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Micah Explained

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Book of Micah Explained

Title: The name of the book is derived from the prophet, who having received the word of the Lord, was commissioned to proclaim it. Micah, whose name is shared by others in the Old Testament, (e.g. Judges 17:1; 2 Chron. 13:2; Jer. 36:11), is a shortened form of Micaiah (or Michaiah) and means "Who is like the Lord?" (In 7:18), Micah uses a play on his own name, saying "Who is a God like You"

Author - Date: The first verse establishes Micah as the author. Beyond that, little is known about him. His parentage is not given, but his name suggests a godly heritage.

The author of this prophecy is identified as "Micah the Morasthite." He was a native of Moresheth-gath in Judah where he prophesied against his own city (1:14), which probably did not help his popularity with the local population. Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah. Apparently Micah died in peace in the days of good King Hezekiah (Jer. 26:16-19).

Much of Micah's prophecy is very severe in tone, though it does contain much poetic beauty similar to that of Isaiah. In many ways the Book of Micah is a "sister-book" to Isaiah. It has been called "Isaiah in shorthand."

The purpose of Micah's prophecy is to face the people with their sins and to seek the word of God's judgment that must fall because of their persistent sinning. The author completes the purpose of his book by ending each discourse with a word about restoration. The author pictures the restoration in two phases:

(1) Immediately, after the Babylonian captivity, and

(2) Ultimately, at the Millennium.

Micah places his prophecy during the reigns of Jotham (750 - 731 B.C.), Ahaz (731 - 715 B.C.), and Hezekiah (715 - 686 B.C.). His indictments of social injustices and religious corruption renew the theme of Amos (mid-eighth century B.C.), and his contemporaries, Hosea in the north (ca. 755-710 B.C.); and in the south, Isaiah (ca. 739-690). This fits that which is known about the character of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:10-18), and his son Hezekiah prior to his sweeping spiritual reformations (2 Chron. chapter 29; 31:1). His references to the imminent fall of Samaria (1:6), clearly position him (before 722 B.C., at approximately 735-710 B.C.).

Historical - Setting: The exact location from which the prophecy originated is not known. Though the burden of the prophecy is concerned primarily with the northern kingdom and the northern towns of Judah, the prophet conducted much of his ministry in Jerusalem. The prophecy likely originated there in the latter half of the eighth century B.C. The most outstanding single prophecy concerns the preexistence and human birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem (5:2). This amazing prophecy affords a wonderful demonstration of the accuracy and certainty of the fulfillment of all the prophecies in this and all the other books of prophecy. Just as this prophecy was fulfilled in complete detail by the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem Ephratah" (5:2), so minutely will all the other prophecies of this book be fulfilled, that is, the destruction of Israel and Judah by Assyria and Babylon and the ultimate regathering of Israel for the millennium. With its references to the millennial kingdom, the book offers another proof of a premillennial understanding of Scripture, and demonstrates once again the sovereignty of God who is working out His plan through such an irresponsible people as Israel. His plan will not be thwarted.

The reign of King Ahaz, one of the most wicked kings of all of Judah's history is in the background of much of Micah's prophecy. The dark picture presented by Micah's prophecy may reflect the reign of King Ahaz, while the brighter aspects of Micah's prophecy reflect the godly rule under King Hezekiah.

Background - Setting: Because the northern kingdom was about to fall to Assyria during Micah's ministry (in 722 B.C.), Micah dates his message with the mention of Judean kings only. While Israel was an occasional recipient of his words (1:5-7), his primary attention was directed toward the southern kingdom in which he lived. The economic prosperity and the absence of international crises which marked the days of Jeroboam II (793-753 B.C.), during which the borders of Judah and Israel rivaled those of David and Solomon (2 Kings 14:23-27), were slipping away. Syria and Israel invaded Judah, taking the wicked Ahaz temporarily captive (2 Chron. 28:5-16; Isa. 7:1-2). After Assyria had overthrown Syria and Israel, the good king Hezekiah withdrew his allegiance to Assyria, causing Sennacherib to besiege Jerusalem (in 701 B.C.; 2 Kings chapters 18 and 19; 2 Chron. Chapter 32). The Lord then sent His angel to deliver Judah (2 Chron. 32:21). Hezekiah was used by God to lead Judah back to true worship.

After the prosperous reign of Uzziah (who died in 739 B.C.), his son Jotham continued the same policies, but failed to remove the centers of idolatry. Outward prosperity was only a facade masking rampant social corruption and religious syncretism. Worship of the Canaanite fertility god Baal was increasingly integrated with the Old Testament sacrificial system, reaching epidemic proportions under the reign of Ahaz (2 Chron. 28:1-4). When Samaria fell, thousands of refugees swarmed into Judah, bringing their religious syncretism with them. But while Micah (like Hosea), addressed this issue, it was the disintegration of personal and social values to which he delivered his most stinging rebukes and stern warnings (e.g., 7:5-6). Assyria was the dominant power and a constant threat to Judah, so Micah's prediction that Babylon, then under Assyrian rule, would conquer Judah (4:10), seemed remote. Thus, as the prophet Amos was to Israel, Micah was to Judah.

Historical - Theological Themes: Primarily, Micah proclaimed a message of judgment to a people persistently pursuing evil. Similar to other prophets (Hosea 4:1; Amos 3:1), Micah presented his message in lawsuit/courtroom terminology (1:2; 6:2). The prophecy is arranged in 3 oracles or cycles, each beginning with the admonition to "hear" (1:2; 3:1; 6:1). Within each oracle, he moves from doom to hope, doom because they have broken God's law given at Sinai; hope because of God's unchanging covenant with their forefathers (7:20). One third of the book targets the sins of his people; and another third looks at the punishment of God to come; and another third promises hope for the faithful after the judgment. Thus, the theme of the inevitability of divine judgment for sin is coupled together with God's immutable commitment to His covenant promises. The combination of God's:

(1) Absolute consistency in judging sin; and

(2) Unbending commitment to His covenant through the remnant of His people provides the hearers with a clear disclosure of the character of the Sovereign of the universe.

Through divine intervention, He will bring about both judgment on sinners and blessing on those who repent.

The theme of the prophecy is sin, judgment and restoration. This can be seen by the fact that the book consists of three discourses, each of which sets forth:

(1) The people's sin;

(2) God's judgment; and

(3) God's ultimate restoration of His sinning people.


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Micah 1
Micah 5
Micah 2 Micah 6
Micah 3 Micah 7
Micah 4  

Micah 1

Micah Chapter 1

Micah was a prophet of the southern tribes. Isaiah was a prophet in Judah and Hosea in Israel at the same time. Micah was the penman of this book. He prophesied under king Jotham's, Ahaz's, and Hezekiah's reigns. The name "Micah" means "who is like Jehovah". He lived in the territory of Judah, but spoke to the ten tribes of Israel, as well as to the two tribes of Judah.

The definition of true religion is found in Micah 6:8. "He hath showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

He foretold the fall of Samaria and Jerusalem. He prophesied the birth of Jesus (in Micah 5:2), "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting."

Micah 1:1 "The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem."

"Morasthite": was located southwest of Jerusalem, near the Philistine city of Gath (1:14).

"Samaria and Jerusalem:" The two seats of government of the northern and southern kingdoms, respectively, are addressed. The capitals are the seats of corruption which filtered down to and infected the entire kingdoms.

We see the authority that Micah prophesies with in this first verse, "the Word of the LORD". Morasthite or Morasheth-Gath is a village in the lowlands of Judea. It was located about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The names of the kings of Judah are listed here, because his primary message was to them. Samaria was the capital of Israel, and Jerusalem was the capital of Judah.

Verses 2-7: The prophet summons all the nations (verse 2), of the world into court to hear charges against Samaria and Judah (verses 5-7; Isa. 3:13-14). Their destruction was to be a warning example to the nations, prefiguring God's judgment on all who sin against Him. As an omnipotent Conqueror, the Sovereign over all creation is assured of victory (verses 3-4).

Micah 1:2 "Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple."

"His holy temple": Context points to God's heavenly throne (Psalm 11:4; Isa. 6:1, 4).

This message is actually for sinners everywhere, and for all time, as well as to Judah and Israel. This is saying that they should pay careful attention, because whatever happens to the ten tribes of Israel has a bearing on all of humanity.

This should set an example to warn everyone to repent and turn away from sin. No one is exempt from punishment, when the sin is the worship of false gods.

Verses 3-4: "High places ... mountains": These could refer to key military positions, so crucial to Israel's defense, or to the pagan places of worship in the land (verse 5). When fortifications disappeared like melted wax, people were gripped by the terrifying reality that they were to answer to the Judge of all the earth (Gen. 18:25; Amos 4:12-13).

Micah 1:3 "For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth."

"The LORD cometh forth ... down": A warning of impending divine judgment by One who sits in the ultimate High Place.

The sins of Israel had risen up to heaven. God is above the highest place upon the earth. He is Almighty God. His place, spoken of here, is His throne in heaven. One reason the high places are mentioned as being tread upon by the LORD, is because they were places of false worship.

Micah 1:4 "And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, [and] as the waters [that are] poured down a steep place."

As Sinai was when he descended on it, and as all nations will be at the general conflagration. But here the words are to be taken, not literally, but figuratively. For the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and for the kings, and princes, and great men in them, that lifted up their heads as high, and thought themselves as secure, as mountains.

Yet when the judgments of God should fall upon them, their hearts would melt through fear under him.

"As wax before the fire": Melts, and cannot stand the force of it. So the mountains should melt at the presence of the Lord; and kingdoms and states, and the greatest and mightiest of men in them, would not be able to stand before the fierceness of his wrath (see Psalm 68:2).

So should the judgments of God come down upon the lower sort of people, the inhabitants of the valleys; neither high nor low would escape the indignation of the Lord, or be able to stand against it, or stand up under it.

The mountain being molten makes you think of a volcano erupting. This speaks of a terrible time of calamity. This is the very thing that happens when a volcano erupts. The lava pours down the sides of the mountains like a stream of water.

Micah 1:5 "For the transgression of Jacob [is] all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What [is] the transgression of Jacob? [is it] not Samaria? and what [are] the high places of Judah? [are they] not Jerusalem?"

"Samaria ... Jerusalem": The two capitals of Israel and Judah, here representative of their respective nations.

Their transgression that had angered God so greatly was apostasy. They had gone away from their first love (God Almighty), and were worshipping false gods and idols. This does not speak of just the ten tribes of Israel, but includes the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

In fact, it could easily be speaking of our churches today, as well. The sad thing is that many of us are Christians in name only, we are not sold out to God. We let things of the world take precedence over God.

Verses 6-7: The Lord spoke directly of the fall of Samaria at the hands of the Assyrians (ca. 722 B.C.).

Micah 1:6 "Therefore I will make Samaria as a heap of the field, [and] as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof."

As a field ploughed, and laid in heaps (see Micah 3:12). Or as stones gathered out of a field, and out of a vineyard planted, and laid in a heap; so should this city become a heap of stones and rubbish, being utterly demolished.

This being done according to the will of God and through his instigation of Shalmaneser king of Assyria to it, and by his providence succeeding his army that besieged it, is said to be done by him. With this agrees the Vulgate Latin version.

The stones of the buildings and walls of the city, which being on a hill, when pulled down rolled into the valley. And with as much swiftness and force as waters run down a steep place (as in Micah 1:4); where the same word is used as here.

The foundations thereof which should be fused up and left bare, not one stone should be upon another; so that there should be no traces and footsteps of the city remaining. And it should be difficult to know the place where it stood. This is expressive of the total desolation and utter destruction of it.

This speaks of terrible destruction. Actually, stones do pour down into the valley when a volcano erupts. They were also thrown down in battle. Samaria will be totally destroyed and when this destruction is over, it will be a barren land.

Micah 1:7 "And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered [it] of the hire of a harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot."

"The hire of a harlot": Centers of idolatry were financed primarily though payments of money, food and clothing (Gen. 38:17-18; Ezek. 16:10-11; Hos. 2:8-9; 3:1).

The "harlot" spoken of here, is the harlot wife of God (Israel). God looked upon idolatry as spiritual adultery. They were unfaithful to God (their husband). The Assyrians are just as idolatrous as Israel and they will get these idols for themselves.

