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Micah 4:9-10

9. Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.

9. Nunc quare vociferaris vociferatione? Rex nullus in te? Au conciliarius tuus periit? Quia te occupavit dolor quasi parturientem.

10. Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.

10. Dole et ignemisce, filia Sion, quasi parturiens; quia 131131     Tyne, עתה, is left out; nor is it restored in the comment. It should be, “For now thou shalt go forth from the city.” — Ed. exibis e civitate, et habitabis in ergo; et venies Babylonem usque; illic liberaberis, illic dedimet te Jehova e manu hostium tuorum.


The Prophet blends here things in their nature wholly contrary, — that the Jews were for a time to be cut off, — and that afterwards they were to recover their former state. Why, he says, dost thou cry out with crying? We must notice the Prophet’s design. He did not intend to overturn what he had before stated; but as the minds of the godly might have fainted amidst so many changes, the Prophet here gives them support, that they might continue firm in their faith; and hence he says, Why dost thou cry aloud with loud crying? That is, “I see that grievous troubles will arise capable of shaking even the stoutest hearts: time will be changeable; it will often be, that the faithful will be disturbed and degraded; but though various tumults may arise, and tempests throw all things into confusion, yet God will redeem his people.” We now then see what the Prophet means by saying, Why dost thou now cry? Why dost thou make an uproar? for the verb here properly means, not only to cry out, but also to sound the trumpet; as though he said, Why do the Jews so much torment themselves? There is he says, no doubt, a good reason.

And he adds, Is there no king among thee? This was doubtless the reason why the Jews so much harassed themselves; it was, because God had deprived them of their kingdom and of counsel: and we know what Jeremiah has said, ‘Christ,’ that is, the anointed of the Lord, ‘by whose life we breathe, is slain,’ (Lamentations 4:20.) Since, then, the whole Church derived as it were its life from the safety of its king, the faithful could not be otherwise than filled with amazement when the kingdom was upset and abolished; for the hope of salvation was taken away Is there, then, not a king among thee? and have thy counselors perished? Some think that the unfaithfulness of the people is here indirectly reproved, because they thought themselves to be destitute of the help of God and of his Christ, as though he said, — “Have ye forgotten what God has promised to you, that he would be your king for ever, and would send the Messiah to rule over you? nay, has he not promised that the kingdom of David would be perpetual? Whence then, is this fear and trembling, as though God no longer reigned in the midst of you, and the throne of David were hopelessly overturned?” These interpreters, in confirmation of this opinion, say, that Christ is here distinguished by the same title as in Isaiah 9:7; where he is called יועף, ivots, a counselor. But as in this verse, it is the Prophet’s design to terrify, and to reprove rather than to alleviate the grievousness of evils by consolation; it is more probable, that their own destitution is set before the people; as though Micah said, “What cause have you for trembling? Is it because your king and all his counselors have been taken away?” But what immediately follows proves that this sorrow arose from a just cause; it was because they were stripped of all those things which had been till that time the evidences of God’s favor.

Why then has pain laid hold on thee as on one in travail? Be in pain, he says, and groan; 132132     Ingemisce, groan, mourn, or sigh and sob. גחי, burst forth, or break out; that is, into tears or mourning. “Bring forth,” as it is rendered by Newcome and Henderson, seems not to be the import of the word here. It may be rendered, as Parkhurst proposes, “labor and bring forth.” — Ed. that is, I will not prevent thee to grieve and to mourn; as though he said, “Certainly even the strongest cannot look on calamities so dreadful, without suffering the heaviest sorrow; but though God may for a time subject his children to the greatest tortures, and expose them to the most grievous evils, he will yet restore them at length from their exile.” Thou shalt depart, he says, from the city, and dwell in the field: thou shalt come even to Babylon; but there thou shalt be delivered; there shall Jehovah redeem thee from the hand of thy enemies The import of the whole is, that though God would have a care for his people, as he had promised, there was yet no cause for the faithful to flatter themselves, as though they were to be exempt from troubles; but the Prophet, on the contrary, exhorts them to prepare themselves to undergo calamities, as they were not only to be ejected from their country, and to wander in strange lands like vagrants, but were to be led away into Babylon as to their grave.

But to strengthen the minds of the faithful to bear the cross, he gives them a hope of deliverance, and says, that God would there deliver them, and there redeem them from the hand of their enemies. He repeats the adverb, שם, shem, there, twice, and not without cause: for the faithful might have excluded every hope of deliverance, as though the gate of God’s power had been closed. And this is the reason why the Prophet repeats twice, there, there; even from the grave he will deliver and redeem thee: “Extend then your hope, not only to a small measure of favor, as though God could deliver you only from a state of some small danger, but even to death itself. Though then ye lay, as it were, in your graves, yet doubt not but that God will stretch forth his hand to you, for he will be your deliverer. God then in whose power is victory, can overcome many and innumerable deaths.”

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