Bible Commentaries
Micah 1

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Verse 1

Morasthite, "of Maresa," (Chaldean; chap. i. 14.; Calmet) a village near Eleutheropolis. (St. Jerome) --- Kings. They reigned about sixty years. (Calmet)

Verse 2

Witness. Deuteronomy xxxii., Isaias i., and vi.. The prophet discharges his duty, and will not be blameable, if people die in their sins, Jeremias iii. 18. (Worthington) --- This sublime address shews the importance of the subject, and how deep an impression the sins of Israel had made in his breast.

Verse 3

Earth, to subdue the rebels, Amos iv. 13., and Habacuc iii. 3. (Calmet)

Verse 4

Melted. Septuagint, "moved." (Haydock) --- Cleft, as it was to swallow up Core, (Numbers xvi. 31.) with the greatest ease.

Verse 5

Jerusalem. High places were left there under Joathan, 4 Kings xv. 35. Achab had introduced the worship of Baal into Samaria, and though the family of Jehu repressed this worship, it gained ground when Micheas appeared. (Calmet) --- This conduct excited God’s indignation. (Haydock) --- He came to punish the most guilty. (Calmet)

Verse 6

Heap. Septuagint, "hut to keep the fruit." Hebrew, "hillock of the field," (Haydock) to be cultivated. (Grotius) --- Bare, by Salmanasar, 4 Kings xvii. 6. It was afterwards rebuilt, (Calmet) but completely levelled by Hircan. (Josephus, Antiquities xiii. 18.)

Verse 7

Her wages. That is, her donaries or presents offered to her idols; or the hire of all her traffic and labour. (Challoner) --- Samaria had trafficked with infidels, and thus grew rich, but imitated their idolatry; (Worthington) and therefore was ruined, and her citizens and riches (Haydock) removed into Assyria. (Worthington) --- Harlot. They were gathered together by one idolatrous city, viz., Samaria: and they shall be carried away to another idolatrous city, viz., Ninive. (Challoner) --- The hire of prostitution was not to be received in God’s temple, (Deuteronomy xxiii. 18.) which prohibition shews the antiquity of this abominable custom, Baruch vi. 9. (St. Augustine, City of God iv. 10.) (Calmet)

Verse 8

Naked. Ill clothed, (Haydock) to shew the approaching calamity of the Israelites, Isaias xx. (Menochius) --- Septuagint and Chaldean explain all of the people, (Calmet) or of Samaria. "Therefore shall she lament and howl, go barefoot and naked, bewail like," &c. (Haydock) --- Dragons, when they are crushed by the elephant. (Solin xxxviii.) (Menochius) --- Tannim means also (Haydock) whales, &c., which make a horrible noise. --- Ostriches, or swans, Isaias xiii. 21. Both have a mournful note. (Calmet)

Verse 9


Gate. That is, the destruction of Samaria shall be followed by the invasion of my people of Juda, and the Assyrian shall come and lay all waste even to the confines of Jerusalem. (Challoner) --- Juda received the worship of Baal from Israel. It shared in the punishment of that kingdom. The prophet alludes to the ravages of Sennacherib, ver 13. Yet Juda was much afflicted by Razin and Phacee, before that invasion: which caused Achaz to call in the aid of Theglathphalassar, 2 Paralipomenon xxviii., and 4 Kings xvi. (Calmet)

Verse 10

Geth. Amongst the Philistines, lest they rejoice at your calamity. (Challoner) (2 Kings i. 20., and Amos iii. 9.) (Calmet) --- Tell not these calamities, which I foresee, among your enemies, lest they rejoice. But lament in your own houses, which shall be filled with dust. St. Jerome prays for the light of the Holy Ghost to understand this passage. (Worthington) --- Weep ye not. Keep in your tears, that you may not give your enemies an occasion of exulting over you: but in your own houses, or in your house of dust, your earthly habitation, sprinkle yourselves with dust, and put on the habit of penitents. Some take the house of dust (in Hebrew Haphra) to be the proper name of a city. (Challoner) --- With tears. Hebrew, "at all," (Protestants; Haydock) "in Acco," or Ptolemais, (Reland) or Bochim, (Haydock) a place near Jerusalem, Judges ii. 1. But no reference to this place, or to "the Enakim," (who appear in some copies of the Septuagint) seems to be made. --- Of dust. Samaria, ver. 6. (Calmet)

