.
Beth-lehem Ephratah. The full name given, as in Gen 35:19, thus connecting Gen 35:21 with 4:8.
little = too little [to rank among]. Cp. 1Co 1:27-29.
thousands = districts (1Sa 23:23). Like our old English divisions, called "hundreds". Cp. Exo 18:25. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 18:25).
come forth. Note the difference between Heb. here (yatza) and bo' = come unto, in Zec 9:9. All the events between these two make up the period we call "the first Advent", and thus are typical of the "second Advent"; the coming forth being 1Th 4:16, and the coming unto being 1Th 5:2, 3, and 2Th 2:8, the former being in grace, the latter in judgment. A similar period may elapse in the antitypical comings as in the typical comings of 5:2, and Zec 9:9.
unto = for.
everlasting. Cp. Psa 90:2. Pro 8:22, 23. Joh 1:1, 2.
until the time: i.e. the end of the "meanwhile" (v. 1).
she which travaileth. Cp. 4:9, 10-, above. and note there; also Joh 16:21, 22, and Rev 12:1-6.
children = sons.
He: i.e. the Shepherd of Israel. Ref to Pent. (Gen 49:24). Ap. 92. Cp. Psa 80:1. Jer 31:10. Eze 34:23.
feed = tend, or shepherd (as a flock). Cp. 7:14. Isa 40:11; 49:10.
the LORD. Heb. Jehovah. Ap. 4.
God. Heb. Elohim. Ap. 4.
they. Israel, His flock.
shall abide. In everlasting security.
shall He be great. Cp. Psa 22:27; 72:8; 98:1. Isa 49:5, 7; 52:13. Zec 9:10. Luk 1:32. Rev 11:15.
this Man, &c. = this [great Shepherd of Israel]. Cp Psa 72:7. Isa 9:6, 7. Zec 9:10.
Assyrian. This is emphatic in Heb.
when, &c. Cp. Isa 7:20 8:7-10; Isa 37:31-36.
then, &c. Cp. Isa 44:28; 59:19. Zec 1:18-21; Zec 9:13; 10:3; 12:6.
seven shepherds . . . men. When that time comes the meaning of this will be seen.
men. Heb. 'adam. Ap. 14.
shall be, &c. This refers to restored Israel "in that day"; not to any other people now.
people. Heb. = peoples.
as a lion, &c. Ref. to Pent. (Num 23:24; 24:9). Ap. 92.
shall be out off. Note the Fig. Anaphora (Ap. 6), in the repetition, "cut off", four times in vv. 9-13. All this refers eventually to restored Israel.
in that day. The Structure connects 5:10-14 with 4:6 -- 5:8, and shows it to be the same, and yet future time, called in 4:1 "the last days".
saith the LORD = [is] Jehovah's oracle.
I will cut off, &c. See note on 5:9. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 17:16). Ap. 92. Cp. Isa 2:7. Zec 9:10.
witchcrafts = sorceries. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 22:18. Lev 19:26. Deu 18:10). Ap. 92.
hand. Some codices, with Sept., and Syr., read "hands".
soothsayers: i.e. users of secret or occult arts.
pluck up = root up, or tear down.
thy groves = thine 'Asherahs. Ap. 42. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 34:13. Deu 7:5; 12:3).
thy cities. Ginsburg thinks "thine idols". A. V. marg. suggests "enemies".
God's Indictment of His People
I brought thee up, &c. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 12:51; 14:30; 20:2. Deu 4:20). Ap. 92.
and redeemed thee. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 6:6; 13:13-16).
house of servants = house of bondage. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 13:3, 14; 20:2. Deu 5:6; 6:12; 7:8).
I sent before . . . Miriam. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 15:20, 21. Num 12:4, 10, 15; 20:1; 26:59). Miriam not mentioned after Deu 24:9, except 1Ch 6:3.
remember now, &c. Ref. to Pent. (Num 22:5; 23:7; 24:10, 11; 25:1; 31:16. Deu 23:4, 5). Ap. 92.
Balak. Not mentioned since Jdg 11:25.
Balaam. Not mentioned since Jos 24:9, 10, except in Neh 13:2. Cp. 2Pe 2:15, and Jud 1:11. Rev 2:14.
righteousness = righteous acts.
man. Heb. 'adam. Ap. 14.
mercy = lovingkindness, or grace.
walk humbly. The Heb. expression (hatzene' leketh) occurs only here. This verse embodies the principles governing Jehovah's administration under the Law, but not under the Gospel. Now, He requires faith in the Substitute Whom He has provided for the sinner; and His righteousness must be imputed in grace. See Ap. 63. IX: and 72. Cp. also Rom 3:23, 24. Eph 2:3-9. Tit 3:5-8, &c.
city. Put by Fig. Metonymy (of the Subject), Ap. 6, for the inhabitants.
the man of wisdom shall see Thy name = [such as would have] true stability (or safety) will regard Thy name. The Mugah Codex, quoted in the Massorah (Ap. 30), reads: "such as revere".
wisdom. Heb. tushiyah. See note on Pro 2:7.
