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The glory, peace, kingdom, and victory of the church.
Before Christ 710.
Micah 4:1. But in the last days, &c.— See what has been said upon this subject on Isaiah 2:2; Isaiah 2:22.
Micah 4:5. And we will walk, &c.— This passage respects the Jews alone, and the times which followed the captivity; when the Jews continued attached to their God, while the Gentile world remained in the darkness of idolatry. The two next verses, primarily respecting the return from the captivity, have, as is usual with the prophets, a still farther view to the Gospel times, and especially to the last call of the Jews, the fulness of the Gentiles, and the establishment of Christ's millennial reign on earth.
Micah 4:8. And thou, O tower, &c.— And thou, O tower of Eder, O fortress of the daughter of Sion, thy time shall come: and the former dominion shall return, even the kingdom, to the daughter of Jerusalem. See Vitringa an Isaiah 32:14. The prophet, says Houbigant, changes the name of Jerusalem, and uses a topographic name, tower of the flock; which tower, perhaps, was near the sheep-pool;—and the name of clift; עפל opel, to signify that he now pro-phesies of a future state, and that temporal, of the city of Jerusalem itself; for, after he had foretold that the new law should take its beginning from Jerusalem; here, and to the end of the chapter, he foretels what changes of affairs should happen in the republic and kingdom of the Jews, till the future light of the Gospel should break forth. He had said at the end of the foregoing chapter, that Jerusalem should be plowed as a field; he now adds, resuming the order of time, that the ancient kingdom should return to the daughter of Jerusalem. Instead of, Unto thee shall it come, Houbigant reads, Thou shalt be clothed with thy ornament; for he observes, that unto thee shall it come, has no meaning; neither is there in the Hebrew any nominative case to the verb shall come.
Micah 4:9. Now why dost thou cry, &c.— As much as to say, "What cause is there thus to cry and lament like a woman in labour, when it is so certainly promised thee that thy ancient kingdom shall again return? There indeed cause for thee to lament, on the view of thy Babylonish captivity; for, till after that period, thou shalt have no temporal deliverer: but that past, the Lord will gather thee as the sheaves into the floor;" Micah 4:12. Instead of, Is thy counsellor perished, &c. we may read Is thy counsellor lost, that pangs, &c.?
Micah 4:11. Let her be defiled— Thou art defiled, and our eye shall behold Sion as a spectacle; that is to say, of scorn.
Micah 4:13. Arise, and thresh— The expression alludes to the manner of treading out the corn in the eastern countries; which was done by the feet of oxen. Instead of, And I will consecrate, &c. Houbigant reads, And thou shalt consecrate their prey, &c. which was fulfilled by the Maccabees and their successors.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, After the desolations before described, never could a more welcome But come in, than begins the present chapter, where, according to the riches of God's grace, the former melancholy scene changes, and the Gospel-church, a brighter phoenix, rises from the ashes of Zion.
1. The church of Christ shall be firmly established, and gloriously exalted. In the last days, the days of the Messiah, it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, fixed on a basis immoveable for the benefit of all the faithful; and conspicuous as a city set on a hill. And this had its primary accomplishment when Christ and his apostles first erected this glorious fabric, and shall more eminently be fulfilled when, in the latter day, the kingdoms of the world will become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ.
2. Vast multitudes of converts shall flow unto it, numerous as the drops which mighty rivers pour into the ocean; and many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, encouraging each other eagerly to press into the church; and he, Christ the head of his church, will teach us of his ways, by his word and Spirit; and we will walk in his paths, supported by his grace, and strengthened to follow him; for the law shall go forth of Zion, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus; and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; the Gospel there began to be first preached, and thence the healing waters of the sanctuary have flowed into all lands, and through mercy particularly into our own. And they who have an enlightened mind will value the inestimable blessing.
3. The power which will accompany the preaching of the Gospel in these last days, will change men's hearts, and bring them to mutual love and peace. He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off, convincing the Gentiles of their sin, and the judgment of God against it, and bringing them to repentance and faith; in consequence of which, swords shall be turned into plough-shares, all quarrels and animosities cease, the proud passionate spirits of men be made humble and peaceable, and wars be at an end; whilst each, sitting in comfort under his own vine and fig-tree, shall be quiet from fear of evil; which, so far as the Gospel now prevails, will be the spirit of every converted soul; and it shall universally be diffused in the last days, when this happy state of things shall more gloriously appear; for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it; and therefore, however unlikely it may seem, it shall be fulfilled.
4. There will then be wonderful constancy among Christians in their holy profession. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god. This is usually the case, Jer 2:11 or this will be the case till the Messiah shall convert them to himself. And we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever, with unshaken fidelity and unremitting ardour; such being even now the full purpose of every gracious soul.
5. Though the souls of poor penitent sinners are often now like a poor flock before devouring wolves or roaring lions, worried and tempted, and will be more or less till these last and glorious days; God will then bind Satan; and he will superabundantly strengthen all his people, and they shall be all one fold under one shepherd. And this some commentators particularly refer to the Jews, who shall be recovered from their present dispersion at last, and, after all their afflictions, become a great and glorious people to the Lord.
6. The Lord shall then reign in his church for ever and ever. He has begun to set up his kingdom already in the world; but hereafter he will more eminently display his power and grace, when, the fulness of the Gentiles being come in, and Israel restored, He shall reign in mount Zion and over his ancients gloriously.
2nd, The words, O tower of the flock, Migdal-eder, are left by many untranslated, as the name of a place near Bethlehem, Genesis 35:19-21. Others suppose them put for Jerusalem, the strong-hold of the daughter of Zion: whilst others, and with reason, conjecture this to be one of the titles of the Messiah, the tower of his faithful flock, and the strong-hold of his church. And,
1. It is here promised, that in him the kingdom of David, which was fallen, should revive in all its splendour, according to the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. There the Gospel of the kingdom began to be preached; many Jews were admitted members of it; and the apostles, who were of the stock of Israel, were the chief persons in it: perhaps also particular respect may be had to Christ's coming to them at the time of their last conversion, when the kingdom of the Messiah shall most eminently come to them.
2. The temporal deliverances that God will work for his Israel, are the figure and earnest of the spiritual redemption which he has in store for them.
[1.] They are represented as in a state of great distress, crying aloud as a travailing woman in pangs; their king no more, their counsellors perished, cast out of their cities, and dwelling in the fields, led captive to Babylon, and serving their Chaldean masters.
[2.] God will deliver them thence. Cyrus is his appointed instrument, raised up to rescue them from the house of their prison.—The figure of that great Redeemer, who came to preach deliverance to captive souls from the bondage of corruption, and to bring them into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
[3.] When new troubles arise, new helpers shall be given them. The church militant may expect little rest here below till the latter day's glory arrive. Now also, after their restoration from Babylon, many nations shall be gathered against thee, as particularly was the case in the days of the Maccabees; that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion, pleased with the thoughts of her ruin, and hoping to behold it: but they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel, which were the very opposite to theirs; for, while they designed the destruction of Zion, he intends to overrule their assembling to their own confusion and perdition: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor, ripe for ruin; and then the daughter of Zion shall be strengthened to arise and thresh, pushing her enemies as with horns of iron, treading them under foot as with hoofs of brass, and beating them in pieces. And I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. The spoil, which was gotten by the Lord's power, ought justly to be devoted to his honour and service. All our gains are from him, and should be employed for him.
This prophesy, some suppose, was literally accomplished in the victories of the Maccabees over Antiochus and the neighbouring nations. Whilst others conceive it to refer to the spiritual conquests of the Redeemer. And some imagine that it relates to the destruction of the anti-christian powers in the latter days, when the kingdom of Jesus shall be triumphantly set up, and all his foes be made his footstool.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Micah 4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17