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Bible Commentaries

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Micah 7

Introduction

MICAH CHAPTER 7

The church, complaining of the scarcity of good men, Micah 7:1,Micah 7:2,

and the general corruption, Micah 7:3,Micah 7:4,

putteth not confidence in man, but in God, Micah 7:5-7.

She triumpheth in hopes of restoration after affliction, Micah 7:8-13.

She prayeth to God, Micah 7:4.

God answereth her with promises of confounding her enemies, Micah 7:15-17.

God’s mercies to his people, Micah 7:18-20.

Verse 1

All are agreed in the scope and meaning of these words, that they are designed a complaint for the great scarcity of men that feared God, did justice, and loved mercy; and so the prophet begins with a pathetical complaint,

Woe is me! ordinarily this phrase is minatory, but here it is lamentation, as every eye may see who discerns the propriety of the Hebrew.

For I; either the prophet in his own person, or else in the person of the good man; or, by a usual figure, the land may be brought in, complaining, that whereas it was once well stored, now it hath few right good in it.

Am as when they have gathered the summer fruits; all the fair, goodly, and ripe fruit gathered, none left, or none but evil fruit, such as the labourers thought not worth gathering up. So is the harvest of Israel and Judah too; though I and other prophets have sown good seed abundantly, yet goodness comes up very thin and scarce: so Isaiah 24:13,Isaiah 24:16.

As the grape-gleanings of the vintage, the same complaint in a like elegant metaphor, drawn from the vintage-gatherer, who leaves but few scattering single grapes. So Israel and Judah, which in bringing forth good men should have been as a fruitful vine full of clusters, but barren they have been, and are; and good men, i.e. just, compassionate, and humble men, are as grapes after the vintage is gathered.

There is no cluster to eat; such good men’s converse would as much delight, refresh, and encourage me, as a fair cluster of grapes doth a thirsty and hungry person, but there is not one such cluster.

My soul desired; it speaks a vehement desire.

The first-ripe fruit; it is an ellipsis or aposiopesis, and to be supplied thus, but there was, or I found, none.

Verse 2

The good man; who loves and is kind to men in need, and is so from the sense of God’s goodness, and in a designed imitation of God, is godly in the frame of his heart and course of life towards God, and beneficent to men for God’s sake.

Is perished; is dead and gone, and left no heir of his godlike virtues.

Out of the earth; out of Israel and Judah too, though Hezekiah was (probably) now their king.

None upright; an honest, plain-hearted man, who thinketh no deceit, but speaketh the truth, that is, without crooked and perverse designs; such a one may possibly, but not easily, be found among the people of the ten anti of the two tribes.

They all lie in wait for blood: this proves the prophet’s charge against this people, for the good and upright man imagineth not evil against any, but it is evident that in Israel (and Judah too) the temper of the most was sly, designing, and watching to do mischief, to the ruining of families, the murdering of. innocents, and seizing their estates, Ahab like, 1 Kings 21:0; Proverbs 1:19.

They hunt; they proceed with all diligence, craft, and power, as a hunter that hath set his toils, and is now by all his arts endeavouring to bring the prey into the toils, that he may make his advantage by it.

Every man his brother; were they strangers they so hunted it were barbarous, but this is inhumanly barbarous, these bloody men hunt and destroy their brethren, the seed of Jacob, the worshippers of the God of Jacob, their own circumcised brethren.

With a net; which is spread beforehand, and laid close; so it is secret, premeditated cruelty and rapine they do universally exercise against each other.

Verse 3

That they may do evil with both hands earnestly: as we render the words, their plain sense will be, that all their diligence, that with both hands they can use, is to set forward evil and mischief. Possibly this clause might bear this reading, Both hands are towards evil; and then the following clause thus, To do good the prince asketh. The prince; the chief ruler, who commissioneth the judge, and should awe him from perverse judging, who should charge the judges as Jehoshaphat did, 2 Chronicles 19:5,2 Chronicles 19:6; but, contrarily, here the prince set a price upon his own act in evil.

