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The Sins that Bring Ruin
Micah 2, 3, as dealing with the same subject, should be read together.
Micah now enumerates the sins which must bring punishment on Judah. He inveighs bitterly against the rapacity of the rich towards their poorer neighbours. The leaders in the capital, judges, prophets, and priests alike are destitute of the religion which makes a man interpret his power as a means of helping men and so glorifying God. Instead they regard it as a means to win money and position to themselves. The national institutions have been degraded into a means by which selfish men aggrandise themselves (Micah 2:1-2, Micah 2:8-9; Micah 3:1-5, Micah 3:9-10). Therefore these shall not continue (Micah 2:3-5), and even Jerusalem shall be plowed as a field (Micah 3:12). The leaders reproach Micah as no patriot since he utters such things against his people, and no prophet since he forgets that God must save His chosen nation (Micah 2:6-7). Micah replies that God will keep His nation, but that Jerusalem is not essential to God’s purpose. When the capital is mined, the nation may only be made more fit to fulfil its true ends in the world (Micah 2:12-13).
2. Cp. 1 Kings 21 for the Israelite’s attachment to his heritage.
3. This family] cp. ’The whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt’ (Amos 3:1). I devise] as contrasted with their devising (Micah 2:1).
4. Turning away] RV ’to the rebellious,’ i.e. God divides the ill-gotten fields to heathen and idolaters. 5. This may mean that the oppressor nobles shall have none to cast the measuring line on an allotment, when the periodical redistribution of the land took place, and some respect was had to old family rights. Their line is to fail.
The text of Micah 2:4 and Micah 2:5 is uncertain, but the sense is clear. It shall be rendered to them as they have rendered to others.
6. Cp. Isaiah 30:9-11. Translate: ’prattle not, thus they (the nobles) prattle. They (the prophets) should not prattle of these things; their scoldings are unceasing.’ The nobles turn on Micah. Prophets have no right to meddle with social and political questions, but should leave them to men whose business it is to deal with them. We are weary of this eternal scolding.
7. The first part of the V. probably continues the speech of the nobles: ’Shall it be said, O. house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straitened? are these His doings?’ Can we, a nation whom God called the house of Jacob, endure to hear a prophet foretell its ruin? Micah replies abruptly, ’Tour sins are blinding you. My words are good to men who bring a conscience to their appreciation.’
8. Even] RV ’but.’ With the garment] RV ’from off the garment.’ The robe is a mantle, the garment what is usually called the upper garment. Men averse from war] quiet, peaceful people. Micah seems to refer to some merciless treatment meted out by creditors to their debtors: cp. Exodus 22:26, Exodus 22:27.
9. My glory] i.e. their inheritance in the holy land. The prophet implies that women and children are being sold into foreign captivity.
10. Because it is polluted, etc.] better, ’because of uncleanness ye shall be destroyed with a sore destruction.’ They shall be driven from the land from which they have driven others. Their guilt makes the land no resting-place for them.
11. In the spirit and falsehood] better, ’after wind and lies.’ What promises material benefits alone appeals to them.
12, 13. An oracle of restoration, which has been inserted between the two denunciations, when the separate oracles were collected in writing. Micah promises restoration, when the judgment has done its work. The expulsion from the land (Micah 2:10) shall not be permanent.
12. The sheep of Bozrah, etc.] better, ’as sheep into a fold, as a flock into the midst of the pasture.’ The great noise is the noise of the joy at return.
13. Read the verbs throughout as perfect. The writer speaks as though what he promises had already taken place. The breaker] or, ’deliverer’: they have been shut up as in a prison. One will come to open their way.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Micah 2". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24