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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Micah 1

 

 

Verses 1-16

Micah 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Micah 1:1Comments - The Dates of Micah's Ministry- JFB tells us that Micah flourished between 757 B.C. and 699 B.C, in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 6]

6] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Micah , in A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), "Introduction."

Comments - The Manner in which Divine Oracles were Delivered unto the Prophets- God spoke through the Old Testament prophets in various ways, as the author of the epistle of Hebrews says, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets…" ( Hebrews 1:1). The Lord spoke divine oracles ( מַשָּׂא) through the Old Testament prophets in three general ways, as recorded in the book of Hosea , "I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets." ( Hosea 12:10) (NKJV) In other words, the prophets spoke to Israel through the words they received, they described divine visions to the people, and they acted out as divine drama an oracle from the Lord.

(1) The Word of the Lord Came to the Prophets- God gave the prophets divine pronouncements to deliver to the people, as with Hosea 1:1. The opening verses of a number of prophetic books say, "the word of the Lord came to the prophet…" Thus, these prophets received a divine utterance from the Lord.

(2) The Prophets Received Divine Visions- God gave the prophets divine visions ( חָזוֹן), so they prophesied what they saw ( חזה) (to see). Thus, these two Hebrew words are found in Isaiah 1:1, Obadiah 1:1, Nahum 1:1, and Habakkuk 1:1. Ezekiel saw visions ( מַרְאָה) of God.

(3) God Told the Prophets to Deliver Visual Aids as Symbols of Divine Oracles- God asked the prophets to demonstrate divine oracles to the people through symbolic language. For example, Isaiah walked naked for three years as a symbol of Assyria's dominion over Egypt and Ethiopia ( Isaiah 20:1-6). Ezekiel demonstrated the siege of Jerusalem using clay tiles ( Ezekiel 4:1-3), then he laid on his left side for many days, then on his right side, to demonstrate that God will require Israel to bear its iniquities.

Micah 1:5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?

Micah 1:5 — "Samaria…Jerusalem" - Comments- Samaria and Jerusalem were the religious centers of the northern and southern kingdoms, respectively.

Micah 1:10 Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.

Micah 1:10 — "Declare ye it not at Gath" - Word Study on "Gath" - Gesenius says the Hebrew name "Gath" ( גַּת) (H 1661) means, "winepress," as it is a derivative of the primitive root ( גַּת) (H 1660), which means, "winepress."

Comments- The city of Gath was one of the five chief cities of the Philistines during the times of the judges and the early kingdom. It was the home of Goliath the giant whom David killed.

Comments- The phrase "Tell it not in Gath," was penned by David in his lament over the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.

2 Samuel 1:20, "Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph."

It seems to have become a proverb in Israel over the years and is used here in Micah 1:11. The Israelites would not want their enemies to know about their troubles since there would be rejoicing and scorn by those who wanted to see the punishment of Israel.

Micah 1:10 — "weep ye not at all" - Comments- We can imagine how the Israelites were struggling over the choice of whether to weep over God's judgment upon them, or whether to hold back such mourning lest they bear the brunt of laughter and ridicule from their worst enemy, the Philistines.

Micah 1:10 — "in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust" - Word Study on "the house of Aphrah" - The Hebrew phrase ( בֵּית לְעַפְרָה) is often translated by modern English versions as "Beth-Aphrah," which means, "house to (i.e. of) dust" (H 1036) (Strong). This word is used only once in the Old Testament. Strong says the name "Aphrah" is a derivative of the primitive root ( עָפָר) (6083), which means, "dust, clay, earth, mud, ashes, ground, morter, powder, rubbish."

Comments- Micah was evidently using a pun with the words "Aphrah" and "dust" as they are the same Hebrew words.

Micah 1:11 Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing.

Micah 1:11 — "Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked" - Word Study on "Saphir" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Saphir" ( שָׁפִיר) (H 8208) means, "beautiful." This word is used only one time in the Old Testament. Strong says this name is a derivative of primitive root ( שָׁפַר) (H 8231), which means, "to glisten, to be fair." This primitive root is also used only once in the Old Testament ( Psalm 16:6).

Psalm 16:6, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."

Micah 1:11 — "the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel" - Word Study on "Zaanan" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Zaanan" ( צַאֲנָן) (H 6630) means, "sheep pasture," and is derived from an unused primitive root that means, "to migrate." It is used only one time in the Old Testament. Thus, Gesenius says the name of this town means, "place of flocks."

Word Study on "came (not) forth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "came forth" ( יָצָא) (H 3318) is a primitive root that means, "to go out," with a great variety of meanings.

Comments- Micah was evidently using a pun with the words "Zaanan" and "came forth" as they share the same meaning and are similar in spelling.

Word Study on "Bethezel" - Gesenius says the Hebrew name "Bethezel" ( בֵּית הָאֵצֶל) (H 1018) means, "house of firm root." Strong says it means, "house of the side." PTW says it means, "a place near." Strong says it is derived from the primitive root ( אָצַל) (680), which means, "to join," and "to separate, select, refuse, contract."

Micah 1:11 — "he shall receive of you his standing" - Word Study on "he shall receive" - Strong says the Hebrew word "receive" ( לָקַח) (3947) is a commonly used primitive root meaning, "to take," with a wide variety of meanings.

Word Study on "standing" - Strong says the Hebrew word "standing" ( עֶמְדָּה) (H 5979) means, "a station, i.e. domicile, standing." It is used only one time in the Old Testament. Strong says it is derived from the primitive root ( עָמַד) (5975), which means, "to stand."

Micah 1:12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.

Micah 1:13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.

Micah 1:14 Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.

Micah 1:15 Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel.

Micah 1:16 Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.

Micah 1:16 — "enlarge thy baldness as the eagle" - Word Study on "eagle" - Strong says the Hebrew word "eagle" ( נֶשֶׁר) (H 5404) means, "the eagle (or other large bird of prey)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 26 times in the Old Testament, bring translated in the KJV as "eagle 26." Gesenius tells us that this Hebrew word can carry a wider range of meanings beside "eagle." He says that the reference in Micah 1:16 refers to a bird that is bald, which more closely describes a vulture than an eagle, and Job 39:30 and Proverbs 30:17 describe a bird that eats carcasses, something more likely to describe a vulture than an eagle.

Job 39:27-30, "Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she."

Proverbs 30:17, "The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."

Another more likely reference to the vulture than the eagle in the New Testament is seen in Matthew 24:28, "For wheresoever the carcase Isaiah , there will the eagles be gathered together."

Micah 1:10-16Comments - The Use of Puns- We find in Micah 1:10-16 a number of puns where the prophet used the name of the cities of Israel's enemies to describe Israel's punishment.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Micah 1:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/micah-1.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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