1:6. And I will make Samaria as a heap of stones in the field when a vineyard is planted: and I will bring down the stones thereof into the valley, and will lay her foundations bare.
1:7. And all her graven things shall be cut in pieces, and all her wages shall be burnt with fire, and I will bring to destruction all her idols: for they were gathered together of the hire of a harlot, and unto the hire of a harlot they shall return.
Her wages... That is, her donaries or presents offered to her idols: or the hire of all her traffic and labour. Ibid. Of the hire of a harlot, etc... They were gathered together by one idolatrous city, viz., Samaria: and they shall be carried away to another idolatrous city, viz., Ninive.
1:8. Therefore will I lament, and howl: I will go stript and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and a mourning like the ostriches.
1:9. Because her wound is desperate, because it is come even to Juda, it hath touched the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.
It hath touched the gate, etc... That is, the destruction of Samaria shall be followed by the invasion of my people of Juda, and the Assyrians shall come and lay all waste even to the confines of Jerusalem.
1:10. Declare ye it not in Geth, weep ye not with tears: in the house of Dust sprinkle yourselves with dust.
Declare ye it not in Geth... Viz., amongst the Philistines, lest they rejoice at your calamity.-Ibid. Weep ye not, etc... Keep in your tears, that you may not give your enemies an occasion of insulting over you; but in your own houses, or in your house of dust, your earthly habitation, sprinkle yourselves with dust, and put on the habit of penitents. Some take the house of dust (in Hebrew, Aphrah) to be the proper name of a city.
1:11. And pass away, O thou that dwellest in the beautiful place, covered with thy shame: she went not forth that dwelleth in the confines: the house adjoining shall receive mourning from you, which stood by herself.
Thou that dwellest in the Beautiful place, viz., in Samaria. In the Hebrew the Beautiful place is expressed by the word Sapir, which some take for the proper name of a city.--Ibid. She went not forth, etc...
that is, they that dwelt in the confines came not forth, but kept themselves within, for fear.--Ibid. The house adjoining,etc... Viz., Judea and Jerusalem, neighbours to Samaria, and partners in her sins, shall share also in her mourning and calamity; though they have pretended to stand by themselves, trusting in their strength.
1:12. For she is become weak unto good that dwelleth in bitterness: for evil is come down from the Lord into the gate of Jerusalem.
She is become weak, etc... Jerusalem is become weak unto any good; because she dwells in the bitterness of sin.
1:13. A tumult of chariots hath astonished the inhabitants of Lachis: it is the beginning of sin to the daughter of Sion for in thee were found the crimes of Israel.
It is the beginning, etc... That is, Lachis was the first city of Juda that learned from Samaria the worship of idols, and communicated it to Jerusalem.
1:14. Therefore shall she send messengers to the inheritance of Geth: the houses of lying to deceive the kings of Israel.
Therefore shall she send, etc... Lachis shall send to Geth for help: but in vain: for Geth, instead of helping, shall be found to be a house of lying and deceit to Israel.
1:15. Yet will I bring an heir to thee that dwellest in Maresa: even to Odollam shall the glory of Israel come.
An heir, etc... Maresa (which was the name of a city of Juda) signifies inheritance: but here God by his prophet tells the Jews, that he will bring them an heir to take possession of their inheritance: and that the glory of Israel shall be obliged to give place, and to retire even to Odollam, a city in the extremity of their dominions. And therefore he exhorts them to penance in the following verse.
1:16. Make thee bald, and be polled for thy delicate children: enlarge thy baldness as the eagle: for they are carried into captivity from thee.
Micheas Chapter 2
The Israelites by their crying injustices provoke God to punish them. He shall at last restore Jacob.
2:1. Woe to you that devise that which is unprofitable, and work evil in your beds: in the morning light they execute it, because their hand is against God.
2:2. And they have coveted fields, and taken them by violence, and houses they have forcibly taken away: and oppressed a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.
2:3. Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold I devise an evil against this family: from which you shall not withdraw your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for this is a very evil time.
2:4. In that day a parable shall be taken up upon you, and a song shall be sung with melody by them that say: We are laid waste and spoiled: the portion of my people is changed: how shall he depart from me, whereas he is returning that will divide our land?
How shall he depart, etc... How do you pretend to say that the Assyrian is departing; when indeed he is coming to divide our lands amongst his subjects?
2:5. Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast the cord of a lot in the assembly of the Lord.
Thou shalt have none, etc... Thou shalt have no longer any lot or inheritance in the land of the people of the Lord.
2:6. Speak ye not, saying: It shall not drop upon these, confusion shall not take them.
It shall not drop, etc... That is, the prophecy shall not come upon these. Such were the sentiments of the people that were unwilling to believe the threats of the prophets.
2:7. The house of Jacob saith: Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened or are these his thoughts? Are not my words good to him that walketh uprightly?
2:8. But my people, on the contrary, are risen up as an enemy: you have taken away the cloak off from the coat: and them that passed harmless you have turned to war.
You have taken away, etc... You have even stripped people of their necessary garments: and have treated such as were innocently passing on the way, as if they were at war with you.
2:9. You have cast out the women of my people from their houses, in which they took delight: you have taken my praise forever from their children.
You have cast out, etc... either by depriving them of their houses: or, by your crimes, given occasion to their being carried away captives, and their children, by that means, never learning to praise the Lord.
2:10. Arise ye, and depart, for there is no rest here for you. For that uncleanness of the land, it shall be corrupted with a grievous corruption.
2:11. Would God I were not a man that hath the spirit, and that I rather spoke a lie: I will let drop to thee of wine, and of drunkeness: and it shall be this people upon whom it shall drop.
Would God, etc... The prophet could have wished, out of his love to his people, that he might be deceived in denouncing to them these evils that were to fall upon them: but by conforming himself to the will of God, he declares to them, that he is sent to prophesy, literally to let drop upon them, the wine of God's indignation, with which they should be made drunk; that is, stupified and cast down.
2:12. I will assemble and gather together all of thee, O Jacob: I will bring together the remnant of Israel, I will put them together as a flock in the fold, as sheep in the midst of the sheepcotes, they shall make a tumult by reason of the multitude of men.
2:13. For he shall go up that shall open the way before them: they shall divide and pass through the gate, and shall come in by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.
Micheas Chapter 3
For the sins of the rich oppressing the poor, of false prophets flattering for lucre, and of judges perverting justice, Jerusalem and the temple shall be destroyed.
3:1. And I said: Hear, O ye princes of Jacob, and ye chiefs of the house of Israel: Is it not your part to know judgment,
3:2. You that hate good, and love evil: that violently pluck off their skins from them and their flesh from their bones?
3:3. Who have eaten the flesh of my people, and have flayed their skin off them: and have broken, and chopped their bones as for the kettle, and as flesh in the midst of the pot.
3:4. Then shall they cry to the Lord, and he will not hear them: and he will hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved wickedly in their devices.
3:5. Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err: that bite with their teeth, and preach peace: and if a man give not something into their mouth, they prepare war against him.
3:6. Therefore night shall be to you instead of vision, and darkness to you instead of divination: and the sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be darkened over them.
3:7. And they shall be confounded that see visions, and the diviners shall be confounded: and they shall all cover their faces, because there is no answer of God.