Micah 1

Verse 10. And God saw their works] They repented, and brought

forth fruits meet for repentance; works which showed that they did

most earnestly repent. He therefore changed his purpose, and the

city was saved. The purpose was: If the Ninevites do not return

from their evil ways, and the violence that is in their hands,

within forty days, I will destroy the city. The Ninevites did

return, &c., and therefore escaped the threatened judgment. Thus

we see that the threatening was conditional.

THE BOOK

OF THE

PROPHET MICAH

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 Idaei 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 Coroebus 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.

-Twenty-first year of Theopompus, king of Lacedaemon, of the

family of the Proclidae.

-Twenty seventh year of Polydorus, king of Lacedaemon, of the

family of the Eurysthenidae.

-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 Jothan, 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 on the

dress of mourners, and with the doleful cries of the fox 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. But all resources are declared to be

vain; Israel and Judah must go into captivity, 9-16.

NOTES ON CHAP. I

Verse 1. The word of the Lord that came to Micah the Morasthite]

For all authentic particulars relative to this prophet, see the

preface.

In the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah] These three kings

reigned about threescore years; and Micah is supposed to have

prophesied about forty or fifty years; but no more of his

prophecies have reached posterity than what are contained in this

book, nor is there any evidence that any more was written. His

time appears to have been spent chiefly in preaching and

exhorting; and he was directed to write those parts only that

were calculated to profit succeeding generations.

Verse 2. Hear, all ye people] The very commencement of this

prophecy supposes preceding exhortations and predictions.

Hearken, O earth] arets, here, should be translated land,

the country of the Hebrews being only intended.

And let the Lord God be Witness] Let him who has sent me with

this message be witness that I have delivered it faithfully; and

be a witness against you, if you take not the warning.

The Lord from his holy temple.] The place where he still remains

as your King, and your Judge; and where you profess to pay your

devotions. The temple was yet standing, for Jerusalem was not

taken for many years after this; and these prophecies were

delivered before the captivity of the ten tribes, as Micah appears

to have been sent both to Israel and to Judah. See

Mic 1:5-9, 12, 13.

Verse 3. For, behold, the Lord cometh forth] See this clause,

Am 4:13. He represents Jehovah as a mighty conqueror, issuing

from his pavilion, stepping from mountain to mountain, which rush

down and fill the valleys before him; a consuming fire

accompanying him, that melts and confounds every hill and dale,

and blends all in universal confusion. God is here represented as

doing that himself which other conquerors do by the multitude of

their hosts; levelling the mountains, filling some of the valleys,

and digging for waters in others, and pouring them from hills and

dales for the use of the conquering armies, by pipes and

aqueducts.

And why is all this mighty movement? Mic 1:5. "For the

transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house

of Israel."

Verse 5. What is the transgression of Jacob?] Is it not

something extremely grievous? Is it not that of Samaria? Samaria

and Jerusalem, the chief cities, are infected with idolatry. Each

has its high places, and its idol worship, in opposition to the

worship of the true God. That there was idolatry practiced by the

elders of Israel, even in the temple of Jehovah, see Eze 8:1,

&c. As the royal cities in both kingdoms gave the example of gross

idolatry, no wonder that it spread through the whole land, both of

Israel and Judah.

Verse 6. I will make Samaria] I will bring it to desolation:

and, instead of being a royal city, it shall be a place for

vineyards. Newcome observes, that Samaria was situated on a hill,

the right soil for a vineyard.

I will discover the foundations thereof.] I will cause its walls

and fortifications to be razed to the ground.

Verse 7. All the hires thereof shall be burned] Multitudes of

women gave the money they gained by their public prostitution at

the temples for the support of the priesthood, the ornamenting of

the walls, altars, and images. So that these things, and perhaps

several of the images themselves, were literally the hire of the

harlots: and God threatens here to deliver all into the hands of

enemies who should seize on this wealth, and literally spend it in

the same way in which it was acquired; so that "to the hire of a

harlot these things should return."

