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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Micah 4

Verse 1

Mic 4:1. The first five verses of this chapter as a group predict the kingdom of Christ, but I shall comment on the several verses in their order. In the last days corresponds with "afterward" in Joe 2:28, and "last days” in Acta 2: 17. It means the last days of the Jewish dispensation, for that system was still in force when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostiea to set up the kingdom of Christ. Mountain in symbolic language means a government, so the government of the Lord was to be established above all others, which was predicted also in Dan 2:44.

Verse 2

Mic 4:2, Many nations means people from many nations, not that, any government as a body would attach itself to the kingdom of Christ. This prediction of the many nations was begun to be fulfilled in Act 2:6. Shall say, come let us go vp refers to the generous response that was made to the call of the apostles recorded in Acts 2: 41 47; 4:4 and other passages. The law means the law to govern the kingdom of Christ, not the Jewish government, for that had been given many centuries before by Moses (Joh 1:17) It was the law or government predicted by the patriarch Jacob in Gen 49:10. which makes the wording of this verse very appropriate.

Verse 3

Mic 4:3. In the midst of a group of verses most of which consist, of figures and symbols, it would be unreasonable to give the present one a literal Inter-pretation. It does not predict that carnal warfare will cease after the kingdom of Christ is established. It Is true that the tendencies of the Gospel are in Hie opposite direction from violence of any kind in the conduct of the true followers of Christ. But it is also true that a® long as the world stands the scriptures teach us that the great majority of mankind will reject the Gospel, hence this verse could not be a prediction of the end of carnal warfare. The explanation lies in the difference between the Jewish and Christian dispensations. The former was a combination of religious and political government, hence it was right to use the support of carna! warfare. That is why Jesus said that if his kingdom were of this world his servants would light in his defence (John IS: 36). But the Christian dispensation is strictly religious and Its citizens will not resort to the material sword for its propaganda and support. Hence the members of the Lord's kingdom will use their metal for instruments of peaceful industry, and depend upon the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” for the defence of the kingdom of Christ. Let the reader understand that this paragraph has nothing to do with the subject of Christians engaging in carnal warfare as a citizen of the temporal government. When he does that he is acting as a citizen of the temporal government and in its defence, and not for the defence of the kingdom of Christ, for they are two separate and distinct institutions and a Cliris- tion is a member of each just as Paul was a Christian and a Roman at the same time (Act 22:25).

Verse 4

Mic 4:4. Like the preceding verse, this one uses terms figuratively to express the thought in the mind of the prophet. If a country was sure there would be no hostile army invade it, the Inhabitants would feel no need of secluding themselves within protective buildings but would feel safe in the great outdoors. The vine and fig tree were prominent sources of nourishment and good cheer, and a land that was permanently free from danger could offer these comforts to its inhabitants without fear. I have gone into these details to explain the significance of the illustrations used by the prophet. However, the reader should remember that they are illustrations only and that they represent the spiritual safety and feeling of security that a citizen of the Kingdom of Christ was to enjoy. This prospect was guaranteed by the Lord who gave the vision to the prophet Micah to be delivered to the people of the nation.

Verse 5

Mic 4:5. All people means the people of the world in general. It was not expected that the kingdom of Christ would be able to enlist the majority of the race of mankind, but instead it was even predicted in literal language that the many would be in the service of sin. That would include the idolatrous practices of walkiug in the name of his god. We is pros-pective and means the inhabitants of the kingdom of Christ who would honor the true God only.

Verse 6

Mic 4:6. In a. number of places we have seen the prophet pass from the release of Israel from captivity to the establishing of the kingdom of Christ. In the present chapter the order is reversed, for the rest of it beginning will) this verse is a group prediction of the return from the captivity. That day is a familiar term in the Bible and Lhe context usually has to he considered in determining the day meant; it here stands for the day of Israel’s release. That hatteth means the national halting or lameness brought about by the captivity. Driven out refers to the exile of Israel from her native land which was yet in the future when the prophet wrote this. I have afflicted is said because the Lord used the heathen nations as instruments in His hands to inflict the chastisement on the disobedient people.

Verse 7

Mic 4:7. We usually think of a remnant as something rather inferior, a ‘‘scrap” of material left after the best has been taken. However, it has the opposite meaning in the present case, and indicates a superiority of strength in that it was able to survive after the bulk of the nation had succumbed to the ravages of the captivity. Thus this verse uses the word in the same connection with strong notion. God promises to use the rem-nant as a nucleus of a nation with Zion (Jerusalem) ais its headquarters,

Verse 8

Mic 4:8. Tower is also rendered "castle” and is here used to designate Jerusalem ais a watchtower for the kingdom the Lord promised to make out of the “remnant.” First dominion denotes that God had a dominion over the same people and at this same place long before. Daughter of Zion and daughter of Jerusalem are terms of endearment used frequently to represent God’s people whose headquarters were in Jerusalem.

Verse 9

Mic 4:9. The verse is predicting a condition of sorrow to be felt by the nation in captivity, but with the understanding that the sorrow will be turned into joy by the deliverance from bondage. Is there no king is a prediction in question form that Israel will have the services of a king when the important day arrives.

Verse 10

Mic 4:10. The pains preceding childbirth are used to compare the distress of the captivity, hut with the added thought that, as the pains are an indication of the approaching joy of parenthood, so the captivity must precede the return and establishment of the “strong nation" predicted above.

Verse 11

Mic 4:11, In a group of verses predicting the restoration of Israel from bondage, it was fitting to insert a few lines regarding the opinions of the nation's enemies and such is the pres-ent verse. Many nations were 111 disposed toward the people of God and took pleasure in their misfortunes, but they were going to learn that the Lord would come to the rescue of his own nation after the necessary chas-tisement was given.

Verse 12

Mic 4:12. They knmo not the thoughts of the Lord. The heathen nations misunderstood the Lord's dealings with his people and thought it was because He had turned against them. Because of this misunderstanding they regarded the victories which they had experienced over Israel as a sign of God’s personal favor for them, whereas the Lord was using them as instruments for the necessary chastisement of a disobedient and ungrateful people. Gather them as sheaves into the floor. The floor means the place where grain was piled for threshing by beating the whole straw until the grain was separated from the chaff. Since only the good sheaves would be taken to such a place, the fact is used to represent the profitable use Which God proposed to make of the nation that had gained so much at the expense of His people.

Verse 13

Mic 4:13. Daughter of Zion la an endearing term frequently used to designate the people of God whose headquarters were in Zion, a special spot in Jerusalem. God accomplished much of his plan against the unfaithful Jews through the agency of the heathen nations. Now the order is reversed and He will use the Jews as instruments in bringing the heathen nations into the service of their restoration to the home land; such is the meaning of the figures used in this verse. Since the figure of “sheaves” was used for the heathen in the preceding vense, it was consistent for the prophet to use thresh in this. In figurative language horn means power, and God here promises to give his people the power to contend with the heathen through their influence and superior wisdom, not necessarily through military action. Sometimes the ox was used in treading out the grain that had been piled upon the floor (Deu 25:4; 1Co 9:9; 1Ti 5:18), so the promise-of brazen hoofs is appropriate in this connection. Consecrate their gain iinto the Lord was to be fulfilled literally and morally. The heathen nation was constrained to contribute material help for the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Ezr 1:2-4; Ezr 6:8-10), and also the same nation was brought lo respect the God of Israel.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Micah 4". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/micah-4.html. 1952.