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Go to Bible: Micah 2
“plan iniquity.” The evil people plan iniquity, evil and sin, on their beds, which cause God to “plan” their ruin (Mic. 2:3). The evil people do often returns upon their own heads (see commentary on Prov. 1:18).(top)
|Mic 2:2||- (top)|
“Behold, I am planning.” The people planned evil (Micah 2:1) but were unaware that God was planning their disaster because of it.
“from which you will not remove your necks.” The text imports the image of an ox who is forced to wear a yoke and labor through the day. These evil leaders have put the poor and disadvantaged under their yoke, so now foreign invaders will capture them and put those evil leaders under a burdensome yoke. (top)
“he takes it from me.” The rich and powerful stole the land from the poor; now in poetic justice their land is taken from them by invaders. Their evil has come upon them.
“and wail a wail with much wailing.” The English translation is somewhat difficult, but it brings out the emphasis of the Hebrew text, which repeats wailing three times. This will be a time of terrible emotional pain for the people, especially the rich and powerful who lose everything, but they brought it on themselves by their evil thoughts and deeds.
“ruined, yes, ruined.” This is the figure of speech polyptoton for emphasis (see commentary on Gen. 2:16).
“assigns our fields.” The Hebrew uses the same verb as is used when God divided up the land to the tribes of Israel in the time of Joshua (e.g., Josh. 13:7; 19:51). It is as if God originally assigned the land to the tribes of Israel, but when they abandoned Yahweh to serve other gods, Yahweh divided up the land and gave it to someone else.
“to the rebellious.” The Hebrew is more literally, “to the one turning back,” but it is unclear exactly who Micah is referring to, and the English versions differ widely: “the rebellious” (ASV; DBY), “traitors” (CSB; NIV), “apostate” (ESV; NASB), “conqueror” (NET); “turncoat” (NKJ); “those who betrayed us” (NLT); “captors” (RSV). Some English versions do not understand the Hebrew as referring to people at all (cp. CJB; JPS: KJV; NAB). However, it seems from Micah 2:5, and the history of Israel preserved in Kings, that it must refer to the Assyrian conquerors who got the land. The Assyrians conquered the land and carried the people captive back to to Assyria, and replaced them with pagans from other countries (2 Kings 17:6-33). Thus, “rebellious,” “captors,” “apostates” and “conquerors” all fit the Assyrians.(top)
|Mic 2:5||- (top)|
“‘Do not prophesy,’ they prophesy.” Here we see the “battle of the prophets.” Micah is prophesying that disaster is coming, and the false prophets are prophesying that it is wrong for him to say that because no disaster will come. Evil people do not want to know God, and harden their hearts against Him (cp. Job. 21:14; 22:17; Isa. 30:11; Micah 2:6. See commentary on Matt. 13:13).(top)
|Mic 2:7||- (top)|
“You strip the rich cloak off." The wealthy and powerful sinners even took the outer garments from people, not caring about how that would affect them and how they would sleep or be protected in the weather. That was strictly forbidden by Yahweh (Exod. 22:26-27).
“like those returning from battle.” This seems to be a reference to the fact that people returning from battle were carefree in the sense that the battle was over and they were alive and well and able to return home. It could be possible, but is less likely, that it refers to men who were actually returning from a battle, but that is possible. The rich and powerful took the clothing (the protection) from the men, the houses from the women, and the land inheritance from the children. Thus we see that the leaders were heartless sinners, but Yahweh will repay them and their destruction is coming, now and/or in the future Judgment.(top)
“you take away my splendor forever.” The poor were driven from the homes that they had, and the children were displaced from land ownership, the land being the splendor of God and His gift to people.(top)
“Arise and depart.” The prophet brings God’s word to the wealthy and powerful sinners. They caused the poor to depart from their houses and land, and now God will repay them in the same way: their country will be conquered by the enemy, the Assyrians, and they will be deported from the Promised Land into the land of the enemy. The Promised Land will not be their resting place.Their sin will bring destruction upon them.(top)
|Mic 2:11||- (top)|
“I will assemble, yes, assemble Jacob, all of you. I will gather, yes, gather the remnant of Israel.” Israel and Judah are currently scattered, but God promises to reassemble them and gather them to the historic land of Israel, a promise that will be fulfilled in the future after Jesus conquers the earth. God emphasizes His promise to regather Israel by using the figure of speech polyptoton, doubling the verb but in different tenses. This prophecy of the regathering of Israel and Judah presupposes that they will be scattered, a prophecy that had been given before and would be given many times again, and sure enough, Israel did not repent and they were scattered, and Judah was eventually taken captive and removed from their land also.
[For more on the figure of speech polyptoton and how it is translated, see commentary on Gen. 2:16. For more on Israel and Judah being gathered and placed in the land of Israel, see commentary on Jer. 32:37. For more on Jesus ruling the world from Jerusalem in the future, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].(top)
“breaks open the way.” The idea could also be “The one who breaks through” the barrier (cp. NET). The one who breaks open the way refers to the Messiah, who is the one who opened the way to an abundant life here on earth as well as everlasting life. He broke through the gate of death and made available everlasting life. His followers also break through the gate and “go out;” they go out of the places where they have been held captive, and they “go out” (escape) death and receive everlasting life. The king who passes on before them is the Messiah, representing Yahweh their God. He is the one who will bring both Israel and Judah back from any and all captivities to the land of Israel.
“They break through the gate.” The reference to “the gate” is not explained in this verse, but it likely refers to any kind of enclosure that keeps people from being free, and it also likely more specifically refers to the “gates” of Sheol, the gate of death. Sheol, the state of being dead, was said to have gates that kept people from escaping death and going back to the land of the living (see commentary on Matt. 16:18).(top)