16/02/20 – Micah 1:10-16
The prophecy now turns to Judah who should have been learning a lesson from the downfall of Samaria and Israel.
Micah 1:10 – Declare ye [it] not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.
2 Samuel 1:19-20 – 19The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! 20Tell [it] not in Gath, publish [it] not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
declare – to make known; announce
house of Aphrah – Beyth lᵉ-‘Aphrah ("house belonging to Aphrah" or "house of dust") A Philistine city, Aphrah = dry earth; dust; powder; ashes; loose earth; debris; mortar; rubbish; ore. Dust or ashes were often thrown over one’s self to demonstrate extreme anguish and grief. Aphrah (dust) may have been substituted for Ophrah, a town in Benjamin meaning young; fair; delicate (mentioned in Joshua 18:23) That is, young, fair, delicate became dry earth, dust.
Ashes were a sign of extreme grief.
Jonah 3:6 – For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered [him] with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
Note also Tamar, sister of Amnon (son of David) who put ashes on her head (2 Samuel 13:19).
roll thyself in the dust – demonstrate your genuine grief at what has happened (yet not openly in sight of your enemies – “weep ye not at all”).
weep ye not at all – Don’t declare such shame to your enemies; do not give them reason for rejoicing over God’s people. Weep silently, hide your tears lest the enemy sees it and rejoice. Or perhaps in weeping, weep not.
Do not let your enemies triumph over your shame.
Psalm 25:2 – O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Psalm 42:10 – [As] with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where [is] thy God?
Micah 1:11 – Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Beth–ezel; he shall receive of you his standing.
Saphir – fair
Zaanan – from a root word meaning small cattle, sheep, sheep and goats, flock, flocks. Could mean an abundance of flocks, although it could mean “going out” or “coming forth”.
Beth-ezel – The house of nearness; neighbouring house, neighbouring town.
Leave your houses, you inhabitants of the fair place, with your shame exposed for all to see. The inhabitants of Zaanan (“coming forth”) did not come forth. Or The inhabitants of Zaanan did not come out with their flocks. They remained in their city for fear of the enemy.
Pulpit says: "The inhabitants of Flock town went not forth with their flocks." "The dwellers of Forthcoming came not forth," i.e. to flee, or to fight, or to aid their brethren; or did not escape destruction.
Thus the inhabitants of Zaanan did not come forth at the mourning of their neighbours (Beth-ezel).
Or the inhabitants of Zaanan did not come forth for fear; the mourning or lamentations of its neighbours either has filled them with despair or they will find no support from its neighbours.
Cambridge says: is not come forth; the mourning of Beth-ezel taketh from you its standing-ground.
Barnes says: The mourning of Beth-Ezel - (literally, house of root, firmly rooted) shall take from you its standings It too cannot help itself, much less be a stay to others. They who have been accustomed to go forth in fullness, shall not go forth then, and they who abide, strong though they be, shall not furnish an abiding place. Neither in going out nor in remaining, shall anything be secure then.
That is, leave your fair cities in open shame; yet some will be too afraid to come forth, while others will be mourning / despairing too much to be of any help to their neighbours.
Micah 1:12 – For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem.
Maroth – bitterness (possibly through grieving – Ruth 1:20)
waited carefully – to twist; dance; writhe; fear; tremble; travail; be in anguish; be pained.
It could mean “waited carefully for good to come” but more likely to mean “writhed in pain or anguish on account of the good which they no longer have”. Or waited in vain for good which would not come.
Instead of the good they desired, they have received evil from God, evil which has come to the very gates of Jerusalem.
Isaiah 22:7-10 – 7And it shall come to pass, [that] thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate. 8And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest. 9Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many: and ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall.
Micah 1:13 – O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she [is] the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.
Lachish – invincible. It was a city set up for defence by Rehoboam and was considered impregnable from attack. It, along with Jerusalem and Azekah, was one of the last 3 cities to fall before Nebuchadnezzar.
Jeremiah 34:7 – When the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.