Verses 8-16: The judgment was so grave that even the prophet lamented as he traced the enemy's irreversible invasion (verse 9).

Micah 1:8 "Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls."

"Wailing" and going about "naked" were signs of deep "mourning".

This is speaking of the sorrow of Micah at the destruction which was to come. He is trying to convey the magnitude of the destruction that God will bring upon these people, if they do not repent and return to the One True God.

Micah 1:9 "For her wound [is] incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, [even] to Jerusalem."

"The gate of my people": Assyria, under Sennacherib, came close to toppling Judah in 701 B.C. (2 Kings 18:13-27). It is best to see "my" in reference to Micah not God, contrary to some translations.

God will not show mercy to them, Israel will be destroyed. The terrible thing is that Judah has become involved in the same sins, and they will not be spared either. The destruction of Judah is much later, but prophets do not know the exact time of the fulfillment of their prophecy. They just know it will happen. God's holy city (Jerusalem), will even be destroyed.

Verses 10-12: Beth-aphrah, Saphir, Zaanan, Beth-ezel, and Maroth are all ancient cities of Judah that have passed into obscurity. They seem to be mentioned by the prophet because, by playing on the sounds and meanings of their names, he is able to graphically describe the grave effects of the Assyrian invasion of Judah.

Eleven towns west of Jerusalem are mentioned (in verses 10-15), some with a play on words.

Micah 1:10 "Declare ye [it] not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust."

"Declare ye it not at Gath": Reflective of David's dirge at Saul's death (2 Sam. 1:20), Micah admonished them not to tell the Philistines, lest they would be glad and rejoice. Micah, because of the location of his upbringing, knew how they would react.

Gath was the place of the Philistines. The people of Gath would be happy and spread the coming destruction, so they do not tell them. "The house of Aphrah" means house of dust. Rolling in the dust is a sign of extreme mourning.

Micah 1:11 "Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Beth-ezel; he shall receive of you his standing."

"Zaanan came not forth": These inhabitants, in danger and fear, would not go out to console their neighbors who had been overrun.

"Saphir" means fair city. "Zaanan" means going out. "Beth-ezel" means house at one's side. This is speaking of shame coming upon these cities, as well. They should take up the mourning also.

Micah 1:12 "For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem."

"Evil came down": This points to the Lord as the source of judgment (verses 3-4).

"Maroth" means bitterness. They expected God to protect them. They did not repent, and great sorrow came to them.

Micah 1:13 "O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she [is] the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee."

"Lachish ... sin to the daughter of Zion": Located southwest of Jerusalem, Lachish was a key military fortress whose "sin" was dependence on military might.

Sennacherib of Assyria spoiled this city. This is telling them to harness up their best horses and flee to safety in their chariots. It appears from this, that Lachish was involved in the same transgressions as Israel. It also appears they caused Jerusalem to get involved as well.

Micah 1:14 "Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth-gath: the houses of Achzib [shall be] a lie to the kings of Israel."

"Shalt thou give presents": As parting gifts were given to brides (1 Kings 9:16), this was a symbol of the departure of Moresheth-gath into captivity.

Judah is involved in the very same sins as Israel. The presents to Moresheth-gath are parting gifts. This means that Judah has given up Moresheth-gath. They have relinquished ownership. This city is given up to the enemy.

Micah 1:15 "Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel."

"The glory of Israel" is a reference to the leading citizens and nobility of Israel who have been fleeing continuously before the Assyrian invasion.

"Adullam the Glory of Israel": The people of Israel (i.e., her "glory"; Hosea 9:11-13), were to flee to the caves as David did to the cave at Adullam (2 Sam. 23:13).

"Mareshah" means inheritance. "Adullam" is a place in Palestine.

Micah 1:16 "Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee."

"Make thee bald": Priests were forbidden to make themselves bald (Lev. 21:5), nor were the people to imitate the heathen practice of doing so (Deut. 14:1). But here it would be acceptable as a sign of deep mourning (Ezra 9:3; Job 1:20; Isa. 22:12; Ezek. 7:18).

This baldness speaks of mourning. It also speaks of adultery. An unfaithful wife had her head shaved so the world would know she was an adulteress. They have gone into captivity and Micah is telling them to mourn for them.

Micah Chapter 1 Questions

1. Micah was a prophet of the __________ tribes.

2. ________ was a prophet in Judah and __________ in Israel at the same time.

3. During whose reign did Micah prophesy?

4. What is the definition of true religion in Scripture?

5. Micah foretells the fall of ___________ and _______________.

6. Where is the prophecy of the birth of Christ?

7. What tells us, in verse 1, that Micah is under the authority of God?

8. Where is Morashite?

9. Who is this warning to?

10. The sins of _________ had risen up to heaven.

11. What is God's place spoken of here?

12. The high places were places of ________ __________.

13. What is verse 4 speaking of?

14. What was their transgression that had angered God?

15. Who was their first love?

16. What is sad about many Christians today?

17. I will make Samaria as an _________ of the _______.

18. What will happen to the graven images?

19. Who is the "harlot" in verse 7?

20. What were the "hires"?

21. They were unfaithful to God (_________ _________).

22. Who will get the idols?

23. Describe the sorrow of Micah for these people.

24. Will God have mercy and stop the punishment?

25. Gath was a city of the _____________.

26. The "house of Arphrah" means house of ________.

27. What is rolling in the dust a sign of?

28. What does "Saphir" mean?

29. "Maroth" means ___________.

30. Who spoiled Lachish?

31. What are the gifts in verse 14?

32. The baldness speaks of __________.

33. It, also, speaks of ___________.

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Micah 2

Micah Chapter 2

Verses 2-11: As chapter 1 denounced sin against God; chapter 2 denounces sin against man. (In verses 1-5), Micah decried the corrupt practices of the affluent. (In verses 6-11), he attacked the false prophets and those who would silence the true prophets.

Micah 2:1 "Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand."

(In verses 1-2), the courtroom scene continues, with the accusations being read against the affluent: they had violated the tenth commandment (Exodus 20:17; 22:26; 23:4-9). The poor, unable to defend themselves, were at the mercy of the wealthy.

This is speaking of someone who lies awake at night, and figures out ways to cheat the poor out of what they have. These people are not led into sin by their friends. The sin originates in their own minds. They rehearse exactly how they plan to work their scheme, even while they are still in bed. As soon as they get up, they go right out and put their evil plans into action.

They can get away with this, because their plans are against the poor, who have no one to protect them.

Micah 2:2 "And they covet fields, and take [them] by violence; and houses, and take [them] away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage."

"His heritage": Property in Israel was ultimately to be permanent (Lev. 25:10, 13; Num. 36:1-12; 1 Kings Chapter 21).

One of the Ten Commandments forbids coveting things that belong to others.

Exodus 20:17 "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his Manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbor's."

Not only does the man covet (in verse 2 above), but he actually will take from a man by whatever force is necessary. They were forcing them to give up the land that was given to them for their heritage. Jesus had something to say about this in the following Scripture.

Romans 13:9 "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Verses 3-5: As a result of sin, God would allow foreign invaders to divide their land; none of them would have the inheritance apportioned to them. As the rich took from the poor, so God would take back that which He gave as judgment on the nation.

Micah 2:3 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time [is] evil.

As they devise mischief against others, so will I devise an evil against them, as a due punishment for their sin. As they have unjustly deprived others of their inheritances, so a conquering enemy shall dispossess them and carry them into captivity. The word family is equivalent to people, as appears from (Jeremiah 1:15).

They laid snares for others, where open force would not suffice, so that the poor could not get out of their hands, but were impoverished and enslaved. And God here threatens that he will deal thus with them by the Assyrians from whose power they should not be able to defend themselves or to escape.

You have made others hang down their heads and so shall you now; have made it an evil time for sins committed against me and against the poor and innocent. And I will make it an evil time for calamities and miseries on the whole family of Jacob.

God will not overlook this sin. They will feel the punishment for this sin. The "family" is speaking of the whole country. God will not stop the punishment (remove their necks). They have sinned greatly and brought this sin upon themselves. God will break their haughty spirit.

Micah 2:4 "In that day shall [one] take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, [and] say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed [it] from me! turning away he hath divided our fields."

Shall use a figurative speech against you. A parable signifies a speech out of the ordinary way, as the Greek word imports, and illustrated with metaphors or rhetorical figures. So speaking in parables is opposed to speaking plainly (John 16:25; John 16:29).

Their wealth, plenty, freedom, joy, and honor into poverty, famine, servitude, grief, and dishonor. How dreadfully hath God dealt with Israel; removing their persons into captivity and transferring their possessions to their enemies!

The day spoken of is the day when the punishment from God shall come upon them. The parable is probably a taunting song against them. "Lamenting" is mourning out loud. Sometimes it is in the form of a mournful song. Israel is no longer blessed of God, but is feeling the curse that comes by not obeying God's commandments. Even the property now belongs to someone else.

Micah 2:5 "Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD."

Turning away from us in displeasure, God hath divided our fields among others. Thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord. None that shall ever return to this land to see it allotted by line and given them to possess it.

"In the congregation of the Lord": They shall no more be the congregation of the Lord, nor their children after them.

They have lost their inheritance. God no longer claims them for His own. God will not take back this land for them.

Verses 6-11: False prophets, commanding Micah to cease prophesying, would certainly not prophesy against the people's evil doing. They would not confront them with the divine standard of holiness.

Rather, their false message (verse 7), had stopped the mouths of the true prophets and had permitted the rulers to engage in social atrocities (verses 8-9), leading the people to destruction (verse 10). They didn't want true prophecies; therefore, they got what they wanted (Isa. 30:10). It is best to understand that Micah speaks (in verse 6), and God (in verses 7-11).

Micah 2:6 "Prophesy ye not, [say they to them that] prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, [that] they shall not take shame."

Prophesy ye not" The prophet was accused of childish babbling, when the real babblers were the false prophets (verse 11).

It appears from this, that the people do not want Micah to prophesy anymore. They do not want to hear this negative message. They do not believe him. They are so sure, that since they belong to God, they can get away with sin and not be punished.

Micah 2:7 "O [thou that art] named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? [are] these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?"

"Spirit of the LORD": God responded to the evil prophets that their message affirming sin in the nation was inconsistent with the Holy Spirit and His true message to Micah (3:8). God's words do reward the righteous, but they also rebuke those engaging in evil deeds.

Micah reminds them that these words of prophesy would not worry them, if they were living uprightly. They are aware on one hand that they are sinning just as Micah says, but they do not believe God will attack them.

Those that are named the house of Jacob are the twelve tribes of Israel. They are asking "is the Spirit of the LORD straightened" (is He not still longsuffering toward Israel)? God still blesses those who walk uprightly. He does not bless those who are committing these terrible sins.

Micah 2:8 "Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war."

Against Me is to be here understood namely against God; for this is still spoken in the person of God. The sense is more evident in the Hebrew than in our translation. Namely they who were yesterday (or lately), my people, rise up (now or today), as an enemy.

Ye are guilty of grievous oppression and inhumanity. Ye are not content with spoiling the poor, and those who are weaker than yourselves by just taking their cloak, but take their coat also. Taking the robe with the garment, or the cloak and coat also, seems to have been a proverbial expression to signify a high degree of oppression and injury.

Who, fearing no evil, are going about their private affairs; "as men averse from war". Who are willing to live peaceably with you and give you no manner of provocation: Even these, you in a violent manner strip of all their substance, even to their wearing apparel.

Those who do not keep the commandments of God are acting as enemies of God, even if they call themselves God's people. This is speaking of their sins being so bad, that they actually take the clothing of those who owe them.

The debts are not even honest debts either. They have cheated them. God is not just punishing them for things their fathers and grandfathers did, but for the evil they are continuing to do themselves.

Micah 2:9 "The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever."

"Women of my people": Most likely a reference to widows.

The women, in the verse above are probably speaking of the widows who God had told them to protect and help. This is saying, they took advantage of the widows and took their homes. They had taken all the privileges away that God's people were to have. One commandment of God was to help the widows and orphans.

Micah 2:10 "Arise ye, and depart; for this [is] not [your] rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy [you], even with a sore destruction."

Ye Israelites prepare for your departure out of this land, for it shall be no longer yours; though it was given to the posterity of Jacob for a place of rest under my protection. Yet this was on condition of their continued obedience.

You shall be cast out of it, or shall be destroyed in it; even with a sore destruction. This threatening is to the same effect with the declaration made by Moses concerning the Canaanites whom God drove out before Israel.

And it accords with the solemn caution which God then gave his people saying:

"Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and shall not commit any of these abominations; that the land spew not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spewed out the nations that were before you" (Lev. 18:25-28).

Canaan had been given to Israel as a place of resting. Since they had committed such grievous sins, God will take the land from them and it will not be their place of rest. They have destroyed their own inheritance with their sins. Their destruction is of their own doing.

Micah 2:11 "If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, [saying], I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people."

The people accepted any "prophet" who would tailor his message to their greed, wealth, and prosperity.

Micah is saying, they do not want to hear the true prophet. They want to hear a prophet that speaks only of good times. The people do not want to hear a message of warning. They want to hear a message that appeals to their flesh. The false message promises them wine and strong drink.

Verses 12-13: Messiah will make ready the way, removing the obstacles which might hinder His remnant's deliverance and return at the Second Advent (Isa. 11:15-16; 52:12).

Micah 2:12 "I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of [the multitude of] men."

"Remnant" (compare 4:7; 5:7-8; 7:18; see note on Isa. 10:20).

This is a complete change from the previous verse. This is speaking of the restoration of the remnant of the people. He still calls them Jacob, which is speaking of all twelve tribes of Israel.

The noise of the multitude is, possibly, the voices of so vast a number praising God. They are classified as sheep, which represent the saved in Christ.

Micah 2:13 "The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them."

"The breaker is come up before them": This is a reference to Israel's Messiah (Jesus), who will break down every obstacle between the people and their God. He will restore them, forgive their sins and implant within them a new heart.

The One that breaketh is their Savior. They passed through the gate to God. Let us look at what Jesus says about this.

John 10:27-30 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand." "My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand." "I and [my] Father are one."

"LORD on the head of them" could mean that the LORD was their head, and was leading them. It could also mean, that they were sealed as belonging to the LORD.

Micah Chapter 2 Questions

1. Woe to them that devise _____________.

2. What is meant by them devising iniquity on their bed?

3. Are they sinning because of outside influence?

4. What do they do, as soon as they get up?

5. What does the man in verse 2 do, besides covet his neighbor's land?

6. Who is the family speaking of in verse 3?

7. What does "remove their necks" mean?

8. God will break their ____________ spirit.

9. What day is spoken of in verse 4?

10. What is the parable, probably?

11. What is "lamenting"?

12. They are, now, feeling the curse that comes from what?

13. What is verse 5 saying?

14. What are the people saying to Micah in verse 6?

15. What does Micah tell them about his prophecy?

16. Who are named Jacob in these Scriptures?

17. In verse 8, what extreme have they gone to?

18. The women, in verse 9, are speaking of the __________.

19. What had God commanded about the widows and orphans?

20. ___________ had been given to Israel as a place of resting.

21. What type of prophet do the people want?

22. What are two things the false message bring?

23. What is verse 12 speaking of?

24. What is the noise of the multitude speaking of?

25. Who are spoken of as sheep?

26. The One that breaketh is their __________.

27. What does "LORD on the head of them" mean?

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Micah 3

Micah Chapter 3

Verses 1-4: In beginning the second oracle, Micah first addressed Israel's corrupt rulers (as in 2:1-2), who should be aware of injustice. Yet their conduct toward the poor was like the butchering of animals (verses 2-3). Therefore, when judgment came and they cried for help, God didn't answer (verse 4).

Micah 3:1 "And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; [Is it] not for you to know judgment?"

In the second division of his prophecy Micah protests against the evil influences exercised upon the people in high places. The princes, the prophets, and the priests, to whom their interests were confided, were guilty of wrong, oppression, and robbery.

What is just and right to be done by men and what sentence is to be passed in courts of judicature, in cases brought before them and not only to know, in a speculative way, what is equitable. But to practice it themselves, and see that it is done by others.

And when they duly considered this, they would be able to see and own that what the prophet from the Lord would now charge them with, or denounce upon them was according to truth and justice.

Micah is condemning the sins of those in authority. They should have led their people in the ways of God; instead they led them into sin. Leaders do have a great authority, but with that prestige and authority, go great responsibilities. They, above all the rest of the people, should have known better.

Micah 3:2 "Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones;"

The judges instead of fulfilling the obligations of their office, whereby they should be "for the people to God-ward," perpetrated the most flagrant cruelty upon them.

Micah compares it to the process of preparing food, in which every part of the animal, even to the bones, is utilized. So the judges robbed the people until there was nothing left to them.

This speaks of evil rulers who are out for only themselves. They are not like the good shepherd who cares for the sheep. They have skinned them at every opportunity. This is an expression used when you cheat someone in a business deal as well.

Micah 3:3 "Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron."

Like cannibals, flay them alive, and then eat their flesh. This signifies, as before, devouring their substance, only expressed in terms which still more set forth their savageness, inhumanity, barbarity, and cruelty.

Did with them as cooks do; not only cut the flesh off the bones and into slices, but break the bones themselves to get out the marrow. Then chop them small, that they may have all the virtue that is in them to make their soup and broth the richer.

By which is signified that these wicked and avaricious rulers took every method to squeeze the people, and get all their wealth and riches into their hands, that they might have in a more riotous and luxurious manner.

This does not mean they were practicing cannibalism, as this is not to be taken literally. This just means that they treated them like animals for their own personal use, instead of like people. They had no regard for their people.

Micah 3:4 "Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings."

"Then" (i.e., in the day of retribution), then shall they call upon me, saith the Lord. But I will not hear; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. And that because they hated knowledge, and received not the fear of the Lord, but abhorred my counsel and despised my correction.

Then shall it be too late to knock when the door shall be shut, and too late to cry for mercy when it is the time of justice" (commination service). So also Isaiah declared:

Isaiah 1:15 "When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood."

John 9:31 "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."

James 2:13 "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."

They cry out to the LORD, but He has closed His ears to them. They showed no mercy, and they will receive no mercy.

Verses 5-7: False prophets (2:6-11), also stood guilty before the Judge because they misled the people, prophesying peace when they were fed, but predicting war when they were not (verse 5). Like the rulers, they too were motivated by greed. Therefore, having blinded others, they would be struck with blindness and silence (verses 6-7).

Micah 3:5 "Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him."

The concluding statement that the false prophets declare war against those who do not put into their mouth indicates the meaning of the former expression, namely, "they say peace to those who feed and bribe them."

The Hebrew word (nashak), which is rendered "bite,". Is strictly applied to serpents, to "an adder in the path," and is therefore especially appropriate to the false and lying nature of the prophets.

Who do not give them what they ask, or do not feed them according to their desire. Do not keep a good table for them, and cram and pamper them. But neglect them, and do not provide well for them. These they threaten with one calamity or another that shall befall them. And endeavor to set their neighbors against them, and even the government itself, and do them all the mischief they can by defamation and slander.

The following 2 Scriptures that Jesus spoke are a very good explanation of this.

Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

Matthew 15:14 "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."

This next Scripture tells us exactly what becomes of these evil leaders.

2 Peter 2:1 "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

God does not overlook this sinful prophet. He will be punished.

Micah 3:6 "Therefore night [shall be] unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them."

Darkness, uncertainty, perplexity, and heavy troubles shall be to you prophets. You shall see your predictions so fully confuted, that you shall no more pretend to have a vision, or dare to foretell anything. As they shall have no light or revelation from heaven; so dark days or dismal calamities shall overtake them, as a just punishment for their frauds and impostures.

Or if the prophet be considered as addressing the people, the meaning of the verse is: Since ye have given ear to such prophets, and rejected the true ones, the time shall come when there shall be no true vision among you and no divine counsel to direct you; but ye shall be involved in darkness and uncertainty without knowing what course to take.

This is speaking of prophets who are not true prophets. They are not ambassadors to carry the Lord's Word, but their own. They prophesy for their own personal gain. They will no longer receive any messages from God. There will be a famine of the Word of God in their lives.

The little light they had from God will no longer shine. Their light will go completely out.

Zechariah 13:3 "And it shall come to pass, [that] when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth."

Micah 3:7 "Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for [there is] no answer of God."

"Cover their lips": They will be put to shame and will show this shame openly by covering their lips, which was an oriental gesture to indicate shame and mourning.

Seers, generally, could pray and ask for answers from God for the people. When their communication with God is cut off, they are no longer blessed with answers for the people. "Covering their lips" would be a sign of mourning for their inability to speak for God.

Micah 3:8 "But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin."

Micah, in contrast to the false prophets, spoke by the power of God's Holy Spirit (2:7). Therefore, his message was authoritative and true.

Micah is defending his own ability to speak for God in this. He is saying, "I am not one of those that God has cut off". Micah speaks the Words that the LORD has put into his mouth. He is actually a mouthpiece for God.

These messages do not come from the heart of Micah, but from God, through Micah. Even though the declarations of Jacob's sins are coming from the mouth of Micah, they are actually coming from God.

Verses 9-12: All ruling classes are guilty: rulers judged for reward (verses 9-11a), priests taught for hire (verse 11b), prophets divined for money (verse 11c). All the while, they were self-deceived into thinking the Lord would give them favor because they identified themselves with Him. Consequently, the nation would be destroyed (fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.).

Micah 3:9 "Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity."

This address to the great men shows the prophet's courage and impartiality.

"That abhor judgment", who do not love to pass a right judgment in matters that come before you because you make no advantage to yourselves by so doing. But covet to have large bribes given you, to pervert equity and make wrong decisions.

Again, he speaks against the leaders of the people. This is not just to the prophets, but to the spiritual leaders of each family. They should be a standard that is lifted up for all of their people to follow, but they are not.

"Pervert all equity" means they are not keeping God's laws the way they were written, but are changing them to please themselves.

Micah 3:10 "They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity."

They acquire money for the erection of splendid buildings by spoliation and robbery, not stopping short of murder. So also Habakkuk (Micah 2:12), denounces the king of Babylon for the bloody wars with which he obtained wealth for the enlargement of the city.

This is just saying that they grew by the bloodshed of others. Whether this is literal, or is speaking of injustices, I cannot say. They used Jerusalem for the promotion of their evil.

Deuteronomy 27:25 "Cursed [be] he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen."

Micah 3:11 "The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, [Is] not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us."

Every function is carried out by judges, priests, and prophets through bribery, and yet they claim and count upon the protection of Jehovah. They rely for safety upon the presence of the sacred buildings. They cry, "The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord are these!" "Is not the Lord among us?"

Isaiah contrasts in scathing terms the profession of holiness with the vicious life as seen in Jerusalem and likens the city, with its rulers, to Sodom (Micah 1:10-15).

This is speaking of gross abuse of their authority. Their judgment is easily bought, because they are judging for money.

"The priests teach for hire" is speaking of ministers who minister to no one, but those who can pay. They are leaders for what they can get for themselves out of it. The ridiculous thing is they expect God to bless them for this. They believe they are a privileged few, who will not be judged of God.

Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

To be a spiritual leader of the people is a call of God, it is not a vocation to make a living with.

Micah 3:12 "Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed [as] a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest."

Micah declared this sentence of Divine judgment with an intrepidity that was long remembered by the Jews. More than a century later the elders of the land, speaking in justification of the course taken by Jeremiah, used as a precedent the example of Micah.

Jeremiah 26:17-19: "Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying," "Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest." "Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls."

So also, in after-days, the doom of Jerusalem was pronounced by our Lord: "The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down."

The blame for the destruction of Jerusalem can actually be laid at the feet of these evil leaders. For the crimes of the priests, and prophets, and rulers, the destruction came from God.

Zion is, many times, speaking of the church. There is an extensive lesson about the shepherds who lead the sheep astray (in Ezekiel chapter 34).

This also is speaking of the temple in Jerusalem which is destroyed in the Babylonian attack. The mountain of the house is speaking of the temple.

God had moved out of the temple, because of their sins.

Micah Chapter 3 Questions

1. Who is this addressed to?

2. Micah is ____________ the sins of those in authority.

3. With prestige and authority, go great ________________.

4. What is verse 2 speaking of?

5. Does verse 3 mean they were practicing cannibalism?

6. It means they treated the people like __________.

7. Who does verse 5 say made the people err?

8. What happens, when the blind lead the blind?

9. Who is verse 6 speaking of?

10. They prophesy for their own ___________ ______.

11. Why will the seers be ashamed?

12. What was "covering their lips" a sign of?

13. Who was Micah speaking of in verse 8?

14. Micah is actually a ____________ for God.

15. Who is verse 9 speaking against?

16. What were their special sins?

17. How were they abusing their authority?

18. Who is actually to blame for the destruction of Jerusalem?

19. Where, in Ezekiel, do we read about the shepherds who lead the sheep astray?

20. What country destroyed Jerusalem?

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Micah 4

Micah Chapter 4

Verses 1-3 (compare Isaiah 2:2-4).

Micah 4:1 "But in the last days it shall come to pass, [that] the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it."

In a reversal (of 3:12), Micah shifted from impending judgment to prophecies of the future millennial kingdom ("the last days"), in which Mt. Zion (verse 2), the center of Messiah's coming earthly kingdom, shall be raised both spiritually and physically (Zech. 14:9-10). This discussion continues to (5:15).

The phrase "In the last days," as well as a comparison with other prophecies (e.g., Isa. 2:2-4), indicates that the prophet is looking beyond the restoration from the Babylonian captivity to the days of the Millennium when every promise given to Abraham and to Israel will ultimately be fulfilled.

Micah suddenly turns to the last days. The last days are definitely speaking of the coming of the LORD to the earth. This is a time, when Jesus will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will set up His kingdom upon this earth. He will reign from the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

People from all nations will come to Jerusalem to worship with their King. The temple will be re-established as the house of the LORD. It will be a time of perfect peace.

Acts 2:17-18 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:" "And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:"

Micah 4:2 "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

"Many nations": People throughout the earth, not just Israel, will come as a spontaneous "stream" (verse 1), to worship the Lord in Jerusalem during the Millennium (Zech. 8:20-23).

"Zion" is speaking of the church. "Many nations" speaks of not just the Hebrew, but people of all nationalities. Christianity was opened to people of all nations, as we see in the following verse.

Luke 24:47 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

This is speaking of salvation being offered to all mankind. Jesus is the Word of God. Everything He speaks is the Word of God.

Romans 10:12-13 "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him." "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Read the rest of chapter 10 of Romans.

Micah 4:3 "And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

"Beat their swords into plowshares": Because the Almighty One is ruling in Jerusalem with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15), and because of the unprecedented fruitfulness of the land (Amos 9:13), military hardware will no longer be needed.

This turn to God by people of all nations, will bring universal peace. Jesus is King of Peace, and He will bring the peace. Mankind cannot bring peace. Only God can bring this peace. They will no longer have any need for swords and spears. They will remake them into something usable.

Jesus will rule from Jerusalem. He will cause nations to be in harmony, and there will be no more war. Satan, who caused the conflict with men, will be chained for 1000 years. He will not be around to cause one nation to believe a lie about another nation. Peace will reign.

Micah 4:4 "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 hath spoken [it]."

"The "vine" and "fig tree" are both native to Israel. They flourish into luxuriant, natural arbors under which people can sit and enjoy fellowship while being shaded from the heat of the day. Both were used symbolically to represent the basic covenant between God and Israel in all its potential fruitfulness.

"Under his vine ... fig tree": Once employed as a description of the peaceful era of Solomon (1 Kings 4:25), this phrase looks forward to greater peace and prosperity in the Millennium (Zech. 3:10).

Fear is the opposite of faith. The people this is speaking of are the faithful. They will not know fear, because they have faith in Jesus Christ the King of peace. When perfect peace reigns, there will be prosperity.

Each person will have all he or she needs. There will be no need to covet. Everyone will be filled. The LORD has spoken it and it will happen. God is Truth.

Micah 4:5 "For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever."

Even if all others were walking after other gods at the present, the godly remnant of Israel would no longer pursue other gods but would walk after the true God in the millennial kingdom (Joshua 24:15).

I teach that we must walk in the salvation we receive. We must walk in the straight and narrow path every day. God left us rules to live by, and the only happy successful life is living by those rules. This statement just means that all people will live good wholesome lives.

They will not even be tempted to cheat, and steal, and do all the things the lust of their flesh had caused them to do before. Satan was the tempter, and he is locked up. Christians will walk in the name of Jesus Christ. It appears, while they are walking in the name of their heathen god, we believers are walking in the name of the True and Living God.

Verses 6-8: Micah continued to describe the wonderful conditions of the coming earthly kingdom of Messiah. Repeating the figure of sheep (2:12-13), the "tower of the flock" depicted the city of Jerusalem, the future dwelling place of Messiah, as watching over the people.

Micah 4:6 "In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;"

At that time, I will assemble her that is weak or bowed down; namely, the Jewish people, weakened with the hard usage of oppressing conquerors. Meaning Judah which was driven out from their own land.

That I have subjected to great calamities. The calamity of the seventy years' captivity in Babylon seems to be chiefly referred to. As if he had said, though I have broken the power of my people, removed them into captivity afar off, and afflicted them; yet will I restore them to their country. I will send them the Messiah, and will be always their king.

In the Messianic age, the Hebrews will be returned to God and to Israel. Israel is spoken of as a woman, because she was the wife of God.

Micah 4:7 "And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever."

"For ever": The Hebrew term does not always mean "without end," but signifies a long, indefinite period of time, the length of which is always determined by the context. Here it refers to the 1,000 year reign of Messiah on earth (Rev. 20).

The "remnant" is speaking of those of the physical house of Israel who have accepted the LORD as their Savior. The LORD reigning over them in mount Zion is speaking of all Israel. Zion is the church. Jesus will reign forever and ever.

Micah 4:8 "And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem."

Israel having been compared to a flock, Jerusalem is called its tower, or protection. And in Messiah the ancient dominion shall return to the Holy City.

This is a more satisfactory interpretation than that which makes the tower of the flock Migdol-Edah (Genesis 35:21), a place near Bethlehem.

We see from the following Scripture, that the daughter of Zion is speaking of Israel. Jerusalem towered over the rest of the land. David was the first true dominion by a Hebrew. The daughter of Jerusalem is specifically speaking of the part of Israel that was in Jerusalem.

2 Kings 19:21 This [is] the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

Verses 9-10: Judah will be taken captive to Babylon (verses 9-10a), but the Lord will release them from there (verse 10b). By the edict of Persian king Cyrus (ca. 538 B.C.), allowing them to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:2-4).

Micah 4:9 "Now why dost thou cry out aloud? [is there] no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail."

The prophet places again, side by side with his vision of returned glory, the circumstances of misery which will intervene. The king and the counsellors of Jerusalem will be powerless to help in the moment of emergency.

Be like a woman in travail, bow thyself down, and show all the signs of excessive pain, for there is a sufficient cause.

All of this has to do with the judgment spoken upon Jerusalem. God allows Babylon to take them, because of the sin in their lives.

Hosea 13:11 "I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took [him] away in my wrath."

Hosea 13:13 "The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon Him: he [is] an unwise son; for he should not stay long in [the place of] the breaking forth of children."

Micah 4:10 "Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go [even] to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies."

"Be in pain, and labor"; carrying on the metaphor of a pregnant woman. Thou shalt be affected with bitter sorrows before thy deliverance shall come.

Thou shalt not only have troubles, sorrows, and dangers, in the wars against the Babylonians. But shortly thou shalt be driven out from thy city and country, and have no habitation of thy own, but be forced to dwell in a foreign land.

The Jews' captivity is expressed thus, because their city and temple being destroyed, they should live in an obscure state. The same condition is elsewhere expressed by their living in the wilderness (Ezek. 20:35).

Micah also declared, "THERE shalt thou be delivered:" and in the time of Cyrus the Jews were delivered there. Cyrus again, being the type of the greater Deliverer who shall finally restore Israel.

Their sorrow was great, because they thought God would not allow them to be taken. They just knew at the last moment of their sorrow, that God would deliver them. God allows them to be taken by Babylon to teach them the error of their ways. He will deliver them, but it will be after their confinement in Babylon.

Just as God, through Moses, had delivered them out of Egypt, God would deliver them from Babylon, but they would have to repent and turn to God.

Isaiah 66:8 "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? [or] shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Verses 11-13: Micah switched again to the time of the Second Advent. The gathering of "many nations" and "many peoples" depicts that future battle of Armageddon (Zech. chapters 12 and 14). In that day, the Lord will empower His people (5:7-9; Isa. 11:14; Zech. 14:14).

Micah 4:11 "Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion."

This may be understood of the Chaldeans and their associates, who pleased themselves with the thoughts of profaning the temple, laying waste the city of Jerusalem, and looking upon it in that condition.

Or, it may be understood of the heathen nations round about Jerusalem, who should take occasion to insult the Jews in their calamity, should please themselves with seeing the temple profaned, and should gratify their spite with viewing Jerusalem in a forlorn condition.

The seventy-fourth Psalm records the calamity foreseen by the prophet: "They have cast fire into Thy sanctuary, they have defiled (by casting down), the dwelling-place of Thy Name to the ground."

The nations around her had been envious of Israel and her God. They were glad that God had punished Israel. Her punishment was of an adulterous wife.

Micah 4:12 "But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor."

But while they act in such a manner, and take pleasure in insulting over thee in thy calamitous condition, they are altogether ignorant of God's designs in permitting this, and what is soon to follow.

Namely, that he will gather them as sheaves into the floor, to be trodden under foot, and broken in pieces, while he will deliver and restore to their own land his people, whose miseries these their enemies now please themselves with the thoughts of beholding.

God may punish them, but He will never abandon His own. Even the captivity in Babylon was to cause repentance in the people for their worship of false gods, and to turn them back to God. God still loved His people. He would never destroy them all.

The heathen people were used of God to punish His precious people. They did not know God's thoughts, because they did not know God. God will destroy the enemies of His church and restore the wheat to his barn.

Micah 4:13 "Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth."

"Horn ... iron ... hoofs ... brass": Using the figurative language of an animal with metal features, the Lord looked to a day when Israel will permanently defeat their enemies.

The "horn" speaks of great power, or strength. For the power to be like iron speaks of just how great it is.

The hoofs of brass symbolize judgment on the oppressors of God's people.

John 4:35 "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."

The Christians will be involved in this harvest, and then, they will reign over this earth as subordinate to Jesus for 1000 years.

Micah Chapter 4 Questions

1. What time is set in this chapter?

2. What is that time definitely speaking of?

3. "Zion" is speaking of the _________.

4. Who is the statement "many nations" speaking of?

5. __________ is the Word of God.

6. They shall beat their swords into ___________.

7. Neither shall they learn ________ anymore.

8. _________ is King of Peace.

9. Where will Jesus rule from?

10. Where will Satan be for the 1000 years of peace?

11. Fear is the opposite of ________.

12. The author teaches that we must ________ in the salvation we have received.

13. Who was the tempter?

14. While the world is walking in the name of their heathen God, we Believers are walking in the name of the _______ and _______ God.

15. Why is Israel spoken of as a woman here?

16. Who is the "remnant" speaking of?

17. Who is the daughter of Jerusalem speaking of?

18. What is verse 9 speaking of?

19. Why was their sorrow so great?

20. Why did God allow them to be taken by Babylon?

21. The nations around had been jealous of whom?

22. What was their captivity for?

23. Arise and ________, O daughter of Zion.

24. What does the "horn" speak of?

25. The __________ will be involved in this harvest.

26. The Christians will reign as subordinate to Jesus for _______ years.

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Micah 5

Micah Chapter 5

Micah 5:1 "Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek."

"Judge of Israel", who will be smitten with a "rod upon the cheek," is not a reference to the humiliation of Jesus. The reference is to the deportation of Israel's rulers, perhaps especially King Zedekiah, and to his shameful treatment at the hands of Babylon (2 Kings 25).

