In Chapter 7, we will learn that the people were going into exile, but there is hope for their future. Micah begins with a lamentation concerning the corruption of the times.
Micah 7.1…Micah is unhappy about living among such a people. He is feeling alone, like Elijah, and this is likened a lonely fruit at the top of a tree or a lonely cluster of figs. This metaphor is similar to the first century, when Yeshua basically said the same thing (Mark 11.11-14). The parable of the Fig tree is saying that the godly person was very scarce. Israel as a nation is rejecting Yeshua, just the people in Micah were rejecting the Lord.
Micah 7.2…Micah confirms that the scarceness of good fruit was similar to the scarceness of the godly person. There are very few upright in heart, and the majority lie in wait to plunder the riches that people have. They are like hunters who hunt for fish and birds and try to snare others with their “nets” of deceit.
Micah 7.3…Micah brings more charges in v 3-6 and says “both hands do it well” means that they are very diligent about doing evil, they do it with “both hands.” The “prince” (or king) and “judge” ask for bribes to do evil. The “great man” is encouraged by what he sees the king and judge do, and he also asks for a bribe. All of these people “weave together” their evil into a very strong cord and make things very difficult and very corrupt.
Micah 7.4…The “best of them is like a briar” means good for nothing but for burning. The “most upright” are like a thorn hedge, that when you try to cross it, you get a handful of thorns and it causes injury. All their “watchman” will be of no value when judgment comes.
Micah 7.5…”Do not trust in a neighbor” or a “friend” and even “her who lies in your bosom” meaning your wife. Evil is everywhere and people pretended to be friends but were not to be trusted.
Micah 7.6…Yeshua quotes this verse in Matt 10.21, 36 to describe the times he lived in, and shows that this corruption goes even to all ranks, even the family unit.
Micah 7.7…”I will watch expectantly for the Lord” says Micah because he can be trusted.
Micah 7.8…”Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy” because the Lord will execute justice in his case and deliver him.
Micah 7.9…”I will bear the indignation” means he will be given strength to go through the present distress.
“because I have sinned against the Lord” indicates they all men sin, and sin is the reason that afflictions come. This makes everyone humble. Micah was at least contrite, knowing he has sinned. Some say of others going through affliction, “They had it coming” but we all “have it coming.”
“until he pleads my case” against his enemies.
“he will bring me out to the light” like a person getting out of prison
Micah 7.10…”Then my enemy will see” is called “her” and this refers to the harlot, who hates the “virtuous woman.” This contrast between the harlot and the virtuous woman can be a literal evil person, it can also refer to the unrighteous and the righteous, and it also refers to false religion and true religion. The “sun-clothed woman” in Gen 37 and Rev 12 and also she can be seen in Prov 31.1-31 and the is the virtuous woman, and the harlot can be seen in Prov 2.16-22; 5.3-23; 6.24-35 and 7.1-27. We live with the harlot all around us. God-given knowledge, insight, discernment, wisdom and understanding all come into play because the harlot has presented herself as the virtuous woman, and is perceived by those without the above things as the virtuous woman. We must be able to tell the difference between the two (1 Cor 6.12-20).
Micah 7.11…Someday the walls of Jerusalem will be rebuilt after their destruction. This will be fulfilled in the time of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah.
Micah 7.12…Many will come, both Jews and Gentiles, to help build it.
“from Assyria” where the ten tribes were.
“Egypt” and “the river” or Euphrates, one of the boundaries of Israel.
“sea to sea” is the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf.
“mountain to mountain” are the various mountains in the north and south of Israel.
This will also happen in the Messianic Kingdom when Jewish and non-Jewish believers will help rebuild.
Micah 7.13…This verse turns from the future to the desolation that will precede all this.
“the land” is Israel.
Micah 7.14…This again switches back to Micah and what he should do in the present, and also promises when Messiah comes.
“shepherd they people” in the calling I have given you, feed the people.
“the flock” who are like sheep.
“dwells by itself in the woodlands” or the world.
“in the midst of a fruitful land” is Carmel.
“Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead”…the Golan Heights and southeast of the Sea of Galilee.
Micah 7.15…God will show them miracles
Micah 7.16…Just like when they came out of Egypt, the nations will be ashamed when the Lord delivers them out of their hands.
“put their hand on their mouth” means to be silent and not come against what God is doing.
“their ears will be deaf” because they are stunned at the success of Israel and they don’t want to hear any more of it.
Micah 7.17…”They will lick the dust like a serpent” whose food is the dust; they will bow so low that their mouth will take in the dust. Like reptiles who stick their heads out of their holes, and seeing the danger coming from the Lord, they will try and hide in their dens because of the fear of the Lord.
Micah 7.18…”Who is a God like you” is a play on words on Micah’s name. Judgment is coming, but so is his mercy.
“who pardons iniquity” meaning he “lifts it up” and takes it away.
“and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of his possession” is another way of saying that because he pardons them, he will pass over their sin, he takes no notice of it by not calling them to account for it.
“he does not retain his anger forever” due to their repentance.
“he delights in unchanging love” because that is who he is, and he does it according to his sovereign will. He takes pleasure in showing mercy to his people who have hope in it.
Micah 7.19…”He will again have compassion” from his anger, to show favor.
“he will tread our iniquities underfoot” and see it no more, conquered it and made an end to it and carried it away.
“cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” to be seen no more, like Pharaoh and his army, and they cannot be recovered.
Micah 7.20…”give truth to Jacob” means the promise that he gave to Jacob about how all the nations of the earth will be blessed, which comes out of the mercy and grace of God. This promise also includes the promise of eternal punishment, and this will also be fulfilled.
“and unchanging love to Abraham” also includes the promises that he gave to him, especially about the Messiah. This is how all the nations will be blessed. Messiah will come from his loins to bless the nations.
“which you swore to our fathers from the days of old” confirmed by an oath in Gen 22.16. From Israel will come the promise of the land of Canaan and the Messiah.
SOURCES USED IN THIS STUDY INCLUDE:
Zodiates Study Bible
Jerusalem Post article “Archeologist Uncovers Replica of Second Temple”
NASB/KJV of the Bible
John Gill Commentary on Micah
H.A. Ironside, Moody Bible Institute, on the Prophets
The book “Rosh ha Shannah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come” by Joseph Good
Gesenius Hebrew/Chaldee Lexicon
Hertz Authorized Daily Prayer Book
Targum Yochanon Ben Uzziel
The Ghost of Marcion by Daniel Botkin from “Zion’s Fire”
Understanding Asherah by Ruth Hestrin
Biblical Archeology Review, Sept/Oct 1991
Bible Review, August 1989
Micah tape series by Hatikva Ministries
Jewish Encyclopedia article “Ashterot”
Cultural Atlas of the Bible
“Yeshua, the Hebrew Factor” book
Mesorah Publications, “History of the Jewish People”, Vol II, p 183
Ancient and Modern symbols of the Hebrew language
Everyman’s Talmud by Abraham Cohen