Micah 4

Better Days Ahead for Jerusalem

1In the future
Heb “at the end of days.”
the Lord’s Temple Mount will be the most important mountain of all;
Heb “will be established as the head of the mountains.”

it will be more prominent than other hills.
Heb “it will be lifted up above the hills.”

People will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come, saying,
“Come on! Let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain,
to the temple
Heb “house.”
of Jacob’s God,
so he can teach us his commands
Heb “ways.”

and we can live by his laws.”
Heb “and we can walk in his paths.”

For Zion will be the source of instruction;
the Lord’s teachings will proceed from Jerusalem.
Heb “instruction [or, “law”] will go out from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

3 He will arbitrate
Or “judge.”
between many peoples
and settle disputes between many
Or “mighty” (NASB); KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV “strong”; TEV “among the great powers.”
distant nations.
Heb “[for many nations] to a distance.”

They will beat their swords into plowshares,
Instead of referring to the large plow as a whole, the plowshare is simply the metal tip which actually breaks the earth and cuts the furrow.

and their spears into pruning hooks.
This implement was used to prune the vines, i.e., to cut off extra leaves and young shoots (M. Klingbeil, NIDOTTE 1:1117–18). It was a short knife with a curved hook at the end sharpened on the inside like a sickle.

Nations will not use weapons
Heb “take up the sword.”
against other nations,
and they will no longer train for war.
4 Each will sit under his own grapevine
or under his own fig tree without any fear.
Heb “and there will be no one making [him] afraid.”

The Lord who commands armies has decreed it.
Heb “for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.”

5 Though all the nations follow their respective gods,
Heb “walk each in the name of his god.” The term “name” here has the idea of “authority.” To “walk in the name” of a god is to recognize the god’s authority as binding over one’s life.

we will follow
Heb “walk in the name of.”
the Lord our God forever.

Restoration Will Follow Crisis

6 “In that day,” says the Lord, “I will gather the lame,
and assemble the outcasts whom I injured.
The exiles of the nation are compared to lame and injured sheep.

7 I will transform the lame into the nucleus of a new nation,
Heb “make the lame into a remnant.”

and those far off
The precise meaning of this difficult form is uncertain. The present translation assumes the form is a Niphal participle of an otherwise unattested denominative verb הָלָא (hala’, “to be far off”; see BDB 229 s.v.), but attractive emendations include הַנַּחֲלָה (hannakhalah, “the sick one[s]”) from חָלָה (khalah) and הַנִּלְאָה (hannilah, “the weary one[s]”) from לָאָה (laah).
into a mighty nation.
The Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion,
from that day forward and forevermore.”
Heb “from now until forever.”

8 As for you, watchtower for the flock,
Heb “Migdal-eder.” Some English versions transliterate this phrase, apparently because they view it as a place name (cf. NAB).

fortress of Daughter Zion
The city of David, located within Jerusalem, is addressed as Daughter Zion. As the home of the Davidic king, who was Israel’s shepherd (Ps 78:70–72), the royal citadel could be viewed metaphorically as the watchtower of the flock.

your former dominion will be restored,
Heb “to you it will come, the former dominion will arrive.”

the sovereignty that belongs to Daughter Jerusalem.
9 Jerusalem, why are you
The Hebrew form is feminine singular, indicating that Jerusalem, personified as a young woman, is now addressed (see v. 10). In v. 8 the tower/fortress was addressed with masculine forms, so there is clearly a shift in addressee here. “Jerusalem” has been supplied in the translation at the beginning of v. 9 to make this shift apparent.
now shouting so loudly?
Heb “Now why are you shouting [with] a shout.”

Has your king disappeared?
Heb “Is there no king over you?”

Has your wise leader
Traditionally, “counselor” (cf. KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). This refers to the king mentioned in the previous line; the title points to the king’s roles as chief strategist and policy maker, both of which required extraordinary wisdom.
been destroyed?
Is this why
Heb “that.” The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is used here in a resultative sense; for this use see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 73, #450.
pain grips
Heb “grabs hold of, seizes.”
you as if you were a woman in labor?
10 Twist and strain,
Or perhaps “scream”; NRSV, TEV, NLT “groan.”
Daughter Zion, as if you were in labor!
For you will leave the city
and live in the open field.
You will go to Babylon,
but there you will be rescued.
There the Lord will deliver
Or “redeem” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
from the power
Heb “hand.” The Hebrew idiom is a metonymy for power or control.
of your enemies.
11 Many nations have now assembled against you.
They say, “Jerusalem must be desecrated,
Heb “let her be desecrated.” the referent (Jerusalem) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

so we can gloat over Zion!”
Heb “and let our eye look upon Zion.”

12 But they do not know what the Lord is planning;
they do not understand his strategy.
He has gathered them like stalks of grain to be threshed
The words “to be threshed” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation to make it clear that the Lord is planning to enable “Daughter Zion” to “thresh” her enemies.
at the threshing floor.
13 “Get up and thresh, Daughter Zion!
For I will give you iron horns;
Heb “I will make your horn iron.”

I will give you bronze hooves,
and you will crush many nations.”
Jerusalem (Daughter Zion at the beginning of the verse; cf. 4:8) is here compared to a powerful ox which crushes the grain on the threshing floor with its hooves.

You will devote to the Lord the spoils you take from them,
and dedicate their wealth to the sovereign Ruler
Or “the Lord” (so many English versions); Heb “the master.”
of the whole earth.
Heb “and their wealth to the master of all the earth.” The verb “devote” does double duty in the parallelism and is supplied in the second line for clarification.
In vv. 11–13 the prophet jumps from the present crisis (which will result in exile, v. 10) to a time beyond the restoration of the exiles when God will protect his city from invaders. The Lord’s victory over the Assyrian armies in 701 b.c. foreshadowed this.

Copyright information for NETfull