Transition to the Glory, Peace, Kingdom, and
Victory of Zion.
1-3. Almost identical with Isa 2:2-4.
the mountain of the house of the
Lord—which just before (Mic 3:12) had been doomed to be a wild forest
height. Under Messiah, its elevation is to be not that of situation,
but of moral dignity, as the seat of God's universal empire.
people shall flow into it—In Isaiah it
is "all nations": a more universal prophecy.
3. rebuke—convict of sin (Joh 16:8, 9); and subdue with judgments (Ps 2:5, 9; 110:5, 6; Re 2:27; 12:5).
many people … strong nations afar
off—In Isa 2:4 it is
"the nations … many people."
4. sit every man under his vine,
&c.—that is, enjoy the most prosperous tranquillity (1Ki
4:25; Zec 3:10). The "vine"
and "fig tree" are mentioned rather than a house, to signify,
there will be no need of a covert; men will be safe even in the fields
and open air.
Lord of hosts hath spoken it—Therefore
it must come to pass, however unlikely now it may seem.
5. For—rather, Though it be that
all people walk after their several gods, yet we (the Jews in the
dispersion) will walk in the name of the Lord. So the Hebrew
particle means in the Margin, Ge 8:21; Ex 13:17; Jos
17:18. The resolution of the
exile Jews is: As Jehovah gives us hope of so glorious a restoration,
notwithstanding the overthrow of our temple and nation, we must in
confident reliance on His promise persevere in the true worship of Him,
however the nations around, our superiors now in strength and numbers,
walk after their gods [Rosenmuller]. As
the Jews were thoroughly weaned from idols by the Babylonian captivity,
so they shall be completely cured of unbelief by their present long
dispersion (Zec 10:8-12).
6. assemble her that halteth—feminine
for neuter in Hebrew idiom, "whatever halteth": metaphor
from sheep wearied out with a journey: all the suffering exiles of
Israel (Eze 34:16; Zep 3:19).
her … driven out—all Israel's
outcasts. Called "the Lord's flock" (Jer 13:17; Eze 34:13;
7. I will make her that halted a
remnant—I will cause a remnant to remain which shall not
Lord shall reign … in …
Zion—David's kingdom shall be restored in the person of
Messiah, who is the seed of David and at the same time Jehovah (Isa 24:23).
for ever—(Isa 9:6, 7; Da 7:14, 27; Lu 1:33; Re 11:15).
8. tower of the flock—following up the
metaphor of sheep (see on Mic 4:6).
Jerusalem is called the "tower," from which the King and Shepherd
observes and guards His flock: both the spiritual Jerusalem, the Church
now whose tower-like elevation is that of doctrine and practice (So 4:4, "Thy neck is like the tower of
David"), and the literal hereafter (Jer 3:17). In large pastures it was usual to
erect a high wooden tower, so as to oversee the flock. Jerome takes the Hebrew for "flock,"
Eder or Edar, as a proper name, namely, a village near
Beth-lehem, for which it is put, Beth-lehem being taken to represent
the royal stock of David (Mic 5:2; compare Ge 35:21). But the explanatory words, "the
stronghold of the daughter of Zion," confirm English
stronghold—Hebrew, "Ophel"; an
impregnable height on Mount Zion (2Ch 27:3; 33:14; Ne 3:26,
unto thee shall … come … the first
dominion—namely, the dominion formerly exercised by thee
shall come back to thee.
kingdom shall come to the daughter of
Jerusalem—rather, "the kingdom of the daughter of
Jerusalem shall come (again)"; such as it was under David, before its
being weakened by the secession of the ten tribes.
9. Addressed to the daughter of Zion, in her
consternation at the approach of the Chaldeans.
is there no king in thee?—asked
tauntingly. There is a king in her; but it is the same as if there were
none, so helpless to devise means of escape are he and his counsellors
[Maurer]. Or, Zion's pains are because
her king is taken away from her (Jer 52:9; La 4:20; Eze
12:13) [Calvin]. The former is perhaps the preferable view
(compare Jer 49:7).
The latter, however, describes better Zion's kingless state during her
present long dispersion (Ho 3:4, 5).
10. Be in pain, and labour—carrying on
the metaphor of a pregnant woman. Thou shalt be affected with bitter
sorrows before thy deliverance shall come. I do not forbid thy
grieving, but I bring thee consolation. Though God cares for His
children, yet they must not expect to be exempt from trouble, but must
prepare for it.
go forth out of the city—on its
capture. So "come out" is used 2Ki 24:12; Isa 36:16.
dwell in the field—namely, in the open
country, defenseless, instead of their fortified city. Beside
the Chebar (Ps 137:1; Eze 3:15).
Babylon—Like Isaiah, Micah looks
beyond the existing Assyrian dynasty to the Babylonian, and to Judah's
captivity under it, and restoration (Isa 39:7; 43:14; 48:20). Had they been, as rationalists
represent, merely sagacious politicians, they would have restricted
their prophecies to the sphere of the existing Assyrian dynasty.
But their seeing into the far-off future of Babylon's subsequent
supremacy, and Judah's connection with her, proves them to be inspired
there … there—emphatic
repetition. The very scene of thy calamities is to be the scene of thy
deliverance. In the midst of enemies, where all hope seems cut off,
there shall Cyrus, the deliverer, appear (compare Jud 14:14). Cyrus again being the type of the
greater Deliverer, who shall finally restore Israel.
11. many nations—the subject peoples
composing Babylon's armies: and also Edom, Ammon, &c., who exulted
in Judah's fall (La 2:16; Ob 11-13).
defiled—metaphor from a virgin. Let
her be defiled (that is, outraged by violence and bloodshed), and let
our eye gaze insultingly on her shame and sorrow (Mic 7:10). Her foes desired to feast their
eyes on her calamities.
12. thoughts of the Lord—Their
unsearchable wisdom, overruling seeming disaster to the final
good of His people, is the very ground on which the restoration of
Israel hereafter (of which the restoration from Babylon is a type) is
based in Isa 55:8;
compare with Mic 4:3, 12, 13, which prove that Israel, not
merely the Christian Church, is the ultimate subject of the prophecy;
also in Ro
11:13. God's counsel is to
discipline His people for a time with the foe as a scourge; and then to
destroy the foe by the hands of His people.
gather them as … sheaves—them
who "gathered" themselves for Zion's destruction (Mic 4:11) the Lord "shall gather" for destruction
by Zion (Mic 4:13),
like sheaves gathered to be threshed (compare Isa 21:10;
Jer 51:33). The Hebrew
is singular, "sheaf." However great the numbers of the foe, they
are all but as one sheaf ready to be threshed [Calvin]. Threshing was done by treading with the
feet: hence the propriety of the image for treading under foot and
breaking asunder the foe.
13. thresh—destroy thy foes "gathered"
by Jehovah as "sheaves" (Isa 41:15, 16).
thine horn—Zion being compared to an
ox treading corn, and an ox's strength lying in the horns, her
strength is implied by giving her a horn of iron (compare
beat in pieces many—(Da 2:44).
I will consecrate their gain unto the
Lord—God subjects the nations to Zion, not for her own
selfish aggrandizement, but for His glory (Isa 60:6,
9; Zec 14:20, with which
compare Isa 23:18)
and for their ultimate good; therefore He is here called, not merely
God of Israel, but "Lord of the whole earth."