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Micah 1:14

14. Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.

14. Propterea mittes dona super Moreseth (vel, propter Moreseth-) Gath, filiis Achzib in mendacium regibus Israel.


Here the Prophet alludes to another thing, — that they would attempt to pacify their enemies with gifts, and would try to redeem themselves and their neighbors. But the Prophet expressly mentions this, that the event might teach them that nothing happens without a design; for it ought to work a greater conviction in blind and obstinate men, when they see that they really find that to be true which had been long before predicted. This, then, is the reason why the Prophet enumerates here various particulars; it was, that the hand of God might be more evident and conspicuous when he would begin, in an especial manner, to fulfill all the things which he now in words foretells, Thou, he says, wilt send a gift for Moreseth-gath; that is, for a neighboring city. And he calls it Moreseth-gath, to distinguish it from another city of the same name. Thou wilt then send gifts for Moreseth-gath, to the sons of Achzib for a lie אכזיב, aczib, is a word derived from one which means a lie. There is, therefore, a striking alliteration, when he says, Thou wilt send gifts to the sons of אכזיב, Aczib, for a lie, לאכזב, laaczeb; that is Thou wilt send gifts to the sons of a lie, for a lie. The city had obtained its name from its fallacies or guiles. And he says, for a lie to the kings of Israel; because it profited the children of Israel nothing to pacify them with gifts or to attempt to draw them to their side, as they hired the services of one another. So then he says, that they would be for a lie to the kings of Israel, for they would gain nothing by having many auxiliaries. Some take the words actively, — that the kings of Israel had first deceived the citizens of Achzib: but this view is less probable; I am therefore disposed to adopt the other, — that though the citizens of Lachish tried to conciliate their neighbors with a great sum of money, especially the people of Achzib, this would be yet to no purpose; for it would be a lie to the people of Israel: or, it may be, that the Prophet’s meaning is this, — that the citizens of Achzib had already wished to bring aid, but in vain to the kings of Israel; for Lachish was one of the first cities which the Assyrians conquered; but it was within the kingdom of Judah, or on its borders. It is then probable that the kings of Israel had recourse to the aid of this people, and were not assisted. Now, as the citizens of Lachish also endeavored to extricate themselves from the hand of their enemies by such aid, the prophet derides such a folly, inasmuch as they did not become wise by experience, having seen with their own eyes, that such an help had been useless and deceptive to the kings of Israel: they ought then to have tried some other means rather than to expose themselves to the same deceptions. 7373     The two lines of this verse are improperly connected, and the word “sons” is substituted for “houses,” בתי, and there are no various readings, and the Septuagint has “houses.” The literal rendering is this, —
   Therefore thou wilt send presents to Moresheth-gath:
The houses of Achzib will be a lie (
i.e., false) to the kings of Israel.

   Henderson, after Cocceius, gives a different meaning to “presents,” שלוחים; and he renders it “divorce,” and says that it signifies letters of repudiation, and that it is to be taken here metaphorically for the breaking up of connection. The word only occurs in two other places, that is, in Exodus 18:2, and in 1 Kings 9:16; and in neither does it mean what is alleged. — Ed.
I cannot finish the chapter to-day.

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