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God’s Great Controversy with Israel
Note the change in the prophet’s attitude. He speaks no longer to a united nation, but to parties. Now he speaks to a party, pious but discouraged (Micah 6:1-8); again, he testifies against men who have turned their backs on the Law (Micah 6:9-16). Persecution for religion’s sake has appeared, and taught men to distrust each other (Micah 7:2-6) Probably the chapters date from the time of Manasseh. Sennacherib recoiled baffled from Jerusalem, but Assyria was not exhausted. Esarhaddon succeeded in making Manasseh tributary in 676 b.c. Their religion had not brought Judah all the relief men expected. The heathen elements in the nation, repressed by Isaiah’s and Hezekiah’s influence, reasserted themselves. A reaction set in and found a leader in Manasseh: cp. 2K21. Especially men remembered that in his reign persecution for religion’s sake was practised: cp. 2 Kings 21:16.
Confession and Contrition Bring Back Hope
1-6. Jerusalem laments her estate. The righteous among her children are taken from her by violence (Micah 7:1-2). The rulers misuse their position for their selfish ends (Micah 7:3-4). Worst of all, the trust of a man in his neighbour’s honour, which makes the cement of all society, is gone. Even the ties of nature are disowned (Micah 7:5-6).
1. Desired the firstripe fruit] RV ’desireth the firstripe fig,’ which, now the harvest is past, is gone. The righteous (the early figs) have been gleaned out of the city.
2. Cp. Isaiah 57:1. Both passages speak of a scourge which has specially fallen on the righteous, and so point to a period of persecution.
3. The probable sense is: ’their hands are busy in evil, the prince asks the judge to do some knavery, the judge is ready to do it at a price, the great man needs but utter his bad desire to find ready instruments: so they weave together a web of fraud and violence.’
4. The day of thy watchmen and thy visitation] the day of God’s visitation foretold by the prophets: cp. Isaiah 21:6. It will confound such men, since its principles are the opposite of theirs.
5. Guide] RM ’familiar friend.’
6. The final proof of social corruption is the death of men’s trust in each other. See our Lord’s adoption of these words (Matthew 10:36).
7-20. Everything seems lost but God: therefore Micah looks more to God (Micah 7:7-8). His chastisements are tolerable, because they have meaning (Micah 7:9). Their end will be that through her sufferings Israel shall rise glorious and purified (Micah 7:10-13). God who called them will restore them and work through them (Micah 7:14-17). Micah closes with a doxology. Even Israel’s sin cannot weary God’s faithfulness and compassion (Micah 7:18-20).
7. Therefore] RV ’but as for me.’ In such evil days the true man finds refuge in God.
8. When I fall] calamity, not sin, is meant.
11. Decree] RM ’boundary,’ i.e. when God restores the nation and permits the walls to be rebuilt, He will give ample room: cp. Isaiah 33:17 rm.
12. RV ’In that day shall they come unto thee, from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt even to the River,’ i.e. Euphrates. From sea to sea is not meant of any specific sea: rather the exiles from West to East and from East to West shall return home.
13. The land] Canaan. Before this return must come chastisement.
14. The prophet passes abruptly to prayer. Solitarily] Israel was always separated from the nations as the flock of God: cp. Numbers 23:9.
Carmel.. Bashan.. Gilead] perhaps chosen because they were districts devoted to pasture, as contrasted with the cities and their vices.
15. According to] RV ’as in the days of.’ God in answer points back to His past mercy.
16. Confounded] RV ’ashamed’ to see how impotent is their might.
17. RV ’they shall come trembling out of their close places’ (their useless fortresses); ’they shall come with fear unto the Lord out God.’
18. Who is, etc.] Micah’s name means ’Who is like the Lord? ’The prophet concludes with an outburst of praise.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Micah 7". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27