Micah 7

Micah 7:1-10 [cntrl/click on Micah to read this portion of scripture]

Turn in your Bible or online to Micah 7. Follow along as we narrate verse-by-verse commentary.
https://www.bible.com/bible/114/MIC.7.nkjv

Micah 7:13 Yet the land shall be desolate Because of those who dwell in it, And for the fruit of their deeds.

HOW IS OUR FRUIT

It isn’t often a good practice to begin in the middle of a narration then retreat to the first verse, but…(here we go)

The land shall be desolate because of those who live in it. One needs to understand what happened over the time between Canaan being a land of milk and honey to a desolate land? This statement appears about 20 times in the Old Testament. Today we see the same land as sandy, dry, almost without grazing lands. Which is reality and which is actuality?

Canaanites descended from Ham, one of three sons of Noah. God gave each of them an opportunity to be blessed of him when Ham, Shem, Japheth, and Noah exited the Ark. Exodus 3:8 names the descendants of Ham who were living in the land of promise and plenty. God blessed Ham’s descendants with a land of plenty. BUT…they evolved into an evil people rejecting God. Their punishment from God came through the Israelis. Joshua and the twelve tribes conquered much of the land and moved in. After hundreds of years, Israelis, all who descended from Shem (one of the three sons of Noah) fell into the same rejection of God. Their worship was ritualistic. The Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans were Gods’ instruments to remove them from what was once the land of milk and honey; just as God used Israel to eject the wicked Canaanites from such a bountiful land God used others.

Micah 7:13 states that the land became desolate because of who dwelt in it, not global warming or some influence of mankind on the lands or atmosphere. It was man’s rejection of god who created all things. The question is who is the “who” that dwelt in it? It was all who have lived in the Promised Land that made it desolate. Desolate because it was a land of promise that had gone unattended for hundreds of years. God withdrew his blessing on the fruitfulness of the land, but it will be returned to its milk-and-honey state when Jesus sits on the millennial throne in Jerusalem. (Amos 9:11-15) Now we return from verse 13 to our beginning point in Micah 7:1.

Micah 7:1 We will take a different tact in explaining the woe of verse #1. Go back to when Israeli’s left Egypt, considered entering the Promised Land, but retreated to their 40 years of wanderings in the wilderness. Direct one’s attention to Leviticus 23:9-14. This is the Feast of the First Fruits given to Moses by God…a perpetual statute throughout the generations in all your dwelling places.” Micah sees that this is no longer a matter of concern for his fellow Israelis. In Micah 7:1 he addresses his plea for what is no longer a satisfaction or appreciation for what God has done for all of Israel.

Micah 7:2 he continues. Israel is no longer a united chosen people of God. They have segmented into those who have and those who have not, taking from each other by in today’s verbiage crook, hook, deception, and thievery. Micah calls it “by blood.” The “NET” referred to in verse two means trappings. Today we would call it the fine print in a document.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com Fine Print

Micah 7:3 has an interesting twist to our way of understanding. This verse references the value of two hands instead of using only one hand. They, Israeli leaders, do evil with both hands. The Hebrew, להישׂיב, means to make good with both hands in one’s evil deeds. The NKJV says it well: They scheme together meaning those who are the haves against those (including family members) who have even less. This speaks volumes per what the Kingdom of Israel was like in their last and final days as a kingdom.

JIV NOTE: Micah prophesied prior to the Assyrians destroying the Northern Kingdom of Israel and was still living long after their dispersion. He prophesied and saw it fulfilled.

Micah 7:4 God identifies through Micah that even the best of these evil doers was like a brier, perhaps like those of a rose bush; a thorn. The sharpest of these evil thorns (leaders) is even worse. The prince, the judge, and the great man, agree in their ill designs of gain.

The perplexity, the last word in verse 4, means the time is coming when even the evil doers will be at a total loss as to what to do. They will be painted into a corner with no “DEALS” left to get them out. They will be treated just as they have treated their subjects; stripped of all authority and influence. In just a few years from this time in Micah the Assyrian invaders will strip them of clothing, shoes, belongings, and shelter while marching them hundreds of miles across desert lands to relocate them in foreign lands. (read the articles on Which Way Did They Go.”) JIV INSIGHT: Many of these Tribes from Northern Israel settled in the mountains of what we know today as Afghanistan.

Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

Micah 7:5 is a brazen warning. In short it means guard one’s words for they will fly to the ears of others in wild and fast gossip. This is something like the social media of today. Even a well intending good deed or word will not go unpunished by some. Sadly, Micah could not find any good deeds being done by his own people. Both hands were busy laying hold of the possessions of others. The next verse is without question…

Micah 7:6 is clear. Let us understand the first word in verse 6…”For.” It is so often overlooked or put in a back closet of only part of a statement or sentence. The Hebrew is kee’. It means an assurance what follows in this verse will actually happen. One could translate this word to be forasmuch, inasmuch, or whereas. Thus, it means even in a casual relationship of all kinds, people will turn against one another. In short, the enemies of a man (person) can and will include those in or of his or her own household. Micah 7:7 explains Micah’s position on all that he has prophesied in the previous 6 chapters of his book. “Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.” In essence he is saying to his fellow kindred, you are welcome to join me but that is your choice to make. It is not mine to make for you. He continues his self-perspective in verse #8.

Micah 7:8 Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me. Joshua stated this back in Joshua 24:15…as for me and my household, we (I) will serve the Lord. Joshua was facing the odds against going as a united twelve tribes of Jacob into the Promised Lands after Moses first led them out of Egypt. He was one of twelve spies Moses sent into the land of plenty. All of the spies proved the land to be a land of bounty but ten of the twelve feared the people living in Canaan. Joshua (and Caleb) wanted to move in with God as their true leader. Micah is basically stating the same thing in verse 8.

Micah 7:9 Micah is saying, I leave you in the hands of God. I, as will you, be judged for my sins. There is no escape. I confess my sins as also should you…but you won’t.

“…Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me.” Micah could be looking prophetically toward the New Testament which, at his time, was yet to happen. Christ will judge and plead forgiveness of our sins when God finally executes judgment (see verse 19). The time is coming when all will see the light but not all will be a part of that light.

Micah 7:10 is like one saying to another, show me your God; show me your evidence. This person is the one identified in the previous verse as seeing the light but not being a part of it.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2021

Micah 5 – Part One

Micah 5:1-5

An Acurate View

According to the NKJV, a much-improved translation over the KJV, chapter 5 of Micah is divided into two parts.

  1. A ruler to be born in Bethlehem: two subsections:
  2. 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 facewith 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.

Next…”a remnant to be delivered.”

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2021

Micah 2

(Most quotes are from the NKJV)

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!

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.

To a turncoat He has divided our fields; this is the turncoat (Hebrew) antichrist deceiver of Israel who deceives them into signing that 7-year peace pact. A Hebrew who turns on his own people, rejects the God of his fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). For added insight read: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-s-daniel-abraham-israel-s-looming-ruin-1.5288996

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 hûm means 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?

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2021

Micah 1

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.

Time is Running Out

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.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2021

Micah: Introduction

Micah Introduction and outline

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.

Outline of Micah

Micah chapter 1
Micah 1:1.The time when Micah prophesied.
Micah 1:2-9.He shews the wrath of God against Jacob for idolatry.
Micah 1:10-16.He exhorts to mourning.
Micah chapter 2
Micah 2:1-3.Against oppression.
Micah 2:4-6.A lamentation.
Micah 2:7-11.A reproof of injustice and idolatry.
Micah 2:12-13.A promise of restoring Jacob.
Micah chapter 3
Micah 3:1-4.The cruelty of the princes.
Micah 3:5-7.The falsehood of the prophets.
Micah 3:8-12.Israel’s and Judah’s ill-grounded security.
Micah chapter 4
Micah 4:1-4.The glory,
Micah 4:5.and the peace of Christ’s kingdom.
Micah 4:6-10.The restoration,
Micah 4:11-13.and victory of the church.
Micah chapter 5
Micah 5:1-3.The birth of Christ.
Micah 5:4-7.His kingdom.
Micah 5:8-15.His conquest.
Micah chapter 6
Micah 6:1-5.God’s controversy for ingratitude;
Micah 6:6-9.for ignorance,
Micah 6:10-15.for injustice;
Micah 6:16.and for idolatry.
Micah chapter 7
Micah 7:1-2.The church, complaining of her small number,
Micah 7:3-4.and the general corruption,
Micah 7:5-7.puts her confidence not in man, but in God.
Micah 7:8-13.She triumphs over her enemies.
Micah 7:14.She prays to God.
Micah 7:15-17.God comforts her by promises of confusion to her enemies;
Micah 7:18-20.and by his mercies.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2021

Hope – Part 4

By Brenda McKee (www.brendamckee.com)

The curtains were drawn tight in the living room. Even when they were open, it was still dark in my little house—which reflected the condition of my heart. Before turning the lights in the house off, I went and grabbed the four pack of Michelob light beer from the refrigerator. Trouble, my dog, followed me back into the living room. 

I turned on the television not caring what was on. Sitting down in the middle of the floor with my dog and beer. I began to cry. Trouble laid tightly to my side as I opened a beer. My plan was to drown my sorrows.

Recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I was physically better since being released from the hospital, but not strong. My doctor would not release me to go back to work full time and I was going to be let go. In my early twenties, with car payments and rent I was getting concerned about my bills.

As I finished my first beer, this guy on the television caught my attention. He pointed straight at me and said “GOD loves YOU!” I didn’t really want to think about God. I repented of my sins and was born again at 17 but was now doing my own thing.

The church I attended got another pastor when I was 18. This guy was legalistic and boring with a bunch of “thou shalt nots”. Everything I was, including who I was—was not what God wanted me to be—according to the current pastor. He said a woman should wear a dress, not slacks, keep hair long and wear no jewelry. I looked at my class ring, watch, and beige pants, then looked for the nearest door. I tried other churches in the next few weeks. The churches I visited had good coffee and donuts. That is the best thing I remember about them.

Opening my second beer, the guy on the television once again said “someone out there needs to know God loves you, just the way you are!” “How would you know!” I asked the guy on Television—as if he would answer. Suddenly something changed in my living room. There was a peace that passed my understanding. My heart felt like it was melting. I even thought I heard “I DO LOVE YOU MY DAUGHTER, I know YOU and you are my child,” like it came from inside my heart. I began to weep and tell the LORD that I wanted to know Him…

This was the first night I spent with the King, really seeking Him, reading His Word and praying. One night with King Jesus changed my life forever. It is true with every one who is seeking a relationship with King Jesus.

“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

That night, I knew that I knew He loved me for who I was. Knowing Him is different than knowing about Him, just as knowing Neil Diamond personally would be much better than simply knowing about him. Relationship is about intimacy. We cannot truly know someone without spending time in their presence and communicating with her or him. The most valuable relationship we can have is with our Creator God. It is only possible by true repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior.

You too, can spend a night with the King and every minute with the King when you choose a relationship with Jesus, our King of kings, and the LORD of lords.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19

Prevailing Hope – Part 3

By Brenda McKee (hope4mckee@gmail.com)

This is the real deal….

Sometimes I think I know what is best for my life. I think if I were totally healed I could serve the LORD better and help more people. I think if I were successful in a business and made a lot of money I could help a LOT more people than sitting here writing a blog about my challenges.

Closeup of hands shuffling cards casino

In other words I don’t like the cards I got dealt. I want a new deal and start with a new deck please! Make sure they are shuffled well too! Sometimes I think if I can throw down a few really bad cards and ask God to deal me a couple good cards, maybe then I handle the couple of not so good cards in my hand. Have you ever tried to barter or bargain with God?

But this is the deal.  No new cards, no new hand.  I  finally made the choice to play it to the best of my ability by His grace. My prevailing hope is to be successful in God’s eyes and impact this world for His Glory.

The Word of GOD is full of real men and women who face great challenges with the “cards they were dealt” and their lives gave Glory to God forever. I think of Joseph especially; sold into slavery by his brothers, imprison unjustly yet in the end was a great success in God’s eyes and in the worlds!

What about you? How are you going to play your cards?  Or are you still hoping for a new deal? Will you play your cards with great faith that GOD has a plan for your life (He does)- as He did for Joseph  and everyone else. His plan will ultimately will bring you great success defined by Almighty God! True success is not measured by the world’s standards.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Prevailing Hope – When Life Hurts

Real Life…..REAL HOPE

Life is not easy. We all face challenges. Some people seem to have it easy, while others have more than their share.Whether your pain is small or large, the truth is the same. There is Hope. Prevailing Hope -When Life Hurts is about how to face challenges head-on with a Living Hope that will not let you down.

