Micah 1:14

Micah 1:14

Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath
Since Lachish was the cause of leading Judah into idolatry, and was a city so very wicked; therefore it should be reduced to such distress as to send messengers with presents to the Philistines at Moreshethgath, a place near to Gath of the Philistines, and may include that and other cities of theirs, to come and help them against the Assyrians: the houses of Achzib [shall be] a lie to the kings of Israel;
a city of Judah, ( Joshua 15:44 ) ; or of Asher, ( Joshua 19:29 ) ; the same with Chezib, ( Genesis 38:5 ) ; and called Ecdippa by Josephus F8, Pliny F9, and Ptolemy {k}. The Jewish writers commonly call it Cezib, of which they F12 say many things about that, and the land unto it, being subject to tithes, the laws of the seventh year, and the like. Maimonides and Bartenora say F13 it is the name of a place which divided between the land of Israel, which they possessed who came out of Babylon, and that land which they enjoyed who came out of Egypt; but the Jews are not agreed about the situation of it. One of their writers F14 places it to the northeast of the land of Israel; but another F15 observes, and proves from one that resided in those parts some time, and diligently inquired into and made his observation on places, that Cezib, and also Aco and Amana, frequently mentioned with it, were all on the western sea of the land of Israel, that is, the Mediterranean sea; in which he was right, without all doubt: the place is now called Zib by contraction, of which Mr. Maundrell F16 gives this account;

``having travelled about one hour in the plain of Acra, we passed by an old town called Zib, situate on an ascent close by the seaside; this may probably be the old Achzib, mentioned ( Joshua 19:29 ) ( Judges 1:31 ) ; called afterwards Ecdippa; for St. Jerom F17 places Achzib nine miles distant from Ptolemais (or Aco), towards Tyre, to which account we found the situation of Zib exactly agreeing.''
Now the houses or families that dwelt in this place, or the idols' temples there, as some, and the idolatry exercised therein, should be a lie unto, or disappoint the expectations of, the kings of Israel; which, according to Kimchi, is put for Judah, who placed confidence in them, and had dependence on them: there is an elegant play on words between Achzib and a "lie" F18. The Targum is,
``thou shall send gifts to the heirs of Gath; the houses of Achzib shall be delivered to the people, because of the sins of the kings of Israel, who worshipped idols in them.''

FOOTNOTES:

F8 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 22. De Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 13. sect. 4.
F9 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19.
F11 Geograph, l. 5. c. 15.
F12 T. Hieros. Sheviith, fol. 36. 2. T. Bab. Gittin, foi. 7. 2. Misn. Demai, c. 1. sect. 3.
F13 In Misn. Demai, c. 1. sect. 3.
F14 Bartenora in Misn. Sheviith, c. 6. 1. & Challa, c. 4. sect. 8.
F15 Yom Tob in Sheviith, c. 6. 1. e Caphtor Uperah, c. 11.
F16 Journey from Aleppo p. 33. Ed. 7.
F17 De locis Hebr. fol. 88. I.
F18 (byzka) & (bzka) .
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