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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Micah 3

Verses 1-12

MICAH - CHAPTER 3

Verses 1-12:

Continued Ruler Brutality

Verse 1 begins with an abrupt, second "hear ye," as in Micah 1:2; and Micah 6:1. Micah turns from a description of Israel’s far-off-future glory to the present cruelty of her civil and priestly and religious rulers who are addressed as: 1) heads of Jacob, 2) princes of the house of Israel, and 3) inquires if they are not to know, expected to know, judgment? They were administrators of justice and supposed to regard just judgment, Isaiah 42:25. It was their official function, as prescribed by law, Deuteronomy 1:13; Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 16:18; 2 Chronicles 19:5; 2 Chronicles 19:10; Psalms 82:1; Jeremiah 5:4-5; 1 Corinthians 6:5; Romans 2:1.

Verse 2 charges them with "hating the good and loving the evil," perverting or distorting righteousness. They "skinned" the people to the bone, in making unjust decisions in moral and properly matters, to impoverish and enslave their own people, while lining *heir own pockets, Ezekiel 22:27; Zephaniah 3:3; Ezekiel 34:2-4. See also Psalms 14:4; Proverbs 30:14.

Verse 3 describes these greedy leaders as eating the flesh, flaying the skin, and breaking the bones of God’s common people in Israel; With barbarous cruelty they destroyed the human dignity of their own people. They are further described as chopping or hacking their flesh in pieces, as if to boil them in a pot or cauldron, like the flesh of beasts of field or forest, a gruesome, inhumane form of behavior for any human, let alone rulers of Israel, See? Ezekiel 24:3.

Verse 4 declares that at their cry, when their judgment falls, because of their perverted justice, God will not hear, will withdraw His mercy, as also declared Jeremiah 7:11; Jeremiah 11:14; Jeremiah 35:15; Jeremiah 35:17; Proverbs 1:24-33; Proverbs 29:1. Men can reject God’s call, willfully turn away from doing right, until it is too late. Sodom and Gomorrah did, the rich man in hell did. his five brothers bordered on it, Hebrews 3:7-8; Hebrews 4:7; 2 Corinthians 6:2.

Verse 5 describes false prophets who make His people to err; See 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. Those in Israel were prophesying with flattery, and promising security from judgment, to the people. As long as they were fed, they ate and preached what the people wanted to hear, promising peace and prosperity, giving God and Micah His true prophet the lie. They made war and oppression against those who didn’t feed them first, put into their greedy, gluttonous, and lying mouths first, like an hireling who only stands- by for what he can get out of it, then flees when danger approaches, Matthew 7:15-17; John 10:10; John 10:12-13.

Verse 6 warns that a dark night shall be upon these rulers who shall have no wisdom, so that they, being spiritually blind, can have no vision from God, see no escape from judgment, Ezekiel 13:23. The sun would go down upon them, as leaders, and they would not be able to see or guide themselves or others any longer. This darkness alludes to coming calamities that should accompany the invading and destroying Assyrian armed forces, Isaiah 8:22; Amos 5:18; Amos 8:9. They would be caused to cease to even pretend to foretell future events. Zechariah 13:4-5.

Verse 7 describes the humiliation of false prophets when earthly judgment falls, when the invading armies swoop down upon Israel from Assyria, a modest foretaste of final, Divine judgment on all false prophets, Matthew 7:22-23; Revelation 20:10. With lips, tongue, and mouth they had preached lies, flattery, and now they cover their lips and faces, as a token of utter shame and disgrace as described Leviticus 13:45; Ezekiel 24:17. They now dare not open their mouths.

Verse 8 then contrasts Micah’s assertion of his call to speak a message from God tot hem. He calls upon them all to hear and give heed. He spoke by the power of the spirit, as all true prophets did, in contrast with the false prophets of v. 5, 7; 2 Peter 1:21; Luke 2:17; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8. He spoke with the spirit of judgment, not one of false peace to all, as the false prophets had done. At all cost, the true prophet speaks the truth, 2 Timothy 1:7. He was to expose transgressions of the people, not tranquilize or mesmerize them with flattery and false promises of peace, 2 Timothy 4:1-4.

Verse 9 resumes the cry of verse one for heads of Jacob, the rulers who abhorred or loathed just judgment and perverted equity, to listen and respect God’s message to them. This demonstrates that he was "full of power by the spirit of the Lord," v. 8; 1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 2:4.

Verse 10 bluntly charges that the wicked decisions of the civil and religious rulers in the nation of Israel built up Zion by means of innocent blood and Jerusalem by devious, sinful deeds, by bribes, murder contracts, extortion, fraud, usury, reduced wages of the innocent and poor, etc., Jeremiah 22:13; Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk 2:12; James 5:1-6.

Verse 11 explains that the head rulers judged for rewards, as judges, Micah 7:3. And the priests taught for hire, just for money, for no other motive but greed and gain. He was directed to do so with grace, gratuitously, but he ignored his charge or ordination, Leviticus 10:11; Deuteronomy 17:9; Deuteronomy 17:11; Malachi 2:7; Jeremiah 6:13; Judges 1:11. Then Micah directly charges them with covetousness, prophesying or divining for money, against the law, Leviticus 10:11; Deuteronomy 17:11. He, by the spirit, had their ID (identification), yet, they leaned upon, used the name of the Lord, even as they shall do in the last days: But their claims did not harmonize with their deeds and the word of the Lord, Isaiah 48:2; Jeremiah 7:4; Jeremiah 7:8-11; 2 Kings 16:15.

Verse 12 then predicts that because of their sins Zion would be so destroyed, that it would come to be plowed as a field. as it did under both Nebuchadnezzar and Titus’ destruction: It came to grow up like forests following the two destructions, Jeremiah 26:18-19; Isaiah 32:13-14; The latter was in A.D. 70.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Micah 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/micah-3.html. 1985.