Micah 2 Commentary

Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Chart by Charles Swindoll
Micah 7:18
Micah 1:1-2:13
Micah 3:1-5:15
Micah 6:1-7:20
First Message:
Will Come
Second Message:
will follow Judgment
Third Message:
An Indictment of Sin &
A Promise of Blessing
Micah 1:1-2:11
Micah 2:12-13
Micah 3:1-12
Micah 4:1-5:15
Micah 6:1-7:10
Micah 7:11-20
and Judgment
and Comfort
and Pardon
Sin & It's Outcome
The King & His Kingdom
First Coming - Mic 5:2-3
Second Coming - Mic 5:4-15
The Lord & His Justice
Message of Destruction for Samaria & Judah Message of Doom
& Deliverance
Message of
God Gathers to
Judge and Deliver
God Judges Rulers and
Comes to Deliver
God Brings Indictments and
Ultimate Deliverance
Question 1:
Is God Responsible for the Destruction we face?
Question 2:
How Do We Know
God is with Us?
Question 3:
What Does God
Want from Us?
About 25 Years
735-710 BC

Micah 2:1 Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands.

  • to. Esther 3:8; 5:14; 9:25; Psalms 7:14-16; 140:1-8; Proverbs 6:12-19; 12:2; Isaiah 32:7; Isaiah 59:3; Jeremiah 18:18; Ezekiel 11:2; Nahum 1:11; Luke 20:19; 22:2-6; Acts 23:12; Romans 1:30
  • work Ps 36:4; Proverbs 4:16
  • when Hosea 7:6,7; Matthew 27:1,2; Mark 15:1; Acts 23:15
  • because Genesis 31:29; Deuteronomy 28:32; Proverbs 3:27; John 19:11

Micah 2:1-5 - Pronouncement of Divine Judgment on Profiteers (Evil of coveting)

Micah 2:6-11 - Confrontation of the False Prophets (Evil of Placebo Preaching)

Micah 2:12-13- Promise of Future Divine Deliverance and Restoration

This oracle pronounces judgement against the leaders and identifies one of the sins for which they will be judged.

Patterson summarizes Micah 2 - It contains three oracles in the prophet’s larger book of doom addressed to the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah (Mic 1:2–3:12). The first message pronounces divine judgment against the wealthy oppressors of the middle class and poor (Micah 2:1–5). The second message is a dispute between the false prophets (perhaps representing wealthy land-grabbers trying to silence Micah) and Micah, God’s true prophet (Micah 2:6–11). The third message shifts abruptly from the theme of judgment to a word of hope promising God’s deliverance and future restoration for a remnant of Israel (Micah 2:12–13). This is in keeping with the kaleidoscopic pattern of the oracle structure in the book.

Woe to those who scheme iniquity - How fitting that Micah introduces this section with a "Woe to" which was often used as a cry of mourning for the dead! Many of his listeners would soon be either dead or exiled by the Assyrians! So Micah proceeds to issue 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).

Micah's words remind one of Solomon's description of evil men…

For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; and they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. (Pr 4:16)

Woe (01945) (hoy) is an interjection (abrupt utterance usually lacking grammatical connection) translated Ho!, Woe!, Ah!, O!, Oh!, Alas! It is generally used to express lamentation or woe (condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief) The prophets often used hoy in announcing judgment (Isa 1:4, 24, Jer 48:1, Ezek 13:18, Amos 5:18). Woe is used to grab the reader's attention (Isa 18:1, Zech 2:6). Hoy is used 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, James 1:16-note). Puritan John Owen warned "Be killing sin, lest it be killing you!"

Dear reader, you’ve probably never fallen asleep plotting an evil act, but you may have drifted off nursing a grudge! (cf the warning from Paul in Eph 4:26-27-note). Next time before you fall asleep avail yourself of great mercy and grace of 1Jn 1:9-note (cf Pr 28:13-note)!

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), six times in mourning for the dead, and on rare occasion in a positive context (Isa 55:1, Zech 2:6-7)

The Lxx often translates "hoy" with Greek particle of interjection ouai' which BDAG says is " interjection denoting pain or displeasure, woe, alas" and was used especially by Jesus when addressing the religious hypocrites of His day (cf Mt 24:13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29)

Hoy - 47v - (Note most of uses are in the prophets) 1Kgs 13:30; Isa 1:4, 24; 5:8, 11, 18, 20ff; 10:1, 5; 17:12; 18:1; 28:1; 29:1, 15; 30:1; 31:1; 33:1; 45:9f; 55:1; Jer 22:13, 18; 23:1; 30:7; 34:5; 47:6; 48:1; 50:27; Ezek 13:3, 18; 34:2; Amos 5:18; 6:1; Mic 2:1; Nah 3:1; Hab 2:6, 9, 12, 15, 19; Zeph 2:5; 3:1; Zech 2:6f; 11:17. Usage in the NAS: Ah(2), alas(11), ho(2), ho there(1), woe(34).

Barnes on "Woe" in Micah 2:1 - "the woe of temporal captivity; and, unless ye repent, the woe of eternal damnation, hangs over you."

Patterson - “to pronounce a ‘woe’ on someone meant to announce their funeral” (Limburg 1988:169).

Beloved, Woe, the evil of coveting! Have you fallen into this sticky wicket? Are you coveting something, someone? Remember coveting is idolatry (Col 3:5-note), a sin especially heinous to God (Ex 20:3-5)!

Who work out evil on their beds! (Ps 36:4-note, 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 (note) to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make 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 (apechomai - to continually hold oneself away) from fleshly lusts (Only possible as we depend on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit - cf Gal 5:16-note), which wage war (strateuomai ~ continually strategize!) against the soul." (1Pe 2:11-note) Woe!

Scheme (02803)(chasab/hasab) depicts 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" in Ro 1:30-note).

The Lxx uses the verb logizomai, in the present tense, depicting these evil doers as continually "calculating" how to attain their nefarious ends. The Lxx also adds the word kopos, which depicts exhausting physical or mental exertion! What a picture of the effort these men went to, to commit their prized sins! Beloved, before we were saved, we chased after sins. Now that we are saved, sin chases after us! So as we read this incredible description, we need to be wary and as Paul warned - "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.(1Cor 10:12)

Matthew Henry - Woe to the people that devise evil during the night, and rise early to carry it into execution! It is bad to do mischief on a sudden thought, much worse to do it with design and forethought. (Concise Commentary)

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 here in Micah 2:1 God says evil men misuse their power. Note that Micah 1 deals primarily with sins against God, Micah 2:1-11 deals primarily with sins against man.

Dale Ralph Davis - 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.

When morning comes, they do it - Their evil nocturnal machinations (Micah 2:1) are boldly paraded and practiced in the light of day! McComiskey - "The “legal sharks” against whom Micah inveighed performed their perfidious acts at dawn." Their actions are is in stark contrast to the fact that most thieves cover their dark deeds with the cover of night, but these evil men do it in the light, so seared are their consciences to call evil good and good evil (cf Isa 5:20-note)!

ILLUSTRATION - Dr. Robert G. Lee, a great Baptist preacher, once delivered one of the most famous sermons of this century when he spoke on the subject, "Payday Someday!." The sermon, three hours in length in its original form, is a spellbinding retelling of Ahab's and Jezebel's wicked reign and gruesome end. Dr. Lee's title captures perfectly the principle of God's certain justice, played out in the lives of Israel's infamous king and his pagan wife.

Micah 2:2 They covet fields and then seize them, and houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.

  • Covet Exodus 20:17; 1 Kings 21:2-19; Job 31:38; Isaiah 5:8; Jeremiah 22:17; Amos 8:4; Habakkuk 2:5-9; 1 Timothy 6:10
  • They rob Mic 3:9; Exodus 22:21-24; 2 Kings 9:26; Nehemiah 5:1-5; Job 24:2-12; Ezekiel 18:12; 22:12; Amos 8:4; Malachi 3:5; Matthew 23:14 1 Samuel 12:3,4


Covet… seize - (Covetousness) Covet means to wish for enviously, to desire what belongs to another. They were in clear violation of the Tenth Commandment (Ex 20:17; cf. Ex 22:26; 23:4–9). The heart of their sin was the coveting in their heart! (Jer 17:9, cf Ro 7:7,8-note) 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 (James 1:17-note)!

Matthew Henry - If covetousness reigns in the heart, compassion is banished; and when the heart is thus engaged, violence and fraud commonly occupy the hands. (Concise Commentary)

Covet (02530)(chamad) means to lust, take pleasure in, desire passionately. It describes an inordinate, ungoverned, selfish desire. In the negative sense coveting “self-centered greed which longs for that which belongs to another.” (Limburg)

Chamad describes pleasant trees in Eden (Ge 2:9). Unfortunately, the forbidden tree also became desirable (Ge 3:6) Some things such as God's Word are to be greatly "coveted" or desired (Ps 19:10).

The Lxx translates chamad with verb epithumeo (in imperfect tense = an action that was repeated) which means literally to fix the desire upon (object could be good [Mt 13:17, Lk 22:15 used of Jesus] or bad [1Co 10:6]), to have a strong desire to do or secure something.

Chamad - 20x - Ge 2:9; 3:6; Ex 20:17; 34:24; Dt 5:21; 7:25; Josh 7:21; Job 20:20; Ps 19:10; 39:11; 68:16; Pr 1:22; 6:25; 12:12; 21:20; Song 2:3; Isa 1:29; 44:9; 53:2; Mic 2:2. Usage in the NAS: attracted(1), covet(6), coveted(1), delight(1), desirable(2), desire(1), desired(2), desires(2), pleasing(1), precious(2), precious things(1), took great delight(1).

Seize (fields) - These wealthy robber barons were going against God's wisdom which said "Do not rob the poor because he is poor." (Pr 22:22a) Indeed, land grabbing was historically a serious offense in Israel and Judah (cf See the "Woe" in Isa 5:8-note See also Ahab coveting and seizing the field of 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 - 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 laborer; 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)

Seize (01497)(gazal) is derived from a root that speaks of violence that goes beyond mere stealing or taking another's belongings but includes taking or robbing by force (first use is in context of land seizure! Ge 21:25). Thus gazal means means to tear away, to snatch, to rob. People lie in wait and rob those who come along the road (Jdg 9:25). Micah also uses gazal in Micah 3:2 in an accusation directed at the leaders "who tear off" the skin of the victims (metaphor).

The Lxx translates gazal with the verb diarpazo (imperfect tense) which means to plunder thoroughly (Mt 12:29).

Patterson - Hebrew wisdom tradition warned against robbing the poor because God is their protector (Pr 22:22; cf. Ps 35:10). This kind of robbery is one of the curses God would inflict upon the Israelites as punishment for their covenant disobedience (Dt 28:29)… The family inheritance of land was inalienable (Lev 25:23). Robbing people of their family property struck at the very core of the covenant relationship with Yahweh because the land was a family’s social security—loss of the family inheritance usually meant poverty for families so affected.

Gazal - 30v - Gen 21:25; 31:31; Lev 6:4; 19:13; Deut 28:29, 31; Jdg 9:25; 21:23; 2 Sam 23:21; 1 Chr 11:23; Job 20:19; 24:2, 9, 19; Ps 35:10; 69:4; Pr 4:16; 22:22; 28:24; Isa 10:2; Jer 21:12; 22:3; Ezek 18:7, 12, 16, 18; 22:29; Mic 2:2; 3:2; Mal 1:13. Usage in the NAS: carried away(1), commit(2), commits(1), committed(1), consume(1), force(1), rob(3), robbed(6), robs(2), seize(2), seized(2), snatch(1), snatched(2), steal(1), take(1), taken by robbery(1), tear off(1), took by robbery(1), torn away(1).

The psalmist aptly describes the actions and fate of these land grabbers in Micah 2…

In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted. Let them be caught (a prayer) in the plots which they have devised. For (term of explanation - explaining why the imprecatory prayer is justified) the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD. (Ps 10:2-3-note)

Spurgeon - The accusation divides itself into two distinct charges,—pride and tyranny; the one the root and cause of the other. The prayer is reasonable, just, and natural. Even our enemies themselves being judges, it is but right that men should be done by as they wished to do to others. We only weigh you in your own scales, and measure your corn with your own bushel… There are none who will dispute the justice of God, when he shall hang every Haman on his own gallows, and cast all the enemies of his Daniels into their own den of lions.

Inheritance (05159) (nakhalah) is a common noun (192x) which refers to land allotted to the families of each Tribe when priests parceled territory during the days of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan (Josh 11:23, cf Num26:53-56; Ezek 48:29). The Lxx translates nakhalah with the noun kleronomia (from kleros = lot) which literally describes that which is distributed by lot. The Lord Himself was to be the portion and inheritance of the Levites (Nu 18:20).

Walter Kaiser - 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)."

Patterson on coveting - The sin of coveting, like idolatry, is not restricted to the biblical world. Numerous contemporary idolatries associated with coveting may be identified, including the idolatry of choice, the idolatry of success, and the idolatry of money. (On contemporary idolatries, see Dawn 1995:41–56.) How much more do we need contemporary prophets reminding us of Jesus’ teaching about our attempts to serve both God and money (Matt 6:24-note) or Paul’s exhortation to practice true religion with contentment, since we carry nothing with us when we die (1Ti 6:6-7-note)? When is the last time you saw a hearse en route to the cemetery with a U-Haul trailer in tow?

Micah 2:3 Therefore thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity from which you cannot remove your necks; and you will not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time.

  • this family Jeremiah 8:3; Amos 3:1,2
  • do Micah 2:1; Jeremiah 18:11; 34:17; Lamentations 2:17; James 2:13
  • from Amos 2:14-16; 9:1-4; Zephaniah 1:17,18
  • necks Jeremiah 27:12; Lamentations 1:14; 5:5; Romans 16:4
  • go Isaiah 2:11,12; 3:16; 5:19; 28:14-18; Jeremiah 13:15-17; 36:23; 43:2; Daniel 4:37; 5:20-23
  • for Amos 5:13; Ephesians 5:16

Therefore - a very strategic term of conclusion - always pause to ponder, asking what's it "there for?" Note Who is speaking!

Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity - Jehovah the Righteous Judge is speaking. You would think that this would serve to get their attention! They had plotted, now God is planning! God's "poetic justice!" "Crime and punishment" or better yet "The punishment fits the crime!" Their moral evil would reap divine physical "evil!" As John Calvin said "“It is the peculiar office of God…to render to each the measure of evil they have brought on others” This reminds one of See Jesus' teaching on "an eye for an eye" (Lex Talionis) (Mt 5:38-39-note)

Recall that calamity is used in Micah 2:1 for evil (ra' - 07451), this wordplay (common in the prophets) emphasizing that God is not being arbitrary in bringing evil on these evil doers!

Family - This Hebrew word can mean people, nation, race, family. Here the Lxx translates with phule which means tribe, which is " a subgroup of a nation characterized by a distinctive blood line." (BDAG) The NET Note has "clan" or "extended family."

Allen - So it will be for the folk the prophet disparagingly calls this crowd (Ed: "family"), these kindred spirits in crime, these cronies in selfish aggrandizement.

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' - 07451) 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.

As an aside the Bible gives a number of examples of punishment that fits the crime - Esther 7:9-10-note, Ps 7:15-16-note, Ezekiel 36:6-7-note, Mt 26:52, etc.

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 conduct, describing the totality of their lifestyle, which had been one dominated and driven by their hearts filled with arrogance and pride and greed! It is an eternal axiom - What fills you will control you! (cf Eph 5:18-note) And so here God's "anvil" falls on their pride (cf Isa 2:11-note, Amos 6:1). "Yahweh's scourge will knock the strut out of their step!" (Davis)

For it will be an evil time - Note this begins with for, a term of explanation, which begs the question, "What is God explaining?" The NET Translation has "for it will be a time of catastrophe." Notice that this sentence begins and ends with repetition of the "calamity motif." As Allen says God "reinforces the certainty and seriousness of the retribution of evil for evil by echoing it at the close, a repeated thunderclap heralding the storm."

Matthew Henry - The most haughty and secure in prosperity, are commonly most ready to despair in adversity. Woe to those from whom God turns away! (Concise Commentary)

G Campbell Morgan - After a graphic description of the coming judgment (Mic 1.6-16) the prophet declared the nature of the sin of the nation (Mic 2.1). It will be noticed that the sin was peculiarly the sin of the ruling classes. The period was one of material prosperity, but the power of this was in the hands of the rulers. In view of this power, they planned and plotted in the night, and in the day carried out their plans. Their rule was that of oppression. The note in this charge which reveals the deepest wrong, is that in which the prophet declared that the oppression was not an action of sudden passion, or of swift moral collapse. It was premeditated. Observe the force of the word devise: "Woe to them that devise iniquity." This gives force to the declaration: "Behold against this family do I devise an evil." Men deliberately plot and plan in the darkness, devise iniquity in the night, when their fellow men cannot see, do not know. But God is not deceived, He knows; and over against the devising of wickedness, is set His devising. They devise iniquity against their fellows; but Jehovah devises evil against them. This is ever so, and the evil which God devises against the devising of iniquity is ever the outworking .of that very iniquity in its reaction upon the evil workers. There is no escape from God; and that fact is the reason of confidence, and the secret of peace, in the days most full of the apparent triumph of evil men.

Micah 2:4 In that day they will take up against you a taunt and utter a bitter lamentation and say, 'We are completely destroyed! He exchanges the portion of my people; How He removes it from me! To the apostate He apportions our fields.'

  • shall Numbers 23:7,18; 24:3,15; Job 27:1; Isaiah 14:4; Ezekiel 16:44; Habakkuk 2:6; Mark 12:12
  • and lament 2 Samuel 1:17; 2 Chronicles 35:25; Jeremiah 9:10,17-21; 14:18; Joel 1:8,13; Amos 5:1,17
  • a doleful lamentation Heb. a lamentation of lamentations. Lamentations 1:1-5; Ezekiel 2:10
  • We Deuteronomy 28:29; Isaiah 6:11; 24:3; Jeremiah 9:19; 25:9-11; Zephaniah 1:2
  • he hath changed 10; 1:15; 2 Kings 17:23,24; 2 Chronicles 36:20,21; Isaiah 63:17,18
  • turning away he or, instead of restoring, he, etc.

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.'

In that day (Mic 5:10) - 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. Micah's contemporary Isaiah uses the phrase "in that day" 40 times to either begin or end an oracle.

Take up a taunt - "take up a piece of sarcasm against you" (Davis)

Taunt - 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 - “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!

Allen - 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.

Taunt (04912)(mashal) in most contexts conveys the idea of a proverb or parable, basically indicating a pithy maxim with a suggestion of special insight and authority. While it can mean something as harmless as a proverb (Pr 1:1; 10:1), n the present context the taunt is delivered in ridicule and scorn. The Lxx translates mashal in this passage with parabole.

Mashal - 40v - Num 23:7, 18; 24:3, 15, 20f, 23; Deut 28:37; 1 Sam 10:12; 24:13; 1 Kgs 4:32; 9:7; 2 Chr 7:20; Job 13:12; 27:1; 29:1; Ps 44:14; 49:4; 69:11; 78:2; Pr 1:1, 6; 10:1; 25:1; 26:7, 9; Eccl 12:9; Isa 14:4; Jer 24:9; Ezek 12:22f; 14:8; 17:2; 18:2f; 20:49; 24:3; Joel 2:17; Mic 2:4; Hab 2:6. Usage in NAS: byword(3), discourse(9), parable(3), parables(1), proverb(15), proverbs(6), taunt(2), taunt-song(1).

We are completely destroyed! - "Lost, everything is lost." Davis - "The ‘we’ I take to be the former land tycoons of Judah who had amassed their estates by filching the holdings of others."

Destroyed (07703)(shadad) means to ravage, to deal violently with, despoil, ruin, lay waste. The primary sense is to devastate or bring to ruin or desolation by violent action and implies the complete ruin of a wide area. Jeremiah depicts the ferocity of shadad in his description of God's judgment on Judah writing that "a wolf of the deserts will destroy (shadad) them," which conveys a picture of pursuit, attack and violent mauling of the victim! Strong language but just desserts for these despicable greedy land grabbers.

Shadad - 48 v - Judg 5:27; Job 12:6; 15:21; Ps 17:9; 91:6; 137:8; Pr 11:3; 19:26; 24:15; Isa 15:1; 16:4; 21:2; 23:1, 14; 33:1; Jer 4:13, 20, 30; 5:6; 6:26; 9:19; 10:20; 12:12; 15:8; 25:36; 47:4; 48:1, 8, 15, 18, 20, 32; 49:3, 10, 28; 51:48, 53, 55f; Ezek 32:12; Hos 10:2, 14; Joel 1:10; Obad 1:5; Mic 2:4; Nah 3:7; Zech 11:2f

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?"

To the apostate He apportions our fields - "How He doles out our fields to the rebellious!" (Davis) Some feel that "apostate" refers to the Assyrians.

Micah 2:5 "Therefore you will have no one stretching a measuring line For you by lot in the assembly of the LORD.

  • cast Deuteronomy 32:8; Joshua 18:4,10; Psalms 16:6; Hosea 9:3
  • the congregation Deuteronomy 23:2,8; Nehemiah 7:61

NLT - Others will set your boundaries then, and the Lord's people will have no say in how the land is divided.

Therefore - term of conclusion - McComiskey - Therefore (lākēn) links the land barons’ loss of land (Mic 2:4) with their additional loss of eternal life, the severest judgment of all. Beyond the loss of land the villains will not be represented in the future assembly of the Lord when he redistributes the land—the basis and symbol for life—after the exile… Because the Lord had promised Abraham the land as an eternal inheritance (Ge 12:1), Micah knew the land must be given back after the Assyrian conquest (Mic 7:20). Those who were removed from the land for their moral turpitude, however, will have no share in it. (Ed Note: The Land is promised to the nation of Israel, not the Church - Ge 13:14-17; Ge 15:1-7; Ge 17:1-8, esp Ge 17:8,Ge 17:15-19; Ge 22:16-18; Ge 26:2-5,24; Ge 28:13-15; Ge 31:13; Ge 35:9-12, Ge 48:4 = to Jacob's descendents as an "everlasting possession.")

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! See (Nu 26:55–56; 33:54; 34:13; 36:2; Josh. 14:2; 18:11; Josh 19:51)

Criswell - 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).

You will have no say - Micah is referring to the rich previously powerful profiteers.

Assembly of the LORD - This refers to the nation as a whole (cf Dt 23:1,8). The idea of assembling Jacob (i.e., Israel, the nation) is repeated in Micah 2:12 and Micah 4:6-7, both passages in which the context supports those who will be assembled are the righteous (believing) remnant of Israel that Messiah gathers together at the beginning of the Messianic Age which follows this present age.

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."

Kaiser - 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).

Davis - Many Christians would probably admit that this section leaves them cold, since Micah condemns the rich and powerful here and, as few Christians find themselves in that category—well then, this passage has little to say to them. If that is your view, cheer up! Micah nails you after all! You may have neither position nor power to pull off this sort of white-collar crime. But Micah takes you down, down, behind the obvious crimes to their secret root: ‘They covet’ (Mic 2:2). The prophet takes you beneath all the layers to the really ugly stuff. John Guy writes of the surprise people received at the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587. As the executioner lifted up Mary’s head (after clumsily severing it) her auburn curls and white cap became detached from her skull. The executioner was left with a fistful of hair, while Mary’s head fell back to the floor and began rolling like an odd-shaped ball towards the gathered spectators—who saw that it was very grey and nearly bald. Get beneath the wig and you see what the queen really looked like at the age of forty-four. Micah is not sneezing at flagrant sins, but he also strips away those trimmings and takes you to their source, the idolatrous passion of the human heart: ‘They covet.’ Here is a God who can see it—what you ponder in your bedroom (Mic 2:1), the secret plans you make and the raging discontentment at the core of your life that drives it all. The fact that you have done nothing like the thugs in the text does not mean you are virtuous, but only that you may lack opportunity to sin in this way. With that verb ‘covet’ Yahweh opens up the septic tank of your own reeking nature and lets you smell it.

Micah 2:6 'Do not speak out,' so they speak out. But if they do not speak out concerning these things, reproaches will not be turned back.

  • Prophesy ye, etc or, Prophesy not as they prophesy. Heb. Drop. etc. Isaiah 30:10; Jeremiah 26:8,9,20-23; Ezekiel 20:46; 21:2; Amos 2:12; 7:13; Acts 4:17; 5:28,40; 7:51; 1 Thessalonians 2:15,16
  • they shall not prophesy Psalms 74:9; Ezekiel 3:26; Amos 8:11-13
  • that they Jeremiah 6:14,15; 8:11,12

NLT - "Don't say such things," the people say. "Don't prophesy like that. Such disasters will never come our way!"

Note: Micah 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, so they speak out - Variously translated = "Stop prophesying, they prophesy"; "Do not prattle, so they prattle." "Do not sputter, thus they sputter!"

NET Note - “‘Do not foam at the mouth,’ they foam at the mouth.” The verb נָטַף (nataf) means “to drip.” When used of speech it probably has the nuance “to drivel, to foam at the mouth” (HALOT 694 s.v. נטף). The sinful people tell the LORD’s prophets not to “foam at the mouth,” which probably refers in a derogatory way to their impassioned style of delivery. But the LORD (who is probably still speaking here, see Mic 2:3) sarcastically refers to their (the false prophet's) impassioned exhortation as “foaming at the mouth.”

Most commentators ascribe this section (Mic 2:6-11) to false prophets who were "in bed" with the land grabbers. They were attempting to silence Micah's message because it was offensive and countered the messages of the false prophets who said God was for Israel and would not destroy it.

It is also worth noting that the verb "do not speak out" is in the plural, which supports the premise that Micah was not alone in his prophesying against the sins of his day. Indeed, Hosea and Isaiah were contemporaries of Micah, but there may have been others, not to mention that there was also a godly remnant of Jews (genuine believers) who would have received and repeated (passed on) the teaching of faithful men like Micah. Beloved, God always has His "seven thousand who have bowed their knee to Baal." (Ro 11:4-note). You man feel like you are alone as you swimming against the tide in America, where the shrill and constant cry is "You must be politically correct!" You are not alone!

Matthew Henry - They said to those that prophesy, "Prophesy ye not," as Isaiah 30:10. They said to the seers, "See not do not trouble us with accounts of what you have seen, nor bring us any such frightful messages." They must either not prophesy at all or prophesy only what is pleasing. The word for prophesying here signifies dropping, for the words of the prophets dropped from heaven as the dew. Those that hate to be reformed hate to be reproved, and do all they can to silence faithful ministers. (cp Amos 7:10) (Commentary)

Allen - Who could be so foolish as to want to demolish such comfortable doctrine? Playing Mr. Macabre to Micah’s Scrooge, they feel a not unnatural resentment toward this cheerless iconoclast (Ed: One who attacks settled beliefs, in this case even if they are false!). Why was there such a gulf between the two prophetic groups? Because these merchants of blessing misapplied truth, like Job’s comforters. Theirs was a word for the wrong people at the wrong time. They believed with fervor, but their faith was lopsided in its content. Subconsciously picking and choosing among God’s revealed truths, they glossed over aspects of his character that were more relevant to the present state of his people. Their very complacency was a symptom of a widespread disregard of God’s moral demands upon his people.

McKay - Micah’s message was too critical of the influential groups on whom they depended for their livelihood for them to be comfortable.

Scofield - 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 4:2-4-note).

Gaebelein - 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 the calamity Micah predicted would not come to pass (that disgrace would not overtake them) for they were His chosen people and He would keep His covenant promises regarding the land (but see below for a different interpretation by Waltke). 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.

Waltke - The last clause should read: ‘The shame will not withdraw’ (NAB). Whereas Israel’s glory departs, its disgrace (the loss of land and eternal death) will not depart.

Kaiser - What a frightening state of affairs, especially since it all sounds so contemporary! 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. Later, Jeremiah’s audience would prefer the same placebo: “The prophets prophesy falsely … and My people love to have it so” (Jer. 5:31). Micah’s contemporary heard the same refrain: “Who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits’ ” (Is. 30:10; cf. Amos 2:12; 7:16).

Wiersbe - What these counterfeit religious leaders forgot was that God’s covenants involve precepts as well as promises, obligations as well as blessings. Merely going through the motions of religion isn’t the same as worshiping God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). Anybody can join the crowd and be a part of some popular religious movement; but it takes devotion, prayer, obedience, and submission to worship God “with reverence and godly fear” (Heb 12:28NKJV-note). “Popular religion” is usually false religion, for the road to life is narrow and lonely (Mt 7:13–20-note) and those who walk it are invariably persecuted (2Ti 3:12-note). (Ed comment: Wiersbe is not saying obedience saves anyone, but he is saying that the one who says "I'm saved!" will to some degree manifest a lifestyle of obedience ["not perfection, but direction" is what I like to teach], their obedience serving to "authenticate" that their faith is genuine.)