The judge; the inferior magistrate, commissioned to be judge.

Asketh for a reward: shameless injustice! to sell the innocent, and condemn their cause and persons, and to acquit the guilty, and pronounce them just! for a bribe to make God’s authority which is in them to act so directly against itself, is abominably wicked, for God’s authority to them is given that they might relieve the poor oppressed, and acquit innocency, but here innocency must buy its safety, or else is sold to danger.

The great man; either the advocates in their courts of judicature, or the great man of interest at court, who can do what he will there.

He uttereth; is bold to speak plainly what bribe he will have, he makes his own demand, whereas they did (whilst a little modest) treat by others, and a servant or under-officer must make the bargain.

His mischievous desire; his unjust, oppressive design and purpose, knowing that his greatness and interest will bear him out in whatever violence he attempts against poor, weak, and unbefriended innocence; he dares for gain set any thing forward.

So they, all three, prince, judge, and great man, wrap it up, or twist it together, consent each to other, and jointly promote violence and bloody cruelty.

Verse 4

The best; among all naught, who is least naught passeth for best; and so must it be here, not one good, but the least evil man is by the prophet called the best.

Of them; of people, prophets, judges, great men, and princes.

Is as a brier; mischievous and hurtful to all that meddle with them; and perhaps the prophet alludes to briers infolded in each other, that shall so be devoured at last. The most upright; in the same sense upright as they are said to be best.

Is sharper than a thorn hedge; the same in different words, i.e. hurtful and mischievous to all.

The day of thy watchmen; literally taken for such as on the watchtowers observe whether enemies approach; the day in which they shall give the affrighting intelligence, and sound the alarm. Or else figuratively, watchmen, i.e. governors, prophets, and teachers, either good and faithful, or evil and unfaithful. The day which the true prophets foretold would come, which faithful teachers confirmed, good governors believed, feared, and, as Hezekiah, endeavoured to prevent, will certainly overtake you, that day of evil which your sins have provoked God to appoint. Or else, that day of good, which your false prophets have promised, your corrupt princes, judges, great men do expect and hope for, shall be a day of visitation, grievous punishment, by which the falsehood of flattering prophets shall be discovered, and the truth of Micah, and Isaiah, &c., true prophets, be confirmed.

Cometh, i.e. surely, speedily, and unavoidably on impenitent ones, how many or how great soever.

Now; when the day is come as to Samaria in its captivity by the Assyrian tyrant, and to Jerusalem in the Babylonish captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, and in many other nows intervening between the time of Micah’s minatory predictions and the full accomplishment of them.

Shall be their perplexity; the astonishing, overwhelming sorrows, fears, and confusions which shall wreck these great, notorious, and impudent oppressors, hunters, and sellers of justice. They shall be perplexed because the sore evils foretold by the true prophets of God shall overwhelm them, and because the peace and prosperity promised by the false prophets is unexpectedly turned into troubles, desolation, and utter ruin to their state, cities, and families.

Verse 5

Trust ye not in a friend: most prodigiously treacherous were the people of that age, and since none upright, all lay in wait for blood, and were turned hunters of brethren, it is but necessary caution that they trust no friendship.

A guide; either a governor, who ought to guide; or equal, who being of intimate familiarity usually do guide; or a husband, as the word imports.

Keep the doors of thy mouth; watch thy words, let not thy tongue discover any secret or utter any words which may be danger to thyself, or give an advantage to thine enemy.

From her that lieth in thy bosom; a periphrasis of a wife in honest times; but whether in debauched times, as these are of which the prophet did speak, it may not import somewhat like that Proverbs 5:20, I will not say: a wife, one may rationally suppose, will never disclose a husband’s secrets to ruin him; yet such were the treacheries of that corrupt age, that it would be imprudence to trust a with.

Verse 6

For: the prophet here gives us a reason of his advice to be wary how and whom they trust.

