Micah 4



vs. 1-5 - The prophet suddenly announces the future glory of the temple

            mountain and the ideal happiness of the people


1 “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the

house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it

shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”   This verse is

connected with the previous verse in the last chapter – what is implied is that

it was impossible that the ruins of the temple, to which God’s high promises

were attached, should lie waste for ever.  But. There is no adversative particle

here; the verse is merely connected with what precedes without any expressed

contrast. The passage, vers. 1-3, occurs in Isaiah 2:2-4, The question as to

which prophecy is the earlier cannot be settled. Possibly both prophets borrowed

the language of some earlier work, as Isaiah is thought to have done on other

occasions, e.g. Isaiah 15. and 16. the community of ideas leading them to the

same source of testimony. In the last days; literally, at the end of the days;

Cheyne, “in the days to come.” It is the usual phrase to designate the time

of Messiah, unto which the prophet’s thoughts are directed, and FOR WHICH


(Jeremiah 23:20; Hosea 3:5; the question is:  ARE WE PREPARED? - CY  -

2022)  Compare 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Timothy 4:1). Septuagint, ἐπ ἐσχάτων

τῶν ἡμερῶν - ep eschaton ton haemeron -  at the last days. The phrase may

often suitably be rendered, “in latter days,” as spoken not absolutely, but

relatively to preceding times.  The mountain of the house of the Lord.

Mount Moriah, the ruin of which was foretold (ch.3:12). But the term here seems

to include Jerusalem itself. Shall be established, firmly and permanently (as

1 Kings 2:45), no longer subject to ruin and devastation.  “In the top of the

mountains; better, on the head of the mountains. The idea is that the

temple mountain shall be raised above, and stand forth prominently

from the lower hills that surround it and form its basis (comp. Ezekiel 40:2;

Zechariah 14:4,10; Revelation 21:10). The prophet speaks as if he

contemplated a physical change, expressing thereby with singular force the

notion that the worship of the true God (of which the temple was the

symbol) shall be promulgated among all nations of the world; that from the

old Jewish center of religion a new order of things shall arise, not

transitory, nor local, but extending to all time and pervading the utmost

parts of the earth and people (peoples) shall flow unto it.  The prophet

beholds the nations of the world coming up in formal procession to join in

the service of the temple. Isaiah says “all nations” in the parallel passage

(Isaiah 2:2-4, comp. Zephaniah 2:11 and Zechariah 8:22).


2 “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to

the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob;

and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for

the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from

Jerusalem.” The prophet further explains his last statement. The new revelation

shall be so conspicuous and so attractive that all men shall hear, and desire to

become partakers of itmany nations - in contrast to the one nation from

whom the Law emanated. They shall exhort one another to resort to the great

religious metropolis, i.e. to the true religion – “of His ways” -  His plans in the

moral government of the world, and the way in which He would have men walk

in order to please Him. For the law - (torah); teaching, direction; not the Mosaic

Law, but a rule of life (Proverbs 6:23). This is the reason given by the prophet for the

eagerness of the nations to resort to Jerusalem. The word of the Lord  -  The

revelation of Jehovah, the gospelfrom Jerusalem - It is obvious that in a

defined sense the gospel sprang from Jerusalem, the place where Christ exercised

His ministry, died, rose, ascended; and where the apostles received their

commission and the gift of the Holy Ghost (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8); the gospel

being not set up in opposition to the Law, but being its fulfillment and





                                    A New Mount Zion (vs. 1-2)


The threat of Micah 3:12 has been fulfilled. Mount Zion, the glory of

the nation on account of its situation, its buildings, its history, and its

religious associations (Psalm 48.; 122., etc.), has become as a forest, or as

desolate heaps of ruins. But while the prophet gazes through the tears

which patriotism and piety bring to his eyes, as in some dissolving view a

new vision unfolds itself before him. Instead of a ploughed field and a

ruinous mound, he sees an exceeding high mountain, a glorious city, and

countless multitudes flocking towards it. It is the new Mount Zion.


·         ITS ELEVATION. There were other hills or mountains that already

were or soon would be of note among men, such as the “high places” of a

corrupt worship in Judaea and Samaria, the huge artificial hill of Babylon

sacred to Belus, the acropolis of Athens, the seven hills of Rome. But this

Mount Zion was founded on the summits of the world’s loftiest heights,

and towered above them all. Thus the mountain is seen to be spiritual and

the elevation figurative. It is a vision of “the latter days,” of the days of the

Messiah, when the new kingdom of God is set up. Because it is “the

mountain of the house of the Lord,it is thus exalted. Illustrate from

Ezekiel’s vision of the “very high mountain” (Ezekiel 40:2), and the

sublime conclusion of it, “Jehovah-Shammah (Ezekiel 48:35; and

compare  1 Timothy 3:15). ( I recommend 

283. Ezekiel 48 – Names of God – Jehovah Shammah by Nathan Stone  - this website:  CY-

2022) “This mountain of the Church of Christ transcends all laws,

schools, doctrines, religions, synagogues, and philosophies, which

seemed to rise among men like mountain tops” (Corn. a Lapide, in Pusey).

It is “a city set on a hill.”  (Matthew 5:14)


·         ITS CONGREGATION. The prophet sees a stream of worshippers

ascending that hill; not an unfamiliar sight in the old days of the literal

Zion. But much earnestness is needed to scale this lofty mountain. And it is

a miracle of grace that not only the chosen people of God, but “the

peoples” of the world lying in wickedness, should be attracted by a Church

so lofty and so pure. For, as the prophet watches, he sees strange

companies gathering, of varied colors, costumes, and languages —

Africans from Ethiopia, Chinese from the land of Sinim, and pale-faced

strangers from the western isles of Europe. Contrast the mountain-like

tower of Babel, man’s scheme of unity, issuing in dispersion, and this

Mount Zion, God’s way of union, attracting a congregation from all

kindreds and peoples and tongues (Isaiah 55:8-9). The prophet hears

their language as they encourage one another, “Come ye,” etc. They thus



1. Their ignorance. “He shall teach us of His ways” — a comprehensive

term (Psalm 25:4, 8-9).

2. Their dissatisfaction. Their old paths had been “broad;” “destruction

and misery” had been in them. Henceforth they desire to walk in other

“paths,” in God’s way of holiness.

3. Their confidence; that the God of Jacob alone was both able and willing

to supply their need. The prophet foresaw what Christ still more clearly

predicted (Matthew 8:11-12), and what we are seeing in these days of

missionary enterprise.


·         ITS EMANATIONS. As light and heat stream from the sun, and

fragrance from the flowers, so from this new Mount Zion, this city of God,

there stream forth the very blessings which the nations needtruth, light,

life. It is a Divine power that first draws this congregation towards the

Church of Christ (John 6:44-45). And the blessings they need and

receive are summed up in two terms.


1. The Law. They receive it as a rule of life, as an ideal of daily conduct.

It goes forth as a stream of blessing which can turn the wastes of heathen

life into a paradise. But more than law is needed:


2. The Word of the Lord. This is a more comprehensive term. It includes

the revelation of His will, His mercy and grace, “the word of the truth of the

gospel.” This goes forth with all the attractiveness of A MESSAGE OF

MERCY! (Luke 24:47, etc.), but also with all the authority of a law (Acts

17:30; 1 John 3:23). The preaching of the cross proves itself the power

of God. This word of the Lord has free course and is glorified. No wonder

that such blessings follow as are described in the following verses.





                                    Enthusiasm in Religion (v. 2)





1. As indicating the possession of loving devotion to God.

2. As prompting to endeavor with a view to the spiritual well being of

others. (v. 2, “Come, and let us go up,” etc.; John 1:41-42, 45-46;

4:28, 29.)

3. As being contagious. For, all aglow themselves, they will be the means

of inspiring others with the same fervor.



INJURIOUS. It may seem a very simple matter to invite others to God, to

say to them, “Come, let us go up,” etc.; but it is possible, by undue

familiarity of approach, or by extravagance of language, to alienate those it

is desired to win.





1. Of seeking to understand Gods truth more dearly. “And He will teach

us of his ways.” The consciousness of his imperfect attainments will keep

him humble, and preserve him from mere dogmatism and self-conceit.

2. Of endeavoring to be obedient in heart and life to Gods will. “And we

will walk in His paths.” His realization of the importance of ethical practical

life will preserve him from either thinking or advocating the false notion

that piety consists in profuse verbal declarations and mere outward





                                    Higher Spiritual Life (v. 2)


“Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” We are too prone to be

content with living at a very low level of spiritual attainment. We need to

hear and heed the voice of God’s own Spirit addressing us through our

own consciences, and through all the holy influences encompassing us, and

bidding us leave the ordinary plain on which we have been content to

dwell, and to ascend the mount of the Lord, and thus to rise to the nobler

heights of spiritual privilege and goodness. “Let us go up,” etc.


·         WHAT IS THIS HIGHER SPIRITUAL LIFE? It is a life of obedience

to God and of faith in Him. It is a life of holy and hallowed fellowship with

the invisible. It is a life sustained and strengthened by hidden Divine

springs. It is not perfect life, but life characterized by constant endeavor

after the perfect. It is a life characterized by:


Ø      the patient endurance of trial,

Ø      the successful resistance of temptation, and

Ø      the cheerful performance of duty.


