The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Micah 4

Mic 4:1

Vv 1-3: // Isa 2:2-4.

Ct with Mic 3:12: the temple mount is first devastated, and then later rebuilt.

THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD'S TEMPLE WILL BE ESTABLISHED AS CHIEF AMONG THE MOUNTAINS; IT WILL BE RAISED ABOVE THE HILLS: Mount Zion -- where the temple, the Lord's house, stood in the past and will stand in the future (cp Ezek 40 -- 43). In the future, Mount Zion would become the chief of all the mountains on earth, rising above all other hills in its importance (cp Gen 12:3; Zech 8:3). People from all parts of the earth will migrate to it. This is quite a contrast from what Micah predicted about the immediate future of Jerusalem and the temple: its destruction and abandonment (cp Mic 3:12).

AND PEOPLE WILL STREAM TO IT: Water flows down, but these people will flow UP to God's Temple Mount!

In fact, literal streams of water will flow FROM this millennial temple (Ezek 47), but people will stream TO it!

"Year by year bands of pilgrims would make their way to Jerusalem to engage in festive worship, in the course of which they would receive instruction in the moral traditions of the covenant. This Israelite pilgrimage is here magnified to universal dimensions. Not merely Israel, but their pagan neighbors from all around would one day wend their way to Yahweh's earthly residence, and there learn lessons which they would put into practice back in their own communities" (Allen).

Mic 4:2

MANY NATIONS WILL COME AND SAY, "COME, LET US GO UP TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD, TO THE HOUSE OF THE GOD OF JACOB. HE WILL TEACH US HIS WAYS, SO THAT WE MAY WALK IN HIS PATHS." THE LAW WILL GO OUT FROM ZION, THE WORD OF THE LORD FROM JERUSALEM: Many nations would acknowledge the superiority of Israel by coming to the millennial Jerusalem to learn the LORD's ways from the Israelites. Israel will finally fulfill its function as a kingdom of priests by mediating between God and the people of the world (cp Exo 19:6). Gentile people will want to obey His will, in contrast to the Jews of Micah's day who did not. Jerusalem will become the source of instruction concerning Yahweh and His will.

Mic 4:3

HE WILL JUDGE BETWEEN MANY PEOPLES AND WILL SETTLE DISPUTES FOR STRONG NATIONS FAR AND WIDE: Yahweh will serve as the global Judge deciding disputes between many strong nations far removed from Israel geographically. The Jews of Micah's day did not want God telling them what to do and not to do, and their judges perverted justice (cp Mic 3:1-3,9-11).

THEY WILL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNING HOOKS. NATION WILL NOT TAKE UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NOR WILL THEY TRAIN FOR WAR ANYMORE: In that future day, the Millennium when Yahweh through Messiah is reigning on earth, the nations will convert their implements of warfare into agricultural tools to promote life. They will not engage in warfare or train for battle any longer. Standing armies and stockpiles of armaments will be things of the past.

Mic 4:4

EVERY MAN WILL SIT UNDER HIS OWN VINE AND UNDER HIS OWN FIG TREE, AND NO ONE WILL MAKE THEM AFRAID: This beautiful pastoral picture is painted three times in scripture using these words: here, 1Ki 4:25, and Zec 3:10.

The prophecy is national and even universal in scope -- it is not simply some prophecy about the "church"! -- and looks forward to a time when all the nations will come so fully under the benign influence of God's Word that war will be no more.

Mic 4:5

ALL THE NATIONS MAY WALK IN THE NAME OF THEIR GODS: In Micah's day the Gentile nations, and many of the Israelites, followed other gods, but in the future they would all follow Yahweh.

WE WILL WALK IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD FOR EVER AND EVER: If one day in the future, all nations would follow Yahweh, then surely the Israelites needed to follow Him immediately! These promises encouraged Micah to make a fresh and lasting commitment for Israel to walk in the LORD's ways rather than in the ways of the gods of other nations (cp general theme, 2Pe 3:11,12; 1Jo 3:3).

Mic 4:6

Notice the reversal: the "lame", the "exiles", and those "brought to grief" describe the poor who had been victimized by the leaders of Israel. Now these people would be the foremost of God's concern and care in His coming Kingdom!

IN THAT DAY: "In that day" = the day of the Kingdom: vv 1-3.

I WILL GATHER THE LAME... THE EXILES: Israel will be gathered to Holy Land: Mic 2:12,13; Zeph 3:19,20.

THOSE I HAVE BROUGHT TO GRIEF: God has afflicted Israel (1Ki 11:39; Isa 64:10-12; Amos 6:14; Lam 1:5).

Mic 4:7

THE LORD WILL RULE OVER THEM IN MOUNT ZION FROM THAT DAY AND FOREVER: Christ, Israel's king: Luk 1:33; Jer 23:6; Isa 33:22; Joh 12:12,13. To reign in Zion: Psa 2:6; Jer 3:17; Isa 24:23; 62:1-4; cp Psa 146:10; Zeph 3:19; Rev 11:15.

Christ's millennial reign will bring about the destruction of the present "heavens and earth". Then it will continue on a renewed earth even beyond the Kingdom (2Pe 3:10-13).

Mic 4:8

O WATCHTOWER OF THE FLOCK: "The tower of Edar (flock)" was a watchtower near Bethlehem (Gen 35:21), where shepherds watched over their flocks of sheep destined for sacrifice in the Temple. Cp Luk 2:8: "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night."

THE DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM: A phrase used almost exclusively in the context of deliverance from the enemy (2Ki 19:21; Isa 37:22; Lam 2:13,15; Mic 4:8; Zeph 3:14; Zech 9:9).

THE FORMER DOMINION WILL BE RESTORED TO YOU: "The former dominion" -- the beginning, nucleus of the Kingdom, with Christ in their midst: Zech 8:23; Isa 60:3,5-9; 61:5,9; 62:1-3; Ezek 37:26-28.

Literally, Jesus Christ was God's "first dominion": the first place on earth where the Father would reign supreme and unimpeded! The coming of this "first dominion" was first announced to the shepherds of Bethlehem, at the birth of Jesus (cp Mic 4:910), just as this verse prophesies.

The first place on earth where the dominion of "Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11) was proclaimed was the hills near Bethlehem, the city of David. The angels sang of the birth of one in whom God would dwell in fullness, one who was the "kingdom of God" upon earth in its initial form. Christ would proclaim "glory to God" and "peace... toward men" (the true "peace" of sins forgiven, and reconciliation) (Luke 2:14). And he will finally bring that glory and peace in its consummate fullness when the true Kingdom comes at last to the "daughter of Zion".

Mic 4:9

HAVE YOU NO KING?: The prophet is looking into the future, to the time soon to come when Israel (or Judah) will have no king, because the nation will be carried away into captivity. And he is looking into the even more distant time, when the Romans exert rule over Israel, and the only "king" of Israel is a hateful, wicked Herod. But at the time, a woman (Mary) will be in pain to bring forth a child (Jesus) -- who will be the "first dominion" of God's new Kingdom, and will reclaim Israel's poor from the "captivity" of their sins!

Mic 4:10

YOU WILL GO TO BABYLON: This prediction of captivity in Babylon would be unusual in Micah's day, because then Assyria was the great threat to the Israelites. The Babylonian deportations came a century later. But in Micah's day Babylon was part of the Assyrian Empire -- so Assyrian captives might well be taken there.

Probably "Babylon" here has further meanings as well: (1) the historic Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar's day, to which other captives (of Judah) would be taken, and (2) the future Babylon, the symbol of Gentile power that has held Israel captive since Nebuchadnezzar (cp Gen 10:10; 11:4-9; Rev 17; 18). Micah had just prophesied a Last Days redemption of Israel, and that future vision stayed with him (vv 1-8).

Mic 4:11

Vv 11,12: In Micah's day many nations desired to see Israel polluted and destroyed. However, they did not understand God's purposes for Israel or for themselves. They failed to see that He would gather the nations for judgment, as a farmer gathers sheaves of grain on a threshing floor in preparation for beating them out.

Mic 4:13

RISE AND THRESH, O DAUGHTER OF ZION... YOU WILL BREAK TO PIECES MANY NATIONS: In the future Israel would be the Lord's instrument to thresh the nations. He would strengthen Israel to overcome them and to turn over their wealth to Him, namely to bring them into subjection to the sovereign Lord. Israel has not yet done this, so the fulfillment lies in the future, when Messiah returns to reign (cp Zec 14:12-15). Universal peace (in the Millennium: vv 3,4) will follow this judgment of the nations.
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