The son; who received his being, maintenance, education, and inherits the honour as well as estate of his father; the son, obliged by most inviolable laws to please, preserve, and honour his father,

dishonoureth, seeks to accuse, vilify, endanger, and ruin

the father; whose dishonour and loss, or ruin, is also the son’s dishonour and ruin; yet unnatural treachery will be so rife in those times, that the father had need keep his guard upon his very son.

The daughter, whose love and affection are usually more tender than the sons’ towards parents, yet will forget their duty.

Riseth up against her mother, that bare them, that nursed them, that, more than fathers, tend, indulge, and bear with them. So monstrous shall the perfidiousness of that age be.

The daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law: in consanguinity there was not any faithfulness, in affinity much less may you expect it.

A man’s enemies, the worst and most perilous enemies, who will be most ready and most able to do them mischief,

are the men of his own house; among relations and retainers, who by law of God and nature should have been faithfullest friends. So it fell out through the civil wars of the Jews, in their seditious and in their calamitous days. Much like to this is that of Christ, Matthew 10:21,Matthew 10:35,Matthew 10:36.

Verse 7

Therefore, since times are so calamitous, and all sorts of men are so perfidious, since no sure comfort or relief from those that are nearest relations, and should be dearest friends,

I will look; as one set in a watch-tower looks round about, and diligently observes all that stirreth; so will the prophet, speaking in the person of the faithful, the Israel of God; so did they who in Israel and Judah feared the Lord and walked with him;

unto the Lord, the God of mercy, power, truth, and wisdom, who can and will help.

I will wait for, though he do not presently appear for me, saith the church, I will with patience expect,

the God of my salvation; who only can, and who graciously hath promised to save his church.

My God will hear me; he doth hear my cry, and will deliver me.

Verse 8

The prophet in this verse personates the church, and brings her in bespeaking the enemy in this manner:

Rejoice not; let it be no pleasure or matter of glorying to time, that the day of calamity hath overtaken me.

Against me; Israel of God, the remnant, the faithful, which are the church of God.

O mine enemy; O Assyria, Edom, or Babylon. When I fall, into a low condition, into deepest distresses, I shall arise; I shall not always lie in them, God will raise me out of them.

When I (the prophet intends the good, the few righteous ones among those degenerate multitudes) sit in darkness, when affliction, war, famine, and captivity, as a dismal cloud, shall cover us, and benight the daughter of light, when fallen as low as a captive,

the Lord shall be a light unto me; shall support, comfort, and deliver me, his presence and favour shall, as the sun rising, dispel the darkness of the night. This is spoken more especially concerning Judah.

Verse 9

I will bear, patiently and submissively, the indignation of the Lord; the just and chastising anger of the Lord, in the effects of it upon me.

Because I have sinned against him, greatly, continually, both against his law and the precepts thereof, and against his love and the effects thereof. Judah was guilty of idolatry, ingratitude against God; and of injustice, unfaithfulness, and unmercifulness against one another; and these sins deserved sorer punishments than they suffered, therefore the righteous ones here justify God, and humble themselves.

Until he plead my cause against mine enemy, for that he will ere long do, as well as now he doth plead his own cause against me. He will be as well a just judge against mine enemies, to avenge me on them, as he is a just God, by my sins provoked to chastise me.

And execute judgment for me; when that day comes, he will certainly and evidently declare his judgment to be against mine insulting adversaries, my cruel enemies, and that he doth so punish them for my sake, as Psalms 137:7; Isaiah 10:5,Isaiah 10:12; Jeremiah 30:8; Zechariah 1:12,Zechariah 1:15.

He, the great and glorious, the holy and just God, who now chastiseth me,

will bring me forth to the light; as a prisoner brought out of a dark prison or dungeon into the light, is set at liberty, advanced and beautified, so shall the church be delivered and made to prosper.

I shall behold his righteousness; the truth and riches of his promised salvation. This made good, partly in the restitution of the captivity, rebuilding of Jerusalem by order of Cyrus and Darius, and partly before this in Hezekiah’s rescue from Sennacherib’s pride and rage.