Thy. The Sept. reads: "and He (the LORD) will save such as revere His name".
rod. Heb. matteh = staff (for support or chastisement). Not the same word as in 5:1; 7:14. Either put by Fig. Metonymy (of Cause), Ap. 6, for the chastisement inflicted, or supply the Ellipsis thus: "hear ye the rod, and [Him] Who hath appointed [the chastisement]."The suffix of the verb, "it", is fem.; while "rod" is masc. Therefore we may supply "chastisement "(Heb. tokahath), which is fem.
wickedness . . . wicked = lawlessness . . . lawless. Heb. rasha'.
the scant measure, &c. Note the word "abominable" below. In this form, only in Pro 22:14.
measure = ephah. See Ap. 51.
abominable. Ref. to Pent. Out of six words thus rendered, Heb. za'am is chosen in Num 28:7, 8, 8, "defied" = abhorred. It occurs only eight times elsewhere. Ap. 92.
Thou shalt eat, &c. Ref. to Pent. (Lev 26:26).
thy casting down = thy dissatisfaction or emptiness. Heb. yeshach. Occurs only here.
shall be in the midst of thee = [shall remain] in thee.
take hold. Some codices, with one early printed edition (Rabbinic, marg), read "take possession".
the statutes. Heb. hukkoth = in a religious sense (Lev 20:8. 2Ki 17:34. Jer 10:3).
of Omri. Cp. 1Ki 16:31, 32, as to the worship of Baal.
kept = strictly kept. Cp. Hos 5:4.
the house of Ahab. Cp. 1Ki 16:30. &c.; 21:25, 26. See Ap. 65.
that I should make, &c. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 28:37).
Prophet Acknowledges Israel's Misery
evil. Heb. ra'a'. Ap. 44.
asketh = asketh [for a reward]. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 16:19). Ap. 92. Cp. 3:11. Hos 4:18.
the judge asketh = the judge [judgeth], &c. Fig. complex Ellipsis. Cp. 3:11. Isa 1:23.
reward = bribe.
his mischievous desire = the mischief of his soul. Heb. nephesh. Ap. 13. Cp. 3:9-11.
they: i.e. the prince and the judge.
wrap it up = weave it together. Occurs only here.
it. Heb. suffix is fem., so we must supply a fem. noun: e. g. zimmah = wicked purpose, or mischievous device. Isa 32:7.
the day of thy watchmen. Put by Fig. Metonymy (of Adjunct), Ap. 6:. the day [of punishment] foretold by thy watchmen.
Trust ye not = Put ye no faith in. Heb. 'aman. See Ap. 69.
put ye not confidence in. Heb. batah. See Ap. 69. So the Western Massorites. The Eastern, with three early printed editions, Sept., Syr., and Vulg, read "neither put", &c. Quoted in Mat 10:35, 36; Luk 12:53.
dishonoureth, &c. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 20:12. Deu 5:16). Ap. 92.
man’s. Heb. ‘ish. Ap. 14. II.
men. Heb. pl. of 'enosh. Ap. 14. III. Verse 6 does not end "abruptly", nor does there "yawn a century". Verse 7 gives the true remedy in contrast with the vain remedies of vv. 5, 6.
when I fall: i.e. into calamity; not into sin. Lit. I have fallen, I have arisen; though I should sit in darkness, Jehovah, &c.
decree = prescribed limit or boundary. So the Oxford Gesenius, p. 349. Cp. Job 26:10; 38:10. Pro 8:29. Isa 24:5. Jer 5:22. Heb. chok.
be far removed = become distant: i.e. extended. See the Oxford Gesenius, p. 935. Heb. rachak, as in Isa 26:15. Note the Fig. Paronomasia (Ap. 6), yir'chok.
he = one. But a special various reading called Sevir (Ap. 34), reads "they": i.e. thine exiles. come = come home; as in 1Sa 11:5. Psa 45:15. Pro 2:10, or, into blessing; as in Psa 69:27. Nothing has "fallen out" of the text!
Assyria. See the "enemy", 7:10.
the fortified cities = the cities of Matzor (i.e. the fortress) put for Egypt. Cp. Isa 19:6; 37.
Feed, &c. Note here, the prayer of Micah. Supply the Ellipsis: "[Then Micah prayed, and said: O Jehovah] Feed Thy People", &c.
Feed = shepherd Thou (masc).
rod. Heb. shebet, as in 5:1; not as in 6:9. Here it is the token of rule.
which dwell, &c. = dwell thou (fern.): i.e. the "flock". Heb. tz'on (com. gender).
solitarily = alone. Ref. to Pent. (Num 23:9. Deu 33:28). Ap. 92.
as in the days of old = as in the age-past times: so shall be the yet future day of Israel's consolation; not Micah's day, when Israel was in possession of Bashan, &c. No ground, therefore, for dating this prayer in "the latest period of Israel's history, the days of Haggai and Zechariah", as alleged.
According, &c. Verses 15-17 are Jehovah's answer as to the subjugation of Israel's enemies. Ref. to Pent. See note on 6:4. Ap. 92. Not the continuation of Micah's prayer.
will I shew unto him. Ref. to Pent. (Exo 34:10).
lay their hand, &c Put by Fig Metonymy (of Adjunct), Ap. 6, for silence, of which it was the token their ears. Some codices, with four early printed and sign. See Job 21:5; 29:9; 40:4.
their ears. Some codices, with lour early printed editions, read "and their".
lick the dust. Put by Fig. Metonymy (of Adjunct), for the utmost humiliation, as in Gen 3:14. Cp. Psa 72:9. Isa 49:23.
move = come quaking.
holes = fastnesses. Heb. misgereth.
worms. Ref. to Pent. (Deu 32:24, the same word). Occurs only in these two places.
Thou wilt perform, &c. Quoted in Luk 1:72, 73.
sworn unto our fathers. Ref. to Pent. (Gen 50:24. &c.) Ap. 92. See Psa 105:9, 10, 42,