Page images

The sins of


[Israel reproved. 15 Yet will I bring an heir unto 5 Therefore thou shalt have none thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he that shall cast a cord by lot in the conshall come unto Adullam the glory of gregation of the LORD. Israel.

6 Prophesy ye not, say they to them 16 Make thee bald, and poll thee that prophesy: they shall not prophesy for thy delicate children; enlarge thy to them, that they shall not take baldness as the eagle; for they are

shame. gone into captivity from thee. (A) 7 O thou that art named the house

of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD CHAP. II.

straitened ? are these his doings ? do WOE to them that devise iniquity, not my words do good to him that

and work evil upon their bedsi walketh uprightly? when the morning is light, they prac. 8 Even of late my people is risen tise it, because it is in the power of up as an enemy: ye pull off the their hand.

robe with the garment from them that 2 And they covet fields, and take pass by securely, as men averse from them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a 9 The women of my people have ye man and his house, even a man and cast out from their pleasant houses ; his heritage.

from their children have ye taken away 3 Therefore thus saith the LORD; my glory for ever. Behold, against this family do I de- 10 Arise ye, and depart; for this vise an evil, from which ye shall not is not your rest : because it is polluted; remove your necks; neither shall ye it shall destroy you, even with a sore go haughtily: for this time is evil. destruction.

4 In that day shall one take up a 11 If a man walking in the spirit parable against you, and lament with and falsehood do lie, saying, I will a doleful lamentation, and say, We be prophesy unto thee of wine and of utterly spoiled : he hath changed the strong drink; he shall even be the portion of my people : how hath he prophet of this people. emoved it from me! turning away

he 12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, rath divided our fields.

all of thee; I will surely gather the



with the like stroke ; namely, the invasion (A) The Prophet declaims against idol- of Sennacherib. Other cities of Judah try, and exhorts to repentance and humility. are also threatened, and their danger repre-This chapter contains prophecies, first sented to be so great, as to oblige them to gainst Samaria, whose fate the Prophet have recourse for protection even to their iments in the dress of a professed mourner, euenies, the Philistines. But all resources od with the doleful cries of the most are declared vain ; their captivity is deournful animals; and then, secondly, creed, and their crimes and obduracy have gainst Jerusalem, which is threatened rendered it necessary.

NOTES. CHAP. II. Ver. 4. A doleful lamentation – Heb. Ver. 7. Is the spirit of the Lord straitened A lamentation of lamentations."'Turning away that is, Is there any want of the prophetic spirit?

kath divided our fields-Marg. “Instead of re. My words do good, &c.- Compare 2 Cor. ii. 16. yring, he hath divided our fields."

Ver. 8. Even of late-Heb. “ Yesterday."-Yo Ver.3, None that shall cust a cord, &c.--that is, pull off the robe-Newcome, “ Ye strip, the mantle a shall have no lot, or portion, in the land, but be from off the garment,” &c. i. e. they spoiled the unrolly exiled.

protected passenger. Ver.6. Prophesy ye not, &c. - Dr. Boothroyd Ver. 9. The women, &c. - that is, they have ems to have given the clearest version of this pas- plundered widows and children. Newcome explains fe: * Prophesy not (say they), 0 ye that pro- this to mean, that by occasioning their families to be esy: should they not prophesy to such as thec, yet sent into captivity, they deprived them of all the Il their disgrace not be removed." He adds, "I privileges of the city and temple. osider that the unbelieving thus speak to God's Ver. 10. Arise ye, and depart. This is addressed sphets, (“ Prophesy not,” &c.) to whom Micah to the faithful. dies, “ Should thez not," this will not remove Ver. 11. In the spirit and falsekcod_Newcome, reproach, or disgrace, attached to God's pro- " In the spirit of falsehood." ets.

