Study Bible Notes
Book of Micah
following notes are a compilation from Scofield and various
other resources as well as Bible
Dictionary articles (hyperlinks
Book Introduction -
Micah, a contemporary of
Isaiah, prophesied during the reigns of
Hezekiah over Judah, and of
Hoshea over Israel 2Kings 15:23-30; 2Kings
17:1-6. He was a prophet in Judah
Jeremiah 26:17-19 but the book called by his name
Micah falls into three prophetic strains, each beginning, "Hear":
1. Micah 1:1 to Micah 2:13
2. Micah 3:1 to Micah 5:15
3. Micah 6:1 to Micah 7:20
The events recorded Micah cover a period of 40 years (Ussher).
The word of the LORD
- This reminds us of Peter's words "But know this first of all,
that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own
interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human
will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2Pe
Micah was moved by the Holy Spirit to bring this prophetic word from
Jehovah to His errant, apostate people in Judah.
Micah falls into three prophetic strains, each beginning, "Hear":
(Mic 1:2, 3:1, 9, 6:1, 9, 7:7)
1. Micah 1:1 to Micah 2:13
2. Micah 3:1 to Micah 5:15
3. Micah 6:1 to Micah 7:20
People and places:
From His holy temple - His throne room in heaven not earth
(as determined from the
[always "king" in interpretation!]
- the next passage
begins with "For" a
term of explanation
, which says Jehovah will "come down.")
For Behold - "Behold" (hinneh) occurs some 1058 times
in the OT and serves to call the reader's attention to the
subsequent text, implying that the following words are deserving of
special attention. It's as if the Spirit is saying "Don't speed read
this next section (so to speak)"! The specific phrase "for behold"
seems to call special attention to understanding the explanation and
is used frequently by the major and minor prophets - Isa 3:1,
26:21; 60:2; 65:17, 18: 66:15; Jer 1:15; 8:17, 16:12, 25:29; 30:3,
10; 45:5; 49:15, Jer 50:9; Ezek 8:17, 30:9; 36:9; Hos 9:6 Joel 3:1
Amos 4:13, 6:11, 14, 9:9, Micah 1:3, Hab 1:6, Zech 2:9, 10; 3:8, 9,
11:16, Malachi 4:1.
High places - God comes down from "His place," the true "High
Place" (His majestic, exalted throne in heaven) to judge the idolatrous high places on earth!
God immutably hates idols - Is there any "idol" that I have placed
on the throne of my heart? (See
J Vernon McGee - “Tread upon the high places of the earth.”
You recall that the high places were the locations of idol worship.
Idols were set up in groves upon the hills and mountains. Also in
that day the cities were situated on elevated places. Both Samaria
and Jerusalem were built on mountains. The Lord Jesus mentioned that
a city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid, and the city has a
tremendous influence upon the area around it (see Mt 5:14-note).
When the city is the seat of government, it has a tremendous
influence not only upon the immediate area but often upon the entire
world. That is the case of many great cities in the past and
present. Also cities are centers of great sin. For these reasons God
is coming down upon them in judgment—He will “tread upon the high
places of the earth.” (Micah 1:3-4 Commentary
These words predict
Shalmaneser's destruction of the
Sennacherib's invasion, and
- Nebuchadnezzar's invasion.
mountains will melt
under Him - Pictures earthquakes and possibly volcanic eruptions
Like wax...Like water
Vivid picture of the effect on the topography when the LORD treads!
discussion of importance of observing
and interrogating "similes"
All this is for the
rebellion of Jacob (Israel the northern 10 tribes) and for
the sins of the house of Israel - Rebellion or "revolt" (Hebrew
= pesha') denotes a willful, criminal breaking of a covenant (1Ki
12:19; Jer 2:29) (Ed: The root of pesha = breach of
relationship between two parties (civil or religious). Sins
(Hebrew = chattoth) are literally deviations from a target (Jdg
20:16; Pr 19:2), God's holiness in this case. (Holman
Christian Study Bible - Online)
Sins - Robert
Culver (Systematic Theology) = Several other words in the biblical
vocabulary represent sin as something negative, something omitted:
missing a target when one should hit it, failing when one should
succeed, ignorance of what one should know, falling when one should
stand, neglect of duty when one should attend to it, defaulting a
debt when one should pay it.
Guzik - The
principle stands: For the time has come for judgment to begin at the
house of God (1Peter 4:17-note).
However, we also do well to remember the second part of that verse:
And if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do
not obey the gospel of God?
Is it not
Samaria?... Is it not Jerusalem? - Both rhetorical questions
call for an affirmative reply! Therefore the NET Bible translates
the reply to both questions "It certainly is!"
High Place (Hebrew = bama) -
Six activities seem to be related to HIGH PLACES: burning of
incense, sacrificing, eating of sacrificial meals, praying,
prostitution, child sacrifice (cf. Jer 7:31). Here the LORD compares
His Holy City Jerusalem to the abominable idolatrous high places!
Woe! Do I have any "high
places" I have refused to tear down? (cf Hezekiah - 2Ki 18:1-4,5) If
so, beware, for God will destroy them for us!
(cf 1Cor 10:14, 1Jn
5:21, Col 3:5-note)
For - Always pause and ponder this
term of explanation.
Therefore ("for" in NAS) - In Micah 1:6-16 the Assyrian
invasion is described. Cf. 2Ki 17:1-18. This is the local
circumstance which gives rise to the prophecy of the greater
invasion in the last days. Micah 4:9-13 and of the Lord's
deliverance at Armageddon.; Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:17.
I will make Samaria a heap of ruins - Fulfilled 722BC (2Ki
Make Samaria a
heap of ruins - Fulfilled when the Assyrians besieged Samaria
for three years, finally defeating King Hoshea and his forces, and
carrying them away to Assyria (2Ki 17:6). Since this event took
place during the reign of
Ahaz in Judah, the prophecy itself
was evidently made during the previous reign of
Samaria, built to a state of
Ahab, as the capital of Israel,
was completely demolished by the Assyrian armies of
Sargon. It stood on a hill, but its
building stones were thrown down into the valley, just as Micah had
prophesied, and its entire area eventually cultivated with
vineyards, olive trees and fig trees. God's Word never fails! (Josh
23:14, Josh 21:45, Nu 23:19, Lk 1:37ASV) (Henry
Morris - Defender's Study Bible)
Pour her stones -
This refers to the fact that the walls of ancient cities were made
of stones. God says they will come "tumbling down!"
NLT- All her
carved images will be smashed to pieces. All her sacred treasures
will be burned up. These things were bought with the money earned by
her prostitution (cf Ge 38:17,18, Ezek 16:10,11, Hos 2:8,9, 10), and
they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere."
All...idols...all...earnings - No exception clauses! Jesus
exhorts us to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or
steal for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (M
Do not let
idols steal your heart, for they will never satisfy your heart and
ultimately they will break your heart!
See related discussion
“Golden images, of such
monetary value yet so spiritually and politically worthless, were
constructed from the wages of cult prostitutes. The conquerors will
break them up and use the money to repeat the same cycle. Only the
heart of depraved man could worship gods like that!” (Waltke)
Northern 10 tribes (Israel) had become so apostate (cf God's clear
warning - Dt 23:17,18) that the people were actually involved in
pagan cultic prostitution (See
Harlot), supposedly under the
guise of carrying out "religious worship!" Sin deceives and debases
and degrades and this genre of practice is a perfect example of the
to destroy a soul!
This axiomatic truth
begs the question...Am I "toying" with sin, thinking it's only a
"baby boa constrictor"
and it would never
harm me? Wrong!
Solomon's advice (Pr
ironically and tragically, advice he himself failed to heed - you
can know the truth, not heed the truth and continue in bondage to
sin (Compare Jesus' words in Jn 8:31-32, 34, 36)! (See also
Deceitfulness of sin)
Sin will take you
further than you ever wanted to stray!
Cost you more than you ever dreamed you would pay!
Keep you longer than you ever thought you would stay!
These "temple gifts" probably were costly vessels that had been
given to heathen temples. (Ed comment: The irony of
this passage is that the gold and silver taken from Israel's places
of idol worship were used by the Assyrians to make their own idols
Because of this I
must lament and wail - It is easy to read this description and
not ponder the very real pain Micah felt at the coming destruction
which he was called to prophesy.
I must make a lament like the
and a mourning like the
Ostriches. - The "ostrich" was
known to have "a peculiar mournful cry that is sometimes mistaken by
the Arabs for that of the lion." (Smith's Dictionary) ISBE describes
"their night cries that were guttural, terrifying groans, like the
roaring of lions. The birds were brought into many pictures of
desolation, because people dreaded their fearful voices."
For - Always pause and ponder this
term of explanation.
Reached the gate of my people - "Micah could also foresee the
future time when the same Assyrian invaders (Sennacherib
in 701BC would come to the very "gate of my people, even to
Jerusalem" during the later reign of
(2Ki 18:17, 13-27)." (Henry
Morris - Defender's Study Bible)
Another nuance of this passage is that the gate was the place where
leaders conducted civic business (see 1Ki 22:10), so that this
phrase could also refer to the leaders who would be present at the
Tell it not in
Gath (a Philistine city) -
Micah's point is much like David in 2Sa 1:20, where neither wanted
the destruction of Israel to be a source of gloating or reveling by
Click here for Bible Map
- Mareshah, Lachish, Adullam, etc
- All of the cities mentioned are generally south and west (toward
the Mediterranean Sea side) of Jerusalem and "lay along the route
normally traveled by invading forces from the north, who typically
followed the Great Trunk Road south until they reached Gath." (ESVSB)
Roll yourself in the
dust ("wallow about in mourning in the dust") - Speaks of
sitting on the dust which was an outward sign of mourning in the
ancient world. (cf Ps 44:25-note)
Leaphrah means "House of
Dust" (thus it is a play on the Hebrew word for "dust" = 'apar). The
inhabitants of this town would "roll...in the dust" as a symbol of
deep despair and humiliation as a result of their defeat.
Micah's exhortation reminds me of the psalmist's words regarding the
positive aspect of affliction (See Ps 119:67, 71-note).
Ryrie - "Micah
uses puns in denouncing these cities: e.g.,
(Micah 1:11) sounds like the Hebrew word for beauty and is
contrasted with their shame (shameful nakedness); Zaanan
(Micah 1:11) sounds like a verb meaning "to go out" (or "come
out") and is contrasted with the fear of the people to go outside
their houses; Beth
Ezel (Micah 1:11) resembles a word meaning "foundation,"
and they had none;
(Micah 1:12), sounds like a word meaning "to wait for good," whereas
they were waiting for evil." (Ryrie
Study Bible) On Maroth ESV Study Bible says - "Maroth
(Micah 1:12) conveys the concept of bitterness. Thus a
"bitter" town longs for good." (Hebrew word for
bitter = marah
- see Ex 15:23. Maroth
would desire "sweet" but would experience "bitter" from
the hand of Jehovah in the day of her calamity.
Calamity has come
down from the LORD - Jehovah Himself is behind the destruction!
They may have been His chosen people, but when chosen people (and
this applies to believers today) choose sin, they are choosing to
begin to walk on the path of destruction! Yes, we can always confess
our sins (1Jn 1:9-note,
but we must remember that God is an
does not play favorites and Who does not change His laws of sowing
and reaping (cf Gal 6:7-note,Gal
See also the "painful" passages - Heb 12:5-10-note,
regarding the disciplining hand of Jehovah).
= ra' -
first use in the eternal contrast = Ge 2:9!)
describes that which is opposite of good and is a key word in Micah
used 7 times in 6 verses - Mic 1:12, Mic 2:1 (evil), Mic 2:3 (used
twice - "calamity" and "evil"), Mic 3:2 (evil), Mic 3:11 (calamity),
Mic 7:3 (evil). Upshot?
evil, reap calamity! Why do we so often discount (failing to
believe) this truth? (Jer 17:9 is probably the best answer!)
Harness the chariot to the team of horses, O inhabitant of
– "Team of horses" is the Hebrew phrase larekesh
("team of horses"). Lachish would need riding steeds for a
She was the beginning of sin - MacArthur writes that "Lachish
was a key military fortress (2Chr 11:9) whose 'sin' was dependence
on military might." "Reliance on military might as the beginning sin
leading to acts of rebellion among God's people. (Isa 30:15-17)" (HCSB-SB)
Constable adds "Sarcastically, Micah urged the people of
Lachish (Heb. lakish), a town known for its horses, to hitch a team
(Heb. rekesh) of horses to a chariot to escape from the enemy. They
would not be able to escape, however, because Lachish had led
Jerusalem, as horses lead a chariot, into the sin of idolatry." (Ref)
To the daughter of Zion– Pictures Jerusalem as a young lady, at
her beginnings (see comment on Mic 4:10).
Because in you were found The rebellious acts of Israel.
- Even Micah's hometown would be destroyed! Have
you ever preached a word that you did not want to preach because it
was "too close to home?" Micah would understand! (cf his reaction in
adds that "Like a
father giving away his betrothed daughter (cf Dt 22:23), Judah would
have to give away Moresheth-gath (sounds like Hebrew meorashah;
meaning "betrothed") to Assyria."
- "Though it promised help, Achzib (lit "deception") would
not come through. Mareshah (sounds like Hebrew hayyoresh; meaning
"the conqueror") would be conquered." (HCSB-SB)
Glory of Israel -
Glory refers to the people of Israel (see Hos 9:11-13), presumably
the nobility. Like David centuries before, they would flee for
refuge to the caves of Adullam
22:1, 2Sa 23:13)
- This name sounds like the Hebrew word yoresh meaning
"conqueror" (or possessor). Jehovah would bring on Mareshah the
Assyrian conquerors who would take possession of the city.
Ironically the Hebrew word yoresh had been used to describe
Israel's dispossession of Canaan. The dispossessors would now
themselves be dispossessed!
NET Note says the
NIV translation “He who is the glory of Israel will
come to Adullam,” sounds as if an individual is in view, and could
be understood as a messianic reference." The context however does
not support this interpretation.
Make yourself bald
and cut off your hair - Although forbidden in Lev 21:5 and Dt
14:1, in this context baldness was allowed as a sign of their deep
mourning over the exile of their children. (See Ezra 9:3, Job 1:20,
Isa 22:12, Ezek 7:18 = latter verse in view of the coming
destruction of Jerusalem).
Micah 2:1-5 - Pronouncement of Divine Judgment on Profiteers
Micah 2:6-11 -
Confrontation of the False Prophets
Micah 2:12-13- Promise
of Future Divine Deliverance and Restoration
Woe to those who scheme iniquity - A timeless warning!
Iniquity frequently refers to the abuse of power so as to cause
trouble and thus bring harm on one’s fellow man (Hab. 1:3). It is
fitting that "Woe" was a cry used in at funerals in mourning for the dead
(1Ki 13:30, Jer 34:5 - where "Alas" = "Woe!"), especially in light
of the truth that sin (iniquity) kills (cf Eph 2:1-note,
James 1:14, 15-note,
Puritan John Owen warned "Be killing sin, lest it be killing you!"
"Woe" is used some forty times as a negative warning of
God's judgment (Hab 2:6, Nah 3:1). (See
Homily - Deliberate Sins Bringing Predestined Punishments - scroll
down for more homilies) Barnes on "Woe" -
"the woe of temporal captivity; and, unless ye repent, the woe of
eternal damnation, hangs over you." Woe, the evil of coveting!
Have you fallen into this sticky wicket? Are you coveting something,
someone? Remember it is equivalent to idolatry (Col 3:5-note),
a sin especially heinous to the Almighty One, the only true God (Ex
Who work out evil on their beds!
cf Pr 4:16) When morning comes, they do it
(They can hardly wait for daylight to carry out their evil plan!
Read Hos 7:6.
Have you ever been this determined to carry out some evil plan?) -
How counter their nocturnal meditations were to those of the
psalmist (Read Ps 63:6-note)!
Their sin was not some sudden temptation to which they inadvertently
succumbed. This was sin that was pre-meditated! Indeed, sin not does just happen by accident.
Many of our sins are carefully planned out.
Our deceitful heart makes subtle provision for carrying out sin!
This reminds me of Paul's exhortation to believers in Romans 13:14
to "put on
the Lord Jesus Christ, and
no provision (pronoia)
for the flesh in regard to its lusts." (Red verbs =
commands!) Peter exhorts us "Beloved, I urge you as aliens and
strangers to abstain
to continually hold oneself away) from fleshly lusts (Only possible
as we depend on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit - cf Gal
which wage war (strateuomai
~ continually strategize!) against the soul."
Scheme - This
employing one's mind not just to understand, but to create new ideas
(in context new ways of working out evil,
cf phrase "inventors of evil" Ro 1:30-note).
Lxx uses the
logizomai, in the present tense,
depicting these evil doers as continually "calculating" how to
attain their nefarious ends. The
also adds the word
kopos, which depicts exhausting
physical or mental exertion! What a picture of the effort these men
went to, to commit sins!
For it is in the power of their hands (cp Ge 31:29) - "Power
in their hand" is a Hebrew idiom composed of 'el (the
word for God, but also for strength) and yad (the word
for "hand") and is used 5 times in the OT (Ge 31:29, Dt 28:32KJV, Pr
3:27, Neh 5:5YLT, Mic 2:1). Men
commonly say "Might makes right" but God says such "might that makes
right" is wrong! Note also that while Micah
1 dealt primarily with sin against God, Micah 2:1-11 deals primarily
with sin against man. Dale Ralph Davis ads "Note that in
Micah 1 men distort worship (Mic 1:5, 7, 9); here in Micah 2 they
despise (Ed: extort) people. One suspects a connection."
Covet...seize - They were in clear violation of the Tenth
Commandment (Ex 20:17; cf. Ex 22:26; 23:4–9, cf Ro 7:7,8-note).
The heart of
their sin was the coveting in their heart! (Jer 17:9) Coveting
always exists "internally" long before it is manifest externally!
Their outward actions sprang from their inward contempt of God's
Law! Lest we miss the application of this verse, let every reader
confess - we are too often guilty of this often subtle, albeit
serious sin! When we covet we desire to possess something belonging
to another which indicates we are not satisfied with what God has
already given us
Walter Kaiser points out that "Dt 27:17 places land grabbing
at the head of a list of sins involving property, immediately
following sins against God and against one’s own family (Dt
27:15,16)...If anyone lost their land in the agricultural society of
biblical times, they would have suffered enormous economic grief.
Accordingly, a parcel of land could never be out of the hands of a
family for a period longer than seven years; it reverted back to its
original owners every seven years (Ed: more accurately in
the year of Jubilee) in the
Sabbatical cycle (Lev 25:23-28, Lev 27:16-24)." (Preacher's
- This is the Hebrew
verb gazal (01497)
which means to take by force (first use is in context of land
seizure! Ge 21:25) and may have even involved physical violence. These
wealthy robber barons were going against God's wisdom which said "Do not rob the poor
he is poor." (Pr 22:22a) Indeed, land grabbing was historically
a serious offense in Israel and Judah (cf See the "Woe" in
Ahab coveting and seizing the
Naboth = 1Ki 21:1-16, 4, cf Dt
28:17, 1Sa 8:11, 14-17, Neh 5:1-3, Pr 23:10,11).
The Mosaic Law required that the land remain within the families and
the tribes, but in a sense they were only "leasing" the land from
God. The prideful, powerful profiteers forgot that ultimately the
land belonged to God (Lev 25:2, 23-34, 38), not to whoever had the
power to seize it! These prideful power brokers forgot that God says
He "delivers the afflicted from him who is to strong for him, and
the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him." (Ps 35:10-note)
Bruce Waltke explains "In that agrarian economy a person’s life
depended on his fields, and for that reason his inheritance was
carefully safeguarded by the Law. It was a sacred trust, not just
another piece of real estate. If a person lost his fields, at best
he might become a day labourer; at worst, he might become a slave.
In either case he lost his independence, his freedom before God, and
became a dependent of the land barons." (Commentary on Micah,
Eerdmans, p. 106)
Behold, I am planning
against this family a calamity - God's "poetic justice!" "Crime and punishment"
or better yet "The punishment fits the crime!" - This
passage is almost a "mirror image" of Micah 2:1. In Mic 2:1
scheme is the same Hebrew word (chasab/hasab)
as planning and in Micah 2:1 evil is the same word (ra' -
translated calamity (cp Gal 6:7-note). God is saying "You devised evil toward
others, so I am planning evil against you." The just God gave the
unscrupulous leaders what they gave others. The certainty of Divine
payback is an encouraging truth for all who have been wronged and
thought the perpetrator would go unpunished. (cf Ro 12:19-note) Note the
fact that the calamity is against this family suggests
that everyone would suffer for the sins of the leaders.
From which you cannot
remove your necks - NLT "you won't be able to escape." It
pictures their neck as if in a yoke from which they could not be
freed. No matter how a yoked animal twisted and turned, it could not
remove the yoke from its neck! So too with these evil doers!
And you will not walk
haughtily - Walk speaks of their former conduct and
describes the totality of their lifestyle, which had been one
dominated and driven by their hearts filled with arrogance and pride
and greed. God anvil falls on their pride (cf Isa 2:11-note,
Amos 6:1). "Yahweh's scourge will knock the strut out of their
NIV - In that day
men will ridicule you; they will taunt you with this mournful song:
'We are utterly ruined; my people's possession is divided up. He
takes it from me! He assigns our fields to traitors.'"
NET - In that day
people will sing this taunt song to you– they will mock you with
this lament: 'We are completely destroyed; they sell off the
property of my people. How they remove it from me! They assign our
fields to the conqueror.'
that day - Always be alert to
expressions of time and ask
questions like to what time does this refer, what transpires, etc?
This time phrase clearly refers to the day when the LORD brings the
calamity to pass.
Taunt - basically
means a pithy maxim also suggesting special insight and authority,
that can mean something as harmless as a proverb (Pr 1:1; 10:1), but
in the present context the taunt is delivered in ridicule and
scorn. The punished profiteers are made to serve as an example to be
shunned, a lesson to others not to travel the broad road that leads
to destruction. Gary Smith paraphrases it "“Isn’t it too bad! It is
so unfortunate, what these rich people had to go through. What they
coveted and stole is now being coveted and taken from them. They’re
going to end up with nothing. Doesn’t it just break your heart to
see them get what they deserve!” (NIV Application Commentary) “The
fallen are made to serve as an example to be shunned, a lesson to
others not to travel the path that leads to this disastrous end”
We are completely
destroyed! - "Lost, everything is lost."
He exchanges the
portion of my people; How He removes it from me! - The taunt
includes this parody of the powerful who are now powerless "How
could God do such a thing as to take away my land?"
NLT - Others will set your boundaries then, and the Lord's
people will have no say in how the land is divided.
By lot (Literally “casting (the) rope by lot”) - There
were 2 ways of returning land to the original owner -
the year of Jubilee and by lot. The
punishment of these men would include even the retraction of the
right of drawing lots for the land! Criswell adds "The people's
(especially those who seize land by exerting power) portion of land
was to be removed from them and would not be reallocated to them by
lot in the Year of Jubilee (cf. Josh 18:10; Lev. 25:8-9)."
Ultimately God is the One Who establishes the boundaries of the
peoples (Dt 32:8).
No say - Micah is
referring to the rich profiteers. MacKay explains the
seriousness of God's judgment: "Those who have violated his covenant
requirements will then have no representative or descendant in the
assembly of the people. Because of their sin the LORD will no longer
recognize them as his, and they will have no portion in the restored
land." (Focus on the Bible Commentary) Walter Kaiser adds
that "in that eschatological assembly (Ed:
In the restoration of righteousness in the
Righteous One's Millennial Reign!), the general land
reform prescribed in the Sabbatical and Jubilee years would find its
consummation. Then it would finally be true of all the poor in
Spirit that “The lines have fallen to [us] in pleasant places; Yes,
[we] have a good inheritance” (Ps. 16:6-note).
NLT - "Don't say such things," the people say. "Don't
prophesy like that. Such disasters will never come our way!"
2:6-11 is notoriously difficult to interpret dogmatically and there
is a considerable variation in interpretations. The following is my
best attempt but caveat emptor!
Do not speak out
- Most commentators see
Mic 2:6-11 as dealing with the false prophets who had arisen. Scofield
writes "The chief reason for the rise of the false prophets was the
unpopular character of the message of the true prophets, who called
the nation back to God." (cf similar opposition to God's
prophets - Isa 30:9-11 = "Speak to us pleasant [smooth] words!", Jer
5:31, Amos 2:12, Amos 7:10-13, cf the attitude in the last days 2Ti
says more literally it reads "Do not sputter, thus they
sputter!" "The true prophet was accused of childish babbling,
when the real babblers were the false prophets (cf Mic 2:11)"
(MacArthur) The chief reason for the rise of the false prophets was the
unpopular character of the message of the true prophets, who called
the nation back to God.
Reproaches will not
be turned back (NIV = "Disgrace will not overtake us.") - The false prophets were saying calamity Micah
predicted would not come to pass for they were His chosen people and
He would keep His covenant promises regarding the land. However they
neglected the truth that obedience brings blessing, disobedience
brings cursing. The Abrahamic Covenant would not be made void by
their disobedience! Their disobedience would however keep them for
enjoying those blessings, but would not void the covenant for future
obedient generations. False prophets by their very
nature always seek to prevent true prophets from announcing God's
truth, especially regarding His judgment. Kaiser remarks "All
too many in Micah’s day, and our own, prefer to hear what they wish
to hear. Any cheery bromide will do, such as: “disgrace will not
overtake us.” But this is like whistling in a graveyard. Saying it
does not make it so."
Is the Spirit of the
LORD impatient? Are these (calamities described Mic 2:3-5)
His doings? - If one takes the speaker in the first part of the
verse as the false prophets or the profiteers, it is as if they were
objecting to Micah's message by asking "Isn't God long suffering?
Then why the calamity?" MacArthur takes it as the words were
from God (through His prophet Micah) - "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 (cf. Mic 3:8). God’s words do reward
the righteous, but they also rebuke those engaging in evil deeds."
MacKay sees these words as from Micah - "The NIV presents
the first part of Micah 2:7NIV as Micah’s own words. He is trying to
prick the conscience of the covenant people." God is patient, but He
is also just (cf Ex 34:6-7, Nah 1:2-3).
Do not My words do
good to the one walking uprightly? - God is asking this question
(His words continue through Mic 2:13). Answer? Yes. God is upright
and desires His children to walk the same way (Ps 35:8). Indeed,
obedience is God's desire and it brings blessing (1Sa 15:22, Ps
51:17, cf Dt 11:26-28, Jer 7:5-15 = they despised God's laws and
still expected His goodness! Isn't that what we do every time we sin
deceptively thinking "Well I can just one John one nine it"
[which we can, but not independent of a heart of repentance -see
discussion of 1Jn 1:9])?
You strip the robe
off the garment from unsuspecting passers-by - This violates
God's law in Ex 22:26-27.
The women of My
people you evict - These were presumably widows. Evict
(garash) describes forcible expulsion. This accusation returns to
the land seizures in Mic 2:1-2. This was in violation of Ex 22:22-24
(cf Dt 27:19)
Each one from her
pleasant house. From her children you take My splendor forever -
This is a difficult passage, but McKeating explains it this way
"Micah draws a pathetic picture of the eviction of a peasant family;
the women driven from their pleasant homes, the children robbed of
their expectations, of their title to share in God’s own land, His
NLT - Up! Begone! This is no longer your land and home, for
you have filled it with sin and ruined it completely.
- The evictors are divinely evicted from the land which should have
been a land of rest. Patterson writes that these two imperatives
(commands) "signal Israel’s exile from the land of covenant promise
in anticipation of the later promise of restoration (Mic 2:13; cf.
Lev 18:24–30). (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)
For this is no place
of rest - The promised land is no longer a place of rest (Heb =
(cf Dt 12:9-10, Josh 22:5, Josh 23:1, Ps 95:11, cp Heb 4:8-9-note)
for these evil doers. When they turned to idols, their rest became
over 300 years of repeated cycles of "unrest" as described in the
Book of Judges (See
is an ironic twist that just as God had used Israel to dispossess
the pagan Canaanites because their abominable iniquities (which had
become "full" Ge 15:16), He would now use the pagan Assyrians to put
the Ten Northern tribes out of the land for a period of time (Lev
18:24-28). Israel had forgotten aged Joshua's parting words - "And
it shall come about that just as all the good words which the LORD
your God spoke to you have come upon you, so the LORD will bring
upon you all the threats, until He has destroyed you from off this
good land which the LORD your God has given you. When you transgress
the covenant of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, and go
and serve other gods, and bow down to them, then the anger of the
LORD will burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from off
the good land which He has given you.” (Josh 23:15-16, cf Dt 30:18)
Because of the
uncleanness (Lxx translates with
that brings on destruction (Lxx translates with
- The Northern 10 tribes had defiled the land and the worship of
Jehovah with their impure, idolatrous (syncretistic)
practices, A painful destruction.
If a man walking
after wind and falsehood had told lies and said,' I will speak out
to you concerning wine and liquor,' He would be spokesman to this
people. - Micah returns to a sarcastic description of the false
prophets. Note that the Hebrew words for falsehood (sheqer,
told lies (kazab,
are consistently associated with false prophets in the OT (Isa 9:15,
Jer 5:31, Ezek 13:22). Imagine a preacher speaking of wine and
liquor, but that is what these apostates wanted - ear tickling
messages (cf 2Ti 4:3-4-note)!
Jeremiah aptly summed up the effects of the false prophets writing
"they heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people
superficially." (Jer 8:11a)
The NLT paraphrases it "Suppose a prophet full of lies were
to say to you, "I'll preach to you the joys of wine and drink!"
That's just the kind of prophet you would like!" Hot air messages
from liars for hire! Kaiser remarks that these wind bags "exalt the
benefits of God’s promises, but do not tell God’s people that there
are conditions to receiving those benefits or that the people should
walk faithfully with their Lord. It was all so much drivel! This
extreme example of antinomianism was tolerated—and indeed
encouraged—by the rich and powerful because it did not challenge
I will surely
assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of
Israel - In the midst of His wrath, Jehovah remembers mercy and
in Micah 2:12-13 He speaks of future restoration. Walter
Kaiser explains that "There is some debate among theologians as
to when this oracle of salvation would become effective: was it
Jerusalem’s deliverance from Sennacherib’s siege (2Ki 18:32–36),
Judah’s return from the Babylonian captivity, or an eschatological
salvation? Fortunately, we do not need to decide conclusively, for
each of these deliverances was but an “earnest” or “downpayment” on
the great return of the remnant in the final day when Christ
I will surely gather
- Patterson explains "The gathering (qabats 06908) of the
Hebrews scattered in exile due to covenant disobedience is an
eschatological motif in the OT prophetic books (e.g., Isa 11:12; Jer
31:8; Ezek 34:13). The theme is consistent theologically with the
teaching of Moses’ prophetic sermon that God would one day gather
his people from exile among the nations and restore their fortunes
in their ancestral homeland (Deut 30:3–5).
Remnant - Jeremiah 15:11-21; Jeremiah 23:3-8; Jeremiah 31:7;
Jeremiah 31:14; Isaiah 1:9; Ezekiel 6:8; Ezekiel 8:11-14; Ezekiel
9:4; Ezekiel 11:16-21; Joel 2:32; Amos 5:15; Micah 2:12; Micah 4:1;
Micah 5:3; Micah 7:18; Zephaniah 2:7; Zephaniah 3:13; Haggai 1:14;
Zechariah 8:6; Malachi 3:16-18; Romans 11:5. (Ed: Even in the
midst of great judgments on His people, God always preserves a small
remnant of faithful Jews.)
Remnant, Summary (see
In the history of Israel, a "remnant" may be discerned, a spiritual
Israel within the national Israel. In Elijah's time 7,000 had not
bowed the knee to Baal 1 Kings 19:18. In Isaiah's time it was the
"very small remnant" for whose sake God still forbore to destroy the
nation Isaiah 1:9. During the captivities the remnant appears in
Jews like Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Esther,
and Mordecai. At the end of the 70 years of Babylonian captivity it
was the remnant which returned under Ezra and Nehemiah. At the
advent of our Lord, John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna, and "them that
looked for redemption in Jerusalem" Luke 2:38 were the remnant.
During the church-age the remnant is composed of believing Jews
Romans 11:4; Romans 11:5. But the chief interest in the remnant is
prophetic. During the great tribulation a remnant out of all Israel
will turn to Jesus as Messiah, and will become His witnesses after
the removal of the church Revelation 7:3-8. Some of these will
undergo martyrdom Revelation 6:9-11 some will be spared to enter the
millennial kingdom Zechariah 12:6 to Zechariah 13:9. Many of the
Psalms express, prophetically, the joys and sorrows of the
commenting on Micah 2:12-13 - God’s promise to preserve a segment of
his people through the punishment of his divine judgment for
covenant trespass introduces the remnant theme (Mic 2:12),
prominent in OT prophetic literature (e.g., Isaiah, who popularized
the idea by naming his son Shear-jashub, or “a remnant will return,”
Isa 7:3). The remnant motif implies both judgment and
deliverance. The very existence of a remnant of Hebrews is
based on the mercy of God. The OT prophets apply the remnant
motif to three types of groups:
historical remnant composed of survivors of the catastrophe of God’s
judgment (Jer 23:3);
(2) the faithful
remnant of Hebrews who maintain a true faith relationship with
Yahweh (Amos 5:15); and
eschatological remnant of Hebrews and Gentiles who will participate
in the blessing of the restored Davidic kingdom (Amos 9:125).
Micah refers to a “remnant”
(sheerith ) five times (Micah 2:12; 4:7; 5:7, 8; 7:18), and
each is connected with oracles of hope. The remnant purified, who go out strong
as a lion (Mic 5:7–8), represent the eschatological remnant
who will share in the blessing of the restored Davidic kingdom (cf.
Mic 5:2–5). The remaining four references to the Hebrew remnant
appear to combine type one (a historical remnant of those who
survive the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles) and type three (an
eschatological remnant who will be purified and experience the
restoration of the Davidic kingdom). Such telescoping of near
historical fulfillment and distant eschatological fulfillment is not
uncommon in biblical prophecy. (Cornerstone
Gaebelein adds "
It is a great prophecy of the ultimate restoration of Israel. “We
must not exclude all allusion to the deliverance of the Jewish
nation out of the earthly Babylon by Cyrus; at the same time, it is
only in its typical significance that this comes into consideration
at all, namely, as a preliminary stage and pledge of the redemption
to be effected by Christ.” (See
Micah 2:12-13 The Future Restoration)
Like sheep in the
fold; Like a flock - Pastoral imagery depicts God as Shepherd
over Israel (cf Ps 77:20, 79:13, Ezek 34:15, 22).
The breaker is come up before them (ESV = "He who
opens the breach goes up before them"; NIV, HCSB = "One who
breaks open the way will advance before them"). NET Note says that
"The verb form (of "breaks") is understood as a perfect of
certitude, emphasizing the certainty of this coming event."
(Heb - parats,
06555 Lxx = diakope = through the breach
in 2Sa 5:20 where David declared "Jehovah has broken through my enemies")
- The idea is break down the hedge, break down the wall, break through a
barrier or retainer, break into the house of God, tear down the
wall of Jerusalem. When God is subject it often describes His
punitive activity upon individuals (2Sa 6:8) or upon Israel - 1Chr 15:13; Isa 5:5; Ps 60:1;
80:12; 89:40, Ex 19:22. In the present context the ''Breaker'',
the ''One Who
breaks through'', is none other than the King of the Jews, their long
awaited Messiah, Who leads the remnant out of its
captivity. The remnant (cf. Isa. 10:20-22; 11:11) will be many, like
the sheep of the fold (Mic 3:12, cf 2Ki 3:4). Walter Kaiser
explains "If the
of the flock are to be gathered and brought back to their land, they
will need a leader. And what better leader is there than the One who
is called here “the Breaker.” Just as the Lord went before
His people in the pillar of fire and the cloud through the
wilderness, so three times in Mic 2:13 we are told He will go before
His people to guide them (cf. Ex 13:21; Dt 1:30, 33; Isa 52:12).
This Breaker can be none other than the Messiah Himself. It
is He who will clear the way for the people to break out of their
enemies’ cities, passing through as if there were no gates. This
messianic interpretation can be confirmed by the fact that “the
Breaker” is also referred to in Mic 2:13 as “their King”
and “the LORD.” All of Israel’s blessings will be
realized in the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ." John MacArthur
agrees writing that "Messiah will make ready the way, removing
the obstacles which might hinder His remnant’s deliverance and
return at the Second Advent (cf. Is 11:15, 16; 52:12)." Guzik
rightly says "How we need a Breaker, a trailblazer in
Their king goes on
before them - Patterson "The parallelism “LORD” (yhwh) in
the following line ("and the LORD is their head") suggests that the prophet understands God as the
King Who will lead the Hebrew people out of exile and back to their
homeland. The pastoral imagery gives way to a military one, since
Yahweh is both Shepherd (See
Jehovah Roi -The Lord is My Shepherd) and
King of his people (cf. Ps 100:3). The
passage may anticipate the Messianic Shepherd introduced in Micah
Micah Chapters 3-5 = The
Second Oracle = A Message of Doom and Deliverance
calls for attention. (He repeats this summons in Mic 3:9) -
is an imperative (command). This recalls Judaism's basic confession
of faith, the "Shema" in Dt 6:4-6 (cf Dt 4:1, Hos 4:1, Amos 3:1). It
is a call to listen, to heed and respond by putting into practice
what is heard. Shama Introduces the three main sections - Mic
1:1 (Mic 1-2), Mic 3:1 (Mic 3-5), Mic 6:1 (Mic 6-7). Shama
introduces an important message will follow. All Micah's uses of the command
to Hear - Mic 1:2, 3:1, 9, 6:1, 2, 9.
Wiersbe - It’s as
though Micah had shouted, “Listen! God is speaking! This is
important!” The statement reminds us of the Lord’s repeated
admonition, “Who has ears to hear, let him hear!” or the warning in
Hebrews 12:25: “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks” (NKJV).
It’s a dangerous thing to turn a deaf ear to the voice of God when
He speaks through His Word. “Today, if you will hear His voice, do
not harden your hearts” (Mic 3:7–8NKJV).
Mic 3:1-4, 9-12 address the rulers and leaders, while Mic 3:5-8
addresses the false prophets.
Is it not for you to
justice? - The leaders and rulers were supposed to know, love and
practice justice, "right from wrong." (NLT) These leaders
were a far cry from the qualifications Moses enumerated in Ex 18:21!
Justice is a key word in Micah 3 (Mic 3:1, 8, 9, 6:8, 7:9 with "injustice"
in Mic 3:10). Justice is the Hebrew word mishpat (04941)
= a judgment, a legal decision rendered, justice as a state or
condition of fairness in disputes. Justice "refers to the
entire process of the administration of justice, including hearing
the case, rendering a decision, pronouncing a verdict, and
implementing the sentence." (Patterson)
You who hate good and
love evil (ra' = 07451) - It is a dire situation for any nation when the leaders
invert and pervert the truth for personal gain and choose to believe the lie! (Pr
14:34, Contrast God's way - Pr 8:13, Ps
Who tear off their
skin from them and their flesh from their bones - A striking
metaphor depicting the depth of depravity of these despicable
leaders--they were veritable "butchers" of their own people!
Who eat the flesh of
my people (etc) (cf Ps 14:4-note)
- Micah continues the graphic language in an attempt to paint a
picture of the extreme degree of oppression and injustice by the
leaders - these rulers were "cannibalizing" their own people -- one
would think Micah's imagery might stir the consciences of some of
these evil men!
Then they will
cry out to the LORD - When is "then?" When the judgment
of God falls on them! (cp Dt 31:17) Note what the
earth dwellers will "cry out"
to God in the day when His full fury falls on them in the horrific
"Bowl Judgments" in Rev 16:9, 11, 21-note.
Allen notes that "The term cry out is a technical
one for appeal to a judge for help against victimization. The woman
Shunem exercised this legal right of protest when she
returned home after seven years in Philistia and found her farm
taken over by others: she appealed to the king, who saw to it that
justice was done (2Ki 8:1–6). No such equity had these judges shown.
In return they would find their own appeals to God unavailing in
their hour of need."
He will not answer
them - Solomon records that "He who shuts his ear to the cry of
the poor will also cry himself and not be answered." (Pr 21:13)
and "He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his
prayer is an abomination." (Pr 28:9) See also Isa 1:15-note,
(cf Job 27:8,9, Pr 15:8, 29, Jn 9:31)
He will hide His face
from them - This idiom indicates God's wrath and temporary
rejection against His covenant people. Calvin remarks that "Micah
confronts us here with the greatest evil that could ever befall us,
that is, that God rejects those who reject Him, and that God refuses
to answer them, so that all their prayers are in vain and are no
longer received by God." (cf the fate of all who reject God and
His free gift of the
= 2Th 1:8-9)
The prophets who lead
my people astray (Lxx =
in present tense = continually) - A working definition of a false
prophet! Note that Micah 3:5-8 deals with the judgment of
these False Prophets.
When they have
something to bite with their teeth - I.e., something to eat.
These greedy prophets are motivated by what they can gain (cf Mic
kerusso = preach, proclaim loudly,
publicly) peace (shalom)
(cf false prophets in Jer 6:13,14, 8:10,11) - You can see the add in
the 700BC edition of the Jerusalem Post = "Prophets for hire!
Our message is guaranteed to tickle your ears!" (2Ti 4:3-4-note) "Prophecy for pay!" (cf our
modern ungodly "televangelists!) If the price is right they proclaim
platitudes of peace (thus they counterfeit the true peace proffered by the
true Prophet, Messiah in Mic 5:5, cf Eph 2:14-note).
But against him who
puts nothing in their mouths, They declare holy war - A
declaration of war was the false prophet's price for anyone not
paying their price for prophecy! A clear case of "Holy coercion!"
of conclusion) it will be
night for you--without
vision, and darkness for
divination (see note). - Ironically, the revelations of the false prophets
will be cut off at night, the time they often received their
"visions!" (cf NLT paraphrase - "Darkness will cover you,
making it impossible for you to predict the future.")
The sun will go down
on the prophets - As noted above "The coming of night (and
darkness in the following line) symbolizes the cessation of
And the day will
become dark over them (NLT = "your day will come to an end") -
Darkness is a metaphor for divine judgment and even death (Job
10:21, Pr 20:20, cf Jesus' words in Mt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30)
seers will be
ashamed...embarrassed - On the day of God's wrath. Seer is the
word hazah (02372) which is used of those who see visions (Isa. 1:1-note;
Lam 2:14; Ezek 12:27; Hab 1:1-note;
There is no answer
from God - In the day of God's wrath the prophets' mouths will
be stopped because God does not speak to or through them (cp Ps
On the other hand
of contrast - what is being contrasted?) I
am filled with power (Lxx =
with (by) the Spirit of the LORD- Micah gives the
credentials of a true prophet - the power and presence of the
Spirit. Micah's authority was not in his self but God's Spirit! (cf
Isa 48:16, 2Pe 1:20-21-note)
His power was from the Spirit even as was Jesus as the God-Man (cf
Jesus in Lk 4:14, Acts 10:38). Every believer today has access to
this same supernatural power because of the indwelling Spirit. (Eph
And with justice and
courage (power, Lxx = dunasteia = exercise of power, the stem "duna-"
has the basic sense of "being able," cf related word -
- These are the Spirit enabled, holy "armaments" of a prophet. The justice of the
God's prophet countered and overcame the gross injustice of the
leaders (Mic 3:9). His courage enabled him to fearlessly rebuke
people for their sins and impending judgment. Wiersbe adds that "a
true servant of God declares God’s message regardless of whether the
people like it or not. He’d like to be a peacemaker, but sometimes
he has to be a troublemaker."
To make known to
Jacob his rebellious act, even to Israel his sin - Micah's
purpose was to "reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and
instruction" (2 Ti 4:2-note).
this ("Now hear this!", Listen! - reiteration of Mic 3:1) heads...rulers -
Mic 3:9-12 Micah switches from the false prophets to the faulty
Who abhor (Heb =
taab - despise, detest)
twist (Heb = aqash - pervert, make crooked; Lxx -
diastrepho = distort, turn
different ways - as used in Php 2:15-note) everything that is straight -
The Lxx uses an especially strong verb for abhor
bdelusso - which means to loathe
something, to find it detestable. Bdelusso is derived from a root
which means to feel nauseated or sick! True justice "nauseated"
these perverted leaders!
with bloodshed and Jerusalem with violent
injustice (Heb = 'ewel -
anything that deviates from right way of doing things! Lev 19:15, Dt
25:16, Pr 28:27, Dt 32:4; Lxx =
unrighteousness) - Clearly a key
word in Micah 3 is "justice" (here "injustice")
(cf Mic 3:1, 8, 9)
judgment for a
bribe - Bribery was condemned (cf. Ex
23:8; Dt 16:19; Pr 17:23).
Priests instruct for
a price - Patterson explains this describes "money that was
exchanged for priestly rulings on the Torah or law of Moses."
Prophets divine for
money - Prophets were to be
watchmen (Jer 6:17, Ezek 3:17-note)
who warned of divine judgment for disobedience and called the people
to repentance, and were not to be an OT version of many modern money
grabbing "Televangelists!" (cf send money for miracle water -
Allen - A legal
problem? Take it to the judge. A religious problem? Take it to the
priest. A personal problem? Take it to the prophet. A satisfactory
answer was guaranteed if money passed from hand to hand.
Yet they lean
(Heb = sa'an - leaning on for support; Lxx =
finding comfort through confident dependence on) on the LORD
- They don't truly lean on (trust in) Jehovah, but upon their
fallacious interpretation of His promises.
Is not the LORD in our midst? - Sin deceives (Heb 3:13-see
discussion on deceitfulness of sin)
and these leaders, priests and prophets asked a rhetorical question
which they were sure called for an affirmative "Of course He is!"
They were like many today who "profess to know God, but by their
deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless
for any good deed." (Titus 1:16-note)
Calamity will not come upon us (cf the deceived sinners in Amos
- Clearly these leaders, priests and prophets did not understand
the clear warning prophecy in
Micah 1:12! Calamity is the Hebrew word ra' (07451)
meaning bad or evil and is
Key Word in
Micah where it is used 7x in 6v = Micah 1:12 (calamity), Mic 2:1
(evil), Mic 2:3 (calamity), Mic 3:2 (evil), Mic 3:11 (calamity), Mic
Term of conclusion
- Now we see the
consequences God would bring about because of the corrupt leaders,
priests and prophets had flouted God's law. As a country's leaders go, so goes
the country! Do you hear that America? (Pr 14:34)
On account of you
Zion will be plowed as a field -
Zion is the easternmost ridge of
Jerusalem, adjacent to the
Kidron Valley and the
Gihon Spring and here is used as a
synonym for the city of Jerusalem. "Plowed as a field" implies
that the site would be wiped clean, since ‘an area had to be totally
cleared of debris in order to be ploughed and planted.
Jerusalem will become
a heap of ruins - Solomon's Temple was razed by Nebuchadnezzar
some 100+ years later.
And the mountain of the
temple will become high places of a forest. - NLT "A thicket
will grow on the heights where the Temple now stands."
The OT scholar Walter
Kaiser considers Micah 4:1-5:15 to be "one of the truly
magnificent portions of Scripture that takes us deep into the
doctrine of the coming Messiah and His kingdom." I would add that
Micah also gives us an overview of the end time events that relate
to the nation of Israel.
In the midst of wrath,
God remembers mercy (Hab 3:2-note),
4:1ff is a poignant example, for the prophecy of Jerusalem's
desolation and ruin in Micah 3:12 is followed with a prophecy of
restoration of the future glory for Zion! This yet to be fulfilled
prophecy is so significant and so glorious that the Spirit inspired Isaiah (Micah's
contemporary) to pen a virtually identical description of the future
Millennial Reign of the Messiah (Isaiah
As noted above, the topic of the coming of the Messiah and Israel's future restoration
continues through chapter 4 to the end of chapter 5 (Micah 5:15).
Moses had predicted “When you (Israel) are in distress and all these
things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will
return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice (Clearly this
has not been fulfilled - the majority of the nation of Israel is
secular!) " (Deut 4:30, 31)
The last days
(11x - Isa 2:2; Jer 23:20; 49:39; Ezek 38:16; Hos 3:5; Mic 4:1; Acts
2:17; 2Ti 3:1; Heb 1:2; Jas 5:3; 2 Pet 3:3) - Last
has prophetic implications and from the use in Hebrews 1:2-note
we see this time begins with Jesus' first coming. Micah (and
Isaiah's) descriptions of the Last Days clearly do not "fit"
Messiah's first coming, but will be fulfilled at Messiah's Second
Coming. John Martin says "last days" (in this context)
denotes "the time when God will bring to consummation all the events
in history." John MacArthur agrees noting that the Last Days speaks of
"the period beginning with the first advent of Jesus
Christ (Acts 2:17; 2Ti 3:1-note;
Jas 5:3; 2Pe 3:3-note).
Old Testament prophets, being without a clear word regarding the
time between the Messiah’s two advents, linked the expression to the
Messiah’s return to establish His earthly kingdom, i.e., the
millennial kingdom spoken about in Re 20:1-10-note)
The writer of Hebrews in one sentence encompasses the first and
second comings of Christ, which in effect define "the last days" -
"So Christ also, having been offered once (First coming - beginning
of "the last days") to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second
which marks the termination of "the last days") for salvation
without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (He 9:28--note)
for more detailed discussion of the last days)
The mountain of the house of the
artist's rendering of God's House in the last days)
- Note the glorious contrast of this prophecy with the prophecy in
Micah 3:12! The "house of the LORD" is not the church, but if
interpreted literally and in context, it clearly refers to the Holy
Temple of God in Jerusalem which will be rebuilt during the
Millennial Reign of the Messiah
(cf Zech 8:3, see description of the Millennial Temple beginning in Ezek 40:4-5 through Ezek 48). The
Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be the site of the rebuilt Temple and
Mt Moriah ("Chosen by Jehovah").
Will be established
as the chief of the mountains. Isaiah frequently calls Mt. Zion
the “holy mountain” (Is 11:9; 27:13; 56:7; 57:13; 65:11,25; 66:20).
Zechariah 8:3 refers to the site of the future Temple as "the Holy
It will be raised
above the hills - Zechariah describes this great day when
"Jehovah will be king over all the earth" and "all the land will be
changed into a plain." (Zech 14:9,10-listen
to comment by J Vernon McGee)
And the peoples will
stream to it (cp Micah 7:12) - Peoples is a synonym for Gentiles, which pictures
the Gentile nations (cf "nations" Mic 4:2) coming to Jerusalem, to
"worship the King, the
LORD of hosts
and to celebrate the
Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles)." (Zech 14:16-21-note)
The Gentiles coming to worship in Jerusalem is a "divine reversal"
of the Gentiles coming to "tread under foot the holy city for 42
months," the three and one-half years (corresponding to
Great Tribulation) that comes to an
end with the
Second Coming of Christ (see Rev 11:1,2-note)
Many nations will
come (Mic 7:12) - The prophet Zechariah foresees the glorious
Millennial day when "many peoples
and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem
and to entreat the favor of the LORD" (Zec 8:22, 20–23).
Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD and to the
house of the God of Jacob
- Again Micah refers to the rebuilt Millennial Temple. While Micah's prophecy deals primarily with the future of the
nation of Israel, God does not forget the redeemed Gentiles (and the
Church) who will also worship the LORD in His Holy Temple.
That He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His
All the Jews and Gentiles who enter the Millennium are initially all
regenerate men and women, but they still have need to be sanctified
by truth, in this case taught by Messiah Himself! Martin
remarks "Micah’s readers were chafing (being irritated) under the
Word of God, not wanting to be told by Him or by His prophet that
they were wrong. By contrast eventually the whole world will submit
willingly to God’s Word and His decisions!"
Zion will go forth the law
the word of the
(Zion ~ Jerusalem, Mic 3:10, 12, 4:8) - This explains how Messiah will teach
about His ways - trips to Israel are popular today for tourist, but
these pilgrims come for teaching with Torah, not trinkets.
And He (Messiah the King of kings - Rev 19:16-note,
Rev 20:4-note) will judge
between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant
nations. - No nation will be exempt from Messiah's righteous rule
(Jer 23:5, 22:3, 15, Ps 72:2). See related article
The Arrival of God’s Kingdom.
Then they will hammer their swords into
- In His
Millennial Reign the
Messiah will "rule
all the nations with a rod of iron" (Rev 12:5-note
eliminating the need for swords, but necessitating the need for
plowshares, because in that day "the plowman will overtake the
reaper" because of the incredible fruitfulness of the land (Amos
9:13). See the United Nations statue "Let Us Beat Swords into
And their spears into
pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And
never again will they train for war. - Kaiser "Messiah will not
only be King and Teacher in Zion in that day, but He will be the
final Arbiter of all disputes. That will effectively antiquate the
need for the United Nations Security Council."
Each of them will sit
under his vine and under his fig tree - This describes that
peace, prosperity and security which mankind has long sought after in an
a longing which will finally be fulfilled in the
Millennial time when "Judah and
Israel (will live) in safety, every man under his vine and under his
fig tree." (1Ki 4:25, cf. 2Ki 18:31; Isa 36:16; Hos. 2:12; Joel
1:12; 2:22; 3:10; Zech. 3:10). Indeed Kaiser remarks "What is this
but a return to the paradisiacal conditions that existed in the
Garden of Eden (Is. 65:20–25; Ezek. 36:25; Hos. 2:18)."
With no one to make
them afraid- NLT = "there will be nothing to fear." Why? Because the threat of war, terrorism, crime
and injustice will have vanished because of victorious King, the
Messiah. What a striking contrast with the peace promised by the
false prophets in Micah's day (Mic 3:5)!
For the mouth of the
LORD of hosts has
spoken.- Explains how certain are these promises! The
"non-lying," trustworthy God has spoken and that settles it! "You
just can not get any more assurance than that!" (Kaiser)
Though all the
walk each in the name of his god - NET note says "The term
"name" here has the idea of "authority." To "walk in the name" of a
god is to recognize the god's authority as binding over one's life."
When this will occur is difficult to state, because theoretically
everyone, Jew and Gentile, who initially enters Messiah's
will be regenerate (Titus 3:5-note).
I agree with John Martin that "The nations (peoples)
who were following their gods refer to pagan nations in Micah’s day.
They could not be the nations in the future Millennium because Micah
had just written (Mic 4:2,3) that they will go to Jerusalem to learn
of the Lord."
As for us, we will walk In the name of the LORD our God forever
and ever - To walk means they will hear and heed God's
righteous standards, which are "summed up" in His righteous Name. The "us" refers to the
remnant in Israel in Micah's
day and at the time of the Millennium. Patterson
adds that "The cosmic reversal of the day of the Lord (Ed:
which includes Messiah's return which inaugurates the Millennium)
will finally see a rebellious and unfaithful Israel cured of
idolatry and fully restored to a relationship with Yahweh
characterized by covenant obedience and loyalty (cf. Jer 31:31–34;
In that day (cf
"the last days" - Mic 4:1, Mic 5:10) - Referring to the
beginning of the
Millennial Reign of the
Jesus) will assemble (Heb -- asaph - gathers, harvests; Lxx =
sunago - brings together - root of "synagogue") the lame (see
note below) and gather the outcasts, even those
whom I have afflicted (Lxx =
- pushed aside, thrust off from Himself, driven away - used
in Ro 11:1 = "God has not rejected His people" - cf promise in 1Sa
12:22 which uses apotheo/apotheomai) - Jehovah is referring to regathering of
of the nation of Israel when He returns as
their Deliverer (cf Ro 11:25-28-note).
John Martin explains "In the
Tribulation, Jews will be persecuted (Da
scattered (cf. Zech. 14:5); then when Christ returns they will be
regathered (Mt. 24:31)" It is notable that Jehovah gives many
prophetic promises of regathering His people (see Dt
30:1-5; Isa 11:12, Jer 31:7-9, Ezek 11:16, Ezek 20:34, 41).
I will make the lame
(cf parallel passage - Zeph 3:19 which also predicts Israel's end time restoration, Lxx = suntribo = literally "rub hard together" ~ smashed, crushed,
and the outcasts (hala = be removed far off; Lxx =
apotheo/apotheomai) a strong nation -The exiles of the nation of
Israel are compared to lame and injured sheep the Good Shepherd
gathers together, heals and makes whole (cf Mk 13:27, cf Mt 23:37). Martin
"in contrast with Israel’s being driven away into exile, the
returned remnant (cf. Isa 37:32; Mic 2:12; 5:7–8; 7:18; Ro 9:27;
11:5) of believing Jews (cf Ro 11:25-28-note) will become a strong nation."
Bible Knowledge Commentary) The prophet
Zephaniah (also speaking of the last days when Messiah returns
as victorious warrior and King of kings - Rev 19:11-15, 16-note)
echoes this promise declaring "Jehovah has taken away His judgments
against you, He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel,
Jehovah (Jesus), is in your midst. You will fear disaster no more."
The LORD will reign
over them in Mount
from now on and forever (cf. Ps 146:10-note;
Lk 1:33; Rev 11:15-note) - In the
Millennial Reign of the
As for you, tower (Heb = migdal 04026
= "watchtower"; Lxx = purgos = lookout for watching over a field or vineyard
- Mk 12:1)
of the flock- Walter Kaiser interprets this phrase a
reference to "the
royal house of David (which) will be restored" in the Millennium
(cp Jer 30:8, 9 "David their king", Ezek 34:23,24 - see esp verse 24
which speaks of Jehovah and David as distinct individuals).
The designation flock from
comparing other Scriptures and from the
current context refers to
Israel (see Isa 40:11, Jer 13:17, 20, Mic 5:4, Zech 10:3) The
tower pictures an elevated place from which the "flock"
can be monitored, as does a shepherd his sheep or a farmer guarding
his crops from raiders. HCSB-SB adds "The greatness of the Davidic
empire in the past would return once more to Migdal-eder (watchtower
for the flock), a location near Bethlehem (Gen 35:19-21)."
The daughter of Zion - This refers to those who live in
Jerusalem (cf. Isa 1:8-note;
Jer 4:31; Lam. 1:6; 2:13; Micah 1:13; Zech. 9:9) cf Micah 4:10, 13.
To you it will come--
even the former dominion ("your royal might and power" NLT) will come
("back to you again" - NLT) Israel at her inception was to
have been "the head and not the tail" (Dt 28:13,14) but it was
conditioned on her obedience (Dt 28:1). Because of Israel's
disobedience to God's Law (Dt 28:15, she was disciplined by God Who
made her the tail not the head. However Micah predicts that in the
last days, Israel's dominion over the nations will be
restored (cf God's promise to not reject Israel forever - Lev
26:40-42,44) and she will no longer be tread under foot by the
nations, for the "times of the Gentiles" (See
detailed discussion of the Times of the Gentiles) (Lk
21:24) will be fulfilled at the Second Coming of Messiah.
