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INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF MICAH.
His strength of expression :Chap. i. 6.
.-" Therefore will I make Samaria a heap of the field, a place for the plantings of a vineyard :
And I will pour down her stones into the valley, and I will discover her foundations." iii. 2. Ye who hate good and love evil :
Who pluck their skin from off them,
And their flesh from off their bones.
And have flayed their skin from off them,
And as meat within the caldron.” vii. 1.-—"Wo is me; for I am become
As the gatherers of late figs, as the gleaners of the vintage.
My soul desireth the first-ripe fig. -
And there is none upright among men.
His pathos :
Chap. i. 16.—“Make thee bald, and cut off thine hair for thy delicate children;
Enlarge thy baldness as the eagle;
For they are gone into captivity from thee."
And a grievous lamentation shall be made :
His sublimity :
Chap. i. 2.
-“ Hear, O ye people, all of you :
Hearken, O land, and all that are therein.
Even the Lord from his holy temple.
And he will come down, and will tread upon the high places of the earth.
And the valleys shall cleave asunder;
As waters poured down a steep place.”
Arise, contend thou before the mountains ;
And let the hills hear thy voice." vii. 15.-" The nations shall see, and shall be confounded because of their might :
They shall lay their hand upon their mouth ; their ears shall be deaf.
As the creeping things upon the earth, they shall tremble from their close places :
PRO P H E T
M I C A H.
Chronological Notes relative to this Book.
Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3254.—Year of the Julian Period, 3964.-Year since
the Flood, 1598.-Year from the vocation of Abram, 1171.-Year since the first celebration of the Olympic games in Elis by the Idæi Dactyli, 704.—Year from the destruction of Troy, according to the general computation of chronologers, 434.--Year since the commencement of the kingdom of Israel, by the Divine appointment of Saul to the regal dignity, 346.-Year from the foundation of Solomon's temple, 262.-Year since the division of Solomon's monarchy into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 226. -Year since the restoration of the Olympic games at Elis by Lycurgus, Iphitus, and Cleosthenes, 135.Year from the foundation of the kingdom of Macedon by Caranus, 65.-Year from the foundation of the kingdom of Lydia by Ardysus, 49.—All before this reign concerning Lydia is entirely fabulous.— Year since the conquest of Coræbus at Olympia, usually called the first Olympiad, 27.—Third year of the seventh Olympiad. —Year before the building of Rome, according to the Varronian computation, 4.Year from the building of Rome, according to Cato and the Fasti Consulares, 3.-Year from the building of Rome, according to Polybius the historian, 2.—Year before the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor, 2. -Year before the commencement of the era of Nabonassar, 2.-Year before the birth of Christ, 746.-Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 750.--Cycle of the Sun, 16.-_Cycle of the Moon, 12.-Twentyfirst year of Theopompus, king of Lacedæmon, of the family of the Proclidæ. --Twenty-seventh year Polydorus, king of Lacedæmon, of the family of the Eurysthenidæ.-Twelfth year of Alyattes, king of Lydia.—Fifth year of Charops, the first decennial archon of the Athenians.-Fourth year of Romulus, the first king of the Romans.— Tenth year of Pekah, king of Israel.-Ninth year of Jotham, king of Judah.
CHAPTER I. The prophet begins with calling the attention of all people to the awful descent of Jehovah, coming to execute
his judgments against the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 1–5; first against Samaria, whose fate the prophet laments in the dress of mourners, and with the doleful'cries of the for or ostrich, 6-8; and then against Jerusalem, which is threatened with the invasion of Sennacherib. Other cities of Judah are likewise threatened ; and their danger represented to be so great as to oblige them to have recourse for protection even to their enemies the Philistines, from whom they desired at first to conceal their situation.
Bul all resources are declared to be vain; Israel and Judah must go into captivity, 9-16. A. M. 'cir. 3254. THE word of the Lord that Judah, ” which he saw concern- 4. M. cir
. Fasa B. C. cir. 750. A. U. C. cir. 4. came to - Micah the Moras- ing Samaria and Jerusalem. A. U. C. cir. 4. Romuli,
Romuli, R. Roman.
thite in the days of Jotham, 2 Hear, all yè people ; R. Roman., cir. annum 4.
cir. annum 4. Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of a hearken, 0 carth, and
all Jer. xxvi, 18.- Amos i. 1.--Heb. Hear, ye people, d Deuteronomy xxxii. 1; Isa. 1. 2.- - Heb. the fulness all of than.
thereof. NOTES ON CHAP. I.
is supposed to have prophesied about forty or fifty Verse 1. The word of the Lord that came to Micah years; but no more of his prophecies have reached the Morasthite). For all authentic particulars relative posterity than what are contained in this book, nor is to this prophet, see the preface.
there any evidence that any more was written. His In the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah] These time appears to have been spent chiefly in preaching three kings reigned about threescore years; and Micah land exhorting; and he was directed to write those
B. C. cir. 750.
cir. annum 4.
Prophecies against Samaria
cir. annum. 4. 3 For, behold,h the LORD and I will pour down the stones cometh forth out of his place, and will come thereof into the valley, and I will discover the down, and tread upon the k high places of the foundations thereof. earth.
17 And all the graven images thereof shall 4 And I the mountains shall be molten under be beaten to pieces, and all the p hires thereof him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols before the fire, and as the waters that are thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered poured down a steep place.
it of the hire of a harlot, and they shall return 5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, to the hire of a harlot. and for the sins of the house of Israel. What 8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will is the transgression of Jacob ?. is it not Sama- go stripped and naked : I will make a wailria ? and what are the high places of Judah ? ing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls. are they not Jerusalem ?
9 For her wound is incurable ; for it is
Psa. 1. 7; Mal. iii. 5. * Psa. xi. 4; Jonah ii. 7, Hab. ii. . Ezek. xiii. 14. Hos, ii. 5, 12. -? Isa. xxi. 3 ; xii. 4, 20.- ch Isa. xxvi. 21.- Psa. cxy, 3. Lk Deut. xxxii. 13 ; Jer. iv. 19. - Isaiah xx. 2, 3, 4.- -s Job xxx. 29; Pea. cii. xxxiii. 29; Amos iv. 13. — Judg. v. 5; Psa. xcvii. 5; 6.--Heb. daughters of the owl. -u Or, she is grietuusin Isa. Ixiv. 1, 2, 3; Amos ix. 5; Hab. iii. 6, 10.- Heb. a de- sick of her wounds. -52 Kings xviii. 13; Isaiah Viu. seent.2 Kings xix. 25; chap. 111. 12.
parts only that were calculated to profit succeeding are infected with idolatry. Each has its high places, generations.
and its idol worship, in opposition to the worship of Verse 2. Hear, all ye people] The very commence- the true God. That there was idolatry practised by ment of this prophecy supposes préceding exhortations the elders of Israel, even in the temple of Jehovah, and predictions
see Ezek. vii. 1, &c. As the royal cities in both Hearken, 0 earth] 778 arets, here, should be kingdoms gave the example of gross idolatry, do wontranslated land, the country of the Hebrews being only der that it spread through the whole land, both of intended.
Israel and Judah. And let the Lord God be Witness] Let him who Verse 6, I will make Samaria] I will bring it to has sent me with this message be witness that I have desolation : and, instead of being a royal city, it shall delivered it faithfully; and be a witness against you, be a place for vineyards. Newcome observes, that if you take not the warning.
