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A.M. 3284. B.C. 720.
In this chapter we have a prediction,
(1,) Of the prosperity of the church, Micah 4:1-10 .
(2,) Of the destruction of her enemies, Micah 4:11-13 .
Micah 4:1-5. In the last days it shall come to pass, &c., The first three of these verses are the same as Isaiah 2:2-4, where see the notes. They evidently “contain a prophecy which was to be fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah; when the [believing] Gentiles were to be admitted into covenant with God, and the apostles were to preach the gospel, beginning at Jerusalem; when Christ was to be the spiritual Judge and King of many people, was to convince many nations of their errors and vices, and was to found a religion which had the strongest tendency to promote peace.” Newcome. They shall sit every man under his vine, &c. This shall be the effect of that peace foretold in the foregoing verse, every man shall securely enjoy his own possessions, and the fruits of his labours. The expressions are figurative, signifying a state of uninterrupted tranquillity. All people will walk every one in the name of his god It is the practice of all people to serve their gods, and to be attached to the religion of their forefathers, though false and absurd. And surely it much more becomes us to cleave steadfastly to the service of the true God, and not to disobey his laws or forsake his ordinances, as we have too often done. This prophecy will be remarkably fulfilled at the time of the general conversion of the Jews, as has been observed in the notes on the parallel place in Isaiah.
Micah 4:6-7. In that day At that time; will I assemble her that halteth
Or, her that is weak, or bowed down; namely, the Jewish people, weakened with the hard usage of oppressing conquerors. And I will gather her that is driven out Captive Judah, driven out from their own land. And her that I have afflicted That I have subjected to great calamities. The calamity of the seventy years’ captivity in Babylon seems to be chiefly referred to: as if he had said, “Though I have broken the power of my people, removed them into captivity afar off, and afflicted them; yet will I restore them to their country, I will send them the Messiah, and will be always their king.” I will make her that halted a remnant A part of them shall be preserved, as a seed which shall take root and increase, which shall continue to the coming of the Messiah, and in which the designs of my providence shall be accomplished.
Micah 4:8. And thou, O tower of the flock Or, of Eder, as Archbishop Newcome and many others translate the word, considering it as a proper name; a tower in or near Beth-lehem; see Genesis 35:21. Or, as some think, a tower near the sheep-gate in Jerusalem, (Nehemiah 3:1; Nehemiah 3:32,) put here for the whole city. The word signifies a flock; the strong hold of the daughter of Zion Hebrew, Ophel, a strong fort. Both expressions seem to be put for the whole city. Unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion This was intended to signify the great honour coming to mount Zion, that the former dominion, the government, after seventy years’ captivity, should return to the former royal family, the house of David, and continue in it till Shilo came. This, in the type, was fulfilled after the restoration of the Jews to their own land under Zerubbabel and his successors; but the whole antitype concerns the Messiah’s kingdom.
Micah 4:9-10. Now Now I have promised such great things to you, why dost thou cry out aloud As a woman in the anguish of her travail? Here the Jewish people are addressed, as bewailing themselves under the miseries of their captivity. Is there no king in thee? Thou hast lost the king Zedekiah, but thy God, thy king, is with thee. Is thy counsellor perished? Hast thou none among thy wise counsellors left? Yet the Wonderful Counsellor is with thee. Messiah, the wisdom of the Father, hath the conduct of thy sufferings, deliverance, and re-establishment. For pangs hath taken thee as a woman in travail This may be understood of the time when Zedekiah and his counsellors were seized by the Chaldeans. Be in pain, and labour to bring forth Be like a woman in her pangs; bow thyself down, and show all the signs of excessive pain, for there is a sufficient cause. For now shalt thou go forth out of the city, &c. Thou shalt not only have troubles, sorrows, and dangers, in the wars against the Babylonians; but shortly thou shalt be driven out from thy city and country, and have no habitation of thy own, but be forced to dwell in a foreign land. The Jews’ captivity is expressed thus, because their city and temple being destroyed, they should live in an obscure state. The same condition is elsewhere expressed by their living in the wilderness, Ezekiel 20:35. And thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered Thou shalt be carried away, even as far as Babylon; but there, where, according to all human probability, and the expectations of thine enemies, thou mayest seem to be cut off from all relief, even there shalt thou be delivered: such is the power, and lovingkindness, and faithfulness of Jehovah thy God.
Micah 4:11-12. Now also The time is at hand; many nations are gathered against thee This may be understood of the Chaldeans and their associates, who pleased themselves with the thoughts of profaning the temple, laying waste the city of Jerusalem, and looking upon it in that condition. Or, it may be understood of the heathen nations round about Jerusalem, who should take occasion to insult the Jews in their calamity, should please themselves with seeing the temple profaned, and should gratify their spite with viewing Jerusalem in a forlorn condition. To look upon an enemy, signifies, in Scripture phrase, to behold his fall with delight. But they know not the thoughts of the Lord But while they act in such a manner, and take pleasure in insulting over thee in thy calamitous condition, they are altogether ignorant of God’s designs in permitting this, and what is soon to follow, namely, that he will gather them as sheaves into the floor, to be trodden under foot, and broken in pieces, while he will deliver and restore to their own land his people, whose miseries these their enemies now please themselves with the thoughts of beholding.
Micah 4:13. Arise and thrash, O daughter of Zion The daughter of Zion means the Jewish people, whose power and victory over their enemies are here foretold. The expressions made use of are figurative, alluding to the manner of separating the corn from the chaff in Judea, which was done chiefly by treading it with the feet of oxen. The purport of the passage is, that the Jews are here called upon to arise and tread down their enemies. For I will make thy horn iron, and thy hoofs brass Thou shalt be enabled to do this with ease and safety. And thou shalt beat in pieces Or, shalt bruise, many people This might be spoken of the victories which the Jewish people, some time after their return, were to gain over the neighbouring nations, especially under the Maccabees and their successors. But the prophecy does not appear to have had a full accomplishment in these victories: nor has any event yet occurred in the history of the Jewish people which fully answers to it. This consideration has induced some commentators to expound the passage in a spiritual sense, namely, of bringing the Gentiles into subjection to Christ and his gospel, and of the victory which the Christian Church should obtain over her persecuting enemies after the conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine to the faith of Christ. Thus Dr. Pocock, Lowth, and many others understand it. The nations thought to have ruined Christianity in its infancy, but it proved victorious over them; those that persisted in their enmity were broken to pieces, Matthew 21:44; particularly the Jewish nation: but multitudes, by divine grace, were gained to the church, and, as is signified in the next clause, they and their substance were consecrated to the Lord Jesus, the Lord of the whole earth. We have reason to believe, however, that this prophecy will have a still more eminent and evident accomplishment, when all the enemies of the church shall be subdued, and the saints reigning with Christ shall have complete power over the nations, and shall rule the refractory with a rod of iron, Revelation 2:26-27: compare this text with Mic 5:8-15 of this prophecy, and with Isaiah 14:2; Isaiah 41:15; Isaiah 60:12; Isaiah 61:5; on which places see the notes.
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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Micah 4". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany