Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
TRANSITION TO THE
1-3. Almost identical with
the mountain of the house of the Lord--which just before
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
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
it is "the nations . . . many people."
4. sit every man under his vine, &c.--that is, enjoy the most
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,
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
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
her . . . driven out--all Israel's outcasts. Called "the Lord's flock"
Eze 34:13; 37:21).
7. I will make her that halted a remnant--I will cause a remnant to
remain which shall not perish.
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
(Isa 9:6, 7;
Da 7:14, 27;
8. tower of the flock--following up the metaphor of sheep
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
"Thy neck is like the tower of David"), and the literal
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
But the explanatory words, "the stronghold of the daughter of Zion,"
confirm English Version.
stronghold--Hebrew, "Ophel"; an impregnable height on Mount Zion
(2Ch 27:3; 33:14;
Ne 3:26, 27).
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
[CALVIN]. The former is perhaps the preferable
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
dwell in the field--namely, in the open country, defenseless, instead
of their fortified city. Beside the Chebar
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 prophets.
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
Cyrus again being the type of the greater Deliverer, who shall finally
11. many nations--the subject peoples composing Babylon's armies:
and also Edom, Ammon, &c., who exulted in Judah's fall
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
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
Mic 4:3, 12, 13,
which prove that Israel, not merely the Christian Church, is the
ultimate subject of the prophecy; also in
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
the Lord "shall gather" for destruction by Zion
like sheaves gathered to be threshed (compare
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--
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;
with which compare
and for their ultimate good; therefore He is here called, not merely
God of Israel, but "Lord of the whole earth."