Verse 11

Place. In Samaria. In the Hebrew, the beautiful place is expressed by the word Shaphir, which some take for the proper name of a city. (Challoner) --- It is thought that St. Jerome has given the sense of several proper names, (Calmet) or this has been done since in the Vulgate by some other. In the edition of his works, (A.D. 1533) we read, "The dwelling of Saphir passes from you: she hath not come out who inhabits Sennan. The house of Asel shall receive," &c. (Haydock) --- Saphir or Diocesarea was a strong place (Josephus, Jewish Wars ii. 37.) of Galilee, where Saanan was also situated, Judges iv. 11. Haetsel may denote "the vicinity." (Calmet) --- People shall not attempt to comfort their neighbours, being themselves under the greatest alarms. (Haydock) --- Forth. That is, they that dwelt in the confines came not forth, but kept themselves within, for fear. --- Adjoining, viz., Judea and Jerusalem, neighbours to Samaria, and partners in her sins, shall share also in her mourning and calamity: though they had pretended to stand by themselves, trusting in their strength. (Challoner) --- All the inhabitants shall be led into captivity naked. (Haydock)

Verse 12

Weak, &c. Jerusalem is become weak unto any good; because she dwells in the bitterness of sin. (Challoner) --- Protestants, "the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good." (Haydock) --- We know not of any place called Maroth. Grotius would substitute Ramoth. (Calmet) --- Bitterness. St. Jerome, "Maroth." Symmachus, "provoking to bitterness." They are unable to defend their possessions. (Haydock)

Verse 13

Lachis, when Sennacherib came to besiege it, 4 Kings xviii. 13. (Calmet) --- Beginning. That is, Lachis was the first city of Juda that learnt from Samaria the worship of idols, and communicated it to Jerusalem. (Challoner) --- This is not very probable. We may translate, "this is the source of sin," or of chastisement; or the imitation of Israel, is the chief of the crimes of Sion. (Calmet)

Verse 14

Send. Lachis shall send to Geth for help; but in vain: for Geth, instead of helping, shall be found to be a house of lying and deceit to Israel. (Challoner) --- Inheritance. Some translate rather "Moreseth (or Morasthi) of Geth, the houses of Acsib," &c. Both these towns were near Geth, and perhaps at this time subject to it, 2 Paralipomenon xxviii. 18. Achaz sent to ask for aid against the king of Israel, ver. 9. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth-Gath, the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the," &c. (Haydock) --- There is an allusion between Acsib and a lie, as also between Maresa and an heir, (ver. 15.; Calmet) as the terms have those senses. (Haydock)

Verse 15

Heir. Maresa (which was the name of a city of Juda) signifies inheritance: but here God by his prophet tells the Jews, that he will bring them an heir to take possession of their inheritance: and that the glory of Israel shall be obliged to give place, and to retire even to Odollam, a city in the extremity of their dominions. And therefore he exhorts them to penance in the following verse. (Challoner) --- Maresa shall fall a prey to the king of Assyria. Micheas was a native of this town, and he ironically addresses his countrymen. (Calmet) --- Glory. Thus he denotes "the misery" of Israel, which shall be extended to the last town in Juda. (Worthington) --- Hebrew means also "burden." Odolla was taken by Sennacherib, (Calmet) with the other towns around Jerusalem. (Haydock)

Verse 16

Eagle. When it loses its feathers, it becomes languid. (Theodoret) --- This verse should be joined with the next chapter, which regards the kingdom of Israel. (Calmet)

Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Micah 1". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.