Verse 10

Then; in the time of this hoped deliverance, when God shall, as I expect he will, plead my cause.

Mine enemy; what nation or people soever, whether Assyria, Edom, or Babylon, or whoever.

Shall see; as they did when Hezekiah was miraculously saved, and Jerusalem with him, out of the hand of the Assyrian, and as in the return out of Babylon, when the heathen said among themselves,

The Lord hath done great things for them, Psalms 126:2.

Shame, reproach and confusion, self-condemning reflections,

shall cover her; shall on all sides be cast upon her for her pride, cruelty, and inhumanity against the Israel of God.

Which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God? which with insulting pride and atheism derided my faith and my God. So the heathen either denied the omnipresence and omnipotence of the true God, or preferred their idols above him, and as if he had been a conquered and captived God, as well as his people were a captive people. So Psalms 115:2; Joel 2:17.

Mine eyes: the church speaketh assured of the truth of God’s avenging her upon her enemies.

Shall behold her; with delight, or well-pleasedness, the people of God shall see their enemies laid as low for their cruelty against them, as ever God suffered the enemy to lay his people low for their sins against him and his mercies. See the like expression, Psalms 59:10; Micah 4:11.

Now shall she; either shortly she shall; or else, when that time of full deliverance is come, the church shall in that day rejoice in her God, and say

Now. Be trodden down as the mire of the streets; be accounted and used as most contemptible and useless, the conquering enemy shall then tread the Babylonians in the dirt, and use them despitefully, and without more regard than that we have for the dirt under our feet; and this was accomplished by the Medes and Persians in their conquest of Babylon.

Verse 11

These words are variously expounded, but the plainest and most suiting with the letter and history to me seems to be this:

In the day that thy walls are to be built; O Jerusalem, the days shall certainly come, that thy walls, overthrown and razed by the Babylonians, shall be rebuilt; which was first in part fulfilled under Cyrus, but more fully under Darius Hystaspes, and Darius Longimanus, who commissioned Nehemiah to repair the walls of Jerusalem.

Shall the decree; either the decree of Artaxerxes, who is also called Cambyses, and who forbade the building of the temple, or else the decree of Darius Hystaspes, reviving Cyrus’s decree for the return of all the Jews that would return.

Be far removed; for ever cease; if referred to Cambyses’s decree, this shall no more hinder; or else, shall be dispersed far and wide among all the provinces, if you mean Cyrus’s decree that all may return.

Verse 12

In that day, after the Jews’ return out of captivity, and Jerusalem rebuilt, he who is of Jewish race, and proselyted Gentile,

shall come even to thee, O Jerusalem, seat of God’s solemn worship, type of the gospel church, restored to thy promised glory.

From Assyria; in which many Israelites were found captives when the Babylonian kingdom swallowed up the Assyrian, and were continued in that servitude by the Babylonians till the Medes and Persians overthrew the Babylonians, and proclaimed a release to all captive Jews; then from Assyria did captive Israel, i.e. some of them, go up to Jerusalem.

From the fortified cities; in which it is probable many Jews were kept for servile works: Shalmaneser did place the captivity of the ten tribes in the cities of the Medes, which, for aught I know, may be the cities here spoken of.

From the fortress: one mentioned for all the rest, and I suppose these fortresses might be frontier garrisons made for defence of the country, where the Jews were in policy placed by the Assyrian; from these places, and through all the country,

even to the river; to Euphrates or Chebar, where also were of the captive Jews.

From sea to sea; from the Caspian to the Persian and to the Midland Sea.

From mountain to mountain; on which many of the dispersed Jews did in all likelihood settle themselves in process of time for security and retirement, as the persecuted Waldenses and Albigenses settled in the mountainous parts bordering on France, Savoy, and Italy. Or from Mount Taurus to Mount Libanus or Carmel. In brief, from all parts of their captivity they shall return to their own country, a singular type of the redemption of the church by Christ, the bringing in the Gentiles, and enlarging the Messiah’s kingdom.

Verse 13

Notwithstanding, Heb. And, but well rendered here Not-withstanding, viz. these promises of restitution, and gathering in the dispersed Jews, &c., which took not place till more than two hundred years after they were first made by the Lord to his people; accounting thus, one hundred and thirty-three years from the captivating of Samaria to the captivating of Jerusalem, seventy years the Babylonish captivity lasted, to which add the years to Darius Hystaspes ere the temple was built, and the years to Darius Longimanus ere the city was built and the walls repaired, it will amount to a considerable sum of years.

The land, of Canaan, shall be desolate; laid so by Shalmaneser, Sennacherib, and Nebuchadnezzar in the ruins of this last seventy years.

Because of them, the sinful Jews, that dwell therein; which now in Micah’s time did, or hereafter shall dwell in it, in Canaan.

For the fruit of their doings; as punishment for their evil doings.

Verse 14

That this verse contains good tidings to the people of God, both to his ancient people, type of his church in gospel days, and to the church of the converted Gentiles, is agreed on all hands, for they are either a direction and command to those God doth appoint by office to be shepherds over his flock, or a prayer to God that he would please to take the care of them, which doth include somewhat more than the bare petition for the blessing. Or it is a prediction of what shall be done for them after their return out of the Babylonish captivity, or a promise made to assure and comfort them during their captivity.

Feed; so Christ directs his officers, or God appointeth Christ to do this; or so the prophet for the people, or the people for themselves, pray to God that he would be their shepherd and feed them. Or the prophet doth in the imperative, instead of the future, tell them what shall be, which is a promise express enough for their support and comfort.

Thy people; literally, Israel after the flesh, returned out of captivity; mystically, the whole Israel of God, redeemed out of a worse captivity; both a people peculiar to God through grace by covenant, and through Christ.

With thy rod; in allusion to the usage of shepherds, who guided their sheep by a pastoral staff: the peculiar and gracious providence of God over his sheep is hereby expressed, and desired or promised.

The flock of thine heritage; they are as sheep, weak, not able to defend or provide for themselves, a flock of innocent ones compared with their enemies; and, however they have been scattered, they are thine heritage still, which thou, O Lord, hast purchased of old: let them be so still, and do thou both possess, rule, feed, and preserve, Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalms 100:3.

Which dwell solitarily in the wood; feed, graciously protect and guide, those that in their present captive state are solitary, compassed with dangers from wild beasts; so thy people are in danger by cruel enemies, worse than wild beasts.

Carmel; a fruitful place and well inhabited, whether you take it for Carmel which Elijah frequented, or where Nabal dwelt, and where was rich pastures and safe feeding. Bashan; a place of note for fruitfulness in Canaan.

Gilead; equal with any of the others for plenty and safety.

As in the days of old; before the sins of the people caused their captivity; own them for thine and prosper them, O Lord, in their own land: a much like promise or prediction you have Jeremiah 1:18,Jeremiah 1:19; Ezekiel 34:25.

Verse 15

These words are by all looked on as the answer made to the prayer made in the 14th verse. You Jews do often reflect on the wonders your fathers saw in Egypt some hundreds of years since, and some of you think that such wonders would both establish your hope and engage your obedience for ever to God, you pray that you may be fed as in days of old; it shall be so, according to what I have done I will again do. There I slew the first-born ere they would let thee go free; that stroke of the angel I will parallel with the destruction of Sennacherib’s host in one night, and so I will preserve my people and city. Pharaoh and his host were drowned in the Red Sea, and the Babylonish kingdom shall be swallowed up by Medes and Persians to make way for my ransomed ones.

Show unto him; the person changed, as is usual in Scripture.

