Prophecies of Restoration. Micah 4:1-7:20. John McRay, Ph.D.

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1 1 Prophecies of Restoration Micah 4:1-7:20 John McRay, Ph.D.

2 2 Restoration of Zion Ultimate Triumph of God s Grace Micah 4:1-13 Micah 5:1 John McRay, Ph.D.

3 3 Text: Micah 4:1-13, Restoration of Zion Ultimate Triumph of God s Grace 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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; 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. 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.

4 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 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. 11. Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. 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. 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. Micah 5:1, Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. Introduction: I. The second half of Micah s prophecies, chapters 4-7, are focused on the restoration of the Jewish people after their punishment for sins of idolatry and oppression of the poor. Commentary: Micah 4:1-3, 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. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of

5 5 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. 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. I. Verses 1-3 of chapter 4 appear almost word for word in Isaiah 2:1-4. A. Isaiah 2:1-4, The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. B. In Isaiah these words are followed by descriptions of God s judgment on the people for their sins, but in Micah they are followed by his prophecy that in the latter days things will change for the better. C. The very mountain of Judah that was condemned for its sin will become a mountain of the house of the Lord and will be exalted above all the mountains.

6 6 D. Zion will be not only the capital of Judah but a center of influence upon all surrounding nations. E. The word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem and influence people from nations far away to stop warring with each other and instead turn their swords and spears into tools for use in farming. Micah 4:4, 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. I. The result of this triumph of grace is that people will lie in peace, sitting in their vineyards and orchards without fear. Verse 4. Micah 4:5, 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. I. Even though the nations around them may worship their idols, Micah asserts that the believing Jews of Judah will worship only the one true God, Jehovah. Verse 5. Micah 4:6, 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; I. The miserable condition of the exiled Jews is portrayed by Micah as a people who have been made lame by God s punishment. Verse 6. A. (CF. The imagery of being crippled in Psalm 35:15.) 1. Psalm 35:15, But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered

7 7 themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: Micah 4:7, 8, 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. 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. I. God will, however, make a strong nation out of them and rule over them in Jerusalem. Verses 7-8. Micah 4:9, 10, Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 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. I. Jerusalem is groaning like a woman in birth pains becaue of its sin and punishment, but God is going to take them in captivity to Babylon in 586 B.C., after which they will be redeemed and restored to the land. Verses Micah 4:11-13, Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. 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. 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.

8 8 I. Although many nations are gathered against Israel and watching it intently, they do not know that they are eventually going to be ground like grain on a threshing floor by the Daughter of Zion (the Jews who remain faithful to God) and many nations will be broken to pieces and their ill-gotten gains will be used by the Jews in their service to God. Verses Micah 5:1, Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. I. The NIV Marshall your troops, O city of troops reflects the Greek while the NIV footnotes Strengthen your walls, O walled city, translates the Hebrew. (Shank) A. Both point to the attack on Jerusalem by an enemy. Second Kings 18 tells of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C. (Shank) B. Slapping a person on the cheek was considered a great insult, public humiliation. (Shank) 1. 1 Kings 2:24, But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? 2. Job 16:10, They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.

9 Psalm 3:7, Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. 4. Lamentations 3:30, He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. 5. Matthew 5:39, But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 6. Psalm 2:9, Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. 7. Isaiah 11:4, But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 8. Esther 4:11, All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. 9. John 19:3, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Note: Comments on Micah 5:1 inserted by John C. Sewell based on work by Harold Shank, Minor Prophets, Volume 1, Hosea-Micah. The College Press NIV Commentary, College Press Publishing Company, Joplin, Missouri, 2001.

10 10 Questions Micah 4 1. What is Micah s prediction for the role of the Jewish people in Jerusalem in proclaiming the Word of God to the nations? 4: Even though the nations about them serve their heathen gods, what does Micah predict that the Jewish people will do in the latter days? 4:5 3. How is the miserable condition of the exiled Jews portrayed by Micah? 4:6 4. Where does Micah say God is going to exile the unfaithful daughters of Zion? 4:10

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