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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Micah 4

 

 

Verses 1-5

Micah 4:1-5. Jerusalem the Metropolis of the World's Religion.—The general character of this passage shows that it is later than Micah's time, e.g. the post-Deuteronomic conception of the Temple, so different from that of the previous section, and the kinship with the ideas of Deutero-Isaiah. The first three verses are found also in Isaiah 2:2-4*; in both cases, this later prophecy has been inserted to soften the harshness of preceding threatenings. In the Messianic future ("the end of the days"; cf. Jeremiah 23:20, Hosea 3:5, etc.), Mount Zion shall be (supernaturally) made (physically) loftier than all other mountains, that the nations may stream to it as their religious centre. They will exhort each other to this pilgrimage (cf. Zechariah 8:22; Zechariah 14:16 f., Jeremiah 3:17, Psalms 8:7) that they may become Yahweh's disciples. Yahweh will thus become the recognised arbiter of the world, and there shall be universal peace (contrast Joel 3:10, and cf. 1 Kings 4:25, Zechariah 3:10). Micah 4:5 (mg.) seems a gloss on this glowing, never-realised vision, and says in effect, "We, at any rate, will be loyal to Yahweh, whatever other peoples do."

Micah 4:1. But should be "and". With the idea of the miracle cf. Zechariah 14:10, and note the feeling of Psalms 68:16; such transformations of nature belong to the Messianic cycle of ideas (cf. Isaiah 40:4) Ezekiel 47:1 ff., Zechariah 14:4 ff.).

Micah 4:2. of: lit. "out of", for the law read mg.

Micah 4:3. reprove, as mg.

t" (sing. with LXX).


Verses 6-13

Micah 4:6 to Micah 5:1. Exile and Restoration: Israel's Victory over the Nations.—The reference to the Babylonian exile (Micah 4:10) shows that the passage is not earlier than the sixth century, Micah himself being concerned with Assyria, not Babylon. The sequence of thought is not clear, and it has been suggested that Micah 4:9 f. should precede Micah 4:6-8; Micah 4:11 ff. is apparently a distinct prophecy, describing a siege of Jerusalem which is eschatological rather than historic (cf. Ezekiel 38:1.). The paragraph opens with a prophecy of the restoration of the "Messianic" remnant (analogous to Micah 2:12 f.), the people being pictured as a lame, outcast, and suffering flock (cf. Zephaniah 3:19). Jerusalem, restored to her ancient sovereignty, is the "tower" of the flock (cf. 2 Chronicles 26:10), i.e. the watch-tower of Yahweh, its shepherd. In Micah 4:9 f. the daughter of Zion is described as going forth from her leaderless city into homeless exile (the absence of a human rather than of the Divine king-counsellor seems intended, though cf. Jeremiah 8:19). Her sorrows are compared, as often (cf. Jeremiah 4:31) with those of a travailing woman; yet Yahweh shall rescue her from her captivity. In Micah 4:11 ff. there is an apocalyptic vision of the final gathering of heathen forces against Jerusalem, eagerly seeking to desecrate her (by forcing their way in); but, in reality, Yahweh has gathered them for Zion to destroy them utterly, goring them with her horns (Deuteronomy 33:17), threshing them with her hoofs (Deuteronomy 25:4), and "devoting" their possessions to Yahweh (cf. 1 Samuel 15:3 mg.). For the figure of the threshing-floor, here employed, see Thomson, The Land and the Book, pp. 538ff. The closing verse of the paragraph (Micah 5:1) is obscure; as it stands, Zion is the "daughter of troops", and is bidden to oppose the besiegers, who have insulted Israel's king, here called "judge", as in Amos 2:3 (for smite . . . upon the cheek, see 1 Kings 22:24, Job 16:10). Marti and others follow Wellhausen's easy emendation of the first clause, viz. "Now cut thyself grievously" (i.e. in sign of mourning; cf. Deuteronomy 14:1, p. 110), and regard the verse as a gloss on Micah 4:10.

 


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

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Saturday, December 7th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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