Paul Harvey, during his daily radio broadcasts, made famous the statement “The Rest of the Story.” He would tell the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar stories of men, feats, events and situations. Did you know the same is true of many “bible stories” found in the Old and New Testament scriptures? The following may not be quite the same as Mr. Harvey’s reviews of history, events and people, but they can be just as stunning, revealing, informative, and mind opening.
This publication will look at dozens of these surprising “aha moments” from scripture. Some will startle, some readers will find them particularly satisfying, and some will realize that history and the Bible are the same thing; a review of what was and remains an actuality. The Bible stories in scripture are space-limited and cannot publish everything surrounding, coinciding, or consequential to these stories. Some Bible time events are well-known and others not quite as well known but none the less found in scripture with a correlating “aha moment”. NOTE: The Bible and history are contemporaneous.
Included in this website are messages from others who serve our God; i.e. studied individuals such as ministers and Bible teachers.
Let’s explore some of these aha moments in scripture and have a ton of fun while doing so!!
– Dr. J
Bible Devotions or Bible Study?
Bible Devotions can be like paying the minimum amount due on ones credit card debt. One seldom gains ground. Bible study is like paying the monthly balance in full plus something extra. We gain ground quickly!
One could summarize Micah 6 as the Court and Justice system of God. Israel and Judah alike were, in a sense, had been on probation. Both violated their probation. Micah (including Isaiah) was not the judge, but he was, in a courtroom sense, the speaker for the jury and judge. (Most quotes are from the NKJV unless otherwise specified)
Micah 6:1Hear now what the LORD says: “Arise, plead your case before the mountains, And let the hills hear your voice [NKJV]. We have heard the statement, “If only the walls could talk”. Here the witnesses against God’s chosen is the very land in which they lived. There is no indication that Micah was specifically addressing either the northern or the southern kingdoms of Israel or Judah. He is a spokesperson for the judge [God]. Micah lays out the facts. He lists the evidence of God’s multiple interventions and protection from the beginning of time for the sake of God’s chosen representatives meaning descendants of Abraham. This actually goes back to Genesis 3:15. The offspring to which is referenced through Eve is the eventual chosen people of Abraham.
Micah 6:2 is self-evident. It is Israel as a whole, not the church to whom these prophecies are given to be chosen, judged, and redeemed. “…For the LORD has a complaint against His people, And He will contend with Israel.” The original KJV says God will PLEAD with Israel. The NKJV states “contend with Israel.” This is evident beginning in the next verse (v3).
Micah 6:3 “O My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me.
Wearied you? Testify against Me?
Wearied you in the Hebrew according to Strong [H3811] is lâ’âh. It is a bit odd that God would suggest through Micah that somehow HE has tired of his chosen people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In short, The leaders to whom Micah is addressing think that God has asked too much of them when all he has done for them is for their sake? How can this be? Can they not be satisfied with him as their Lord? This is a good question to ask of our own worship and living practices. Have we wearied of trying to live a life for Christ? Does one feel God’s expectations to be too much? Has one ever thought…what does God expect from me?
Testify against me: Since this chapter setting is a type of court room, Micah’s use of these words appropriately. Testify [against me] in the Hebrew is ‛am. Here is where a *concordance is handy when doing Bible study. The use of ‛am addresses Israel as a people to try and counter what Micah mentions God has done for them up to this point in history; theirs and ours. In a comparable sense it is likened to a defense attorney’s time in the courtroom. Isn’t this so reflective of doing a favor for someone but the favor forgotten so quickly?
*A Bible concordance is an alphabetical listing of words and phrases found in the Bible and shows where the terms occur throughout all books of Scripture. A Lexicon will also be of great help.
Micah 6:4 & 5 (read these two verses first) Moses spoke the law from Acacia Grove.
Gilgal is a similar place. It is the launching place for Israel’s original invasion of Palestine. Joshua is commanded of God to conquer their Promised lands and bring God’s judgement upon the evil Canaanites. These people descended from Ham, a son of Noah.
Micah now debriefs his audience of what God has done for Israelis.
Brought out of Egypt after 400+ years with their last years being heavily labored servants of the Pharaoh and the Kingdom of Egypt.
The attempt of the King of Moab to hire Balaam (a prophet) to prophesy against Israel. god made it so that only blessings came out of his mouth…not what he intended but that is what happened.
Moses spoke the law from Acacia Grove. [Deuteronomy 10:3, Leviticus 1:1-17, *Numbers 25:1-18]
Gilgal is from where Joshua launched the invasion of Canaan, aka, their Promised Lands.
From here Israel celebrated their first Passover Feast IN CANAAN.
Gilgal is from where Abraham hundreds of years earlier erected his first alter to God according to Genesis 12:6&7.
In Micah 6:6 &7 Micah takes or assumes the position of D.A. per his audiences on trial for violating probation of the past. He juxtaposes by contrasting and comparing their thoughts into what one might call their defense. Today one might say “so what will it take to make it right” but with a mocking defense. Israelis and their leaderships pose their defense with a defiant attitude. Note that they only speak of things other than a personal commitment to their God as His chosen people. They know what to do but wish to continue in the life they have and try to “tithe” their way out of God’s judgement. This is a personal insight, but there are those who do the same thing today?
Micah 6:8 is his reply to the sarcastic defense in verses 6 and 7 from his own countrymen of Israeli descent.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah’s reply is posed as a question to which his audience already knew the answer. Not to make a comparison between Socrates and Micah but this approach in today’s language is called a Socratic reply.To do so means to question the question in order to bring the other person or persons to a conclusion they should already know.
JIV NOTE: Socrates is given credit for this approach to what should be obvious answers to questions given in one’s attempt to defend his or her actions, attitudes, or position in life. Socrates was not born for another 100 years.
“He has shown you”: Commentariat David Guzik puts it so well in addressing this verse in Micah 6:8. “You act as if it is some mystery what I require of you. In point of fact it is no mystery at all. I have shown you clearly what is good and what I require of you.”
Micah 6:9 “Hear the rod! Who has appointed it? Most have heard a discussion or even been a participant of something that reflects: ”I hear but reject or do not wish to accept. One listens but does not take the advice or counsel given.” God is the rod! Too often we see church banners or ignorant people who quote or bend scripture to their advantage. One of them is “GOD IS LOVE.” Few wish deny this as a fact, but forget to mention that GOD IS totally JUST. The self-limiting of this passage in I John 4:8 is to ignore the first 10 words of the same verse. ”But anyone who does not love does not know God.” The Books of Job, Luke, and Acts address the justness of God; One gets what one deserves: judgement.
Acts 17:31 is specific per Jesus (NT) also being just. Christ will judge the world in righteousness. The Book of James in chapter 1 verses 19-27 summarizes Acts 17:31 plus what Micah is telling his own Israelite kindred, we must be doers of the Message of God, not just hearers.
Micah 6:10 from verse 9 to the end of chapter 6, Micah explains the judgement of the wicked, those who reject or try to make God what they want him to be.
Unfair or unbalanced scales of commerce or personal lives; cheating or deceitful exchange
The tongue in their mouths speak deceit. Many of the wealthy Israelites are evil doers for the sole purpose of profit
I God will make you sick (v13). Yikes! Does this smack in the face of those who wish to put all blame for illnesses and bad things on Satan and his minions?
The wicked will never find satisfaction. This reminds me of a 1965 rock and roll song sung by the Rolling Stones titled “(I) Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” They were certainly no gospel group but their point in the song when taken to real life experience reflect verse 6:14.
Verse 14 continues…that of which one gains will be taken by another by sword, deceit, unbalanced scales, robbery and even court.
Verse 15 continues with their just judgement… they will sow but not reap; harvest the fruit of their labors but have no benefit from it; tread the grapes but NOT drink of it. In short. Micah is prophesying that most of their efforts to gain will be lost to others. This happened to the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. The Assyrians conquered and transported the ten northern Tribes of Israel OUT OF THEIR LANDS. 120 years later, the Southern kingdom was forcibly removed by the Babylonians. Others were brought it to occupy what was Israeli lands.
Micah points out that the people will continue to walk in the wickedness of two specific and evil kings of the Northern Kingdom; King Ahab and King Omri. Ahab is of Jezebel fame (Elijah). Omri was the father of Ahab. What Omri taught his son Ahab was without God in his mind, actions, judgements, or way of reigning the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
PS: 2 Kings 9:8 tells us about the consequence of future “male” descendants of Grandpa Omri and father Ahab. [NIV] “The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every male in Israel—slave or free.”
