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Bible Commentaries
Micah 7

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-20

Micah 7:1 . I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits. “I am become as the gatherers of late figs, as the gleaners of the vintage.” NEWCOME.

Micah 7:8 . Rejoice not against me, oh mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise. The prophet here anticipates the language of the church in captivity. Zion would have a fall, and for a time would sit in darkness. Babylon would cast her down, and shut her up as it were in prison, bound in affliction and iron. Psalms 107:10-12. In this situation her inveterate enemies would rejoice over her. Edom and Babylon would triumph in the hope of her final ruin. But though Zion should fall, it would not be to rise no more, like other communities which have perished from the earth; and though she should sit in darkness, the Lord would be a light unto her. She could look her enemies in the face, and foretel the shame and confusion that should cover them, when they should be trodden down as the mire of the streets: Micah 7:10. Nations and kingdoms are doomed to fall, and rise no more, but the kingdom of Christ shall endure for ever. Egypt and Edom, the oppressors of the church, where are they? They said of Zion, rase it, rase it, even to the foundation; but they themselves have been rased from the earth, and Israel lived to see them buried. Where now is Babylon, that mighty city? Zion witnessed her downfall: her kingdom was numbered and finished, but the church lives and lives for ever.

Micah 7:12 . He shall come to thee from Assyria. As this text refers to the gathering of converts from the surrounding nations, the pronoun must be in the plural, “they shall come.” So most of the versions read. The fortress refers apparently to Egypt. 2 Kings 19:24. The river is thought to be the Euphrates. So the Synopsis.

Micah 7:14 . Feed thy people with thy rod. These words are an apostrophe to Christ, the great and good shepherd: Micah 5:2-5. No shepherd, no god is like our God, forbearing, indulgent, and kind.


The prophet here identifies himself with the church; he grieves in her grief, and weeps in her tears. The first characteristic of piety is, in God’s esteem, to sigh for the wickedness of the people amongst whom we dwell; and to pray for a revival of religion in low and degenerate times. Woe is me, for my assemblies are attended but with the poorest of the people, who subsist on the gleanings of the vintage, and by the humblest occupations in life. I no longer see the heads of houses come forward as the friends of God, and the patrons of piety: they all walk in the high route of dissipation and crime. Hence the poor man who finds a difficulty in procuring food and raiment, should not repine at his lot: were he indulged with the luxuries of life, he might, like the rich, forget the Lord. Meanwhile, let us, like Zion, long for the first ripe fruits. Let us pray that the lovely youth of the age may not become the victims of vice, but be early converted to the Lord, and consecrate all their future days to his glory.

We have here the extreme wickedness of the Hebrew public. It was a total depravity, extending from the prince to the judges, and from the judges or nobles to the people. Good men had ceased from the higher walks of life; and the wicked were divided into factions, more eager of the blood of their rivals than the wild beasts are of their prey. A man could trust neither friend, nor host, nor wife. This happened in the reign of that wicked Ahaz, who polluted the Lord’s house, who burnt his child to Moloch, and so enrooted vice in the kingdom, that the reformations under Hezekiah, and under Josiah, were not able to eradicate it.

Next we have the duties of watchmen in evil times. They must connect great wickedness with great chastisements; they must cry, now thy visitation cometh! Nor did the vengeance slumber; for Resin king of Syria invaded and plundered Judah; and after that calamity, Pekah, the son of Remaliah, slew in one day a hundred and twenty thousand of the army of Ahaz. 2 Chronicles 28:0. And surely no feeling man can view this portrait without casting a pitying eye on the morals of our country, and on the state of our capital. May God Almighty inspire his watchmen to make united efforts for the conversion of the people.

We have also the church’s comfort under the desponding gloom of present evils. I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation. In man I have no hope; therefore I will hope in the Lord alone. Hence, leaning on the anchor of the promises, she says to the invading foe, “Rejoice not against me, oh mine enemy. When I fall, I shall rise again; when I sit in the darkness of captivity, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” And the promises which are made to the church, are made also to individual members of the church. Therefore every believer who falls under trouble may say, rejoice not against me; nor mock me, saying, where is thy God? Psalms 42:3. Matthew 27:43. When I fall, I shall rise again; when I sit in the darkness of affliction, as Job on the dunghill, the Lord shall change my darkness into day, and lift upon me the light of his countenance.

The church not only comforted herself with the hope of a return from captivity, but likewise with the prospect of evangelical glory. She saw, as in Micah 7:12, converts flowing to her from Assyria, from the fenced cities, from Egypt, from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain. Isaiah in the same manner saw kings coming to her light, and gentiles to her brightness: chap. 40. She saw the Messiah feed his flock in Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead, as in the days of old. She saw signs and wonders wrought by the Lord, and the nations confounded in silence at his works.

The church lastly consoled herself in the incomparable characters of the divine mercy in the remission of sins. Who is a God like unto thee, that passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? When good men view the mercy of God in pardoning a long line of sins, complicated sins, repeated and provoking sins, they are vanquished by the weight of grace. What, says the soul, all iniquity forgiven! Blotted out as a cloud, to be remembered no more, and cast as a burden into the depths of the sea. And all these oft repeated pardons, all this frequent dropping of the clouds of anger, only introductory to the richer blessings of the covenant. Oh it is not because of any merit in me, but because thou delightest in mercy; because thou delightest to fill the earth with thy glory, and to people heaven with the trophies of redeeming love.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Micah 7". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/micah-7.html. 1835.
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