TODAY IN THE WORD - We all have those times when we hear only what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. Sometimes the refusal to admit the truth has relatively small consequences. At other times, however, it can be the prelude to disaster. One example that continues to stand out in history is the Flood during the days of Noah. Imagine the people jeering and laughing at Noah and his family as they built an ark--on dry land! They probably brushed aside his claims that there would be a flood. But in the end, all but Noah and his family were destroyed.

The prophet Micah must have seemed like a "wet blanket" in Judah, a stubborn naysayer who refused to paint a rosy picture of the nation's future. There was no lack of prophets to say what the people wanted to hear. "Do not prophesy about these things," the false prophets said. ""Disgrace will not overtake us"" (Micah 2:6). Those who prophesied good things for the nation were the people's choice (Micah 2:11). But God's Word leaves no doubt about who was right. Judah was too much like her sister Israel for God to ignore her sins. In today's verses, we are introduced to one of Judah's great sins: terrible injustice. Those in power, both socially and in the government, defrauded their brother and sister Israelites of their land (also see Micah 3:1-4).

Taking away a man's land in an agricultural society meant sentencing him and his family to poverty. The coveting of the powerful for the land and homes of the powerless was a direct violation of God's law. The word covet (Micah 2:2) is the same as the one used in the tenth Commandment (Ex. 20:17). To defraud a person of his land portion was also to rob his children of their future, because an Israelite's land was his inheritance. Throughout Hosea, we have seen God's indictments against Israel set in the context of the Mosaic covenant. To break the covenant was the height of sin against God. Now we know that Judah was also cursed by covenant-breakers. What would be an appropriate judgment against those who seized the land of others by violence and fraud? Their land would be taken away by foreign invaders (Micah 2:4).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY It is so human to hear only the good things people have to tell us. But it's a temptation we need to guard against. (Copyright Moody Bible Institute. Used by permission. All rights reserved)

Micah 2:7 "Is it being said, O house of Jacob: 'Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these His doings?' Do not My words do good to the one walking uprightly?

  • Being said Micah 3:9; Isaiah 48:1,2; 58:1; Jeremiah 2:4; Matthew 3:8; John 8:39; Romans 2:28,29; 9:6-13; 2 Timothy 3:5
  • is Numbers 11:23; Isaiah 50:2; 59:1,2; Zechariah 4:6; 2 Corinthians 6:12
  • straitened (impatient) Psalms 19:7-11; 119:70,71,92,93,99-103; Jeremiah 15:16; Romans 7:13
  • walking Psalms 15:2; 84:11; Proverbs 2:7; 10:9,29; 14:2; 28:18; Hosea 14:9
  • uprightly Heb. upright.

See Spurgeon's Sermons on this passage -

The Questions: Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient (KJV = straitened = restricted in freedom or scope)? Are these (calamities described Mic 2:3-5) His doings?

NET Bible Micah 2:7 Does the family of Jacob say, 'The LORD's patience can't be exhausted– he would never do such things'? To be sure, my commands bring a reward for those who obey them,

Holman Christian Standard Bible Micah 2:7 House of Jacob, should it be asked: "Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these the things He does?" Don't My words bring good to the one who walks uprightly?

ESV Micah 2:7 Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Has the LORD grown impatient? Are these His deeds? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?

Who is the speaker? There are two main possibilities - false prophets or God's true prophet.

Assuming it is the False Prophets: If one takes the speaker in the first part of the verse as the false prophets (or the profiteers) (McComiskey, Gary Smith, New American Commentary, et al, favor this interpretation), it is as if they were objecting to Micah's message by asking "Isn't God long suffering? Then why the calamity?" Or they might say something like "Well, you must remember that God is a God of love and so clearly the nation of Israel has nothing to fear." If this is the proper interpretation, they seem to have forgotten the "whole counsel" of God's Word - God is patient, but He is also just (cf Ex 34:6-7, Nah 1:2-3)! The have forgotten that God's anger burned against Israel when the majority refused to go into the land from Kadesh-Barnea (Nu 14:11-12). They seem to have forgotten the section on blessings (for obedience) and cursings (for disobedience), as when God threatened curses if they worshipped other gods (Dt 29:25-28)!

Assuming it is the True Prophet: MacArthur takes Micah 2:7a as words spoken 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."

Assuming it is the True Prophet: New Bible Commentary sees the first section as from God (or His prophet) - "The LORD rebukes the house of Jacob by quoting their doubly false theology that ‘the LORD never grows impatient’ (NIV, angry) and never does such things (i.e. bring judgment). On the contrary, God’s words do good only to those who are upright."

Assuming it is the True Prophet: Matthew Poole - "Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? the power, goodness, wisdom, and kindness of God is not less now than formerly, He is as merciful to design good, as gracious to promise, as great and good to perform His word; but the reason He does not promise good to you, but threatens punishment upon you by His prophets, is all from yourselves; it is for your sins; you do the things that must be discountenanced (looked upon with disapproval), and if you would hear better things by the prophets, you must do better, you must do what God requires by them. Are these his doings? Are these severer proceedings against you the doings your God delights in? Does He choose to take this way? Does not mercy better please Him? He would be more pleased to speak comfortably to you: do you as Jacob did (Ed: obey), and God will deal with you as He did with him." (Commentary)

MacKay - It is difficult to be certain who is speaking in Mic 2:7. Some take the first part of the verse to continue the words of the false prophets as they recall the covenant blessings of the house of Jacob and emphasize the goodness of God’s promises. ‘Such things’ as the disaster and judgment Micah was prophesying could not possibly come from their God. Their theology seems to have arisen from a partial acceptance of divine revelation, grasping the promises but de-emphasizing the obedience that the LORD required and would reward (Deut. 5:32–33). The NIV, however, presents the first part of Micah 2:7 as Micah’s own words (NIV = "Should it be said, O house of Jacob: "Is the Spirit of the LORD angry?"). He is trying to prick the conscience of the covenant people.

C H Spurgeon applies the question in Micah 2:7a asking - “Do you not think, again, that we very much act as if the Spirit of the Lord were straitened when we only look for little blessings? I am very glad to see three hundred or four hundred persons in a year converted and added to this church, and this has long been the case; but if I ever imbibed the idea that this was all that might be done, I should be straitening the Spirit of God.” (Is The Spirit of the Lord Straitened? )

Do not My words do good to the one walking uprightly? - Clearly this is God (through His prophet Micah) asking this rhetorical question (Note that God Himself is speaking through Mic 2:13). Answer? Yes, of course! 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 and deceptively think "Well I can just one John one nine it" [which we can, but not independent of a heart of repentance and not necessarily avoiding the consequences of our sin -see discussion of 1Jn 1:9])?

Micah 2:8 "Recently My people have arisen as an enemy-- You strip the robe off the garment From unsuspecting passers-by, from those returned from war.

  • Recently 2 Chronicles 28:5-8; Isaiah 9:21
  • the garment 2 Samuel 20:19; 2 Chronicles 28:8; Psalms 55:20; 120:6,7

This verse is difficult to translate and therefore is somewhat difficult to interpret

NET Micah 2:8 but you rise up as an enemy against my people. You steal a robe from a friend, from those who pass by peacefully as if returning from a war.

Note: “from those passing by peacefully, returnees from war.” Actual refugees, however, are probably not in view. The second line compares those who pass by peacefully with individuals returning from war. The battle is over and they do not expect their own countrymen to attack them. (See footnotes #22ff)

ESV Micah 2:8 But lately my people have risen up as an enemy; you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war.

CSB Micah 2:8 But recently My people have risen up like an enemy: You strip off the splendid robe from those who are passing through confidently, like those returning from war.

NLT Micah 2:8 Yet to this very hour my people rise against me like an enemy! You steal the shirts right off the backs of those who trusted you, making them as ragged as men returning from battle.

The English of the Septuagint give us an interesting translation - LXE Micah 2:8 Even beforetime my people withstood him as an enemy against his peace; they have stripped off his skin to remove hope in the conflict of war.

Recently My people have arisen as an enemy - God is saying His own people have become an enemy as evidenced by their unjust treatment of others, presumably the poor. Earlier (Micah 2:1) they grabbed land, now they grab garments. Their perfidy knows no limits!

You strip the robe off the garment from unsuspecting passers-by - This violates God's law in Ex 22:26-27.

Strip (06584)(pashal) means to strip off, to make a dash, to raid.

Pashal - 42v - Gen 37:23; Lev 1:6; 6:11; 16:23; Num 20:26, 28; Judg 9:33, 44; 20:37; 1 Sam 18:4; 19:24; 23:27; 27:8, 10; 30:1, 14; 31:8f; 2 Sam 23:10; 1 Chr 10:8f; 14:9, 13; 2 Chr 25:13; 28:18; 29:34; 35:11; Neh 4:23; Job 1:17; 19:9; 22:6; Song 5:3; Isa 32:11; Ezek 16:39; 23:26; 26:16; 44:19; Hos 2:3; 7:1; Mic 2:8; 3:3; Nah 3:16. NAS Usage: dashed(2), invaded(1), made a raid(5), made… raid(1), put off(1), raid(2), raided(2), removed(1), rush(1), rushed(1), skin(2), skinned(1), strip(8), strip the off(1), strip off(2), stripped(6), stripped off(2), strips(1), take off(2), taken off(1).

Robe (08008)(salmah) is a general word for clothes refers to a major piece of clothing such as a mantle, a cloak or robe, which was both valuable and necessary for survival in the elements in ancient Israel. A robe was often what the ancients slept in to keep warm or would use as their bed. To steal such an item speaks of the depth of depravity of these men, which is described further in the next verse.

Matthew Henry - Oppressing God's poor is another sin they are charged with, as before (Mic 2:1,2), for it is a sin doubly hateful and provoking to God… When they contemned God's prophets and opposed them they broke out into all other wickedness; what bonds will hold those that have no reverence for God's word? Those who formerly rose up against the enemies of the nation, in defense of their country and therein behaved themselves bravely, now of late rose up as enemies of the nation, and, instead of defending it, destroyed it, and did it more mischief (as usually such vipers in the bowels of a state do) than a foreign enemy could do. They made a prey of men, women, and children… Note: The righteous God will certainly reckon for injuries done to the widows and fatherless, who, being helpless and friendless, cannot otherwise expect to be righted. (Commentary)

Micah 2:9 "The women of My people you evict, each one from her pleasant house. From her children you take My splendor forever.

  • women or, wives. cast. Mic 2:2; Matthew 23:14; Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47
  • from their children 1 Samuel 26:19; Joel 3:6
  • my glory Psalms 72:19; Ezekiel 39:21; Habakkuk 2:14; Zechariah 2:5; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6

NET Micah 2:9 You wrongly evict widows among my people from their cherished homes. You defraud their children of their prized inheritance.

The women of My people you evict - These were presumably widows.

Evict (01644)(garash) means to drive out or cast out and 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)

Lxx translates garash here with the verb aporripto = to throw away, to cast down, "to cast forth from one's country" (LS), "cause a sudden or forcible separation." (BDAG)

Garash - 45v- NAS Usage: dismissed(1), dispossessed(1), divorced(5), drive(16), driven(6), driven it away(1), driving(1), drove(8), drove them away(1), evict(1), expelled(1), surely drive(1), toss(1), tossed about(1), tossing(1).

Gen 3:24; 4:14; 21:10; Exod 2:17; 6:1; 10:11; 11:1; 12:39; 23:28ff; 33:2; 34:11; Lev 21:7, 14; 22:13; Num 22:6, 11; 30:9; Deut 33:27; Josh 24:12, 18; Judg 2:3; 6:9; 9:41; 11:2, 7; 1 Sam 26:19; 1 Kgs 2:27; 1 Chr 17:21; 2 Chr 20:11; Job 30:5; Ps 78:55; 80:8; Prov 22:10; Isa 57:20; Ezek 31:11; 36:5; 44:22; Hos 9:15; Amos 8:8; Jonah 2:4; Mic 2:9; Zeph 2:4.

Each one from her pleasant house. From her children you take My splendor (glory) 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 glory.” NET Note adds "this probably refers to the dignity or honor the LORD bestowed on each Israelite family by giving them a share of his land to be inherited perpetually from one generation to another within each family." The effect on a nation's youth could be devastating for one "lost generation" can bring a major blight on the hopes of a nation.

Micah 2:10 Arise and go, For this is no place of rest because of the uncleanness that brings on destruction, A painful destruction.

  • Arise and go Deuteronomy 4:26; 30:18; Joshua 23:15,16; 1Kings 9:7; 2Kings 15:29; 17:6; 2Chronicles 7:20; 2Chronicles 36:20,21
  • for Deuteronomy 12:9; Psalms 95:11; Hebrews 4:1-9
  • because Leviticus 18:24-28; 20:22-26; Psalms 106:38; Jeremiah 3:2
  • it shall Jeremiah 9:19; 10:18; Ezekiel 36:12-14

See Spurgeon's Sermon on this passageA Clarion Call to Saints and Sinners (2225) - Micah 2:10

NLT - Up! Begone! This is no longer your land and home, for you have filled it with sin and ruined it completely.

Arise and go - Poetic justice indeed! The evictors who wrongly drove widows from their homes would be divinely evicted (exiled) from the land which should have been a land of rest and blessing. The prophetic warning of Lev 18:27-28 would be fulfilled! God always keeps His Word, for good or bad! Those who had rejected the message through God's prophet (Mic 2:6) would now be rejected. Those who said do not speak out, would now be cast out! There is a general principle in Micah 2 which shows that God does not allow His people to continue in sin without warning them of consequences of their sins (the exile had not yet occurred but was looming on the horizon). In His mercy and in His warning, there is an open (but finite) door of opportunity to repent and return to righteousness. Is He warning you of some sin of which you refuse to repent? If so, beware, for the consequences of sin are sure to surface! (Pr 28:13-note)

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)." (See also 1Ki 9:7; 2Ki 15:29; 17:6; 2Chr 7:20; 2Chr 36:20,21)

For this is no place of rest (which it was supposed to be - Ps 95:11) - The promised land is no longer a place of rest (Heb = menuchah; Lxx = anapausis) (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 gave way to over 300 years of repeated cycles of "unrest" as described in the Book of Judges (See Judges). It is an ironic twist that just as God had used Israel to dispossess the pagan Canaanites because their abominable iniquities (which had become "full" or complete in Ge 15:16), He would now use the pagan Assyrians to cast the Ten Northern tribes out of the land for a period of time (cf the clear warning in 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 (term of explanation) of the uncleanness (Lxx translates with akatharsia) that brings on destruction (Lxx translates with diaphtheiro) - The Northern 10 tribes had defiled the land and the worship of Jehovah with their impure, idolatrous (syncretistic) practices. Note that moral corruption always ruins (note also that the Greek verb diaphtheiro includes the picture of a person wasting away)!

