Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
SINS OF THE
1. princes--magistrates or judges.
Is it not for you?--Is it not your special function
(Jer 5:4, 5)?
judgment--justice. Ye sit in judgment on others; surely then ye ought
to know the judgment for injustice which awaits yourselves
2. pluck off their skin . . . flesh--rob their fellow countrymen of
all their substance
3. pot . . . flesh within . . . caldron--manifold species of cruel
&c., containing, as to the coming punishment, the same figure as is
here used of the sin: implying that the sin and punishment exactly
4. Then--at the time of judgment, which Micah takes for granted, so
certain is it (compare
they cry . . . but he will not hear--just as those oppressed by them
had formerly cried, and they would not hear. Their prayer shall be
rejected, because it is the mere cry of nature for deliverance from
pain, not that of repentance for deliverance from sin.
ill in their doings--Men cannot expect to do ill and fare well.
5. Here he attacks the false prophets, as before he had attacked the
make my people err--knowingly mislead My people by not denouncing
their sins as incurring judgment.
bite with . . . teeth, and cry, Peace--that is, who, so long as they
are supplied with food, promise peace and prosperity in their
he that putteth not into their mouths, they . . . prepare war against
him--Whenever they are not supplied with food, they foretell war and
prepare war--literally, "sanctify war," that is, proclaim it as a
holy judgment of God because they are not fed
6. night . . . dark--Calamities shall press on you so
overwhelming as to compel you to cease pretending to divine
Darkness is often the image of calamity
Am 5:18; 8:9).
7. cover their lips--The Orientals prided themselves on the moustache
and beard ("upper lip," Margin). To cover it, therefore, was a
token of shame and sorrow
Eze 24:17, 22).
"They shall be so ashamed of themselves as not to dare to open their
mouths or boast of the name of prophet" [CALVIN].
there is no answer of God--They shall no more profess to have responses
from God, being struck dumb with calamities
8. I--in contrast to the false prophets
(Mic 3:5, 7).
full of power--that which "the Spirit of Jehovah" imparts for the
discharge of the prophetical function
(Lu 1:17; 24:49;
judgment--a sense of justice
[MAURER]; as opposed to the false
prophets' speaking to please men, not from a regard to truth. Or,
"judgment" to discern between graver and lighter offenses, and to
denounce punishments accordingly [GROTIUS].
might--moral intrepidity in speaking the truth at all costs
to declare unto Jacob his . . . sin--
Not to flatter the sinner as the false prophets do with promises of
9. Hear--resumed from
Here begins the leading subject of the prophecy: a demonstration of his
assertion that he is "full of power by the Spirit of Jehovah"
10. They--change of person from "ye"
the third person puts them to a greater distance as estranged from Him.
It is, literally, "Whosoever builds," singular.
build up Zion with blood--build on it stately mansions with wealth
obtained by the condemnation and murder of the innocent
11. heads thereof--the princes of Jerusalem.
judge for reward--take bribes as judges
priests teach for hire--It was their duty to teach the law and to
decide controversies gratuitously
prophets . . . divine--that is, false prophets.
Is not the Lord among us?--namely in the temple
Jer 7:4, 8-11).
quotes this verse. The Talmud and MAIMONIDES
record that at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus,
Terentius Rufus, who was left in command of the army, with a
ploughshare tore up the foundations of the temple.
mountain of the house--the height on which the temple stands.
as the high places of the forest--shall become as heights in a
forest overrun with wild shrubs and brushwood.