MICAH - WHO IS LIKE JEHOVAH?
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Chart by Charles Swindoll
|MICAH: WHO IS LIKE JEHOVAH?
will follow Judgment
An Indictment of Sin &
A Promise of Blessing
|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
|God Gathers to
Judge and Deliver
|God Judges Rulers and
Comes to Deliver
|God Brings Indictments and
Is God Responsible for the Destruction we face?
How Do We Know
God is with Us?
What Does God
Want from Us?
|About 25 Years
- woe -Ps 120:5; Isaiah 6:5; 24:16; Jeremiah 4:31; 15:10; 45:3
- when they have gathered the summer fruits - Heb. the gatherings of summer. as. Isaiah 17:6; 24:13
- desired Isaiah 28:4; Hosea 9:10
- Spurgeon's Sermon on this passage - Ripe Fruit (945) - Micah 7:1
NOTE: FOR CONTEXT SEE CHART ABOVE - COLUMN LABELED "WORSHIP"
- Indictment and Deliverance
- Micah 6:1-7:10 = First the Judgment
- Micah 7:11-20 = Then the Promise
Hannah's Bible Outlines
The message of Micah (Micah 7:1-20)
The corruptness of Israel (Micah 7:1-6)
The prophet's lament (Micah 7:1)
The people's treachery (Micah 7:2-5)
The people's untrustfulness (Micah 7:6)
The future for Israel (Micah 7:7-17)
Salvation (Micah 7:7)
Illumination (Micah 7:8-9)
Expansion of borders (Micah 7:10-13)
Exaltation (Micah 7:14-17)
The character of Jehovah (Micah 7:18-20)
His pardon and love (Micah 7:18)
His compassion and forgiveness (Micah 7:19)
His faithfulness (Micah 7:20)
A VINE BARREN
OF RIGHTEOUS FRUIT
Speaking figuratively, Micah was a vinedresser looking for "spiritual fruit" on the vine of Israel (Isa 5:1-6,7, cf. Mark 11:12–14, 20–22) the fruit of righteousness (cp Heb 12:11, Pr 11:30, 12:12, Isa 3:10, Isa 45:8, Eph 5:9, Php 1:11, James 3:18). Instead of the fruit of righteousness, the people of Micah's day had "turned justice into poison, and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood." (Amos 6:12) Isaiah adds that "the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His delightful plant. Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress." (Isa 5:7) What type of fruit would the Vinedresser find in my life? In my family?
Kaiser - Having heard the prophet Micah minister to the public officials and merchants in the public eye, we are now given an intimate picture of his private life. The literary form of this chapter is a lament in which Micah weeps over the sad state of affairs into which his nation has fallen by its sin. Those who heard him preach must have assumed that he possessed a hard interior that held very little compassion or concern for the impact his messages had on his hearers. But, as this chapter reveals, they would have been wrong; here Micah is exposed as a man deeply distressed and greatly moved by the moral condition into which his nation has slipped....In many ways, this section of Micah’s prophecy is very similar to the first chapter of Habakkuk (See Habakkuk 1 Commentary). Habakkuk was so deeply moved by the sin of his people that he too cried out in a lament to God. Both prophets passionately regretted the fact that there were too few righteous people to be found.
Woe is me! - NET Bible note - "In light of the image that follows, perhaps one could translate, “I am disappointed.” Micah begins a dirge-like description of the decadence of Judah and it devastating effect on him. Some see Micah speaking on behalf of the godly (righteous, believing) remnant remaining in Jerusalem and Judah and sensitive to the Lord's rebuke and coming judgment. Others see him simply speaking for himself.
Micah reminds us of the prophet Isaiah who saw the idolatry and evil of his people in the context of the glory of Jehovah (Isa 6:1-3) and cried "Isa 6:5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
Wiersbe on Woe is me - The prophets not only declared God’s message with their lips, but they also felt the burden of the people on their hearts. Jeremiah wept over the sins of the nation in his day and wished he could weep even more (Jer. 9:1ff), and Micah lamented because there were no godly people left in the land. Looking for a godly person was as futile as looking for summer fruit after the harvest was over.
Woe (0480)('allay) an interjection occurring only twice in the OT depicting the hopeless emotional outlook of Job before God (Job 10:15) and here by Micah expressing his great personal grief, anxiety and distress as he contemplates the future of his people entrenched in their wicked ways (described in Micah 7:1-6). The Lxx translates 'allay with the interjection oimmoi which expresses a sense of horror (Jdg 11:35, 1Ki 17:30, Jer 4:31, 15:10, 22:18, Ps 119:5, Joel 1:15 repeats the interjection 3 successive times!).
For (term of explanation) I am Like the fruit pickers and the grape gatherers. There is not a cluster of grapes to eat, or a first-ripe fig which I crave. -
Micah speaks metaphorically, but it is a metaphor based on the reality that part of God's judgment would be no literal grapes on the vine (Micah 6:15). Here Micah is like a vinedresser who gleans the fields in the summer harvest expecting to find leftovers, instead finds no grapes, i.e., no godly remnant (the word for "no" in the Lxx is "ou" signifying absolutely none! This is amazing! And tragic!). What a striking contrast with the first mention of the fig tree in Micah 4:4-note, describing the ideal (and idyllic) conditions of the Millennial Reign of the Messiah.
Not a cluster - Micah is speaking with hyperbole. He is not saying there is not one single righteous person left in Judah. We know for example Daniel and his three friends as well as Ezekiel were part of the godly remnant. In addition Isaiah was prophesying contemporaneously with Micah and he was certainly a part of the remaining righteous remnant. Micah's point is that such godly men were few and far between, as we might say.
Not (0369)(אַיִן - ayin) means nothing, none, naught, i.e., a negative reference to an entity, event, or state. Ayin is a "substantive meaning "nothingness," "non-existence," from the Hebrew root 'ayun (not used in biblical Hebrew). It can also be used as an adverb, such as "no," "not," "none." (Gilbrant) Ayin is a "particle or semi-verb of negation or nonexistence meaning no, none, nothing. It is used hundreds of times with various negative nuances. It can simply negate something (Ex. 17:7; Ps. 135:17) or assert that something is as nothing in comparison (Isa. 40:17)." (Baker)
Vine - Ayin may be used absolutely, with no suffixes and not in a construct chain. When so used the word signifies nonexistence. This is its use and significance in Gen. 2:5 (the first occurrence): “… And there was not a man to till the ground.” Preceded by the particle ˒im, the word may mean “not”: “Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Exod. 17:7). In Gen. 30:1 this construction means “or else.” In other contexts the word means “nothing”: “… Mine age is as nothing before thee …” (Ps. 39:5). In the construct state ayin has the same basic meaning. In one special nuance the word is virtually a predicate meaning “there is not” or “we do not have” (Num. 14:42; cf. Gen. 31:50). In several contexts the word might be translated “without”: “Without counsel purposes are disappointed …” (Prov. 15:22). Preceded by the preposition min, ayin can mean “because” (Jer. 7:32). Elsewhere the word expresses simple negation: “They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths” (Ps. 135:17).
With a suffixed pronoun ayin negates the existence of the one or thing so represented; with the suffixed pronoun “he,” the word means “he was no longer”: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was [no longer]; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). This word should be distinguished from another ayin meaning “whence,” or “from where.”
MacDonald - The city has been stripped of men who are faithful and upright; violence and murder abound. The sad situation is compared with gleaning vintage grapes and finding no cluster to eat.
Kaiser - The Greeks used to tell the story about one of their philosophers named Diogenes who searched all the land with a lantern looking for one honest man. Similarly, in the Bible, God’s servants, who were in tune with His heart and mind, searched continually for that one righteous person. Abraham begged God to save the five cities of the plain if he could find in them ten righteous persons (Gen. 18:23–33). Some have thought that these must have been very small cities, but they were not. We have now uncovered the cemetary used by these five cities at Bab-ed-Dra, in modern Jordan. We have identified some 500,000 persons buried from 2000 to 1800 B.C. at Bab-ed-Dra, roughly the time when Abraham would have lived there. It would appear that ten righteous persons could have saved a population of something in excess of 500,000!
NET Bible - “I am like the gathering of the summer fruit, like the gleanings of the harvest.” Micah is not comparing himself to the harvested fruit. There is an ellipsis here, as the second half of the verse makes clear. The idea is, “I am like [one at the time] the summer fruit is gathered and the grapes are harvested.”
Which I crave ("which my soul craves" = ESV) - The Septuagint has a different ending and uses the interjection oimmoi again - "Woe my soul!"
Crave (0183)(awah) means to incline, to desire, have a strong yearning (Dt 12:20, 14:26). The first use in Nu 11:4 speaks of desires (Lxx = epithumia) which are greedy. In the 10 Commandments in Deuteronomy awah speaks of coveting saying "you shall not desire (Lxx = epithumeo = strong impulse toward something, good or bad, in this case bad) your neighbor's house." (Dt 5:21) In a more neutral sense awah speaks of that which the body needs to sustain itself such as food (Dt. 12:20; 1Sa 2:16; Amos 7:1) or water (2Sa 23:15; 1Chr. 11:17 - although this craving by David might be viewed by some as a bit selfish.).
Awah describes God's desire for Zion to be His habitation, His resting place forever (Ps 132:13-14).
Avah translated in NAS as - been greedy(1), crave(1), craved(1), craves(1), craving(1), desire(8), desired(2), desires(5), desires*(1), had(1), had a craving(2), longed(1), longing(1), longs(1).
Avah - 26v - Nu 11:4, Nu 11:34; Deut 5:21 (Lxx = epithumeo); Dt 12:20; 14:26; 1Sa 2:16; 2Sa 3:21; 23:15; 1Kgs 11:37; 1 Chr 11:17; Job 23:13; Ps 45:11; 106:14; 132:13-14; Pr 13:4; 21:10, 26; 23:3, 6; 24:1; Eccl 6:2; Isa 26:9; Jer 17:16; Amos 5:18; Mic 7:1.
Here is an interesting thing to crave for...
Amos 5:18 Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, For what purpose [will] the day of the LORD [be] to you? It [will be] darkness and not light
- good - or, godly, or, merciful. is perished. Ps 12:1; 14:1-3; Isaiah 57:1; Romans 3:10-18
- they all Proverbs 1:11; 12:6; Isaiah 59:7; Jeremiah 5:16
- hunt 1 Samuel 24:11; 26:20; Ps 57:6; Jeremiah 5:26; 16:16; Lamentations 4:18; Habakkuk 1:15-17
The godly person has perished from the land - Men with "God-like" character were not to be found! Indeed, such men are becoming a rare commodity in post (anti) - Christian America! We need to pray Ps 12:1 asking for His help!
The description of the psalmist would be apropos - "They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one." (Ps 14:3)
Boice - Micah is describing a monumental breakdown of society. It is seen, first, in a breakdown of morality. No society is ever entirely upright or godly; there are always evil people in it. But in a well-functioning society the evil are suppressed and those of good character are prominent and rule the land. In times of moral breakdown this is inverted. The evil triumph, and the good are driven out....In my judgment this is happening in our own time. I was talking with the principal of one of our city schools. He is an excellent man, but he was resigning because of the irrational and impossible demands being made of him by the school administration. He said that he felt he was working in an insane asylum run by inmates. It is a case of the upright being swept from the land. (Boice Expositional Commentary - The Minor Prophets, Volume 2: Micah-Malachi)
Godly (02623)(hasid from hasad = to be good, kind) is an adjective that means kind, benevolent, merciful. Hasid is in the same Hebrew word group as heced, which describes loyal lovingkindness. Thus the main idea of hasid is faithful kindness and piety that springs from mercy.
Hasid is used to describe Jehovah as "kind (hasid) in all His deeds" (Ps 145:17 - Lxx = hósios = persons who live right before God, used of Jesus - Acts 2:27, 13:35) and as "gracious" (Jer 3:12 - Lxx = eleemon = actively compassionate leading to acts of mercy to relieve suffering or misery of the object of compassion). In Psalm 16:10 hasid is a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus ("Holy One"; Lxx = hósios). God will keep (preserve - same verb shamar in Ps 121:3, 5, 7, 8-note) "the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. " (1Sa 2:9) "With the kind (hasid; Lxx = hósios) Thou dost show Thyself kind, With the blameless Thou dost show Thyself blameless." (2Sa 22:26)
Most of the OT uses of hasid are translated in the Lxx with hósios.
The first use of hasid which was a reference to Levi - "And of Levi he said, “[Let] Thy Thummim and Thy Urim [belong] to Thy godly man, whom Thou didst prove at Massah, with whom Thou didst contend at the waters of Meribah." (Dt 33:8)
TWOT has this note on hasid - Holy one, saint. Whether God’s people in the OT were called hasid because they were characterized by heced (as seems likely) or were so called because they were objects of God’s heced may not be certain. The word is used thirty-two times, twenty-five of them in the Psalms. It is used in sing.. and pl. Once, Ps 16:16, it refers to the Holy One to come. The word became used for the orthodox party in the days of the Maccabeans.
Baker - Hasid carries the essential idea of the faithful kindness and piety that springs from mercy. It is used of the Lord twice: once to convey His holiness in the sense that His works are beyond reproach (Ps 145:17); and once to declare His tender mercy (Jer. 3:12).
Hasid is translated (NAS) - godly(2), godly man(3), godly ones(20), godly person(1), gracious(1), Holy One(1), kind(3), love(1), ungodly*(1).
Hasid - 33v - Dt 33:8; 1 Sam 2:9; 2 Sam 22:26; 2 Chr 6:41; Job 39:13; Ps 4:3; 12:1; 16:10; 18:25; 30:4; 31:23; 32:6; 37:28; 43:1; 50:5; 52:9; 79:2; 85:8; 86:2; 89:19; 97:10; 116:15; 132:9, 16; 145:10, 17; 148:14; 149:1, 5, 9; Pr 2:8; Jer 3:12; Mic 7:2
Deuteronomy 33:8 Of Levi he said, "Let Your Thummim and Your Urim belong to Your godly man, Whom You proved at Massah, With whom You contended at the waters of Meribah;
1 Samuel 2:9 "He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail.
2 Samuel 22:26 "With the kind You show Yourself kind, With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
2 Chronicles 6:41 "Now therefore arise, O LORD God, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your might; let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation and let Your godly ones rejoice in what is good.
Job 39:13 "The ostriches' wings flap joyously With the pinion and plumage of love,
Psalm 4:3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; The LORD hears when I call to Him.
Psalm 12:1 For the choir director; upon an eight-stringed lyre. A Psalm of David. Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
Psalm 16:10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
Psalm 18:25 With the kind You show Yourself kind; With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
Psalm 30:4 Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.
Psalm 31:23 O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Psalm 32:6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
Psalm 43:1 Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly (negative "lo" before hasid) nation; O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!
Psalm 50:5 "Gather My godly ones to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."
Psalm 52:9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.
Psalm 79:2 They have given the dead bodies of Your servants for food to the birds of the heavens, The flesh of Your godly ones to the beasts of the earth.
Psalm 85:8 I will hear what God the LORD will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly.
Psalm 86:2 Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.
Psalm 89:19 Once You spoke in vision to Your godly ones, And said, "I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.
Psalm 97:10 Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones.
Psalm 132:9 Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your godly ones sing for joy.
16 "Her priests also I will clothe with salvation, And her godly ones will sing aloud for joy.
Psalm 145:10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD, And Your godly ones shall bless You.
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds.
Psalm 148:14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 149:1 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.
5 Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds.
9 To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the LORD!
Proverbs 2:8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Jeremiah 3:12 "Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, 'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the LORD; 'I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,' declares the LORD; 'I will not be angry forever.
Perished (destroyed, lost) (also used in Mic 4:9-note, Mic 5:10-note)(06) (abad) is a verb meaning to perish, to be destroyed, to be ruined, to be lost, to in a state of ruin and destruction pertaining to an object, including the death (Ex 10:7). The Lxx translates perished with apollumi in the perfect tense (describing this longstanding state!)
There is no upright person among men. - Micah laments the general absence of godliness and righteousness. The Lxx uses Greek negative (ou rather than me) which speaks of absolute negation.
Upright (yashar root sense = to be smooth, to be straight, to be right). The Lxx translates yashar with the verb katorthoo which means to cause something to be correct or come out right and in the present tense speaks of this as one's lifestyle or habitual practice. Micah says there is an absolute void of such men. Katorthoo is used in the Lxx of Ps 119:9 "How can a young man keep his way pure?"
Life Application Bible - Even today (Ed: in America, in the world in general) fair-mindedness (uprightness, honesty, integrity) is difficult to find. Society rationalizes sin, and even believers sometimes compromise Christian principles in order to do what they want. It is easy to convince ourselves that we deserve a few breaks, especially when "everyone else" is doing it. But the standards for honesty come from God, not society. We are to be honest because God is truth, and we are to be like him.
All of them lie in wait for bloodshed - This depicts the depraved "animalistic" vicious nature of the men of Judah, crouching like predators waiting to pounce on their unsuspecting prey. Compare the descriptions in Mic 3:10, Mic 6:12.
We see this same depraved nature in the story of Cain and Abel where sin was "lying in wait" for Cain and pounced on him which caused him to murder Abel -
Gen 4:6-8 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?7 “If you do well, will not [your countenance] be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” 8 And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Lie in wait (0693)(arab) means to ambush, to lie in wait, to lurk. The wicked "lie in wait" for the blood of righteous (Pr 1:11,18; 12:6; 24:15). In Jdg. 21:20, the men of Benjamin lie in wait for the daughter of Shiloh in order to get wives. Dt 19:11 speaks of the man who lies in wait for his neighbor to do him harm. David laments that Saul seeks to ambush him (Ps. 59:3). Arab can speak of lying in ambush as a military tactic with intent to kill (Josh. 8:2, 4, 7). Arab can have the sense of to lurk as would a harlot looking for her prey (Pr 12:6; 23:28, cp Job 31:9 - Job denies lurking!)
The Lxx uses enedreuo which means to lie in wait for another (to prepare a trap, to ambush) several times (Dt 19:11, Joshua 8:4, Jdg 9:32, 34, 43)
Lurk in English means to lie in wait in a place of concealment especially for an evil purpose (cp Ps 10:9) Ambush means to set a trap in which concealed persons lie in wait to attack by surprise
Arab is translated (NAS) - ambush(15), ambushes(2), lay in wait(3), lie in ambush(1), lie in wait(7), lies in wait(1), lurked(1), lurks(4), lying in ambush(1), lying in wait(3), set an ambush(2), waited in ambush(1).
Arab - 39v - Deut 19:11; Josh 8:2, 4, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21; Jdg 9:25, 32, 34, 43; 16:2, 9, 12; 20:29, 33, 36ff; 21:20; 1 Sam 15:5; 22:8, 13; 2Chr 20:22; Ezra 8:31; Job 31:9; Ps 10:9; 59:3; Pr 1:11, 18; 7:12; 12:6; 23:28; 24:15; Jer 51:12; Lam 3:10; 4:19; Mic 7:2
Each of them hunts the other with a net.- Micah's predatory picture continues. The Lxx translated into English says "they grievously afflict every one his neighbor:"
Net (02764)(herem from haram = to slit) is a noun which refers to a net that could be used for either hunting or fishing. Women lacking morals are said to have hearts that "are snares and nets" (Eccl 7:26). This describes the fierce Babylonians who catch and sacrifice their pray in a net (Hab 1:15-17). Ezekiel prophesies that Tyre will, under the judgment of the Lord, become a place to spread fishnets (Ezek. 26:5).
In a search of Strong's numbers, note that the NAS distinguishes those OT uses that speak of devoted thing or ban, whereas KJV includes them which accounts for the difference in counts below.
Herem - KJV has 31 uses - Lev 27:21, 28f; Num 18:14; Deut 7:26; 13:17; Josh 6:17f; 7:1, 11ff, 15; 22:20; 1 Sam 15:21; 1 Kgs 20:42; 1 Chr 2:7; Eccl 7:26; Isa 34:5; 43:28; Ezek 26:5, 14; 32:3; 44:29; 47:10; Mic 7:2; Hab 1:15ff; Zech 14:11; Mal 4:6
Herem - NAS has only 9 uses translated as net - Eccl 7:26; Ezek 26:5, 14; 32:3; 47:10; Mic 7:2; Hab 1:15ff -- The 21 uses of herem in the NAS with the meaning of devoted thing or ban are discussed in the study on herem.
IVP Bible Background Commentary - Fowling and fishing were the common man’s form of hunting since they required only nets and traps. Egyptian tomb paintings depict hunting birds with a net (see Pr 1:17) and the antiquity of the net is to be found in the Sumerian word for hunting that is an ideogram in the shape of a net. Isaiah 51:20 describes using a net, possibly a corral of nets, to hunt antelopes that may have been driven into the trap by a line of beaters. It is truly a lawless time when every man is both hunter and hunted (Ps 10:9).
- do Proverbs 4:16,17; Jeremiah 3:5; Ezekiel 22:6
- the prince Micah 3:11; Isaiah 1:23; Jeremiah 8:10; Ezekiel 22:27; Hosea 4:18; Amos 5:12; Matthew 26:15
- the great 1 Kings 21:9-14
- his mischievous desire - Heb. the mischief of his soul. wrap. Isaiah 26:21; Luke 12:1,2; 1 Corinthians 4:5
Concerning evil, both hands do it well. - Pictures their skill in, passion for and performance of evil. These evil men were morally and ethically "ambidextrous" so to speak! That's how good they were at being bad! Everything they touched was evil, like men who "cannot sleep unless they do evil." (Pr 4:16) They did it well because they had practiced at it!
The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe - A charge similar to that noted in Mic 3:11 (cf Isa 1:23), picturing their ravenous, insatiable greed. The Lxx translates "asks" with aiteo in the present tense which indicates these corrupt men are unrelenting in their evil demands, even in face of impending judgment! This demonstrates the depth of depravity of their hearts!
Webster (1828) defines bribery as "The act or practice of giving or taking rewards for corrupt practices; the act of paying or receiving a reward for a false judgment, or testimony, or for the performance of that which is known to be illegal, or unjust. It is applied both to him who gives, and to him who receives the compensation, but appropriately to the giver."
Kaiser - Bribery was a way of life for princes and judges. Profit, not justice, was the new motivation for leaders.
James Montgomery Boice - We do not need to look far to see this in our land. The Watergate era was full of revelations of precisely this kind of corruption, even including payoffs to a vice president of the United States. Not long after, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began its Abscam probes, in which numerous congressmen, senators, and others were caught receiving bribes to give special treatment to imaginary Arab oil interests. Not long ago a New Jersey judge was arrested going up the courthouse steps with $12,000 in his pocket that he had been given to waive or reduce the sentence on a convicted arsonist. These are just a few recent examples of people in high places who have been caught! Are we to believe that this is all the corruption there is? Are these the only felons? (Boice Expositional Commentary - The Minor Prophets, Volume 2: Micah-Malachi)
And a great man speaks the desire of his soul - "the powerful dictate what they desire" (NIV). They issue a decree "I want ____" and they get it.
Kaiser - Once the powerful man had spoken, or revealed, the passion of his soul (v. 3b), a web was spun that captured all his friends, allies and neighbors. But this practice was not limited to ancient times. In the summer of 1991 it was revealed that a Chicago lawyer had paid off a long list of judges, lawyers and officials, and even a suburban mayor, for twenty-five years in order to protect his guilty clients—twenty-five years this travesty of justice went on!
So they weave it together - "They all conspire together." (NIV); "Together they scheme to twist justice." (NLT) "they plot it together" (HCSB) " they all do what is necessary to satisfy them." (NET)
Constable - The powerful could expect to get the evil things they wanted because they pulled the necessary strings. These leaders formed networks of conspiracy, like a basket, to entrap the weak.
NET Note - More literally, "the great one announces what his appetite desires and they weave it together." Apparently this means that subordinates plot and maneuver to make sure the prominent man's desires materialize.
- is a 2 Samuel 23:6,7; Isaiah 55:13; Ezekiel 2:6; Hebrews 6:8
- the day Ezekiel 12:23,24; Hosea 9:7,8; Amos 8:2
- thy Isaiah 10:3; Jeremiah 8:12; 10:15
- now Isaiah 22:5; Luke 21:25
NET The best of them is like a thorn; the most godly among them are more dangerous than a row of thorn bushes. The day you try to avoid by posting watchmen– your appointed time of punishment– is on the way, and then you will experience confusion.
The best of them is like a briar - Briar is from a root meaning to sting. These men were like prickly plants, which pierce, hurt and draw blood! They hurt others who became entangled in their evil schemes.
Best (02896)(tob is from a verb meaning to be pleasing) speaks of good or goodness in a broad sense and was used to refer to Jehovah (Ps 34:8, cp Ps 73:1) and His Spirit (Neh 9:20). The Lxx translates tob with agathos (the opposite of kakos = evil or bad) which speaks of upright moral character.
The most upright like a thorn hedge - "the most honest of them like a thorn-hedge" (NLT), "the most godly among them are more dangerous than a row of thorn bushes." (NET) "the most upright is worse than a hedge of thorns" (HCSB) The "best" of these men is still like a hedge of thorns which scratches all who contact them!
Micah uses "sharp," piercing metaphors to describe the perverted character and acts of men who should have been "righteous" in light of the truth that they had a Righteous God!
Upright (03477)(yashar) comes from a root meaning to be straight and describes a man who is upright, just and righteous, something the men of Judah were NOT! See use in Micah 7:2. Here yashar is translated in the Lxx by the verb badizo which means to walk straight and present tense depicts this a lifestyle. So what should be a description of a godly man instead is a man like a thorn hedge. The point is that the "best" (most upright) of the worst were still bad!
The day when you post a watchman, your punishment will come - "The day you try to avoid by posting watchmen." (NET) Watchmen on the wall were to warn for danger, but this protective measure would be in vain against the Lord's hand of judgment! As Amos reiterates "The end has come for My people Israel. I will spare them no longer." (Amos 8:2).
NET Note - The present translation takes “watchmen” to refer to actual sentries. However, the “watchmen” could refer figuratively to the prophets (like Micah) who had warned Judah of approaching judgment. In this case one could translate, “The day your prophets warned about – your appointed time of punishment – is on the way.” (See Ezek 3:16–21; Ezek 33:7–9; Hos. 9:8)
The watchmen on city wall were to warn citizens of danger, and here in Micah 7:4 were to warn of the judgment of God! But tragically watchmen would not help, for Micah says on the day you post watchman, your punishment will come. It's like the one follows the other without a pause. The day of the watchman would be the day of destruction.
Watchman (06822)(tsaphah) conveys idea of being fully aware of a situation in order to gain some advantage or keep from being surprised by an enemy. The root carries with it the meaning of "being alert" and "active in watching" rather than simply gazing at something in the distance. It speaks literally of keeping watch for some event (a Watchman). Tsaphah means t
God watches over the nations (Ps 66:7) and literally over everything, everywhere (Pr 15:3)! It is used figuratively of waiting to see something, what God will do (Ps. 5:3; Nah. 2:1; Hab. 2:1). The wicked watch the righteous to do them harm (Ps. 37:32).
In Micah 7:7 the prophet says "But as for me, I will watch expectantly (Lxx = epiblepo = gaze on attentively, paying close attention) for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.
To keep an eye on something or someone, as God watching over the covenant cut between Laban and Jacob - "And Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me this day.” Therefore it was named Galeed; and Mizpah, for he said, “May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other." (Ge 31:48-49)
The idea is to be a watchman, to keep an eye on something or someone, to guard someone, to watch over. Watchmen on ancient city walls were to warn citizens of danger (cp use in Ezek 33:2-6-note).
Tsaphah conveys the idea of being fully aware of a situation in order to gain some advantage or keep from being surprised (as by an enemy).
Most of the uses of tsaphah that are translated as "watchman" are in turn translated in the Lxx by the noun skopos = a distant mark looked at, a goal and then the one watching this mark (Used in Php 3:14).
Tsaphah is translated (NAS) - destined(1), keep watch(3), lookout(1), looks well(1), spies(1), watch(3), watch expectantly(1), watched(1), watching(2), watchman(14), watchman's(1), watchmen(5).
Tsaphah - 32v - Gen 31:49; 1 Sam 4:13; 14:16; 2 Sam 13:34; 18:24ff; 2 Kgs 9:17f, 20; Job 15:22; Ps 5:3; 37:32; 66:7; Pr 15:3; 31:27; Isa 21:6; 52:8; 56:10; Jer 6:17; 48:19; Lam 4:17; Ezek 3:17; 33:2, 6f; Hos 9:8; Mic 7:4, 7; Nah 2:1; Hab 2:1
Ps 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, Thou wilt hear my voice; In the morning I will order [my] [prayer] to Thee and [eagerly] watch. (tsaphah; Lxx = ephorao = fix one's glance upon, gaze upon, concern one's self with, take notice of - describes God looking at Abel's offering - Ge 4:4 = "Had regard [ephorao] for Abel and for his offering" - notice how God inspected the "offerer" and then the "offering"!)
Ps 66:7 He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch (tsaphah; Lxx = epiblepo in the present tense = continually gaze on attentively, paying close attention) on the nations; Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
Pr 31:27 She (Proverbs 31 Woman) looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Isa 52:8 Listen! Your watchmen (tsaphah; Lxx = phulasso = conveys idea of watching like a sentinel or military guard would watch) lift up [their] voices, They shout joyfully together; For they will see with their own eyes (Hebrew is picturesque = literally "eye to eye"!) When the LORD restores (better translated "returns to") Zion.
Comment: The watchmen will see the return of the Messiah with their own eyes! See Second Coming.
Jer 6:17 (Jehovah speaking to rebellious Judah!) “And I set watchmen (tsaphah; Lxx = skopos= one that looks after things, a lookout man) over you, [saying,] ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
Ezek 33:6-7 ‘But if the watchman (tsaphah; Lxx by the noun skopos) sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s (tsaphah; Lxx by the noun skopos) hand.’ 33:7 “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman (tsaphah; Lxx by the noun skopos) for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth, and give them warning from Me.
Hab 2:1-note I WILL stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch (tsaphah; Lxx = aposkopeuo = to keep watch, to look steadily) to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.
Then their confusion will occur
Confusion (03998)(mebukah from bukh = to be agitated, to wander in confusion) means perplexity and is used only one other time (Isa 22:5), also in the context of God's judgment. Mebukah is translated in the Lxx with the noun klauthmos which describes a strong inner emotion manifest by weeping and wailing with grief (cf Mt 2:18). Klauthmos is accompanied by gnashing of teeth in the face of God's righteous judgment for all who reject Him (Mt 8:12, 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk 13:28)
Gilbrant - One of the methods God uses to judge a people is bringing them into a state of confusion (Isa. 22:5; Mic 7:4). This confusion includes a sense of panic and results in a lack of trust and confidence in neighbors and friends. That one misplaced trust in humans will be returned to Yahweh through this experience.
Kaiser - Once again, Micah employs his love of word-play to make his point: the mesûkâ, “thorn hedge,” will result in mebûkâ, “perplexity” (Micah 7:4b).
- ye not in Job 6:14,15; Ps 118:8,9; Jeremiah 9:4; Matthew 10:16
- keep Judges 16:5-20
Do not trust in a neighbor - Sin by its destructive nature breaks even the closest relationships. No one can be trusted. This is how bad the judgment will be - everyone will watch out for himself in this horrible day.
Kaiser - If some think this is strange, then listen to an illustration that comes from contemporary experiences. One family, in a very fine neighborhood in California, left home for a week, only to learn upon their return that their next-door neighbors had stolen everything in their house while they were gone! When this happens, the fabric of society has indeed thoroughly eroded.
Wiersbe - You couldn’t trust anybody! When truth is no longer the standard for society, then everything starts to fall apart; for faithfulness to our word is the cement that holds society together.
The psalmist gave good advice that would be helpful in times like these (and all times) - "It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in princes. (Ps 118:8-9)
Trust (0539) (aman) means to believe in or place one's confidence in. At the heart of the meaning of the root is the idea of certainty. The point is when judgment comes you can no longer count on anyone!
Jeremiah described a similar scenario - “Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, And do not trust any brother; because every brother deals craftily, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. And everyone deceives his neighbor, and does not speak the truth, they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity." (Jer 9:4-5)
Do not have confidence in a friend. - A sad description of God's chosen people, but such is the downward spiral of sin. They could have had a "friend who sticks closer than a brother," but they would have nothing to do with Messiah (cp Jn 15:14-15).
Confidence (0982)(batach) speaks of being confident or trusting and pertains to placing reliance or belief in a person or object (Ps112:7; Isa 26:3) Batach expresses sense of well-being and security from having something or someone in whom to place confidence. The Lxx has elpizo which means to hope in the sense of counting on something to happen (Lk 6:34 - "expect").
From her who lies in your bosom guard your lips - The Hebrew literally reads "from the one who lies in your arms, guard the doors of your mouth." When one's beloved cannot be trusted, the level of trust has reached a national nadir (low point). This reminds us of Samson foolishly trusting in Delilah (Jdg 16:5-20)!
- son Genesis 9:22-24; 49:4; 2 Samuel 15:10-12; 16:11,21-23; Proverbs 30:11,17; Ezekiel 22:7; Matthew 10:21,35,36; Luke 12:53; 21:16; 2 Timothy 3:2,3
- a man's Ps 41:9; 55:12-14; Jeremiah 12:6; 20:10; Obadiah 1:7; Matthew 26:23,49,50; John 13:18
For - a term of explanation
Son treats father contemptuously - Disgracefully. The Lxx has atimazo which means to treat someone deserving of honor with disrespect, with dishonor, even shamefully (Ro 1:24 = "dishonored"). BDAG says this is "an especially grievous offense in the strongly honor-shame oriented Semitic and Greco-Roman societies."
This passage reminds me of Paul's warning to Timothy that "in the last days difficult times will come, for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money...unloving." (2Ti 3:1-3-note) where the word for "unloving" is astorgos, which literally means without family love. While it is not natural for people to love God or the things and people of God, but it is natural for them to love their own families. The root word storge refers especially of family love, such as the love of a child for their parent and parent for child. If there is no human affection, the family unit simply cannot continue to exist. In the terrible times men will be so set on self that even the closest ties will be nothing to them. Micah pictured this as occurring to Judah, while Paul spoke of the last days of this present age. The result is the same - disintegration of the family units, the basic "glue" of any stable society.
As John Phillips said "How could a nation lacking even the basic elements of honor and decency expect to escape the consequences of its behavior?" The answer? They cannot escape! Pray for revival in America! (2Chr 7:13-14, cp Ps 119:25)
Daughter rises up against her mother - The Lxx translates the Hebrew verb "rises up" (qum = stand, stand up) with the verb epanistemi which is used only in the middle voice and speaks of a hostile action = rising up against, rebelling against. BDAG says epanistemi means "to become active in forceful resistance or expression of hostility."
Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - Now this one is probably the least surprising!
A man's enemies are the men of his own household. - Not only one's beloved, but one's beloved family and servants become the man's enemy, so unraveled is the society in the face of divine judgment.
Jesus quoted this passage when He commissioned His 12 disciples - "And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness....35 “For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36 and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD." (Mt 10:1, 35-36, cp Mk 13:12, Lk 12:53).
ESV Study Bible - The family treachery in Israel anticipates the family treachery from resistance to Christ (Matt. 10:35-36).
Leslie Allen comments on Micah 7:6 - Man is so made that he finds security in a small group among whom he is accepted and receives support. At the heart of the concentric circles of people known to him there must ever be a stable core of friends, and usually family, if his psychological equilibrium is to be maintained. The prophet gradually penetrates to the center of these inner circles of familiarity: friend—best friend—wife. A man is now forced to go against his nature, retiring within himself and keeping his own counsel, if he is not to face betrayal.
James Montgomery Boice - I wonder if this is not being fulfilled in our own time in many instances. Externally, people appear successful and happy. They have good jobs. They have good relationships with their friends. They have no real enemies. But often there is something gnawing away inside, and that inner agony is often a case of heartbreak or even hatred at home. Not long ago I had a Jewish man come to see me. He was not interested in Christianity. He would never have turned to me under normal circumstances. He was married to a nominally Christian wife who was an alcoholic. Outwardly they were a beautiful couple. Professionally he was riding on the crest. But the wife was slipping downhill quickly, and for the husband every moment on the job was filled with desperate thoughts about what might be happening at home either to his wife or their children. I know another couple who are distressed over their teenage daughter. They are marvelous parents who have struggled to make a good life for her. They have worked hard to see that she is instructed and fed in Christian things. But the girl has utter disregard for their feelings and for the turmoil she is causing. She wants her own way without responsibility. I could reproduce more examples, but the point is clear. We are experiencing the same kind of decline in our own time as occurred in Micah's times. Morality, leadership, and family are crumbling. But notice this: it is not just a meaningless decline. It is part of God's judgment. For God has decreed that whenever a society departs from him, the effects of that departure will be seen in every aspect of the life of that society. Paul talks about that in Romans 1:18-32, where he says that once men and women give up on God, neither glorifying him nor giving him thanks, God also gives them up to various sins and perversions, and to depraved minds. God is a moral God; he is faithful in doing this. There is no one like God in such judgments.(Boice Expositional Commentary – The Minor Prophets, Volume 2: Micah-Malachi)
- I will look Ps 34:5,6; 55:16,17; 109:4; 142:4,5; Isaiah 8:17; 45:22; Habakkuk 3:17-19; Luke 6:11,12
- wait Genesis 49:18; Ps 25:5; 27:12-14; 37:7; 40:1-3; 62:1-8; Isaiah 12:2; 25:9; Lamentations 3:25,26; Luke 2:25-32
- my God Ps 4:2,3; 38:15; 50:15; 65:2; 1 John 5:14,15
English of the Septuagint = But I will look to the Lord; I will wait upon God my Saviour: my God will hearken to me.
See Spurgeon's Sermons on this passage -
- My Own Personal Holdfast (2069) - Micah 7:7
- A Sweet Silver Bell Ringing in Each Believer's Heart (1819) - Micah 7:7
A CHANGE OF DIRECTION!
"BUT AS FOR ME"
Wiersbe - The prophet reached a turning point when he looked away from the sins of the people and meditated on the faithfulness of the Lord....This verse is the “bridge” that connects the sections on sin and judgment with this closing section on hope.
But as for me me - Praise God for Micah's "but" (term of contrast) which reverses the dreary description of a nation spiritually turned upside down! Micah's "watchman-like" attitude and his "about face" is in stark contrast to the attitude of the unfaithful leaders. And so Micah begins a prophecy describing a better day coming for the nation of Israel! This prophetic promise in context is specifically promised to Israel, especially the believing remnant of Jews and is not a promise to the church. (As an aside, I am NOT a dispensationalist but I am a "literalist.")
John MacArthur - In spite of his dire circumstances, Micah, as a watchman (cf. Mic 7:4), would intently look for evidence of God’s working, trusting God to act in His own time and way (cf. Hab 3:16–19-note)
Boice - The prophet has been writing about judgment to come: he is not retracing that now. Judgment will come. The people will be carried off to Babylon. But as the book draws to a close, he looks beyond the deportation to another deliverance and regathering into the Promised Land. In that day the enemies of the people will be defeated, Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and the borders of the nation will be extended as they were previously. (Boice Expositional Commentary – The Minor Prophets, Volume 2: Micah-Malachi)
It would have been easy for Micah to look around his society and begin to wonder if God were still working, still able to right the wrongs that had become endemic. And yet instead of viewing the glass half empty, he chose to view the glass half full and to patiently wait for God to move in His perfect timing. As I write these words in December, 2014, I look around America and see a ravaged moral, ethical landscape, and wonder whether God still sees us, whether He still cares. But when I read of the hope filled attitude in godly men like Micah, it encourages me to trust that God is still on the throne and that "He is able"....He is able to right the wrongs, able to send revival, able to restore broken marriages and families, etc. And so I will wait and watch for the God of our salvation.
McComiskey - The clouds of gloom began to separate as the prophet, speaking as the representative of the remnant, described the attitude of the godly person amid such difficult circumstances...The godly man will look expectantly for God. As a watchman observes every shadow and listens to every night sound, so the godly man looks for every evidence of God’s working. To close one’s eyes to the working of God, no matter how small the evidence may be, is to open the door to despair.
Along this same line, it is worth noting that about 1 out of every 20 verses in the NT speaks directly or indirectly about the Second Coming of the Messiah. Such Spirit inspired prevalence is undoubtedly meant to cause all of God's children to keep "looking (see the great verb prosdechomai, which in the present tense calls for expectation and anticipation to be a saint's continual mindset! Like godly Simeon and Anna - Lk 2:25, 38. Is it your heart attitude beloved?) for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus." (Titus 2:13-note) Remember that what (Who) you are looking for will (should) directly impact what (Who) you are living for! If you are convicted, join the "club!"
Micah's words also remind me of Joshua's final words to Israel just before he dies (always good to pay attention to a dying man's last words, especially if he is a godly man!) - "And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD = Job 5:8, Ps 5:7, 26:11, 31:14, 52:8, 59:16, 69:13, 71:14, 73:2, 28, 75:9, 119:87, Jer 17:16, 18, Da 2:30)
The phrase but as for me signals that this is the prophet's personal choice. He is not being forced or coerced to choose for God. This phrase (but as for me) could be a great qualifier so to speak for believers as we conduct ourselves in the world and are tempted to compromise our righteousness, our morals, our ethics (in Christ). Indeed, may the Spirit enable us in those manifold, variegated tempting situations to quickly speak to ourselves the "tagline" - "But as for me....". Amen.
In this section from Micah 7:7-20 we see primarily the confession and intercession of Micah who identifies himself with Israel, much like Daniel did in his great intercessory prayer (Da 9:3-19). Clearly intercession was a role fulfilled by God's prophets (Ge 20:7 Jer 27:18).
Watch...wait - These actions (attitudes) are a reflection of faith or trust in Jehovah's faithfulness.
James Smith applies these passages to our lives - The upward look to the believing soul is always a clear one, even when the outward and the inward look is dark, cloudy, and foreboding. "Look unto Me, and be ye saved." The look may be like a flash, but we must also quietly wait for Him The waiting time may be the testing time; but if we are waiting for God's salvation it will surely come. (Handfuls of Purpose)
I will watch expectantly - NIV has "I watch in hope". The Lxx translates watch expectantly with the verb epiblepo which means to pay close attention, look attentively and in James 2:3 is rendered "pay special attention to." This verb is applied figuratively to the prophets who were Israel’s watchmen who were to see Lord’s purposes and communicate them to their people (Hos 9:8 cf Isa 56:10,11 Jer 6:17 Ezek 3:17 Mic 7:4,7).
John Phillips - Coming to the closing stanzas of his prophecy, Micah fixed his eye on the Savior, who was his only ultimate hope (Ed: And our only ultimate hope - Hope is not just a concept but a Person - 1Ti 1:1). The prophet could see end-time Israel in the hands of her enemies. As George Adam Smith said, "Other nations have been our teachers in art and wisdom and government. But [Israel] is our mistress in pain and in patience." In her suffering Israel at last will say, "I will look unto the Lord" (7:7). She will be like the prodigal son in the far country, who said when he came to his senses, "I will arise and go to my father" (Luke 15:18).
For the LORD. - This reminds me of the great passage in where Paul describes believers as those who are "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus." (Titus 2:13) And take care to not be deluded (James 1:22-24-note) for there is a connection -- What (Who) you are looking for will (should) radically effect (impact) what (Who) you are living for! How are you doing? Are you reading great passages like this and then walking away with your eye fixed more on the things of the world then upon Jesus imminent return? God grant us grace and power from His Spirit to enable us to be like the man or woman in James 1:25-note. Amen
Here is a good practice by David we would do well to imitate - "In the morning, O LORD, Thou wilt hear my voice; In the morning I will order [my] [prayer] to Thee and [eagerly] watch (tsaphah; Lxx = epeidon = fix one's gaze on, concern oneself with!). (Ps 5:3)
Kaiser - The Hebrew words for to “look to” (watch for) and to “wait for” are not passive verbs, as our English words suggest, but involve active participation through faith, prayer and certain hope. So while the whole society was coming apart, one man plus God was a majority! (Ed: The corresponding verbs in the Lxx are epiblepo and hupomeno, the former being in the middle voice and the latter in the active voice, both signifying the prophet's active participation as noted by Kaiser.)
I will wait (03176)(yahal/yachal) conveys the idea of tarrying, of confident expectation, of trust. Yachal is used to express "expectation, hope," and for the OT believer is intimately associated with faith or trust a mindset (or "heart" set) which results in patient waiting.
Yachal is rendered in the Lxx with the verb hupomeno = remain in place when others might depart.
Yachal is one of several OT words which express the idea of hope, of a heart attitude of assurance of future good (that God will do good to me in the future is the idea). "Hope" in the OT. Most often where we find "hope" in the English versions, the Hebrew word is miqveh (04723), tiqvah (08615) (from the common root qavah ), or yachal . Each Hebrew word invites us to look ahead eagerly with confident expectation. Each also calls for patience, reminding us that the fulfillment of hope lies in the future.
The LORD is good to those who wait (Heb = qavah; Lxx = hupomeno in the present tense = as their lifestyle endure) for Him, To the person who seeks Him. [It is] good that he waits (Heb = yachil; Lxx = hupomeno) silently For the salvation of the LORD. (Lam 3:25-26)
For the God of my salvation - NET has " I will wait for the God Who delivers me." Clearly this bold declaration is a reflection of the prophet's faith or trust in God's faithfulness to keep His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
God promised to keep His covenant and bring salvation to His chosen people, Isaiah recording...
And a Redeemer (Heb - goel/ga'al; Lxx - rhuomai = to rescue from danger) will come to Zion (Jerusalem), and to those who turn from (Heb = shub; Lxx = apostrepho = turn away from - see use in Acts 3:26) transgression in Jacob (Israel),” declares the LORD. (Isa 59:20, cp Ro 11:26-27-note).
The Septuagint (Lxx) translates salvation with soter which means Savior, Deliverer, Rescuer, all good descriptions of Jehovah. Micah ran into the Name of the Lord, for he knew it was a strong and that he would be lifted up ("safe" in Pr 18:10 is the Hebrew word sagab - see study) even though the fray might continue around him. (Pr 18:10-note).
The exact phase "God of my salvation" occurs 7x in the OT (NAS) - Ps 18:46; 25:5; 27:9; 51:14; 88:1; Mic 7:7; Hab 3:18
We see a similar determined mindset (heart set) voiced by dying Jacob in a declaration that has the first use of the word "salvation" in the Bible - “For Thy salvation I wait, O LORD." (Ge 49:18)
Salvation (03468)(yeshua יֵשַׁע from yasha' = to deliver) means salvation which has a variety of connotations including deliverance, help, liberty, welfare, preserve, rescue, salvation, safety (Ps 12:5, Job 5:11), welfare or keep safe. Yeshua is used most often in the Hebrew "song book," the Ps. (Ps 12:5; 18:2, 35, 46; 20:6; 24:5; 25:5; 27:1, 9; 50:23; 51:12; 62:7; 65:5; 69:13; 79:9; 85:4, 7, 9; 95:1; 132:16).
David repeatedly uses yeshua to describe Who God is (intimately) to him (from his experiences) (2Sa 22:3, 36, 47, cp 1Chr 16:35; see also similar uses in Psalms)
TWOT has an informative note (gives us a great picture of "salvation," yeshua/yesuah) on the origin of this Hebrew word group - The root meaning in Arabic is “make wide” or “make sufficient”; this root is in contrast to sārar “narrow,” which means “be restricted” or “cause distress.” That which is wide connotes freedom from distress and the ability to pursue one’s own objectives. (Ed: Compare the great NT verb Jesus used when He said "the truth shall make you free" = eleutheroo) To move from distress to safety requires deliverance. Generally the deliverance must come from somewhere outside the party oppressed. In the OT the kinds of distress, both national and individual, include enemies, natural catastrophes, such as plague or famine, and sickness. The one who brings deliverance is known as the “savior.” The word may be used, however, in everyday life free of theological overtones; e.g., at a well Moses saved the daughters of Reuel from being driven off by the shepherds (Ex 2:17). But generally in the OT the word has strong religious meaning, for it was Yahweh who wrought the deliverance. Thus he is known as the “God of our salvation” (Ps 68:19 [Ed: Hebrew here not 03468 but 03444 - yeshua/yesuah ]). Although salvation could come through a human agent, it was only because God empowered the agent. In the NT the idea of salvation primarily means forgiveness of sin, deliverance from its power and defeat of Satan. Although the OT begins to point in this direction, the majority of references to salvation speak of Yahweh granting deliverance from real enemies and out of real catastrophes.
Note that there is another similar Hebrew word Yehosua (03091) which is the English Name Joshua (as translated in the OT), and which is transliterated as Jesus in the NT. Yehosua is from Jehovah (Yahweh) + yasha' (03467) and means "the LORD delivers." ("Jehovah his help"). In the Greek (Lxx) the occurrences of the name "Joshua" are usually translated with the Greek name Iesous which is Jesus in the NT. Iesous means Yahweh saves. The root yasha' means "to save, to help, to deliver, to defend. The underlying idea of this verb is bringing to a place of safety or broad pasture as opposed to a narrow strait, symbolic of distress and danger.
The Lxx translates Yeshua in Mic 7:7 with the noun soter which is defined as Savior or One Who rescues.
Yeshua is translated (NAS) - safety(3), salvation(31), saving(2).
Yeshua - 35v -
2 Sa 22:3, 36, 47; 23:5; 1Chr 16:35; Job 5:4, 11; Ps 12:5; 18:2, 35, 46; 20:6; 24:5; 25:5; 27:1, 9; 50:23; 51:12; 62:7; 65:5; 69:13; 79:9; 85:4, 7, 9; 95:1; 132:16; Isa 17:10; 45:8; 51:5; 61:10; 62:11; Mic 7:7; Hab 3:13, 18
Below are most of the uses of yeshua...
2Sam 22:3 My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, Thou dost save me from violence. —
2Sam 22:36 “Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy help makes me great. —
2Sam 22:47 “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation, —
2Sam 23:5 “Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, Ordered in all things, and secured; For all my salvation and all [my] desire, Will He not indeed make [it] grow? —
Ps 12:5 “Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.” —
Ps 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. —
Ps 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy right hand upholds me; And Thy gentleness makes me great. —
Ps 18:46 The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be the God of my salvation, —
Ps 20:6 Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven, With the saving strength of His right hand. —
Ps 24:5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation. —
Ps 25:5 Lead me in Thy truth and teach me, For Thou art the God of my salvation; For Thee I wait all the day. —
Ps 27:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? —
Ps 27:9 Do not hide Thy face from me, Do not turn Thy servant away in anger; Thou hast been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! —
Ps 50:23 “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders [his] way [aright] I shall show the salvation of God.” —
Ps 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit. —
Ps 62:7 On God my salvation and my glory [rest;] The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. —
Ps 65:5 By awesome [deeds] Thou dost answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation, Thou who art the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea; —
Ps 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to Thee, O LORD, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Thy lovingkindness, Answer me with Thy saving truth. —
Ps 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name; And deliver us, and forgive our sins, for Thy name’s sake. —
Ps 85:4 Restore us, O God of our salvation, And cause Thine indignation toward us to cease. —
Ps 85:7 Show us Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, And grant us Thy salvation. —
Ps 85:9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. —
Ps 95:1 O Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. —
Ps 132:16 “Her priests also I will clothe with salvation; And her godly ones will sing aloud for joy.
Isa 17:10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation And have not remembered the rock of your refuge. Therefore you plant delightful plants And set them with vine slips of a strange [god.] —
Isa 45:8 “Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it. —
Isa 51:5 “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, And My arms will judge the peoples; The coastlands will wait for Me, And for My arm they will wait expectantly. —
Isa 61:10 I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. —
Isa 62:11 Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes (How? When the Messiah, the Savior of the world returns!); Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. —
Henry Morris on God of my salvation - Even though Judah's society had departed far from God, and even though its very family structure was disintegrating (Micah 7:6), Micah (speaking for the godly remnant in his nation) could give this strong testimony of faith in God alone and His provision of salvation.
Constable adds that "The reason Micah did not succumb to utter pessimism in view of the terrible conditions in his day is that he determined to trust God. The same faith is much needed in our dark day (cf. Phil. 2:15-16-note).
My God will hear me. - A declaration of the prophet's great faith in God's faithfulness!
Spurgeon's Faith's Checkbook - God Always Hears - My God will hear me. (Micah 7:7) - Friends may be unfaithful, but the Lord will not turn away from the gracious soul; on the contrary, He will hear all its desires. The prophet says, "Keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. A man's enemies are the men of his own house." This is a wretched state of affairs; but even in such a case the Best Friend remains true, and we may tell Him all our grief. Our wisdom is to look unto the Lord and not to quarrel with men or women. If our loving appeals are disregarded by our relatives, let us wait upon the God of our salvation, for He will hear us- He will hear us all the more because of the unkindness and oppression of others, and we shall soon have reason to cry, "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy!" Because God is the living God, He can hear; because He is a loving God, He will hear; because He is our covenant God, He has bound Him- self to hear us. If we can each one speak of Him as "My God," we may with absolute certainty say, "My God will hear me." Come, then, O bleeding heart, and let thy sorrows tell themselves out to the Lord thy God! I will bow the knee in secret and inwardly whisper, "My God will hear me."
- Rejoice Job 31:29; Ps 13:4-6; 35:15,16,19,24-26; 38:16; Proverbs 24:17,18; Jeremiah 50:11; Lamentations 4:21,22; Ezekiel 25:6; 35:15; Obadiah 1:12; John 16:20; Revelation 11:10-12
when I fall Ps 37:21; 41:10-12; Proverbs 24:16
when I sit Ps 107:10-15; 112:4; Isaiah 9:2; 49:9; 50:10; Matthew 4:16; Luke 1:78,79
the Lord Ps 27:1; 84:11; 97:11; 112:4; Isaiah 2:5; 60:1-3,19,20; Malachi 4:2; John 8:12; Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Revelation 21:23; 22:5
Who is speaking now? While one might at first reading think that it is still Micah speaking of himself (as in Micah 7:7), most commentaries agree that now the prophet is describing the nation (and/or the city of Jerusalem/Zion - e.g., see "your walls" in Micah 7:11 ~ city walls) speaking and confessing her sin, acknowledging divine justice and anticipating divine restoration. The ESV Study Bible entitles Micah 7:8-13 "Zion's Repentance and Renewed Faith in Yahweh's Help."
Martin observes that "The prophet, still speaking as a representative of the nation (me... my, and I occur 15 times in Micah 7:8-10), expressed confidence in the fact that eventually God would reverse Israel's sad situation."
Walter Kaiser comments that "The city of Jerusalem is personified as a prisoner of war, fallen and sitting in darkness (v. 8). Thus positioned, this city pleads that her “enemy. . . not rejoice over [her]” (v. 8).
Constable - While Micah spoke as an individual, he spoke for the faithful remnant of Israelites in his day. His sentiments would have been theirs.
NET Note - Personified Jerusalem declares her confidence in Micah 7:8–10; in Micah 7:11 she is assured that she will indeed be vindicated.
Wiersbe sees the speakers somewhat differently - In this final section of Micah’s third message, we must distinguish several voices: the nation (Mic 7:8–10), the prophet (Mic 7:11–13), the Lord (Mic 7:14–15), and the prophet again (Mic 7:16–20). We must also realize that Micah is looking down through the centuries with prophetic vision to the time when Israel will come through great tribulation to come, “dress rehearsals” as it were. But the future will bring victory to God’s people, not defeat, when the Lord fulfills His promises and establishes the kingdom.
Jeremiah indicates that Micah's prophetic warnings convicted some of those in Judah including the time of King Hezekiah who repented of his sin and God "repented" of His judgment (it would still come but was delayed because of their broken and contrite hearts)...
Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, ‘Thus the LORD of hosts has said, “Zion will be plowed [as] a field, And Jerusalem will become ruins, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.”’ 19 “Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, and the LORD changed His mind about the misfortune which He had pronounced against them? But we are committing a great evil against ourselves.” (Jer 26:18-19)
Kaiser comments - God did not bring the threatened judgments on that generation, for Judah waited more than a century before the same hardness of heart had settled so firmly that there was no changing and no repentance. May our Lord grant our generation the good sense to turn to God before we too find it is too late to repent.
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy - In the Lxx "do not rejoice stop an ongoing action, something Israel's enemies have done for centuries! Who is the enemy? In view of the fact that it would be the Babylonians God would use to judge Judah and Jerusalem, the enemy is almost surely that pagan nation.
Wiersbe - The enemy gloated over the defeated Jews and asked in derision, “Where is the Lord your God?” (Micah 7:10 NIV; see Ps 42:3, 10; 79:10; 115:2) Micah 7:8–10 certainly expresses the feelings and hopes of the exiles from both Israel and Judah. Eventually both Assyria and Babylon were defeated and passed off the scene, but it wasn’t the Jews who conquered them. The Jews’ return from Babylonian exile was a small picture of the greater regathering of Israel that will take place in the last days (Isa. 11:11–16; Mt 24:31).
Though I fall I will rise - Micah speaks for Judah (especially the righteous remnant), who will fall to Babylon, but will rise again.
McComiskey applies this truth - The remnant of believers in any age can be confident of God’s help and their eventual triumph (Matt 16:18).
James Smith applies these passages to our lives - "Falls" are not to be expected, for "He is able to keep you from falling." (Jude 1:24-note = Always take a moment to ponder what is being explained.) When you do fall, either openly or secretly, arise before the enemy gets time to rejoice. (Handfuls of Purpose)
Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me - Those Jews who dwell in spiritual darkness will have their eyes opened to the "Light of the World," the Messiah (Jn 8:12, cf Acts 26:18). Is this not has happened to all of us who have been "qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Col 1:12-14-note)
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth and followed thee.
The psalms have several mentions of God's light...
Ps 27:1- and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?
Here is personal interest, "my light, ""my salvation; "the soul is assured of it, and therefore, declaring it boldly. "My light; "—into the soul at the new birth divine light is poured as the precursor of salvation; where there is not enough light to see our own darkness and to long for the Lord Jesus, there is no evidence of salvation. Salvation finds us in the dark, but it does not leave us there; it gives light to those who sit in the valley of the shadow of death. After conversion our God is our joy, comfort, guide, teacher, and in every sense our light; he is light within, light around, light reflected from us, and light to be revealed to us. Note, it is not said merely that the Lord gives light, but that he "is" light; nor that he gives salvation, but that he is salvation; he, then, who by faith has laid hold upon God has all covenant blessings in his possession. Every light is not the sun, but the sun is the father of all lights. This being made sure as a fact, the argument drawn from it is put in the form of a question, Whom shall I fear? A question which is its own answer. The powers of darkness are not to be feared, for the Lord, our light, destroys them; and the damnation of hell is not to be dreaded by us, for the Lord is our salvation. This is a very different challenge from that of boastful Goliath, for it is based upon a very different foundation; it rests not upon the conceited vigour of an arm of flesh, but upon the real power of the omnipotent I AM. The Lord is the strength of my life. Here is a third glowing epithet, to show that the writer's hope was fastened with a threefold cord which could not be broken. We may well accumulate terms of praise where the Lord lavishes deeds of grace. Our life derives all its strength from him who is the author if it; and if he deigns to make us strong we cannot be weakened by all the machinations of the adversary. Of whom shall I be afraid? The bold question looks into the future as well as the present. "If God be for us, "who can be against us, either now or in time to come?
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Spurgeon - A sun above, a shield around. A light to show the way and a shield to ward off its perils. Blessed are they who journey with such a convoy; the sunny and shady side of life are alike happy to them.
Ps 97:11- Light is sown [like seed] for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart.
Spurgeon - All along their pathway it is strewn. Their night is almost over, their day is coming, the morning already advancing with rosy steps is sowing the earth with orient pearls. The full harvest of delight is not yet ours, but it is sown for us; it is springing, it will yet appear in fulness. This is only for those who are light before the Lord in his own righteousness, for all others the blackness of darkness is reserved.
Ps 112:4- Light arises in the darkness for the upright; [He is] gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Spurgeon - He does not lean to injustice in order to ease himself, but like a pillar stands erect, and he shall be found so standing when the ungodly, who are as a bowing wall and a tottering fence, shall lie in ruins. He will have his days of darkness, he may be sick and sorry, poor and pining, as well as others; his former riches may take to themselves wings and fly away, while even his righteousness may be cruelly suspected; thus the clouds may lower around him, but his gloom shall not last for ever, the Lord will bring him light in due season, for as surely as a good man's sun goes down it shall rise again. If the darkness be caused by depression of spirit, the Holy Ghost will comfort him; if by pecuniary loss or personal bereavement, the presence of Christ shall be his solace; and if by the cruelty and malignity of men, the sympathy of his Lord shall be his support. It is as ordinary for the righteous to be comforted as for the day to dawn. Wait for the light and it will surely come; for even if our heavenly Father should in our last hours put us to bed in the dark, we shall find it morning when we awake.
Spurgeon's Faith's Checkbook - Victory in Reverses (Micah 7:8) This may express the feelings of a man or woman downtrodden and oppressed. Our enemy may put out our light for a season. There is sure hope for us in the Lord; and if we are trusting in Him and holding fast our integrity, our season of downcasting and darkness will soon be over. The insults of the foe are only for a moment. The Lord will soon turn their laughter into lamentation and our sighing into singing. What if the great enemy of souls should for a while triumph over us, as he has triumphed over better men than we are; yet let us take heart, for we shall overcome him before long. We shall rise from our fall, for our God has not fallen, and He will lift us up. We shall not abide in darkness, although for the moment we sit in it; for our Lord is the fountain of light, and He will soon bring us a joyful day. Let us not despair or even doubt. One turn of the wheel, and the lowest will be at the top. Woe unto those who laugh now, for they shall mourn and weep when their boasting is turned into everlasting contempt. But blessed are all holy mourners, for they shall be divinely comforted.
Micah 7:9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, And I will see His righteousness.
- until 1Samuel 24:15; 25:39; 26:10; Ps 7:6; 43:1; Jeremiah 50:17-20,33,34; 51:35,36; Revelation 6:10,11; 18:20
- he will Job 23:10; Ps 37:6; Malachi 3:18; 1Cor 4:5; 2Th 1:5-10; 2Ti 4:8
See Spurgeon's Sermon on this passage - Woe and Weal (3239) - Micah 7:9
Leslie Allen - It is to better times ahead that this last part of the book looks with assurance. It takes the form of a psalm in which more than one voice is heard, and so technically it is a liturgy. It is a comprehensive unit made up of four parts. The first is a psalm of confidence spoken by Zion (Micah 7:8–10), comparable to Ps 27:1–6 and Ps 62, 90. The second is an oracle of salvation, which puts a divine seal on Zion’s hopes and shows them to be grounded in God’s own purposes for the land of his people (Micah 7:11–13). Such oracles are a feature of a number of psalms: compare Ps 12, 50, 75, 81, 82, and 95. The third section is a prayer of supplication (Micah 7:14–17) on the lines of Ps 44, 77, and 80, virtually asking that the preceding oracle may be fulfilled.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD - Micah is speaking as representative of Jerusalem and Israel, identifying with his people's sin much as did Daniel in his great prayer (Da 9:5, 8, 11, 15).
The Life Application Bible draws this application - does not mean rejection. The people were being punished in order to bring them back to God, not to send them away from him. When you face trials because of your sin, do not be angry with God or afraid that he has rejected you. Instead, turn away from your sin, turn to God, and continue to be patient and obedient.
Daniel refers to the indignation, writing "Then the king will do as he pleases (cf 2 Th 2:3-4-note), and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until (expression of time) the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done." (Da 11:36-note) Most conservative, literal commentaries interpret "the king" as the Antichrist and the indignation refers to the final indignation against Israel. (cf "Time of Jacob's distress" in Jer 30:7-note)
While the defeat and destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar represents a partial fulfillment of the indignation of the LORD, God's final indignation against Jerusalem (Zion) awaits a future fulfillment, at the time when the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel at the mid-point of the 7 years of Daniel's Seventieth Week (so he breaks covenant after 3.5 years -- note that 3.5 years is a critically important time phrase in the Revelation of Jesus Christ and equates with 1260 days = 42 months = time, times, half a time) (For more discussion of this crucial time in the history of the world and the nation of Israel, see Da 9:27-note, 2Thes 2:3-4-note, cp Rev 11:1-2-note, Rev 12:6-note, Rev 12:13-17-note where "the woman" = Israel)
Wiersbe agrees writing that "the people (of Israel) trust God and have confidence that, though they were in darkness, they would see light (Micah 7:8); and though they had been defeated, they would eventually conquer their enemies and trample them like mud in the streets (Micah 7:10). Since these events did not occur after the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions, they must be assigned to a future time. According to Jesus, the Jewish nations will experience Great Tribulation and become the target of all the Gentile nations in the end times (Mt. 24:15-31-note). In the end, however, Christ will return and give His people great victory (Rev 19:11-16-note; Rev 19:17-21-note). Addendum comment = Daniel alludes to the Second Coming of Christ in his description of the Stone Who strikes the statute (representing historically successive Gentile world powers that interacted with Israel) at the "ten toe stage." At that time the Christ will set up His Kingdom (Da 2:34-35, 42-44-note).
Wycliffe Bible Commentary comments on the indignation or "anger (lit., boiling indignation). The nation is willing to bear the wrath of Jehovah because she knows she has sinned. Here is real repentance, and also faith that Jehovah himself will settle the case (of sin) and the sinner will be brought forth to the light, to behold and walk in His righteousness. Israel’s enemy will see and hide in shame; worse still, she will suffer punishment. Such is the end of those who scoff at Jehovah.
Indignation (02197)(zaaph from the verb form zaaph  = to "storm or rage against," to be enraged as in 2Chr 26:19) is a noun with describes rage, wrath, very fierce anger. Zaaph can speak of literal human anger as of a king (King Asa = 2Chr 16:10, Pr 19:12) or divine anger (2Chr 28:9, Isa 30:30, Mic 7:9).
TWOT - The root of this verb, according to the Aramaic cognate zĕap “to storm, rage against,” means to storm, blow, or breathe hard. It is so used in Jonah 1:15 of the raging sea. Koehler and Baumgartner suggest “be embittered against.” “be dejected,” Brown, Driver, Briggs adds “be enraged.”
Zaaph is translated in the Lxx (Micah 7:9) with the noun orge which is translated wrath which describes a "state of relatively strong displeasure, with focus on the emotional aspect" and "strong indignation directed at wrongdoing, with focus on retribution." (BDAG) (the latter would be apropos regarding the wrath of Jehovah).
Zaaph is translated (NAS) - enraged(1), fierce(1), indignation(1), rage(1), raging(1), wrath(1).
Zaaph - 6v - 2Chr 16:10; 28:9; Pr 19:12; Isa 30:30; Jonah 1:15; Mic 7:9
Because (always pause to ponder this term of explanation) I have sinned against Him - Eschatologically speaking the indignation has been manifest by repeated persecutions of the Jews over the last 2500+ years at the hands of many Gentile nations.
Until ( expression of time) In this case it indicates that the divine indignation is temporary, that it will come to an end. Until is a function word which indicates continuance (as of an action or condition) up to a specified time. The indignation will proceed UNTIL will be finished. Why? How? Because Jehovah Himself will serve as Israel's "Defense Attorney" reminds me that we also have an Advocate as John explains...
My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 Jn 2:1-2)
As an aside, the reader should note that there are a number of expressions of time in this "prophetic section" of Micah (until = Mic 7:9, then, at that time = Mic 7:10, a day, that day = Mic 7:11, a day = Mic 7:12) and thus it behooves one who desires to be diligent in rightly dividing the Word of Truth to pay careful attention to these time phrase, interrogating each one in context in an attempt to glean clues as to "what time" Micah is referring.
Executes (06213)(asah) means to do or bring about. In this passage it means Jehovah brings about justice.
Mishpat is used in Micah 3:1, 8, 9, 6:8.
Vine on mishpat - “judgment; rights.” This noun, which appears around 420 times, also appears in Ugaritic. This word has two main senses; the first deals with the act of sitting as a judge, hearing a case, and rendering a proper verdict. Eccl 12:14 is one such occurrence: “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Mishpat can also refer to the “rights” belonging to someone (Ex 23:6). This second sense carries several nuances: the sphere in which things are in proper relationship to one’s claims (Ge 18:19—the first occurrence); a judicial verdict (Dt 17:9); the statement of the case for the accused (Nu 27:5); and an established ordinance (Ex 21:1).
Moses prophecy in Deuteronomy related to this time phrase until He...executes justice declaring
When you are in distress (Heb = tsar = a narrow; tight place figuratively referring to distress, trouble, anguish) and all these things have come upon you, (When?) in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. 31 “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them." (Dt 4:30-31-note)
John Phillips - Thus in the extremity of the great tribulation, the Jewish people will belatedly turn to the Lord (cp Dt 4:30, Zech 12:10, Zech 13:7-8, Ro 11:26-27-note. This revival, which will be characterized by prayer, forbearance, and praise in adversity, will result in Israel's restoration.
He will bring me out to the light, and I will see His righteousness (cf Ps 37:6-note, Mal 3:18-note, 2Cor 4:16-note). - Speaking in the first person Micah for the righteous remnant, the he predicts a future time when the nation will experience light which speaks of spiritual light, but this will not be fully realized until the indignation has passed. As noted above, Israel's future indignation will last until the arrival of the Righteous One (Jer 23:5) at His Second Coming. At that time the believing remnant of Israel, those Jews who are delivered at His return, will see His righteousness.
Wiseman - Whereas light in Micah 7:8 spoke of God as the present source of salvation, in Micah 7:9 it speaks of his future act of salvation.
James Smith applies this truth to believers - The patient, trustful sufferers He shall bring into the light, and cause such to behold his righteousness in all His dealings with them, for He doeth all things well. And at last, when He brings us into the glorious light of our Redeemer's face, and behold His righteousness in all His dealings with us while pilgrims and strangers on the earth, what a revelation, what joy, what cause for praise! (Handfuls on Purpose)
G Campbell Morgan - These words occur in a section of the controversy in which the nation personified is speaking (Mic 7.1-10). It is the language of the nation realizing the truth concerning itself both as to its experience of suffering, and its purpose in the Divine Economy. It is a speech in which confession of sin and of the justice of punishment merge into hope and confidence in the redemptive victory of God. This is the language of !ermine penitence. The indignation of Jehovah is recognized as just, and-therefore the soul submits to it. Not only is it recognized as just; it is also confessed as beneficent. Through it the sufferer sees the light breaking, and the righteousness of God becoming manifest. Herein is discovered the difference between remorse and penitence. In remorse a man is sorry for himself; he mourns over his sin because it has brought suffering to him. In penitence he is grieved by the wrong sin has done to God; he yields to his personal suffering in the confidence that by it God is setting him free from his sin. This is a vital distinction. The world-penitence, through which it will be restored to God, and enter into His peace, will be of that nature: "Behold, He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they that pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over Him." That is not remorse, the sorrow over personal pain; it is penitence, the sorrow for the wrong which sin has done to Him. When humanity is brought there, it will find release, for "the chastisement of our peace was upon Him." (Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)
- Then, etc - or, And thou wilt see her that is mine enemy, and cover her with shame. she that. Ps 137:8,9; Isaiah 47:5-9; Jeremiah 50:33,34; 51:8-10,24; Nahum 2:1-3; Revelation 17:1-7
- shame Ps 35:26; 109:29; Jeremiah 51:51; Ezekiel 7:18; Obadiah 1:10
- Where Ps 42:3,10; 79:10; 115:2; Isaiah 37:10,11; Daniel 3:15; Joel 2:17; Matthew 27:43
- mine Micah 4:11; Ps 58:10; Malachi 1:5; Revelation 18:20
- now 2 Samuel 22:43; 2 Kings 9:33-37; Ps 18:42; Isaiah 25:10-12; 26:5,6; 41:15,16; Isaiah 51:22,23; 63:2,3; Zechariah 10:5; Malachi 4:3
NICOT - My enemies will see it too, and be covered with chagrin. Those who said to me, "Where is your God Yahweh?" I shall gloat over. Then they will be trodden down like mud in the streets.
Then - Pause to ponder this expression of time, which should prompt simple questions such as "When is then? What happens then?, etc" pauses to ponder and interrogate the word "then" are especially important (and rewarding!) in prophetic passages where this conjunction functions as a marker of a succession of events.
My enemy will see - See Micah 7:16-17. In that future day when Jerusalem's walls are built (she is safe and secure) and the boundaries are extended, the nations will understand that Israel is God's chosen people and anti-Semitism will be exposed and ended forever. Micah has just said "he will bring me out to the light and I will see His righteousness."
MacArthur - As a result (cf. Micah 7:10), the vaunted pride and power of the nations would be rendered powerless (cf. Josh 2:9–11) and, having been humbled (Mic 7:17), they would no longer listen to or engage in the taunting of His people (Mic 7:16b; cf. Ge 12:3; Is 52:15).
The ESV Study Bible comments that "A reversal of roles takes place: those nations that earlier desired to “see” Zion defiled (Mic 4:11) are now open to public scorn. Where is the LORD your God? This taunting question disputes not God’s existence but his ability to save his people from distress."
Comment - What is interesting is that the ESV Study Bible makes no attempt to explain the timing of such a momentous turn around in attitude toward Israel! One has only to look at the history of the middle east, past and present to understand that this attitudinal change has not yet occurred in Israel's enemies and thus it must by default speak of an event that is yet future!
And shame will cover her who said to me, "Where is the LORD your God?" - Here we see a divinely enabled "role reversal" as we recall the words in Mic 4:11-note
The sons of Korah were asked about the "where-a-abouts" of their God...
Ps 42:3-(cp Joel 2:17) My tears have been my food day and night, While [they] say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”...10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
My eyes will look on her - "Her" refers to Israel's enemies, those who had taunted, mocked and gloated over Jerusalem and Judah's downfall. Micah describes a "turn about" so that as Leslie Allen translates it Israel says " I shall gloat over."
At that time she will be trampled down, like mire of the streets. - Allen translates this as "Then they will be trodden down like mud in the streets." God's discipline of Israel and Judah (and Jerusalem) will cause her enemies to question the existence of God ("Where is your God?"), but God will avenge His great Name in the end (See Ezek 20:9, 36:21-22-note, Ezek 39:7-note) and at that time those who taunted and trampled Israel will be trampled down! It is notable that Isaiah uses this same verb (mirmas) to declaring God's "vineyard" (Israel) "will become trampled ground." But here we see that the nations God allowed to trample Israel, will themselves be trampled down! "Poetic justice" indeed!
Kenneth Barker explains that just "As the enemies did to Israel, so Israel will do to them (contrast Mt 7:12). Consequently they (Israel's enemies) will be covered with shame (cf. Isa 50:7–8). One of the things they did was to hurl a rhetorical, scornful taunt at Judah, blaspheming even the Lord himself in the process (“Where is the LORD your God?”—cf. Ps 42:3, 10; Joel 2:17). Such taunts, however, would cease. Why? Because the enemies will fall, and restored Jerusalem will see it with pleasure. It is punishment in kind (cf. Micah 7:8; 4:11; Obad 1:15: = “As you have done, it will be done to you; / your deeds will return upon your own head”). The punishment-fits-the-crime principle is at work (see Gal 6:7–9-” The enemies’ downfall will be so great that they will be walked on and trampled like mire or dust or dirt in the streets (cf. Isa 10:6; Zech 1:15).
McComiskey - Ultimately the remnant will be exalted and the hostile nations of the world covered with shame and trampled like mud. This latter figure is used by Isaiah (Isa 10:6) of the invading Assyrians. Micah uses it of the conquest of the hostile powers in the day of Israel’s exaltation.
Allen on trampled down - This victory is described in dramatic terms which allude to the ancient Near Eastern custom of a conqueror's placing his foot on the enemy's neck. Cf. Josh. 10:24; Ps. 110:1. This triumph of Israel will bring glory to their Lord. In their eyes it is poetic justice that they should eventually come to the position of gloating over those who had treated them maliciously.
- the day Nehemiah 2:17; 3:1-16; 4:3,6; Daniel 9:25; Amos 9:11-15
- shall Ezra 4:12-24; Nehemiah 2:8
A FUTURE "DAY"
It will be a day for building your walls On that day will your boundary be extended. - Compare the previous phrase "Though I fall, I will arise." (Micah 7:8) Notice that day is mentioned twice and seems to clearly refer to the same day. As with all expressions of time we need to ask to what day is Micah referring? While one might propose a fulfillment with the rebuilding of the walls (Neh 7:1) after the return from Babylonian exile (See comment below by Barker), this would not be the final day, for there was not complete fulfillment at that time, for the boundary was not extended. And the boundary will not be extended until the Messiah returns (see below for Barker's explanation of "your boundary...extended")
It is interesting that in Micah's prophecy, the Hebrew word for wall (gader) is not the same word used to describe a wall around the city in Nehemiah's day (Nehemiah uses the Hebrew word chomah = wall in Neh 1:3, 2:8, 13, 15, 17; 3:8, 13, 15, 27; 4:1, 3, 6-7, 10, 13, 15, 17, 19; 5:16; 6:1, 6, 15; 7:1; 12:27, 30-31, 37-38; 13:21). Isaiah uses the same word as Micah (gader) in his prophecy "So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard: I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed; I will break down its wall (gader) and it will become trampled ground." (Isa 5:5) So what's the point? The wall Micah uses could refer to building up the walls of God's vineyard, not just the city but the entire nation of Israel.
Kaiser - This is the promise of more than an urban renewal program for downtown Jerusalem. It is, in fact, that work of God, in the end day, that will remove all shame and frustration that Israel has experienced over the years because of her sin and failure to obey her Lord. Of course the walls were rebuilt after the Babylonian exile, and most certainly under Nehemiah in 445 B.C. But the time of the rebuilding mentioned here was placed far into the future, “in that day.” This expression is generally reserved in the prophets for eschatological use, and refers to the distant future when the Lord will come a second time. Thus the rebuilding of the walls is a symbol of being restored to God’s favor and salvation (Ps. 51:18; Is. 60:10; see also Jer. 31:38–40; Pss. 69:35; 102:16; 147:2). Note that the Hebrew word for “walls” is not the same as the word for “ramparts,” but is the general word for walls that signifies enclosures for vineyards and flocks.
John Martin - Gader means a wall around a vineyard (cf. Nu 22:24; Isa. 5:5), not around a city. Jerusalem, established in peace by the Messiah, will need no protective wall (Zech. 2:4–5).
Allen - It is significant that a term is used (for wall) that refers to the enclosure of a vineyard, a traditional metaphor for Israel in their enjoyment of a healthy relationship with Yahweh (Ps 89:40; Isa. 5:5)
Kenneth Barker - As King explains, “the building of your walls” is “a metaphor for the reestablishment of the Jews in the promised land.… The prophet most likely has in mind the walls of Jerusalem, though gādēr is not the common term for city walls.....The unusual use of gader for “walls” may point toward a metaphorical use to speak of the restoration of the Jews to Judah and Jerusalem. The Hebrew word gādēr usually refers to the stone wall around a vineyard or field. If it does refer to Jerusalem’s city walls in a literal sense, part of the fulfillment occurred about 445 B.C., when Nehemiah restored its walls. However, “In that day” (Micah 7:12) seems to indicate an eschatological (future) fulfillment as well.....According to Zech 2:4–5 (“Jerusalem will be a city without walls …”) “Jerusalem will become so large and prosperous that it will expand beyond its walls. Indeed, it will overflow so much that it will be as though it had no walls. Evidently many of its people and animals will have to live in the surrounding unwalled villages (cf. Ezek 38:11-note).
Walls (01447) (gader from verb gadar = to wall up or off, build a wall) means wall, fence, hedge. Walls were important around cities because of the security they provided the residents (see Ezra 9:9). Walls can also refer to those which line a path such as was taken by Balaam (Num. 22:24) the walls of a house (Ecc. 10:8); or the walls for keeping animals out a vineyard (Prov. 24:31); walls of rebuilt Jerusalem (Ezra 9:9); the walls of restored Israel (Mic. 7:11). Gader is used figuratively by Isaiah referring to the destruction of the walls surrounding Israel, God's vineyard (Isa. 5:5.) Ezekiel speaks of God's search for a "builder of a wall," a spokesperson who would seek to bring protection to his people (Ezek. 22:30). Hosea mentions how God will "wall in" and thus inhibit the sinning ways of his wife Israel (Hos. 2:6). An unstable wall depicts a threatening persons (Ps. 62:3).
Gader translated in NAS as - fence(1), hedges(1), wall(11), walls(1).
Gader - 12v - Nu 22:24; Ezra 9:9; Ps 62:3; 80:12; Pr 24:31; Eccl 10:8; Isa 5:5; Ezek 22:30; 42:7, 10; Hos 2:6; Mic 7:11
MacArthur commenting on Micah 7:11-13 - Micah again spoke, recounting the many blessings awaiting the faithful remnant in Messiah’s Millennial rule. It would include unprecedented expansion (cf. Zec 2:1–5) and massive infusion of immigrants (cf. Isa 11:15, 16). For those who defied Messiah’s Millennial rulership, their land would become desolate (Mic 7:13; cf. Zec 14:16-19). (MacArthur Study Bible)
Kaiser on boundaries - the nation will have new boundaries of some sort. Since the text has just mentioned “walls,” enlarged territorial boundaries might be the preferred interpretation. We do know, however, that God will remove every boundary that encumbers and limits His people, placing them far and away from where any thought they might have been. This passage, then, like the New Covenant passage of Jeremiah 31:31–34, looks forward to God’s new work in that final day of the Lord.
John Phillips - With great patience, remarkable acumen, and resourcefulness in the face of constant opposition and harassment, the reborn state of Israel has in our day cleared marshes, irrigated deserts, built cities, established industries, and forged a nation. But it will all be swept away, for Micah could see ruins and rubble everywhere. The Russian invasion, the malignant enmity of the antichrist, wars, bombings, and terrorism will take their toll. However, there will be a final turn in the long lane of troubles. Zion will be rebuilt and her boundaries will be greatly enlarged.
Constable - That day, when the Israelite critics of Micah and his prophecies would see they were wrong, would be when the walls around vineyards would be rebuilt and the boundaries of Judah extended (cf. Ezek. 47:13–23; Obad. 19–20). This refers to the distant future when God will regather and reestablish Israel in her land, in the Millennium, not following the Babylonian captivity. This is clear from what follows.
Notice that Constable is letting the context be his guide in interpretation of the "timing" of that day, and the following passage (Micah 7:12) certainly indicates that this is not a day that has yet occurred in the history of the nation of Israel. Therefore this day must await a future fulfillment.
Wiersbe - Micah speaks to the city of Jerusalem and assures her that, though she had been attacked and destroyed, she would one day be rebuilt. The prophets speak in glowing terms of Israel having a new city and temple (Isa 2:1–5; Ezek 40–48). Not only that, but also the boundaries of the nation would be expanded to include more territory than she had before (Ed: Finally fulfilling the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Ge 15:18-19).
McComiskey - The future nation, cleansed of her sin and ruled by the King born in Bethlehem, would be greatly increased in population by an influx of people from Gentile nations, symbolized by Assyria and Egypt. This complements the message of Micah 4:1–4 in that it gives to the revived nation of Israel a prominent role in the era of universal peace.
James Montgomery Boice - As the book draws to a close, he [Micah] looks beyond the deportation to another deliverance and regathering into the Promised Land. In that day the enemies of the people will be defeated, Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and the borders of the nation will be extended as they were previously.
The prophet Amos inspired by the Holy Spirit saw this future day for Israel and Jerusalem...
Amos 9:11 “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I (God) will also raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old (cp "building your walls"); 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom (cp "your boundary will be extended") and all the nations who are called by My name,” Declares the LORD who does this. 13 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When the plowman will overtake the reaper And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; When the mountains will drip sweet wine, And all the hills will be dissolved. (Millennium) 14 “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live [in them], They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 “I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land Which I have given them (Notice that the land was originally promised in the Abrahamic Covenant in Ge 12:1-3, 15:18-20 and here we see the Nation of Israel finally realizing the full intent of that promise -- this is not the church beloved, as some would have us believe because of their false belief that God is finished with Israel! He is not finished with Israel -- all one has to do is read what happened miraculously in the United Nations in 1947 and was finalized in May, 1948 - see birth of Israel. If that does not convince you of God's continuing covenant love and faithfulness to Israel, then I suppose nothing will convince you! To read this passage as referring to the church is to refuse to read it literally and in context, both hermeneutical mistakes which will almost always lead to misinterpretation! See related discussion on the dangers of Allegorical Interpretation.),” Says the LORD your God. (Amos 9:11-15)
- also Isaiah 11:16; 19:23-25; 27:12,13; 43:6; 49:12; 60:4-9; 66:19,20; Jeremiah 3:18; 23:3; 31:8; Ezekiel 37:21; 29:21; Hosea 11:11
It is time for it to come into your possession, stretching from Assyria to from Egypt to the River, from sea to sea and mountain to mountain, (NICOT)
A FUTURE DAY OF
It will be a day when they will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, from Egypt even to the Euphrates - Note that this is the third mention of day a crucial expression of time as discussed above.
They will come - Who is they? Gentile nations. Interesting that Egypt had been the first oppressor of Israel and Assyria had defeated the 10 nation Northern Kingdom of Israel! Do not let anyone tell you that Jehovah is "finished" with Israel! Do not be deceived! God will have the last word with Israel's enemies, in this context even to the point of showing them mercy!
Wiseman on the verb will come - The verb come is singular, suggesting that individual choice is involved. The prophet does not envision all peoples of all nations coming; rather he envisages individuals coming from all peoples.
To you - Jerusalem. Earlier Micah had recorded a parallel prophecy declaring " many (Gentile) nations will come and say, “Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD (Jerusalem) and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Mic 4:2)
Even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain - Notice that "they" will come not just from Assyria and Egypt but from sea to sea, indicating this will be a global migration to Jerusalem in the day when Messiah reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords (Millennium). (cp Ps 72:8, Zech 9:10).
McComiskey - That the Gentiles (Ed: "they will come") are to become partakers of the promise through faith is a cardinal doctrine of both testaments (Ge 12:3; Amos 9:11–12; Ro 9:30; Gal 3:6–9). The perspective of the present passage seems not to be primarily the church age but rather the kingdom age, when the Jewish remnant will obtain visible prominence in the world and the unbelieving nations will be subjugated. Thus the passage is similar to Amos 9:11–12, where the inclusion of Gentiles in the promise is rooted in the era of peace when Israel’s fortunes will be restored (Amos 9:13–15).
Isaiah describes a "day" that is very similar to the day described by Micah -
Now it will come about that In the last days, The mountain of the house of the LORD (Jerusalem = Zion) will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war. (Isa 2:2-4-see note)(Micah 4 Commentary)
It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown; and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem. (Isa 27:13)
MacArthur - The prophet reiterates one of his great themes: future worship of regathered Israel on Mt. Zion (Isa 24:23; 25:6, 7, 10).
In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 24 In that day Israel will be the third [party] with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” (Isa 19:23-25)
MacArthur - The two great warring nations of Isaiah’s time are to reach a lasting peace with each other during “that day” of Christ’s reign. (Millennium)
- Not withstanding the land shall be - or, After that the land hath been.
- Leviticus 26:33-39; Isaiah 6:11-13; 24:3-8; Jeremiah 25:11; Daniel 4:26,27; Luke 21:20-24
- for Micah 3:12; Job 4:8; Proverbs 1:31; 5:22; 31:31; Isaiah 3:10,11; Jeremiah 17:10; 21:14; Jeremiah 32:19; Galatians 6:7,8
ESV But the earth will be desolate because of its inhabitants, for the fruit of their deeds.
A FUTURE DAY OF
And - Some commentators favor but which would introduce a picture that contrast with the previous description of the building up and expansion of the borders of Israel.
Bruce Waltke (#1 rated commentary on Micah) in a somewhat technical note writes "The wāw-consecutive with the suffix conjugation of wĕhāyĕtâ (Ed: The first words in Hebrew in Mic 7:13 which are translated as "And…will become") after the prefix conjugation of Micah 7:12 signifies both sequence and the specific future, and hyh has its active, not stative, sense (become or “turn into”). (Ed: Now Waltke explains what this means) After the elect find salvation within Zion (Ed: This is what is implied by Mic 7:9-12), the rest of the earth will become a šĕmāmâ (desolation Mic 1:7). Since nations representing the entire known world are in view, hāāre refers to the earth, not a specific “land.” (Ed: Again notice the importance of interpreting passages and even individual words in their proper context!)
And the earth will become desolate (cp Isa 24:1, 3) - Notice the geographical expansion of this prophecy! In Micah 6:13 the prophet said Israel would be made desolate because of her sins. Now the entire earth will be made desolate because of sins (implicit in the phrase "the fruit of their deeds" = their deeds were sinful and deserving of divine desolation)! While the translation "earth will be desolate" points to a divine global judgment, it is only fair to note that the Hebrew word translated earth is erets which can also be translated land. However it should be noted that most modern versions translate erets as earth in Micah 7:13 (NAS, ESV, NIV, NET). In fact the first use of erets in the OT is Ge 1:1 describing the "heaven and the earth." Furthermore, the Septuagint (Lxx) translates erets in Micah 7:13 with the noun ge, a Greek word which is most often translated earth in the NT. And finally from Waltke's somewhat technical explanation in the preceding paragraph, earth is the preferred translation because of the context. In sum, there is excellent support for translating (and interpreting) erets in Micah 7:13 as the earth and not the land (which might lead one to interpret this prophecy as restricted solely to the land of Israel).
Leslie Allen in the highly respected NICOT translates it "while the outside world will be devastated on account of its population, as the result of their deeds." By "outside world" he means outside of the confines of Jerusalem and Israel.
Desolate (08077)(shemamah noun from shammah - see word study) means desolation or waste and can refer to the condition of land, cities and houses as a result of neglect or devastating war (e.g., Ex. 23:29; Lev. 26:33; Isa. 1:7) and of Israel's idols as a result of God's judgment (Mic. 1:7). It is used figuratively of princes being clothed with devastation under the same conditions (Ezek. 7:27). God's judgment is figuratively referred to as His cup of desolation (Ezek 23:33).>
Shemamah is used twice in Micah (Mic 1:7, 7:13) and both times is translated in the Lxx with the noun aphanismos which describes "the condition of being no longer visible, frequently in the transferred sense destruction." (BDAG) (See related verb aphanizo = destroy, perish, vanish)
TWOT - Basic to the idea of the root is the desolation caused by some great disaster, usually as a result of divine judgment (Mal 1:3)
Baker - Most often it is used in conjunction with a passage describing what did happen to the land of Israel after God judged His people and sent them into exile (Ed: See esp Lev 26:33). This shows the totality of the destruction that Israel endured. Nothing was to be saved from this destruction. Fields and vineyards were turned into wastelands and desolate fields after God’s judgment (Jer. 12:10). God allowed such desolation as a punishment for the sins of His people because they refused to repent. This punishment could even fall on people of other nations, such as the Edomites (Ezek. 33:28, 29; 35:3).
Shemamah is translated in NAS as - desolate(19), desolation(33), horror(1), utterly desolate(1), waste(1), waste and a desolation(1).
Because of her inhabitants - This global prophecy remains to be fulfilled in the end times. It is fascinating that the Lxx, translates the word inhabitants with katoikeo , the very word the apostle John choose to use 13 times in the book of the Revelation,, where it is translated as "earth dwellers." This word is used only of non-believers, those who steadfastly refuse to accept the Gospel (See discussion of these end-time Earth Dwellers) and remain adamantly opposed to God and His people, including the nation of Israel, even in the face of His wondrous deeds!
On account of the fruit of their deeds - The fruit of their deeds is sin and the wages of sin is death (desolation). In the Revelation, John gives a horrible description of their fruit writing that they "did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts." (Rev 9:20-21-note)...")..."and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds." (Rev 16:11-note)
- Feed or, Rule. Micah 5:4; Ps 23:1-4; 28:9; 95:7; 100:3; Isaiah 40:11; 49:10; Matthew 2:6; John 10:27-30
- which — Exodus 33:16; Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 33:28; John 17:16
- in the midst — Isaiah 35:2; 37:24; 65:10; Jeremiah 50:19,20; Ezekiel 34:13,14; Zephaniah 3:13 — as — Ps 77:5-11; 143:5; Lamentations 1:7; 5:21; Amos 9:11; Malachi 3:4
KJV - Tend thy people with thy rod, the sheep of thine inheritance, those that inhabit by themselves the thicket in the midst of Carmel: they shall feed in the land of Basan, and in the land of Galaad, as in the days of old.
PETITIONS FOR SHEPHERD'S
PRESENCE & POWER
Shepherd Thy people with Thy scepter, the flock of Thy possession which dwells by itself in the woodland - The Shepherd is a reference to the Messiah who Isaiah says "like a shepherd He will tend His flock." (Isa 40:11)
Shepherd (07462) (raah) means to pasture, tend, feed, graze. Raah is translated in the Lxx with poimaino which means to serve as one who tends sheep and then metaphorically to watch out for people (shepherd them) (1Pe 5:2)
Wiersbe - In the light of this great promise, the prophet lifted his heart to the Lord in prayer (Micah 7:14) and asked Him to be the faithful Shepherd of Israel and care for His people (see 5:4; Isa. 40:11; Ps. 80:1). Micah longed for “the good old days” when the land was fruitful and peaceful and the people were like obedient sheep who followed their Shepherd.
John Martin on shepherd Thy people - Because of God's promise in Micah 2:12 and Micah 5:4, Micah asked the Lord to restore and provide for His people as a shepherd cares for his flock.
Kaiser - The Shepherd imagery occurs in all three sections of hope in this book (Micah 2:12; 4:6-7; 7:14). The Lord himself, of course, is that Good Shepherd who leads, guides, protects, and rules His flock. As Psalm 100:3b reminds us: “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” We hear the theme again in Psalm 95:7: “For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” —
Boice - God is without equal is pastoral care. He is the supreme shepherd. The theme reappears here for the third time in Micah. It has appeared every time the hope of better days has broken through the clouds of pending judgment: Micah 2:12; 4:6-8; 5:4. (Boice Expositional Commentary – The Minor Prophets, Volume 2: Micah-Malachi)
There is a similar prayer in Psalm 28:9 "Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; Be their shepherd
The flock of Thy possession - Micah 7:18 (see note there for more discussion of possession, the Lxx translating both uses with kleronomia) says that God "passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession." From the beginning of the nation of Israel, God has referred to Israel as His possession Moses recording that "the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today." (Deut 4:20)
After their deliverance from bondage God declared to Israel "‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession (KJV = "a peculiar treasure") among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” (Ex 19:5-6) The NET Note explains that the Hebrew word here for possession "means a special possession. Israel was to be God's special possession, but the prophets will later narrow it to the faithful remnant. All the nations belong to God, but Israel was to stand in a place of special privilege and enormous responsibility. See Deut 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Ps 135:4; and Mal 3:17.)
With Thy rod (shebet) - David used the same Hebrew word (shebet) in Ps 23:4 "Thy rod (shebet) and Thy staff, they comfort me." Isaiah uses shebet to describe the returning King of kings who "will strike the earth with the rod (shebet) of His mouth." (Isa 11:4).
in the midst of a fruitful field - The KJV has "in the midst of Carmel," because the Hebrew word for "fruitful field" is karmel, the "garden-land."
Kaiser - The prophet’s prayer is that this flock might find good grazing in those proverbial beauty spots in the Holy Land, viz., “Carmel,” “Bashan,” and “Gilead” (Mic 7:14c). At that time (of Micah's prophecy), however, these good grazing and farming areas were in the hands of others.
In Jeremiah we read a related prophecy in which Jehovah promises "And I shall bring Israel back to his pasture, and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan, and his desire will be satisfied in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead." (Jer 50:19) The immediate context (Jer 50:20) uses the time phrases "in those days and at that time" (see importance of carefully observing expressions of time), describes a time when God not only restores a His people to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but restores their hearts so to speak so that they have no sin because He will pardon them (the believing Jewish remnant will enter into the New Covenant originally promised to Judah and Israel - Jer 31:31-34) So clearly the fulfillment of this prophecy, of God's bringing them back to Carmel and Bashan and Gilead without sin, has not yet occurred, but awaits a future day when the Deliverer (Messiah) returns and "removes ungodliness" from Israel (Ro 11:26-28). O Glorious Day!
Let them feed in Bashan (map - note it is north of Gilead) and Gilead (map) as in the days of old - This is the second request, asking Jehovah to bring back the "good old days" (so to speak), when His hand of blessing was so evident on Israel, as exemplified by by the agriculturally rich provinces of Bashan and Gilead. These areas were overrun by Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria in 734BC (Micah wrote his prophecy after this event)
Bashan (one dictionary says the meaning is "fertile land") in the northernmost region of Israel, east of the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee was known as a rich, fertile area. Bashan enjoyed abundant rainfall and volcanic soil, and thus became known as the “breadbasket” of the region because of rich wheat fields and abundant livestock. It was celebrated for its cattle (Ps 22:12), its breed of sheep (Deut 32:14), and for its oak trees (Isa 2:13; Ezek 27:6).
Gilead ("rugged") - In the time of Moses Gilead was a lush region with good forests, rich grazing lands, and abundant moisture. " The scenery among these mountains is described as very fine. The plains are covered with a fertile soil, the hills are clothed with forests, and at every new turn beautiful landscapes are presented. The Scripture references to the stately oaks and herds of cattle in this region are well known, Genesis 37:25 Numbers 32:1. (Gilead - American Tract Society Bible Dictionary)
Gilead - "Physically, Gilead is a rugged country; the Hebrew name Gil' ad may be translated “rugged.” Some of its peaks reach over 3500 feet. It also has plains with grassland suitable for cattle, and in antiquity the northern half of the region particularly was heavily forested. The King Highway, an important international trade route, passed through Gilead. Gilead was an agriculturally significant region as well. It was famous especially for its flocks and herds, and also for the balm of Gilead, an aromatic and medicinal preparation, probably derived from the resin of a small balsam tree." (Gilead - Holman Bible Dictionary)
John Phillips - The land of Israel will be a fertile garden. Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead will again have rich pastures.
ESV Study Bible - These fertile areas east of the Jordan were among the first lands that Israel gained (Josh. 13:19–31) and the first lands lost (2 Kings 10:32–33; Jer. 50:19).
- Ps 68:22; 78:12-72; Isaiah 11:16; 51:9; 63:11-15; Jeremiah 23:7,8
TO MICAH'S PRAYER
Jehovah answers Micah's request in the previous passage.
As - Notice that as is a term of comparison, specifically a simile (these usually begin with "as" or "like"). Whenever you encounter a term of comparison, pause and ponder what is being compared, being careful however not to become too fanciful in your observations, but seeking to draw out pictures that are compatible with the context. The point of this comparison with Israel's past deliverance, is to emphasize that "God will intervene on behalf of Israel just as He did when He took her by the hand to lead her out of Egypt." (Kaiser)
As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles - The voice of Jehovah is speaking, promising that the days leading up to the Messianic era will be days of miracles, a "new exodus" if you will. Let me ask a question - - When the Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, did Jehovah show miracles like those seen in the deliverance from Egypt? I can find no such references in the post-exilic writings. Again it seems clear that these miracles are destined to occur in a time yet future. Substantiating this interpretation is the next verse which says the nations (Gentiles) will see and be ashamed of all their might. Has that happened in the post-exilic history of Israel? I think not. The Gentile nations of the world far from being ashamed of their might, have done nothing but "rattle their swords" and threaten Israel since she became a nation for the second time in May 14,1948. Since that time, Israel's neighbors have repeatedly "promised" to annihilate her. So clearly these events are yet future, specifically when the Messiah returns to deliver His people Israel (Ro 11:26-27), even as He had delivered them from Egypt!
The ESV Study Bible makes the surprising and to me not hermeneutically sound comment that "The people of God in all ages are included in the deliverance from Egypt (cf. Dt. 5:3)." No that is simply not true! Israel was the nation that was literally delivered from the land of Egypt, and here in Micah 7:15 the text clearly refers to literal Israel!
John MacArthur interprets these miracles as incredible end-time events leading up to Messiah's return and deliverance of the believing remnant of Israel writing that "These miracles will be fulfilled in God’s judgment on the earth which precedes the Second Advent of Messiah (cf. Rev 6:1-note through Rev 19:11-16-note).
Wiersbe - God will perform great wonders for His people at a time in their history when the nations are united against them. (Ed: As we look around our world today in 2014-15, we can see the Gentile nations beginning to rise up in unison against tiny Israel, surely a precursor of the final and greatest movement of Satanically inspired and empowered "anti-Semitism" the world has ever known in the time of the Great Tribulation!)
Martin - Once again the nation will have a great "exodus" from its places of habitation and God will miraculously move the Israelites into their land. This will occur when the Messiah returns and sets up His Millennial rule.
The psalmist describes God's past miraculous deliverance "He wrought wonders before their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap." (Ps 78:12-13). It is interesting that Asaph had just written that "And they (Israel) forgot His deeds, and His miracles (pala) that He had shown them." (Ps 78:11) But isn't that the problem that plagues all of us? He delivers us in some miraculous way and we praise Him for a moment, but only days or weeks later find ourselves in another testing situation, only to have total amnesia of His previous deliverance!
Kaiser - Behind the word (miracles) is the Hebrew root pele, similar to one of the names for the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor” (NIV). The awesome and breathtaking splendor of the magnitude of His power had been demonstrated in the ten plagues of Egypt and the miracles at the Red Sea and along the wilderness journey. And God will once again show Himself mighty in the future return of Israel to the land in the end time...One day in the eschatological future, God will return His flock to their land from all over the earth. At that time His people will see His miracle-working powers once again.
Miracles (06381)(pala) is a verb which means to be difficult, to be hard, to be extraordinary or amazing, be surpassing or to cause a wonderful thing to happen. To be beyond one’s power to do. To do something wonderful, extraordinary or difficult = Wonders, Marvels, Marvelous works.
In most of its OT occurrences, pala refers to acts that are performed by Jehovah expressing actions that are beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations, especially His deliverances of Israel (Ex 3:20, Ps 106:22, 136:4). He has done things beyond the limits of human powers or expectation. God showed His people miracles when they came out of bondage in Egypt and as they were going into the freedom of the promised land - "Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” (Josh 3:5)
When pala is used with reference to men, the idea conveyed is of something being too difficult to accomplish or comprehend. (Job 42:3NIV). Things which are too marvelous or too difficult for man to understand are described in Pr. 30:18. Deut 17:8 refers to a "case (which) is too difficult (Lxx = adunateo = means to be powerless, to be unable and them to be impossible) for you to decide." Nu 6:2 the phrase "makes a special vow" connotes the idea of a difficult vow (which in the context of Nu 6 = a Nazarite vow).
Pala can occasionally mean to fulfill or cause something to happen (Lev 22:21; Nu 15:3, 8)
Baker - Because God’s extraordinary deeds inspire thanksgiving and praise, this Hebrew word occurs often in the hymnic literature of the Bible and of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Ps. 9:1; 107:8; 145:5). While nothing is too extraordinary for God, various things are said to be beyond the abilities of some individuals to do or comprehend (Deut. 17:8; Prov. 30:18; Jer. 32:17); however, obeying God’s commandments is not too difficult a task (Deut. 30:11). A rare use of this Hebrew word expresses the performance of a special vow beyond the ordinary commitment (Lev. 27:2; Num. 6:2; 15:3, 8).
In his description of rebellious Israel Nehemiah hits upon the problem we all have - they "did not remember Your wondrous deeds which You had performed among them." (Neh 9:17)
Pala in Mic 7:15 is translated in the Lxx with the word thaumastos which pertains to things that cause wonder or are worthy of amazement. Here in Micah 7:15 it speaks of works relating to God (Messiah) which are beyond human comprehension and thus can only be described as wonderful, marvelous, remarkable.
Pala translated (NAS) - bring extraordinary(1), deal marvelously(1), difficult(5), extraordinary degree(1), fulfill a special(3), made his wonderful(1), made marvelous(1), makes a difficult(1), makes a special(1), marvelous(1), marvelously(1), miracles(5), monstrous things(1), seemed hard(1), show your power(1), things...difficult(1), things...wonderful(1), too difficult(2), wonderful(4), wonderful acts(1), wonderful deeds(3), wonderful things(2), wonderful works(2), wonders(20), wondrous deeds(3), wondrous works(3), wondrously(2), wondrously marvelous(1).
Pala - 68v -
Ge 18:14; Ex 3:20; 34:10; Lev 22:21; 27:2; Nu 6:2; 15:3, 8; Dt 17:8; 28:59; 30:11; Josh 3:5; Jdg 6:13; 13:19; 2Sa 1:26; 13:2; 1Chr 16:9, 12, 24; 2Chr 2:9; 26:15; Neh 9:17; Job 5:9; 9:10; 10:16; 37:5, 14; 42:3; Ps 9:1; 26:7; 31:21; 40:5; 71:17; 72:18; 75:1; 78:4, 11, 32; 86:10; 96:3; 98:1; 105:2; 106:7, 22; 107:8, 15, 21, 24, 31; 111:4; 118:23; 119:18, 27; 131:1; 136:4; 139:14; 145:5; Pr 30:18; Isa 28:29; 29:14; Jer 21:2; 32:17, 27; Dan 8:24; 11:36; Joel 2:26; Mic 7:15; Zech 8:6
Gen 18:14 “Is anything too difficult (pala) for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”
Job 5:9 Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number.
Job 9:10 Who does great things, unfathomable, And wondrous works without number.
Dan 11:36-note “Then the king (the coming Antichrist) will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. (How fascinating that the same word used to describe the Living God is used to describe the latter days counterfeit Christ!)
Zech 8:6 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the LORD of hosts.
— Vine - Although something may appear impossible to man, it still is within God’s power: “If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 8:6).
Note the predominance of uses of Pala in the Psalms. Let me encourage you to prayerfully read through these uses of pala, being careful to observe what we as believers are to do in response to the revelation of His wonders, but what sadly too often transpires in our everyday life.
Ps 9:1 For the choir director; on Muth-labben. A Psalm of David. I Will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders.
Ps 26:7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And declare all Thy wonders.
Ps 31:21 Blessed be the LORD, For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.
Ps 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, And Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with Thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.
Ps 71:17 O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth; And I still declare Thy wondrous deeds.
Ps 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders.
Ps 75:1 For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song. We give thanks to Thee, O God, we give thanks, For Thy name is near; Men declare Thy wondrous works.
Ps 78:4 We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
Ps 78:11 And they forgot His deeds, And His miracles that He had shown them.
Ps 78:32 In spite of all this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wonderful works.
Ps 86:10 For Thou art great and doest wondrous deeds; Thou alone art God.
Ps 96:3 Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
Ps 98:1 A Psalm. O Sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.
Ps 105:2 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders.
Ps 106:7 Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Thy wonders; They did not remember Thine abundant kindnesses, But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. — Ps 106:22 Wonders in the land of Ham, [And] awesome things by the Red Sea.
Ps 107:8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!
Ps 107:15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! — Ps 107:21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!
Ps 107:24 They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
Ps 107:31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!
Ps 111:4 He has made His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate.
Ps 118:23 This is the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.
Ps 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Thy law.
Ps 119:27 Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, So I will meditate on Thy wonders.
Ps 131:1 A Song of Ascents, of David. O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.
Ps 136:4 To Him who alone does great wonders, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
Ps 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well.
Ps 145:5 On the glorious splendor of Thy majesty, And on Thy wonderful works, I will meditate. —
- nations — Mic 5:8; Ps 126:2; Isaiah 26:11; 66:18; Ezekiel 38:23; 39:17-21; Zechariah 8:20-23; Zechariah 12:9; Revelation 11:18
- lay — Job 21:5; 29:9,10; 40:4; Isaiah 52:15; Romans 3:19
Isaiah speaks of this coming day of shame for the godless nations of the world...
Isaiah 52:15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him (Messiah); For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand.
Comment - When the Redeemer of Israel returns and accomplishes His task of redeeming His Chosen People (Ro 11:26-27--note) Read of Messiah's triumph over the nations in Psalm 2:6-12- see interesting commentary by Dr Tony Garland
Jehovah describes this future time when He miraculously regathers Israel declaring - “And I shall set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. 22“And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward. 23“And the nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword. 24 “According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them.”’” 25 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name. 26“And they shall forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their [own] land with no one to make them afraid. 27 “When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. 28“Then they (Israel) will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the (Gentile) nations, and then gathered them (Jews in the diaspora, the dispersion) [again] to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. 29“And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 39:21-29-note)
Isaiah says "The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.
Nations will see and be ashamed of all their might - In that future day when Jehovah restores His chosen people Israel the Gentiles will see Messiah's wonder working power. At that time the Gentile nations who opposed them with their great military might will be utterly ashamed. The will see in that day that might does not make right especially when that might is used to oppose the little nation of Israel.
Wiersbe - When Israel departed from Egypt and God opened the sea, the other nations heard about it and feared (Ex. 15:14–16; Josh. 2:8–11). But the wonders the Lord will do for Israel in the last days will startle the nations even more (Ed: E.g., read of the miraculous events in Rev 6:12-14-note)
Nations (goyim) This word for Gentiles is also used in Micah 4:2,3,7,11,5:8, 5:15.
Be ashamed (0954) bosh means to be ashamed, to become pale, blush. When failure or sin occurs, there is a disconcerting feeling, a flushing of the face. Bosh often occurs in contexts of humiliation and shattered human emotions. It is the feeling of public disgrace. The confusion, embarrassment, or dismay when things do not turn out as expected (the arrogant anti-Semitic Gentile world powers will definitely be surprised and things do not turn out as they had expected!). Bosh not only conveys the idea of shame, but of a type of shame in which utter defeat pervades the mood. Disillusionment and a broken spirit follow (Ezra 9:6; Isa 1:29; 30:5; Jer 2:36; 9:19).
Bosh is translated here in the Lxx of Micah 7:16 with the verb kataischuno which speaks of dishonor, disgrace, of blushing because of shame. Kataischuno can also refer to the shame and diappointment that come to one whose faith or hope is shown to be vain.
Geburah is translated in this verse in the Lxx by ischus.
They will put their hand on their mouth, their ears will be deaf - When they see the miracles of God's restoration and exaltation of the nation of Israel wrought about by the omnipotence of Messiah at His Second Coming of Christ, the Gentile nations (instead of taunting Israel) will not have a word to say. However I think they will still be able to uttering a mourning sound! (See Rev 1:7-note).
MIcah 7:17 They will lick the dust like a serpent, like reptiles of the earth. They will come trembling out of their fortresses to the LORD our God they will come in dread and they will be afraid before You.
- lick Genesis 3:14,15; Ps 72:9; Isaiah 49:23; 60:14; 65:25; Lamentations 3:29; Revelation 3:9
- move 1 Samuel 14:11; Ps 18:45; Jeremiah 16:16
- worms - or, creeping things. they shall be. Exodus 15:14-16; Joshua 2:9-11; 9:24; Ps 9:20; Isaiah 2:19-21; 64:2; Jeremiah 33:9; Zechariah 14:5; Revelation 6:15-17; 18:9,10
They will lick the dust like a serpent, like reptiles of the earth - The Gentile nations will be utterly humiliated at Christ's Second Coming to deliver the believing remnant of Israel! This passage recalls God's judgment on the serpent in Ge 3:14.
Leslie Allen in the NICOT translates this as if it were a prayer "May they lick the dust like snakes....". If so it would certainly be an imprecatory prayer! Solomon prays "let...His enemies lick the dust!" (Ps 72:9)
Isaiah has as similar description in his prophecy of a future day of deliverance and restoration for Israel, a day when - “Kings (of the Gentile nations) will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth, And lick the dust of your feet; And [you] will know that I am the LORD; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame." (Isa 49:23, cp Isa 60:14)
Kaiser - So completely routed will Israel’s enemies be that they will be best compared to Satan in that ancient prophecy in Genesis 3:14 if which says that the enemy “shall lick the dust like [the serpent]” (v. 17a). Since in the Hebrew the article precedes the word for “serpent,” we have included it here. We have capitalized “Serpent” because it appears here to mean, as it does in Genesis, something other than a reptile form; it is the title of that evil one against whom we all struggle—Satan. We still use this figure of speech—”to bite the dust”—as a symbol of defeat.
They will come trembling out of their fortresses - "They" refers to the Gentile nations who persisted in their Satanically inspired hatred of the Jews right up to the end of the age. Notice Micah does not say the "may" or "might" come out trembling, but that they will! When they experience the Day of the Lord, their hearts will melt! And as we have been commenting all through this prophetic section, these events have clearly not yet transpired and thus await a future fulfillment, at the return of the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:16)!
Kaiser - The Lord’s victory at the climax of history will be deliberately patterned after David’s earlier victory over his enemies, expressed in similar terms in Psalm 18:45: “The foreigners fade away, and they come frightened from their hideouts.” Great will be the day of our Lord!
To the LORD our God they will come in dread, and they will be afraid before You. - Has this happened? Clearly this speaks of the last days, when Messiah returns to triumph over all the nations that have rejected Him and trodden on the nation of Israel.
Dread (06342)(pachad) to be in dread, to be in awe. "Those who worship and trust God have no need to dread, but those who break the Law (Deut. 28:66); sinners in Zion (Isa. 33:14); and worshipers of idols (Isa. 44:11) have reason to fear." (Baker) The Lxx translates pachad here with the verb existemi which figuratively in the NT refers to causing someone to be amazed beyond comprehension and thus astounded!
Dread speaks of great fear, extreme uneasiness in the face of a disagreeable prospect, in the case of these Gentiles the prospect of them coming before the Holy One of Israel!
John gives us a preview of coming attractions when "the kings of the earth, who committed [acts of] immorality and lived sensuously with her (Babylon), will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear (phobos) of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ (Rev 18:9-10-)
Micah 7:18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.
- a God Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 33:26; 1 Kings 8:23; Ps 35:10; 71:19; 89:6,8; 113:5,6; Isaiah 40:18,25; 46:8,9
- that Exodus 33:18,19; 34:6,7; Numbers 14:18,19; Nehemiah 9:17; Ps 65:3; 86:5,15; Ps 103:2,3; 130:4,7,8; Isaiah 1:18; 43:25; 44:22; 55:7; Jeremiah 31:34; 38:8; 50:20; Daniel 9:9; Jonah 4:2; Luke 24:47; Acts 13:38,39
- passes Numbers 23:21; Amos 7:8; 8:2
- the remnant Micah 7:14; 2:12; 4:7; 5:3,7,8; Joel 2:32; Romans 11:4; Hebrews 8:9-12
- retain Ps 77:6-10; 85:4,5; 103:9; Isaiah 57:10,16; Jeremiah 3:5,12; Lamentations 3:31,32
- delights Isaiah 62:5; 65:19; Jeremiah 32:41; Ezekiel 33:11; Zephaniah 3:17; Luke 15:5-7,9,10,23,24,32; Ephesians 2:4,5; James 2:13
See Spurgeon's Sermon on this passage - A Sweet Salaam (Bow) (3317) - Micah 7:18
WHO IS LIKE OUR
Kaiser - The third and last movement of this poetic symphony is a choral piece that forms a magnificent doxology. It is much like Romans 11:33ff, Psalm 104:32ff and Psalm 68:30ff. What a tremendous climax to a book!
Spurgeon - He never delights in anger, especially in anger against his own people. That is but temporary anger, and is, after all, only another form of love, for the parental anger which hates sin in a dear child is but love on fire. May God never permit us to sin without being thus angry with us! We might almost beseech him never to tolerate sin in us, but to smite us with the rod rather than suffer us to be happy in the midst of evil. Perhaps the worst of horrors is peace in the midst of iniquity, happiness while yet sin is all round about us.
John Phillips - Micah ends his prophecy with a eulogy of God's mercy. Unlike Jonah, who was angry because of God's mercy (Jonah 4:1-2), Micah rejoiced over it.
Wiersbe - Few passages in Scripture contain so much “distilled theology” as Micah 7:18–20. We see in them a reflection of what God told Moses on the mount (Ex. 34:5–7). The better we know the character of God, the more we can trust Him for the future. The better we know the promises and covenants of God, the more peace we will have in our hearts when things fall apart. When Micah wrote this confession of his faith, the future seemed hopeless; yet he had hope because he knew God and fully trusted Him. No matter how dark the day, the light of God’s promises is still shining. No matter how confusing and frightening our circumstances, the character of God remains the same. You have every reason to trust Him!
John Martin - Micah's final words of praise show that he had great faith in God's eventual out-working of His plans for His covenant people.
Who is a God like You? - This reminds us of Micah’s name which means “Who is like the Lord?” The answer to this rhetorical question of course is "No one!" Micah then proceeds to glory in the boundless mercy and undeserved grace of God. A holy God pardoning unholy people! There is a song that speaks of how creation answers this question -- All Heaven Declares..."There is no God like Thee!"
Kaiser applies the question "Who is like God" writing "The answer, of course, is that there is no one that even comes close to measuring up to who God is and to what He has done. So why, then, are we so intrigued by all the enticing sins of the times? And why are we so terrified by all the faces of the contemporary issues which are nothing but empty masks of our day? Should we not, instead, be encouraged by all the promises of God, if He so far exceeds every one else?
In Ex 15:11 (the "Song of Moses") at a time when Israel had just experienced great victory (which foreshadows the victory described in Micah 7:7-20) we read "Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?"
Other occurrences of "Who is like..." (It is fascinating the last use of the phrase "Who is like..." is found in Rev 13:4 where the God-hating world lauds the anti-thesis of God! When one rejects the revelation of the true, living God, it is shocking how far they digress! In the final book God allows men who refuse to worship the truth to believe the lie. cp Ro 1:18-25, 2Thes 2:11-12, 8-10)
Ps 35:10 All my bones will say, "LORD, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?"
Ps 79:19 For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?
Ps 89:8 O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
Ps 113:5 Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high,
Isa 44:7 'Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.
Jer 49:19 "Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan against a perennially watered pasture; for in an instant I will make him run away from it, and whoever is chosen I shall appoint over it. For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand against Me?"
Jer 50:44 "Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan to a perennially watered pasture; for in an instant I will make them run away from it, and whoever is chosen I will appoint over it. For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand before Me?"
Who pardons iniquity - Who forgives wrong.
Pardons (05375)(nasa') has 3 basic meanings - (1) lift up literally or figuratively, (2) bear, carry, support; (3) take, take away. In the present context the sense is that of bearing or carrying guilt or punishment of sin. Cain was correct (in one sense) when he said "My punishment is too great to bear (nasa)" (Ge 4:13). We frequently find the expression "he shall bear (nasa') his iniquity (guilt, punishment)" (Lev 5:1, 17; 7:18; Nu 5:31;14:34, etc.) This usage of nasa' conveys the idea of bearing guilt of another by representation or substitution (see Lev 10:17 or the scapegoat in Lev 16:22). Nasa' is used in the great prophecy of the Messiah - "Surely our griefs He Himself bore" (Isa 53:4)
As Kaiser says "God will “lift up” (for that is the literal meaning of “pardon” in the Hebrew) the burden of sin from the shoulders of all who will confess their sin and ask for His forgiveness.
The Lxx translates pardons in Micah 7:18 with the verb exairo which means to remove, expel, drive out, to lift up. Used in 1Cor 5:13 to "remove the wicked man." Here in Micah the idea is to remove the wickedness or better the guilt incurred by the wickedness! It is interesting that there are two other uses in the Lxx of Micah - Micah 5:11 of tearing down their fortifications and Micah 5:12 of cutting off the sorceries.
Nasa' - 7x in Micah - Micah 2:2, 4; 4:1, 3; 6:16; 7:9, 18.
David writes "How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven (Heb = nasa'; Lxx = aphiemi), Whose sin is covered!" (Ps 32:1) The meaning of the Greek word aphiemi gives us a great picture of what God does with iniquity, for aphiemi conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation and means to send from one's self, to hurl away, to put away, to disregard. It conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation and refers to total detachment, total separation, from a previous location or condition. In secular Greek aphiemi initially conveyed the sense of to throw and in one secular writing we read "let the pot drop" (aphiemi). From this early literal use the word came to mean leave or let go. God "let's the pot drop" so to speak when it comes to our sins (if we are believers in the Sin Bearer, Jesus).
Iniquity (05771)('avon) is from the verb which has the basic meaning of to bend, twist, distort. Avon thus is the iniquity or guilt which is associated with a twisting of the standard or deviation from it. Avon in fact is the Hebrew word which most distinctly unites sins of all kinds with their penal consequences. The Lxx translates avon in Mic 7:18 with adikia which means a condition of not being right, whether with God, according to the standard of His holiness and righteousness or with man, according to the standard of what man knows to be right by his conscience.
Who...passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? (2Sa 12:13, Ex 34:7,9; Isa 43:25 Ps 103:8-9, 12 Ezekiel 33:11) - A rhetorical question expecting a resounding "No One!" The phrase "passes over" may be an allusion to the Passover (Heb - pecach) in Exodus 12 (Ex 12:11, 21, 48) where God promised "when I see the blood (of the paschal lamb) I will pass (Heb - pacach - spare) over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you." (Cp Jn 1:29, 1Cor 5:7)
We see this same truth in the NT where Paul describes Jesus "Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over (paresis) the sins previously committed." (Ro 3:25-note; the same truth is taught in Heb 9:15
Passes over (05674)('abar) means to pass over, by or through, "to cover, to go beyond, to go along, to be crossed over, to make to cross over, to go through, to go away. This verb indicates the physical act of crossing or passing over and takes on a figurative usage that exhibits many variations in meaning. Two figurative meanings are of primary importance theologically; the verb means going beyond, overstepping a covenant or a command of God or man. Moses uses the word when charging the people with disobeying and overstepping the Lord’s commands (Num. 14:41; Josh. 7:11, 15). Esther 3:3 depicts Mordecai’s transgressing of the king’s command. The word is used of God’s passing over His people’s rebellion (Mic. 7:18); but also of His decision not to pass over or spare them any longer (Amos 7:8; 8:2). The verb relates to the placement of a yoke of punishment on the neck of Ephraim, God’s rebellious nation (Hos. 10:11; cf. Job 13:13)." (Baker)
The Lxx translates 'abar in Micah 7:18 with the verb huperbaino which literally means to step over (as a boundary) or "to go beyond a high point on a scale of linear extent." Huperbaino can mean "trespass" in some contexts, and here in Micah paradoxically depicts God stepping over the "trespasses" or rebellious acts of men! Amazing mercy!
Rebellious act (06588)(pesha') means transgression. Pesha has the basic idea of a breach of relationship between two parties. Pesha signifies willful deviation from the path of godly living and thus is rebellion against this path (see especially Amos 2:4).
The Lxx translates pesha here with the noun asebeia which speaks of disregard for godly beliefs and godly practices, a lack of reverence (holy fear) for deity (the Living God) as displayed by sacrilegious words and deeds.
Patterson - Pesha' means to commit a legal offense and signifies an act of rebellion in the form of social transgression. Andersen and Freedman (2000:170) further note, “in a political setting it means ‘treason,’ in religion ‘apostasy.’ Both ideas merge in idolatry as Israel’s worst violation of covenant obligations to Yahweh.”
Summary - There are 3 primary Hebrew words for “sin”. Ps 51:1-3 is the OT's greatest statement on the nature of sin and uses all 3 of Hebrew words. Each is defined based on the existence of God's standard of righteousness (all that God is, all that God commands, all that God demands, all that God approves, all that God provides in Christ Jesus 1Co 1:30) established by God.
1). Chattah  = miss the mark or to fall short of the divine standard.
2). Pesha'  is “rebellion” or “transgression,” and indicates revolt against the standard.
3). 'Avon  = iniquity or guilt is a twisting of the standard or deviation from it.
Remnant - In context remnant (see short study) refers to those Jews who place their faith in the Messiah, an event which will be reach it's full fruition when Messiah returns (Ro 11:26-note). Micah's words were originally spoken of the faithful remnant of Israel before their Exile, but should be seen now in the fullness of God's revelation as applying to all of God's people. Indeed, God has passed over our iniquity before each of us was saved and now we as believers are His possession, bought with a price of Christ's precious blood and should passionately pursue glorifying Him in our bodies (cf 1Cor 6:19-20-note). Notice that the remnant is not perfect, but they are rebellious. Their guilt is passed over because of divine mercy. And the fact that they are the (believing) remnant is only because of God's grace (cp Eph 2:8-9). In bestowing grace God gives us what we don't deserve, while in mercy He does not give us what we do deserve, so that we humbly cry out with Micah "Who is a God like You?!"
Remnant (rest) (07611)(sheerith) conveys the root idea of the verb sha'ar which is used to indicate that which has survived after an elimination process. It describes what remains. Baker adds that "Most significant was the technical use of this word 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). Joseph declared that the purpose of his captivity was to preserve a remnant of Jacob’s lineage (Gen. 45:7)."
The Lxx translates sheerith in Micah 7:18 with the adjective kataloipos which means left, remaining (Acts 15:17).
Sheerith is translated (NAS) as - left(1), remnant(55), rest(7), survivors(2), those who had escaped(1)
Sheerith - 66v - 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; 36:3-5; 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.
There are 5 uses of sheerith in Micah...
Mic 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.
Mic 4:7 “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.
Mic 5:7 Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the LORD, Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men.
Mic 5:8 And the remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations, Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears, And there is none to rescue.
Mic 7:18 Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.
Possession (05159)(nahalah - same word in Mic 7:14) means possession, property, inheritance and implies property what was given by means of a will or as a heritage. The Lxx translates the Hebrew with kleronomia which means inheritance, that which is given to one as their possession. Metaphorically, Israel is said to be God’s “possession." Moses explains to the Chosen People that “Jehovah has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.” (Deut. 4:20). In 1Ki 8:51 Solomon declares "they are Your people and Your inheritance which Thou hast brought forth from Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace)."
Today believers are also God's possession, Paul declaring that Jesus "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:14-note) Are you (am I) living daily like I belong to Him? Can others see that I am His possession by my words and deeds?
He does not retain His anger forever - God's anger is just, but God in His mercy does not hold this anger against those who have entered into covenant with Him. He does not delight in holding a grudge, or in bottling up His anger over our sins.
He will not always strive [with us;] Nor will He keep [His anger] forever.10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:9–10)
Retain (02388)(chazaq) means to be strong, to hold fast to, to be firm. Lxx translates chazaq with sunecho/synecho which means to hold something together and thus to enclose it or lock it up. Thank God that He does not do that (lock up our sins, holding fast to them) when we sin against Him! I fear many of us (myself included) have a far too minimalistic view of this great truth! We commit presumptuous sins with little thought of how great the offense is to His holiness! Forgive us O Lord. Renew us with a steadfast spirit. Sustain us with a willing spirit. (Ps 51:10, 12). Amen
Anger (0639)(aph from anaph = to be angry) means a nostril, nose, face, anger. The main use of aph in Scripture is to describe the anger of men and of God. This word depicts the appearance of the nostrils when someone is angry (notice how they flare out). When used of God aph relates particularly of His anger toward sin of His people, for it pains and deeply displeases Him (2Ki 13:3)
Aph is used in an idiom to describe God as "'erek'appayim" which literally is "long of anger" which (Praise the Lord) means it is long before getting angry. (Ex 34:6; Nu 14:18; Ps 86:15; Neh 9:17). It's as if God takes a long, deep breath as He holds His anger. O how many times He must have taken a deep breath as He watched and listened to my thoughts, words and deeds!
Aph translated in the Lxx (Micah 7:18) with the noun orge which is God’s settled opposition to and displeasure with sin. Orge does not refer to uncontrollable anger to which men are so prone but to God's settled indignation and controlled passionate hostile feeling toward sin in all its various manifestations. Settled indignation means that God’s holiness cannot and will not coexist with sin in any form whatsoever. Orge is not the momentary, emotional, and often uncontrolled anger (thumos) to which human beings are prone. Orge is used primarily of God's holy, righteous wrath but occasionally refers to the wrath of men
Because (03588)(kiy) is a demonstrative particle which means because (Ge 3:14), for (Ps 6:2, 5), etc, the most suitable translation being determined by the context. In this context, kiy is translated as "because" which functions as a term of explanation. What is Micah explaining?
He delights in unchanging (constant) love. - Develop the discipline of pausing to ponder terms of explanation like because. Why doesn't God hold fast His anger forever ("Retain" in English ~ to keep in mind or memory!)? His unchanging love trumps His righteous anger! These words should prompt us to grateful worship of such an undeserved (gracious) truth!
Kaiser - What a wonderful and gracious Savior, who removes our sin and guilt and freely gives us His joy and satisfaction despite all the grief we have given to Him! That is unheard of
The psalmist writes "The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights (chaphets) in his way." (Psalm 37:23) and "Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” (Ps 35:27)
James Smith - We do not read that He delights in judgment. "As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he should turn from his way," for "He delights in mercy." Herein lies the hope of sinful men. (Handfuls on Purpose)
Micah could have sung "How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word." (Wiersbe)
Unchanging love (02617)(hesed/chesed/heced) speaks of loyal love, steadfast love, unfailing love, tenderness. Hesed describes God’s loyalty and faithfulness to His covenant. In short it speaks of the Father's unbreakable covenant love. Pause and ponder with great gratitude the truth that the Holy God actually delights in demonstrating His covenant love to His children who often act quite unlovable! Everything God does in regard to men is based on covenant, and the fact that His love is steadfast and unchanging toward the believing remnant is based His faithfulness to the everlasting covenant He cut with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel)!
It is no surprise that the passages Micah 7:18-20 are read in Jewish synagogues on the Day of Atonement, after they the book of Jonah. Annually the orthodox Jew, at a river or running stream, symbolically empties his pockets of his sins, casting them into the water (Micah 7:19).
- turn Deuteronomy 30:3; 32:36; Ezra 9:8,9; Ps 90:13,14; Isaiah 63:15-17; Jeremiah 31:20; Lamentations 3:32; Hosea 14:4
- subdue Deuteronomy 30:6; Ps 130:8; Ezekiel 11:19,20; 36:25-27; Romans 6:14,17-22; 7:23-25; Romans 8:2,3,13; Titus 2:14; James 4:5,6; 1 John 3:8
- cast Ps 103:12; Isaiah 38:17; Jeremiah 50:20; Daniel 9:24
INTO THE SEA
Spurgeon's sermon - Sin Subdued (1577) - Micah 7:19
He will again have compassion on us - Again expression of time!implies He had previously bestowed compassion on Israel. His unchanging love (His hesed) is manifest or evidenced by His continuing commitment to compassion. This statement is a reflection of Micah's faith in God's faithfulness to covenant.
Compassion (07355)(racham from rechem = womb ~ suggesting a connection between the place of the developing child and the strong feelings of love a mother has toward her child) speaks a deep love of one for another rooted in some "natural" bond (cp rechem = womb). Racham manifests itself as an "emotional" response to one's needs. Racham means to feel another's pain so deeply that you are moved to do something about it. Racham means to have compassion, to have mercy, to find mercy. "The word pictures a deep, kindly sympathy and sorrow felt for another who has been struck with affliction or misfortune, accompanied with a desire to relieve the suffering." (Baker)
Racham is only used one time of a person saying he loves God (Ps. 18:1). More often racham is used of God saying He will or will not have compassion on people. Ps 103:13 compares God's compassion for those who fear Him to a father's compassion for his children.
In Proverbs "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes [them] will find compassion." (Pr 28:13-note)
Gilbrant - God remembers mercy in his wrath, as Habakkuk prayed that He would do (Hab. 3:2). He wants to forgive and restore those who repent and turn to Him (Isa. 55:7). The Lord's compassion ultimately means He promises to reverse all the effects of sin for his people (Jer. 30:18). Hosea said God's people would be called "No Mercy," or "Not Loved," "Lo-Ruhamah," in their sin, and then "[My] Loved One," or "One Who Has Received Mercy," "Ruhamah," in their salvation (Hos. 1:6-9; 2:1, 23). The latter is the passive form for a person who "receives mercy" and is used in Pr. 28:13 of the person who confesses his sin. It is also used in Hos. 14:3 to describe the orphan who finds help from the Lord, a passage that teaches that those who quit depending on their own idolatrous efforts will receive God's compassionate help in their need. The most common word used in parallel with this word for God's showing compassion is chānan, "to be gracious" (e.g., Ex. 33:18f). It especially involves salvation, though it can also refer to whatever a person needs (Isa. 49:10; Hos. 1:7). God's compassion is parallel to his comfort (Isa. 49:13), to his forgiveness (Isa. 55:7; Mic. 7:19), to hesed, "steadfast love," and to the "covenant of peace" (Isa. 54:8, 10). It is the opposite of rejection (Zech. 10:6). Much of God's merciful, compassionate and loving nature is expressed with this word (Ps. 116:5). (The Complete Biblical Library Old and New Testament)
When applied to God (as in first use Ex 33:19), racham speaks of His tender pity for us in our weakness, misery and helplessness.
The Lxx translates racham here with oikteiro (see related word oiktirmos) describes being moved or motivated by sympathy.
Compassion (from com = with + passus = to suffer) (Webster) - sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. It includes the act or capacity for sharing the painful feelings of another. It implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare. 1828 Webster's = A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.
Racham - 47x in 45v translated in NAS as compassion(1), compassionate(1), find compassion(1), finds mercy(1), had(2), had compassion(2), has compassion(4), have compassion(20), have had compassion(1), have mercy(2), have pity(1), have...compassion(3), have...mercy(2), love(1), mercy(1), obtained compassion(1), Ruhamah(1), show compassion(2), surely have mercy(1).
Exodus 33:19 And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you (speaking to Moses who had just said "I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!” - Have you ever dared pray this prayer? Remember that now because we have a great High Priest, we can come boldly to the throne of grace! Heb 4:14, 16), and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion."
Deuteronomy 13:17 "Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger and show (nathan = give) mercy (racham; Lxx = eleos) to you, and have compassion (racham; Lxx = eleeo) on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers,
Deuteronomy 30:3 then (a strategic 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.
This passage is taken from the section in which God promises horrible curses on Israel for her disobedience but here predicts that in spite of her great sin, in the end of this age, He will redeem and restore the remnant of Israel in preparation for the Millennial reign of Messiah - Moses writes
“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, 2 and 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 (expression of time) the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion (racham) 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 “And the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. 7 “And the LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you (cp to the prophetic promise in Micah 7:10 = they "will be trampled down.")." (Dt 30:1-7)
1 Kings 8:50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them
2 Kings 13:23 But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because (term of explanation) of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now.
25 Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken in war from the hand of Jehoahaz his father. Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel.
2 Kings 14:3 He did right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father; he did according to all that Joash his father had done.
Psalm 18:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who spoke to the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said, "I love You, O LORD, my strength."
Psalm 102:13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion; For it is time to be gracious to her, For the appointed time has come.
Psalm 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 116:5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.
Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
Isaiah 9:17 Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is godless and an evildoer, And every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out.
Isaiah 13:18 And their bows will mow down the young men, They will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, Nor will their eye pity children.
Isaiah 14:1 When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.
Isaiah 27:11 When its limbs are dry, they are broken off; Women come and make a fire with them, For they are not a people of discernment, Therefore their Maker will not have compassion on them. And their Creator will not be gracious to them.
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
Isaiah 49:10 "They will not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them And will guide them to springs of water.
13 Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people And will have compassion on His afflicted.
15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
Isaiah 54:8 "In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you," Says the LORD your Redeemer.
10 "For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken," Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 60:10 "Foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you.
Jeremiah 6:23 "They seize bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea, And they ride on horses, Arrayed as a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Zion!"
Jeremiah 12:15 "And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land.
Jeremiah 13:14 "I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together," declares the LORD. "I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion so as not to destroy them."'"
Jeremiah 21:7 "Then afterwards," declares the LORD, "I will give over Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people, even those who survive in this city from the pestilence, the sword and the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their foes and into the hand of those who seek their lives; and he will strike them down with the edge of the sword. He will not spare them nor have pity nor compassion."'
Jeremiah 30:18 "Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob And have compassion on his dwelling places; And the city will be rebuilt on its ruin, And the palace will stand on its rightful place.
Jeremiah 31:20 "Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him," declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 33:26 then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.'"
Jeremiah 42:12 'I will also show you compassion, so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your own soil.
Jeremiah 50:42 "They seize their bow and javelin; They are cruel and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride on horses, Marshalled like a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Babylon.
Lamentations 3:32 For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness.
Ezekiel 39:25 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name.
Hosea 1:6 Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, "Name her Lo-ruhamah (Heb - Lo = no + ruhamah = racham ~ "Without compassion"), for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them.
7 "But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen."
Hosea 2:1 Say to your brothers, "Ammi," and to your sisters, "Ruhamah."
4 "Also, I will have no compassion on her children, Because they are children of harlotry.
23 "I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they will say, 'You are my God!'"
Hosea 14:3 "Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses; Nor will we say again, 'Our god,' To the work of our hands; For in You the orphan finds mercy."
Micah 7:19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.
Habakkuk 3:2 LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.
Zechariah 1:12 Then the angel of the LORD said, "O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?"
Zechariah 10:6 "I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph, And I will bring them back, 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 and I will answer them.
He will tread ("subdue" - KJV) our iniquities under foot - As one conquered a nation, Messiah will tread on our sins, subduing them, as if they were an enemy (and to be sure they are our inveterate enemy!) This is one of the most beautiful pictures of what the beautiful feet of Messiah will do to sins of Israel and by application those of every all believer. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Paul writes that "the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." (Ro 16:20)
In Christ, we find the fulfillment of both Micah's prophecy of forgiveness of sins and redemption of the creation (Ge 1:28) of bringing the world into subjection (cf. Ro 8:20).
One could apply this truth that God will "subdue" (KJV) sin in our personal lives by the compelling love of His compassion. (cp Ro 8:13)
Tread...under foot (03533)(kabash) means to subdue, to bring into bondage, to keep under, to force, to enslave (and so to degrade). The basic meaning is to overcome or subdue someone or something. The first use is a command from the LORD God to Adam to "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue (Lxx = katakurieuo = exercise dominion over, gain power over, bring into subjection) it." The role of humans is to keep order in nature, to live in harmony with nature, not to abuse and destroy it. Kabash is used of subduing the land and in context to do it by military conquest (Nu 32:22, 29 and Josh 18:1 = of Israel taking control of the Promised Land, 1Chr 22:18), of King David subduing the nations (2Sa 8:11) Kabash refers to enslaving the people of Judah (2Chr 28:10, Neh 5:5). Jeremiah bitterly denounced the people of Jerusalem who had made a covenant to emancipate their bondservants and then enslaved them again (Jer. 34:11, 16). In Esther kabash is used with the sense is of violating or raping the queen (Esther 7:8)
In Micah 7:18 the Lxx translates kabash with the verb kataduo which means to sink or cause to go down (e.g., in secular Greek of a ship that was sunk), which is rendered in English as "He will sink our iniquities."
TWOT - Kabash is evidently related to Akkadian kabāsu “to tread down,” and Arabic kabasa “to knead, stamp, press” (cf. also Arabic kabasa “to seize with the hand”). In the OT it means “to make to serve, by force if necessary.”
Kabash is translated in NAS as assault(1), brought them into subjection(2), forced into bondage(1), forcing(1), subdue(1), subdued(5), subjugate(1), trample(1), tread our under foot(1), under foot(1).
Kabash - 13v - Ge 1:28; Nu 32:22, 29; Josh 18:1; 2Sa 8:11; 1Chr 22:18; 2Chr 28:10; Neh 5:5; Esther 7:8; Jer 34:11, 16; Mic 7:19; Zech 9:15
Kaiser - And just as Pharaoh’s chariots were “hurled into the sea” and sank into the depths like a stone or lead weight (Ex. 15:4, 5, 10), so God will “hurl,” or “cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (v. 19c).
Yes, Thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Who is "their"? In context this is clearly the redeemed nation of Israel (see Ro 11:26-27-note), the time when "all Israel will be saved." This truth of course is also clearly applicable to all believers of all ages, for that is what has happened to our sins that were laid on Jesus on the Cross.
Cast (07993)(shalak/salak - see word study) means to throw, fling, cast. The word is used to describe the “throwing” or “casting” of anything tangible. (tree - Ex 15:25, gold - Ex 32:24) Shalak can mean to cast away in the sense of getting rid of something that hinders, such as sin (Ezek. 18:31). Its first use in the Old Testament is in Ge 21:15, which says that Hagar “cast the child [Ishmael] under one of the shrubs.” Shalak is used to describe God’s rejection of someone (2Ki. 17:20; 24:20, cp Lam 2:1), but on the positive side describes that God will sustain those who cast their cares on Him (Ps. 55:22).
Shalak is translated in the Lxx with the verb apopipto which means to throw down or away (Acts 27:43 = "jump overboard"). BDAG adds that apopipto means (1) cause quick downward movement or separation away from a point or location, throw away in rejection (Jonah 2:4)
Shalak is translated in NAS as brings him down(1), cast(41), cast it away(1), cast me away(2), cast me off(1), cast them away(1), cast away(5), cast down(2), cast off(1), casts(1), dropped(1), fling(2), hurl(1), hurled(2), left(1), risked*(1), snatched(1), stretching(1), threw(29), threw her down(1), threw his down(1), threw them down(1), threw down(1), throw(13), throw it down(1), throw them away(1), throw away(1), thrown(8), thrown away(1), thrown down(1).
Shalak - 121v -
Ge 21:15; 37:20, 22, 24; Ex 1:22; 4:3; 7:9f, 12; 15:25; 22:31; 32:19, 24; Lev 1:16; 14:40; Num 19:6; 35:20, 22; Deut 9:17, 21; 29:28; Josh 8:29; 10:11, 27; 18:8, 10; Jdg 8:25; 9:17, 53; 15:17; 2 Sam 11:21; 18:17; 20:12, 21f; 1 Kgs 13:24f, 28; 14:9; 19:19; 2 Kgs 2:16, 21; 3:25; 4:41; 6:6; 7:15; 9:25f; 10:25; 13:21, 23; 17:20; 23:6, 12; 24:20; 2 Chr 7:20; 24:10; 25:12; 30:14; 33:15; Neh 9:11, 26; 13:8; Job 15:33; 18:7; 27:22; 29:17; Ps 2:3; 22:10; 50:17; 51:11; 55:22; 60:8; 71:9; 102:10; 108:9; 147:17; Eccl 3:5f; Isa 2:20; 14:19; 19:8; 34:3; 38:17; Jer 7:15, 29; 9:19; 14:16; 22:19, 28; 26:23; 36:23, 30; 38:6, 9; 41:9; 51:63; 52:3; Lam 2:1; Ezek 5:4; 7:19; 16:5; 18:31; 19:12; 20:7f; 23:35; 28:17; 43:24; Dan 8:7, 11f; Joel 1:7; Amos 4:3; 8:3; Jonah 2:3; Mic 2:5; 7:19; Nah 3:6; Zech 5:8; 11:13
As Corrie Ten Boom said, God places a sign where He has cast these sins which says "No Fishing Allowed!"
Kaiser - The last three verses of this book (Micah 7:18-20) are linked with the book of Jonah for the afternoon reading in the synagogue on Yom Kipper, the “Day of Atonement.” Once every year, on Ros Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the orthodox Jew goes to a stream or river and symbolically empties his sins from his pockets into the water as he recites Micah 7:18–20. This is the Tashlich service, named after the word “You will cast.” (shalak) It symbolizes the fact that God can and will take our sins, wash them down the streams of running water and bury them deep in the depths of the ocean. God not only forgives our sins, He also forgets them. If some object that God cannot forget our sins if He is omniscient, let it be remembered that what He does when He forgets our sins is remember them against us no more
The IVP Bible Background Commentary - Yahweh’s forgiveness of Israel allows a conquest of sin in much the same way that a monarch triumphs over his enemy, treading him underfoot or placing his foot on his neck (see comments on Jos 10:24; Ps 60:12). Similar images of the activities of “Divine Warrior” gods are found in Anat slaughtering her enemies in Ugaritic epic and the military exploits of the Babylonian god Marduk and the Hittite god Teshub.
THE DEPTH OF JEHOVAH'S
FORGIVENESS OF SIN
This passage in Micah 7:19 is one of several powerful pictures of how completely God will deal with our sins (see the others below). If you are wrestling with thoughts of sins you have confessed, but which our enemy the Accuser keeps bringing up, then take some time to mediate on these great pictures of God's forgiveness. In fact, you really should commit them to memory, so that they will strengthen you faith (cp "take up the shield of faith") and like a sword which the Holy Spirit can use to defeat the lies that those sins are not forgiven because they are just too bad!
Micah 7:19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.
Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Isa 38:17 “Lo, for [my own] welfare I had great bitterness; It is Thou who hast kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, For Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back.
Isa 43:25 “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
Isa 44:22 “I have wiped out (wiped clean!) your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
Spurgeon - Faith's Checkbook - From Anger to Love - Micah 7:19 - God never turns from His love, but He soon turns from His wrath. His love to His chosen is according to His nature; His anger is only according to His office. He loves because He is love; He frowns because it is necessary for our good. He will come back to the place in which His heart rests, namely, His love to His own, and then He will take pity upon our griefs and end them. What a choice promise is this--"He will subdue our iniquities"! He will conquer them. They cry to enslave us, but the Lord will give us victory over them by His own right hand. Like the Canaanites, they shall be beaten, put under the yoke, and ultimately slain.As for the guilt of our sins, how gloriously is that removed! "All their sins"--yes, the whole host of them; "thou wilt cast"--only an almighty arm could perform such a wonder; "into the depths of the sea"--where Pharaoh and his chariots went down. Not into the shallows out of which they might be washed up by the tide, but into the "depths" shall our sins be hurled. They are all gone. They sank into the bottom like a stone. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! \
- Genesis 12:2,3; 17:7,8; 22:16-18; 26:3,4; 28:13,14; Ps 105:8-10; Jeremiah 33:25,26; Luke 1:54,55,72-74; Acts 3:25,26; Ro 11:26-31; Hebrews 6:13-18
NICOT - You will keep faith with Jacob and prove to Abraham your constant love, as you promised on oath to our forefathers in olden times.
ESV You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.
NET You will be loyal to Jacob and extend your loyal love to Abraham (More literally, "You will extend loyalty to Jacob, and loyal love to Abraham), which you promised on oath to our ancestors (Heb "our fathers." The Hebrew term refers here to more distant ancestors, not immediate parents) in ancient times.
NLT You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.
COVENANT KEEPING GOD
Spurgeon - There is our comfort, our God is the covenant-keeping God Who will perform every promise that He has made.
Kaiser - Micah concludes by recalling the whole promise-plan of God as it was originally given to Abraham and the fathers in “days of old.” The content of that promise-plan was “truth” and “mercy.” The combination of these two words is also found in John 1:17: “grace and truth.” Literally Jn 1:17 says, “Law through Moses was given, grace and truth in Jesus happened.” Both words, “grace and truth,” were taken from Ex 34:6. God’s promise is guaranteed both by His Word (in Ge 12:2–3) and by His oath (in Ge 22:16). Thus by God’s indelible word and oath, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we have a strong assurance and a solid hope for the future (Heb 6:18). God’s promise is called His “everlasting covenant” in Ps 105:8–11, “His word,” and His “sworn promise.” How excellent is the plan of God in its truthfulness, dependability and, especially, in its graciousness.
John MacArthur sees this as ultimately fulfilled by Messiah at His Second Coming
In spite of Israel's unfaithfulness to God, the Lord intends to fulfill His unconditional promises in the Abrahamic Covenant made with Abraham and confirmed with Isaac and Jacob (cf. Ge 12, 15, 17, 22, 26, 28, 35). When enacted in conjunction with the Davidic Covenant, Israel will again be restored as a people and a nation to the land originally promised to Abraham. Jesus Christ, the ultimate descendant of David, will rule from Jerusalem over the world as King of kings and Lord of lords (cf. Rev 17:14; 19:16). (The MacArthur Study Bible)
Thou wilt give truth to Jacob and unchanging love to Abraham, which Thou didst swear to our forefathers from the days of old.- This is a reference to the Abrahamic Covenant, which was distinct from the Mosaic Covenant. The latter had been broken repeatedly by Israel and accounts for judgments Micah described throughout his prophecy. On the other hand, the covenant made with the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was a covenant of grace, and thus one which would be fulfilled to Israel, not because they deserved it but because God is the God of Salvation and there is no one like Him Who forgives sin! (Ge 13:15; 17:7-8, 13, 19; Ge 22:17, 28:13-14, Ge 48:4) The patriarchs are referred to not because they were so good, but because of unconditional, immutable covenant God cut with them.
Related Resources on Covenant:
- Covenant: Abrahamic versus Mosaic
- Covenant: New Covenant in the Old Testament
- Covenant: Why the New is Better
- Covenant: Abrahamic vs Old vs New
Truth (0571)(emeth from aman = to confirm or support) means firmness, faithfulness or trustworthiness (condition of being dependable and loyal to a person or standard - Ge 24:27). Emeth refers to that which is true, certain, sure, that which conforms to reality, and is so certain not to be false (Dt 13:15). Emeth is frequently connected with lovingkindness (as here in Mica 7:20, Pr. 3:3; Hos. 4:1) and occasionally with other terms such as peace (2Ki 20:19); righteousness (Isa. 48:1); and justice (Ps. 111:7). The Lxx translates emeth in Mic 7:30 with aletheia which strictly speaking is that which is not concealed. Aletheia is that which that is seen or expressed as it really is.
Unchanging love (02617)(hesed/chesed/heced) describes God’s loyalty and faithfulness to His covenant, in context His covenant with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is fitting that in a book like Micah which
Phillips - When the old priest Zacharias indicated that his son's name was John, he regained his ability to talk. As he praised God and prophesied, he quoted Micah 7:20 (see Luke 1:72-73).
Walvoord - The future restoration of Israel will be based on the doctrine of grace rather than the doctrine of judgment and will fulfill the covenant with Abraham which God has pledged Himself to fulfill regardless of Israel's sins and shortcomings. (Every Prophecy of the Bible)
Boice -[ A stanza from a hymn by Martin Luther (Ed: Actually this hymn Out Of The Depths I Cry To Thee is penned by Charles Wesley) aptly summarizes the entire last chapter of Micah's prophecy. If we have understood and responded to the prophecy, we should be able to join in his sentiments.
Though great our sins and sore our wounds
and deep and dark our fall,
His helping mercy hath no bounds,
his love surpassing all.
Our trusty living Shepherd he,
Who shall at last set Israel free
from all their sin and sorrow.
Kaiser concludes the great prophecy of Micah - Only a God who exceeds every comparison, known and unknown, can pardon, forgive, and forget our iniquities, our sins, and our transgressions. Why should any mortal still choose to carry his or her load of guilt when that weight can be borne by our Lord? Why would we not want to have our sins forgiven and cast into the depths of the deepest sea? Only this incomparably great God can also break down the barriers and walls that presently separate Israel and the nations. And one day that is exactly what God will do! He will do such marvelous miracles before the eyes of the watching world that all will be amazed. Even kings will exclaim, “Well shut my mouth!” For they will see what they had not even dared to believe, and they will be ashamed. God is great! God is Great! Therefore, “Who is like our God?” We answer, with Micah, there is nothing and no one that even comes close. He exceeds them all!
Henrietta Mears has a nice summary - The book of Micah seems to be divided into three parts, each beginning with “Hear” (Micah 1:2; 3:1) or “Hear ye” (Micah 6:1). And each closes with a promise:
1. A promise to deliver Israel—Micah 2:12–13
2. A promise to overthrow the enemies in the land—Micah 5:10, 15
3. A promise to fulfill the promise to Abraham—Micah 7:20
(What the Bible Is All About: Bible Handbook)
Look at (regard, pay special attention)(1914)(epiblepo from epi = upon + blepo = to observe, to see) means to literally to turn the eyes upon. The root verb blepo frequently implies looking not nonchalantly but with intent and earnest contemplation. BDAG says epiblepo means to "look intently, to pay close attention to (show special respect for - James 2:3), to look attentively at with implication of personal concern for someone or something. This latter nuance speaks of God's loving care in Luke 1:48. The use in James also conveys the sense of caring too much about or being partial toward. These nuances are interesting to consider as you ponder Lot's wife turning to look back and turning to a pillar of salt (Ge 19:26).
There are only 3 uses in the NT...
Luke 1:48 “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.>
Luke 9:38 And behold, a man from the multitude shouted out, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only [boy,]
James 2:3 you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”
Epiblepo - 85v in Septuagint -
Ge 19:26, 28; Ex 14:24; Lev 26:9; Nu 12:10; 21:9; Dt 9:27; Jdg 20:40, 42, 45, 47; 1Sa 1:11; 2:29; 7:2; 9:16; 13:17-18; 14:13; 16:7; 24:8; 2Sa 1:7; 2:20; 9:8; 1Kgs 7:25; 8:28; 18:43; 19:6; 2Kgs 3:14; 13:23; 2Chr 6:19; 16:9; 20:24; Esther 4:17; Ps 13:3; 25:16; Ps 33:13-14; 66:7; 69:16; 74:20; 80:14; 84:9; 86:16; 102:17, 19; 104:32; 119:6, 132; 142:4; Pr 24:32; Eccl 2:11f; Isa 63:5; 64:9; 66:2; Jer 4:23, 25; Lam 1:11; 2:20; 3:63; 4:16; 5:1; Ezek 10:11; 17:5; 20:46; 21:2; 36:9; Da 9:17; Hos 11:4; Amos 5:22; Jonah 2:4; Mic 7:7; Nah 2:8; Hab 1:3, 5, 13; 2:15; 3:6; Hag 1:9; Zech 4:10; 6:7; 10:4; 12:10; Mal 2:13; 3:1; Luke 1:48; 9:38;
The first use in the Lxx describes Lot's wife who "looked" (Lxx - epiballo) and as a result became a pillar of salt (Ge 19:26, cp Abraham's look in Ge 19:28 - also epiblepo in Lxx). Clearly she took more than just a glance. Indeed, it was not the glance that got her salted, but it was the inclination of her heart which was predisposed to Sodom and Gomorrha.
Dt 33:13The LORD looks (epiblepo) from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; 14From His dwelling place He looks (epiblepo) out On all the inhabitants of the earth,
Exod 14:24 And it came about at the morning watch, that the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.
1Sam 1:11 And she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thy maidservant and remember me, and not forget Thy maidservant, but wilt give Thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”
Ps 33:13 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; 14 From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth,
Ps 66:7 He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
Ps 102:17 He has regarded the prayer of the destitute, And has not despised their prayer.
Ps 102:19 For He looked down from His holy height; From heaven the LORD gazed upon the earth,
Ps 104:32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke.
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.
- Inductive Bible Study - Guidelines to Assure Accurate Interpretation
- Inductive Bible Study Interpretation of Prophetic Scripture
- Interpretative Views of the Revelation of Jesus Christ
- Allegorical Interpretation - Tony Garland
- Interpreting Symbols - Tony Garland
- Basic Considerations in Interpreting Prophecy - John Walvoord
- Millennium - Biblical descriptions of this time on earth, primarily from the OT prophets
- See this list of the best Commentaries on the Book of Micah
- 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)
- Baker, Warren; Carpenter, Eugene E., The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament, AMG Publishers, 2003.
- Barker, Kenneth L.: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah- An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (New American Commentary) Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers., 2001, 1999
- Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible Notes on Micah, 2006 (also synchronizes with Constable's notes)
- Constable, Thomas, Expository Notes on Micah 1-7
- Davis, Dale Ralph, A Study Commentary on Micah, Evangelical Press, 2010
- Goins, Doug - Do Justice; Love Kindness
- Guzik, David - Micah 6 Commentary
- Harris, R. Laird; Archer, Gleason L., Jr.; Waltke, Bruce K.: Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT); Moody Press, 2003
- Kaiser, W. C.: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 23: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: Thomas Nelson Inc., 1992.
- Hindson, Ed and Kroll, Woodrow: King James Version Bible Commentary Nashville: Thomas Nelson; 2005.
- Martin, John The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament) Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- McComiskey, Thomas: The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 7- Daniel and the Minor Prophets
- McComiskey, Thomas Edward: The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary, Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, MI, 2009
- MacKay, John L., Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah (Focus on the Bible Commentary), Christian Focus Publications, 2008.
- McGee, J Vernon Micah Commentary - Thru the Bible Commentary (Mp3's format only)
- Patterson, Richard D.; Hill, Andrew E: Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 10: Minor Prophets, Hosea–Malachi, Tyndale House Publishers, 2008
- Exploring the Minor Prophets. Kregel, 2002, Phillips, John
- Swanson, James: A Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains- Hebrew
- Waltke, Bruce - A Commentary on Micah- Eerdmans Publishing - Jan, 2007
- Wiersbe, Warren: Be Concerned (Micah)- Making a Difference in Your Lifetime. David C Cook. 2010
- Wiseman, Donald J.; Alexander, T. Desmond; Waltke, Bruce K., Obadiah, Jonah and Micah: an introduction and commentary, InterVarsity Press, 1988,Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries