3:8. But yet I am filled with the strength of the spirit of the Lord, with judgment and power: to declare unto Jacob his wickedness and to Israel his sin.
3:9. Hear this, ye princes of the house of Jacob, and ye judges of the house of Israel: you that abhor judgment and pervert all that is right.
3:10. You that build up Sion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
3:11. Her princes have judged for bribes: and her priests have taught for hire, and her prophets divined for money: and they leaned upon the Lord, saying: Is not the Lord in the midst of us? no evil shall come among us.
3:12. Therefore because of you, Sion shall be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall be as a heap of stones, and the mountain of the temple as the high places of the forests.
Micheas Chapter 4
The glory of the church of Christ, by the conversion of the Gentiles.
The Jews shall be carried captives to Babylon, and be delivered again.
4:1. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared in the top of the mountains, and high above the hills: and people shall flow to it.
4:2. And many nations shall come in haste, and say: Come, 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 out of Sion, and the word of the Lord out of Jerusalem.
4:3. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into spades: nation shall not take sword against nation: neither shall they learn war anymore.
Neither shall they learn, etc... The law of Christ is a law of peace; and all his true subjects, as much as lies in them love and keep peace with all the world.
4:4. And every man shall sit under his vine, and under his fig tree, and there shall be none to make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken.
4:5. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god: but we will walk in the name of the Lord, our God, for ever and ever.
4:6. In that day, saith the Lord, I will gather up her that halteth: and her that I had cast out, I will gather up: and her whom I had afflicted.
4:7. And I will make her that halted, a remnant: and her that had been afflicted, a mighty nation: and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Sion, from this time now and forever.
4:8. And thou, O cloudy tower of the flock, of the daughter of Sion, unto thee shall it come: yea the first power shall come, the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem.
4:9. Now, why art thou drawn together with grief? Hast thou no king in thee, or is thy counselor perished, because sorrow hath taken thee as a woman in labour.
4:10. Be in pain and labour, O daughter of Sion, as a woman that bringeth forth: for now shalt thou go out of the city, and shalt dwell in the country, and shalt come even to Babylon, there thou shalt be delivered: there the Lord will redeem thee out of the hand of thy enemies.
4:11. And now many nations are gathered together against thee, and they say: Let her be stoned: and let our eye look upon Sion.
4:12. But they have not known the thoughts of the Lord, and have not understood his counsel: because he hath gathered them together as the hay of the floor.
4:13. Arise, and tread, O daughter of Sion: for I will make thy horn iron, and thy hoofs I will make brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many peoples, and shalt immolate the spoils of them to the Lord, and their strength to the Lord of the whole earth.
Micheas Chapter 5
The birth of Christ in Bethlehem: his reign and spiritual conquests.
5:1. Now shalt thou be laid waste, O daughter of the robber: they have laid siege against us, with a rod shall they strike the cheek of the judge of Israel.
Daughter of the robber... Some understand this of Babylon; which robbed and pillaged the temple of God: others understand it of Jerusalem; by reason of the many rapines and oppressions committed there.
5:2. And thou Bethlehem Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda, out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity.
His going forth, etc... That is, he who as man shall be born in thee, as God was born of his Father from all eternity.
5:3. Therefore will he give them up even till the time wherein she that travaileth shall bring forth: and the remnant of his brethren shall be converted to the children of Israel.
5:4. And he shall stand, and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the height of the name of the Lord, his God: and they shall be converted, for now shall he be magnified even to the ends of the earth.
5:5. And this man shall be our peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall set his foot in our houses: and we shall raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.
The Assyrian... That is, the persecutors of the church: who are here called Assyrians by the prophet: because the Assyrians were at that time the chief enemies and persecutors of the people of God.-Ibid. Seven shepherds, etc... Viz., the pastors of God's church, and the defenders of the faith. The number seven in scripture is taken to signify many: and when eight is joined with it, we are to understand that the number will be very great.
5:6. And they shall feed the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nemrod with the spears thereof: and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our borders.
They shall feed, etc... They shall make spiritual conquests in the lands of their persecutors, with the word of the spirit, which is the word of God. Eph. 6.17.
5:7. And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples, as a dew from the Lord, and as drops upon the grass, which waiteth not for man, nor tarrieth for the children of men.
The remnant of Jacob... Viz., the apostles, and the first preachers of the Jewish nation; whose doctrine, like dew, shall make the plants of the converted Gentiles grow up, without waiting for any man to cultivate them by human learning.
5:8. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among the beasts of the forests, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, when he shall go through, and tread down, and take there is none to deliver.
As a lion, etc... This denotes the fortitude of these first preachers; and their success in their spiritual enterprises.
5:9. Thy hand shall be lifted up over thy enemies, and all thy enemies shall be cut off.
5:10. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will take away thy horses out of the midst of thee, and will destroy thy chariots.
I will take away thy horses, etc... Some understand this, and all that follows to the end of the chapter, as addressed to the enemies of the church. But it may as well be understood of the converts to the church: who should no longer put their trust in any of these things.
5:11. And I will destroy the cities of thy land, and will throw down all thy strong holds, and I will take away sorceries out of thy hand, and there shall be no divinations in thee.
5:12. And I will destroy thy graven things, and thy statues, out of the midst of thee: and thou shalt no more adore the works of thy hands.
5:13. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: and will crush thy cities.
5:14. And I will execute vengeance in wrath, and in indignation, among all the nations that have not given ear.
Micheas Chapter 6
God expostulates with the Jews for their ingratitude and sins: for which they shall be punished.
6:1. Hear ye what the Lord saith: Arise, contend thou in judgment against the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.
The mountains, etc... That is, the great ones, the princes of the people.
6:2. Let the mountains hear the judgment of the Lord, and the strong foundations of the earth: for the Lord will enter into judgment with his people, and he will plead against Israel.
6:3. O my people, what have I done to thee, or in what have I molested thee? answer thou me.