Bible Commentaries
Micah 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-11



Verses 1-11:

Verse 1 begins a description of specific sins that the nobles of Israel have committed, for which, judgment is to fall. Woe is pronounced on those who "devise" or plan to do deeds of lawlessness, even while upon their beds at night. They work "work out" methods by which they plan to do the evil the following day, beginning as soon as day breaks. This is termed pre-meditated evil, Psalms 36:5; Psalms 4:5; Job 4:13; It was fabricated by rulers, by night, then executed by their hands and choice by day, Psalms 48:2; Genesis 31:29; Proverbs 3:27.

Verse 2 charges that civil leaders, nobles, coveted fields of people in Israel, then took them by violence. They oppressed a man of their own race, then defrauded his heritage of land and houses for their own use and pleasure. Such was forbidden in the very law of God they were supposed to be upholding, Exodus 20:15; Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21.

Verse 3 warns that Almighty God has done some "devising", planning, in response to the willful sins of His people. Against this family or nation of Israel this evil (or judgment) He has devised, Exodus 21:23; Isaiah 33:1; Jeremiah 8:3. To punish their devised deeds of v. 1, 2. He threatens certain retribution, from which yoke of bondage they can not remove their necks, contrasted with the Lord’s "easy yoke" for the obedient, Matthew 11:29-30. Neither will they longer be permitted to go or walk with haughty slanderers, unpunished, Jeremiah 6:28; Psalms 58:9. Because the time was an evil time, abhorrent to the Lord, Amos 5:13; Ephesians 5:16.

Verse 4 prophecies that punishment, because of their wickedness, will be a matter of common conversation and confession among the people of the national Israel, when it is too late. They shall then take up a lamentation of despair, repeating it one after another in their captivity, when mercy’s day they have passed by, by willful choice. They charge injustice against God, because God, in judgment, assigns their land to other nations, as He had warned He would do if they rebelled against His laws, Deuteronomy ch. 28, 29, 30: Because of their backsliding, He turned away from them in mercy to judgment, Jeremiah 49:4; Isaiah 47:10-11.

Verse 5 warns that because of their sins, described v. 1, 2, they shall have none that shall have a cord, a measured out lot of heritage land any longer, as described Joshua 13:6. Such a distribution was now about to be made by Israel’s enemies, not by her civil or religious leaders any more, in the congregation of the Lord. By covetousness and violence they had forfeited the inheritance of their own people, v. 4. For they shall no longer be reckoned in, but excluded from, the congregation of the Lord, where the inheritances of Israel were assigned.

Verse 6 explains that the people, the false prophets, and the politicians forbade God and Micah to prophesy. But God spoke through Micah reciting their prohibitions to them, forewarning them of their consequence. They were as hearers, having itching ears, wanting to hear only good things that might be coming to them. But shame is to come to them, Amos 2:12; Amos 7:16; See also Isaiah 30:10; 2 Timothy 4:2-3.

Verse 7 addressed the house of Jacob with rhetoric inquiry, suggesting God is not unjust, unrighteous, or changed in His nature, is He? Exodus 34:6. Is His Spirit now with less compassion, narrower than in the past, so that He would delight in your punishment? Psalms 77:7-9; Isaiah 59:1-2. Are these judgment threats because God has changed? Or are they not because of your behavior? "My words still do good to those who walk uprightly, don’t they?" Certainly so! Psalms 18:26; Matthew 11:19; John 7:17.

Verse 8 charges that of late, or recently, the people had stood up, taken an hostile or obstinate stand, like an enemy, against the precepts of the Lord, Isaiah 30:33; Joshua 3:4. They are charged with greedily robbing travelers who passed by of ornamental robes, their finer clothes, Matthew 5:40; Those who innocently passed by, the Israelites pounced upon, and robbed them of all they had, including their best outer garments, as enemies would for spoils of war.

Verse 9 further charges the nobles and rulers with evicting widows, whose husbands were slain in battle, from their own modest homes, seizing the property for themselves, v. 2, even as Jesus charged Pharisees with devouring widow’s houses or estates, Matthew 23:24; Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47. From these orphans and widows these rulers in Samaria had taken away God’s glory forever, depriving them of dignity of life and honor to God, making them as abject slaves. The pledge garment was to be returned to the poor by sunset, but these rulers simply kept them for themselves, breaking the Mosaic law they were supposed to administer, Exodus 22:26-27.

Verse 10 calls upon the rulers to arise and prepare for a surrender to the Assyrian enemy. As they had made abject slaves of their own widows and orphans and seized their properties, so were they to become captives under the oppressive Assyrians, "reaping what they had sown," with their "sins finding them out," without rest, away from their homes and homeland, Galatians 6:7-8; Numbers 32:23. Because they had polluted the land with their lust, greed, covetousness, and idolatry, they were to be deprived of their land of rest, once given of the Lord, yet to be restored after final dispersion, Leviticus 18:25-28; Jeremiah 3:2; Ezekiel 36:12-14.

Verse 11 warns that if a prophet should walk in the spirit, (claim inspiration, blowing like the wind), prophesying good things, speaking with optimism, he would simply be lying, telling them what they wanted to hear, not by inspiration, Ezekiel 13:3; Hosea 9:7. Though they prophesy of good crops of grapes and new wine for the people they would be doing it falsely, as lying prophets, not able to escape Divine judgment, Jeremiah 5:31; See also Isaiah 26:18; Isaiah 41:29. Their days of glory were gone.

Verses 12-13

Verses 12, 13:

Promise To The Remnant

Verse 12 expresses divine assurance to the nation of Israel that a remnant shall be preserved through captivity, for a day of joy and regathering to their land, when they shall be multiplied and governed by Jehovah, the king. They are to be brought together again as the sheep of Bozrah, a territory rich in sheep and pastures, Isaiah 1:9; Micah 4:1-7; Romans 11:5; 2 Kings 3:4. There is a sudden turn in the text from judgment woes to restoration gladness, as also assured, Hosea 1:9-10. All Israel shall one day be saved, Romans 11:25-26. Beyond the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, and their subjection to and dispersion under the Roman Empire, after their rejection of the king of glory, they shall yet dwell in Palestine at rest, governed by the King of glory, Luke 1:31-33; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26.

Verse 13 describes their deportation into Babylon and how Cyrus would deliver them from Babylon, perhaps a type of our Lord’s liberation from the slave-holds or shackles of sin, John 8:32; John 8:36. They shall be divinely led by the Lord in the final liberation day, as surely as He led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and the wilderness, going before and over-shadowing them by day and by night, as a nation, as He does His children, Exodus 13:21; Deuteronomy 1:30; Deuteronomy 1:33; Psalms 34:7; Hebrews 13:5.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Micah 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.