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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Micah 6

 

 

Verses 1-16


God's Arraignment of His people

1-8. Micah's message to the discouraged believers. They have lost heart because of the apparent contradiction between the promises of their prophets and the hard facts of their history. They have lost faith in God's grace, and are trying to propitiate His favour by such sacrifices as the heathen offered to their gods. Micah appeals to nature, to history, and to the reasonable service God requires. He calls on the hills to witness what God has done (Micah 6:1-2). He appeals to the great deeds of God's redemption for His people (Micah 6:3-5). He insists on the simplicities of God's requirements (Micah 6:6-8).

2. Strong] RV 'enduring.' The mountains have outlived so many generations of disobedience and unwearied mercy: cp. Isaiah 1:2.

3. Wearied] God's demands are so simple (Micah 6:8).

5. From Shittim unto Gilgal, etc.] RV 'Remember from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know the righteous acts of the Lord.' Shittim was the last station of the desert-wanderings, Gilgal the first in Palestine itself. The prophet reminds them how in their national history God has proved His compassion.

6. 7. The people are represented as asking what more God requires from them.

6. Calves of a year old] a choice gift: cp. Leviticus 9:3.

7. Human sacrifice was practised (2 Kings 21:6; Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 9:5), especially in times of great national danger (2 Kings 3:27).

8. Micah brings forward to a generation which is seeking fantastic ways of propitiating its God, the grave and tender simplicities of His requirements. He does not want their wine and oil and children: He wants their obedience. The other things are only valuable to Him as the evidence of their willing obedience. Compare how, when Abraham has shown himself willing to surrender his son, Isaac is not required from him.

9. The text is uncertain but the sense is clear. 'When God speaks in warning, it is the part of a wise man to fear (RM) and to seek to discover the reason why God uplifts His rod.' The reasons in this case follow in the succeeding questions.

10. The scant measure] cp. Deuteronomy 24:14 f. Amos 8:5.

11. Shall I count them pure] RV 'shall I be pure,' i.e. can any man be pure?

13. RV 'Therefore I also have smitten thee with a grievous wound.'

14. Thy casting down, etc.] RM 'thy emptiness shall be in the midst of thee,' i.e. thy famine shall continue, because thou shalt have food but not sufficient. Thou shalt take hold, etc.] RV 'thou shalt remove but shalt not carry away safe,' i.e. thou shalt fail in the effort to remove thy people from the enemy's power.

15. Sweet wine] RV 'vintage.' 'Thou shaft tread the grapes, but shalt not drink the wine made from them.'

16. The statutes of Omri and the works of Ahab's house are the worship of Baal: cp. 1 Kings 16:31-33. Manasseh has gone back to the sins of the northern kingdom, though its fate might have warned him: cp. 2 Kings 21:13. The reproach of my people] better, with LXX, 'the reproach of the Gentiles,' which Ahab's house, through the captivity which was the punishment for its idolatry, is bearing.


Verses 1-20


God's Great Controversy with Israel

Note the change in the prophet's attitude. He speaks no longer to a united nation, but to parties. Now he speaks to a party, pious but discouraged (Micah 6:1-8); again, he testifies against men who have turned their backs on the Law (Micah 6:9-16). Persecution for religion's sake has appeared, and taught men to distrust each other (Micah 7:2-6) Probably the chapters date from the time of Manasseh. Sennacherib recoiled baffled from Jerusalem, but Assyria was not exhausted. Esarhaddon succeeded in making Manasseh tributary in 676 b.c. Their religion had not brought Judah all the relief men expected. The heathen elements in the nation, repressed by Isaiah's and Hezekiah's influence, reasserted themselves. A reaction set in and found a leader in Manasseh: cp. 2K21. Especially men remembered that in his reign persecution for religion's sake was practised: cp. 2 Kings 21:16.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Micah 6:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/micah-6.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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