Matthew Henry - You shall have neither contentment nor continuance in it, because it is polluted by your wickedness.'' Sin is defiling to a land, and sinners cannot expect to rest in a land which they have polluted, but is will spew them out, as this land spewed out the Canaanites of old when they had polluted it with their abominations, Lev. 18:27, 28. (Commentary)

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening applies Micah 2:10 to all of our lives - The hour is approaching when the message will come to us, as it comes to all—“Arise, and go forth from the home in which thou hast dwelt, from the city in which thou hast done thy business, from thy family, from thy friends. Arise, and take thy last journey.” And what know we of the journey? And what know we of the country to which we are bound? A little we have read thereof, and somewhat has been revealed to us by the Spirit; but how little do we know of the realms of the future! We know that there is a black and stormy river called “Death.” God bids us cross it, promising to be with us. And, after death, what cometh? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight? What scene of glory will be unfolded to our view? No traveler has ever returned to tell. (Ed: One wonders what Spurgeon would say about the books even popular among Christians that detail near death experiences-see short note) But we know enough of the heavenly land to make us welcome our summons thither with joy and gladness (cf Rev 21-note Rev 22-note). The journey of death may be dark, but we may go forth on it fearlessly, knowing that God is with us as we walk through the gloomy valley, and therefore we need fear no evil (Ps 23:4-note). We shall be departing from all we have known and loved here, but we shall be going to our Father’s house—to our Father’s home, where Jesus is—to that royal “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Heb 11:10-note) This shall be our last removal, to dwell forever with Him we love, in the midst of His people, in the presence of God. Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country (Heb 11:10-note): this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.

Prepare us, Lord, by grace divine,
For thy bright courts on high;
Then bid our spirits rise, and join
The chorus of the sky

Micah 2:11 "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.

  • a man 1 Kings 13:18; 22:21-23; 2 Chronicles 18:19-22; Isaiah 9:15; Jeremiah 14:14; 23:14,25,32; Jeremiah 27:14,15; 28:2,3,15; 29:21-23; Ezekiel 13:3-14,22; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1; Revelation 16:13,14
  • walking after wind and falsehood had told lies Mic 3:5,11; 1 Kings 22:6; Jeremiah 6:13,14; 8:10,11; 23:17; Romans 16:18; Philippians 3:19; 2 Peter 2:13-19
  • he shall Isaiah 30:10,11; Jeremiah 5:31; 2 Thessalonians 2:11

NET Micah 2:11 If a lying windbag should come and say, 'I'll promise you blessings of wine and beer,' (Heb = I will foam at the mouth concerning wine and beer.") he would be just the right preacher for these people (Heb =he would be the foamer at the mouth for this people.")!

Micah reverts to the theme of the false prophet (See also Mic 3:5,11)

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 presents a sarcastic description of the false prophets. Note that the Hebrew words for falsehood (sheqer, 08267) and told lies (kazab, 03576) 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 their lifestyles."

McComiskey - The people of this time had an intense desire for the fruits of their affluent society, expressed in the terms “wine” and “beer.” So if someone were to preach to them of greater affluence and prosperity, they would listen to him; and he would readily find acceptance among them. The implication is that Micah’s message of doom was unacceptable to those who were basking in the affluence of the eighth century.

Patterson - Micah’s experience serves as a reminder to the Christian church that not only must we preach the “whole purpose” of God (Acts 20:27, NRSV; “I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know,” NLT), but also we must be committed to teach and live out “wholesome teaching” (Titus 1:9-note, Titus 1:13-note; Titus 2:1-note). The Lord sent his prophets to Israel in Old Testament times to cut them to pieces and slaughter them with his words (Hos 6:5). The same should be no less true today, as M. J. Dawn would challenge us: “In a society doing all it can to make people cozy, somehow we must convey the truth that God’s Word, rightly read and heard, will shake us up. It will kill us, for God cannot bear our sin and wants to put to death our self-centeredness” (Ed: cf Mk 8:34-36) (1995:206).

False Prophets are Characterized by…

1. Adultery (Jer. 23:14)

2. Lying (Micah 2:11)

3. Treachery (Zeph. 3:4)

4. Opportunistic (Micah 3:11)

5. Drunkenness (Isa 28:7)

 Micah 2:12 “I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; Like a flock in the midst of its pasture They will be noisy with men.

  • surely assemble Mic 4:6,7; Isaiah 11:11; 27:12; Jeremiah 3:18; 31:8; Ezekiel 37:21; Hosea 1:11
  • I will put Mic 7:14; Jeremiah 23:3; 31:10; Ezekiel 34:11,22,31
  • Bozrah Genesis 36:33; Isaiah 34:6; Amos 1:12
  • they Jeremiah 31:7-9; Ezekiel 36:37; Zechariah 8:22,23; 9:14,15; 10:6-8

Micah 2:12KJV 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.

Micah 2:12NET I will certainly gather all of you, O Jacob, I will certainly assemble those Israelites who remain. I will bring them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in the middle of a pasture; they will be so numerous that they will make a lot of noise.

American Standard Version 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 a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.

English Revised Version 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 a flock in the midst of their pasture, they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.

Literal Standard Version I surely gather you, O Jacob, all of you, | I surely bring together the remnant of Israel, | Together I set it as the flock of Bozrah, | As a drove in the midst of its pasture, | It makes a noise because of man.

Webster's Bible Translation 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.

World English Bible I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob. I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as a flock in the middle of their pasture. They will swarm with people.

Young's Literal Translation I do surely gather thee, O Jacob, all of thee, I surely bring together the remnant of Israel, Together I do set it as the flock of Bozrah, As a drove in the midst of its pasture, It maketh a noise because of man.


The interpretation of the prophecy in Micah 2:12-13 has been quite varied over the centuries since it was first written. To be sure the abrupt transition from the preceding pronouncement of darkness and gloom stands in stark contrast to the present prophecy of light and liberty for Israel! In addition the message of genuine hope found in Micah stands in contrast to the message of false hope promulgated by the false prophets in Micah 2:11NLT (cf Micah 3:5, 6, Jer 5:31, 14:14, 23:25-26).

OT scholar Thomas McComiskey notes that "the following commentators interpret Micah 2:12–13 as a prophecy of disaster: Ephraem Syrus, Theodoret of Cyrus, David Qimi, Calvin, Grotius, Tarnovius, and Hoonacker; the Exegesis, however, bears out the more traditional interpretation that it is a prophecy of hope and salvation. A major problem with the latter interpretation is the sudden shift of form from prophecies of reproach and doom to this one of hope. The same breath-taking shift, however, takes place between Micah 3 and Micah 4; in the opposite direction between Micah 5 and Micah 6; and between Micah 6:1–7:7 and Micah 7:8–20. As noted in the Introduction the book’s theme is that after judgment the Lord will preserve a triumphant remnant. Micah intimated a future hope in Mic 3:5 and Mic 3:7; here he develops it… In this oracle Micah contrasts the true prophet’s message of salvation with that of the false. False prophets promised no judgment; true prophets threatened judgment but promised salvation through it for the righteous remnant. (The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary) (Bolding added)

See Spurgeon's Sermon on this passage -

The Breaker and the Flock (1954) - Micah 2:12-13

Excerpt from Spurgeon's Introduction: You will remember, dear friends, from our reading last Sabbath morning, in the second chapter of the Book of Micah, that the prophet was delivering reproofs and rebukes against a sinful people, a people who tried to straiten the Spirit and silence the voice of prophecy, and refused to listen to the messengers of God (Mic 2:6-7NLT). He threatened them with condign (deserved) punishment from the Most High. To our surprise, in the very midst of the threatening he delivers a prediction brimming with mercy (Micah 2:12-13). Not only is not the Spirit of the Lord straitened, but even the people of the Lord are not to be straitened; for One has come forth Who will be to them both Liberator and Leader.

Judgment is God’s strange work, and he rejoices even in the midst of threatening to turn aside and utter gracious words to obedient souls. Surely the brightest and most silvery drops of love that have ever distilled upon men have fallen in close connection with storms of divine justice. The acceptable year of the Lord is near by the day of vengeance of our God (Isa 61:2KJV). The blackness of the tempest of His wrath acts as a foil to set forth more brightly the glory of His grace. In this case the thunder-bolts stay their course in mid-volley: when the prophet is hurling destruction upon sin and sinners he pauses to interpose a passage of promise most rich and gracious—a passage which I wish to open up to you at this time, as the Spirit of God shall enable me…

I have no doubt that the first fulfilment of this prophecy was given when Cyrus conquered Babylon and gave permission for Israel to return to their own land (2Chr 36:22-23). Cyrus may be regarded as the Breaker; for the prophet Isaiah wrote concerning him: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed (Hebrew = mashiyach), to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.” (Isa 45:1-2KJV) Then the willing-hearted of Israel gathered together to rebuild the house of the Lord (Ezra 1:5), and to this centre multitudes hastened, the Lord being with them and sending them prosperity. It was of these favored ones that we find a striking fulfilment of our text as to the noise made by the concourse of men. Ezra tells us that “the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.” (Ezra 3:13KJV) Then was this promise in a measure fulfilled.

But, brethren, the promises of the Lord are perennial springs for ever overflowing with new fulfillments. In the latter days, the God of Israel, in abundant grace, will remember His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and will gather together His ancient nation, who are at this time a people scattered and peeled. These shall be converted to the Christ of God, and then shall be accomplished the word of the prophet: “I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them.” (Ezekiel 34:24) The Son of David, whom their fathers slew, not knowing what they did, shall be made known to them as the Promised Seed, and then they shall look on Him Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him (Zech 12:10). May this day soon come! Then shall the veil be taken away from their hearts (2Cor 3:13-17-note), and the cloud shall no longer hang over Israel’s head, but the Lord shall restore them, and they shall rejoice in Him. The day cometh when the Breaker shall go up before them, and the King at the head of them, and they shall be brought again unto the inheritance of their fathers.


I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob (More literally - Assembling I will assemble) - Why would God abruptly give this prophecy after just describing the coming judgment of Judah? Recall that in the midst of His wrath, Jehovah always remembers mercy. And so this prophecy is clearly given to provide hope (Biblical hope is not "hope so" but is an absolute assurance of future good - see our Blessed Hope) and comfort to the Jews who would soon be experiencing the disciplining hand of Jehovah. Within less that 120 years Judah would be taken into exile in Babylon.

To whom is the prophet speaking? The phrase all of you, Jacob… Israel, would strongly support that this prophecy is not given only to the southern kingdom of Judah, but is given to all Israel (Southern and Northern Kingdoms).

The word "all" (Hebrew = kol; Lxx = pas) in both the Hebrew and Greek convey the idea of all without exception, everyone of something, in this case, every one of the Jews who is part of the believing remnant, those Jews who have placed their faith in Jehovah-Jesus when He returns as their "Breaker."

Again Micah repeats this truth of the blessed hope of Jehovah Himself regathering Israel…

(Mic 4:6-7) “In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will assemble ('asaph) the lame and gather (qabats) the outcasts, even those whom I have afflicted. I will make the lame a remnant and the outcasts a strong nation, and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on and forever. (Clearly a Millennial promise)

Compare similar promises from other prophets…

(Ezek 37:21) “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;

(Hos 1:11) And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered (qabats) together, and they will appoint for themselves one leader, and they will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.

Click to Enlarge

Where will this occur? McComiskey says Jerusalem,but there is no clue in this passage that the place is the Holy City. The NAS and ESV translate the Hebrew word botsrah as "fold", describing an enclosure as for sheep. There seems little doubt that the Hebrew word for "fold" (botsrah) is very closely related to the proper noun see map above) as both are derived from the same root batsar meaning to cut off, to make inaccessible, or to enclose. While these facts suggest the possibility that Bozrah may be the place of gathering to which Micah refers, one can probably not be absolutely dogmatic.  On the other hand Messianic Jewish scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum favors this as the city of Bozrah.

When would Micah 2:12-14 be fulfilled? While there may have been a partial fulfillment of this prophecy when Judah returned from 70 years exile in Babylon, there was not complete fulfillment because the other 10 tribes were "lost" having been taken exile into Assyria. The establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948 would not fulfill this prophecy. A J Vernon McGee quips there "are more of the nation of Israel in New York City than there are in the whole land of Israel… so God has not yet assembled all of them according to this prophecy." Clearly this prophecy is yet future and most likely will be fulfilled at the Second Coming of Christ.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum associates Micah 2:12-13 with the Second Coming of Christ

While the general conception is that when the Messiah initially returns, He will return to the Mount of Olives, the Bible actually puts the Second Coming elsewhere. Four passages definitely place the Second Coming at the city of see map) or Petra (Ed: Also called Sela =ISBE note on Sela says "There can be no doubt that Josephus intended the city in Wady Musa. Its Old Testament name was Bozrah - Amos 1:12, etc.) and a fifth may refer to this event… The Remnant of Israel gathered in Bozrah and the Second Coming are linked together in the fourth passage (cf Isa 63:1-6 - See notes on Isaiah 63:1-6). In Micah 2:12, the Remnant of Israel will be gathered in Bozrah where they will be besieged by the forces of the Antichrist. In Micah 2:13, they are finally able to break the siege because Jehovah the King is leading them. The breaker, the king, and Jehovah are all the same Person in this verse. At the Second Coming, the Messiah will enter into battle with the forces of the Antichrist that have gathered at this city. (The Messianic Bible Study Collection)

Hindson writes "A remnant to be restored. Micah 2:12-13. Into the dark picture of judgment a promise of restoration is given. It is assured in verse Mic 2:12 and visualized in verse Mic 2:13. I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. This restoration will be complete, for it will involve Jacob (the southern two tribes) and Israel (the northern ten tribes). Thus, the restoration envisioned is greater than that realized following the Babylon captivity when only the southern tribes were restored to their land. The restoration envisioned is that of the Millennium, when all of the nation will be restored and will experience the regeneration spoken of by Jeremiah (Jer 31:31-34+). The ten tribes are lost only to man. God knows their whereabouts, and in His time will restore them completely. The restoration will be luxurious, as is indicated by the reference to the sheep of Bozrah. Bozrah was an area that had very rich pasture, and the sheep which grazed upon it must have been exemplary. God will ultimately restore His nation, now wracked by its sin; and great joy will be the lot of the restored and redeemed people. The breaker is come up before them. The breaker of verse Mic 2:13 is a reference to Israel’s Messiah (Jesus, our Lord) who will break down every obstacle between the people and their God. He will restore them, forgive them of their sins, and implant within them a new heart. He will lead them to glorious restoration, and He will rule over them. No one will be able to hinder His messianic millennial work, for He is the LORD (Jehovah)! To date, this promise of restoration has not been realized; but there is coming a day when it will. What a glorious future lies ahead of Israel! (King James Bible Commentary)

Tony Garland adds "Micah describes an assembly of Jacob, a remnant, which will be gathered into a fold (bozrah). The one who breaks them out is clearly a reference to Messiah, the Good Shepherd:

I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold [בָּצְרָה [bāṣerâ]], like a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make a loud noise because of so many people. The one who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it; their king will pass before them, with the LORD at their head. (Mic. 2:12-13) [emphasis added]

The LORD will “gather” from their worldwide, age-long Diaspora the elect “remnant,” which will survive “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:5-7), the Great Tribulation (Rev. 8:1+-20:3+), preceding the establishment of the Kingdom over Israel (Rev. 20:4-6+; Acts 1:7). . . . The saved remnant will be the nucleus of the millennial Kingdom. The LORD declared, I will put them together like the sheep of Bozrah (a region in Edom well known as a sheep-raising center). . . . They (the returning remnant of Israel) will follow “the breaker,” the Messiah, who will break through and open the way, going up before them. They, following Him, will break through the gate and go out from their captivity to glorious freedom.48

John Phillips - The Remnant (2:12-13) - There was a godly remnant in Judah and the most prominent spokesman of this believing minority was King Hezekiah. Contemplation of this remnant encouraged Micah to switch suddenly to a promise for the future. His vision leaped over the ages and he saw the endtime blessing of a regathered remnant of both Israel and Judah. Micah, who was fond of pastoral imagery, saw this remnant as "the sheep of Bozrah" (2:12), a district noted for its rich pasturelands (2 Kings 3:4). He heard the noise of a large crowd of people and saw, going before them, "the breaker" (2:13). The Messiah is the One who clears the way. Just as He marched ahead of His people when they came out of Egypt into the promised land, so He will march ahead of them in a coming day. He will clear out of their way the beast, the false prophet, and the massed armies of the world. (Exploring the Minor Prophets)

Charles Ryrie -  A prediction of the regathering and deliverance of Israel in connection with the second coming of Messiah, who is called the breaker (i.e., the one who goes ahead to remove obstacles in the path).

Matthew Henry - I will bring you together again, and not one of you shall be lost, not one of you shall be missing. I will surely gather the remnant of Israel, that remnant that is designed and reserved for salvation they shall be brought to incorporate in one body.

Assemble (0622)(asaph) basically signifies bringing together to a common point and so means to gather, to take away, to harvest (Jer 12:9, Nu 11:32, Isa 10:14, etc). There is a similar contextual use in Micah 4:6. Both uses in Micah are translated in the Lxx with the verb sunago (synago) which means (in passive voice as here) to be gathered together. God is the One Who shall accomplish the gathering of all the tribes of Israel (including the ten "lost" tribes).

Literal Hebrew - Jacob all of you, assembling I will assemble

Surely… surely - God's Word never fails, but when He uses "surely" twice. Spurgeon comments " I dwell with great pleasure upon that word “surely,” because it is spoken twice, “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel.” There are no “ifs” where there is a God: there are no “peradventures” (uncertainties or doubts as to whether something is the case) where divine predestination rules the day. Let Jehovah speak, and it is done; let Him command, and it shall stand firm."

I will surely gather - More literally the Hebrew repeats for emphasis "Gathering I will gather" which most versions render as "surely." God will accomplish what to men seems impossible! (Jer 32:17, 27, Ge 18:14, Lk 1:37, Nu 11:23 Job 42:2 Mk 10:27): This is a promise from the non-lying God (cf Nu 23:19, Titus 1:2-note). Indeed, let us all join with Solomon and declare…

Blessed be the LORD, Who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. NOT ONE WORD HAS FAILED of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant. (1Kgs 8:56)

Gather (06908)(qabats) means to collect, gather, assemble and is virtually a synonym for asaph (above), the latter having a broader range of meanings. Qabats is used two other times in Micah, one for gathering the spiritually lame of Israel (Micah 4:6) and the other for gathering the Gentile nations for threshing (Micah 4:12).

Qabats is used eschatologically of gathering the Gentile nations for judgment in the end times (Isa 43:9; 66:18; Joel 3:2, 11, Micah 4:12, Zeph 3:8).

In a significant eschatological use of qabats, 28 verses (out of 120 total) refer to gathering of the dispersed nation of Israel in the last days (Dt 30:3-4, Isa 11:12, 40:10, 43:5, 54:7, 56:8 Jer 23:3, 29:14; 31:8, 10; 32:37, Ezek 11:17, 20:34, 41, 28:25, 34:13, 36:24, 37:21, 39:27, Hos. 1:11, Micah 2:12, 4:6, Zeph 3:19-20, Zech 10:8, 10:10).

All of you, Jacob… Israel - As noted above, this designation strongly supports the premise that Jehovah is speaking to the entire nation (all 12 tribes, including the ten "lost" tribes). It is notable that to the present day the ten northern tribes have not yet been specifically restored to their land, but remain the ten lost tribes! This fact would support the premise that the prophecy of restoration in Micah 2:12-13 awaits a future fulfillment. Certainly all of the Jews who have come back to the Land of Israel, by no means are following the Breaker, the King, Jehovah Who is their Head. In fact only a small percentage of Jews today (the "remnant") believe in Messiah and are born again. This prophecy clearly awaits a future fulfillment when Messiah returns.

Hindson and Kroll - The restoration envisioned is greater than that realized following the Babylon captivity when only the southern tribes (Ed: Judah and Benjamin) were restored to their land. The restoration envisioned is that of the Millennium, when all of the nation will be restored and will experience the regeneration spoken of by Jeremiah (Jer 31:31–34). The ten tribes are lost only to man. God knows their whereabouts, and in His time will restore them completely.

McComiskey (EBC) - If studied in isolation from the total context of the prophecy, the passage may be understood simply as a prediction of the return from the Captivity. But this is inadequate in view of the broader background of Micah’s concept of the future. Micah envisioned a kingdom of eternal duration with Yahweh as King (Mic 4:7). The Deliverer-King of Micah 5:2–4 seems to be identical with the King of the present passage (Mic 2:13); He plays an important role in the restoration of God’s people (Micah 2:13; cf. Micah 5:3). In both passages the motif of the “flock” is prominent (Micah 2:12; cf. Micah 5:4). The fulfillment of the great prophecy in Micah 5:2–4 requires a ruler whose birthplace is Bethlehem and who will extend his influence to the ends of the earth and bring security to God’s people (Micah 5:4). Micah’s perspective of hope extends beyond a mere restoration from captivity to the Messianic Kingdom. It is then that Israel’s hope will be finally and consummately realized.

Kaiser - 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 “down payment” on the great return of the remnant (believing Jews) in the final day when Christ returns."

Jamieson (one of the more literal, conservative, "non-dispensational" commentaries prior to 1900) - The restoration from Babylon was partial. Therefore that here meant must be still future, when “all Israel shall be saved” (Ro 11:26-note). The restoration from “Babylon” (specified Mic 4:10) is the type of the future one.

Constable - The Lord Himself would assemble the scattered remnant of all the Israelites (Jacob and Israel; cf. Micah 1:5) following His dispersion of them in exile. The Assyrian and Babylonian exiles were only the first of several that the Jews have experienced. More recently, the Romans scattered them in A.D. 70, and since then most Jews have lived dispersed around the world rather than in a homeland of their own. The return of many modern Jews to the State of Israel does not fulfill this prophecy, as is clear from what Micah and the other prophets said about that future regathering.

Barker - As Deane observed, “the prophet, without any preface, introduces abruptly a promise of restoration after exile, a type of the triumph of Messiah.” Sudden transitions are common in the prophetic books (cf. a similar transition from threat to promise of restoration in Hos 1:9,10). The ultimate and complete fulfillment of this verse will coincide with the fulfillment of Ro 11:26-note. The promise is that even though Jacob/Israel (probably referring to the entire nation, north and south) will be taken into exile (Micah 1:8, 16; 2:4, 10; 4:10), a remnant will return. Isaiah often refers to the remnant that will survive God’s judgment on the nation and will take possession of the land (Isa 4:3; 6:13; 10:20–22; 11:11, 16; 46:3).

Martin - That long-awaited time of blessing will come about for the nation of Israel in the Millennium. Some interpreters claim that this promise of blessing is being fulfilled now in the Church, rather than in the future for Israel. However, if Micah 2:12 refers to spiritual blessing for the Church, then Israel has been misled all these centuries since (the time of) Abraham to think that she will inherit the land forever.

MacArthur - 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).

Walvoord - In the midst of these prophecies of judgment, Micah also predicted the future restoration of Israel when her King will come to open the way before her. This will be fulfilled at the Second Coming. (Every Prophecy of the Bible)

Patterson - 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…

So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the LORD your God has banished you, 2and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then (note this strategically placed expression of time) the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. 4 “If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5 “The LORD your God will bring you into the land (of Israel) which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. (Dt 30:1–5)

I will surely gather the remnant of Israel - The remnant refers to those Jews who are alive in the last days and who receive Messiah as their Redeemer by grace through faith. Micah refers to the remnant 5 times "and each is connected with oracles of hope." (Patterson) = Micah 2:12, 4:7, 5:3, 5:7-8, 7:18. Waltke adds "The oracles of hope, on the other hand, are based on the obligations God imposed on himself when he made an everlasting covenant with Abraham and the fathers and their descendants after them (Ge 17:7). Micah brings his book to conclusion by reminding the LORD of the Abrahamic covenant: “You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago” (Mic 7:20)."

MacKay - ‘Remnant’ is a two-sided word. In the first instance it speaks of disaster and loss ahead. Israel as a people will not emerge unscathed from the scrutiny and outpouring of divine judgment. But there is promise in it too. It will not be a total catastrophe, for there will be a divinely preserved remnant.

Remnant, Summary (see another discussion), 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 1Kings 19:18 (cf Ro 11:4-note). In Isaiah's time it was the "very small remnant" for whose sake God still forbore to destroy the nation Isaiah 1:9-note. 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 righteous (believing) remnant. During the church-age the remnant is composed of believing Jews Romans 11:4-5-note. But the chief interest in the remnant is prophetic or eschatological. During the Great Tribulation a remnant out of all Israel will turn to Jesus as Messiah (cf Zech 12:10-note, Zech 13:9-note), and will become His witnesses after the removal of the church Revelation 7:3-8-note. Some of these will undergo martyrdom Revelation 6:9-11-note but some will be spared to enter the Millennial Kingdom. Many of the Psalms express prophetically the joys and sorrows of the tribulation remnant.

Remnant (07611) (sheerith) conveys root idea of sha'ar/sa'ar as that which is left over or has survived after a previous elimination = the remainder, the residue. Sheerith basically refers to the rest or to what is left over of anything. For example sheerith refers to wood left over after making a fire, this "remnant" being used to carve idols (Isa 44:17). Sheerith refers to undesignated territory (Isa 15:9) or to any group of people that remained (Jer 15:9; Am 1:8). Sheerith (as discussed below) was used by the prophets to denote the few among Israel or Judah that remained faithful to God (Isa 37:32; Mic. 5:7, 8) or those who survived the calamity of the exile (Zech. 8:11).

Sheerith refers to the "remnant" or "survivors" of any people, not only the Israelites. The Lord declared that He would destroy the remnant of the Philistines (Jer. 47:4f; Ezek 25:16; Amos 1:8). Sheerith refers to a part of a larger group or class of people such as the "rest" of the Babylonian officials (Jer 39:3). The Lord would cause the Israelites to dispossess the remnant of the Edomites (Amos 9:12).

The remnant that is referred to is often what was left after a catastrophe, often God's judgment. The Lord promised to preserve a remnant of his people (Amos 5:15) but to banish some of them from the land (Jer 8:3; 24:8), while eventually returning a faithful remnant back to the land (2Ki 19:31; Isa 37:32) who would live in and again go forth from Jerusalem (Ezra 9:14; Isa. 46:3; Mic. 2:12; 5:7-8).

Sheerith often refers to the remnant left in the land after Babylon had destroyed Jerusalem and taken away the best of the people (Jer. 40:11, 15; 42:2, 15). Jeremiah feared even the destruction of this remnant because of their lack of faith (Jer 44:7, 12). In fact, the Lord caused them to perish in Egypt (Jer 44:12). Yet still a remnant of God's choosing would be spared (Jer 50:20) for Israel, while Babylon would be spared no remnant (Jer 44:26; cf. Zech. 8:11f).

Webster defines remnant as "that which is left after the separation, removal or destruction of a part; a usually small part remaining, a small surviving group."

Lxx translates sheerith in Micah 2:12 with the adjective kataloipos meaning left, remaining, the rest of humanity (Acts 15:17 = "rest").

Sheerith - 66v - NAS usage - left (1), remnant (55), rest(7), survivors(2), those who had escaped(1).Ge 45:7; 2Sa 14:7; 2Kgs 19:4, 31; 21:14; 1Chr 4:43; 12:38; 2Chr 34:9; 36:20; Ezra 9:14; Neh 7:72; Ps 76:10; Isa 14:30; 15:9; 37:4, 32; 44:17; 46:3; Jer 6:9; 8:3; 11:23; 15:9; 23:3; 24:8; 25:20; 31:7; 39:3; 40:11, 15; 41:10, 16; 42:2, 15, 19; 43:5; 44:7, 12, 14, 28; 47:4f; 50:26; Ezek 5:10; 9:8; 11:13; 25:16; 36:35; Amos 1:8; 5:15; 9:12; Mic 2:12; 4:7; 5:7,8; 7:18; Zeph 2:7, 9; 3:13; Hag 1:12, 14; 2:2; Zech 8:6, 11-12.

Gary Cohen - This noun (Sheerith), in every usage, carries forward the basic root idea of sa'ar and speaks of that which has survived after a previous elimination process or catastrophe. Sheerith “remaining portion” may refer to that which is: (1) neither morally good nor bad, apart from its context (e.g. Isa 44:17… speaks merely of a piece of wood which remains after a fire. Until the pagans carve it into a god it is still just a piece of wood, neither morally good nor evil); (2) an evil residue; (3) a good residue (e.g. Ge 45:7… Joseph here speaks of his divine message to deliver the favored Israelites from the famine). When applied to human survivors, sheerith can refer to Amalekites (1Chr 4:43) or heathen from Ashdod (Jer 25:20). In the vast majority of cases, however, context shows that the remnant is that which has come or will come from out of the house of Israel. Here it may further refer to a remnant out of Israel which was in existence and living during the lifetime of the biblical speaker or writer, hence a historic remnant. This is the case in such passages as Isa 37:4, where Hezekiah seven centuries before Christ asks Isaiah to “lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left,” i.e. those Israelites still surviving in Jerusalem after Assyria had earlier slaughtered and led away captive the Northern Kingdom. This remnant was still alive when Hezekiah referred to them as such, sheerith, however, finds what may be its most intriguing usage as a prophetic technical term representing the final future remnant of Israel, namely, those Jews who survive to the end of this present age (Ed: And not just the Jews who survive but who place their faith in Messiah - cf Ro 11:26-27) upon whom God showers all of the blessings which have been promised to Israel through the centuries. Thus sheerith is used in Zech 8:6, 11, 12 speaking of the remnant and residue of Israel at a time when Jerusalem shall be called “a city of truth” (Zech 8:3)… God will in the end, after great tribulation, fulfill all of his promises of blessedness to the nation out of Abraham, and he will do it by blessing the remnant, the survivors by grace of time, human cruelties, and divine judgments (so Ro 11:25–29). (TWOT)

Scofield summarizes the Remnant: In the history of Israel a remnant may be discerned, a spiritual Israel within the national Israel. In Elijah's time 7000 had not bowed the knee to Baal (1Ki 19:18). In Isaiah's time, Israel had been reduced to only a few godly "survivors" (Isa 1:9), for whose sake God still forebore to destroy the nation. During the captivities the remnant appears in Jews like Esther, Mordecai, Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. At the end of the seventy years of Babylonian captivity it was the remnant that returned under Ezra and Nehemiah. At the advent of our Lord, John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna, and those "who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem" (Lk 2:38) were the remnant. During the Church Age the remnant is composed of believing Jews (Ro 11:4 - 5). But an important aspect of the remnant is prophetic. During the great tribulation a remnant out of all Israel will turn to Jesus as Messiah, the "sealed" Israelites of Rev 7:3-8.

A prophetic aspect of remnant concept is seen in these verses (Note: Not all use sheerith) - 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.

Patterson - 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-note). The remnant motif implies both judgment and deliverance (Ed: Compare Isaiah 63:4-note = "For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come."). The very existence of a remnant of believing Jews (or for that matter believing Gentiles) is based solely on the kindness and mercy of God. The OT prophets apply the remnant motif to three types of groups:

(1) The 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

(3) An eschatological remnant of Hebrews and Gentiles who will participate in the blessing of the restored Davidic kingdom (Amos 9:125).

Patterson continues - Micah refers to a remnant (sheerith [07611]) five times (Micah 2:12; 4:7; 5:7, 8; 7:18), and each is connected with oracles of hope; i.e., the remnant has a sure 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 Biblical Commentary)

Gaebelein - 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 (Ed: See discussion of "My year of redemption" in Isaiah 63:4) to be effected by Christ. (Micah 2:12-13 The Future Restoration)

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I will put them together like sheep in the fold (KJV = "as the sheep at Bozrah") - The remnant is likened to a flock of sheep in a a pen or enclosure. Some versions (KJV, Common English Bible) translate "fold" as a specific place, Bozrah in the land of Edom (Bozrah means inaccessible, enclosure or fortress). Bozrah is mentioned most often by the prophets - (Isa. 34:6; 63:1; Jer. 49:13, 22; Amos 1:12). The Hebrew word for "fold" is very similar to the Hebrew word for Bozrah. Historically, Bozrah was known to be a center of shepherds, and was also known for its woolen garments (Holman Bible Dictionary). The New International Bible Dictionary states "In Micah 2:12 the word is probably Bozrah, through it can be read as a common noun, i.e., "a sheepfold," "sheep in a pen." (NIV) One of Micah's contemporaries, Isaiah, mentions Bozrah twice, both in eschatological contexts…

(Isa 34:6) The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, It is sated with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.

(Isa 63:1-note) Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, this One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”

Comment: It is possible that Micah's prophecy (Mic 2:12-13) interweaves, as it were, with Isaiah's prophecy, which most conservative scholars interpret as a prophecy of the triumphant return of the Messiah, the One Who is "Mighty to Save (see 3 part discussion)" His people Israel from annihilation at the hand of one far more sinister and powerful than Adolph Hitler -- the Antichrist, the Beast, the Man of sin or lawlessness, the Little Horn. For more detail, see my in depth commentary on Isaiah 63:1-6.

sheep pen Micah 2:12 sheep of Bozrah, [Gesenius—of the fold]  - This noun means "an enclosure" or "a fold (for sheep)." The noun occurs only in Mic. 2:12. In this verse, the Lord said concerning the restoration of His people, "I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold (or, pen)." God was promising that one day He would return a remnant of His exiled people to the promised land. Some believe this word is a reference to Bozrah, the Edomite city, and infer that the area was noted for its sheep. (The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Aleph-Beth.)

Like sheep in the fold; Like a flock (KJV = "I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold") - Always pause to ponder and query these "windows" into the Word - terms of comparison and in this case two similar similes - they may be figures of speech but ultimately have just one, literal meaning. Pastoral imagery depicts God as Shepherd over Israel (cf Ps 77:20, 79:13, Ezek 34:15, 22). This picture brings to mind the Name Jehovah Roi: The Lord is My Shepherd 1 (See also Part 2 of Jehovah Roi). (cf Micah again mentions the picture in Micah 5:5 and Micah 7:14, cp Isa 40:11) Here are other passages that present a parallel truth…

(Mic 7:14) Shepherd Your people with Your scepter, the flock of Your possession Which dwells by itself in the woodland, In the midst of a fruitful field. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead As in the days of old.

(Jer 23:3) “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.

(Jer 31:10) Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, And declare in the coastlands afar off, And say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him And keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”

(Ezek 34:11) For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.

(Ezek 34:22) therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.

(Ezek 34:31) “As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord GOD.

Matthew Henry - Sheep are inoffensive and sociable creatures they shall be as the flock in the midst of their fold, where they are safe under the shepherd's eye and care and they shall make great noise (as numerous flocks and herds do, with their bleating and lowing) by reason of the multitude of men (for the sheep are men, as the prophet explains this comparison, Ezekiel 34:31), not by reason of their strifes and contentions, but by reason of their great numbers.

They will be noisy with men - Who are they? The Jews (cf Ezek 34:31) Why will they be noisy? Not because of strife or contention (there is no suggestion of that in the context), but by there sheer multitude (cf Isa 49:19-20), even as a large herd of sheep can be quite noisy with bleating and lowing. The NET Bible paraphrases it "they will be so numerous that they will make a lot of noise." We see a parallel truth in these passages…

(Jer 31:7-9) For thus says the LORD, “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise and say, ‘O LORD, save Your people, The remnant of Israel.’: 8 “Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great company, they will return here. 9 “With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them (cp Mic 2:13b); I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.”

(Ezek 36:37) ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock.

(Zech 10:6-8) “I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph, And I will bring them back, (Why?) Because I have had compassion on them; And they will be as though I had not rejected them, For I am the LORD their God (Faithful to the Abrahamic Covenant) and I will answer them. 7 “Ephraim will be like a mighty man, and their heart will be glad as if from wine; Indeed, their children will see it and be glad, Their heart will rejoice in the LORD. 8 “I will whistle for them to gather them together, for I have redeemed them (Ro 11:25-27-note); And they will be as numerous as they were before.

Micah 2:13 The Breaker goes up before them; They break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it. So their King goes on before them, and the LORD at their head.”

  • breaker Isaiah 42:7,13-16; 45:1,2; 49:9,24,25; 51:9,10; 55:4; 59:16-19; Jeremiah 51:20-24; Daniel 2:34,35,44; Hosea 13:14; Zechariah 12:8; 1Corinthians 15:21-26; Hebrews 2:14,15
  • they have Zechariah 10:5-7,12; 12:3-8
  • their Isaiah 49:10; 51:12; 52:12; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Ezekiel 34:23,24; Hosea 1:11; 3:5; Zechariah 9:14,15; John 10:27-30; Hebrews 2:9,10; 6:20; Revelation 7:17; 17:14; Revelation 19:13-17

KJV 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.

NET Micah 2:13 The one who can break through barriers will lead them out they will break out, pass through the gate, and leave. Their king will advance before them, The LORD himself will lead them.

CSB Micah 2:13 One who breaks open the way will advance before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and leave by it. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD as their leader.

ESV Micah 2:13 He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king passes on before them, the LORD at their head.

GWN Micah 2:13 The LORD will open the way and lead them. They will break out, go through the gate, and leave. Their king will travel in front of them. The LORD will lead the people.

NAB Micah 2:13 With a leader to break the path they shall burst open the gate and go out through it; Their king shall go through before them, and the LORD at their head.

NIV Micah 2:13 One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the LORD at their head."

NJB Micah 2:13 their leader will break out first, then all break out through the gate and escape, with their king leading the way and with Yahweh at their head.

NKJ Micah 2:13 The one who breaks open will come up before them; They will break out, Pass through the gate, And go out by it; Their king will pass before them, With the LORD at their head."

NLT Micah 2:13 Your leader will break out and lead you out of exile, out through the gates of the enemy cities, back to your own land. Your king will lead you; the LORD himself will guide you."

RSV Micah 2:13 He who opens the breach will go up before them; they will break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king will pass on before them, the LORD at their head.

YLT Micah 2:13 Gone up hath the breaker before them, They have broken through, Yea, they pass through the gate, Yea, they go out through it, And pass on doth their king before them, And Jehovah at their head!

Amplified - The Breaker [the Messiah] will go up before them. They will break through, pass in through the gate and go out through it, and their King will pass on before them, the Lord at their head.

Footnote = Over and over again the prophets unveiled the full dimensions of God’s judgment and salvation. God must punish His rebellious people but will afterward redeem them. Israel will be carried into captivity, yet a remnant will return. The Messiah, the One who breaks open the way, will lead them back home, and will restore the kingdom of David.



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"). "The Breaker" is transliterated "Haporetz (Happores)" Notice that it is no longer Jehovah Who is speaking, but the prophet Micah.

Before them - Before is the Hebrew noun panim/paniym (06686) which means face or countenance and is derived from the verbal root panah (06680) which means to turn toward. Panim/paniym is found only in the plural form in the OT and frequently refers literally to one's face but as in this passage can function as a preposition, literally meaning "facing" and translated before or in front of. The face of a person provides a window into their emotions, their inner intent, and here we see the Face Israel is to keep in continual focus is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Breaker. This is a good picture for all of God's sojourning saints - the way out of this world has been wrought by Jesus' finished work on the Cross, but we face "many snares and toils" and it is imperative that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the Pioneer (Source) and Perfector of our faith. (Heb 12:2-note) When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we are vulnerable to being ensnared by the "brambles" or devoured by the "ravenous wolves" of this fallen world! (See Anne Ortlund's modern classic - Fix Your Eyes On Jesus)

Matthew Henry writes - "Omnipotence for their van-guard. Their King shall pass before them, to head them in the way, even Jehovah (He was their king) on the head of them, as He was on the head of the armies of Israel when they followed the pillar of cloud and fire through the wilderness (Ex 13:21) and when he appeared to Joshua as Captain of the Lord's host (Joshua 5:13-15)… Christ is… Jehovah; He heads them, passes before them, brings them out of the land of their captivity, brings them into the land of their rest. "

Note the parallel names Breaker, King, LORD (Jehovah, Yahweh), Head. In short, the Breaker is Yahweh and His Name is Jesus and here we see Him doing what He does best (and what He Alone can do) --- Save, Rescue, Deliver!

Davis observes - We should not miss the fact that He ‘shall go up before them’ and ‘passes on before them’; it indicates that He both smashes and stays, that He both liberates and leads. He is not a deliverer just for the moment of need, but for the long haul.

NET Note - The verb form (of "breaks") is understood as a perfect of certitude, emphasizing the certainty of this coming event.

Notice the order - The people do not break out and pass through the gate UNTIL the Breaker Who goes before them has broken through. Then the people break out of the enclosure as they follow the One Who makes the breach. Can you see any parallels for your spiritual life? Let the words of Martin Luther give you a "clue" as how we can apply the truth that Jesus is the Breaker Who makes the way for us to follow…

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

They break out - This is the same verb (parats - see below) picturing the Jews as "breaking out" of the enclosure, following Christ, the Chief Shepherd (1Pe 5:4-note), "the great Shepherd of the sheep" (Heb 13:20-note). The people do not break out until the Breaker, Who goes before them, has broken through. The people break out of the enclosure as they follow in the footsteps of the One Who makes the breach (Beloved is this not a good model for us to emulate today? Jesus our "Breaker" has broken the power of sin, but we experience the freedom He provides only as we follow Him, obeying His lead, surrendering to His Spirit Who leads us - Gal 5:18-note). The Breaker first opens the breach from the enclosure and then people of Israel break out, pass through the gate, and follow their King, Jehovah, their Head (Leader).

Breaker (06555)(parats) means to break through; burst out (qal); to spread abroad (niphal); to be broken down (pual); break loose (hitpael).

MacKay - The word (parats) could be used for breaking down the wall of a captured city (2Kings 14:13). It was also used of divine anger breaking out against those who have offended God (Ex 19:22). It can also mean to urge someone to a particular course of action (1Sam. 28:23). It (parats) is a word which speaks of power that sweeps all obstacles before it, effectively undermining and demolishing all that would resist it. It is a presentation of the LORD as a warrior overthrowing His enemies (Isa. 42:13; Jer. 9:16–19).

The idea of parats 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. Parats described the breaking open of a barrel of water, the breaching of a wall during a siege or the bursting of a dam. In a military context parats referred to a sudden, violent, devastating attack. 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. Micah's contemporary Isaiah describes the breaking that "The Breaker" must do to His people because they have broken covenant!

So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard (Metaphorical description of His people): I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed; I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground. (Isa 5:5)

Parats is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) of Micah 2:13 with the noun diakope (not used in NT; root verb diakopto = to cut in two, to cut through) which means a breach, a cleft, a divide, a gash, a channel, through the breach. (Diakope is used in Lxx of Jdg 21:15; 2Sa 5:20; 6:8; 1Chr 13:11; 14:11; Job 28:4; Pr 6:15; Mic 2:13). Webster says breach means describes the act of breaking or state of being broken; a rupture; a break; a gap

Parats is used in 2Sa 5:20 where David declared "Jehovah has broken through my enemies." The Breaker Jehovah, the Messiah, breaks through every obstacle that stands in the way of Israel's restoration, even though formerly He was broke forth to destroy them for their transgressions (see use of parats with God as the subject and His people as the recipients = Ex 19:22, Jdg 21:15, Ps 60:1, Isa 5:5). Here Micah prophesies that the Messiah would break a way for Israel through their enemies. What a mighty God we serve! "The Demolisher. One Who beats down before them all barriers and impediments that obstruct their way." (Norton) In Jer 30:8 God says He "will break (shabar) his (enemy's) yoke from off their neck and will tear off their bonds," which describes The Breaker's liberating power for the remnant of Israel in the end times when He returns to restore Israel.

Victor Hamilton - Parats is used often in a military or disaster situation. The subject may be God or man. When God is the subject, parats describes his punitive activity upon Israel herself (1Chr 15:13; Isa 5:5; Ps 60:1; 80:12; 89:40); upon one of her priests (Ex 19:22, 24); upon the individual (2Sam 6:8; Job 16:14); upon a recalcitrant king (2Chr 20:37); upon Israel’s enemies (2Sam 5:20; 1Chr 14:11). When parats is associated with man it often connotes malicious and destructive activity, for example, to describe what the Babylonians did to the walls of Jerusalem. In Neh 4:3 and Eccl 3:3 parats is used in contrast to bānâ “to build, erect,” showing that parats does not mean simply “to punch a hole through” but “to level, raze.” Another important nuance of parats is “to increase” (explained by KB, pp. 780–81, as “to break over (by plenty), i.e., increase”). Some have suggested that there are actually two roots here “to break” and “to increase” (Guillaume; see bibliography) or “to break through” and “command” (Driver; see bibliography). When parats means “to increase” it refers to an increase either in produce (Job 1:10; Pr 3:10) or in progeny (Gen 28:14; 1Chr 4:38). This increase may be due to the assistance of a friend or relative (Ge 30:30, 43) but more often is due to God’s grace (Ex 1:12; Isa 54:3). The inability to make increases, conversely, is indicative of God’s wrath (Hos 4:10). A third sense for parats is “to urge, be insistent” (1Sa 28:23, “they ‘pressed’ Saul to eat” i.e., they broke his abstinence; also, 2Sa 13:25, 27, David by Absalom; 2Ki 5:23, Gehazi by Naaman). (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Swanson - 1. (qal) break down, i.e., destroy an object using impact (2Ki 14:13; 2Ch 20:37; 2Ch 24:7; 25:23; 26:6; Ne 3:35; Ps 80:12; 89:40; Eccl 3:3; 10:8; Isa 5:5; Mic 2:13), note: in some contexts, one may then invade the area that has been broken down; (qal pass.) be broken down (2Ch 32:5; Ne 2:13; 4:7; Pr 25:28); (pual) be broken down (Ne 1:3+); 2. (qal) be hostile, formally, break out, i.e., be in a state of opposition that may include harming or killing another (Ex 19:22, 24; 2Sa 5:20; 6:8; 1Ch 13:11; 14:11; 15:13; Job 16:14; Ps 60:1; Hos 4:2); 3.(qal) spread out, scatter, i.e., make linear movement from a central area to outer regions (Ge 28:14; Ex 1:12; 1Ch 13:2; 2Ch 11:23; 31:5; Job 1:10; Isa 54:3; Ps 106:29); 4. (qal) urge, i.e., speak in a way to encourage a particular type of behavior (1Sa 28:23; 2Sa 13:25, 27; 2Ki 5:23+); 5. (qal) increase, i.e., have a larger number of a quantity of a collection or mass as an extension of the linear spreading out of herds and flocks, implying prosperity (Ge 30:30, 43; 1Ch 4:38; Pr 3:10; Hos 4:10+); 6. (qal) be born birth, i.e., come out of the womb and so be born (Ge 38:29+); 7. (qal) dig, i.e., cut a shaft in the ground (Job 28:4+); 8. (hitp) rebel, break oneself away, i.e., to release oneself from the control of an authority as an act. of rebellion (1Sa 25:10+); 9. (nif) common, formally, widespread, i.e., pertaining to having many of a kind of event as a figurative extension of scattering and dispersing objects over an area (1Sa 3:1+),

Parats - 48v - NAS Usage: became… prosperous(1), breaches(1), break(2), break their down(1), break down(1), break forth(1), breaker(1), breaking away(1), breaks through(2), broke(1), broke down(1), broken(3), broken down(5), broken through(2), destroyed(1), distributed(1), employ violence(1), everywhere(1), increase(1), increased(3), infrequent*(1), made(1), made an outburst(1), outburst*(2), overflow(1), sinks(1), spread(3), spread abroad(1), tear down(1), through(1), tore down(2), urged(4).

Ge 28:14; 30:30, 43; 38:29; Ex 1:12; 19:22, 24; 1 Sam 3:1; 25:10; 28:23; 2 Sam 5:20; 6:8; 13:25, 27; 2Kgs 5:23; 14:13; 1Chr 4:38; 13:2, 11; 14:11; 15:13; 2Chr 11:23; 20:37; 24:7; 25:23; 26:6; 31:5; 32:5; Neh 1:3; 2:13; 4:3, 7; Job 1:10; 16:14; 28:4; Ps 60:1; 80:12; 89:40; 106:29; Pr 3:10; 25:28; Eccl 3:3; 10:8; Isa 5:5; 54:3; Hos 4:2, 10; Mic 2:13.

An interesting use of parats in Genesis where 3 related words (one a proper noun) are used…

(Ge 38:29) But it came about as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out. Then she said, “What a breach (perets - 06556) you have made for yourself (parats - 06555)!” So he was named Perez (A Bursting Forth - 06557).

Comment: The last phrase is more literally "'What! thou hast broken forth -- on thee is the breach;' and he calleth his name Pharez" [Or Perez - One Who Burst Forth]


The parallel uses of parats in First Samuel and First Chronicles, both in the context of David fighting against a stronger enemy, are interesting…

2Sa 5:18-21 Now the Philistines came and spread themselves out in the Valley of Rephaim (a valley that descended SW about 3-4 miles from Jerusalem). 19 Then (strategic expression of time) David inquired of the LORD (cf Pr 3:6-note), saying (Note David asks 2 questions and received 2 answers), “Shall I go up against the Philistines ("In view of 2Sa 3:18 his duty seemed clear, but the question was, Is it God’s time for me to act now! "- A W Pink)? Will You give them into my hand ("he realized that victory was entirely dependent upon God—unless He delivered the Philistines into his hand, all would be in vain." - A W Pink)?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.”

A W Pink - He who has said, "Seek ye My face" will not mock that soul who sincerely and trustfully responds with, "my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" (Ps. 27:8-note). Gods of wood and stone, the idols of earthly fame and material wealth, will fail their devotees in the hour of need, but the living God will not disappoint those who are subject unto Him and seek His aid in the time of emergency. The Lord is ever "a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1-note), and the sure promise is "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you" (James 4:8-note). The divine ordering of our ways, the directing of our steps, is urgently needed by all of us, nor will it be withheld if sought after the appointed order. ("I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.") This also is recorded for our instruction and comfort; then let us earnestly seek faith to appropriate the same and make it our own. Those words were graciously spoken by the Lord to encourage and nerve David for the battle. We too are called upon to fight—"fight the good fight of faith." Yes, and it is only as faith is in exercise, only as the divine promises are actually laid hold of (expectantly pleaded before God), that we shall fight with good success. Has not God said to us He will "bruise Satan under your feet shortly" (Ro 16:20): how that ought to animate us for the conflict! If we lay hold of that promise we shall be able to exclaim, "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air" (1Cor 9:26-note). (The Life of David, Vol 1: His Victory Over The Philistines)

(Words in red all related to idea of break) 20 So David came to Baal-perazim (perazim = burstings) and defeated them there; and he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies (Note: David ascribes victory to Jehovah, not to HIMSELF! A good pattern to emulate!) before me like the breakthrough (perets 06555- breach, a bursting forth, outburst) of waters (as waters break a dam - Have you ever seen flood waters begin to break through a dam, carrying all before it? Remember the destruction that ensued when the levies broke in New Orleans during Katrina [click video of a break in the levy]? So here we see God break through David's enemies like violent, forceful flooding waters. And this is just the "fringes" [Job 26:14] of the mighty power of Jehovah, our Breaker!).” Therefore (term of conclusion) he named that place Baal-perazim ("Lord of the breaches," "Lord of the breakthroughs," "Breach-maker," "Lord of Outbursts," or "Divine Outburster"! - Many regard this place name as in the same location as the mountain by the same name in Isa 28:21). (In other words David is saying "Jehovah has burst through [parats] my enemies before me like an outburst [peres]").

Pink: Here, too, David has left a noble example for us to follow, and the more closely we do so, the more will God be honored, and the more will further successes be assured for us. Having obtained mercy to be dependent, David found grace to be humble, and ascribed the victory unto its true Author: "The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me"—as when a swollen river bursts its banks and carries all before it. In every forward step, in every resistance to temptation, in every success in service, learn to acknowledge "yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1Cor 15:10-note). May writer and reader be delivered from the self-praising, boastful, Laodicean spirit of this evil age, saying, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory" (Ps 115:1-note).

2Sa 5:21 They abandoned their idols there, so David and his men carried them away (1Chr 14:12 = "David gave the order and they were burned with fire.").

Pink: No doubt the Philistines had expected both protection and help from their idols, but they failed them in the hour of need: equally vain and impotent will prove any visible or material thing in which we put our trust (Ed: Contrast the truth of Pr 18:10 with Pr 18:11!). Now they were unwilling to preserve such gods as were unable to preserve them: "God can make men sick of those things that they have been most fond of, and compel them to desert what they doted upon, and cast even the idols of silver and gold to the moles and bats (Isa. 2:20)" (Matthew Henry). In burning the idols of the Philistines, David not only made clean work of his victory, but obeyed God’s order in Dt 7:5: "“But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire"

1Chr 14:11 (Context: 1Chr 14:9-12) So they came up to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there; and David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand (Ed: Notice this addition. A clear juxtaposition of God's provision of power and man's dependence upon that power. God was the Breaker, but David had to carry out the "breaking" of the stronger Philistine army.), like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore they named that place Baal-perazim.

Dearly Beloved, Are You In Need of a Spiritual Breakthrough Today? Then meditate on David's Pattern of Trusting The Breaker for Victory: Surely we can imitate David's pattern because the Breaker Christ Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8-note)! What strong spiritual adversary or deep affliction (temptation directed at our fallen flesh, lust inflamed by the godless world, fiery missile from the Evil One [Eph 6:16-note], etc) seems too simply too overwhelming for you to overcome? First, recognize that it is TOO STRONG for YOU to overcome (see 2Sa 5:18). However it is not too strong for The Breaker Who has already broken down all obstacles that might seek to impede our spiritual journey to heaven! Seek The Breaker as did David (2Sa 5:18), then obey Him (2Sa 5:18-19 - David went up to Baal-perazim as directed by God), fighting (cp David's testimony "by my hand" 1Chr 14:11 Notice the balanced juxtaposition - God's Power, My Participation.) the enemy that Jesus has already broken! Here we see the repeated theme of God's Power, My Participation, of God's Sovereignty ("God has broken through") and man's Responsibility ("by my hand"). David was commanded to "work out his salvation (deliverance) in fear and trembling (Php 2:12-note), knowing that it was "God who would give him the desire and the power." (Php 2:13NLT-note - observe the strategic "for" at the beginning of verse 13 [note]) Don't rely on your strength, but trust in Christ your Breaker to defeat your foe even like the breakthrough of waters breaking through the seemingly impenetrable breach. Then like David who named the place of victory Baal-Perizim, give the glory to God for the great things He has done! And set up a memorial, so that in future fights with your indefatigable adversaries (the world, the flesh and the devil) you might recall this to your mind and "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD" (Isa 51:9), not making the mistake of relying on your own vain strength! Let us not be sluggish be imitators of David's pattern for victorious Christian warfare and living and "through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Heb 6:12-note)! And remember that Baal-perazim means "Lord of the Breakthrough." Do you need a spiritual "breakthrough?" Then run to the One known as "The Breaker." Cry out to Him. Listen to Him. Then obey Him and enter into the victory He has already provided by the breaking of His own body on the Cross! And don't forget to "memorialize" the event (plant a tree, make a note in journal, etc - something that allows you to recall the victory in the future) when the Breaker breaks through. It's now been almost 3000 years since this victory, but we still remember it because David gave it the unique name, Baal-perazim!

ILLUSTRATION: One of the most spectacular successes of Allied bombers during WWII was the bombing of one of the dams in the Ruhr valley in Germany, causing torrents of water to flood the area below. David saw a similar outburst of the power of God upon the idol worshipping Philistines. (Battle of the Ruhr - See Picture of the Break in the Dam)

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 at His Second Coming returns first to the land of Edom and leads the remnant (Many feel that the Jews in the time of the Great Tribulation will flee to Petra in Edom and Messiah will return and defeat the Antichrist and his armies as they seek to kill this hidden remnant) (See notes on Isaiah 63:1-6). As an aside, be a Berean (Acts 17:11-note) when using Dake's Study Notes, as Dake gives an absurd interpretation of the Breaker in Micah 2:13 as the Antichrist!

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 remnant 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.

