Micah 2

CHAPTER II

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.

NOTES ON CHAP. II

Verse 1. Wo to them that devise iniquity] Who lay schemes and

plans for transgressions; who make it their study to find out

new modes of sinning; and make these things their nocturnal

meditations, that, having fixed their plan, they may begin to

execute it as soon as it is light in the morning.

Because it is in the power of their hand.] They think they may

do whatever they have power and opportunity to do.

Verse 2. They covet fields] These are the rich and mighty in the

land; and, like Ahab, they will take the vineyard or inheritance

of any poor Naboth on which they may fix their covetous eye; so

that they take away even the heritage of the poor.

Verse 3. Against this family (the Israelites) do I devise an

evil] You have devised the evil of plundering the upright; I will

devise the evil to you of punishment for your conduct; you shall

have your necks brought under the yoke of servitude.

Tiglath-pileser ruined this kingdom, and transported the people to

Assyria, under the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah; and Micah

lived to see this catastrophe. See on Mic 2:9.

Verse 4. Take up a parable against you] Your wickedness and your

punishment shall be subjects of common conversation; and a funeral

dirge shall be composed and sung for you as for the dead. The

lamentation is that which immediately follows: We be utterly

spoiled; and ends, Are these his doings? Mic 2:7.

Verse 5. None that shall cast a cord] You will no more have your

inheritance divided to you by lot, as it was to your fathers; ye

shall neither have fields nor possessions of any kind.

Verse 6. Prophesy ye not] Do not predict any more evils-we have

as many as we can bear. We are utterly ruined-shame and confusion

cover our faces. The original is singular, and expressive of

sorrow and sobbing. Literally, "Do not cause it to rain; they will

cause it to rain; they cannot make it rain sooner than this;

confusion shall not depart from us." To rain, often means to

preach, to prophesy; Eze 20:46; 21:2; Am 7:16;

De 32:2; Job 29:22; Pr 5:3, &c.

The last line Bp. Newcome translates, "For he shall not remove

from himself reproaches;" and paraphrases, "The true prophet

will subject himself to public disgrace by exercising his office."

Verse 7. Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened?] This is the

complaint of the Israelites, and a part of the lamentation. Doth

it not speak by other persons as well as by Micah? Doth it

communicate to us such influences as it did formerly? Is it true

that these evils are threatened by that Spirit? Are these his

doings? To which Jehovah answers, "Do not my words do good to him

that walketh uprightly?" No upright man need fear any word spoken

by me: my words to such yield instruction and comfort; never

dismay. Were ye upright, ye would not complain of the words of my

prophets. The last clause may be translated, "Walking with him

that is upright." The upright man walks by the word; and the word

walks with him who walks by it.

Verse 8. My people is risen up as an enemy] Ye are not only

opposed to me, but ye are enemies to each other. Ye rob and spoil

each other. Ye plunder the peaceable passenger; depriving him both

of his upper and under garment; ye pull off the robe from those

who, far from being spoilers themselves, are averse from war.

Verse 9. The women of my people] Ye are the cause of the women

and their children being carried into captivity-separated from

their pleasant habitations, and from my temple and ordinances-and

from the blessings of the covenant, which it is my glory to give,

and theirs to receive. These two verses may probably relate to the

war made on Ahaz by Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, king of

Israel. They fell suddenly upon the Jews; killed in one day one

hundred and twenty thousand, and took two hundred thousand

captive; and carried away much spoil. Thus, they rose up against

them as enemies, when there was peace between the two kingdoms;

spoiled them of their goods, carried away men, women, and

children, till, at the remonstrances of the prophet Oded, they

were released. See 2Ch 28:6, &c. Micah lived in the days of Ahaz,

and might have seen the barbarities which he here describes.

Verse 10. Arise ye, and depart] Prepare for your captivity; ye

shall have no resting place here: the very land is polluted by

your iniquities, and shall vomit you out, and it shall be

destroyed; and the destruction of it shall be great and sore.

Some think this is an exhortation to the godly, to leave a land

that was to be destroyed so speedily.

Verse 11. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood] The

meaning is: If a man who professes to be Divinely inspired do lie,

by prophesying of plenty, &c., then such a person shall be

received as a true prophet by this people. It not unfrequently

happens that the Christless worldling, who has got into the

priest's office for a maintenance, and who leaves the people

undisturbed in their unregenerate state, is better received than

the faithful pastor, who proclaims the justice of the Lord, and

the necessity of repentance and forsaking sin, in order to their

being made partakers of that holiness without which no man shall

see God.

Verse 12. I will surely assemble] This is a promise of the

restoration of Israel from captivity. He compares them to a flock

of sheep rushing together to their fold, the hoofs of which make a

wonderful noise or clatter. So when one hundred sheep run,

eight hundred toes or divisions of these bifed animals make a

clattering noise. This appears to be the image.

Verse 13. The breaker is come up] He who is to give them

deliverance, and lead them out on the way of their return. He

who takes down the hurdles, or makes a gap in the wall or

hedge, to permit them to pass through. This may apply to those

human agents that shall permit and order their return. And Jehovah

being at their head, may refer to their final restoration, when

the Lord Jesus shall become their leader, they having returned

unto him as the shepherd and bishop of their souls; and they and

the Gentiles forming one fold under one shepherd, to go no more

out into captivity for ever. Lord, hasten the time!

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