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into the valley, and I will discover the founCHAPTER I.

dations thereof.

7 And all the graven images thereof shall 1 Micah sheweth the wrath of God against Judah for idolatry. 10 He exhorteth to mourning. be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof

shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols HE word of thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered the

LORD it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall rethat came to turn to the hire of an harlot. Micah the 8 Therefore I will wail and bowl, I will go Morasthite stripped and naked : I will make a wailing in the days like the dragons, and mourning as the 'owls. of Jotham, 9 For ''her wound is incurable ; for it is Ahaz, and come unto Judah ; he is come unto the gate

of my

T dah, which not at all : in the house of "Aphrah 'roll he saw con- thyself in the dust. cerning Sa- 11 Pass ye away, thou "inhabitant of maria and Saphir, having thy shame naked : the inhaJerusalem. bitant of 'Zaanan came not forth in the

21 'Hear, mourning of ''Beth-ezel; he shall receive of all ye people ; "hearken, 0 earth, and all that you his standing. therein is : and let the Lord God be witness 12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited against you, the Lord from his holy temple. carefully for good : but evil came down from

3 For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem. of his 'place, and will come down, and tread 13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the upon the 'high places of the earth.

chariot to the swift beast : she is the begin4 And "the mountains shall be molten ning of the sin to the daughter of Zion : for under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as the transgressions of Israel were found in thee. wax before the fire, and as the waters that are 14 Therefore shalt thou give presents *oto poured down 'a steep place.

Moresheth-gath: the houses of "Achzib shall 5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, be a lie to the kings of Israel. and for the sins of the house of Israel. What 15 Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Sama- inhabitant of Mareshah : "he shall come unto ria ? and what are the high places of Judah ? | Adullam the glory of Israel. are they not Jerusalem ?

16 Make thee zabald, and poll thee for thy 6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an delicate children ; enlarge thy baldness as the heap of the field, and as plantings of a vine- eagle; for they are gone into captivity from yard : and I will pour down the stones thereof thee. 1 Heb. Hear, ye people all of them.

3 Heb. the fulness thereof.

5 Psal. 115. 3. 6 Deut. 32. 13, and 33. 29.

9 Heb. daughters of the oul. 10 Or, she is grievously sick of her wounds.

14 Vr, thou that dwellest fair.y. 17 Or, the country of flocks.

19 Or, was griered. 20 Or, for. 21 That is, A lie. 22 Or, the glory of Israel shall come, &c.

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2 Deut. 32. 1. Isa. 1. 2.

7 Psal. 97.5.

11 2 Sam. 1. 20. 16 Isa. 47. 3.

4 Isa. 26. 21.
8 Heb. a descent.
12 That is, dust.

13 Jer. 6. 26.
18 Or, a place near.

23 Isa, 22. 12.

15 Heb. inhabitress.

Verse 6. 'I will make Samaria as an heap of the field:- ascended on foot by a varrow and steep pathway, which The following illustration of this is from the Narrative of soon divides into two, and conducts past the foundations the Scottish Mission of Inquiry, p. 219:- We read over of the ruined church to the village. "The pathway is enthe prophecy of Micah regarding Samaria as we drew closed by rude dykes, the stones of which are large, and near to it, and conversed together as to its full meaning. many of them carved, and these are piled rather than built We asked Dr. Keith what he understood by the expres- upon one another. Some of them are loose and ready to sion “I will make Samaria as an heap of the field." He fall. Many are peculiarly large, and have evidently bereplied that he supposed the ancient stones of Samaria longed to ancient edifices. would be found, not in the form of a ruin, but gathered * I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley.' into heaps in the same manner as in cleaning a vineyard, -The travellers cited in the preceding note state, in conor as our farmers at home clean their fields by gathering tinuation, that the whole of the face of this part of the hill the stones together. In a little after we found the con- (on which Samaria stood) suggests the idea that the buildjecture to be completely verified. We halted at the eastern ing of the ancient city had been thrown down from the end of the hill, beside an old aqueduct, and immediately brow of the hill. Ascending to the top, we went round under the ruin of an old Greek church, which rises on this the whole summit, and found marks of the same process side above the miserable village of Subuste. The ruin is everywhere. The people of the country, in order to make one of the most sightly in the whole of Palestine. We room for their fields and gardens, have swept off the oid honses, and poured the stones down into the valley. Masses can find no other information than that text conveys, of stone, and in one place two broken columns, are seen, namely, that it was a town in the valley' of Judah. as it were, on their way to the bottom of the hill. In the - Beth-ezel.'— There might not be much difficulty in southern valley we counted thirteen large heaps of stones, supposing this a uame for Bethel. most of them piled up round the trunks of the olive-trees.' 12. Maroth.'—No place of this name occurs elsewhere.