He breaks the power of cancelled sin
He sets the prisoner free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me.
(O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing)

John Phillips - The Messiah is the One who clears the way. Just as He marched ahead of His people when they came out of Egypt into the promised land, so He will march ahead of them in a coming day. He will clear out of their way the beast, the false prophet, and the massed armies of the world.

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."

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

Keil and Delitzsch (1854-1889) interpret Micah 2:12-13 literally - The fulfilment of this prophecy (Micah 2:12-13) commenced with the gathering together of Israel to its God and King by the preaching of the Gospel, and will be completed at some future time when the Lord shall redeem Israel, which is now pining in dispersion, out of the fetters of its unbelief and life of sin. 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 out of the spiritual Babylon of this world. (Commentary)

Keil also cites Hengstenberg's note on the manifestation of power in Micah 2:13 - ‘The three verbs, “they break through”, “they march through”, “they go out”, describe in a pictorial manner progress which cannot be stopped by any human power.

Guzik - How we need a Breaker, a trailblazer in our life!


Their King goes on before them - Compare this leading out with Jehovah's leading Israel out of Egypt (Ex 13:21, Dt 1:30, 33). John describes this King as "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev 19:16-note, Rev 17:14-note). So in Micah 2:12 Messiah is pictured as the Shepherd of the sheep, and in Micah 2:13 is portrayed as the Breaker Who goes before the sheep and through the gate as their King, Jehovah and Head. What a great Savior and Redeemer is Jesus!

John Trapp is an older (pre-1900 - actually pre-1700) commentator well known for his pithy statements and quotable prose, but in this prophetic passage misinterprets this as relating to the "universal Church" even though it is written by a literal Jewish prophet and addressed to literal Jews in literal cities of Samaria and Jerusalem (Micah 1:1) in a context of impending divine judgment, in which they needed to hear a word of hope! (Ref) The point we need to be like the Bereans "examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11-note) One needs to be especially cautious when reading older commentaries (pre-1900) that comment on passages that in context are clearly prophetic (eschatological). As in sports, the "best defense is always a good offense," which you can accomplish by performing your own inductive Bible study (especially emphasizing reading the text literally and reading the text in context so that you can be sure to keep context "king"), so that you will be able to competently comment on the commentaries (including the one you are reading) (See thoughts on Consulting Conservative Commentaries)!

As alluded to above, the motif of Jehovah leading His people into freedom is seen in Ex 13:21

Jehovah was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Isaiah records that God continually led the nation of Israel…

(Isa 63:9) In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His presence (Angel of the LORD) saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

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 5:4."

Adam Clarke (written prior to 1900) - Jehovah being at their head, may refer to their final restoration, when the Lord Jesus shall become their leader, they having returned unto him as the shepherd and bishop of their souls; and they and the Gentiles forming one fold under one shepherd, to go no more out into captivity for ever. Lord, hasten the time! (Commentary)

Warren Wiersbe - This promise seems to reach ahead to the end times when Israel and Judah will be united and their King Messiah will reign over them. Micah describes a triumphant procession into the land, with King Messiah at the head and the Lord leading the people, just as He had led them out of Egypt.

J C Philpot - Now as to the prophetical meaning of this Scripture, it appears to my mind to point to a day not yet arrived, to "the latter day" of which the Old Testament prophets speak so much. When the Lord shall set his hand a second time to gather the remnant spread abroad on the earth, then this prophecy of Micah will be literally fulfilled--for there will be those difficulties in the way which none but "the Breaker" going before can remove. But the Scriptures are written with that mysterious wisdom that there is not only in the Old Testament prophecies what is strictly prophetical, but also experimental. We are not to discard the prophetical meaning as some do, for God has given it, and every word of God is pure. But on the other hand, it is the spiritual and experimental part which is food for the church of God. Therefore though we dare not pass by the literal meaning (Ed: Amen! May his tribe increase!), yet we confine our attention chiefly to the spiritual (Ed: And so Philpot's sermon deals primarily with application of the literal text)… The people here spoken of are the people of God, the remnant according to the election of grace, God's own beloved family. But we gather from the words used that they had great difficulties, for why need they to have a Breaker go before them unless they were in such difficulties as nothing but an almighty hand could break down and remove? Thus we gather that the people to whom this promise is made are in such straits and difficulties, that they can never succeed in making a passage for themselves--but that this wondrous Person, this Immanuel, God with us, is to go before them; and for that reason he is called "the Breaker," because with His almighty hand He breaks up and breaks down these difficulties that lie in their path, and which they themselves could not by any wisdom or strength of their own remove out of the way. (The Breaker)

Spurgeon - Morning and Evening on Christ as our "Breaker" ("The Breaker goes up before them") - Inasmuch as Jesus has gone up before us, things remain not as they would have been had He never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up now thou faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ traveled the road, but He has slain all our enemies. Do you dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross (Col 2:14-15-note). Do you fear death? He has been the death of Death (1Cor 15:55)a. Are you afraid of hell? He has barred it against the advent (coming) of any of His children. They shall never see the gulf of perdition. Whatever foes may be before the Christian, they are all overcome (cf 1Jn 5:4-5, Jn 16:33, Gal 6:14-note, Ro 6:12-note, Heb 2:14-15-note). There are lions, but their teeth are broken (cf Da 6:16-21, 22-note); there are serpents, but their fangs are extracted; there are rivers, but they are bridged or fordable (cf Isa 43:2); there are flames, but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire (Da 3:16-18-note; Da 3:23-24, 25-26-note, Da 3:27-note). The sword that has been forged against us is already blunted; the instruments of war which the enemy is preparing have already lost their point. (cf Isa 54:17) God has taken away in the Person of Christ all the power that anything can have to hurt us (cf Lk 12:4-5). Well then, the army may safely march on, and you may go joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand. What shall you do but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil (cp Zech 14:1). You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe. His head is broken (Ge 3:15); he may attempt to injure you, but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design (cf 2Cor 2:11). Your victory shall be easy, and your treasure shall be beyond all count (cf 1Cor 15:57, Mt 6:19-21-note).

Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame,
Who bears the Breaker’s wond’rous Name;
Sweet Name; and it becomes Him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell.

Christ the Breaker

I. The great work of our Divine Redeemer, by which He has broken for the captives the prison house of their bondage. Many of us know not the bondage in which we are held. We are chained by sin, chained by the habit of evil with a strength of which you never know till you try to shake off.

II. Jesus Christ as the Opener, and the Path, to God. Our condition is not only one of bondage to evil, but also one of separation from God. We do not know God as He is, except by Jesus Christ. It is only the God manifest in Jesus Christ that draws men’s hearts to Him. That God that is in Christ is the only God that humanity ever loved. He, by the fact of His Cross and Passion, has borne and borne away the impediments of our own sin and transgression which rise forever between us and Him, unless He shall sweep them out of the way.

III. Christ is the Breaker as the Captain of our life’s march. “When He puts forth His sheep, He goes before them.”

IV. He is the Breaker for us of the bands of death. Christ’s resurrection is the only solid proof of a future life. It is not possible that we can be held of the impotent chains that He has broken. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Christ is the Breaker, the One Who overturns and overthrows evil forever!.

H. Melvill - There is a remarkable prophecy in the writings of Micah, which seems closely to bear upon the subject of our present discourse ("the veil of the Temple was rent" - Mk 15:38): it is this-“The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out of it; and their King shall pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.” Now, here is presented to us a magnificent procession, led by a Chief under the expressive title of the Breaker; He heads a vast company, He directs them through some gate, which He presses open by His own energy or labour; and they follow in triumph, and pass on like marching conquerors. Who is this but the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, having vanquished death, and opened the closed gate of everlasting life, has gone before that He may prepare a place for His followers, who through faith and patience, shall inherit His promise (Heb 6:12). And do you observe how the title of the Breaker, as applied to our Redeemer, is verified or vindicated by the prodigies which throng the crucifixion! The broken earth, the broken rocks, the broken graves, the broken veil of the temple-how do all these teem to correspond with the Name of the Breaker! Oh! that in our own case we might be able to add broken hearts to the list, and thus prove that Christ is still a Breaker; but a Breaker Who breaks only with the gracious purpose of making whole (Ps 51:17).

Devotional by Charles Roll (His Glorious Name- Names and Titles of Jesus Christ, 1986) -

The Breaker, Their King

The Breaker is come up before them… and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them (Micah 2:13).

Amid a setting of national rebuke and reproof and under conditions in which there was little that existed worthy of the name of government, the Prophet Micah proclaims this bright and brilliant vision of deliverance. The counselor, their king, had perished (Micah 4:9), but a voice of confidence calls attention to the Word of promise, the Spirit of power, and the Ruler in prospect (Micah 2:7; 5:2).

In the great pledge of this prophecy the Breaker is to come Who brooks no opposition, Who overturns oppression, Who overrides obduracy and Who overthrows all obstacles that stand in the way of permanent peace. The very blackness of the boisterous tempest described forms a suitable background to set forth the finer tints and fairer tones of the brightest rays of blessing ever given.

Under the title of The Breaker, Christ appears as the Champion. Chivalrous in conflict, He is the Challenger who without fear assails the encastled foe. Yea, and He is the Conqueror Who without fail subdues the rebels and triumphs gloriously. The spiritual values of this section of the prophetic forecast are not only bright with vision but brighter with victory.

He who raised up Gideon as the breaker to destroy the yoke of Midianite oppression, who called the mighty Cyrus to break the brazen gates of Babylonian bondage (Isaiah 45:2) and who Himself broke the covenant and brotherhood of Israel (Zechariah 11:10, 14), such an One is the Breaker Who in aggressive combat with our great adversary, the Devil, assailed the fortified stronghold of the Devil and disgorged his armor wherein he trusted (Luke 11:21-22; Colossians 2:15-note; Hebrews 2:14-15-note). The victory achieved over the Devil and death is complete.

Christ in His might has also broken down the middle wall of partition that hindered our approach to God, and by Him we now "have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Ephesians 2:14, 18). The dramatic portrayal in Micah's thrilling figure of triumph is associated with certain of the grazing areas in Palestine. When feeding among the thorn bushes, some of the sheep suddenly become startled because the appear to be entirely encircled. Then it is that the strong double-horned ram, with head down, plunges forward and breaks through the thorn barrier and opens a way for the sheep to follow. Until Christ came, underwent crucifixion and thus became the Conqueror, no evidence of victory for humanity over death and no assurance that evil would be vanquished had been established. He has broken the bondage of sin and the bars of death, passed through at the head and led His people to larger life and lasting liberty. He not only breaks the power of canceled sin but enables each trusting soul to say,

My chains are snapped, the bonds of sin are broken
And I am free.
Oh, let the triumphs of His grace be spoken,
Who died for me.

DISCLAIMER: Before you consult commentaries, sermons or other resources, first consult the Word of God, studying the Scriptures diligently (2Ti 2:15-note) and inductively (See inductive Bible study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all truth (John 16:13).


In regard to the OT Prophetic books such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and the 12 "Minor" Prophets, remember that the most accurate interpretation is derived by applying the following principles:

(1) Read the Scripture literally (unless the text is clearly figurative, e.g., Jesus said "I am the door… " Jn 10:9). If one interprets a text symbolically (allegorically, figuratively, spiritualizing) when that text makes good sense literally, one potentially opens themselves to the danger of inaccurate interpretation, for then the question arises as to who's "symbolic" interpretation is correct and how imaginative one should be in evaluating a "supposed symbol"? Many of the commentaries and sermons on the OT prophetic books unfortunately are replete with non-literal interpretations (except when it comes to Messianic Passages, which are usually interpreted literally). Therefore the watchword when reading any commentary on Old Testament prophecy is caveat emptor ("buyer beware"). Read all commentaries like the Bereans (Acts 17:11-note).

(2) Study the context which is always "king" in interpretation (don't take verses out of context.)

(3) Passages addressed to Israel should be interpreted as directed to the literal nation of Israel and should not be interpreted as addressed to the NT Church, an entity not mentioned in the Old Testament. The promises of Jehovah to the nation of Israel (e.g., see Millennial Promises) remain valid (Jer 31:35, 36, 37, Nu 23:19, Lk 21:33) and have not been passed on to the NT Church because Israel has "defaulted" (See study Israel of God). Remember that while Scripture has only one correct interpretation, there can be many legitimate applications (See Application), and therefore the OT prophetic books are extremely applicable in the lives of NT believers.

(4) Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. While an attempt has been made to list resources that adhere to these basic interpretative guidelines, not all the works listed in these collections have been read in detail. Therefore should you discover a resource you feel is NOT conservative and/or orthodox, please email your concerns.

Related Resources:


  1. Allen, Leslie C., The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1976, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (One of the top 5 Commentaries on the Book of Micah)
  2. Baker, Warren; Carpenter, Eugene E., The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament, AMG Publishers, 2003.
  3. Barker, Kenneth L.: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah- An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (New American Commentary) Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers., 2001, 1999
  4. Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible Notes on Micah, 2006 (also synchronizes with Constable's notes)
  5. Constable, Thomas, Expository Notes on Micah 1-7
  6. Davis, Dale Ralph, A Study Commentary on Micah, Evangelical Press, 2010
  7. Harris, R. Laird; Archer, Gleason L., Jr.; Waltke, Bruce K.: Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT); Moody Press, 2003
  8. Kaiser, W. C.: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 23: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: Thomas Nelson Inc., 1992.
  9. Hindson, Ed and Kroll, Woodrow: King James Version Bible Commentary Nashville: Thomas Nelson; 2005.
  10. Martin, John The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament) Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  11. McComiskey, Thomas: The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 7- Daniel and the Minor Prophets
  12. McComiskey, Thomas Edward: The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary, Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, MI, 2009
  13. MacKay, John L., Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah (Focus on the Bible Commentary), Christian Focus Publications, 2008.
  14. McGee, J Vernon Micah Commentary - Thru the Bible Commentary (Mp3's format only)
  15. Patterson, Richard D.; Hill, Andrew E: Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 10: Minor Prophets, Hosea–Malachi, Tyndale House Publishers, 2008
  16. Phillips, John, Exploring the Minor Prophets. Kregel, 2002
  17. Wiersbe, Warren: Be Concerned (Micah)- Making a Difference in Your Lifetime. David C Cook. 2010
  18. Wiseman, Donald J.; Alexander, T. Desmond; Waltke, Bruce K., Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: an introduction and commentary, InterVarsity Press, 1988,Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries