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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Micah 4

 

 

Verses 1-13

THIRD DISCOURSE

Micah 4, 5

Micah 4:1 And it shall be in the last days,

That the mountain of the house of Jehovah

Shall be established on the top of the mountains;

And it shall be exalted above the hills:

And peoples shall flow unto it.

2And many nations shall go,

And shall say: Come ye,

And let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah,

And to the house of the God of Jacob;

That he may teach us of his ways,

And we walk in his paths.

For out of Zion shall go forth law,

And the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem,

3And he shall judge between many peoples,

And decide for strong nations, to a great distance;

And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,

And their spears into pruning-knives.

They shall not lift up sword, nation against nation,

Nor shall they learn war any more.

4And they will sit, each one under his vine,

And under his fig tree,

And none shall terrify;

For the mouth of Jehovah of hosts hath spoken,

5 For all the peoples walk,

Each in the name of his God;

And we will walk in the name of Jehovah,

Our God for ever and ever.

6 In that day, whispers Jehovah,

I will gather her that is lame,

And her that is dispersed will I collect together,

And whom I have afflicted;

7 And will set the lame one for a remnant,

And the far removed[FN1] for a strong nation;

And Jehovah shall reign over them in Mount Zion,

Henceforth and forever.

8 And thou, tower of the flock,

Ophel, daughter of Zion, to thee shall approach,

And come, the former dominion,

A kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem.[FN2]

9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud?

Is there no king in thee?

Has thy counsellor perished,

That pangs have seized thee as the travailing woman?

10 Writhe, and bring forth,

Daughter of Zion, as the travailing woman!

For now thou must go forth out of the city,

And dwell in the field,

And come unto Babylon.

There shalt thou be redeemed,

There shall Jehovah deliver thee,

Out of the hand of thy enemies.

11 And now are gathered against thee

Many nations,

That say: Let her be defiled,

And let our eye gaze upon Zion!

12But they know not

The thoughts of Jehovah,

And understand not his counsel;

That he collects them as sheaves into the threshing-floor.

13 Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion !

For thy horn will I make iron,

And thy hoofs will I make brass,

And thou shalt beat in pieces many nations,

And I will devote[FN3] to Jehovah their gain,

And their treasure to the Lord of all the earth.

14 ( Micah 5:1.[FN4]) Now gather thyself in troops, thou daughter of troops;

They have set a siege against us;

With a staff they smite on the cheek

The judge of Israel.

Micah 5:2. (1) And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah—

Small to be among the thousands of Judah,—

From thee shall come forth for me

He that is to be ruler in Israel;

Whose goings forth are from of old,

From the, days of eternity.

(2) 3Therefore will he give them up,

Until the time when she that travaileth hath borne;

And the residue of his brethren shall return

To the sons of Israel,

(3) 4And he shall stand and feed,

In the strength of Jehovah,

In the majesty of the name of Jehovah, his God;

And they shall dwell; for now shall he be great

Unto the ends of the earth,

5 (4) And he will be peace;

Asshur, when he cometh into our land,

And when he treadeth upon our castles,

Then will we set up against him

Seven herdsmen,

And eight anointed of men;

(5) 6And they shall pasture the land of Asshur with the sword,

And the land of Nimrod in her gates:

And he will deliver from Asshur,

When he cometh into our land,

And when he treadeth on our borders.

(6) 7And the remnant of Jacob shall be

In the midst of many peoples,

As the dew from Jehovah,

As rain upon the grass,

Which tarrieth not for Prayer of Manasseh,

Nor waiteth for the sons of men.

(7) 8And the remnant of Jacob shall be

Among the nations, in the midst of many peoples,

As a lion among the beasts of the forest,

As a young lion among the flocks of sheep,

Which, if he pass through, treadeth down,

9 (8) High be thy hand over those that distress thee,

And let all thy enemies be cut off!

10 (9) And it will be in that day, whispers Jehovah,

That I will cut off thy horses from the midst of thee,

And will destroy thy chariots;

11 (10) And I will cut off the cities of thy land,

And pull down all thy fortresses;

12 (11) And I will cut off incantations out of thy hand,

And sorcerers thou shalt not have;

13 (12) And I will cut off thy carved images,

And thy statues out of the midst of thee,

And thou shalt no more worship the work of thy hands;

14 (13) And I will tear down thy Asherahs, out of the midst of thee,

And lay prostrate thy cities;

15 (14) And will in anger and fury execute vengeance

On the nations who have not heard.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

This discourse also falls into two main portions, chapters4. and5, the close connection of which is shown by their contents and arrangement. The leading thought common to both Isaiah, that the deliverance and glorification of Israel is certain to come, because the promise cannot be broken, while yet it will come only through grievous afflictions, and after the deepest humiliation. In respect to the plan, Micah 4. begins, in an immediate antithesis to the threatening which had preceded,—

a. Micah 4:1-8. With a description of the future glory of the kingdom of God in Israel, having Jerusalem for its central point (eight verses with forty members), and then passes,—

b. Micah 4:9-13. (Six verses with thirty members), to the description of the heavy affliction, distress, and banishment of the people, which must come before their salvation.