Marvellous things; as indeed the rescuing Jerusalem from the Assyrian power was marvellous, and the bringing Israel out of Babylon was a marvellous work of God, stirring up the spirit of Cyrus and Darius and others to release, and set free, nay, to furnish this captive people with necessaries for their journey, and for the work they were to do. So Psalms 126:2, it was a work all wondered at; by those passages, Jeremiah 16:14,Jeremiah 16:15; Jeremiah 23:7,Jeremiah 23:8, it seems more wonderful; but the great redemption by the Messiah here typified is a most wonderful fulfilling of this.

Verse 16

The nations; the heathen, enemies to the Jews, as Psalms 126:1-3.

Shall see and be confounded; amazed at what they see and know done amongst these nations for the deliverance of his people. The enemy shall neither be able to bear the sight, nor deny the certainly of the thing; it will make them enviously look on the prosperity of the good and godly among the Jews.

They shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf: as men seldom fail to hear the first report of what they desire, and as seldom open their ears to that they like not; so shall, it be here, though they will not speak of it, nor desire others should speak of it, yet they should, to their great grief, see their poor captives raised out of depth of shame to the height of honour, from a contemptible remnant to a mighty nation. As this had its typical complement in the reduction of Israel out of Babylon, so it had its antitypical completion in our redemption by Christ. As 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Verse 17

They, the proud and cruel enemies of Israel, the Babylonians, shall lick the dust; in the most submissive, servile manner testify their subjection, promise to serve and honour the Jews released out of captivity: it is an expression which alludes to the servile manner of those Eastern complimenters, Psalms 72:9; Isaiah 49:23, and was fulfilled in the days after the return. when the kings of Persia favoured the Jews, and (as the manner of courtiers is) in compliance with their kings the grandees forwarded the prosperity of the Jews, as may easily be conjectured from the 6th and 7th chapters of Ezra.

Like a serpent; condemned to eat the dust and perpetually to crawl on the dust; it seems to intimate. the perpetuity of slavery and subjection that the enemy should fall under, and that it should be on them as a curse like that on the serpent.

They shall move out of their holes, so the strong holds and fastnesses of the Babylonians, who kept Israel in captivity, are called, like worms of the earth; which do with trembling and haste wriggle themselves out of their holes when the earth is shaken about them, or as when ants tumultuously in their fright run about from the ant-hill scattered with the foot; so should these enemies of Israel flee out of their holds, and leave them to conquering Persians, as Isaiah foretold, Isaiah 45:1-4.

They shall be afraid; a panic fear, expressed by the loosening of the loins of kings, Isaiah 45:1; so did the conquering Cyrus proceed in the course of his victories, as Isaiah 41:2,Isaiah 41:3, God strengthened his arm, and left the heart of Babylonians sinking within them.

Of the Lord our God; who did powerfully work for Cyrus in order to the delivering us out of captivity. It was our God, (saith the prophet in the person of Israel,) for his promise’ sake made to us, who did those great things by Cyrus and for us.

And shall fear because of thee; so that the name of Jews, their power and greatness shall be terrible to their enemies.

Verse 18

Lest what hath been spoken of this wonderful change in the affairs of the Jews should on one hand be thought to be made for the righteousness or worthiness of this people, or else on the other hand should seem too great to be done for a sinful people, and so any should doubt whether it should be done at all, the prophet, in this and the two following verses, proposeth the ground of all this, laid on the unparalleled grace of God toward his people, who pardoneth their unrighteousness, and then of free mercy delivers them from their afflictions and distresses, changing their darkness into light.

Who is a God like unto thee? some observe that El here used signifieth the mighty God, and so render it thus, the French, le Dieu fort; none but the sovereign, mighty God can or doth forgive iniquity, it is a flower of the crown of Heaven, Exodus 34:6,Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Mark 2:7. This interrogatory and admiration is a strong negation.

Pardoneth iniquity; taketh away the guilt and punishment too by his pardon.

Passeth by; a from of speech used amongst us when we promise not to pursue an offence, or not to exact the punishment of it, or as if we either saw it not, or voluntarily winked at it, being resolved that we would not make it a cause of quarrel or breach.

