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Micah 1:11

11. Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing.

11. Transi pariter (ad verbum, transi vobis 7070     עברי לכם, pass over or migrate, as to you. One MS. Has לך, as to thee; but the anomaly of number is common through all the Prophets. “The inhabitant” here is a poetical noun of number, including the whole people. What usage has thus sanctioned in one language, cannot at all times be retained in another. We must in the present instance make “Inhabitant” in our language plural, or לכם, “as to you, or yea, you,” singular. The latter is the best mode. Then as to the peculiar form of לכס or לך after an imperative, we have similar instances; see Genesis 12:1; Jeremiah 5:5; Hosea 7:12. It is an emphatic mode of speaking. The sentence here may be thus expressed, “Pass thou over, yea, thou, O inhabitant of Saphir.” Amaziah said to Amos, ברח לך, “Flee, yea, thou,” etc. Or to give to ל its most usual meaning, we may suppose “I say” to be understood; then it would be, “Flee, I say, to thee.” — Ed. habitatrix Saphir, nuda probrose; non egredietur habitatrix Zaanan in luctu Beth-Aezel, sumet a vobis stationem suam (alii vertunt, substantiam; sed male, meo judicio.)


The Prophet here addresses the cities which were on the borders of the kingdom of Israel, and through which the enemy would pass in entering the kingdom of Judah. He therefore bids the inhabitants of the city Saphir to pass over, and says, that the city would be ashamed or in a shameful manner naked. The word שפיר, shaphir, means splendid. He then says, “Thou art now beautiful, but the Lord will discover thy shame, so that thy nakedness shall be a shame to all, and the greatest disgrace to thyself.” There is a correspondence in the words, though not an alliteration. Hence the Prophet says, that though the city was called splendid, it would yet be deformed, so that no one would deign to look on it, at least without feeling shame. There is the same correspondence in the word Zaanan; for צעה, tsoe, means to transfer, as צען, tson, is to migrate. Hence the Prophet says, Go forth shall not the inhabitant of Zaanan for the mourning of Beth-Aezel; that is, he will remain quiet at home: this he will do contrary to what will be natural; for whence is the name of the city? even from removing, for it was a place of much traffic. But he will remain, he says, at home: though he may see his neighbors dragged into exile, he will not dare to move from his place.

He now adds, Take will the enemy from you his station. The verb עמד, omad, means to stand; nor is there a doubt but that when the Prophet says, He will take from you his standing, he speaks of the standing or station of the enemy: but interpreters however vary here. Some understand, that when the enemy had continued long in the land, they would not depart before they possessed the supreme power; as though he said, “Ye will think that your enemy can be wearied out with delay and tediousness, when not able soon to conquer your cities: this, he says, will not be the case; for he will resolutely persevere, and his expectation will not disappoint him; for he will receive the reward of his station, that is, of his delay.” But some say, He will receive his station from you. They explain the verb לקח, lakech, metaphorically, as meaning to receive instruction from hand to hand; as though the Prophet had said, Some, that is, your neighbors, will learn their own position from you. What does this mean? Zaanan will not go forth on account of the mourning of its neighboring city Aezel: others will afterwards follow this example. How so? For Zaanan will be, as it were, the teacher to other cities; as it will not dare to show any sign of grief for its neighbors, being not able to succor them; so also, when it shall be taken in its turn into exile, that is, its citizens and inhabitants, its neighbors will remain quiet, as though the condition of the miserable city was no object of their care. They shall then learn from you their standing; that is, Ye will remain quiet and still, when your neighbors will be destroyed; the same thing will afterwards happen to you. But as this bears but little on the main subjects we may take either of these views. 7171     This verse is variously rendered; by Newcome thus,—
   Pass on, thou inhabitress of Saphir, naked and in confusion.
The inhabitants of Zanan went not forth to wailing.
O Beth-Ezel, he shall receive of you
the reward of his station against you.

   By Henderson thus,—

   Pass on, thou inhabitant of Shaphir, naked and ashamed;
The inhabitant of Zanan goeth not forth;
The wailing of Beth-Ezel will take away continuance from you.

   It seems more consistent to take all the verbs in this and the preceding verse as imperatives, though they be not in the same person. Those in the second are evidently so; and I would render such as are in the third person as imperatives too. That Saphir, Zaanan, etc, as well as those which follow, are not appellatives, but proper names of places within or on the borders of Judah, is what is allowed by most, though not by all, especially by some of the ancient commentators, at least with regard to some of the names. I offer the following version of the tenth and eleventh verses, —

   10. In Gath declare ye it not, in Acco weep not;
In Beth-Ophrah, roll thyself in dust:

   11. Pass thou over, yea, thou, O inhabitant of Saphir,
and in shame;
Let not the inhabitant of Zaanan go forth wailing;
Let Beth-Azel take from you its position;
that is, follow your example.

   The last word, עמדתו, presents the greatest difficulty. It is found here alone in this form. It occurs as עמד, a pillar, a station, עמוד, a stand, stage, and as מעמד, a standing, and also a state, Isaiah 22:19 Buxtorf gives the same meaning to the last with the one in the text, constitutio, constitution, a fixed order of things. The verb עמד signifies to stand, to stand erect, to remain the same, either in motion or at rest, to continue. Hence it may rightly signify a position, a standing, that is taken and maintained.
It afterwards follows —

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