It is a life animated by hopes entering “within the veil,” and in which

is increasingly realized union with the spiritual world.




1. The ministration of the truth is designed to this end. The advancement

of the good in Divine knowledge and in the varied graces of the Christian

character is one aim of the Christian ministry (Ephesians 5:11-13).


2. The commonest duties of our daily life may be so discharged as to be

made to contribute to our spiritual elevation. The aim should be to make

every duty subservient to the great end of our spiritual advancement.


3. The sorrowful experiences of our life are all designed to secure to us

“more life and fuller.” These constitute the threshings of the spiritual man

by means of which God would separate His servants from evil, and enable

them to enter into the higher joys of His kingdom.


4. And this soul elevation is to be secured not only by receiving, but also

by imparting, holy influences. We rise ourselves as we invite others to rise;

as we speak to them the encouraging word, and hold out to them the

helping hand. Ruskin reminds us that the name which of all others is most

expressive of the being of God is that of “the Helpful One,” or, in our

softer Saxon, “THE HOLY ONE!” And we may each know what one has

beautifully called the holiness of helpfulness (Dr. Robert Collyer’s ‘The

Life that now is,’ pp. 63, 64).




1. There will be greater enjoyment in connection with religious privileges

than can otherwise be experienced.


2. Tranquillity will possess the heart amidst the disappointments, changes,

and bereavements of life.


3. A clearer apprehension of the truth of God will be gained. (v. 2.)



4. More effective service to God in the world will be rendered. Certain

saints of God belonging to the past are sometimes set forth as having been

specially eminent, and as though the same altitude could not be reached

nowadays; whereas we are to be “followers” of such (Hebrews 6:12),

and the “helps” they used are as available to us. Use them, and say



“Go up, go up, my heart!

Be not a trifler here;

Ascend above these clouds,

Dwell in a higher sphere.

Let not thy love go out

To things so soiled and dim:

Go up to heaven, and God

Take up thy love to Him.”




                                                God our Teacher (v. 2)


“And He will teach us of His ways.” How?



HUMILITY. There must be humility in order that we may apprehend

spiritual things. We must become “as little children” would we enter the

kingdom of truth. And this disposition is fitting; for what, after all, are we

but children in relation to such knowledge? “Embryos we are all.” Too

many, forgetting this, and cherishing the opposite spirit, misapprehend or

pervert the meaning of God’s truth. Pride of intellect is cherished, and,

strong and dogmatic in their adherence to false intellectual conceptions,

they miss THE HIGHEST TRUTH!   “The meek will He guide in judgment,

and the meek will He teach his way.” (Psalm 25:9)  As low trees and shrubs

are free from many violent gusts and blasts of wind which shake and rend the

taller trees, so humble souls are free from those gusts and blasts of error

that rend and tear proud lofty souls.” “The high tide quickly ebbs.” “The

valleys laugh with fatness when the hills are bare.” “I thank thee,

O Father Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these

things from the wised and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes.”

(Matthew 11:25-26).



OBEDIENCE. By the gentle constraints of Divine love the will is brought

into harmony with the higher and perfect will of God; and to the man thus

obedient there is unfolded the glorious treasures of Divine wisdom and

knowledge. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will

show them His covenant” (Psalm 25:14); “Then shall we know, if we

follow on to know the Lord:” (Hosea 6:3).



heart being rendered humble and obedient, light springs up within; a

spiritual insight is imparted; the unction of the Holy One rests upon the

man; higher perceptions are his; he apprehends and understands truths

which formerly were unperceived or distorted by him. “Pure in heart,” he

“sees God;” spiritually minded, he discovers spiritual things. God’s ways

stand revealed to him, and God’s Word is no longer a dead letter, but is

instinct with life and power to his soul. Then, with an earnest desire to

enter into the full significance of spiritual realities, and with a deep

consciousness of our own weakness and need of guidance, we do well to

cry, “Lead us in thy truth and teach us” (John 16:13) and to rejoice in the

encouraging assurance, “And he will teach us of His ways.”




                                    Obedience to the Divine Will (v. 2)


“And we will walk in His paths.” The idea is — living obediently to the will

of God. Observe:


·         GOD HAS REVEALED HIS WILL UNTO MAN. “The Law has gone

forth,” etc. (v. 8). The revelation of what God requires of His creatures

has been given


(1) in the commandments unfolded to Moses on Sinai;

(2) in the full and perfect exposition of those commandments given in the

teaching of Christ;

(3) in the complete transcript of them presented in the Divine Teacher’s

spotless character and life.  (Hebrews 1:1-3)



PIETY. Sincere piety does not consist in outward observances, although

these have so high a value that we are not to “forsake the assembling of

ourselves together” (ibid. ch. 10:25) for Christian fellowship and teaching;

nor does it consist in Church association, although there are many advantages

resulting from Christians banding themselves together that thus they may

be helpful to each other in the spiritual life, and by combined, action the

more effectually do God’s work; nor does it consist in the repetition of a

Creed, however admirably conceived and expressed, and however desirable

it may be for us to be well grounded in the foundation doctrines of our holy

religion; but it consists in obedience to the will of God, and in seeking, like

the great Exemplar, to act in harmony with God’s holy Law.


“Nor name, nor form, nor ritual,

But simply following thee.”



OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND OF THE RACE. Walking in these paths, it

is found that they are “right paths,” that they yield “peace” and

“pleasantness;” “mercy and truth” also abound to the obedient, whilst the

wide adoption of this course by the children of men is pointed to as the

token of the coming of “the latter day glory.” “A world wide Christ-likeness

is the great necessity. If, in imitation of Him, there were:


Ø      truth on every tongue,

Ø      kindness in every heart,

Ø      gentleness in every spirit,

Ø      obedience to God in every will,

Ø      purity in every life and

Ø      blamelessness inevery character, (basically, the fruits of

 the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)


the bloom and blessedness of Eden would be seen tomorrow,”

Too many, alas! still resolve that “they will walk every one in

the name of his god” (v. 5); but our hope for humanity lies in the

growing number whose feet are being turned into “the ways of

righteousness,” and who are impelled to say, “And we will walk in his

paths.” “We will walk in the Name of the Lord our God forever and ever”

(v. 5).


3 “And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations

afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their

spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against

nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”  v. 3 - The effect of this

reception of true religion shall be universal peace.  He shall judge among

many people -  or better, between many peoples. The Lord shall be the Arbiter

to whom all disputes shall be referred, as in the next clause. When His reign is

acknowledged and His Law obeyed, all war and all causes of war shall cease.

(Do you ever expect to witness this?  Why or why not?  CY - 2022) The gospel

is a gospel of peace and love (and is just as available now as it ever was!!!???

CY  - 2022), and when “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms

of our Lord and His Christ” (Revelation 11:15), peace and love shall everywhere

abound. (For the phrase in the text,  compare Judges 11:27; 1 Samuel 24:12,15.) –

rebuke strong nations afar off -  the word rendered “rebuke” means here

“decide concerning,” “act as umpire for.” (Something mankind has always

needed, especially now - CY - 2022) The arbitration of the sword shall no

more be resorted to.  The words “afar off” are omitted in the similar passage

of Isaiah – beat their swords into ploughshares - i.e. they shall practice the

arts of peace instead of war. Literally, the short broad sword of the Israelites

might readily be converted into a share, and the spear forged into a pruning

hook (compare Hosea 2:18; Zechariah 9:10).


The reverse process is seen in Joel 3:10, where ploughshares are beaten

into swords.


4 “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree;

and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of

hosts hath spoken it.”  This verse is omitted in Isaiah. They shall sit every

man under his vine -  This image of plenty and security is derived from

the account of the material prosperity of Israel in the days of Solomon

(1 Kings 4:25), in accordance with the Mosaic promise (Leviticus 26:4, etc.).

It passed into a proverb expressive of peace and happiness (compare

Zechariah 3:10; 1 Maccabees 14:12). The mouth of the Lord of hosts.

The great promise is thus confirmed (Isaiah 58:14). The Septuagint usually

renders this expression in Jeremiah and the minor prophets Κύριος παντοκράτωρ -

Kurios pantokrator -  Lord Almighty; this title for God translates the Hebrew 7372,

[LORD] of Hosts (the heavenly armies), and Hebrew 8724, Shaddai, (probably)

God the Mountain, powerful and immovable elsewhere by Κύριος σαβαώθ -

 Kurios sabaoth - Lord of Sabaoth and Κύριος δυνάμεων - Kurios dunameon -

Lord of forces. It means, “the Lord of the powers of heaven and earth,” the idea

being originally that God was the Leader of the armies of Israel.


Tseva’ot is used of various activities than require dedication and regimentation

of life. For instance, service in the tabernacle (Exodus 38:8; Numbers 4:23, 35, 39, 43;

8:24) and service in war (ibid.  31:14). It is used of God’s celestial host (Genesis 2:1;

Psalms 33:6; 103:21; Isaiah 40:26). Israel are also called the “hosts of the Lord”

(Exodus 12:41). LORD of hosts is the way the NASB translates the name. Other

versions have LORD Almighty (NIV) and God-of-the-Angel-Armies (The Message Bible).

The reason why the NIV prefers LORD Almighty is that in some places in the Greek

Old Testament, the word pantokratōr was used to translate Yahweh tseva’otPantokratōr

 means “all-powerful,” so “Almighty” is a good translation of pantokratōr. While the

Hebrew word places the emphasis on the resources available to God (His hosts), the Greek

emphasizes His might.  https://namesforgod.net/lord-of-hosts/?cn-reloaded=1







                                    The Gospel Age (vs. 1-4)


“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house

of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains,” etc. “The last

days” is an expression frequently used in the Old Testament. It points to

the future, beginning with the Christian dispensation and running on to its

close. It means the times of the Messiah. The patriarchal times had passed

away, the Mosaic epoch was on the wane, and would soon vanish. The

times of the Messiah, or “the last days,” would succeed, and run on to the

end of time. This prophecy, with scarcely any variation, is found in Isaiah 2.

Whether Isaiah borrowed it from Micah, or Micah from Isaiah, or both

from some older prophecy, does not appear. One thing seems certain, that

the prophecy has never yet been fulfilled in the history of the world, and

that its accomplishment must be in some distant period — “the last days.”

It enables us to make certain remarks concerning the true religion of the

gospel age.



GREAT POWER, “The mountain of the house of the Lord.” Referring

particularly to the temple that was built on Mount Moriah, and called the

mountain of the Lord’s house. The temple was the greatest thing in the

religion of the Jews; it was the “mountain” in their scenery. The true

religion is to become a mountain. The little stone will become a mountain,

and fill the whole earth. In truth, the true religion, where it exists, is the

biggest thing. In the individual soul it is the largest thing. It is the dominant

power, it is the mountain in the scenery of a good man’s experience. Let all

men possess it, and then it will be to the whole world what it is to the

individual. In sooth, true religion is either everything or nothing;

supremacy is its essence the supreme thought, the supreme love, the

supreme aim. Two things are here stated about this mountain.


1. It is to become established. How is it to be established? By civil

authority, legislative enactments? Our foolish forefathers have thought so,

and many of the dolts of this generation think so too. But this to the last

point is unphilosophic and absurd. The weakness of religion in

Christendom today may be ascribed to the futile attempts of unwise and

ambitious men to establish it by law. You may as well endeavor to govern

the planetary universe by the ten commandments as to establish religion by

civil laws.


2. It is to become conspicuous. “In the top of the mountains.” It will be

seen from afar — the most elevated power of the world. It will be the chief

thing in the markets, professions, and governments of the world, high up

on the top of all.



UNIVERSALLY ATTRACTIVE. “And people shall flow unto it.” “This is

a figurative expression, denoting that they shall be converted to the true

religion. It indicates that they shall come in multitudes, like the flowing of a

mighty river. The idea of the flowing of the nation is of the movement of

many people towards an object like a broad stream on the tides of the

ocean, and is one that is very grand and sublime” (Barnes). In this period

the social element will be brought into full play in connection with true

religion. Men will encourage each other to inquire after truth. “Come, and

let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.”


1. They will study its laws in order to obey them. “He will teach us of His

ways, and we will walk in His paths.” In those good times that are coming,

men will study God’s ways, and not man’s theories, and study these ways,

not as a matter of intellectual speculation, BUT IN ORDER TO OB EY

THEM, TO WALK IN HIS WAYS.  Religion in those days will be practical;

it will be the law of every one’s life, the great regulative force of society.


2. They will study its laws at the fountainhead. “For the Law shall go forth

of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Jerusalem was the

fountainhead of Christianity. Christ commanded His disciples to tarry at

Jerusalem until they should be endued with power from on high. There also

He commanded that the first sermon should be preached, a sermon

concerning repentance and remission of sins; and there Peter opened his

commission in his wonderful Pentecostal discourse. In those days men will

go for religious instruction, not to patristic, puritanic, Anglican, or any

other theological school, but to the fountainhead, to Jerusalem, where it is

fresh and pure, most potent in spiritual stimulation and suggestion. Men in

these days have gone far away from the theology of Jerusalem. In that

theology there are none of those miserable dogmas that are now preached,

but facts concerning a Person, and that Person none other than the Son of

man and the Son of God.





1. Here is the destruction of war. “Beat their swords into ploughshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks.” The arts of war destroyed, in their

stead will flourish the arts of peace. The sword and spear, what ills of

immeasurable enormity they have inflicted upon the race! Implements of

hell, instruments by which all the infernal passions of the human heart have

been excited and gratified. War is antichrist.


2. Here is the establishment of peace. “Shall sit every man under his vine

and under his fig tree.” The words, “sit under his vine,” are taken from

1 Kings 4:25, etc. Most incredible must this prediction have been to the

men of Micah’s time; but it will be accomplished, for the mouth of the

Lord of hosts hath spoken it.




                        The Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness (vs. 3-4)


The wonders of Micah’s vision (vs. 1-2) are not yet at an end. He

sees a succession of the most improbable and incredible events, as the

nations return from their pilgrimage to the new Mount Zion to their distant

capitals and homesteads. With those distant and “strong” heathen nations

there are associations of horror and dread in the minds of the Hebrews,

especially of the godly among them. Illustrate this from what we know

through Hebrew prophets and historians of the Gentile nations near and

afar off; e.g. border wars and frequent invasions of:


Ø      the Philistines (II Chronicles 21:16-17),

Ø      Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, and others (Psalm 83;

      and compare the impressive messages of judgment in Amos 1-2).

Ø      Egypt, at one time their oppressor or invader (II Chronicles 12.),

 later on their untrustworthy ally, always the home of degrading

idolatries (Isaiah 19.; 30:1-7).

Ø      Assyria, the seat of a relentless despotism, the captors of their

            northern brethren, casting its war cloud over Hezekiah’s kingdom

            (Nahum 3.).


Beyond these were:


Ø      the mountaineers of Media,

Ø      the barbarous tribes of the far north, Meshech and Tubal,” and

Ø       the sons of Greece in the distant west.


The gloomy vision of Ezekiel (32) graphically describes how the

sword and bloodshed are bound up with the histories of these and other

nations. All these are seen welcoming a new King, who “shall reign in

righteousness,” new legislation and new customs. The strangest of all these

new customs is that “the peoples that delight in war” are seen changing

their weapons into instruments of peace, and enjoying a tranquillity equal

to that of the palmy days of Solomon. The mystery is explained by the fact

that the word of the Lord had gone forth from Jerusalem. We learn:




1. It reveals Gods love. It thus comes as a revelation, startling, almost

incredible to heathens, in whose minds lust not love, hatred not mercy, are

bound up with their thoughts of God. That central verse of the New

Testament (John 3:16), a “miniature Bible,” as Martin Luther called it,

applied by the Spirit of God, has broken many a rocky heathen heart, and

opened the way for the blessings that God’s love has prepared for sinful

souls (1 John 4:19).


2. It inspires mens hope. Those who were once living “having no hope,

and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:14), find that all things are

become new.  (II Corinthians 5:17) All the most bright and buoyant

emotions, love, hope, joy, are called forth by the gospel of God. The

brightest visions of a golden age in the future which heathen poets have

sung about are seen to be possible under the reign of a righteous and

merciful God. They are “saved by hope.”


3. It awakens mens consciences. An educational process ensues. The

dormant conscience is awakened; the blind conscience sees the light of

truth; the blunt conscience is made sensitive and tender. Thus gradually

things which were tolerated in the individual or the community are branded

as unchristian, or even infamous. Illustrate from 1 Corinthians 5. and 6. In

those whose spiritual education is most advanced, every thought is brought

“into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Thus gradually the average

standard of morality is raised first in the Church and then in the nation,

and the gospel of God is seen to have prepared the way for the reign of God.

(It is a national tragedy but the American Civil Liberties Union’s

lawyers’ involvement in American courts, and especially many of the

decisions of the majority of the thirty (30) justices who have been on the

United States Supreme Court since 1960 has had the opposite effects

of the gospel, undermining the moral climate in this country, to where

it is almost unrecognizable.  Their responsibility was to represent

“....the God of all the earth who only doeth right.”  Genesis 18:25 -

There will be a judgment not only on them but also on our

national leaders and those of us in the general populace who

loved to have it so!   Jeremiah 5:31 - CY - 2022)



terrible defiance of God and of His authority, and yet it is one of the most

popular forms of wickedness. The press, the clubs, “the forces,” often

make it hard even for a government calling itself Christian to resist the

gusts of popular passion which sweep nations into war. Even as late as

1882 we were told that on board the ironclads off Alexandria the

countenances of the officers fell as the sight of a flag of truce made it

possible that after all their new guns might not be tested by a

bombardment. Yet even this unclean spirit will be exorcised by the power

of the gospel of Christ, which has already been at work in many ways; e.g.

“the truce of God” in the Middle Ages, providing for the suspension of

hostilities during Advent, Lent, and other seasons; the sparing of the lives

of prisoners; the care and kindness shown towards the wounded; the power

of the public opinion, even of a minority, to restrain governments from

hastily rushing into war; the introduction of arbitration, in which the British

Government set so honorable an example at Geneva in 1872. In such

cases it may be said that God, through the judgments of upright men, is

called to “judge between many peoples,” and “reprove” even strong

nations (v. 3) when they wronged their neighbors. Thus gradually war will be

banished, even as dueling and other abominations have been. “Fraternity”

will be one of the watchwords of the future, and war will be regarded as

fratricide. Lucian says of Christians, “Their first Lawgiver persuaded them

that they are all brethren.” Christianity is working towards the restoration

of that ideal. Then Solomon’s days shall be reproduced in more than their

ancient glory. New princes of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts at the court

of the Prince of Peace, whose subjects shall “dwell safely, and be quiet

from fear of evil.” The glorious visions of Psalm 72.; Isaiah 60., etc., shall

be fulfilled, “for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”


·         LEARN:


1. That the only hope of true national righteousness is in the reign of


2. That the Christian who witnesses for unpopular truths is the noblest

     among patriots.

3. That the sanctification of individual souls through the power of the

    gospel is the surest method of securing the ultimate and universal

                reign of Christ on earth.


5 “For all people will walk every one in the name of his God, and we

will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.”

This verse gives the reason why Israel is thus strong and safe. In

the parallel passage in Isaiah (Isaiah 2:5) it is converted into an

injunction to the house of Jacob. All people will walk; rather, all nations

walk – everyone in the name of his god -  “To walk” is generally used of

moral and religious habits (II Chronicles 17:4; Psalm 89:30-31; Ezekiel 5:6);

so here the meaning is that all other nations adhere to their false gods, and

frame their life and conduct relying on the power and protection of these

inanities, and, by implication, shall find their hope deceived. And we will

walk in the name of the Lord our God -  This is the secret of Israel’s

strength. The heathen can never prevail against the true believers who put

their whole trust in the Lord, and live in union with Him. For ever and ever-

 The Church shall never fail. Heathen powers last for a time; the kingdom of

Messiah is everlasting.


(See Isaiah 2 – this web site as vs. 2-4 are essentially verbatim of this

section in Micah 4)





                                    Man’s Religious Nature (v. 5)


“For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will

walk in the Name of the Lord our God forever and ever.” It is trite to say,

what has been said a thousand times, that man has a religious nature. Albeit

the practical recognition of the fact is of immense importance; without it,

more than half the history of the world would be inexplicable, all methods

for its true improvement would be futile, and man would pass through this

world to another without a God or any hope for a future. This verse

suggests the wrong and the right development of this nature.


·         THE WRONG DEVELOPMENT. What is that? Idolatry. “All people

will walk every one in the name of his god.” Polytheism proper is, and

generally has been, the most popular religion in the world. Men have gods

which they have made, palpable objects which they fashioned after an ideal,

and the ideal not unfrequently of the most base and loathsome kind. And

they walk after these gods. The mariners in Jonah’s vessel, when the storm

came on, cried every man unto his god. Whence the cause of polytheism?

The one great cause, which comprehends all others, is DEPRAVITY!



1. Involves moral corruption. What are heathen gods, as a rule, but the

deification of the lower passions and vices of mankind?


2. Involves carnality. Depraved men are so carnal that they have no idea of

real things which have not size and form and tangible properties. Hence

they want a god they can see and handle and touch.


3. Involves thoughtlessnss. Polytheism cannot stand reasoning. It is

supported by the thoughtless millions through the craft and sophistry of the

priests. Every true thought will shatter a heathen deity.


·         THE RIGHT DEVELOPMENT. What is that? Practical monotheism.

“We will walk in the Name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”


1. This is rational. The one God is the sum total of all moral properties,

the Proprietor of all resources, and the Bestower of all the existences and

all the blessings therewith. (“For  of Him, and through Him, and to Him

are all things, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen” Romans 11:36)

What can be more rational than to walk in His way? In truth, it is the only

true rational way in life.


2. This is obligatory. No man is bound to walk in the name of an idol; nay,

he is commanded not to do so. But every man is bound to walk in the

Name of the Lord — bound on the ground of His supreme excellence, His

relations to man, and the obligation springing therefrom.


3. This is blessed. To walk in His Name is to walk through sunny fields

abounding with all beauty and fruitfulness.



vs. 6-7 - In this promised restoration all Israel is included, if they choose to

accept, the offer.


6 “In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I

will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;”

In that day. The Messianic age of v. 1. Her that halteth;

Septuagint, τὴν συντετριμμένην - taen suntetrimmenaen - her that is bruised;

Vulgate, claudicantem. Under the image of a flock footsore and dispersed, the

prophet signifies the depressed condition of the exciled Hebrews (compare

ch. 2:12; Zephaniah 3:19). It is the sick and afflicted here who are to be

gathered together, the remnant, that is (v. 7), wherever found, which turns

to the Lord in repentance and humility.  (Do you want to be a part of this?

Who would not> - CY - 2022)


7 “And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far

off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion

from henceforth, even for ever.”  I will make her that halted a remnant.

The” remnant” is “the election,” that portion of Israel which accepts the

offered redemption (Romans 9:27; 11:5); and God declares that He will treat

this section, now miserable and depressed, as sharers in the Messianic promises

(see note on Zephaniah 3:19). As commonly, the restoration from captivity

and the privileges of Messiah’s kingdom are combined in one

foreshortened view. But this “remnant” shall be made into a strong nation,

which no power shall overthrow (Isaiah 11:14; 55:22). The Lord shall

reign over them. Not through an earthly representative, but by Himself

(compare Isaiah 24:23; 52:7; Obadiah 1:21; Zechariah 14:9). In Mount Zion.

This prophecy does not necessarily point to any literal earthly fulfillment, but

rather to the establishment of Christ’s spiritual kingdom, and the revelation of

that new Jerusalem which St. John saw “descending out of heaven from God”

(Revelation 21:10).




                                    The Restoration of Israel (vs. 6-7)


It is the Gentile nations for whom the blessings of “the last days” have just

been predicted (vs. 2-4). The new Mount Zion of the Messiah’s days will

have a magnetic power on “the East and the West” (Matthew 8:11;

John 12:32). But Israel, through whom these blessings reach the

nations, shall not be excluded from a share in them. Yet the form of the

prediction reminds us of the abject condition of God’s ancient people and

of the gradual extension of the glories of Messiah’s reign over them.


·         THEIR ABJECT CONDITION. They are described as:


1. Halting. This was the result of internal infirmity or of injury from

without, or of both. The Jewish people at the advent were suffering both

from ecclesiastical and moral corruptions, which made them figuratively

like the folk at Bethesda, “halt, withered, impotent.”


2. Driven out.” Multitudes had been driven out of their heritage in

Palestine by the decrees of conquerors or the oppressions of foreign

tyrants. Centuries before, Jeremiah had declared, “Israel is a scattered

sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the King of Assyria hath

devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar King of Babylon hath broken

his bones” (Jeremiah 50:17). In subsequent centuries similar captivities

or oppressions were endured at the hands of the Ptolemies, the Seleucidae,

the Idumeans, and the Romans. Those who remained were as strangers in

their own fatherland. And soon a far more fearful catastrophe scattered

them from one end of the heavens to the other, after the destruction of

their city by the Romans.


“But we must wander witheringly

In other lands to die;

And where our fathers’ ashes be

Our own must never lie:

Our temple hath not left a stone,

And Mockery sits on Salem’s throne.”



3. Stricken of God, and afflicted.” Unfaithful “shepherds” among their

own rulers (Ezekiel 34:1-6) or heathen conquerors were the scourges;

but “shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” Devout

men recognized this, and uttered such penitential wails as we find in Psalm

44., 74.; Lamentations 1 and 2.


·         THEIR RESTORATION. The establishment of the new kingdom of

God — Christ’s kingdom — on Mount Zion was itself a pledge of the

restoration of the Jews and of their participation in its blessings. For it

could not be that Christ should reign over the Gentile nations and leave

“His own people” (John 1:11) to perish finally in unbelief. This would

be opposed both to the ancient promises of God (Isaiah 45:17; 59:20-21, etc.)

as well as to the predictions and the heart of Christ (Matthew 23:37-39).

Yet there are stages in this process of restoration.


1. The halting ones are restored, but they are only a remnant. (Compare

ch. 5:3, 7-8.) The immediate effect of the establishment of Christ’s

kingdom was seen in a great religious revival among the Jews from

Pentecost onwards. But all the converts were but a remnant of the nation

which, because of its unbelief, was “broken off” (Romans 11:1-5, 17-20).

Yet in the fact of the salvation of the few the Apostle Paul sees the

pledge of the final salvation of the many.  “....all Israel shall be saved.”

(ibid. v. 26)


2. The banished ones shall be made a strong nation. Trace St. Paul’s

inspired argument in Romans 11. till he arrives at the sublime conclusion in

vs. 32-36. The nation’s restoration to God will be accompanied by a

restoration to their own land (Zechariah 12:10-14; 14:8-11, etc.).


3. The Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion. We look for the

restoration of Israel to their Saviour and to their land as one of the

marvelous evidences of the truth of the prophetic word which God is

reserving for the skepticism of these latter days. We need not anticipate a

literal and local throne of Christ at Jerusalem. But the Lord Christ, being

enthroned in the hearts of His long faithless yet much beloved people, will

as truly “reign over them in Mount Zion” as though they had His glorified

humanity always manifested in their midst. And then His reign shall be

“from henceforth, even forever.” (Psalm 125:2; Isaiah 9:7)  “I the Lord

will hasten it in his time.” (Isaiah 60:22)


“O come, O come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice, rejoice: Emmanuel

                                    Shall come to thee, O Israel!”


vs. 8-10 - After a certain period of calamity and captivity the

kingdom of David shall be revived.


8 “And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of

Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom

shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.”  And thou, O tower of the flock

(migdal-edar). There was a village with a tower so called near Bethlehem

(Genesis 35:21), and it is thought that Micah refers to it as the home of David

and as destined to be the birthplace of Messiah. But the context compels us to

consider the expression as a periphrasis for Jerusalem, which the prophet here

addressee, declaring that the royal power shall be restored to her. It is

evidently the same place as the stronghold (ophel, “the hill”) of the

daughter of Zion. The name “Ophel” is affixed to the southern spur of

Moriah, opposite to the Mount Zion, from which it was separated by the

Tyropoeon Valley. It was fortified by Jotham (II Chronicles 27:3) and

Manasseh (ibid. ch. 33:14), and on it were the king’s house, i.e.

the old palace of David, and “the tower that lieth out,” or the upper tower

(see <Nehemiah 3:26-27). This is probably the “flock tower” mentioned

in the text (compare Isaiah 32:14, where Ophel and the watch tower are

named together); and it is so called as having been originally a place of

refuge for flocks, or of observation for shepherds. Micah uses the two

expressions to represent the power and dominion of Jerusalem. The

propriety of the use of the term “flock tower” is seen when we remember

that David was a shepherd before he was king, and that the Israelites are

the sheep of the Lord’s pasture. The reference to a flock in the preceding

verses may also have influenced the prophet’s thought. Owing to a slight

variation in the reading, the Septuagint renders Ophel by αἰχμώδης -

aichmodaes - dark; so Jerome, “nebulosa;” Aquila,  σκοτώδης -

skotodaes -  Symmachus,  ἀπόκρυφος - apokruphos - . These

translators would refer the term to the ruinous condition of the tower. The

first dominion shall come, i.e. the former, original empire, such as it was in

the days of David and Solomon, and which had been lost in later times.

The Septuagint adds, ἐκ Βαβυλῶνος - ek Babulonos - out of Babylon

 and hence the Greek expositors explain the passage as referring to the siege

of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The kingdom shall come to the daughter of

Jerusalem. The verb “shall come” is better taken with “the first dominion,”

and this clause in apposition to the former, “the kingdom of” or “the reign

over the daughter of Jerusalem.”Sovereignty over Jerusalem, or, as others

take it, that appertains to Jerusalem, represents rule over the whole country.

In Messiah the glory and power are restored to the throne of David

(Luke 1:32-33).





                        The Messiah’s Spiritual Kingdom (vs. 1-8)


These verses call us away from the contemplation of sin and its effects as

set forth in the previous chapters, and hid us turn our thoughts to the

golden age that rose before the prophet’s vision, and animated and cheered

his heart in the dark days in which his lot was cast. We live in happier

times. Much that was to him only distant expectation has become fully

realized by us. “Blessed are our eyes,” etc. (Matthew 13:16-17). Still,

favored as we are, the kingdom of Christ has not, even in our own day,

attained unto the highest perfection. The noontide splendor of His rule has

not yet been reached. The cross has brought the crown, and the Lord

Christ now reigneth as King in Zion; but we see not yet all things put

under Him.” There are still many difficulties and discouragements, and there

is much to sicken and sadden the hearts of all to whom His Name is

precious, and His truth and kingdom dear. And amidst all this we do well,

like this seer, to look on to the ultimate complete triumph which the Christ

shall assuredly win, and by this bright vision to gain the renewal of heart

and hope. We have indicated here:




1. Its spirituality. We shall assuredly lose sight of the beauty of these

prophetic descriptions if we give to them a literal and material significance.

This, indeed, is what the Jews themselves did, and hence the true Messiah

was by them “despised and rejected.” “As upon the figure of David the

prophetic figure of the Messiah is developed, so upon the figure of

Jerusalem is the prophetic figure of the holy community of the future”

(Lange). Connecting v. 1 with the last verse of the previous chapter, we

are reminded that whilst the material kingdom was marked to fall, and

should, in due course and as the result of national guilt, decay and pass

away, yet this mournful apostasy of the chosen race should be rendered in

the Divine wisdom “the riches of the world” (Romans 11:11-12). The

old economy should eventually disappear, but the new dispensation should

follow. The long promised Messiah should appear and establish a spiritual

kingdom, the subjects of which should be renewed and sanctified men; to

which kingdom higher privileges and honors should be attached than

Judaism had ever presented, and the influence of which should extend to

the wide world.


2. Its pure and righteous principles of government. “For the Law shall go

forth of Zion,” etc. (v. 2). These have been framed with a due regard to

the interests of all the subjects; they are not only designed to regulate the

outward conduct and actions of men, but they go deeper and effect the

heart and the secret springs of action. The great law of the kingdom is love

— love to God and to man. “Love is the fulfilling of the Law” (Romans 13:10).


3. Its comprehensiveness. “Peoples shall flow unto it” (v. 1); “And many

nations shall come” (v. 2). Judaism was marked by its exclusiveness. Its

privileges were confined to a particular nationality. But lo! it is here

declared that the kingdom of the Messiah should be world embracing. It

shall become indeed “a great nation,” for “unto it” all peoples and tribes

“shall flow.” The King whom Jehovah has “set upon his holy hill of Zion,”

and who shall “reign in righteousness,” shall sway His scepter at length over

a ransomed, regenerated, happy world.


4. Its perpetuity. “It shall be abidingly established” (v. 1). “The Lord shall

reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth, even forever (v. 7).

The kingdoms of this world are unenduring. “They all shall perish.” They

rise, progress, attain unto their zenith, and then decline and pass away.

Egypt and Tyre, Assyria and Babylon, Greece and Rome, powers that once

dominated the world, their glory is laid in the dust, their pomp has passed

away like a dream, their works survive only in chambers of antiquity, and

their deeds have only a record in historical lore. So perishes the glory of

this world! But this spiritual kingdom of the Lord Christ lives and shall

never fail. Its throne shall never be shaken, its riches shall never be

impoverished, its glory shall never be dimmed. “Thy kingdom is an

everlasting kingdom,” etc. (Psalm 145:13).


5. And hence, its pre-eminence. “It shall be exalted above the hills” (v.1).

It shall attain unto heights such as no worldly power has ever reached,

and its King shall enjoy distinction and honor such as earthly monarchs

have never known. “He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high”

(Isaiah 52:13); “And he shall bear the glory” (Zechariah 6:13).


·         THE INFLUENCE OF THE MESSIAH’S RULE. It is here predicted

that this should be of the most healthy and beneficent nature. Under His



1. Enthusiasm should be enkindled. “Come, and let us go up,” etc. (v. 2).

Men drawn to Him in the spirit of whole souled devotion should seek to

lead others to participate with them in the enjoyment of the blessings He

imparts. “The love of Christ” has “constrained” men to the consecration of

all their energies to His service. So Paul (Acts 20:23-24). Xavier said,

“You say they will kill me by poison. It is an honor unto which such a

poor sinner as I dare not aspire; but I am ready to die ten thousand deaths

for the salvation of a single soul.” In our own day we have seen men thus

impelled to go forth to distant and uncivilized tribes; and when they have

been stricken down by fever ending in death, lo! others have been found

ready to be “baptized for the dead.”


2. Knowledge should be diffused. “And He will teach us,” etc. (v. 2). The

true Messiah is also “the true Light,” “the Light of men,” “the Light of the

world.” He came to rule, but His rule should be an enlightened one. Where

His influence touches there is light. He dissipates the darkness of error,

superstition, idolatry; and His enlightening power shall extend until the

knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.”

(Isaiah 11:9).


3. Obedience should be rendered. “And we will walk in His paths” (v. 2).

The connection between this and the preceding sentence is very intimate.

All true knowledge is designed to affect the conduct and life. Knowing and

doing are closely related (John 13:17). How purifying and elevating

Christ’s moral influence upon the world has proved! Wherever the

influence of His truth is felt, there, as sure as day succeeds night, a higher

morality becomes developed.


4. Peace should be established. (v. 3.) The Messiah is “the Prince of

Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). “Glory to God in the highest,” etc. (Luke 2:14),

was the song of angels as they welcomed His advent. Strange, then,

that men should ascribe to his religion the prevalence in the world of war

and conflict. His religion has often been made the pretext for entering into

deadly strife; but underlying this there has been some ambitious design

which has been the real though concealed cause. The growing disposition

amongst the nations to seek peaceful solutions of existing difficulties, and

not to draw the sword until these have been exhausted, is an effect of the

influence of the principles of Christ upon society at large. The universal

dissemination of His truth shall be followed by the complete fulfillment of

this glowing prediction (v. 3).


5. Security should be realized. (v. 4.) In the Assyrian monuments

representations are given of men in a reclining posture, with the vines in

rich profusion over their heads, suggestive of quiet and rest and freedom

from everything calculated to disturb and alarm. And this is the idea

expressed here. Fear had taken possession of the hearts of those whom the

prophet was addressing. They thought with sadness and dismay of the

awaiting judgments to follow national sin. The enemy had come well nigh

to the gates; but lo! the seer cheers them by the prospect of happier days

which should at length dawn upon them. As it had been with the nation in

the peaceful days of Solomon, so he declared it should be in a spiritual

sense under the rule of the Messiah. “Such is that most quiet fearlessness

which the law of Christ bringeth as being the law of charity, peace, and



6. Restoration should be effected. (vs. 6-7.) Into the enjoyment of these

high blessings even they should be brought who had erred from God’s

ways, who had “halted” in His service, and had divided their allegiance

between Him and Baal. They must, in consequence of their sin, be “driven

out” and “afflicted” and “cast off;” yet in their exile He would watch over

them, seeking them in His deep compassion, “devising means that His

banished be not expelled from Him” (II Samuel 14:14), and in His own

time and way these should be brought in with “the fulness of the Gentiles,”

to form “a strong nation” over whom He would reign forever and ever

(vs. 6-7).



EXPRESSED. The seer throughout uses the language of holy confidence.

And he was warranted in this; for:


1. Such is the Divine purpose. The issue is divinely guaranteed. God has

promised the kingdom to his Son.


2. This Divine purpose has been repeatedly expressed. “For the mouth of

the Lord hath spoken it” (v. 4).  “The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform

this.”  (Isaiah 9:7)


3. That which God has purposed and declared, His power can and will

fulfil. Despite the humble circumstances and conditions through which the

chosen of Heaven would have to pass, “the kingdom should come to the

daughter of Jerusalem— “the first or former dominion;” i.e. the rich

spiritual honor which had been promised to David’s line should be

bestowed (v. 8), for such was the Divine will and which the Divine

power would assuredly accomplish. Our hope for a bright future rests upon

the same foundation. And as God requires us to put Him in remembrance of

His Word, we will say, “For Zion’s sake,” etc. (Isaiah 62:1); and will

cry in the words of our own Milton, “Come forth out of thy royal chamber,

O Prince of all the kings of the earth! Put on the visible robes of thy

imperial majesty; take up that unlimited scepter which thy Almighty Father

hath bequeathed thee; for now the voice of thy bride calls thee, and all

creatures sigh to be renewed.”




                        The Moral Monarchy of Christ in the World (vs. 6-8)


“In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will

gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; and I will make

her that halted a remnant, and bet that was cast far off a strong nation: and

the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth, even

forever. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of

Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall

come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” Whether the subject of these verses is

the restoration of the Jews after the Babylonish captivity or the gathering

of men by Christ into a grand spiritual community, is a question on which

there has been considerable discussion among biblical scholars, and

therefore should preclude anything like dogmatism on either side. I am

disposed, however, to entertain the latter idea, because it seems most in

accordance with the previous verses, in which there is an undoubted

reference to the gospel age, and because it gives the passage a wide

practical application. Delitzsch says, “‘In that day’ points back to the end

of the days. At the time when many nations shall go on pilgrimage to the

highly exalted mountain of the Lord, and therefore Zion-Jerusalem will not

only be restored but greatly glorified, the Lord will assemble that which

limps and is scattered abroad.” We shall take the words, then, as

illustrating certain facts connected with the moral monarchy of Christ in

the world.



WRETCHED AND SCATTERED OF MEN. “In that day, saith the Lord,

will I assemble [gather] her that halteth [that which limpeth], and I will

gather her that is driven out [that which was thrust out] and her that

[which] I have afflicted; and I will make her that [that which] halted [limps]

a remnant, and her that [that which] was cast far off a strong nation: and

the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth, even

forever.” Christ was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel

(Matthew 10:6), and His invitation was to all that are “weary” and

“heavy laden.” The Church of Christ from the beginning has comprised

those who were the most afflicted, the most scattered, and the most

distressed of mankind. It has been and is the grand asylum for the tried and

the sorrowful and those who are counted “the offscouring of all things”

(1 Corinthians 4:13).


1. Christs moral monarchy knows nothing of favoritism. It does not treat

men according to their physical condition, social status, or temporal

circumstances. It has respect to souls. It is as much interested in the soul of

the pauper as in that of the prince, the soul of the slave as in that of the

sovereign. Human monarchies have ever been taken up with man in his

material relations. The more wealthy and influential a man is, the more

favors will worldly kings bestow; the indigent and the homeless are only

regarded as beasts of burden. Not so with Christ as the Monarch. Every

soul to Him is a matter of profound practical interest.


2. Christs moral monarchy is remedial in its design. It brings all the

miserable together in order to rid them of their sorrows. By working into

human souls right principles of action and expelling wrong ones, it

indirectly, though most efficiently, heals all the temporary woes of

mankind. “Seek first the things from above, and all others shall be added

unto you.”  (Matthew 6:33) “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having

the promise of the life which now is, as well as of that which is to come.”

(I Timothy 4:8)



FOREVER. “And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the

daughter of Zion,” etc. The address to the “tower of the flock” shows that,

as the most wretched and scattered of men will be brought into a great

community, so shall the reign of the daughter of Zion be restored, i.e. the

Jews be converted and brought in with the Gentiles. The watch tower

spoken of by Isaiah (Isaiah 32:14) is most likely the tower here referred

to by Micah. “Flock tower” is a good expression, inasmuch as it indicates

the watchfulness of Christ as a moral Shepherd, the great Shepherd of

souls. It is said here that “the kingdom shall come to the daughter of

Jerusalem.” It did so come; it began with the Jews. “He came to His own,

and His own received Him not.” (John 1:11) Although on His last visit to

Jerusalem the common people did receive Him as their King: “Hosanna to the

 Son of David!” (Matthew 21:9)  What a Guardian, what a “Bishop of souls,”

is Christ!


1. He knows all His sheep. Each of the millions is known to Him — his

idiosyncrasies, imperfections, necessities, etc.


2. He has ample provision for all His sheep. His provisions are adapted to

all, and are inexhaustible.

3. He has power to protect all His sheep.


·         CONCLUSION. Thank God this moral monarchy of Christ is established

on our earth! The kingdom of God is come unto us. Thousands of all

grades and classes have entered into it, and they have found it to be

“righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Would that it were

universal! IT WILL BE SO ONE DAY!  It is not so yet, because, being

moral, men have the power of resisting it.


9 “Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy

counselor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in

travail.”  Before this glorious revival the prophet foresees calamity and

exile in the nearer future; yet he bids the people not to despair. Why dost

thou cry out aloud? The prophet hears the cry of Zion, and asks the

cause. Septuagint, Ἱνα τί ἔγνως κακά - Hina ti egnos kaka -  Why knowest

thou evils? -  from a variation in reading. Is there no king in thee? Hast thou

lost thy king? Is this the reason of thy sorrow? The allusion is to the captivity

of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah (II Kings 24., 25.). The loss of the king, the

representative of the help and favor of God, was a token of the withdrawal of

the Divine protection (compare Lamentations 4:20; Hosea 13:10). Thy

counselor. A synonym for “king.” Cheyne notes that the root of melech

(“king”) in Aramaic means “to counsel.” In Isaiah 9:6 Messiah is called

“Counselor.” The Septuagint, treating the word as a collective, renders,

βουλή σου - hae boulae sou - thy counsel.  For pangs have taken thee

as a woman in travail.  - The comparison of sorrow of heart to the anguish

of labor pains is very common (comp. Isaiah 13:8; Jeremiah 6:24; 50:43;

Hosea 13:13).


10 “Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a

woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and

thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon;

there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee

from the hand of thine enemies.”   Be in pain. The anguish is not to be

resisted, but shall end, like birth pains, in deliverance. Septuagint, Ωδινε 

καὶ ἀνδρίζου καὶ ἔγγιζε - Odine kai andrizou kai eggize -  Be in pain, and

do bravely, and draw near - which is like Aeneas’s encouragement to his

friends (Virgil, ‘AEneid,’ 1:207) —


Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.”


For now shalt thou go forth. The prophet leaves his metaphor, and

announces that the people shall “go forth” into captivity. He says now,”as

having the scene before his eyes. They must leave their city, live shelterless

in the open country, be carried to a distant land, even to Babylon. Shall

dwell in the field; i.e. while they are making their way to the place of their

captivity. Thou shall go even to Babylon. This is simple prophecy, and

could have been known to Micah only by inspiration. In his day Assyria

was the enemy whom Israel had to dread (as ch.5:5-6), Babylon

being at this time in the position of a conquered country, and not becoming

again powerful and independent for another century, So Isaiah prophesied

of the captivity to Babylon (Isaiah 39:3-8), if modern critics have not

shaken our faith in the genuineness of that chapter. Micah does not define

the time of the Captivity, or the agents; he notes merely the place whither

the Jews were at last to be deported. Even in this case “Babylon” may have

its typical import, and be taken to represent the great world power arrayed

against the chosen race; and the prophecy may look forward to other

fulfillments in succeeding ages. Some commentators think that Babylon is

here mentioned as the most distant country known, or as a portion of the

Assyrian empire. Others suppose that Sargon transported some Israelite

captives to Babylon to replace the rebellious Babylonians whom he exiled

to Palestine (‘Records of the Past,’ 7:29; II Kings 17:24; compare II Chronicles

33:11), and that thus Micah was naturally led to represent the Judaeans as

following their brethren. Whichever explanation we take, there

is no reason to consider that the reference to Babylon is the interpolation

of a late editor of the prophetic writings. There shall thou be delivered.

In Babylon deliverance shall arise. This  prophecy was first literally fulfilled

in the return from captivity under Cyrus; it is further fulfilled, under Christ,

in the rescue of the true Israelites from the bondage of sin and the world.

The anguish is not to be resisted, but shall end, like birth pains, in deliverance.

