Mic 2: "It was the duty of the people to look after the poor
and needy of the nation, bearing in mind their own personal state in Egypt (Lev
25:35,36). For that reason, the prophet Micah spoke of the Judgment against the
dominating personalities of the nation being justified because of the sin of the
oppression. Oppressive rapacity of the leaders was condemned (vv 1,2), divine
retribution was pending (vv 3-5). The sin of the people stemmed from the false
teaching of the leaders (vv 6,7). Expostulation is expressed (v 7). Reproach is
revealed (vv 8,9). Punishment was threatened (v 10). But a faithful remnant
would be saved (vv 11-13). Although guilty Samaria would be destroyed (vv
12,13), Israel will rise in fulfillment of Yahweh's covenant (Gen 12:2). What a
grand picture concludes the chapter of condemnation. Vv 12,13 justify the work
of Yahweh to recover the few who would respond to His greatness. As the
'Breaker', Yahweh would make a breach to scatter Israel, and make one to bring
about the nations to regather His people. The king (Yahshua) would 'pass before
them' as the Good Shepherd, to redeem and restore His national flock"
// Isa 5:8-10.
WOE TO THOSE WHO PLAN INIQUITY: God detests "a heart
that devises wicked schemes" (Pro 6:18). A punishment coming because of guilt
(cp Isa 3:9,11; Jer 13:27; Eze 13:3,18; Hos 7:13; Amos 5:18; Hab 2:6; Zep 2:5).
BECAUSE IT IS IN THEIR POWER TO DO IT: The people in
view seem to be the rich because they had the ability to carry out their
schemes. In times of affluence and peace, the rich and the poor in society
normally become richer and poorer, and this was true in Israel and Judah in the
late eighth century BC.
THEY COVET FIELDS AND SEIZE THEM, AND HOUSES, AND TAKE
THEM. THEY DEFRAUD A MAN OF HIS HOME, A FELLOWMAN OF HIS INHERITANCE: The
plotting in view involved robbing others of their fields, houses, and
inheritances (lands) through deception (cp 1Ki 21:3; Isa 5:8). The wealthy not
only violated the tenth commandment against coveting what belongs to a neighbor
but also the eighth commandment against stealing (Exo 20:15,17; Lev 19:13; Deu
5:19, 21; Col 3:6). Furthermore they broke the second greatest commandment that
said they should love their neighbors as themselves (Lev 19:18; cp Mat
The land was divided by lot to the tribes and families when
they entered the land. But, by scheming and violence and fraud, men were
stealing their fellow Jews' inheritances. It was in like manner that Naboth lost
his inheritance (and his life!) to Ahab and Jezebel (1Ki 21:3-16).
FROM WHICH YOU CANNOT SAVE YOURSELVES: Lit, "from which
ye shall not remove your necks" (AV). A yoke upon the neck would cause the
bearer thereof to be bowed down (cp Lam 1:14).
"The situation envisaged seems to be the forced evacuation of
the landed elite, who are marched away by the foreign invader while their
estates are left to their erstwhile serfs, who are contemptuously spoken of as
religious renegades" (Allen).
TO DIVIDE THE LAND BY LOT: The inheritance of the Land
of Israel was originally apportioned by lot: Jos 13:6.
"DO NOT PROPHESY," THEIR PROPHETS SAY. "DO NOT PROPHESY
ABOUT THESE THINGS": These prophets were trying to silence him because they
did not like his message (cp Isa 30:10; Amos 7:10-13).
Micah reminded his audience that the false prophets were
telling them that God would be patient with them and that judgment was not His
way of dealing with them. They evidently felt that it was inconsistent to say
that Yahweh would allow His people to experience disaster since He had committed
Himself to them (cp Deu 26:17,18). Theirs was a completely positive message.
They failed to remind the people that God had also promised to punish them if
they departed from His covenant (Deu 28:15-68).
YOU STRIP OFF THE RICH ROBE FROM THOSE WHO PASS BY WITHOUT
CARE: They had taken the clothing of their fellow Israelites as payment for
their debts, something their law forbade (cp Exo 22:26,27; Amos 2:8).
LIKE MEN RETURNING FROM BATTLE: Seeing, wherever they
turned, spoils to be taken for their own.
YOU DRIVE THE WOMEN OF MY PEOPLE FROM THEIR PLEASANT
HOMES: The rich Israelites also exacted payment from the dependent women of
Israel so they could no longer afford to live in their own houses (cp Mat 23:14;
YOU TAKE AWAY MY BLESSING FROM THEIR CHILDREN: Their
conduct affected the children since these children would have to live out their
lives in a foreign land as exiles (cp Exo 22:21; Psa 149:9). The splendid
heritage of the Israelites was the land Yahweh had given them (cp Jer
GET UP, GO AWAY! FOR THIS IS NOT YOUR RESTING PLACE:
Sarcastically, Micah told the rich oppressors to rise up and depart from the
land (cp Amos 4:4-5). They were wrong to be at rest in Israel when it had become
an unclean place because of the people's sinfulness (cp Deu 12:9; Psa
BECAUSE IT IS DEFILED, IT IS RUINED, BEYOND ALL REMEDY:
They should leave while they could because painful destruction was coming as
punishment (cp Lev 18:24-28).
I WILL SURELY GATHER ALL OF YOU, O JACOB; I WILL SURELY
BRING TOGETHER THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL: The Lord Himself would assemble the
scattered remnant of all the Israelites (Jacob and Israel; cp Mic 1:5) following
His dispersion of them in exile. The remnant refers to the part of them that
would remain following their dispersion.
I WILL BRING THEM TOGETHER LIKE SHEEP IN A PEN, LIKE A
FLOCK IN ITS PASTURE; THE PLACE WILL THRONG WITH PEOPLE: Yahweh would
assemble them as a shepherd gathers sheep in a fold in the midst of a pasture
(cp Mic 5:4; 7:14). This "pen" which was the Land of Israel would be full of
noise and people because it would be a time and place of great rejoicing, like
the city of Jerusalem during one of Israel's annual feasts.
ONE WHO BREAKS OPEN THE WAY WILL GO UP BEFORE THEM: As
a shepherd breaks through obstacles and barriers to lead his sheep into pleasant
pastures, so Israel's Good Shepherd will clear the way for His sheep to return
to the land (cp Psa 78:52,53; 80:1). They will break out of their former
habitations, pass through the way he opens for them, and leave all parts of the
world to return to the Promised Land.
The "Breaker-Through" later became one of the recognized
titles of the Messiah, and was used by various rabbis.
THE KING WILL PASS THROUGH BEFORE THEM, THE LORD AT THEIR
HEAD: Yahweh would not only function as their Shepherd but also as their
(Davidic) King (cp Isa 6:5). He will lead them as a mighty conqueror and ruler
(cp Isa 33:22; Zep 3:15; Zec 14:9), especially in the person of His