« Prev Micah 6:12 Next »

Micah 6:12

12. For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

12. Quia (sic enim verto; nam qui putant esse relationum, frigide exponunt, cujus divites ejus impleverunt rapinis; potius est, quia 175175     There is nothing in what goes before for which a reason is given here: hence this אשר cannot be rendered as here proposed. It is an instance of a peculiarity in Hebrew, when a double pronoun is used. Literally it is, “Which the rich men of hers;” the reference is to the city mentioned in verse 9. Grotius, Newcome, and Henderson, render the words thus, “Whose rich men,” etc. The Welsh is very nearly the same, which no more than the Hebrew can with propriety be literally rendered in English or in the learned languages, — Yr hon y mae ei chyvoethogion yn llawn trais — The which her rich men are full of violence. But this mode of speaking has a more distinct and fuller reference to what is gone before than the simple relative “whose:” the connection is made more evident. — Ed. nam אשר saepe loco causalis particulae accipitur, quia ergo) divites ejus impleverunt (vel seipsos, vel domos suas, subaudiendum est) חמס, rapina (vel, violentia;) et incolae ejus locuti sunt fallaciam, et lingua eorum fallax (vel, fraudulenta) in ore ipsorum.


The Prophet means that the people were so given to avarice and plunder, that all the riches they had heaped together had been got by iniquitous robberies or by wicked gain. He now addresses the citizens of Jerusalem: for though iniquity then prevailed through the whole of Judea, there was yet a reason why he should distinctly accuse the inhabitants of Jerusalem; for they must have led the way by their example, and they were also worse in wickedness than the rest of the people: they were at least more obstinate, as they daily heard God’s Prophets.

Hence he says, her rich men gather not their wealth except by violence. It is indeed certain, that the rich were not then alone guilty before God; but this evil has too much prevailed, that the more liberty any one possesses, the more he employs it to do wrong. Those indeed who have not the power refrain, not because they are not inclined to do harm, but because they are as it were restrained; for poverty is often a bridle to men. As then the rich could spread their snares, as they had power to oppress the poor, the Prophet addresses his words to them, not that the rest were without fault or guilt, but because iniquity was more conspicuous in the rich, and that, because their wealthy as I have already said, gave them more power.

He afterwards extends his address to all the inhabitants, They all, he says, speak falsehood, that is, they have no sincerity, no uprightness; they are wholly given to frauds and deceits. And their tongue is false in their mouth This mode of speaking seems apparently absurd; for where can the tongue be except in the mouth? It appears then a sort of redundancy, when he says that their tongue was deceitful in their mouth. But it is an emphatical mode of speaking, by which the Hebrews mean, that men have falsehoods in readiness as soon as they open their mouth. It is then the same as though the Prophet had said, that no pure word and free from guile could come from them, for as soon as they opened their mouth, falsehoods instantly came forth; their tongue was fraudulent, so that none could expect from these men any truth or faithfulness. — How so? Because as soon as they began to speak, they instantly discovered some guile, there was ever in readiness some falsehood to circumvent the simple.

We now then see that not a few men were summoned before God’s tribunal, but that all without exception were condemned; as though the Prophet had said, that there was no more any integrity in the city, and that corruptions prevailed everywhere, for all were intent on deceiving one another. It follows —

« Prev Micah 6:12 Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection