Micah 1:9-16

9 1For her wound is incurable, and it has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem.
10 2Tell it not in 3Gath; weep not at all; in Beth-le-aphrah 4roll yourselves in the dust.
11 Pass on your way, inhabitants of Shaphir, 5in nakedness and shame; the inhabitants of Zaanan do not come out; the lamentation of Beth-ezel shall take away from you its standing place.
12 For the inhabitants of Maroth wait anxiously for good, because disaster has come down 6from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 Harness the steeds to the chariots, inhabitants of 7Lachish; it was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, for in you were found 8the transgressions of Israel.
14 Therefore you shall give parting gifts[a] to 9Moresheth-gath; the houses of 10Achzib shall be a deceitful thing to the kings of Israel.
15 I will again bring 11a conqueror to you, inhabitants of 12Mareshah; the glory of Israel shall come to 13Adullam.
16 14Make yourselves bald and cut off your hair, for the children of your delight; 15make yourselves as bald as the eagle, for they shall go from you into exile.

Micah 1:9-16 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO MICAH

This book is called, in the Hebrew copies, "Sepher Micah", the Book of Micah; in the Vulgate Latin version "the Prophecy of Micah"; and in the Syriac version "the Prophecy of the Prophet Micah". This prophet is not the same with Micaiah the son of Imiah, who lived in the times of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, 1Ki 22:8; for, as Aben Ezra observes, there were many generations between them, at least many reigns of kings, as Jehoram, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah, all which made up a hundred and thirty years; their names indeed seem to be the same, since he that is called Micaiah, 1Ki 22:8; is called Micah, 2Ch 18:14; and this our prophet is named Micaiah in Jer 26:18; which is with some of the same signification with Michael. So Abarbinel interprets, it, "who [is] as God"; see Mic 7:18; which Hillerus {a} confutes, and renders it, "the contrition, attrition, attenuation, and depauperation, of the Lord"; deriving it from Kwm, which signifies to be depressed, humbled, weakened, and impoverished, as others do; which name, some think, was given him by his parents, because of their low estate, their meanness and poverty; but of them we have no account: however, this is much more probable than the reason Cornelius a Lapide gives of his name, that he was so called because he prophesied of Christ, who was poor, and that he should be born in a poor country village. As for his country, and the place of his birth, and the time in which he lived, they may be gathered from Mic 1:1; by which it will appear that he was not of the tribe of Ephraim, as Pseudo-Epiphanius {b} says but of the tribe of Judah; whose kings' reigns in which he prophesies are only made mention of; though his prophecies concerned both Israel and Judah, and he reproves both for their sins, and foretells their various captivities; and, for the comfort of God's people, says many things concerning the Messiah, his incarnation the place of his birth, which no prophet so clearly points at as he, the execution of his offices, prophetic, priestly, and kingly; the blessings of grace that came by him, pardon of sin, atonement and the happiness and glory of his church in the latter day. The authority of this book is confirmed both by the elders of Judah in the times of Jeremiah, who quote a passage out of it; Mic 3:12; which they improve in favour of that prophet, Jer 26:17-19; and by the chief priests and Scribes in the time of Herod, who refer that prince to a prophecy in this book for the place of the Messiah's birth, Mic 5:2; see Mt 2:4-6. He is thought to have prophesied thirty or forty years, Bishop Usher {c} places him in the year of the world 3291 A.M., and 713 B.C.; but, according to Mr. Whiston {d}, he prophesied 750 B.C., and so Mr. Bedford {e}, and three after the building of the city of Rome; and he foretells the captivity of the ten tribes thirty years, and the coming of Sennacherib forty years, before they came to pass; but when and where he died, and was buried, no certain proof can be given. Pseudo-Epiphanius, confounding him with Micaiah in Ahab's time, says {f} he was killed by his son Joram, who cast him down from a precipice, and was buried at Morathi, his native place, near the burying ground of Enakeim, and his grave was well known to that day. And, according to Jerom {g}, the grave of this our prophet was at Morasthi, and in his time turned into a church or temple. Sozomen {h} reports, that, in the times of Theodosius the elder, the body of Micah was found by Zebennus bishop of Eleutheropolis at Berathsalia, a mile and a quarter from the city, near which was the grave of Micah, called by the common people the faithful monument, and in their country language Nephsameemana.

{a} Onomast. Sacr. p. 14, 466, 494, 542. {b} De Prophet. Vit. & Inter. c. 13. {c} Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3291. {d} Chronological Tables, cent. 8. {e} Scripture Chronology, p. 662. {f} De Prophet. Vit. & Inter. c. 13. {g} Epitaph. Paulae, tom. 1. operum, fol. 60. A. B. {h} Histor. Eccles. l. 7. c. 29.

\\INTRODUCTION TO MICAH 1\\

This chapter treats of the judgments of God on Israel and Judah for their idolatry. It begins with the title of the whole book in which is given an account of the prophet, the time of his prophesying, and of the persons against whom he prophesied, Mic 1:1; next a preface to this chapter, requiring attention to what was about to be delivered, urged from the consideration of the awful appearance of God, which is represented as very grand and terrible, Mic 1:2-4; the cause of all which wrath that appeared in him was the transgression of Jacob; particularly their idolatry, as appears by the special mention of their idols and graven images in the account of their destruction, Mic 1:5-7; which destruction is exaggerated by the prophet's lamentation for it, Mic 1:8,9; and by the mourning of the inhabitants of the several places that should be involved in it, which are particularly mentioned, Mic 1:10-16.

Micah 1:9-16 In-Context

7 All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, all her wages shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste, for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.
8 For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches.
9 For her wound is incurable, and it has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem.
10 Tell it not in Gath; weep not at all; in Beth-le-aphrah roll yourselves in the dust.
11 Pass on your way, inhabitants of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame; the inhabitants of Zaanan do not come out; the lamentation of Beth-ezel shall take away from you its standing place.
12 For the inhabitants of Maroth wait anxiously for good, because disaster has come down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 Harness the steeds to the chariots, inhabitants of Lachish; it was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, for in you were found the transgressions of Israel.
14 Therefore you shall give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath; the houses of Achzib shall be a deceitful thing to the kings of Israel.
15 I will again bring a conqueror to you, inhabitants of Mareshah; the glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.
16 Make yourselves bald and cut off your hair, for the children of your delight; make yourselves as bald as the eagle, for they shall go from you into exile.

Cross References 15

  • 1. [Hosea 5:13]
  • 2. 2 Samuel 1:20
  • 3. See 1 Samuel 17:4
  • 4. [Jeremiah 6:26]
  • 5. [Isaiah 20:4; Isaiah 47:3]
  • 6. See Amos 3:6
  • 7. Joshua 10:3; 2 Kings 18:14, 17; 2 Chronicles 32:9
  • 8. [ver. 5; Hosea 13:1]
  • 9. [ver. 1]
  • 10. Joshua 15:44
  • 11. [Micah 2:4; Jeremiah 6:12]
  • 12. [See ver. 14 above]
  • 13. See 1 Samuel 22:1, 2
  • 14. See Isaiah 22:12
  • 15. See Isaiah 22:12

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.