8. • Stripped and naked.'— That is, as having thrown Grotius and some others think that, by a transposition of off the outer garment and ornaments, and remaining in the m and r, Ramoth may be understood. Of this name, the under gown or tunic. This is on several occasions or, in the singular, Ramah, there were several places in described as “ pakedness' in Scripture.

Israel and Judah ; and if this conjecture be probable, all Mourning as the owls.'-Rather .as the ostriches,' or the principal of them may be intended by the plural here distinguished by their poetical title, 17 ya niją benoth- name; but from the connection with Jerusalem, implying yaanah, daughters of screeching. See the note on Job vicinity, we should rather be disposed to understand the xxxix. 13, where the elucidation of this name is included

noted Ramah, a few miles to the north of that metropolis. in the account given of the bird. We may add from Shaw Hiller's conjecture, that Jarmuth should be understood, (p. 455): During the lonesome part of the night they

seems to us not very probable. often make a very doleful and hideous noise. I have often

13. · Lachish.' - This we know to have been one of the heard them groan as if they were in the greatest agonies :

strongest fortified towns of Judah ; and we are very much an action beautifully alluded to by Micah.'

disposed to consider that the occurrence of this, and other 10. The house of Aphrah.'— The name of Aphrah, and real and known names of the list, sufficiently indicates some of the others that follow which do not elsewhere that all of them are actual names of places, selected by the occur in Scripture, have given occasion to some specula- prophet either on account of their importance in his time, tion. 1. Some suppose them to be proper names of towns.

or on account of some special circumstances in the events 2. Others regard them as significant names, imposed, some

related or foreseen, or because their names had such sigupon Samaria and others upon Jerusalem, by the prophet, nificance as pointed the allusions he intended to convey. to give him occasion to apply their meanings to the exist- Pococke, after allowing the difficulty of identifying some ing and future condition of those places and their people. of the places, says: • But the taking them otherwise than 3. Those who translate the words, instead of retaining as the proper names of cities, doth but open the way to them as proper names, do not understand them differently more uncertain conjectures and doubtful interpretations.' from the former. And our own translators leave us the 14. · Moresheth-gath.'—The addition 'Gath taken with choice of explanations by giving the words as proper the context, shews clearly that the place belonged to the names in the text, and translating them in the margin.

Philistines of Gath, if that city itself be not, as some supBy consulting the marginal explanations the reader will pose, intended. The sacred history is silent as to the ocsee the play upon the siguifications, which is involved: casion on which Lachish sought the aid of the Philistines : and after having premised the interpretations to which perhaps when apprehensive of a siege, or actually besieged, each example is open, we will so far defer to the first as by the king of Assyria. to see what information can be found, on the hypothesis

Achzib.'-Another town of the Philistines, noticed that they are proper names of towns.

under Josh. xii. 20. The present Aphrah is thought by some to be the same

15. ' Adullam.'-See the note on Josh, xii. 15. as the Ophrah of Josh. xviii. 23, where it is mentioned as 16. " Enlarge thy baldness as the eagle.? We were once a city of Benjamin. This was in Jerome's time a village, inclined to think that the circumstance of baldness might then called Effrem, five Roman miles east of Bethel, and afford a clue to the identification of the species of eagle which Dr. Robinson is disposed to identify with the site

here intended. There is, for instance, the osprey, or bald of a village called Taiyibeh, which now crowns a conical buzzard, of which see the note on Lev. xi. 13; and an hill in that quarter. The mention of Bethel (house of eagle is mentioned by Bruce, known in Ethiopia by the God) gives one occasion to recollect that the nickname name nisser, or eagle, but by him called the golden eagle Beth-aven (house of vanity), given to that place by the (seemingly erroneously), and vulgarly called abu duch'n, prophets, suggests an example, applicable to the instances 'father long beard,' from the tuft of hair under his chin. before us, of the practice of imposing a nickname—some- • A forked brush of strong hair, divided at the point into times by only slightly altering the real one-to express two, proceeded from the cavity of his lower jaw, at the the character of the place, or to point the allusion intended beginning of his throat. He had the smallest eye I ever to be conveyed. The present example, Beth-aphrah, remember to have seen in a large bird, the aperture being house of dust,' is remarkably analogous.

scarcely half an inch. The crown of his head was bare 11. “Saphir:'—The name Shamir occurs, in Josh. xv. or bald, so was the front where the bill and scull joined.' 48, as that of a town in the hill country of Judah. That We are unable to determine the species of this bird, and name is read Sophir in the Alexandrian copy of the Septua- cannot, therefore, say whether or not it exists in Palestine. gint, and is thought by some to be the place intended If so, it might be supposed the subject of the present reby the prophet. A place of this name is mentioned by ference, if the baldness' of any particular species is inEusebius and Jerome, as a village in the hilly country tended. But it rather appears to us that the allusion is to between Eleutheropolis and Askelon, in which quarter the moulting of the bird-at which time it loses its spirits, Dr. Robinson found three villages near each other bearing no longer hunts for prey as usual, and ceases to be an the name of Sawâfir, which he is disposed to regard as the object of dread to other birds. This is surely a more plural form of the Hebrew Saphir.-- Researches, ii. 370. suggestive similitude than mere head-baldness in any one

* Zaanan.'— This name is not very different from kind of eagle. that of Zenan in Josh. xv. 37; and concerning which we

CHAPTER II.

evil upon their beds ! when the morning is | Against oppression. 4 A lamentation. 7 A reproof light, they practise it, because it is in the

of injustice and idolatry. 12 A promise of restoring power of their hand. Jacob.

2 And they covet 'fields, and take them by Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work | violence; and houses, and take them away: so they "oppress a man and his house, even a ment from them that pass by securely as men man and his heritage.

1 Isa, 5. 8.

averse from war. 3 Therefore thus saith the LORD ; Behold, 9 The women of my people have ye cast against this family do I devise an evil, from out from their pleasant houses ; from their which ye shall not remove your necks; neither children have ye taken away my glory for

ever. shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.

4 * In that day shall one take up a parable 10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not against you, and lament with a doleful la- your rest: because it is polluted, it shall dementation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: stroy you, even with a sore destruction. he hath changed the portion of my people : 11 If a man **walking in the spirit and how hath he removed it from me! 'turning falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto away he hath divided our fields.

thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall 5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall even be the prophet of this people. scast a cord by lot in the congregation of the

12 1 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all LORD.

of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of 6 *Prophesy ye not, say they to them that Israel ; I will put them together as the sheep prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their that they shall not take shame.

fold: they shall make great noise by reason 7 10 thou that art named the house of of the multitude of men. Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD 'straitened ? 13 The breaker is come up before them : are these his doings ? do not my words do they have broken up, and have passed through good to him that walketh ''uprightly? the gate, and are gone out by it: and their

8 Even "of late my people is risen up as king shall pass before them, and the LORD on an enemy: ye pull off the robe ''with the gar- the head of them.

2 Or, defraud. 3 Heb. with a lamentation of lamentations. 4 Or, instead of restoring. 5 Deut. 32. 8, 9. 6 Or, Prophesy not as they prophesy. 7 Heb. Drop, &c.

j Or, shortened. 10 Heb. ápright. 11 Heb. yesterday. 12 Heb. over against a garment. 13 Or, wives. 14 Or, walk with the wind and lie falsely.

67

8 Isa, 30.10.

Verse 5. Cast a cord by lot.' –This probably alludes to the division of the lands by a cord or measuring line, and to their distribution by lot to the congregation of the Lord '—the Hebrew nation-in the time of Joshua.

8. Ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely.'—This shews their extreme rapacity, that, not content with the outer garment, which was the most valuable article of dress, and the most obvious object of depredative assaults, they must have also the inner garment or tunic-an article of attire less valuable to the spoiler and more essential to the wearer. They were thus

as bad as the Bedouin Arabs, who seldom leave any article of dress of the least value upon those who fall into their hands, and who think themselves liberal in casting an old rag of their own to cover the nakedness of those whom they have plundered. The plunder of the raiment, of which we so often read in the Bible and in modern travel, arises from the loose character of the Oriental dress, so that a garment for a person of average size will fit a great number of persons quite as well as the one for whom it is made; whence a garment is a more available object for sale or use than dresses that fit more nicely

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CHAPTER III.

the sun shall go down over the prophets, and

the day shall be dark over them. 1 The cruelty of the princes. 5 The falsehood of the 7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and prophets. 8 The security of them both.

the diviners confounded : yea, they shall all AND I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of cover their 'lips; for there is no answer of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; God. Is it not for you to know judgment?

8 But truly I am full of power by the 2 Who hate the good, and love the evil; spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of who pluck off their skin from off them, and might, to declare unto Jacob his transgrestheir flesh from off their bones;

sion, and to Israel his sin. 3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and 9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the flay their skin from off them; and they break house of Jacob, and princes of the house of their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. equity.

4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but 10 They build up Zion with 5 blood, and he will not hear them : he will even hide his Jerusalem with iniquity. face from them at that time, as they have be- 11 The heads thereof judge for reward, haved themselves ill in their doings.

and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the 5 Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will prophets that make my people err, that 'bite they lean upon the LORD, "and say, Is not with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that the Lord among us? none evil can come upon putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him:

12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be 6 Therefore night shall be unto you, 'that plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall beye shall not have a vision; and it shall be come heaps, and the mountain of the house as dark unto you, 'that ye shall not divine ; and the high places of the forest. 1 Chap. 2. 11. 2 Heb. from a vision. 3 Heb. from divining.

A Heb. upper lip. 5 Ezek, 22. 27. Zeph. 3. 3. 7 Heb. saying.

us.

6 Heb, bloods.

8 Jer. 26. 18.

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who, when urged by the governors of the provinces to The wrathful soldier draws the hostile plough, augment the tributes, answered, “Boni pastoris esse ton

That haughty mark of totul overthrow.' dere, non deglubere,'—the good shepherd shears his sheep,

Carmin. I. i. Ode xvi. FRANCIS. but does not skin them. Sueton in Tiber, 32,

And these very Romans did draw the 'hostile plough'

over Jerusalem. For we are told by various old Hebrew 12. Therefore shall Zion...be plowed as a field?- writers, whose testimony is confirmed by Jerome, that Whether this received any literal fulfilment when the city

after the city and temple of Jerusalem had been by them was ruined by the Babylonians we do not know; but we destroyed, Turnus Rufus, or, as Jerome calls him, Titus do know that Jerusalem then “became heaps' as the next Annius Rufus, passed the plough over the site, according clause expresses. The prediction has, however, been lite- to an order which he received from the emperor; and in rally accomplished in more ways than one. It was an in- consequence of which the site remained for many years sulting act of ancient conquerors to pass a plough over a utterly desolate. conquered and ruined city, to express that the site should Another interesting corroboration of this passage, if be built upon no more, but be devoted to agriculture. understood as applying specially to Mount Zion, might be Horace mentions it as a Roman custom :

found in its present condition, as described by Dr. Richard

son, in a passage quoted under Ps. xlviii. 2; and in which * From hence proud cities date their overthrow, its application to the illustration of the present text is parWhen, insolent in ruin, o'er their walls

ticularly mentioned.

CHAPTER IV.

7 And I will make her that ‘halted a rem

nant, and her that was cast far off a strong 1 The glory, 3 peace, 8 kingdom, 11 and victory of the

nation : and the LORD 'shall reign over them church.

in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. But 'in the last days it shall come to pass, 8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the that the mountain of the house of the LORD strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall be established in the top of the moun- shall it come, even the first dominion; the tains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jeruand people shall flow unto it.

salem. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud ? is Come, and let us go up to the mountain of there no king in thee? is thy counsellor the LORD, and to the house of the God of perished ? for pangs have taken thee as a Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and woman in travail. we will walk in his paths ; for the law shall 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail : from Jerusalem.

for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, 3 And he shall judge among many

and thou shalt dwell in the field, and tholi people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be and they shall beat their swords into plow- delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee shares, and their spears into 'pruninghooks : from the land of thine enemies. nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, 11 9 Now also many nations are gathered neither shall they learn war any more. against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and

4 But they shall sit every man under his let our eye look upon Zion. vine and under his fig tree ; and none shall 12 But they know not the thoughts of the make them afraid : for the mouth of the Lord LORD, neither understand they his counsel : of hosts hath spoken it.

for he shall gather them as the sheaves into 5 For all people will walk every one in the the floor. name of his god, and we will walk in the name 13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion : of the LORD our God for ever and ever. for I will make thine horn iron, and I will

6 9 In that day, saith the LORD, will I as- make thy hoofs brass : and thou shalt beat in semble her that halteth, and I will gather her pieces many people : and I will consecrate that is driven out, and her that I have af- their gain unto the Lord, and their substance flicted ;

unto the Lord of the whole earth. i Isa. 2. 2, &c.

3 Or, scythes.

Zeph. 3. 19. 5 Dan. 7. 14. Luke 1. 33.

2 Isa. 2. 4.

Joel 3. 10.

Verse 4. They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree? --- This proverbial and beautiful image, employed by the Hebrews to express a state of security and peace, has already received, under 1 Kings iv. 25, the requisite explanation. The present recurrence of the image affords an opportunity of adding a few further ob

servations. Pliny, in speaking of vines, mentions three
kinds and modes of training :-1. Those which ran along
the ground ;-2. Those which grew upright, without sup-
port;-3. Those which were sustained by a single prop
4. And those which covered a frame or trellis. We have
ourselves seen all these methods in the East; and although

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