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Micah 1:10

10. Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.

10. In Gath ne annuntietis, flendo ne fleatis; 6969     Henderson renders this clause, “weep not in Acco,” and mentions Gesenius and others, who consider that בכי is put here for בעכו, and Ocu or Acco was a town in the tribe of Asher; see Judges 1:31. The Septuagint favors this rendering, at least in one copy, for it has εν ακείμ, though in Judges the name is Ακχω. — Ed. propter domum Aphrah pulvere te involve (vel, voluta te in pulvere.)


The Prophet seems here to be inconsistent with himself: for he first describes the calamity that was to be evident to all; but now he commands silence, lest the report should reach the enemies. But there is here nothing contradictory; for the evil itself could not be hid, since the whole kingdom of Israel would be desolated, the cities demolished or burnt, the whole country spoiled and laid waste, and then the enemies would enter the borders of Judah: and when Jerusalem should have been nearly taken how could it have been concealed? No, this could not have been. There is no wonder then that the Prophet had referred here to a solemn mourning. But he now speaks of the feeling of those who were desirous of hiding their own disgrace, especially from their enemies and aliens: for it is an indignity which greatly vexes us, when enemies taunt us, and upbraid us in our misfortunes; when no hope remains, we at least wish to perish in secret, so that no reproach and disgrace should accompany our death; for dishonor is often harder to be borne, and wounds us more grievously, than any other evil. The Prophet then means that the Israelites would not only be miserable, but would also be subject to the reproaches and taunts of their enemies. We indeed know that the Philistine were inveterate in their hatred to the people of God; and we know that they ever took occasion to upbraid them with their evils and calamities.

This then is the meaning of the Prophet, when he says, In Gath declare it not, by weeping weep not; as though he said, “Though extreme evils shall come upon you, yet seek to perish in silence; for you will find that your enemies will gape for the opportunity to cut you with their taunts, when they shall see you thus miserable. He then forbids the people’s calamities to be told in Gath; for the Philistine usually desired nothing more than the opportunity to torment the people of God with reproaches.

It now follows, In the house of Aphrah, in dust roll thyself There is here an alliteration which cannot be conveyed in Latin: for עפרה, ophre, means dusty, and עפר, opher, is dust. That city attained its name from its situation, because the country where it was, was full of dust; as if a city were called Lutosa, muddy or full of clay; and indeed many think that Lutetia (Paris) had hence derived its name. And he says, Roll thyself in dust, in the house full of dust; as though he had said that the name would be now most suitable, for the ruin of the city would constrain all neighboring cities to be in mourning to cast themselves in the dust; So great would be the extremity of their evils.

But we must ever bear in mind the object of the Prophet: for he here rouses the Israelites as it were with the sharpest goads, who entertained no just idea of the dreadfulness of God’s vengeance, but were ever deaf to all threatening. The Prophet then shows that the execution of this vengeance which he denounced was ready at hand; and he himself not only mourned, but called others also to mourning. He speaks of the whole country, as we shall see by what follows. I shall quickly run over the whole of this chapter; for there is no need of long explanation, as you will find.

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