Samaria was situated on a hill, the right soil for a The Lord from his holy temple.] The place where vineyard. he still remains as your King, and your Judge ; and I will discover the foundations thereof.) I will where you profess to pay your devotions. - The tem-cause its walls and fortifications to be razed to the ple was yet standing, for Jerusalem was not taken for ground. many years after this; and these prophecies were Verse 7. All the hires thereof shall be burned] Muldelivered before the captivity of the ten tribes, as titudes of women gave the money they gained by Micah appears to have been sent both to Israel and to their public prostitution at the temples for the support Judah. See vér. 5-9, 12, 13.
of the priesthood, the ornamenting of the walls, altars, Verse 3. For, behold, the Lord cometh forth] See and images. So that these things, and perhaps several this clause, Amos iv. 13. He represents Jehovah as of the images themselves, were literally the hire of a mighty conqueror, issuing from his pavilion, step- the harlots : and God threatens here to liver all into ping from mountain to mountain, which rush down the hands of enemies, who should seize on this wealth, and fill the valleys before him; a consuming fire ac- and literally spend it in the same way in which it was companying him, that melts and confounds every hill acquired ; so that “ to the hire of a harlot these things and dale, and blends all in universal confusion. God should return." is here represented as doing that himself which other Verse 8. I will make a wailing like the dragons] conquerors do by the multitude of their hosts : level- Newcome translates :-ling the mountains, filling some of the valleys, and dig- I will make a wailing like the foxes, (or jackals,) ging for waters in others, and pouring them from hills And mourning like the daughters of the ostrich. and dales for the use of the conquering armies,' by This beast, the jackal or shiagal, we have often met pipes and aqueducts.
with in the prophets. Travellers inform us that its And why, is all this mighty movement ? Verse 5. howlings by night are most lamentable ; and as to the " For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for ostrich, it is remarkable for its fearful shrieking and the sins of the house of Israel."
agonizing groanings after night. Dr. Shaw says he Verse 5. What is the transgression of Jacob ?] Is has often heard them groan as if they were in the it not something extremely grievous ? Is it not that greatest agonies. of Samaria ? Samaria and Jerusalem, the chief cities, Verse 9. Her wound is incurable] Nothing shall
Various cities threatened
B. C. cir. 750.
A. M. cir. 3254.
B. C. cir. 750.
Romuli, R. Roman., cir. annuin 4.
come unto Judah; he is come chariot to the swift beast : she A. M. cir. 3254.
cir, annum 4. 10 w Declare ye it not at Gath, transgressions of Israel were weep ye not at all : in the house of * Aphrah found in thee. Y roll thyself in the dust.
14 Therefore shalt thou give presents i to 11 Pass ye away, ? thou inhabitant of Moresheth-gath : the houses of " Achzib ? shall Saphir, having thy shame naked : the inha-| be a lie to the kings of Israel.. bitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourn- - 15 Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O ining of a Beth-ezel; he shall receive of you his habitant of m Mareshah : " he shall come unto standing.
• Adullam the glory of Israel. 12 For the inhabitant of Maroth 'e waited 16 Make thee P bald, and poll thee for thy çarefully for good : but f evil came down from a delicate' children; enlarge thy baldness as the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem. the eagle ; for they are gone into captivity.
13 Othou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the from thee.
w 2 Sam. i. 20.- That is, dust. - Jer. vi. 26.-2 Or, thou that dwellest fairly. -a Heb. inhabitress.
b Isa. XX. 4; xlvii. 2, 3 ; Jer. xii. 22; Nah. 11. 5. - Or, the country of
flocks. _ Or, a place near.- - Or, was grieved. -- Amos 111. 6.
62 Kings xviii. 14, 17.-2 Sam. viii. 2; 2 Kings xviii. 14, 15, 16. - Or, for.--~k That is, a lie.
Josh. xv. 44. m Josh. xv. 44.- -- Or, the glory of Israel shall come, &c. 02 Chron. xi. 7. -- Job i. 20, Isa. xv. 2; xxii, 12; Jer. vii. 29; xvi. 6; xlvii. 5; xlviii. 37.- -9 Lam. iv. 5.
prevent their utter ruin, for they have filled up the their assistance he might frustrate the hopes of the measure of their iniquity.
king of Israel ; and this may be the meaning of He is come—even to Jerusalem.] The desolation - The houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of and captivity of Israel shall first take place; that of Israel.” In these verses there are several instances of Judah shall come after..
the paronomasia. See ver. 10, 9 aphar, dust, and Verse 10. Declare ye it not at Gath] Do not let 1799 y aphrah, the name of the city.