Parallel to this, Micah 5. begins:—

a. Micah 4:1-8. By describing the person and work of the Messiah, with whom that glorification must arrive (eight verses and forty members), and proceeds,—

b. (Six verses with fifteen members), to the threatening which, from the nature of the case, is pronounced with this promise upon all ungodly practices in Israel.

There is nothing in the historical situation to oblige us to assume a chronological advance from the preceding discourse. For, although in Micah 4:9 ff. the picture of the affliction appears to be drawn into the immediate present, still it is prophetically given throughout, and we easily perceive that the prophet speaks not out of a state of facts corporeally visible, but from prophetic intuition.

Micah 4 : Micah 4:1-8. The future kingdom of God in Jerusalem, the centre of the world.And it will come to pass—והיה, the usual form by which the discourse is transferred to the future, so that we have to recognize an antithesis to the conclusion of the preceding chapter, without any immediate progress, but with a new flight of the discourse ( Hosea 2:1; Joel 3:1). At the end of the days, therefore not soon, as those false prophets supposed ( Micah 2:12 f.), but only in the final completion of salvation. The phrase בּאהרית הימים (Targ. בְּסוֹף וֹמַיָּא, “at the end of the days,” LXX. ἐν ταῖς ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις), is the opposite to בּרֵאשִׁית ( Genesis 1:1) and thus denotes in the prophets ( Hosea 3:5; Joel 3:1; Ezekiel 38:16, cf. Deuteronomy 4:30), the completion of the world in contrast to its creation, the aim of all ages, the last time, witli which closes the historical development in which the prophet stands and in the light of which he tests the present time and foretells the future—the Messianic time. Then shall the mountain of the house of Jehovah, which represents, according to the connection, the whole elevated, ( Micah 1:5), holy city, including Zion, called in the Messianic Psalm 87. also a foundation of God on the holy mouutains;—thus in gaining a universal character prophecy gives, instead of the localities named in connection with the destruction ( Micah 3:12), etc, the ideal conception of Jerusalem (cf. the Doctrinal and Ethical below),—be established, not on the top of the mountains (Hengstenberg, Keil) for in this sense נכון is construed with על ( Judges 16:26), and the conception could not be carried out, but as the head of the mountains (בּ predicative as 1 Chronicles 12:18; Psalm 35:2; Exodus 6:3; רושׁ metaphorically for “the first, most eminent,” as 1 Chronicles 12:18. Thus the question is already answered, whether the exaltation is to be understood as physical (Hofm, Drechsl.) or moral (Casp, Hengstenb.). The ideal Zion will be elevated above all else in the world ( Isaiah 2:17; 2 Corinthians 10:5). The apocalyptic style of directly designating the kingdoms of the world by mountains ( Revelation 17:9), would suit well here, but cannot be supported for the O. T, by the passages adduced by Hengstenberg. At the bottom of the phrase lies the image presented in Psalm 63:7, where the advantage which Zion enjoys as the dwelling-place of God is indicated by the envy with which the higher mountains look upon it. Before God, not the lofty but the low has value

See Mic 5:1 ff for DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL and HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Micah 5:1 of the Eng. Vers is Micah 4:14 of the Hebrew Bible.—TR.]

FN#2 - Micah 4:8. The only considerable objection to the translation above, regarded merely as a translation, is that it makes too little account of the Athnac; but this pause seems here no more than a rhetorical suspension of the construction, and the repetition of the verb (not the same verb) “approach,” “come” (and with change of tense), makes no tautology, but only “raises the soul to think of the greatness of that which should come.” (Pusey.) This view appears to be favored also by the Rebhia in the second member, and is that adopted by Dr. Pusey, except that he treats בת צ ון as a genitive, not appositive, and translates “Ophel, of the daughter of Zion.” This is au allowable alternative. On Ophel. rid. Smith’s Diet, of the Bib., Am. Ed.

Zunz’s version reads: “And thou flock-tower, the height of the daughter of Zion will come to thee,” etc … which makes a separate subject for each verb, and allows a more complete division at the Athnach; but it labors under the equally serious difficulty of an irregular concord between עפל and האתה, and keeps not quite so close to the order of the Hebrew.

Kleinert’s translation, given in the exeget. notes, sacrifices the accent in making עפל as a genitive, limit the two preceding words as a compound term; but his interpretation deserves very careful consideration.—Tr.]

FN#3 - Micah 4:13. On חרם, vid. Lange on Joshua 2:10.—Tr.]

FN#4 - Micah 4:1. Kleinert and Pusey: at the end of the days; but אחרית means, properly, the “latter part,” “end” in that sense.—Tr.]

 


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Micah 4:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/micah-4.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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