"Smite the judge of Israel": A reference to the capture of King Zedekiah at the hands of Babylon (in 586 B.C.; 2 Kings Chapters 24 and 25).

We know that Israel, and Jerusalem in Israel, had been besieged, and had been taken, and had been scattered. They certainly had been humiliated like a slap on the face. Those in authority fell to the same fate as the everyday citizen of the country.

Verses 2-4: This passage looked forward to Christ's First Advent (5:2), an intervening time (5:3a), and beyond to the Second Advent (5:3b, 4).

Micah 5:2 "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting."

"Beth-lehem" is distinguished as "Ephratah" in the land of "Judah." It was the hometown of David (1 Sam. 17:12) and the birthplace of Jesus (Matt. 2:5). The name Bethlehem means "house of bread" because the area was a grain producing region in Old Testament times.

The name Ephratah ("fruitful"), differentiates it from the Galilean town by the same name. The town, known for her many vineyards and olive orchards was small in size, but not in honor.

The reaction to the question of the wise men indicates that the Jews believed this prophecy revealed the birthplace of the Messiah.

"Ruler in Israel" is a king from David's line.

"From of old, from everlasting": This speaks of eternal God's incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ. It points to His millennial reign as King of Kings (Isaiah 9:6).

"From everlasting": clearly indicates the eternality of the One who is to be born at Bethlehem. Thus, Micah's prophecy adds to that of his contemporary, Isaiah, for Isaiah predicts the means of the ruler's birth, and Micah predicts the place of His birth.

Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, is just outside of Jerusalem about 5 miles. It is a small village. At the time of the deepest sorrow of God's people (they were under Roman rule), God sent the Savior of the world. He was their Messiah. He was their King. He is our Savior.

Notice, that Jesus is everlasting. He is the Beginning and the End.

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Micah 5:3 "Therefore will he give them up, until the time [that] she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel."

"Give them up": A reference to the interval between Messiah's rejection at His First Advent and His Second Advent. During the times of the Gentiles when Israel rejects Christ and is under the domination of enemies. Regathering of the "remainder of His brethren" did not occur at the First Advent but is slated for the Second Advent (Isa. 10:20-22; 11:11-16).

Nor can "return" speak of Gentiles, since it cannot be said that they "returned" to the Lord. Rather, the context of 5:3-4 is millennial and cannot be made to fit the First Advent. Thus, "she who is in labor" must denote the nation of Israel (Rev. 12:1-6).

"She which travaileth hath brought forth" refers to Mary giving birth to the baby Jesus at Bethlehem.

This is saying that God's people will be controlled by others, until the virgin Mary brings forth the Christ child. Christ will bring in His kingdom, and all who will believe (the true family of Abraham), will be His family. This includes those who are spiritual Israel and physical Israel.

Micah 5:4 "And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth."

The millennial rule of Christ, sitting upon the throne of David (Isa. 6:13).

Jesus is the Ruler spoken of here, who is their Messiah. Jesus is spoken of as the good Shepherd. He feeds all of His flock. Jesus was not just for the Hebrews.

1 Timothy 4:10 "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."

The feeding here, is speaking of feeding on the Word of the Lord. No one can take the believers away from Jesus. The word "abide" means continually live.

John 5:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

John 10:27-30 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand." "My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand." "I and [my] Father are one."

Verses 5-6: "Assyrian": Assyria, God's instrument against Israel (722 B.C.), and Judah (Sennacherib's siege in 701 B.C.), is here used as a representative of enemy nations in opposition to the Lord.

Micah 5:5 "And this [man] shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men."

"The Assyrian", Israel's major foe in Micah's day, is probably best understood as representative of all of Israel's enemies, particularly those of the end times.

"Seven ... eight": An idiom for a full and sufficient number of leaders, more than enough for the task (Eccl. 11:2).

Jesus not only brings peace, but is the King of Peace. He is our peace. The Assyrians here are speaking of the worldly people who come against God's people.

"Seven" means spiritually complete. This then is saying, that the peace that Jesus brings is perfect and complete.

"Eight" means new beginnings and these are some of Jesus' subordinates spoken of here.

Micah 5:6 "And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver [us] from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders."

"Nimrod": A reference to Assyria (Gen. 10:11), that could possibly also include Babylon (Genesis 10:10).

The sword that Jesus fights with is the sword of His mouth (the Word of God). "Nimrod and Assyria" here, is speaking generally of the enemies of God's people.

Verses 7-9: Israel's presence in the midst of many peoples would be to some a source of blessing (Zech. 8 chapters 22 and 23). To others, she would be like a lion, a source of fear and destruction (Isa. 11:14; Zech. 12:2-3, 6; 14:14).

Micah 5:7 "And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men."

Both the remnant, which survived the sacking and burning of their city; and temple and carried captive, live in a scattered condition. As the whole remnant according to the election of grace, whether of Jacob after the flesh or after the Spirit.

The Jews should, on their return from captivity, pour down their influence upon the nations as God-sent showers upon the grass. So, through the dispersion of Jewish Christians on the death of Stephen, the Lord caused the knowledge of the truth with which the Jews were cloud-charged to descend upon many people.

Psalm 72:6 "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth".

It shall be only the work of God. He shall by his immediate hand bless such, as he alone without the help of man, gives dew and showers. As this was fulfilled in the type, before the gospel of the kingdom was preached to all nations. So it hath been and now is, and ever shall be, fulfilled in the ages to come.

This "remnant of Jacob" is speaking of those who have received the Messiah. They actually are the spreaders of Christianity across the lands, as dew would refresh the land.

Most of the apostles of Christ were Hebrews. They carried the gospel message to the known world. The grace of God is a free gift from God poured out to all mankind. It was to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. All could be refreshed by this grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Micah 5:8 "And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver."

"And the remnant": For strength and courage, which the beasts of the forest dare not oppose, and cannot resist. This seems to be a prediction of what was to be effected in the times of the Maccabees, and those following them. When the Jewish people gained great advantages over the Idumeans, Moabites, Ammonites, Samaritans, etc.

There is righteous wrath as well as all-embracing mercy with God. Christ, whose graciousness is likened to the dew, and His gentleness to the lamb, is at the same time the Lion of the tribe of Judah. At the opening of the "sixth seal" the kings of the earth and great men are represented as in extreme terror at "the wrath of the Lamb" (Rev. 6:16).

"None can deliver"; that dares attempt a rescue; but the prey is left under the lion's paw, to satisfy the hungry beast. So shall Israel be after their return out of captivity, and while they keep the ways of the Lord. So they were in Esther's time, against such as would have destroyed them; so in the Maccabees' time, when they subdued the nations about them.

But the conquering power of the word, the rod of Christ's strength, doth greater wonders than the sword of the Maccabees ever did. It is the mighty conquering power of the gospel that is here shadowed forth to us.

"And none can deliver"; brings it to the ground at once, tramples upon it, and tears it in pieces as its prey. And none in the flock, or to whom it belongs, can deliver out of his hand.

The Lamb of God (Jesus Christ), is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Jesus is the Judge of all the world. He is strong and protective to those who accept Him. He is also, the destroyer of those who totally reject Him.

Luke 19:27 "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me."

Micah 5:9 "Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off."

"All thine enemies": This absolute and complete peace has never yet been experienced by Israel. This points to the millennial kingdom when the Prince of Peace shall reign, having conquered the nations (verse 15).

Jesus had a gentle, loving, forgiving side of Him. He also had a side that spoke strongly to the money changers in the temple. His righteous indignation drove the money changers out. He is our Savior who forgives and gives us new life, but He is also the King who rules with an iron hand.

1 Corinthians 15:25 "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet."

Micah 5:10 "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots:"

"In that day": The future kingdom is in view. Israel had been forbidden the use of cavalry (Deut. 17:16), lest they trust in earthly forces, rather that God (1 Kings 10:26, 28). God will remove all implements in which they trust so the people, stripped of all human resources, rest only on Him. War instruments will have no place in the time of peace.

The day spoken of here, is when Jesus reigns as King. God had never wanted His people to trust in their horses and chariots. There will be no need for them. Jesus has won the war. Victory is in Jesus.

Verses 11-14: "Cut off the cities ... strong holds": Continuing the thought (from verse 10), fortified cities were designed for defense. Their strength tempted people to put their trust in them rather than in God alone (1:13; Psalm 27:1; Hosea 10:13-14). People will live in peace in un-walled villages (Ezek. 38:11).

The cities are also associated with centers of pagan worship (verse 14, Deut. 16:21), the worship of Asherah (Canaanite goddess of fertility and war). All forms of self-reliance in war and idolatrous worship will be removed so that the nation must rely solely on Christ their King for deliverance and worship Him alone.

Micah 5:11 "And I will cut off the cities, of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds:"

Fenced cities and the other paraphernalia of war will be unnecessary in the Messiah's kingdom: "they shall not learn war any more" (Micah 4:3).

Demolish all thy forts, and watch-towers, and frontier guards. These here mentioned are means of defense against enemies' assaults, in which Israel had too much trusted; the others before mentioned. (Micah 5:10), are offensive preparations for annoying the enemy. But in the day of that peace here spoken of, there should be no enemy should invade the people of God to put them on their defense.

Nor should they have any need to attempt upon their enemies. And though these means are lawful to be used, yet shall it be the happiness of God's people not to need them, for their God, their Lord, is their Savior in the midst of them. And he will cut off enemies round about them. So that virtually this is a promise to Israel that their adversaries should be destroyed, and so their fears disappear.

This is speaking of the glory of the cities, and the formalities of government. There will be no threat of war, so there will be no need for strongholds.

Micah 5:12 "And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no [more] soothsayers:"

The very art shall be out of use, and none shall openly, as formerly, consult with them. Or they make profession of foretelling events. Or what a lucky day or hour to set upon an enterprise, or to curse, as Balaam would have done, an enemy to make way for victory. No more of these.

The oracles ceased when Christ was born: much to this purpose (Zech.; 13:2 Mal. 3:5). God will, in mercy to his people, take away these stumbling-blocks, these occasions of sin.

This is some of the things that had misled God's people. Magic and sorcery, witches and warlocks are all part of the witchcraft mentioned here. These things are an abomination to God. Soothsayers were just as bad. In fact, they were about the same. We could possibly add enchanter or mind reader, or hypnotist to that list.

Micah 5:13 "Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands."

The former was such as was made of wood or stone. The latter statues, such as were molten or cast, and made of gold, silver, or brass. Such as the Jews sometimes worshipped, and are now found in the apostate church of Rome; but will have no place in the Christian churches, or those so called, in the latter day.

The Jews indeed have had no idols or idolatrous worship among them since the Babylonish captivity. And the prophet here speaks, not of what would be found among them, and removed at their conversion; but of what was in his time, or had been or would be again. But should not be in future time when they should turn to the Lord, and be like dew among the people. And so we are to understand some following passages.

As not to fall down to idols and worship them. So neither to trust in carnal privileges, ceremonial rites, observances of the traditions of the elders, or any works of righteousness done by them, which they had been prone unto.

Anything you make with your hands, or can see with your physical eye is not God. God is Spirit. Idolatry (worship of images of false gods), is the very thing that had caused separation from God. God Himself, will destroy all of them.

Micah 5:14 "And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities."

The groves where some of them abused in downright idolatrous worship. Others of them used superstitiously, thus beside the word; the other way, quite against the word. But after the return from Babylon, there was a great reformation in this point. And after the appearing of the Messiah there hath been a greater eradication of idolatry.

"Groves ... cities": The "groves" are the idolatrous symbol of Astarte (Deut. 16:21; 2Ki 21:7). "Cities" being parallel to "groves," must mean cities in or near which such idolatrous groves existed. Compare "city of the house of Baal" (2 Kings 10:25), that is, a portion of the city sacred to Baal.

The groves were some of the places where the worship of false gods went on. Notice, God destroys these places. The cities involved in this are "thy cities" that He destroys.

Micah 5:15 "And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard."

God speaks to our capacity, he will proceed, or act, as the Hebrew word signifies. He is supreme Judge, to whom vengeance belongs, and when he hath passed the sentence, and his instruments execute it, he takes it to himself.

So when the Babylonians avenged the wrongs by the Assyrian done to the Jews, and when Cyrus with his Persians and Medes avenged the injuries of Babylon, this prophecy was partly fulfilled. And in succeeding times it was further fulfilled, and is now fulfilling, and so will be, until the final destruction of the wicked.

Anger and fury is spoken after the manner of man; it includes the greatness of God's just displeasure and the effects of it. Which are resembled to what we do when furiously angry, act with utmost strength, and in the most terrible manner we can. God will, with as great severity and terror as flesh and blood can bear, proceed against these heathens.

Such as they have not heard; with unparalleled terror; and so, they shall be made warning-pieces to others.

This is speaking of the wrath of God, which comes on all who reject Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:8 "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:"

This is 3 1/2 years of torment from God on those who totally reject Jesus.

Micah Chapter 5 Questions

1. What things had happened to Israel and Jerusalem that was like a slap in the face?

2. What happened to those in authority?

3. What does "Bethlehem" mean?

4. What does "Ephratah" mean?

5. Where was Bethlehem located?

6. At the time of Jesus, Jerusalem was under the control of the _________.

7. Who was Jesus to the natural Jew?

8. What time is verse 3 speaking of?

9. Who are the true family of Abraham?

10. Jesus is the Ruler spoken of in verse 4. He is spoken of as the good _____________.

11. What does "abide" mean?

12. Jesus not only brings peace, but is the _______ of _______.

13. What does "seven" mean?

14. "Eight" means ______ ___________.

15. What is the sword Jesus fights with?

16. What are "Nimrod and Assyria" speaking of in verse 6?

17. Who are the "remnant of Jacob" in verse 7?

18. Most of the apostles of Christ were __________.

19. The Lamb of God (Jesus Christ), is the ________ of the tribe of Judah.

20. Jesus' ______________ ____________ drove the money changers out of the temple.

21. What is verse 10 saying?

22. What would be classified as witchcraft?

23. What are soothsayers?

24. Anything you make with your hand, or can see with your natural eye, is ______ _______.

25. What were the groves?

26. Who will He execute anger and fury upon?

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Micah 6

Micah Chapter 6

Verses 1-2: The Lord commanded Micah (verse 1), as His advocate, to plead His case before the mountains and hills, which were to act as witnesses against His people (Deut. 4:25-26; Isa. 1:2). The mountains and hills were present as Sinai when the Lord made His covenant with Israel and when the commandments were written and placed in the Ark of the Covenant as a permanent witness (Deut. 31:26).

Micah 6:1 "Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice."

Micah opens this third cycle of oracles (6:1-7:20), with a dramatic courtroom motif moving back and forth between 3 speakers. The Lord pleading His case, the people responding under conviction, and the prophet as the lawyer for the plaintiff.

This is spoken to the whole house of Israel. Micah explains that these are not his words, but the Words of the LORD. The hills and mountains have been here from the beginning. They can witness to everything God has done.

Micah 6:2 "Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD'S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel."

In the first verse God directs Micah to take the mountains and hills for witnesses; now in this verse he calls upon those mountains to hear. It is an elegant personating of hearers and witnesses, as (Deut. 32:1; Isaiah 1:2; 2:2). By mountains understand princes and nobles.

"The Lord's controversy": Who's sovereign Majesty, may well command what he pleaseth and expect to be obeyed. And whose unparalleled goodness to Israel ought to have been uncontroverted motives to obey him in all things. Yet the sovereign goodness is slighted and disobeyed. Which he now impleads his people and brings his action against them.

"Ye strong foundations of the earth": called before hills. It is an explanation of the former, mountains. Or it may be an appeal to those deep foundations which are hid from any eye, and which seem most remote from what is done on earth. But the ill carriage, the disobedience, and sin of Israel is so notorious, that the whole creation may be subpoenaed witnesses against them.

"The Lord hath a controversy with his people": Covenant, redeemed, and only people (as Amos 3:2).

"He will plead with Israel": No longer put off the cause, nor forbear to punish them and right himself, he will bring the cause to hearing judgment and execution too.

It is as if the mountains are to judge this controversy between God and His people. God has tried to reason with His people from the beginning. He had revealed Himself in signs and wonders over and over to this unhearing people. He pleads with them to repent and live for Him.

Verses 3-5: This was the Lord's appeal. With tenderness and emotion, the divine Plaintiff recalled His many gracious acts toward them, almost to the point of assuming the tone of a defendant.

Noting their trek from bondage in Egypt to their own homeland, God had provided leadership (verse 4), reversed the attempts of Balaam to curse the people (verse 5a; Numbers chapters 22 to 24), and miraculously parted the Jordan River (verse 5b). So they could cross over from Shittim, located east of the Jordan, to Gilgal on the west side near Jericho.

God had faithfully kept all His promise to them.

Micah 6:3 "O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me."

What injustice or unkindness? What grievous, burdensome impositions have I laid upon thee? Or, what have I done, or said, or enjoined, to cause thee to be weary of me? The words allude to the forms of courts of justice, wherein actions are tried between man and man. God allows his people to offer any plea which they could in their own behalf.

If there is some legitimate reason why they have not followed God, He wants to hear it. God calls them, His people. He is open to hear their complaints of what He has done to cause them to fall away.

Micah 6:4 "For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam."

There seems a pause intended; but Israel, abashed, remains silent. So the Lord continues to plead: "Thou dost not testify against me? No; for I showed thee the greatest mercies: I redeemed thee out of Egypt, the house of bondage."

Moses, Aaron, and Miriam are mentioned as the three great members of the family to whom it was committed to carry out the Divine decree.

They were in heavy bondage in Egypt, when God sent Moses to lead them out to the Promised Land. The exodus began, after God sent 10 plagues on Pharaoh and his people to make him let God's people go.

Moses was the brother of Aaron and Miriam. God made Aaron the first High Priest in the tabernacle in the wilderness. Miriam was a prophetess in her own right. She led the praises of the people after the Red Sea crossing.

Micah 6:5 "O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD."

This incident is adduced in the "pleading" as a signal instance of the controlling power of God, exercised in an unmistakable manner in behalf of the Israelites.

Balaam was constrained to bless when he had the highest conceivable motive to curse the Israelites. He apologized for this involuntary action on his part to Balak. There is no more conclusive instance extant of the will of man controlled to do the exact opposite of his intended action in the history of mankind.

"Remember also the incidents which happened from Shittim to Gilgal." Shittim was the name of a valley in the plains of Moab (Joel 3:18), from which place Joshua sent two spies to view Jericho immediately before the passage of the Jordan to Gilgal was effected. Under the circumstances mentioned in the fourth chapter of Joshua.

God reminds them of the defeat of Balak, and the defeat of the sorceries of Balaam. Balaam was hired to curse Israel, when in fact, he blessed Israel. It is interesting to note, that a donkey spoke to Balaam, and caused him to see his error.

Verses 6-8 (see the note on 1 Sam. 15:22-23).

Verses 6-7: Micah, as though speaking on behalf of the people, asked rhetorically how, in light of God's faithfulness toward them, they could continue their hypocrisy by being outwardly religious but inwardly sinful.

Micah 6:6 "Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, [and] bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?"

The people, convicted by the previous appeal of Jehovah to them, ask as if they knew not (compare Micah 6:8). what Jehovah requires of them to appease Him. Adding that they are ready to offer an immense heap of sacrifices, and those the most costly, even to the fruit of their own body.

Bow myself before the high God? The most high God, the God of gods, whose Shekinah or Majesty is in the high heavens. As the Targum: his meaning is, with what he should come, or bring with him, when he paid his homage and obeisance to him, by bowing his body or his knee before him. Being willing to do it in the most acceptable manner he could.

"With calves of a year old?" Such as he had been used to offer on the high places of Baal to that deity. Sacrifices of this kind prevailed among the heathens, which they had received by tradition from the times of Adam and Noah (see Lev. 23:12).

The people have suddenly realized their ingratitude to God, and now, they are asking how they might please God. This is not just the desire of physical Israel to know the will of God in their lives, but is the desire of all believers, as well. The answer to this, and all other questions, is found in the Word of God. In this particular instance, it is verse 8 below.

Micah 6:7 "Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, [or] with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, the fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul?"

If single burnt offerings of bullocks and heifers will not do, will rams, and thousands of them, be acceptable to him? If they will, they are at his service, even as many as he pleases; such creatures, as well as oxen, were offered by Balak (Num. 23:1).

Oil was required too in their sacrifices, in the meat-offerings of them, but in no great quantities, a log or hin, (i.e. half a pint), or three quarts. But we know such gifts are infinitely short of the Divine goodness bestowed on us. He who is our God is worthy of rivers of oil, multiplied to thousands; had we such store it should be all his. Such hyperbole you see (in Isaiah 40:15-17).

This is proposed not as a thing practicable by any rule of reason or religion, but as a proof of their readiness, as Abraham, to offer up their first-born, as he did offer up his Isaac to God. It is much to part with any of our children, but it is more to part with the strength, and glory, and hope of our families. Yet, like hypocrites, or like unnatural heathen, this they would do, rather than what would please the Lord.

"For my transgression": To appease the anger of the Lord for my sins.

I love the following Scripture in answer to that.

1 Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."

God is not as interested in the formality of sacrifice, as He is in our loyalty and love for Him. He does not want us to worship from obligation, but because we love Him.

Micah 6:8 "He hath showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

Micah's terse response (verse 8), indicated they should have known the answer to the rhetorical question. Spiritual blindness had led them to offer everything except the one thing He wanted, a spiritual commitment of the heart from which right behavior would ensue (Deut. 10:12-19; Matt. 22:37-39). This theme is often represented in the Old Testament (1 Sam. 15:22; Isa. 1:11-20; Jer. 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:15).

Really, this is the secret to worshipping God. To routinely observe His laws is not what God wants. The Words in the verse above describe exactly what He does want of us. Jesus said it so plainly when He said in:

Mark 12:30-31 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment." "And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

Micah 6:9 "The LORD'S voice crieth unto the city, and [the man of] wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it."

"Hear ye the rod": Listen for the description of the coming punishment (verses 13-15; Isaiah 10:5, 24).

The LORD"s voice cries to the people, to get them to hear and believe. Those who are wise hear and understand. The "rod" symbolizes the threatened judgment upon the people. Listen to the warnings and repent.

Micah 6:10 "Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure [that is] abominable?"

Notwithstanding all the express laws, the exhortations and reproofs given you upon this subject, and so many examples of punishment set before you. Still are there many that use unjust and fraudulent means to enrich themselves?

"Scant measure": Literally, the hateful ephah of leanness, i.e., less than it should be. The Jews were much addicted to the falsification of weights and measures. They made "the ephah small, and the shekel great, falsifying the balances by deceit" (Amos 8:5).

Things that are gained through wickedness soon disappear. There is no gain at all in ill-gotten gain. All that they have will be taken away.

Micah 6:11 "Shall I count [them] pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?"

"Shall I count them pure?" Rather, Can I be innocent with the deceitful balances? The enactments about weights were very stringently expressed in the Law, both affirmatively and negatively: e.g. in Leviticus:

Leviticus 19:35-36 "Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure." "Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt."

Deut. 25:13-14 "thou shalt not have in thy house divers weights," and "divers measures, a great and small".

Proverbs 11:1 "A false balance [is] abomination to the LORD: but a just weight [is] his delight."

God had warned them over and over about cheating in weighing things.

Micah 6:12 "For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue [is] deceitful in their mouth."

"For the rich men thereof", that is, of the city. "Are full of violence", thieves and robbers lived by violence, but now, (as Isaiah at the same time upbraids them), "her princes were become companions of thieves" (Isaiah 1:23).

Not the poor out of distress, but the rich, out of wantonness and exceeding covetousness and love of luxury. Not only did wrong but were filled, not so much with riches, as with violence. Violence is the very meat and drink wherewith they are filled, yea, and wherewith they shall be filled, when it is returned upon their heads.

Fraud is itself lying, and lying is its inseparable companion. Jerome: "Lying followeth the gathering together of riches, and the hard custom to lay up riches hath a deceitful tongue."

