« Prev Micah 7:13 Next »

Micah 7:13

13. Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.

13. Et erit terra in desolationem propter incolas suos, a fructu operorum ipsorum.


The Prophet, as I have already said, seems to be inconsistent with himself: for after having spoken of the restoration of the land, he now abruptly says, that it would be deserted, because God had been extremely provoked by the wickedness of the people. But, as I have stated before, it was almost an ordinary practice with the Prophets, to denounce at one time God’s vengeance on all the Jews, and then immediately to turn to the faithful, who were small in number, and to raise up their minds with the hope of deliverance. We indeed know that the Prophets had to do with the profane despisers of God; it was therefore necessary for them to fulminate, when they addressed the whole body of the people: the contagion had pervaded all orders, so that they were all become apostates, from the highest to the lowest, with very few exceptions, and those hidden amidst the great mass, like a few grains in a vast heap of chaff. Then the Prophets did not without reason mingle consolations with threatening; and their threatening they addressed to the whole body of the people; and then they whispered, as it were, in the ear, some consolation to the elect of God, the few remnants, — “Yet the Lord will show mercy to you; though he has resolved to destroy his people, ye shall yet remain safe, but this will be through some hidden means.” Our Prophet then does, on the one hand, as here, denounce God’s vengeance on a people past remedy; and, on the others he speaks of the redemption of the Church, that by this support the faithful might be sustained in their adversities.

He now says, The land shall be for desolation 193193     The copulative ו, rendered et, and, in the text, is not noticed here. Newcome renders it For, connecting this with the former verse, and applying it to heathen lands. But Dathius and Henderson render it, as an adversative, But, Nevertheless, and consider, with Calvin, that the land of Israel is here meant. — Ed. But why does he speak in so abrupt a manner? That he might drive hypocrites from that false confidence, with which they were swollen though God addressed not a word to them: but when God pronounced any thing, as they covered themselves with the name of Church, they then especially laid hold of any thing that was said to the faithful, as though it belonged to them: “Has not God promised that he will be the deliverer of his people?” as though indeed he was to be their deliverer, who had alienated themselves by their perfidy from him; and yet this was a very common thing among them. Hence the Prophet, seeing that hypocrites would greedily lay hold on what he had said, and by taking this handle would become more audacious, says now, The land shall be for desolation, that is, “Be ye gone; for when God testifies that he will be the deliverer of his Church, he does not address you; for ye are the rotten members; and the land shall be reduced to a waste before God’s favor, of which I now speak, shall appear.” We now then perceive the reason for this passage, why the Prophet so suddenly joined threatenings to promises: it was, to terrify hypocrites.

He says, On account of its inhabitants, from the fruit, or, on account of the fruit of their works Here the Prophet closes the door against the despisers of God, lest they should break forth, according to their custom, and maintain that God was, as it were, bound to them: “See,” he says, “what ye are; for ye have polluted the land with your vices; it must therefore be reduced to desolation.” And when the land, which is in itself innocent, is visited with judgment, what will become of those despisers whose wickedness it sustains? We hence see how emphatical was this mode of speaking. For the Prophet summons here all the unbelieving to examine their life, and then he sets before them the land, which was to suffer punishment, though it had committed no sin; and why was it to suffer? because it was polluted as I have said by their wickedness. Since this was the case, we see, that hypocrites were very justly driven away from the false confidence with which they were inflated, while they yet proudly despised God and his Word. It now follows —

« Prev Micah 7:13 Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection