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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Micah 1

 

 

Verse 1

Micah 1:1. The (editorial) superscription to the prophecy (Mica 1-3) of Micah of Moresheth-Gath (Micah 1:14) assigns it to the period 739-693, but, as stated in the Introduction, the date is probably a little before 701. The subject, "Samaria and Jerusalem", is correctly given, though the chief concern of the prophet is Jerusalem and Judah.


Verses 2-9

Micah 1:2-9. The Judgment of Israel.—The nations of the earth are summoned to take warning from the Divine judgment to be executed on Israel. Yahweh comes forth from heaven (His "holy temple"; cf. Habakkuk 2:20, Isaiah 63:15, Psalms 114), and down (cf. Exodus 19:11) upon the heights (Amos 4:13), His presence being revealed as by earthquake shock (cf. Isaiah 24:19) and volcanic eruption (Micah 1:2-4). The moral rebellion of the northern kingdom is concentrated in its capital, Samaria, and that of the southern in Jerusalem. Samaria shall be utterly destroyed, its site becoming a place for vine-growing, its foundations bared, its idols broken and burned (Micah 1:5-7). Because of this judgment, the prophet goes mourning, barefoot and cloakless (2 Samuel 15:30, Isaiah 20:2) and loudly lamenting (Job 30:29), because the irretrievable disaster to Samaria extends to his own land, to Jerusalem, the "gate" (i.e. the centre of the life) of Judah (Micah 1:8 f.; see Introduction for historical occasion)

Micah 1:5. Read "sin", both for "sins", and for "high places", with VSS.

Micah 1:7 may be interpolated, since it breaks the connexion.—the hire of an harlot seems to be figuratively used of religious infidelity to Yahweh, as in Hosea 2:12; it denotes the produce of the land regarded as the gift of the Baalim; the idols, etc. derived from such wealth are called hires, and their material will pass to the service of other heathen deities in the hands of the conquerors. Some, however, refer to the actual prostitution of Deuteronomy 23:18.


Verses 10-16

Micah 1:10-16. The Dirge on Israel's Downfall.—This is a difficult and corrupt passage, playing on the names of towns and villages which are chosen for their assonances or their ominous suggestions, in a way impossible to translate; cf. mg. for Aphrah and Achzib. See G. A. Smith's map for Shaphir, Mareshah, Lachish and Adullam, other sites being unknown. "Tell not our sorrows to the Philistines (cf. 2 Samuel 1:20; Gath was probably near to Ekron) or to the Phœnicians" (reading, after LXX, "in Accho", i.e. Ptolemais, for "at all") The towns of the Shephelah are then variously pictured in their sorrows during the progress of the invader (cf. Isaiah 10:28-32); their inhabitants wallow on the ground, are led into captivity, shut up, have their city razed (Beth-ezel; text obscure) anxiously await news, prepare to flee in chariots, surrender (Zion must give up her daughter, Moresheth-Gath, with a "parting-gift" i.e. a marriage-dowry; cf. 1 Kings 9:16), become like a brook that fails (Achzab, Jeremiah 15:18), pass into possession of the foe, shelter fugitive leaders (the "glory of Israel" in the cave of Adullam; cf. 1 Samuel 22:1 f.). Let Zion then go mourning for her lost daughter-towns, with shaven head (Amos 8:10, Deuteronomy 14:1; the neck and head of the griffon-vulture, Micah 1:16 mg., are featherless). Much in this dirge is uncertain or unknown, e.g. the reference to Lachish (Micah 1:13), as the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, to explain which both idolatry and political dependence on Egypt have been suggested.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Micah 1:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/micah-1.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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