The sin, he saith, is spread throughout all her inhabitants. That is, all of them, as their custom, have spoken lies, and, even when they speak not, the lie is ready. "their tongue is deceitful" (literally, deceit), "in their mouth." It is deceit, nothing but deceit, and that, deceit which should "overthrow" and ruin others. For one who is intent on gain is the lie ever ready to be uttered, even when he speaks not. It lurks concealed, until it is needed.

God is not angry with them, because they are rich. He is angry with them, because of the way they got their riches. They have used violence, lies, and deceit to acquire their wealth. Usually, this type of cheating occurs against the uneducated and the poor.

Micah 6:13 "Therefore also will I make [thee] sick in smiting thee, in making [thee] desolate because of thy sins."

Therefore, upon account of these thy sins, I will, ere long, so smite thee, O Israel, that the strokes shall reach thy heart, and make thee sick unto death of thy wounds. Or, the punishment wherewith I will afflict thee shall waste thy strength like a consuming sickness which preys upon the vitals.

God is saying, He will punish them for this evil they have done. It is God who will smite them and make them sick. Their sins brought this punishment upon them.

Micah 6:14 "Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down [shall be] in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and [that] which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword."

Either not having enough to eat, for the refreshing and satisfying of nature. Or else a blessing being withheld from food, though eaten, and so not nourishing. Or a voracious and insatiable appetite being given as a curse. The first sense seems best.

"Thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee": Meaning they should be humbled and brought down, either by civil discords and wars among themselves, or through the enemy being suffered to come into the midst of their country, and make havoc there; which would be as a sickness and disease in their bowels.

"And thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword". The sense is, that they should take hold of their wives and children, and endeavor to save them from the sword of the enemy, and being carried captive. Or should "remove" them as the word is sometimes used.

In order to secure them from them. Or should "overtake" the enemy, carrying them captive. But should not be able by either of these methods to save them from being destroyed, or carried away by them. And even such as they should preserve or rescue for a while, yet these should be given up to the sword of the enemy.

This is still speaking to those rich people, who have become rich through cheating and lying. God will take their wealth away from them suddenly, and they will be humiliated among their friends. They will feel hunger, as they have brought on those they cheated. Even the food they do eat, will not satisfy them.

It appears, they try to escape with their children and goods, but they will be taken by the sword.

Micah 6:15 "Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine."

Either that which is sown shall not spring up, but rot in the earth. Or if it does spring up, and come to maturity, yet, before that, they should be removed into captivity, or slain by the sword, and their enemies should reap the increase of their land, their wheat and their grain:

"Thou shall tread the olives": In the olive press, to get out the oil.

"But thou shalt not anoint thee with oil": As at feasts for refreshment and at baths for health, this becoming another's property. Or it being a time of distress and mourning would not be used, it being chiefly at festivals and occasions of joy, that oil was used.

"And sweet wine": That is, shalt tread the grapes in the winepress, to get out the sweet or new wine.

"But shalt not drink wine": For, before it is fit to drink, the enemy would have it in his possession (see Lev. 26:16). These are the punishments or corrections of the rod they are threatened with for their sins.

This is speaking of their crops being confiscated, before they can even reap them. They will make olive oil from their olives, but someone else will get to use it. Even their wine is drunk by someone else.

Micah 6:16 "For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof a hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people."

"Omri" was the founder of Samaria, which later became the capital of the northern kingdom. Where the idolatrous practices begun by Jeroboam I (1 Kings 16:16-28), were intensified.

"Statutes of Omri" (ca. 885-874 B.C.). He was the founder of Samaria and of Ahab's wicked house as well as a supporter of Jeroboams' superstitions (1 Kings 16:16-28).

"Works of the house of Ahab" (1 Kings 21:25-26; ca. 874 - 853 B.C.).

This is speaking of the evil in their lives that has really caused the wrath of God to come forth. Omri was a very evil king of Israel. He built Samaria and made it the capitol. He and Ahab were both very evil. Ahab worshipped Baal. This is saying that the people had gone the way of Baal. God was very angry with their worship of a false god. This hissing is speaking of great shame.

Micah Chapter 6 Questions

1. Who is this message to?

2. Whose Words are spoken here?

3. It is as if the _____________ are to judge the LORD's controversy between God and His people.

4. What questions did God ask them in verse 3?

5. What is God reminding them of in verse 4?

6. What relation were Moses, Aaron, and Miriam?

7. God made Aaron the first ________ ________ in the ______________.

8. What was Miriam's calling?

9. What did God remind them of in verse 5?

10. What caused Balaam to see his error?

11. When the people suddenly realize their ingratitude, what question do they ask?

12. God is not as interested in the formality of sacrifice, as He is in our _________ and _______.

13. Really, this is the secret of ___________ God.

14. Who shall see thy name?

15. What does the "rod" symbolize?

16. A false balance is an _______________ to the LORD.

17. Why is God angry with the rich man in verse 12?

18. Thou shalt eat, but not be ____________.

19. Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not ________.

20. Who were two very evil kings in verse 16?

21. Ahab worshipped _______.

22. What is the "hissing" speaking of?

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Micah 7

Micah Chapter 7

Verses 1-6: Micah lamented the circumstances of his day. In his vain search for an upright person (verse 2), he compared himself to the vinedresser who enters his vineyard late in the season and finds no fruit. The leaders conspired together to get what they wanted (verse 3). No one could be trusted (verses 5-6). Christ used (verse 6), as an illustration when He commissioned the twelve (Matt. 10:1, 35-36).

Micah 7:1 "Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage: [there is] no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit."

"Woe is me": Micah gives a fearful picture of the demoralized state of society in Judah which had called down the vengeance of God. As the early fig gathered in June is eagerly sought for by the traveler, so the prophet sought anxiously for a good man; but his experience was that of the Psalmist: "The godly man ceaseth; the faithful fail from among the children of men."

Micah sounded like Isaiah (Isa. 6:5).

Micah is speaking for a penitent people, who know they have sinned, and, been judged, and set for punishment. Perhaps, the thing they are most sorry for is their lack of blessings from God now. Woe is me, seems as if they are feeling sorry for themselves. Suddenly, there are no blessings from God. Their desire for their first relationship with God to be back is evident here.

Micah 7:2 "The good [man] is perished out of the earth: and [there is] none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net."

"The good man": who loves and is kind to men in need, and is so from the sense of God's goodness, and in a designed imitation of God. Is godly in the frame of his heart and course of life towards God, and beneficent to men for God's sake.

Is perished": Is dead and gone, and left no heir of his godlike virtues.

"Out of the earth"": Out of Israel and Judah too, though Hezekiah was (probably), now their king.

"None upright": An honest, plain-hearted man, who thinks no deceit, but speaketh the truth, that is, without crooked and perverse designs. Such a one may possibly, but not easily, be found among the people of the ten opposite of the two tribes.

"The good man": Who loves and is kind to men in need, and is so from the sense of God's goodness, and in a designed imitation of God. Is godly in the frame of his heart and course of life towards God, and beneficent to men for God's sake.

This proves the prophet's charge against this people, for the good and upright man imagined no evil against any. But it is evident that in Israel (and Judah too), the temper of the most was sly, designing, and watching to do mischief. To the ruining of families, the murdering of innocents, and seizing their estates, Ahab like (1 Kings 21; Prov. 1:19).

The net, which in the Hebrew term comes from a verb meaning to shut up, was used both by the fisherman and the fowler. "They lay wait for one another, as hunters for wild beasts."

This is speaking of a society that has no morals at all. They are degraded, to where it would be difficult to find even one person living for God. They will even murder, if it will help their personal cause. When they should be trying to help their brother, they are scheming every way they know how to cheat him.

Micah 7:3 "That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge [asketh] for a reward; and the great [man], he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up."

Literally, "well": Dr. Benisch. In his Old Testament newly translated under the supervision of the Rev. the Chief Rabbi of the United Congregations of the British Empire (1852), avoids the oxymoron of doing "evil" "well" by translating the passage, "concerning the evil which their hands should amend." Which satisfactorily harmonizes with the rest of the passage.

"So they wrap it up": All three, prince, judge, and great man, wrap it up, or twist it together. Consent each to other, and jointly promote violence and bloody cruelty.

This is speaking of cheating and stealing to the utmost. Their hands are seeking evil things to do. It appears the judges are taking bribes as well.

Micah 7:4 "The best of them [is] as a brier: the most upright [is sharper] than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen [and] thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity."

The gentlest of them is a thorn, strong, hard, and piercing, which lets nothing unresisting pass by but it takes from it, "robbing the fleece, and wounding the sheep." "The most upright" are those who, in comparison of others; are worse, or seem so.

"Is sharper than a thorn hedge", (literally, the upright, them a thorn hedge).

They are not like it only but worse, and that in all ways; none is specified and so not included. They were more crooked, more tangled, and sharper. Both, as hedges, were set for protection; both turned to injury. Jerome: "So that, where you would look for help, thence comes suffering." And if such be the best, what about the rest?

"The day of thy watchmen": The day foretold by thy (true), prophets, as the time of "thy visitation" in wrath (Grotius). Or "the day of thy false prophets being punished"; they are specially threatened as being not only blind themselves, but leading others blindfolded. Nothing now hinders the "visitation", which "thy watchmen" or prophets had so long foreseen and forewarned of.

"Now shall be their perplexity": "Now" without delay; for the day of destruction comes suddenly upon the sinner.

"When they say, peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them" (1 Thess. 5:3). "whose destruction cometh suddenly at an instant". They had perplexed the cause of the oppressed; they themselves were tangled together, intertwined in mischief, as a thorn-hedge. They should be caught in their own snare; they had perplexed their paths and should find no outlet.

Even the very best of them are like thorns that stick you every time you get near them. They will all damage you if you get too near.

Micah is saying, this should be the day of the watchmen. The watchmen have warned them of their evil, and now the day of their judgment is here. This day of perplexity will be a day, when the Lord will chastise them for the evil they have done. God will send deliverance, but it will not be until they have been punished for their sins.

Micah 7:5 "Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom."

"Trust ye not ": All is now distrust and suspicion. The households are divided each against itself, and the relationships which should mean mutual confidence and support have become the occasion of the bitterest hostility.

First, "the friend" or neighbor, the common band of man and man; then "the guide" (or as the word also means, one "familiar"). United by intimacy, to whom by continual communications, the soul was "used". Then the wife who lay in the bosom, nearest to the secrets of the heart.

This is a time when you cannot even confide in a friend. The guide will lead you to your own destruction. The guide has been an extremely close friend whom you had taken advice from, but you must not take that advice anymore. This is saying that you should even be careful what you say to your wife, or girlfriend.

Micah 7:6 "For the son dishonoreth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies [are] the men of his own house."

Speaks contemptibly of him; behaves rudely towards him; shows him no respect and reverence; exposes his failings, and makes him the object of his banter and ridicule. Who ought to have honored, reverenced, and obeyed him, being the instrument of his being, by whom he was brought up, fed, clothed, and provided for; base ingratitude!

"The daughter riseth up against her mother": By whom she has been used in the most tender and affectionate manner; this being still more unnatural, if possible, as being done by the female who is usually more soft and pliable. But here, losing her natural affection, and forgetting both her relation and sex, replies to her mother giving ill language. Opposes and disobeys her, chides, wrangles, and scolds, strives and litigates with her.

"The daughter in law against her mother in law": This is not so much to be wondered at as the former instances, which serve to encourage and embolden those that are in such a relation to speak pertly and saucily. To reproach and make light of mothers in law.

A man's enemies are the men of his own house. His sons and his servants who should honor his person, defend his property, and promote his interest. But, instead of that, do everything that is injurious to him. These words are referred to by Christ, and used by him to describe the times in which he lived (Matt. 10:35).

We see in this, a time when you cannot even trust those who should have natural affection for you.

Matthew 10:21 "And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against [their] parents, and cause them to be put to death."

2 Timothy 3:2-3 "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy," "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,"

Micah 7:7 "Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me."

In spite of his dire circumstances, Micah, as a watchman (verse 4), would intently look for evidence of God's working. Trusting God to act in His own time and way (Hab. 3:16-19).

This is a statement similar to the following.

Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

The God of my salvation is of course, Jesus Christ. They will wait, and trust and He will come.

Verses 8-10: Israel confessed her faith in the Lord, warning her enemies that she will rise again. She confessed her sin, acknowledging the justice of God's punishment and anticipating His restoration.

Micah 7:8 "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me."

Here begins a new subject; the Jewish nation in general being here introduced speaking in their captivity, and addressing themselves to the Chaldeans.

"O mine enemy": The Hebrew word is strictly a female enemy (see Micah 7:10), and is used of enemies collectively. The cities of Babylon and Edom are probably intended. They are mentioned together (in Psalms 137:7-8): "Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom." . . . "O Babylon, that art to be destroyed." The fall of those cities should be final, but Jerusalem would rise again.

"When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me": Neither rejoice nor triumph over me, because I at present sit in darkness, or misery, for Jehovah will again make me prosperous.

Israel is speaking confidence that, even though the circumstances are dark, God will shine His Light. They will be helped to endure the hardship, knowing that God will send His Light to guide them.

Micah 7:9 "I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, [and] I shall behold his righteousness."

Micah places himself and his people with confidence in the hands of God. So too did David speak when his sin was brought home to him by God: "I am in a great strait; let us fall now into the hand of the Lord: for His mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man" (2 Sam. 24:14). "This is the temper of all penitents when stricken by God, or under chastisement from Him."

"Until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me": That is until God Himself think the punishments inflicted is enough, and judge between me and those through whose hands they come. The judgments which God righteously sends and which man suffers righteously from Him, are un-righteously inflicted by those whose malice He overrules.

Whether it is of evil men, such as the Assyrian, the Chaldean or the Edomite or of Satan; the close of the chastisements of His people is the beginning of the visible punishment of their misdeeds, which used amiss the power which God gave them over it.

"He shall bring me forth to the light": Of His Countenance and His favor and His truth. Micah speaks in the name of those who were penitent and so were forgiven and yet in that they were under punishment and seemed to lie under the wrath of God.

For although God remits at once the eternal penalty of sin, yet we see daily how punishment pursues the forgiven sinner, even to the end of life. The light of God's love may not, on grounds which He knows, shine constant upon him. We should not know the blackness of the offence of sin and should never know the depth of God's mercy, but for our punishment.

He says, "I shall behold His righteousness", because they had a righteous cause against man, although not toward God. And God, in His just judgment on their enemies, showed Himself as the righteous Judge of the world.

They are accepting the punishment that God has sent upon them, because they know they sinned, and their punishment is just. They are earnestly looking to God to forgive them, as He had done so many times in the past.

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Hebrews 12:6-7 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?"

Micah 7:10 "Then [she that is] mine enemy shall see [it], and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets."

"Where is the Lord thy God" (Psalm 42:3, 10; Matt. 27:43).

This is speaking of the world power. They will see that Israel was not taken because God was weak, but to teach her a lesson. This speaks destruction on the world power. Israel will see the destruction of their enemy.

Verses 11-13: Micah again spoke, recounting the many blessings awaiting the faithful remnant in Messiah's millennial rule. It would include unprecedented expansion (Zech. 2:1-5), and massive infusion of immigrants (Isa. 11:15-16). For those who defied Messiah's millennial rulership, their land would become desolate (verse 13; Zech. 14:16-19).

Micah 7:11 "[In] the day that thy walls are to be built, [in] that day shall the decree be far removed."

"Decree" (Hebrew choq, "statute," "famed decree," or "thing marked out"), is probably a reference to Israel's borders or boundary lines, which will be greatly enlarged.

This is speaking of the day when Jerusalem will be rebuilt. This will happen, when Israel's captivity is over. God will lift the chastisement He had placed on them, and they will be blessed of God.

Micah 7:12 "[In] that day [also] he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and [from] the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and [from] mountain to mountain."

The prophet beholds people coming from all parts of the earth to Jerusalem. Isaiah foresaw the like future and spoke of Assyria, Egypt, and Israel being assembled together.

Isaiah 19:25 "Whom the Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt, my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel, mine inheritance".

When the Church will be restored, those that were enemies before will come out of all the corners of the world to her. So that neither fortresses, rivers, seas or mountains will be able to stop them.

When the new kingdom is set up, the people will come from all the nations mentioned here. Jerusalem had been a place, where people from many nations came to worship. It will be that way again. The Jews will come home from their captive lands to live. This speaks of an exodus from all these lands back to Israel.

Micah 7:13 "Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings."

There is still bitterness in the cup. In the midst of the triumphant expectation of the glory to come, there rises up the vision of the desolation of the land in the near future, by reason of the sins of the people.

Before this grace appears, he shows how grievously the hypocrites themselves will be punished, seeing that the earth itself, which cannot sin, will be made waste because of their wickedness.

The world will be judged of God, and they will be desolate. The land will bloom again in Israel.

Verses 14-17: Micah petitioned the Lord (verse 14), to shepherd, feed, and protect His people like a flock (Psalm 23). The Lord answered, reiterating that He would demonstrate His presence and power among them as He did in the Exodus from Egypt (verse 15).

As a result (verse 10), the vaunted pride and power of the nations would be rendered powerless (Joshua 2:9-11), and having been humbled (verse 17), they would no longer listen to or engage in the taunting of His people (verse 16b; Gen. 12:3; Isa. 52:15).

Micah 7:14 "Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily [in] the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed [in] Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old."

Or with thy shepherd's staff. The prophet lifts up his prayer for the people, either dwelling "alone" among the idolaters of Babylon. Among them but not of them or living a nation mysteriously apart from other nations, returned from Babylon, and settled on the fruitful mountain range of Carmel. Or in the rich pasture land on the east of Jordan.

The former words were a prayer for their restoration. Gilead and Bashan were the great pasture-countries of Palestine (see the note at Amos 1:3). "A wide tableland, with undulating downs; clothed with rich grass throughout," where the cattle ranged freely.

God is their provider. The "rod" is the shepherd's staff (Psalm 23:1). The good Shepherd leads them to green pastures, and where there is pure water. They will neither hunger nor thirst, because the good Shepherd cares for them.

Micah 7:15 "According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvelous [things]."

"Marvelous things": These things (miracles), will be fulfilled in God's judgment on the earth which precedes the Second Advent of Messiah (Rev. Chapters 6-19).

God rained Manna from heaven, and fed them on their journey. He opened the Red Sea, and they walked over on dry ground. He fed them water from the Rock. God took care of all their needs. He will do the same thing here.

Micah 7:16 "The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay [their] hand upon [their] mouth, their ears shall be deaf."

God had answered what He would give to His own people to see. Micah takes up the word and says what effect this sight should have upon the enemies of God and of His people. The world should still continue to be divided between the people of God and their adversaries. Those who are converted pass from the one to the other; but the contrast remains. Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, shall pass away or become subject to other powers; but the antagonism continues.

"They shall be confounded at all their might": The power and strength the Jews will have to repossess their land, rebuild their city and temple under the encouragement and protection of the king of Persia. And as this may refer to a further accomplishment in Gospel times, it may respect the confusion the Gentile world would be in at the mighty power and spread of the Gospel.

In the conversion of such multitudes by it and in the abolition of the Pagan religion. Kimchi interprets this of the nations that shall be gathered together with Gog and Magog against Jerusalem in the latter day (see Ezek. 38:15).

"They shall lay their hand upon their mouth": Be silent and boast no more of themselves. Or blaspheme God and his word; nor insult his people; nor oppose his Gospel; or open their mouths any more against his truths and his ordinances. They will be as dumb men, and dare brag no more.

It is difficult for the larger nations looking on to see the special care God takes for His own. It will close the mouths of the other nations. They will not hear, because they are stunned at the special care God takes for Israel. How can so small a nation have so much?

Micah 7:17 "They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee."

The doom of the determined enemies of the Lord and His people recalls that of Satan, the great enemy, as personified by the serpent. "Dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life" (Genesis 3:14).

"Like worms": They shall be afraid to stir out of their lurking-holes; and if they creep out like worms, they shall presently hide their heads again.

"They shall be afraid of the Lord our God": Overthrowing the Babylonish empire by Cyrus. This is expressed (in Isaiah 45:1), by loosening the loins of kings.

"And shall fear because of thee": Or if the prophet be considered as addressing God, the meaning is: When they understand that it was long before denounced by the prophets that destruction should come upon them, and thy people be delivered, and they see all things tending to bring this to pass, then shall they begin to be afraid of thy power.

This is speaking of the nations that are enemies of God and His people. Their fear of Israel and Israel's God has been renewed. They will be able to obviously tell these are God's people. They will crawl around like a snake in their shame and fear.

Verses 18-20: In response to the gracious, forgiving character displayed toward Israel by their Master, the repentant remnant of the people extolled His incomparable grace and mercy (Psalm 130:3-4).

Micah 7:18 "Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy."

"Who is a God like unto thee": Micah began this final section with a play on words involving this name.

The forgiveness and pardon of a merciful and gracious God toward a sinful mankind is declared by the Scriptures to be based on the redemptive work of the savior (Isa. 53:5-12; Matt. 8:17; Acts 8:32-37; Rom. 3:23-25; 1 Pet. 2:21-25). For the future regathering of the "remnant" of Israel (see the note on Jeremiah 23:3).

I am amazed at the many times God has forgiven His people, and restored them to their heritage. When we really stop and think for a moment, it is just as amazing that He would forgive you and me, and make us sons of God. We did not deserve to be forgiven. It is through the grace of God that any of us are saved. He is merciful to all who will repent and turn to Him.

Hebrews 8:10-12 "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:" "And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

Micah 7:19 "He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."

Spoken after the manner of man, who in his anger went away, resolved to right himself, but on second thoughts, laying aside his anger, turns again to be reconciled and forgive.

"Compassion upon us": With tender bowels he will show himself gracious to us (Jonah 3:9).

"He will subdue our iniquities": As our enemies and his, God will break the power, abolish the dominion of sin, which while it reigned, provoked God and undid us. It polluted and ruined us, but God will pardon the guilt and abrogate the law of sin, and so restore his people (Ezek. 36:29-34).

"Depths of the sea": All the sins of Israel and it may denote their being loathsome and abominable to him, and therefore here cast by him. It is very common in Jewish writing to say of anything that was useless, abominable, accursed, and utterly rejected, that it is to be cast into the salt sea.

Sin is the enemy of all mankind. Jesus took our sin upon His body on the cross and we no longer have sin. He clothed us in His righteousness. The only requirement from us is we must believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus and know in our hearts that he was resurrected from the grave.

Thank goodness, the sins are gone. The fact they are in the depth of the sea, means they are too far away for us to go looking for them.

Micah 7:20 "Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, [and] the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old."

"Sworn unto our fathers": In spite of Israel's unfaithfulness to God, the Lord intends to fulfill His unconditional promises in the Abrahamic Covenant made with Abraham and confirmed with Isaac and Jacob (Gen. chapters 15, 17, 22, 26, 28, and 35).

When enacted in conjunction with the Davidic covenant, Israel will again be restored as a people and a nation to the land originally promised to Abraham. Jesus Christ, the ultimate descendant of David, will rule from Jerusalem over the world as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14; 19:16).

The truth means that God cannot and will not lie. God keeps His promise of the covenant with Abraham.

Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

It makes no difference whether you are Jew or Gentile. We are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Micah Chapter 7 Questions

1. Who is speaking in verse 1?

2. The _______ ______ is perished out of the earth.

3. What kind of a society is verse 2 speaking of?

4. What is meant by them "doing evil with both hands"?

5. What are the judges doing wrong?

6. How are they like a briar?

7. When is their day of perplexity?

8. When will God send deliverance?

9. Trust ye not in a _________.

10. This is saying, you should even be careful what you say to your ______.

11. What Scripture is verse 7 similar to?

12. The God of my salvation is, of course, _________ _______.

13. When I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a ________ unto me.

14. Why are they willing to bear the indignation of the LORD?

15. Whom the Lord loveth He ___________.

16. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with _______.

17. What is verse 10 speaking of?

18. What day is verse 11 speaking of?

19. Feed thy people with thy ______.

20. What is the "rod"?

21. What were some of the marvelous things God showed them on their way from Egypt?

22. Who will lick the dirt like a serpent?

23. What is even more amazing, than the fact that God forgave physical Israel?

24. Where will He cast our sins?

25. When Jesus took our sins, what did He give us?

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