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Septuagint Commentary Series


Stanley E. Porter
Richard S. Hess
John Jarick

The titles published in this series are listed at

A Commentary based on Micah in Codex Vaticanus


W. Edward Glenny

leiden | boston
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Glenny, W. Edward.
Micah : a commentary based on Micah in Codex Vaticanus / by W. Edward Glenny.
pages cm. – (Septuagint commentary series)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-28539-2 (hardback : alk. paper) – ISBN 978-90-04-28547-7 (e-book)
1. Bible. Micah–Commentaries. 2. Bible. Micah. Greek Manuscript. Vat. Gr. 1209.–Versions–Biblioteca
apostolica vaticana. 3. Bible. Micah. Greek. Septuagint–Translations into English. I. Bible. Micah. Greek.
Biblioteca apostolica vaticana Manuscript. Vat. Gr. 1209. 2013. II. Bible. Micah. English. Glenny. 2013. III. Title.

BS1614.G7S45 2015

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Abbreviations ix

Introduction to the Commentary on Micah 1

Text and Translation 17

Commentary 38

Bibliography 221
Index of References to Ancient Literature 228
Index of Authors 245

This is a great time for the study of the Septuagint with interest in it and
publications concerning it increasing at an extraordinary pace. In such an
environment Brill’s Septuagint Commentary Series offers its readers a unique
perspective on the text of the Septuagint. In this series we are attempting to
study the Greek text as an artifact in its own right and primarily for its own
sake, not as a witness to the developing tradition of the Hebrew text. It is very
likely that many early readers of the Septuagint would have read it from this
perspective, especially Christian readers. And this perspective offers valuable
insights into the meaning the Septuagint would have had for its early readers.
(See the introduction to the commentary on Micah for a comparison of the Brill
Septuagint Commentary series with other Septuagint commentary series.)
The past ten years my professional life have been devoted primarily to the
study of the Septuagint Minor Prophets, and this is the fourth volume on the
Septuagint Minor Prophets I have had the privilege to publish with Brill during
that time. I am thankful for this experience and more convinced that ever of
the importance of the Septuagint for biblical studies. And if the Lord gives me
more days to live and work, I pray this will not be the last commentary I am
able to write on the Septuagint Twelve.
As with most book project there are several people and institutions that have
contributed to my work, and I want to take this opportunity to thank some of
them and to express my appreciation for them. First, thanks to several who
read parts of this manuscript at various stages and offered helpful suggestions.
They include Aaron White, Chris Fresch, Gregory Rosauer, and Hannah Car-
penter. Thanks also to those who commented on and discussed the papers I
read on Septuagint Micah at various meetings, including the 2011 Annual sbl
Meeting and the 2012 and 2013 International sbl Meetings. Second, I am thank-
ful for all those at Brill who have helped me in the publication of this volume,
especially my editor, Stanley Porter, whose suggestions saved me from several
grammatical and linguistic errors. All who read parts of this manuscript and
made suggestions helped to make it better, and I am responsible for any errors
that remain. Third, I am thankful for the privilege that has been mine to occupy
the J. Edwin Hartill Chair in Biblical and Theological Studies at University of
Northwestern – St. Paul since 2011. One of the great benefits of occupying this
chair is extended time to research and write, and this commentary would not
have been possible without that time. Special thanks to the administration of
the university, especially to our President, Dr. Alan Cureton, and to our Senior
Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Janet Sommers, for supporting the aca-
viii preface

demic and scholarly pursuits of our faculty. Because of that support I was able to
write a portion of this book during a sabbatical at Tyndale House in Cambridge,
England in the spring of 2013. Thanks also to the staff and administration of Tyn-
dale for the opportunity to work there and the services they provided to me. In
addition, I would be remiss if I did not thank my wife, Jackie. She has always
encouraged me in my research and writing, and without her quiet encourage-
ment and support a project like this would never be possible. And finally, I
would like to thank and dedicate this book to all of my colleagues in Biblical
and Theological studies through my thirty-eight years of teaching at Pillsbury
College, Central Seminary, and University of Northwestern – St. Paul. Thank
you for your friendship, for the things you have taught me, and for your good
and godly influence on my life.

W. Edward Glenny
July 30, 2014

Throughout the commentary I have used the standard abbreviations for books
of the Bible, the Apocrypha, and Josephus instead of giving the full names of
books. When I refer to Micah the prophet or other prophets, I spell out the
name (i.e., Micah), but when I refer to the book of Micah or another prophetic
book I use the abbreviation (Mic).

abd The Anchor Bible Dictionary

acc. accusative
B Vaticanus
ba La Bible D’ Alexandrie
bdag Bauer, Walter, Frederick W. Danker, William F. Arndt, and F. Wilbur Gin-
grich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Chris-
tian Literature. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2000.
bdf Blass, Friedrich, and Albert Debrunner. A Greek Grammar of the New
Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Translated and revised by
Robert W. Funk. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1961.
Brenton Brenton’s translation of the lxx, found in The Septuagint Version, With
Apocrypha, Greek, and English. London: Samuel Bagster & Sons, n.d. Repr.,
Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976.
cd Damascus Document
C&S Conybeare, F.C. and St. George Stock. Grammar of Septuagint Greek.
Boston: Ginn and Company, 1905; Repr., Peabody, ma: Hendrickson, 2001.
ctat Barthélemy, Dominique. Critique Textuelle de l’ Ancien Testament. Tome 3.
Ezéchiel; Daniel et les 12 Prophétes. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,
chb Cambridge History of the Bible
dat. dative
Dines Dines, Jennifer Mary. “The Septuagint of Amos: A Study in Interpretation.”
Ph.D. Diss., London, 1991.
djd Discoveries in the Judaean Desert
dotp Boda, Mark J., and J. Gordon McConville, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testa-
ment: Prophets. Downers Grove, il: ivp Academic, 2012.
ecb Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible
edb Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
esp. especially
gen. genitive
Glenny Glenny, W. Edward. Finding Meaning in the Text: Translation Technique
and Theology in the Septuagint of Amos. SupVT 126; Leiden: Brill, 2009.
x abbreviations

h Hebrew
Heb Hebrew
hr Hatch and Redpath
idb The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by G.A. Buttrick. 4 vols.
Nashville, 1962.
leh Lust, J., E. Eynikel, and K. Hauspie. A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septu-
agint. 2 vols. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1992 and 1996.
lsj Liddell, H.G., R. Scott, and H.S. Jones. A Greek-English Lexicon. 9th ed. with
revised supplement. Oxford: University Press, 1996.
lxx.d Kraus, Wolfgang, and Martin Karrer. Septuaginta Deutsch: Das griechis-
che Alte Testament in deutscher Übersetzung. 2 vols. Stuttgart: Deutsche
Bibelgesellschaft, 2009.
lxx.e Karrer, M., and W. Kraus. Septuaginta Deutsch: Erläuterungen und Kom-
mentare zum griechischen Alten Testament. 2 vols. Stuttgart: Deutsche
Bibelgesellschaft, 2011.
mht Moulton, James Hope. A Grammar of New Testament Greek. 4 vols. Edin-
burgh: t&t Clark, 1908–1976.
mp Minor Prophets
mss manuscript(s)
mt Masoretic Text
Mur Muraoka, T. A Greek English Lexicon of the Septuagint: Chiefly of the Pen-
tateuch and the Twelve Prophets. Louvain: Peters, 2002.
Mur 88 Murabba’at 88
mur Muraoka, T. A Greek English Lexicon of the Septuagint. Louvain: Peters,
nets New English Translation of the Septuagint
nrsv New Revised Standard Version
nidotte New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis
nt New Testament
ocd Oxford Classical Dictionary. Edited by S. Hornblower and A. Spawforth. 3d
ed. Oxford, 1996.
ot Old Testament
pg J.-P. Migne, ed. Patrologiae cursus completus. Series Graeca. 166 vols. Paris:
Migne, 1857–1886.
pl. plural
sing. singular
Supp The Supplement to lsj
tdnt Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
Th Theodotian text of Daniel
× (as in 2 ×) the number of times something (usually a word) recurs (2× means 2
Introduction to the Commentary on Micah

This commentary is distinctive in several ways. First, it is a commentary on the

Greek text, or Septuagint (lxx), of Micah (Mic), and there are not many com-
mentaries on the lxx. The only commentary on lxx Mic available at the time
this commentary was written was the commentary by Helmut Utzschneider in
Septuaginta Deutsch (lxx.e), which was published in 2011. However, two more
commentary series on the Septuagint are being written. Eberhard Bons and
Jennifer Mary Dines are preparing the volume on Mic in La Bible D’ Alexandrie
(ba) commentary series (vol. 23.2), and Jan Joosten has been assigned the vol-
ume on the Minor Prophets in the Society of Biblical Literature Commentary
on the Septuagint (sblcs), which is a project of the International Organiza-
tion of Septuagint and Cognate Studies. So there is promise that soon more
commentaries on lxx Mic will be available. A second distinctive of this com-
mentary is that instead of being based on a modern edition of the Septuagint,
it is based on a single Greek manuscript: Vaticanus (B). By contrast, ba uses
Rahlfs as its textual base, lxx.e uses the Göttingen edition and Rahlfs for books
not yet completed in the Göttingen edition, and sblcs uses the best available
critical edition. Thirdly, this commentary differs from these other lxx com-
mentaries in its philosophy, since each of the commentary series mentioned
is concerned in slightly different ways with the relationship of the Greek text
to its Hebrew Vorlage. In the Brill Septuagint Commentary Series the authors
attempt to study the Greek text as an artifact in its own right and primarily for
its own sake, not as a witness to the developing tradition of the Hebrew text.
The goal in this commentary is to try to understand what the text of Mic, as
found in Vaticanus, would have meant to an early Greek reader who did not
know Hebrew and possibly did not even have access to the Hebrew text of the

Micah in the Septuagint Minor Prophets

The twelve so-called Minor Prophets, or the Twelve, have been read as a unit
from at least as early as Ben Sira, who referred to them as a distinct group
in about 190b.c.e.: “May the bones of the Twelve Prophets send forth new
life from where they lie, for they comforted the people of Jacob and delivered
them with confident hope” (Sira 49:10 nrsv). Because the books are consid-
ered to be a unit, many scholars believe that the order of the Twelve reflects
an intentional arrangement, and that they should be studied not only as indi-

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2015 | doi: 10.1163/9789004285477_002

2 introduction to the commentary on micah

vidual compositions but also as a single book, a coherent literary unit. When
employing such a canonical approach to the Twelve one not only studies the
individual books in their historical and literary contexts but also considers the
contribution of their canonical order to their meaning as individual books and
as a collection. Such an approach in the reading of the Twelve is at least as
important in the lxx as it is in the Hebrew Bible, especially since the arrange-
ment of the Twelve in the lxx differs from their arrangement in the Hebrew
The “dominant” order of the first six of the Twelve in the lxx is Hos, Amos,
Mic, Joel, Obad, and Jonah, and this is their order in Vaticanus (B). The order
of the last six books of the Twelve is the same in the lxx and in the Hebrew
Bible. Especially important for this study is the different position of Mic in the
lxx Minor Prophets than in the Hebrew Bible where it is follows Jonah and is
the sixth of the Minor Prophets. This variation may be due to an attempt for
accuracy in the chronological arrangement of the books (Swete, Introduction,
227); Hos, Amos, and Mic are the only books in the first six of the Twelve
that give chronological information in their superscriptions, and these are
the only three of the Twelve whose writing is dated to the second half of the
eighth century b.c.e. It is also possible that the length of the books may have
contributed to their arrangement in the lxx Twelve, and the first five may have
been arranged from longest to shortest, with Jonah placed at the end of the six
because it is different in character.
It is also possible that other factors may have influenced the location of Mic
among the Twelve in the lxx. The first three books of the Twelve in the lxx
arrangement, Hos, Amos, and Mic, address the Lord’s judgment of northern
Israel and Samaria from different perspectives, although each is also concerned
with Judah and Jerusalem. The progression of thought from Hos to Amos to Mic
may have been an important influence on the location of Mic in the lxx. There
is a sequence in the home countries of the first three prophets in the Twelve as
they relate to their ministries to the north and south. The prophet Hosea is from
the north and addresses his people, the prophet Amos is from the south and
addresses the north, and the prophet Micah is from the south and addresses
his own people, using the north as an example. Jones (192) suggests that the
book of Mic has a complementary relationship to the first two books because
in it the prophet applies “the historical lessons of the fate of Samaria (Mic 1:1,
5–7) to Judah and Jerusalem (Mic 1:5, 9; 3:9–12).” Thus, at the time of the writing
of Mic the judgment of the north, which was prophesied in Hos and Amos, has
come to pass and is an object lesson for the unrepentant people of the south,
whose death sentence is proclaimed for the first time in Mic (3:12) and is at
introduction to the commentary on micah 3

Mic and Joel, the book that follows it in the lxx, are connected by the
Zion tradition in these books. Mic gives more prominence to Jerusalem than
Hos or Amos does, as is clearly seen in the portrait of Zion in the last days
in 4:1–4 (parallel Isa 2:2–4), which shares themes with Joel 3:2 and 16 (Jones,
210; Jerusalem is also referred to in Joel 2:1, 15, 32; 3:17, 21). In both Mic and
Joel the nations are gathered to Jerusalem, but in Mic they are gathered in
peace to learn the ways of the Lord and to hear his law (4:1–4) and in Joel
they are gathered there to make war and to experience judgment (3:2–21).
Thus, this connection between these two books is based on the juxtaposition
of contrasting depictions of the future gathering of the nations at Jerusalem,
and these pictures complement each other and offer hope of deliverance and
blessing for a restored Jerusalem after the judgment prophesied for it elsewhere
in Mic (see Jones, 210 and 219). These images of the gathering of the nations
to Jerusalem also prepare the reader of the Twelve for the addresses to the
different nations that follow in Obad (Edom), Jonah and Nah (Nineveh and
Assyria), and Hab (Babylon).
The fact that the arrangement of the Twelve in the lxx differs from the
arrangement in the Hebrew Bible is important for the interpretation of lxx
Mic, because Mic is one of the books that differs most in its position in the lxx
from its position in the Hebrew Bible. In Mic the judgment on Samaria and
northern Israel is a lesson and warning for Jerusalem and Judah, and in the lxx
arrangement of Hos, Amos, and Mic the progression of the Lord’s dealings with
his people moves directly from the north to the south before attention is turned
to the nations. For a more detailed introduction to the Twelve in the lxx see
Glenny, Hosea, 1–23.

Micah in Vaticanus

Since the focus of this commentary is the Greek text of Mic as it is found in
Vaticanus, we will now turn our attention to that manuscript and the text of
Mic in it. Vaticanus is a “fourth-century vellum codex of the Bible” (Metzger,
74). Ziegler (Duodecim prophetae) was not able to identify the origin of the text
form in the Minor Prophets of Vaticanus; therefore, he grouped it with three
other uncial manuscripts: W, a papyrus in the Freer collection from the third
century c.e.; Sinaiticus (S), a codex from the fourth century c.e.; and Venetus
(V), a codex from the eighth century c.e.
Metzger thought the similarity of the text of Vaticanus with the Coptic ver-
sions and Greek papyri suggested the manuscript’s origin was in Egypt and
Alexandria (Metzger, 74). Hort believed it originated in Rome (Metzger, 74).
4 introduction to the commentary on micah

Skeat’s detailed theory of the history of Vaticanus is plausible and very inter-
esting, even though it cannot be proven with certainty (“The Codex Vaticanus
in the Fifteenth Century” and “The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus,
and Constantine”). Skeat argues Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are the work of the
same scriptorium in Caesarea, and he gives evidence that both codices were
among fifty Bibles commissioned by Constantine in a letter to Eusebius in
about 330c.e. Thus, possibly Vaticanus was commissioned by Constantine and
delivered to him in Constantinople from Caesarea. At some point between the
fourth century and the first record of Vaticanus’s presence in Rome in 1475 the
lettering in the manuscript was traced over in an attempt to make it more leg-
ible. The introduction of lectionaries and service books in the ninth century
would have rendered huge Bibles like Vaticanus obsolete, and apparently it
was neglected and deteriorated until it was renovated and missing portions
(from Genesis, Psalms, and the middle of Hebrews onward) were replaced in a
fifteenth-century hand. Since the first mention of it in an inventory of the Vat-
ican Library was in 1475, it is possible it came to Rome from Constantinople in
the period shortly before the Turks captured the Byzantine capital in 1453. Skeat
claimed that Vaticanus came to Italy when the Greek delegation presented it
as a gift to the Reunion Council of Ferrara-Florence of 1438–1439.
Auld’s commentary in this series ( Joshua, ix–xviii) has an excellent introduc-
tion to the format of the text in Vaticanus; however, the methods the scribes
used to divide the text in the Minor Prophets differ from those they used in
Joshua. The scribes used two main methods to indicate the divisions in the text
of the Minor Prophets in Vaticanus. The most basic and earliest divisions were
denoted clearly by the first scribe, who began each new section on a new line
which he extended slightly into the left margin. He also marked the end of a
section by leaving blank any unused balance of the final line in that section.
In order to begin each new section on a new line, sometimes the scribe had to
abbreviate or decrease the size of script at the end of the last line in the previous
section so he could fit everything in. Eleven different paragraphs are so marked
in Mic. These eleven paragraphs vary greatly in length; the shortest section is
one verse (1:1), and the longest section has 24 verses (1:10–3:4). These eleven
paragraphs are the basic divisions of the text of this commentary, and I tried to
summarize the contents of each with a title or heading. Auld (xii) suggests that
these most basic divisions of the text “direct our attention to what the scribe or
his tradition found important in the text.”
A second and later method of indicating divisions in the Minor Prophets of
Vaticanus is the use of numeral capital letters at the beginning of new sections
of the book (beta [2] through zeta [7]). Although in Vaticanus’s present state
there is no capital alpha at the beginning of the books of the Twelve to mark
introduction to the commentary on micah 5

the first paragraph (see below concerning their presence at an earlier time), one
has been placed at the beginning of this commentary; it was probably under-
stood in the manuscript. (In Mic in B it appears that a later scribe, perhaps
the one who wrote the superscript, added an alpha above the first column on
the left. This alpha is found at the beginning of several of the Minor Prophets
in B, but not all of them.) Thus, seven sections are distinguished by numeral
capital letters in the text of Mic in B, and all six of these section dividers cor-
respond with one of the original eleven paragraph divisions discussed above.
Skeat observes that the reason these divisions were inserted is “wholly obscure.”
He goes on to suggest, “Possibly they were originally intended to act as a prim-
itive form of collation, i.e. a check that the text was complete and continuous,
but if so the intention was very soon forgotten” (“The Codex Vaticanus in the
Fifteenth Century,” 457). These sections vary greatly in length; the shortest is the
gamma section, 3:5–12, and the longest is the delta section, 4:1–5:15. Some of the
breaks between these sections are not placed at major breaks in the develop-
ment of the book (the breaks between 3:4 and 5 and between 6:9a and 6:9b).
The list below shows the seven sections marked by numeral capital letter
divisions and the earlier eleven divisions, which are listed after the capital letter
divisions where they further divide the seven capital letter sections.

Α. (alpha) 1:1–9 — 1:1, 1:2–9

Β. (beta) 1:10–3:4
Γ. (gamma) 3:5–12 — 3:5–8, 3:9–12
Δ. (delta) 4:1–5:15 — 4:1–5, 4:6–7, 4:8–5:15
Ε. (epsilon) 6:1–9a
Ϝ. (digamma) 6:9b–7:6
Ζ. (zeta) 7:7–20

In Vaticanus each of the books of the Twelve begins with the first letter of the
text of the first verse capitalized in the left margin at the top of a column. These
were added to the text, and the original numeral capital letter marking the first
section (A) was erased when they were added (see above). (It is interesting that
in Psalms, Amos, Tobit, and Matthew there is a capitalized first letter of the
book in the margin which is repeated in the text. For example, at the beginning
of the text of Amos in B there is a capital lambda that was added in the margin
as well as the original one in the text at the beginning of the book; see Skeat,
“The Codex Vaticanus in the Fifteenth Century,” 458). In Mic there is a capital
kappa in the left margin, which is the first letter of the first word (καί), and the
faint original kappa can still be seen in the text. In B there are three columns
of Greek text on each page. The last column of a book is left blank after the
6 introduction to the commentary on micah

end of the book to the bottom of the column, except for a subscript containing
the name of the book and a numerical capital letter giving the place of the book
(i.e., one through twelve) in the order of the Twelve in Vaticanus. The next book
begins at the top of the next column.

Literary Structure of lxx Micah in Vaticanus

There are several major structural markers in lxx Mic that must be considered
in any analysis of the literary structure of the book. The five commands to
“hear” in 1:2; 3:1; 3:9; 6:1; and 6:9c are important indicators of changes of topic or
addressees. (There is also a command to “hear” in 6:2, but it parallels the one
in 6:1 and does not introduce a new section. The command in 6:9c is singular,
and the others are plural.) The covenant lawsuit material in 1:2–7 and 6:1–8,
with the Lord bringing his case against the nation of Israel, introduces the two
major divisions of the book: chapters 1–5 and chapters 6–7. Each of these two
major sections includes messages of judgment and blessing. The main blessing
sections in 4:1–5:15 and 7:7–20 conclude the two major sections of the book
(chapters 1–5 and 6–7), but there are also other messages of hope and comfort
in 1:15 and 2:12–13.
Especially important for the purposes of this commentary are the structural
markers related to the divisions of Mic in Vaticanus (B). As explained above,
in Vaticanus Mic has seven main divisions that are marked by the first seven
letters of the Greek alphabet, written as capitals, in the left column at the
beginning of the divisions and by paragraph breaks at those points. The seven
sections of Mic in B are 1:1–9; 1:10–3:4; 3:5–12; 4:1–5:15; 6:1–9b; 6:9c–7:6; and 7:7–
20. There are also paragraph breaks without markers in the column between 1:1
and 2, 4:5 and 6, and 4:7 and 8. There also appears to be an extension of the first
line of 3:9 into the left column, which suggests the scribe understood a break
of some sort between 3:8 and 9. The most awkward division in B is the break
between 3:4 and 5. Most understand chapter 3 to be a unit and see some sort
of break between 2:13 and 3:1, marked by the short message of hope in 2:12–13
and the command to “hear” in 3:1. But there is no break in B between chapters
2 and 3.
The first major section (the alpha section) of Vaticanus, or B, is 1:1–9. As
mentioned above, this major section is further divided by a paragraph break
between 1:1 and 2, which is marked by a space at the end of the last line of 1:1 and
the unusual extension of the first word of 1:2 into the margin. Since 1:1 is the title
of the book, there is also a change of subject between 1:1 and 1:2. The division
between 1:9 and 10 in the lxx does not appear in the mt, which has a break
introduction to the commentary on micah 7

between 1:7 and 8. In the mt there is a shift from the third person description
of the devastation of Samaria in 1:6–7 to the prophet’s first person lament over
Samaria’s wound and its spread to Judah and Jerusalem in 1:8–9. But in the lxx
the third person description of Samaria in 1:6–7 continues through 1:8 and 9,
and in the lxx 1:8 describes Samaria’s lament over her own fate in the third
person. Then there is a shift to the second person plural in 1:10. (In B there is
a shift to the second person plural in 1:8b [“you will make a lament”], differing
from the more common lxx reading [third singular, “she will make a lament”].
This shift connects 1:8 with the reference to Judah and Jerusalem in 1:9, but
it does not alter the connection of 1:8–9 to 1:6–7.) Both the Hebrew and lxx
connect 1:8 to 1:7 with a logical particle (“therefore, on account of this”).
The beta section in Vaticanus goes from 1:10–3:4. As noted above, there is no
break in B with the lament that begins in 2:1, nor with the editorial comment,
“And he will say,” at 3:1. Perhaps the reason that 3:1–4 was connected with the
preceding in B is because the “leaders of the house of Iakob” addressed in 3:1–4
were understood to be the same “leaders of my people” mentioned in 2:9 and
addressed in 2:1–11. (In the mt 2:9 speaks of “the women of my people.”) At any
rate there is a break in B between 3:4 and 5, and a new section begins with the
address to the “prophets” in 3:5.
This third major section of Mic in Vaticanus (the gamma section) in 3:5–12
contains oracles reproaching the failed leaders of Jerusalem, and it appears
there is a minor division in this section at the end of 3:8 marked in B by the
small extension of the first word of 3:9 (ἀκούσατε) into the left column. Thus,
3:5–12 is divided in B between the oracle concerning the prophets in 3:5–8 and
the oracle concerning the “leaders of the house of Iakob” in 3:9–12. The break
between 3:12 and 4:1 is clear in the mt and lxx.
The delta section, 4:1–5:15, contains a positive message beginning with “And
it shall come to pass in the last days.” This major section has paragraph breaks
in B between 4:5 and 6 and between 4:7 and 8. The first salvation oracle in 4:1–5
describes the salvation of the “nations.” The second salvation oracle in 4:6–7
begins “In that day, says the Lord” and describes the restoration and salvation
of the broken remnant of Israel; its ending is marked by the Lord reigning in
Mount Zion “from now and forever.” The next paragraph (4:8–5:15) begins by
addressing “daughter Sion” (4:8; see also 4:10 and 13), who will be delivered
from Babylon and defeat the enemies gathered against her (4:8–13). This salvific
theme continues to 5:15 describing a leader who will arise from Bethlehem, the
Lord’s deliverance of Jacob from their enemies, and the restoration of Jacob to
the Lord.
Section epsilon begins at 6:1 and continues to 6:9b in Vaticanus. The com-
mand to “hear” and the covenant lawsuit in 6:1–8 mark the beginning of a new
8 introduction to the commentary on micah

section. The break between 6:9b and 6:9c in B at the end of this section dif-
fers from that of the mt which occurs more naturally between 6:8 and 6:9. In
the mt the break between 6:8 and 9 is marked by the voice of the Lord call-
ing out to the city in 6:9a, and the remainder of the section (6:9–16) contains
the Lord’s prophecy of judgment, describing the wrongdoings of the people.
The lxx differs from the mt in several ways in 6:9. It is much more positive
in 6:9a–b, describing the people invoking the “voice of the Lord” for the city
and the Lord saving those fearing his name. Then in 6:9c Vaticanus begins a
new section by addressing the “tribe” with a vocative and commanding them
to “hear.” In B the sixth section (marked by digamma) begins at 6:9c and con-
tinues through 7:6 without any break at 7:1 though 7:1–6 is a lament (marked by
the exclamation “woe” in 7:1 [also in 7:4 in the lxx]).
The seventh and final section of Mic in B (marked by zeta) is 7:7–20. The
break in B between 7:6 and 7 is also found in some modern editions of the lxx
(e.g., Ziegler and Rahlfs), although nets follows many interpreters of the mt
who believe there is a break between 7:7 and 8. (The paragraph division in the
mt is actually between 7:8 and 9.) The difference of opinion on the exact point
for the division in this section reflects the different ways one could understand
the development of thought here. The change from third person to first person
between 7:6 and 7:7 and the statement of confidence in the Lord in 7:7 suggest
a break between 7:6 and 7:7 where B places it. However, the command to the
adversary in 7:8 also marks a possible break (between 7:7 and 7:8). Crucial
for the division followed in this study is the major paragraph break the scribe
makes in B between 7:6 and 7:7.
Andersen and Freedman (15) chart the divisions in the Greek text of the
Minor Prophets from Murabbaʿat Cave 5 and the Greek Minor Prophets scroll
from Nahal Hever, and both have breaks at 3:5, 4:6, and 4:8, as B does. Thus, the
breaks at these somewhat unexpected places in B are not random. Andersen
and Freedman show that other early copies of the lxx and Hebrew Bible also
support these divisions. In fairness, it should be noted that the Greek text of
the Minor Prophets from Murabbaʿat Cave 5 and the Greek Minor Prophets
scroll from Nahal Hever have other divisions at places where B has none. It is
noteworthy that none of the manuscripts Andersen and Freedman chart have
breaks where B does between 6:9b and 6:9c and between 7:6 and 7:7; those
divisions are peculiar to B.
introduction to the commentary on micah 9

Other Literary Features of lxx Micah in Vaticanus

In addition to the structure or divisions of lxx Mic in Vaticanus it is helpful

to think about some of the other literary features that a Greek reader could
notice in the book. First, the book is enclosed by the theme of the Lord being a
“witness” (εἰς μαρτύριον). In 1:2 the Lord comes down to the earth to bear witness
to his wrath against the sins of his people, and at the end of the book in 7:18 the
Lord “does not retain his anger for a witness” because he is a God of mercy. Thus,
in lxx Mic the Lord is a God who bears witness to his wrath against sin and to
his mercy concerning sins. In many ways this theme summarizes lxx Mic. The
fact that the lxx differs from the Hebrew with this reading in 7:18 could suggest
it was especially important to the translator (see the discussion at 7:18).
There are also several possible double translations in lxx Mic. Such render-
ings are also found in other books of the Twelve (see Glenny, 49–50, on the
double translations in Amos; see also Joel 1:5), but lxx Mic has a good number
of them. Some of the possible double translations in lxx Mic are found in 3:4;
4:10; 5:6; 6:1, 10; 7:4 and 12. Perhaps the most important double translation in B
is the last sentence in 6:15 and the first sentence in 6:16.
Dogniez and Joosten (“Micah”) comment on the style of the Greek in lxx
Mic. They point out that the Greek rendering of lxx Mic adheres closely to
the “word order and grammatical structure of the Hebrew text” and therefore
the translation is “stylistically very peculiar, at least from the point of view of
classical literature.” They also note that there are several Hebraisms in lxx
Mic, such as the expressions τίθημι εἰς in 1:6 and 7 and πρὸ προσώπου in 2:13,
and several fine choices of Greek vocabulary, such as αὐχμώδης in 4:8, the
middle voice of ἀνατίθημι in 7:5, ἐφοράω in 4:11 and 7:10, πιέζω in 6:15, and the
idiomatic saying κοσμέω πόλιν in 6:9 (see discussion there). They also note that
the “connections to the language and translation technique of the Pentateuch
and Isaiah indicate that Micah, and the entire Dodecapropheton, has been
translated in a milieu where the text of Scripture was studied extensively in
the Greek version.” Examples of connections with the Pentateuch are found in
the spelling of the proper noun Νεβρώδ in 5:5 (see Gen 10:8–9), the rendering
ἀποστρέψει τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ in 3:4 (see Deut 32:20), and the rendering ἄλσος
in 5:14 (see Exod 34:13). There is evidence of dependence on lxx Isa in the
rendering ὀπωροφυλάκιον in 1:6 and 3:12 (see Isa 1:8 and possibly Ps 78:1) and
in the rendering of 4:1–3 (see Isa 2:2–4); the Isa connections are developed in
the discussion of these passages in Mic in the commentary (see also Muraoka,
“Introduction aux Douze Petits Prophètes,” xi).
It is difficult to prove that renderings in lxx Mic were intentionally moti-
vated by the theological concerns of the translator. One apparent example of a
10 introduction to the commentary on micah

theological rendering is Mic 4:5 where the Hebrew “all the peoples walk, each
in the name of its god” (nrsv) is rendered “all the people will walk, each in
his own way,” apparently trying to avoid the suggestion that other gods exist.
Joosten (“Une théologie de la Septante?”) has argued that a “literal” translation
technique in the rendering of the lxx, like that found in Mic and the rest of the
Twelve, indicates that the translator had great respect for his source text and
regarded it as God’s inspired Word; thus, even where the translator does not
know the precise meaning of his Vorlage, he attempts to translate it very liter-
ally. There are several sections of lxx Mic where the translator seems to have
had trouble understanding his Hebrew Vorlage, and in spite of his lack of a pre-
cise understanding of it he seems to employ a “literal” translation technique
(see esp. 1:10–15; 2:6–11; 6:10–16).

Reception History of lxx Micah

There is evidence that soon after the first parts of it were completed the Greek
version of the Hebrew Scriptures became an authoritative source within the
Greek speaking Jewish community. Joosten summarizes that “later translators
and writers linked up with the vocabulary, the style and the ‘spirit’ of the earlier
parts” (“The Prayer of Azariah,” 6). He goes on to demonstrate that the Prayer of
Azariah, which is included in the Greek versions of Daniel 3, is a clear example
of this practice, and one of the many passages from elsewhere in the Greek
Scriptures that is clearly reused in the Prayer of Azariah is Mic 6:7 (see esp.
“The Prayer of Azariah,” 12–13); he notes (p. 12, n. 14) that Dan 3:39 and lxx Mic
6:7 “have at least five words in common.”
Two passages from Mic are cited in the nt: Mic 5:2, 4 and Mic 7:6. Mic 5:2
and 4 is cited in Matt 2:6, and Mic 7:6 is cited in Matt 10:35–36 and Luke 12:53.
Utzschneider (“Flourishing Bones,” esp. 277, 286–287) develops the connec-
tions between these lxx texts and the nt. The citation of Mic 5:2 in Matt 2:6
is an interpretive rendering of the text, which only has about eight words in
common with the lxx text (Utzschneider, “Flourishing Bones,” 277; see also
Shepherd, 40–42, and the discussion in the commentary on 5:2). The text cited
in Matt 2:6 differs from the mt, the lxx, and Targum Jonathan (Shepherd, 41;
Lust, “Mic 5,1–3,” 88), and perhaps the lxx text “was spurned because it did not
favor the messianic interpretation adopted by the gospel writer” (Dogniez and
Joosten, “Micah”; see also Lust, “Mic 5,1–3,” 88). The citation of Mic 7:6 in Matt
10:35 and the parallel passage Luke 12:53 is found in contexts that describe the
effect of Jesus’ coming; his coming will cause division between close members
of a household, like the disorder that results in households as a result of the
introduction to the commentary on micah 11

sin and corruption of society described in Mic (see discussion at Mic 7:6). On
the basis of what follows Mic 7:6 Shepherd (42) writes concerning this verse
that “it is clear that Micah has eschatological tribulation in view followed by
ultimate restoration (see Tg. Jon. Mic 7:6)”; however, it is likely that the escha-
tological interpretation of Mic 7:6 begins with the Targum (see Büchner, 167).
The relationship of the text form of Mic 7:6 cited in Luke and Matt to the lxx
is not clear (Dogniez and Joosten, “Micah”); the citation in Luke comes closer
to the lxx text form than does the citation in Matt (Utzschneider, “Flourish-
ing Bones,” 277, 286). Heil (“Die Rezeption von Micha 7:6lxx,”212–213) points
out that the topos of hate and strife among people in the last days is also found
elsewhere in contemporary Jewish literature ( Jub. 23:19; 3 Bar. 4:17; 1 En. 91:11–17;
Sib. Or. 8:84ff.).
On the basis of his research in the Church Fathers for the volume on Mic in
La Bible d’Alexandrie Roukema points out that the Fathers understood many
verses in Mic to testify to Jesus Christ. Such a Christianized reading of Mic was
based partly on their allegorical reading of the book. He notes (pp. 717–718)
that “already in the first decades of Christianity the view that Jesus Christ is the
Lord, in the sense of Yahweh, had originated” (from texts like Phil 2:9–11), and
texts about the Lord revealing himself to humans were understood to refer to
the preexistent Lord, Jesus Christ. Thus, it was a logical step to understand the
prophecy of the Lord descending to earth in Mic 1:2–4 to refer to Jesus Christ,
and once it was established that the beginning of Mic referred to Jesus Christ
it followed naturally that the rest of the book did also, especially in view of the
quotation from Mic 5:2, which according to Matt 2:6 points to Christ.

Textual Notes

The text of the Twelve in Vaticanus (Codex 1209 in the Vatican Library) was ana-
lyzed in a digital copy to which I was given access at the Vatican Library and in
the Facsimile Edition of B (Bibliorum Sacrorum Graecorum Codex Vaticanus B.
Roma: Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 1999). The text in the commen-
tary is an attempt to reconstruct the original of B. I began with Swete’s text as
my base, and then I adapted it to reflect the original readings of B, as far as I
was able to do so.
There were apparently two scribes who wrote the text of B; one for the ot
(scribe “A”) and one for the nt (scribe “B”). Although the first corrector of
B (generally identified with the diorthotes, or official corrector of the scrip-
torium), who was a contemporary of the scribes who wrote it, made early
changes, the text reflected in this commentary is the original, before his cor-
12 introduction to the commentary on micah

rections, as far as possible. In the 10th or 11th century the original text of B was
overwritten letter by letter, and accents and breathings were newly supplied,
and some corrections were made (abd, 1:1074); I think Swete would call this
corrector Ba. Swete notes that a late instaurator (Bb?) went over the whole text
“spoiling its original beauty, and preserving often the corrections of Ba rather
than the original text” (Introduction, 128).
The textual notes in this commentary are meant to help the reader under-
stand the text of Vaticanus (B) that is the basis of this commentary. They are
based on my collation of the text of Vaticanus and the notes in the Greek texts
of the three main editions of the lxx: Swete, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. The purpose of
the textual notes is to aid the modern reader who is looking at one of the three
main modern editions and wants to compare it to B. The notes do not interact
with every variant in the text of lxx Mic, nor do they include all the evidence
for the variants noted, as will be obvious. The text notes are meant to give the
reader the main differences between B and other manuscripts as well as the
main differences between B and the three modern editions of the lxx Twelve
that were consulted for this commentary. They also provide most of the differ-
ences between the original of B and the correctors of it and the main differences
between the three modern editions of the Twelve. Also, the text notes give rep-
resentative texts in support of the readings mentioned, as best they could be
determined from the apparatuses of modern editions.
The readings discussed in the text notes include differences in spelling, with
the exception of differences concerning the use of the moveable nu and some
differences in vowels. However, the original text of B in the commentary is an
attempt to reflect the spellings in the original of B, including nus and vowels.
Some of the most common differences between B and modern editions of
the lxx are variations in the vowels, most of which are due to altered pronun-
ciation. In his introductory comments on the orthography and phonetics of
the lxx Thackeray explains that at the time when the oldest uncials, includ-
ing B, were written (4th–6th century c.e.) “there was no fixed orthography in
existence.” He continues by explaining specifically that “the diphthongs had
ceased to be pronounced as such, and scribes now wrote indifferently αι or ε,
ει or ι, οι or υ, having nothing to guide them in their choice but any acquain-
tance which they happened to possess with classical models” (71). I have tried
to note most times where the vowels in B differ from modern Greek editions;
however, since the vowels in B vary from modern editions with regularity I have
not listed all of the variations in the text notes. For example, in Mic in B Σιών
is spelled Σειών, and I have not noted all occurrences of this place name in the
notes, although I have tried to reproduce the spellings in B in the Greek text
in this commentary. (In Mic Swete’s text also reflects the spelling Σειών, found
introduction to the commentary on micah 13

in B.) Especially common in B is the scribe’s preference to write long ι as ει

(Thackeray, 85–86) and the exchange of αι and ε (Thackeray, 77–78; see also the
discussion in Auld, xvi–xvii). The tendency to level out the phonetic distinc-
tions in classical Greek beginning in the 3rd and 2nd centuries b.c.e. would
have been a factor in these changes in spellings. Especially import was the ten-
dency toward itacism (iotacism), the movement toward pronouncing certain
vowels and diphthongs (ι, ει, η [ῃ], οι, υ [υι]) like ι. For further discussion of the
pronunciation and interchange of Greek vowels and diphthongs see Caragou-
nis, esp. 350–377, and Gignac, 181–333.
Another interesting misspelling is in Mic 4:10 and 7:10 where it looks like the
original spelling ἐκθρῶν was changed by the corrector to ἐχθρῶν; this change as
well as many of the differences in the vowels suggest the scribe(s) responsible
for B may have been listening to someone read the text to them as they wrote
it. At other times they spell this word with the traditional spelling (5:9; 7:6, 8).
Other readings, like εἴξουσιν in 7:12 instead of ἥξουσιν, also suggest the original
scribe was writing what he heard.
The symbols used in this commentary for the manuscripts and text notes are
fairly standard; they are as follows:

A Codex Alexandrinus
B Codex Vaticanus
L Lucian’s text. This is taken from Rahlf’s lxx.
Q Codex Marchalianus
S Codex Sinaiticus
V Codex Venetus
H Hebrew
Mur 88 Murabba’at 88
Mss manuscript or manuscripts
* the original reading of a mss
(?) the reading is questionable
c the reading of a corrector of a mss
ab the readings of the first and second correctors of a mss
mg reading in the margin
† only the mss which are cited and, at the most, not more than one minuscule,
which is not mentioned, support the reading. This is a common classification
in Rahlfs text that has been adopted here, following him.
= corresponding to. This symbol is used, for example, when a reading corre-
sponds to the reading in the Masoretic Text (= mt).
modern editions Swete, Rahlfs, and Ziegler
14 introduction to the commentary on micah

Chapter and Verse Divisions and Capitalization

The chapter and verse divisions follow Swete and nets. Where these two might
differ in verse or chapter divisions I try to mention this in the commentary, and
I usually follow nets. In the English translation of Vaticanus I capitalize the
first words of sentences, the first words of direct speech, and proper nouns. In
Greek I have followed the pattern I found in modern editions of the Greek text
of capitalizing the first words of paragraphs, the first words of direct speech,
and proper nouns. Of course, there are many differences of opinion on the
identification of proper nouns and also on what should be classified as direct
speech. For example, nets does not consider the Lord’s messages in the Oracles
to the Nations in Amos 1–2 to be direct speech, but Swete does. Nomina sacra
in B are reproduced in the Greek text of the commentary by all capital letters;
I have not employed a macron to indicate when a word is contracted, as
Vaticanus does. Also, I have not used nomina sacra in the text notes or in the
Greek citations in the commentary.

Punctuation, Spelling, and Italics

Punctuation generally follows Swete for Greek and nets for English. I have not
tried to mark paragraph divisions in the Greek text and English translation, but
the paragraph divisions in Vaticanus are marked in the commentary. Spelling
of names and place names in the English translation follows nets as far as
possible. In the text for this commentary I have written out in full the words
that are abbreviated at the ends of lines.
I have tried to translate literally. Occasionally where I thought it was nec-
essary, items were added in the English translation that are not explicit in the
Greek in order to communicate the sense of the Greek in English. Where this
is done the added items are italicized.

Introduction to the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Septuagint

For a discussion of introductory issues related to the Twelve Minor Prophets

in the Septuagint, see Glenny, 241–265; Glenny, Hosea, 1–23 (“Introduction to
the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Septuagint”); and Glenny “Septuagint Minor
Prophets.” In those works I propose that the translation of the Twelve is the
work of one translator (with the possible exception of Hab 3) in about the
middle of the second century b.c.e. in Egypt.
introduction to the commentary on micah 15

Citations in the Commentary

Normally the last name of the author and page number(s) are used to designate
the source of material cited or referred to in the commentary. Where an author
has more than one work in the bibliography the last name and an abbreviated
form of the title of the work cited are given. There are two exceptions to this.

Brenton: The Septuagint Version, With Apocrypha, Greek, and English. London: Samuel
Bagster & Sons, n.d. Repr., Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976.
Glenny: Glenny, W. Edward. Finding Meaning in the Text: Translation Technique and
Theology in the Septuagint of Amos. SupVT 126; Leiden: Brill, 2009.
Text and Translation

1:1 ΚΑΙ ἐγένετο λόγος ΚΥ πρὸς Μειχαίαν τὸν τοῦ Μωρασθεὶ ἐν ἡμέραις Ἰωαθὰμ
καὶ Ἀχὰζ καὶ Ἑζεκιοὺ βασιλέων Ἰούδα, ὑπὲρ ὧν εἶδεν περὶ Σαμαρείας καὶ περὶ
1:2 Ἀκούσατε, λαοί, λόγους, καὶ προσεχέτω ἡ γῆ καὶ πάντες οἱ ἐν αὐτῇ, καὶ ἔσται
ΚΣ ΚΣ ἐν ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον, ΚΣ ἐξ οἴκου ἁγίου αὐτοῦ.
1:3 διότι ἰδοὺ ΚΣ ἐκπορεύεται ἐκ τοῦ τόπου αὐτοῦ, καὶ καταβήσεται ἐπὶ τὰ ὕψη τῆς
1:4 καὶ σαλευθήσεται τὰ ὄρη ὑποκάτωθεν αὐτοῦ, καὶ αἱ κοιλάδες τακήσονται ὡς
κηρὸς ἀπὸ προσώπου πυρός, καὶ ὡς ὕδωρ καταφερόμενον ἐν καταβάσει.
1:5 διὰ ἀσέβειαν Ἰακὼβ πάντα ταῦτα, καὶ διὰ ἁμαρτίαν οἴκου Ἰσραήλ. τίς ἡ ἀσέβεια
τοῦ Ἰακώβ, οὐ Σαμάρεια; καὶ τίς ἡ ἁμαρτία οἴκου Ἰούδα, οὐχὶ Ἰερουσαλήμ;
1:6 καὶ θήσομαι Σαμάρειαν εἰς ὀπωροφυλάκιον ἀγροῦ καὶ εἰς φυτίαν ἀμπελῶνος,
καὶ κατασπάσω εἰς χάος τοὺς λίθους αὐτῆς, καὶ τὰ θεμέλια αὐτῆς ἀποκαλύψω·
1:7 καὶ πάντα τὰ γλυπτὰ αὐτῆς κατακόψουσιν, καὶ πάντα τὰ μισθώματα αὐτῆς
ἐμπρήσουσιν ἐν πυρί, καὶ πάντα τὰ εἴδωλα αὐτῆς θήσομαι εἰς ἀφανισμόν· διότι
ἐκ μισθωμάτων πορνείας συνήγαγεν, καὶ ἐκ μισθωμάτων πορνείας συνέστρε-
1:8 ἕνεκεν τούτου κόψεται καὶ θρηνήσει, πορεύσεται ἀνυπόδετος καὶ γυμνή, ποιή-
σετε κοπετὸν ὡς δρακόντων καὶ πένθος ὡς θυγατέρων σειρήνων·
1:9 ὅτι κατεκράτησεν ἡ πληγὴ αὐτῆς, διότι ἦλθεν ἕως Ἰούδα καὶ ἥψατο ἕως πύλης
λαοῦ μου, ἕως Ἰερουσαλήμ.
1:10 Οἱ ἐν Γέθ, μὴ μεγαλύνεσθε, οἱ ἐν Ἀκείμ, μὴ ἀνοικοδομεῖτε ἐξ οἴκου καταγέλωτα·
γῆν καταπάσασθε καταγέλωτα ὑμῶν·

ΜΕΙΧΑΙΑϹ] The title in B was originally the longer form of the author’s name (also in W and
followed by Swete), but the corrector changed it to the shorter form ΜΙΧΑΙΑϹ, by not darkening
the epsilon; Rahlfs and Zeigler use the shorter form. In B and several other manuscripts the
superscription (and subscription) is followed by Γ to indicate that this is the third book of the
Twelve. 1:1 μειχαίαν] B* and Swete | μιχαιαν Bc, A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler; see the note above on
the superscription. 1:2 κύριος κύριος] B (using nomina sacra) and Swete (who capitalizes the
kappa in the second occurrence of κύριος) | κύριος A, Q*, Rahlfs, Ziegler; several other mss add
ὁ θεός to κύριος. 1:3 καὶ καταβήσεται] B*, V, and Swete | καὶ καταβήσεται καὶ ἐπιβήσεται Ba,b, W,
L, C, Rahlfs and Ziegler | καὶ ἐπιβήσεται A and Q*. 1:6 φυτίαν] B* and Swete | φυτείαν Ba?,b, A,
Qa, Rahlfs and Ziegler. See Thackeray, § 6, 24–26, on this common interchange of vowels. 1:8
ποιήσετε] B | ποιήσεται Swete, Rahlfs, and Ziegler.
Chapter One

(1) And the word of the Lord came to Meichaias, the son of Morasthi, in the
days of Ioatham, and Achaz, and Hezekias of Ioudas concerning the things he
saw regarding Samaria and regarding Ierousalem. (2) Hear these words, you
peoples, and let the earth pay attention and all those in it; and the Lord God
will be among you for a witness, the Lord from his holy house. (3) For, behold,
the Lord is coming forth from his place, and he will come down upon the high
places of the earth. (4) And the mountains will quake beneath him, and the
valleys will melt like wax before fire and like water flowing down in a precipice.
(5) All these things are because of the ungodliness of Iakob and because of the
sin of the house of Israel. What is the ungodliness of Iakob? Is it not Samaria?
And what is the sin of the house of Ioudas? Is it not Ierousalem? (6) And I will
make Samaria a garden-watcher’s hut in a field and a place for the planting of a
vineyard, and I will pull down her stones into a chasm, and I will uncover her
foundations. (7) And they will cut in pieces all her carved idols, and they will
set on fire all her wages, and I will condemn to destruction all her idols. For she
gathered them together from the wages of prostitution, and she accumulated
them from the wages of prostitution. (8) On account of this she will mourn
and she will lament, she will go barefoot and naked; you will make a lament
like dragons and mourning like the daughters of sirens. (9) Because her blow
has prevailed, for it has come as far as Ioudas; and it has reached as far as
the gate of my people, as far as Ierousalem. (10) You in Geth, do not consider
yourselves great; you in Akeim, do not rebuild from a house a laughingstock;
20 micah

1:11 κατοικοῦσα καλῶς τὰς πόλεις αὐτῆς, οὐκ ἐξῆλθεν κατοικοῦσα Σενναάρ, κόψα-
σθε οἶκον ἐχόμενον αὐτῆς· λήμψεται ἐξ ὑμῶν πληγὴν ὀδύνης.
1:12 τίς ἤρξατο εἰς ἀγαθὰ κατοικούσῃ ὀδύνας; ὅτι κατέβη κακὰ παρὰ ΚΥ ἐπὶ πύλας
1:13 ψόφος ἁρμάτων καὶ ἱππευόντων. κατοικοῦσα Λαχεὶς ἀρχηγὸς ἁμαρτίας αὕτη
ἐστὶν τῇ θυγατρὶ Σειών, ὅτι ἐν σοὶ εὑρέθησαν ἀσέβειαι τοῦ Ἰσραήλ·
1:14 διὰ τοῦτο δώσει ἐξαποστελλομένους ἕως κληρονομίας Γέθ, οἴκους ματαίους, εἰς
κενὸν ἐγένοντο τοῖς βασιλεῦσιν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ
1:15 ἕως τοὺς κληρονόμους ἀγάγωσιν, κατοικοῦσα Λαχείς· κληρονομία ἕως Ὀδολ-
λὰμ ἥξει, ἡ δόξα τῆς θυγατρὸς Ἰσραήλ.
1:16 ξύρησαι καὶ κεῖραι ἐπὶ τὰ τέκνα τὰ τρυφερά σου, ἐνπλάτυνον τὴν χηρίαν σου ὡς
ἀετός, ὅτι ᾐχμαλωτεύθησαν ἀπὸ σοῦ.
2:1 Ἐγένοντο λογιζόμενοι κόπους καὶ ἐργαζόμενοι κακὰ ἐν ταῖς κοίταις αὐτῶν, καὶ
ἅμα τῇ ἡμέρᾳ συνετέλουν αὐτά, διότι οὐκ ἦραν πρὸς τὸν ΘΝ τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν·
2:2 καὶ ἐπεθύμουν ἀγρούς, καὶ διήρπαζον ὀρφανούς, καὶ οἴκους κατεδυνάστευον,
καὶ διήρπαζον ἄνδρα καὶ τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἄνδρα καὶ τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ.
2:3 διὰ τοῦτο τάδε λέγει ΚΣ Ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ λογίζομαι ἐπὶ τὴν φυλὴν ταύτην κακά, ἐξ
ὧν οὐ μὴ ἄρητε τοὺς τραχήλους ὑμῶν, καὶ οὐ μὴ πορευθῆτε ὀρθοὶ ἐξαίφνης, ὅτι
καιρὸς πονηρός ἐστιν.
2:4 Ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ λημφθήσεται ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς παραβολή, καὶ θρηνηθήσεται θρῆνος
ἐν μέλει λέγων Ταλαιπωρίᾳ ἐταλαιπωρήσαμεν· μερὶς λαοῦ μου κατεμετρήθη ἐν
σχοινίῳ, καὶ οὐκ ἦν ὁ κωλύσων αὐτὸν τοῦ ἀποστρέψαι· οἱ ἀγροὶ ἡμῶν διεμερί-
2:5 διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἔσται σοι βάλλων σχοινίον ἐν κλήρῳ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ ΚΥ.

1:11 Σενναάρ] B* (?), Ba,b, A, Swete | Σεννααν Qa, Rahlfs and Ziegler (= mt). There is some doubt in
Rahlfs and Swete about the original of B; Ziegler feels it was Σενναάρ (cf. Gen 10:10). κόψασθε]
B*, W, V, and A | κόψασθαι modern editions. Σειών] B* and Swete | Σιων, A, Q, Bc, Rahlfs, and
Ziegler. This is a common spelling in B; I have not marked it every time it occurs. 1:14 δώσει]
B, Q, and Swete | δώσεις A, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. κενὸν ἐγένοντο] B, L, C, and Swete | κενὰ ἐγένετο
A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. τοῦ Ισραηλ] B, Swete, and Rahlfs | Ισραηλ A, W, L, C, and Ziegler. 1:15
ἀγάγωσιν] B, A, Q, W, and Swete | ἀγάγω σοι L, C, Qmg, Rahlfs, and Ziegler (= mt). Οδολλαμ] B
(?) and modern editions | Οδολαμ Ba?. 1:16 ἐνπλάτυνον] B and Swete | ἐμπλάτυνον B, Q, Rahlfs
and Ziegler. χηρίαν] B and Swete | χηρείαν Ba,b, Qa, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 2:2 καὶ ἄνδρα] B*,
Qmg, and Swete | ἄνδρα A, Q*, Rahlfs and Ziegler. 2:3 ἐξαίφνης] B (?) and modern editions.
2:4 λημφθήσεται] B, Rahlfs, and Ziegler | Swete does not include the mu in the verb, but there is
clearly a space for it in B. ἐμ μέλει] B (mistake?) | ἐν μέλει modern editions. ἐταλεπωρήσαμεν]
B (?) | ἐταλαιπωρήσαμεν modern editions; in B αι is written above the line and ε appears in the
text. However, the letters above the line were apparently an early change in the text, perhaps
to correct a mistake, and are considered the original reading here. See Thackeray §6, 11 on the
common interchange of ε and αι, esp. in B.
text and translation 21

sprinkle earth on your laughingstock. (11) Though inhabiting well her cities, the
one inhabiting Sennaar did not come out. Mourn for the house next to her; she
shall receive a painful blow from you. (12) Who began to act for good to her
who dwells among pains? Because bad things have come down from the Lord
to the gates of Ierousalem, (13) the sound of chariots and of horsemen. She who
dwells in Lachis, she is the originator of sin for the daughter of Zion, because in
you were found all the ungodly acts of Israel. (14) Therefore, he will cause the
ones sent away as far as the inheritance of Geth to be worthless houses. They
became worthless to the kings of Israel (15) until they bring the heirs, O one
inhabiting Lachis; the inheritance, the glory of daughter Israel, will come as far
as Odollam. (16) Shave yourselves and cut your hair for your delicate children;
extend your widowhood like an eagle, for they were taken captive from you.

Chapter Two

(1) They were devising troubles and working evil things in their beds, and the
moment it was day they were executing them, for they did not lift up their
hands to God. (2) And they would covet fields, and they would abduct orphans,
and they would oppress households, and they would plunder a man and his
house, a man and his inheritance. (3) Therefore, this is what the Lord says,
Behold I am devising evil things against this tribe from which you shall not
remove your necks. Nor shall you walk upright suddenly, for it is an evil time.
(4) In that day a taunt shall be taken up against you and a lament shall be
wailed with a mournful tune, saying, “We are utterly miserable; the portion of
my people has been measured out with a line, and there was no one restraining
to turn him away; our fields were divided.” (5) Therefore, you will not have
22 micah

2:6 μὴ κλαίετε δάκρυσιν, μηδὲ δακρυέτωσαν ἐπὶ τούτοις· οὐ γὰρ ἀπώσεται ὀνείδη
2:7 ὁ λέγων Οἶκος Ἰακὼβ παρώργισεν ΠΝΣ ΚΥ. εἰ ταῦτα τὰ ἐπιτηδεύματα αὐτοῦ
ἐστίν; οὐχ οἱ λόγοι αὐτοῦ εἰσὶν καλοὶ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὀρθοὶ πεπόρευνται;
2:8 καὶ ἔμπροσθεν ὁ λαός μου εἰς ἔχθραν ἀντέστη κατέναντι τῆς εἰρήνης αὐτοῦ· τὴν
δορὰν αὐτοῦ ἐξέδειραν, τοῦ ἀφελέσθαι ἐλπίδα συντριμμὸν πολέμου.
2:9 ἡγούμενοι λαοῦ μου ἀποριφήσονται ἐκ τῶν οἰκιῶν τρυφῆς αὐτῶν, διὰ τὰ πονηρὰ
ἐπιτηδεύματα αὐτῶν ἐξώσθησαν. ἐγγίσατε ὄρεσιν αἰωνίοις·
2:10 ἀνάστηθι καὶ πορεύου, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν σοι αὕτη ἀνάπαυσεις ἕνεκεν ἀκαθαρσίας.
διεφθάρητε φθορᾷ,
2:11 κατεδιώχθητε οὐδενὸς διώκοντος· ΠΝΑ ἔστησεν ψεῦδος, ἐστάλαξέν σοι εἰς οἶνον
καὶ μέθυσμα. καὶ ἔσται ἐκ τῆς σταγόνος τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου
2:12 συναγόμενος συναχθήσεται Ἰακὼβ σὺν πᾶσιν· ἐκδεχόμενος ἐκδέξομαι τοὺς
καταλοίπους τοῦ Ἰσραήλ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό· θήσομαι τὴν ἀποστροφὴν αὐτοῦ ὡς πρό-
βατα ἐν θλείψει, ὡς ποίμνιον ἐν μέσῳ κοίτης αὐτῶν· ἐξαλοῦνται ἐξ ἀνθρώπων
2:13 διὰ τῆς διακοπῆς πρὸ προσώπου αὐτῶν· διέκοψαν καὶ διῆλθον πύλην καὶ ἐξῆλ-
θον δι᾽ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ βασιλεὺς αὐτῶν πρὸ προσώπου αὐτῶν, ὁ δὲ ΚΣ
ἡγήσεται αὐτῶν.
3:1 Καὶ ἐρεῖ Ἀκούσατε δὴ ταῦτα, αἱ ἀρχαὶ οἴκου Ἰακὼβ καὶ οἱ κατάλοιποι οἴκου
Ἰσραήλ. οὐχ ὑμῖν ἐστὶν τοῦ γνῶναι τὸ κρίμα;
3:2 μεισοῦντες τὰ καλὰ καὶ ζητοῦντες τὰ πονηρά, ἁρπάζοντες τὰ δέρματα αὐτῶν
ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν καὶ τὰς σάρκας αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τῶν ὀστέων αὐτῶν.
3:3 ὃν τρόπον κατέφαγον τὰς σάρκας τοῦ λαοῦ μου, καὶ τὰ δέρματα αὐτῶν ἀπ᾽
αὐτῶν ἐξέδειραν, καὶ τὰ ὀστέα αὐτῶν συνέθλασαν καὶ ἐμέλισαν ὡς σάρκας εἰς
λέβητα καὶ ὡς κρέα εἰς χύτραν,
3:4 οὕτως κεκράξονται πρὸς ΚΝ καὶ οὐκ εἰσακούσεται αὐτῶν· καὶ ἀποστρέψει τὸ
πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἀνθ᾽ ὧν ἐπονηρεύσαντο ἐν τοῖς
ἐπιτηδεύμασιν αὐτῶν ἐπ᾽ αὐτούς.
3:5 τάδε λέγει ΚΣ ἐπὶ τοὺς προφήτας τοὺς πλανῶντας τὸν λαόν μου, τοὺς δάκνοντας
ἐν τοῖς ὀδοῦσιν αὐτῶν καὶ κηρύσσοντας ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν εἰρήνην, καὶ οὐκ ἐδόθη εἰς τὸ
στόμα αὐτῶν, ἤγειραν ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν πόλεμον·
3:6 διὰ τοῦτο νὺξ ὑμῖν ἔσται ἐξ ὁράσεως, καὶ σκοτία ὑμῖν ἔσται ἐκ μαντείας, καὶ
δύσεται ὁ ἥλιος ἐπὶ τοὺς προφήτας, καὶ συσκοτάσει ἐπ᾽ αὐτοὺς ἡ ἡμέρα·

2:9 ἡγούμενοι] B † and Swete | διὰ τοῦτο ἡγούμενοι Rahlfs and Ziegler (= mt). ἀποριφήσονται] B
and Swete | ἀποριφήσονται A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 2:10 ἀνάπαυσεις] B* | ἀνάπαυσις Q, L, C
and Swete; ἡ ἀνάπαυσις A, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 2:12 θλείψει] B* | θλίψει modern versions. See
Thackeray, § 6, 24–26 on ει in B. 3:2 μεισοῦντες] B; μισοῦντες V, L, C, and Swete | οἱ μισοῦντες A,
Q, W, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. See Thackeray, § 6, 24–26 on the extra ε in B. 3:3 ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ἐξέδειραν]
B, L, C, Swete, and Ziegler | ἀπὸ τῶν ὀστ(έ)ων αὐτῶν ἐξέδειραν A, Q, W, and Rahlfs. ὀστέα] B, V,
Swete, and Rahlfs | ὀστᾶ W and Zeigler (see Thackeray, § 10, 8).
text and translation 23

anyone casting a line by lot in the assembly of the Lord. (6) Do not weep with
tears, nor let them weep with tears over these matters; for he will not remove
disgraces, (7) the one who says, “The house of Iakob provoked the spirit of the
Lord to anger.” If these are his practices, are not his words good with him and
have they not functioned properly? (8) And previously my people resisted to the
point of hostility in opposition to his peace; they stripped off his skin to remove
hope amidst the ruin brought about by warfare. (9) The leaders of my people
shall be cast out of their luxurious houses; because of their evil practices they
have been banished; draw near to the everlasting mountains. (10) Arise and
go, because this rest is not for you, on account of uncleanness. You have been
utterly ruined. (11) You fled with no one pursuing; a spirit has brought about a
lie; it dripped on you by wine and strong drink, and it shall be from the drop of
this people; (12) when Iakob is gathered together he will be gathered together
with all. Receiving I will receive the remnant of Israel at the same place; I will
effect his return, like sheep in affliction, like a flock in the midst of their fold;
they shall leap away from people (13) through the breach ahead of them; they
broke through and went through the gate and went out through it, and their
king went out ahead of them, but the Lord shall lead them.