One needs to go back to verse 6, the last sentence, to continue in verse 7. In Micah *5:6b it identifies Assyria being defeated in the land of Israel. History, both secular and Biblical, tells us that Assyria totally dispersed the ten Tribes of Israel in the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. This happens just a few years after Micah prophesies of this dispersion. Is this a conflicting statement? Not if one realizes that the people of Assyria, Israel’s greatest long-time enemies, in the eyes of Micah, is prophetic of Israel’s End Time enemies. They are marching into the lands of Israel and attacking Jerusalem to do one thing; eliminate their occupation of the Promised lands.. Even after the return of a handful of Judean captives from Babylon, at that time controlled by the Persians and the Medes, over 160 years later, the northern ten tribes did not return to a land of their own. Only a few returned to the land that the Romans would soon thereafter rename Palestine, but not to a kingdom of Israel.
* He (God/Jesus) shall deliver us from the Assyrian, When he comes into our land And when he treads within our borders.
In our previous narrative commentary, Micah 5:1-5 we skipped over a sentence in verse 5. It reads in the NKJV: “We will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princely men.” The meaning of this 7 and 8 may be related to Ecclesiastes 11:2. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz [tries to] identify this passage of 7 shepherds and 8 anointed ones of Israel this way:
The “seven shepherds,” the prophet refers to are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David. The “eight princes of men” — Jesse, Saul, Samuel, Amos, Zephaniah, Zedekiah, the Messiah, and Elijah.
We cannot verify this as being the people to which Micah infers but those in Judaism believe it to be these men. If Rabbi Steinsaltz means a future anointed one called Messiah and not Jesus, we know he has one that is wrong or misidentified.
Back to Micah 5:7-15…
Micah 5:7 When one thinks of a remnant it is assumed to be something of a left over. This is NOT what Micah 5:7 is saying… “And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples.” If one stops reading at this point it reads like the left over’s from the previous evening’s meal (pun intended). We do learn that Israelis will be scattered amongst many different people in the four corners of the earth. This makes verse 7 a prophetic future. At the time of Micah’s prophecies, the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah were still intact. Micah 5:7 does not end here. This remnant or those of Jacob DNA who are alive and on the face of the earth (in that day) will be like the morning dew or showers on a blade of grass (paraphrased). This means they are widespread, very numerous and mixed well with the Gentiles. This part of Micah’s prophecy is true even as we write this commentary.
JIV: Verse 7 does not say or allude to the Christian church of believers. It is all about Israel and Israelites.
Micah 5:8 affirms verse 7… “And the remnant (those of Jacob’s DNA who are living when this prophecy reveals itself) of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep (who both tramples and tears in pieces if he passes through) and there is no one to snatch back.”
“Shall be among the nations; in the midst of many (different) peoples.” This references *Jacob’s descendants. Many people in the mix of nations and people today do not realize s/he is even of Jacob’s DNA. As ancestries are checked universally by science, this will be a huge revelation. Authorities will know (yadda) who is and who is not a remnant of Israelis. The world of antisemitism will not be apoplectic. This is not even so today. These DNA Israelis will not be able to run and hide other than to escape back to the land of their ancestors, ISRAEL, hoping for protection from the outside world. We may suggest this is or one of the tools used to “call his (God’s) people home.” They were not scattered throughout the world by choice, mostly by force. Why not consider that they will be returned in a similar manner? All through scripture, God had to force the hand of his chosen. Modern DNA records may just be the ultimate delivery and fulfillment of the beginnings of the Millennial Kingdom.
*We do not know other than by speculation if descendants of Jacob includes Samaritan types…mixed offspring.
For one of the few times in scripture, Israel and Israelis are described as a lion instead of sheep being led to slaughter or under the shepherd’s staff.
Micah 5:9 underscores Israel being the lion.Your hands shall be high above your foes, and all your enemies shall be cut off. Take this for precisely what it states. Israelis come out on top when Jesus sits on the Throne of David in Jerusalem. Let’s not forget that he will rule with a scepter or rod of iron [Revelation 2:27]. We explained this in our Revelation narrative commentary in ahabiblemoments. Briefly put, the word “rod” in Revelation is translated from the word shepherd. It can also be symbolic of authority. Jesus will rule with full authority on earth. Satan is bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. At this time sin or rejecting the leadership in Jerusalem is a personal decision with no influence of Satan or his minions.
Micah 5:10 shifts identities to the pagan Gentile world. Once again as we have pointed out many times in ahabiblemoments narrative commentaries we read “in that day.” Strong (H3117) puts it this way: a space of time defined by an associated term. The Millennial Reign is certainly a space in time (1,000 years) and it is associated with Jesus ruling the world from Jerusalem.
The rest of verse 10 explains that the means of war will then be eliminated. It will be a fulfillment of Micah 4:3, Psalm 46:9, John 16:8-11, etc.
All man-made strongholds will be destroyed. This includes missiles, war ships, space artillery…any form of weaponry.
Soothsayers will be no more. This includes all false doctrine, religions, fake and false news.
Every decision will be a personal choice meaning wrong may still happen in one’s heart.
This must be so since Satan, once released from his 1,000 year bondage, will recruit a human military force to go up against Jesus in Jerusalem.
The works of human hands will no longer be of any significance.
Dominant cities will be no more. No UN is another way of translating verse 14.
Most Bible translations state the destruction of cities. God is not going to leave or assign mankind to a wilderness during his Millennial reign. He will bring to naught then remove cities and nations. Goodbye UN. No longer needed!
Those who fight against God once Satan is released from the bottomless pit, will suffer His judgement. [Romans 2:6]
According to the NKJV, a much-improved translation over the KJV, chapter 5 of Micah is divided into two parts.
A ruler to be born in Bethlehem: two subsections:
A remnant to be delivered
It would be nice if Micah 5 was so simple, but it is not. One can conclude without reading the text of this short chapter in Micah by simply reading the subtitles. This may be fine for a speed reader trying to read through the Bible in a specific period-of-time, but it is not something a student of the Bible should do possibly drawing unsupported conclusions.
Example: In Micah 5:1 who is the daughter? Who are the troops? What judge will block a blow from a rod with his cheek? Who is the “HE” who has laid siege against us? As do most bible-reading people, we read right past this due to the difficulty of understanding this very first verse. If a reader has difficulty in verse one, s/he is not alone. Commentators do not agree either. Several main-line commentaries simply avoid the details of verse one. We will teach but you will need to decide.
Micah 5:1 Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops; He has laid siege against us; They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.
..gather yourself in troops: There are only 9 uses of this word gaw-dad (troops) in the Bible [Strong: H1814]. It can mean either to crowd together as in an assembly or (something a bit more difficult to understand) to gash or cut sleeves. When one compares it to Strong H1461 we can understand it to mean to roll up one’s sleeves and dig in. It is a warning or signal to get prepared for the challenge. The challenge according to most if not all of Micah’s prophesies is to a future event or events. Let’s “troop/gaw-dad” rolling up our sleeves and dig in.
O’ daughter of troops: Most troops of Israel-past gathered in (mother) Jerusalem to prepare for war or the defense of this city. With this being a prophetic passage, it is a gathering yet to happen. Jerusalem will be conquered multiple times prior to Jesus leading that final battle…from a future New Kingdom and New Jerusalem. “O’ daughter” means a future event just as offspring (daughters) are the future. In this case it is specific. Be prepared for a time yet-to-come.
He has laid siege against ‘us’: Micah is talking past and future tense. Who is the “he” who lays siege? This takes us back to Genesis. Satan and Eve are next to the tree of right and wrong. She takes and eats the forbidden fruit. Genesis 3:15 says And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel (NKJV) Obviously, a serpent with a crushed head is no longer capable of doing anything. Satan has battled to deceive, subtly lead astray, compromise a Godly stance, and to destroy God’s chosen and God created man. A siege is a time-consuming event. Satan since creation has laid siege to all mankind and is focused on Israel as God’s chosen. His siege has not terminated. It is ongoing today. Micah is prophesying to Israel. In End Time this battle will be over Jerusalem and Israel.
[They] Shall strike the cheek of the judge… Here is where many commentaries do not agree or, totally avoid any attempt at expanding on this statement. We begin explaining this passage by asking, is there to be but one judge of Israel that THEY will strike? Note the plural “they”. There are many who strike the cheek of the judge but only one judge. Some commentaries compare this to the treatment Jesus received prior to his crucifixion. Take note of the use of the word “rod” in Micah appears to conflict with the crucifixion passages found in Matthew 26:67, Luke 22:64 and John 18:22: they (those under the authority of the High Priest) struck Jesus in the face…with their fists and the palm of their hands. The “they” is those standing in judgement of Jesus who is in front of the High Priest of Israel. BUT… He was struck by soldiers in a similar manner when in front of his gentile Roman judge Pontius Pilate while in the governor’s headquarters. The word rod (reed) is used. Same crucifixion scene but two different “they” crowds. Duel implication: The civil government PLUS the civil religious establishment.
A ruler born in Bethlehem
Jesus is the obvious in this passage, but he never ruled during his 30 plus years on earth. This makes the entire passage in Micah a prophecy of a future event. King David was born in Bethlehem and he ruled over Israel. Elimelech, the husband of Naomi (Ruth 1:1 & 2) was born in Bethlehem. When Rachel died according to Genesis 35, she was buried near Bethlehem but then she was not a ruler.
Micah 5:2 could be argued that the person identified by Micah 5:1 is David, son of Jesse, King of Israel. That would take Micah 5:2 out of context. The last sentence in Micah 5:23 reads: [NKJV] “…Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” This is someone who had no beginning…from everlasting. David may be argued as from of old but he certainly wasn’t from everlasting. Scripture study should never be made to be what one wants it to mean but what it does mean. To make scripture be what one wants it to be is why there are so many denominations identified as Christian. Let’s keep this passage honest. King David had died many years before Micah was even born.
Micah is better understood when one reads Isaiah at the same time as one reads Micah. Isaiah was a contemporary of Micah. They prophesied at the same time.
Micah 5:3 [NKJV] “Therefore He shall give them up, Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; Then the remnant of His brethren Shall return to the children of Israel.” Who is the “HE” in this verse? This is God. He tries one more time during the Time of the Gentiles, Daniel’s 69th week, to be their Lord. Does he actually “give them (Israel) up?” YES! He left hundreds of thousands of the Kingdom of Judah in Babylon after Cyrus writes a decree, by request of Daniel, to release all captives (Ezra 1). This is something Micah is prophesying will soon happen to Judah. Until the return of Jesus as King of Kings, no one else will sit on the throne of Israel/Judah. God has given them up to their own ways and will. It will remain that way up to the end of Jacob’s Trouble as written in Jeremiah 30:7. At the time of the analogous “given birth” Israelis are not united. Then as Micah puts it, Jesus “shall return to the children of Israel” along with the rest of the DNA of Jacob. Might we add that Israel, their *Promised land, will also be returned to them.
*Israel’s Promised land far exceeds what they ever occupied prior to End Time Jacob’s trouble.
Micah 5:4 helps one to understand the narrative commentary in the previous paragraph. Let us take a pause and clear the understanding of the “HE” mentioned in Micah. In Exodus 3:14 God tells Moses he is “I AM who I AM” (“Ehyeh asher Ehyeh”). From this we get YWHW. This is what Moses was to tell the Israelis being held captive in Egypt if they asked who sent him to be their leader. In the New Testament Jesus also identifies himself as the “I AM.” John 8:58 is the best example of this. Jesus states that he is the “I Am.” Now we know God and Jesus are both the “I AM.” They are one and the same: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
“He shall be great to the ends of the earth.” Jesus, ruling from Jerusalem, will be known in every heart in every land. We could elaborate of this principle but have already done so in other narrative commentaries in ahabiblemoments.
Micah 5:5 ends the section identified in the NKJV as “a ruler born in Bethlehem.” “And this man shall be the peace…” This again takes us back to the Bethlehem scene and the birth of Jesus. The angels on high proclaimed him (Jesus) to be the peace on earth. There was no peace on earth then or now. Not be until Christ returns (2nd Advent). He will rule the world while Satan is held in utter darkness, bound in chains with no ability to influence anyone or anything for 1,000 years. During the Millennial Reign no one can say in his or her defense: The devil made me do it. We will truly be left to our own choices.
Jeremiah26:17-19 describes how a hundred years later, the impact of Micah had was remembered in the Kingdom of Judah: Then certain of the elders of the land rose up and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying: “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest.”‘ Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah ever put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and seek the Lord’s favor? And the Lord relented concerning the doom which He had pronounced against them. But we are doing great evil against ourselves. Do we get this? No one to blame but our-self says Micah.
Micah’s life overlapped his prophetic years with the Kingdom of Israel and their destruction by the Assyrians in 722/721 B.C. We know from Jeremiah that this passage from the Book of Micah is targeting those within the Kingdom of Judah. Micah in his book speaks individually to citizens of the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel, sometimes as a group (the sons of Jacob).
Micah 4:1-5. In the last or latter days it shall come to pass, … — The first three verses in Micah are also found in Isaiah 2:2-4. Since Micah and Isaiah were contemporary, this should be no surprise that the two prophets knew and communicated with each other perhaps over their calling as prophets and as messengers from God to their own people of Israelis. Who originated this common passage found in both Isaiah and Micah? God inspired every word according to Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” It was God who made the in-common Isaiah and Micah statement. Let’s look a bit closer to what is said by Micah and Isaiah, concentrating a bit more on Micah. They prophesied at the same time in a Judah and Israel situation of a split nation; two separate kingdoms.
Micah 4:6 is truly prophetic. It is discussing End Time either at the onset of the Millennial Kingdom or during the Tribulation. Most likely at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.”In that day,” says the LORD, “I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted…”IN THAT DAY!
Once again, we are confronted with these incredible three words…in that day. We know that this is a future event yet to become a history-prophecy since verse 6 also states that those who were cast out (of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel) will be gathered back together. This has yet to happen at the writing of this narrative commentary. Who is the “I” in Micah 4:6? It is not Micah. It is God speaking to and through Micah. We find affirmation of this in verse 7. Who was cast out? Micah! Not his contemporary Isaiah even though both prophesied at the same time to their own people, the Israelites.
Micah 4:7the outcast will be made a strong NATION. Who else could this possibly be other than Israel? European, Far East, and American continent countries are not even hinted at. Even as we write, Israel is the strong nation sandwiched between Arab/Muslim nations and the Mediterranean Sea. There are multiple millions of Israelis (a people we often identify albeit incorrectly, as Jews) who have yet to be called home by God. Ezekiel 39:28 specifically states that “not one will be left scattered in the world.” Consider the gravity of this promise. NOT ONE Israelite will be left outside of the new Israel. Obviously in 2021 this is a work in progress. Millions of Israeli DNA still reside in the four corners of the earth.
Verse #7 continues using the NKJV: “So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, even forever.” This needs no explanation. The Lord will reign over them. From where? Heaven? This is not what Ezekiel tells us. He will reign over them in Mount Zion. This is in Israel just east of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is at times identified in scripture as the city of (in) Zion. FROM NOW ON EVEN FOREVER.
Micah 4:8 is not referencing a flock of sheep. Micah is using a metaphor identifying the flock of Israelites God chose as HIS elect to shepherd as sheep themselves. The “tower” identified in verse 8 references a shepherding practice back then. With a large flock of sheep, shepherds might build a tower. A tower that is high enough to give them a better view of their flock and potential predators. God is saying the same thing. He will shepherd his people from the tower or high viewpoint of Mount Zion. Again, this is a metaphor. God/Jesus does not require a high place to watch over anything (Zechariah 14:10).
“…To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.” The former dominion is the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob… a permanent Promised Land. This “prophetic Promised Land” will be the daughter of the former ISRAEL in Bible times. It will be bigger and better; reigned over by Jesus himself. We have discussed in previous commentary the boundaries and borders of the New Promised Lands of Israel. 1,500 Strada by 1,500 Strada – 1,200 miles square. This is larger than India.
Micah 4:8 again uses the words “daughter of.” First it is a daughter of a future Israeli Kingdom. In verse 8 it is the “daughter of Zion” and the city of Jerusalem. We should note that the Tribes of Israel (Jacob) will once again be one people. No longer, as Ezekiel states, will there be a divided nation of Israel; one that is two kingdoms. Judah and Israel will be reunited, and their borders will, in that day, far exceed what was ever accomplished or dreamed of before.
Micah 4:9 might appear a bit out of step with verses 10 and 11. Micah calls the question in verse 9, why do you cry out as in pain? Commentaries vary in explaining verses 10 and 11. We see this as a single thought. A woman awaiting the birth of her new-born daughter or son will often cry out in her labor. It is traumatic. However, how quickly that pain or the thought of it subsides when the new child (in this section of Micah, a symbolic daughter) is born. However, in verse 10 Micah proclaims, it will “Be in Pain.” This is the Tribulation time IN THAT DAY.
Micah 4:10 Why be in pain? These Judeans and the remnants of the ten northern tribes of Israel who fled to Judah over a hundred years earlier, will certainly be in great pain of captivity by the Babylonians. Even those not within the cities but in the open fields will be uprooted from their homes, villages, cities, and their beloved Kingdom of Judah. They will be marched a long distance to Babylon or die in their travels. Daniel? Shadrach? Meshach? Abednego? As a woman giving birth to a child, once these labor pains are over, a fresh new life will be in their hands… the daughter city of King David’s original Jerusalem. In That Day.
Let us not get ahead of our thinking and conclusions. Micah identifies Babylon as from where they will initially be freed. Redeemed, as in paid for, is not what happened after Judah’s 70-year captivity in Babylon. They were not redeemed but once again freed. This is all about End Time redemption. Israel will once again be under great (labor) pains (Jeremiah 30:7) as even today UN nations align themselves against her. Jerusalem will suffer great losses. Israelis will need to flee to the mountains, deserts, and the former mountain area of the Edomites. Isaiah 13, Ezekiel 37, Matthew 24, Jeremiah 30 all speak to this prophecy.
Micah 4:11 identifies that this condemnation, then reprieve, is not limited prophetically to Babylon but also to a global event yet to happen. Jews in the United States are by far the majority of religious-based victims. Anti-Semitism is spreading globally amongst people and nations.
“And now, gathered against thee have been many nations, who are saying: `Let her be defiled, and our eyes look on Zion.’” This is a gathering of armies from all nations aligning themselves for the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel as a sovereign nation. Look at this from a spiritual viewpoint. Satan has fought against and tried to destroy everything God has created. He has a particular desire to destroy God’s chosen people of Israel. His target is all humanity whether one follows Jesus Christ or not. New Testament scripture tells us that God wishes all to be saved. Satan wishes just the opposite…that none will be saved.
This battle is not against flesh and blood, but the powers of Satan (Ephesians 6:12). This gathering against Israel in End Time is Satan trying to take down the people God identified through Abraham as his elect, his chosen, HIS people. Such a battle in and around Jerusalem in End Time will not make Satan the winner. The slaughter of the invading national armies will be great. Satan’s goal is to prevent any of the people of the world from entering into the Kingdom of Heaven. His time is limited in a history yet to be lived. He knows the end, his end, is in sight. He only wishes to take as many with him into the Lake of Fire as possible. He knows it is over for him.
Micah 4:12 “But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor”. The “THEY” referred to here is those who descend from the 12 Tribes of Israel (Jacob).
Micah 4:13 “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; For I will make your horn iron, And I will make your hooves bronze; You shall beat in pieces many peoples; I will consecrate their gain to the LORD, And their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.”
It is ill indeed with a people when their leaders cause them to err. This should be the subtitle of this chapter. Many most leaders in this world need this tattooed on their forearm. It should be posted on the wall of each leader’s office. When should a believer stand up and protest an edict given to them by “leaders” then refuse to participate? The correct solution is follow God’s Word.
Joseph Benson states…[Leaders] who speak smooth things, and promise peace and prosperity to the people, while they are bringing destruction upon them.” Destruction comes in many forms. Economic, social, political, personal, and forbid it but in worship edicts. This also includes Bible subject matter church leaders will not challenge due to social and political correctness versus the Bible. Horrors!
Micah 3:1 There is a shift in chapter three many may fail to see. Micah has been talking, writing, and prophesying to a general Hebrew (Israelite) population. Now he is focused on the leadership in both the northern and southern Kingdoms of Israel and Judah; “heads of Jacob and the rulers of the house of Israel.” This is the cost of leadership. S/he is representing their flock or constituents and should (will) be held accountable. God will judge. THERE is a guarantee; no one will be discriminated against or excused.
David Guzik puts verse 2 in Micah 3 into its proper perspective. “’You who hate good and love evil’: If this description isn’t bad enough, Micah goes on to illustrate how terribly the leaders of Israel and Judah ‘use’ the people – as if they were cannibals feasting on the people of God” [emphasis mine]. This is true in the United States at the time of writing this commentary. It is also true throughout the world. USA does not have a corner on that market. Another way of stating You who hate good and love evil is to say, ‘one hates honesty as it may infringe but their life and practice of deception’.
Micah 3:3 is a total metaphor. It is a continuation of the focus and accusation Micah makes in verse 2. There is no regard for the welfare of any people outside of the inner circles of the influential and prosperous be they political or religious leaders. Does this tinge of our leaders in 2021? Is this not the same path and direction this world is heading? Leaders of Israel AND Judah in the time of Micah are ripe on the vine of “what’s in it for me”. The consequences of this type of thinking are explained in the next verse. It is not farfetched to say what was consequential back in the time of Micah is true today and getting worse.
Micah 3:4 Who are the “THEN THEY” that opens verse 4? It is the leadership of both Israel and Judah. We found over 60 verses regarding judgment in the New Testament even though Micah is Old Testament. One verse that is basic but covers it well is found in I Peter 4:17…[NKJV] For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? This needs little explanation. Many will deny this as a possibility, just as did those within earshot of Micah’s prophesying, but that will not make judgement go away. It didn’t then and won’t in our End Time judgement at both the Bema Seat judgement [I Corinthians 3:10-15] and the Great White Throne judgments [Revelation 20:11-15].
The leadership will cry for mercy, but God will NOT listen. One might say “That isn’t fair?” Let us at Aha Bible Moments remind all that God is love but we leave out the word that comes before the word love…He is Just(ice) Love. James 4:12 makes this quite clear… “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” [NIV]
Micah 3:5 has a startling 5 words we tend to read through and past… ”who make my people stray (err)” Has the reader of this commentary contemplated the words in this passage “MY PEOPLE”. If one is not a follower of God/Jesus, is s/he a part of the MY PEOPLE? We teach – You decide but anyone who is not a follower of Christ is already astray.
NOTE: The verse reading “prophet leading others astray.” The word for prophet in this verse is nâbı̂y’ (naw-bee’). It generally translates as one who is inspired and committed to a cause, just or unjust. The Hebrew for a prophet, as most may think it, is nâba’, not nâbı̂y’. The latter means those called of God to foretell.
Micah 3:6 We need to add a bit of insight per this verse:
[NKJV] “Therefore you shall have night without vision, And you shall have *darkness [NKJV: dark] without divination; The sun shall go down on the prophets, And the day shall be dark for them. *The KJV says “…it shall be dark unto you.” The word dark is used twice but their meanings are different. The first use means to withhold light (insight) or to be dimmed (in understanding; 2 Timothy 3:7). The second use of dark means to mourn or to be ashy or dark in color. The latter implicates something is now difficult that once was not. It is a moment in time.
KJV on verse 6: “darkness without divination.” Simply put, leaders in all realms of life, on this day in time, soothsayers (false leaders) will have no insight and not know what to do to handle situations around them and in their own lives.This is true today of some who stand behind pulpits.
Micah 3:7 The Geneva Commentary is excellent in explaining verse 7. When God will reveal them to the world, they will be afraid to speak; for all will know that they were but false *prophets, and did give a false notion of the word of God. We hastened to add to this per the Hebrew use of the word prophet, seers, diviners in this verse. This includes the final 3½ years of the Tribulation. There will be such a lack of understanding the blind will lead the blind [Matthew 15:14].
Micah 3:8 It should be obvious that the elephant in the room is all Israelis. Micah declares himself as “full of the Spirit of the Lord”. He speaks again of the house of Jacob, that means all Israelis, the break away tribes of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah. He repeats this identity in verse 9. Do not be deceived by those who wish to include the church of born-again Christians in this Book of Micah. Micah repeats the identities so often one must be totally without eyesight to not take note. Israel and Israelis!
(V8a) “But truly I [Micah speaking] am…” This word “truly” in the Hebrew means “on the contrary.” Contrary to what or who? Contrary to what Micah has conveyed in chapter 3 up to verse 8. He is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so helps him God!
