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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Micah 7

 

 

Verses 1-6

Micah 7:1-6. Contemporary Violence, Corruption, and Disloyalty.—This passage is distinct from the preceding, though the same introductory remark applies to it; in tone, however, it seems to come nearer to certain Psalms (cf. Psalms 12:1 f.). Zion laments that the pious and upright man has become, through violence, as rare in her midst as the fruit in the garden or vineyard after the ingathering; men plot against their fellows as the huntsman against his prey (Psalms 10:8 f.).

Micah 7:3 is corrupt; the general meaning appears to be that the powerful secure their interests through the bribery of dishonest judges, but the Hebrew of the first and last clauses cannot be translated. In Micah 7:4 (where the impossible worse than supplied by RV should be "like") these evil men are compared with thorns, both for their harmfulness and their destiny (2 Samuel 23:6); the "Day of Yahweh" (Amos 5:18, etc.), foretold by His watchmen-prophets (Isaiah 21:6, Jeremiah 6:17, Habakkuk 2:1) will bring confusion upon them (text uncertain). So evil are the present times that the closest ties of intimacy and affection are unreliable (Micah 7:5 mg.); the natural authority of parents over their children (Exodus 20:12; Exodus 21:15; Exodus 21:17, Deuteronomy 21:18 ff.) is disregarded, and the unity of the household (Genesis 17:27) is lost.

Micah 7:1. Cf. Isaiah 24:13; for the first ripe fig as a delicacy, see Isaiah 28:4; read the clause as mg., but soul means "appetite".

Micah 7:2. earth should be "land".

Micah 7:6. Note the different application of the words in Matthew 10:35 f.


Verses 7-20

Micah 7:7-20. Israel's Confession of Faith.—This undoubtedly post-exilic utterance of Israel's confidence in. Yahweh's delivering intervention falls into three portions, probably once distinct, viz. Micah 7:7-10 (the time of Messianic deliverance will come); Micah 7:11-13 (Jerusalem will be repeopled); Micah 7:14-20 (Yahweh will renew His kindness to Israel). The first and third of these have numerous affinities with the Psalter; the second, by its anticipation of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, dates itself between 586 and 444 B.C. Israel proclaims her confidence in the deliverance (salvation) from her heathen oppressors which is about to come from Yahweh (Psalms 5:3; Psalms 13:05 b, Psalms 25:5). Let not the foe prematurely rejoice (Obadiah 1:2), for Israel "falls to rise" ("when," both times, should be "though"), and Yahweh will turn her present darkness into light (Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 58:10). Yahweh's wrath (inferred from national calamities; cf. 2 Kings 23:26) is due to the sin which Israel now confesses (Psalms 51:4 ff., Isaiah 42:24 f.), and the time will come (Psalms 103:9) when Yahweh will Himself vindicate His people. Then Israel shall be satisfied with vengeance (Ob. passim) on the foe who mocked Israel's God (Psalms 79:10; Psalms 115:2, Joel 2:17). When the walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt (cf. 2 Kings 25:10), the boundary (Micah 7:11 mg.) of Israel's territory will be enlarged (Isaiah 26:15; Isaiah 33:17 cf. Zechariah 2:4), and the Jews, now dispersed throughout the world, will return (Ezekiel 34:13, Isaiah 27:12, Psalms 107:2; the "river" is the Euphrates (cf. Deuteronomy 1:7); the references to "sea" and "mountain" are general). The whole earth (not "land") shall be laid waste (Isaiah 24:4 f.) because of heathen sin (Micah 7:11-13). Yahweh is invoked to shepherd (cf. Micah 2:12) with His club (Psalms 23:4) His chosen flock, now isolated on the wooded hills of Judæa in the midst of a fertile land denied to them; let Him restore their lost pasture-grounds (Jeremiah 50:19). Yahweh promises to parallel the miracle of the Exodus, so that the heathen shall be struck deaf and dumb (Job 21:5; Job 40:4), and prostrate themselves humbly before Yahweh (Psalms 72:9, Isaiah 49:23). Israel declares the uniqueness of Yahweh, and glories in His loving-kindness (Psalms 103:3); He will trample upon Israel's sins, and render faithfulness and kindness (Exodus 34:6) to the descendants of the patriarchs (here named as epitomising Israel) according to His promises (Genesis 22:16 ff; Genesis 28:13, etc.).

Micah 7:14. heritage (cf. Deuteronomy 32:9). Read "garden" for Carmel (its literal meaning), and for the contrast implied cf. Isaiah 32:15, last clause, the same word being there rendered "fruitful field"; Jeremiah 4:26 mg. In Micah 7:15, we should probably emend to "Shew unto us".

Micah 7:18. Cf. Exodus 15:11, Psalms 77:13; the comparison with other gods survived into post-exilic monotheism.

Micah 7:19. There is no exact parallel to the figure of "trampling" upon sin, but cf. Genesis 4:7, Psalms 65:3 a, where sin is personified as man's enemy.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Micah 7:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/micah-7.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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