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'The Apocalypse in Micah' (Eureka).
MICAH was contemporary with the times of Amos and Isaiah. He opens his prophecy apocalyptically by saying, "Behold, Yahweh cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth." He predicted that because of the iniquity of the Israelites and their rulers, Zion should be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem should become heaps, and the mountain on which the temple stood as the high places of the forest.
But, he goes on to say, that Zion, Moriah, and Jerusalem, although thus trodden under foot of destroyers, should not always be abased. He coincides with Isaiah, and testifies in the same words, that in the latter days yet future, the kingdom of Yahweh, which he terms "The mountain of the house of Yahweh," shall have the sovereignty over the empires and kingdoms of the earth, and that all nations shall concentrate around its throne: that Yahweh the Elohim of Jacob will enlighten, or apocalypse them, and that they will in consequence walk in his ways: that a law and a word will be promulgated from Zion and Jerusalem, and be universally obeyed: that war will then be abolished, peace be established as the order of the day, and good-will everywhere prevail.
He further testifies, that Israel shall then be a strong nation, with Yahweh (Christ) reigning over them in Mount Zion from thenceforth, and for the Olahm, or Millennium -- the First Dominion shall come to Zion; and the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem. But he also testifies, that before this exaltation to dominion, Zion's daughter should dwell in Babylon, in the ten streets of which she is a wanderer to this day: that in Babylon she shall be delivered: in Babylon Yahweh shall redeem her from the hand or power of her enemies, the Gentiles. He testifies that when the time of this deliverance shall arrive, the Daugher of Zion (which is constituted of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the Saints) shall arise and thresh with horn of iron and hoof of brass, and beat in pieces many people, whose spoil shall be consecrated to Yahweh the Judge of Israel, and the Adon or Sovereign Ruler of the whole earth; who, in the days of his humanity, should be smitten with a rod upon the cheek by the rebellious.
Isaiah had foretold that the Judge of Israel should come of the house of David (Isa. 9:6,7); and Micah predicted he should be born in Bethlehem Ephratah. But, because of the unworthy treatment he should experience at their hands, he should abandon the nation to its calamities, until the time of Zion's travail, when he shall be apocalypsed as a thief in the night; and then the remnant of his brethren shall return on account of the children of Israel.
He goes on furthermore to say, that in this day of apocalypse, the Judge of Israel shall stand and rule in the strength of Yahweh, in the majesty of the name of Yahweh his Eloah; that Israel shall then abide, or dwell safely in the Holy Land, because their Divine King shall be great to the ends of the earth. That when he is apocalypsed in the day of Zion's travail, writhing in pain under Gentile oppression, the Bethlehem-born Judge of Israel shall be the nation's peace; because He and his brethren princes shall expel the Assyrian from Judea, and, carrying the war into the land of Nimrod, shall reduce the enemy to the necessity of suing for peace, which will be granted with the loss of dominion and independence. That the remnant of Jacob in more distant nations of the earth shall be as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among a flock of sheep; who, if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
But though Israel is to do valiantly in the latter days, he showed that they should previously suffer much because of iniquity, transgression, and sin. That they would be not only nationally corrupt, but socially treacherous and cruel, so that a man's enemies would be those of his own house. That, though they should cause the fall of One, he should rise again; and though they should cause him to sit in the darkness of death, Yahweh should become to him a light.
That after this cruel treachery, Jerusalem, his enemy, should be covered with shame, and trodden down as mire in the streets; and that when the day of her rebuilding should arrive, the decree authorizing it should come from afar.
Micah, perceiving that there was hope in Israel's end, petitions Yahweh in their behalf. He prays that they may be fed in Bashan and Gilead "AS IN THE DAYS OF OLD." His supplication is heard, and he is informed by Yahweh that their Exodus from Babylon should be after the type (and duration) of that from Egypt into Canaan: that in this exodus from Babylon the nations shall be confounded when they shall behold the prowess of the Jews; that they shall lick the dust like a serpent, and be afraid of Yahweh our Elohim (Christ), for he will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the nations, such as they have not heard.
But concerning Israel the prophet testifies, that the Conqueror of the nations will pass by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage, that he will have compassion on them; that he will subdue their iniquities, and cast all their sins into the depth of the sea; that he will perform the truth to Jacob, the mercy to Abraham, which he has sworn to Israel's fathers from the days of old (ch. 1:3; 2:12,13; 3:12; 4:1-4,7,8,10,13; 5:1-8,15; 7:6,8,10,11,14-20).
Micah reveals the real character of sacrifice. The three-fold principle of doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (ch. 6:8). It is the full measure of sacrifice, and will be reflected in the sacrifices of the Age to come: the three principles of the burnt offering, sin offering, and trespass offering (Eze. 40:39).
It is in the fulness of sacrifice, that the worshipper meets the divine approval. Micah's ministry was not without effect, for whereas Shalmanezer of Assyria was successful against Israel in the north, Sennacherib failed in his attempt against Judah. The reason is revealed in Jer. 26:18* (cp. Isa. 39:8). **
*'Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest'.
** ' Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days'.
Samaria, in the days of Micah was a polluting influence, typifying the apostasy within the ecclesia.
In ironic language, the prophet describes the stunning effect of the captivity of Judah when it took place. The invasion of Sennacherib gave token that Micah's words would be fulfilled and Jerusalem threatened. Lachish is the "beginning of the sin" (v. 13), possibly because Israel put its confidence in the fortifications of that fortress-city, and perhaps in a campaign of defence that included a conceited action by that city and Egypt (Isa. 30:1), which was destroyed by Sennacherib taking the city. Micah portrays the weakness of such a policy of defence as Lachish would flee before the enemy. - GEM.