Cruelty of the princes,] MICAH. [and falseness of the prophets

. remnant of Israel; I will put them will even hide his face from them at together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the that time, as they have behaved themflock in the midst of their fold : they selves ill in their doings. shall make great noise by reason of the 5 Thus saith the LORD concerning multitude of men.

the prophets that make my people er, 13 The breaker is come up before that bite with their teeth, and cry, them : they have broken up, and have Peace; and he that putteth not into passed through the gate, and are gone their mouths, they even prepare war out by it: and their king shall pass against him : before them, and the LORD on the 6 Therefore night shall be unto head of them. (B)

you, that ye shall not have a vision;

and it shall be dark unto you, that ye CHAP. III.

shall not divine; and the sun shall go AND I said, Hear, I pray you, o down over the prophets, and the das

heads of Jacob, and ye princes of shall be dark over them. the house of Israel; Is it not for you 7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, to know judgment ?

and the diviners confounded: yea, they 2 Who hate the good, and love the shall all cover their lips; for there is no evil; who pluck off their skin from off answer of God. them, and their flesh from off their 8 But truly I am full of power by bones;

the spirit of the LORD, and of judg. 3 Who also eat the flesh of my ment, and of might, to declare und people, and Alay their skin from off Jacob his transgression, and to Israel them; and they break their bones, and his sin. chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and 9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of a's flesh within the caldron.

the house of Jacob, and princes of the 4 Then shall they cry unto the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, LORD, but he will not hear them : he and pervert all equity.


calamity; but Dr. Boothroyd remarks, CHAP. II.

“ After long considering ver. 12, and the (B) A severe reproof of the oppression and next verse, I am convinced that they ought cruelty of the great, and a lamentation over to be regarded as a dep unciation of punishthe national calamities.-The Prophet be- ment.” That is, the people should be gins with denouncing a bitter woe against pewned up together, like sheep in a foll, those who laid on their beds to devise mis- by the Chaldean army, which should occachief, and rose only to put in practice the sion great alarm and confusion; at length evils they had devised. Jo return for this, their king, Zedekiah, should break ferts God devises against them an evil, by which at the bead of the few troops that were they should effectually be humbled; name- with him; and the Lord himself should lead ly, their captivity in a foreign land.

(or cause them to be led, as Ezek. xxix. The two last verses some explain as 28), forth into captivity. See the history, promising them a return again from their 2 Kings xxv. 4.

NOTES. Ver. 13. The breaker.—2 Kings xxv. 4, mentions forts, with as little remorse as ye would cut up the that “the city was broken ap;" i.e. the enemy made sacrifices for the altar, or the chaldron. See 1 S. a breach, and while they were entering the city at one ii. 13-16; Amos v. 10-12. end, Zedekiah and his men broke a way out, between Ver. 4 Then they shall crynamely, these se the walls of the king's garden, and attempted their just and cruel prioces. escape. They broke out, and passed the gate (ver.5), Ver. 5. Bile with their teeth-that is, deroura but the king was taken, and carried to Babylon, as they can get. had been predicted.

Ver. 6. Therefore night, &c.-Boothroyd. * Me fore ye shall have night instead of vision; and...

darkness instead of divination." Mare literaty. CHAP. III. Ver. 1. Is it not ? - that is, Ought 6. Night without a vision; darkness without divine not you, who are judges in Israel, to know what is tion." See Heb. of Job xi. 15; xxi. 9. and Gesenin right, and what is wrong?

Ver. 7. Cover their lips-Heb. ** Upper lip ** Ser Ver. 2. Who plucketk off their skin-that is, who Levit, xiii. 45. sacritice the people, their interest and their com. Ver. 12. Therefore shall Zion,-See Jer. IIT. K

The glory of ]


[Messiah's kingdom. 10- They build up Zion with blood, people, and rebuke strong nations afar and Jerusalem with iniquity.

off; and they shall beat their swords il The heads thereof judge for into plowshares, and their spears into reward, and the priests thereof teach pruning-hooks : nation shall not lift up for hire, and the prophets thereof di- a sword against nation, neither shall vine for money : yet will they lean they learn war any more. upon the LORD, and say, Is not the 4 But they shall sit every man under LORD among us? none evil can come his vine and under his fig tree ; and ipon us.

none shall make them afraid : for the 12 Therefore shall Zion for your mouth of the LORD of hosts hath jake be plowed as a field, and Jerusa

spoken it. em shall become heaps, and the moun- 5 For all people will walk every one ain of the house as the high places of in the name of his god, and we will he forest. (C)

walk in the name of the Lord our God

for ever and ever. CHAP. IV.

6 In that day, saith the LORD, will BUT UT in the last days it shall come I assemble her that halteth, and I will to pass, that the mountain of the

gather her that is driven out, and her ouse of the LORD shall be established that I have afflicted ;

the top of the mountains, and it 7 And I will make her that halted hall be exalted above the hills; and a remnant, and her that was cast far eople shall flow unto it.

off a strong nation : and the Lord 2 And many nations shall come, shall reign over them in mount Zion, nd say, Come, and let us go up to the from henceforth, even for ever. mountain of the LORD, and to the 8 And thou, O tower of the flock, ouse of the God of Jacob; and he the strong bold of the daughter of ill teach us of his ways, and we will Zion, unto thee shall it come, even walk in his paths: for the law shall go the first dominion; the kingdom shall irth of Zion, and the word of the come to the daughter of Jerusalem. ORD from Jerusalem.

9 Now why dost thou cry ont aloud? 3 And he shall judge among many is there no king in thee? is thy coun(of Messiai


but on his own part declares himself ani" (C) The cruel character of the Jewish mated by the Spirit of the Most High: inces, and the falsehood of their prophets. But how were the people to distinguish ? It is evident that a great degeneracy now Moses has given two criterions; one, the evailed, as well in the church as in the fulfilment of their predictions, but this reate; and many who had been educated quired time to ascertain ; a more certain

the schools of the Prophets, followed and immediate criterion is therefore given; eir interest instead of their duty, and if any prophet attempted, either directly came prophets of Baal, or of the golden or indirectly, to lead them into idolatry, lves, instead of prophets of Jehovah, he was to be considered as a false prophet, ough they would always be thought to and was liable to the penalty of stoning.

the latter. Against such, Micah de- See Deut. xiii.1-5. runces disappointment and confusion;

NOTES. CHAP. IV. Ver. 1-3. But in the last days ture, it is said, Bnonaparte had in the field of Wampare Isa. ii. 2-4.

terloo.). Zion is bere considered as the watch-tower Ver. 4. And they shalt sit, &c. – An expression of the kingdom. timating not only peace, but domestic security, Ver. 9. Is there no king in thee? - that is, though newbat analogous to the boast of Englishmen, that Zedekiah be gone into captivity, Jehovah is king. ery man's house is his castle.

See Jer. viii. 19. Ver. 6. Her that halteth.-See this a little ampli. Ver. 11. Let our eye look-Newcome, “ See (its d, Zeph. iii. 15. The sense is, that God will bring desire) on Sion.” Compare Ps.liv. 7. lix. 10. rk the weak and feeble. Compare Isa. xl. ll. Ver. 12. They know not the thoughts, &c. - The Ver. 8. Tower of the pock - meaning, probably, heathen knew not God's design in suffering them to onnt Zion. It was customary, in extensive pas- be carried into captivity, Isa. x. 7. res, to have a frame erected, of considerable Ver. 13. Arise and thresh. -- See Isa, xli, 15.ight, to watch the flock. (Something of this na. Their gain-that is, their spoil taken.

The birth-place]

МІСАН. sellor perished ? for pangs have taken the LORD, and their siubstance into the thee as a woman in travail.

Lord of the whole earth. (D) 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring

CHAP. V. forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth NOW gather thyself in trope, out of the city, and thou shalt dwell daughter of troops: he hath laid in the field, and thou shalt go even to siege against us: they shall smite the Babylon; there shalt thou be deliver- judge of Israel with a rod upon the ed; there the LORD shall redeem thee cheek. from the hand of thine enemies.

2 But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratul, 11 Now also many nations are ga- though thou be little among the thea thered against thee, that say, Let her sands of Judah, yet out of thee shal be defiled, and let our eye look upon he come forth unto me that is to be Zion.

ruler in Israel ; whose goings forth 12 But they know not the thoughts have been from of old, from ererlastof the Lord, neither understand they ing. his counsel : for he shall gather them 3 Therefore will be give them as the sheaves into the floor.

until the time that she which travail

. 13 Árise and thresh, O daughter of eth hath brought forth : then the redZion : for I will make thine horn iron, nant of his brethren shall return und and I will make thy hoofs brass : and the children of Israel. thou shalt beat in pieces many people : 4 And he shall stand and feed in and I will consecrate their gain unto the strength of the Lord, in the ina


The kingdom of the Messiah is om (D) A prophecy of Messiah's kingdom.- stantly represented as an establishment of From the great similitude between the peace, and truth, and righteousness; but first three verses of this chapter and the truth and righteousness ĉan Dever be opening verses of the second chapter of harmony with practical error or more Isaiah, it is very natural to suppose that evil; hence, He who bears the characte one had reference to the other, and if, as of Prince of Peace, sends forth from his Bp. Lowth thiriks, Isaiah was first written, mouth a sharp two-edged sword. Tv this may fairly be considered as a quota. word of God can never be at peace with tion, though with some little variation; sin or error, while they remain upon the the sacred writers not always aiming, as it earth. (Rev. xix. 13-15.) Messiah mest should seem, at verbal exactuess in their and shall reign till both are put benesta quotations.

his feet.

NOTES. CHAP. V. Ver. 1. Now gather, &c.--Dr. Booth- the first chapter of this prophecy (ver. 3.), it royd, following the Hebrew, Syriae, &c. joins this plied to the Lord's coming forth from his pinet, verse to the preceding chapter, and we think pery execute judgment. See Parkhurst in Itsa, and be properly: They shall smite the judge, &c.—Per- senius in Motsaah. The terms " of old, fra haps this indignity was offered to Zedekiah when everlasting," always refer to high antiquity, he fed. 2 Kings xxv. 6, 7.

sometimes to a proper eternity. Deel for Ver. 2. Bethlchem Ephratah. - Bethlehem is, lite- P's. Iv. 19; Hab. i. 12; Gen. xxi. 33: P$. x. rally, the house, or place, of bread, and it was Abp. Secker says, “ All the (apcient) Jers, abe called Ephratah, from its vicinity to Ephrath (Gen. writings we have, apply this test to the Hessial * xlviii. 7.), and of Judah, to distinguish it froin a town Ver. 3. Therefore-Br. Pococke renters & less considerable in the tribe of Naphtali.

licle, “ But yer." or " notwithstanding." So Be Ibid. Among the thousands. The tribes of Israel ii. 4. - His breihrer-Newceme, “ Their brethren." were divided into thousands, each containing 1000 wh ch is the reading of the LXX, Arabic, and Cat families, as the counties of England were divided dee, and seems more consistent, and differ but ka into nundreds, duubtless for a like reason,

one letter from the printed text. Dr. Hales reeds It is proper to mention here, that, more completely " Thy brethren," all referring to the Jewish naisen to avoid the appearance of inconsistency, many Shall return-Neu come, learned men read the words of the prophet interro- Ver. 4. Stand and feed.-See Jsa. sl. 10, 11. gatively, as Newcome, “ Art thou too little to be Ver. 5. Prace.- Dr. Pye Smith, ** The Restorer: among the leaders (or thousands ) of Judah ?" The text might certainly be su read, but we see yo neces:

Boothroyd, “ The Author of peace.” All the store

close the prophecy at this line, except Bp.desde sity for the alteralion.

who connects it with the following these " Ibid. Whose goings forth. - The Ilebrew verb shall be the Peace, but if the Assyrians shall cene. here used is applied to the rising of the sun (Ps. xix. &c. Seren shepherds (ie. leaders andeski peris 6.), to the flowing of a fountain, to the springing cipal men-Heb. - Princes of men." of plants, and a variety of other objects. "And in

* Be converted,


The fall of ]

{idolatry jesty of the name of the LORD his through, both treadeth down, and God; and they shall abide: for now teareth in pieces, and none can delishall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

9 Thine hand shall be lifted up upon 5 And this man shall be the peace, thine adversaries, and all thine eneevhen the Assyrian shall come into our mies shall be cut off. and : and when he shall tread in our 10 Aud it shall come to pass in that alaces, then shall we raise agaiöst him day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off even shepherds, and eight principal thy horses out of the midst of thee, and men.

I will destroy thy chariots. 6 And they shall waste the land of 11 And I will ent off the cities of Assyria with the sword, and the land thy land, and throw down all thy strong f Nimrod in the entrances thereof: holds : hus shall he deliver us from the As- 12 And I will cut off witchcrafts yrian, when he cometh into our land, out of thine hand; and thou shalt have end when he treadeth within our bor- no more soothsayers : lers.

13 Thy graven images also will I 7 And the remnant of Jacob shall cut off, and thy standing images out e in the midst of many people as a dew of the midst of thee; and thou shalt com the Lord, as the showers upon no' more worship the work of thine ne grass, that tarrieth not for man, por hands. -aiteth for the sons of men.

14 And I will pluck up thy groves 8 And the remnant of Jacob shall out of the midst of thee : so will I e among the Gentiles in the midst of destroy thy cities. any people as a lion among the beasts

15 And I will execute vengeance in f the forest, as a young lion among anger and fury upon the heathen, such ne flocks of sheep : who, if he go as they have not heard. (E)


which appear to have been inhabited, (E) An eminent prophecy of Messiah.— though thinly, from Herod sending thither his prophecy was applied to Messiah in to destroy the children. Another thing e time of our Saviour; for when Herod which made it rank still higher was, its quired where Messiah was to be born, being the predicted birth-place of the Mes. e chief priests and Pharisees replied by siah. Bethlehem, though but a small city, Roting this predictiou, though with some and of few inhabitants, evidently ranked rbal difference. Instead of reading with high from the days of David, and especially

(Though) thou be little," they read, from those of Micah to those of Jesus ; Thou art not the least ” (Matt. ii. 6), iu we see, therefore, wo reason to alter the hich some have found an apparent con translation, either in the Prophet or the adiction. Botha assertions, however, are Evaugelist. t only true, but accurate. Bethlehem, From this town, it is said, should come a city, was never extensive, nor populous forth one who should be the ruler in Israel, mpared with Jerusalem, or even Zion: i.e. the Messiah, whose“ goings forth t it ranked high as the birth-place of have been of old, from everlastiug. Withog David, and was therefore fixed upon out disputing the doctrine of eternal gene,

the Romans as the town where all ihe ration, which many derive from this text, be of Judah should be taxed. Its name, we much doubt its being here referred to: ethlehem (the house of bread), is sup- we should rather consider the term (which sed to have been given it, from the fine is of very general import) as referring to en-fields with which it was surrounded, the divine appearances of the Messiah unlled the coasts thereof (verse 16), and der the Old Testament, and the many des

NOTES. Ver. 8. As a young lion.--Newcome refers this to Ver. 11. Strong holds.-The Jews were enjoined victories of the Maccabees.

to put their trust in God, and in no human aid. Ver. 10., I will cut off thy horses. Horses were Ps. xx. 7. pressly forbidden to the Jews : Deut. xvii. 16.

« PreviousContinue »