Chapter 6 begins with a court scene and legal terms, alluding to the fact this is a Yom Ha Din, or Day of Judgment. It is similar to Micah 1.2 and we are coming back to the beginning. God has presented his case against the people, now he says that the people to present theirs.
Micah 6.1…”Hear now” alludes to Micah 1.2
Micah 6.2…Arise” is referring to Micah and he was to stand up and carry this message to the people as his prophet.
“plead your case”…God has presented his case, now you can plead yours
“the mountains”…summon them as witnesses. If they could talk they would show my goodness to you because they are filled with trees, olives, fruit of all kinds, figs and vines. They also would testify against you because of the idolatry and abominations ommitted on them (the Asherim)
“to the indictment”…the charges that the Lord is bringing
“foundations of the earth”…as a witness
“has a case”…against the people
Micah 6.3…”what have I done to you” or in other words, what more could I have done for you. Have you run out of patience with my goodness. All that I promised I have done.
“answer me”…declare what I have done publically.
Micah 6.4…”I brought you up from Egypt”…He brings them back to the Exodus to remember what he did for them, showering them with kindness.
“ransomed you from the house of slavery”…redeemed them (Exo 20.2).
“I sent you Moses, Aaron and Miriam”…They were a great blessing to them. Moses was the lawgiver, Aaron the priest and Miriam the prophetess.
Micah 6.5…”what Balak king of Moab counseled”…He had a plan for Israel, to destroy them. They didn’t even realize it at the time, but the Lord did, and delivered them from something they never knew was happening at the time.
“what Balaam, son of Beor answered him”…instead of cursing Israel, he blessed them about the future and the Messiah.
“from Shittim to Gilgal”…They committed idolatry at Shittim, but the Lord had mercy, and Gilgal was where they were circumcised and kept the first Passover. Shittim was east of the land, meaning “departure” and they moved west, meaning “approaching God” where they were circumcised and kept the Passover, the lamb and the blood. This is a picture of our salvation.
“the righteous acts”…He is reminding them by bringing them back to the Exodus, that he has showed kindness and mercy even when they sinned. He is saying again, “what more could I have done for you?”
Micah 6.6…With what shall I come to the Lord”…The korbanot are useless when they are brought with an evil intent, or to achieve success like Balaam did. They are like “magic.” If your heart is wrong and you have the wrong motive, they are of no value. It’s the same with any ceremony in the faith. If you have evil intent or the wrong motive, you can immerse yourself everyday and you are only a wet sinner with evil intent.
Micah 6.7…”does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil”…These things are good, and part of the ceremonies that God gave, but if your heart is wrong or you have the wrong motive, he does not desire these things.
Micah 6.8…”He has told you what is good and what does the Lord require of you…What he requires is based on the Torah and the Tanach.
“to do justice”…The Hebrew “mishpat” which means to “right the wrongs” based on the Torah.
“to love kindness”…Hebrew “chessed” and this has to do with mercy.
“to walk humbly”…To be mindful of the circumstances.
Micah gives three things that the Lord has shown to be good and required to approach him. The Torah gave 613, David gave 11 in Psa 15; Isaiah gave 6 in Isa 33.15 and another 2 in Isa 56.1; Habakkuk gave 1 in Hab 2.4; Yeshua gave 1 in Matt 22.37-38.
Micah 6.9…”the voice of the Lord is calling”…To warn the people.
“to the city”…of Jerusalem
“it is sound wisdom to see”…Like Abraham did in Gen 22. He said the “Lord will be seen” and the word “see” here is the same word Abraham used, which is “yireh” and it is part of the word “Jerusalem” which is “yireh (see) shalem (peace)”.
“they name”…Deut 12.11 says that God will place his name there. The Hebrew letter “shin” stands for his name, and it is written on the landscape of Jerusalem, with the Hinnom, Tyropean and Kidron valleys.
“hear the rod”…relates back to the Messiah (Num 24.17; Num 17.1-13 and Exo 14.16) and that judgment is coming.
Micah 6.10…God looks and sees the wicked man and what he has accumulated with his wickedness and sees they are still there.
“a short measure”…Less than it should be and they sold it to people who expected a full measure.
Micah 6.11…”Can I justify wicked scales”…referring back to the short measure
“a bag of deceptive weights”…Used in weighing goods for buying and selling. He could not justify this cheating.
Micah 6.12…”The rich man of the city are full of violence”…Unscrupulous and cruel in order to get money.
“speak lies”…Used fraudulent means in buying and selling.
“their tongue is deceitful in their mouth”…in their business and commerce.
Micah 6.13…”I will make you sick” by sending the “rod” of Micah 6.9 through disease, famine and the sword.
“desolating you”…By Assyria who carried Israel captive, and Babylon who carried Judah captive. From this verse to 7.7, these will also be the charges against the people that will bring on the Birth-pains.
Micah 6.14…”You will eat, but you will not be satisfied”…Not enough to eat, no feasting or drinking.
“vileness”…Is understood as their “excretion.”
“you will try to remove for safekeeping”…Their children, wives, family or ill-gotten gains.
“what you do preserve I will give to the sword”…They will lose all of it.
Micah 6.14…”you will sow but you will not reap”…The ground will not be fruitful and what does grow will be taken by the enemy.
“you will tread the olive but will not anoint yourself with oil; and the grapes, but you will not drink the wine”…These are the punishments of the rod of correction.
Micah 6.15…”The statues of Omri are kept”…He set up idolatrous worship in Samaria using Jereboam as an example (1 Kings 16.25-33).
“all the works of the house of Ahab are observed”…The son of Omri, he married Jezebel, and she worshipped Ba’al and the Asherah. He has a daughter named Athaliah, who usurped the throne in Judah and introduced them to paganism (2 Kings 11).
“in their devices you walk”…As they advised and directed.
“I will give you up for destruction”…Samaria was destroyed by the Assyrians.
“your inhabitants for derision”…Hissing and scorn, brought to ruin.
“And you will bear the reproach of my people”…As prescribed in the Torah. The punishment will fit the crime. They will be carried away into captivity.
In Part 13, we will pick up with Chapter 7 and the prospect of going away into exile. This will also be the case in the first century, but there will be a promise of compassion and redemption.