Verse 8. I will make a wailing like the dragons] Newcome

translates:-

I will make a wailing like the foxes, (or jackals,)

And mourning like the daughters of the ostrich. This beast, the

jackal or shiagal, we have often met with in the prophets.

Travellers inform us that its howlings by night are most

lamentable; and as to the ostrich, it is remarkable for its

fearful shrieking and agonizing groanings after night. Dr. Shaw

says he has often heard them groan as if they were in the greatest

agonies.

Verse 9. Her wound is incurable] Nothing shall prevent their

utter ruin, for they have filled up the measure of their iniquity.

He is come-even to Jerusalem.] The desolation and captivity of

Israel shall first take place; that of Judah shall come after.

Verse 10. Declare ye it not at Gath] Do not let this prediction

be known among the Philistines, else they will glory over you.

House of Aphrah] Or, Beth-aphrah. This place is mentioned

Jos 18:23, as in the tribe of Benjamin. There is a paronomasia,

or play on words, here: bebeith leaphrah aphar,

"Roll thyself in the dust in the house of dust."

Verse 11. Inhabitant of Saphir] Sapher, Sepphoris, or Sephora,

was the strongest place in Galilee.-Calmet. It was a city in the

tribe of Judah, between Eleutheropolis and Ascalon.-Houbigant.

Zaanan] Another city in the tribe of Judah, Jos 15:13.

Beth-ezel] A place near Jerusalem, Zec 14:5. Some think that

Jerusalem itself is intended by this word.

Verse 12. The inhabitant of Maroth] There was a city of a

similar name in the tribe of Judah, Jos 15:59.

Verse 13. Inhabitant of Lachish] This city was in the tribe of

Judah, Jos 15:39, and was taken by Sennacherib when he was coming

against Jerusalem, 2Ki 18:13, &c., and it is supposed that he

wished to reduce this city first, that, possessing it, he might

prevent Hezekiah's receiving any help from Egypt.

She is the beginning of the sin] This seems to intimate that

Lachish was the first city in Judah which received the idolatrous

worship of Israel.

Verse 14. Give presents to Moresheth-gath] Calmet says that

Moresa or Morashti, and Achzib, were cities not far from Gath.

It is possible that when Ahaz found himself pressed by Pekah, king

of Israel, he might have sent to these places for succour, that by

their assistance he might frustrate the hopes of the king of

Israel; and this may be the meaning of "The houses of Achzib shall

be a lie to the kings of Israel." In these verses there are

several instances of the paronomasia. See Mic 1:10,

aphar, dust, and aphrah, the name of the city.

Mic 1:11.

tsaanan, the city, and yatsah, to go out. Mic 1:13,

lachish, the city, and rechesh, the swift beast.

Mic 1:14,

achzib, the city, and achzab, a lie. Such paronomasias were

reputed ornaments by the prophets. They occur in Isaiah with great

effect. See Isa 5:7.

Verse 15. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O-Mareshah] Here

is another instance, haigeresh, to bring an heir, and

mareshah, the city, the name of which signifies heirship. And so

of the above proper names.

Adullam the glory of Israel.] This was a fenced city in the

south of Judah (see 2Ch 11:7) towards the Dead Sea.

There is much obscurity in the concluding verses of this

chapter. They undoubtedly refer to the captivity of Israel, and to

circumstances of distress, &c., which are not mentioned in any of

the historical books, and therefore their reference and meaning

can only be conjectured.

Verse 16. Make thee bald] Cutting off the hair was a sign of

great distress, and was practised on the death of near relatives;

see Am 8:10. The desolation should be so great that Israel should

feel it to her utmost extent; and the mourning should be like that

of a mother for the death of her most delicate children.

Enlarge thy baldness as the eagle] Referring to the mounting of

this bird, when in casting its feathers and breeding new ones, it

is very sickly, and its strength wholly exhausted.

They are gone into captivity] This is a prediction of the

captivity by Shalmaneser. Samaria, the chief city, is called on to

deplore it, as then fast approaching.

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