“thou shalt go even unto Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the

Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies”




                                    Discipline and Deliverance (vs. 9-10)


A glorious future has been held up to the view of the Jewish nation (vs. 6-8).

It is like the ideals of peace and blessedness presented to all in the

Word of God; like the visions of the heavenly glory set before even the

most ungodly. Such promises are attractive; even the godless Jews in

Micah’s time would exult in the thought of “the former dominion,” the

days of David and Solomon returning to Zion. But the vision again

changes. Cries of pain and distress are heard. There passes before the

prophet’s mind a view of the discipline and chastisement which must fall on

the disobedient nation before the promised blessings can be enjoyed.


·         THE SALUTARY DISCIPLINE. In brief, vivid words a succession of

calamities is sketched.


1. Their monarchy is overthrown. “Is there no king in thee?” Jehoahaz,

Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah in succession were dethroned by

foreign conquerors, and carried into exile. Many national premises and

blessings were bound up with the name and family of David (II Samuel 7),

so that the loss of their king was no ordinary loss. He was their chief stay

and “counselor” (compare Isaiah 9:6), “the breath of their nostrils”

(Lamentations 4:20). No wonder their consternation and distress:

“pangs,” etc..(compare Psalm 89:38-51). Thus one step in Divine discipline

then and now may be the striking down to the ground of the chief objects

of our confidence, the earthly props which we seek to substitute for God.


2. They are humiliated before their foes. They “go forth out of the city;”

some in a vain attempt to escape, like Zedekiah and his troops (II Kings

25:4-6); others as prisoners of war from a city which has capitulated and is

being sacked by its conquerors. Illustrate from Lamentations 5:1-16.

They are driven forth into “the field;” without shelter even from the

elements unless in tents (contrast their former “ease in Zion,” Amos

6:1-7, etc.); without the protection of the old towers and bulwarks in

which they had prided themselves (Psalm 48:12-13); without weapons

or leaders, and thus exposed to any indignities that these conquerors

choose to inflict upon them. Thus may it be with those whose way God

turneth upside down,” stripping them of all their old sources of security

— money, position, friends; turning them out of the “nest” in which they

expected peacefully to spend the remainder of their days. Illustrate from

contrasts in Job 29. and 30.


3. They are carried captive even to Babylon. Babel in early days had

been a symbol of a godless world power. It does not rise again on the

Hebrew horizon till the days of Isaiah and Micah. Making friendly

overtures to Hezekiah, it is presented to his view, by his faithful seer, as a

distant, mysterious, but formidable foe of the future — ignotum pro

mirifico - everything unknown seems magnificent (Isaiah 39.). As the ten

tribes had been carried captive to Halah and Habor and adjacent districts,

so should Judah be taken “even to Babylon.” Thus is it in God’s discipline

with His prodigals now. They may find themselves in “a far country,” brought

down to the lowest depth of humiliation, shut out from all earthly help, shut up

to God. And even now, in the midst of the pleasures of sin, prophetic voices

within may warn them: “Thou shalt go forth… thou shalt go even to — .”

The dreadful possibilities of judgment, whether in this world or another,

 may at times mar their peace. For, unlike the servants of God, they dare

not say, “Things to come… are ours.


4. In the house of bondage pangs of sorrow must be borne. “Seventy

years!” — a long lifetime of captivity. “Tribulation ten days!”

(Revelation 2:10) a time of discipline indefinite to us, though fixed by

the counsel of God. Those pangs will be “resistless, remediless, doubling

the whole frame, redoubled till the end for which God sends them is

accomplished, and then ceasing in joy” (Pusey). For the very term “daughter

of Zion suggests hope. It is a term of friendliness, like “Father of spirits”

(Hebrews 12:9), which reminds us of the essential relations between us and

our God, and gives us a pledge that in wrath he will remember mercy

(compare Isaiah 57:16).


·         “THE END OF THE LORD.” Then and there the end for which the

trials are sent will be reached, and deliverance will come. As with their king

Manasseh, so shall it be with the nation. In their affliction they will seek the

Lord (Jeremiah 29:10-13).


1. They shall be delivered. Set free from the burden of their sins, a burden

too grievous to be borne; purged from idolatry; blessed with a revival of

religion, as shown by a renewed regard to God’s Law through the gracious

work of His own “free Spirit” (Ezekiel 36:16-27).


2. They shall be redeemed from the hand of their enemies. God will visit

them as their Goel, their Kinsman-Redeemer, who has not forgotten or

forsaken them (Jeremiah 30:8-11). By the manifestation of His

righteous grace and irresistible power they shall be “redeemed without

money” (Isaiah 52:3), restored to their land and to the enjoyment of

ancient privileges. Such is “the end of the Lord” (James 5:11) in the

discipline of life. The revelation of the Fatherhood of God in the Person

of Christ and in His sacrificial death for the redemption of sinners assures

us that He chastens “for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”

But it is only by sitting at His feet and learning of Him, and thus being

“exercised” by our trials, that we can hope to win from them “the peaceable

fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:9-11).


vs. 11-13 Rescued from Babylon, Zion overcomes all enemies in the strength

of God.


11 “Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her

be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.”  Now also; and now. A new

scene is presented in contrast to the view in vs, 1-4. Many nations are gathered

against thee. Primarily the Assyrians are meant (Isaiah 33:3), whose armies were

composed of various nationalities (ibid. ch. 22:6; see below, here ch. 5:5). Pusey

thinks that the reference is rather to the attacks of petty enemies, e.g. in

Maccabean times, and in the Samaritans’ opposition to the rebuilding of

the temple. Cheyne would place vs. 5-10 in a parenthesis, and connect

the present with the ideal description in vs. 1-4. Let her be defiled; i.e..

profaned, despoiled of her boasted holiness and inviolability. Septuagint

ἐπιχαρούμεθα - epicharoumetha - we will rejoice. The Vulgate, lapidetur,

points to her punishment as an adulteress, which does not suit the context.

Let our eye look upon Zion. The heathen anticipate with malicious pleasure the

sight of the humiliation of Jerusalem (compare Obadiah 1:12-13)


12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand

they His counsel: for He shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.”

God’s people are not to be destroyed but their adversaries are!  The heathen’s

blindness is proved by their not perceiving till too late that God has brought them

together  before Jerusalem, as sheaves are brought into the threshing-floor, in

order to be  broken up and destroyed. (Isaiah 21:10, Jeremiah 51:23) 

The metaphor is carried on in the next verse. Various are the explanations

of the prophet’s reference in this prophecy. Many commentators see in it a

reference to the destruction of the army of Sennacherib (II Kings 19:35); others

discern a defeat of the Scythians after the return from captivity; others, again,

place it in the times of the Maccabees; and others interpret it of the defeat of

the mystical adversaries of God’s Church adumbrated in Ezekiel 38.;

Zechariah 12.; and Revelation 20. But the prophet has not one definite event

in view, but looks forward to the general conflict between the powers of the

world and the Church, of which the historical events and material enemies

were the types. Certain historical circumstances may exactly suit the

prediction, but they do not exhaust it. And indeed we do wrong to seek

for minute and definite fulfillment of particular predictions. Such utterances

are often conditional and are modified by subsequent circumstances. The

prophets are concerned with great moral truths and the righteous government

of the world, and are not always to be interpreted with literal exactness.


13 “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn

iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces

many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and

their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.”  Arise. Shake off thy

sorrow and fear and despair. And thresh.  Tread thine enemies underfoot,

now that they are gathered in the floor, as the oxen tread out the corn

(Isaiah 41:15, etc.; Jeremiah 51:33.) Thine horn. The horn is an emblem of

power and victory, as appertaining to the wild ox, the most powerful animal

in Canaan (Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11.) The metaphor of threshing

is dropped for the moment, but resumed in the next clause. Hoofs. In allusion

to the mode of threshing mentioned above (Deuteronomy 25:4; 1 Corinthians 9:9).

People; peoples. Israel shall crush all the nations that rise up against her.

I (God) will consecrate. So the Masoretic text; but the second person,

which the ancient versions give, is preferable. Septuagint, ἀναθήσεις -

anathaeseis - thou shalt dedicate; Vulgate, interficies. Thou, Zion, shalt devote

their gain unto the Lord. This consecration, or devotion, to the Lord in the

case of living things involved death, the restitution to the Lord of the life

which he had given (see Leviticus 27:21, 28-29; Zechariah 14:21).

Thus the spiritual Israel, purified by suffering, and redeemed, shall

consecrate to the Lord the power of the world; and all the wealth and

might of earth shall be subservient to the glory of the kingdom of God.





            The Moral Regeneration of the World (vs. 9-13)


“Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy

counselor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. Be in

pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion,” etc. The prophet here,

without doubt, refers to the carrying away of the Jews to Babylon. He

refers to the consternation in which the Jews would be placed on the

approach of the Chaldean army, The questions relative to a “king” and a

“counselor” (v. 9) are, it is thought, put forth in bitter irony, in order to

provoke an answer. “Is there no king in thee? is thy counselor perished?”

The answer, perhaps, would be, “Yes, we have a king, and we have

counselors, but they are utterly worthless; they have power neither to

protect us from the terrible calamities nor to invent means for our escape.”