Chapter Three

(1) And he will say, Do hear these things, heads of the house of Iakob and
remnant of the house of Israel—is it not for you to know judgment, (2) who
hate the good things and seek the evil things, who tear away their skins from
them and their flesh from their bones? (3) Just as they devoured the flesh of
my people and flayed their skins from them and crushed their bones and cut
them in pieces like flesh in a kettle and like meat in a cauldron. (4) So, they
will cry to the Lord and he will not hear them; and he will turn his face from
them in that time because they did evil against them in their practices. (5) This
is what the Lord says against the prophets who lead my people astray, who are
biting with their teeth and proclaiming peace to him and it has not been given
into their mouth; they have raised up war against him. (6) Therefore, you shall
have night without a prophetic vision, and you shall have darkness without
divination; and the sun shall set on the prophets, and the day shall be dark on
24 micah

3:7 καὶ καταισχυνθήσονται οἱ ὁρῶντες τὰ ἐνύπνια, καὶ καταγελασθήσονται οἱ μάν-

τεις, καὶ καταλαλήσουσιν κατ᾽ αὐτῶν πάντες αὐτοί, διότι οὐκ ἔσται ὁ εἰσακούων
3:8 ἐὰν μὴ ἐγὼ ἐμπλήσω ἰσχὺν ἐν ΠΝΙ ΚΥ καὶ κρίματος καὶ δυναστείας τοῦ ἀπαγ-
γεῖλαι τῷ Ἰακὼβ ἀσεβείας αὐτοῦ καὶ τῷ Ἰσραὴλ ἁμαρτίας αὐτοῦ.
3:9 ἀκούσατε δὴ ταῦτα, οἱ ἡγούμενοι οἴκου Ἰακὼβ καὶ οἱ κατάλοιποι οἴκου Ἰσραήλ,
οἱ βδελυσσόμενοι κρίμα καὶ πάντα τὰ ὀρθὰ διαστρέφοντες,
3:10 οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες Σειὼν ἐν αἵμασιν καὶ Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἐν ἀδικείαις·
3:11 οἱ ἡγούμενοι αὐτῆς μετὰ δώρων ἔκρεινον, καὶ οἱ ἱερεῖς αὐτῆς μετὰ μισθοῦ
ἀπεκρείνοντο, καὶ οἱ προφῆται αὐτῆς μετὰ ἀργυρίου ἐμαντεύοντο, καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν
ΚΝ ἐπανεπαύοντο λέγοντες Οὐχὶ ΚΣ ἐν ἡμῖν ἐστιν; οὐ μὴ ἐπέλθῃ ἐφ᾽ ἡμᾶς κακά.
3:12 διὰ τοῦτο δι᾽ ὑμᾶς Σειὼν ὡς ἀγρὸς ἀροτριαθήσεται, καὶ Ἰερουσαλὴμ ὡς ὀπωρο-
φυλάκιον ἔσται, καὶ τὸ ὄρος τοῦ οἴκου εἰς ἄλσος δρυμοῦ.
4:1 Καὶ ἔσται ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐμφανὲς τὸ ὄρος τοῦ ΚΥ, ἕτοιμον ἐπὶ τὰς
κορυφὰς τῶν ὀρέων, καὶ μετεωρισθήσεται ὑπεράνω τῶν βουνῶν· καὶ σπεύσουσιν
πρὸς αὐτὸ λαοί,
4:2 καὶ πορεύσονται ἔθνη πολλὰ καὶ ἐροῦσιν Δεῦτε ἀναβῶμεν εἰς τὸ ὄρος ΚΥ καὶ
εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ ΘΥ̃ Ἰακώβ· καὶ δείξουσιν ἡμῖν τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ πορευσό-
μεθα ἐν ταῖς τρίβοις αὐτοῦ. ὅτι ἐκ Σειὼν ἐξελεύσεται νόμος, καὶ λόγος ΚΥ ἐξ
4:3 καὶ κρινεῖ ἀνὰ μέσον λαῶν πολλῶν, καὶ ἐξελέγξει ἔθνη ἰσχυρὰ ἕως εἰς μακράν·
καὶ κατακόψουσιν τὰς ῥομφαίας αὐτῶν εἰς ἄροτρα καὶ τὰ δόρατα αὐτῶν εἰς δρέ-
πανα, καὶ οὐκέτι μὴ ἀντάρῃ ἔθνος ἐπ᾽ ἔθνος ῥομφαίαν, καὶ οὐκέτι μὴ μάθωσιν
4:4 καὶ ἀναπαύσεται ἕκαστος ὑποκάτω ἀμπέλου αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἕκαστος ὑποκάτω
συκῆς αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἔσται ὁ ἐκφοβῶν, διότι τὸ στόμα ΚΥ Παντοκράτορος
ἐλάλησεν ταῦτα·
4:5 ὅτι πάντες οἱ λαοὶ πορεύσονται ἕκαστος τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτοῦ, ἡμεῖς δὲ πορευσόμεθα
ἐν ὀνόματι ΚΥ ΘΥ̃ ἡμῶν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ ἐπέκεινα.
4:6 ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ, λέγει ΚΣ, συνάξω τὴν συντετριμμένην, καὶ τὴν ἐξωσμένην
εἰσδέξομαι, καὶ οὓς ἀπωσάμην·

3:10 ἀδικείαις] B | ἀδικίαις modern editions (see Thackeray, §6, 24–26). 3:11 ἔκρεινον] B | ἔκρινον
modern editions (see Thackeray, § 6, 24–26). ἀπεκρείνοντο] B | ἀπεκρίνοντο (see Thackeray, §6,
24–26). ἡμῖν] There is a space before the iota in B, and it appears an epsilon may have been
written there (?). 3:12 εἰς] B, L, C, Swete, and Ziegler | ὡς A, Q, W, and Rahlfs (cf. Jer 33:18). 4:3
ἐξελέγξει] B, L, C, Swete, and Rahlfs | ἐλέγξει A, Q, and Ziegler. εἰς μακράν] B, Q, L, C, Swete, and
Ziegler | εἰς γῆν μακράν A, W, and Rahlfs.
text and translation 25

them. (7) And those seeing dreams shall be put to shame; and the seers shall be
scorned, and they all shall speak evil against them; therefore no one will listen
to them. (8) However, I will be full of strength by the spirit of the Lord and
judgment and power to declare to Iakob his ungodly acts and to Israel his sins.
(9) Hear now these things, you leaders of the house of Iakob and remnant of
the house of Israel, you who abhor judgment and pervert all the upright things,
(10) who are building Sion with blood and Ierousalem with injustices. (11) Her
leaders were judging for gifts and her priests were answering for a reward; and
her prophets were prophesying for silver, and they were relying on the Lord,
saying “Is not the Lord among us? Evil things will never come upon us.” (12)
Therefore, on your account, Sion will be plowed like a field and Ierousalem will
be like a garden-watcher’s hut, and the mountain of the house like a wooded

Chapter Four

(1) And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord will
be manifest, prepared on the tops of the mountains, and it shall be raised up
above the hills and peoples shall hasten to it. (2) And many nations shall come
and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the
God of Iakob; and they will show us his way, and we will walk in his paths.” For
out of Sion shall go forth the Law and the Word of the Lord from Ierousalem.
(3) And he shall judge between many peoples, and he shall reprove mighty
nations to a distance, and they shall cut in pieces their swords for plows and
their spears for sickles, and nation shall no longer lift up sword against nation,
nor shall they learn to make war anymore. (4) And everyone shall rest under
his vine and each under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the
mouth of the Lord Almighty has spoken this. (5) For all the people will walk,
each in his own way, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever
and ever. (6) In that day, says the Lord, I will gather her who is broken and I
26 micah

4:7 καὶ θήσομαι τὴν συντετριμμένην εἰς ὑπόλιμμα, καὶ τὴν ἀπωσμένην εἰς ἔθνον
δυνατόν, καὶ βασιλεύσει ΚΣ ἐπ᾽ αὐτοὺς ἐν ὄρει Σειὼν ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν ἕως εἰς τὸν
4:8 καὶ σύ, πύργος ποιμνίου αὐχμώδης, θυγάτηρ Σειών, ἐπὶ σὲ ἥξει, καὶ εἰσελεύσε-
ται ἡ ἀρχὴ ἡ πρώτη, βασιλεία ἐκ Βαβυλῶνος τῇ θυγατρὶ Ἰερουσαλήμ.
4:9 Καὶ νῦν ἵνα τί ἔγνως κακά; μὴ βασιλεὺς οὐκ ἦν σοι; ἢ ἡ βουλή σου ἀπώλετο ὅτι
κατεκράτησάν σου ὠδεῖναις ὡς τικτούσης;
4:10 ὤδεινε καὶ ἀνδρίζου καὶ ἔγγιζε, θυγάτηρ Σειών, ὡς τίκτουσα· διότι νῦν ἐξελεύσῃ
ἐκ πόλεως, καὶ κατασκηνώσεις ἐν πεδίῳ, καὶ ἥξεις ἕως Βαβυλῶνος· ἐκεῖθεν
ῥύσεταί σε ΚΣ ὁ ΘΣ σου ἐκ χειρὸς ἐχθρῶν σου.
4:11 καὶ νῦν ἐπισυνήχθη ἐπὶ σὲ ἔθνη πολλὰ λέγοντες Ἐπιχαρούμεθα, καὶ ἐπόψονται
ἐπὶ Σειὼν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν.
4:12 αὐτοὶ δὲ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν τὸν λογισμὸν ΚΝ, καὶ οὐ συνῆκαν τὴν βουλὴν αὐτοῦ, ὅτι
συνήγαγεν αὐτοὺς ὡς δράγματα ἅλωνος.
4:13 ἀνάστηθι καὶ ἀλόα αὐτούς, θυγάτηρ Σειών, ὅτι τὰ κέρατά σου θήσομαι σιδηρᾶ,
καὶ τὰς ὁπλάς σου θήσομαι χαλκᾶς· καὶ κατατήξεις λαοὺς πολλούς, καὶ ἀναθή-
σεις τῷ ΚΩ τὸ πλῆθος αὐτῶν, καὶ τὴν ἰσχὺν αὐτῶν τῷ ΚΩ πάσης τῆς γῆς.
5:1 νῦν ἐμφραχθήσεται θυγάτηρ ἐμφραγμῷ, συνοχὴν ἔταξεν ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς, ἐν ῥάβδῳ
πατάξουσιν ἐπὶ σιαγόνα τὰς πυλὰς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.
5:2 Καὶ σύ, Βηθλέεμ οἶκος Ἐφράθα, ὀλιγοστὸς εἶ τοῦ εἶναι ἐν χειλιάσιν Ἰούδα· ἐξ οὗ
μοι ἐξελεύσεται τοῦ εἶναι εἰς ἄρχοντα τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, καὶ ἔξοδοι αὐτοῦ ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς
ἐξ ἡμερῶν αἰῶνος.
5:3 διὰ τοῦτο δώσει αὐτοὺς ἕως καιροῦ τικτούσης τέξεται, καὶ οἱ ἐπίλοιποι τῶν
ἀδελφῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιστρέψουσιν ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς Ἰσραήλ.

4:7 ἔθνον] B* (mistake? apparently masc. neut.) | ἔθνος Ba,b and all modern editions (acc. neut.).
δυνατόν] B, W, and Swete | ἰσχυρόν A, Q, Rahlfs and Ziegler. νῦν ἕως] B † and Swete | νῦν καὶ ἕως
Rahlfs and Ziegler. 4:9 ὠδεῖναις] B* (?) | ὠδῖνες Bc and modern editions. 4:10 ὤδεινε] B* | ὤδινε
Bc and modern versions (see Thackeray, § 6, 24–26). ῥύσεταί σε] B*, W, and Swete | ῥύσεταί σε καὶ
ἐκεῖθεν λυτρώσεταί σε Ba,b (mg), A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. The original reading in B is apparently
a mistake (homoioteleuton). ἐκθρῶν] B* | ἐχθρῶν Bc and modern editions | see also 7:10; cf. 5:9;
7:6, 8. 4:11 λέγοντες] B, V, W(?), and Swete | οἱ λέγοντες A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 4:12 αὐτοὶ δέ]
B, W, Swete, and Rahlfs | καὶ αὐτοί A, Q, and Ziegler. κύριον] B | κυρίου modern editions. 5:1
θυγάτηρ] B, L, C, Swete, and Ziegler | θυγάτηρ Εφραιμ A, Q, W, and Rahlfs. ἐμφραγμω] B (?), Swete,
and Ziegler | ἐν φραγμῷ A, Q, and Rahlfs. πύλας] B† and Swete | φυλάς A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler.
5:2 Εφραθα] B and Swete | τοῦ Εφραθα A, W, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. χειλιάσιν] B* | χιλιάσιν Bc and
modern editions (see Thackeray, § 6, 24–26). ἐξ οὗ] B*, C, and Swete (cf. Nah 1:11) | ἐκ σοῦ Bc, A,
Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. τοῦ Ισραηλ] B and Swete | ἐν τῷ Ισραηλ A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. ἔξοδοι]
B, C, and Swete | αἱ ἔξοδοι A, Rahlfs, and Ziegler 5:3 τέξεται] B (?) and modern versions; the last
two letters are written above the line in B.
text and translation 27

will welcome her who is banished and those whom I cast away. (7) And I will
make her who is broken into a remnant and her who is cast away into a mighty
nation, and the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Sion now and forever. (8)
And you, dusty tower of the flock, daughter Sion, to you it shall come, and the
former dominion, a kingdom out of Babylon, shall enter daughter Ierousalem.
(9) And now why did you know harm? You did not have a king, did you? Or
did your plan come to naught because they overwhelmed you with pangs like a
woman in labor? (10) Suffer the pains of childbirth and strengthen yourself and
draw near daughter Sion, like one in labor; for now you will go out of the city
and you will dwell in the plain, and you will come as far as Babylon; from there
the Lord your God will save you out of the hand of your enemies. (11) And now
many nations have gathered together against you saying, “We shall rejoice, and
our eyes shall look upon Sion.” (12) But they did not know the plan of the Lord,
and they did not understand his counsel, that he gathered them as sheaves at
a threshing floor. (13) Arise and thresh them, O daughter Sion, for I will make
your horns iron and I will make your hoofs bronze; and you shall liquidate many
peoples, and you shall dedicate the riches of them to the Lord and the wealth
of them to the Lord of all the earth.

Chapter Five

(1) Now, daughter will be hedged in by denial of passage; he laid siege against
us; with a rod they will smite the gates of Israel upon the cheek. (2) And you,
Bethlehem, house of Ephratha, you are to be very small in number among
the thousands of Ioudas; out of which he shall go forth for me to be ruler of
Israel, and the goings forth of him are from the beginning, from the days of
old. (3) Therefore, he will give them over until the time she who is giving birth
will give birth, and the rest of their brothers shall return to the sons of Israel.
28 micah

5:4 καὶ στήσεται καὶ ὄψεται, καὶ ποιμανεῖ τὸ ποίμνιον αὐτοῦ ἐν ἰσχύει ΚΣ, καὶ ἐν τῇ
δόξῃ ὀνόματος ΚΥ ΘΥ̃ αὐτῶν ὑπάρξουσιν· διότι νῦν μεγαλυνθήσεται ἕως ἄκρων
τῆς γῆς.
5:5 καὶ ἔσται αὕτη εἰρήνη· Ἀσσοὺρ ὅταν ἐπέλθῃ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὑμῶν καὶ ὅταν ἐπιβῇ
ἐπὶ τὴν χώραν ὑμῶν, καὶ ἐπεγερθήσονται ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν ἑπτὰ ποιμένες καὶ ὀκτὼ
δήγματα ἀνθρώπων·
5:6 καὶ ποιμανοῦσιν τὸν Ἀσσοὺρ ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ καὶ τὴν γῆν τοῦ Νεβρὼδ ἐν τῇ τάφρῳ
αὐτῆς· καὶ ῥύσεται ἐκ τοῦ Ἀσσούρ, ὅταν ἐπέλθῃ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὑμῶν καὶ ὅταν ἐπιβῇ
ἐπὶ τὰ ὅρια ὑμῶν.
5:7 καὶ ἔσται τὸ ὑπόλιμμα τοῦ Ἰακὼβ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἐν μέσῳ λαῶν πολλῶν ὡς
δρόσος παρὰ ΚΥ πίπτουσα καὶ ὡς ἄρνες ἐπὶ ἄγρωστιν, ὅπως μὴ συναχθῇ μηδεὶς
μηδὲ ὑποστῇ ἐν υἱοῖς ἀνθρώπων.
5:8 καὶ ἔσται τὸ ὑπόλιμμα Ἰακὼβ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἐν μέσῳ πολλῶν λαῶν ὡς λέων ἐν
κτήνεσιν ἐν τῷ δρυμῷ καὶ ὡς σκύμνος ἐν ποιμνίοις προβάτων, ὃν τρόπον ὅταν
διέλθῃ καὶ διαστείλας ἁρπάσῃ, καὶ μὴ ᾖ ὁ ἐξαιρούμενος.
5:9 ὑψωθήσεται ἡ χείρ σου ἐπὶ τοὺς θλείβοντάς σε, καὶ πάντες οἱ ἐχθροί σου ἐξολε-
5:10 Καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, λέγει ΚΣ, ἐξολεθρεύσω τοὺς ἵππους ἐκ μέσου σου καὶ
ἀπολῶ τὰ ἅρματά σου,
5:11 καὶ ἐξολεθρεύσω τὰς πόλεις τῆς γῆς σου καὶ ἐξαρῶ πάντα τὰ ὀχυρώματά σου,
5:12 καὶ ἐξολεθρεύσω τὰ φάρμακά σου ἐκ τῶν χειρῶν σου, καὶ ἀποφθεγγόμενοι οὐκ
ἔσονται ἐν σοί·
5:13 καὶ ἐξολεθρεύσω τὰ γλυπτά σου καὶ τὰς στήλας σου ἐκ μέσου σου, καὶ οὐκέτι
μὴ προσκυνήσῃς τοῖς ἔργοις τῶν χειρῶν σου,
5:14 καὶ ἐκκόψω τὰ ἄλση ἐκ μέσου σου, καὶ ἀφανιῶ τὰς πόλεις σου,

5:4 κύριος] B, A, Q, L, C, and Swete | κυρίου W, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. ὀνόματος] B, L, C, and Swete |
τοῦ ὀνόματος A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. θεοῦ] B, C, and Swete | τοῦ θεοῦ A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler.
5:5 Ἀσσοὺρ ὅταν] B†, Swete, and Ziegler (= mt) | ὅταν Ἀσσύριος A, Q, W, and Rahlfs; ὅταν ὁ Ἀσσύριος
L. ὑμῶν] (2×) B, Greek witnesses, remaining versions, Swete, and Rahlfs | ἡμῶν Ziegler, following
the Arabic translation and mt (cf. 5:6). 5:6 ὑμῶν] (2×) B. Greek witnesses, remaining versions,
Swete, and Rahlfs | ἡμῶν Ziegler, following the Arabic translation and mt (cf. 5:5). 5:7 ἐπί] B,
Swete, and Rahlfs | ἐπ’ A and Ziegler. 5:9 θλείβοντάς] B* | θλίβοντάς Bc and modern editions (see
Thackeray, § 6, 24–26) 5:10 τῇ ἡμέρᾳ] B† and Swete; ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρα Q, W, and Rahlfs | τῇ ἡμέρᾳ
ἐκείνῃ A, L, C, and Ziegler. ἵππους ἐκ] B† and Swete | ἵππους σου ἐκ Rahlfs and Swete. μέσῳ] B*
(mistake? cf. 5:13, 14) | μέσου Ba?,b and modern editions. 5:12 ἐξολεθρεύσω] B, L, and Swete (cf. vv.
10, 12) | ἐξαρῶ A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 5:14 ἄλση] B, L, C, and Swete | ἄλση σου A, Q, W, Rahlfs,
and Ziegler. μέσῳ] B* (mistake? cf. 5:10, 13) | μέσου Ba?,b? and modern editions.
text and translation 29

(4) And the Lord shall stand and see and shepherd his flock in strength, and
they shall live in the glory of the name of the Lord their God, for now he
shall be magnified to the ends of the earth; (5) and this shall be peace. When
Assour shall come against your land and when he shall assail your country,
then seven shepherds shall be raised up against him and eight stings of people.
(6) And they shall shepherd Assour with a sword and the land of Nebrod
with her trench; and he shall deliver from Assour when he comes against
your land and when he assails your borders. (7) And the remnant of Iakob
among the nations in the midst of many peoples shall be like dew falling
from the Lord and like lambs on the grass, so that none among the sons
of men may assemble or resist. (8) And the remnant of Iakob among the
nations in the midst of many peoples shall be like a lion among the animals
in the forest and like a whelp among flocks of sheep, as when it would pass
through and after making a choice it would seize it, and there is no one to
deliver. (9) Your hand shall be exalted over those who oppress you, and all
your enemies shall be utterly destroyed. (10) And it shall come to pass in that
day, says the Lord, I will utterly destroy the horses from among you, and I will
destroy your chariots, (11) and I will utterly destroy the cities of your land, and I
will remove all your strongholds, (12) and I will utterly destroy your magical
potions from your hands, and there will be no soothsayers among you, (13)
and I will utterly destroy your carved images and your steles from among
you, and you shall never again do obeisance to the works of your hands, (14)
and I will cut off the sacred groves from among you, and I will destroy your
30 micah

5:15 καὶ ποιήσω ἐν ὀργῇ καὶ ἐν θυμῷ ἐκδίκησιν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, ἀνθ᾽ ὧν οὐκ εἰσήκου-
6:1 Ἀκούσατε δὴ λόγον. ΚΣ ΚΣ εἶπεν Ἀνάστηθι κρίθητι πρὸς τὰ ὄρη, καὶ ἀκουσά-
τωσαν οἱ βουνοὶ φωνήν σου.
6:2 ἀκούσατε, λαοί, τὴν κρίσιν τοῦ ΚΥ, καὶ αἱ φάραγγες θεμέλια τῆς γῆς, ὅτι κρίσις
τῷ ΚΩ πρὸς τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ μετὰ τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ διελεγχθήσεται.
6:3 λαός μου, τί ἐποίησά σοι, ἢ τί ἐλύπησά σε, ἢ τί παρηνώχλησά σοι; ἀποκρίθητί
6:4 διότι ἀνήγαγόν σε ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου, καὶ ἐξ οἴκου δουλίας ἐλυτρωσάμην σε, καὶ
ἐξαπέστειλα πρὸ προσώπου σου τὸν Μωσῆν καὶ Ἀαρὼν καὶ Μαριάμ.
6:5 λαός μου, μνήσθητι δὴ τί ἐβουλεύσατο κατὰ σοῦ Βαλὰκ βασιλεὺς Μωάβ, καὶ τί
ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Βαλαὰμ υἱὸς τοῦ Βεὼρ ἀπὸ τῶν σχοίνων ἕως τοῦ Γαλγάλ, ὅπως
γνωσθῇ ἡ δικαιοσύνη τοῦ ΚΥ.
6:6 ἐν τίνι καταλάβω τὸν ΚΝ, ἀντιλήμψομαι ΘΥ μου Ὑψίστου; εἰ καταλήμψομαι
αὐτὸν ἐν ὁλοκαυτώμασιν ἐν μόσχοις ἐνιαυσίοις;
6:7 εἰ προσδέξεται ΚΣ ἐν χιλιάσιν κριῶν ἢ ἐν μυριάσιν χειμάρρων πιόνων; εἰ δῶ
πρωτότοκά μου ἀσεβείας, καρπὸν κοιλίας μου ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτίας ψυχῆς μου;
6:8 εἰ ἀνηγγέλη σοι, ἄνθρωπε, τί καλόν; ἢ τί ΚΣ ἐκζητεῖ παρὰ σοῦ ἀλλ᾽ ἢ τοῦ ποιεῖν
κρίμα καὶ ἀγαπᾷν ἔλεον καὶ ἕτοιμον εἶναι τοῦ πορεύεσθαι μετὰ ΚΥ ΘΥ σου;
6:9 Φωνὴ ΚΥ τῇ πόλει ἐπικληθήσεται, καὶ σώσει φοβουμένους τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ.
ἄκουε, φυλή, καὶ τίς κοσμήσει πόλιν;
6:10 μὴ πῦρ καὶ οἶκος ἀνόμου θησαυρίζων θησαυροὺς ἀνόμους, καὶ μετὰ ὕβρεως
6:11 εἰ δικαιωθήσεται ἐν ζυγῷ ἄνομος, καὶ ἐν μαρσίππῳ στάθμια δόλου;
6:12 ἐξ ὧν τὸν πλοῦτον αὐτῶν ἀσεβείας ἔπλησαν, καὶ οἱ κατοικοῦντες αὐτὴν ἐλάλουν
ψευδῆ, καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτῶν, ὑψώθητι ἐν τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν,
6:13 καὶ ἐγὼ ἄρξομαι τοῦ πατάξαι σε, ἀφανιῶ σε ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις σου.

6:1 λόγον. κύριος κύριος] B and Swete (punctuation break between λόγον and the first occurrence
of κύριος) | λόγον κυρίου· κύριος W, Rahlfs, and Ziegler; Q, V, L, and A have a relative pronoun in
various positions (= mt). 6:2 λαοί] B, W, Swete, and Ziegler | βουνοί A Q*, and Rahlfs. αἱ
φάραγγες] The article is written above the line, but modern versions take it to be the original
reading of B. 6:4 Μωσῆν] B, A, L, Wc, and Swete | Μωυσῆν Q, Rahlfs and Zeigler. 6:7 ὑπέρ] B,
Swete, and Rahlfs | περί V; — W and Ziegler (= mt). 6:8 ἔλεον] B, L, Swete, and Rahlfs | ἔλεος W
and Ziegler. 6:10 μετά] Greek codices and versions, Swete, and Rahlfs | μέτρον Ziegler (= mt).
6:12 ἔπλησαν] B, V, L, C, W (?), Swete, and Rahlfs | ἐνέπλησαν A, Q*, and Ziegler. ὑψώθητι] B† and
Swete | ὑψώθη A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 6:13 ἐν] B, Q, L, and Swete | ἐπί A, W, Rahlfs, and Ziegler.
text and translation 31

cities, (15) and in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations,
because they did not listen.

Chapter Six

(1) Do hear a word. The Lord God said, Arise, plead your case before the
mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. (2) Hear, you peoples, the judgment
of the Lord; and you chasms, foundations of the earth, because the Lord has a
judgment against his people, and he will dispute with Israel. (3) O my people,
what have I done to you, or how did I grieve you, or how have I troubled you?
Answer me! (4) For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and I redeemed
you out of the house of bondage, and I sent Moyses and Aaron and Mariam
before your face. (5) O my people, do remember what Balak king of Moab
plotted against you and what Balaam, son of Beor, answered him, the things that
happened from the reeds as far as Galgal, so that the justice of the Lord might
be made known. (6) With what shall I lay hold of the Lord? Shall I lay claim
to my God Most High? Shall I lay hold of him with whole burnt offerings, with
year old calves? (7) Will the Lord receive me with thousands of rams or with
ten thousands of rows of fat lambs? Or shall I give my firstborn for ungodliness,
the fruit of my womb for the sin of my soul? (8) Has it not been revealed to you,
O man, what is good? Or what does the Lord require of you except to practice
justice and to love mercy and to be ready to walk with the Lord your God? (9)
The voice of the Lord will be invoked for the city, and he shall save those who
fear his name. Hear, O tribe, and who shall bring order to a city? (10) Will fire
and a lawless person’s house treasuring up ill-gotten treasures and injustice
with insolence? (11) Shall a lawless person be justified by scales, or deceitful
weights by a measuring bag? (12) From these things they have filled up their
ungodly wealth, and her inhabitants were speaking lies, namely their tongue;
you were exalted in their mouth. (13) And so I will begin to strike you; I will
32 micah

6:14 σὺ φάγεσε καὶ οὐ μὴ ἐμπλησθῇς, καὶ σκοτάσει ἐν σοὶ καὶ ἐκνεύσει, καὶ σὺ οὐ μὴ
διασωθῇς, καὶ ὅσοι ἐὰν διασωθῶσιν εἰς ῥομφαίαν παραδοθήσονται·
6:15 σὺ σπερεῖς καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀμήσῃς, σὺ πειέσεις ἐλαίαν καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀλίψῃ ἔλαιον, καὶ
οἶνον καὶ οὐ μὴ πίητε, καὶ ἀφανισθήσεται νόμιμα λαοῦ μου.
6:16 καὶ ἐφύλαξας τὰ δικαιώματα Ζαμβρεὶ καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔργα οἴκου Ἀχαάβ, καὶ
ἐπορεύθητε ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτῶν, ὅπως παραδῶ σε εἰς ἀφανισμὸν καὶ τοὺς
κατοικοῦντας αὐτὴν εἰς συρισμόν, καὶ ὀνείδη λαῶν λήψεσθε.
7:1 Οἴμμοι ὅτι ἐγενήθην ὡς συνάγων καλάμην ἐν ἀμήτῳ καὶ ὡς ἐπιφυλλίδα ἐν
τρυγήτῳ, οὐχ ὑπάρχοντος βότρυος τοῦ φαγεῖν τὰ πρωτόγονα. οἴμμοι ψυχή,
7:2 ὅτι ἀπόλωλεν εὐσεβὴς ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς, καὶ κατορθῶν ἐν ἀνθρώποις οὐχ ὑπάρ-
χει· πάντες εἰς αἵματα δικάζοντε, ἕκαστος τὸν πλησίον αὐτοῦ ἐκθλείβουσιν
7:3 ἐπὶ τὸ κακὸν τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν ἑτοιμάζουσιν· ὁ ἄρχων αἰτεῖ, καὶ ὁ κριτὴς εἰρηνι-
κοὺς λόγους ἐλάλησεν, καταθύμιον ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ ἐστιν. καὶ ἐξελοῦμαι τὰ ἀγαθὰ
7:4 ὡς σὴς ἐκτρώγων καὶ βαδίζων ἐπὶ κανόνος ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σκοπιᾶς. οὐαὶ οὐαί, αἱ
ἐκδικήσεις σου ἥκασιν, νῦν ἔσονται κλαυθμοὶ αὐτῶν.
7:5 μὴ καταπιστεύετε ἐν φίλοις, καὶ μὴ ἐλπίζετε ἐπὶ ἡγουμένοις, ἀπὸ τῆς συνκοίτου
σου φύλαξαι τοῦ ἀναθέσθαι τι αὐτῇ·
7:6 διότι υἱὸς ἀτιμάζει πατέρα, θυγάτηρ ἐπαναστήσεται ἐπὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτῆς,
νύμφη ἐπὶ τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτῆς, ἐχθροὶ πάντες ἀνδρὸς οἱ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ.
7:7 Ἐγὼ δὲ ἐπὶ τὸν ΚΝ ἐπιβλέψομαι, ὑπομενῶ ἐπὶ τῷ ΘΩ τῷ σωτῆρί μου, εἰσακού-
σεταί μου ὁ ΘΣ μου.

6:14 φάγεσε] B* | φάγεσαι Bc(?) and modern editions. See Thackeray §6, 11. σὺ οὐ μὴ διασωθῇς]
B, V, and Swete | οὐ μὴ διασωθῇς A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 6:15 πειέσεις] B*; πιέσεις Bc and modern
editions | see Thackeray § 6, 24–26. ἀλίψῃ] B*; ἀλείψῃ Bc? and modern editions | see Thackeray
§ 6, 24–26. 6:16 καὶ ἐφύλαξας τὰ δικαιώματα Ζαμβρει] B, Swete, and Rahlfs (= mt) | — Ziegler.
ὁδοῖς] B† and Swete | βουλαῖς A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 7:1 Οἴμμοι] This form occurs 2× in this
verse; both times the first iota is above the line in B, and may be a later addition. This word is
frequently spelled οἴμμοι in the codices of the lxx (lsj, 1206), but for some reason Swete has
οἴμοι, the spelling of the entry in lsj, 1206. ἐγενήθην] B, W, L, C, Qc, and Swete | ἐγενόμην A, Q,
Rahlfs, and Ziegler. 7:2 εὐσεβής] B* and Swete | εὐλαβής A, Q, Bb, Rahlfs, and Ziegler. δικάζοντε]
B* | δικάζονται Bc and modern editions (see Hatch § 6, 11). ἐκθλείβουσιν ἐκθλειβῇ] B* | ἐκθλίβουσιν
ἐκθλιβῇ Bc and modern editions (see Thackeray § 6, 18–19). 7:4 ἀδίζων] B* | βαδίζων Ba,b, Swete,
Rahlfs, Ziegler. It appears that the β was added very early, and the original reading was a mistake;
lsj has no word that corresponds to the original reading in B without β. σκοπιᾶς] B, W, Swete,
and Rahlfs | σκοπιᾶς σου V and Ziegler. 7:5 συνκοίτου] B*, Swete | συγκοίτου Ba,b, Rahlfs, Ziegler.
7:6 πάντες ἀνδρὸς οἱ ἐν] B and Swete | ἀνδρὸς οἱ ἄνδρες οἱ ἐν C and Ziegler | ἐχθροὶ ἀνδρὸς πάντες οἱ
ἄνδρες οἱ L and Rahlfs (ἀνδρὸς ⟩ A, Q, W).
text and translation 33

devastate you because of your sins. (14) You shall eat and never be satisfied;
and it will become dark among you, and he shall turn away and you shall never
escape; and whoever escapes shall be delivered over to the sword. (15) And you
shall sow and shall never reap; you shall press the olive and shall never anoint
yourself with oil; and also you shall never drink wine; and the statutes of my
people shall be eradicated. (16) And you have observed the precepts of Zambri
and all the deeds of the house of Achaab, and you walked in their ways that I
might give you over to devastation and her inhabitants to hissing, and you shall
receive the reproaches of peoples.

Chapter Seven

(1) Woe is me! For I have become like one gathering straw in harvest and like
one gathering the gleaning of grapes at the vintage; there is no bunch of grapes
to eat, no first fruits. Woe is me, O my soul! (2) Because the devout has perished
from the land, and there is no one upright among the people; they all go to
law demanding a death sentence; they afflict each his neighbor with affliction.
(3) They prepare their hands for evil; the ruler demands, and the judge has
spoken peaceful words; it is his heart’s desire. And I will take away their good
things (4) like a moth larva devouring and crawling upon a weaver’s rod in the
day of your keeping watch. Woe! Woe! Your punishment has come; now shall
be their lamentations. (5) Do not trust in friends, and do not hope in leaders;
guard yourself against your bedmate to communicate anything to her. (6) For a
son will dishonor his father; a daughter will rise up against her mother, a bride
against her mother-in-law; all the enemies of a person are the people in his own
house. (7) But I will look to the Lord; I will wait for God my savior; my God will
34 micah

7:8 μὴ ἐπίχαιρέ μοι ἡ ἐχθρά μου ὅτι πέπτωκα, καὶ ἀναστήσομαι· διότι ἐὰν καθίσω
ἐν τῷ σκότει, ΚΣ φωτιεῖ μοι.
7:9 ὀργὴν ΚΥ ὑποίσω ὅτι ἥμαρτον αὐτῷ, ἕως τοῦ δικαιῶσαι αὐτὸν τὴν δίκην μου· καὶ
ποιήσει τὸ κρίμα μου καὶ ἐξάξεις με εἰς τὸ φῶς, ὄψομαι τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ·
7:10 καὶ ὄψεται ἡ ἐχθρά μου καὶ περιβαλεῖται αἰσχύνην, ἡ λέγουσα πρὸς μέ Ποῦ ΚΣ ὁ
ΘΣ σου; οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου ἐπόψονται αὐτήν, νῦν ἔσται εἰς καταπάτημα ὡς πηλὸς
ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς.
7:11 ἡμέρας ἀλυφῆς πλίνθου, ἐξάλιψίς σου ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη, καὶ ἀποτρείψεται νόμιμά
σου ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη·
7:12 καὶ αἱ πόλεις σου εἴξουσιν εἰς ὁμαλισμὸν καὶ εἰς διαμερισμὸν Ἀσσυρίων, καὶ
αἱ πόλεις σου αἱ ὀχυραὶ εἰς διαμερισμὸν ἀπὸ Τύρου ἕως τοῦ ποταμοῦ, καὶ ἀπὸ
θαλάσσης ἕως θαλάσσης, καὶ ἀπὸ ὄρους ἕως τοῦ ὄρους·
7:13 καὶ ἔσται ἡ γῆ εἰς ἀφανισμὸν σὺν τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν αὐτήν, ἀπὸ καρπῶν ἐπιτη-
δευμάτων αὐτῶν.
7:14 Ποίμαινε λαόν σου ἐν ῥάβδῳ σου, πρόβατα κληρονομίας σου, κατασκηνοῦντας
καθ᾽ ἑαυτοὺς δρυμὸν ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ Καρμήλου· νεμήσονται τὴν Βασανεῖτιν καὶ τὴν
Γαλααδεῖτιν καθὼς αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ αἰῶνος.
7:15 καὶ κατὰ τὰς ἡμέρας ἐξοδίας σου ἐξ Αἰγύπτου ὄψεσθε θαυμαστά·
7:16 ὄψονται ἔθνη καὶ καταισχυνθήσονται καὶ ἐκ πάσης τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτῶν, ἐπιθή-
σουσιν χεῖρας ἐπὶ τὸ στόμα αὐτῶν, τὰ ὦτα αὐτῶν ἀποκωφωθήσονται,
7:17 λίξουσιν χοῦν ὡς ὄφις σύροντες γῆν, συγχυθήσονται ἐν συνκλεισμῷ αὐτῶν· ἐπὶ
τῷ ΚΩ ΘΩ ἡμῶν ἐκστήσονται, καὶ φοβηθήσονται ἀπὸ σοῦ.

7:9 ἐξάξεις] B* and Swete | ἐξάξει Bb, A, Q, Rahlfs and Ziegler. 7:10 ἐκθρά] B* | ἐχθρά Bc and
modern editions (see also 4:10; cf. 5:9; 7:6, 8). 7:11 ἀλυφῆς] B* | ἀλοιφῆς Ba,b, Swete, Rahlfs and
Ziegler. The original of B must be a mistake, and possibly it was corrected very early; no modern
editions comment on it. ἐξάλιψείς] B* | ἐξάλιψίς modern editions (see Thackeray §6, 24–26).
ἀποτρείψεται] B* | ἀποτρείψεται Bc and modern versions (see Thackeray §6, 24–26). σου 20] B,
W, V, and Swete | — A, Q, Rahlfs, and Ziegler (= mt). 7:12 εἴξουσιν] B*, Swete | ἥξουσιν Bb, A, Q,
Rahlfs, and Ziegler. The reading in B could be a change of vowels (see Thackeray §6, 20–21), or it
could be a future of εἴκω, which is the way it has been read in this commentary. The difference
in the meaning of the sentence is not great whether the verb is “will arrive, come” or “will yield,
submit.” ἕως τοῦ ποταμοῦ] B and Swete | + Συρίας W, A, Q (-τοῦ), L and Rahlfs. καί ἀπὸ θαλάσσης
ἕως θαλάσσης καὶ ἀπὸ ὄρους ἕως τοῦ (⟩ Bc) ὄρους] B, C, L and Swete | ἡμέρα ὕδατος καὶ θορύβου Q, W,
Rahlfs and Ziegler. 7:13 ἀπό] B, L, C, Qmg and Swete | ἐκ A, Q, W, Rahlfs and Ziegler. 7:16 καί
20] B and Swete | — A, Rahlfs and Ziegler. τὸ στόμα] B, W, L, Swete and Rahlfs | στόμα A, Q and
Ziegler. 7:17 ἡμῶν] B, Swete, Rahlfs and Ziegler | ὑμῶν W and nets.
text and translation 35

hear me. (8) Do not rejoice over me, O my lady adversary, for I have fallen
but I shall rise again; for if I sit in darkness, the Lord will provide light for
me. (9) I will endure the Lord’s indignation—because I have sinned against
him—until he executes judgment for me, and he will carry out judgment for
me, and you will lead me out into the light; I will see his justice. (10) And
my lady adversary will see it and will be covered with shame, she who says
to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes shall look upon her; now she
shall become an object to be trampled under foot like clay in the streets (11)
during a day of the daubing of brick. That day will be your blotting out, and
that day will rub out your statutes. (12) And your cities shall succumb to a
leveling and a dividing of the Assyrians, and your fortified cities to a dividing
from Tyre unto the river, and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.
(13) The land will become entirely desolate with its inhabitants because of
the fruits of their doings. (14) Shepherd your people with your rod, the sheep
of your inheritance, dwelling alone in a forest in the midst of Carmel. They
shall feed in Basanitis and Galaaditis as in the days of old. (15) And as in
the days of your departure from Egypt, you shall see marvelous things. (16)
Nations shall see and be ashamed, even of all their might. They shall place
their hands on their mouth; their ears shall become deaf; (17) they shall lick
dust like a serpent, as they crawl over the earth; they shall be confounded in
their enclosure; they shall be amazed at the Lord our God, and they shall be
36 micah

7:18 Τίς ΘΣ ὥσπερ σύ; ἐξέρων ἀνομίας καὶ ὑπερβαίνων ἀσεβείας τοῖς καταλοίποις
τῆς κληρονομίας αὐτοῦ· καὶ οὐ συνέσχεν εἰς μαρτύριον ὀργὴν αὐτοῦ, ὅτι θελητὴς
ἐλέους ἐστίν.
7:19 ἐπιστρέψει καὶ οἰκτειρήσει ἡμᾶς, καταδύσει τὰς ἀδικίας ἡμῶν καὶ ἀποριφήσον-
ται εἰς τὰ βάθη τῆς θαλάσσης, πάσας τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν.
7:20 δώσει εἰς ἀλήθειαν τῷ Ἰακώβ, ἔλεον τῷ Ἀβραάμ, καθότι ὤμοσας τοῖς πατράσιν
ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς ἡμέρας τὰς ἔμπροσθεν.

7:18 ἐξέρων] B*; this is either a vowel change (Thackeray §6, 11) or a mistake. ἀνομίας] B, V, Q
and Swete | ἀδικίας A, W, L, Rahlfs and Ziegler. 7:19 ἀπορ(ρ)ιφήσονται] B, V, W, L, Swete and
Rahlfs | ἀπορρίψει A, Q and Ziegler. 7:20 δώσει εἰς] B, A, Q, C, and Swete | δώσεις L, V, Rahlfs, and
Zeigler (+ εἰς W). ἔλεον] B, Qa, V, W, C, Swete and Rahlfs | ἔλεος A, Q and Ziegler. ΜΕΙΧΑΙΑΣ Γ]
B*, W (see Thackeray § 6, 24–26) | ΜΙΧΑΙΑΣ Γ Bc, A, Q.
text and translation 37

afraid of you. (18) Who is a god like you, removing offenses and passing over
wicked deeds for the remnant of his inheritance? And he does not retain his
anger for a witness, because he is one who desires mercy. (19) He will return,
and he will have compassion on us; he will make our injustices sink, and they
will be thrown into the depths of the sea, all our sins. (20) He will give truth to
Iakob, mercy to Abraam, as you swore to our fathers in the former days.

Α 1:1–9

Title of the Book and the Lord’s Announcement that the Judgment of
Samaria Has Reached as far as Judah and Jerusalem, 1:1–9
The superscription at the beginning of the book of Meichaias, or Micah (Mic),
in Vaticanus (B) was originally ΜΕΙΧΑΙΑϹ Γ (see text notes). The capital gamma
referred to Mic’s position as the third book in the Twelve. The subscription in B
is identical to the superscription. The only time the author’s name, Meichaias,
occurs in the text of the book is in 1:1. In B the book of Mic is formally divided
into seven sections by capital letters in the left column (beta through zeta). The
manuscript also has an alpha written above the first verse, parallel with the
title in the left margin. It is noteworthy that there is no corresponding alpha
in Hos, although there is in Amos and several of the other Minor Prophets in
B. Even though it is difficult to know when the alpha was placed at the begin-
ning of the book, I have included one at the beginning of this commentary to
designate the first division of the book. The seven sections marked by Greek
capital letters and the other paragraph divisions within the seven main sections
in Vaticanus will serve as the divisions of the book of Mic in this commen-

Title, 1:1
The first verse of Mic is the title of the book, following the pattern in each of
the Twelve. The first words and main clause in 1:1, “a word of the Lord came,”
are identical to Jonah 1:1 and Zech 1:1 and very similar to Hag 1:1 (ἐν χειρὶ Ἁγγέου).
The indefinite noun “word” (λόγος) is probably referring to an individual or
particular word (Porter, Idioms, 104–105; Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 82–84)
from the Lord (gen. of source), which is the individual collection of oracles that
has come down to us in the form of the book of Mic. The main sentence of the
title emphasizes that this “word” is a divine message (mur, 434) from the Lord
to humans. The phrase “word of the Lord” is found in the title of most of the
other books of the Twelve (Hos 1:1; Joel 1:1; Jonah 1:1; Zeph 1:1; Hag 1:1; Zech 1:1; Mal
1:1). Other titles of prophetic books, like “The Words of Amos,” “The Vision of
Obadiah,” “An Issue for Nahum,” or “The Issue that the Prophet Habakkuk saw,”
do not emphasize the divine origin of the book like the title of Mic does. The
singular noun, “word,” does not limit the Lord’s communication to one oracle;
there are about twenty oracles in the book. In the remainder of the verse the
main clause is modified by three prepositional phrases that describe the agent

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2015 | doi: 10.1163/9789004285477_004

α. 1:1–9 39

through whom this word came, the time the word came to him, and the content
of the word that came to him.
The agent through whom this “word of the Lord” came to its original recip-
ients was “Meichaias, the son of Morasthi.” This is the only description of him
given in the book, and there is no account of his call to ministry as there is in
the writings of other prophets like Amos and Isaiah. According to 3:8, the source
and strength of Micah’s ministry was the spirit of the Lord. As mentioned above
the first words are identical to Jonah 1:1 and Zech 1:1. And in both of those books
the text goes on to say that the word came to the prophet “who was the son of
…,” indicating the father-son relationship with a singular, masculine, accusative
article, followed by a singular, masculine, genitive article, followed by the name
of the father (this father-son formula is also found in Joel 1:1); the formula in Mic
reads τὸν τοῦ Μωρασθι. The translator was likely influenced by the common for-
mula in the titles of Jonah and Zech to think that “Morashti” was the name of
Meichaias’s father and not his hometown, although in the Hebrew the word
corresponding to “son” is used in Jonah 1:1 and Zech 1:1, which should have dis-
tinguished those constructions from this one. (In Mic 1:14 the translator also
did not understand that Moresheth was a toponym.) The Greek formula of an
article followed by a genitive, masculine, singular article modifying the name
of the father is employed throughout the lxx and Greek literature to indicate
someone is the father of someone else. The other two times that the home-
town of the prophet is mentioned in the title in books from the Twelve (Amos
1:1 and Nah 1:1) the translator understands that the geographical term is not a
name. In Amos the translator even adds another geographical term, rendering
an obscure word for “shepherds” as the place name “Nakkadim” (see Amos 1:1).
The second prepositional phrase modifying the main clause in 1:1 expresses
the time when the “word of the Lord” came to Micah. The kings of Judah
listed in 1:1 (Ioatham [740–733], Achaz [735–715], and Hezekias [715–687]) date
Micah’s ministry to the second half of the eighth century, the same general
time period as the ministries of Hosea and Amos, although Micah’s ministry
would have followed the first two prophets of the Twelve. The dates of the kings
listed mean that the minimum time of his ministry was about 20 years and the
maximum was about 53 years. None of the contemporary northern kings are
mentioned, which could indicate that Micah’s active ministry was to the south,
or that he did not consider the northern nation or its kings to be legitimate
(Hos 8:4).
The third prepositional phrase gives the content of the “word of the Lord,” or
that “concerning which” the “word of the Lord” came to Micah. The first three
words in this phrase (ὑπὲρ ὧν εἶδεν) could be taken two different ways: the rela-
tive pronoun could be masculine referring to the kings in the previous phrase,
40 commentary

or it could be neuter and not have an antecedent. Several commentators take

it as referring back to the kings in the previous phrase (Waltke, 35; Wolff, 32;
lxx.e, 2365), but even though that is what one would normally expect gram-
matically, it is not necessary and it is awkward here. The preposition ὑπέρ has
the sense “concerning,” and the object of the preposition, the relative pronoun
ὧν, is the subject Micah saw (so mur, 696, who says the preposition is “indicat-
ing a subject matter”; see the similar, but not exact same use in Amos 1:1). The
relative pronoun (“the things”) need not have an antecedent (mur, 508), and
its case is determined by its syntactic relationship in the relative clause, here
a genitive because it is serving as the object of ὑπέρ. There are several other
instances in the lxx where the relative pronoun following the preposition ὑπέρ
does not have an antecedent, but instead the relative introduces a new subject
that is developed in the following context (see esp. 2 Kgdms 18:8; 1 Chron 18:10;
Tob 7:9; Ezek 24:21; 2Macc 11:35), and the prepositional phrase has the sense
“concerning which.” Sometimes when the relative does not have an antecedent,
ὑπέρ followed by a relative pronoun is better rendered “because” (2 Kgdms 6:8;
8:10; 4Kgdms 22:13). Since there is good precedent for understanding ὑπὲρ ὧν to
be introducing a new subject that will be developed in the following immediate
context, such an understanding should be considered in this context. Further-
more, understanding the relative to be neuter in gender and referring to the
general content of what the prophet saw in his visions (“the things”) results
in a smoother and more natural understanding of the phrase and the con-
text of Mic 1:1. The ὑπέρ phrase “concerning the things” is then explicated by
“he saw” (εἶδεν), which is then modified by the final compound prepositional
phrases with the preposition περί (which occurs twice), giving a description of
the contents of the visions recorded in the book; they are “regarding Samaria
and regarding Ierousalem.” (mur [545] suggests that in this context περί should
also be rendered “concerning” to indicate the content of visions, parallel to
ὑπέρ. I have rendered περί “regarding” to distinguish between the two preposi-
tions. When mur [545] contends that περί is parallel to ὑπέρ in 1:1 he apparently
means they are parallel in meaning, not in function in the verse.)
If the relative ὧν is masculine (in “concerning the things he saw”), referring
to the kings that were previously mentioned, the two phrases have the sense
“concerning whom [which kings] he saw regarding Samaria and regarding
Ierousalem.” However, not only is this understanding of the last part of 1:1
awkward, but also the kings mentioned are all from Judah, and it does not
follow that he saw things concerning them regarding Samaria and Jerusalem.
Even though the “leaders” are a key theme in lxx Mic (see next paragraph),
it is less complicated to take the phrase ὑπὲρ ὧν to be a general description of
the things Micah saw in his visions, which were explained to him by the word
α. 1:1–9 41

of the Lord that came to him. Then the final prepositional phrases (regarding
Samaria and regarding Ierousalem) refer to the more specific contents of his
visions: they were “regarding Samaria and regarding Ierousalem.” As mentioned
above, this understanding of the last part of the verse avoids the confusion of
connecting the kings of Judah mentioned in the verse with Samaria, which is
mentioned near the end of the verse. Also it is important to note that the word
of the Lord that came to Micah interpreted the visions he had experienced
regarding Samaria and Jerusalem and thus guaranteed that his interpretation
of those visions was correct. This is very similar to the process described in 2 Pet
1:20–21 in which prophecy is not a matter of the prophet’s own interpretation,
but the prophet is born along in his understanding and interpretation of visions
and events by the Spirit of God.
The revelation Micah received from the Lord concerns the various things
he saw regarding the capitals of the northern and southern kingdoms, Samaria
and Jerusalem, although the only time the two are named together is in the
first verses of chapter one (1:2–9). At times the message of the book is directed
to the leaders who ruled in those capitals (2:1–2), and at times it is directed to
the kingdoms of which Samaria and Jerusalem are the capitals. The repeated
references to the “kings” (βασιλεύς; 1:1; 6:5; and esp. 1:14; 2:13; 4:9) and “lead-
ers” (forms of ἡγέομαι; 2:9; 3:9, 11; 7:5) suggest that this is a key theme in the
book. The references to the leaders in the lxx, which are not present in the
Hebrew in 2:9 and 7:5, support the importance of this theme in the Greek trans-
Micah’s prophecy is unique, because the prophet applies “the historical
lessons of the fate of Samaria (Mic 1:1, 5–7) to Judah and Jerusalem (Mic 1:5,
9; 3:9–12)” (Jones, 193). The judgment for sin that Samaria experienced in
722b.c.e. is coming to Judah and Jerusalem, and that latter nation is the main
focus in Mic. The first explicit mention of Zion’s death sentence is in Mic 3:12,
which is quoted in Jer 33[mt 26]:18. That Micah’s prophecies concerning the
judgment and destruction of Samaria and Jerusalem came to pass shows that
they deserve the full attention of later generations. This would not have escaped
the attention of the first readers of the lxx.

The Judgment of Samaria Has Reached as Far as Jerusalem, 1:2–9

The command to “hear” (Ακούσατε) in 1:2 marked a new section for the transla-
tor, as it often does elsewhere in Mic (3:9; 6:1–2; and 6:9c; but cf. 3:1 where it does
not mark a major division in B). The summons of the prophet to the “peoples”
to hear is likely addressing the nations, as the plural of this term (λαός) normally
does in Mic (4:1, 3, 5, 13; 5:7, 8; 6:2, 16); when the term describes God’s people
it is normally singular and modified by a pronoun (often by “my” or “this”; see
42 commentary

1:9; 2:4, 9, 11; 3:3, 5; but cf. 2:8 where “my people” seems to refer to the oppres-
sors). The lxx apparently renders “all of them [you]” (‫ )כלם‬in the address in
the mt “you people, all of you,” as “words” (λόγους), perhaps influenced in this
rendering by 4:1 where “peoples” has no modifier or perhaps confused by the
third-person pl. pronominal suffix. Waltke (45) notes that the resemblance of ‫כ‬
and ‫“ מ‬in both the paleo-Hebrew and early Aramaic square scripts” could have
influenced the lxx translator to read the Hebrew “all of them [you]” (‫ )כלמ‬as
“words” (‫)מלים‬. Schwantes (20) refers to the confusion of ‫ כ‬and ‫ מ‬also in Mic 1:12;
5:11, 13; 7:20.
Micah’s later namesake Michaiah the son of Imlah uses language very simi-
lar to Mic 1:2 in 2Chr 18:27 (ἀκούσατε λαοὶ πάντες); but the context is different,
because in 2Chr 18 the nations are being summoned to hear the doom proph-
esied against Israel, and in Mic 1:2 the nations are being summoned to hear a
charge that the Lord is bringing against them. (It is interesting that the lxx of
3 Kgdms 22:28 does not include the phrase “Hear you peoples, all of you,” which
is identical to the phrase at the beginning of Mic 1:2 in the mt, and in the mt the
passages seem to connect Micahaiah, the son of Imlah with Micah, the author
of the book of Mic.)
The following parallel summons to “pay attention” is addressed to the earth
along with all those in it, which is parallel to the “peoples” in the first admoni-
tion. The earth and the peoples in it are not being summoned to bear witness
to the Lord’s “covenant lawsuit” against Samaria and Judah (cf. 6:1–8). In both
summonses at the beginning of 1:2 the nations are addressed as defendants,
not as witnesses. The Lord’s charge against Samaria and Judah also has impli-
cations for the nations, because he is sovereign over all, and his judgment of
his covenant people provides a pattern of his judgment of all people. Whereas
in the past the Lord’s wrath against the Canaanites provided a warning for
Israel, now Israel has become a warning to the other nations (Waltke, 57). How-
ever, the situation here differs from that in the Oracles Against the Nations in
Amos 1:3–2:3. Here the nations are not accused parallel to Judah and Israel as
in Amos; instead, in this situation the judgment of Samaria and Jerusalem is
an example to the nations and a pattern of what will happen to them also, if
they do not reconcile with the Lord (Wolff, 46; for similar calls to the nations,
see Isa 34; 51:4–6; Jer 38[mt 31]:10; Jer 38:10–12[mt 25:30–32]). The last part of
1:2 announces “the Lord God” (written in B with nomina sacra) is coming from
his heavenly palace (“his holy house”; see also “his place” in 1:3). The render-
ing of the “temple, palace” (‫ )היכל‬with “house” (οἶκος) is unusual (although it is
also found in Zech 6:12, 14, 15); perhaps it was influenced here by Mic 4:2 where
the same Greek noun is used to describe the house of the Lord on Mount Sion
(lxx.e, 2365).
α. 1:1–9 43

The Lord is coming to be among the people for a “witness” (1:2). The nature
of the Lord’s “witness” among his people is indicated by the following context
where it is clearly a witness “against” (so nets) his people and all the people of
the earth, not a witness to them. The phrase “for a witness” (εἰς μαρτύριον) is a
key theme in lxx Mic, recurring also at the end of the book (see 7:18) and thus
enclosing it. In Mic 1:2 the Lord comes down from heaven to be a witness against
the sins of the houses of Israel and Judah. In the hymn of praise to the Lord at
the end of the book he is characterized as one who does not retain his anger
concerning the sins of the remnant for a witness against them. Thus, though
Israel, Judah, and the nations will surely be judged for their sins, the book ends
with a promise of forgiveness for the remnant of Israel and Judah.
“For” (διότι) at the beginning of 1:3 introduces the reason for the summons in
1:2. The reason for the summons is an epiphany of the Lord, a theophany, which
is described in 1:3–4. The Lord “is coming forth”—a use of the present tense for
future action (with a future tense following it). The “place” he is coming forth
from is apparently “his holy house” mentioned in 1:2. The phrase “come down
upon the high places of the earth” (καταβήσεται ἐπὶ τὰ ὕψη τῆς γῆς) is found in B
(and Swete); Rahlfs and Ziegler have καταβήσεται καὶ ἐπιβήσεται ἐπὶ τὰ ὕψη τῆς
γῆς. The verb ἐπιβαίνω (“to tread upon”) is found in most main mss, matching
the phrase in Sir 46:9 and Amos 4:13, but this verb is not in the original text of
B (see text notes). The imagery in the last clause of Mic 1:3 (and these other
two verses) depicts the Lord of the heavens marching forth from his heavenly
palace to exercise his sovereign authority over all the earth. The “high places”
are the most important and strategic portions of the landscape, and from them
he will exercise his rule over the earth (see Amos 4:13). In 1:3 he functions as an
accuser and in 1:6–7 he is a judge (Waltke, 47). In this context, describing the
Lord ordering the “peoples” of the “earth” (ἡ γῆ) to meet with him, “the earth”
(or “land”) in 1:2–3 cannot be limited to Israel, but must mean the whole world.
In Scripture a description of cosmic disorder normally follows a descrip-
tion of a theophany, and 1:4 is consistent with that pattern. “The mountains
will quake beneath him” suggests that the Lord is walking on the mountains.
(See a similar description of the mountains shaking, also using σαλεύω [and
σείω] in Nah 1:5.) In parallel fashion “the valleys will melt.” Two different images
(marked by the repetition of ὡς) explain what is meant by this description of
the valleys. They will melt “like wax before fire and like water flowing down in
a precipice.” The imagery of wax melting suggests the earth itself will dissolve
in the presence of the Lord (see Ps 67[mt 68]:3; 96[mt 97]:5 for similar descrip-
tions of wax [κηρός] melting [τήκω]; on the verb “melt” [τήκω] see also Nah 1:6;
Hab 3:6; Zech 14:12 and the discussion of the prefixed form of it in 4:13). See
other references to “fire” in Mic 1:7 and 6:10. The image of “water flowing down
44 commentary

[καταφέρω] in a precipice” (on κατάβασις; see leh, 231) suggests the fertile val-
leys will also dissolve and flow away from the presence of the Lord like water
gushing down a wadi in rainy season (see Waltke, 49). The mountains and the
valleys constitute a merism, signifying that all of the landscape is affected when
the Lord comes. The mountains are the remote and majestic parts of the earth
(cf. “high places of the earth” in 1:3), and the valleys are the fertile parts where
people live. The imagery in these descriptions of cosmic disorder, which brings
to mind the effect of earthquakes, volcanoes, and other natural catastrophes,
indicates that when the Lord comes in judgment it will be catastrophic. (See
4:13 for connections between 1:4 and the judgment of the nations described
Verse 5a gives the double cause for the Lord coming to judge (with the repe-
tition of διά plus accusative): “because of the ungodliness of Iakob and because
of the sin of the house of Israel.” “Iakob” (subjective genitive) was characterized
by “ungodliness” (ἀσέβεια), which is a lack of reverence for the Lord displayed in
actions and words; it is sometimes rendered “impiety” (bdag, 141). The singu-
lar, anarthrous nouns “ungodliness” and “sin” refer to the character of Iakob and
Israel, rather than individual sinful acts (Porter, 104–105); in this context their
sinful character indicates they have broken the covenant. “All these things,”
apparently referring to the previous description of the Lord’s coming and the
resulting cosmic chaos (1:3–4), are because of Iakob’s sinful and ungodly char-
acter, which has been manifested in the breaking of the covenant with the Lord.
The referents of Iakob and Israel in Mic are difficult to determine, and it
is especially difficult to identify the references to them at the beginning of
1:5. Iakob occurs 11 times in Mic (1:5 [2x]; 2:7, 12; 3:1, 8, 9; 4:2; 5:7, 8; and 7:20),
and Israel is found 12 times in Mic (1:5, 13, 14, 15; 2:12; 3:1, 8, 9; 5:1, 2, 3; and
6:2). It is clear from the connection of Iakob to Samaria in 1:5b that Iakob
refers to the northern kingdom in this verse. It is also likely that Israel in 1:5a
refers to the southern kingdom. There are several reasons for this, beginning
with the clear connection of Iakob to Samaria and the northern kingdom
just mentioned; this clear connection, which is the most important evidence,
necessitates that Israel in 1:5a be connected with the following references to
Iouda and Ierousalem because they are the only options left. Second, the order
of the references to Samaria first and then Iouda and Ierousalem in the two
rhetorical questions and their answers in the latter part of the verse suggests
a corresponding order in the first clause with Iakob referring to the north
(corresponding with Samaria) and Israel referring to the south (corresponding
to Iouda with Ierousalem). Third, the alteration of the nouns “ungodliness” and
“sin” (in the lxx) in the verse suggests each noun is used with the same locale;
“ungodliness” is used twice with reference to the north, and “sin” is used twice
α. 1:1–9 45

with reference to the south. This argument is strengthened by the fact that the
second occurrence of “sin” in the lxx is a rendering of the Hebrew “high place”
(‫ ;במה‬halot, 137), perhaps to make the references to sin parallel in the first
and second parts of the verse so that both references are used to describe the
south. And fourth, the use of the noun “house” with “the house of Israel” in 1:5a
and with “the house of Iouda” in 1:5b (in the lxx) suggests these are referring to
the same place. Thus, in this verse it appears that Iakob refers to the northern
kingdom, and Israel refers to the southern kingdom.
In Mic 1:13, 14, 15; 3:9; and 5:1 Israel seems to include at least the southern
kingdom, and it may include the whole nation, especially in the last two verses.
In several verses, like 3:1, 8, and 9 where Israel and Iakob are parallel, there may
be no difference between their referents, or they could refer to the northern
and southern kingdoms. We will discuss the referent(s) of each occurrence of
these words in their contexts.
The second half of 1:5 further connects the guilt of each of the two kingdoms
with their capitals. The references to Samaria and Ierousalem are probably
metonymies for the leaders of these kingdoms, whose sins will be addressed
specifically in chapters 2–3 and in 6:1–7:7. (Samaria is the Hellenized form of
the toponym [Heb ‫]שמרון‬.) The accusation against Ioudas in 1:5 is noteworthy,
because the section 1:2–9 is addressed primarily to Samaria. But the charge
against Ioudas prepares the reader for the judgment that will reach Ioudas in
In 1:6–7 the Lord speaks in the future tense through Micah to spell out the
consequence for Samaria breaking the covenant. The consequence, or judicial
sentence, is based on the accusation in 1:5. Verse 6 addresses what will happen
to the city and 1:7 describes the fate of her idols. The rendering of the Hebrew
word ‫“( ִעי‬heap”) by ὀπωροφυλάκιον in Mic 1:6 (and 3:12) has generated a lot of
discussion, some of which I have tried to summarize at 3:12. One can enter into
this discussion by reading the helpful treatments of this topic in Theocharous,
100–105, and Dines, “Oporophulakion.” Theocharous (105), in agreement with
Renaud, Rudolph, and Wolff, thinks the best explanation of this rendering is
that “the word ‫“[ ִעי‬heap of ruins,” halot, 816] was possibly regarded as too
‘strong’ and was replaced by the milder ὀπωροφυλάκιον … under the influence
of the Greek Isaiah, whose language, as Dines notes, had become influential
and authoritative by the first century b.c.e.” The most difficult problem in the
Greek text of 1:6 is the precise meaning of the noun “garden-watcher’s hut”
(ὀπωροφυλάκιον). This word only occurs five times in the lxx, and it is not
attested outside of the lxx and the literature depending on it. One of the other
four occurrences is the parallel passage in Mic 3:12 where it is employed to
translate the same rare Hebrew word as in 1:6 and it describes the desolation
46 commentary

of Jerusalem after it has been judged by the Lord. See lsj, 1243, and mur, 501,
who thinks ὀπωροφυλάκιον is employed “as a symbol of ruin and desolation”
in 1:6, 3:12, and Isa 1:8; mur (501) also has a good discussion of the other uses
of the word (in Isa 24:20 and Ps 78:1). The Syriac follows the lxx with the
translation “field house.” It seems likely that the translator was influenced
to use this rare word in 1:6 to describe desolate and ruined Samaria by his
choice to use it in 3:12 for Jerusalem. Recently, Dogniez has argued that the
choice of the noun ὀπωροφυλάκιον, “garden-watcher’s hut” (“orchard-guard’s
shed” mur, 501), in Micah 3:12 was dependent on the use of the word in Isa 1:8
(see also Isa 24:20), referring to Jerusalem. There could have also been some
interdependence between Mic and Ps 78[mt 79]:1, the other occurrence of
ὀπωροφυλάκιον in the lxx, which might have influenced the translator to use
this word here, since there is similar vocabulary in Mic 1:6 and Ps 78:1 (τίθημι)
and both passages describe the desolation of Jerusalem. It is likely that the
Prophets and Psalms were translated in the mid second century b.c.e. or later,
so that makes it difficult to know which of these translations influenced the
In a recent article (“What Was An ὀπωροφυλάκιον?” 209) Dines concludes
with three possible meanings for the word ὀπωροφυλάκιον. First, “If its com-
ponent parts are taken to be ὀπώρα (‘late summer,’ ‘ripe fruit’) and φυλάκιον
(‘guard,’ ‘guard post’), the compound could suggest ‘fruit store,’ or ‘place for gar-
den watchman.’ She thinks the first meaning is unlikely, since φυλάκιον “has
predominantly military meanings,” and there were other available words con-
structed with -θήκη (ἀποθήκη, ὀπωροθήκη) that would have served well for this
meaning. The second meaning, “hut for a garden watchman” is the most com-
mon rendering of this word (similar to “orchard-guard’s shed,” mur, 501; and
nets). Although there is evidence that such things existed, Dines feels the
woven shelters described would probably be rendered with σκηνή rather than
ὀπωροφυλάκιον. In her article Dines suggests that the word ὀπωροφυλάκιον has
the sense “fruit-protector, understanding φυλάκιον not as an equivalent of φυλα-
κεῖον, but as a diminutive form of φύλαξ, ‘guard.’” Thus, she reasons the ὀπω-
ροφυλάκιον could have been a person “hired to chase off wild animals (as in
Aristotle [Problemata 938a]), but the biblical contexts do not imply a living per-
son and require something more dramatic.” Therefore she proposes the word
may refer “either directly, or through double entendre … to statues of Priapus,
set up, according to Diodorus Siculus [4.6.1–4; in 4.6.4 he mentions ὀπωροφύ-
λακα τῶν ἀμπελώνων], in vineyards and allotments to ensure fertility and ward
off the evil eye” (209). Priapus was a fertility god and a god of gardens where he
served as a sort of guardian and scarecrow. Although he was dwarfish, he had a
huge, continually erect penis and was thought to promote fertility. Since such
α. 1:1–9 47

statues would have been common in fields and vineyards in Hellenistic Egypt
(where Mic and Isa were apparently translated), this would be a familiar figure
for the translator to use, and it “would have provided a truly shocking image for
the punishment of Jerusalem” (209).
A statue of Priapus is a dreadful image for the punishment of Jerusalem,
but it seems more shocking and scandalous than fitting for the situation. Fur-
thermore, Dines’s suggestion that ὀπωροφυλάκιον referred to this god by some
kind of a double entendre is a complex argument that seems unlikely. I laud
her for her excellent background work on this rare word, but her suggestion
for its meaning in the lxx fails to convince me. It seems more likely that the
translator had a simpler image in mind, like a hut or shack which would take
the place of the great city, and the more common rendering “orchard-guard’s
shed” or “garden-watcher’s hut” is preferred. This understanding of the word
fits well with the following description of the location as a “vineyard planta-
tion” (as could a statue of Priapus also). (See the discussion of ὀπωροφυλάκιον
in 3:12.)
Thus, I have rendered 1:6a, “And I will make Samaria a garden-watcher’s
hut in a field and a place for the planting of a vineyard.” “I will make” is the
construction τίθημι εἰς, which is also employed in 1:7 in the clause “I will
condemn to destruction” (see also Gen 17:6; Zeph 2:13). “In a field” is probably
a genitive of place or space (Wallace, 124–125). The lack of an article with the
noun “field” makes it more obscure. The verbal noun “planting, plantation” in
B is φυτίαν, followed by Swete (see text notes; several other mss have φυτείαν;
see Thackeray, §6, 24–26, on this common interchange of vowels). This verbal
noun has the idea of a place of planting or perhaps “plantation” here; both mur
(724) and leh (510) understand the word to have that sense in Ezek 17:7 but not
here. It seems this context also requires a similar idea, and since “plantation”
seems too formal, I have rendered it “place for the planting” and used italics
to show that the idea of a place is implied in this context (see also lsj, 1965).
The following genitive “vineyard” is objective, showing what is planted in this
place. It is appropriate that Samaria would be judged by being made into a
vineyard, since that was likely its condition before King Omri bought the hill
(ca. 880b.c.e.; 3Kgdms 16:24) and built the fortified city there that became the
capital of the northern kingdom.
The remainder of 1:6 describes the total obliteration of the city of Samaria
that Omri and his successor Ahab built. The hill on which Samaria was built is
450 meters high, and the Lord will “pull down” the “stones” of Samaria’s walls
into “a chasm.” “Pull down” (κατασπάω) can be rendered “demolish,” but when
its object is the stones of a building it means “pull down” (mur, 384; see Lam 3:11
of Jerusalem); on “chasm” (χάος), see Zech 14:4 and mur, 728. The uncovering
48 commentary

of her foundations emphasizes the complete desolation of the city. The verb
“uncover” (ἀποκαλύπτω) is often used to describe shaming (see throughout Lev
18 and 20; Ezek 16:37; Hos 2:10[mt 12]), and in Nah 2:8 the translator uses it to
describe the shame of Nineveh when its foundations are uncovered (see also
Nah 3:5). This close parallel and the other uses of this verb to describe shaming
support the same idea in this context.
The destruction of Samaria described in 1:6 did not come from an earthquake
or a volcano, as the imagery of 1:3 might suggest. Instead it would be clear to the
first readers of the lxx that the imagery of the Lord coming to judge Samaria
in 1:3–6 found its fulfillment in the coming of the army of Shalmaneser v in
722b.c.e. when the Assyrians razed Samaria (4 Kgdms 17:3–6, 24). The Lord
used the Assyrians to carry out his judicial sentence on Samaria for her ungod-
The second aspect of the Lord’s judgment of Samaria that is described in
this passage is the destruction of her gods in 1:7. Her gods were not able to
defend her, and with the loss of her fortifications she also lost her gods and
cult. The subjects in 1:7 are not identified, but “they” must be the Assyrians; for
lxx readers this is clear. The Assyrians will “cut in pieces all her carved idols”
(on γλυπτός, “carved idols,” see Hos 11:2; Mic 5:13; Hab 2:18; in Isa 10:10–11 it is
used parallel with “idols”). Note the change here from the passive in the mt
(“shall be beaten”) to the active in the lxx (“they will cut”), perhaps influenced
by the same Greek verb (κατακόπτω) in 4:3 (see lxx.e, 2366). Also they will
“set on fire all her wages”; these “wages” (μίσθωμα) are the earnings for her
whoredom (see Deut 23:18; Hos 2:12; the word is repeated twice later in the
verse). Deut 23:17–18 forbids prostitution in Israel, and it forbids bringing the
fee for a prostitute into the house of the Lord for a vow. Their idols would
have been made of the gold and silver that the worshippers paid to the cult
prostitutes. The Law commanded the people to burn idols, including the gold
and silver in them (Deut 7:25; 12:3; see also Deut 9:21; 4 Kgdms 18:4); since
the people had not done that, the Lord would accomplish it by means of the
Assyrians. He will “condemn to destruction” all Samaria’s idols (see Mic 1:6; Joel
1:7; and Zeph 2:13 on τίθημι εἰς; mur, 106 suggests the rendering used here); the
nets rendering “and all her idols I will make an annihilation” translates the
phrase τίθημι εἰς here as in 1:6a. The conjunction “for” (διότι) at the beginning
of the second clause in 1:7 introduces the cause of the destruction of the idols:
Samaria used the wages earned by the cult prostitutes to gather her idols. The
object of the verb “gathered” is not given in the text, but the implied object is
the idols mentioned in the first part of the verse. The second reason the Lord
will destroy these idols is because Samaria “accumulated them from the wages
of prostitution.” The basic meaning of συστρέφω is “gather together” (bdag,
α. 1:1–9 49

979; mur, 664). leh (463) suggests this verb (συστρέφω) should be rendered
“amassed wealth,” taking wealth as its implied object. However the topic in the
verse is not wealth; the topic is idols, and it seems more likely that the intended
object is again their idols. The idols are the climax and target of the Lord’s
judgment of Samaria. Because the people of Samaria had failed to destroy their
idols, as the Lord commanded, the Lord is going to destroy the people along
with the idols.
As mentioned in the introduction, in the lxx there is no break after 1:7,
but the third person description of Samaria in 1:7 continues into 1:8–9. A
personified Samaria is apparently the subject in 1:8 (“she will mourn”; the
feminine gender is confirmed by the feminine form of γυμνός in the verse).
However, in 1:9 Samaria is spoken about (“her”) and the people of Judah are
described as “my people.” In 1:8 Samaria will “mourn” and “lament” “on account
of” the Lord’s judgment, described in 1:6–7 (ἕνεκεν τούτου). The middle voice of
κόπτω, which I have rendered “mourn,” describes people striking themselves
in acts of mourning; the cognate noun (κοπετός) occurs later in the verse
(leh, 264; bdag, 559). The verb θρηνέω means to wail, mourn, or lament (leh,
207–208; bdag, 458). Wolff writes that the combination of going “barefoot
and naked” is only found one other place in the ot (see Wolff, 58; the lxx
makes this connection also), Isa 20:2–4, where Isaiah is commanded to go walk
about “naked and barefoot” as a sign to the Egyptians and Ethiopians that
they will be taken into captivity by the Assyrians. Although the exact words
are not used, in the mt as well as the lxx it is clear that the captives taken
from Judah by Israel and Syria in 735b.c.e. were also “naked and barefoot”
(2 Chr 28:14–15); in that context people assist some of the captives by clothing
them and giving them shoes. These parallel events from the time of Micah
give further support for understanding this “symbolic action” in Mic 1:8 as a
reference to “the threat of being taken prisoner” (Wolff, 58). The reference to
being taken into captivity in 1:16, at the end of the section, further supports this
understanding of 1:8. Through his prophet the Lord is saying that Samaria will
go into captivity.
In the last half of 1:8 in B the subject switches from third person singular
(“she”) to second person plural (“you”). The reading ποιήσετε in 1:8b may be
unique to Vaticanus (see text notes); all other modern versions have ποιήσεται.
The “you” could be Samaria, or it could be Judah and Jerusalem, who are
addressed in 1:9. Since 1:9 gives the cause or reason why (ὅτι) there will be the
“lament like dragons and a mourning like the daughters of Sirens” described in
1:8, it makes sense that the “you” who are lamenting in 1:8 refers to the same
people who are judged in 1:9, the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Thus, in B
in the second half of 1:8 it appears that there is a shift from the description of
50 commentary

Samaria (“she”) in 1:8a to a description of Judah and Jerusalem (“you”) in 1:8b.