About the author:
Brenda McKee learned from a young age that life is tough and sometimes it really HURTS. During her 30 plus year battle with Multiple Sclerosis and other severe health issues, along with the heartbreak of domestic violence, Brenda has endured with prevailing hope and been an inspiration to many! With her faith in a loving God and her service dog at her side, Brenda finds triumph in the midst of tragedy, with lots of laughs along the way. Her story gives something exceptional and beautiful to the world

About the book:
Prevailing HOPE is my story, and my heart – to give you hope in the midst of all we go through on this earth. It’s my journey, and how the Lord has shown me how I can be okay, even when life is not okay. My prayer is that all who read this, will draw closer to the Source of All Hope – the Lord Jesus Christ. This book is NOT a pity story, easy answers, or me saying it’s going to be okay; it may not – but WE CAN BE! This book IS ABOUT real stuff we face, hope in the midst of pain, finding REAL joy and strength, and how we can enjoy life every day.

“Prevailing Hope: When Life Hurts,” is now available to buy on Amazon

Zechariah Chapter 4

Olive Trees

Lampstand, candle holders, Olive trees, feeding tubes called “pipes”, bowls, the seven eyes of God…it is no wonder many have difficulty understanding this chapter with a simple reading. We trust today as you read this article (commentary) on Zechariah 4, things will become clearer and you will have an increased comfort level with its content and context.

There are several interpretations of the symbols used in this chapter. The real problem is these interpretations come from just as many, if not differing translations of the Hebrew. We will stay as close as possible to the intent of this chapter by using Strong’s, Young’s Literal Translation (YLT), and the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (LITV). We will quote or note, then explain. No need to pronounce the Hebrew this article may include but you will know the options for the use of certain Hebrew words in Zechariah 4. No, this commentary will not be exhaustive but it will be inclusive.

Awakem from Sleep

Zechariah 4:1 initially reads as if Zechariah is awakened from sleep. [YLT] “And the messenger (mal’âk; a deputy or assistant) who is speaking with me doth turn back, and stir me up as one who is stirred up out of his sleep…” In short this opening means a “messenger” had to get the attention of Zechariah, similar to one who may call out in a parking lot or perhaps in a church foyer to get the attention of someone. YLT uses “messenger” while the KJV uses “angel”. 

These returning Judeans and other Israeli tribal stragglers or cling-on Israelis from the former Kingdom of Judah and a few from the Kingdom of Israel are coming to a Jerusalem that is anything but a lampstand or golden light radiating to the world. Yet, this vision shows a lampstand of seven lights. The wealth of “gold” in the vision also does not reflect the conditions of the returning Judeans or the wealth of the land to which they are returning. Rather it is almost a stark contrast with actuality. This is our first clue that this 5th vision involves things to come, not the present state-of-being upon their return to Jerusalem.

In our attempt to find a visual illustration of this vision or drawing of the concept of verses 3 and 4 to depict it was next to impossible to keep someone else’s theological twist out of their drawing or illustration. The best approach is to take this scripture literally. Zechariah saw a golden candle stick fueled by purified olive oil filling a supply bowl from two Olive trees; one tree to the left and one tree to the right of the gold candle holder. There is a collection bowl on the top that acts as a reservoir of the olive oil fuel. Oil is piped to the seven burning candle fuel bowls.

Hmmmm? 7 points of light? A light onto the world? Has America like Israel lost its purpose? I see seven statue crown points like the seven points of the menorah.

It is amazing that there are so many attempts to make something out of what is pictured here instead of using other scripture to validate each element Zachariah is seeing. He does not understand its meaning per verse 5. The messenger explains…this is a picture of Israel’s destiny, not its present state of being. It is a covenant reminder of God’s relationship with Israel. The YLT writes: “And he answered and spoke unto me, saying: `This is a word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying: Not by a force, nor by power, But–by My Spirit, said Jehovah of Hosts”. Okay…a literal look: “a word of Jehovah” is an official identity of God in Hebrew, “speaking specifically to Zerubbabel”. First, Zerubbabel is of the Tribe of Judah, just as was David and Jesus himself in the New Testament. There is nothing hinted in the Hebrew that this includes the future New Testament church meaning people other than Israelis, and Jerusalem’s Temple.

Zechariah 4:7 [LITV] “Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain”. Where can we find anything similar within scripture…a great mountain made a plain; an obstacle removed. Ezekiel 38:20 is one good reference: Using the full verse… [LITV]

Fish of the Sea

And the fish of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men on the face of the earth, shall quake at My face. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. [Cf. Revelation 16:20}

Let’s add to this…the previous verse (6) says it is not by might or power but by my Spirit that verse 7 will result. This has to be the End Time return of Christ to earth with God’s Spirit filling the sons and daughters of Israel [Cf. Joel 2:20]. Recall that upon Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion, Jesus stated that had not the people shouted out in praise the rocks along the road side would have shouted out [Luke 19:40].

Zechariah 4:7 tells us of the headstone (KJV) or cornerstone (LITV). Cornerstone of what one should ask? It is the Millennial New Jerusalem and throne of Jesus symbolized by the work of Zerubbabel on the Temple foundation including its eventual completion. Simply put, it is a defining moment of the eventual supremacy of Jerusalem over all nations and the Temple that will be in Jerusalem. This is when Jerusalem will actually become the light on the hillside to the world. We will go into greater detail and explanation in Zechariah 5 (cf. Matthew 5:14).

Zechariah 4:10 actually helps explain Zechariah 3:9, the seven eyes on the stone in front of the High Priest Joshua. [LITV] For they shall rejoice and shall see the plummet stone in the hand of Zerubbabel. These seven are the eyes of Jehovah; they run to and fro through all the earth. One could add to this the horses under the Myrtle we discussed in Zechariah 1:1-17. These horsemen were the eyes of God roaming and reporting the condition(s) of the world. Scripture does not tell us of the number of other horsemen behind the one who spoke and rode the red horse.  JIV: There may be may be 7 riders since the eyes on the stone were 7, the eyes on the stone of the Lord, the 7 pipes from the Olive tree to the main olive fuel bowl container, and 7 is the perfect number of COMPLETION. “For on the seventh day, God said all is good and he rested from his creation labors.” Just as the horsemen under the Myrtle Tree roamed the earth to see what it was like, verse 10 tells us the same per the eyes on the plummet-line stone. The eyes of Jehovah “run to and fro through all the earth” [LITV]. Very likely discussing the same activity of God keeping eyes upon earth and for certain, Satan and his minions.

Zechariah shifts gears in 4:11. This verse uses the word “question” but it means aw-naw’ as in to pay attention; take heed; to respond.

*JIV: A very interesting side per the Myrtle tree is how Jewish sages say that “the myrtle has great fragrance but [has] no taste.” Essentially meaning one can look good in the eyes of man or other believers but s/he has no taste for a spiritual life and study of the Word of God. They look good but have no taste for God’s Word.

In Zechariah’s time the above JIV can be understood as one who builds appearance but has no taste for the inside and personal works of God in his or her life.

Zechariah 4:12 is another example of confusion. Many translations identify the Olive dripping oil as coming from branches. The Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) says “two branches of the olive tree.” Does it matter if it is two trees or branches? Yes and it depends much on how one understands. A tree full of branches may in this case mean Israel as a tree and parts of it serving God. It may infer the church and only parts of it serving God. It may mean, as we do, two servants of God in End Time keeping the fire burning. These two could very likely be the two witnesses of the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.

We Teach – You Decide

Verses 11 and 12 are self-addressing. They topically return to the opening 2 verses of chapter 4. We read in verses 11 and 12 according to the YLT: V11 “And I answer [aw-naw’] and say unto him, `What are these two olive-trees, on the right of the candlestick, and on its left?’ V12 And I answer [aw-naw’] a second time, and say unto him, `What are the two branches of the olive trees that, by means of the two golden pipes, are emptying out of themselves the oil?’”  

The two branches could be a present tense or a future tense in its interpretation. It could be Zerubbabel and (high Priest) Joshua or it could be future tense meaning the End Time Two Witnesses…a continual supply of anointing oil from God; 3 ½ years as God’s only remaining witnesses other than the 144,000 as mentioned in Revelation 7 and 14.

Reader Note: JIV use means Jim’s Introspective View.


Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020