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Micah 4:6-7

6. In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;

6. In die illa, inquit Jehova, colligam claudam, et ejectam congregabo, et quam malis afflixi;

7. And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.

7. Et ponam claudam in reliquias, et ultra ejectam in gentem robustam; regnabit Jehova super eos in monte Sion ex nunc usque in seculum.


The Prophet pursues the same subject. But we must ever remember what I have previously reminded you of, — that the trials would be so grievous and violent that there would be need of strong and uncommon remedies; for the faithful might have been a hundred times sunk, as it were, in the deepest gulfs, except they had been supported by various means. This then is the reason why the Prophet confirms so fully the truth which we have noticed respecting the restoration of the Church.

In that day, he says, I will gather the halting This metaphor is not only found here; for David sage that his own affliction was like that of halting. The word צלעה, tsaloe, means the side: hence they metaphorically call those halters who walk only on one side: it is the same as though he had said, that they were maimed or weak. 127127     It means, doubtless, no more here; some refer it to halting between two opinions, between idols and God: but such an idea is foreign to the drift of this passage. It is the depressed, weak, or afflicted and miserable state of the Church that is here set forth. — Ed. He then adds, I will assemble the ejected, whom I have afflicted. In the next verse he repeats the same, I will make the halting, he says, a remnant; that is, I will make her who is now halting to remain alive, and her who is cast afar off, a strong nation. Some explain אנאלאה, 128128     It is a Niphal participle from הלא, and corresponds in meaning with הנדחה, “the ejected,” in the last verse; only it is a stronger term, as it means one cast to a distance, while the latter signifies one cast or driven away. The first, as rendered by Junius and Tremelius, is procul disjecta, and the other is depulsaEd. enelae, in a more refined manner, and say that it means, She who is gone before; as though the Prophet said, God will sustain the halting, and to those who are lively he will add strength. But this exposition is too strained. We see that the context will not admit it; for the Prophet brings forward the Church here as afflicted by the hand of God, and nigh utter ruin: and then, on the other hand, he intimates, that it was to be restored by God’s power, and that it would thereby gather new strength, and flourish as before: he therefore calls the Church as one cast far away, as in the previous verse; and the other verse clearly shows, that the Prophet’s design was no other but to point out the twofold state of the Church.

Now, in the first place, we must observe, that the Prophet meets the trial then present, which must have otherwise depressed the hearts of the godly. He saw that they were in a manner broken down; and then their dispersion was as it were a symbol of final ruin. If then the faithful had their minds continually fixed on that spectacle, they might have a hundred times despaired. The Prophet therefore comes here seasonably to their help, and reminds them, that though they were now halting, there was yet in God new vigor; that though they were scattered, it was yet in God’s power to gather those who had been driven afar off. The meaning briefly is, that though the Church differed nothing for a time from a dead man, or at least from one that is maimed, no despair ought to be entertained; for the Lord sometimes raises up his people, as though he raised the dead from the grave: and this fact ought to be carefully noticed, for as soon as the Church of God does not shine forth, we think that it is wholly extinct and destroyed. But the Church is so preserved in the world, that it sometimes rises again from death: in short, the preservation of the Church, almost every day, is accompanied with many miracles.

But we ought to bear in mind, that the life of the Church is not without a resurrection, nay, it is not without many resurrections, if the expression be allowed. This we learn from the words of the Prophet, when he says, ‘I will then gather the halting, and assemble the driven away;’ and then he adds, ‘and her whom I have with evils afflicted.’ And this has been expressly said, that the faithful may know, that God can bring out of the grave those whom he has delivered to death. For if the Jews had been destroyed at the pleasure of their enemies, they could not have hoped for so certain a remedy from God: but when they acknowledged that nothing happened to them except through the just judgment of God, they could entertain hope of restoration. How so? Because it is what is peculiar to God to bring forth the dead, as I have already said, from the grave; as it is also his work to kill. We then see that what the Prophet promised, respecting the restoration of the Church, is confirmed by this verse: I am he, says God, who has afflicted; cannot I again restore you to life? For as your death is in my hand, so also is your salvation. If the Assyrians or the Chaldeans had gained the victory over you against my will, there would be some difficulty in my purpose of gathering you; but as nothing has happened but by my command, and as I have proved that your salvation and your destruction is in my power, there is no reason for you to think that it is difficult for me to gather you, who have through my judgment been dispersed.

He then adds, I will make the halting a remnant By remnant he understands the surviving Church. Hence the metaphor, halting, is extended even to destruction; as though he said, “Though the Jews for a time may differ nothing from dead men, I will yet cause them to rise again, that they may become again a new people.” It was difficult to believe this at the time of exile: no wonder, then, that the Prophet here promises that a posterity would be born from a people that were dead. For though Babylon was to them like the grave, yet God was able to do such a thing as to bring them forth as new men, as it really happened.

He afterwards subjoins And the driven afar off, a strong nation When the Jews were scattered here and there, how was it possible that God should from this miserable devastation form for himself a new people, and also a strong people? But the Prophet has put the contrary clauses in opposition to one another, that the Jews, amazed at their own evils, and astonished, might not cast away every consolation. As then he had dispersed them, he would again gather them, and would not only do this, but also make them a strong nation.

He then adds, Reign shall Jehovah over them on mount Zion, henceforth and for ever The Prophet no doubt promises here the new restoration of that kingdom which God himself had erected; for the salvation of the people was grounded on this — that the posterity of David should reign, as we shall hereafter see. And it is a common and usual thing with the prophets to set forth the kingdom of David, whenever they speak of the salvation of the Church. It was necessary then that the kingdom of David should be again established, in order that the Church might flourish and be secure. But Micah does not here name the posterity of David, but mentions Jehovah himself, not to exclude the kingdom of David, but to show that God would become openly the founder of that kingdom, yea, that he himself possessed the whole power. For though God governed the ancient people by the hand of David, by the hand of Josiah and of Hezekiah, there was yet, as it were, a shade intervening, so that God reigned not then visibly. The Prophet then mentions here some difference between that shadowy kingdom and the latter new kingdom, which, at the coming of the Messiah, God would openly set up. Jehovah himself shall then reign over them; as though he said, “Hitherto indeed, when the posterity of David held the government, as God himself created both David and his sons, and as they were anointed by his authority and command, it could not have been thought but that the kingdom was his, though he governed his people by the ministry and agency of men: but now God himself will ascend the throne in a conspicuous manner, so that no one may doubt but that he is the king of his people.” And this was really and actually fulfilled in the person of Christ. Though Christ was indeed the true seed of David, he was yet at the same time Jehovah, even God manifested in the flesh. We hence see, that the Prophet here in lofty terms extols the glory of Christ’s kingdom; as though he had said that it would not be a shadowy kingdom as it was under the Law. Jehovah then shall reign over you.

He then subjoins, on mount Zion. We know that the seat of the kingdom of Christ has not been continued on mount Zion; but this verse must be connected with the beginning of this chapter. The Prophet has previously said, From Zion shall go forth a law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. If then the interpretation of this place be asked, that is, how Jehovah showed himself the king of his people, and erected his throne on mount Zion, the answer is, that from thence the law went forth from that place, as from a fountain flowed the doctrine of salvation, to replenish the whole world. As then the Gospel, which God caused to be promulgated through the whole world, had its beginning on mount Zion, so the Prophet says that God would reign there. But we must at the same time observe, that through the defection and perfidy of the people it has happened that mount Zion is now only an insignificant corner of the earth, and not the most eminent in the world, as also the city Jerusalem, according to the prediction of Zechariah. Mount Zion then is now different from what it was formerly; for wherever the doctrine of the Gospel is preached, there is God really worshipped, there sacrifices are offered; in a word, there the spiritual temple exists. But yet the commencement of the Gospel must be taken to the account, if we would understand the real meaning of the Prophet, that is, that Christ, or God in the person of Christ, began to reign on mount Zion, when the doctrine of the Gospel from thence went forth to the extremities of the world. It now follows —

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