The change of subjects prepares the reader for the references to the southern
kingdom in 1:9 and smoothes the logical development of the passage in the lxx.
The “lament” and “mourning” in 1:8b is described as similar to “dragons”
and “the daughters of Sirens.” In the lxx the word “dragon” (δράκων; 35x in
the lxx) is used in several different ways, including for a snake (Exod 7:9–12),
the dragon in Bel and the Dragon (Dan 14:23–28[Bel 23–28]), sea creatures
(Pss 73:13; 103:26; 148:7), and the evil enemy of God (Isa 27:1). In Ezek 29:3 and
32:2Ezekiel addresses the ruler of Egypt as “Pharaoh”; then he compares him to
a dragon. The imagery in these verses is employed to liken this Egyptian ruler to
a crocodile in the Nile in 32:2 and a supernatural creature opposed to God’s rule
in 29:3. In the lxx dragons can bite (Amos 9:3; Wis 16:10), fight (Esth 11:6), mock
(Ps 103:26), or praise God from the deep (Ps 148:7). See bdag, 261, and tdnt,
2:281–283, for the mythological background of this word. Foerster summarizes:
“In the Gk. ot δράκων is used in many verses which owe their imagery to a
myth of the conflict between deity and the dragon of chaos” and often the early
Christians equated the “dragon” with Satan (tdnt, 2:283). The plural “dragons”
in Mic 1:8, to describe mourning, would have probably suggested a supernatural
creature of the deep to early readers of the lxx, especially since it is employed
parallel to “sirens.” See Waltke (66) for a reasonable explanation of why the
translator of the lxx read his Vorlage here as “dragons.”
Micah also employs the noun “sirens” (σειρήν) in a second simile to describe
the manner in which Judah and Jerusalem will mourn (“like the daughters
of sirens”). The word is always used in the lxx in contexts of desolation or
devastation, like a wilderness (Isa 43:20) or the destruction of a city (Jer 27:39).
Some contexts in which the word is used suggest it refers to a bird, because
three times it is used parallel to στρουθός, “ostrich, sparrow” (Job 30:29; Isa 34:13
and 43:20). mur (619) gives the definition “some kind of a wild bird noted for its
singing sound” for σειρήν. In 4Macc 15:21 the related adjective σειρήνιος modifies
the noun “song” (μελῳδία) and refers to the songs of the sirens; in that passage
these “songs of sirens” are parallel to “swans” (or “voices of swans” nets).
Sirens, of course, have an extensive and important part in Greek literature
and mythology. In Homer (Od. 12. 39, 184) sirens are “sea-songstresses, whose
appearance is not described.” Sailors charmed by their song land their ships
and perish, but in other stories if a mortal can resist their song, the sirens must
die. (Odysseus and the Argonauts escape from their lure, and in later literature
the sirens sing the strains of Hades.) From earliest times the sirens accompany
the dead on their voyage to the lower world; they also crown tombs. “This leads
some authorities to assume that they were originally birds inhabited by souls
of the dead. A poetical interpretation makes these funereal Sirens grieve for
α. 1:1–9 51

the dead with mournful songs just as they mourn for Persephone” (The Oxford
Classical Dictionary, 993; lsj, 1588, mentions their use as grave ornaments.).
These mournful bird-like figures which inhabit the realm of the dead, and are
themselves inhabited by the souls of the dead, and grieve for the dead, were
employed six times by the lxx translators to describe the beings that inhabited
devastated and desolate areas, including plundered cities, like Samaria and
Jerusalem. (The six occurrences are Job 30:29; Isa 13:21; 34:13; 43:20; Jer 27:39; and
Mic 1:8.) The translation (“sirens”) would be appropriate for the first readers of
lxx Twelve, who saw images of sirens on tombs and knew the Greek mythology
concerning them. Thus, the word “sirens” gives a vivid picture of the situation
in devastated Jerusalem. But furthermore, the language employed in the use of
this figure in Mic 1:8 suggests more than a comfortable familiarity with Greek
literature and culture, and it also suggests again that the translator of Mic was
familiar with Isa and Jer in Greek.
As was discussed above, the reason (or cause) for the people of Judah and
Jerusalem “making a lament like dragons and a mourning like the daughters
of Sirens” is given in 1:9 (introduced by “because,” ὅτι). “Her” in 1:9 must refer
to Samaria again, since it was the last preceding feminine, singular subject,
and she was the main object of judgment in the previous context. In 1:9 “her”
(Samaria’s) judgment reaches to Jerusalem. The noun πληγή (“plague, blow”)
is most commonly rendered “blow, stroke,” and that seems best here, since the
judgment is not a plague. mur (374) suggests the rendering “intensified” for
κατακρατέω here, and that would work well if πληγή were rendered “plague.”
nets has rendered this verb “taken hold,” but the suggestion of leh (236) seems
best with a “blow”; it has “prevailed.” Samaria’s “plague has prevailed” and it is
spreading to Judah. Judah is mentioned before Jerusalem because that is the
order that the judgment by the Lord, through the Assyrians, fell on the southern
kingdom; verses 10–16 will further describe how Samaria’s “blow has prevailed”
so it has affected Judah. Micah concludes 1:9 with the announcement that the
blow against Samaria “has reached as far as the gate of my people, as far as
Ierousalem.” There is no reason here to take the “gate” as synecdoche for the
city. Micah is saying that the blow reached as far as the gate, but he allows that
it did not enter the city. This would then refer to the campaign of Sennacherib
in 701b.c.e., which did not penetrate the walls or gates. Here “my people” must
refer to the people of Judah, or Micah’s people, and perhaps specifically the
people shut up in Jerusalem when Sennacherib came against them. (See the
discussion on “people” at 1:2 and “my people” at 2:4; see also Waltke, 68–69).
One of the main themes in Mic, especially in the lxx arrangement of the
Twelve where it follows Hos and Amos and their message to Samaria and
the northern kingdom, is the application of the lessons concerning Samaria
52 commentary

to Judah and Jerusalem. That is probably as clear in this paragraph as in any

section of Mic. The Lord has judged Samaria for her sins, specifically her
idolatry. And the same judgment is coming to Judah and Jerusalem for their

Β 1:10–3:4

Judah Will Be Taken into Captivity because of Her Sins, especially

because of the Sins of Her Leaders, but She Will Return, 1:10–3:4
In the Hebrew this section contains a number of word plays related to the 11
towns mentioned in the text. The translator did not recognize all the place
names, nor did he recognize the word plays on the place names; in fact, there
are only six place names in the lxx, and one of them, Akeim, is not found in the
Hebrew. As a result this section, which is difficult in the Hebrew, is very difficult
in the lxx. The thoughts are not always clearly connected, and the intended
meaning is difficult to discern in several places. The main theme seems to
be the judgment and captivity of Judah and Jerusalem and the responses
and relationship of various other cities to that judgment and captivity. In the
midst of this message of judgment, verse 15 provides hope of return from
captivity. The first readers of the lxx may have understood this passage to
refer to the campaign of Sennacherib in 701b.c.e., but they also would have
understood it to refer beyond that to the time of Judah’s Babylonian captivity
(see 1:11, 16). Geth (or Gath) was one of the cities that made up the Philistine
Pentapolis before David put an end to it (1Chron 18:1); the other four cities of
the Pentapolis were the three coastal cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and
also Ekron, which like Gath was in the Shephelah. Gath was likely the site
that is nine and a half miles north of Lachish (Waltke, 69, following Rainey).
Gath is included in the cities controlled by Judea under Rehoboam (2 Chron
11:8), then captured by Hazael of Damascus (4Kgdms 12:18–19[mt 17–18]), and
later recovered by Judah in the time of Uzziah (2 Chron 26:6). In 711 b.c.e.
“Sargon ii of Assyria claims conquest of the city in his campaign against Azuri,
the king of Ashdod” (see abd, 2:908–909; and Isa 20). From that point on we
have little knowledge of Gath. Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Gaza became in every
respect Greek poleis after the conquest of Alexander in 332 b.c.e., and there
is no trace of the Philistines after that time, except for the name Palestine
(abd, 5:328). Thus, since Gath was not a coastal city, nor a city that seems to
be especially important in the second century b.c.e., it is unlikely that the
translator of lxx Mic and his first readers would have known much about
its condition at the time the lxx was translated, especially if they were in
β. 1:10–3:4 53

Egypt; they also may not have known exactly where it was located. From his
study of place names in the Minor Prophets, Eidsvâg (453–454) concluded,
“The frequent use of translations of names in Judea and Samaria attests to the
notion that the translator was not very conscious of the geographical names
in this area.” In contrast to this practice the translator tended to use Greek
names for the places along the Palestinian/Syrian coastline; this suggests these
places were more familiar to him and that he was translating in Egypt and not
in Jerusalem.
The command in 1:10 for the people of Geth not to “consider themselves
great” has the idea not to “boast” (mur, 445), but there is no need to limit it to
boasting here. The lxx translator apparently rendered the Hebrew prohibition
“tell it not” (‫“ )אל תגידו‬do not consider yourselves great” (μὴ μεγαλύνεσθε); while
the mt has the hiphil of ‫“( נגד‬tell, declare”), it is generally thought that the
lxx reading is based on ‫“( גדל‬grow, enlarge”), which involves a confusion, or
manipulation, of the radicals in the verb. It is possible that the translator’s
understanding that there were two cities addressed at the beginning of 1:10
(Geth and Akeim) influenced him to manipulate the first command so both
commands are addressed to the inhabitants of those cities. Regardless, the
Vorlage easily could have been rendered as 2Kgdms 1:20 (“tell it not in Gath”),
which is a command not to let the enemy know of Israel’s loss at the time of
Saul’s death. Perhaps the translator was unaware of the lament in 2 Kgdms, or
perhaps he does not want to connect Geth with the Philistines, since in Mic it
is connected with Judea and Jerusalem.
Since the translator thought there were parallel addresses to two different
cities at the beginning of 1:10, he missed the infinitive absolute of ‫בכה‬, which
he takes as the preposition beth and a place name and renders “in Akim” (ἐν
Ακ[ε]ιμ), parallel to “in Gath” at the beginning of the verse (see lxx.e, 2367
for more details). Waltke (72) comments that “according to Strabo [Geography
16.2.25], Ake is Akko,” but in Judg 1:31 the lxx has the spelling Akcho, and
Waltke asks why a northern city like Akko would be included with the cities
of Judah in this section. In response it could be because it was a coastal city
that was familiar to the translator in Egypt. The Targum, Vulgate, and Syriac
versions support the reading of the mt (infinitive absolute of ‫)בכה‬. Ptolemais
was the name of Akko in the Hellenistic and Roman times; it was a very
important coastal city that is mentioned 67 times in the writings of Josephus.
The fact that the city Achzib in the Hebrew of 1:14 was a Canaanite town on
the Mediterranean just north of Akko (Josh 19:29; Judg 1:31) also suggests the
translator could have meant Akko by his mention of Akim. But Achzib is also
the name of a town in the Shephelah of Judah (Josh 15:44), and the fact that the
translator does not seem to render Achzib as a town in 1:14 makes the reference
54 commentary

to it in the Hebrew of 1:14 of little importance for the understanding of the

location of the Akeim that is referred to in the lxx. It is impossible to know
for certain what city the hapax Akeim (Ἀκείμ) refers to.
There are two commands addressed to Akeim. The first is not to “rebuild
from a house a laughingstock (or derision).” The verb in the clause with Akeim
is “do not rebuild” (μὴ ἀνοικοδομεῖτε), corresponding to the Hebrew “weep
not.” It appears that the translator read the Hebrew verb as ‫( בנה‬build) rather
than ‫( בכה‬weep). The mention of a “house” (‫ )בית‬later in the verse may have
influenced him to use the verb “rebuild”; he apparently did not know that
“house” was part of a place name. The sense of “house” in lxx Mic 1:10 is
important (see bdag, 698–699 for options). It could refer to a residence (Mic
6:10), a temple-type structure built for a god (Mic 3:12; 4:2), a household or
family (Mic 2:2), or a clan or nation from a common descendant (Mic 1:5; 2:7;
3:1, 9; 5:2; 6:16). In 1:10 it appears to refer to the “clan” that dwelt at Akeim,
which was not a nation but was larger than a family (as in 5:2). This city
is going to be destroyed, and the Lord is saying that they should not try to
rebuild it from what was there before, because it would be a “laughingstock”
or derision. The translator renders “in Beth Leaphrah” (‫ )בבית לעפרה‬as “from a
house a laughingstock” (ἐξ οἴκου κατὰ γέλωτα). He could have been thinking the
root idea of “Aphrah” (‫)עפרה‬, “dust,” signified humility and lowliness and thus
rendered the words figuratively, resulting in the translation “laughingstock.”
However it is more likely that he connected the Hebrew word “Aphrah” with
the root 2‫חפר־‬, meaning “be ashamed”; this root occurs in 3:7 where he renders
it with the Greek verb καταγελάω (“laugh at, scorn”), which is related to the
noun γέλως that he employs to render “Aphrah” in 1:10. (See Gelston, 96*, who
suggests this possibility. He concludes that “it is unlikely that any of the vrss.
reflects a Vorlage different from M.” This connection is also suggested in lxx.e,
2367.) There are two locations called “Aphrah” or “Ophrah” in the Hebrew Bible;
one is in Benjamin, on the Judean border about seven kilometers north of
Bethel (Josh 18:23; 1Sam 13:17), and one is in Manasseh (Judg 6:11–24; 8:27–32;
9:5); see halot, 862. It again seems the translator was not aware of the inland
cities in Palestine.
Instead of trying to rebuild the city, they should mourn and lament by
“sprinkling earth on your laughingstock”; on sprinkling with dirt [καταπάσσω],
see Job 2:12 where Job’s three friends commiserate with him in his suffering
by sprinkling themselves with dust. This last reference to a “laughingstock”
apparently refers to their situation after their defeat. The proper response to
their situation is mourning, not rebuilding. When the translator came to the
end of 1:10 he connected the first two words of the first clause in 1:11 in the
Hebrew with verse 10. It is worth noting that the translator was not constrained
β. 1:10–3:4 55

by the clause divisions as they are found in the mt. He apparently thought the
command “pass on” (‫ )עברי‬was somehow related to “Aphrah” (‫)עפרה‬, dust, and
also rendered it with γέλως. This explanation involves reading the beth in the
Vorlage as a pe. There are other Hebrew roots (‫ לעב‬and ‫ )לעג‬that are suggested as
the basis of the translator’s second use of the word γέλως (see also lxx.e, 2367),
but they are unlikely and do not make as much sense as the suggestion above
that the rendering is based on a figurative rendering of the place name, which
by derivation means something like “House in dust town” (see Waltke, 72–73).
Gelston (96*) notes that in this case “the G’s rendering is hard to explain.” It
appears that the translator was trying to bring unity to the meaning of the verse
and was thinking there was a continuation of the theme of a “laughingstock”
from earlier in the verse. The Greek word he employs, γέλως, only occurs
one other time in the Twelve in Amos 7:9, where it describes heathen altars.
However, there is more involved here than harmonizing the meaning of the
verse. It appears that he has an agenda in this passage to connect the cities
described with shame and contempt, and he seems to be emphasizing the fact
that the Hellenistic coastal cities that he believes are being addressed in the
new section beginning at 1:10 are humiliated and shamed, in many ways more
so than Israel and Judah.
The Hebrew and Greek in 1:11 are probably as difficult as in any verse in this
section. After including the first two words in the Hebrew of verse 11 with the
preceding clause in verse 10, the translator begins the first clause of verse 11 in
the lxx with the third word of the Hebrew text of that verse. The translator
confused the rare word “nakedness” (‫ )עריה‬with the plural of the Hebrew word
for cities and a feminine suffix; thus he renders it “her cities” (τὰς πόλεις αὐτῆς)
in the lxx. The Hebrew word for “shame” (‫)בשת‬, which follows “nakedness,”
has no word corresponding to it in the lxx. The Hebrew also refers to two
cities, but the translator missed the reference to the first city, Shaphir and only
addresses Sennaar. He apparently read the place name ‫( שפיר‬a hapax in the
mt) as “an adjectival form of the root špr, which is not attested in Hebrew but
is in Aramaic with the meaning ‘to shine, to be pleasing or beautiful, to glitter’ ”
(Waltke, 74). Thus, he rendered it with καλῶς. (Symmachus does the same.)
Another example of a guess based on Aramaic rather than Hebrew in 1:11 is
the noun ‫“( מספד‬lamentation” or “wailing”), which is a piel infinitive form in
Aramaic meaning “to mourn” and is rendered with the infinitive κόψασθαι (“to
mourn”) in the lxx.
Verse 11 describes Sennaar (see the text notes on this reading in B). This word,
which occurs seven times in the lxx, is used for a “rocky crag” (1 Kgdms 14:4),
Babylonia (Gen 10:10; 11:2; 14:1, 9), and the name of a king (Gen 14:2; see Wevers,
Genesis, 133). It could have been understood as an unknown city in Judah, but
56 commentary

it is likely that readers of the lxx understood it as a reference to Babylon or

Babylonia, since that is the predominant use of this word elsewhere in the lxx
(see lxx.e, 2367) and since Babylonia was a place of great importance in the
recent history of the Jewish people. Most importantly, in Zech 5:11, the only
occurrence of the Hebrew word “Shinar” in the Twelve, the translator renders
it “Babylon.” In Mic 1:11 she who inhabits Sennaar is well established in her
cities, and she “did not come out,” apparently implying she had no concern.
That she inhabits “cities” (pl.) also supports understanding this as Babylonia.
The Lord commands the readers to “mourn for the house next to her” (ἔχω
in the middle voice can show close proximity, bdag, 422). It is possible that
this “house” is the people of Judah (see 1:10 on “house”), and Sennaar had no
concern for Judah when the people were taken into captivity to Babylon. In the
last line of verse 11 the translator read the toponym ‫ האצל‬in the hapax Beth-ezel
as its homograph, the preposition ‫( אצל‬meaning “beside” or “on the side of”),
resulting in the translation “next to her” (ἐχόμενον αὐτῆς), in the lxx phrase
“mourn for the house next to her.”
The verse ends with the promise and threat that “she shall receive a painful
blow from you” (see mur, 486). The double rendering “painful blow” (πληγὴν
ὀδύνης) for the hapax, “its standing ground” or “location” (‫ ;עמדה‬nrsv has
“its support”) is likely a lxx guess (see Gelston, 97*; Waltke, 77, calls this
lxx translation “puzzling”). What this “painful blow” refers to is difficult to
determine. The “you” (pl.) from whom the “painful blow” is received could be
the same people who are commanded to “mourn for the house next to her”
in the previous clause, and they are both probably Judah, the recipients of
the book. (See the text notes on the verb “mourn” in 1:11.) Although the plural
subject “you” refers to the nations in 1:2, thereafter “you” usually refers to the
recipients of the book, both in the singular (1:13, 16) and plural (1:11; the plural
in 1:10 must refer to the people of Geth and Akim). By taking the verse this way
the pronoun αὐτῆς in 1:11 can refer to the same referent, Babylonia, both times
it occurs in that verse. Thus in the last half of 1:11 the recipients are commanded
to mourn for their own people, who are “next to her [Babylon].” But “she”
(Babylon) “shall receive a painful blow from you [Judah].” It is impossible to
know what this last “painful blow” is, but apparently the translator had hopes
for reprisal against those who had afflicted Judah. The noun “blow” (πληγή)
occurs two verses earlier in the lxx (1:9) as a rendering of “wound” (‫)מכה‬,
describing Samaria’s lament and wound, which then spread to Jerusalem. It
is also interesting that the verb “lament” (κόπτω), which is found in the lxx
of 1:11 describing what the cities (of Judah) in that verse should have done, is
also found in 1:8, describing Samaria. Thus, the translator seems to be trying
to repeat in his description of the cities’ responses to Judah in 1:10–11 the main
β. 1:10–3:4 57

ideas that describe Samaria in 1:8–9. His attempt to do this may have influenced
his rendering “painful blow” at the end of 1:11. These other cities are going to
experience the judgment that Samaria and Judah experienced.
The Hebrew text of 1:12 begins with ‫כי‬, and the translator apparently read
it as ‫מי‬, rendering it τίς, “who,” and changing the verse into a question in
the lxx. The rhetorical question in the first clause of 1:12 emphasizes that
no one has acted for the good of Judah or to help Jerusalem. The previous
two verses indicate that neither the Hellenistic cities around them nor the
Babylonians helped them. The second word in the Hebrew in 1:12, the verb
I-‫חיל‬, has the basic meaning “be in labor, writhe, tremble” (halot, 310), but here
apparently it has the sense “wait anxiously” (nrsv, esv; Gelston, 97*, suggests
the text reflects the verb root ‫חול‬, meaning “hope, expect,” and that is what is
read by Symmachus, Theodotian, and the Targum). The translator apparently
understood it as the hiphil of the verb ‫חלל‬, “to begin,” and translated it with
ἄρχομαι. The prepositional phrase εἰς ἀγαθὰ is somewhat idiomatic in the lxx,
and it does not refer to “good things,” as one might expect with the neuter plural
noun, but it normally refers to good in general (see Gen 50:20; 2 Chron 18:7; Sir
11:12; 39:27; Jer 14:11; 15:11; 21:10; 24:5, 6; 46[mt 39]:16). That the one who had no
mercy on Judah in 1:11 would experience pain is only right, because apparently
1:12 teaches that Judah “dwells among pains.” The first clause of 1:12 is awkward
and obscure; it is most natural to take Judah (and Jerusalem) as “her who
dwells among pains,” because the last part of the verse describes “bad things”
coming to “the gates of Ierousalem.” See mur (486) on the rendering “dwells
among pains” (κατοικούσῃ ὀδύνας). The translator apparently understood the
place name “Maroth” (‫ )מרות‬to be related to the verb ‫מרר‬, “to be bitter,” or as
a plural form of the adjective “bitter” (‫)מר‬, here used as a substantive (halot,
629). Thus, he rendered it with ὀδύνη.
The second clause in 1:12 gives support for the first clause, “because” (ὅτι) this
blow is from the Lord and it has come all the way “to the gates of Ierousalem.”
(On the rendering of ἐπί as “to” here, see bdag, 364; mur, 266.) Since this
blow is “from the Lord,” Jerusalem will be helpless in her defense against it.
This verse might have been understood to refer to the events in Judah when
Sennacherib invaded in 701b.c.e. (see 1:9), but the fact that it is “from the Lord”
suggests it will be more fatal than that threat to Jerusalem. It could also refer to
when the Babylonians laid siege on the city. The exact referents the translator
had in mind throughout this passage are very difficult to determine. That the
“bad things” coming to Jerusalem involve a military attack is clear from the
continuation of the sentence in 1:13.
The division of thought in the lxx differs from the Hebrew between verses 12
and 13. The translator connects the first clause of verse 13 in the Hebrew with
58 commentary

verse 12, rather than beginning a new main clause in verse 13, as the Hebrew
does. This is because he guesses that the first word in 1:13 is a noun describing
the last clause in 1:12 rather than the main verb of a clause. The first phrase of
1:13 explains the “bad things” that have come to the gates of Jerusalem (1:12).
They involve a military attack with “chariots and horsemen.” The translator
apparently guesses at the meaning of the verb that begins 1:13 in the mt, the
hapax “harness” (‫)רתם‬, and he renders it with the noun “noise” (ψόφος), which
is also a hapax in the lxx. The description of the attack as “sound” employs
metonymy to make the attack seem more vivid. Joel 2:5 and Nah 3:2 have the
idea of the “noise” of chariots and battle, and even though both use the more
common noun φωνή they could have been the inspiration for this rendering;
the translator may have chosen a rare Greek word because it would make his
guess less obvious to the reader. The related Greek verb ψοφέω, which is only
in the lxx in Ezek 6:11, has the sense of “stomp” with one’s feet in that context,
and it is often employed in other Greek literature to describe a noise “of one
thing striking against another” (see lsj, 2025; Chamberlain, 184).
There is a sentence break in the lxx after the first phase of 1:13, and the
topic for the rest of the verse is “Lachis” (or Lachish). Lachis is “the origina-
tor” (or origin; ἀρχηγὸς) of sin “for the daughter of Zion, because in you were
found all the ungodly acts of Israel.” It is well known that Lachish was a mil-
itary stronghold in the Iron Age. The city was one of Solomon’s chariot cities
(3Kgdms 9:19; 10:26) and Rehoboam fortified it (2 Chr 11:9). Sennacherib made it
his headquarters after he captured it (4Kgdms 18:14, 17; 19:8), and he commem-
orated his defeat of Lachish with large, prominent palace reliefs in Nineveh (see
Waltke, 80). Thus, it is possible that the reference to Lachish as “the originator
of sin for the daughter of Zion” is an allusion to her reliance on her military
prowess rather than her reliance on the Lord. Mic 5:9–12 connects dependence
on military might with the sins of idolatry and sorcery. Waltke (90) writes, “The
fall of the most technologically advanced city guaranteed the fall for the rest
of the nation as well.” Furthermore, the last clause suggests that the military
might of Lachish gave Jerusalem ideas of resisting and defying the judgment
the Lord would bring on Jerusalem and Judea through foreign powers, espe-
cially the Babylonians.
The first clause in 1:14 is very obscure, and the subject of the first verb (δώσει)
could be Lachish or the Lord. I have taken it to be the Lord, because the sub-
ject of this verb seems to be in control (see the Lord’s control in 1:12b). The
meaning of the verb is difficult; I understand δίδωμι to have the sense “cause”
or “appoint” here (see bdag, 242, 4; and leh, 113); according to mur (166) the
verb often has a double accusative when it has this sense, and that is how I
have taken the two accusatives following it. Thus, I render it, “Therefore, he
β. 1:10–3:4 59

will cause the ones sent away as far as the inheritance of Geth to be worth-
less houses.” The preposition “as far as” (ἕως) is functioning as a marker of limit
here with a genitive of place (bdag, 423); the ones sent away will be sent as
far away as the inheritance of Geth. This is not very far, only about nine and
a half miles north of Lachish (Waltke, 69), but it is unlikely that the transla-
tor knew that, based on his lack of knowledge of the toponyms in the Vorlage
(see the discussion of Geth in 1:10 and below in this verse). In 1:14 and 15 the
translator’s rendering of the toponyms “Moresheth” (‫ )מורשׁת‬in “Moresheth-
gath” (1:14) and “Mareshah” (‫ מרשׁה‬in 1:15) shows that he understood them to
be common nouns related to the verb “inherit” (‫ ;)ירשׁ‬he renders them both
with the noun κληρονομία (“inheritance”). He may have confused them with the
feminine noun ‫מורשׁה‬, meaning “acquisition, property” (halot, 561), which is a
homograph; the participle from ‫ ירשׁ‬in the first line of 1:15 also could have influ-
enced him to use κληρονομία (“inheritance”). It is unlikely that the translator or
early readers of Mic in Egypt, if that was where it was translated, would have
known much about the geography of Palestine, except for the larger cities on
the Mediterranean coast. They may have understood “the ones sent away as
far as the inheritance of Geth” to refer to being sent into exile, or at least the
first stage of being sent away. “Houses” in the plural probably refers to house-
holds or families (see discussion at 1:10); it would be impossible to send off a
dwelling or a temple, and there are no nations (pl.) that make sense in this
context. The last sentence in the verse is then parallel in meaning to the first
one. The ones who are sent away are “meaningless (worthless) to the kings of
Israel.” In light of the use of “Israel” to refer to Judah in 1:5, it is likely it refers
to Judah again here. The translator adds the linking verb (γίνομαι) in this last
clause in 1:14 to clarify what is implied in the Vorlage. The translator also had
trouble with the place name “Achzib” (‫ )אכזיב‬in 1:14, and his rendering is influ-
enced by the related noun “deceitful” (‫)אכזב‬, which follows the place name in
the Hebrew text and which he renders with the neuter plural of κενός, mean-
ing “empty, foolish, worthless.” He applies the same meaning to the place name
“Achzib” (‫)אכזיב‬, that he applied to the common noun “deceitful” (‫)אכזב‬, which
he renders with μάταιος. This is the last of at least seven toponyms in 1:10–16
that the translator does not recognize and renders with related homonyms or
homographs (Beth-leaphrah in 1:10, Shaphir and Beth-ezel in 1:11, Maroth in 1:12,
Moresheth [in Moresheth-gath] and Achzib in 1:14, and Mareshah in 1:15; he also
adds Ak[e]im in 1:10 and Lachish in 1:15). The translator also adds the linking
verb (γίνομαι) in the last clause in 1:14 to clarify what is implied in the Vorlage.
This is consistent with the fact that it is much more common for the transla-
tor of the Twelve to add things to his Vorlage than it is for him to remove them.
These changes, as well as others, in 1:10–16 make the lxx meaning substantially
60 commentary

different from the Hebrew in this paragraph. Based on its connection with 1:13
(“therefore” at the beginning of 1:14), the point of 1:14 is that Lachish was worth-
less to the leaders of Judah in Jerusalem. However, verse 15 suggests that might
change in the future.
It is questionable if there was originally a division in B between the last
clause of 1:14 and the first one in 1:15; if there is a mark in the manuscript it is
faint. The division between the two clauses in 1:15 is clear. Thus, since the first
clause of 1:15 is a dependent clause, it seems it must be dependent on 1:14. At
the beginning of 1:15 ἕως (“until”) functions as a conjunction denoting a period
of time (bdag, 423); Lachish, would be “worthless to the kings of Israel until
they bring the heirs.” The heirs would seem to be the descendants of those
taken away, who are going to be returned in the future. The address to the “one
inhabiting Lachis” suggests the “heirs” here are the heirs of Lachish, who are
going to return from their exile, described in 1:14a; but “heirs” could also refer
to the heirs of Judah. Thus, in verse 15 the lxx introduces a positive note into
the section: the descendants of Judah, perhaps especially the people of Lachish,
will return in the future. The last clause of 1:15 is also positive. “The glory of the
daughter of Israel” is probably best understood to be future royal progeny of
Judah, who will also return “as far as Odollam.” The preposition “as far as” (ἕως)
is functioning as a marker of limit here with a genitive of place (bdag, 423), as
it did in 1:14a. David found refuge in a cave at Odollam (1 Kgdms 22:1; 2 Kgdms
22:13), another location in the Shephelah; Rehoboam built a defense city there
(2Chr 11:7). For the inheritance and the glory to return as far as Odollam is
obscure, but perhaps it refers to the return of this city to the control of the
royal progeny of Judah. It is interesting that in the lxx of Josh 10:33–35 Odollam
and Lachish are mentioned together as godless cities that Joshua captures and
destroys; perhaps this passage is meant to picture the sudden recovery of those
cities (see lxx.e, 2368).
There are two additions in 1:15. The place name “Lachis” (Λαχις) is added to
identify the city of the addressees in the first clause; this is required because,
as mentioned above, the translator understood the place name “Mareshah” to
be related to ‫ירשׁ‬, and rendered it as κληρονομία; thus he needed a place name
for the “inhabitants” mentioned in 1:15. Understanding Lachish to be the town
addressed in 1:15 follows naturally from it being described as the “originator of
sin to daughter Sion” in 1:12, since in the lxx it appears that Lachish is being
addressed in all of 1:12–15. The second addition in 1:15 is related to the first. The
lxx adds “daughter” before “Israel,” similar to the phrase “daughter Sion” in 1:13.
The epithet “daughter” occurs often in Mic for Sion, Jerusalem, or Israel (1:8,
13; 4:8 [2x], 10, 13, 5:1). In 1:15 the translator adds it consistent with the other
occurrences in the book, especially “daughter of Sion” in 1:13.
β. 1:10–3:4 61

The last verse in the first chapter, 1:16, is negative again after the positive
note in 1:15. It refers to the mourning rites of the people of Judah because their
children “were taken captive” from them. This is the clearest reference in the
section to captivity. The Lord, through the prophet, commands the people to
shave themselves and cut their hair (both aorist middle verbs). The preposi-
tion “for” (ἐπί) is used to indicate “the one to whom, for whom, or about whom
something is done” (bdag, 366; see also mur, 266, 4). Here the action of shav-
ing and cutting their hair is for their “delicate children” (“delicate” [τρυφερός]
can have the idea of “frail,” bdag, 1018). Their defenseless little ones are going to
experience all the horrors of being taken captive, and the people are to perform
mourning rituals for their children by making themselves bald. Frequently peo-
ple in the ancient world made themselves bald when they experienced the
destruction of their city or overthrow of their land so that their outer appear-
ance matched their inner feelings (see Isa 3:24; 15:2; 22:12; Jer 29[mt 47]:5;
31[mt 48]:37; Ezek 7:18; 27:31[mt]; and the good discussion in Waltke, 85). The
lxx clause “extend your widowhood like an eagle” is ambiguous (see mur, 228,
on this verb). Ziegler proposed that since “widowhood” (χηρεία) here renders
the Hebrew noun “baldness” (‫)קרחה‬, the Greek word expands its frequent sense
“to be empty, desolate” and here it means “being bereft of hair” (quotations
from Waltke, 86; see Ziegler, “Beiträge zum griechischen Dodekapropheton,”
112). Based on the occurrence of the cognate verb (‫ )קרח‬earlier in the verse, it
is possible that the translator understood this Hebrew hapax. And this under-
standing of the phrase would make sense, if the reader knew the Hebrew Vor-
lage, but without that to help, the reader of the Greek text would probably take
the singular command to “extend your widowhood like an eagle” to refer to an
extension of widowhood for the nation, which will be bereft of its land, its chil-
dren, and its God. Throughout the section, the nations are referred to in the
feminine, which fits well with the imagery of widowhood, and Judah is called
“daughter Israel” in 1:15 (see also “daughter of Sion” in 1:13). The simile “like
an eagle” is obscure; it would probably be understood to represent something
large, like the great bird or the distance it could fly. The word “eagle” (ἀετός) can
also refer to vultures in the nt (see bdag, 22), but the lxx lexicons do not men-
tion that meaning for it (mur, 12; leh, 9). The reason (ὅτι) for the extension of
Israel’s widowhood is given in the last clause: her children “were taken captive”
from her. Thus she is left alone, and her tender children are in the cruel hands
of her conqueror. This statement leaves no ambiguity about the fact that the
nation will go into captivity. The last declaration is the worst.
Although there is no break in B between chapters one and two, chapter two
moves from the more general discussion of the sins of the nation in chapter one
(1:5, 7, 13) to more specific crimes of the leaders. In fact, the remainder of this
62 commentary

section, which ends at 3:4, focuses on the sins (2:1–4) and judgment (2:5–3:4)
of the leaders, though there is also mention of a return to the Lord in 2:12–13.
Overall, the Greek in 2:1–3:4 is more straightforward and the thought is easier
to follow than the tortured translation in 1:10–16, but 2:6–11 is also very difficult.
The tenses of the verbs in 2:1–2 and the third person plural verb at the begin-
ning of 2:1 could be taken to be looking back and describing further Lady Sion
and her children, the subjects in 1:16 (see lxx.e, 2369). However, Lady Sion is
addressed in the second person at the end of 1:16, and the actions described
in 2:1–2 do not seem in character with the “delicate children” described in 1:16.
In verse two it becomes clear that in this section we are focusing on a group
of sinners within the nation. We are looking back at them from the perspec-
tive of the lxx translator and reader, and we know they are the leaders because
they have power and authority, according to 2:2, and because in 2:9 they are
clearly identified as the “leaders.” These leaders are described at the begin-
ning of chapter two with what I have taken to be a periphrastic construction
employing the aorist of γίνομαι and two participles. Brenton’s rendering, “They
meditated troubles, and wrought wickedness,” indicates he takes it this way
also. The lxx rendering γίνομαι comes from the translator reading the parti-
cle “woe” (‫ )הוי‬as the verb ‫( היה‬here the form ‫)היו‬. There are several instances
of γίνομαι functioning as the finite in a periphrastic construction in the lxx
(see Prov 24:46[mt 31]; Sir 33:23; Isa 30:12), and bdf gives several instances of
this construction in the nt, including Col 1:18 and Rev 16:10 where γίνομαι is
in the aorist, as it is here (bdf, §354). To translate the aorist “they came,” as
nets does, seems out of place, since there is no place they are coming from or
going. Thus, I take it to mean the leaders “were devising troubles and working
evil things upon their beds”; the prepositional phrase “upon their beds” modi-
fies both participles. To the western mind the phrase “working evil upon their
beds” is illogical. However, to the Semitic mind it would make sense. Renaud
explains that in Semitic anthropology “the distinction between project and act
is fairly attenuated; to project is to act” (Renaud, 66; translated by Waltke, 94).
(The verb ἐργάζομαι, which I have rendered “working,” can also have the sense
“work at” or “make” [Exod 36:8].) At any rate, the focus of the first two partici-
ples in 2:1 is on the planning of the action, because the second clause proceeds
to the execution of the evil deeds. They carried out their plans “the moment it
was day” (see mur, 30, on this sense of ἅμα). Day was, of course, the time when
the courts convened supposedly to protect people. Waltke comments that “In
the ancient Near East the light of the new day was the time for justice, after
thieves had covered their black deeds with night’s darkness. In Egypt the sun-
god was thought to dispel all evil. The psalmist notes that when the sun rises,
the prowling, rapacious beasts of the forest steal away (Ps 103[mt 104]:20–22)”
β. 1:10–3:4 63

(106). He goes on to explain that the Scriptures suggest that there was an “expec-
tation of divine help and justice at morning” (2Kgdms 15:2; Jer 21:12; Hos 6:3;
Zeph 3:5; Pss 36[mt 37]:6; 89[mt 90]:14; 100[mt 101]:8; 142[mt 143]:8), and the
citizens of Judah and Jerusalem were finding just the opposite. In the lxx the
reason why these evil people devise and execute their wicked deeds is “they
have not lifted up their hands to God.” Lifting up one’s hands to a god indi-
cates worship and loyalty to that god (see Pss 62:5[mt 4]; 118[mt 119]:48); thus,
for the lxx translator it was lack of dedication to God that was the reason
for this evil. The reference to “God” at the end of 2:1 was apparently caused
by the translator’s misunderstanding of the Hebrew expression at the end of
the verse. It appears that the translator read iv ‫“( אל‬strength, power”) as V ‫אל‬
(“god”) (halot, 48–49), and read ‫ ישׁ‬as a form of ‫( נשׂא‬which is found in 2:2), and
then added a negative particle (οὐ); the resulting rendering differs markedly
from the mt’s “it is in the power of their hand” (see Wolff, 77, and Waltke,
The “troubles” and “evil things” of the oppressors in 2:1 are given more
concrete expression in 2:2. In 2:2 four imperfect tense verbs describe their
customary or habitual actions (Wallace, 548). I have rendered these verbs with
the helping word “would” to give this sense. The root of the sin of the tyrants
was covetousness; the wicked desired the possessions of others, and their evil
desires led them to commit the evil acts described in this verse. “Coveting
strikes right at the heart of man’s spiritual malady and unethical behavior
toward another person’s property (Exod 20:17; Deut 5:21)” (Waltke, 95). The
same word used for “covet” in 2:2 (ἐπιθυμέω) is found in the commands in
Exod 20:17 and Deut 5:21. Wolff (78) notes that the prohibition of coveting is
the only command in the Decalogue that appears twice (see Exod 20:17), and
Paul uses this command to illustrate how he became aware of his own sin
(Rom 7:7). The law was also clear in its teaching that one was not to cheat his
neighbor (Lev 6:2–4; Deut 24:14; Lev 19:13). The powerful elite were breaking the
fundamental laws of the covenant. They were “abducting orphans.” “Orphans”
is a lxx addition (perhaps from Job 24:9), but the idea fits the context. “Abduct”
(διαρπάζω) can be glossed “plunder,” as I have done later in this verse, but when
it is used of persons it means “abduct, take captive” (bdag, 235). “Oppress”
(καταδυναστεύω) can express “exploitation by the rich,” and it is often used in
the lxx of “outrages against the poor, widows, and orphans” (bdag, 516). The
plural “houses” (οἶκος) makes most sense as the object of this verb if it refers to
“households”; see the discussion at 1:10. I have rendered the second occurrence
of διαρπάζω in 2:2 “plunder,” because the dual objects are “a man and his house.”
Here the singular “house” could refer to a residence or a household. However,
since it is parallel to “a man and his inheritance,” I have taken it to be a reference
64 commentary

to a building, and thus “plunder” is a better rendering of the verb than “abduct,
take captive.” (See Renaud, 67, on the choice of verbs here in the lxx.) The
repetition of sins in this verse and the employment of the imperfect tense verb
throughout underscore the habitual and repeated sins of the powerful.
The people who are being defrauded in this context are not the poor as much
as the middle class landowners and farmers. They own land and have houses
and are the core of the society of Israel. Inherited property, like that described
in this passage, was not to be sold or exchanged for other property (see 3 Kgdms
21:3). In Israel the Lord gave the land to families; the land was a grant from the
Lord. He had distributed it through Moses (Num 26:52–57; 27:7), and the law
protected that inheritance (Lev 25:10; Num 36:1–12). “It was a sacred trust, not
just another piece of real estate. If a person lost his fields, at best he might
become a day laborer; at worst, he might become a slave. In either case he
lost his independence, his freedom before God, and he became a dependent
of the land barons” (Waltke, 106). The means that the powerful elite employed
to plunder and oppress are not spelled out. “It may be by dishonest scales (Hos
12:7[mt 8]), extortion, outright show of force (Isa 52:4; Jer 50:33), or through the
court system. The parallel in Amos 5:7, 10–17 suggests that the latter is in view
here” (Waltke, 96).
After the charge against the wealthy elite in 2:2, the Lord gives the sentence
in 2:3; “therefore” (διὰ τοῦτο) marks the transition. The sentence is fitting for
the sins in that it is based on the principle of lex talionis. Just as the wealthy
were “devising” their wicked deeds, the Lord is “devising evil things” for them.
Furthermore, just as the sins of the powerful had been directed again the
persons and property of their victims, the Lord’s sentence will be carried out
against the persons and property of the powerful (2:3–5; see Waltke, 107; Wolff,
79). The object of the Lord’s devices is “this tribe” (τὴν φυλὴν ταύτην). Here it
most likely refers to Judah (see the discussion at Amos 3:1, 2, 12). In keeping
with the principle of corporate solidarity, the whole “tribe” will suffer the
consequences of the sins of the powerful oppressors, and when Jerusalem falls
in 586 the righteous suffer with the wicked (see Waltke, 97–98). The plural
relative pronoun in “from which” refers back to the “evil things,” from which
the tribe will not be able to remove its neck. These evils will act like a yoke on
their necks, and they are not able to escape the consequences of them. Like
a yoke, the consequences of their sins will constrain, enslave and humiliate
them. The next line continues the idea of their humiliation with the thought
that they will not walk “upright” (ὀρθός), which in this context does not mean
straight, but rather straight up (leh, 338); they will be bowed down by the
yoke the Lord places on them. “Suddenly” is a lxx addition, which emphasizes
that they will not escape from the Lord’s sentence in a short period of time.
β. 1:10–3:4 65

“For” (ὅτι) introduces the explanation of why they will endure such galling and
humiliating punishment for their sin: “for it is an evil time.” The evil time is
“that day,” which is described further in 2:4.
Mic 2:4 continues the Lord’s judicial sentence against Judah for the sins of
her leaders. The phrase “in that day” at the beginning of 2:4 naturally refers
back to the “evil time” in 2:3, and it also suggests a special time of the Lord’s
intervention, like the phrase the Day of the Lord. The Greek word παραβολή
has a wide range of meanings (proverb, parable, poem, discourse), but in this
context it apparently means “taunt, mocking speech” (leh, 350). The second
description of the words that will be taken up against Judah, and especially
against the oppressors in it, is a “dirge” (θρῆνος), which mur (332) defines
as “lamentation over some sad event, esp. death” or “a dirge sung on such
an occasion” (see Lam 1:1; Amos 5:1, 16; 8:10). The verb θρηνέω, which is the
cognate of the noun “dirge, lament” (θρῆνος), is combined with it, resulting in
the rendering “a lament shall be wailed” (leh, 207–208; see also mur, 332).
(This is the first of two cognate constructions in this verse; see also ταλαιπωρίᾳ
ἐταλαιπωρήσαμεν [“We are utterly miserable”], which combines the verb and
its cognate dative.) In the time of the Lord’s judgment of her, Judah will be
an object of derision and grief; she will be mocked and mourned, and it will
all be done “with a tune” (ἐν μέλει; mur, 448; see text note). The lxx differs
from the corresponding word here in the Hebrew, the verbal ‫( נהיה‬from ‫)היה‬,
which is difficult to interpret in this context; it was apparently read by the
translator as ‫“( נתח‬piece of meat”) and rendered as μέλος, which often refers
to a “constituent part of an animate body, with distinct features,” but also often
refers to pieces of music, especially dirges or laments (mur, 448; see lxx.e,
2369). The “taunt” or “lament” referred to at the beginning of the verse is the
words of the rich tyrants in Judah; their enemies take up their words and quote
them back to them as taunts (i.e., “We are utterly miserable”). It is difficult to
determine the extent of the taunt or lament in this section, but the mention
of “our fields” at the end of the verse, referring to the fields of the leaders of
Judea, suggests the taunt goes to the end of verse four, as nets understands it.
“My people” in Mic can refer to the oppressed (3:3), to the whole nation (1:9;
2:9; 3:5; 6:3, 5, 15), or to the oppressors, as it apparently does here in 2:4 and
in 2:8. Here the wicked leaders are audaciously calling themselves the people
of the Lord. In the phrase “portion of my people,” “people” could be a partitive
genitive, and the phrase could refer to a group from the people of the Lord; this
appears to be the way nets takes it. However, in this context, which refers to
the parceling out of “fields,” it is more likely that “people” is a possessive genitive
and the “portion” (μερίς) is their land or inheritance. I have taken “portion” to be
definite here, even though it is anarthrous, because it is a specific “portion,” the
66 commentary

“portion of my people.” That the “portion” has been “measured out with a line”
supports the understanding of the “portion” as a field or property. The word
“line” (σχοινίον) is a lxx addition. It is appropriate with the verb “measure out”
(καταμετρέω), as the example below from Amos 7:17 illustrates, and it was added
because the translator read the Hebrew verb ‫“( מור‬change”) as ‫“( מדד‬measure”
or “be measured” in the nif.; see lxx.e, 2369) and rendered it with καταμετρέω;
this verb is often used to describe the measuring “of a land to be taken by
conquerors” (mur, 377), and it suggests total subjection and exile. There is
another reference to enemies dividing the land in Amos 7:17 that uses some
of the same vocabulary (ἐν σχοινίῳ καταμετρηθήσεται). The rich land barons
are helpless when this happens, because “there was no one restraining to turn
him [the Lord or the enemy] away” (taking the genitive articular infinitive
[τοῦ ἀποστρέψαι] as indicating purpose or result). The rendering of this last
clause differs substantially from the Hebrew. The translator apparently read
‫“( איך‬how”) as ‫“( און‬nothingness”; halot, 22), which resulted in the rendering
οὐκ ἦν, and ‫ לי‬as ‫( לו‬αὐτόν). He also read the difficult adjective ‫“( שובב‬faithless,
turning back”) as the infinitive of ‫שוב‬, rendering it with the Greek infinitive
construction τοῦ ἀποστρέψαι. How the translator rendered ‫ ימיש‬to get ὁ κωλύσων
(“one restraining”) is not known. It is clear that the lxx clause “there was no one
restraining to turn him away” differs markedly from the Hebrew (see lxx.e,
2369). The end result in 2:4 is that “our fields were parceled out”; the verb
διαμερίζω means more than divide; it has the sense of distributing (see nets
and mur, 154, which glosses it “to deal out”). The land was the Lord’s (Lev 25:23),
and he distributed it to the people of Israel by lot (Josh 12–22). However, he also
maintained the right to take it from them and give it to their enemies if they
were not loyal to the covenant (Lev 26:33; Deut 28:49–68; see Waltke, 108). That
is the judicial sentence of the Lord in Mic 2:4.
“Therefore” (διὰ τοῦτο) at the beginning of 2:5 introduces the consequences
of the fields of the wealthy land barons being taken from them and parceled out
to their enemies. Wolff writes, “Whoever has been dispossessed of his land can
no longer expect his lost property to be returned in a future social distribution
of the land” (80). The word “lot, allotment” (κλῆρος) occurs 27 times in Joshua
12–22, and the verse would remind the reader of the original distribution of the
land in that passage, which was accomplished by the priest casting lots (Num
26:55–56; 33:54; 34:13; 36:2; Josh 14:2; 18:11; 19:51). But the verse could also give
future generations a ray of hope. It would remind them of the Lord’s covenant
promises that he gave the land to Abraam’s seed for a “perpetual holding” (nets
Gen 17:8; cf. Mic 7:20) and if the people returned to him with all their hearts
after they were dispersed among the nations he would regather them and they
would inherit the land again (Deut 30:1–5). The sentence in 2:5 is addressed
β. 1:10–3:4 67

to the original recipients of the prophecy, the whole nation and especially
the wicked leaders, who have been in view throughout 2:3–5 (σοι in 2:5 is
apparently a collective singular). The “assembly of the Lord” (ἐκκλησίᾳ κυρίου)
is “the people or congregation of God” (see tdnt 3:527, and the use of this
phrase in Deut 23:2–9 [4x]), and the recipients of Mic would not have anyone
casting a lot to establish a boundary line for their property (see Ps 15[mt 16]:6)
in the congregation of the Lord’s people. Any future redistribution of the land
would have to be to a later generation and could apply to readers of the
The lxx translation of 2:6–11 is very rough and difficult to interpret (see
Waltke, 109–110, where he discusses how the versions differ from each other in
this section). The sentences are choppy and the connections between thoughts
are difficult to understand. One of the thorniest aspects of this passage is the
abrupt change of persons in the verses (see Waltke, 117); it is often difficult to
know who is being referred to or addressed. The translator was trying to give
a literal rendering of a difficult text, but he apparently did not understand it
very well. In the lxx Micah continues to address the wicked leaders in verse 6;
they are commanded not to weep because judgment is inevitable. In the mt
this verse addresses the false prophets, but the changes in the lxx seem to
connect this text with the lamenting and weeping in 2:4 (lxx.e, 2369). The
Hebrew verb “preach” (‫ נטף‬in the hiphil can mean to “prophecy ecstatically,”
halot, 94) occurs three times in the first half of this verse, and the lxx appar-
ently takes it as a qal stem, meaning “drip, secrete,” and renders it once with
“tears” (δάκρυον) and once with the verb “weep with tears” (δακρύω); the other
rendering of the verb in this verse is with the Greek verb “weep, cry” (κλαίω).
Not only are the leaders not to weep over the Lord’s judgments, but also they
must not allow the people to weep over those judgments either. It is too late
to avert the consequences of their actions now, and “he will not remove dis-
graces”; the “he” here is the Lord. At other times the Lord tells his people to
repent and perhaps they may avert his punishment (see Joel 2:12–27), but in
this situation there is no such promise. The noun “disgraces” (ὄνειδος) is used in
6:16 to describe the “disgraces” God’s people will experience from the nations;
the word often has the idea of reproach, disgrace, or insult, and it seems to
always include the idea of being humiliated (Gen 30:23; 34:14; Lev 20:17). The
two present tense prohibitions in this verse should probably not be under-
stood as commands to stop something that is already occurring, as nets takes
the first imperative (i.e., “stop weeping,” although it renders the second more
generally, “nor let them shed tears”). The context suggests both commands are
more general. Thus, the present tense prohibitions should probably be under-
stood to exclude, or forbid, the practice of weeping, not as commands to stop
68 commentary

something that is already occurring (see the discussion of imperatives in Porter,

Idioms, 225–226 and Wallace 485–486).
In 2:7 an unnamed representative speaks, quoting what was apparently
either a popular saying, or more likely a word from the Lord, connecting with
the reference to the Lord at the end of 2:6. The first clause of 2:7 is a separate unit
in B, marked off by punctuation marks; however, the attributive participle at the
beginning of the sentence is most naturally understood to be in apposition to
another nominative, apparently the understood subject, “he,” in the last clause
of 2:6. Thus, the Lord who is the subject at the end of 2:6 is “the one who says”
the words quoted in the first half of 2:7. Whereas in the Hebrew the verse begins
with a question and a passive participle, clearly distinguishing between the
one speaking and the one asking the question, the lxx begins with a positive
statement and a present participle (ὁ λέγων), removing the clear distinction
between the two voices (see lxx.e, 2369). The words of the Lord in 2:7a support
2:6 and explain why judgment is coming to “the house of Iakob,” which here
refers to Judah, as it does in 3:1 and 3:9; verse 6 explains that their tears are
to no avail in averting the judgment of the Lord, and 2:7 explains why that is
so. The verb παροργίζω has the idea of “provoke” or “arouse to anger” (mur,
537), and the object of the arousal in this context is the “spirit of the Lord.”
The translator read the interrogative heh with the verb ‫“( קצר‬be short, grow
impatient”) in the Hebrew as the hiphil of ‫“( קצף‬rouse to anger”; halot, 1124;
see also lxx.e, 2369). The phrase “spirit of the Lord” only occurs two other times
in the lxx Prophets. In Mic 3:8 Micah receives strength from the “spirit of the
Lord,” in contrast to the disgraced false prophets described in the preceding
context. (In both of these passages in Mic “spirit” is written as a nomen sacrum
in B.) The phrase “spirit of the Lord” is also found in Isa 61:1 in the words of the
Lord’s representative: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me.” Of the approximately
24 occurrences of this phrase in the lxx, most are found in Judges and the
historical books, describing the coming and going of the “spirit of the Lord”
on judges and prophets. The phrase “spirit of God” (10× in the lxx) probably
should normally be taken to refer to a “divine spirit” (see Wevers, Genesis, 693),
but in Gen 1:2 where it is “being carried along over the water” (nets), Wevers
understands it to refer to “a divine wind or breath” (Wevers, Genesis, 2). mur
(567) explains the phrases “spirit of God” and “spirit of the Lord” in the lxx as
“a rational intelligent being with no material existence” which is “conceived of
as possessed by God.” In Mic 2:7 “the spirit of the Lord” that the people of Iakob
provoked to anger would have probably been understood to be some spirit sent
from the Lord, who perhaps in light of 3:8 spoke to the people through God’s
messengers, like Micah. According to the construction in 3:8, the “spirit of the
Lord” is also “the spirit of judgment and power” (see also Isa 11:2). But in 2:7 the
β. 1:10–3:4 69

people had disregarded and angered this “spirit.” This “spirit” apparently has
influence with God, and to anger the “spirit” seems tantamount to angering
the Lord so that punishment from God follows the angering of this spirit. The
fact that “spirit” is written in nomina sacra in lxx Mic 2:7 and 3:8 should not be
understood to mean that the scribe responsible for this text felt this “spirit” was
a divine being. The occurrence of “spirit” in Mic 2:11 in the clause “a spirit has
brought about a lie,” which is also written as a nomen sacrum but is clearly not
referring to a divine “spirit,” shows that the nomina sacra form of “spirit” did not
always refer to a divine being. (Early Christians employed fifteen nomina sacra
as contractions for various key sacred terms, see Metzger, Manuscripts, 36–37.)
Thus, although there is an interesting development of thinking concerning the
“spirit” in the lxx and the lxx might have influenced the concept of the Spirit of
God in the New Testament, there is no compelling evidence for understanding
“spirit” in Mic 2:7 to refer to a divine being.
Several issues make the second part of 2:7 very difficult. First, where does
the speech of the Lord, who is apparently the unnamed speaker in 2:7a, end?
Second, does the particle εἰ introduce a question (so Brenton) or a condition
(so nets)? Third, where are the breaks in this part of the verse? Also, does
the genitive pronoun αὐτοῦ have the same referent in its two occurrences? We
will begin with the last issue first. It is most natural to understand that the two
occurrences of αὐτοῦ have the same referent, because it would be very difficult
for a reader to distinguish between two different referents. The leaders are
described in the third person plural in 2:1–2, and the people are described in the
second person in 2:3–6. Here in the third person singular the two occurrences
of αὐτοῦ most naturally refer to the Lord, whose words are “good.”
As far as the divisions or breaks of 2:7, Codex B has no marked breaks in the
second part of the verse. This does not mean we should not supply commas
between the sentences, but it does mean the three main verbs in the second
part of 2:7 were connected in one long sentence. I understand the compound
sentence in 2:7b to be a rhetorical question. Next, does the particle εἰ introduce
a condition or a question? It is often used to introduce direct questions in
biblical Greek (C and S, §100; mur, 190; bdag, 278), and mur (190) suggests that
it has that function in the second part of 2:7 (see also Amos 3:3–6; 6:10, 12; Mic
6:6). It does seem likely that the whole of 2:7 is one long question; however, that
does not mean it could not be in the form of a conditional sentence, as nets
takes it (see Gen 3:11). If that is the case, it is best to understand the prophet to
be speaking again in 2:7b (“If these are his practices …”) and to limit the words
of the Lord to 2:7a (as in nets).
Thus, because the pronoun αὐτου apparently has the same referent in its two
occurrences in this sentence, it is most natural to understand “his practices”
70 commentary

(ἐπιτήδευμα αὐτοῦ) to refer to the practices of the Lord (perhaps the judgment
described in 2:3–5). The word “practices” (ἐπιτήδευμα) occurs three other times
in Mic (also in 2:9; 3:4; 7:13). In the first two of those occurrences it refers to
the evil practices of the leaders, and in 7:13 it seems to refer to the “practices”
of the people. The word, which is always in the plural in the lxx, has the idea
of “that in which one usually engages with devotion and eagerness” in all three
of its other uses in Mic (mur, 284), and it normally refers to “human deeds”
that are “evil in nature” (mur, 284). However, occasionally the word refers to
the Lord’s good deeds (Pss 9:12; 76:13), as this context requires. The use of the
word to describe the Lord’s “practices” in this verse, suggests the principle lex
talionis; the Lord’s “practices” are appropriate recompense for the “practices” of
the people (2:9; 3:4; 7:13). (If “his practices” are the evil deeds of the leaders, it
does not change the main ideas of the passage; the Lord is still good and right
in judging them. However, the fact that in both 2:9 and 3:4 the “evil practices” of
the leaders are connected with a group of people [third person plural] is further
evidence that here in 2:7 “his practices” [third person singular] are the deeds of
the Lord; this is consistent with the understanding that the one who does these
“practices” also has “good words,” according to the next clause.) That his words
are “good with him” (καλοὶ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ) means that the Lord’s words are good
“in the estimation of” or “in the opinion of” him; this use of μετά is not attested
prior to the lxx (mur, 452). “Good” (καλός) here has the sense of “morally good,
right, and honest” rather than “fair, beautiful.” It certainly includes the idea of
being “pleasing” (see bdag, 504; mur, 359–360; leh, 226; note also its use in
3:2). Furthermore his words have “functioned properly” (mur, 578). mur (578)
suggests the perfect tense of πορεύομαι has the sense of “function, work” in this
context and the adjective ὀρθός has an adverbial sense (as in Prov 31:5); thus,
mur offers the translations “went right” or “functioned properly.” (But see mur,
504, where the subjects of the verb are apparently taken to be personal and
the rendering “conducted themselves honestly” is suggested.) In this context
“his words” (the words of the Lord) must be the subject of πορεύομαι, and they
have proceeded (from his mouth) rightly, or properly. Thus, if these are the
judgments of the Lord that are described in 2:3–5 (i.e., “his practices”), then the
words describing them (in 2:3–5) are morally right in his estimation and they
have proceeded properly. The house of Iakob has provoked the righteous anger
of the Lord’s spirit (and thus the Lord), and in this situation the judgments
(“practices” of the Lord) that he has announced through Micah are good in
his opinion and they are right. Although mur understands the perfect tense of
πορεύομαι to refer to a past time event (“have they not functioned properly?”)
in keeping with the previous clause (“are not his words good with him”) it is
better to understand the perfect of πορεύομαι as referring to a present time,
β. 1:10–3:4 71

or perhaps better a gnomic description of the Lord’s character (“do they not
function properly”), which is seen in his judgments in 2:3–6. Of course, for the
reader of the lxx the judgment of Judah in the book of Mic is history.
Verse 8 describes more sins of the leaders against the people, and it conse-
quently gives more evidence that the Lord’s judgments are good and right. In
2:8 ἔμπροσθεν is functioning as an adverb of time (Mur, 229), rather than as a
preposition (which takes a genitive object). “My people” here could refer to the
whole nation (as in 2:9), but, on the basis of the contents of the second clause,
it seems to refer to the wicked oppressors, as it did in 2:4 (see the discussion
there). Thus, the verse is describing the previous rebellion of the oppressing
class. The phrase εἰς ἔχθραν occurs four times in the lxx; here it is best rendered
“to the point of hostility,” showing the end or result of the oppressor’s resistance
(nets has “in hostility”; mur, 310, suggests the idea “to display hostility”). The
prepositional phrase is similar in sense to the following “in opposition to his
peace.” (The idea of the phrase εἰς ἔχθραν in Isa 63:10 is “in enmity” [nets]; in
Sir 6:9 and 37:7 it has more the sense “to enmity” or “to an enemy.”) The next
difficult word in the verse is the preposition κατέναντι, which I take here as “in
opposition to” (mur, 388; mur also gives the option “faced with,” but that does
not fit as well with the conflict in this context). Thus, the leaders are opposing
the peace of those they are troubling. The final issue in the first sentence of
2:8 is the referent of αὐτου; it seems clear that the second occurrence of αὐτου,
later in the verse, must be a collective singular that refers to the people who
were swindled by the wealthy elite. It is likely that the first reference of αὐτου
(“his peace”) also refers to the same group, and hence the wealthy oppressors
resisted “to the point of hostility” and “in opposition to” the peace of those they
were oppressing. What was it they “resisted” (ἀνθίστημι) or stood in opposition
to? Their resistance was primarily against the Lord, to whom they did not lift
their hands (2:1), and against his law. But, of course, it was directed at their fel-
low citizens, whom they were defrauding.
There is a break in B in 2:8 after the genitive pronoun αὐτου in the phrase
“his peace.” The actions of the oppressors in the second half of the verse are
described with the metaphor of “stripping off (ἐκδέρω) his skin.” This verb
occurs four times in the lxx; in Lev 1:6 and 2Chron 29:34 it is employed to
describe the skinning of sacrifices, but here and in Mic 3:3 it is employed as
a figure to describe the wicked acts of the leaders of Judah, who painfully
destroy those they oppress. The torture they inflict on their victims “remove(s)
hope amidst the ruin brought about by warfare” (see mur, 662, on συντριμμὸν
πολέμου). The continuation of the oppression even in the midst of warfare with
their enemies removes any vestige of hope the people of Judah might have. The
connection of “they stripped off his skin” and “ruin brought about by warfare”
72 commentary

also suggests that the oppression of the leaders and the invasion of enemy
armies are to be understood as related. The lxx refers to the stripping off of
“skin” (δορά) in 2:8 (see the same verb in 3:3), whereas the Hebrew apparently
refers to the stripping off of clothes. Perhaps the translator did not know the
rare word in the Hebrew (2x) ‫“( אדר‬splendour”; halot, 16), which refers to
clothes in this verse, and he was influenced by 3:3 where the same Hebrew verb
(‫ )פשׁט‬refers to the removal of skin; he could also have been influenced by Gen
25:25 where Esau’s skin is likened to a fur coat or animal skin, using the related
Hebrew noun ‫( אדרת‬halot, 17).
The lxx again takes up the topic of “the leaders of my people” in 2:9; this is
different than the Hebrew, which addresses “the women of my people” in the
first line of 2:9. The translator read ‫ נשׁי עמי‬as ‫נשׂיאי עמי‬. The word for “leaders”
in this verse is a participle from the verb ἡγέομαι, which also refers to leaders
in 3:9, 11 and 7:5. The verb is used of the Lord leading his people in 2:13. Spicq
(2:166–170) has a helpful discussion of the use of this verb as a present participle
to refer to leaders, some of which is summarized here. The word has the idea
“to consider, regard” as well as “to direct, lead” (mur, 318), and in the lxx it
refers to men who are wise, intelligent, learned (Deut 1:13; Sir 9:17), as well as
powerful (Sir 41:17), and in various positions of leadership, such as princes (Josh
13:21; 2Kgdms 3:38), governors and magistrates (Ezek 23:6, 12; Dan 2:48; 3:3),
prefects (2Chr 20:27), “official[s] in charge of the house of God” (1 Chr 9:11, 20),
superintendents (1Chr 26:24; 27:4, 16), chief officers (Jer 20:1), as well as various
types of leaders in the army (2Chr 20:27; 1Chr 12:21; 3 Kgdms 1:9, 13; 14:21). Spicq
summarizes, “The term always designates one who has authority and takes the
initiative, the leader who has responsibility for a common undertaking” (2:167).
Here “my people” probably refers to the whole nation; see the discussion at 2:4.
Ironically the leaders are going to be cast out of their luxurious homes that they
obtained by fraud and oppression. The Greek word τρυφή, “luxury, luxurious,”
is used in Gen 2:23 to describe the Garden of Eden, which in the lxx is called
“the garden [orchard nets] of delight.” The verb “banished” (ἐξωθέω) has the
sense of “eject, drive out, expel” (mur, 256, suggests “expel” here); it occurs
four times in the lxx (also in Mic 4:6; Joel 2:20; 3:6), and in 4:6 it is parallel to
“drive out” (ἀπωθέω). The cause of the banishment of the leaders (διά with the
accusative) is “their evil practices” (see the discussion of ἐπιτήδευμα, “practices,”
in 2:7). The last clause in the lxx of 2:9 changes to the second person plural:
“draw near to the everlasting mountains.” Perhaps the translator read a daleth
as a resh and rendered the Hebrew ‫“( הדרי לועלם‬my splendor forever” esv) as
‫“( הררי לועלם‬everlasting mountains”; see lxx.e, 2370). The only other place in
the lxx the phrase “everlasting mountains” is found is Ps 75:5; in that context
these mountains are the eternal abode of the Lord from whence he gives light.
β. 1:10–3:4 73

The exhortation to “draw near” (ἐγγίζω) at the end of 2:9 should probably be
understood as a general command for the people to draw near to the Lord.
See Louw and Nida, 1, 192, on ἐγγίζω as a verb of movement near or approach.
There is a similar general command to “draw near” in 4:10 in the second person
singular. This exhortation at the end of 2:9 leads into the commands in 2:10.
The two commands at the beginning of 2:10 and the personal pronoun that
follows (σοι) are all in the second person singular, and again it is difficult to
know to whom the commands are addressed. In this context, describing the
sins of the wealthy oppressors in 2:8–9, the commands to “arise and go” are
probably best understood as addressed to the same oppressive “leaders” who
are to be “cast out of their luxurious houses” and “banished” (2:9). The reason
why (ὅτι) the leaders are to “arise and go” is “because this rest is not for you.” In
B the nominative singular of “rest” is spelled ἀνάπαυσεις (see text notes). “This
rest” could be understood to refer back to the command at the end of 2:9 to
“draw near to the everlasting mountains” and the Lord’s future regathering and
reception of his people described in 2:12–13. The logic of the verse proceeds
one step farther with the causal ἕνεκεν; the “rest is not for you, on account of
uncleanness.” “Uncleanness” in this context apparently refers to the “immoral-
ity” and “moral depravity” (see mur, 19) that is manifested in their “evil prac-
tices” (2:9 and 3:4). Although there are no breaks in the verse in B, it makes
sense to understand a break before the last independent clause: “You have been
utterly ruined.” This last clause in 2:10 is a verb modified by a cognate dative,
which probably functions like a dative of manner, but its main thrust is to
emphasize the action of the verb (Wallace, 168–169); thus the rendering “utterly
ruined” (mur, 715). The time for deliverance has passed; the oppressors of God’s
people are ruined. The verb διαφθείρω with the cognate noun φθορά could refer
to the moral corruption of the people (“corrupted with complete corruption”
nets), which is the cause of their captivity according to the preceding words.
But here it should probably be understood as parallel to the commands at the
beginning of the verse, “Arise and go” into captivity, which mean “you have been
utterly ruined.” The cognates in Greek render cognates in the Hebrew text.
lxx Mic 2:11–13 could be taken to be the lying words coming from the false
“spirit” in 2:11 (see lxx.e, 2370–2371). However, it is not necessary to read these
verses that way in B. It seems better to read the last part of 2:12 and 2:13 as a
corrective to the message of the false spirit in 2:11a. The first sentence of 2:11
continues describing the same subjects from the last sentence in 2:10; both
sentences have second person plural verbs with cognate words, and they are
apparently meant to be parallel descriptions of the same people. The last
word in the Hebrew text of 2:10, “grievous, painful” (niphal part. from ‫)מרץ‬,
corresponds with the first word in the Greek text of 2:11, “you fled” (καταδιώκω),
74 commentary

and perhaps the translator read the Hebrew as a hophal participle from the
root ‫רוץ‬. Then the first word in the Hebrew text of 2:11, “if only, oh that” (‫)לו‬, was
perhaps read as a denial; the rendering of ‫ הלך‬with διώκω is only found here in
the lxx (see lxx.e, 2370, on these translations).
It was suggested that the oppressive leaders were the ones addressed in 2:10,
and so they are also the ones who “fled with no one pursuing” in 2:11. The main
verb καταδιώκω is commonly rendered “pursue,” but in the passive voice in this
context it has the idea “flee” (see leh, 233). The rendering of nets, “you were
pursued without anyone pursuing,” is very literal but contradicts itself. “With
no one pursuing” is a genitive absolute construction that probably has temporal
significance: you fled when no one was pursuing. The reason they fled could be
because they believed a lie from what is apparently a false spirit. The action of
this “spirit” is in contrast with the “spirit of the Lord” in 2:7, which the people
had angered. This spirit “brought about” a lie. The transitive first aorist form of
ἵστημι could also be rendered “caused” (mur, 344) or “has established” (nets).
The point is that the spirit is responsible for this lie, which apparently caused
the people to flee. The spirit is also the subject of the next clause: “it dripped
on you by wine and strong drink.” The verb “drip” (σταλάζω; lsj, 1633, under
σταλάσσω; see Thackeray §18, 3 on the form) is a lxx hapax and a neologism
(leh, 436). It seems strange that the translator chose this verb for “drip” when
he could have used the more common στάζω (16x in the lxx), which is a cognate
to the noun “drop” (σταγών) later in the verse. He may have been influenced by
the fact that on some occasions στάζω refers to a flow of water that is more than
dripping (Exod 9:33; Judg 6:38; Wis 17:20). The instruments the spirit used to
influence the leaders were wine and strong drink; the repetition of different
drinks emphasizes them. Here I am taking the preposition εἰς as a “marker
of instrumentality” (bdag, 291; bdf §206, 1), as in the phrases “go in peace”
(Πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην in 1Kgdms 1:17) and “by the direction of angels” (εἰς διαταγὰς
ἀγγέλων in Acts 7:53), where the preposition εἰς has the sense of ἐν and is
rendered “with” or “by.” The phrase “wine and strong drink” (οἶνος καὶ μέθυσμα)
occurs five other times in the lxx (Judg 13:4, 7; 1 Kgdms 1:11, 15; Hos 4:11); see the
discussion of it in Muraoka, “Hosea iv in the lxx Version” (43–44). The image
of the dripping in 2:11 is that of a small, steady influence on the leaders through
their strong drink that influenced them to do their evil practices (2:9–10) and to
fear and flee (2:11a). “Wine and strong drink” were a perk that went along with
the affluence of the leaders, and their affluence may have been as enjoyable
and intoxicating to them as the alcohol in their drinks (see 2:9). There is a play
on the words “drip” (verb σταλάζω) and “drop” (noun σταγών) in 2:11; the spirit
dripped on the leaders and influenced them by means of their wine and strong
drink (perhaps a picture of their affluence), and the result will be that in the
β. 1:10–3:4 75

future when the Lord will regather the people they will only be a drop (i.e.,
small number; mur, 632). In the corresponding Vorlage for both of these words
the Hebrew uses a form of the verb “drip, preach” (‫)נטף‬, which the translator
connects with the concept of dripping, although in the Hebrew it seems to be
used to refer to preaching. The concept of a “drop” of people is also found in
Isa 40:15 (also σταγών in the lxx) where the nations are compared to a “drop
from a bucket [jar in lxx]”; in Isa the corresponding Hebrew word is “drop”
In the lxx the first clause in 2:12 is connected to the end of 2:11. The Hebrew
has a first person singular verb at the beginning of 2:12 indicating the beginning
of the Lord’s speech, which continues throughout the verse, but the use of the
first person signaling the Lord’s speech does not begin until the second clause
in the lxx. The passive verb and participle at the beginning of 2:12 could be
called divine passives (see the latter half of the verse and Wallace, 437–438);
the Lord will be the one who will cause Iakob to “be gathered together.” The
emphatic construction “When Iakob is gathered together he will be gathered
together” is the lxx rendering of a Hebrew infinitive absolute plus a finite
verb, and the passive voice combined with the repetition of the verb serves to
further emphasize the action of gathering together. Whether a Greek reader
would understand such a construction to be intensive is unclear, and so it
seems best to render it literally. The prepositional phrase at the end of the
first clause in 2:12, “with all,” should probably be understood to refer to the
gathering together and thus indicate that all Iakob, or Israel, will be gathered
together; the remainder of the verse supports this understanding. One of the
characteristics of the Davidic age was the unity of all the tribes; this phrase
and the remainder of the verse envision a renewal of that age. The first words
of the first independent clause in 2:12, “Receiving I will receive,” are also the
rendering of a Hebrew infinitive absolute and finite verb (cf. Brenton’s “I will
surely receive”). See the discussion of the translation of such constructions
earlier in this paragraph. “The remnant of Israel” includes both the “drop
of this people” mentioned at the end of 2:11 that the Lord receives and the
“children” mentioned in 1:16. There are several words that can convey the sense
of “remnant” in the lxx. The word employed here (κατάλοιπος) is the most
common one (95x in the lxx and 22x in the Twelve); it is also found in Mic
3:1, 9; and 7:18. Two synonyms also found in Mic are ὑπόλ[ε]ιμμα, which is eight
times in the lxx and three times in Mic (4:7; 5:7, 8) and ἐπίλοιπος, which is 22
times in the lxx and in Mic 5:3. The first of these, ὑπόλ[ε]ιμμα, has the sense
of a “prophetic remnant” in its three uses in Mic (see tdnt 4, 194–196). Other
synonyms are περίλοιπος in Amos 5:15 and Ps 20:13 and περισσός, which has the
sense of “more than enough, redundant, additional” (mur, 553).
76 commentary

In 2:12 κατάλοιπος refers to “survivors” or “those spared,” and the lxx addition
τὴν ἀποστροφὴν (“return”) in the next clause clearly places these survivors in
the “post-exilic community.” (mur, 376, notes that this word often refers to
survivors in that community.) nets takes ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό temporally, “at the same
time,” and Brenton’s translation takes it locally, “together” (see the discussion in
mur, 85 and 267). The previous context, “he will be gathered together with all,”
suggests it is local, and thus the rendering “together”; in B the first two clauses
in 2:12 are parallel.
The sentence breaks in 2:12–13 in B appear to be different than they are in
modern editions, including Swete’s. There are three main differences: (1) ἐπὶ τὸ
αὐτό in 2:12 goes with the words before it rather than with the words following it;
(2) there is a break after κοίτης αὐτῶν rather than after ἐξ ἀνθρώπων at the end of
2:12; and (3) there is a break in 2:13 after προσώπου αὐτῶν, and διέκοψαν goes with
what follows it. These new divisions are reflected in the text and translation of
the commentary. These divisions suggest the scribe responsible for this section
in B was struggling to make sense of the difficult translation. The divisions in
B also suggest the scribe was reading the text word-for-word and then trying
to find ways to connect words with those around them; also he was trying to
balance the verbs in the sentences. (See Waltke, 136, on the lxx translation and
divisions in 2:12–13.)
The Lord is the active agent accomplishing the return of the remnant in
2:12. B has the third person pronoun “his” (αὐτου), referring to Israel’s return,
rather than the third plural found in Rahlfs and Ziegler. The description of
Israel’s return in 2:12–13 gives the impression of afflicted and scared sheep in
the midst of a sheepfold who leap out and escape. The phrase “like sheep
in affliction” results from reading the Hebrew ‫( בצרה‬either the place name
“Bozrah” or “enclosure,” like a sheep fold; see halot, 149) as the preposition
‫ ב‬and the noun ‫“( צרה‬need, stress, anxiety”; halot, 1053), yielding the Greek ἐν
θλίψει (“in affliction”). This rendering fits well with the situation of the Lord’s
people as they await his deliverance. The word rendered “fold” (κοίτη), in “like
a flock in the midst of their fold,” can refer to a bed or sexual intercourse as well
as a pen or fold for animals (mur, 404); it suggests a place of rest, protection,
and comfort, but here it probably has more the idea of confinement and is not
as positive as the corresponding Hebrew term “pasture” (‫)דבר‬.
In B the last clause in 2:12 is connected with the first phrase in 2:13, and the
clause introduces a second image of Israel’s deliverance. Israel’s return to the
fold in 2:12 is complemented with a description of them escaping from men by
leaping through a breach. The verb “leap” (ἐξάλλομαι) is connected elsewhere
with the vigor and strength of horses (Hab 1:8 and Joel 2:5 where locusts are
compared to horses), and it also describes the exaltation of the mountains and
β. 1:10–3:4 77

hills at the time of Israel’s eschatological blessing (Isa 55:12). “Breach” (διακοπή)
suggests a passage through a barrier (mur, 152; leh, 104). At the time of Israel’s
return from captivity, they will have strength and vigor to leap away from “the
people,” apparently their captors, through the breach. The passage is “ahead of
them” as the “king went out ahead of them” later in the verse (2x–πρὸ προσώπου
αὐτῶν; see mur, 601, on this construction). The passage, or “breach,” through
which they “went out” is one they “broke through” (διακόπτω) to go through “the
gate” (taken as definite because it is specified in the following clause; see also
nets). The image one receives from 2:13 is that of captives breaking through a
gate and exiting a city or place of confinement with their king at the front of
the group (“ahead of them”), but their real leader is the Lord. They may have
a king ahead of them and they may have broken through the gate that they
passed through, but the Lord is the one who has caused this to happen; he is
the real leader. This image of the Lord sets him in contrast with the corrupt
leaders Micah addresses and describes who are deceived and flee when no one
pursues (2:11). The unity of all Israel under a king with the Lord leading them
points to a revitalized Davidic rule (see also Ezek 34).
After declaring the message of salvation in 2:12–13 centered around the
Lord’s leadership and blessing of the nation, the prophet returns to a proclama-
tion of judgment in 3:1–4 (as was found in 2:6–11) focused on the human leaders.
The human leaders are a stark contrast to the leadership of the Lord in 2:12–13.
The leaders in chapter three are magistrates, and the leaders addressed in chap-
ter two appear to be landlords and wealthy landowners (2:2a). The speaker in
3:1 (“And he will say”) is apparently the prophet speaking on behalf of the Lord,
who was mentioned at the end of 2:13 (see also 1:2 and 2:3). The command to
“hear” often marks out a new section or division (see also 1:2 and 6:1). Perhaps
the most difficult problem in 3:1 is determining the referents the translator had
in mind for the “heads of the house of Iakob and remnant of the house of Israel.”
The use of the double referents “heads” and “remnant” is a change from the
Hebrew, which makes parallel references to the leaders (“heads” and “rulers”).
It is difficult to know the basis for the rendering of “ruler” (‫ )קצין‬as the plural
of “remnant” (κατάλοιπος; see the discussion in lxx.e, 2371), but it is clear that
the lxx expands the addressees beyond the leaders; see the similar rendering in
3:9. There are two problems in understanding the phrase “heads of the house
of Iakob and remnant of the house of Israel” in the lxx. First, the lxx read-
ing “remnant” (κατάλοιπος) suggests the Lord is proclaiming judgment on all
the people that remain. (See the discussion of “remnant” in 2:12.) If the Lord
is proclaiming judgment on all who remain (“the remnant”), then who are the
oppressed people in 3:2–3? Second, what do Iakob and Israel refer to in this
verse? (See the discussion of these terms in 1:5.) If Israel refers to only a portion
78 commentary

of the nation, then the verse describes a remnant of a portion of the nation,
perhaps the northern kingdom. However, in 3:10–12 Judah and Jerusalem are
clearly in view, and thus the parallel address in 3:9 to “the leaders of the house
of Iakob and the remnant of the house of Israel” must at least include the south-
ern kingdom and Jerusalem. This suggests that both Iakob and Israel include
Judah in 3:1 also; it is possible that Iakob would have been understood to refer
to the nation as a whole, but the context and the mention of a “house of Iakob”
is more naturally understood to refer to the southern kingdom. The “remnant”
in 3:1 clearly is not a group of righteous ones or a “prophetic remnant” that is
experiencing the Lord’s blessing on the nation. Instead they are the survivors
that make up the post-exilic community (see the discussion of “remnant” at
2:12); and according to 3:1 and 9 they are accountable for the sins of the nation
along with the leaders. The following verses distinguish between the sinners
among the people and the oppressed, but according to Mic 3:1 and 9 the rem-
nant of the nation, which apparently includes all the survivors, is responsible
for the sins of the nation along with the leaders. For the lxx translator, this
remnant would include his Jewish readers. The point of the rhetorical question
at the end of 3:1 is that these people, the leaders and the remnant, should have
known judgment, but they did not. They were not only ignorant of the Law, but
they also perverted justice and accepted bribes (3:2–3, 9). They failed intellec-
tually and morally. “Judgment” (κρίμα) here is the moral quality or principle of
justice (mur, 412–413), which is closely connected with fidelity to the covenant
(see Hos 6:5; 12:6; Jer 9:23; Mic 6:8). It is by hating evil things and loving good
things that judgment is restored, according to Amos 5:14–15.
The three present participles in 3:2 describe the character of the heads of the
house of Iakob and remnant of Israel addressed in 3:1. The first two participles
are a general description of these people; they “hate the good things and seek
the evil things.” The neuter plural objects of these participles could refer to
actions, “good deeds” and “evil deeds.” Against all other witnesses the lxx reads
“seek” in 3:2 (Waltke, 148); it is not a bad rendering of the Hebrew “love” in
this context. Thus, the leaders and remnant have perverted the Lord’s values
(see also Isa 5:20). The third participle (“tear away”) introduces some specific
examples of their evil. The picture of their evil that Micah paints in 3:2b–3 is
gruesome and brutal. The leaders and remnant tear away (ἁρπάζω; i.e., forcibly
remove, mur, 93) the skins of their victims and the flesh from their bones. The
phrase “just as” (ὃν τρόπον) at the beginning of 3:3 introduces a comparison or
analogy to the last clause in 3:2 (mur, 688). Thus, 3:3 gives more details about
their behavior, and begins by jumping ahead in time to their devouring of the
victims and then moves back to the events that would have preceded that. “My
people” in this verse refers to the oppressed; cf. 3:5, and see the discussion at
β. 1:10–3:4 79

2:4. “Flesh” (2x) “skin” (2x), “bones” (1×), and “meat” (1×) are all in the plural
in 3:2–3; this fact combined with the repetition of these terms emphasizes
the comprehensiveness of the brutality. The second reference to “flesh” in 3:3
corresponds to ‫“( כאשׁר‬like, as”) in the mt, but the translator read ‫ כשׁאר‬which is
probably the better reading in the Hebrew. Not only did the oppressors remove
the flesh from the skin and bones in order to eat it (3:2), but they also broke
up the bones and flesh and cooked them in a cauldron. The image suggests
that they treated their victims like animals and had no respect for them as
people made in God’s image or sensitivity for their feelings. The victims were
like pieces of meat that could be slaughtered and used to satisfy the desires of
the oppressors. Wolff (99) comments, “No other prophet speaks in such a coarse
manner” as Micah does in this passage (cf. Amos 2:7; Isa 3:15).
Because the leaders and remnant were insensitive to their victims, the Lord
will not hear them when they call out to him in the time of their judgment
(3:4). As their treatment of the oppressed, so (οὕτως) will be their punishment.
Implicit in the warning of this verse is the necessity to repent now. Although
the verse does not say as much, elsewhere the Scriptures teach that the Lord is
willing to repent from judgment pronounced if the sinners will repent before
the time of the punishment (Jer 18:5–10). After the judgment has begun it is
too late to call out for deliverance from it (Prov 1:26). Thus, pronouncements of
judgment are often meant to move the hearers to repentance, as is the case in
this verse and in the book of Mic. However, sometimes even if people repent the
Lord will still administer the promised punishment, and that seems to also be
the case in Mic (2:10; 3:4). There are apparently two different referents intended
by the third person pronouns in 3:4; the first two refer to the oppressors, and the
third refers to their victims. The subjects of the two third person verbs are the
oppressors. See 2:7 and 9 for discussion of the noun “practices” (ἐπιτήδευμα).
For the reader of the lxx, the fact that the remnant is one of the addressees
throughout this section (3:1, 9) means that all the Jewish community who had
survived the captivity was in some sense culpable for the sins of the oppressors
described in this passage.
The long section in B from Mic 1:10–3:4 is mostly negative. It begins with a
prophecy of the judgment of Jerusalem and surrounding cities in 1:10–16, which
also includes a rebuke of Babylon (Sennaar, 1:11) and hints of a return from exile
(1:15–16). In chapter two the focus turns to the wicked leaders of the nation
whose oppression of the people compelled the Lord’s judgment and led to the
captivity of the nation. The last three verses of chapter two (2:11–13) could be
understood to contain a false prophecy, but that is not clear in B, and it is less
complicated to understand these verses as a promise of the Lord’s restoration
of the nation. The first four verses of chapter three, which conclude this section,
80 commentary

contain one of the most horrific descriptions of the evil deeds of the magistrates
(3:1–3), and in the lxx the remnant is included along with the magistrates in the
indictment. Because of their evil deeds the Lord will utterly reject them (3:4).
The prophets will become the focus of attention in 3:5 and the new section that

Γ 3:5–12

The Judgment of Jerusalem because of the Sins of the Prophets and

Leaders, 3:5–12
The gamma section of Mic in B is divided into two paragraphs, 3:5–8 and 3:9–12,
in which the Lord through the prophet enumerates some of the sins of the
leaders of the nation and announces the resulting judgment on Jerusalem. The
first paragraph deals specifically with “the prophets who lead my people astray”
(3:5), but the second paragraph is addressed more generally to the “leaders
of the house of Iakob and remnant of the house of Israel” (3:9) and includes
references to “leaders,” “priests,” and “prophets” (3:11).

The Sins and Judgment of the Prophets, 3:5–8

In B the first word of 3:9 extends into the left margin, indicating a paragraph
break between 3:8 and 3:9. Although the expression “my people” in 3:5 suggests
it is the Lord speaking in this section, it is best understood that the prophet
continues to speak on behalf of the Lord and the words of the prophet are
the words of the Lord. While 3:1–4 was addressed to the magistrates and the
remnant, 3:5–8 is addressed to a group of prophets. As in the paragraphs before
and after this one, present tense participles are employed to describe and
characterize the addressees (see 3:2 and 3:9–10). “My people” here refers to the
whole nation; see 3:3 and the discussion at 2:4.
It is implied that the prophets who are rebuked in this section are in col-
lusion with the magistrates addressed in 3:1–4 and 3:9–12, all of whom use
their positions of authority for their own benefit and to the disadvantage of
the people. According to the participles describing them in 3:5, the prophets
lead people astray, devour people, and proclaim peace when the Lord has not
given them a message of peace. The verb “lead astray” (πλανάω) is used for
misleading a blind person on a road (Deut 27:18), and it sometimes describes
prophets and others who lead people astray morally or mentally (Deut 13:6); it
has this last sense here. The verb “bite” (δάκνω) in the phrase “biting with their
teeth” is almost always employed in the lxx to describe the action of a ser-
pent (or dragon, Amos 9:3), but twice it describes the actions of false prophets
γ. 3:5–12 81

(see also Hab 2:7). The words of such false prophets are poisonous, painful, and
deadly. The reference to the instruments of their biting, “their teeth,” makes
the imagery more brutal. “It has not been given” is a divine passive; the Lord
did not give the false prophets their message of peace, but they conjured it up
on their own. “Him,” which occurs twice in 3:5 must refer to “my people,” who
are the recipients of the message of the false prophets. “Peace” can refer to a
general state of well-being or welfare (see mur, 195; Spicq, 1:424–438), but the
mention of “war” in the last clause of 3:5 in contrast to the proclaimed peace
requires the sense of lack of war or conflict for peace in 3:5. The false prophets
say all is harmonious and there will be no war; in the context of the book of Mic
that means the prophets are saying that the people and leaders are not doing
anything worthy of the Lord’s judgment. But by this false message the prophets
have raised up war; the nation’s sin and lack of repentance will result in the
Lord’s judgment of them by other nations. The false prophets are apparently
collaborating with the magistrates, and it is temporally beneficial for them to
overlook the sins of the leaders and the impending judgment for those sins. The
three occurrences of ἐπί in 3:5 deserve comment also. This preposition with the
accusative often has the sense “to, toward.” However, the first and last uses of
it in 3:5 suggest a different idea, and are rendered “against” (see bdag, 363–366
and mur, esp. 265–267); the last occurrence of ἐπί in 3:5 is similar to its uses in
Mic 3:6–7 gives the Lord’s sentence against the false prophets for their sins.
It is similar to the sentence against the magistrates and remnant in 3:4 in that
it involves the silence of the Lord. In 3:4 the Lord does not listen to the cries
of the wicked leaders and people when they call to him for help, and in 3:6–7
the Lord does not give the prophets a revelation. This judgment indicates that
the false prophets were in some sense dependent on a revelation from the Lord
for their prophecies; they were probably either perverting the revelations they
received from the Lord or the Lord was deluding them (see the discussion in
Waltke, 169–170).
The translation of the first two clauses in 3:6 offers a challenge, but their
meaning is clear. I have interpreted the datives at the beginning of 3:6 as
datives of possession, a subset of the dative of reference or respect (Porter,
Idioms, 97–98). The preposition ἐκ could be taken in its more common sense
as indicating source and be rendered “from.” This could result in the literal
rendering “darkness shall be to you from [your] divination.” mur (441) seems to
give ἐκ this sense, because he suggests the rendering “divination will lead you
into darkness” for the second clause, apparently smoothing out the more literal
“darkness shall be to you from [your] divination.” Perhaps he realized it does not
make much sense to say darkness will come “from” divination. However, ἐκ can
82 commentary

also have the idea “deprived of, lacking in” (mur, 202; see this use of ἐκ in Zech
7:14). This understanding of ἐκ would result in the rendering “without” in the
translation (i.e., “without a prophetic vision” and “without divination”). Both
understandings of the first two clauses in 3:6 convey the idea that the prophets
are in the dark without a prophetic word. This latter understanding, which
is reflected in the translation, is thought to make more sense; it is difficult to
understand how night or darkness comes from a prophetic vision or divination.
The word “prophetic vision” (ὅρασις) is common in the lxx (104x), and it can
refer to the outward appearance (as of a person, Joel 2:4; Sir 11:2), seeing or the
act of seeing (Gen 2:9), or a vision or dream (Dan 8:1). The close connection of
this word with the idea of seeing something supports the understanding of the
first two clauses suggested above (“without a prophetic vision”), because it is
unlikely that the kind of experience described by ὅρασις would be the source
of night or darkness. “Divination” (μαντεία), which occurs 14 times in the lxx,
is usually used to describe false or vain prophecy (cf. Isa 16:6); that sense could
apply here also.
The last two clauses in 3:6 are parallel to each other, as the first two are. Those
final two clauses in the verse are not difficult to understand; they corroborate
what was said in the first two clauses and emphasize that the false prophets
will lose their ability to prophesy.
The prophets’ loss of revelation from the Lord has ramifications that are
described in 3:7. This verse suggests they are still seeing dreams but also that
those dreams are not a revelation from the Lord, since they lead to their shame.
“Dreams” (τὰ ἐνύπνια) is a lxx addition that clarifies the activity of the prophets,
who are described in the next clause as “seers” or “diviners” (μάντις). Their
prophetic bankruptcy will result in shame (καταισχύνω), scorn (καταγελάω),
and everyone speaking against them (καταλαλέω). The use of this last verb in
Num 12:8 and 21:5–7 indicates that the Lord vindicates his true prophets so that
people will not be able to “speak against” them; the verb has the idea of slander
or scoff (bdag, 519; the verb λαλέω and the preposition κατά are separated
in Num 12:1, but that verse also refers to speaking against Moses; see lxx.e,
2371–2372 on this motif in Mic 3:7 and Num 12:1–8). The false prophets in lxx
Mic 3:7 have lost the respect of the people and are a laughingstock. (Note the
use two times in 1:10 of the noun “laughingstock” [γέλως], which is related to
the verb καταγελάω.) The conjunction διότι, which introduces the last clause of
3:7 could be causal, but it is best taken to be inferential (see also Hos 8:6; bdag,
251; mur, 172). The logical deduction from and consequence of their impotence
and lack of respect is that no one listens to them.
The first two words of 3:8 (ἐὰν μή) normally mark a conditional idea and
are thus translated “if not, unless, except” (bdag, 267). But there is only one
γ. 3:5–12 83

clause in 3:8, and the structure does not resemble a condition. nets seems to
be attempting to convey a conditional sense with the rendering “otherwise,”
and “otherwise” also communicates the contrast in the passage between the
false prophets in 3:5–7 and Micah in 3:8. mur (183) understands ἐὰν μή to
introduce a Hebraistic oath construction, signifying “emphatic affirmation”
(rendered “surely” in Brenton; see also Mal 3:10). That understanding fits well
with the introduction of Micah’s resolution to prophesy in the verse, but it does
not communicate the contrast between the false prophets and Micah. I have
rendered ἐὰν μή as “however” to clarify the contrast that the verse introduces
between Micah and the false prophets; I understand the contrast to be more
important in the context than the sense of contingency or conditionality.
In contrast to the false prophets’ lack of ability, Micah will be filled with
strength. The verb “fill” (ἐμπί[μ]πλημι) could be glossed “have” or “possess”
(mur, 227), but it seems to require the idea of fullness in its rendering (lsj, 545;
mur, 227, suggests the rendering “take one’s fill” here). nets has “replenish,”
and Brenton has “strengthen myself,” combining the idea of the verb with its
object (ἰσχύς). In order to communicate the idea of “fullness,” I have rendered
it “I will be full [of strength].” The “spirit,” which is the means through which
Micah receives his strength (ἐν πνεύματι), is modified by three genitives: “the
spirit of the Lord and judgment and power.” See 2:7 on “the spirit of the Lord.”
The construction here, with several modifiers of spirit, is similar to Isa 11:2
(cf. lxx.e, 2372, which suggests the genitives “judgment” and “power” modify
the Lord). The “spirit” here should be understood as more than a mood or
attitude; it would probably be understood to be a rational, intelligent spirit
being that is controlled and possessed by God (see mur, 567, and the discussion
at 2:7). Although “spirit” is written as a nomen sacrum here, that does not mean
that it refers to a divine being; see 2:7 and 2:11. “Judgment” or “justice” (κρίμα) is
a very important concept in Mic; see the discussion at 3:1 (also 3:9; 6:8; 7:9).
“Power” (δυναστεία) has the idea of “strength” and even “domination” (mur,
179), and in Amos 2:16 the plural is used to refer to armies or perhaps oppressive
regimes. The infinitive “to declare” gives the purpose of the future filling of
Micah by the spirit; he will be filled with strength to do what the false prophets
have not been able to do. Their commitment is to the monetary rewards they
receive for their false messages rather than to the Lord. Iakob and Israel in 3:8
probably have primary reference to Judah and Jerusalem; see the discussion at
3:1 and the use of these terms in 3:9–12. The repetition of plural words for their
sins (“ungodly acts” [ἀσέβεια] and “sins” [ἁμαρτία]), like the repetition of Iakob
and Israel, serves to emphasize the seriousness of the situation: the nation
is corporately responsible and their sin is multifaceted and has severed their
relationship with the Lord. Three other times these two words for sin are used
84 commentary

in the same verse in Mic (1:5, 13; 6:7); there is a different combination in 7:19.
Micah will be full of the Lord’s strength so that he can declare the full extent of
the nation’s sins, and in this regard he will contrast the false prophets described
in 3:8–12, who lead the people of the Lord astray.

The Sins and Judgment of Jerusalem, 3:9–12

The last four verses of chapter three (3:9–12) are part of the major division
marked with a capital gamma in B (3:5–12), but they are also marked as a sepa-
rate paragraph by the extension of the first word of verse 9 into the left margin.
In B every imperatival form of ἀκούω in Mic begins a new paragraph (see also
1:2; 3:1; 6:1; 6:9b). This paragraph is addressed to the “leaders of the house of
Iakob and remnant of the house of Israel,” as is the paragraph beginning in 3:1;
the only difference is the word for “leaders” (rendered “heads” in 3:1). In 3:9
a present participle from ἡγέομαι is employed to refer to the leaders (ἀρχή in
3:1); see the discussion of ἡγέομαι at 2:9. The “leaders” in this section are more
specifically designated in 3:11 by mention of three groups: “leaders” (same word
as 3:9), “priests,” and “prophets.” Also, as in the two paragraphs before this one,
in 3:9b–10 present tense participles describe and characterize the addressees
(see 3:2 and 3:5).
Although the three paragraphs in Mic 3 (vv. 1–4; 5–8; and 9–12) are parallel
in many ways, there is a progression in them that builds to the climax in
3:9–12. The addressees are most clearly and comprehensively identified in this
section, as is their location. Also in this section the accusation against the sinful
leaders includes reference to their theological justification for their sins, which
makes the sins even more reprehensible (3:11). And in this section the judgment
decreed reaches not only to the capital city, Jerusalem, but to the Temple, the
very heart of the nation (3:12). Whereas in 3:1–4 the judgment was the Lord’s
silence, and in 3:5–8 it was darkness, in 3:9–12 the destruction of the Temple
seems to indicate that the Lord abandons his people (Renaud, 148).
There are three present participles in 3:9b–10 that explain the sins of the
leaders and remnant addressed in 3:9–12. The first two descriptions of their sins
in 3:9 are more general, and the third in 3:10 is more specific. The first participle
(βδελύσσω in the middle voice) has the sense “to detest something because
it is utterly offensive or loathsome” (bdag, 172); the verb is used to describe
the attitude one should have toward a dead body (Lev 11:11) and unclean birds
(Lev 11:13). A person’s moral character determines what they abhor, and the fact
that the addressees are people who abhor judgment is a strong condemnation
of their character. “Judgment” (κρίμα) is an important word in Mic, and it
serves to unite the three paragraphs in Mic 3 (see also 3:1, 8 and the discussion
at 3:1). It stands to reason that they abhor judgment or justice, because the
γ. 3:5–12 85

next participle phrase says they also “pervert all the upright things.” This verb
(διαστρέφω) has the idea of distorting or twisting; see Exod 23:6 and Hab 1:4.
The addressees have perverted everything that is ὀρθός, i.e., “straight, correct,
true, upright” (bdag, 722); here the word ὀρθός has the idea “morally correct
and proper” (mur, 504). The neuter plural form in the lxx suggests ὀρθός refers
to “things”; thus, the rendering “upright things.”
The third participle phrase in 3:10 describes more specifically what sins
Micah is addressing. Sion and Ierousalem are parallel in this verse, and thus
Sion apparently refers to the city of Ierousalem. Since Sion can also refer to
the Temple Mount, it invests the city “with a theological quality” and “here it
is metonymy for the splendid religious and political edifice built in it” (Waltke,
178). According to 3:10, they are building this city with “bloods” (pl.). Often in
the plural αἷμα refers to “acts of murder” (mur, 14); e.g., Hos 4:2; Nah 3:1; Hab 2:8
and esp. Hab 2:12. “Injustices” (ἀδικία) has the sense of unrighteousness (bdag,
20), but here it is probably better understood as an “act contravening law,
wrongdoing, iniquity,” (mur, 10). The plural again suggests it refers to various
acts or instances of injustice. The leaders are building the capital city that is
the religious center of the nation by means of injustices, which lead to the
deaths of the oppressed and innocent. The context in Mic suggests that the
wealthy (2:1–4) are bribing and corrupting the leaders with bribes (3:1–4, 9–11);
the prophets, who are also being paid off, are saying such activity is acceptable
(3:5); and the poor and middle class are losing their land and some are even
dying as a result (2:2; 3:10). In the lxx “the remnant” of the people is also
responsible and implicated in the sins (3:1, 9); thus, to the lxx reader there
is also corporate responsibility for these sins. The reference to the different
groups of leaders in 3:11 also supports a broad responsibility for the sins of the
Verse 11 is connected with verse 10 by the threefold repetition of the third
person, feminine pronoun “her,” which must have Ierousalem in verse 10 as
its antecedent. In verse 10 Ierousalem referred to the literal city, but here it
is “a metonymy for its inhabitants” (Waltke, 179). In 3:11 the prophet explains
further the sins of the political and religious leaders in Jerusalem with four
imperfect tense verbs. In this context the imperfects indicate past time and
iterative action (Porter, Idioms, 34), and also from the context we can gather
that these are the customary and habitual actions of the leaders (see Wallace,
548). The sense of μετά in its threefold use in this verse is rare; it must have the
sense “in return for, in exchange for” (see also Isa 52:3; mur, 452; leh, 299).
The political and religious leaders implicated in the injustices in 3:9–10 are
motivated by financial reward (3:11). The word used to describe the political
leaders in 3:11 is the same word that is found in 3:9 (present participle from
86 commentary

ἡγέομαι); see the discussion of it at 2:9. These “leaders” are bribed by “gifts,”
and they make decisions based on the amounts of the bribes rather than on
the standards of justice. The noun δῶρον is commonly used for bribes in the
lxx (Exod 23:8; Deut 10:17; 16:19; Prov 17:23; 21:14; Isa 1:23; 5:23; 33:15), and in
these verses it is clear that the Lord cannot be bribed and neither should his
representatives be. See Isa 45:13 and Judg A 9:31 on μετὰ δώρων. In Isa 45:13 the
phrase describes Cyrus, who is not motivated by financial reward in his support
for the rebuilding of the Temple and his release of the Babylonian exiles; his
is a positive contrast to the leaders of Jerusalem that were responsible for the
nation going to Babylon.
The “priests were answering” the questions they received about the Law, as
the Law itself prescribed (Deut 17:8–10; 33:10; Mal 2:7; see also Hos 4:6), but
their motivation was their own “reward.” The prophets, who were addressed
in more detail in 3:5–8, were “prophesying for silver.” Rather than using their
offices to serve the Lord and his people, the political and religious leaders were
in cahoots and were all trying to enrich themselves. The most damning aspect
of their behavior is that they claimed to be trusting in the Lord, while they
were breaking his laws and oppressing the people. The presence of the Lord
among them was their unassailable argument that what they were doing was
not wrong, and the proof of that presence for these leaders was the success
of the nation and the Temple. The Lord had delivered them from the siege of
Sennacherib, and with the Lord’s presence among them in the Temple they
thought they were inviolable. The leaders justified their behavior in the eyes
of the people not only by giving testimony to their dependence on the Lord,
but also by emphatically denying that any evil could ever come upon them. It
is difficult to know how the first readers of the lxx would have applied passages
like this to their situations; perhaps they would have connected it with the
words of Jeremiah (Jer 7:1–4), who warned the people about deceptive words,
or perhaps Jewish readers would have seen their own situations as results of
the behavior and beliefs of their ancestors.
The leaders of Judah put on a good show of having a relationship with the
Lord and enjoying his favor. However, it was all outward with no inner reality;
they did not have fruit to match their words. In that regard they were like
their descendants, who were the leaders in the Temple in Jerusalem that Jesus
reprimanded in Mark 11:12–25. In Mark Jesus likens them to a fig tree that
only has leaves and no fruit. There is a difference between inward reality and
outward profession; the leaders Micah addresses only have the latter.
“Therefore” (διὰ τοῦτο) in 3:12 signals the conclusion of the paragraph. Jeru-
salem will be punished because of its leaders (δι᾽ ὑμᾶς). The remainder of the
verse contains the judicial sentence of the Lord that was delivered by Micah.
γ. 3:5–12 87

That the sentence is from the Lord is clear in Jer 33[mt 26]:18 where the judi-
cial sentence in Mic 3:12 is quoted as that which Michaias the Morasthite said
to all the people of Judah in the days of King Hezekias. And Michaias begins the
sentence with the words “Thus said the Lord.” Therefore, the Lord was speaking
through the words of the prophet in Mic 3:12; the words of the prophet are the
words of the Lord and vice versa. It is interesting that the judicial sentence in
the Hebrew of Mic 3:12 is quoted verbatim in Jer 26:18, but the lxx of the two
verses differs slightly. There is a minor difference in that Jer has εἰς (εἰς ἄβατον)
where Mic has ὡς (see the text note on the εἰς at the end of 3:12).
The main difference between the two verses in the lxx is that in Jer 26:18
[lxx 33:18] the Hebrew word “heap” (‫ )ִעי‬corresponds with εἰς ἄβατον (“untrod-
den”) in B, the corrector of S, and modern versions, whereas in Mic 1:6 and 3:12
the same Hebrew word (‫ )ִעי‬is rendered ὀπωροφυλάκιον, which is normally trans-
lated something like the nets’s “orchard-guard’s shed” (see the discussion of
ὀπωροφυλάκιον at 1:6; the rendering εἰς ἄβατον in Jer 33:18 may be the best trans-
lation of the difficult Hebrew word). If the milieu of the translator of Mic was
one where the Scriptures were studied extensively in Greek (see Cécile Dog-
niez and Jan Joosten, “Micah” in Handbuch zur Septuaginta), it is surprising
that the rendering of “heap” (‫ )ִעי‬in Mic 3:12 is different than it is in lxx Jer
33:18. This difference is especially surprising because of the explicit declaration
in Jer 33:18 [mt 26:18] that it contains a quotation of Mic 3:12 and because it is
often suggested that the same translators may have been involved in the render-
ing of these two books (see below). One could perhaps explain the difference
between the rendering of “heap” (‫ )ִעי‬in Mic 3:12 and Jer 26:18 [lxx 33:18] on the
basis of an editing of Jer, as Emanuel Tov proposes.
According to Tov’s theory the original translator of the Twelve was the same
person who did the original translation of Jer and Ezek (Tov, The Text-Critical
Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research, 16–17). The latter parts of Jer and Ezek
reflect the work of a reviser or editor, so the work of the original translator is
only preserved in Jeremiah and Ezekiel in the first parts of those books, which
for Jer would be chapters 1–28. Thus, according to Tov’s reconstruction a person
other than the original translator was ultimately responsible for the rendering
of lxx Jer 29–52, including the rendering of ‫“( ִעי‬heap”) in lxx Jer 33[mt 26]:18;
but by contrast the work of the original translator of Jeremiah and the Twelve is
found in Mic 3:12. Thus, if Tov’s theory is true, it leaves open the possibility that
the editor, or reviser, of lxx Jer 29–52 could be responsible for the apparently
accurate rendering of ‫“( ִעי‬heap”) in lxx Jer 33:18. He would have been likely
to have “improved” the original translation in order to try to make it more
accurate. (See Tov’s description of the work of the editor in his Jeremiah and
Baruch, 7.) In fact, in Tov’s study of Jer he concluded that the reviser, who was
88 commentary

ultimately responsible for chapters 29–52, replaced portions of the Old Greek of
Jer with renditions that, in the reviser’s opinion, would have “better expressed
the meaning of the Hebrew,” and he “corrected some erroneous renditions” in
the original translation.
The evidence suggests something like that could have happened in lxx Jer
33:18, since the preferred reading in our modern editions of the lxx, “untrod-
den, desolate” (ἄβατος) is only found in two main manuscripts, Vaticanus and
the corrector of Sinaiticus (as well as in 46, the Coptic, Ethiopic, and Sym-
machus), and most other manuscripts have the reading “garden-watcher’s hut”
(ὀπωροφυλάκιον). Ziegler adopted the reading εἰς ἄβατον in Jer 33:18 as original
because it is a favorite phrase in lxx Jer, occurring 11 times (12:10; 30:7, 11, 18; 31:9;
32:18, 38; 33:18; 49:18; 51:6, 22; see Theocharous, 105, and Ziegler, Untersuchun-
gen, 104–105; the word ἄβατον occurs in Jer about 17x). But the two different
readings indicate that at least one time this reading was changed (perhaps
by someone like the reviser mentioned earlier). And it is likely that the goal
of any change made would be to correct a supposed error or offensive read-
ing or to better express the meaning of the Vorlage. In that case it could be
that “garden-watcher’s hut” (ὀπωροφυλάκιον) was the original rendering, which,
according to Tov’s theory, was the work of the same translator responsible
for Mic 3:12 and 1:6. Then the text of Jer 33:18 could have been changed by a
reviser or editor to the reading adopted in modern editions, “untrodden, des-
olate” (ἄβατος), to try to bring it closer to the meaning of the Hebrew and/or
to correct a perceived error in the translation. This supports the commonly
held belief that later editors of the lxx were revising it to attempt to bring it
closer to the Hebrew. However, it is also possible that the rendering “garden-
watcher’s hut” (ὀπωροφυλάκιον) in Mic 1:6 and 3:12 was a later alteration, influ-
enced by the language of Isa 1:8 to soften the harsh “untrodden, desolate”
(ἄβατος). See the discussion in Theocharous, 100–105, and Dines, “Oporophu-
What is clear according to Mic 3:12 is that the very sites that the leaders had
built with murders and injustices (3:10) and which were the basis of their false
confidence (3:11) were going to be totally destroyed. Sion and Ierousalem are
parallel here again, as they were in 3:10 where they also referred to the city (see
discussion there). The city will become a plowed field and its towering edifices
will be torn down and become like a hut in a field. See the discussion of “garden-
watcher’s hut” in 1:6. Renaud suggests that the lxx translator (and Syr) wanted
to attenuate the brutal text of Mic 3:12, which says in the Hebrew, “Jerusalem
will become a heap of ruins.” Thus, he changes the meaning to Jerusalem “will
become like a garden-watcher’s hut” (nets). This lxx rendering is still by no
means flattering, but it eases some of the brutality in the Hebrew. Then the
δ. 4:1–5:15 89

translator employs the same Greek word to translate the same corresponding
Hebrew word in 1:6, which describes Samaria (Renaud, 14). In Mic what hap-
pened to Samaria (1:6) is a warning for Jerusalem (3:12).
The conclusion of the judicial sentence at the end of 3:12 involves the Temple
mount, which is described as “the mountain of the house” (see 1:2 on the
Lord’s “house”). The Temple and the surrounding area will become “like a
wooded grove.” The noun ἄλσος has the idea of forest or thicket; thicket might
emphasize the idea of devastation and destruction, but the sense of the word
here in 3:12, modified by δρυμός (“grove, forest, thicket”), seems to be that it
is “wooded.” Also of importance is the fact that the word ἄλσος, which is not
common in the writing prophets, often has the sense sacred grove or pagan
high place (mur, 30), as it does in its only other occurrence in Mic (5:14) where
the Lord is going to cut down the groves. Renaud (141) comments that it is
scandalous to think that the holy city would be transformed into a pagan high
place; however, that is what the lxx text of 3:12 suggests. I have rendered the
phrase “wooded grove,” seeking to give it a meaning that a Greek reader might
give it who was not aware of the use of this word in the lxx for a sacred
grove or pagan high place (see lxx.e, 2372). (See also Theocharous, 100–112,
esp. 112, on lxx Mic 3:12.) Thus, Jerusalem will experience the same judgment
Samaria experienced, unless the people, especially the leaders, repent. The
Jerusalem they built has no moral or religious foundation, and from a spiritual
and religious perspective the Temple is an empty shell. The Lord, whom they
claim dwells among them and on whom they claim to rely, will totally destroy
the city and its Temple.

Δ 4:1–5:15

The delta section of Mic in B begins with a prophecy of salvation in 4:1–5,

which is clearly distinct from the message of doom in 3:9–12. The contrasts
between the two sections are striking. First, the leaders of the “house of Iakob”
in 3:9–11, who seek to build Jerusalem by selfishness and injustices, are con-
trasted with the “God of Iakob” in 4:2, who establishes Jerusalem on his Law
and exalts it above all rivals. Second, in 3:12 Zion and the “mountain of the
house” become desolate (or pagan) and are diminished, while in 4:1–2 they are
exalted and the nations hasten there to learn the ways of the Lord. Third, while
the self-serving and destructive judging and teaching of Jerusalem’s wicked
leaders in 3:9–11 transgresses the Law, the Lord’s judging and teaching, appar-
ently through his people, which is according to the Law is loving and edifying.
Also, the contrast between Jerusalem being desolate like “a garden-watcher’s
90 commentary

hut” (3:12) and everyone resting in blessing under his vine and fig tree in (4:4)
and the connection between Jerusalem being plowed like a field (3:12) and the
nations cutting up their swords for plows (4:3) serve both to contrast and to
connect these two passages. Thus, the end of chapter 3 and the beginning of
chapter 4 contrast each other, yet there are several connections between these
The delta section of Mic in B is divided into three clearly marked paragraphs;
4:1–5, 4:6–7, and 4:8–5:15. The second paragraph begins with the phrase “in that
day,” which often marks a new division in the lxx. And the third paragraph
begins by addressing “daughter Sion” in the second person singular, and then
the second person singular continues throughout the remainder of chapter
four. In chapter five Bethlehem is addressed in the second person singular
(5:2), and the remnant of Jacob, which is introduced in 5:7–8, is described in
the second person singular in 5:9–14. The second person singular continues in
6:1 with two imperatives addressed to the nation, but the command to “hear”
(second person pl.) and the covenant lawsuit in 6:1–8 mark a new section in
chapter 6. See the discussion introducing each paragraph below.
There is definitely an eschatological thrust in the delta section of lxx Mic.
This is evident immediately in 4:1 with the mention of “the last days” (see also
the discussion at 4:1 and Hos 3:5), and it continues throughout with references
to “that day” (4:6 and probably 5:10), referring here to the same period as “the
last days.” The judgment of the nations (4:3, 11–13), moral renewal in Israel
(5:10–15), the coming of a Davidic (Messianic) ruler (5:2–4), the rise of Israel
to a place of blessing and power among the nations (4:2; 5:7–9), the rule of the
Lord over Israel and the nations from Mount Sion (4:1–3, 7), and worldwide
peace and security (4:3–4) all indicate that in Mic 4–5 the prophet is describing
the time of fulfillment promised in the Hebrew Scriptures when God’s rule is
established on earth and his will is tangibly and permanently experienced. It is
the climax of human history. This era is also called the Day of the Lord, since it
is a time when God intervenes in a direct way on the earth to enforce his will;
it later came to be called the kingdom of God, especially in Christian writings.
Mic 4–5 is concerned with this eschatological period.

In the Last Days the Lord Will Gather the Remnant of Israel, and He
and His Appointed Ruler Will Reign over Israel and the Nations,
The delta section is the longest of the seven sections in Mic in Vaticanus that
are marked by numerical capital letters. It is the only one of the main seven
divisions that is further divided into three paragraphs: 4:1–5; 4:6–7; and a long
final paragraph, 4:8–5:15.
δ. 4:1–5:15 91

In the Last Days the Lord Will Reign over the Nations from Mount
Zion, 4:1–5
The salvation oracle of Mic 4:1–5 is a glorious prophecy of the last days when
the Lord will enforce his reign over all the earth. The first three verses of this
paragraph are parallel to Isa 2:2–4 and very close to it in wording, but there are
some important differences in the lxx between the two passages. (See Waltke,
191–192, for differences between the Hebrew texts of Isa 2:2–4 and Mic 4:1–3.)
First, in the lxx the phrase καὶ ὁ οἶκος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπ᾽ ἄκρου τῶν ὀρέων in Isa 2:2
corresponds to ἕτοιμον ἐπὶ τὰς κορυφὰς τῶν ὀρέων (B) in Mic 4:1 (I am using
Swete here for Isa, because it is closest to B); second, the verb ὑψωθήσεται in
Isa 2:2 corresponds to μετεωρισθήσεται in Mic 4:1; third in the last clause of the
first verse in the corresponding sections the main verb is ἥξουσιν in Isa 2:2 and
σπεύσουσιν in Mic 4:1; fourth, Isa has a καί in 2:3 that is not in Mic 4:2; fifth,
ἀναγγελεῖ in Isa 2:3 corresponds to δείξουσιν in Mic 4:2; sixth, ἐν αὐτῇ in Isa 2:3
corresponds to ἐν ταῖς τρίβοις αὐτοῦ in Mic 4:2; seventh, ἐκ γὰρ Σιων in Isa 2:3
corresponds to ὅτι ἐκ Σειών in Mic 4:2; eighth, τῶν ἐθνῶν in Isa 2:4 corresponds
to λαῶν πολλῶν in Mic 4:3; ninth, λαὸν πολύν in Isa 2:4 corresponds to ἔθνη
ἰσχυρὰ ἕως εἰς μακράν in Mic 4:3; tenth, συγκόψουσιν in Isa 2:4 (and Joel 3:10)
corresponds to κατακόψουσιν in Mic 4:3; eleventh, twice the noun μάχαιρα in
Isa 2:4 corresponds to the noun ῥομφαία in Mic 4:3 (see ba, 23.1, xi, on this
consistent translation in both books); twelfth, τὰς ζιβύνας in Isa 2:4 corresponds
to τὰ δόρατα in Mic 2:3; thirteenth, οὐ λήμψεται ἔτι in Isa 2:4 corresponds to
οὐκέτι μὴ ἀντάρη in Mic 4:3; and finally οὐ μὴ μάθωσιν ἔτι in Isa 2:4 corresponds
to οὐκέτι μὴ μάθωσιν in Mic 4:3. In B the verb ἐξελέγξει occurs in the last verse of
both passages, although in some versions and manuscripts it does not have a
prepositional prefix in Isa and/or Mic; see the text notes on Mic 4:3. (I have tried
to follow B in this list of differences, and I did not include all the differences in
articles between the two passages in B.) In spite of the differences, all of these
translations can be explained on the basis of the Hebrew Vorlagen, and some
of them are the direct result of slight differences in the Hebrew of these two
passages. Although nothing in the first verses of Isa 2 parallels Mic 4:4, Isa 2:5
resembles Mic 4:5.
Muraoka (“Introduction,” xi–xii) finds evidence that the translator of lxx
Mic was influenced by lxx Isa in the parallel texts of Isa 2:2–4 and Mic 4:1–3.
He finds a “close link” between the two passages in the remarkable rendering
ἐμφανής (“visible, manifest”) in Mic 4:1 and Isa 2:2. Muraoka reasons that this
remarkable rendering is much simpler to explain in Isa, where it renders the
Hebrew “will be established” (‫ )נכון יהיה‬than in Mic 4:1, where it renders only
the verb “it will be” (‫ )יהיה‬and ἕτοιμος apparently renders the participle ‫נכון‬
(“established”). (There is a difference in the location of the word ‫ נכון‬in the
92 commentary

Hebrew texts of Isa 2:2 and Mic 4:1 that is important for this argument.) Thus, it
appears that the word ἐμφανής (“visible, manifest”) originated in the translation
of lxx Isa 2:2, and the translator of lxx Mic 4:1 adopted the reading from Isa 2:2
and added the adjective ἕτοιμος. (In lxx Mic the adjective ἕτοιμος, which is later
in 4:1 seems to correspond to the niphal participle “established” [‫]נכון‬, which is
also separated from “it will be” [‫ ]יהיה‬in the Hebrew text; this correspondence
between “established” [‫ ]נכון‬and ἕτοιμος is found elsewhere in Hos 6:3; Ps 37[mt
38]:18. The Hebrew ‫ נכון‬is never rendered with ἐμφανής. It is very difficult to
know how the translator of Isa came up with ἐμφανής for ‫ ;נכון יהיה‬it is clear
from Isa 2:2 he confused the roots ‫ חזה‬and ‫היה‬, and he may not have wanted
to repeat καὶ ἔσται in 2:2, as Renaud [152] suggests. It is very likely he meant to
reflect some form of ‫ חזה‬or ‫ ראה‬in his rendering of ‫ ;נכון‬perhaps he confused
the text with the niphal participle of this latter verb; see Wolff, 112.) Dines
gives further support to the thesis that ἐμφανής belonged originally to Isa 2:2
by noting that ἐμφανής (“visible, manifest”) was added in a place in lxx Mic
4:1 which the translator surely would not have chosen (From Dines’ Grinfield
Lectures, as reported in Dogniez, Isaiah in Context, 233), since in the Hebrew
text of Mic the participle comes later in the verse (see above). Renaud (151)
also gives evidence that the translation of Isa preceded the translation of Mic
and the translator of Mic was influenced by the Greek text of Isa. He suggests
that the clause “the mountain of the Lord shall be manifest, prepared on the
tops of the mountains” in the lxx of Mic 4:1 may be a simplification of the
references to “the mountain of the Lord” and “the house of God” in the lxx of
Isa 2:2 (“the mountain of the Lord shall be manifest, and the house of God shall
be on the tops of the mountains,” nets). However, it should be noted that on
the basis of the differences listed above between the two parallel texts, if one of
the translators of these passages was aware of the other’s work and influenced
by it, he did not feel compelled to replicate it in every detail.
The introduction to the prophecy in Mic 4:1–5 places it “in the last days.”
This phrase, which only occurs elsewhere in the lxx Twelve in the important
prophecy concerning the restoration of Israel in Hos 3:5, was discussed in that
context (Glenny, Hosea, 86–87). It refers to an indeterminate future time (Gen
49:1; Josh 24:27), which may be eschatological, as it is in both of its contexts
in the Twelve (Mic 4:1 and Hos 3:5). This is the future time when the Lord will
intervene decisively in history in order to move it to his final goal. In Mic 4–5
“the last days” include the deliverance of the remnant from Babylon (4:10), the
birth of the Messiah (5:2), and the Lord’s reign over the nations from Jerusalem
(4:1–4, 6–7) (see Waltke, 208, and note “in that day” in 4:6). The use of the phrase
“mountain of the Lord” (τὸ ὄρος τοῦ κυρίου) in lxx Ps 23:3 (“Who shall ascend
onto the mountain of the Lord?” nets) and the similar phrase in Isa 2:2, 3 and
δ. 4:1–5:15 93

Mic 4:2 (τὸ ὄρος κυρίου), all of which are parallel to “the house of God,” show that
the “mountain of the Lord” is the place where the Lord dwells in his Temple,
thus Mount Sion (Mic 4:2). The genitive “of the Lord” is a genitive of possession,
signifying that in a special sense this mountain belongs to or is possessed by
the Lord. Two adjectives in the lxx text of Mic 4:1 describe the “mountain of
the Lord” in the eschatological future. The first adjective, “manifest” (ἐμφανής),
suggests more than simple visibility; the context suggests that “in the last
days” this mountain will be distinguished openly, as described in the following
context. This word is used elsewhere in the lxx (7x) to describe something that
is well known (Exod 2:14), often in the sense that it has been revealed or made
accessible (Wis 6:22; 7:21). In Isa 65:1 the Lord becomes “visible” to the nations
who were not seeking him, and he is found by those not inquiring after him;
in fact, the word is often used in contexts of the revelation of the Lord to the
nations (Mic 4:1; Isa 2:2; 65:1), and its usage elsewhere is consistent with the
premise that in Mic 4:1 it implies the revelation to the nations of the Lord’s
universal authority and rule (see also 4:3). The second adjective, “prepared”
(ἕτοιμος), emphasizes the Lord’s preparation of this mountain (see bdag, 401;
Exod 15:17). To render this adjective “ready” in this verse, as it is sometimes
rendered elsewhere, would seem to emphasize more the state it is in, and
the rendering “established” (so Brenton) is based on the Hebrew Vorlage, and
stretches the sense of the Greek word beyond its limit. The preposition ἐπί is
employed here to indicate “a surface on which some object is situated” (mur,
266); thus the “mountain of the Lord” is prepared on the surface of the “tops of
the mountains” and towers over them. That the “mountain of the Lord” will be
“manifest” and “prepared on the tops of the mountains” indicates that this holy
place where the Lord dwells among his people will be visible above the other
The next clause continues the theme of it being exalted higher than the other
mountains. The verb “raised up” (μετεωριζω) can have the sense of raising to
a height like an eagle soars (Obad 4) or of being haughty (2Macc 5:17), and
it came to have the sense of “being anxious or worried” as in Luke 12:29 (see
bdag, 643); here it must mean to be raised up or exalted, its normal sense in
the lxx (mur, 456; Spicq, 2:483), like the cherubim mount up from the earth
in Ezek 10:16 (the adjective μετέωρος means “in mid-air”). Other uses of this
word in the lxx show that it could suggest the idea of hovering in mid air, but
it is unlikely that readers would understand Jerusalem to be hovering like a
bird “above the hills.” “Hills” (βουνός) generally refers to heights that are not as
high as the “mountains” (ὄρος); see Gen 31:46 where βουνός refers to a heap of
stones. The “peoples” who hasten to “the mountain of the Lord” are the nations;
see the plural of λαός, used in the same sense in 1:2 and 6:2 (see also Hos 9:1;
94 commentary

10:10 and mur, 425–426). The verb “hasten” (σπεύδω) suggests doing something
with speed (mur, 630–631). The reason the nations are hastening up to this
mountain is apparently because it is the Lord’s mountain and he is there in his
“house” (4:2; see Zech 8:20–22; Isa 66:18–20; and the discussion below).
The theme of the “nations” coming to Jerusalem in the last days is common
in the prophets (Isa 2:2–4; 49:22–23; 56:6–8; 60:5–18; 66:18–20; Zech 8:20–23).
In former times only Israelites made pilgrimages to Jerusalem, but in the last
days people from “many nations” will enthusiastically make the pilgrimage.
The text communicates the eagerness and enthusiasm of the nations to go to
Jerusalem by reporting their words; see the same rhetorical technique in 2:4
and 3:11. They will summon and encourage each other to go up to Jerusalem.
Their words reveal that the thing that really draws them to Jerusalem is the
presence of the Lord there. “Lord” and “God” are both genitives of possession,
and “Iakob” is a genitive of relationship. The “they” in “they will show us his way”
must refer to the people, and especially the leaders, of Israel, who will at that
time be oriented toward the Law of the Lord (cf. “he will declare to us his way”
in Isa 2:3); the only other option is that “they” refers to the “mountain” and the
“house,” but that seems unlikely. Rather, Israel will fulfill its role as a kingdom
of priests to the nations (Exod 19:6). The instruction that the Lord gives the
nations is not abstract teaching, but rather it “leads to a concrete ‘walking in his
paths’” (Wolff, 121), and thus “way” and “paths” refer to conduct that is taught
in the Law. “His” in “his way” and “his paths” is probably best understood to
designate possession. Thus, the emphasis is on the fact that this way and these
paths belong to the Lord; they reflect his character and will, and he has given
them to the nations. (The sense of these two genitives of possession is close
to the sense of genitives of source, but where the choice between these two
classifications is unclear, possession takes priority over source, Wallace, 109.)
The clause at the end of 4:2 gives the reason the nations determine to make
a pilgrimage to Jerusalem (ὅτι), and it ends the first person reported speech.
The reason they will go to Jerusalem is because “out of Sion will go forth the
Law and the Word of the Lord from Ierousalem.” (“Sion” and “Ierousalem” are
also parallel in 3:10.) The logic of this verse is difficult. Does it mean that the
nations will make pilgrimage to Jerusalem because the Law has come out to
them first and draws them to learn more? Or does it mean that they are drawn
to Jerusalem to learn the law, because it has been promised that the law shall go
out from Jerusalem and that can only happen if they first come to Jerusalem to
learn it so they can take it out from there? There is some overlap in the senses of
these two options, but the latter seems more likely in view of passages like Isa
42:4; 49:6; and esp. 51:4. Although “Law” and “Word” are both anarthrous, they
surely would have been understood to be definite, referring to the message of
δ. 4:1–5:15 95

the Lord in the Law and through the prophets, because of the context (“way”
and “paths”) and because of “Lord” modifying “Word.”
On the basis of his Law the Lord will settle grievances between the nations
(4:3), and as a result he will reprove the strong nations. Mic 5:5–6 indicates
he will rule the nations through his leaders who will shepherd the nations on
his behalf, especially through the Davidite who comes out of Bethlehem, the
Messiah (5:2). The reference to “many peoples” suggests the universal extent
of the Lord’s rule (see 4:1 on λαός), and this is further enforced by descriptions
of them as “mighty” and “far away.” “Far away” (ἕως εἰς μακράν) does not mean
the Lord does not judge and reprove the nations near his holy mountain; the
only other occurrence of the phrase in the lxx is in Sir 24:32, and it suggests he
reproves nations that are both near and also “to a distance.” The verb “reprove”
(ἐξελέγξει) with the prefix, as here, is a strong word that can have the idea
“refute” (leh, 159) or “blame” (mur, 249). This is consistent with the fact that
his shepherds rule with a “sword” in 5:6. As a result of the Lord’s rule over the
nations there will no longer be war between the nations, and thus there will
be no more need for instruments of war. Consequently, the nations will “cut
in pieces” (κατακόπτω) their swords to make plows and their spears to make
“sickles,” or agricultural instruments. In the Twelve ῥομφαία is the word that
is characteristically chosen to refer to a “sword” (ba, 23.1, xi; it occurs again
in 4:3). The noun δρέπανον refers to agricultural instruments with a curved
blade and a handle (bdag, 261), like sickles, scythes, and pruning hooks. The
two descriptions of the transformation of implements of war into agricultural
tools are not meant to be comprehensive; each of these figures is a tangible
synecdoche for the complete transformation that will take place from a world
of war to a world of peace. The opposite figure is used in Joel 3:10 where
the Lord calls upon the nations to change their agricultural instruments into
instruments of war and to gather to fight against Israel and against him, so
he can judge them. As a result of the Lord’s rule of peace described in Mic
4:3, nations will no longer “lift up” (ἀνταίρω; a lxx hapax) instruments of war
against one another, and they will not need to learn to make war or prepare for
it any longer. This peaceful environment will provide unlimited potential for
productivity and well being, and verse 4 provides a picture of what this new
peaceful world order means for each individual.
The finite verb at the beginning of 4:4 (ἀναπαύω) suggests a state of rest,
refreshment, and relief from toil (bdag, 69; lsj, 115). In this context the dis-
tributive pronoun ἕκαστος describes individuals from all the nations (“every
one, each one”). The synecdoche of each person resting under or eating from his
“vine” and his “fig tree” is a picture of absolute peace, security, and blessing. The
vine and fig tree were appropriate symbols for a time of great blessing because
96 commentary

their fruits were sweet and valuable. This symbolism was employed to describe
the reign of Solomon (3Kgdms 2:46) and the universal blessing of the future
Day of the Lord (Zech 3:10 and here). The author of 1 Macc thought the prophe-
cies of the coming of such days were fulfilled in the reign of Simon (1 Macc
14:11–12), and it is possible early readers of the lxx rendering of Mic would have
understood it the same way, since it is generally assumed that the Twelve were
rendered into Greek about the middle of the second century b.c.e. (Glenny,
262–263). The symbol also suggests freedom from fear and danger (4 Kgdms
18:31; Isa 36:16; Joel 2:22), and here that is made explicit with the phrase “no one
shall make them afraid”; the verb “fear” employed here (ἐκφοβέω) is fairly rare
in the lxx (15x), and it is also found in passages that refer to freedom from fear
being a covenant blessing (Lev 26:16; Deut 28:26; note also the use of this verb in
Jdt 16:25; Zeph 3:13; and 1Macc 14:12). The symbolism also suggests self-control,
discipline, and respect for the property of others. Not only will the people be
blessed, but they will be satisfied with what they have and they will not covet
the possessions of their neighbors; this suggests a change in character, appar-
ently from the internalizing of the Law (Jer 38[mt 31]:31–34) and the presence
of the Spirit of God (Ezek 36:24–27), as promised under the administration of
the new covenant. The conjunction διότι (“for”) introduces the prophetic for-
mula in the last clause of verse 4 as the guarantee that the vision will come
to pass; it is certain because it is from the mouth of “the Lord Almighty.” Παν-
τοκράτωρ describes a God who is sovereign over all, including the future and
the gentiles. The origin of this Greek word is debated, and there is discussion
whether it could be a lxx neologism (leh, 349; Dogniez, “Le Dieu,” 34.). The
word is not clearly attested in classical Greek, although there is possible evi-
dence of it in a fragment of Aeschylus, referring to Zeus (see Dafni, 443–447,
esp. 444). Tov (“Theologically Motivated Exegesis,” 263) notes that the word is
“known from the world of the Greek gods,” and it was used to describe Hermes
(lsj, 1300). (See Glenny, 186–189 for further bibliography and discussion of this
As noted above, Mic 4:5 is somewhat similar to Isa 2:5, thus picking up again
the correspondence between Mic 4 and Isa 2, which was dropped in Mic 4:4.
Mic 4:5 and Isa 2:5 both describe God’s people walking in obedience to him.
The time in 4:5 is apparently the present, and the remnant is contrasted with
the nations, who are independent of God in this age. The ὅτι at the beginning
of the verse seems a bit awkward, and its presence is best explained by a close
rendering of the Hebrew source text; it likely would have been understood to
be causal in force, indicating that the whole of the verse helps explain how
the Lord’s sovereign rule is established on the earth. He will work through
the remnant, which is the only group that makes sense as the “we” in this
δ. 4:1–5:15 97

verse. The remnant is among those who are showing the nations the way of
the Lord in 4:2, and in this verse they respond to the preceding promises of
the Lord with a dramatic statement of their faith and commitment to him.
They realize the nations will continue to go in their own ways until they
experience the judgment and reproof of the Lord described in 4:3. Interestingly
the lxx changes the Hebrew “each in the name of its god” to “each in his own
way,” apparently to avoid any suggestion of polytheism. Thus, for the present
there will be injustice and conflict and the remnant will suffer, but they are
committed to live by faith in the Lord’s words (4:4b) until the Lord’s righteous
rule is established; their commitment is unending (“forever and ever”; καὶ
ἐπέκεινα has the sense “and beyond”). To “walk in the name of the Lord our
God” means to “walk in such a way as would show our allegiance to the Lord”
(mur, 498; see the similar reference to the name of the Lord in 5:4). In summary,
the salvation oracle in 4:1–5 teaches that though the nations will walk in their
own ways, the day is coming when the Lord will judge them, their unjust rule
over the earth will end, and they will learn the ways of the Lord; in that time
of consummation the Lord will establish his rule over all the earth and his
kingdom will be characterized by peace, security, and satisfaction. The remnant
will have a part in the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom; they will remain
faithful to him and will be used by him to show the nations the ways of the

The Lord Will Gather the Remnant of Israel and Make Them into a
Mighty Nation, 4:6–7
There is a paragraph break in B between 4:5 and 6, and the salvation oracle of
4:6–7 is set off by “In that day says the Lord” (cf. “in the last days” in 4:1, which
points to the same time). In these two verses the theme turns from the nations
(in 4:1–5) to the Lord gathering and making into a mighty nation the remnant of
Israel, who were described already in 4:5, so that he might rule over them from
Mount Sion. This short paragraph ends much like the previous one with the
conclusion “now and forever.” Not only is the end of the paragraph marked by
the concluding formula and a break in B, but there is also a distinctive address
(“and you”) directed to the “daughter of Sion” at the beginning of 4:8 that signals
a new paragraph. The two verses in this short paragraph give details that fill in
the prophetic structure given in the previous paragraph (4:1–5).
“In that day” points to a coming day of the Lord’s intervention, sometimes
called the Day of the Lord (see 2:4, the only other occurrence of the phrase in
Mic); it can involve many events and extend over a period of time. Here it points
to the same time period as “in the last days” in 4:1; in those days of universal
peace and blessing the Lord will gather together a remnant of his people. Mic
98 commentary

4–5 seems to refer to two different aspects of the “remnant,” one that comes out
of Babylon (4:10) and one that survives into the last days of peace and blessing
for the nation (4:6–7; 5:3, 7–8). The remnant seems to be an ongoing reality
in Israel after the time of the exile that exists in different stages and describes
the faithful at any one time (Mic 7:18). The remnant is described by a series
of perfect participles in 4:6–7, and the descriptions presume the judgment
prophesied in chapters 1–3. They have been “broken” (συντρίβω), “banished”
(ἐξωθέω), and “cast away” (ἀπωθέω) as a result of the Lord’s discipline of them.
“Broken” (συντρίβω) only occurs in Mic in verses 6 and 7; it can have the sense
of shatter or ruin. “Banished” (ἐξωθέω) can have the sense of cast away, drive
away, reject, or expel (in 2:9); mur, 256, suggests the rendering “eject” here.
“Cast away” (ἀπωθέω) has the same root as the previous verb, and it can have
the idea of reject (Mur, 88; see Hos 4:6; 9:17; Amos 2:4; 5:21); it occurs three times
in Mic: 4:6 and 7, as well as 2:6. Thus, two of the three verbs used to describe
the remnant in 4:6 are also employed in the description of the remnant in
The substantival participles, “her who is broken” and “her who is banished”
in 4:6 and “her who is banished” and “her who is cast away” in 4:7, are all
collective in sense, referring to the nation. The collective sense of these par-
ticiples is clear from the other description of the nation in 4:6, “those whom I
cast away,” which is plural. The perfect tense participles in 4:6 and 7 describe
the present state of the nation. Thus, the Lord is going to make the currently
rejected nation into a “remnant” and a “mighty nation” (4:7), and his reign
over them will be “from now” and continue forever (or “from now until eter-
nity”). That the Lord will reign over the nation from Mount Sion cannot mean
that the whole nation will be confined to Mount Sion, but rather that Mount
Sion will be the place from which the Lord exercises his rule over the nation.
See verse 8 for more discussion of the meaning of Sion. From the context
a lxx reader would be able to understand that in its eschatological sense,
as in this passage, Sion represents “God’s people living in God’s place under
God’s rule” (dotp, 912). There are further descriptions of the nation becoming
“mighty” (δυνατός) in 4:11–13 and 5:8–9; this will not be military might (5:10–
11), but it will be the Lord’s presence and might in the nation that will make it
The “remnant” in 4:7 (ὑπόλειμμα; also in 5:7, 8) is in its most basic sense what
remains or is left over. Note that the noun κατάλοιπος in the plural describes
the remnant in Mic 2:12 and 7:18. Micah promises that the Lord will gather the
remnant together and bring them back to their land under the leadership of the
Lord and their king (2:12–13). It is the broken and dispersed that will be made
into this remnant, which will also become a mighty nation (4:7). Thus, previous
δ. 4:1–5:15 99

judgment is implied in the remnant theology of 4:6–7, and that judgment is

explained more explicitly in Mic 1–3. The remnant will dwell among the nations
(5:7–8), and the remnant nation will be a blessing to some nations (5:7) and
will destroy the nations that are their enemies (5:8–9). Micah concludes his
prophecy with thanks and praise to the Lord for forgiving the sins of “the
remnant of his possession,” saving them from their state of ruin, and restoring
them to a relationship with him; this final restoration of the remnant to the
Lord fulfills promises the Lord swore to the fathers of the nation (7:18–20). A
main emphasis of the remnant theology in Micah is the relationship of the
remnant to the nations. It is also implied in the development of Mic 4–5 that
the promised ruler from the seed of David (i.e., from Bethlehem, 5:2–4) will
in some sense come out of the remnant; the remnant and Messiah are the
eschatological goal of the Lord in his relationship with Israel. (See Waltke, 227,
and Hasel for further development of the remnant theme.) The reference to
the Lord reigning on Mount Sion in 4:7 hearkens back to 4:1–2, and 4:7 forms
an inclusio with those verses, uniting 4:1–7.

A Davidite Will Be Raised Up for Israel and the Nation Will Be

Delivered from Her Enemies and from Her False Objects of Security,
The third paragraph in the delta section of Mic in B is 4:8–5:15. This long
paragraph fills in details of the more general prophecy in 4:1–7. Mic 4:8–13 is
a prophecy of deliverance, first from Babylonian captivity (4:8–10) and then
from the nations who gather against Sion to destroy her (4:11–13). In chapter five
the focus changes from besieged Sion to the coming of the promised Davidite
from little Bethlehem. The remainder of chapter 5 contains prophecies of the
nation’s defeat of their enemies and the removal of the nation’s false objects of
The long paragraph, 4:8–5:15, begins somewhat awkwardly with καί, but
combined with the following direct address “you” (σύ) it has the sense of a new
section addressing someone in the second person singular (see also 5:2 where
the same construction is employed to address Bethlehem). The combination
of καί and σύ results in an abrupt address that suggests contrast with what
one would expect or surprise about the one addressed. Another direct address
identifies the addressee as “daughter Sion” (4:8; see also 4:10 and 13), which is
best understood to refer to the city and its inhabitants (see bdag, 460); the
emphasis on one or the other varies in different contexts, and it is best to
allow the context to determine the exact meaning. In this context Sion must
be understood as the city where God is enthroned and from which he exercises
his righteous rule over the nations (4:1–7), and it is identified with Jerusalem
100 commentary

later in the verse. Thus “daughter Sion” is best understood to be an epithet for
Jerusalem, the place where the Lord will rule over his people. (It is parallel to
“daughter Ierousalem” in Zeph 3:14 and Zech 9:9.) One could take Sion to be
a genitive of apposition (“daughter of Sion”), but the sense seems clearer with
simple apposition. Thus “daughter Sion.” In 4:8–13Micah prophesies that the
inhabitants of the Lord’s city, Sion, will be delivered from Babylon, and they
will defeat the enemies that the Lord gathers against them. Chapter five reveals
more details about the last days: a ruler will arise from Bethlehem to shepherd
the Lord’s people (5:1–4), Jacob will be delivered from his enemies (5:5–9) and
the remnant of the nation will be restored to a state of fidelity to the Lord
Two theological points should be emphasized. First, the content of Mic 4
is very consistent with what is sometimes called Zion Theology (see Strong,
“Zion” in tdotte, 4:1311–1318). It could be summarized as follows: the Lord
reigns over the heavens, earth, and underworld from Mount Zion, and by means
of his sovereign rule over all he provides protection and blessing (fertility) for
his people, Israel. Second, that the remnant of the nation is called “daugh-
ter” is significant. The phrase “daughter Sion” (θυγάτηρ Σιών) occurs 29 times
in the lxx, and it emphasizes the father-daughter relationship between the
Lord and his chosen city, which represents his people. Waltke (235) main-
tains that the epithet daughter Sion “evokes the feminine notions of a stable,
nurturing community.” He refers to Follis (176–178), who contends that when
considered from a social perspective sons are commonly thought of as more
outward focused and thus adventuresome and pressing the established bound-
aries, while daughters tend to be associated with a more inward focus that
builds up the community and provides stability for society. Follis bases her
assertions partly on such an understanding for Athena, the patroness of Athens,
who was a patroness of the arts (spinning and weaving), a goddess of women’s
work, and was interested in fertility; of course, Athena was also a war goddess
(ocd, 138–139), which is in keeping with the acts of daughter Sion in 4:11–
In 4:8 “daughter Sion” is also addressed by means of the epithet “dusty tower
of the flock” (so mur, 104). The connotations suggested by “tower” (πύργος) are
strength, protection, and security; the word is often employed in the lxx to
describe a watchtower or a tower on a wall (Gen 11:4, 5, 8; Jdt 7:5), and in Isa 5:2
it refers to a tower in a vineyard. Thus, the description of Jerusalem in this sal-
vation oracle contrasts sharply with the description of it as a “garden-watcher’s
hut” (ὀπωροφυλάκιον) in the lament in 3:12. However, the modifier “flock” (ποί-
μνιον) indicates that this tower is not to protect a garden or a vineyard; rather,
it is a tower that offers safety and protection to a flock, and the flock must be
δ. 4:1–5:15 101

the remnant of Israel referred to in 4:6–7. The language used to describe the
present state of the remnant in those verses (“broken, banished, cast away”) also
fits the imagery of a flock, in that context scattered and abandoned, although
in the lxx the connection with a flock is not immediately apparent in those
verses. The adjective “dusty” (αὐχμώδης) is a misreading of the Hebrew (lxx.e,
2:2373; Waltke, 231, 235), and adds another twist to the imagery of the tower in
the lxx; the Greek term has the idea of dry or squalid (lsj, 285), and in its other
four occurrences in the lxx (1Kgdms 23:14, 15, 19; 26:1) it describes dry terrain.
Here, modifying “tower,” it suggests the tower is neglected and perhaps in dis-
repair. Yet the remainder of the verse points to a bright future for this tower of
the flock, this daughter Sion.
The clause “to you it shall come” in the middle of 4:8 is obscure, but it
makes most sense that it is stating vaguely what is clarified and emphasized by
repetition in the remainder of the verse: “the former dominion, a kingdom out
of Babylon, will enter daughter Ierousalem.” There are three main features of
this kingdom. First, it is “former” (or “first, prominent” [πρῶτος]); this suggests
that the dominion or rule that is coming has some connection with what
existed before. The noun ἀρχή can have a temporal meaning (“first”), or it
can refer to a power, authority, or rule; here I have rendered it “dominion.”
Second, it will come “out of Babylon.” The phrase out of, or from, Babylon
is a lxx addition; the mention of the people going to Babylon in 4:10 may
have influenced the translator to make this addition, which suggests also a
departure, or rescue, from Babylon. This addition would make perfect sense to
a lxx reader, who was familiar with the Babylonian exile. Third, this kingdom
is going to enter Ierousalem. Thus, it will involve a kingdom or government that
will be established in that city, or at least occupy it. These descriptions point to
a return of peoples, and perhaps especially leaders, from Babylon to Jerusalem
to reestablish Jewish rule or government there. The connection of the new rule
with a “former dominion” implies there could be a restoration of the rule of the
Davidic line (see also 5:2–4).
There are several parallels between the prophetic messages in 4:9–10, 4:11–13,
and 5:1–4. The messages in 4:9 and 11 are introduced with καὶ νῦν; compare νῦν
in 5:1. There are commands addressed to “daughter Sion” in 4:10 and 13, and
in 5:2 the message is for “Bethlehem” (see also “daughter” in 5:1). Thus, 4:9–10
corresponds closely in form to 4:11–13. “And now” (καὶ νῦν) at the beginning of
4:9 seems to mark another stage of development in the argument (as it does
in 4:11 also; see also the νῦν in 5:1); mur (478) suggests the use of καὶ νῦν here
“marks a new phase or turn in discourse.” Thus, the time of the “now” must
be determined from the context, which is clearly past in 4:9–10, apparently
referring in 4:10 to their defeat by the Babylonians and exile to Babylon. (The
102 commentary

aorist and imperfect verb tenses are consistent with a past time, but they do
not require it.)
The main idea of verses 9–10 is that judgment and correction issue in salva-
tion and blessing. Or, as Waltke (246) writes, “Out of the darkness of the exile
the new age will burst forth into light.” Mic 4:9 is very difficult to interpret,
because of the imagery and rhetorical questions. I will organize my analysis
around the three rhetorical questions. The first question is “why did you know
harm?” “Harm” (κακός) is neuter plural here and that form could have the idea
of evils, but the verse seems to be describing the experiences of the nation, and
“harm” is a better word for that idea. (The neuter plural form also has the idea of
“harm” in 2Kgdms 12:18.) In view of the discussion of coming out of Babylon in
4:8 and 10 this first question is best understood to be asking the people to pon-
der why they have experienced all that they went through in their subjection
and captivity at the hands of the Babylonians. The second question, beginning
with μή, requires a negative answer, and thus it means that during the time of
their defeat and exile they did not have a king. The third question is apparently
continuing along the same path as the second and asking what came of their
“plan” (βουλή); this Greek word could refer to a governing body, a decision, an
act of deliberation, or the result of a decision—a plan (mur, 121; lsj, 325). The
use of the word in 4:12 later in this paragraph, parallel to λογισμός and having the
sense of plan, is strong support for it having that same sense here; these are the
only two occurrences of the word in Mic. (It occurs 2× elsewhere in the Twelve;
in Hos 10:6 and Zech 6:13 it has more the sense of counsel.) The verb ἀπόλλυμι
in the second aorist middle, which is intransitive, has the sense of “perish” or
“be taken away from, vanish” (mur, 78–79), and with “plan” it means it “came
to naught” (so mur, 121). The ὅτι clause that follows is causal, explaining why
the plan did not succeed. In modern versions ὠδῖνες (nom. pl.) is the subject
of this clause, resulting in the rendering “because pangs subdued you like one
in labor” (nets); but B has the dative plural ὠδεῖναις rather than the nomina-
tive plural (see Greek text and text notes), resulting in the rendering “because
they overwhelmed you with pangs like a woman in labor.” Although the read-
ing in B is not followed in the modern versions or translations based on them,
it makes more sense in this context that an implied subject (the Babylonians)
conquered Israel and frustrated their plan in a manner that was painful than
that pangs overwhelmed or subdued them and frustrated their plan. The verb
κατακρατέω offers a wide range of possible renderings when it has a genitive
object as it does in B (“overwhelmed,” mur, 373; “subdued,” nets; “overcome,”
leh, 236; I rendered it “prevailed” in 1:9 where it is intransitive; and it can have
the idea “conquer, become master of,” leh, 236). In B where its subject is an
understood enemy, apparently the Babylonians, it has the sense “conquer, rule
δ. 4:1–5:15 103

over” and the dative ὠδεῖναις, which modifies it, is probably to be understood
as a dative of manner. The feminine participle at the conclusion of 4:9 (from
τίκτω) must refer to a woman giving birth (see also 5:3).
Thus, the first question in 4:9 asks the people to think about the reason
for their suffering. The second and third questions remind them of different
aspects of that suffering. They lost their king, or independent rule, and they
were defeated and ruled over, experiencing pain and anguish like that of a
woman giving birth. However, the picture of a woman’s birth pain gives pos-
itive significance and hope to this reminder of past pain and sorrow. The first
rhetorical question suggests there is a purpose for this distress, and the implied
answer is that deliverance and salvation will issue from the pain of their exile
(see 5:3). Their time of distress was an indispensable prelude to their future vic-
tory. For lxx readers looking back on the exile in Babylon and the return from
there this message would have given meaning to their past and offered hope
for their future.
Just as 4:9 is similar to 4:11, both beginning with “and now” (καὶ νῦν), so 4:10
parallels 4:13, both containing commands addressed to “daughter Sion” (see this
title also in 1:13 and 4:8, 13; in 4:10 “daughter Sion” is the inhabitants of the city,
who “go out of the city” later in the verse). The first two commands in 4:10 are
a double translation of one Hebrew verb (Wolff, 130); double translations are
a common feature in lxx Mic (6:3; 7:4, 12; perhaps also in 3:4; 5:6; 6:1 and 10),
and here it is likely the translator is trying to communicate the full meaning
of the Hebrew verb with his commands to “suffer the pains of childbirth” and
“strengthen yourself.” The first command (from ὠδίνω) could mean to suffer
generally, but the cognate noun in the preceding context suggests the verb is
referring to pains connected with childbirth (mur, 746; leh, 526). The second
command, “strengthen yourself” (leh, 34) is from ἀνδρίζομαι, and mur (48–49)
suggests the rendering “conduct oneself in a resolute manner” here; in some
contexts it has the idea “to act in a manner typical of men.” The first verb
communicates a feminine image, and the second suggests a masculine one. The
first two commands encourage Israel to persevere in the suffering and distress
she is going to experience at the hands of the Babylonians. This context teaches
that difficult times are coming and the Lord has a purpose in those experiences.
The faithful in the nation are to look beyond the sufferings to the purpose the
Lord has in them. The command to “draw near” is probably a misreading of the
Hebrew source text (see lxx.e, 2:2373; Wolff, 130; and Waltke, 241); the Greek
word (ἐγγίζω) often has the idea of approach, and here it could have the sense
approach or draw near to birth (or to God, as in Mic 2:9). It is clearly another
exhortation to endurance. The three commands are all second person singular
and addressed to “daughter Sion.”
104 commentary

The reason for the commands, which make up the first part of 4:10, is intro-
duced by διότι νῦν, and it is developed in the remainder of 4:10. The “now”
(νῦν) here must be broad in its time referent if it is more than a marker of
another turn in the discourse (mur, 478). The suffering and distress that are
the topics of 4:9 are now described in three specific steps. The inhabitants
of Jerusalem are going to “go out of the city” as captives (cf. 2:13 which uses
the verb rendered here as “go out” [ἐξέρχομαι] to describe them coming out of
Babylon); then they will “dwell in the plain” (mur, 383, suggests this verb [κατα-
σκηνόω] means “to dwell, not in a house, but not specifically in encampment
or tent”); and finally they “will come as far as Babylon,” arriving there as exiles
and remaining there until the Lord brings them out (2:13). Yet it is only after the
people are led captive into diabolical Babylon (“from there”), the stronghold
of paganism, that the Lord rescues them. Thus, this passage is referring to a
portion of the nation that will go into exile in Babylon and be delivered from
there; they are a remnant of the people and endured the birth pangs involved
with Israel’s new birth (see 5:3). To deliver them from “the hand” of the ene-
mies is to deliver them from their “power and strength” (mur, 731). The lxx is
clearer than the Hebrew that it is the Lord who saves them from Babylon, and
it adds “your God” to the Lord’s name, emphasizing the covenant relationship
he has with Israel. See the text note on 4:10 concerning the apparent occur-
rence of homoioteleuton in B resulting in a shorter text. The Lord delivers his
people to death in Babylon, and subsequently it is from there that he rescues
and saves a remnant of them (see also Hos 6:1–2; 13:14); the Lord only promises
to redeem Israel and give her new life after she dies. The concluding promise
of deliverance in 4:10 is greater than the affliction that will precede it. Thus,
daughter Sion must prepare to suffer and must realize the purpose of that suf-
The words καὶ νῦν at the beginning of 4:11 are best understood to function
as they did in 4:9, marking “a new phase or turn in discourse” (mur, 478).
Some of the parallels in form between the prophecy in 4:9–10 and the one in
4:11–13 were discussed above to introduce 4:9. Although these two prophecies
are similar in form, they differ in content. In 4:9–10 it was prophesied that
the people of Jerusalem (“daughter Sion”) would be taken captive to Babylon
and that the Lord would save them out of Babylon. In 4:11–13 the prophet
pictures many nations gathered against the city of Jerusalem (“daughter Sion”)
to sack and pillage the city (4:11). However, verses 12–13 reveal that the Lord
has gathered these nations so that his people may defeat them and devote the
wealth of the nations to the Lord. Whereas rhetorical questions are employed
to communicate the distressing situation in 4:9, in 4:11 the prophet conveys the
threat of the assembled nations by reporting their words.
δ. 4:1–5:15 105

The first verb in 4:11, ἐπισυνάγω, is aorist passive in form, and the reference
at the end of the verse to the Lord gathering the nations clarifies the agent who
does the gathering together. (On the rendering of this verb see mur, 283; leh,
175; and bdag, 382). The same form of the verb συνάγω is employed in Ps 2:2
to describe the kings of the earth gathered together against the Lord; there are
several parallels between Ps 2 and this passage. The speech of the nations that
is reported indicates they will “rejoice,” which here is apparently malicious joy
in the sense of exalting over (mur, 287; lsj, 672); they will also “look upon
Sion.” The verb ἐφοράω has the basic idea “behold, watch,” and it is used for
surveying the whole of something from a higher position (Job 28:24). It is also
used in contexts of looking upon something favorably (Gen 4:4), overseeing
(Zech 9:1), and looking upon with gloating, as here (mur, 309); this same sense
is found in Obad 12 and 13 where the Edomites look upon Jacob as he is taken
into captivity and in Mic 7:10 where it seems the situation is reversed and the
people of God look upon their adversary. The prepositional prefix on the verb
and its use to describe looking at something from a higher position suggest the
sense of looking down upon or despising. Thus, the nations gathered against
Jerusalem speak their own condemnation. They plan to defile the holy city and
to exult over it and its God. The historical situation the prophet has in mind
here is difficult to determine; it could be the invasion of Sennacherib in 701,
since Isaiah seems to refer to many nations connected with that invasion (Isa
8:9; 17:12–14). Or it could involve the events of 587b.c.e. when several different
nations were involved in the attack on Jerusalem (4 Kgdms 24:2; 25:1–4) and the
Edomites looked down upon and gloated over the people of Jerusalem (Obad
12, 13; Lam 1:7; Ezek 35:12–15). Or it is possible, and perhaps most likely in the
lxx, that it would be understood to refer to a final attack on Jerusalem in the
last days (Ezek 38–39; Joel 3). What is clear is that in 4:11 the nations come to
Jerusalem for a different reason than they do in 4:1–4.
The particle δέ in B at the beginning of 4:12 marks logical development in
the discourse, as is its main function (Fresch, 1–11, 25); but there is clearly a
contrast between the content of verses 11 and 12–13, and δέ is often employed in
such contrastive contexts (see text notes on this; καί seems awkward here, as in
the nets rendering “they too”). The contrast here is between the designs of the
nations in 4:11 and the plan of the Lord in 4:12–13. The distressing situation of
Sion, besieged by the nations in 4:11, is shown in 4:12–13 to be a part of the Lord’s
plan to deliver Sion and to obliterate the nations. A similar contrast between
the plans of the wicked and the plans of the Lord is found in 2:1–3. The form
changes from a report of the words of the nations in 4:11 to a glimpse into the
mind of the Lord in 4:12. And then it changes to the prophet’s proclamation
of the words of the Lord in 4:13. The change of perspective from that of the
106 commentary

nations in 4:11 to that of the Lord in 4:12–13 reveals that the place of their
encampment around Jerusalem is actually a threshing floor where the nations
are going to be ground to chaff, and they have no idea what the Lord is going to
do. The “plan” (λογισμός) they did not know can refer to reasoning and thought
as well as the result of such deliberation, i.e., a conclusion or plan; here it
seems to be the latter emphasis, as also in Nah 1:11 (see leh, 284; mur, 434).
See the discussion of “counsel” (βουλή) at 4:9 where it refers to the plan of the
people of Jerusalem. “Of the Lord” in 4:12 is actually an accusative in B; this
awkward reading in B is not followed by any modern versions, which all have
the genitive. The accusative should apparently be taken as an accusative of
reference, which would have been understood like a genitive because of the
parallel clause following it: “they did not understand his counsel.” The verb
“understand” (συνίημι) also occurs in Ps 2:10 where the Lord commands the
kings to understand, or “be sensible” (nets); see another parallel with Ps 2 in
verse 11 (the verb συνάγω). The ὅτι in 4:12 introduces the content of the Lord’s
plan, not the reason for it; thus, it is rendered “that” (so also nets; Brenton
has “for”). The reason the nations are gathered against Jerusalem (4:11) is not
only because they decided to attack it, but also because the Lord planned and
decreed that they would do this. He gathered them to this point, and their plans
and clever schemes accomplish his sovereign will (Gen 50:20). What appears
to be a self-willed “gathering” of the nations actually originates in the will of
the Lord (Wolff, 141). He has called them to this assembly to thresh them like
sheaves of grain. The construction “sheaves at a threshing floor” (δράγματα
ἅλωνος) is not found elsewhere in the lxx; I understand the genitive to be a
genitive of place or space (see Wallace, 124), and thus I have rendered it “at a
threshing floor.” This seems to be the picture that the imagery in the passage is
communicating: the nations are gathered into one place to be annihilated as
sheaves are placed on a threshing floor to be threshed.
In 4:13 the scene is still the threshing floor, or battlefield, and the prophet
reports the Lord’s words to daughter Sion, which again designates the inhab-
itants of Jerusalem as in 4:10 (cf. 4:8 and 11 where the epithet refers to the
city). In an ironic twist the Lord will now reverse everything the nations had
planned; they came to destroy Sion, but instead they will be utterly destroyed.
The Lord gives two commands to the faithful residents of the city followed by
two promises and then two more commands in the future tense. The two com-
mands at the beginning of 4:13 call the citizens of Sion to action (“arise”) and tell
them what they are to do (“thresh them”). The commands are not exactly par-
allel in the sense that there is a logical progression in the two actions; daughter
Sion is to arise in order to thresh. Threshing symbolizes complete destruction
(Isa 41:15), and it is sometimes employed in Scripture as an image of a thor-
δ. 4:1–5:15 107

ough military defeat, as it is here (see also Jer 5:17; 28[mt 51]:33; 2 Kgs 13:7 mt).
At times threshing was done with a sledge with sharp runners or teeth on it
or other sharp instruments (Amos 1:3 mt), sometimes it was accomplished by
beating the produce with a stick (Isa 28:27–28), and at other times it was done
with oxen (Deut 25:4), whose hooves crushed and broke the stalks and sepa-
rated the kernels of grain from the husks. (See nidotte, 1:914–915 for a discus-
sion of threshing in the Bible.) In the zoomorphic image in 4:13 the faithful cit-
izens of Sion are portrayed as a threshing heifer that is commanded to “thresh”
the nations surrounding her. In their own strength the citizens of Sion are help-
less and impotent before the nations (4:10–11), but the Lord gives them the
two fold reason why they are to do this (introduced by ὅτι): he will make their
horns (pl. in lxx; sing. in Heb) iron and their hoofs brass (“I will make” [θήσο-
μαι 2x]), so they will be invincible. He will supernaturally empower and enable
them to utterly desolate the nations that are gathered against them. Horns are
a symbol of power (Deut 33:17; 1Kgdms 2:10; 2Kgdms 22:3; Jer 31[mt 48]:25;
Ps 74[mt 75]:11), and if they are made of iron they are especially strong and
powerful (Isa 48:4; Ps 2:9). The prophet Zedekiah employed horns of iron to
represent Israel’s domination of the Syrians (3Kgdms 22:11); thus horns can rep-
resent aggressive action, but they primarily represent the ability to defend, and
they are not as closely connected with the imagery of threshing as hoofs are.
Hoofs of bronze symbolize Sion’s ability to completely grind the nations to chaff
and dust. The word χαλκοῦς means made of copper, bronze, or brass (bdag,
1076; lsj, 1973–1974); bronze and brass are copper alloys. Thus, the image in the
first half of 4:13 is one of the nations spread out like sheaves on a threshing floor
with bronze hoofed heifers being driven over them. The nations are helpless to
do anything to defend themselves against the hoofs and horns of the heifers,
because the Lord defends his people and empowers them to defeat their ene-
mies (see also Isa 41:14–16 and Zech 12:6–9).
Grammatically the two future tense verbs at the end of 4:13 could be com-
mands or they could be results of Sion’s defeat of the nations. Daughter Sion
is apparently the subject of both verbs (both second person sing.). The second
verb “dedicate” (ἀνατίθημι) is often used in the active for dedicating something
to a divine being (mur, 46; Jdt 16:19; 2Macc 5:16; “set up a votive offering,” lsj,
123), and it makes sense as the Lord’s command to daughter Sion. But the mood
of the first verb is not as clear; it depends partially on its meaning. The first verb
(κατατήκω) is a lxx hapax, and its exact sense in this context is difficult; it has
the basic sense “melt, thaw away” (lsj, 916–917), and in this context leh (246)
suggests the sense “dissolve, exterminate, wear away, destroy” and mur (385)
suggests the idea “cause to vanish, liquidate.” lxx.e proposes it could refer back
to the melting of the mountains and valleys before the theophany of the Lord
108 commentary

in 1:4 where the simple form of the verb is employed (τήκω); this connection
would explain why the translator employed the hapax κατατήκω in 4:13. Fur-
thermore, because the word has the basic sense melt or dissolve and because it
is found in this description of daughter Sion’s supernatural decimation of her
enemies, it makes sense to understand it to have more than the simple meaning
“destroy.” Following mur, I have chosen the verb “liquidate” to render κατατήκω,
because it combines the ideas of melt and destroy; “dissolve” (leh and nets)
seems to be too passive. In keeping with the mood of the second verb (“dedi-
cate”) I understand the first verb (“liquidate”) also to be the Lord’s command
to Sion. It is an impossible command without the Lord’s help, but that is the
point of the passage. Thus, based on the use of the hapax κατατήκω in 4:13, it
is likely that the translator intended his readers to connect 4:13 with 1:4 and
to understand the events described in these passages to be eschatological and
Just as there is a logical sequence in the first two commands in 4:13 there
is also a logical sequence in the last two verbs; daughter Sion will “liquidate
many peoples” and then “dedicate” their wealth to the Lord. The objects to be
dedicated to the Lord in 4:13 are the “riches” (πλῆθος) and “wealth” (ἰσχύς) of
the many nations that are obliterated when Sion arises to thresh them. nets
renders πλῆθος as “multitude,” but the context seems to require something like
“riches” (so leh, 380). The context also requires a similar rendering for the
parallel object ἰσχύς, which can refer to “wealth, material possessions as an
indication of one’s strength” (see mur, 345; leh, 217; Hos 7:9; Zech 14:14); in
Zech 14:14 ἰσχύς and πλῆθος are also parallel in a context that refers to wealth
and possessions. As mentioned above, the verb “dedicate” can have the sense
to “set up a votive offering” (lsj, 123), which is appropriate in this context. The
victory is the Lord’s, not Israel’s, and the wealth of the nations belongs to him.
He is the “Lord of all the earth”; he is sovereign over all, and thus everything is at
his disposal (Zech 4:10), including all the “powers within history” (Zech 6:5) and
all “spheres of nature” (Ps 96[mt 97]:5; Wolff, 142). Mic 4:11–13 describes him
accomplishing his sovereign purposes through his people and through those
who oppose his people.
The division between chapters 4 and 5 is scrambled a bit in the different
versions of Mic. I have ended chapter 4 with verse 13, since the next verse begins
a new section (so also nets). In Vaticanus 4:13 ends a line and the next verse
starts a new one, but there is no mark in the text to indicate a new section.
Chapter 5 is a message of salvation that can be divided into three paragraphs.
The first paragraph of Mic 5 seems to extend into the first line of 5:5 (thus
5:1–5a); in this section the prophet tells of a ruler who will arise from Bethlehem
to shepherd the Lord’s people and through whom the Lord will bring peace to
δ. 4:1–5:15 109

the nation and the world. Mic 5:5b–9 describes the deliverance of Jacob from
his enemies, and 5:10–15 is a prophecy of a time when Jacob will be restored to
a state of fidelity to the Lord.
The particle νῦν has been used often in the preceding verses to move the
discussion along and to introduce new paragraphs, as it does here. (See the dis-
cussion above in 4:7, 9, 10, and 11.) Verse 1 describes the situation of “daughter,”
which is most naturally understood to be a shortened form of “daughter Sion,”
mentioned above in 4:8, 10, and 13. The first paragraph in chapter 5 begins with
a prophecy of a siege against Jerusalem; it does not explicitly mention a “siege,”
but the context and volume of related language leave no doubt that the verse is
referring to a siege (see the discussion below). I have rendered the first verb
(ἐμφράσσω) and the cognate dative (from φραγμός) as “will be hedged in by
denial of passage.” The verb is often employed in the lxx to refer to the plug-
ging up of wells and springs, but it can refer to stopping up a human mouth
(Ps 106:42; Job 5:16; Est 4:19) or to the stopping up of lions’ mouths (Dan 6:20
th). There is a close parallel to the usage of it here in Zech 14:5 (2x). The men-
tion of gates later in the verse in B suggests the shutting up of gates. The word
rendered “siege” in the second clause (συνοχή) only occurs five times in the lxx;
the basic sense of the word is a holding together, and it can refer to detention
or imprisonment (Caird, 148; lsj, 1724; bdag, 974). Sometimes it has the sense
“distress, affliction” (Job 30:3; Jud 2:3), but in this context it must refer to a “siege”
(so leh, 460 and mur, 659; see also Jer 52:5 for the same sense). This siege is
best understood to be a result of the nations gathering against Jerusalem (4:11),
and the third person singular subject refers to those nations (“he laid siege”);
the last clause of the verse picks up the plural again. The switch between sin-
gular and plural for the same referent, such as in “he laid siege” and “they will
smite,” is not unusual in prophecy. There is also a switch between the first per-
son, “us,” and the third person, “gates of Israel,” in the references to Israel, which
is the object in the last two clauses of 5:1.
Whereas in 4:10 Micah distinguished himself from the inhabitants of Jerusa-
lem, addressed as “daughter Sion,” here in 5:1 he identifies with them by his use
of the first person plural pronoun “us.” The word “gates” (πύλη) in B is appar-
ently the result of a scribe confusing this word with “tribe” (φυλή), which is the
reading preferred by Rahlfs and Ziegler (see text notes). The awkward phrase
that is the result, “smite the gates of Israel upon the cheek,” is at best an obscure
figure. However, it would have probably been understood to mean that the siege
of the nations described in this context would involve an attack on the gates
of the cities, especially Jerusalem. The mention of “cheek” or “jaw, jaw bone”
(σιαγών) suggests a vulnerable and susceptible spot. The situation of Jerusalem
in 5:1 is desperate, and she seems to have no hope. The nations are encamped
110 commentary

around her, blocking passage in and out and attacking her gates. It appears that
it is only a matter of time until she will be completely decimated by her ene-
mies. Israel’s future looks dismal.
But in 5:2 the focus changes from the great city, Jerusalem, to a small,
militarily insignificant village called Bethlehem that will be the unlikely source
of Israel’s deliverance. The deliverance that is described in verses 2–4 involves
the coming of a Davidic ruler (5:2) who issues from the remnant of Israel and
unites the nation (5:3) and who rules over Israel in power and is honored by all
the nations (5:4); according to 5:5 “this shall be peace.”
In the lxx the contrast between 5:1 and 5:2 is emphasized by the voca-
tive address “you, Bethlehem” introducing a new topic after the emphasis on
“daughter Sion” in the previous context (4:8, 10, 13); both cities are addressed
as “you,” “daughter Sion” in 4:8 and Bethlehem in 5:2. The καί at the begin-
ning of 5:2 “indicates contrast,” which is a common function of καί in the lxx
(mur, 353). Israel’s distress is focused on Jerusalem, but its future deliverance
will come from Bethlehem. While the nations think they can subdue Israel by
conquering “daughter Sion” (4:11), the Lord’s deliverance of Israel will come
out of Bethlehem. “House of Ephratha” is in apposition to “Bethlehem,” and
Ephratha refers to “a Judahite clan … which settled in and around Bethlehem,”
and thus “Bethlehem was a village locale within the greater expanse of the clan
Ephrathah” (abd, 2:557–558). In Ruth 1:2 Elimelech (Abimelech in the lxx) and
his family are described as “Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah.” (See the
identification of Bethlehem with Ephrathah in Gen 35:19; 48:7; Josh 15:59; and
Ruth 4:11; these verses suggest that at times the name of the clan was employed
to describe the district where the clan lived.) In B the nondeclinable noun
Ephratha does not have an article, but it seems to be genitive; many mss have
the genitive article. In the lxx ὀλιγοστός is the predicate of “Bethlehem, house
of Ephratha”; thus Bethlehem is “very small in number” among the thousands
of Ioudas (ὀλιγοστός always has this meaning in the lxx, mur, 492). In the lxx
ὀλιγοστός is often used to describe the situation of Jacob (Gen 34:30) or Israel
(Deut 7:7; 1Chron 16:19; Ps 104:12; Isa 41:14; 60:22; Sir 48:15) and thus to empha-
size the need for the Lord’s supernatural intervention to make them a nation
and later to make them great. In lxx Mic 5:2 Bethlehem’s insignificance is fur-
ther emphasized by its smallness in the midst of one of many tribes in a small,
insignificant nation. “Thousands” represents the large number of households in
Judah, which would include Jerusalem, and Bethlehem in Ephratha is one small
town in the midst of all those households. The genitive articular infinitive (τοῦ
εἶναι), which follows closely the Hebrew in this last clause, seems redundant
after the finite form εἶ, but such periphrastic constructions are not unusual in
the lxx (see 2Kgdms 10:11 and 2Chron 30:17 for examples of such periphrastic
δ. 4:1–5:15 111

constructions with genitive articular infinitives as well as the discussion in lsj,

488, under εἰμί, A. vi.; in Mic 5:2 the lxx adds the understood linking verb
[εἶ], which is implied in Hebrew). A genitive articular infinitive construction
commonly indicates purpose, as it could here, or lxx readers might have under-
stood the finite verb (εἶ) to signify the “naming or choosing” of Bethlehem to be
“very small in number” (i.e., “you are destined to be”). lsj (489) notes infinitives
frequently seem redundant after verbs of naming or choosing.
The subject of the second clause in 5:2 is an unidentified figure who will “go
forth” from little Bethlehem. This one is simply “he” at this point, and the rest
of the paragraph will fill in details about him. The verb “go forth” (ἐξέρχομαι)
also describes the actions of the “rod” that “shall come out of the root of Jesse”
in Isa 11:1 (cf. the similar idea in 2Kgdms 7:12: “who shall be from your belly”).
But more importantly in Mic this verb is used to describe Israel going forth
into exile (4:10) and the remnant going forth from Babylon at the end of the
exile (2:13). See the discussion at 5:3 on the connections between the nation
of Israel, the remnant within the nation, and chosen individuals in the nation.
The reading “out of which” in the second clause of 5:2 in B may have resulted
from a scribe mistaking the second person pronoun for a relative pronoun or
misunderstanding the second person pronoun when it was read to him; Rahlfs
and Ziegler favor the more explicit reference to Bethlehem, “out of you.” At
any rate it seems clear enough that the relative pronoun in B is referring to
Bethlehem. The words τοῦ εἶναι εἰς seem redundant, but again their sense would
be clear; the combination of the genitive articular infinitive τοῦ εἶναι and the
preposition εἰς emphasize the divine purpose for which this figure goes forth:
“to be ruler of Israel” (cf. 2Kgdms 7:8 where the infinitive construction τοῦ εἶναι
is combined with εἰς in a parallel context). “Of Israel,” the reading in B (see text
notes), is an objective genitive; this one will rule over Israel, and here, according
to 5:3, Israel refers to the whole nation (cf. 1:5 where it refers to the southern
kingdom). “For me” could be a dative of agency (see 5:4 where this Davidite
rules by God’s power), but the emphasis in this verse seems to be more that
this one will represent the Lord and do the work of the Lord, and thus I would
classify it as a dative of advantage (commodi); “he” will go forth in the interest
of or for the benefit of the Lord. (See 2Kgdms 7:13 where the Lord says David’s
descendant is to “build a house to me for my name.”) The one prophesied in Mic
5:2 will be like David in many ways. He comes from David’s roots and lineage;
he will arise from obscurity to rule; and he will rule on behalf of the Lord. Thus,
he is the one who will fulfill the promises the Lord made to David to raise up
David’s seed after him, to establish the kingdom of David’s descendant, and to
set up a house, or dynasty, for the Lord’s name (2 Kgdms 7:12–16). This ideal
son of David who fulfills the promises the Lord made to David is called the
112 commentary

Messiah. The Lord’s promises to David also speak of this ideal descendant of
David reigning forever (2Kgdms 7:13, 16), and there are hints in the last clause
of 5:2 that this mysterious Davidite could do that.
The last clause of 5:2 places the origins of the Davidic figure prophesied in
the verse at “the beginning” and “from the days of old.” “Goings forth” (ἔξοδος)
probably refers to his “origins” or “source” (mur, 253), and the phrase “from the
beginning” (ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς), which describes the time of this one’s origins describes
the origins of the Lord God in Hab 1:12 (Οὐχὶ σὺ ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς, Κύριε ὁ θεός, ὁ ἅγιός
μου;); Wis 14:13 uses this phrase to contrast idols to God, since they were not
“from the beginning” (ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς) as he was. Thus, ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς in Mic 5:2 suggests
the idea “from the very beginning” (mur, 94; Sir 24:9), the time referred to in
Gen 1:1 by “in the beginning” (ἐν ἀρχῇ). However, in 2 Esd 22:46 (Neh 12:46)
it refers to the times of David. The parallel description of the time of the
“goings forth” of this Davidite as being “from the days of old” (ἐξ ἡμερῶν αἰῶνος)
indicates it was in the “remote past” (mur, 19; however, note the similar phrase
in Sir 1:2 and 18:10 where it seems to refer to eternity). The phrase without
articles, as in Mic 5:2 (ἡμερῶν αἰῶνος), often refers to previous generations (Deut
32:7 where it is parallel to ἔτη γενεῶν γενεαῖς) or remote history (2 Esd [Ezra]
4:15, 19). When the phrase “days of old” has articles, as in Mic 7:14 (αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ
αἰῶνος); Sir 50:23; Amos 9:11; Mal 3:4, and Isa 63:9, the phrase refers to earlier
or remote history. Thus, it appears that in the lxx when αἰών modifies a noun
of definite time, like days, years, generations, referring to past time, it follows
a pattern that is also found in the parallel Hebrew construction of referring to
remote history (see Waltke, 277 and mur, 19). The parallel with Mic 7:14 and the
close connection with Amos 9:11, which is another Davidic promise to restore
the house of David as in its previous history, are further indicators that in Mic
5:2 “days of old” refers to the times of David. Just as, according to Amos 9:11, the
hut of David will be restored as in days of old, so in Mic 5:2 the goings forth of the
Davidite described here have been from those days of old, or from the times of
David. This one will be David redivivus who will complete what was begun with
David, rebuilding and restoring David’s house. Because this second temporal
phrase refers to the time of David the parallel phrase, “from the beginning” (ἀπ᾽
ἀρχῆς), most naturally also refers to that same time, as it does in 2 Esd 22:46.
The “goings forth” of this descendant of David began with David, and thus he
continues and fulfills the destiny of David.
According to Matt 2:6 the chief priests and scribes used Mic 5:2 to answer
Herod’s question concerning where the Christ was to be born. Thus, they
understood the passage to refer to the Messiah. Their answer, as recorded in
Matt, is an interpretive rendering of Mic 5:2 in which Bethlehem is “by no
means least among the rulers of Judah.” Thus, in Matt the quintessence of the
δ. 4:1–5:15 113

verse is emphasized with different wording: Bethlehem has great importance.

The reference to a “ruler” (ἡγούμενος) in Matt is also found in the lxx mss
Alexandrinus, but probably Matt influenced Alexandrinus. The quotation in
Matt weaves together ideas from 2Kgdms 5:2 and 7:8 with Mic 5:2, and the
reference to a “ruler” in Matt as well as the latter part of Matt 2:6, “who will
shepherd my people Israel,” come from the verses in 2 Kgdms. In 2 Kgdms 5:2
the leaders of Israel come to David at Hebron to anoint him king and recount
to him the words of the Lord, “you shall shepherd my people Israel, and you
shall be a leader to my people Israel.” 2Kgdms 7:8 contains words from the Lord
to David through Nathan, introducing the Davidic covenant, “you shall be a
leader over my people, over Israel.” It is also interesting that Matt 2:6 does not
refer to the fact that the goings forth of this Davidite are from “the beginning,
from the days of old.” The point of the quotation in Matt is to show that the
Messiah is to come from Bethlehem, but by weaving in phrases from 2 Kgdms
5:2 and 7:8 the Matt passage connects Jesus with the Davidic covenant, thus
emphasizing that, in contrast to Herod’s authority, the Messiah’s authority is
based on an eternal covenant with God. In that way the phrases from 2 Kgdms
5:2 and 7:8 also bring out the point made in Mic 5:2 that this one will fulfill the
promises made to David. The reference to shepherding Israel in Matt 2:6, which
comes from 2Kgdms 5:2, also presents a sharp contrast between the rule of the
promised Messiah and Herod’s rule.
The promise that one shall go forth from the house of Ephratha in Mic 5:2 is
followed in 5:3 by another somewhat indefinite prophesy that an unidentified
“he” will give “them” over until an unidentified “she” gives birth. “Therefore”
(διὰ τοῦτο) in Mic 5:3 marks the logical deduction or conclusion to be drawn
from the promise of a coming Davidic deliverer in 5:2 (see also διὰ τοῦτο in
3:12). God has given Israel over until the deliverer comes. The “he” or impersonal
“one” who is the subject of δίδωμι and thus gives them over must be the Lord;
Israel, the remnant, and the Davidite of 5:2 are all part of the discussion later
in the verse, and thus the Lord is the only other possible choice to be the
“he.” To “give” (δίδωμι) here could have the idea to appoint them “to wait”
(Brenton) or to “give them up” (nets). The two senses are similar, but the
latter, which is also the sense of δίδωμι in Joel 2:17, 19, and Mal 3:9, has the
best lexical and contextual support (4:8–10). The Lord has given Israel over to
judgment “until the time she who is giving birth will give birth.” The twofold
use of the verb τίκτω in this verse hearkens the reader back to its twofold use in
4:9–10, and it is likely that the three times this verb is used as a substantival
participal in this context (4:9, 10, and its first occurrence in 5:3) it has the
same referent, “daughter Sion,” or more precisely, as Renaud (247) calls it “the
community of the covenant.” Mic 5:1–3 is part of a tradition in Scripture that
114 commentary

associates the “woman” with the work of salvation, and that develops from the
announcement of the victory of the male descendent of the woman in Gen
3:15, who will defeat the seed of the Serpent. (The pronouns referring to the
seed of the woman in Gen 3:15 are masculine in Hebrew and the lxx, thus
referring to a male child. Renaud, 247–249, has a helpful discussion of this
tradition in light of his views concerning the redaction of the Hebrew text
of Mic 5.) In this tradition the woman brings forth a male child (in the lxx
the main verb is τίκτω) who continues the program or people of God. The
tradition begins in Gen 3:16 where the woman is described as one who “will
bring forth children” (τέξῃ τέκνα) in pain. This theme, or tradition, obviously
recurs throughout the history of Israel, but it is emphasized by the repeated
mention of women who are barren and are only able to bear children by what is
apparently supernatural means or divine intervention in their circumstances,
and they bring forth a son who continues the line of promise or is important in
God’s program of salvation (Gen 21:2–3; 25:21–26; Ruth 4:13; Isa 7:14; see also
1Kgdms 1:20). The theme is also emphasized by references to barren Israel,
or Sion, who is enabled by the Lord to bear children (Isa 54;1, 4–8; 66:7–9).
As mentioned above, the connection with 4:9–10 requires that in lxx Mic
5:2–3 it is the covenant community, the remnant, that is the woman who
brings forth a son in pain, and the implied child, which the remnant of the
nation bears, is most likely, in the development of the thought from 5:2, the
lxx.e (2374) comments that because of the shift of the time of the birth in
lxx Mic 5:3 to the future (τέξεται as in Isa 7:14) from the past in the Hebrew, the
lxx is interpreting Mic 5:3 in light of Isa 7:14. It is possible the lxx translator
or reader would have understood Mic 5:3 in light of Isa 7:14, but the difference
of meaning between the lxx and the Hebrew of Mic 5:3 that lxx.e sees in the
different understandings of the time is not required to make that connection
(lxx.e, 2374; Waltke, 279). What does seem clear in the lxx is that “the rest of
their brothers shall return to the sons of Israel” only after the new ruler from
Bethlehem is born (i.e., only after τικτούσης τέξεται; so also lxx.e).
The concept of a woman bearing a son through whom God will defeat his
enemies and establish his rule goes far beyond Isa 7:14 and Mic 4–5, and it
is possible that readers of the lxx, especially Christian readers who read it
from B, would have read Mic 5:2–3 with a much broader understanding of the
woman designated by the Lord to bear a son to rule for the Lord. Sometimes in
Scripture this woman is a group, like Israel or the remnant (Mic 4:9–13), and
sometimes she is a woman within Israel (Isa 7:14 and Matt 1:21–23). But the
tradition continues the story of Eve and her seed, who are in conflict with the
Serpent and his seed. Israel and the faithful remnant within Israel that brings
δ. 4:1–5:15 115

forth the Messiah are integral to this story of redemption that begins with Eve
and continues through biblical history.
The nt seems to connect with Christ these various promises from the Jewish
Scriptures of a woman who will bear a son. Paul refers to believers in Christ as
the abundant seed of barren and widowed Jerusalem and “children of promise”
(Gal 4:27 quoting Isa 54:1). More importantly the nt authors understand Mary
to be the fulfillment of the prophesied “virgin” (“young woman” in Heb) who
will bring forth a son in Isa 7:14; she is in one sense the “second Eve” through
whom God fulfills the promises of Gen 3:15–16. This becomes clear when one
traces the 17 times τίκτω occurs in the nt (a small number in light of its meaning
and its number of occurrences in the lxx). In the birth narratives in Matt and
Luke it refers to the birth of Christ in connection with Davidic promises in Matt
1:21, 23, 25; 2:2; Luke 1:31–32; 2:6–7, 11. The verses in Matt 1 refer especially to the
fulfillment of Isa 7:14. Also important are the references to “the child and his
mother,” which are almost redundant in Matt 2 (Matt 2:10, 13, 14, 20, 21; see also
Luke 2:16). There is another cluster of occurrences of τίκτω near the end of the
nt in Rev 12:2, 4, 5 and 13 where the author uses the symbolism of a woman who
bears a male child who will rule the nations with a rod of iron (in fulfillment of
the Davidic promise in Ps 2:9) to refer to the coming of Christ. The male child in
Rev 12 clearly fulfills the promises in Gen 3:15 concerning the seed of the woman
who will defeat the Serpent (see the reference to the “seed” of the woman in
Rev 12:13). The remainder of the book of Revelation describes the outcome of
the conflict between the seed of the woman and the Serpent and his seed. Thus,
there is evidence in the lxx (and mt) that Israel, the believing remnant, and
certain women within Israel were chosen to be special instruments through
whom God continued the seed of Eve, through which the deliverer promised
in Gen 3 was to come.
nt authors understand the coming of Christ to be the fulfillment of the
promise in the Jewish Scriptures of a woman who will bear a son to establish
God’s rule. lxx Mic 5:3 is part of this tradition. In this passage the woman
who “gives birth” is most likely the remnant (4:7), who come out of Babylon
(4:8) and who were described by the same type of language in 4:10. In the
context of 5:2 and 4, both of which verses describe an individual who will lead
the nation, what the exiles bring forth in 5:3 is this leader of the nation, who
emerges from the returning exiles. The last clause of 5:3 adds, “And the rest of
their brothers shall return to the sons of Israel.” The phrase “the rest of their
brothers,” especially the pronoun “their,” validates the understanding of “she
that is giving birth” as the returning exiles, or remnant of the people; it must
be a group. The rest of the nation will return to them after the emergence of
the Davidic ruler described in 5:2. “The rest” (οἱ ἐπίλοιποι) here does not refer
116 commentary

to “others belonging to the same group,” who have not been mentioned, but
rather to those “surviving” or “left remaining” (mur, 276). The word used here
for “rest” is not one of the words normally used for the “remnant” in Mic (see 4:7;
5:7–8; 7:18), but in this context “the rest of their brothers” are apparently those
surviving who are still in exile and will now “return to the sons of Israel.” The
complete group when they are united would be the “remnant.” Thus, the nation
will be given over to be judged (4:9–10), and from that judgment a group will be
rescued, which will bring forth a ruler. And when that ruler (5:2 and 4) comes
to the forefront the survivors of the nation in exile, or those dispersed among
the nations, will return to the sons of Israel. “Return” here means to “reverse
the direction of movement and return to the point of origin” (mur, 282). Mic
4:1–7 suggests a geographical return is in view here; however, 5:7–8 indicates
that such is not the case for the entire remnant. What is more basic in this
“return to the sons of Israel” (5:3) is a return to fidelity to the Lord (5:4). This
seems to parallel the time foreseen by Jeremiah when Israel and Judah would
enter into a new covenant with the Lord and all the nation would know the
Lord (Jer 38[mt 31]:31–34). Thus, “sons of Israel” designates the people of Israel
as members of a community, which is defined here not only in ethnic or racial
terms, but also in religious terms (see mur, 694).
In B Mic 5:4 begins with a threefold description of the actions of the Lord.
In B (and Swete) the Lord is the subject of the sentence, while in the modern
editions of Rahlfs and Ziegler Lord is a genitive modifying “strength” (see text
notes). mur (343) suggests the sense of the intransitive future middle form of
“stand” (ἵστημι) here is “to stand firm,” which fits well with the description of
his strength that follows; the verb also has a connotation of standing up in
the presence of his people, i.e., appearing or making himself known (bdag,
482). The second and third verbs are a double translation of one Hebrew verb;
here it appears the translator did not want to make a choice between the
Hebrew verbs “to see” and “to shepherd,” which differ only slightly in the middle
radical (lxx.e, 2374). The imagery in the lxx is that of a shepherd who from a
standing position has oversight of his flock and thus tends for them. The third
verb (ποιμαίνω) could be rendered “feed,” but in 5:6 it has the more general
sense of “shepherd” or “tend,” and thus it likely has the same sense here in 5:4;
furthermore since the Lord does this “in strength,” it more likely refers to his
overall care of his people than only to his feeding them. The Lord’s oversight
of his people has the connotation of devoted care or nurturing (see mur, 571).
“His flock,” which refers to Israel, is an addition in the lxx; Waltke (283) calls it
a “periphrastic expansion.” The imagery of a shepherd calls to mind the life and
rule of David (1Kgdms 16:11–12, 19; 17:34–36; 2Kgdms 5:2; 7:7; also Matt 2:6), but
more than that in this passage the imagery of a shepherd calls to mind the dual
δ. 4:1–5:15 117

rule of the Lord and David over Israel as two shepherds, which is prophesied
in Ezek 34:11–31. Their dual rule will replace the selfish rule of Israel’s leaders,
described in Ezek 34:1–10. Thus, in the first sentence of 5:4 in B the Lord himself
is the one who shepherds the nation, but it also seems that the Davidite in 5:2
that is prophesied to come out of Bethlehem to rule Israel should be understood
to rule with the Lord.
The second clause of 5:4 explains the state of the people. When the Lord
assumes a position of leadership over his people, as described in the first
clause, the people will experience “the glory of the name of the Lord their
God.” mur (696) understands ὑπάρχω to be “a mere copula in an equational
sentence” that should be rendered “will be,” and nets renders it “will exist,”
a sense this verb has in some contexts (mur, 695–696; see Mic 7:1, 2). I have
rendered it “will live,” which seems more natural than either of these other
renderings. The preposition ἐν is most naturally understood to be spatial, giving
the sphere in which they will live. “Glory” must refer to the “status of honor and
distinction” (mur, 175) that is theirs because of their relationship to the Lord.
The “name” of the Lord represents his person (see 4:5). Thus, the people will
experience a status of honor or distinction because of their renewed covenant
relationship with the Lord their God; it is because the Lord is their God that
they have this elevated status. The last clause in 5:4 gives the reason why Israel
will experience this elevated status in their relationship with the Lord. It is
because (“for” διότι) the Lord will be “magnified to the ends of the earth”; it is
not because of anything the people have done. The adverb νῦν “emphasizes the
contemporaneity” (mur, 478) of the Lord’s magnification and Israel’s existence
in a state of honor and distinction as his people. The verb μεγαλύνω can have the
idea of enlarging or making great when referring to weight on a balance (Amos
8:5), tassels on a garment (Matt 23:5), or even a name (Gen 12:2). It can also
have the sense declare or consider great (Mic 1:10), as it does here in the passive
(mur, 445; see also lsj, 1088, which mentions the meanings “exalt, extol”). The
Lord’s name will be exalted to the “farthest parts” (ἄκρον; lsj, 54) of the earth.
Thus he will rule over all the earth and he will be worshipped by all the nations.
And since the Lord is Israel’s God, they will also enjoy universal honor and
distinction by virtue of their relationship to him (see 4:1–4).
The first sentence of 5:5, “And this shall be peace,” is a fitting conclusion to
the prophecies concerning Israel and the nations in 5:1–4. Brenton understood
αὕτη to refer to Israel (“she”), but in order to make sense of that interpretation
he had to render the verb (εἰμί) as “will have,” thus, “she will have peace.” The
feminine demonstrative pronoun, “this,” is most naturally understood here to
refer to something just mentioned (leh, 343); here it is the rule of the Lord
over Israel and the nations. This rule will apparently be administered through
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the Davidite who will go forth from Bethlehem to rule Israel (5:2). When he
goes forth the nation will be united (5:3), and the Lord’s name and rule will
be magnified to the ends of the earth, apparently through this Davidic ruler,
who must be the Messiah. When these prophecies are fulfilled, it will be peace.
“Peace” (εἰρήνη) here signifies primarily the lack of war and a harmonious state
(so 2:8 and 3:5; mur, 195), but in the larger context, which describes the age
of salvation, it also must connote a general well being and blessing that comes
from the presence of the Lord. See the discussion of εἰρήνη in the lxx in tdnt,
2:406–408. Wolff (149) notes that Paul may be alluding to the first sentence in
Mic 5:5 (and to Isa 9) when he writes concerning Christ, “He is our peace” in
Eph 2:14. If so, Paul identifies the extension of the dominion of the Davidite
from Bethlehem to the ends of the earth and the resulting peace, described in
Mic 5, with the peace that Christ establishes between the Jews and the nations.
The second sentence in 5:5 is the beginning of the second paragraph in
chapter five, 5:5b–9, which prophesies of Israel’s future deliverance from its
enemies, especially Assyria and Babylon, and the blessing Israel will be to all
the nations. The first sentence of this paragraph (second sentence of 5:5) is very
similar to the last sentence in 5:6 and forms an inclusio around those two verses.
Thus, 5:5b–6 forms one section within the larger paragraph of 5:5b–9, and 5:7–9
is another section. The passive voice of the verb (“shall be raised up”) indicates
that we are hearing the voice of the prophet continuing in the second sentence
in 5:5, rather than the voice of the Lord, describing what the Lord will do when
Assour comes against “your” land and country. Whereas, the prophet referred
to Israel in the third person in 5:4 (“they”), in 5:5 he refers to the nation in the
second person (second person plural 2× in B; see text notes). In the lxx the
noun Ασσουρ and the adjective Ἀσσύριος are both employed to refer to Assyria;
Mic uses both words. In 5:5 Ασσουρ is employed in B to describe the Assyrians
(see text note; Rahlfs has Ἀσσύριος); all the modern editions (and B) have the
adjective Ἀσσύριος in 7:12 and the noun Ασσουρ in 5:6 (2x). In Gen 10:22 and
1Chron 1:17 Assour refers to the descendant of Shem, who is the patronymic of
the Assyrians. More commonly in Scripture the noun is employed to refer to
the “land, people, and king of Assyria” (abd, 1:500); in Mic 5:5 and 6 the noun is
best understood to refer to the Assyrians, as the adjective does in 7:12.
The time in view in the prophecies of salvation and deliverance in Mic 4–5
is future to the time of the prophet (4:1, 7), and the deliverance prophesied
follows the exile of Israel in Babylon (4:8, 10). Why then does the prophet speak
of Israel’s future enemy as Assour, or the Assyrians? Micah does this because it
is the normal practice of the prophets to represent the new by using features
of the old. Waltke (287; see also 192–193, 305) comments that “Micah projects
Israel’s archenemy of his own time (see 1:1) into the future Messianic Age in
δ. 4:1–5:15 119

accord with the principle that prophets represent the future under the imagery
and traits of their own historical situation.” The readers of Vaticanus could
look back and recognize the fulfillment of the promises of return from exile
in Babylon (4:8, 10), but they would expect the prophecies concerning a future
Assour or Nebrod (5:5–6) to be fulfilled by world powers of their own times or
future times. It is not unusual in Scripture for nations north of Israel to be called
“Assyria” or “the Assyrians” after the time of the Assyrian empire, even into the
Babylonian and Persian periods (Wolff, 147; see Mic 7:12).
The second sentence in 5:5 is in the form of a conditional sentence. The
compound protasis construction is introduced by the repetition of the tem-
poral particle ὅταν in each part of the compound sentence (see bdag, 730, and
mur, 510, on ὅταν as a protasis). The apodasis is introduced by καί, a common
function of καί in the lxx (mur, 354), and the passive verb in the apodosis
has compound subjects, which are also connected by καί. The repetition in
the sentence serves to emphasize its message: when the Assyrians attack the
land of Israel, the Lord will raise up a defense for the land. The verbs ἐπέρχομαι
(rendered “come against” with the sense of attack; see 5:6 and mur, 262) and
ἐπιβαίνω (rendered “assail”; see 1:3 and mur, 268) describe the coming of the
Assyrians against the land. The noun I have rendered “country” (χώρα) is a mis-
reading of a word that the lxx translators did not know (‫ארמון‬, which means
palace or fortress; see the discussion in Glenny, 78–79); they render its 32 occur-
rences in the lxx with 10 different words, often based on the context of the
passage, as here where the lxx rendering (χώρα) matches well with the parallel
noun γῆ. While the Hebrew has the first person plural pronoun “our” modifying
land and palaces, the lxx employs the second person plural, “your,” so that the
prophet speaks to the nation and does not include himself in it. (The same pat-
tern is found with the pronouns in the similar clauses at the end of 5:6.) “Shall be
raised up” is a divine passive describing what the Lord will do. The “seven shep-
herds” that will be raised up are apparently seven leaders who will deliver the
people from the Assyrians. As in 5:2, this verse speaks of the Lord accomplishing
his purposes through human leaders, which apparently should be understood
to be his modus operandi throughout this section. The number seven signifies
“sacredness and totality” in Scripture, and here the fact that there are seven
leaders points to the unity, cooperation, and initiative of the people of Israel
under the leadership of the Lord’s Messiah (Waltke, 290). It is difficult to deter-
mine how a reader of B would understand the “eight stings”; the noun “sting,
bite” (δῆγμα), which only occurs three times in the lxx (see also Wis 16:5, 9)
is a misreading of the Hebrew “prince” (reading ‫ נסיך‬as ‫ ;נשך‬see lxx.e, 2375).
Since the phrase is parallel to “seven shepherds” and is modified by the plu-
ral genitive “of people” (from ἄνθρωπος), the “eight stings” are most naturally
120 commentary

understood to represent eight people. The genitive “of people” is probably an

attributed genitive, resulting in the sense “human stings.” It is possible that the
genitive could be a genitive of content or source also, and the stings are a part
of the people or come out of the people. At any rate, the “stings” should prob-
ably be understood to represent human leaders who will attack or pursue the
Assyrians. The number eight, parallel with seven, suggests the numbers are not
to be taken literally, but indicate a full complement (seven) and more (eight)
of human leaders that the Lord will raise up from among the people to assist
the ruler who will go forth from Bethlehem (5:2) to lead Israel. That these two
descriptions of those raised up (“shepherds” and “stings”) are parallel and are
referring to people seems clear in 5:6.
The “shepherds” and human “stings” that will be raised up according to 5:5,
are the “they” in 5:6 who will “shepherd” the people of Assour and the land of
“Nebrod.” The Hebrew has the “land of” Assour, but the lxx omits the word
“land.” In the lxx the definite article with Assour could signify that Assour
refers to the people, king, or land of Assour; the parallel with the “land of
Nebrod” that follows suggests it refers to the latter. The verb “shepherd” in 5:6
with Assour and Nebrod as its objects, which describes the Lord’s rule of his
flock in 5:4, suggests that 5:6 describes the extension of the Lord’s rule to the
land of Assour and Nebrod. “Nebrod” is the name of Nimrod in the lxx (Gen
10:8–9; 1Chron 1:10); Nimrod was a descendant of Ham and a great hunter who
founded many cities in Mesopotamia, including Babylon, Nineveh, and Calah
(Gen 10:10–12). Renaud (252–253) discusses whether Nimrod in 5:6 should be
understood as another reference to Assyria or a reference to Babylon. He opts
for the later, because the two are clearly distinguished in Gen 10; furthermore
he thinks the mention of Babylon after Assyria may be meant to subordinate
it to Assyria. However, Nimrod is the founder of both Babylon and Nineveh in
Gen 10, and the fact that the lxx does not include “the land of” before Assour in
5:6a, which is found in the Hebrew, may be important here. In the lxx Assour
is the nation (as in 5:5 and 5:6b), which is probably metonymy for the people of
Assyria in 5:6. Nebrod is a land (τὴν γῆν τοῦ Νεβρώδ) probably referring to the
broader area of Mesopotamia, which was all controlled by the mighty hunter,
Nimrod (Gen 10:8–12; so Wolff, 147). “The land of Nebrod” is then metonymy for
all the people of Mesopotamia, and it broadens the reference but still includes
Assyria. The main emphasis, as one would expect in Mic, which in its original
form dates to the time of the Assyrian Empire (1:1), is on Assyria or “Assour” (see
5:5 preceding, 5:6b following, and 7:12 which is the adj.; see also the discussion
at 5:5). Thus, the shepherds the Lord will raise up will shepherd all the people of
Mesopotamia, including Baylonia and Assyria; the imagery here is much more
proactive and offensive than 5:5 where the shepherds were raised up to defend
δ. 4:1–5:15 121

the people. That they rule as shepherds is a contrast to Nebrod, who is “the
archetypal image of thoroughgoing rule by oppression” (Wolff, 147), a pattern
of rule that was followed by his descendants. The Lord’s rulers will shepherd
Assour “with a sword” (see the discussion of “sword” [ῥομφαία] in 4:3). lxx Ps 2:9
prophesies that the Messiah “shall shepherd them [the nations] with an iron
rod.” The picture of Israel’s relationship to the nations in 5:5–6 complements
that of 4:1–4 when the Lord “shall reprove mighty nations” and “they shall
cut in pieces their swords for plows and their spears for sickles, and nation
shall no longer lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn to make war
anymore.” The glorious international peace described in 4:1–4 will not come
without exercise of the Lord’s authority; the Lord will reign and rule over Israel’s
and his own enemies through his Messiah and his other appointed rulers, and
he will reign with a power and force that the enemies cannot challenge.
The word “trench” (τάφρος) in 5:6 is a lxx hapax, which is quite different
from the Hebrew text (“openings, entrances”) and is apparently the result of
the lxx translator’s transposition of two consonants in his Hebrew Vorlage (see
lxx.e, 2375). The phrase in which it is found, “with her trench,” modifies “the
land of Nebrod,” and I am taking the preposition ἐν in the sense of “equipped
with” (mur, 232), similar to its sense in its previous occurrence in the verse
(“with a sword”). The word “trench” (τάφρος; see lsj, 1761) occurs six times in
Philo, predominantly in the sense of an irrigation trench used for agriculture;
it is found 11 times in Josephus, always referring to a trench or ditch used for
defense or in a military situation, and it is used the same way to describe the
Scythians in Herodotus (A.J. 4.3). In the context of ruling the descendents of
Nimrod, and parallel to “with a sword,” the word should be understood here to
refer to a trench or ditch used in war or to provide defense. Thus, the shepherds
the Lord raises up will have the ability to rule over Mesopotamia with its
trenches or ditches, which perhaps were somehow linked with the rivers there.
The language here is reminiscent of Amos 9:7 with its derogatory description
of the Syrians as having come from a “pit” or “hole in the ground” (βόθρος), and
the choice of a fairly rare word which differs from the Vorlage could suggest the
translator also intended such an insult directed at the “land of Nebrod” in Mic
5:6. However, the use of τάφρος elsewhere and the military context of Mic 5:5–6
favor the idea of a moat or military trench here, and the possessive personal
pronoun “her” (αὐτῆς), modifying “trench,” does not fit well with a derogatory
idea here, as is found in Amos 9:7.
The subject of the last clause of 5:6 (the understood “he”) must be the
Lord, who is the true deliverer of his people. But again in this context his
deliverance does not preclude the fact that he works through the Messiah (5:2)
and other shepherds (5:5). In 4:10 the verb ῥύομαι describes the deliverance of
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the remnant from Babylon, and here it describes the nation’s deliverance from
the invader Assour. The vocabulary in the last part of the verse is very similar to
5:5 where the Lord raises up shepherds to oppose the invader, and it suggests
the same thing is being described (see the discussion there). Furthermore,
in both passages the lxx employs second plural pronouns (“your”), and the
Hebrew has first person plurals (“our”); see the discussion at 5:5. The second
sentence in 5:5 and the last one in 5:9 form an inclusio around the section
5:5b–9, with the first describing the work of the shepherds and the latter
describing the work of the Lord and thereby emphasizing the interrelationship
of the two. The main difference is the second object of Assour’s assault, “your
borders” in 5:6, rather than “your country,” which is found in 5:5. In the lxx the
plural word “borders” (sing. in Heb), which is parallel with the preceding “land,”
is synecdoche for the land or territory of Israel.
Mic 5:7–9 is a separate segment within the paragraph 5:5b–9. The words
καὶ ἔσται at the beginning of 5:7 and 8 indicate these verses contain another
prophecy about the last days, as they also do several other times in chapters
4–5 (4:1; 5:5, 10; see also 1:2 and 7:13). In this section the subject is again the
“remnant” (ὑπόλιμμα is 3x in Mic [4:7; 7:7, 8]; κατάλοιπος in the plural describes
the remnant in Mic 2:12 and 7:18; see the discussion at 4:7), and the remnant
is no longer “broken” and “cast away” (4:7). Instead in 5:7–9 the remnant is
pictured as a “lion” among the nations, and its very existence is a testimony
of the Lord’s greatness. In Mic “Iakob” refers to the northern kingdom (1:5);
Judah or the southern kingdom (2:7; 3:1, 8, 9); the patriarch Jacob (4:2); and
the whole nation (2:12). In 5:7 and 8 it has this latter referent, and “the remnant
of Iakob” refers to the remnant that the Lord raises up out of the whole nation
(partitive genitive). Whereas in 4:7–8 the remnant was pictured as the broken
and regathered remains of the nation with the Lord reigning over them from
Mount Sion, in 5:7–8 they are prosperous and powerful in the midst of the
nations and peoples; this position is emphasized by the repetition of the same
clause at the beginning of verses 7 and 8. The lxx adds “among the nations”
in verse 7, influenced perhaps by the presence of the phrase in verse 8 and
by desire for the same clarifying parallelism in verse 7 that the phrase “among
the nations” provides for “in the midst of many peoples” in verse 8. But even
more important for the Greek translator and his audience was the fact that
this Greek interpolation emphasizes “that this refers not only to the remnant
of the community in Jerusalem and Judah, but includes the entire diaspora,
as well” (Wolff, 155). Waltke (315) argues that in the Hebrew the remnant is
“conceptualized not as scattered in the Diaspora but as a restored nation in the
midst of the nation,” because of the references to the gathering of the nation
(4:6–7) the redemption from Babylon (4:10), and the unification of the nation
δ. 4:1–5:15 123

(5:3). However, early readers of the lxx, especially those in the Diaspora, would
be acutely aware that not all in exile had returned to the land, and they would
probably read 5:7–8 in light of that fact and the changes in the lxx in the first
sentence of 5:7 would support that understanding of the remnant in lxx Mic
The mention of “many peoples” (here ἐν μέσῳ λαῶν πολλῶν; see also 4:3 and
13 for the phrase “many peoples”) and “nations” (here ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν; see also
4:2, 3, 11 and 5:15 for references to “the nations”) connects 5:7–8 with another
important topic in chapters 4–5: the Lord’s (and Israel’s) relationship to the
nations in the last days. This relationship will be twofold. The Lord will bless
the nations through Israel (5:7 and 4:1–5), and he will also use Israel to judge the
nations and to rule over them (5:8 and 4:11, 13). There is some question about
where to place the verb “shall be” in English translations of 5:7 and 5:8. The
verb is the second word in the Greek translation of verses 7 and 8, and Brenton
places it near the beginning of 5:7 in English (“And the remnant of Jacob shall
be in the midst …”). nets places the verb later in the English sentence (“And
the remnant of Iakob among the nations in the midst … shall be like”), thus
clarifying what seems to be the point of the verse, not that Iakob will be among
the nations but what Iakob will be like among the nations. It was noted in 4:7
that the fact that the Lord reigns over the remnant nation from Mount Sion
does not require that all the people be in the vicinity of Mount Sion or even
in Israel. The description of the remnant among the nations and in the midst
of many peoples in 5:7 and 8 supports that understanding of 4:7; it also seems
to be saying more than the fact that Israel will have a central place among the
nations (as seems to be the case in 4:1–4).
The situation of the remnant among the other nations is described with
two similes in 5:7 and two more in 5:8. The first simile in 5:7 compares the
remnant to “dew falling from the Lord.” The participle “falling” is another lxx
addition, which clarifies what is understood in the Hebrew. The dew sustains
the summer crops in Israel, like grapes and melons, especially on the coastal
plain and the western slopes of the mountains. South of Gaza, where the
temperature drops rapidly at night, there can be as many as 250 nights of dew
per year (see Gen 27:28; Deut 33:28; 3Kgdms 17:1; Hag 1:10; Zech 8:12). Thus,
dew was a great blessing and a sign of the Lord’s favor (esp. Gen 27:28; Deut
33:28; and Wolff, 156), but in this context, especially with the lxx addition
(“falling”) and the other modifying phrase (“from the Lord”), the emphasis is
on the fact that dew comes from the Lord in heaven and man can do nothing
to manufacture or cause it (see also Job 38:28 and 2 Kgdms 17:12, a verse that
refers to the mysterious nature of dew). The point of the comparison is not the
benefit the nations will receive through the remnant (i.e., as a fulfillment of
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the promise to Abraham in Gen 12:3); the point is the wondrous origin of the
remnants future existence in the midst of the nations (Wolff, 156; Waltke, 307).
The comparison of the eschatological remnant to dew is meant to drive home
the point that “The existence of the eschatological Jacob will be wholly the
work of God, neither dependent upon nor vulnerable to mere human strength”
(Mays, 123).
There is also a second simile in 5:7 describing the remnant. They are like
“lambs on the grass.” This description differs from the Hebrew (“showers on the
grass”), which is parallel to the preceding simile. Instead the lxx comparison,
which may have been influenced by the “flocks” in 5:8, pictures the remnant
“feeding upon the nations” (Waltke, 308). lxx.e (2375) suggests the lxx read-
ing “lambs” may be an inner Greek corruption and ῥανίδες (“drops” from ῥανίς)
was read as ἄρνες (“lambs”). The lxx text emphasizes the Lord’s protection
of and provision for the remnant among the nations and peoples; when the
Lord stands up and shepherds his flock (5:4) they will be secure and will be
abundantly provided for (cf. Ps 23). The “grass” (ἄγρωστις) referred to in this
passage is “dog’s tooth grass” (lsj, 16; mur, 8), which is also called Bermuda
Grass or Bahama Grass and is found in Mediterranean woodlands, shrublands,
and deserts; the scientific name is Cynodon dactylon. It is possible the transla-
tor was influenced by the vocabulary of Deut 32:2 in his choice of this word (6x
in lxx).
The compound dependent clause at the end of 5:7 differs significantly from
the Hebrew. It appears that the translator was confused by the Hebrew verb I
‫“( קוה‬wait, hope”), which he understood to be the homonym meaning “gather”
(see halot, 1082; lxx.e, 2375) and rendered with συνάγω. In 4:12 this Greek
verb describes the Lord gathering the hostile nations together for their destruc-
tion, and that passage may also have influenced the translator; see also 4:11
where a compound form of the verb (ἐπισυνάγω) describes this assembly of the
nations from the perspective of their own initiative. After the translator missed
the Hebrew verb I ‫“( קוה‬wait, hope”) he tried to make sense out of the rest of
the verse, and the lxx rendering is the result. The purpose for the Lord raising
up Israel and protecting and providing for them in the manner described in
this verse is “so that” (ὅπως) no one is able to “assemble or resist”; the second
verb, “resist,” leaves no doubt that the assembly referred to here is in hostility
or opposition to the Lord and his rule through his people. “Sons of men” refers
to humans or mortals (mur, 694), and its employment in this context empha-
sizes the inability of mortals to resist the plans and counsel of the immortal
God (4:11–12). Thus, the purpose clause at the end of lxx Mic 5:7 indicates that
the Lord will establish the remnant among the nations and provide for them so
they may influence and rule the nations in such a way that the nations will not
δ. 4:1–5:15 125

be able to organize and rebel against the Lord and his rule over them, which, as
we have seen earlier in this passage, will be administered through his Messiah
and the remnant of his people Israel (5:2, 5, 6).
The first words of 5:8 are exactly the same as the first words of 5:7 (see
discussion there), and they function in the same way, introducing two similes
that describe the remnant of Jacob among the other nations and peoples.
However, instead of concluding with the purpose of the remnant’s existence
among the nations as in 5:7, 5:8 concludes with a development of the second
simile (as the Hebrew text does in 5:7). The first simile in 5:8 likens the remnant
to “a lion among the animals in the forest.” The animals in view (κτῆνος) could
be “livestock” or “domesticated animals in general,” the latter being the normal
understanding of the word. mur (416) first suggests it refers to “livestock” here,
but two paragraphs later he surprisingly suggests that it refers to “wild beasts”
in this verse. The parallel with sheep in the following simile could be used to
support the first understanding. The modifying prepositional phrase “in the
forest” (ἐν τῷ δρυμῷ) is not much help in sorting out what kind of animals are
referred to. The noun δρυμός can refer to a “thicket,” which can be a place where
sheep graze (as in Mic 7:14) or wild animals dwell (Hos 13:8), or it can refer to a
forest (Deut 19:5); see mur, 178. However, the more common sense of δρυμός in
the Minor Prophets (6x) is that of a thick forest (Zech 11:2), a thick growth (Mic
3:12), or a haunt for wild animals (Hos 13:8; Amos 3:4). Thus, even though its
use in Mic 7:14 allows that it could refer to a place where domesticated animals
dwell, that is probably not the sense the reader would take from Mic 5:8. This
verse is best understood to describe the lion as the king of all the wild beasts of
the forest (see Prov 30:30), and in this regard the lion is a picture of the restored
remnant of Israel which will reign unchallenged over the nations in the last
The second simile that describes the remnant in 5:8 is “a whelp among flocks
of sheep.” A “cub” or “whelp” (σκύμνος) could be the young of any wild animal,
but it is most often a lion in the lxx (leh, 431) and in Greek literature more
broadly (lsj, 1617), as it should probably be understood here where it is parallel
with a lion in the previous simile. (mur, 627, defines it as “young of predatory
animals.”) The remnant’s dominance over the nations will not only be like that
of a lion over the other beasts of the forest, but it will also be like that of a hungry
lion’s whelp in the midst of helpless sheep.
The last part of 5:8 gives a further description of the effect of “a whelp among
flocks of sheep.” It is “as” (ὃν τρόπον, indicating manner) when a young lion
passes through the flocks of sheep scattered in a pasture, chooses a helpless
lamb, and effortlessly “seizes” it (ἁρπάζω; see mur, 93; “snatch away” in nets)
and drags it away to devour it. The conditional idea, with ὅταν and three
126 commentary

subjunctive verbs, gives the sense that the young lion could do this whenever
he wanted. The actions of the “whelp” follow a logical sequence, and the aorist
participle, “after making a choice” (from διαστέλλω), which breaks the series of
subjunctive verbs, logically and grammatically is antecedent to the seizing of
the prey. The participle (from διαστέλλω) pictures the whelp not only choosing
its victim but also separating it from the rest of the flock before it attacks it
(see mur, 159, who suggests this is a “tactic used by a wild animal attacking a
flock of sheep”). The meaning of the participle (διαστέλλω) differs from the rare
Hebrew verb to which it corresponds (‫“ ;רמס‬trample, tread down”; 2× in mt);
it seems the translator guessed at the meaning of this rare word, based on the
The last sentence in 5:8 completes the picture of the lion whelp among
the flock of sheep. The reader might be thinking that surely the shepherd will
come and rescue the sheep from the lion, but the verse ends: “and there is no
one to deliver” (see the similar construction in Hos 5:14). Thus, the sheep are
completely vulnerable, and the young lion has absolute authority over them.
The verb ἐξαιρέω has the sense “deliver” in the middle voice (lsj, 581); mur,
244, glosses the middle voice of this verb as “to rescue from a state of danger,
distress or being under somebody else’s control” (cf. 7:3 where the middle voice
has the idea “to carry off for one’s own benefit”). In 5:8 this verb is in the form of
a substantival participle (ὁ ἐξαιρούμενος), and it could be rendered there is not
“a deliverer” (or “one delivering”); however, in combination with the negative
particle (μή) and the subjunctive of εἰμί, which must have the sense “exist, be
present, be on hand” (bdag, 282; mur, 193), the sense of the passage is that a
deliverer does not exist, i.e., there is no one “to deliver.” (nets and Brenton also
render the participle “to deliver.”)
Whereas the similes in 5:7 emphasized the heavenly origin and divine
empowering of the remnant, the two similes in 5:8 explain the effect the sin-
gle, insignificant remnant will have on the many powerful nations, ruling them
with overwhelming power. This passage is consistent with others that use the
imagery of a lion’s whelp (σκύμνος) to describe the strength of Israel (Gen 49:9;
Num 23:24; 24:9). The simile in verse 8 of a lion among the beasts, whether
wild or domesticated beasts, complements the simile of the dew from heaven
in verse 7, because both images picture the remnant as irresistible; both similes
depict something that is “beyond human control or resistance” (Hillers, 71).
Mic 5:9 summarizes the relationship of the remnant of Israel to the nations;
thus, the three singular second person pronouns in the verse refer to the
remnant. The two future passive verbs in the verse are divine passives, which
are promises of what the Lord is going to do for Israel and to Israel’s enemies.
The remnant’s “hand” (again sing.) is apparently a metaphor for their power or
δ. 4:1–5:15 127

authority (see mur, 730; bdag, 1082). mur comments thrice on the first phrase
in 5:9 and seems to be saying that the “hand” refers to the agent of action (he
cites the verse in the category “author of a deed,” p. 730), and he is clear that
he feels the passive verb (ὑψόω) refers to “raising of a hand to attack” (709);
in his discussion of θλίβω (p. 330), the verbal root of the participle “those who
oppress,” he suggests the first clause of 5:9 could possibly mean “you will gain
the upper hand.” Although raising a hand in Scripture can refer to gestures
signifying rebellion (3Kgdms 11:26–27; ἐπαίρω), prayer (Exod 17:11; ἐπαίρω), or
triumph (Isa 26:11 and Exod 14:8; ὑψηλός), the lxx does not normally use ὑψόω
for such actions; the normal meaning of the raising of a hand using ὑψόω in
the lxx is to lift it up in power or action (Pss 9:33; 88:14), usually against an
enemy in order to subdue them, which is the basic sense mur suggests for
Mic 5:9. The preposition (ἐπί with an acc. object) could have the sense “over,”
signifying “power, authority, or control of or over” (bdag, 365), or it could have
the sense “against,” signifying “hostile opposition” (bdag, 366; see 4:3). Here the
sense is more than “hostile opposition”; it is one of power over. Thus, the first
promise in 5:9 is that the Lord will give the remnant of Israel power to attack
and overpower her oppressors.
The second clause in 5:9 is parallel in form and in meaning to the first one.
“The oppressors” of the remnant are further defined as her “enemies,” and the
lifting up of the hand of the remnant over her oppressors is further described
as the complete annihilation of those oppressors. The verb ἐξολεθρεύω has the
sense “destroy utterly” (lsj, 597; Gen 17:14 is one of many verses where it is
used for someone being “cut off” from the nation of Israel); this verb occurs
in each of the next four verses of Mic (5:10–13). The adjective “all” shows the
complete victory the Lord will give the little remnant over all the nations that
dare oppress her.
Mic 5:10 is the beginning of a new paragraph (5:10–15) that concludes the
prophecies of salvation in chapters 4–5. While Mic 5:5b–9 contains a prophecy
of the Lord’s exaltation of the remnant of Israel over her enemies, in 5:10–15
the prophecy turns to the victory of the Lord over his own enemies within and
outside of Israel and adds the perspective that in the last days (“in that day,” 5:10)
Jacob will be restored to a state of fidelity to the Lord; then in 5:15 the focus
returns again to the defeat of the nations. The beginning of this paragraph is
marked by “And it shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord,” a statement
similar to the beginning of 4:1, and the command “Do hear a word” in 6:1 marks
the start of the next paragraph and the end of this one. This paragraph has
two parts. The enemies within Israel are the focus in 5:10–14, and the enemies
outside of Israel, the nations, are the objects of discussion in 5:15. The enemies
within the nation in 5:10–14 can be summarized under the categories of military
128 commentary

resources and fortresses (5:10–11), witchcraft (5:12), and idolatry (5:13–14). The
mention of “cities” at the end of 5:14 hearkens back to the fortresses and cities
mentioned in 5:11 as places trusted in for security and defense, and they were
apparently also the hubs of the sins described in verses 12–14. Interestingly, the
same word that was used to describe the defeat of Israel’s “enemies” at the end
of 5:9, ἐξολεθρεύω (“utterly destroy”), is used in 5:10–14 to describe the things
Israel trusts in and worships instead of the Lord. Thus, it is implied that Israel’s
“enemies” are not only the nations, but also the things other than the Lord in
which it has sought security and wellbeing.
There are several important introductory words in 5:10 at the beginning of
the new paragraph. “And it shall come to pass” (Καὶ ἔσται) is often employed to
introduce a prophetic statement (see also 4:1), and the phrase “in that day” (ἐν
τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) places the time of the fulfillment of this prophecy in the last days,
the days of the Messiah, a time that has been in focus throughout chapters
4–5. (The article in this last phrase [ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ] is anaphoric, referring back
to the “day” the remnant will be regathered [4:6] and the “last days” of 4:1,
which are the time in view throughout chapters 4–5; thus, the article functions
like a demonstrative pronoun, and it is rendered “that.”) “Says the Lord” (λέγει
Κύριος) indicates that the words in 5:10–15 come from the mouth of the Lord
and have his authority behind them. If the Lord is the speaker in 5:10–15 and
he is clearly referring to the nations in 5:15, then who is the person or group
the Lord addresses in 5:10–14 with 13 occurrences of the second person singular
pronoun “you” (12× a gen. of possession and 1× a dat.)? After the description
of the Lord’s restoration and blessing of the remnant of Israel in the previous
context it seems contradictory that they would be experiencing the judgment
in verses 10–14, but this is the only explanation that makes sense of the grammar
and flow of thought in the passage. The remnant is the subject in 5:7–9, and it is
referred to three times with a second person singular pronoun in 5:9; therefore,
the remnant is naturally understood to be the referent of the second person
singular pronouns in 5:10–14. If the “nations” were the referents of the pronouns
in 5:10–14 we would expect plural pronouns. Furthermore, the message of
5:10–14 fits well with the sins of apostate Israel, the sins the remnant would
need to be purified from when the Lord would restore them and use them in
the last days. Waltke (321) comments that understanding Israel to be in view
in 5:10–14 is “validated by the parallel prophecy in Isa 2:6–8, which accuses
Israel of placing its confidence in the very objects specified here.” Phrases like
“from among you” (5:10, 13, 14), “of your land” (5:11), and “from your hands” (5:12),
which show the sphere of the Lord’s cleansing judgment, also are consistent
with the fact that in 5:10–14 the Lord is addressing the sins of Israel. These
phrases emphasize the necessity of purging the remnant from the sins referred
δ. 4:1–5:15 129

to in 5:10–14. (See the discussion below of similar phrases in the Pentateuch

describing the removal of covenant breakers from the nation.) Thus, 5:10–14
gives a fuller picture of the restoration of the remnant of Israel in the last days.
Readers of the lxx would know that the sins referred to in 5:10–14 would
break Israel’s covenant with the Lord and are thus forbidden in the Law. The
king was not to multiply horses to increase military strength or depend on
treaties with other nations (Deut 17:16–17); instead he was to trust the Lord
and his word (Deut 17:18–20). Israel was not to depend on sorcery or divination
(Deut 18:10–12); they were to obey the word of the Lord that would come
through the prophets he would send (Deut 18:15–22). Nor was Israel to worship
and trust in idols or things they made with their own hands (Deut 4:14–20;
5:6–10; 12:3); they were to worship and obey the Lord their God (Deut 4:5–9,
40). The essence of sin is when humans substitute themselves for God or put
themselves in the place of God in their lives, and each of the things in 5:10–14
that the Lord will purge from Israel evidences that essence of sin. Furthermore,
the covenant can be summarized in the statement “I will be your God and you
will be my people,” and to renew the covenant Israel must let the Lord be their
God in every way. Israel had broken their covenant with the Lord by trusting in
themselves rather than trusting in the Lord, and if the remnant is to be restored
the Lord must be given his proper place again.
Mic 5:10–14 does not explain how the Lord will purge Israel from their sins,
but the context of this section is eschatological. It is possible that in “the last
days” the Lord will remove these sins by bringing the nation to the end of itself
in a desperate situation, so it will turn in faith to him for help and deliverance.
This is apparently what happened in 701 when Sennacherib attacked the nation
and Hezekiah led the nation in a time of revival and reformation (see 4 Kgdms
19:14–19; Isa 37:1–4; 2Chron 29–31; see the fuller discussion in Waltke, 334).
And perhaps something like this will happen again in the last days when the
remnant is restored.
The focus on the inner purging of the nation in 5:10–14 is connected with
5:9, the last verse of the previous paragraph, by the occurrence of the verb ἐξο-
λεθρεύω (“utterly destroy”) at the end of 5:9, describing the fate of the enemies
of the remnant, and its recurrence in the first clause of each of the first four
verses in the next section (5:10–13; the verb is 5x in Mic, all in 5:9–13). This verb is
employed in 5:10–13 to describe the destruction of the objects of Israel’s worship
that ruptured the nation’s covenant relationship with the Lord. This compound
verb, which is comparatively rare elsewhere in Greek literature in its simple
or in its compound forms, occurs over 200 times in the lxx, rendering 20 dif-
ferent Hebrew terms (although it is not the only word used to render those
20 terms). lsj (1216) glosses the simple form of the verb as “destroy,” and the
130 commentary

lxx lexicographers agree on the basic rendering “utterly destroy” (mur, 253;
leh, 161); tdnt (5:170) also suggests the meaning “extirpate,” and nets some-
times renders it “exterminate.” Thus, the sense of the word in the lxx is very
consistent across its over 200 occurrences, especially considering it renders 20
different words. “The word is often used in the lxx in statements which inti-
mate God’s will to root out men for their sins or to cast off the chosen people for
their disobedience” (see tdnt, 5:170–171). Thus, in Exod, Lev, and Num it is often
employed to describe the removal or excommunication of covenant breakers
from the nation for breaking the Law; in these contexts it is normally modified
by a phrase like “out of the midst of the people” (ἐκ μέσου τοῦ λαοῦ; Exod 31:14),
“out of the people” (ἐκ τοῦ λαοῦ; Lev 17:4, 9), or “out of the midst of the con-
gregation” (ἐκ μέσου τῆς συναγωγῆς; Num 19:20). This use of the verb is similar
to its employment in Mic 5:10–13 where the same modifying phrases are also
found (see above) to indicate a purging of the nation. In Deut the compound
verb often describes the destruction of the nations in Canaan or the destruc-
tion of Israel, as a judgment from the Lord for the nation’s disobedience. This
use of the verb is similar to its employment in Mic 5:9 and 15. One concept
found in the all the uses of ἐξολεθρεύω in Mic 5 is the idea of the removal of sin
or purification from sin; the sinful nations will be destroyed, and the sin will
be destroyed from the midst of the restored remnant of the Lord’s people. The
message in this section is salvific in the sense that the remnant’s enemies will
be destroyed (5:15), but more importantly in this passage the remnant will be
purified of those elements that pervert its covenant relationship with the Lord.
In all the uses of ἐξολεθρεύω in Mic 5:10–14 the Lord is the agent who is destroy-
ing, and his actions of destruction are emphasized by the repetition of this verb
as well as several synonyms, which are all in the first person singular with the
Lord as subject. The remnant is the apparent agent in 5:9 who utterly destroys
the nations only because the Lord has strengthened its “hand” to do so.
Wolff (152–153) notes two key characteristics of the Lord’s oracles in 5:10–14
that distinguish those verses from the descriptions of the Lord’s purification of
the nation in the Holiness Code in Lev 17–26. First, in Leviticus the Lord purifies
the nation by cutting off, or destroying, the sinners from the midst of the people,
but in Mic “not persons but things are handed over to destruction” (see also
Zech 9:10; Nah 1:14). Second, in Mic 5 the purpose of the destruction of the
objects of Israel’s false trust is given in a promise in 5:13b: “And you shall never
again worship the works of your hands.” As discussed above, the second person
pronouns throughout this section must refer to the remnant of Israel, and thus
“this series of destructive threats … proves in the end to be a special form of
the promise, which gives assurance that the purification of the community will
liberate it” (Wolff, 153).
δ. 4:1–5:15 131

In 5:10 the “horses” and “chariots” that the Lord will destroy to purify the
remnant of the nation are not objects of worship except in the sense that the
people depended upon them for their defense rather than relying on the Lord
alone. Deut 17:16 forbids the king from multiplying horses, and the prophets
addressed this sin elsewhere (Isa 2:7; 30:15–17; 31:1–3; [Hos 10:13, trusting in their
own power]; see also Zech 9:9–10). It is also noteworthy that in Mic 1:13 Lachish,
which was the strongest fortified city in Israel, is called the “the originator of
sin for the daughter of Zion”; from this it can be deduced that the secularism
expressed in dependence on military strength not only destroys faith in the
Lord, but it also leads to other sins. The second verb in 5:10 (ἀπόλλυμι) is
one of several different synonyms of the key word ἐξολεθρεύω, or expressions
synonymous to it, that the translator uses to render the second clauses in
verses 10–13, all of which verses have ἐξολεθρεύω in the first clause. There are
also synonyms to ἐξολεθρεύω in both clauses of 5:14. This variation of verbal
ideas in the second clauses in 5:10–13 and 5:14 is also found in the Hebrew.
After addressing in 5:10 the offensive weapons in which Israel had come
to trust, the Lord takes up their methods of defense in 5:11: their cities and
fortresses. The two objects of the Lord’s judgment in this verse are not mutually
exclusive in the sense that cities like Lachish were strongholds or fortresses, and
any walled city would offer its inhabitants some protection against attackers.
While the political was the main aspect of a city to the Greeks, in Jewish
thinking and in the lxx it is different (tdnt, 6:516–517; bdag, 844). In the
Jewish Scriptures “the importance of cities lay in the resistance they could offer
to aggressors because of their fortifications, in the protection they could give to
their inhabitants. The terrifying effect of the heaven-high walls of the Canaanite
cities on the nomadic tribes of Israel is plainly to be discerned” (tdnt, 6:523).
That cities were seen as places of protection in Israel is also seen in the book of
Proverbs (16:32; 21:22; 25:28; see also Sir 9:13) and in the warning to Israel in the
covenant curses of Deut 28 that it is useless to trust in the walls of their cities
when the Lord causes an enemy to attack the nation to judge it (Deut 28:52).
The prophecy of Mic 5:11 will be the fulfillment of this warning in Deut 28:52,
and “of your land” in Mic 5:11 must refer to Israel.
The second clause of 5:11 should be understood as parallel to the first one.
The verb ἐξαίρω when parallel to ἐξολεθρεύω with fortifications as its object
means something like “to remove, get rid of, efface, obliterate” (so mur, 244;
see also Amos 6:8). Here it describes the Lord’s judgment directed against
Israel’s “fortifications” or “strongholds” (so lsj, 1282, for ὀχύρωμα). These “mili-
tary installations” (bdag, 746) were often in or part of strategically located or
important cities, such as Tyre (Zech 9:3), Carthage (Isa 23:14), Hebron (1 Macc
5:65), Jericho, Emmaus, Bethhoron, and Bethel (1 Macc 9:50); the examples of
132 commentary

cities that were “fortifications” are numerous in 1 Macc. The Lord says that none
of these “fortifications” will be left; they will “all” be obliterated. Thus, the secu-
rity that the remnant of God’s people find in their military strength, both offen-
sive and defensive strength, will be removed, and they will be forced to trust in
the Lord.
The prophecy turns from the Lord’s purging Israel’s trust in their military
strength in 5:10–11 to his purging their trust in magic and the occult in 5:12.
These are things that provided religious security by divining the future and
manipulating nature and other people; such practices evidenced a lack of
trust in the sovereign Lord and a presupposition against the Lord’s “way of
communicating his will only through the law and the prophetic message that
comes by his initiative” (Mays, 126). The verb ἐξολεθρεύω in the first clause
of 5:12 in B (and Swete) follows the pattern in 5:10–13 of employing this verb
in the first clause of verses 10–13, but Ziegler and Rahlfs prefer ἐξαίρω (see
text notes). The neuter plural noun “magical potions” (from φάρμακον) often
refers to medicine or even poison (lsj, 1917; mur, 711), but here parallel with
soothsayers and as an object of the Lord’s judgment the plural noun must refer
to magical potions, perhaps of various kinds (leh, 500; bdag, 1050). The word
only occurs seven times in the lxx, and the two times it is used in Nah 3:4
(the only other times in the Twelve) it also refers to magical potions (see also
4Kgdms 9:11; Wis 1:14; Sir 6:16; 38:4). That the Lord will utterly destroy such
magical potions from your “hands” (note pl. “hands” in lxx) could refer to
destroying them from their possession or from their authority or power (see
the categories in mur, 730–731). Here the verb ἐξολεθρεύω, includes the sense
“remove,” as it does in all its occurrences in 5:1–13, although I have rendered it
“utterly destroy” throughout the passage for consistency. From your “hands” is
best understood as the Lord purging the remnant from the “possession of” such
magical potions; they will no longer be found among the remnant in that day.
To say that such things would be removed from the “authority” of the people,
which is a possible understanding of removing from their hands, would mean
that they could still exist, but the remnant would not have authority over them,
and this is not the sense here. In this regard it is similar to the next clause, which
prophesies soothsayers will not be found among the remnant either.
The second object of the Lord’s destruction in 5:12 is the “soothsayers,” which
is a substantival participle from ἀποφθέγγομαι. nets renders the participle
“speakers of apothegms,” and the other five occurrences of the word in the lxx
allow such a neutral translation: in 1Chron 25:1 it refers to singing hymns, in
Ps 58:8 it refers to the speaking of the wicked, in Ezek 13:9 and 19 it refers to
the utterances of false prophets, and in Zech 10:2 the participle form refers
to speakers of worthless and false messages. In the nt it is used to describe
δ. 4:1–5:15 133

Christians who were filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues (Acts 2:4) and
the speaking of the Apostles (Acts 2:14 and 26:25). The basic sense of the word
is “to speak one’s opinion plainly” (lsj, 226) and “to utter, to speak, to prophesy”
(leh, 58). However, as is obvious from its use elsewhere in the lxx, the word
often has negative connotations, and it is used sometimes to describe the
utterances of false prophets; especially important is its use in Zech 10:2, its only
other occurrence in the Twelve, where it refers to those speaking in a context
of divination and false prophets. Thus, in the context of the Lord purging the
remnant of those doing this, it seems the rendering “speakers of apothegms” is
too neutral, and I prefer the somewhat dated rendering “soothsayers” because it
does communicate the idea of divination and sorcery that seems to be required
in this passage. “In that day” when the remnant of Israel is blessed with the
presence of the Lord and his shepherds among them, no soothsayers will exist
in their midst (εἰμί has the sense “exist, be present,” mur, 193; see Mic 2:5).
The third focus of the Lord’s work amidst the remnant in “the last days” in
5:10–14, after he purges them from their trust in their military strength (5:10–11)
and sorcery (5:12), is the removal of their idolatry (5:13–14). The text makes four
different references to their idolatry in the first three clauses of 5:13–14, and then
curiously it returns to their “cities” in the last clause of 5:14. In 5:13 the pattern
of two parallel clauses per verse that characterizes 5:10–12 is broken; the first
clause of 5:13 contains a prophecy to destroy two items, and then the second
clause gives the result of that action. The first item the Lord will utterly destroy
from among his remnant is “your carved images”; τὰ γλυπτά is a substantival
use of the adjective “carved, graven” (γλυπτός; bdag, 201; leh, 91; Caird, 121),
which is frequently found in the plural in the lxx. It normally refers to carved
idols of some sort, as it does in Mic 5:13 and elsewhere in the Twelve (Hos 11:2;
Mic 1:7; Nah 1:14, which has he same phrase found in Mic 5:13; and Hab 2:18). Yet,
interestingly in some passages it may refer to images of some other sort, as in
Judg 3:19 and 26 where Caird (121) suggests “the carved stones in question were
presumably the stone circle from which Gilgal took its name.” Sometimes these
“carved images” were burned (Deut 7:5, 25; 12:3; 1 Macc 5:68), suggesting they
were wood, and sometimes they were metal (Judg 17:3, 4); in several passages
they are mentioned with “steles,” the next cult object mentioned in 5:13 (see for
example Exod 34:13; Lev 26:1; Deut 7:5).
The next object of worship in 5:13 which the Lord will destroy is the “steles”
(στήλη); the word refers to a “block of stone” in general or to a “monument,
memorial” (lsj, 1642). In the lxx (45x) it refers to a “perpendicular block” (mur,
636), which could be dedicated to the Lord (Gen 28:18–22; 31:13–45); a boundary
post (Isa 19:19 where it is parallel to altars for worshipping the Lord); a tomb
stone (Gen 35:20); or even a pillar of salt (Gen 19:26). However, it is also often
134 commentary

employed to describe pillar-like idols (Mur, 523), as it does here and in Hos 10.
In Hos 10:1 and 2, the only other occurrences of the word in the Twelve, it is
parallel to apostate altars; in that passage the people of Israel squander their
wealth on the multiplication of such altars and steles, and, as in Mic 5:13, as
a result the Lord will destroy those structures. The root problem in Hos 10 is
that their worship of other gods had “divided their hearts,” so they were not
wholeheartedly following the Lord.
In the second clause of 5:13 the Lord promises that “in that day” the rem-
nant of Israel shall “never again” (οὐκέτι μή) worship the works of their hands.
Two items here require comment: the meaning of the verb “worship” (προσκυ-
νέω) and the referent intended with “works of your hands.” Karen Jobes studied
προσκυνέω in her research on verbs included in the semantic domain for wor-
ship in the nt; she summarized that when it is describing worship of divinity
the verb προσκυνέω has the general sense “submission to divine authority,” and
it can have the more specific senses of (1) submission to divine authority and
the performance of the associated duties or (2) “petition, entreaty” (Jobes, 183–
191, esp. 189–191). However, the sense in the nt seems to be a development
from its sense in earlier Greek and the lxx (see tdnt, 6:760–762). In Greek
up to the second century of this era the word had the idea “make obeisance
to the gods or their images, fall down and worship” (lsj, 1518). In the lxx its
meaning “do obeisance, prostate oneself” is similar to classical Greek (mur,
596, although occasionally it has the sense “take part in worship”). In the sec-
ond commandment the lxx employs this verb in the command not to “do
obeisance” (nets) to idols (Exod 20:5; Deut 5:9 [also Exod 23:24]); in these
verses, and in many others in the lxx, προσκυνέω is parallel with λατρεύω,
which means “to serve” (e.g., Exod 34:14; Num 25:2; Deut 4:19; 5:9; 8:19; 11:16;
17:3; etc.). One can probably do no better than bdag for a succinct summary
of the background and meaning of the word: it was “frequently used to des-
ignate the custom of prostrating oneself before persons and kissing their feet
…, the hem of their garment, the ground, etc. [κυνέω means “to kiss”]; the Per-
sians did this in the presence of their deified king, and the Greeks before a
divinity or something holy” (882). Thus, the resulting definition is “to express
in attitude or gesture one’s complete dependence on or submission to a high
authority figure, (fall down and) worship, do obeisance to, prostrate oneself
before, do reverence to, welcome respectfully” (bdag, 882; italics removed from
original). Thus, when Mic 5:13 refers to doing “obeisance to the works of your
hands” the image is primarily that of people prostrating themselves before a
god, but “doing obeisance” must also be understood as an expression of trust
in and submission to that god and shorthand for the sacrifice and service that
would have accompanied such trust and submission. “The works of your hands”
δ. 4:1–5:15 135

(τοῖς ἔργοις τῶν χειρῶν σου), the object of the “obeisance,” is in the dative here
as is normal in the lxx (while secular Greek almost always uses the acc. with
προσκυνέω, the lxx normally employs the dat. or a prep. phrase; see tdnt,
6:762). This phrase, or similar phrases, can refer to the works of the Lord (Ps 8:7;
Isa 45:11), the labor and deeds of man which the Lord can cause to be a source
of blessing to him (Deut 2:7) or which can anger the Lord (3 Kgdms 16:7), or
idols (Isa 2:8; 17:8; Jer 1:16; 25:6; Hos 14:4). In Mic 5:13 the phrase “works of your
hands” could “serve as a summary category for all the other items as creations
and techniques of human independence” from the Lord (Mays, 127; Wolff, 159,
believes it refers also to “attempts to achieve military security”), but based on
the context of idolatry in Mic 5:13–14 and use of the phrase elsewhere to refer to
idols, it should probably be understood to be a one phrase summary of all kinds
of idols. (Wolff, 159, suggests that in Hos 14:3–4 and Isa 2:5–8 military strength
and sorcery were also categorized as the “works of the hands” of humans, and
this supports understanding the phrase in Mic 5:13 to include all the things the
Lord will destroy in Mic 5:10–14. However, it is doubtful that the phrase should
be understood that broadly in those two other passages; see Mays, 126.)
The hub of Israel’s problems was their pride and self-sufficiency, and their
idolatry was only one expression of this problem. There is a hint of scorn and
disdain here in the phrase “the work of your hands” (see also Hos 14:4; Isa 2:8);
the people themselves, as well as their hands were the creation of the Lord, who
made heaven and earth, and yet they ironically rejected him to worship the
nonentities that they created with their own hands. As Motyer explains (56),
although the idolater “saw his idol as expressive of unseen spiritual forces …
there is nothing behind the idol. The material artifact is all there is.” The phrase
“the work of your hands” also shows overwhelming contempt for the Lord; to
have known the Lord’s words and deeds and then to see his presence or the
presence of some superior being in the works of one’s own hands is contempt
for the Lord and another expression of trust in themselves (Mays, 126; Waltke,
339). Yet in spite of Israel’s scorn, disdain, and contempt, the Lord promises to
deliver them from their situation. The “judgment” the Lord promises for the
remnant’s idolatry in 5:13b is a promise of liberation from their own ineffective
attempts to find security and meaning. The Lord promises they will never again
experience such delusion.
The first clause of Mic 5:14 continues the Lord’s prophecy to remove idolatry
from the remnant of Israel in “that day.” “Carved images,” “steles,” and “the works
of your hands” are the objects of purging in 5:13, and in 5:14a the object of
purging is the “sacred groves” (ἄλσος); “sacred groves” were mentioned earlier
in 3:12 where judgment of Jerusalem involves “the mountain of the house
[becoming] like a wooded grove” (see discussion at 3:12). The word “sacred
136 commentary

grove” (ἄλσος) occurs 43 times in the lxx, and 41 times it renders a Hebrew word
referring to the poles, posts, or trees that represented the deity in sanctuaries of
the Asherah cult or to other aspects of that cult (or Astarte); the only exceptions
are in 2Kgdms 5:24 and Jer 4:29 (where it appears to be a lxx addition or a
doublet). Since it is unlikely that Greek readers would know the background
of Hebrew words rendered by the fairly common word ἄλσος (see lsj, 73, 92;
for a summary of the worship of Asherah, see Waltke, 326, 338 and Nogalski,
567–568) but they would know from the contexts in the lxx that it is related
to idol worship, it seems best to render it “sacred grove” (see lxx.e, 2372, 2375).
mur (30) suggests rendering it “grove” but adds the explanation that it is the
“site of a pagan cult,” which fits most of its occurrences as discussed above. It is
noteworthy that the verb in the first clause of 5:14 differs from the first verb in
the previous four verses (see above); here the verb “cut off” (ἐκκόπτω), another
word often employed to describe destruction, is appropriate with ἄλσος. The
verb (48x in lxx) can have the general sense “eradicate, destroy” (1 Macc 3:2, 3,
4; 2Chron 14:14), and occasionally it describes the knocking out or gouging out
of an eye or tooth (4Macc 5:30; Exod 21:27). But it is often employed in the lxx
to describe cutting down trees (Deut 20:19; Job 14:7; 19:10; Isa 9:10; Jer 6:6; 10:3;
22:7; 26:3; Dan 2:40; 4:11, 14, 23) or sacred groves (Exod 34:13; Deut 7:5; 12:3; Judg
6:28; Jdt 3:8; 2Chron 14:2; 31:1), as here in Mic 5:14. The sacred groves will also
be cut off “from among you” or removed from the people, as the other objects
of trust in 5:10–14 will be.
The last clause in 5:14 is very peculiar and has engendered much discus-
sion in the commentaries on Mic. The second person personal pronoun in
the phrase “your cities” continues the string of second person pronouns in
verses 10–14, and can only refer to the remnant, which was addressed accord-
ingly in 5:9. If the nations were being addressed here, it would require a plural
pronoun (see the discussion of this issue above in the introduction to 5:10–
14). However, after five verses in which the Lord prophesies of purging the
nation of its sins and lack of dependence on him, what does it mean that now
he “will destroy your cities”? Cities were mentioned above in the context of
military strongholds (5:11), so why are they being referred to again here? The
lxx reading, “cities,” follows the Hebrew, and the verb “destroy” (ἀφανίζω) does
not have any unique meanings that solve the problem; ἀφανίζω (88x in lxx;
16x in the Twelve) is another of the many verbs for destruction in 5:9–15, and
it has the sense “destroy, obliterate, remove” (lsj, 286). It is also employed
in Mic 6:13 and 15 where the Lord judges his people and destroys them and
their ordinances. Thus, the prophesied destruction of the cities in 5:14 could
be repeating again what the Lord prophesied about the “cities” in 5:11; but why
repeat it, and why bring up false trust in cities in the context of idolatry and
δ. 4:1–5:15 137

false worship? Another possible meaning of the last clause in 5:14 seems to be
preferred here. First, it is helpful to remember the context of this prophecy. It
follows the prophecies to purge the remnant of Israel from its trust in military
strength, sorcery, and idolatry (5:10–14a), and it precedes a prophecy to destroy
the nations (5:15); it is part of a series of prophecies (in 5:10–15) to be fulfilled
“in that day” (5:10). Second, although understanding the meaning of the verb
ἀφανίζω does not solve the problem of the meaning of 5:14b, the use of the verb
in the Twelve (16x) is instructive. Twelve of the sixteen times it occurs in the
Twelve it describes some aspect of the Lord’s judgment of Israel for breaking
the covenant (Hos 2:14; 5:15; 10:2; 14:1; Amos 7:9; 9:14; Mic 5:14; 6:13, 15; Joel 1:17,
18; Zech 7:14; the exceptions to this pattern are in Joel 2:20; Hab 1:5; Zeph 2:9,
and 3:6); several of these passages are in the context of the Day of the Lord
(Joel 1:17, 18; 2:20; Zeph 2:9), and in several contexts it is clear that the judg-
ment of the nation described by this verb is designed to restore the nation to the
Lord (Hos 5:15—see 6:1; Amos 9:14; Joel 1:17, 18—see 2:12–14). Especially impor-
tant is Amos 9:14, which speaks of the people of Israel returning from exile and
“rebuilding the ruined cities” (οἰκοδομήσουσιν πόλεις τὰς ἠφανισμένας); the cities
were destroyed by the nations who took them into exile, but in “that day” when
the Lord rebuilds the fallen tabernacle of David (9:11) and the nations seek the
Lord (9:12) the “annihilated cities” (nets) of Israel will be rebuilt. Thus, it is
possible that when the Lord prophesies to “destroy your cities” (Mic 5:14b) in
the context of the purging of the nation (5:10–14) the message intended is that
there will be destruction and devastation that will take place along with the
purging of the nation from its sins, and it is consistent from the other passages
employing this verb in the Twelve that this destruction of cities is the destruc-
tion that accompanies their deportation into exile for breaking the covenant.
This puts the purging of the nation from its sins in 5:10–14 into context; it is not
detached from the covenant and the history of the nation and the other prophe-
cies concerning Israel. The purging of the nation from its trust in military might,
sorcery, and idolatry will issue out of their judgment and exile (Deut 4:25–31);
one aspect of the purging of the nation involves the destruction of their cities
(Deut 28:52–57). Readers of the lxx in the Second Temple period or the first
centuries of this era could have found encouragement and hope in this.
Mic 5:15 is the conclusion of the paragraph that begins in 5:10 describing the
Lord’s purging of Israel and the nations. The enemies inside the nation were
the main topic of 5:10–14 and the enemies outside of Israel, the other nations,
are the objects of discussion in 5:15. This topic naturally follows the destruction
of the cities of Israel (5:14b), which is the last aspect of the purge of the nation
in 5:10–14, because these other nations are the agents the Lord uses to judge
his people, destroy their cities (5:14b), take them into exile, and thus bring the
138 commentary

people to the place where they seek the Lord with all their hearts (Hos 2:12–20;
5:14–6:4). Now in 5:15 the Lord prophesies that he will “execute vengeance” on
these nations after he has finished using them to purge his covenant people,
Israel. It is possible the gathering of the broken into a remnant (4:6–7) should
be understood to take place between 5: 14 and 15, and the exaltation of Israel
among the nations (5:5–9) and the gathering of the nations to Sion (4:1–4)
should be understood to follow the execution of the Lord’s vengeance on the
nations prophesied in 5:15. The material in chapters 4–5 is grouped by topics,
not in any chronological order.
Although the Lord uses the nations to judge and purge his people, the time is
coming when the nations will receive what they deserve, and that is the topic
of 5:15. The verbal noun ἐκδίκησις refers to “vengeance, punishment, justice”
(mur, 206; bdag, 301), and in this context it is to be carried out by the Lord,
as is often the case with this verb in the lxx. It is often difficult to determine
whether to use the rendering vengeance or justice for this term, since they are
closely related (i.e., retributive justice). The context must determine the exact
sense of the verb in each use of it, but here it should probably be understood
as “vengeance.” The construction ποιεῖν ἐκδίκησις ἐν is common in the lxx, and
it normally seems to refer to executing vengeance, rather than punishment.
“In the lxx the person on whom revenge is taken is usually denoted by ἐν
Ps. 149:7 (‫ ;)ענקמה‬Mi. 5:15 (‫ ;)נקם‬Ez. 16:41 (‫ ;)שׁפטים עשׂה‬25:17 (‫ ;)ענקמות‬1 Macc.
3:15” (tdnt, 2:445); see also Exod 12:12; Num 33:4; 1 Macc 7:24 for other examples
of this “Hebraistic ἐν” (mur, 206). In Mic 5:15 the Lord is avenging the nations
because they did acts of injustice to other nations, especially to Israel (4:6–7)
and they ignored the Lord and walked in their own ways (4:5; 5:15 “they did
not listen”). The nations took advantage of little Israel, and they smote her
gates “upon the cheek,” but the Lord will make all that right. The two nouns
(“anger” and “wrath”) are often used to describe God’s indignation and they
are “often combined [as here] … for the effect of intensification” (mur, 504).
The use of the preposition ἐν with each of them probably indicates manner
(mur, 333, suggests ἐν θυμῷ in 5:15 means “angrily”). The language and context
suggest that all the time the nations were being used by the Lord to judge and
purge the little remnant of Israel the Lord’s anger was burning against them
for these very acts of injustice. The Lord’s anger and wrath affirm his holy
character, which has been profaned by the disregard the nations have shown
to him.
The reason given for the judgment of the nations is “because they did not
listen.” The phrase ἀνθ᾽ ὧν in 5:15 means “because”; see 3:4 and Amos 1:3, 9,
13; 2:1, 6 in the Oracles against the Nations where it is parallel to and has the
same meaning as ἕνεκεν. This construction often introduces “a clause the verb
δ. 4:1–5:15 139

of which is in the past, and specifies a commendable or (mostly) punishable

deed, and such a clause usually follows the main clause” (mur, 58). The verb
εἰσακούω when it is absolute, as here, normally expresses the idea “listen, heed”
(Spicq, 1:439), although in the lxx it often has the sense “obey” (tdnt, 1:122;
mur, 199, includes this verse under the category “act in accordance with the
terms proposed or dictated by”). Spicq comments that the lxx translators “con-
sidered the ear to be the organ of understanding and a channel of teaching”; he
further explains that in the lxx “hearing well involves having a positive moral
disposition, paying heed, and being teachable. Εἰσακούω is thus synonymous
with believing, acquiescing, and complying. To hear is to accept a proposition,
or to pay heed to what has been said, and to obey” (1:440). In Mic 5:15 εἰσα-
κούω means more than being aware of the voice or message of the Lord with
the ears or the mind; it refers to the response of the nations to the Lord. How-
ever, this common lxx verb (228x in lxx) is hardly ever, if ever, rendered “obey”
by modern translators of the lxx, even in other passages similar to this one
where the idea of the verb is “obey” (see Zech 7:11, 13 where nets renders it “lis-
ten”). The thinking behind such renderings seems to be the concept expressed
by Spicq and quoted above that “to hear is to accept a proposition, … to pay
heed …, and to obey.” Thus, I can do no better to communicate the idea that
it seems lxx readers would take away from this verb than to render it “listen”;
to render it “heed” or “give heed” without mention of the one to whom heed is
given is awkward. The aorist “they did not listen” summarizes the actions of the
nations throughout their history. Exactly what the nations have not listened to
or obeyed is not mentioned, and that suggests a general disregard for the Lord.
In Mic the nations are the opponents of Israel, the people of the Lord (4:11; but
cf. 4:2–3), who are employed by the Lord to judge and purge his people (7:12–13)
and will someday be subdued by the Lord when Israel is exalted (4:11–13; 5:7–9,
15; 7:15–17, 20). The main sin of the nations in the Oracles against the Nations
(Amos 1:3–2:3) is the shedding of innocent blood (see also Joel 3:19–21), which
is a violation of the Noahic covenant, a covenant with all creation (Gen 9:8–17).
It is likely that the nations’ disregard of this universal standard is at least part
of the reason behind the Lord’s execution of vengeance in Mic 5:15; disregard
for divinely ordained boundaries is perhaps another part of the reason (5:5–6).
Waltke (341) summarizes, “The wrath against the nations is aroused by their
pride (Isa 16:6–7), by their wickedness and brutality (Amos 1:3–2:3), by their
oppression of Israel (Obad 10–15), or by the violation of his holiness (Ps 2:12).”
The absolute expression in 5:15, “they did not listen,” suggests something larger
than any one sin. Their history can be summarized as a lack of submission to
the Lord’s rule; they have ignored him and defied his sovereign lordship over
his people Israel and over all the nations (see Waltke, 330).
140 commentary

Before moving on to chapter 6 it is good to summarize the contents of

Mic 4–5, the delta section in B. This delta section can be divided into at least
nine different segments, all of which seem to contain prophecies of the last
days (4:1, 6; 5:10) and can be summarized as follows. Mic 4 begins with a
glorious prophecy of salvation in “the last days” when the nations will seek the
Lord and his Law in Sion and there will be universal peace on earth (4:1–5).
Mic 4:6–7 is a separate paragraph in B in which the Lord prophesies of a
remnant of his people who will be gathered in “that day” and over whom he
will reign from Mount Sion. All of 4:8–5:15 is one long paragraph in B, but it
can be divided into smaller subdivisions by change of topics; 4:8–13 is united
by addressing the “daughter Sion” in the second person singular (4:8), and the
second person singular continues throughout the remainder of chapter 4. In
4:8–10 the prophet foretells the travail of the Babylonian captivity and the
return of the nation from Babylon. In the remainder of chapter 4 (4:11–13)
the Lord prophesies that he will gather the nations against Sion to destroy
her, but he will then strengthen Sion to utterly destroy them and consecrate
the spoils to him. In chapter 5 the focus changes from Sion under siege to
little Bethlehem from whence the promised Davidite who will rule Israel is
to come. The prophecy in 5:3–4 foretells the nation travailing and bringing
forth a remnant, which will be united with others from the nation and the
Lord, apparently together with the Davidite of 5:2, who will rule over them and
bring them a glory that will extend throughout the earth. In 5:5–6 the Lord
and his shepherds, including the Davidite of 5:2, will protect the land from
the invading Assyrians and rule over the lands of Mesopotamia. According to
5:7–9 the remnant of Jacob will be irresistible and overpowering among the
nations and will destroy all their enemies. Those enemies include the false
objects of security that the nation trusted in instead of the Lord (5:10–14), as
well as the other nations, who oppressed Jacob and had no regard for the
Lord (5:15). There is no obvious temporal sequence to the various strands of
prophecy in chapters 4–5 and little logical sequence. These prophecies, which
offer great hope to Jacob, also foretell a time of travail in Babylon and among
the nations until out of that travail and from little Bethlehem the Lord brings
forth a remnant and a Davidite to rule with (or for) him over Jacob and the
nations, resulting in the exaltation of Jacob. Thus, it seems best to understand
these prophecies of salvation and blessing as interrelated and complementary
and not as separate or sequential; they could apply to any time from the time
of Assyria and Babylon to the time of Christ (as Christians understand 5:2) and
even to the eschatological future. And there is a sense in which every generation
of God’s people needs and experiences his defense against the Assyrian invader
ε. 6:1–9b 141

Ε 6:1–9b

Israel Is Charged with Breaking the Covenant

The fifth section of Mic in Vaticanus, the epsilon section, begins at 6:1 with
the second person plural command to hear (Ακούσατε δὴ λόγον; see also the
command to “hear” in 6:2); commands, especially commands to “hear,” often
mark the beginning of a new section in Mic in B (see 6:9c). The genre and
topic also change at the beginning of the new section in 6:1–8 where the Lord
brings a covenant lawsuit (κρίσις; 2× in 6:2; see also Hos 4:1; 12:3) against his
people, marking a transition from the salvation oracles of chapters 4–5, which
end with a prophecy of judgment of the nations in 5:15. In B this fifth section
of Mic continues to the command to “hear” (second person sing. ἄκουε) that
begins the last clause in 6:9. The break between 6:9b and 6:9c in B at the end
of this section is not found in the mt and modern editions of the lxx, which
place a break between 6:8 and 6:9. Their break between 6:8 and 9 is marked
by the conclusion of the Lord’s response to the unnamed man in 6:8 and the
beginning of a description of the voice of the Lord calling out to the city in
judgment in 6:9a; the remainder of the section beginning at 6:9 in the mt
and modern editions of the lxx (i.e., 6:9–16) describes the sins of the people
(6:10–12, 16) and contains a prophecy of judgment (6:13–15). In Vaticanus the
first two clauses of 6:9 are understood to continue the Lord’s answer in 6:8, and
the scribe responsible for the divisions in B was apparently influenced by the
command to “hear” at the beginning of the third clause in 6:9, taking it as the
beginning of a new section addressed to the “tribe.”
The lxx differs from the mt in several ways in 6:9 (see the discussion there).
It is much more positive concerning the people in 6:9a–b; for example, in the
lxx the people invoke the “voice of the Lord” for the city, and the Lord saves
those fearing his name. It is also noteworthy that in the lxx the command to
“hear” in 6:9c is addressed to the “tribe” and concerns the “city.” (The Hebrew
text at the end of 6:9 and the beginning of 6:10 is difficult [Mays, 142; Waltke,
396–397], and there is debate about the best Hebrew readings for the words
translated “tribe” and “city” in the lxx.) It is interesting that the second of these
readings, “city,” actually seems to connect the last clause of 6:9 in the lxx with
the first one where “city” also occurs, and yet these two clauses are divided into
separate sections in B (see more below on 6:9).
An unidentified voice, perhaps the prophet, speaks at the beginning of 6:1
instigating the Lord’s covenant lawsuit against his people with a general com-
mand (second person pl.) to the audience of the book to “hear the word”; “the
word” here likely includes the remainder of the book, the charge that the Lord
is bringing against his people. If we are not hearing the prophet’s voice in the
142 commentary

first clause, then it seems it must surely be heard in the remainder of verses 1–
2 declaring the words of the Lord to the people; the second person singular
commands in 6:1, “arise, plead your case,” follow the pattern of addressing the
nation in the singular that was found in 5:10–14. The Lord is calling upon his
people, Israel, to state their complaint against him in the remainder of 6:1. Then
in 6:2, once again with the plural command, “hear” he calls on the “peoples,” the
other nations, and the foundations of the earth to hear and bear witness to his
dispute with his people, Israel. Then in 6:3–5 the “wounded party” (Nogalski,
571), who is none other than the Lord himself, brings forth his accusations. The
speaker changes in 6:6–7, as words are put in the mouth of an unnamed “man”
(addressed by the prophet in 6:8) who asks what it takes to lay hold of God; then
in 6:8, one of the most famous verses in Mic, the prophet answers the questions
the unidentified man asked in 6:6–7. The prophetic answer to the man’s ques-
tions seems to continue in 6:9 in the lxx, and that is probably why the scribe
who is responsible for Vaticanus does not end the section at the end of 6:8; as
mentioned above, he was also influenced by the command to “hear” later in
6:9 and the vocative “O tribe,” which for him signaled the beginning of a new
The first short sentence in 6:1, “Do hear a word,” which introduces the
paragraph to follow and all of the remainder of the book, contrasts the actions
of the disobedient nations in 5:15 who did not listen to the Lord with God’s
will for Micah’s audience, who are to “hear” or “listen.” It is vital (δή “adds a
sense of urgency to commands, exhortations, requests,” mur 146; see Mic 3:1, 9;
6:5) that Micah’s audience hear the “word” from the Lord (λόγος here probably
means “divine message,” mur, 434) that is to follow, probably referring to all of
chapters 6–7. (The command could also be rendered “hear now,” as I rendered
3:9.) mur (434) comments that such a sentence was often employed as part
of the caption of a divine oracle, and he gives many examples of the use of
λόγος in this way; see the similar clause in 1:2 that also serves to introduce a
main section of the book. In 6:1 the anarthrous noun (λόγος) is not understood
to be definite, but rather to refer to one of many such oracles from the Lord;
the following context contains such a word, and the people are to listen. The
short sentence opening 6:1 smoothes the break between the preceding section
and what follows, and because the command in it lacks a vocative (cf. 1:2; 3:1,
9 where the vocative identifies who is to hear) it is addressed to all in Micah’s
audience and all who read his written work. See lxx.e, 2375, for the difference
between this first short sentence and the Hebrew “Hear what the Lord says”;
the verb in the Hebrew suggests a present time (pres. part.) and in Greek it is a
finite aorist, which is moved to the second clause (“Do hear a word. The Lord
ε. 6:1–9b 143