Transgression: it will not suit our brevity to inquire the difference between iniquity and transgression, or whether they are here synonymous. and explicatory of each other; God passeth by the forfeits we make, and strips us not of our mercies.

Of the remnant of his heritage: this intimateth the reason why God doth, as well as to the person to whom he doth, pardon sin; that grace which made them his heritage, and reserved them to himself in the common destruction, the same grace doth as freely pardon and pass by, that it may do them good. No worthiness in them to whom it is done, and yet greatest certainty it shall be done, as Romans 4:16.

He retaineth not his anger for ever; though in his just displeasure God did send them into captivity, yet because he doth not retain his anger for ever, their captivity shall not be for ever, he will chastise his remnant, but not consume them, Zechariah 1:3.

Because he delighteth in mercy; all from the exceeding riches of his mercy; it is his delight to show mercy, and we need inquire no further: our God is so wonderfully merciful that it is his pleasure to show mercy, and if a man sometimes may give this as a reason why he doth a thing, surely our God may well expect that we should acquiesce in this account of his doing so. He delighteth to do it, Psalms 103:8,Psalms 103:9; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 57:16; Jeremiah 3:5,Jeremiah 3:12; Revelation 4:11.

Verse 19

He will turn again; spoken after the manner of man, who in his anger went away resolved to right himself, but on second thoughts, laying aside his anger, turns again to be reconciled and forgive. So the next words explain these.

He will have compassion upon us; with tender bowels he will show himself gracious to us, Jonah 3:9.

He will subdue our iniquities; as our enemies and his, God will break the power, abolish the dominion of sin, which whilst it reigned provoked God and undid us, it polluted and ruined us; but God will pardon the guilt and abrogate the law of sin, and so restore his people, suitable to that Ezekiel 36:29-34.

Thou wilt cast: here is a hypallage of the person from the third to the second person, yet without any lessening the sense in strength or clearness.

All their sins; a usual expression in Scripture to set forth the full and eternal pardon of sin; here it is emphatical, all their sins.

Into the depths of the sea; whence ordinarily we account things can never rise or be found more.

Verse 20

Thou, O God of mercy, wisdom, power, and faithfulness, whoever are honoured with being thine instruments and servants in doing somewhat herein, the work is thine, thou wilt raise up a deliverer, Cyrus shall be thine anointed to do this great work.

Wilt perform, Heb. give, actually bestow what thou hast in mercy promised.

The truth; nothing so certain as the word of God, it is the truth by way of eminency, his promise is yea and amen.

To Jacob; the posterity of Jacob; he was that plain-hearted man who now gives name to all the upright and honest among his seed, which God will never finally cast off; though now carried captive, they shall be restored, rebuilt, and re-established, shall flourish, as Micah 7:10-12, and this as they are a type of a more gloriously redeemed people.

The mercy: it was mere grace in God to promise Abraham and his seed such excellent privileges, which Abraham’s natural seed did inherit; but both this seed and this mercy looked beyond the natural descendants of Abraham, and beyond their return to the land of Canaan whence they were carried. The mercy to Abraham was, that in his seed all nations should be blessed and holpen, Luke 1:51,Luke 1:55,Luke 1:68.

To Abraham; not only as father to Israel after the flesh, but to him as father of the faithful.

Which thou hast sworn; not that there was on God’s part any need of such confirmation, but that on our part all doubt might be removed, and we by the immutable things of God might have strong consolation, as Hebrews 6:18.

Unto our fathers; because this mercy was frequently repeated in the promises to the fathers after Abraham’s time, by which promises a mercy to be perpetuated in Abraham’s seed, till the redemption of the Israel of God by the Messiah, (of which all temporal deliverances of Israel were figures,) should be effected. From the days of old; ever since Abraham’s days, and God’s gracious adopting his seed to be the peculiar people of God: into this we do, as Israel did, resolve our assurance of final deliverance. Amen.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Micah 7". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/micah-7.html. 1685.