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Micah 6:10-11

10. Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable?

10. Adhuc an sunt in domo impii thesauri impietatis? Et modius macilentus deterestabilis (vel, provocans iram?)

11. Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?

11. An justificabo stateras impietatis, et sacculum ponderum doli?


Interpreters differ as to the word האש, eash: some think that it ought to be read האיש, eaish, with an addition of two letters, and render it, “Is it yet man?” But this would render the passage abrupt. Others translate, “Is there yet fire?” As though it was אש, ash; and they suppose that wealth, wickedly and unjustly got, is so called, because it consumes itself. But as this is against what grammar requires, I am more inclined to take their view, who think that האש, eash, is to be taken here for היש, eish, 172172     One MS. Has היש, which no doubt is the true reading. The Septuagint has μηπυρ, which seems to have no sense whatever. Many copies have האיש, and this is the reading followed by Junius and Tremelius, and their version is this, —
   Has any one still the house of a dishonest man?
The treasures of dishonesty?
And the small detestable ephah?

   — Ed.
, aleph being put for jod: and they rightly consider that the sentence is to be read as a question, Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the ungodly? If this view be approved, then we must consider the Prophet as proposing a question respecting a thing really monstrous, — How can it be that treasures, gathered by plunder and wickedness, still remain with you, since ye have been so often warned, and since God daily urges you to repentance? How great is your hardness, that no fear of God lays hold on your minds? But the meaning would not be unsuitable were we to regard God as a Judge examining them concerning a matter unknown, Are there still the treasures of impiety in the house of the ungodly? that is, “I will see whether the ungodly and wicked hide their treasures:” for God often assumes the character of earthly judges; not that any thing escapes his knowledge, but that we may know that he is not precipitant in deciding a question. This view, then, is by no means inappropriate, that is, that God here assumes the character of an earthly judge, and thus speaks, “I will see whether there are still treasures concealed by the ungodly; I will search their houses; I will know whether they have as yet repented of their crimes.” thus, then, may be understood the words of the Prophet, Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the ungodly? For God, as I have already said, shows that he would know respecting the plunders and the various kinds of cruelty which they had exercised.

He then adds, Is there the bare measure, that is, a measure less than it ought to be, which is detestable? 173173     Literally it is, “And the ephah of detestable scantiness?” Marckius renders the words, “Et ephah tenuitatis abominabilis?” Henderson, “And the accursed scanty ephah? Then he says,

Shall I justify? etc. 174174     האזכה. It is not true what Henderson says, that the verb זכה is not used transitively. See Psalm 73:13; Proverbs 20:9 Jerome renders the phrase, numquid approbabo? Our own version is no doubt correct. — Ed. This verse is connected with the last, and is added as an explanation. For God having come forth as a Judge, now shows what sort of Judge he is, even one who is not biased by favor, who does not change his judgment, who shows no respect of persons. But men, for the most part, greatly deceive themselves, when they transform God according to their own will, and promise to themselves that he will be propitious to them, provided they only make false pretensions to him. God then here declares, that he differs widely from earthly judges, who now incline to one side and then to another, who are changeable, and often deviate from the right course: but, on the contrary, he says here, Shall I justify wicked balances? shall I justify weights of fraud, or deceitful? that is, “Shake off all those delusions by which ye are wont to deceive yourselves; for I do not change either my nature or my purpose; but according to the true teaching of my Law, I will punish all the wicked without any respect of persons: wherever wickedness and iniquity are found, there punishment will be inflicted.”

We now then understand how these two verses harmonize together. God shows that he will be a judge, and then, that he differs from men, who often change, as it has been said, in their decisions.

I will mention another meaning, which will perhaps be preferred by some. The question, after the manner of the Hebrews, may be taken as an affirmation, as though he had said, that within a short time, (for עוד, oud, means sometimes a short time,) the treasures of iniquity would not be found, for they would be taken away: then follows a confirmation, for frauds and robberies by false measures and deceitful weights could not escape God’s judgment. The meaning then would be, that as God must necessarily, according to his own office, punish thefts, it cannot be that he will suffer men, who cheat by false weights to continue always unpunished. It now follows —

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