Ver. 11, 1383 this prediction be known among the Philistines, else tsaunan, the city, and 783' yatsah, to go out. Ver. they will glory over you.
13, 35 lachish, the city, and von rechesh, the swift House of Aphrah) Or, Beth-aphrah. This place is beast, Ver. 14, 2's achzib, the city, and JIN mentioned Josh. xviii. 23, as in the tribe of Benjamin. achzab, a lie. Sueh paronomasias were reputed ornaThere is a paronomasia, or play on words, here : ments by the prophets. They occur in Isaiah with by indys nga bebeith leaphrah aphar, “Roll thyself great effect. See Isa. v. 7. in the dust, in the house of dust.'
Verse 15. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O Verse 11. Inhabitant of Saphir] Sapher, Sepphoris, Mareshah] Here is another instance, win haiyeresh, or Sephora, was the strongest place in Galilee.-Cal- to bring an heir, and 707) mareshah, the city, the met. It was a city in the tribe of Judah, between name of which signifies heirship. And so of the Eleutheropolis and Ascalon. — Houbigant.
above proper names. Zaanan] Another city in the tribe of Judah, Josh. Adullam the glory of Israel.] This was a fenced xv. 13.
city in the south of Judah (see 2 Chron. xi. 7) towards Beth-ezel] A place near Jerusalem, Zech. xiv. 5. the Dead Sea. Some think that Jerusalem itself is intended by this There is much obscurity in the concluding verses word.
of this chapter. They undoubtedly refer to the capVerse 12. The inhabitant of Maroth] There was tivity of Israel, and to circumstances of distress, &c., a city of a similar name in the tribe of Judah, Josh. which are not mentioned in any of the historical books; XV. 59.
and therefore their reference and meaning can only be Verse 13. Inhabitant of Lachish] This city was in conjectured. the tribe of Judah, Josh. xv. 39, and was taken by Verse 16. Make thee bald] Cutting off the hair Sennacherib when he was coming against Jerusalem, was a sign of great distress, and was practised on the 2 Kings xviii. 13, &c., and it is supposed that he death of near relatives ; see Amos viii. 10. - The wished to reduce this eity first, that, possessing it, he desolation should be so great that Israel should feel might prevent Hezekiah's receiving any help from it to her utmost extent; and the mourning should be Egypt.
like that of a mother for the death of her most deliShe is the beginning of the sin} This seems to inti- cate children, i mate that Lachish was the first city Judah which Enlarge thy baldness as the eagle] Referring to received the idolatrous worship of Israel.
the moulling of this bird, when in casting its feathers Verse 14. Give presents to Moresheth-gath] Calmet and breeding new, ones, it is very sickly, and its says that Moresa or Morashli, and Achzib, were cities strength wholly exhausted. not far from Gath. It is possible that when Ahaz They are gone into captivity] This is a prediction found himself pressed by Pekah, king of Israel, he of the captivity by Shalmaneser. Samaria, the chief might have sent to these places for succour, that by city, is called on to deplore it, as then fast approaching.
Judgments threatened against
the plotters of wickedness.
cir. annum 24.
Here the prophet denounces a wo against the plotters of wickedness, the covetous and the oppressor, 1, 2.