The metaphor of the parturient woman seems intended to shadow forth the

agony of their consternation at the idea of going forth from the city of

Jerusalem, being located in the open country, and afterwards conveyed to

Babylon. After this comes the promise of emancipation. “There the Lord

shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.” Their restoration is

metaphorically represented by a travailing woman. Whilst it is unfair to

attach to Scripture a wrong interpretation, it is perfectly fair to use its

passages as symbols of truths applicable to man in all ages and all lands.

These words may serve to illustrate, therefore, some points in relation to

the moral regeneration of the world.


·         THE STATE OF MANKIND REQUIRES IT. “Is there no king in thee?

is thy counselor perished?” It was more serious for the Jewish people to be

deprived of a king than for any other people, for their king was theocratic;

he was supposed to be the voice and vicegerent of God. The prophet

means to say that when the Chaldeans would come and carry them away,

they would have no king and no counselors. Now, men in an unregenerate



1. Have no king. A political ruler is to man, as a spiritual energy, only a

king in name. He does not command the moral affections, rule the

conscience, or legislate for the inner and primal springs of all activity. Such

a king is the deep want of man; he wants some one to be enthroned on his

heart, to whom his conscience can render homage. No man in an

unregenerate state has such a king; he has gods many and lords many, of a

sort, but none to rule him, and to bring all the powers of his soul into one

harmonious channel of obedience.


2. Have no counselor. Society abounds with counselors who proffer their

advice; but some of them are wicked, most of them worthless, few, if any,

satisfactory, that is, to conscience. What the soul wants is not the mere

book counselor — though it be the Bible itself — but the spirit of that

book, the spirit of reverence, love, Christ-like trust. Such a Spirit, when it

comes to us, will guide us into all truth; it is the “unction from the Holy



3. Have no ease. Pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.” The

unregenerate soul is always liable to consternation, remorse; it often

writhes in agony. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”

(Isaiah 57:21)  Now, moral regeneration brings the man a true King,

a true Counsellor, a true Peace — a peace “that passeth all understanding.”

(Philippians 4:7)



nations are gathered against thee.” The nations here referred to are those

that composed the army of Nebuchadnezzar, or those that joined it in the

attack against the Jews. What formidable opponents there are to the

conversion of man!


1. The depraved elements of the soul. Unbelief, selfishness, carnality, etc.

These are Canaanites that battle mightily against the moral Joshua.


2. The corrupt influence of society. How much, in this country and this age

especially, is there struggling against man’s regeneration custom, fashion,

amusements, pleasures! And then, too, acting through all these forces

within and without, there are THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS

OF DARKNESS; so that it comes to pass that it is no very easy thing to effect

the regenerationof men; there are nations of moral forces battling against it.



“They know not the thoughts of the Lord,” etc. The enemies of the Jews

were utterly ignorant of God’s purpose to deliver His people from

Babylonish captivity. “They had not the most distant idea that the object of

Jehovah, in permitting His people to be so treated, was to recover them

from idolatry, and thus prepare them for a triumphant restoration. The

metaphor taken from the process of threshing out grain is frequently used

by the prophets to denote the complete destruction of a people.”


1. Man in ignorance fights against Gods purpose. The Chaldeans and all

the enemies of the Jews did so now. Men are always doing this. “Had they

known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Corinthians



2. Man, in fighting against Gods purpose, brings ruin on himself. It is

here predicted that the enemies of the Jews should be as “sheaves,” and

that the Jews themselves should be strengthened. “I will make thine horn

iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass.” “When God,” says an old writer,

“has conquering work for His people to do, He will furnish them with

strength and ability for it — will make the horn iron and the hoofs brass;

and when He does so, they must exert the power He gives them, and

execute the commission: even the daughter of Zion may arise and thresh.”

The nations thought to ruin Christianity in its infancy, but it was victorious

over them. Those who persisted in their enmity were broken to pieces

(Matthew 21:44), particularly the Jewish nation; but multitudes by

Divine grace were joined to the Church, and they and their substance were





                        Through Trial to Triumph (vs. 9-13; ch. 5:1)


There is a very natural connection between these and the previous verses.

The seer has presented a glowing picture of the ultimate triumphs of the

Messiah’s kingdom. In choicest language he has unfolded the nature of the

Messiah’s rule, and the beneficent effects to be secured thereby. And now

he reminds us that this victory should be won by suffering — that God’s

order is through trial to triumph. Notice:




Whatever view may be taken as to the true application of these

verses, it is very clear that they refer to deep sorrow, through which the

nation must pass before the manifestation of the true spiritual King whose

coming is so clearly indicated in the chapter following. Captivity must be

experienced; conflict must be engaged in with “many nations;” loss of

rulers and leaders must be sustained; war and siege must be felt. Yet all

these should prove but preparatory to the experience of joy and victory;

they should be but as the pangs preceding birth; out of and following these

throes there should come the establishment of a kingdom which SHOULD

NEVER BE MOVED, and which their material kingdom, now being so shaken,

even in its most prosperous and peaceful days only faintly symbolized. And

this is ever the Divine order of procedure. It is the all-wise appointment of

God that His servants should pass through trial and be made perfect

through suffering. He takes the seed and plants it in rough soil, and as the

result He causes to arise beauteous flowers. The tear often precedes the

smile. The thick cloud gathers over our heads, and lo! afterwards the

triumphant arch spans the sky, telling of the Divine faithfulness and love.

We must suffer would we ultimately reign; we must bear the cross would

we wear the crown. God’s servants are soldiers, and the soldier must

“endure hardness” (II Timothy 2:3), and engage in sharp conflict ere he

reaps the warrior’s reward. His followers are trees of righteousness, and

God prunes His trees that they may bring forth much fruit” (John 15:2).



EXPERIENCES OF LIFE. Several such thoughts are suggested here.


1. Theres a needs befor these sorrows. (v. 10.) It is here declared

that there was a necessity for the sorrows here predicted. The trials are

referred to as experiences that must be, and that could not be avoided. The

travail must be endured, the captivity must be experienced, the discipline

must be passed through. The nation had woefully transgressed, and only

thus could it be purged and purified. As the crushing of the seed results in a

more abundant increase, so the oppression of God’s servants should result

in the upspringing of “the peaceable fruits of righteousness.” (Hebrews

12:11) “Of sorrow, sanctity is born.” Here is one solution of “the mystery of

suffering.” It is designed to work purification; it is a healthful discipline.

It is not that our Father-God is wanting in sympathy that we have to pass

through adverse scenes, but because His sympathy is so large and so perfect

that it extends to THE WHOLE OF OUR BEING!  When He says,

“Be in pain,” etc. (v. 10), it is not that He does not feel with us, but rather

because His sympathy is so large that He deigns to lift us up to a higher

level, and to lead us to attain unto a purer and more perfect character

and life; and hence, whilst “He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench

the smoking flax,” He will also “send forth judgment unto truth.”

(Isaiah 42:2-3).


2. There is an overruling Providence. (vs. 11-12.) In these verses the

heathen nations are represented as encouraging each other to make a

decisive onslaught, upon the favored people, and as speaking as though,

their plans, could very easily be executed, the overthrow of Judah be

effected, and they gaze with satisfaction upon the downfall and desolation

(v. 11). But there was a higher than any mere human power swaying the

destinies of the peoples of the earth. The Lord God omnipotent was

reigning. He had His purposes and plans of which, the nations took no

account, but which nevertheless were to be developed. And in the

unfolding of these all the dark designs of the evil would be overruled, and

whilst the nation of His choice should. thus be tried as by fire, and so have

its dross consumes, they who, prompted by their own mercenary and

ambitious ends, assaulted it, should be brought to utter confusion and

shame (v. 13). The world still abounds in evil doers who am pursuing

their own ends, and that they may gain these are ever planning and

contriving harm; but it may well comfort and strengthen our hearts, amidst

the anxiety and distress such occasion, that there is still an overruling

Providence guiding human affairs, and that under God’s all-wise and

loving direction good only shall eventually come to the good, whilst the

counsel of the wicked shall perish, and the arm of their power be broken.


3. There is the Divine abiding presence. This is implied in v. 9. The

prophet, abounding in deepest sympathy with his people in their calamities,

would, nevertheless, have them feel that they were not left utterly destitute;

that, though earthly rulers had failed them, there was One who ever abides,

and who, if they but trusted Him, would bear them safely through all. He

who had been the King and Guide of their nation before earthly monarch

had ever been appointed over it (1 Samuel 12:12) would not forsake

them now that human supports had given way, but would make their

present sorrows to end in higher joy than they had formerly experienced

(Hosea 13:9, 14). Nor need we fear in the time of trouble, so long as it

remaineth that the Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our

refuge. (Psalm 46:7).


4. There is ultimate deliverance. (v. 10.) The Lord would assuredly

“turn again the captivity of Zion (Psalm 126:1-6). Through fire and

through water they should be brought out into a wealthy place (Psalm

116:12). Weeping might endure for a night, but joy should come in the

morning (Psalm 30:5). And so with His servants in every age. The way

He would have us take, despite all its difficulties and discouragements,

shall bring us at length to the palace and to our crown.


This consecration, or devotion, to the Lord in the case of living things involved

death, the restitution to the Lord of the life which He had given (see Leviticus

27:21, 28, 29; Zechariah 14:21).


Thus the spiritual Israel, purified by suffering, and redeemed, shall

consecrate to the Lord the power of the world; and all the wealth and

might of earth shall be subservient to the glory of the kingdom of God,


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