Oh inhabitant of Lachish, harness your chariot with a swift beast for you are no longer invincible in your invincible city. The sin of the daughter of Zion (Judah, particularly Jerusalem) began with Lachish and spread to the rest of Judah and Jerusalem (“she [is] the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion”). We are told that it was Israel’s sin (which sent her into captivity) which entered Judah via Lachish.
Micah 6:16 – For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.
Jeremiah 3:8 – And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
Micah 1:14 – Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth–gath: the houses of Achzib [shall be] a lie to the kings of Israel.
presents – sending away; parting gift. Farewell presents, or bridal presents (dowry).
Exodus 18:2 – Then Jethro, Moses’ father in law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back,
1 Kings 9:16 – [For] Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it [for] a present unto his daughter, Solomon’s wife.
The verb form is used for “sent abroad” in the following:
Judges 12:9 – And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, [whom] he sent abroad,
Moresheth-gath – possession of Gath; where Micah was born.
God has a covenant with His people Judah who has now played the harlot with false gods (committed adultery) and is now being sent back (sent away) with the dowry for her marriage to another. This parting present is for Moresheth-gath which is to be given to another (the enemy). Moresheth has been betrothed to another (not God) and is being sent off by God as a bride for another (Assyria) with a parting dowry gift.
Achzib – deceit, deception, false. A town in the lowland of west Judah.
a lie – deceitful; treacherous; deception; lie, deceptive; disappointing. The adjective form of the noun from which Achzib derives.
It appears to relate to a brook that fails to have water in it, effectively a lie.
Jeremiah 15:18 – Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, [which] refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, [and as] waters [that] fail?
It derives from another word used in the following for a failed spring of water.
Isaiah 58:11 – And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Thus those of Achzib would be a lie, a disappointment to the kings of Israel. Because this event would happen in 701 BC (when Sennacherib took all Judah except Jerusalem itself), here all that remains of Israel is Judah (with Benjamin). The rulers of Judah would not be able to rely upon those of Achzib to help them when the enemy came against them. When they were needed the most, Achzib would be like a dried-up watercourse, no help at all.
Micah 1:15 – Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel.
heir – possessor; the possession. Could mean one who takes ownership or possesses by force (likely to mean Sennacherib in 701 BC).
Mareshah – crest of a hill; One of the cities in the lowlands of Judah. It was near Micah’s birthplace (Moresheth) which meant “possession” or “inheritance”. Ellicott says: Mareshah was a city in the plain of Judah, near the prophet’s native place, Moresheth-gath. It may have been a play on similar-sounding words: thus it could mean that God will bring a possessor who will claim their possession from them.
Mareshah was also near Achzib.
Joshua 15:44 – And Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages:
Adullam – justice of the people. The cave of Adullam was where David and his supporters fled from Saul to take refuge in.
1 Samuel 22:1-2 – 1David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard [it], they went down thither to him. 2And every one [that was] in distress, and every one that [was] in debt, and every one [that was] discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
Thus it is likely that the glory of Israel, those still yet free of the possession of the enemy, will flee for this cave (in the vicinity of Mareshah). It may refer to the leaders of Judah hiding from the invading armies. Yet the one who comes to possess (the heir, the possessor) will come to those in Adullam and apparently take the glory of Israel found there.
God has given possession of the land to Sennacherib and there is nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide. (You can run but you can’t hide!) Only Jerusalem will escape utter defeat here, and only after being besieged by the Assyrian army under Sennacherib.
2 Kings 18:13-17 – 13Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. 14And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15And Hezekiah gave [him] all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king’s house. 16At that time did Hezekiah cut off [the gold from] the doors of the temple of the Lord, and [from] the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rab–shakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which [is] in the highway of the fuller’s field.
2 Kings 19:1-7 – 1And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard [it], that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2And he sent Eliakim, which [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day [is] a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and [there is] not strength to bring forth. 4It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rab–shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that are left. 5So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
2 Kings 19:31-37 – 31For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord [of hosts] shall do this. 32Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. 33By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. 34For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. 35And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they [were] all dead corpses. 36So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esar–haddon his son reigned in his stead.