God is represented as devising their ruin, 3. An Israelite is then introduced as a mourner, personating his people, and lamenting their fate, 4. Their total expulsion is now threatened on account of their very numerous offences, 5–10. Great infatuation of the people in favour of those pretenders to Divine inspiration who prophesied to them peace and plenty, 11. The chapter, concludes with a gracious promise of the restoration of the posterity of Jacob from captivity ; possibly alluding to their deliverance from the Chaldean
yoke, an event which was about two hundred years in futurity at the delivery of this prophecy, 12, 13. 13. Mc.co.30. Wo to them that devise mentation, and say, We be utterly $. circ
. 3270. A. U.C. cir. 24. iniquity, and work evil spoiled : ? he hath changed the A.U.C. cir. 24 Romuli,
Romuli, their beds! when the portion of my people : how hath R. Roman. cir. annum, 24.
morning is light, they practise it, he removed it from me! m turnbecause e it is in the power of their hand. ing away he hath divided our fields.
2 And they covet fields, and take them by 5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall
6.0 p Prophesy 4 ye not, say they to them that
4 In that day shall one h take up a parable these bis doings? do not my words do good against you, and i lament k with a doleful la- to him that walketh s uprightly?
a Hos. vii. 6. Lb Psa. xxxvi, 4.5 -C Gen. xxxi. 29. - d Isa, m Or, instead of restoring, - Deut. xxxii. 8, 9.- -o Or, Prov. 8.
e Or, defraud. of Jer. viii. 3. - Amos v, 13; Eph. phesy not as they prophesy.- -p Heb. drop, &c.; Ezek. XX1. 2. v. 16.
Lh Hab. ii. 6. Li 2 Sam. i. 17.- k Heb. with a la- 9 Isa. xxx. 10; Amos ii. 12; vii. 16. Or, shortened. Heb. mentation of lamientations.- Chap. i. 15.
NOTES ON CHAP. II.
be utterly spoiled ; and ends, Are these his doings ? Wa to them that devise iniquity] - Who lay schemes ver. 7. and plans for transgressions; who make it their study Verse 5. None that shall cast a cord] You will no to find out new modes of sinning; and make these more have your inheritance divided to you by lot, as .things their nocturnal meditations, that, having fixed it was to your fathers ; ye shall neither have fields their plan, they may begin to execute it as soon as it nor possessions of any kind. is light in the morning.
Verse 6. Prophesy, ye not] Do not predict any Because it is in the power of their hand.] They more evils—we have as many as we can bear. We think they may do whatever they have power and op- are utterly ruined-shame and confusion cover our portunity to do.
faces. The original is singular, and expressive of Verse 2. They covet fields] These are the rich sorrow and sobbing. Literally, “Do not cause it to and mighty in the land ; and, like Ahab, they will rain ; they will cause it to rain; they cannot make it take the vineyard or inheritance of any poor Naboth rain sooner than this ; confusion shall not depart from on which they may fix their covetous eye; so that us.” To rain, often means to preach, to prophesy ; they take away even the heritage of the poor. Ezek. xx. 46, xxi. 2 ; Amos vii. 16; Deut. xxxii. 2;
Verse 3. Against this family (the Israelites) do 1 Job xxix. 22 ; Prov. v. 3, &c. devise an evil] You have devised the evil of plunder- The last line Bp. Newcome translates, “ For he ing the upright; I will devise the evil to you of pun- shah not remove from himself reproaches ;" and paraishment for your conduct; you shall have your necks phrases, “The true prophet will subject himself to brought under the yoke of servitude. Tiglath-pileser public disgrace by exercising his office." ruined this kingdom, and transported the people to Verse 7. Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened !! Assyria, under the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah; This is the oomplaint of the Israelites, and a part of and Micah lived to see this catastrophe. See on the lamentation. Doth it not speak by other persons ver. 9.
as well as by. Micah ? Doth ft communicate to us Verse 4. Take up a parable against you] Your such influences as it did formerly? Is it true that wickedness and your punishment shall be subjects of these evils are threatened by that Spirit? Are these common conversation ; and a funeral dirge shall be his doings? To which Jehovah answers, “Do not composed and sung for you as for the dead.' The my words do good to him that walketh uprightly ?" lamentation is that which immediately follows ; We No upright man need fear any word spoken by me :