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Micah 1:12

12. For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.

12. Quia doluit propter bonum (alii, expectavit ad bonum; alii, infirmata est) habitatrix Maroth; quia descendit malum a Jehova ad portam Jerusalem.


The Prophet joins here another city even Maroth, and others also in the following verses. But in this verse he says, that Maroth would be in sorrow for a lost good. The verb חול, chul, means to grieve; and it has this sense here; for the Marothites, that is, the inhabitants of that city, would have to grieve for losing their property and their former happy condition. But as the verb means also to expect, some approve of a different exposition, that is, — that the inhabitants of the city Maroth would in vain depend on an empty and fallacious expectation, for they were doomed to utter destruction. In vain then will the inhabitant of Maroth expect or entertain hope; for an evil descends from Jehovah to the gate of the city. This view is very suitable, that is, that its hope will disappoint Maroth, since even the city of Jerusalem shall not be exempted. For though God had then by a miracle delivered the chief city, and its siege was raised through the intervention of an angel, when a dreadful slaughter, as sacred history records, took place; yet the city Maroth was not then able to escape vengeance. We now see the reason why this circumstance was added. Some give a harsher explanation, — that the citizens of Maroth were to be debilitated, or, as it were, demented. As this metaphor is too strained, I embrace the other, — that the citizens of Maroth would grieve for the loss of good, 7272     Grieving is the idea commonly given to the verb here used. “Dolebit, will grieve,” Grotius, — “Parturit, travails,” Marckius,—”Pineth,” Henderson. Newcome, following the mere conjecture of Houbigant changes the original, and substitutes למות for לטוב, and gives this version, — “is sick unto death.” Not only is this wholly unwarranted, but it destroys the evident contrast there is in the verse — the good and the evil. — Ed. or that they would vainly expect or hope, since they were already doomed to utter ruin, without any hope of deliverance.

But we must notice, that evil was nigh at hand from Jehovah, for he reminds them, that though the whole country would be desolated by the Assyrians, yet God would be the chief leader, since he would employ the work of all those who would afflict the people of Israel. That the Jews then, as well as the Israelites might know, that they had to do, not with men only, but also with God, the celestial Judge, the Prophet distinctly expresses that all this would proceed from Jehovah. He afterwards adds —

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