Sennacherib described his subjugation of Hezekiah by bragging that he shut up Hezekiah in Jerusalem “like a bird in a cage”:
As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities, walled forts and to the countless small villages in their vicinity, and conquered (them) by means of well-stamped (earth-)ramps, and battering-rams brought (thus) near (to the walls) (combined with) the attack by foot soldiers, (using) mines, breeches as well as sapper work. I drove out (of them) 200,150 people, young and old, male and female, horses, mules, donkeys, camels, big and small cattle beyond counting, and considered (them) booty. Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage. I surrounded him with earthwork in order to molest those who were leaving his city’s gate. His towns which I had plundered, I took away from his country and gave them (over) to Mitinti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Sillibel, king of Gaza. Thus I reduced his country, but I still increased the tribute and the Katru-presents (due) to me (as his) overlord which I imposed (later) upon him beyond the former tribute, to be delivered annually. Hezekiah himself, whom the terror-inspiring splendor of my lordship had overwhelmed and whose irregular and elite troops which he had brought into Jerusalem, his royal residence, in order to strengthen (it), had deserted him, did send me, later, to Nineveh, my lordly city, together with 30 talents of gold, 800 talents of silver, precious stones, antimony, large cuts of red stone, couches (inlaid) with ivory, nimedu-chairs (inlaid) with ivory, elephant-hides, ebony-wood, box-wood (and) all kinds of valuable treasures, his (own) daughters, concubines, male and female musicians. In order to deliver the tribute and to do obeisance as a slave he sent his (personal) messenger. (ANET pp. 287-8 Ancient Near Eastern Texts)
Micah 1:16 – Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.
poll – shear
delicate – daintiness; luxury; exquisite delight; pleasantness; delight; comfort.
Thus, your precious children, the children in whom you have exquisite delight, the future or next generation of your people.
Micah 2:9 – The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever.
Tear out your hair and shear your locks in grief for your children (the future of your nation). Cutting hair as such was banned by the law, yet this trouble had come upon them because of their disobedience, so do what your disobedience also demands in making yourselves bald and shearing your hair.
Deuteronomy 14:1 – Ye [are] the children of the Lord your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.
eagle – or vulture (which was commonly bald) Make your baldness as obvious as it is on the eagle (or vulture), because your precious children of your delight have gone into captivity away from you. This reference to their children may relate to the future captivity in Babylon over a 100 years later.
Micah 4:10 – Be in pain, and labour 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.
What a price to pay for just a period of disobedience where, if the cost were really to be counted, they would never have done what they did!
And now for a realistic look at more calvinist Scripture-twisting!
Greear (the current SBC president) holds to a more solid, Calvinist position on salvation. He authored a book titled Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How To Know You Are Saved, in which he states he struggled for many years with the assurance of salvation and repeated the “Sinner’s Prayer” many times during his life. He now rejects the concept of “asking Jesus into your heart,” and holds to a biblical doctrine of salvation.
Paul Washer: The question is not whether you would like to pray this prayer and ask Jesus to come into your heart — after all, you know, the handle to your heart is on the inside and if you do not open it Jesus cannot come in. My friend, Jesus is Lord of your heart and if He wants to come in, He will kick the door down.
Slick (Matt): No offense meant to you but I don’t think you understand a lot of reformed theology. I don’t think you understand decretive will, prescriptive will, permissive will, what ordination means and I think you are confused, no disrespect meant, because you don’t understand how we define those things. …..
Saying that He simply knows what free will choice they’re going to make is problematic because it means that God is then contingent upon the choices of individuals. There’s the doctrine of God’s aseity. That means He is independent, He's non-contingent, He is self-sufficient and as such He has no dependency on anything or anyone else. If you were to say that God knows what their free will choices are going to be, then He predestines accordingly, then what you’re saying is that His choices are contingent upon the so-called free will choices of man, and that violates the doctrine of God’s aseity.
It’s impossible to find either scriptural or logical basis for these teachings. Calvinists claim to believe in sola scriptura (the Bible alone), yet their teachings can only stand if propped up by Calvin’s Manichean Gnostic heresies (as learned from that Manichean Gnostic disciple, Augustine). And not one calvinist has yet been able to refute even one of my accusations scripturally. That speaks for itself!