In Micah 3:9 he says it again. He identifies the target market of his prophecies. Israel and all Israelis!
Micah 3:10 Zion is a mountain area within and around Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the people of all Israel. Sometimes readers confuse the two, Zion and Jerusalem, or interchange their meaning. He is specifically speaking of a territory and a people.
Micah 3:11 (11b) “Is not the lord among us? No harm can come upon us.” This truly is hypocrisy at its best/worse. As states in other passages of the Old Testament, Israel is hiding behind the Temple of God. As pointed out in our narrative commentary on Jeremiah, verse 7:4, “Don’t fool yourselves! My temple is here in Jerusalem, but that doesn’t mean I will protect you. [CEV].
Please note: We do not often quote from the CContemporary EEnglish Version, and it is not our recommended primary Bible resource, but in this setting, it says it well. Even in the End of Time, church pew dwellers will shout, “we have attended church some, most, or all of our lives. Why are we in court at the Great White Throne Judgment Seat?” They will try to hide behind the church (as in building called a church. Israelis call it their Temple) not understanding the New Testament identity of the church is a body of individual believers.
Allow us to conclude Micah 3 by quoting from David Guzik’s commentary:
“The great thing about the Prophet Micah was that he was listened to. Hosea was ignored, and so was Amos. They threw Jeremiah in jail for his prophetic message of coming judgment. In contrast, King Hezekiah and the leadership of Judah listened to the Prophet Micah.” Did you get this? Judah responded to Micah correctly, but the Northern Kingdom of Israel did NOT! Less than 20 years after this point in time, the ten northern Tribe of Israelis fell to the evil, demoralizing, and heinous Assyrians (722 B.C.).
JIV: As we mentioned before, is it any wonder Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria? God was giving them one more chance. They took advantage of it in the time of Jonah and were temporarily kept from divine intervention. But their confessions did not last long.
JIV Insight: In the midst of Micah’s life, before and after, is the life of the Prophet Isaiah. The chronology of the books in the Bible do not suggest this, but it is true. Our next narrative commentary after Micah will be the Book of Nahum. He tells Nineveh of Assyria, Game Over!
Right from the start Micah points out that those of authority in Israel and Judah were taking advantage of their own people. Does the reader of this chapter’s narrative commentary think that today is bad times? Keep reading!
Micah 2:1 singles out those in Israel with authority who devise plans while in bed to gain possessions and wealth. At sunrise, they get up and proceed to fulfill their plans of gain. Against whom? Their own fellow Israelis.
“Woe to those who devise iniquity, And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand.”(NKJV)
This is not a people united. Class distinction is the norm. This may also be why, when speculating, the Northern Kingdom of Israel, ten tribes in all, struggled to hold their own against Damascus (Syrian) aggression then finally their total defeat by the Assyrians. The kingdom of Israel was not a kingdom united. It was distinctly divided by class warfare. The military was comprised mostly of the lower-class citizenry. Why other than for their own lives would they fight to protect the upper class who leveraged them? They wouldn’t!
Micah 2:3 & 4 explain what was coveted by those who dreamed and planned how to gain wealth and possession while still in their beds.
JIV: The upper class during this time did not require their sons to fight in Israel’s military. Just as did King David gain Bathsheba, it was a simple thing to have the lower-class men killed off in wars and battles then take their lands and possessions for their own.
This is an aside from our Micah study but points out the value of knowing names mentioned in the Bible. Look at the names in the line of Shem then think about Bible characters. Of course, Shem had two brothers with descendants but today’s world population came from the sons of Noah and perhaps even Noah when he settled lands after the flood. Our point? Micah and all that he is discussing are from the line of Noah. Let’s not forget!
Verse five in the last sentence we read: “FOR THIS IS AN EVIL TIME.” We think of today as being evil, well Micah points out the evil of this time in the Kingdom of Israel and in the Kingdom of Judah. [For comparison read Jeremiah 1:15]
JIV NOTE: Verse five has some fascinating implications of the End Time antichrist. It reads in the NKJV:
“In that day one shall take up a proverb against you, And lament with a bitter lamentation, saying: ‘We are utterly destroyed! He has changed the heritage of my people; How He has removed it from me! To a turncoat He has divided our fields.’ “
How easy it is to read right past or through this verse without making any connections. We teach but YOU must decide. “IN THAT DAY” is a phrase we have discussed in previous commentary articles. These three words, In That Day, as Micah writes, is a reference to both the pending invasion of the Assyrians and the second 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. It is a parallel prophecy and about Israel, not Washington D.C., London, Berlin, or Moscow. One shall take up a proverb (truism) against you. So many commentaries walk right past the truisms of parallel prophecies. This is one of them. Who is the “He” in this verse? Be mindful that both the original YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) and the New King James Versions are as close to the original text as we can get using the English language. Both capitalize the “H” in He. Other translations often miss this in the Hebrew and write it as a common “he”. This is easily missed since there are no upper and lower-case distinctions in Hebrew other than proper names, places, and things which we assume in English.
In this verse it is He. In short, we read in Daniel 11:37 (see our commentary on Daniel) He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all [note the correct use of the upper and lower case “G”]. We explained in our Daniel commentary that the one who deceives Israel into a 7-year pact of protection will be one of their own. A leader in his own rights but one with whom Israel will sign a peace agreement of 7 years only to be betrayed at the 3 ½ year mark of that agreement. Just as is true of the Muslims and true to character of Orthodox Jews, an outsider is not to ever be trusted. It must be one of their own.
“They will be utterly destroyed.” The Bible tells us that 2/3rds of Jerusalem will be destroyed by invading (Assyrians) then and later by end time global armies. This final drastic design is needed for Israelis to decisively realize that Jesus is their Messiah. Prophetically they are painted into a corner with no chance to get out. This was true of the invading Assyrians and will be true when 200,000,000 armed forces line up against them in Megiddo [Revelation 9:13-21].
He has changed the heritage of my people. This is a direct result of the ten lost Tribes of Israel. Millions of DNA Israelis no longer realize their original heritage. Scattered to the four corners of the world they have long forgotten their roots.
Micah 2:5 There is no longer a member of God’s prophetic line and leadership in Israel. The judgment of Israel will be the final judgement of God’s people in end time. The loss of possessions and land first occurred when the Assyrians destroyed then expelled them in 722 B.C. PS: At this dispersion, Idumeans (Esau) came in and occupied the empty cities.
Micah 2:6 [NKJV] “Do not prattle.” Micah is pointed in how the people to whom he is “preaching” look at his words. Nothing but prattle. It appears that this ends most if not all direct prophecy to the northern kingdom Israel. Micah states…”so they shall not prophecy to you…” He means the prophets of God shall no longer prophecy to them. It is only a few years later during the life of Micah, Israel falls to the ruthless captivity and dispersion by the evil and without mercy Assyrians. They are no longer a people in common.
Micah 2:7 is well stated by the Joseph Benson Commentary… “Certainly, both God’s laws, and the words delivered by his prophets, would do you great and lasting good if you would obey them.” (emphasis “IF” is mine). This cold still true today of the believer’s church and Israel.
F.B. Meyer Commentary explains Micah 2:8 this way.
His [Jehovah] words would still comfort humble souls. But the cruelty of men who despoiled their poor neighbors, not only of their ornaments but of the tunic covering their skin, would bring disaster upon the entire nation. [emphasis mine] The house of Jacob is true clarity as to whom Micah is prophesying. But be certain there is overlap. The Kingdom of Judah is also of the house of Jacob. The Book of Amos, a few years earlier, points out the guilt of Judah some 150 years later, that that their sins are seen by Jehovah-God as even greater than the dispersed northern Kingdom of Israel.
Micah 2:9 reverts back to earlier commentary comments on this chapter. The rich got richer by scheming while even in their beds. Women (Israeli) were cast out of their own homes by those in authority. This means the blessings of God to even the poorer of the kingdom have been *removed by being cast out of their own “pleasant” homes. Their children no longer have an inheritance. (see NOTE)
*NOTE: In the year of Jubilee all possessions were to be returned to their original owners and debt cancelled. This is every 50 years during Jubilee.
Micah 2:10 is reminiscent of sowing a bad seed and reaping its harvest. This was the basis of God’s judgment upon the lands of the Canaanites. Remember that the Canaanites also descended from Noah and should have known well their forefather’s (Noah) God Jehovah. God judged them when Joshua removed them from Canaan. Micah is telling the people of the Northern Kingdom that it will be likewise for them. The Canaanites did not regain their lands and neither did the people of Samaria (Northern Kingdom of Israel). Israel will regain their Promised Lands at the 2nd advent of Jesus.
Micah 2:11 is a warning by analysis. It reminds us of verse 6 and the prattler declaration of those who refused Micah’s message to them. “If a man should walk in a false spirit And speak a lie, saying, ‘I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,’ Even he would be the prattler of this people.” In other words, Micah is throwing it back in the face of his opposition, a rebuke one might conclude. A false-spirit wolf-in-sheep clothing. The false prophet may look innocent but was and will be guilty of deceiving and lying. They are not prophets of God but a people whispering good things in the ears of the blinded in bad times. Ignore the sins of this kingdom and its leadership and peoples own judgment will go away. Today we simply call it wishful thinking. It might be better identified as hopeless self-deception.
Praise God for Micah 2:12. Israelis are told that there will be a time when [both] Judah and Israel will once again be one people. “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob…” Note Micah uses the term ‘Jacob’. This means all 12 tribes. They will once again be assembled as a single flock of sheep. Take note of these words in verse 12… They shall make a loud noise because of so many people. This gathering will be enormous. The Hebrew word for noise is hûm. So the reader understands, this is not simply a loud noise of rejoicing or celebrating. The word hûmmeans a noise that annoys and greatly agitates. The world of anti-God Gentiles will be agitated at the success and gathering of Israelis back to Israel/Jerusalem. This is becoming true today even as this narrative commentary is being written.
Micah 2:13 is an even greater aha moment and PTL; a history soon to be today. In part C of this verse it reads in the NKJV…”and their king will pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.” We at Ahabiblemoments suggest that the gate they will pass through according to verse 13 is the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem. It was bricked shut by the Turks in 1530 A.D. to prevent Jesus from entering through it. This is a picture of that exact gate. It is called the Golden Gate of Jerusalem. Isn’t it actually a testimony to the reality of something if one wants to deny CHRIST but builds a barrier to prevent him from entering and leaving Jerusalem?
Contrary to some prophets like Jonah, Micah gives us an anchor in history in which we can identify h1im. The first verse in Micah states – in part:
“The Word of Jehovah that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah…” [NKJV]
There are several men named Micah mentioned in the Bible. Micah the Prophet gives his identity by including his place of origin…Moresheth. Moresheth, also known as Moreseth-Gath, was a town of the tribe of Judah in ancient Israel. This puts him in the Kingdom of Judah. He also timestamps his prophetic career by identifying who sat on the throne in Judah during his time as a prophet; Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Three different kings. Our previous commentary study of Jonah was just the opposite. He tells us of his experience with Assyria, Nineveh and God, but says little else to help us put an identity or time stamp to him.
Interestingly, Micah came from near Tekoa, Judah. Tekoa is from where Amos originated. Isaiah was also a contemporary of Micah. Hosea came from Bethel and prophesied to the Kingdom of Israel just north of Moresheth. All four were 8th century B.C. prophets.
Micah 1:1 tells us that he saw “The Word of Jehovah” regarding Jerusalem and Samaria. He sees their past, present and their future state of being. The map to the right includes Moreseth-Gad and Moreseth.
We do not know, other than by speculation, from which of these two villages Micah came. We do know he was from the rural area of Judah but both Moreseth-Gad and Moreseth are rural areas in northern Judah.
One may ask why so many prophets to the Israelis all clustered in the 8th century B.C. The answer is God’s patients by then is running short. It was in the latter part of the 8th century B.C. [722 B.C.] that the Assyrians destroyed and exiled all residents of the Kingdom of Israel. 120 years later, Judah fell to the Babylonians. Yes, time was running out for Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israelites.
Prosperity is sometimes a key to a nation or kingdom’s fall away from God. Keith Greer puts I this way.
King Uzziah [of Judah] had brought a high degree of prosperity to Judah. Something they had not enjoyed since the days of Solomon. Yet, with this also came the mindset to forget who made it all possible. Jotham was a good man who followed the path of his father, 2 Kings 15:32-38. Ahaz, was the opposite and the pinnacle of wickedness. He followed the examples of other kings to lead God’s people into idolatry, 2 Kings 16:1-20. Hezekiah was an exceptionally good king. He did God’s commands and issued many reforms during his reign, 2 Kings 18-20. He commanded many reforms during his reign [2 Kings 18-20].
Micah 1:2 states that God himself is a witness against *Jerusalem and *Samaria; for all that matters, at th White Throne Judgement this included earth and mankind. Micah envisions the Lord God soon descending from his heavenly realm to his creation of earth. What a declaration of the return of God to earth. This will be the 2nd advent or coming of Jesus the Messiah. So, what occurs when this coming happens?
*Jerusalem is the capital of Judah. Samaria is the capital of the northern kingdom, Israel.
Micah 1:3 “For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place; He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth” [NJV]. Coming out of his place? Micah is foretelling the future time when God will leave heaven and reclaim earth as part of his kingdom with direct rule. We call it the Millennial Reign. There will be no doubt that God is present on earth at that time. (V3) He, meaning God, will come down from his place in heaven, mountains will melt, valleys will split like wax before a fire (heat); verse 4. But the next verse should dispel questions about the end time Tribulation being Israel, not the church…
Micah 1:5 states “the transgression of Jacob and the sins of the house of Israel.” There is not even a hint of the church being judged or involved at this time. This verse only mentions Jacob and the house of Israel. God in Jesus is not coming back again and again. This is the 2nd advent of Christ; the end of time as we understand it as created back in Genesis 1:5. Has not the corporate church itself sinned? Why are there so many religions and denominations if the church is united under Christ? Not! This is all about God’s chosen, his elect, his light that never shined on the hillside, i.e. Israelis.
The next several verses describe the “what” as in what will happen upon the return of God to exercise his authority over HIS creation. Verse 8 is amazing. It is very definitive and descriptive but the original KJV reads somewhat differently than does the NKJV. The King James uses the word “dragon.” This can draw speculative interpretations. Tannah, as translated dragon in the KJV, is the Hebrew for a female jackal. “I will make a wailing like a dragon (a female jackel)” (KJV). This translation is corrected in the more accurate and recent NKJV.
This ‘wailing’ in verse 5 is amazingly close to what happened to the Northern Kingdom of Israelis when the Assyrians captured and dispersed them in 722 B.C. The hideousness of the Assyrian treatment of the ten northern tribes of Israel verges on unthinkable. They were stripped naked, marched for days and weeks bare foot, left without covering in the cold of the night, left for dead if they could not keep up with the main group being removed from their homelands, abused at the pleasure of the Assyrian soldiers. Is it any wonder why, before the 722 B.C. dispersion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, Jonah did NOT want the Assyrian capital of Nineveh to repent? Ninevites were Assyrians with the reputation as just described. It is probable, although we are not told, that Jonah was contemporary with Micah and the aforementioned prophets as 8th century B.C. prophets.
Micah 1:9 is a conclusion of God.” …her wound is incurable.” Over hundreds of years, God’s chosen people of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob could not stay faithful to God’s selection as a specific chosen people with a God-promise (covenant). A people personally selected by God to be an example and light unto the world. Jeremiah 8:22 is similar in description of an incurable wound. JIV NOTE: Selected does not mean elect.
Micah 1:9 specifically identifies the leadership and citizenry of the Kingdom of Judah being in the same shape as is their northern cousins. Judah’s demise came 120 years later at the hands of the Babylonians (607, 589 & 587 B.C). The difference? These Judeans were captured, not dispersed and then for only 70 years. After 70 years Daniel reminded the King of Babylon/Persia of God’s instructions. He then allowed the Jews to return. Oddly, only a few returned. Those who did return became the progenitors of those we read about in the New Testament.
Micah 1:10 There were five Philistine cities that bordered Israel/Judah at this time. Gath is mentioned but Micah means it to represent the Philistines next door to them. Today we know the descendants of these “next door neighbors” as Palestinians in Gaza. In the time of Joshua and the dividing of the Promised Land, The Tribe of Dan was to conquer and remove these people. They did not do it. In the time of Micah, the 700’s B.C., some 700 years after those released from Egypt captivity entered and conquered some of the Promised Land. The forever enemies of Israel still exist RIGHT NEXT DOOR to modern day Israel. Micah knew that the Palestinians would dance in the streets to see another catastrophe in Israel. Any Israeli weeping and wailing would be enough to get the dance tune going in the land of the Philistines, today’s self-proclaimed Palestinians.
NOTE: Palestinians and the PLO did not exist with this identity until the 1960’s.
The House of Aphrah [v10] takes God’s command to a personal level. First it is Gath, a location, a people who would rejoice in the misery imposed upon the Kingdom and people of Israel. Then, it gets very personal when told what to do at the household level in Israel. Weep [in private] and roll in the dust of the homeland lest you (Israel) weep and roll in the dust of captivity with the unbelievable cruelty practiced by the Assyrians [impaling, hamstringing, or flaying their enemies as well as leading captives away with hooks in their noses and lips].
Micah 1:11 *Saphir [Shaphir?], Bethezel, and Zaanan, are three Palestinian cities. It is important to keep in mind that a Palestinian city does not always mean a Philistine city. Palestine is the entirety of what we know today as Israel and some bordering territories. News broadcast today have confused, be it in ignorance or deliberate. Palestine today is distinct from Israel. The lands of Canaan were synonymous with Palestine. Palestine is derived from the name Canaan. Rome changed the identity of Israel to Palestine. This was around 72 B.C. soon after Rome destroyed the Jerusalem temple (70 B.C.). This is also when the Romans dispersed the remaining people of the remnant of Israel (Judah) to the hinterlands of the known and unknown world. Hundreds of thousands ended up in what eventually became known as Spain: aka the Iberian Peninsula. P.S; Eber was the great-grandson of Noah’s son Shem. Eber? Iber?
*S[h]aphir and Zaanan are sometime synonymous with each other.
Micah 1:12 mentions a place called Maroth. It is the only time in the entire Bible it is mentioned by name. It means “bitter springs.” We do not have any archeological evidence of its location in history. The rest of this prophetic history is Judean judgement. This means they will no longer follow God, not as if they had been, and will no longer be a kingdom or nation unto themselves. At least not until 1948 A.D.
The following chart highlights the time-period of the Prophet Micah according to his own words in Micha 1:1. The total years these three kings ruled over Judah is well over 60 years; 66 years to be exact. We can deduce from this that Micah started his prophetic years sometime during King Jotham, through the reign of King Ahaz, and finished or died sometime during the reign of King Hezekiah. Ahaz is considered a bad king of Judah. He was not in the will of HaShem; G-d, and did evil in God’s eyes.
Note if you will, this list of kings over Judah were all related descending from King David from the Tribe of Judah.
Micah came from Moresheth sometimes spelled Moresheh. It is west south-west of Bethlehem inside the borders of the Kingdom of Judah. His prophecy was to both the northern and southern kingdoms, primarily to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Note that since Israel to the north was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Micah’s prophecy years overlap the ruin and destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahaz, King of Judah..
We at aha bible moments suggest Micah 6:8 as the central message to Micah’s prophecy challenges.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” [NJKV]
Like Isaiah, Micah’s contemporary living about the same time, Micah admonished his people to return to God. He was especially descriptive of the ruling classes, who used their positions of power to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. Micah describes the sins of the people, and especially of their leaders and judges, “who make crooked all that is straight.” He has harsh words for the judges that can be bribed and the priests that can be hired, saying to themselves, “Evil cannot befall us.”
The following is an outline of the entire Book of Micah as presented by Bible Outlines on the Web. Keep it handy as we delve into our commentary studies of Micah. It will be a good study format, reminder, and insight as to where we will be going in our commentary articles.
Joel 3:9 The same phrase found in Joel 3:9 is found in Jeremiah 6:4. “prepare for war, arouse the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up.” This similarity is uncanny because the woe, judgement, is unto the invading armies in both Joel and Jeremiah passages. As we noted in the previous commentary (Joel 3a) The “hook” is set in the jaws of Israel’s enemies. They will come up from Megiddo to the Valley of Kidron (judgement) be it by hook-or-crook.
This is precisely what God desires. Israel must be totally dismayed at any possibility of victory. Sometimes this is referred to as being at the bottom of the barrel. Over the thousands of years since Abraham, Israelis have had an attitude; an attitude of “it is all about us. How can we lose. We are invincible.” It will take this extreme situation with no allies on the side of Israel (yes, that includes the USA) for them to finally accept that they have lived more for self than for God. Up to this point God has been their relief-valve. Once upon a time God removed obstacles or enemies out of their way yet they always returned to self. God wants the credit. He is sovereign. It is here that God finally convinces them that “then *they will know that I am their God, and they are my people.” (see Joel 3:17)
Joel 3:10Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-knives into spears; let the weak say, I am strong. The plowshares and pruning-knives are obvious. Not so when reading “let the weak say, I am strong.” Who are the weak and perhaps cowardly? This massive invasion of Israel and Jerusalem by global powers even the weak amongst them will volunteer to join the defense against this the invasion. The odds are so stacked against Jerusalem the weak, faint-hearted, and the normally cowards will join these invading forces. It will seem impossible to lose. This is also true of Israelis. They will think it impossible to win.
Once more we run the risk of a lack of understanding of a verse due to casual words. We too often fail to spend time looking up and understand the Hebrew and a word’s meaning. In our previous article [Joel 3a] we noted that what appears to be casual is all but that. As in Joel 3a we found out that haym (they will know) is an emphatic. At last, there will now remain no Israelite who doubts Jehovah-God.
Joel 3:12“Let the nations be awakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat. For there I will sit to judge all the nations all around.” [LITV] Direct your attention to the words “all” in this passage. The word “all” in this section of scripture is kolein the Hebrew. It means “without exception.” It is like one asking, what part of NO do you fail to understand. There will be no exceptions. [Malachi 4:1-3] In the ESV it reads “Let the nations stir themselves up.” This translation is good. Invading nations will have such confidence of bulldozing Israel and Jerusalem once and for all, it is the confidence of a varsity squad playing against their 6th graders. The 6th graders wouldn’t stand a chance. This talk by the enemies of Israel is why the “weak will say they are strong.” Strong? Yes! Their opposition is so weak there is no fear even in the hearts of the weak in the enemy forces…similar to mob psychology. Jump into the middle or backside of the fight because the big guys on your side will make a mess out of Israel.
JIV: It is possible that this is driven by Satan to wipe out huge populations of foreign nations like suicide by police. Even if Satan knows the outcome, he does not want God to have their souls. Get them killed while yet sinners without salvation.
Joel 3:13“Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great.” What harvest is Joel addressing in verse 13. The consequence of continued sin against God. Joel 3:13 is similar to world events in the time of Noah [Luke 17:26].
Joel 3:14multitudes, multitudes…The obvious is the vast horde of forces coming up against God and Jerusalem in the valley of decision (Jehosephat). By this time Satan has exhausted his warehouse of tools to displace God in heaven. Overwhelming forces should do the trick, thinks Satan. If not this, then the gathering of forces from all nations is an attempt to destroy all mankind.
JIV NOTE: Satan will be released after his 1,000 years of being bound by God. Somehow during the Millennial Reign of Christ multitudes and multitudes will rally to once again attack God, this time from his headquarters in Jerusalem. The difference in the final judgment may be that Satan will include the use of his own forces of fallen angels to assist in this final attack. “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea” [Revelation 20:7 & 8]. Such a verse should stagger us. How will it be possible for Satan to gather men from the four corners of the earth to fight God a second time? The thousand-year millennial reign will distinguish between the goats and the sheep [Matthew 25:32]. A new spirit has yet to be put into the hearts of men.
Ahamoment: In the Jewish Publication Society Bible, chapter 3 is chapter 4 in their bible. They subdivide chapter two into chapters 2 and 3.
How might we distinguish these as two different events in history? Joel 3:14b may offer good insight. “…for the day of the Lord is near” [ESV]. This means this initial confrontation with all nations against Jerusalem is not the final confrontation. The second confrontation is (JIV) Satan’s attempt to destroy God himself. Satan comes out to deceive the nations when in fact it is him who is deceived. He knows he cannot destroy God but if he can prove that after a thousand years of perfect justice there remain many of God’s creation who still want to reject him. Maybe, and just maybe thinks Satan, he can at least cast God out of the earth. The earth that once was Satan’s domain.
Now we have the theological issue of “is it the church or is it just Israelis?”
Joel 3:16 “The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth [both] quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel.”A stronghold to whom? To the people of Israel, not the church. We see that it will be the second coming of Christ when final judgement is given, Satan is condemned, his minions along with the anti-Christ and false prophet are tossed into the “lake” of fire. The church has been raptured so it is not on earth to be either condemned or to be a light onto the world.
In short, the time to which Joel refers is only near the time of the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is the end [of] time itself. This is after Satan is released for a short time to rally earthlings to do his bidding once again along with his minion of fallen angels and deceived.
Here is a quote from David Guzik’s commentary notes on Joel:
The idea of the “Valley of Decision” has been used in countless evangelistic meetings to show people that they stand in the “Valley of Decision,” and must decide for or against Jesus. Joel’s context is exactly the opposite. Man does indeed stand in the valley of decision, but it is God who does the deciding, not man. It is a valley of judgment – and we should decide for Jesus right now, so we never stand in this valley of decision. [italic emphasis mine]
Joel 3:17And you shall know that I am Jehovah your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be a holy thing, and aliens shall no more pass through her.
How can anyone read this verse and think it is about anything or anyone other than Jerusalem and the Israel? God dwelling in Zion; My Holy Mountain; Jerusalem shall be the holy thing; aliens will no longer pass through her. It is impossible other than to spiritualize this passage to include the church body of Christian believers who have been redeemed and raptured. We believers re-enter the scene when Christ returns in the clouds of the sky to do away with Satan once and forever. Now and only at this point do we get the New Heavens and the New Earth. This is not the time or the beginning of the Millennial Reign. It is at the end of it.
Joel 3:18-20 “And it shall be in that day, the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streams of Judah shall flow with waters. And a fountain shall come forth from the house of Jehovah, and it shall water the valley of Shittim. (v19) Egypt shall be a ruin, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, from violence done to the sons of Judah, whose innocent blood they poured out in their land. (v20) But Judah will dwell forever, and Jerusalem to generation and generation. (v21) And I will cleanse their blood which I did not cleanse. And Jehovah is dwelling in Zion.”
God’s last covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is now fulfilled as we close the Book of Joel. God fulfills and keeps his promises [2 Peter 3:9, Romans 4:21, Joshua 21:45].
Chapter 3 of Joel emphatically points out a future of events in the world, all nations, and specifically Israel/Jerusalem that no one will or can escape. This is a global judgement.
Joel 3:1 In the very first verse we find the words “in those days.” It is not often one would consider the word “those” important in a sentence. Usually used as a general identity. The Hebrew for “those” in this verse is hem [pronounced haym]. Hem is used only when meaning or giving an emphatic. “…in those days.” This is to emphasize a specific to the people of Israel and the world aroused by anti-Christ Satan. We address this in the latter sentence of verse 1. It continues through the rest of Joel 3.
Joel 3:1b “I will bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.” If a person does not give much thought to a full understanding of this latter part of Joel 3:1, it reads like Jerusalem/Judah will again be brought into captivity. That is NOT what it means. “I shall again…” The word ‘again’ is shuwb [pronounced shoob]. It means to return or turn back. In short, to go back to the beginning point turning back the captivities and hatred of God’s chosen people; turn back the captivities and divisions of the city Jerusalem. But there will be a massive death toll in and around Jerusalem and Israel. In Kidron God judges Israel’s enemies with his tongue. All nations of the world will now be judged. (see next verse).
Joel 3:2 “I will also gather all the nations”, This means all, not some of the nations of the world. Whether the United Sates still exists or is broken into separate governing territories we do not know but we do know that “ALL” includes the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America. This may sound impossible. Consider what the word “all” means. In Hebrew it means “no exceptions.”
“and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat”. This valley is named after King Jehoshaphat but not until around 400 A.D. It is a valley in Israel where many wars have been fought throughout history. Lying between the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem it is also known as the Kidron Valley, a valley of decisions which means judgement. There are three valleys of significance associated with Jerusalem. Refer to this website’s article on the Hebrew letter SHIN. These valleys include Hinnon, Kidron, and a central valley that runs through the middle of Jerusalem. The other two are on opposite outskirts of Jerusalem.
NOTE: This is the battle between a returning God Jehovah and Satan who is using mankind for his own purposes. It is often identified as the Battle of Armageddon. Problem! Megiddo is 50 miles north of Jerusalem. Kidron is south east of Jerusalem. How might one explain this seemingly contradiction of locations? *Megiddo will be the gathering place of national forces. They will march on Jerusalem from there. One may be stunned to know that Muslim’s point to this same valley as the scene of a great future battle. The valley is crowded with both Muslim and Jewish grave sites, a desired place for burial.
*Valley of Jezreel begins at Megiddo to the north of Jerusalem, paralleling the Jordan River, and connects to the Valley of (Jehosephat) Kidron in Jerusalem.
“and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of my people and mine inheritance Israel,” This is also why the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Kidron) is identified as where God will sit in judgement [see Joel 3:12]. Think upon this passage. The lands of Israel (Palestine) have been divided both by God through Joseph assigning territories for each of the 12 tribes, and by conquering nations. The name Palestine comes from the Romans renaming Judah after they destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D. Romans exiled millions of Israelis to the hinterlands of Europe. France and Britain divided the Middle East after WW1.
“whom they have scattered among the nations: and they have parted my land.” God allowed nations and empires to scatter his people to the four corners of the earth. However, He did not authorize their cruel and deadly treatment of his chosen people. Retribution will be made by God on those who put tributary taxes on and desolated lands in Israel i.e., the Promised Land. The name Palestine comes from the Romans renaming Israel after they destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D. Millions of Israelis lived or scattered to Spain (Iberian Peninsula). The 1492-1503 A.D. Spanish Inquisition was against the Jews of Spain at the sanctioning hand of the Roman Pope. They were shipped throughout Europe, northern Africa, to Asia, to the Isles of the sea and ocean, and sold into slavery (Joel 3:3) across the globe. There is a multitude of other examples. Look up a list of some of the good and bad at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_antisemitism.
JIV: God uses Joel 3 to assure Israel that the invading nations throughout history will be dealt with by him.
Joel 3:4 “oh Tyre and Zidon…” It is likely that the mention of these two city-states of old are symbolic of the nations of the world where God/Jesus is given no honor or worship. The church is raptured by this time in Joel. David Guzik’s Commentary puts it this way:
Will you retaliate against Me? God virtually challenges the nations [of the world] to come against Him or His people. He vows to return your retaliation upon your own head to those who come against Him or His people. The nations treated God’s people with contempt and had no sense of their worth. Therefore, God will repay them with the contempt they put upon His [God’s] people, vowing to return your retaliation upon your own head. (Guzik’s Commentary on the Book of Joel) [emphasis mine].
This challenge of retaliation follows a gathering of international armies of the world at Megiddo, 50 miles north of Jerusalem. God basically says, come up to the Valley of Kidron (Jehoshaphat) just outside Jerusalem and we will see who is annihilated. Hmmm? God against the world he created. [For deeper insight, read Revelation 16:12-18]
Joel 3:7, 8“…sons and daughters are sold even unto a nation far off.” Just as enemy nations over the centuries have sold Israelis into bondage and slavery, scattering them to the four winds, God’s retribution will be likewise. The sons and daughters of retribution, according to Joel 3:8 are Sabeans. The Sabeans according to historians live in the Lands of Sheba (Bible and secular history records of the Queen of Sheba/Sheva and King Solomon). It is known today as Ethiopia.
As the armies of the world gather in Megiddo, God in essence states, “Will you dare challenge or retaliate against me [in Jerusalem]? According to Ezekiel 4 that God will put hooks in their jaws and drag them from Megiddo to Kidron to be judged. Their intent will be to invade Jerusalem. God’s intent is to pass judgment. The hooks in Ezekiel 4 are not literal but will be something like an enticement one cannot refuse. Anger and revenge are great enticements. Who is being enticed? All the nations of the world against Jerusalem led by the spirit or personage of anti-Christ meaning Lucifer. Does Satan know this destiny? It is possible he does know. Here is why.
(JIV) Like the sinful nature of man, guided by Satan, a person who cannot get what s/he wants, the same will destroy it to keep it out of the hands of another. Satan will realize if he does not already understand by this time, the world will no longer be subjected to his and his minion’s (fallen angels called demons) evil. His jealous nature will be…if I cannot have them, then neither will God. Satan by now only wishes to destroy mankind keeping them out of eternity in the heaven from which he was cast out. Perhaps (conjecture) he thinks having them spend eternity in Hell with him is a form of victory. Oh so little does he know.