The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem - "The sovereignty
that belongs to Daughter Jerusalem" (NET); "Kingship will come to
the Daughter of Jerusalem." (NIV) for the King of kings will reign
forever and ever (Mic 4:7), "My precious Jerusalem" (NLT)
Now - This expression of time describes a "time change" -
Micah goes from the far future back to the pathetic present as he
prophesies of Judah's coming punishment as a prisoner in
Babylon. Remember that in 700BC Babylon was not even the reigning
world power and yet this prophecy was perfectly fulfilled. We can
trust every promise of God, for the trustworthy God stands behind
His Word to perfectly fulfill it in His time.
Why do you cry out
loudly? Is there no king among you, or has your counselor perished -
Micah 4:9-10 refer to Judah's 70 year period of captivity in Babylon
(Mic 4:10). Judah would have no king or counselor in exile!
That agony (pain, writing, anguish)
has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? -
Why? Because of their embarrasing exile to Babylon (cf. Jer. 4:31;
6:24; 13:21; 22:23; 30:6; 49:24; 50:43).
Writhe and labor to
give birth, daughter of Zion - The citizens of Jerusalem (see
comment on Mic 4:8, 1:13) would be able to do nothing to stop the
"birth" process, once labor had begun!
Like a woman in childbirth; For now you will go out of the city,
dwell in the field - Always pause to ponder
of explanation) which explains the comparison to a woman
in labor - the "birth" so to speak would be not a baby but a
And go to
Babylon. There you will be rescued...redeem - Micah
(ca 700BC) predicts Judah's exile to Babylon (605-586) over 100
years prior her exile! Notice how in one verse we see a "time gap"
in Micah's prophecy of the exile from the Land of Israel and then
(skipping over the 70 years in captivity) their return to the Land
of Israel. (See
concept of a "time gap")
There the LORD will redeem (Heb = natsal - 05337;
rhuomai = snatch from danger, evil
or an enemy)
you from the hand of your enemies -
Micah predicts Judah's release from exile by the edict of
King Cyrus of Persian (ca 538BC)
(God stirred the heart of Cyrus to fulfill this prediction - Ezra
1:1, Isa 44:28, Pr 21:1-note)
And now many nations have been assembled against you (Israel)
(cf Joel 3:2-15) - While this verse alone could point to Micah's
day, the context (Mic 4:11-13) supports the premise that now Micah jumps from the preceding prophecy which
historically would have a near fulfillment (in 100+ years Mic 4:9-10
will be fulfilled with Judah's exile to Babylon) to a distant future
time when the nations come against Israel. From other
Scriptures, this gathering of many nations against Israel
(Zion) corresponds to the "time of Jacob's distress," (Jer 30:7),
that time which Jesus designated as
Tribulation," (Mt 24:21), which corresponds to the last
3.5 years of the Seven Year Tribulation (Daniel's
Seventieth Week). At this time, the "kings of the
whole world" are gathered together (by demonic spirits) "for
the war of the great day of God, the Almighty" in "the place
which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon" or Mount of Megiddo
(popularly referred to as
of the sequence of events in the Campaign of Armageddon)"
notes discussing this great battle)
Henry Morris summarizes Mic 4:11 - "Here Micah leaps over the
coming captivity in Babylon (Micah 4:10) and deliverance there from,
to the great ultimate invasion of Israel in the last days (Rev
NET Bible Note
explains that in "Micah 4:11–13 the prophet jumps from the present
crisis (which will result in exile, Mic 4:10) to a time beyond the
restoration of the exiles when God will protect his city from
invaders. The LORD’s victory over the Assyrian armies in 701 B.C.
Who (the "goyim," the unbelieving Gentile nations)
say, 'Let her be polluted, and let our eyes gloat over Zion -
To gloat means to think about something with triumphant and
often malicious satisfaction. The unbelieving Gentile nations will
gloat as they gather against Israel (Zion), fully confident that
they will once and for all crush God's chosen people into oblivion
and accomplish the "final solution." Note the next verse
overrules their plans to destroy Israel.
But they (nations)
do not know the thoughts of the LORD, and they do not understand
His purpose - The unbelieving Gentile nations of the world that
have been gathered (in the sovereign plan of God) against Israel
most likely think they are going to crush Israel. Micah says "Not
so" because they don't understand the sovereign plan of Jehovah for
His chosen people. Spiritual truth is spiritually discerned and they
don't have the Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures (1Cor 2:14). Or
perhaps these nations rely on theologians who do not interpret the
Scriptures literally and scoff at predictive prophecy and instead
teach that God is finished with Israel (e.g.,
Replacement Theology which is a
disturbing trend among many otherwise orthodox evangelicals), so
that these prophecies in Micah for the church, not the nation of
Israel. For example, here is a note from R C Sproul's Reformation
Study Bible (Ligonier Ministries) on the mountain of the
house of the LORD IN Micah 4:1 "Earthly Mount Zion prefigured
the heavenly reality to which the church indeed has now
come." Similarly Matthew Henry repeatedly ascribes Micah's
prophecies to the church. As an aside Henry (and many of the
reformers) well excellent devotionally, seldom interpret end times
OT prophecies related to literally and routinely replace the nation
of Israel with the Church. (See
Guidelines for Interpreting Prophetic Passages)
For He has gathered them (against Israel)
like sheaves to the threshing floor (cf. Isa 21:10; Jer
51:33; Hos 13:3) - This phrase reaffirms
that the nations are like "puppets" in the hands of Jehovah
(cf Pr 21:1-note) and have
been gathered against Israel under His sovereign authority and
power, not of their own volition. The picture of these nations is
likened to the harvesting of grain and specifically the threshing
process. The NET Bible paraphrases this "He (Jehovah) has gathered
them (nations of the world) like stalks of grain to be threshed at
the threshing floor," explaining that "The words "to be threshed"
are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the
translation to make it clear that the LORD is planning to enable
"Daughter Zion" to "thresh" her enemies."
Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion (people of Jerusalem - see
Mic 4:8), For your horn I will make
iron and your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many
peoples - The context is Micah 4:11, the gathering of many
nations against Israel. In this passage Micah assures Israel that
they will trample their enemies, like oxen treading grain (cf Zech
explains that Mic 4:11-13 This passage looks further ahead, to the
great campaign of Armageddon immediately preceding the second coming
of Christ and the millennial kingdom. There the world will be lined
up against Israel, but God will give Israel victory, using horn of
iron and hoofs of bronze."
That you may devote
to the LORD their unjust gain and their wealth to the Lord of all
the earth (a great Name - Ps 97:5-note;
Zech 4:14; 6:5) - Kaiser explains "devote" - "Following the custom of setting aside a
portion of one’s spoils to the deity that secured the victory for
the nation, victorious Israel sets aside a portion of her gain for
the temple of the Lord (v. 13c; cf. Isa. 60:1–9)."
This verse occurs at the
end of chapter 4 in the Massoretic Text and is thus understood to be
a continuation of the preceding discussion.
yourselves in troops, daughter of troops. They have laid
siege against us - Micah's prophecy ca 700BC had a near
fulfillment (about 100 years later) when
Nebuchadnezzar laid siege
against Jerusalem (daughter of troops) beginning in 588BC and ending
18 months later with the invasion and defeat of the Holy city of
Jerusalem and burning of the House of the Lord (2Ki 25:1-4, 8-11). This prophecy of the Babylonian siege
"returns to the thought of Mic 4:9,10" (Kaiser). The word
also be translated slash giving rise the alternative translation -
"Now daughter who is under attack, you slash yourself in grief."
With a rod they will smite (sign of humiliation - 1Ki 22:24;
Job 16:10; Lam 3:30) the judge (reference to the king) of
Israel on the cheek - While some commentaries interpret
the stricken judge as Jesus (cf Mt 27:30, Mk 15:19, Jn 19:3),
the context does not support that interpretation, for the first part
of the verse refers to the Babylonian siege. In addition, Jerusalem
was not under siege when Christ was struck, nor was He struck with a
rod. Most writers interpret the judge that was smitten as
King Zedekiah who received
humiliating treatment from Nebuchadnezzar when Judah fell in 586BC (cf 2Ki 25:4-5,
as for you,
Bethlehem (House of Bread) Ephrathah
note on "Ephrathah") too little
("seemingly insignificant" NET; cf "definitions" of "little" in Jdg
6:15, Ps 119:141) to be among the clans
of Judah - Micah now introduces a striking contrast with the
humiliation suffered by Judah's last Davidic king (Zedekiah from
line of David) with the prophecy of the humble beginning of the
greatest Davidic King (Mt 1:1-2ff) The greater David was born in
David's birthplace, "the city of David" (Lk 2:4, Jn 7:42, Ru 4:11,
17-21,22), a lowly town, a town so small that it was not even
mentioned in the list of towns in Joshua 15:1-63 or Neh. 11:1-36.
Bethlehem was also the home of Naomi, Boaz and Ruth the Moabitess,
the latter being in the Davidic line of the Messiah (see Mt 1:5,6).
The fulfillment of Micah's prophecy (Messiah's birth in Bethlehem)
allows fulfillment of the "Davidic Covenant" in 2Sa 7:12,13 (Notice
especially the phrase "I will establish the throne of His kingdom
forever" - this could not be Solomon whose kingdom was split in
on Isa 9:7 and see "forever" in Lk 1:31, 32, 33)
From you One (God the Son)
will go forth (cf Heb 3:1-note
One") for Me (God the Father)
to be ruler in Israel (cf Mic 4:7) - David was born in Bethlehem
(1Sa 16:1, 18–19; 17:12) as was the "Greater David" Jesus the
Messiah (Mt. 2:1). From Mt 2:3-6 (which quotes Mic 5:2), it is
clear that the "chief priests and scribes" interpreted Micah 5:2 as
a prophecy of the Messiah. Note "for Me" indicates Messiah
came first and foremost to fulfill the perfect will and
predetermined plan of His Father (Heb 10:7-note,
cf Acts 2:23, Eph 1:9, 10-note,
and secondarily (albeit not an "afterthought" but a definitive
purpose) for Israel (cf Isa 44:21, 49:15, 16, Hos 2:19, 20, Jer
31:36, 37). The promised Messiah is the Father's final Word to
mankind (Heb 1:2-note),
even the "Messenger of the Covenant" (Mal 3:1-note)
His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of
(literally “days of antiquity”, see word study of
cf Ps 25:6; 90:2)
- Goings forth refers either to may refer His origins (cf. NAB, NIV,
NRSV, NLT) or his activities. Jesus had no beginning but existed eternally with God
the Father (cf Jn 1:1, Php 2:6-note,
Indeed, Jesus is
El Olam, the Everlasting
Note: This is a difficult verse from an eschatological perspective.
Despite the differences of opinion on the interpretation of this
prophecy we do well to remember Warren Wiersbe's words
"Whenever a prophet foretold the future, it was to awaken the people
to their responsibilities in the present. Bible prophecy isn’t
entertainment for the curious; it’s encouragement for the serious."
He will give them up
until the time when she who is in labor has
borne a child.
Who is them? In
context, this is clearly Israel, the Jewish people.
What does He will
give them up signify? It means that the Jews will be subject to
Gentile dominion. The "Times of the Gentiles" (Lk
21:24) began with Judah's defeat by the Gentile power Babylon in
586BC. Israel has continually been under the authority of the
Gentiles and this will only be relieved at the Second Coming of
agrees that give them up is "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 (cf. Isa 10:20–22;
Who is she?
The "reflex" explanation is that surely this is the Virgin Mary and
a number of evangelical commentaries (ESV Study Bible, KJV Study
Bible, Believer's Study Bible = W A Criswell, Defender's Study Bible
= Henry Morris, Wycliffe Bible Commentary) do indeed feel that the
pronoun she refers to Mary. But does Mary fit with the
context? Note that the implication of the word "until"
(see importance of expressions
of time) is
that Israel will not be given up after she has borne a child.
Clearly Israel remained under Gentile rule (e.g., Rome) even after
Mary bore the Messiah. In fact even today the Temple Mount remains
under Gentile (Muslim) dominion! Walter Kaiser: "From the
Babylonian Exile to the present day, God has abandoned Israel and
will continue to do so “until” the one in labor has given
birth." Therefore, it seems most reasonable to interpret "she"
not as Mary, but as Israel (personified as a woman, as she clearly
is in Rev 12:1-4, 5,6-note)
labor as not referring to Mary's labor, but to the nation of
Israel's "labor" so to speak.
Some like Charles
Ryrie try to tie these two together and say "she (the
virgin Mary, Isa. 7:14) gives birth to Messiah, Who will reunite
Israel (a work in connection with His Second Coming)." In a similar
way the KJV Bible Commentary explains that "Just as surely as
God in His sovereign program has brought Messiah upon the scene
historically, so He will bring the believing remnant into existence
(Ed: compare borne a child); and in His time both
redeemed people and reigning Messiah will be brought together!"
Illustrated Bible Commentary: She who is in labor
probably refers to Zion (Mic 4:10). The metaphor refers to the
deliverance in the end time of those who will be able to delight in
the coming of God’s kingdom (Micah 4:9-5:1).
explains that "the time will come when the labor will end and
birth will come. This refers not to Mary’s giving birth to Jesus,
but to Israel’s national regathering (cf. Mic 2:12; 4:6-7), likened
here to a childbirth."
would give the Israelites over to chastening until Israel had ended
her painful period of suffering (like a woman in labor, Micah 4:9)
and she had brought forth a child. In view of previous revelation
about Israel’s continuing discipline by God until her Redeemer
appeared (4:10), this seems to be a reference to the second coming
of Messiah, not His first coming. This interpretation gains support
from the promise in the last half of this verse. Then the remainder
of the Redeemer’s brethren, the Jews, will experience a regathering
(cf. 2:12; 4:6–7). They will return to the land and rejoin other
NET Bible note on
"borne a child": The point of the figurative language is that
Jerusalem finally finds relief from her suffering. See Micah 4:10.
A C Gaebelein see
she as Israel explaining that "Israel will be in travail pains to
give birth to the remnant, so prominently mentioned in prophecy.
Since the nation rejected the Messiah they have had nothing but
suffering, but the great travail pains come in the future. “For thus
says the LORD, ‘I have heard a sound of terror, Of dread, and there
is no peace. 6 ‘Ask now, and see, If a male can give birth. Why do I
see every man With his hands on his loins, as a woman in
childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? 7 ‘Alas! for
that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of
Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.” (Jer 30:5-7). That
godly remnant turning then to the Lord, born in that future travail,
are called here “His brethren.”
McGee - You may
think that this verse still has reference to the birth of Christ.
Well, it is true that it speaks of the fact that Mary travailed, but
you can’t read this passage without realizing that it also refers to
the nation of Israel. It speaks not only of their worldwide
dispersion—they were scattered by the judgment of God—but of their
travail. The Great Tribulation Period is the travail through which
the nation must pass. “Then the remnant of his brethren shall return
unto the children of Israel.” The Jews will be regathered from their
Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of
Israel - Then is an important marker of time (expression
especially in prophetic passages for this conjunction always signifies something
following next in order. In the
conjunction "and" in Micah 5:4), the return of the
sons of Israel
corresponds to the end times when Messiah returns to regather the
believing remnant of Israel and restore the nation to worldwide
prominence in the
(cf Mic 5:7-8).
And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the
LORD, In the majesty of the Name of the LORD His God - Who is
"He?" In context this refers to the
(cf Mic 5:5a and Eph 2:14-note) When
Messiah returns (see
Second Coming), He will be the Great Shepherd
(Zech 10:3, cf Mic 2:12, 7:14, Jn 10:11, Mt 26:31, 1Pe 5:4-note,
Jehovah Roi = Shepherd) of the sheep
and will rule over the world with rod
of iron (Rev 12:5-note,
And they will remain ("They will live securely" NET), because at that time He will be great to
the ends of the earth (cf Messiah's rule in Zech 14:9) - At the time of the establishment of
Israel will remain (be secure) because Messiah is
their protecting Shepherd (cf Zech 14:11) Who is "mighty to save."
Scripture record’s two pregnancies in relation to Messiah. The first
labor (Mic 5:3) terminates in the First Coming of Messiah (Rev 12:2-4-note).
The second labor terminates in the ushering in of the Millennial
Kingdom. It is this second period of labor, subsequent to the going
forth of Messiah from Bethlehem, which Micah 5:4 sets forth. This second
labor leads to the millennial age “at that time He will be great
to the ends of the earth.” The time of Jacob’s trouble describes the labor
pains associated with the second "pregnancy." (Jacob’s
Trouble and the Great Tribulation)
This One will be our peace (shalom) -
Notice that true peace is not just a precept but a Person!
This One is the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6-note,
Lk 1:79, 2:14, 19:38, 42, Jn 14:27. 16:33), the Messiah Who alone
will bring peace - He brought peace to hearts
of believers with His first coming (Ro 5:1-2-note,
cf Isa 52:7 where "announces peace" and "brings good news" are the
same verb in Lxx =
euaggelizo/euangelizo), but will bring
peace to the earth at His
Second Coming. Peace will
Messiah (Isa 11:6-9-note,
Isa 55:12; 66:12; Jer 33:6; Ezek 34:25; 37:26).
Are we telling the lost
around us of this promised personal and prophetic peace?
(Acts 10:36, Mt 5:9-note,
When the Assyrian invades our land,
when he tramples on our
citadels, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight
leaders of men. - This is a difficult verse in my opinion. To
whom does Assyria refer? While one might consider the Assyrian
at the time of Micah's prophecy, the next verse says they (7
shepherds and 8 leaders ~ idiomatic way of saying that Israel had an
adequate numbers for the task) will shepherd the land of Assyria
with the sword, something that did not happen in Micah's day.
This fact supports the interpretation of a future, yet unfulfilled
prophecy. Most conservative commentators agree with MacArthur
who says "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."
Ryrie feels Assyria is "typical of all Israel's
enemies." (See also
Constable's reasons for favoring this
interpretation) A few consider the
Assyrian to be a name for the Antichrist, but this speculative
interpretation seems to be stretching the meaning of the text too
They will shepherd
the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod at its
entrances - Since this prophecy predicts that Israel will be
victorious over Assyria and the land of Nimrod (some favor this as
Assyria, others as Babylon - cf Ge 10:8-12), this must refer to a
yet unfulfilled future time. The nation of Assyria will not exist in
the future, but is used here as a picture of the nations which will
attack Jerusalem in the future, even as Assyria attacked Jerusalem
in Micah's day (Zech 12:9, Zech 14:2-3).
And He will deliver us from the Assyrian when he attacks our land
and when he tramples our territory (Note the context - the
deliverer arrives when the "hour" is dark for the nation of Israel)
- In context He will deliver refers to the Messiah Who will
rescue Israel at His Second Coming. The Lxx translates the Hebrew
for "deliver" with the Greek verb
the same verb Paul used in his prophecy of the "Deliverer
(rhuomai) [the Messiah Who] will come from Zion" saving all Israel
("all" of the
Micah 5:7-8 supports this "Messianic" interpretation, for these
passages describe a time when the remnant of Israel is compared to a
lion among sheep (Gentile nations). This prophecy clearly has never
been fulfilled. Again the Assyrian is thought by some to be
the future Antichrist, but that is speculation.
Jacob (description of believing Jews - Mic 2:12, 4:7, 5:8, 7:18)
will be among many peoples (Jews will live all over the world
in the Millennium) like dew from the LORD, Like
showers on vegetation which do not wait for man (dew and rain
are given by the sovereign timing of God, not men) or delay for the
sons of men. - See comments on Mic 5:6. Like dew (cf dew
as a symbol of divine blessing = Ps 133:3, Hos 14:5, Zech 8:12) and
showers on vegetation suggest Israel will be a source
of blessing to the Gentile nations in the age to come (cf Zech 8:22,