Micah 4

CHAPTER IV

In the commencement of this chapter we have a glorious prophecy

of the establishment and prosperity of the Messiah's kingdom;

its peaceful character, increasing spiritual and political

influence, ultimate universality, and everlasting duration,

1-4.

Then breaks in a chorus of his people declaring their peculiar

happiness in being members of his kingdom, 5.

The prophet resumes the subject; predicts the restoration and

future prosperity of Israel, 6-8;

and exhorts them not to be discouraged at their approaching

captivity, as they should in due time not only be delivered

from it, but likewise be victorious over all their enemies,

9-13.

These last verses, which evidently contain a prediction of the

final triumph of Christianity over every adversary, have been

applied to the conquests of the Maccabees; but the character

and beneficial results of their military exploits, as far as we

have any account of them, correspond but in a very faint degree

to the beautiful and highly wrought terms of the prophecy. The

first three verses of this chapter are very similar to the

commencement of the second chapter of Isaiah; and the fourth,

for beauty of imagery and elegance of expression, is not

unworthy of that prophet.

NOTES ON CHAP. IV

Verse 1. - 4. But in the last days it shall come to pass] These

four verses contain, says Bp. Newcome, a prophecy that was to be

fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah, when the Gentiles were to

be admitted into covenant with God, and the apostles were to

preach the Gospel, beginning at Jerusalem, Lu 24:47; Ac 2:14,

&c., when Christ was to be the spiritual Judge and King of many

people, was to convince many nations of their errors and vices,

and was to found a religion which had the strongest tendency to

promote peace. Bp. Lowth thinks that "Micah took this passage from

Isaiah;" or the Spirit may have inspired both prophets with this

prediction; or both may have copied some common original, the

words of a prophet well known at that time. The variations (few

and of little importance) may be seen in the notes on the parallel

passages, Isa 2:2, &c.; to which the reader is requested to

refer.

Verse 2. See Clarke on Mic 4:1.

Verse 3. See Clarke on Mic 4:1.

Verse 4. Under his vine and under his fig tree] A proverbial

expression, indicative of perfect peace, security, and rural

comfort. See on Isa 2:1. This verse is an addition to the

prophecy as it stands in Isaiah. See Clarke on Mic 4:1.

Verse 5. Every one in the name of his god] This shall be the

state of the Gentile world; but after the captivity, the Jews

walked in the name of Jehovah alone; and acknowledge no other

object of religious worship to the present day.

Verse 6. Will I assemble her that halteth-driven out-afflicted]

Under these epithets, the state of the Jews, who were to be

gathered into the Christian Church, is pointed out. They halted

between the true God and idols; they were driven out into

captivity, because of this idolatry; and they were variously

afflicted, because they would not return unto the Lord that

bought them.

Verse 7. Her that halted a remnant] I will preserve them as a

distinct people after their return from captivity, for the farther

purposes of my grace and mercy.

And the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion] The Chaldee is

remarkable here, and positively applies the words to the Messiah:

"But thou, O Messiah, of Israel, who art hidden because of the

sins of the congregation of Zion, the kingdom shall come unto

thee."

Verse 8. O tower of the flock] I think the temple is meant, or

Jerusalem; the place where the flock, the whole congregation of

the people assembled to worship God. Newcome retains the Hebrew

word eder, a tower in or near Beth-lehem, Ge 35:21 or,

as some think, a tower near the sheep-gate in Jerusalem, I believe

Jerusalem, or the temple, or both, are meant; for these were

considered the strong-hold of the daughter of Zion, the fortress

of the Jewish people.

Even the first dominion] What was this? The Divine theocracy

under Jesus Christ; this former, this first dominion, was to be

restored. Hence the angel called him Immanuel, God with us, ruling

among us.

Verse 9. Is there no King in thee?] None. And why? Because thou

hast rejected Jehovah thy king.

Is thy counsellor perished?] No: but thou hast rejected the

words and advices of the prophets.

Pangs have taken thee] He is speaking of the desolations that

should take place when the Chaldeans should come against the city;

and hence he says, "Thou shalt go to Babylon;" ye shall be cast

out of your own land, and sent slaves to a foreign country, He

represents the people under the notion of a woman in travail.

Verse 10. There shalt thou be delivered] There God shall meet

thee; and by redeeming thee from thy captivity, bringing thee back

to thine own land, and finally converting thee unto himself, shall

deliver thee from the burden of grief and wo which thou now

bearest, and under which thou dost groan.

Verse 11. Many nations are gathered against thee] The Chaldeans,

who were composed of many nations. And, we may add, all the

surrounding nations were their enemies; and rejoiced when the

Chaldean army had overthrown Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and

led the people away captive.

Let her be defiled] This was their cry and their wish: Let

Jerusalem be laid as low as she can be, like a thing defiled and

cast away with abhorrence; that their eyes might look upon Zion

with scorn, contempt, and exultation.

Verse 12. But they know not the thoughts of the Lord] These

think that God has utterly rejected his people, and they shall

have a troublesome neighbour no more: but this is not his design;

he will afflict them for a time; but these, the enemies of his

people, he will gather as sheaves into the threshing-floor, there

to be trodden, and the wheel to go over them. This is the counsel,

the purpose of God, which these do not understand. The persons

here referred to are not only the Chaldeans which were threshed by

the Persians and Medes; but the Idumeans, Ammonites, Moabites, and

Philistines, which the Jews afterwards subdued.

Verse 13. Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion] This refers to

the subject of the preceding verse. When God shall have gathered

together all thy enemies, as into the threshing-floor, he will

give thee commission and power to get a complete victory over

them, and reduce them to servitude. And that thou mayest be able

to do this, he will be on thy side as a powerful helper; here

signified by the metaphors, iron horns, and brazen hoofs. Thou

shalt have power, authority, and unconquerable strength; for thine

enemies shall be no more against thee than the corn against oxen

shod with brass, or a puny animal against the horn of a fierce

bull tipped with iron.

I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord] What they have taken

from thee in the way of spoil shall be restored; and again

consecrated unto the service of him who will show himself to be

the Lord, the Supreme Governor of the whole earth. Was not this

prediction fulfilled when Cyrus gave the Jews permission to return

to their own land, and gave them back the sacred vessels of the

temple which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away? The Maccabees and

their successors recovered much of the booty of which the

neighbouring nations had deprived the Jews; and the treasure taken

was devoted to Jehovah. The first verse of the next chapter should

conclude this. Mic 5:1

Copyright information for Clarke