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Go to Bible: Micah 3
|Mic 3:1||- (top)|
“who tear the skin off of my people.” The Hebrew is more literally, “from off them,” the “them” being God’s people, who are not in a position to defend themselves against the unscrupulous rich and powerful people.
“who eat the flesh of my people.” The leaders and powerful people were supposed to help the common people live good lives and prosper, but instead they were only interested in living off the people and enriching themselves from the labor of others. The people were just a source of wealth and food for them. But there is a time coming when the leaders will need help and cry out to God, but He will not hear them (Micah 3:4).
“flay their skin from off them and break their bones.” When animals were eaten they were first skinned, and then, with some animals (like goats) when the meat was cooked the bones were broken and put in the pot along with the meat to add flavor. So what is being said here is that the rich and powerful people were heartlessly treating the people as if they were animals to be eaten. The people were shown no human mercy or consideration. Because of this, when trouble comes to the leaders, God will close His ears to their cries for help (Micah 3:4).(top)
“they.” The ones who hate good and love evil and oppress the poor (Micah 3:2-3).
“he will not answer them.” God does not hear prayers simply because people pray. Everyone sins, but some people are prideful and unrepentant about their sin, and God will not listen to the prayers of wicked and unrepentant people; those prayers are an abomination to Him (Prov. 28:9). It is the prayer of a righteous person that accomplishes much (James 5:16). There are a number of verses that say God does not answer the prayers of the wicked (cp.Job 35:12-13; Prov. 15:29; Isa. 1:15; 59:1-2; Ezek. 8:17-18; Micah 3:4; Zech. 7:12-13; and James 4:3). [For more on God not hearing the prayers of the wicked or honoring their sacrifices, see commentary on Amos 5:22].(top)
“who cry out ‘Peace’ when their teeth have something to bite.” Micah speaks out against the false prophets who would prophesy good things for people who gave them food (or money, or other things), but prophesied evil against people who would not support them and give them things.(top)
“it will be night for you—with no vision.” The false prophets will find that what has worked for them, even if it was a combination of God’s power and demonic power, will fail. There will be no more prophetic visions and their divination will no longer work.
“the sun will go down on the prophets.” Not only will the prophetic abilities of the false prophets fail, their reputations will be ruined and their personal lives will fall apart.(top)
|Mic 3:7||- (top)|
“to declare to Jacob his disobedience and to Israel his sin.” Micah prophesies to both the country of Israel in the north and also the country of Judah in the south (as we see from Micah 3:10).(top)
“who abhor justice.” The evil, unscrupulous, greedy leaders abhorred justice because justice would mean quitting the way they immorally gained power, money, land, and even slaves. Sadly, this immoral behavior has been the behavior of many leaders through the centuries and up to this very day. Sometimes, such as in Micah’s time, the majority of the leaders were evil. This behavior is immoral and ungodly, but often it is not “illegal” because the powerful people make the law of the land in a way that favors them. That “lawful” behavior is “lawless” (see commentary on Matt. 24:12).(top)
“who build up Zion with blood.” Archaeological discoveries reveal the truth of the fact that Jerusalem was indeed being “built up” and expanded during Micah’s days. Also, although during much of it godliness was on the decline, religion was booming, as is evidenced by the false prophets, divination, and the keeping of religious feasts and festivals (Isaiah, a contemporary to Micah, also spoke out against the false and shallow religion, cp. Isaiah 1:2-23). There are many ways that blood could have been shed in the building of Jerusalem. There were likely “kangaroo courts” like the one that resulted in the execution of Naboth and his family but added land to the royal estate (1 Kings 21). Also, King Ahaz sacrificed some of his children to pagan gods to win their favor (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chron. 28:3). There were altars to pagan gods all over Jerusalem (2 Chron. 28:24).(top)
“yet they lean on Yahweh and say, ‘Isn’t Yahweh in the midst of us.’” The leaders, prophets, and people were deceived into thinking that they were “spiritual” and that God would approve of what they were doing. They had the Law, but did not read it, or take it literally, or they applied it in inaccurate ways. The same is true for many confessing Christians today. The Bible says pray but they don’t for various reasons; the Bible says to fellowship with other Christians (which would normally be in a church-type setting) but they ignore that and think nothing of it. The Bible says to be modest and sexually pure, but many Christians think that God ignores those “old laws” and loves them for who they are no matter what they do. So in both ancient and modern times, people did not take God at His word and did not realize that God meant it when He said, “Be holy for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:15-16).(top)
“Therefore because of you.” That is, because of the sin of the people Jerusalem will be destroyed, which it was. This prophecy was given in the days of Hezekiah (cp Jer. 26:18), more than 100 years before it was fulfilled in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, and people in Jerusalem knew about it and quoted it before Jerusalem was destroyed. However, this prophecy was not set in stone and it could change if the people repented and changed their evil ways (cp. Jer. 18:8; 26:13).
The destruction of Jerusalem and deportation of its people is mentioned here in Micah 3:12 and it also mentioned in Micah 1:15-16 and 4:10 (see commentary on Micah 4:10).(top)