The indefinite and unmodified “word” that the audience is commanded to

“hear” in the caption to this section begins with the introduction of the source
of this oracle, “The Lord God said”; thus, Micah is reporting or declaring an
oracle from “the Lord God.” “Lord God” (κύριος κύριος) is a common title for
God in the lxx, especially in Ezek. (For occurrences of κύριος κύριος in B that
are not found in some other lxx mss see Amos 8:1, 3, 9; Mic 1:2; see also the
text notes on 6:1, which explain the differences between B and other lxx mss
here.) Commentators of the Hebrew text are divided on the addressee in mind
in the two commands in 6:1; for example, Waltke (344–345; 367–368, 374) thinks
the Lord is addressing the prophet, Micah, and commanding him to arise and
plead the Lord’s case against Israel, whereas Mays (128–131) and Wolff (172)
think the Lord is addressing Israel. There is nothing in the lxx that makes it
clearer than the Hebrew. However, I think it makes most sense in the lxx to
understand these two second person singular commands, “arise, plead your
case,” that begin the word from the Lord God in this section to be spoken by the
prophet and addressed to Israel. First, the references to the nation in 5:9–14 are
all in the second person singular, and the second person singular pronoun later
in 6:1 also refers to Israel there (“your voice”). But more importantly, the Lord’s
words in verse three are his defense to accusations that have been made against
him by the nation, and thus, it fits well with the context if the commands in
verse one are an invitation to the nation to make their accusations against
him in a public or court setting. Finally, the sense of the Greek legal language
in verses 1 and 2 differs slightly. The language in verse 1 is the language of
“pleading a case” or “contesting a legal case” (see mur, 413 and the discussion
below), and it describes well what Israel would do in a covenant lawsuit it
would bring against the Lord. The language in verse 2, on the other hand, is that
of “a sentence handed down in court” (see mur, 414 and the discussion below),
and it describes well what the Lord would do in his role as judge concerning
a covenant lawsuit with the nation. The Lord is both plaintiff and judge in 6:2.
Thus, in 6:1 it is best to understand the Lord to be speaking through the prophet
Micah commanding the nation of Israel to bring its accusations against him.
The command “arise” often occurs before another imperative in the lxx
(following the pattern in Hebrew), and in such constructions it often has the
sense of “urging one to act or signaling an action taken with clear intent” (mur,
54); this is close to the sense “to initiate an action” (bdag, 83; Acts 8:26; 9:11;
10:20). Here in the mouth of Micah the first command expresses the Lord’s
desire that if the nation has a complaint against him it should stand up and
initiate the appropriate action with regard to that complaint, which is to bring
forth its case. The second command, “plead your case” (κρίνω) clarifies the
proper action for Israel to take. This command addresses Israel as the plaintiff
144 commentary

who is commanded to bring a charge against one whom they feel has wronged
them; in this case that is the Lord (see 6:3–5). The construction κρίνω πρός
normally has the sense of contesting a legal case with someone when the verb
is absolute, in the middle or passive voice, and followed by the preposition. (See
mur, 413; leh 267–268; Walser, 206; see also Thackeray, § 21, 6, on the aorist and
future passive of κρίνω functioning as a middle, as is true here in 6:1. Thackeray
explains this as “the first step in the direction of the elimination of the special
forms of the middle voice [as in modern Greek] and the use was quickly
extended in the κοινή to other verbs.”) There are examples of this construction
in Judg 21:22; Jer 2:9, 35; Hos 2:2; and possibly Sir 42:8. It is important to note that
elsewhere this construction does not refer to an intermediary bringing a charge
for someone else, and this is further evidence that it does not refer to Micah
being commanded to bring a charge for the Lord in 6:1. (Two other verses have
similar constructions. In Dan 2:7 the verb is in the active voice and its sense is
more “judge concerning”; Jer 27:34 is a somewhat similar construction, but that
verse has the active voice of the verb with κρίσις as its object [i.e., “he will judge
a judgment”] and πρός indicates against whom the judgment will be made.)
I have argued above that κρίνω in 6:1 means to plead one’s case in a court or
in another legal context. A further issue in 6:1 is the meaning of πρός. In 6:1 the
context requires that πρός with the accusative object have the sense “before”
or “in the proximity or company of” the mountains (mur, 591) rather than its
normal sense of “against.” Harris explains that “in its basic spatial sense πρός
means ‘near’ or ‘facing’” (Harris, 189; see also his discussion of the meaning of
πρός in 2Cor 5:8 [on pp. 192–193] and Robertson, 624), and that idea is required
here. This understanding of πρός in 6:1 is supported by the last clause of the
verse where the hills are also called upon to hear the charge Israel brings against
the Lord. Both the mountains and the hills are called as witnesses of the case
between the Lord and his people. The case is not brought against them; it is
clear in the context that the lawsuit is between the Lord and his people, and
natural elements are called to be witnesses. Note also that in 6:3–5 the Lord
responds to the charge of the people; their charge is not against the mountains,
but rather against him. It is also worth mentioning that in 6:2 the Lord brings
his “judgment” against his people, Israel, not against any part of creation. On
the difference between mountains (ὄρος) and hills (βουνός) in 6:1, see 4:1 where
both words also occur.
Mic 6:1–8 is a covenant lawsuit speech, and “the issue at stake in the contro-
versy is the covenant between [the Lord] and Israel” (Mays, 129). The possessive
pronouns in the phrases “his people” in 6:2 and “my people” at the beginning
of 6:3 reflect the covenant relationship between the Lord and Israel in which
he is their God and they are his people. The Lord initiates the covenant law-
ε. 6:1–9b 145

suit, but he initiates it in 6:1 by commanding Israel to bring their charge against
him. The mountains and hills are called to be “principal members of the assem-
bly before whom the controversy is to be held” (Mays, 131), because they were
witnesses to the covenant (Deut 4:26; 30:19; 31:28); their presence emphasizes
the solemnity of the event and the implications of what is going to take place
for all of creation. According to Deut 19:15 there could be no covenant lawsuit
without witnesses, because only on the basis of the testimony of the witnesses
can it be guaranteed that there has been an unfulfilled covenant obligation,
which then justifies invoking the covenant curses (Lev 26 and Deut 28; see
Waltke, 375). It is common in ot covenants for the “natural elements” to be
summoned as witnesses concerning the faithfulness of the covenant partners
when there is an issue concerning the Lord’s covenant with his people (see
Deut 30:19; Isa 1:2; Jer 2:12); their role in the assembly at the proceedings is that
of witnesses to the original covenant (Mays, 132). Waltke (376) explains that
the mountains and valleys functioned in a similar manner to the way memo-
rial stones served as tangible witnesses to succeeding generations to inviolable
covenants between peoples (Gen 32:43–50; Josh 22:21–28). He continues, “The
Creator of the cosmic elements, which outlast generations, appointed the old-
est natural phenomena as witnesses to the covenant/agreement between him
and Israel, a covenant that was passed on by tradition from generation to gen-
eration.” In Mic 6 not only the mountains and hills are called to be members of
the assembly before whom the lawsuit takes place (6:1; see also mountains and
hills in 4:1), but also the “chasms [and] foundations of the earth” are summoned
(6:2). The mountains, which are the high points of creation, and chasms, which
represent the depths, serve as merism for all the natural elements. The people
are commanded to let the natural elements hear their “voice” (φωνή), which
must refer to their complaint or charge against the Lord.
In 6:2 in B the Lord specifically addresses the “peoples” (λαοί), or nations
(see 5:7, 15), commanding them to “hear” his “judgment” against his people (τὸν
λαὸν αὐτοῦ), Israel. The command with the vocative here (Ακούσατε λαοί) is the
same as at the beginning of 1:2, introducing that main section of the book. The
call to the nations indicates that the Lord is going to use the experience of his
people Israel to teach the nations. As was noted in 1:2, the Lord’s charge against
Samaria and Judah has implications for the nations also, just like it does for all
of creation, because he is sovereign over all and his judgment of his covenant
people provides a pattern of his judgment of all people and thus serves as a
message to the nations.
Several mss and Rahlfs’s edition of the lxx follow the Hebrew text and have
“mountains” rather than “peoples” at the beginning of 6:2 (see the text notes). If
the reading found in B, “peoples,” is original (Ziegler and Swete prefer it), then
146 commentary

it repeats the call to the nations to listen to the Lord and to witness what the
Lord is doing with Israel, as recorded elsewhere in the book (see 1:2; 4:13; 5:15;
7:16; see lxx.e, 2375). It is not clear in 6:2 if the nations are being summoned
to attend the covenant lawsuit proceedings, but the context indicates they will
“hear” what is taking place in those proceedings. Whether they are present or
not they are to learn from the Lord’s charge against his people and his purging
of them (1:2; 5:10–15). It is indicated in 7:16 that a day will come when the nations
will humble themselves before the Lord, and that context indicates their shame
will follow their realization of the Lord’s blessing for his people Israel.
The thing the peoples are commanded to hear in 6:2 is “the judgment of
the Lord” (τὴν κρίσιν τοῦ κυρίου). “The Lord” is a subjective genitive, and the
“judgment” (κρίσις) is a judicial sentence (lsj, 997; mur, 414) concerning Israel
that is handed down by the Lord, who now functions as judge in this court
setting; the noun κρίσις has the sense of judgment in both of its occurrences in
6:2 and also in Hos 4:1 and 12:2 (see also Hab 1:3 and Mal 3:5 [2x] in the Twelve).
“Chasms” and “foundations” are in apposition with no connector between
them. The noun “chasms” (φάραγξ) often refers to a valley or ravine (Isa 40:4),
but here because they are in apposition to “foundations” they are in a sense
“called” (mur, 711) the “foundations of the earth.” It seems the translator did not
know the Hebrew adjective (‫ )איתן‬that corresponds with the Greek rendering
“chasms” (φάραγξ); in the Hebrew this adjective modifies “foundations of the
earth” (Heb “enduring foundations of the earth”), and since the translator did
not know the word he rendered it with “chasms,” a rendering he felt made
sense in this context. (See Theocharous, 214–216, who discusses this rendering
and suggests that the translator may have been influenced by corresponding
terms in the Hebrew text of Deut 21:4. Muraoka, “Literary Device,” 22, thinks the
choice of “chasms” [φάραγξ] in Mic 6:2 may have been influenced by the parallel
passages in Ezek 6:3 and 36:4 where, similar to Mic 6:2, the mountains [ὄρος],
hills [βουνός], and chasms [φάραγξ] are among the elements invited to hear the
word of the Lord.) The “foundations of the earth,” which are in apposition to the
“chasms” in the lxx, are the opposite of the heavens and parallel with Hades
in Isa 14:15. They are the depths of the earth on which it rests (Ps 81:5 and Sir
16:19 where they are also contrasted with the mountains; see Theocharous, 215,
n. 54), and together with the “chasms” they contrast with the mountains and
hills in 6:1 and thus these four natural elements form a merism encompassing
all of creation. In and of themselves these four elements are more than enough
to support the Lord’s charge against Israel (Deut 19:15).
The reason the peoples are to hear is because (ὅτι) the Lord has a judgment
to declare concerning his people Israel. “Israel” in 6:2 refers to the whole
nation (see the discussion at 1:5), the unfaithful covenant party, and the Lord
ε. 6:1–9b 147

climactically addresses the nation by name at the end of 6:2 as he concludes

the introduction to his lawsuit against it. The phrase “his people,” which is
parallel with Israel, emphasizes the nation’s covenant relationship with the
Lord. The peoples are summoned to learn from the Lord’s judgment against
his people, and the natural elements are summoned to bear witness to the
covenant between the Lord and his people. The dative τῷ κυρίῳ in κρίσις τῷ
κυρίῳ is probably best understood to show possession: there is a judgment
belonging to the Lord against his people, or the Lord has a judgment against
his people. In 6:2 πρός has its more normal sense in lawsuit contexts of “against”
(cf. 6:1 where the context required a different meaning). Furthermore, “he will
dispute with them.” The verb rendered “dispute” (διελέγχω) is always in the
passive form in biblical literature (bdag, 243), and it only occurs twice in the
lxx, here and in another covenant lawsuit context in Isa 1:18 (“So come, and
let us argue it out, says the Lord” nets). It has the sense “dispute” (lsj, 424,
which also discusses the meaning of the verb in the active voice) or “engage in
a dispute, debate, argue” (bdag, 243). mur (167) suggests the idea “engage in
critical debate over moral issues” for this verb, but since its two occurrences in
the lxx are in covenant lawsuit contexts it should be understood as “discuss,” or
even more specifically, “argue a case” (leh, 114). The first part of 6:2 presents the
Lord as a judge bringing a “judgment” (κρίσις) or judicial sentence against his
people, but this verb (διελέγχω) in the last clause indicates that both parties will
have an opportunity to state their cases, as was suggested with the summons
to Israel in 6:1 to plead its case and as will be seen by the Lord’s defense in 6:3.
Thus, the Lord functions as defendant, plaintiff, and judge, and Israel is invited
to function as plaintiff and defendant; the natural elements are summoned
as witnesses. Also it should be noted that in chapter 6 the charge the Lord is
bringing is against the nation as a whole, not against the rich land barons and
leaders, who were the focus in chapters 2–3, and the purpose of this lawsuit is
to restore the nation whereas the oracles of chapters 2–3 condemn the wicked
and do not offer them hope of restoration (2:3; 3:4, 12).
The voice of Micah fades out at the end of 6:2, and the change to a first
person pronoun with the direct address (nominative for a vocative) at the
beginning of 6:3 (“my people”; cf. “his people” in 6:2 and “my people” again in
6:5) indicates 6:3 is direct discourse, and the Lord is addressing Israel; the first
person subject (“I”) confirms the Lord is the speaker. The address “my people”
here and in 6:5 indicates that the Lord’s “commitment to Israel remains valid as
the unconditional basis for the lawsuit” (Wolff, 174). After the Lord summoned
Israel to state their complaint against him in 6:1 and the natural elements
as witnesses and the nations to hear in 6:1–2, one would expect the Lord to
present his accusation against Israel (see Hos 4:1; 12:2–3; cf. Jer 32:31–32), but
148 commentary

instead in 6:3 the Lord presents his defense in response to Israel’s accusations
against him. After the opening vocative, the Lord responds with three questions
and a command for Israel to answer him; the command for Israel to answer
indicates that the questions are not rhetorical, and Israel has every right to
present its side of the case. However, there is no evidence that the nation does
actually respond to the Lord’s challenge to present their accusations against
him; their case against the Lord never goes beyond their private criticisms, and
the content of those criticisms can only be pieced together by what is implied
in the Lord’s responses in 6:3. The third question in 6:3 is a lxx addition, and it
appears to be the result of a double rendering of the hiphil stem of the Hebrew
verb ‫לאה‬, “be weary.” See similar double renderings of verbs in 4:10 and 5:3
(lxx.e, 2377); the translator tends to do this in order to communicate more
fully the meaning of some words.
The Lord is the subject in the legal proceedings in 6:3–5, and the first ques-
tion he addresses to his people is a general and overarching one that concerns
his actions and demands: “What have I done to you?” This is the question of one
charged with a wrong (1Kgdms 29:8; see Wolff, 174). The second and third ques-
tions, which are a double rendering of one question in Hebrew (see above),
are related and apparently meant to complement each other and more fully
explain one idea; their overlap in meaning supports that assumption. They are
more specific in nature than the first question, and thus they are the only clue
the reader has to the complaint the people have against the Lord. The verb
in the second question in 6:3 (λυπέω) means “grieve, vex” (lsj, 1065; leh, 285;
mur, 436, suggests “grieve” here); however, the sense here goes beyond grieve
and is more the idea of “annoy, exasperate, anger” or even “harm, pain” (see
Spicq, 2:417–422, for a discussion of various nuances of this word). The four
other times the word occurs in the Twelve it describes the grief unto death
Jonah feels over the loss of a gourd Jonah 4:1, 4, 9). Since the third question in 6:4
is a lxx addition that is added to complement the second question, we would
expect that its verb (παρενοχλέω) would clarify the meaning the translator has
in mind in his use of λυπέω in the second question. The two verbs are also used
parallel to each other in Dan 3:50 where the flames of the fire do not “cause
pain or distress” to the three Hebrew children in the furnace (nets; Brenton
renders them “hurt nor troubled”). The verb παρενοχλέω only occurs this one
time in the Twelve (16x in the lxx); it has the basic sense “annoy, bother, trou-
ble” with things that are unnecessary or difficult (bdag, 775; mur, 533; see Jer
26:27), but it can refer to “harm,” as from lions (Dan 6:18, 23), or have the sense
to bother in the sense of “harass” (1Macc 10:35 and 2 Macc 11:31) or “exasperate”
(Judg 14:17). In the lxx παρενοχλέω takes its object in both dative and accusative
cases; lsj (1336) suggests the meaning “cause one much annoyance” when it is
ε. 6:1–9b 149

used with the dative, as here. In his speech in Acts 15 James employs this word
to describe the “trouble” that the yoke of the Law would be for gentiles who turn
to God through Christ (15:19), and thus he urges the brothers at the Jerusalem
Council not to impose the Law on gentile converts because such an imposition
would go beyond what is required (15:20); this is the only occurrence of παρεν-
οχλέω in the nt. The related verb ἐνοχλέω, with only one prepositional prefix,
normally means to “be unwell” in the lxx (leh, 154; the word occurs 7x in the
lxx), but it also has the sense “to trouble, annoy” (1 Esd 2:24); this shortened
form also occurs twice in the nt, in Luke 6:18 where it is employed to describe
those “troubled” by demons and in Heb 12:15, a passage that refers to a root of
bitterness that “causes trouble.” The sense of παρενοχλέω in Mic 6:3 seems to
be close to its sense in Acts 15:19, i.e., “trouble,” and it is possible that in Mic
6:3 it was meant to refer to the obligations of the covenant as expressed in the
Law, which the people felt were a burden. The references in verses 6–7 to offer-
ing voluminous offerings and valuable sacrifices in order to lay hold of the Lord
suggest that cultic requirements were part of the burden the people felt in their
relationship with the Lord, and the explanation of what the Lord requires from
his people in 6:8 (justice, mercy, and being ready to walk with the Lord) must
be read in light of his questions in 6:3, especially the last two: “How did I grieve
you, or how have I troubled you?” What the Lord requires is not a burden.
It is clear that in the last two questions in 6:3 the Lord asks his people to
present the grounds for their complaint that he, their God and covenant part-
ner, has made their lives difficult or miserable with situations and requirements
that harmed or troubled them. Israel is troubled and grieved by their circum-
stances, and they feel the Lord is responsible. In the final command in 6:3,
“answer me,” the Lord challenges his people to produce evidence that supports
their complaints against him; there is no evidence in this passage that the peo-
ple ever answer this question or formally bring an indictment against the Lord.
His willingness for them to declare “what are his unjust deeds or his trouble-
some requirements” is another indication of his commitment to his covenant
with them (Wolff, 175). The repetition of the second person singular pronoun
(“you”) in each of the three questions the Lord asks in 6:3 emphasizes the Lord’s
specific interest in Israel, his covenant partner, and is a further indication of the
Lord’s commitment to the covenant.
The response of the people that the Lord calls for at the end of 6:3 does
not come. One can almost imagine a brief time of “embarrassed silence on
the part of the audience” (Wolff, 175) before the Lord continues his defense in
6:4. The Lord’s defense in 6:4–5 is the reason (διότι) Israel cannot respond to
his charge against them or testify against him. His works invalidate and rebut
their complaint, because his works are good and benevolent, and they have not
150 commentary

been a grief or trouble to Israel; instead, he has acted in conformity with the
dictates of the covenant he made with Israel (see the mention of his δικαιοσύνη
in 6:5b). Waltke (379) comments that the Lord’s accusation against Israel here
in the covenant lawsuit differs from his explication of their specific sins in
chapters 2–3. Here he recounts his saving deeds, and by doing so he “points to a
guilt more profound [than that referred to in chapters 2–3], namely a hardness
of heart that did not respond to common grace”; he is making the case that
“instead of complaining against him they should have been praising him.”
The Lord’s direct speech to Israel that began in 6:3 continues as he develops
his defense in 6:4–5, and he is the subject of the three first person singular verbs
in 6:4. All of these verbs are constative aorists, summarizing the Lord’s complex
actions over the years on behalf of Israel. In his development of his defense in
6:4–5 the Lord addresses the alleged wrongs implied in the questions he asked
in 6:3 (see esp. 6:3a, “what have I done to you?”), and he does this by recounting
some of his saving deeds in various periods of Israel’s history: he delivered the
people from Egypt, he gave them leaders through whom he led them in the
wilderness, and he brought them into the land (6:4–5). The first two actions of
the Lord mentioned in 6:4 are often linked; these benevolent acts are the basis
of his covenant relationship with the nation, and they are often mentioned in
the historical prologue to the covenant (esp. Exod 20:2 and Deut 5:6, which
both have almost the exact statement found in Mic 6:3a; see also Lev 19:36;
25:38; 26:13; Num 15:41; Deut 6:12; 8:14; 13:5, 10; and the discussion in Waltke, 351,
which includes many more references). It is common for the Lord to appeal
to his saving deeds when he enters into a covenant lawsuit with Israel (Isa 1:2;
Jer 2:6–7; Deut 32:7–14). The Exodus from Egypt was the birth of the nation of
Israel, and it was wholly the work of the Lord, as Moses sings in Exod 15.
The second statement in the Lord’s defense in 6:4, that he “redeemed” Israel
“out of the house of bondage,” explains more fully what the Exodus involved
and strengthens the Lord’s defense of his goodness and faithfulness to his
people. Redemption is a metaphor of salvation, referring here to the Lord
procuring Israel’s “release from bondage” in Egypt (mur, 436). The Greek word
“redeem” (λυτρόω) first occurs in the lxx in Exod 6:6, referring to what the
Lord is going to do for his people to deliver them from Egypt (the Hebrew
of Exod 6:6 does not have the normal corresponding word ‫פדה‬, which first
occurs in Hebrew in 13:13). The concept of redemption is closely connected
with the Passover (Exod 13:13, 15; see also 15:13), and furthermore, according
to the instruction in Exod 13:13, 15 the Lord’s redemption of Israel from Egypt
would have been rehearsed every time a firstborn was redeemed in Israel. At
the Passover celebration the Israelites were to recount to their children that
the Lord “paid the Egyptians with their own firstborn to free his son from
ε. 6:1–9b 151

their harsh ownership” (Waltke, 380; Exod 13:14–15), and therefore the people
of Israel were to make the appropriate offerings to redeem all the firstborn of
their animals and sons. The phrase “out of the house of bondage” also has rich
associations in Scripture (see Exod 13:3, 14; 20:2; Deut 5:6; 6:12; 7:8; 8:14; 13:10;
Judg 6:8; 3Kgdms 9:9; Jer 41:13); it too first appears in the lxx in connection
with the Exodus events and at the Passover (Exod 13:3, 14), and every time the
nation would celebrate the Passover they would be reminded that the Lord had
separated or dissociated them (ἐκ; mur, 201) from Egypt, the place where they
lived (this is the sense of οἶκος here; mur, 489) in slavery. The Lord’s redemption
of his people “out of the house of bondage” is a strong, if not incontrovertible,
piece of evidence in his defense against the complaints of the nation. Israel was
in helpless bondage, and he freed them. The Lord’s first two statements in 6:4
take his people back to their covenant with him (Exod 20:2; Deut 5:6) and to
the events in Exod 1–15, and these statements would remind the people that
the covenant relationship is based upon these marvelous, benevolent deeds of
the Lord on behalf of his people and such a relationship, let alone their very
existence as a nation, is only possible because of these events. These events are
part of their identity as a people, and they cannot deny what the Lord has done
for them without denying their very existence.
In the third sentence in 6:4 the Lord reminds his people that he sent them
leaders. This event is listed third, and I have taken all of 6:4 to refer primar-
ily to the Exodus event, but in time this event actually overlapped the previ-
ous two. In passages like Josh 24:5 [in mt but not in lxx]; 1 Kgdms 12:8; and
Ps 104[mt 105]:26 the sending of Moses and Aaron is placed before the Exo-
dus, and their leadership of the nation, as well as Miriam’s, continued into the
wilderness period. (The omission of Moses and Aaron in lxx Josh 24:5 in the
covenant renewal ceremony is noteworthy; see also the mention of Moses and
Aaron in Ps 76:21[mt 77:20]; 98[mt 99]:6.) The phrase πρὸ προσώπου σου can
mean “ahead of,” but in 6:4 it probably has primary reference to them function-
ing as “leaders” (mur, 601). This Greek phrase is employed to describe the Lord
leading the people into the land in Deut 31:3, but its first occurrences in the lxx
describe the angel the Lord sends before the nation to lead them as they come
out of Egypt (Exod 23:20; 32:34; 33:2).
The inclusion in 6:4 of Miriam with her brothers Moses and Aaron is note-
worthy and a bit unusual. She distinguished herself by rescuing the baby Moses
from the Nile (Exod 2:1–8) and by her prophetic activity in the celebration of
the Exodus (Exod 15:20–21); in this last passage she is recognized as a prophet-
ess, the first woman in Scripture to be so honored, and the text is clear that the
other women follow after her in worship of the Lord (Exod 15:20). Her rebellion
against Moses, along with her brother Aaron, further indicates her importance
152 commentary

and influence in the nation, but it is also her darkest hour, and her punish-
ment with leprosy would have been a sober reminder of the consequences of
sin to Micah’s audience (see Num 12:1–13). Perhaps Miriam is included here to
connect the description of the Lord’s deeds in 6:4 with the events early in the
Exodus when she distinguished herself in a good way, and her failures later in
her ministry are certainly no worse than those of Balaam, who is mentioned
in 6:5. Perhaps these figures are included in this section to remind the peo-
ple that the Lord was faithful to the nation and delivered them in spite of
weak human leadership. Thus, there are clear implications for Micah’s read-
ership in 6:4, especially for corrupt leaders like those described in chapters
2–3. The Lord will hold the leaders of the nation accountable. Furthermore,
in contrast to the leaders of Micah’s day, the founding leaders that the Lord
gave to the nation were often faithful to the Lord and a blessing to the peo-
ple. The tradition that those first leaders gave to the nation has been passed
down through the generations to Micah’s audience and “provides orientation
for the present” (Wolff, 175), but Micah’s generation has hardened their hearts
against the Lord and his Law and they have considered the covenant to be a
burden, in spite of the fact that the Lord’s gifts to and plans for the nation were
The address, “O my people,” at the beginning of 6:5 (nominative for a voca-
tive) echoes the address at the beginning of 6:3, and the Lord’s direct speech
that was heard in verses 3–4 continues in verse 5. After the address at the begin-
ning, verse 5 contains a command to “remember” followed by the content of
what the people are to remember in the form of an indirect question and then
the purpose for remembering, “so that the justice (righteousness) of the Lord
might be made known” (ὅπως with a subjunctive). The command to “remem-
ber” means more than recalling the past events that are mentioned in the verse;
it must have more the idea “give careful consideration to” (bdag, 652). And the
careful consideration the people are to give to the deeds of the Lord mentioned
in 6:5 is to change not only their thinking but also their behavior (e.g., Isa 46:8).
The kind of remembering described here is the kind that internalizes the past
and makes it real and effectual for them so that by their awareness of the Lord’s
benevolent deeds on their behalf and faithfulness to his promises to them they
keep their covenant obligations to him (see the excellent discussion in Waltke,
While 6:4 recounts the Lord’s saving deeds on behalf of Israel at the begin-
ning of the Exodus period, 6:5 narrates some of the important events that
occurred at the end of that formative period beginning with their time at Shit-
tim. There are several parallels between the two periods that should not be
missed (see Waltke, 384–385 for further development of these parallels). First,
ε. 6:1–9b 153

in both periods the Lord delivered the nation through a body of water, the Red
Sea when they were brought up out of the land of Egypt and the flooded Jordan
River when they entered the land. Second, both of these deliverances were from
political and spiritual bondage, from bondage in Egypt and in Moab. Third, the
discussion of both of these deliverances focuses on the leaders involved, Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam in the deliverance from Egypt and Balak and Balaam in
the deliverance from Moab. In neither case were the leaders without weakness
and sin, but the two groups differ in that the Lord supernaturally intervened
and used leaders at the beginning of the Exodus who were godly for the most
part, while those through whom he worked his acts of supernatural deliver-
ance at the end of that period had selfish motivations and were “demonic”
(Waltke, 384); yet the Lord intervened in both situations and was faithful to
his covenant promises. Fourth, both seasons of deliverance were at the time
of Passover (Exod 12:1–3; Josh 4:19; 5:10–12). And fifth, both periods involved
covenant ceremonies in which the people and the Lord expressed their com-
mitments to each other. They did this by the inauguration of the covenant at
Mount Sinai in Exod 20–24 and the rite of circumcision at Gilgal in Josh 5:1–9.
Circumcision is the sign of the covenant between the Lord and his people (Gen
17:9–14), and the circumcision of the wilderness generation in Josh 5 is their
acknowledgement that the Lord has been faithful to his promises to give the
people a land (Gen 12:6–8), and in their circumcision the people are respond-
ing to the faithfulness of the Lord to them and marking a new beginning in their
commitment to the Lord and relationship with him. They are also distinguish-
ing themselves from the previous generation, which is linked with Egypt (Josh
5:4–6) and did not circumcise their children in the wilderness. (See Hawk, 75–
82, for a helpful discussion on the importance of the events in Josh 5:1–12.) The
circumcision at Gilgal signals the rolling away of the reproach of Egypt (Josh
5:9) and the beginning of the Lord providing for his people from the produce of
the promised land (Josh 5:1–12). Thus, the 40 years of unbelief in the wilderness
(Josh 5:6) are passed over as though they meant nothing, and the focus in Mic
6:4–5 is the Lord’s miraculous work at the time of the Exodus and then his work
of bringing the nation into the land some 40 years later after the unbelieving
wilderness generation had died. The point is that in spite of the unbelief and
unfaithfulness of the wilderness generation for forty years the Lord was faithful
to his covenant promises to his people.
The events that the people are commanded to remember in 6:5 are appar-
ently threefold, although the description of the third is without a verb. Knowl-
edge of these events is assumed, and they are only briefly referred to. First, they
are to remember what Balak king of Moab planned against them. This is the
only mention of Balak in the Prophets, and the reference here is clearly to Balak
154 commentary

the king of Moab who “plotted” (βουλεύω) against Israel in Numbers 22–25
(where he is mentioned about 40×). The verb, which is not used in lxx Num-
bers 22–25 to describe Balak’s actions, has the idea of plan (so nets), but “plot”
brings out better the negative connotations in this context and goes well with
κατὰ σοῦ (“against you”) that follows it. In Numbers Balak is concerned about
the strength and size of the nation of Israel, and he is afraid they will wipe out
his people. So, he “plots” to defeat them by having the prophet Balaam curse
The second event referred to in Mic 6:5 is “what Balaam, son of Beor,
answered him.” This verb “answer” (ἀποκρίνομαι) describes the actions of Bal-
aam three times in Num 22–25 (22:8, 18; 23:26). The first time Balaam answers
(22:8) it is a simple response to the messengers Balak initially sends to him
and is not important for understanding Mic 6:5. However, the second and third
times the verb is employed to describe Balaam’s actions are in contexts that
are important for understanding what the verb is referring to in Mic 6:5. First,
in Num 22:17 the rulers sent by Balak a second time tell Balaam they will honor
him and do for him whatever he desires if he will come to Balak and curse
Israel; Balaam answers in 22:18 that no matter how much they give him he is
not able to transgress the word of the Lord God (οὐ δυνήσομαι παραβῆναι τὸ ῥῆμα
Κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ). Second, in Num 23:26, after Balaam completes his second dis-
course (“parable” [παραβολή] in the lxx) blessing Israel in 23:18–24 and Balak
asks him to stop prophesying, Balaam answers, “The word that God speaks,
this I shall do” (23:26 nets). Balaam also answers in a similar fashion after his
first and second discourses (Num 23:12; 24:12–14), although the verb “answer”
is not found in these verses in the lxx (cf. ‫ ענה‬in 23:12 in the mt). The inter-
pretation of Num 22–25 elsewhere in the lxx is that the Lord did not listen
to Balaam, but instead reversed the plot of Balak and turned the curse into a
blessing (Deut 23:4–5; Josh 24:9–10; 2Esd 23:1–2); thus, these incidents in Num
22–25 that are referred to in Mic 6:4 in reference to what Balaam “answered”
demonstrate the Lord’s sovereign control and faithful protection of his peo-
The third event referred to in Mic 6:4 is a bit ambiguous in the Hebrew and in
the lxx. Mays (135) describes the Hebrew phrase “from Shittim to Gilgal” as an
“apparently mutilated reference to Israel’s progress from Shittim to Gilgal,” and
the lxx reads “from the reeds as far as Galgal.” The construction ἀπὸ … ἕως in the
Greek prepositional phrase is often employed in the lxx to give “two extreme
points” (mur, 311; see Mic 4:7 and 7:12 [3x]); it does not make sense as a modifier
of the previous clause (“Balaam … answered”) because Balaam did not answer
Balak as far as Gilgal and Balaam and Balak do not even have any connection
with Gilgal. Thus in lxx Mic 6:5 this phrase is apparently a reference to the
ε. 6:1–9b 155

last leg of Israel’s journey into the promised land, as it is in the Hebrew. In
order to try to indicate that it is not connected with the previous clause I have
separated it from the preceding by a comma and supplied the words “the things
that happened.” “Shittim” is an important site in the Balaam narrative (Num
25:1), but the rendering “reeds” (σχοῖνος) for the Hebrew “Shittim” in lxx Mic
6:5 obscures the connection with Shittim in this prepositional phrase in the
lxx of Mic 6:5. Thus in the Hebrew text of Mic 6:5 the reference to “Shittim”
connects the last two events referred to in 6:5 more closely than in the lxx
(but cf. “Sittin” [Σαττιν] in lxx Josh 2:1 and 3:1 where it is the location of the
Israelites’ last encampment before entering the land).
The rendering of the Hebrew “Shittim” by “reeds” (σχοῖνος) in 6:5 is worthy
of some reflection. The lexeme σχοῖνος occurs in the lxx five times for certain
(Ps 138[mt 139]:3; Mic 6:5; Joel 3[mt 4]:18; Jer 8:8; 18:15; see Aitken, 433, n. 1, on
2 Macc 11:5 and Ps 44:2). In its two occurrences in the Twelve, Mic 6:5 and Joel
3[mt 4]:18, σχοῖνος corresponds with the only two occurrences in the Twelve of
the Hebrew word Shittim (‫)שׁטים‬, which is apparently derived from the Hebrew
word for the acacia tree (‫ ;שׁטה‬see halot, 1473–1474). In the mt of Mic 6:5
the phrase “from Shittim to Gilgal” describes the final leg of Israel’s Exodus
journey, across the Jordan to the land of promise. The Hebrew place name
Shittim was the name of the last encampment about 10 kilometers east of the
Jordan (Josh 3:1), and Gilgal was their first encampment on the west side of
the Jordan (Josh 4:20). In Joel 4:18 the mt describes a fountain that flows from
the house of the Lord, watering the dry Wadi Shittim, which is apparently the
name of a dry valley east of Jerusalem. It is possible that in Mic 6:5 and Joel 3:18
the translator(s) understood the word σχοῖνος to refer to the acacia tree, but
there is evidence that the word was used for a rush or reed type plant (lsj, 1746;
Renehan, 187), and thus it seems likely that is the sense one should understand
it to have in Joel and in Mic 6:5. Aitken suggests that in Mic 6:5 σχοῖνος could
be an incorrect identification of the acacia tree as a rush, occasioned by the
proximity to the Jordan of the place to which it is understood to refer. He
also suggests that possibly in Joel 3:18 the translator attempted “to convey
how much water will arise, since reeds grow by the side of rivers” and thus
rendered it as σχοῖνος; or again he could have incorrectly identify the acacia tree
(Aitken, 434; also see ba 23.4–9, 78 on Joel 3[4 mt]:18). Of course, it is possible
that the translator could have harmonized either one of these renderings with
his understanding of Shittim as a reed or rush in the other passage, and one
other term in the two passages also suggests he might have connected the two
passages. In this regard it is interesting that the term χείμαρρος is found in both
contexts rendering ‫נחל‬: in the phrase “body of rushes” in Joel 3:18 (χειμάρρουν
τῶν σχοίνων) and in the difficult phrase “rows of fat lambs” in Mic 6:7 (see the
156 commentary

discussion at 6:7). Although the term χείμαρρος (“wadi, brook”) is not unusual
in the lxx (92x), the phrases in which it is found in these two verses are difficult
and may have further connected the two passages in the mind of the translator.
Aitken (434) notes that it is very difficult to explain the translation of place
names in the lxx, but he concludes concerning the rendering σχοῖνος in Mic 6:3
and Joel 3:18 that even though the translation is “slightly puzzling, it presents
no problem for Greek semantics.” He apparently thinks the word refers to reed
or rush plants in both contexts, and it is likely that is how a reader of the lxx
would understand it. Renaud (296) notes that the term σχοῖνος is not the term
normally used in the lxx to describe the “sea of reeds” that the Israelites passed
through at the beginning of the Exodus. Thus, “from the reeds as far as Galgal”
in Mic 6:5 is not referring to the whole Exodus experience, but it is more likely
it refers to the final portion of it, the leg of the journey from east of the Jordan at
Shittim to Galgal. (For further discussion of the rendering of Shittim in Mic 6:5,
see Aitken, 433–434; Waltke, 355; and lxx.e, 2376; see Aitken for a discussion
of the meaning of σχοῖνος elsewhere in the lxx.) Thus, the Lord’s recitation of
his salvific deeds for Israel in 6:4–5 encompasses the Exodus from beginning to
end, from the time he led them out of Egypt until he led them across the Jordan
River into the land he had promised them.
The use of the plural in the Hebrew of Mic 6:5 to refer to the Lord’s “righteous
acts” (esv) or “saving acts” (nrsv) emphasizes specific actions, like the kinds
of concrete actions just described that demonstrate the Lord’s righteousness
to those who would bring a charge against him. Wolff (177) explains that the
Hebrew construction indicates that the Lord’s righteousness “is the result of his
deeds of salvation from disaster” (see Crüsemann, 436–437). The lxx renders
it in the singular, i.e. “justice (δικαιοσύνη) of the Lord,” and thus the phrase
is more abstract in the lxx than the Hebrew, emphasizing more the Lord’s
character. Five times the lxx renders the plural ‫ צדקות‬in the singular (see Judg
5:11; 1Kgdms 12:7; Isa 33:15; 45:24; and here in Mic 6:5; see lxx.e, 2376); in three
of these passages where the lxx renders it in the singular the Hebrew plural
is referring to the deeds of the Lord that demonstrate his character (Judg 5:11;
1Kgdms 12:7 and here in Mic 6:5). mur (169) suggests the meaning of δικαιοσύνη
in Mic 6:5 fits best under the classification “uprightness and righteousness as an
attribute of God’s”; it could be rendered “righteousness” or “justice,” and I have
chosen the latter in this judicial context. Achtemeier helpfully summarizes
concerning the righteousness of the Lord in the ot: it “is his fulfillment of the
demands of the relationship which exists between him and his people Israel,
his fulfillment of the covenant which he has made with his chosen nation. We
might therefore note that only he who stood within the covenant could speak
of Yahweh [the Lord] as righteous” (idb, 4:82). Thus, if the righteousness, or
ε. 6:1–9b 157

justice, of the Lord would be made known to Micah’s audience and readers, i.e.,
if they would experience it, they would have to be in a covenant relationship
with him.
The purpose of the remembering in 6:5 is “so that the justice (righteousness)
of the Lord might be made known.” In the Hebrew the verbal is an infinitive
construct, “that [you] may know the righteous deeds of the Lord.” It is difficult
to know exactly why the translator rendered the verb in the passive voice.
Renaud (296) does not think the translation of it in the passive affects the
sense of the phrase, and he may be correct. The passive voice in the lxx
might be taken to mean that the righteous character of the Lord would be
known to others outside of the nation, like gentiles, but since this making
known is the purpose for remembering his deeds, it seems more likely that
the same people who remember the deeds described in the verse are the
ones to whom his character is made known. And since the Lord’s “people”
are being addressed in the passage and commanded to “remember,” it is also
best to understand the purpose of the remembering to be that the righteous
character of the Lord would be made known to them. However, it does seem
that the translator’s choice of the passive voice here emphasizes the fact that
the Lord is transcendent and not accessible to humans unless he chooses to
make himself known to them by some means (see 6:6–7), and the passive
implies an agent who will make the Lord known. Thus, it is emphasizing God’s
sovereignty over the ability to know and understand him and his character. This
passage is best understood as one of the many places in the lxx where γινώσκω
signifies “divine self-revelation” (tdnt, 1:699). mur (132) classifies the sense
of γινώσκω here under the category “to become acquainted with, to gain close
knowledge of,” and in this context it surely has the idea of understanding and
thus knowing well and personally the righteous character of the Lord. The Lord
makes himself known in the present by means of his faithful, saving deeds in
the past; truly “history is the handmaiden of faith.” Thus, the Lord’s purpose in
rehearsing his actions on behalf of Israel before the covenant court goes beyond
vindicating himself. He seeks ultimately to remind Israel of his provision for
them throughout their history so that Israel will renew its faith in him and the
covenant relationship will be restored (Mays, 135–136). That becomes clearer in
verses 6–8.
The Lord’s voice that has been heard giving his defense and response to
the complaints of the people in 6:3–5 does not continue in 6:6. Mic 6:6–7
contains the questions of an anonymous petitioner seeking a means of access
to the Lord, and in 6:8 we apparently hear the voice of the prophet answering
the petitioner’s questions and reminding him of what the Lord requires. In
Vaticanus the first two clauses in 6:9 are connected with 6:1–8, and we continue
158 commentary

to hear the voice of the prophet in those clauses. But the first two clauses in
6:9 change the direction of the discourse slightly from verses 6–8. In the first
two clauses in 6:9 the prophet describes the voice of the Lord calling out in the
city and the Lord saving those who fear him, subjects that are not completely
unrelated to 6:6–8 and in some ways form a conclusion to the discourse in
6:6–8. (See the discussion at the beginning of this section [6:1] concerning the
relationship of 6:9 to the preceding and following in B.) It is worth noting also
that the Lord is mentioned in each verse in 6:6–9; however, in the second clause
in 6:6 the Lord is called “my God Most High” (θεοῦ μου ὑψίστου), an important
title because it further defines the lofty one into whose presence the petitioner
in 6:6–7 desires access (see below on this title).
In the lxx the petitioner asks five questions in 6:6–7, instead of the four
questions in the Hebrew. The reason for the difference is that in the lxx the
first question in 6:6 in Hebrew becomes two questions in Greek; apparently
the translator did not recognize the second Hebrew verb in 6:6, “bow” (‫)כפף‬,
which only occurs five times in the mt (only this one time in the Twelve),
and he understood it to be part of a separate question. Thus, he rendered it
in a way that he thought would fit with the context and employed ἀντιλαμβά-
νομαι, a verb related to the other Greek verb in the sentence (καταλαμβάνω),
both occurrences of which in 6:6 correspond to the same Hebrew verb, “come
before, meet” (‫)קדם‬. (This is the only time ἀντιλαμβάνομαι is used to render one
of the five occurrences of ‫ כפף‬in the Hebrew Bible.) Since these two Greek verbs,
which only differ because of the different prepositional prefixes on λαμβάνω,
are close in meaning (mur, 59, 374–375), it appears the translator has chosen
a word to render the Hebrew verb he does not know that is consistent with
the meaning that is clear in the rest of the verse and yet is a slight variation
in form, showing he is aware of the different Hebrew verbs. Both of the Greek
verbs in 6:6 (καταλαμβάνω, ἀντιλαμβάνομαι) could be rendered “take hold of,
secure” (mur, 59, 374), and they both emphasize the petitioner’s part in the
relationship between him and the Lord. I have translated the two verbs differ-
ently to try to reflect the fact that the verb in the second question differs from
the verb in the other two.
The verb καταλαμβάνω is the more common of the two different verbs in lxx
Mic 6:6 (126x in the lxx), and it is often rendered “capture, overtake, catch”; it
is often employed to describe the capture of a city or person. In its other five
occurrences in the Twelve it has the idea “overtake” (Hos 2:7; 10:9; Amos 9:13;
Zech 1:6) and “seize” (Obad 6), and I have rendered it “take hold of” in Mic
6:6 (2x). It suggests effort and even victory on the part of the subject in the
overtaking of the object. The other verb (ἀντιλαμβάνομαι) is not as common
in the lxx (53x), and it only occurs this once in the Twelve. It often conveys
ε. 6:1–9b 159

the idea “supply, help, support, assist” in the lxx. However, in this passage it
is usually understood to have the sense “take hold of, secure” (Brenton renders
it “lay hold of” and nets has “lay claim to”; see mur, 59); the sense “take hold
of, secure” is only found in a few other verses (esp. Isa 26:3; 41:9; 64:7; in Isa
51:18; Ezek 16:49; and 20:5–6 it has the idea of taking by the hand, but always
with the idea of helping). Thus, both of the verbs in 6:6 emphasize the part
of the petitioner in a relationship with the Lord and suggest the petitioner is
able to do something to lay hold of the Lord, rather than depending on the
Lord’s grace. As mentioned above, the second question in the lxx in 6:6, “Shall
I lay claim to my God Most High?” differs substantially from the Hebrew “bow
myself down before God on high,” which emphasizes the correct response to
the exalted Lord.
The first question expresses the petitioner’s basic concern: by what means
(ἐν τίνι) can I lay hold of the Lord? The one aorist subjunctive and two future
indicative verbs in 6:6 are all deliberative, and with the use of each of them
the questioner is asking real questions that are cognitive in nature. Thus,
they are not rhetorical questions, asking if it is right to do so (see Wallace,
465–467, 570; note the use of both a deliberative subjunctive and a deliberative
future indicative verb in Mark 6:37 also). The answer to the questioner at the
beginning of 6:8 requires that his questions be understood to be cognitive;
these are things he should know. Also important is the first person singular
subject of all three verbs in 6:6. The questioner is asking, what can “I” do to gain
access to God’s presence and to enter into his temple to worship and fellowship
with him (see also Ps 14[mt 15]:1)? Thus, even though he seems to understand
that the complaints against the Lord that he addressed in verses 3–5 were not
valid and that the Lord has been vindicated in the covenant court, he does
not understand the true significance of the Lord’s saving deeds on behalf of
his covenant people that were rehearsed in 6:3–5 or the implications of the
40 years of failure and unfaithfulness of Israel that were alluded to in those
verses. He still thinks there is something he can do to be acceptable to the Lord.
Waltke (386) summarizes, “The worshipper condemns himself by his profound
unbelief in God’s grace; a profound refusal to repent of his sin; and a profound
misunderstanding of his covenantal obligations.”
The second question in 6:6 in the lxx, which is part of the first question in
the Hebrew, repeats closely the idea of the first question (see the discussion
above on the verbs employed), but it is important to note the name for God
that is used in this question: “Shall I lay claim to my God Most High?” (θεοῦ μου
ὑψίστου). The use of the words “my God” indicates some kind of a relationship
with the Lord, and on the basis of the questions the petitioner is asking it
appears that relationship is more formal than personal. The title “Most High”
160 commentary

was used for Zeus in the Greek world (lsj, 1910), and it is commonly employed
to refer to the God of Israel in the lxx; its primary point is probably that God is
in heaven, on high, and is over all other gods and powers and over all nations
and peoples (see the discussion in tdnt, 8:617–618). The noun ὕψιστος is not
simply an appositional modifier of God here, but it is best understood as a
divine epithet (e.g., Ps 9:3; this noun occurs about 124x in the lxx, but this is
its only occurrence in the Twelve; see Waltke, 358, on the use of this epithet to
render the Hebrew ‫ לאלהי מרום‬here).
The third question of the petitioner in 6:6 is a direct question introduced by
the particle εἰ, as are the two questions in 6:7 (mur, 190). The lxx often employs
the particle εἰ to introduce questions (mur, 190; Smyth, § 2671; Robertson, 916),
and in that regard, it is noteworthy that the interrogative εἰ in 6:8 introduces
an indirect question, and it is affirmative (i.e., it is assumed that the answer
to the question it introduces is affirmative [see Smyth, § 2671]). With the last
question in 6:6 the petitioner begins to list possible answers to the question
at the beginning of 6:6: “with what (ἐν τίνι) shall I lay hold of the Lord?” In
this question and the two following it he will list in ascending order of value
possible means of gaining access to the Lord and being accepted by him. These
questions assume that the problem is with the Lord and not with the person
desiring to approach the Lord; the worshipper must find a way to change the
Lord’s attitude toward the worshipper or to manipulate the Lord (Mays, 139).
The first suggested means of laying hold of the Lord is “with whole burnt
offerings, with year old calves.” These two sacrifices are specific examples of the
means of laying hold of the Lord introduced in the first question in 6:6; each is
in the dative and introduced by the preposition ἐν, matching “with what?” (ἐν
τίνι) in the first question. The whole burnt offering (ὁλοκαύτωμα) was wholly
consumed in the fire, representing a total consecration to the Lord, and it was
“used in a variety of occasions with different intentions” (Mays, 140; see esp.
Lev 1–7). “Year old calves” are the worshipper’s first escalation of the value of
his offering; they would be especially precious because of their tender meat.
Animals were acceptable as offerings when they were eight days old (Lev 22:27),
and a calf that was eight days old would be more valuable than a new born one
(see Mays, 140). The whole burnt offering and calf are combined in Lev 9:3 in
the mt, although it is not as clear in the lxx, and in Num 8:8 a year old calf is
mentioned as a sin offering.
The main verb “receive” (προσδέχομαι) in the first question in 6:7 often has
some sort of sacrifice in the accusative case as its object in the Twelve (Hos 8:13;
Amos 5:22; Mal 1:10, 13); the accusative object of the verb can also be a person
that is welcomed (Isa 55:12), and sometimes it refers to someone received (or
not received) on the basis of an offering (Gen 32:21; Mal 1:8). In 6:6 it does
ε. 6:1–9b 161

not have an accusative object, but instead it is modified by two prepositional

phrases, both with ἐν followed by its dative object; these phrases match the
form of the three prepositional phrases in 6:6 (see above, esp. “with what?” [ἐν
τίνι]), which refer to the different means by which the petitioner suggests he
might lay hold of the Lord. mur (592) notes that the construction in 6:6 with
προσδέχομαι followed by these prepositional phrases is a Hebraism that is not
attested prior to the lxx. It is unlikely that these phrases function as objects
of the verb (i.e., “will the Lord receive thousands of rams?”), and one would
expect them to function in the same manner as the three parallel prepositional
phrases in 6:6, which point to the means by which the petitioner suggests he
might lay hold of the Lord. It is clear from the use of the first person singular
verbs in 6:6 and the mention of “my soul” at the end of 6:7 that the concern of
the petitioner is whether or not the Lord will receive him; thus, I have supplied
“me” as the understood object of the first verb in 6:7, and I have taken the two
prepositional phrases to indicate the means by which he suggests he might be
received (“will the Lord receive me with thousands of rams?”; but see a different
view in Joosten, “The Prayer of Azariah,” 12–13). The verb προσδέχομαι has the
sense “receive approvingly or favorably” (mur, 592).
The escalation of the value of the offerings, which began in 6:6, continues
in the questions in 6:7. “Thousands of rams” would be an extravagant offer-
ing, which would only be offered by kings like David and Solomon (3 Kgdms
3:4; 8:63; 1Chron 29:21; cf. 2Chron 29:32). And the difficult Greek phrase “tens
of thousands of rows of fat lambs” escalates the value and number even fur-
ther. This Greek phrase differs from the Hebrew, which refers to oil to be
poured upon the altar. The translator rendered the word oil as “fat” (πίων), and
here it refers to fat animals for sacrifice, or “fat lambs” (leh, 377; mur, 560).
Above in the discussion of 6:5 we referred to the word χείμαρρος in regard to
the relationship of that verse with Joel 3:18 where χείμαρρος also occurs; mur
(730) comments that this word for wadi or stream may be used metaphori-
cally here “of an entity of limited width and with considerable length,” i.e.,
long “rows” of sacrifices. At this point the bargaining is “so extreme that it
becomes apparent even to the densest observer that this absurd approach has
no limit and establishes neither covenant relationship with God nor assur-
ance of salvation” (Waltke, 388). Wolff (178) questions whether the formula-
tion of such a question might intend “to make a caricature of what is becom-
ing more and more nonsensical, especially the great size of sacrificial offer-
In his last question the petitioner goes beyond the bounds of the cult to the
ultimate offering a person could make, his firstborn child. This bargain moves
outside the extravagant to the obscene (see Mays, 140–141 and Waltke, 389 on
162 commentary

the question of human sacrifice in Israel). Perhaps the petitioner is reaching

back to the story of Abraham and Isaac to refer to what he considers to be
the supreme proof that a person fears the Lord (Mays, 140). The petitioner is
desperately seeking a sacrifice that the Lord will accept in order to propitiate
the Lord.
The petitioner’s consciousness of guilt and his desire for atonement, which
were presupposed before, become explicit in 6:7b where he mentions “ungod-
liness” and “the sin of my soul.” The genitive of ἀσέβεια (“ungodliness”) corre-
sponds to the Hebrew noun ‫פשׁע‬, but the lxx does not reflect the first person
singular suffix on the Hebrew noun. The Hebrew noun could refer to “transgres-
sion, crime” (halot, 981–982) or to “a transgression offering” (bdb, 833, § 6);
the lxx takes it as the former. The use of the genitive ἀσεβείας is difficult to clas-
sify; the translator seems to be following closely the sentence structure in the
Hebrew, and this use of the genitive may be a Hebraism (Thackeray, § 4). How-
ever, it is similar to what Smyth (§1372) calls a genitive of price; i.e., “the price for
which one gives or does anything stands in the genitive.” This last usage fits well
the bartering and negotiating in this context. The preposition ὑπέρ, which is in
the last phrase in 6:7 in B (as well as in Swete and Rahlfs; see text notes), should
probably be understood to have the sense “in the interest of, for the cause of”
(mur, 696), and with “the sin of my soul” as its object the phrase indicates the
petitioner is bargaining for propitiation for his sins and for atonement with the
Lord (see the discussion of ὑπέρ in bdag, 1030–1031). There are a few times in
the lxx where the preposition ὑπέρ with the genitive has the sense “instead of”
(Harris, 211–212; see Deut 24:16; 4Kgdms 14:6), but substitution is not the sense
of the preposition here. The repetition of the first person personal pronouns
in 6:7 (μου) emphasizes that the petitioner is trying to find something that he
possesses that the Lord will accept that will atone for his sin (“my first born”
and “the fruit of my flesh” for “the sin of my soul”). The phrases “my first born”
and “the fruit of my flesh” also emphasize the bond, or connection, between the
petitioner and his offering and the costliness of his proposed offering, as well
as the absurdity of his argument.
In 6:8 the prophet responds to the petitioner whose words were heard in
6:6–7. Whereas, in the Hebrew the first part of 6:8 is a positive statement,
in the lxx it is a question. The translator apparently understood the initial
‫ ה‬on the first verb (‫ )הגיד‬to be an interrogative (see lxx.e, 2376), and the
string of questions in 6:6–7 as well as the question following in the second
part of 6:8 probably confirmed his understanding (see Waltke, 362, for other
possible explanations of the lxx rendering). The lxx employs the particle εἰ
to introduce the direct question at the beginning of 6:8 (mur, 190; see the
discussion of this function of εἰ in 6:6–7).
ε. 6:1–9b 163

lxx Mic 6:8 could be punctuated in several different ways, and we will devote
some attention now to a discussion of the structure of the verse. The main issue
is whether the verse contains one main question with two objects or whether
it should be understood as two questions. If it is one question (so lxx.d) then
the prophet is asking the petitioner if the Lord has revealed two different things
to him (“what (τί) is good or what (τί) does the Lord seek from you?”). This
understanding of the verse is supported by the parallel interrogative pronouns,
which in this understanding of the verse are used to describe parallel objects of
the main verb (see the similar use of the interrogative pronoun in 6:5a). lxx.e
(2376) also argues that the use of the particle ἤ in 6:8 where it distinguishes
between alternating queries supports this understanding of the verse, because
the particle is used in this way in the immediately preceding verse (6:7a). This
last argument is not strong, because in 6:8 the particle ἤ introduces an alter-
nate interrogative clause, while in 6:7a it introduces an alternate prepositional
phrase. lxx.e gives four other examples to support their proposed understand-
ing of the use of ἤ in 6:8, but in only one of those parallels does ἤ introduce
an alternate clause (3Kgdms 22:15), as suggested in Mic 6:8. However, even in
3 Kgdms 22:15 the parallel is not exact, because in 3 Kgdms 22:15, although the
particle ἤ introduces an alternate interrogative clause, it is not the object of
another question, as lxx.e proposes in the construction in Mic 6:8. In the three
other examples lxx.e gives to support their understanding of ἤ in Mic 6:8 ἤ
introduces an alternate noun (3Kgdms 18:10), an alternate prepositional phrase
(Joel 1:2), or an alternate object complement (Ps 52[mt 53]:3). In Mic 6:3, an
example lxx.e does not use, ἤ occurs twice, introducing two parallel clauses,
but the clauses contain different questions, not different objects of one ques-
tion, as suggested in lxx.d and lxx.e in 6:8.
Since the use of ἤ in Mic 6:8 that is proposed by lxx.d and lxx.e (to divide
between two parallel objects of one question) is not compelling, it is expedient
to consider the other main option mentioned above, i.e., that the verse contains
two separate questions. All modern Greek editions and Brenton understand
Mic 6:8 to be at least two questions. (Ziegler has three questions, making “Has
it been revealed to you?” and “What is good?” separate questions. In nets the
verse is one long question, divided only by some commas; see the discussion of
this below.)
Several factors support understanding the Greek of Mic 6:8 as two questions
rather than one question with two objects as lxx.d does. First, ἤ is often used to
introduce direct alternative questions (Smyth §2657; mur, 317), and it is often
employed in this way in the Twelve (Hos 14:10; Mic 4:9; 6:3; Joel 3:4; Hab 3:8;
Mal 3:2). Furthermore, Smyth (§2860) notes that often ἤ “does not introduce
an alternate to a previous question, but substitutes instead another question
164 commentary

which is more specific and intended to anticipate the answer to the first (or
rather, more precisely)”; that seems to be the case in Mic 6:8 where the question
“what does the Lord seek from you?” with its answer specifies and supplies the
answer anticipated by the first question “has it not been revealed to you … what
is good?” (Smyth [§2650] notes that ἤ introduces “questions asking merely for
information and impl[ies] nothing as to the answer expected [neither yes nor
Another related issue in 6:8 is the function of ἀλλ᾽ ἤ. Denniston (24) explains
that ἀλλ᾽ ἤ “is used only after negatives and questions expecting a negative
answer.” He lists three uses of this construction (24–26), and the second seems
to be the situation in Mic 6:8: “A negation … is followed by an exception”; the
negation in 6:8 is the implied answer to the second question: “what does the
Lord seek from you?” (Smyth [§2777] also notes that ἀλλ᾽ ἤ may mean “except”
after “a negative clause or a question implying a negative answer.”) The negative
before ἀλλ᾽ ἤ in 6:8 is the implied answer to the question preceding it. Based on
the preceding context the implied answer to the question is none of the things
suggested, or perhaps even nothing at all, which is the answer supplied in lxx.d
(Nichts). But the implied answer “nothing” is not the whole story, because in
the remainder of the verse the prophet explains that even though what is good
and sought by the Lord involves nothing man needs to give to the Lord, there
are a few exceptions to this negative answer. The Lord is seeking nothing except
faithfulness to his covenant (see the discussion below). Since ἀλλ᾽ ἤ is so closely
connected to the implied negative answer to the second question in 6:8 (“what
is the Lord seeking from you?”) and would not follow naturally after the first
question in 6:8 (“… what is good?”), which does not suggest a negative response,
ἀλλ᾽ ἤ also seems most natural in 6:8 if the verse has two separate questions
and it clearly gives the exception only to the second question. If the verse is
understood as one question with two separated objects, as lxx.d, the function
of ἀλλ᾽ ἤ is obscured, although not beyond recognition.
There are a few other reasons why I have chosen to divide 6:8 into two
separate questions. First, this reading of the verse seems to give it balance;
as a result of reading the verse this way there is one explicit main verb in
each question: has it not “been revealed,” and what does the Lord “seek”?
Second, by reading the verse this way one is able to avoid what seems to me
the awkwardness of lxx.d. In lxx.d the first part of the verse is understood as
one sentence asking if two things have been announced to the man addressed:
what is good or what the Lord requires from you (double objects); then this
question with double objects is followed by the answer “nothing” (“Nichts”),
which must be supplied to try to make sense of this arrangement of the text.
This answer (Nichts) is also problematic because it is not appropriate for the
ε. 6:1–9b 165

first object of the main verb or the first part of the single question, i.e. “Has it
been revealed to you what is good?” Furthermore, to read 6:8 as one question
followed by its answer at the end of the verse results in a final sentence in the
verse with three infinitives and with no indicative verb. Finally, Mic 6:8 is very
similar to Deut 10:12–13, and it seems likely the prophet Micah as well as the
lxx translator would have been aware of the material in the Deut passage (see
Renaud, 318–319). Both passages explain what the Lord desires from his people
in his covenant relationship with them. Deut 10:12 says: “And now, O Israel, what
does the Lord your God ask from you but to fear the Lord your God, to go in
all his ways and to love him and to serve the Lord your God with the whole
of your heart and with the whole of your soul” (nets). The vocabulary and
form of this verse (Καὶ νῦν, Ἰσραήλ, τί Κύριος ὁ θεός σου αἰτεῖται παρὰ σοῦ ἀλλ᾽
ἢ φοβεῖσθαι Κύριον τὸν θεόν σου) are very similar to Mic 6:8, and they suggest
that the translator and reader of Mic 6:8, who were probably familiar with such
language, would understand the words “or what does the Lord seek from you
but to do justice” (ἢ τί Κύριος ἐκζητεῖ παρὰ σοῦ ἀλλ᾽ ἢ τοῦ ποιεῖν κρίμα) in Mic 6:8
in light of Deut 10. Thus, the evidence suggests the translator and Greek reader
would understand the second part of Mic 6:8 to be one connected question, as
I have rendered it, and they would not divide this part of the verse, joining the
first part with the previous question and reading the last part beginning with
“but, except” (ἀλλ᾽ ἤ) as a separate sentence.
It was mentioned above that in nets Mic 6:8 is one long question, divided
only by some commas. However that does not necessarily mean that the trans-
lator of the Minor Prophets in nets did not think there was more than one
question in the verse. For example in 6:6 in nets the first half of the verse only
has one question mark, but a semicolon between the two clauses suggests it was
understood as two questions (“With what should I lay hold of the Lord; shall I
lay claim to my God Most High?”). It is difficult to know exactly the understand-
ing of the structure of Mic 6:8 in nets.
So to summarize concerning the structure of Mic 6:8, it seems best to under-
stand the verse as two related questions. The first question is introduced by the
particle εἰ (see the discussion in 6:6–7). Here the question is affirmative (i.e.,
it is assumed that the answer to the question εἰ introduces is affirmative [see
Smyth, §2671]). The first interrogative pronoun (τίς) in 6:8 functions similarly
to the way it did in 6:5, as part of the object of the question in 6:8a (or thing
remembered in 6:5); thus “what is good?” (τίς καλός) must be connected with
the preceding question (“Has it not been revealed to you”) and function as its
content or object. The adversative particle ἤ (“or”) introduces a second ques-
tion (“or what does the Lord seek from you?”); the second question is marked
by the second interrogative pronoun (τίς) in 6:8, and as discussed above, the
166 commentary

particle ἤ (“or”) indicates the second question is in a sense substituted for the
first one; it is more precise than the first one and in its totality will anticipate
the answer to the first question. Although in itself ἤ does not suggest a posi-
tive or a negative answer to this question, the preceding context is clear that
the anticipated answer is negative (Smyth §2650); the Lord does not require
a person to give him anything or to do anything for him. The construction
ἀλλ᾽ ἤ that follows the second question, and is in a sense a part of it contin-
uing the same sentence, presents an exception to the preceding negative; it
may mean “except” after “a negative clause or a question implying a negative
answer” (Smyth §2777; see also Denniston, 24–26). The exceptions given at the
end of the verse to the implied negative answer to the second question are a
summary of the covenant responsibilities of the man addressed at the begin-
ning of the verse.
Now we will turn to a few details about the meaning of 6:8; in this verse the
Lord is addressing an anonymous person through the prophet. I have rendered
the vocative at the beginning of the verse (ἄνθρωπε) as “O, man,” even though
the word should be understood to refer to a human being without any special
reference to maleness (mur, 52; so also nets), because in English one is not
addressed as “O, person” or “O, human being.” mur (52) suggests that in this
context the word has the sense of a human being, opposite to a divine being,
and thus it stresses the distance between humans and “God Most High” (6:6).
The preceding context with its discussion of cultic ritual and the summary
of covenant requirements that follows later in 6:8 suggest that the address
is to a representative Israelite, probably the person asking the questions in
6:6–7. However, the term ἄνθρωπος, as well as the description of the Lord as
“God Most High” in 6:6, suggests the reference is broader and that the moral
standards, which form the basis of the covenant are known by all and “all
mankind are accountable to the covenant standards and will be judged by
them” (Waltke, 391). Such universal responsibility to be aware of the moral good
which forms the foundation of the Lord’s covenant standards should probably
be understood to be based on the image of God in man and the revelation of
God in the conscience or consciousness of God (Gen 9:5; see also Ps 18[mt 19]:6;
cf. Rom 2:14–16 where Paul writes that gentiles have “the law written in their
hearts”). Thus, Micah’s audience is totally without excuse for not knowing what
the Lord requires. In fact, the Lord’s answer in 6:8 makes their questions in
6:6–7 look more like desperate attempts to excuse their sin than legitimate
The Greek translator chose to employ an aorist passive verb at the beginning
of 6:8 to render “the indefinite third person singular ‘one,’ the so-called ‘imper-
sonal subject’” in the Hebrew (Waltke, 362). The verb ἀναγγέλλω has a range
ε. 6:1–9b 167

of meaning including “report, disclose, proclaim, announce, reveal” (mur, 37;

bdag, 59; lsj, 100; leh, 26–27); I have rendered the passive form in 6:8 “has
been revealed” (see Gen 3:11), since the communication it refers to, what is
morally good and what the Lord requires, comes ultimately from the Lord. By
rendering it this way I do not mean to exclude reference to the passing down
of the tradition in the nation of Israel, but I am not convinced that the lxx
reader would understand the “man” addressed in this passage to be limited to
Israelites. The noun καλός refers to what is “morally good” (so mur, 360, 2); this
sense of the word is found also in other covenant contexts (Deut 6:18; 12:25, 28;
13:18[mt 19]). The term καλός is often used in the prophetic literature to summa-
rize the Lord’s requirements (Isa 1:17; 5:20; Amos 5:14–15; Mic 3:2; see Mays, 141).
The word often also connotes what is pleasing to the Lord (e.g., Gen 1:4), and
that idea is also implied in its use in Mic 6:6: what is morally good is pleasing
and acceptable to the Lord (so mur, 360, 2). Although this is not the primary
meaning of the word in this context, the noun καλός also gives connotations of
something that is desirable and beneficial, and it implies that the requirements
of the Lord are not a burden or a trouble (6:3).
The first question in 6:8 implies that the prophet is expecting a positive
answer. The point is that the Lord has made very clear what is morally good
and pleasing to him. The petitioner in 6:6–7 is on the wrong track. He need not
inquire what he has to do to be accepted by the Lord, because this is something
he should know. He needs to listen and submit to the revelation the Lord has
already given. There is nothing new that needs to be done to make a way for
him to be accepted by the Lord. The foundation of the covenant is the deeds of
the Lord (6:3–5); he is the one who initiated the covenant relationship, and it is
Israel’s responsibility to realize its place as the human partner in the covenant
relationship (“O, man”) and respond with faithfulness to the covenant. It is
striking in this context that the questioner knows full well that he is a guilty
sinner and is not worthy to be accepted by the Lord, but he acts like he does not
know what the Lord requires. The first question in 6:8, implying that he is aware
of the standard he has failed to reach, suggests he is not as ignorant of what
the Lord requires as his questions in 6:6–7 suggest. Are his questions another,
less obvious means of complaining that the Lord is making their lives difficult
or miserable (see 6:3) and another means of seeking to evade the complete
personal devotion to the Lord that is required (6:8b)?
The second question in 6:8 is more precise than the first, developing further
the first question (see the discussion above on the structure of the verse).
It anticipates a negative response; in other words, the Lord does not accept
people on the basis of any of the things mentioned in 6:6–7 that they can
do for him. But, as discussed above, that is not the whole story because the
168 commentary

exception clause (ἀλλ᾽ ἤ) at the end of 6:8 gives a clear answer to the absurd
questions of the petitioner in 6:6–7. I have rendered the verb ἐκζητέω followed
by the preposition παρά as “require of” (following mur, 207, 3); according to
the covenant the Lord has the right to require of his people the covenant
faithfulness described in the exception clause at the end of 6:8. (The verb
ἐκζητέω in 6:8 is close to “demand” or “require,” which sense it sometimes has in
contexts where a reckoning for the shedding of human blood is required [Gen
9:5; 2Kgdms 4:11; Luke 11:50].)
The second question in 6:8 is getting at the heart of what is required for one
to be accepted by the Lord (cf. 6:6–7). The Lord’s requirements are described
with three parallel present tense infinitives (and there is a fourth present tense
infinitive [“to walk”] following the third parallel infinitive); the repeated use
of the present tense emphasizes that these things are to be characteristic of
a person’s life (customary or habitual use of the present tense). The first two
requirements for covenant solidarity in 6:8b are on the human, horizontal axis,
involving relationships with other people, and the third is on the vertical axis,
referring directly to one’s relationship to the Lord.
The first requirement of a person who is accepted by the Lord is to “practice
justice.” The infinitive of ποιέω is rendered “practice” rather than “do,” because
it is describing an obligation of a moral nature that is to be characteristic of a
person’s life (see bdag, 840, 3). The noun κρίμα is often rendered “judgment”
in the Twelve, especially in Hos, Amos, and elsewhere in Mic (3:1, 8; 7:9). Here I
have rendered it “justice” (so mur, 412, 3, who classifies this occurrence under
the category, “justice as a moral quality”), because this rendering more clearly
communicates the idea of a moral quality than “judgment” (so nets), which
suggests more making a decision or handing down a sentence. (See bdag,
567, 5, which mentions the use of κρίμα to refer to the proper recognition
of someone’s rights and its close relationship to δικαιοσύνη in the lxx.) The
infinitive construction has the sense of characteristically engaging oneself in
and effecting justice (mur, 569, 6), and it is interesting that in Amos 5:7 the
Lord is praised for being the one who “makes judgment on high,” employing the
same verb and object. Thus, in a sense this requirement involves cooperating
with the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth.
The second thing the Lord requires from people is “to love mercy.” This
requirement moves deeper into the heart of a person; whereas “to practice
justice” involves deeds in the community, “to love mercy” involves the inner
motivation and desires of a person. mur (3, 3) suggests “love” here has the sense
“to take delight in” or perhaps “desire” (see Swinn, 78), and in this context the
verb suggests commitment, emotional involvement, and a heart that has been
renewed. Swinn (76) summarizes concerning the use of ἀγαπάω in the lxx that
ε. 6:1–9b 169

it “was the ordinary Greek word for ‘love’” and that “it could be molded by the
context to convey the appropriate level of meaning.”
The object of the infinitive “to love” is the noun “mercy” (ἔλεος; see text
notes). This noun is found in Greek in both masculine and neuter forms (lsj,
532; leh, 144), and the form of the word in B (ἔλεον) is either the earlier
accusative masculine form (see lsj, 532, which mentions that the neuter, which
is often found in the lxx, was later) or more likely an alternative accusative
form of the neuter, which is normally if not always the gender of the word in
the lxx (so mur, 223; bdag, 316, seems to corroborate this; see also Spicq, 1:471,
who suggests the noun ἔλεος was most often neuter in the Hellenistic period).
More important is the meaning of this word in Mic 6:8. The basic meaning of
the Greek word is something like “mercy, pity, compassion” (lsj, 532; mur, 223)
or “the feeling of one who is moved by the sight of another’s suffering and in
a way shares in it” (Spicq, 1:471). Joosten has demonstrated that those basic
ideas of the Greek word carry over to its meaning in the lxx (Joosten, “‫חסד‬,
‘Benevolence’, and ἔλεος, ‘Pity’”), but he does allow that it might at times have
the idea of “acts of good-will toward the destitute” (108), and he acknowledges
that at times by syntagmatic associations the word takes on new meanings
in the lxx like “sympathy” or “disposition to come to aid to” (107). Since it is
describing something the Lord requires of his people in Mic 6:8, the word is not
referring to the Lord’s mercy or pity, but rather the “mercy, pity, compassion” his
people are to have for each other, or perhaps by extension and because of the
covenant context it could have the idea “acts of good-will toward the destitute.”
The Lord requires that his people have a desire to show pity and compassion to
others, even to the point of coming to the aid of others. (For a summary of the
Hebrew word ‫חסד‬, which corresponds to “mercy” [ἔλεος] in Mic 6:8 and often
elsewhere in the lxx, and the relationship between the two words see Renaud,
298–299; Waltke, 392–394; and Joosten, “‫חסד‬, ‘Benevolence’, and ἔλεος, ‘Pity.’”)
This requirement is very similar to the moral standards of the Lord described
in two other passages that employ the word “mercy” (ἔλεος), Hos 6:6 and 12:6.
These first two requirements in Mic 6:8 are another way to describe what it
means to love your neighbor as yourself.
The third description of what the Lord requires to be accepted by him
is “to be ready to walk with the Lord your God.” As mentioned above, this
requirement moves beyond a person’s relationship with the community, which
is the primary focus of the first two requirements and is not unrelated to one’s
relationship with the Lord, to focus completely on a person’s relationship with
the Lord. The verb “walk” (πορεύομαι) in 6:8b is clearly figurative, referring to
conducting oneself or following a certain lifestyle (see mur, 577–578, 3). To
walk “with the Lord your God” involves following him and his will or his ways as
170 commentary

they are revealed in his revelation. In a similar passage, Deut 10:12, Moses refers
to “walking in all his ways,” which is parallel to fearing, loving, and serving the
Lord in that context.
The words “to be ready” in 6:8 deserve comment. First, the Hebrew verb (‫)צנע‬,
which corresponds to the Greek words “be ready” (ἕτοιμον εἶναι) only occurs
twice in the mt (qal passive participle also in Prov 11:2); its meaning is debated,
and it is unlikely that the translator was familiar with it (see the discussion of
this verb in halot, 1039; esv and nrsv render this infinitive absolute form
“humbly”; Waltke, 364–365, surveys several studies that suggest the word has
the idea “circumspectly” here). Thus, it appears that the translator chose a
general word that would support the importance of what was clear from the
verse and from the rest of Scripture: the importance of walking with the Lord.
The rendering to be ready or prepared to walk with the Lord your God fits nicely
with the context. Secondly his choice of the adjective ἕτοιμος to render this
difficult Hebrew word suggests the concept of “being ready” was important for
the translator in Mic (who probably is also the translator of the other books of
the Twelve). The adjective ἕτοιμος occurs only three times in the Twelve (see
also 4:1 and Hos 6:3), but the related verb ἑτοιμάζω (9x) and noun ἑτοιμασία
(2×) are also found in this literature. In the Twelve they normally correspond to
some form of the verb ‫( כון‬establish, prepare, make ready, halot, 464–465) or
another word that appears to be a form of this verb (see Zeph 3:7 and Zech 5:11;
Mic 7:3 and Nah 3:8 are exceptions). The only occurrence of the verb ἑτοιμάζω
in the book of Mic also suggests the translator felt it was an important concept
for the book of Mic; in Mic 7:3 the verb renders ‫יטב‬, which means to be good
or pleasing, and in that verse it is part of a play on words, “to be good (skilled)
at evil” (halot, 408–409; see also Nah 3:8 where there are textual problems,
but which is the only other time out of its about 174x in the lxx that ἑτοιμάζω
could possibly be rendering ‫)יטב‬. The translator’s choice of this concept in Mic
6:8 and 7:3 suggests that the concept of being ready was on the mind of the
translator as he translated Mic.
What is clear is that in lxx Mic 6:8 one of the requirements for acceptance
with the Lord is being ready or prepared to walk with him. This suggests
willingness and commitment to obey his commands and to be faithful to his
covenant. Such an attitude also requires a loving trust in the Lord, believing
that what he wants and where he leads are for one’s best; without such trust it
would be impossible to be ready to walk with the Lord. The verse ends with a
description of the Lord as “your God,” reminding the reader of the Lord’s desire
for a covenant relationship with his people and the ongoing potential of such
a relationship. (Κύριος at the end of 6:8 is a lxx plus.) Thus, the Lord has not
rejected his people; he is still open to a relationship with them.
ε. 6:1–9b 171

This passage (and others like Hos 6:1–6) raises the question whether the Lord
is condemning the cult. Renaud (316) responds that the opposition between
verses 7 and 8 should be understood to be rhetorical, and the point of the
passage is the priority of the covenant over the cult. If the people’s hearts would
be turned to the Lord, the cult could again recover its intended place. Waltke
(391) comments that the Lord “never allowed ritual to replace covenant trust
and obligation as a way of establishing a relationship with him, a relationship
wherein sin must be atoned for.” He goes on to illustrate the relative importance
of the covenant and cult by reviewing the fact that before the Lord instructed
Israel about how to worship (Exod 25–40 and Lev) he “gave the redeemed
people the Ten Commandments from his own finger (Exod 19:1–20:17), and
then he mediated through Moses the Book of the Covenant that regulated
social behavior (Exod 20:18–24:18).” Before Israel even received the ceremonial
laws instructing them how to worship they had already received and ratified
the judicial laws (Exod 24), and when they disobeyed the judicial laws (Exod
32–33) the instruction concerning the ceremonial laws ceased (see the helpful
discussion in Waltke, 390–391).
The sacrifice the Lord desires and what is morally good and acceptable to
him is not anything one can give from outside of oneself; it is the very heart of
the person. What the Lord requires is “a yielding of life itself to God and his way,
‘repentance’ of the most radical sort … not the life of something, but the living
of the man who stands before him” (Mays, 142). Thus, the person who wants to
be accepted by the Lord need not look beyond what the Lord has done (6:3–5)
and the proper response to that (6:6–8); that proper response is not to offer
something more to the Lord to add to what he has already done, but rather to
submit to the Lord and his will in faith and loyal obedience.
Thus, in 6:8 the prophet employs questions to make two related but different
assertions: the Lord has revealed to you what is good, and there is nothing he
seeks from people other than the covenant faithfulness, or moral attributes
(“good”), mentioned in the second part of the verse. When a person responds to
the Lord in the faith and love that indicate and characterize covenant fidelity,
then the Lord will accept her offerings; compare this to the words of Jesus in
Matt 5:24, “First be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer
your gift.”
In B the section that began at 6:1 continues to the command to “hear”
(second person sing. ἄκουε that begins the last clause in 6:9). Thus the scribe
responsible for the divisions in B was apparently influenced by the command
to “hear” at the beginning of the third clause in 6:9, taking it as the beginning
of a new section addressed to the “tribe,” and the commands to “hear” in 6:1
and 6:9c mark the beginning of sections. (This paragraph break within 6:9 in B
172 commentary

differs from the break in the mt and modern editions of the lxx, which place
the break between 6:8 and 6:9.) As a result, in B the first two clauses in 6:9
continue the Lord’s answer (in 6:8) to the representative Israelite asking the
questions in 6:6–7, and in the third clause in 6:9 the Lord begins a new section
addressed to the “tribe,” which apparently refers to the rulers and people of the
city mentioned in the first and last lines of 6:9.
In the arrangement in B the first word in 6:9, “voice,” was probably not
understood to have the force of a vocative, as it would naturally be understood
if the first clause in 6:9 began a new section. Instead, it should probably be
understood to be simply the subject of the verb “will be invoked.” “Of the Lord,”
which modifies “voice,” is a genitive of possession. The third person reference
to the “voice of the Lord” as the speaker indicates the prophet is delivering the
Lord’s message here. It is possible that the scribe responsible for Mic in B felt
that the Lord’s “voice” (φωνή) in 6:9a corresponded to the people’s “voice” in 6:1,
and perhaps that influenced him in the inclusion of 6:9a–b in the same section
with 6:1–8. The people’s voice was heard in their senseless complaint against
the Lord (6:1), and now their only hope is to hear the voice of the Lord with
a word of acceptance and forgiveness for them. The passive voice of the verb
ἐπικαλέω has the sense “be invoked, be called upon” (Exod 29:45–46). It might
seem to some that it is inconsistent to invoke the “voice of the Lord” rather than
the Lord, but the “voice of the Lord” is powerful and personified in Scripture
(see esp. Ps 28[mt 29]:3–5, 7–9; Isa 30:31). The voice of the Lord “determines
whether there is blessing or curse, life or death” (Wolff, 191). “For the city” (τῇ
πόλει) could be a dative of place (in the city), but it is better understood to
be a dative of advantage (“for the benefit of the city”). “The city” in the first
clause of 6:9 is best understood to be Jerusalem, whose leaders and people
have been in view throughout the book (esp. 1:5–9; 4:1–2; 6:9c–16), and thus
here it is metonymy for the citizens of Jerusalem. The mention of a “city” in
the last clause of 6:9 continues the emphasis on the city in the book, probably
Jerusalem again, but it is in a new section, which begins with the last clause of
6:9 (see below). Thus, the topic of the city connects the two sections.
The second clause in 6:9 contains good news for the sinful people. The Lord,
whose voice was referred to in the first clause, must be the subject of the verb
in this clause, which promises he “will save those fearing his name.” The lxx’s
description of the Lord saving those fearing his name in the second clause of
6:9 is much more positive concerning the people than the Hebrew’s mention
of “success, sound wisdom” (‫)שיהתו‬, a noun which occurs 12 times in the mt,
primarily in the wisdom literature, and was apparently changed or missed by
the translator. The conjunction καί at the beginning of this clause introduces
a consequence that follows when the preceding clause is realized (see mur,
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 173

354, 9). This is similar to Joel 2:32a[mt 3:5a]: “And it shall be, everyone who
calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” except here the ones who will be
saved are “those who fear his name.” The phrase “fear the name” of the Lord
occurs five other times in the lxx (Deut 28:58; 2 Esd 11:11; Ps 60:6; 85:11; Mal
4:2), and the “name” is metonymy for the person of the Lord. (This is clear in
Deut 28:58.) It refers to “his whole self-disclosure with all its sublime attributes,
acts and teachings” (Waltke, 408). In the lxx the phrases “fear of God” (φόβος
θεοῦ) and “fear of the Lord” (φόβος Κυρίου) occur most often in the wisdom
literature where they denote reverence for and trust in the Lord. Since in B the
first two clauses of Mic 6:9 are connected with the requirements for a covenant
relationship with the Lord in 6:8, “those fearing his name” in 6:9b should be
understood to be those whose lives correspond to the description of what the
Lord requires in 6:8 and who respond in reverent obedience to the voice of the
Lord. Thus, the text promises that as the people invoke the Lord for the city, the
Lord will deliver those characterized by covenant faithfulness, as described in
6:8, and who thus fear him. What the deliverance involves is not clear, but a lxx
reader looking back at the destruction of Jerusalem likely would have thoughts
of a spiritual deliverance and not a physical one.
In summary, the people’s complaint concerning the Lord in 6:1–2 did not
have any substance. The Lord demonstrates that he has not done wrong to his
people, and he reminds them of his faithfulness, justice, and goodness to them
(6:3–5). In 6:6–7 an unnamed speaker asks how a person can lay hold of the
Lord. What sacrifice can a person make in order to be accepted by him? The
answer in 6:8–9b is that the Lord does not require his people to do anything for
him; instead what he seeks from his people is covenant faithfulness expressed
in reverence for him and mercy for one another. In B the first two clauses of 6:9
end the section with hope for the Lord’s deliverance.

Ϝ 6:9c–7:6

Jerusalem Experiences the Covenant Curses because No One among

the People is Upright
The sixth division in Mic in B, the digamma section, extends from the third
sentence in 6:9 to 7:6. There is no indication of any break between 6:16 and 7:1
in B as one finds in most modern editions of Mic. The break in B between the
second and third sentences of 6:9 was discussed above at the beginning of the
previous section (6:1–6:9b). The scribe responsible for B must have understood
the command to “hear” in the third sentence in 6:9 to be the beginning of a
new section; this command is parallel to the command to “hear” in 6:1 at the
174 commentary

beginning of the previous section (in 6:1 the command is plural and in 6:9c it is
singular, connected with the singular collective vocative, “tribe”). The first part
of this paragraph, 6:9c–16, describes the covenant curses that Jerusalem will
experience, and the last part, 7:1–6, emphasizes that the moral foundation of
society has been destroyed and there is no loyalty or truthfulness in relation-
ships. The Lord is speaking directly to his people in this part of Mic (see 6:1 and
the first person verbs in 6:3–5, 13, 16; 7:1, 3; although notice the discussion at 7:1).
The development of thought in 6:9c–16 is fairly straightforward (see the
helpful discussion in Nogalski, 574). After the command to “hear” in 6:9c the
Lord asks a question, which is answered in 6:10–16. The Lord addresses the
sins of the people with two rhetorical questions in 6:10–11 and a summary in
6:12, and then a description of the Lord’s judgment follows in 6:13–15. Verse 16
follows the same basic pattern with an indictment of the people for their sins
in the first half of the verse (see the discussion of the structure of 6:16 below)
and a declaration of the resulting judgment in the second half of the verse.
In 6:9 the command to “hear” is from the Lord, and it is apparently given
through the words of the prophet. It is addressed to a “tribe” (φυλή), a word
that has the basic sense of a “community of people” (mur, 723; see 2:3). In the
Twelve the word is employed in the plural with reference to all the tribes of the
earth (Amos 3:2) or the tribes of Israel (Zech 9:1), and in the singular it refers
to the nation of Israel (Amos 3:1) or an individual tribe of Israel (Zech 12:12–14).
In its only other occurrence in Mic (2:3) it probably refers to the tribe of Judah,
including Jerusalem (lxx.e, 2376), and that is also probably the tribe the reader
is to think of here in 6:9, although there are few if any clues in the context of
6:9c to the referent of the “tribe” referred to in that passage. The city mentioned
at the end of the sentence is probably meant to make the reader think of
Jerusalem, since the tribe of Judah and the city of Jerusalem are addressed
throughout the book. Note the similar idea in 1:5: “And what is the sin of the
house of Ioudas? Is it not Ierousalem?” (See the discussion of “the city” in 6:9a.)
The conjunction καί at the beginning of the last statement in 6:9 is an
example of the use of this conjunction at “the start of an utterance or book”
(mur, 353, 1. h.), and it should be understood as introductory. The question at
the end of 6:9 in the lxx is noteworthy for several reasons. First, the anarthrous
noun “city” could be understood to be definite here, since Jerusalem is in view
(6:12, 16); however, it is likely the last sentence in 6:9 is meant to introduce
the proverbial-like statements in 6:10 and thus it could be more general in its
application. Second, the Hebrew in 6:9c is difficult, and scholars have suggested
many different reconstructions of the text (Renaud, 328; Wolff, 186). The word
“city” does not occur in the last clause of 6:9 in the mt. Is likely the translator
read the verb “appoint” (‫ )יעד‬as the verb ‫ עדה‬ii (halot, 789, which has the sense
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 175

of “adorn” and is rendered by κοσμέω elsewhere in the lxx; see Ezek 16:13; 23:40;
see also lxx.e, 2376). Then apparently he read the particle “again, still” (‫ ֹ)עוד‬at
the beginning of 6:10 as the noun “city” (‫)עיר‬. (However, since the Hebrew words
‫ עדה‬and ‫ עוד‬are similar in form, either Hebrew word could have been mistaken
for either Greek word.) If he rendered the first verb as κοσμέω, it is natural he
would look for the noun city to follow it, because city is an important word
in the context, even occurring earlier in the verse, and because serving as the
object of the verb κοσμέω “city” would complete a good Greek phrase. That leads
to a third observation: the good Greek expression κοσμήσει πόλιν has the sense
order or rule a city (lsj, 984). Herodotus uses the participle of the verb with
the noun “city” to describe Pisistratus’ rule of Athens (which was “in an orderly
and excellent manner,” 1.59). In Sophocles’ Ajax (1103) the verb is used “in its
military sense of keeping people in disciplined order” (Stanford, 198; see also
Sophocles, Antigone 677). For Ajax 1103 Stanford (198) suggests the rendering
“to discipline” for the verb. Thus, I understand the verb κοσμέω here to have
the sense to discipline or to order a city, as seems consistent with the following
verses, and I have rendered the last clause in 6:9 “and who shall bring order to
a city?” Unjust rulers do not bring order to a city (6:11–12).
In the lxx 6:10 does not contain a main verb, and it is difficult to make
sense of the verse without one. (Waltke [397] comments that the Hebrew text
of 6:10 is “disputed,” which is part of the reason the lxx is difficult; see also
Renaud, 328–330.) Since the last clause in 6:9 is the first sentence in a new
section and this difficult verse follows it, it is natural that in B the main verb
from the last clause of 6:9 be understood to be the main verb in 6:10 and thus
be supplied there. With this understanding of the verse the question in 6:10
continues asking who or what shall bring order to a city (as in 6:9c), especially
the city of Jerusalem. We will see in the next verses that the people are so
corrupt that there is no justice and harmony in Jerusalem (6:11–13), and that
seems to be the point in 6:10. The particle μή at the beginning of 6:10 indicates
that the question in the verse expects a negative answer.
The translator had trouble with the difficult Hebrew text in 6:10 (Waltke,
397–398; Wolff, 186). If the translator read the first word in the mt in 6:10 (‫)עוד‬
as “city” (‫)עיר‬, as suggested above, and connected it with the question in 6:9c,
then he would begin verse 10 with a word corresponding to the Hebrew word
‫אש‬, which could be read in several ways; some of the better suggestions are to
read it as a copulative (“there is/there are”; kjv), “fire” (lxx), or emended to read
“forget” (root ‫ ;נשה‬nrsv; esv; Wolff, 186ְ Waltke, 397) in an effort to make sense
out of the verse. The Hebrew source of the lxx rendering “fire” at the beginning
of 6:10 is clear, but the referent intended by the “fire” is difficult; it appears the
translator was translating words literally and was not thinking primarily about
176 commentary

the sense of his rendering. If I am right that in B the main verbal idea in 6:9c
continues into verse 10, then the question at the beginning of verse 10 is “Will a
fire bring order to a city?”; in other words, “A fire will not bring order to a city,
will it (nor will it adorn it)?” “Fire” (πῦρ) is employed figuratively in the lxx to
refer to passion, zeal, or intensity (mur, 60, 1., c.; see Hos 7:6); the word occurs
two other times in lxx Mic (1:4 and 7), and in 1:4 it is employed to describe a
theophany, apparently referring to the judgment of the Lord. In 1:7 it occurs in a
description of the judgment of idols. It is possible that in 6:10, connected to two
other parallel phrases which seem to refer to unjust oppressors, a reader of the
lxx would understand this word to be referring to the passion and intensity,
even the rage, of oppressive rich leaders. The descriptions of the oppressive
leaders and their actions in Mic indicate they felt great rage and were ruthless
in their mistreatment and oppression of the weaker elements of society (3:1–3,
9–10). Their self-generated passion for their own interests would not provide
the government that the city needed. However, the “fire” could also refer to
the fire of severe judgment, as in 1:4 and 7 (the only other occurrences of the
term in lxx Mic). And since this is the sense of the term elsewhere in Mic,
and since judgment fire is an extreme example of the destruction of a city
and any semblance of order in the city, it is likely that “fire” here should be so
understood. The “lawlessness” and “injustice” of the following parallel examples
are as disruptive as judgment fire, and they lead to it, but none of them brings
the desired order to a city. What is clear is that the unscrupulous destruction of
the possessions of others by the lawless is pictured as similar to destruction by
fire (lxx.e, 2377).
The next parallel phrase, “a lawless person’s house treasuring up ill-gotten
treasures,” which is introduced by καί, likely gives another example of what will
not bring order to a city. “House” here should likely be understood as having
primary reference to the king’s family, but perhaps it also includes the officials
who represent him and oversee the “treasures” referred to (see the “house of
Achaab” in 6:16). It makes sense that the “house” in view in 6:10 is the ruling
house in Judah and Jerusalem (see 1:5; 2:7; 3:1, 8), because it is compared in this
context to the “house of Achab” since their deeds are similar (see 6:16). (In Mic
6–7 the word “house” [οἶκος] also refers to a “domestic establishment” [6:4] and
“the entirely of one’s close kinfolk” [7:6], mur 489.) The noun “lawless” (ἄνομος)
is a favorite in this context, occurring twice in this phrase and again in the next
verse (the only 3x it occurs in Mic). The word can have the sense of “unlawful,” as
in Isa 9:15, and in that sense could refer to leaders who have usurped positions
of leadership, but it probably refers to the character of the leaders here, i.e., they
have no respect for the law. The masculine singular ἄνομος points to one leader
of a ruling “house” who is a “lawless one.” “Treasuring treasures” is a double
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 177

translation of one Hebrew noun. I have rendered the second occurrence of

the noun ἄνομος, which modifies the noun “treasures” as “ill-gotten,” following
mur, 55.
The third parallel phrase in 6:10, “and injustice with insolence,” gives a third
example of what will not bring order to a city. This reading of the last phrase
in 6:10, taking the second occurrence of the conjunction καί in the verse to be
parallel to the first one, seems most natural, because there are three nominative
nouns in the verse (“fire, house, injustice”), which are parallel to each other,
and each of them serves as a subject of the understood verb “bring order.” The
three examples in 6:10 are not complementary examples of the same thing that
are to be understood to enhance each other to give a complete picture of one
thing, but they are rather three examples of different things that will not bring
order to a city. However, the three examples of things that will not bring order
to a city in 6:10 are related; and the actions of the unjust and lawless (second
and third examples) should probably be understood to be as destructive as
fire (first example). The series has a cumulative effect, which would serve as a
warning to the reader. The attitude of “insolence” (ὕβρις), which accompanies
the acts of “injustice,” further emphasizes the magnitude of the injustice (μετά
with the genitive has the sense “accompanied by,” mur, 452). A government
characterized by lawlessness and injustice will not result in a city that is orderly
and disciplined any more than fire will. The implication in this verse, which is
developed elsewhere in the book (esp. the following verses, 11–13), is that the
leaders of Judah and Jerusalem are lawless and unjust, as described in 6:10, and
their rule will result in further, more severe disorder for the city by judgment
Mic 6:10–12 is an implicit call for the wicked people of Judah and Jerusalem
to repent of their oppression of the weak and their unjust business practices
so they might escape the Lord’s judgment described in verses 13–16. The first
clause of 6:11 continues a general description of a “lawless” one (ἄνομος), like
the second example in 6:10, but it will become clear in 6:12 that the Lord
has the rulers of Jerusalem in mind. The direct question at the beginning of
6:11 is introduced by εἰ (mur, 190), and again a negative answer is required
(as in 6:10), although in this verse it is required on the basis of the context,
not from the presence of the particle μή. There is one main verb in 6:11, the
verb δικαιόω, “to declare just and righteous” (mur, 170), which services the
subjects of both clauses. Here the verb suggests a pronouncement in a trial
or court (see also 7:9) in which the actions of the unjust person are judged.
The use of scales does not vindicate a person who is breaking the law, because
scales can be manipulated or rigged. Ancient “scales” (ζυγός) were in the form
of a balance, and “could be falsified by inaccurate pans, a bent crossbow, or
178 commentary

mishandling” (Waltke, 410). The preposition ἐν occurs twice in this verse and
each time it indicates the means by which things cannot be justified: a lawless
person cannot be justified “by means of” scales, and deceitful weights cannot be
justified “by means of” a measuring bag. The noun “measuring bag” (μάρσιππος)
refers to a bag that holds weights in Deut 25:13, but in this passage it refers to a
bag to carry and measure grain (see also Gen 42:27, 28; 43:12–18, 21; 44:1, 11). A
measuring bag (μάρσιππος) may look official or legitimate, but if it does not give
a correct measure of grain it does not justify “deceitful weights.” The genitive
of δόλος, modifying “weights” (στάθμιον), functions as an attributive genitive
and emphatically specifies the innate quality of the “weights” (Wallace, 86);
they are “deceitful weights.” The noun δόλος is employed in a concrete sense
to refer to “any cunning contrivance for deceiving or catching” (lsj, 443), such
as bait for fish (Od. 12.252), the Trojan horse (Od. 8.494), or the robe of Penelope
(Od. 19.137). In the abstract, as in Mic 6:11, it refers to “craft, cunning, treachery”
(lsj, 443). The Mosaic Law clearly proscribed false or unjust measures (Deut
25:13–15; Lev 19:35–36; see also Prov 20:10, 23; 11:1), and the use of such was a
transgression of what the Lord required from his people, as summarized earlier
in Mic 6:8 (esp. “practice justice”; see also Hos 12:8 and Amos 8:5). The Lord’s
character would be compromised if he did not judge such behavior. Thus, the
Lord does not declare the lawless innocent or righteous because they use scales
or balances, nor are the measurements made with deceitful weights correct
because the things weighed are placed in a measuring bag.
The sins of the people are summarized in 6:12. The description of the people
as “her inhabitants” (οἱ κατοικοῦντες αὐτὴν) is strong evidence that Jerusalem,
the main city in Mic, is in view here. The lxx does not distinguish different
groups like the mt does with its mention of the “rich” and the “inhabitants.”
“From these things” at the beginning of the verse refers back to the unethical
practices described in 6:10–11. The inhabitants of Jerusalem employed such
means to fill up their wealth, but as a result their wealth is “ungodly.” When
the verb “fill” (πίμπλημι) is in a construction with an accusative and a genitive
noun, as here, the accusative (here “wealth”) can refer to the thing filled and
the genitive can refer to what it is filled with (here “ungodliness”); see Nah
2:12; Hag 2:7; Gen 21:19; leh, 376; and mur, 557, who calls it “acc. of container
and gen. of content.” However, this construction does not make sense here,
because one does not fill “wealth” like one fills a house (Hag 2:7; Zeph 1:9) or
a bowl (Zech 9:15). Thus, it seems best to take the genitive “ungodliness” or
“impiety” (ἀσέβεια; see 6:7) as an attributive genitive, expressing the quality of
the wealth that they are filling, or bringing to fullness (see the discussion of
“deceitful weights” in 6:11). This results in the rendering “they have filled up their
ungodly wealth” (see the discussion of this verse in mur, 227, under the entry on
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 179

ἐμπίπλημι, the verb in Ziegler’s text). This “ungodly wealth” is another reference
to the “ill-gotten treasure” mentioned in 6:10 that they are “treasuring up.” They
accumulate wealth by means of, or “from” (ἐξ ὧν), the practices detailed in
6:10–11. The idea of treasuring up riches that will bring God’s judgment is similar
to James 5:1–6.
The verb form in the third clause of 6:12 in Vaticanus complicates the reading
of the second and third clauses in that verse. The lxx translator has read the
Hebrew noun ‫“( רמיה‬deceit, deceitful”) in the third clause as a form of the verb
‫“( רום‬to exhalt”), and thus he employed the verb ὑψόω. All the major uncials,
except B, have the third singular, aorist, passive indicative form of ὑψόω, but B
has the second person passive imperative of this verb (see text notes). Because
of this reading the third clause seems to have to be shortened to read, “you were
exalted in their mouth,” and the phrase καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτῶν must be understood
to go with the second clause and be rendered “namely their tongue,” further
describing the specific aspect of “her inhabitants” referred to in the second
clause of 6:12. The “literal” translation technique of the translator, his apparent
misreading of the noun ‫רמיה‬, and the resulting form of the verb in B make the
second and third clauses of 6:12 awkward and difficult to understand in that
manuscript. The translation of 6:10–12 gives the impression that the translator
was struggling to understand the Hebrew Vorlage, and the text of Vaticanus
makes one wonder if the scribe responsible for these verses was trying to
understand the text he was copying. The difficulty of Vaticanus in 6:12 suggests
that at this point the translator was copying words and not concerned about
their meaning.
The main part of the second clause of 6:12 seems straightforward: “Her inhab-
itants were speaking lies.” “Her inhabitants” apparently refers to the inhabitants
of a specific city (see 6:9 and 16), and no city other than Jerusalem has any-
thing to commend it. Thus, the inhabitants of Jerusalem were characterized by
lies (imperfect tense—“were speaking lies”); they were using their position and
privilege to swindle the poor. Their practices (6:11) and their speech (6:12) were
deceptive. In order to fill up their ungodly riches, they lied in their business
transactions and in the courts. The phrase “namely their tongue” (καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα
αὐτῶν), which is part of the last clause of 6:12 in most lxx manuscripts, further
emphasizes the lying of the inhabitants; they lied with their tongues. (See the
discussion above of the structure of the last two clauses of 6:12 in B.)
We have already discussed the main problems in the third clause in 6:12. Its
translation is not complicated, but to whom does it refer when it says, “You were
exalted in their mouth”? Since the Lord is speaking in this section, and since the
verb form is second person singular and in the next verse the Lord refers to the
city with the second person singular pronoun “you” (σύ), it is most natural to
180 commentary

understand the city of Jerusalem to be the “you” that is “exalted in their mouth.”
The pronoun “their,” which occurs three times in 6:12, refers each time to the
lawless, unjust, lying inhabitants of the city who were responsible for bringing
the Lord’s judgment on it. Thus, these liars professed to exalt Jerusalem with
their speech, and at the same time they destroyed it with their actions. Their
exaltation of Jerusalem may have included their pride and boasting over the
great city they thought they were building by means of their lies and lawless
actions; the Law warned against such pride, employing the same Greek verb
(ὑψόω) in the covenantal warnings of Deut 8:14 and 17:20. Previous passages in
Mic indicate that these liars, who are referred to with the pronoun “their” in
6:12, were primarily the wealthy people in leadership and positions of power in
Jerusalem (2:1–2, 8–10; 3:2–12). It would be good at this point to remember that
Mic 6:10–12 in B is one of the passages of Mic that is very difficult to understand,
and as with many passages in this book, it is best not to be too dogmatic about
every nuance of its meaning.
Verses 13–15 describe the consequences of the sins of the city’s inhabitants
that were referred to in verses 10–12. The καί at the beginning of 6:13 has the
sense “therefore, and so” (see also Sir 2:6a; leh, 221) and links the accusation
in verses 10–12 with the condemnation that follows. The phrase ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρ-
τίαις σου (“because of your sins”) at the end of 6:13, which refers to the sins
previously described in the passage, also points to the connection between the
sins in 6:10–12 and the Lord’s punitive actions in 6:13–15. The preposition ἐν is
causal here (cf. 6:11 where 2× it expresses the means). In 6:13 the Lord’s pun-
ishment is summarized, and more specific details concerning it are given in
6:14–15; the focus in 6:13 is on what the Lord is going to do, and the focus in
6:14–15 is on the effects of his punishment on the people. The translator ren-
dered the verb ‫“( חלה‬be sick”) as ‫חלל‬, resulting in the Greek verb ἄρχω (see
a similar employment of ἄρχω in 1:12 for ‫[ חלה‬from ‫חיל‬, “wait for”]). The verb
πατάσσω (“strike”) in 6:13 is commonly employed to describe the Lord’s pun-
ishment of his people and military attacks (mur, 538–539), and its usage in 5:1
suggests the Lord will “strike” Israel by means of military attacks from other
nations. The verb ἀφανίζω (“devastate”) in the second clause of 6:13 recurs in
6:15 where it refers to the eradication of precepts; it is often rendered “destroy”
(mur, 105) or “annihilate” (nets). The message conveyed by this latter verb is
strong, but here in 6:13 it cannot refer to a final and complete annihilation of
the people, because other passages like 7:18–20 refer to the remnant and the
future forgiveness and compassion they will experience (see also 5:2–9). The
devastation that is in view is described more fully in verses 14–15. (See Waltke,
412, for a helpful discussion of the difficulties with the Greek rendering of the
Hebrew in 6:13.)
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 181

The subject in 6:14–15 differs from the subject in 6:13. In 6:13 the first person
pronoun, “I,” referring to the Lord, is the subject, and in 6:14–15 the second
person singular pronoun, “you,” is the main subject. The singular subject “you,”
which predominates in verses 14–15, is apparently collective, referring to the
people of Jerusalem who are in view in 6:10–16, and the plural references at
the end of verses 14 and 15 support that understanding (v. 14, “whoever escapes
[διασωθῶσιν] shall be delivered over [παραδοθήσονται] to the sword”; v. 15, “you
shall never drink [πίητε] wine”). It is also possible that the second person
singular throughout this section is addressing each individual in the city, or
perhaps the king as a representative of the city, but those two options seem
less likely. Another important rhetorical feature in 6:14–15 is the repetition
of the emphatic negation οὐ μή with a subjunctive mode verb (4x). Each of
these four negations forms the second part of a brief and incisive opposition,
which together form the basic structure of verses 14–15 (Renaud, 333). Thus,
they shall “eat and shall never be satisfied,” “he shall turn away and you shall
never escape,” “you shall sow and shall never reap,” and “you shall press the olive
and shall never anoint yourself with oil.” An incomplete but parallel opposition,
“and also (even) you shall never drink wine,” follows the other four (6:15). This
last negation, “never drink wine,” forms an inclusion with the first one at the
beginning of 6:14, “You shall eat and never be satisfied”; both are related to
food and sustenance. Also the judgment in the second opposition, “shall never
escape” (6:14), is made more certain by the phrase following it, “and whoever
escapes shall be delivered over to the sword.” The last sentence in 6:15 (“and
the statutes of my people shall be eradicated”) seems somewhat disconnected
from the preceding, but it leads nicely into 6:16.
The reader of B needs to realize that there are several variant spellings in
it, and there are three examples of such variant spellings in 6:14–15; they are
due to what Thackeray calls “interchange of vowels” (§ 6, 1–47). See the textual
notes on φάγεσε in 6:14 and πειέσεις and ἀλίψῃ in 6:15. Thackeray explains that
for centuries before the oldest manuscripts were written up to the time they
were written (fourth to sixth centuries b.c.e.) there was no fixed orthography,
and the changes in pronunciation that developed during this period gradually
found their way into writing. These differences in orthography reflect dialecti-
cal and local differences in the Greek language. Thus, he suggests that variant
spellings in B and in other Greek manuscripts are “due to altered pronuncia-
tion” as well as psychological factors, like the influence of analogy, etc (§ 6, 1). I
have tried to comment on these variants in the text notes.
Following the introduction of the Lord’s sentence of judgment for Jerusalem
in 6:13, verses 14–15 contain the specific curses involved in that sentence. These
curses have been called “futility curses,” because whatever course of action the
182 commentary

guilty undertake they will “inevitably be frustrated in it” (Waltke, 412, refer-
ring to Hillers, 82). The judgments described in 6:14–15 are covenant curses,
explained elsewhere in Lev 26:26; Deut 28:30–31, 38–40; Hos 4:10; 5:6; 8:7; 9:12;
Amos 5:11; the sentence that the Lord has decreed for Jerusalem is because of
the people’s unfaithfulness to the covenant. The curses here involve primar-
ily the loss of food and agricultural products, which is a result of the “sword,”
referring to the attacks and sieges of foreign nations. The reference to people
trying to “escape” in 6:14 confirms this understanding. The curse of eating and
not being satisfied is based on Lev 26:26, which is also set in the context of a
military siege (Lev 26:25).
The second manifestation of the Lord’s punishment prophesied in 6:14 is
darkness. In the lxx the verb “became dark” (σκοτάζω) often describes the
literal absence of light (Ps 104:28, the plague of darkness in Egypt; Eccl 12:3, the
blindness of old age); but it can also describe something becoming black (Lam
4:8) or lament or sadness (Ezek 31:15). The darkness in Mic 6:14 is apparently
symbolic of the tragedy, including famine, that will come upon the city when
the Lord judges it by assault from other nations. In an effort to make sense out
of the verse I have rendered the prepositional phrase ἐν σοί “among you,” taking
the singular “you” to be collective; thus, “it will become dark among you.” When
the city experiences this tragedy the Lord will “turn away,” and they will “never
escape.” The verb ἐκνεύω has the idea “turn aside, withdraw” (bdag, 307), “turn
aside by movement of the head” (lsj Supp, 109); nets renders it “turn aside”
in 4Kgdms 2:24 and 23:16, but curiously renders it “swim away” in this verse.
Since the third person form is apparently describing the action of the Lord
in this verse in response to the darkness among the people, I have rendered
it “turn away.” Even if anyone could escape the darkness of the siege and the
enemies’ attacks (i.e., “whoever might escape”; bdag, 729, suggest that ἐάν with
the pronoun ὅσος makes the expression more general.), they would be given
over to the sword. Thus, it does no good to try to escape or to survive the siege.
The judgment is inevitable.
The Greek differs from the Hebrew in 6:14 primarily in its rendering of
the verb ‫ישח‬, which is a hapax in the mt. The translator rendered it as the
common verb ‫חשך‬, resulting in the translation σκοτάζω (“become dark, grow
dark”). Apparently the translator did not recognize the rare Hebrew verb, and
he rendered it with a similar sounding verb that he thought fit the context.
The translation of the rest of the verse follows from this rendering. See Renaud,
333–334; Wolff, 187; and Waltke, 402, for further discussion of this rendering.
The “futility curses” that began in 6:14 continue in 6:15 with three more
maledictions, all related to agriculture. The people will sow their seed, press
their olives, and tread their grapes, but they will not benefit from their work;
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 183

they will not find satisfaction, prosperity, or joy. The situation described, like
in 6:14, is consistent with the affliction and misery that would accompany war
(“sword” in 6:14). Another difference between the Hebrew and Greek in 6:15
results from the translator not understanding that the verb “tread” (‫)דרך‬, which
occurs in the mt in the sentence “you shall press the olive,” was also to be
glossed in the next sentence: “you shall [tread] the grapes, but you shall not
drink wine.” This Hebrew verb is used for the treading of grapes and olives
(halot, 231; see Amos 9:13 and Isa 16:10 for grapes); the absence of this verbal
idea with grapes in the last malediction in 6:15 in the lxx removed the need for
one of the references to wine in the last clause in the Hebrew of 6:15, and thus
the translator omitted it.
The final clause in 6:15 in B “and my statutes shall be eradicated” and the first
clause in 6:16 in B, “And you have observed the ordinances of the house of Zimri”
are a double translation of the first clause in 6:16 in the mt. In the sentence at
the end of 6:15 in B, the verb ‫ שמר‬in the first sentence in the mt of 6:16 is read
as ‫שמד‬, and the Greek rendering “my people” is based on reading the Hebrew
‫ עמרי‬as ‫עמי‬. The resulting rendering at the end of 6:15 in B is what Waltke, 404,
calls a “facilitating reading” of the first clause in the Hebrew text of 6:16. (For
discussion of the retroversion of the verb ἀφανίζω [“shall be eradicated”], see
Waltke, 404, and leh, 72.) The first sentence in 6:16 in B is a second rendering
of the same Hebrew sentence that was also the basis of the Greek translation
of the last sentence in 6:15 in B, and the words ‫ שמר‬and ‫ עמרי‬are rendered
according to their more normal senses. Thus, the same Hebrew words at the
beginning of 6:16 in the mt are rendered two different ways in two simultaneous
sentences in the text of B; the double rendering is also included in the texts of
Swete and Rahlfs (see text notes). There are several double translations in lxx
Mic, but this one is the longest.
The idea of the eradication of statutes at the end of 6:15 is similar to the ref-
erence to the destruction of the precepts of the people in Mic 7:11 in the lxx,
and it is possible that the translations of the last line of 6:15 and 7:11 influenced
each other in some way. They both show creativity on the part of the transla-
tor and possible influence from events in the Hellenistic environment of the
translator. The sentence at the end of 6:15, “and the statutes of my people shall
be eradicated,” may have the experiences of the Jews under Antiochus iv in
view as they are described in the books of the Maccabees. The language and
themes in 1Macc 1:42–51; 3:29; 6:59; and 2Macc 4:11–17 are similar to the lan-
guage in this clause in Mic. The two nouns employed to describe the “statutes”
and “ordinances” in 6:15 and 6:16 are also employed in 1 Macc 1:42, 44, and 49
in a context describing Antiochus’s attempt to unify the worship in his realm
by having each nation abandon its own statutes (1:42–ἐγκαταλείπειν ἕκαστον
184 commentary

τὰ νόμιμα αὐτοῦ) and then by decreeing that the Jews follow the statutes of
other peoples of the earth (1:44–πορευθῆναι ὀπίσω νομίμων ἀλλοτρίων τῆς γῆς)
“so as to forget the law and to change all the ordinances” (1:49–ὥστε ἐπιλα-
θέσθαι τοῦ νόμου, καὶ ἀλλάξαι πάντα τὰ δικαιώματα). Other verses mentioned
above from Maccabees describe the law as overturned and abolished during
the reign of Antiochus iv (esp. 1Macc 3:29; 6:59). In view of these connec-
tions, it is also likely that the rendering of the first sentence in 6:16 in B (see
text notes), “And you have observed the ordinances of the house of Zambri,”
refers to the same historical-political situation. In the first sentence in 6:16 in
B the lxx translator has read the Hebrew “Omri” (‫ )עמרי‬as “Zambri” (‫ ;)זמרי‬it
is always possible that he misread his Vorlage or that his Vorlage read Zam-
bri. It is also possible that the translator creatively adapted his text to refer to
Zambri here. There are two main candidates for the Zambri referred to. The
Zambri (or Zimri) referred to in Mic 6:16 could be the one in 3 Kgdms 16:9–20,
a servant of Elah (son of Baasha), who leads a rebellion against his master the
king, kills him, and rules in Israel for seven days. He is clearly a conspirator
and a murderer, and he did evil in the sight of the lord, walked in the way
of Jeroboam, and made Israel sin (16:19); thus, he could fit the context in Mic
6:16. However, it is difficult to explain why the lxx would refer to this fairly
insignificant king (Zambri) rather than to Omri, the reading in the Hebrew,
who is the father of Ahab, who is mentioned in the next line. A better possi-
bility is that the Zambri in view here is the one mentioned in Num 25:14, who
is the son of Salo and who is slain by the priest Phineas while involved with a
Midianite woman in the sexual rites connected with Baal-Peor. In 1 Macc 2:26
Phineas and Zambri are mentioned as prototypes of Mattathias and those he
kills who are leading in the apostate worship decreed by Antiochus iv. Thus,
it is very likely that the historical-political situation of the Maccabean period
is in view in the rendering of the last sentence in Mic 6:15 and the first sen-
tence in Mic 6:16 in B and that it influenced these renderings, both of which
are based on the same Hebrew sentence. (See the discussion of 6:15–16 in lxx.e,
2377–2378.) There are several double translations in Mic (4:10; 6:3; 7:4 and 12),
and in some situations it is possible that they reflect the exegesis of the trans-
lator or the uncertainty of the translator, who included both renderings in
the text to make sure he did not leave anything out. It is also possible that
the doublet was present in the translator’s Vorlage, but that seems unlikely in
this case. The two renderings in B could also result from the conflation and
inclusion in B of the original rendering and a later understanding of the text.
This doublet in 6:15–16 is one of the longer ones in Mic, and the textual bases
of the two readings are different (see above). Thus, at first glance it would
seem unlikely that the same translator could be responsible for both render-
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 185

ings. However, the rendering that differs most from the Hebrew Vorlage (the
last sentence of 6:15 in B) can be explained by translation techniques that are
commonly found in lxx Minor Prophets (Glenny, 71–146), and since both ren-
derings seem to refer to related experiences from the time of the Maccabees
there is good reason to believe they could have come from the same scribe. The
frequency of doublets in Mic also supports this possibility (see also Dogniez
and Joosten, “Micah”; see Glenny, 22, 49–50, 68, 127, and 267 on doublets in lxx
The verb “observed” (φυλάσσω) in 6:16 has the sense “adhere to and act
in conformity with” (mur 723). The meaning of “precepts” (δικαίωμα) in the
phrase “precepts of Zambri” in 6:16 must be something like “customs” or
“actions.” It has the sense of “customs” in 1Kgdms 27:11 (leh, 115), and in some
contexts the word does refer to deeds (Bar 2:19; Rev 19:8; perhaps Rom 5:16; see
lsj, 429); but its more normal sense of an ordinance from God (mur, 170) does
not fit here. The second parallel object of the verb, “all the deeds of the house
of Achaab,” sheds light on the meaning of the first object, “the precepts of Zam-
bri.” The verb “observed” (φυλάσσω) also has “precepts” (δικαίωμα) as its object
three times in Deut (4:40; 26:17; 30:16).
If the identification of Zambri above is correct, then Ahab is the only king
of the northern kingdom mentioned in the Vaticanus text of Mic. 3 Kgdms
16:29–22:40 gives a thoroughly negative theological assessment of him and
his reign (see Nogalski, 577). Ahab is known for being more wicked than all
the kings before him in the northern kingdom (3 Kgdms 16:30); he betrayed
the covenant with the Lord by establishing Baal worship in Samaria (3 Kgdms
16:29–34). His sin and apostasy is compared to wicked king Manasseh in the
south (4Kgdms 21:3), and when the Lord promises to judge Jerusalem for her
sins he says he will do it as he judged Samaria for the sin of Ahab’s house
(4 Kgdms 21:13). Ahab’s “house” includes his wife Jezebel, who led him astray
in the matters of Baal worship, the murder of Naboth, and the theft of his
vineyard (3Kgdms 20[mt 21], esp. vv. 25–26), and Athaliah, mother of Ahaziah
and apparently the daughter of Jezebel (4Kgdms 8:26), who also promoted Baal
worship in Judah (4Kgdms 11). Waltke (414) comments, “Both of these women
were notorious for unethical conduct and bloodshed.” Jerusalem is charged
with following after “all” these sins of the house of Ahab. Waltke (414) observes
that it must have been galling for the house of David to be compared with the
house of Ahab that had tried to destroy them 150 years before. The next clause
in 6:16 in B, “you walked in their ways,” is another description of the people of
Judah following in the steps of Israel; there is a switch to a plural verb form in
this clause, which could signify that those in leadership or a large part of the
population in Judah followed the pattern of behavior of the wretched northern
186 commentary

kings. As is also stated in 4Kgdms 17:19, Judah followed the practices of Israel,
and that was why they followed Israel into captivity.
mur (501) suggests the conjunction ὅπως in 6:16 is an example of the “resul-
tive” use of the conjunction, used here “to indicate a result which was not
necessarily intended by the subject marked by the verb in the main clause, but
was bound to ensue.” Thus, the necessary result of the sins of the leaders of
Judah and Jerusalem is that the Lord will give them over to “devastation” (ἀφα-
νισμός), which is the cognate noun of the verb ἀφανίζω (“be eradicated”) in the
last clause of 6:15. The phrase “those inhabiting her” broadens the subjects in
view so it must include all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They all will be given
over to the derisive sound of “hissing” (see also 2 Chron 29:8) that will accom-
pany their “devastation” and to the “reproaches of the peoples.” Mic 2:6 and
Joel 2:17 also refer to the “reproach, disgrace, insult” (ὄνειδος) God’s people will
receive as part of the punishment for their sins. The “reproaches of the peo-
ples (or nations)” is a reference to the reproach they will receive when they are
defeated and taken into captivity.
Thus, in the paragraph 6:9b–16 the prophet details some of the lawless deeds
of the people of Judah against one another and the punishment that will result.
Their wicked behavior will not result in order in society (6:9c–10; see 7:1–6 also),
nor will the Lord approve their deceptive practices; he sees right through them
(6:11–12). Instead the Lord will strike them and devastate them because of their
sins (6:13). Furthermore, the Lord will not allow them to enjoy the treasures
they have acquired by their deception and lawlessness (6:14–15). The Lord will
annihilate the people, and he will also eradicate their statutes (6:13, 15). Lest
they think they are beyond the Lord’s jurisdiction, he gave them over to their
sinful ways so that he could give them over to devastation and the reproach of
the nations (6:16).
There is no division in B between 6:16 and 7:1. However, there are several
indications that a new oracle or prophecy begins at 7:1, including the change
of speakers from the Lord to the prophet and the exclamation of woe at the
beginning of 7:1. In the lxx the spirit of lament in 6:1 continues throughout
the passage with the repetition of the exclamation of woe at the end of 7:1 and
in 7:4; the double “woe” in 7:4 (in the form “οὐαὶ οὐαί”) is a lxx addition. The
overall structure of the passage is similar to the previous paragraph, involving
accusations in 7:1–3a (cf. 6:10–12) and the description of judgment or a sentence
in 7:3b–6 (cf. 6:13–15). Waltke (424) notes that the people are accused of “deceit
in the marketplace” in 6:10–12, and the accusation has escalated to “corruption
in the court” in 7:2–3.
The accusation in 7:1–3 involves an allegory in 7:1 in which the prophet
describes his grief over the situation and the interpretation of the allegory in
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 187

7:2–3b; the grief of the prophet in 7:1 is enclosed by the repetition of οἴμμοι
at the beginning and end, and ὅτι at the beginning of verse 2 introduces the
interpretation of the allegory. The translator does not include the imagery of
the hunter found in the Hebrew of 7:2, and he shortens the accusation section
in the Greek translation. In Hebrew the accusation continues into 7:4 where the
oppressors are compared to a brier and a hedge; the Greek translation renders
these metaphors differently (see 7:4), and in the Greek 7:4 is part of the judicial
sentence that continues through 7:6.
In the allegory in 7:1 the prophet compares the lack of justice and righteous-
ness in the land to the scarcity of food in a time of famine or drought. The
prophet laments because (ὅτι) in his search for an upright person (see 7:2–3)
he has become like a harvester who goes out to gather the harvest and only
finds straw. (On the use of συνάγω for gathering a harvest see mur, 650.) In the
second figure he compares his search for a devout person to one who goes out
in the vineyard to gather grapes in the time of vintage, and all he finds is the
gleanings of grapes (ἐπιφυλλίς; “small grapes left for gleaners” mur, 287). The
verb “gather” (συνάγω) is apparently gapped in the second comparison, and in
both comparisons the preposition ἐν “indicates a point in time when some-
thing takes place” (mur, 231, 3), i.e., at the time of harvest and vintage. The
grape harvest has been so thoroughly decimated that no bunches of grapes or
any of the first fruits can be found, and the searcher is very disappointed when
his cravings are not satisfied. Israel is often depicted as a vineyard (Isa 5:1–7;
Ps 79:7–15[mt 80:8–16]), and in this context Judah is compared to a vineyard to
show the difficulty of finding an upright person there.
At the end of 7:1 the prophet laments his fate and the fate of the nation. In his
search on behalf of the Lord, he can scarcely find any evidence of righteousness
and justice in the land. The noun “vintage” (τρύγητος) also occurs in Amos 9:13
where the abundant agricultural situation when the Lord returns his people to
the land in blessing is the opposite of the imagery in Mic 7:1. In 7:1–6 it becomes
clear that the promise of blessing in Amos 9:11–15 will be delayed (see Nogalski,
579). The main point of the prophecy in 7:1 is the “cause-effect relationship
of sin and judgment in salvation history” (Waltke, 425); the judgment will be
manifested in the disorder in society, described in 7:2–3, and this disorder is
caused by the scarcity of godly people in the land, which is the cause of the
prophet’s lament in 7:1. Thus, the sins that are the cause of the judgment are
further described in 7:2–3, and the description of the judgment begins in the
last line of 7:3 and continues through 7:6.
The ὅτι at the beginning of 7:2 functions like the one in the first clause of
7:1, giving the cause or reason for what precedes it. It is a lxx addition, and
it clarifies the relationship of 7:1 to 7:2 in the lxx. Verse 2 leaves no doubt
188 commentary

that the imagery in 7:1 is not referring to agriculture; it is a picture of the

lack of godly people in Judah. The words “no one,” “each,” and “all” in 7:2
emphasize the dearth of the devout in the land. In 7:2 the search for a godly
person must be among the masses or general population, as indicated by the
references to “among the people” (ἐν ἀνθρώποις) and “neighbor.” The reference
to the “remnant” (7:18), the promises for blessing in the future (7:14–20), and
the presence of the prophet among the people all require that the “all” and
“each” in 7:2 refer to the mass of the general population and yet do not include
absolutely everyone in Judah. The mention of “ruler” and “judge” in 7:3 indicates
the leaders are the subjects there.
The noun “devout” (εὐσεβής) occurs about 32 times in the lxx, primarily in
Sir and 4Macc where it is often rendered “pious” in nets. bdag (413) notes that
in the biblical literature it is only used of a person’s relation to God; however,
in other Greek literature it is used of devotees to other gods, such as Isis.
It describes a person who “is characterised by εὐσέβεια,” which is “reverence
towards God” (mur, 305). The other codices have the adjective εὐλαβής in
7:2, which only occurs one other time in the lxx (Lev 15:31). Here parallel to
“upright [person]” (participle of κατορθόω) εὐσεβής has the sense “religious,
pious person” (leh, 189; lsj, 732) or “godly person” (bdag, 413); I have rendered
it “devout.” The verb κατορθόω has the concrete meaning “set upright, erect,
straight” (lsj, 929), but it is often employed metaphorically to describe virtuous
or proper conduct (lsj, 929; mur, 392). Here the “upright [person]” is one who
lives in conformity to the ethical standards of the Lord found in the Law. The
noun γῆ in the first sentence of 7:2 refers to the “land” of Judah here, not to all
the earth.
In the second half of 7:2 the text begins to describe the social disorder the
sins of the people of Judah will cause in their society. The description of disor-
der begins with the courts. The middle voice of the verb δικάζω has the meaning
“go to law” (leh, 115), and the plural of “blood” has the idea of murder (mur,
14); thus, they “all” take each other to court for the purpose of seeing their oppo-
nents sentenced to death. See 3:10 where the leaders are charged with “building
Sion with blood.” They are ruthless, and they are satisfied with nothing short of
destroying anyone who might oppose them or stand in the way of what they
want. This becomes clear in the last clause of 7:2 where it is said that “each”
one of them afflicts his neighbor with affliction. The sin against the “neigh-
bor” described in this clause involves breaking the commands and teachings
concerning the “neighbor” found in the Law (e.g. Lev 19:11–18), especially Lev
19:18, “love your neighbor as yourself.” A “neighbor” (πλησίον) is a person who is
nearby or close in proximity (bdag, 830; lsj, 1420), and the word often seems
to have the meaning “fellow human being” in biblical Greek (bdag, 830); this
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 189

broad understanding of the word is required in passages like Exod 20:17 (see
also Jesus’ teaching, esp. in Luke 10:29–36). In the summary of the law in Lev
19:18 the “neighbor” is parallel to “the sons of your people.” In Mic 7:2 the “neigh-
bor” is a fellow Israelite, a fellow member of the covenant community; it need
not be limited to someone who resides close by. The rendering of the last clause
of Mic 7:1 is noteworthy. The mt has ‫“( צוד‬hunt”), but the translator read ‫צור‬
(“afflict”; Greek ἐκθλίβω) and then followed it with the cognate noun “affliction”
rather than the Hebrew word for net in the Hebrew phrase “hunt with a net.”
The first sentence in 7:3 continues the account of the people’s sins from 7:2.
They “prepare their hands for evil,” meaning their sins were premeditated and
planned. Reference to the preparation of “their hands” emphasizes they were
planning to do deeds. The Hebrew has: “Their hands are on what is evil, to do
it well” (esv), but the translator seems to miss the word play in the Hebrew
text, and he renders ‫“( יטב‬do well, do good” in hiphil) with ἑτοιμάζω. In Nah 3:8
the hiplil of ‫ יטב‬is also rendered with ἑτοιμάζω. See 6:8 for a discussion of the
importance of the concept of being prepared in Mic.
The remainder of 7:3 is difficult to understand. As mentioned above the focus
turns to “the ruler” and “the judge,” and the ruler is apparently a generic term
representative of the powerful leaders of the nation that have been referred to
earlier in the book (3:1–4, 9–11). But there is some debate about the identity
of the judge. In the Hebrew the ruler and the judge are parallel (see Waltke,
418–419; Wolff, 200–201), but Utzschneider (lxx.e, 2378) questions whether the
parallelism is found in the lxx. These two nouns apparently have the same
verb in the Hebrew (‫)שאל‬, but in the lxx the verse is arranged differently
and the nouns, ruler and judge, serve as the subjects of different verbs that
have different tenses; the first verb is present tense (“ruler asks”), and the
second is aorist (“judge has spoken”). Although the difference in tenses does not
require a difference in time, it is noteworthy that the translation has rendered
two Hebrew participles with different tenses. Utzschneider also notes that in
Mic 4:1–4 the Lord is the judge who judges the nations. Thus, he suggests
that the reference to “judge” in Mic 7:3 in the lxx should be understood
as the Lord, not a general reference to corrupt human judges. However, the
context in Mic 4 is eschatological, and Mic 7:1–3 is a description of the sins
of Judah. Thus, it is unlikely that the “judge” in Mic 7:3 is a reference to the
Lord; the difference in verb tenses in the lxx is not a sufficient basis for this
In support of his theory that the “judge” in 7:3 is the Lord, Utzschneider also
mentions that the reference in the lxx of Mic 7:3 to speaking “peaceful words”
(εἰρηνικοὺς λόγους ἐλάλησεν) may follow the lxx of Ps 34[mt 35]:20 (εἰρηνικὰ
ἐλάλουν), and the translator of Mic apparently rendered the mt’s ‫“( בשלום‬for
190 commentary

a bribe” esv) in Mic 7:3 as “in peace” or “peaceful.” However, in Psalm 34 the
psalmist’s enemies, not the Lord, speak peace to him while they devise treach-
ery. Furthermore the whole psalm is a prayer for the psalmist’s vindication and
rescue from his malicious persecutors, which is a very appropriate parallel to
Mic 7:8–10. The phrase “peaceful words” occurs often in the lxx, especially
in 1Macc where the peaceful words of Israel’s enemies are deceitful (1 Macc
1:30; 7:10, 15, 27). So, it seems simplest to understand the reference to “judge”
in Mic 7:3 to be a general reference to human judges, who are collaborators
with the “ruler” in the oppression of the people and speak “peaceful words”
in deception or in support of their fellow oppressors; in 3:11 “the leaders are
judging for gifts,” and the judges referred to in 7:3 are at the heart of that activ-
From the context, especially 7:1–3, one can gather a general sense of the
actions of the “ruler” and “judge” in 7:3; they are in cahoots with each other
swindling the very livelihood of the people (see esp. 3:2–3). Apparently part
of their preparation of their hands for evil (7:3a) is to prepare a strategy by
which the rulers can demand things from the people, and the judges will not
reprove them but instead speak “peaceful words.” The aorist of λαλέω suggests
that the “peaceful words” were already spoken to the leaders by the judges
before the leaders demanded what they wanted from the people, but such an
understanding may be making too much of the changes in tense. At any rate
the representative leader is able to acquire “his heart’s desire,” and apparently
the representative judge does the same. They have an arrangement between
them for their mutual benefit. The meaning of the verb αἰτέω ranges from
“beg” to “demand” (Deut 10:12; 2Macc 7:10) depending partly on the relative
power of the people asking and being asked (lsj, 44; bdag, 30; leh, 13). In
this context the rulers are demanding things from the powerless people. The
adjective καταθύμιος (“desire”) only occurs elsewhere in the lxx in Isa 44:9 in
a context describing idols as things people “delight” in. The derivation of the
word suggests that the things it describes are in the mind or thoughts of the
person it describes, and lsj (891) understands that idea to be the definition
of the word. Thus, the sins of the leaders take root in their minds and hearts
with their selfish desires. Instead of loving the Lord, they delight in wealth and
treasures (6:12), and they plan and plot to acquire such things unjustly by the
abuse of their power and authority.
In the last sentence of 7:3 the Lord begins to pronounce the punishment the
corrupt leaders will receive. He declares in the first person, “And I will take away
their good things.” This sentence fits well in the context of the lxx, but it differs
from the Hebrew. The last verb in the Hebrew of 7:3 (piel of ‫ )עבת‬was apparently
read as ‫עבר‬, and rendered with ἐξαιρέω; the piel of ‫ עבר‬has a sense similar to this
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 191

in 3Kgdms 6:21. The phrase “their good things” (τὰ ἀγαθὰ αὐτῶν), which serves
as the object of ἐξαιρέω in the lxx, is the translation of the first word in 7:4
in the mt. Then in the first full sentence of 7:4 in the lxx the translator adds
the word “moth larva” (σής), or moth worm, which becomes the subject of that
sentence. The translator apparently understood this word to be implied in the
first verbal, the participle “devouring” (from ἐκτρώγω), and perhaps he also felt
it was suggested by the noun “weaver’s rod” (κανών). Among other things κανών
was used to refer to “the weaver’s rod to which alternate threads of the warp
were attached”; this meaning of the word occurs in the literature from Homer
until the 4th or 5th century c.e. (lsj, 875). A loom consisted of “two upright
posts joined at the top by a transverse beam” to which the threads of the warp
were fastened with weights at the bottom of them so they would hang straight.
The two “weaver’s rods” (κανόνες) divided these threads into two groups with
the even threads attached to one rod and the odd to the other, and the shuttle
passed alternatively over and under them (ocd, “Weaving,” 1137–1138; see also
Seymour, 135). The image in Mic 7:4 suggests a moth worm moving quickly
down one of these rods, devouring the threads as it goes and thus ruining the
The “moth larva” (σής) is sometimes called a “cloth worm” or “cloth eater,”
and in Matt 6:19–20 and Luke 12:33 “the effect of the larvae of moths is combined
with rust as agents for the destruction of valuable objects” (Louw & Nida, 46;
see also bdag, 922). Tov calls this Greek word (σής) a “loan word” based on
a Semitic equivalent; it is used as the equivalent of the Hebrew word (‫ )סס‬that
occurs only in Isa 51:8 (Tov, “Loan-Words,” 167–169). The translation “devouring”
(from ἐκτρώγω) apparently resulted from the translator transposing ‫ ד‬and ‫ר‬
and reading the Hebrew ‫ חדק‬as the Aramaic ‫“( חרק‬cut, gnash,” Jastrow, 506; see
also lxx.e, 2379). As mentioned above, this reading probably influenced the
translator in his understanding that the passage was referring to a moth worm.
It is also possible that the mention of caterpillars, locusts, and locust larvae
in Joel 1, which immediately follows this chapter in the lxx, influenced the
translator to include the noun σής. At any rate, the imagery in the sentence is
clear. The Lord will take away all the good things the leaders have accumulated
by their oppression of the people like (ὡς) a moth larva devours cloth. This
imagery is found often in the lxx (esp. Prov 25:20; Isa 33:1; 50:9; 51:8), and in
biblical literature “being eaten by a moth [is used] as a symbol of feebleness
and destruction” (bdag, 922; Job 4:19).
The time when this devastation will take place is “in the day of your keeping
watch” (ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σκοπιᾶς); note the similar construction with ἐν (2x) in 7:1
to indicate time when something occurs. This prepositional phrase seems to
modify the actions of the moth larva immediately preceding it. The way in
192 commentary

which God takes away their good things is compared to the way a moth worm
devours cloth while the weavers are watching for enemies from without. See
the further explanation in the next paragraph.
The phrase ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σκοπιᾶς in Mic 7:4 is also found in Sir 40:6; the subject of
that passage is the difficulty of life due to hard work and fears that lead to lack
of sleep. Sir 40:6 compares the struggle people have in getting sleep to a person
ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σκοπιᾶς; nets does not translate the last word in the phrase in Sir 40:6
and renders it “in the day” (“by day” in nrsv), thus apparently assuming it is
referring to a person having trouble sleeping during the day. Brenton renders
the phrase in Sir 40:6 “in a day of keeping watch” and “in a day of visitation” in
Mic 7:4, with the sense of a day when one is on the lookout for possible danger
or attack. The noun σκοπιά often refers to a watchman, a lookout place, or a
high site appropriate for a watch tower (mur, 626), but it can also have the
general sense “watch,” as Sir 40:6 suggests. Based on the parallel in Sir 40:6, it
seems best to understand the phrase in Mic 7:4 to refer to a day of watching
for attack or possible danger, with the connotation of fear or concern. With
this understanding the first half of Mic 7:4 in the lxx paints a picture of the
good things of Judah being quickly eaten away from inside while the leaders
are intent on watching for attacks from external enemies. This is how the Lord
takes away their good things. The pronoun σου is not included in this phrase in
B, as it is in some other manuscripts (see text notes), but it is understood and
thus your is italicized in the translation.
The lxx enforces the spirit of lament in this passage by the addition of a dou-
ble “woe” (οὐαὶ οὐαί) to introduce the second half of 7:4; see the discussion in
7:1 where the lxx also adds a “woe” at the end of the verse. A woe exclamation
expresses “pain, grief, or horror” (leh, 342; see also mur, 512), and often in the
lxx, as in this context, it expresses “the terror experienced in the face of the
horrible fate that awaits the wicked, the ungodly, the sinner ‘because the time
of their punishment has arrived’” (Spicq, 2, 443). Thus, the woe exclamations
in this context are expressions of the realization that Judah is about to expe-
rience the inevitable punishment for her sins. (Renaud, 352–355, discusses the
difficulties in the last half of 7:4.)
The noun ἐκδίκησις is often rendered “vengeance,” but it can also have the
sense “punishment,” which seems more appropriate in this context referring to
the actions of God; it is “a verbal noun of preceding action often to be carried
out by God” (mur, 206). The verb ἥκω, here rendered “has come,” in contrast
to ἔρχομαι “emphasizes the endpoint of the process of physical movement,
thus ‘to arrive’” (Muraoka, “Septuagintal Lexicography,” 35). Consequently, the
punishment has befallen the people, and part of it is the social disorder and
greed that is eating away at the nation from within. One thing that will come
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 193

in the future is their “lamentations,” when they realize the full extent of the
punishment. The change in persons in the second half of 7:4 from “your” to
“their” is common in the prophetic literature, and it need not signify a change
in referent. We will also see similar changes in person later in this chapter (see
esp. 7:14–15 and 19–20).
In 7:5–6 we see the results of the actions of the godless leaders who have
broken the covenant and overturned the laws that are the basis of society for
their own benefit. There is confusion and social anarchy in the city, and society
is characterized by disorder (see Waltke, 428, and Isa 3:4–8). The commands in
verse 5 address the situation, first with two prohibitions in 7:5a and then with
a positive command in 7:5b. Verse 6 contains the reason for these commands
(introduced by διότι).
The two prohibitions in the first half of 7:5 are in the present tense, and in this
context the present prohibitions should be understood as “general precepts”
(Wallace, 724) which direct the people to abstain from putting their trust in
their friends or hoping in their leaders to deliver or help them in the time of
their judgment and punishment (Porter, 225). The verb “trust” (καταπιστεύω)
is a lxx hapax, and the translator may have chosen this word because he felt
the prepositional prefix intensified the meaning or perhaps to distinguish it
from texts that refer to trust in the Lord; it is a synonym for πιστεύω (mur, 380;
lsj, 905). It is possible that the people would have trusted in “friends,” but on
the basis of the description of their leaders elsewhere in Mic (2:9; 3:9, 11), it
is unlikely that the people would have put much hope in them. The prophet
knows that the coming punishment is from the Lord, and no human can deliver
them from the coming manifestation of God’s wrath; they should expect it and
prepare for it (7:9). The lxx (and Mur 88) adds the connector καί between the
first two clauses in 7:5, smoothing the connection between these two parallel
The positive command in the second half of 7:5 is in the aorist tense, and it
should probably also be understood as a general command. The middle voice
of the command indicates action “in one’s own best interests” (mur, 723); thus,
I have rendered it “guard yourself” (see bdag, 1068). The switch to the second
person singular makes the command more personal than the two preceding
plural prohibitions. The lxx translator seems to understand well the meaning
of the Hebrew in the second half of 7:5, and he renders it accurately, but freely,
in what today might be called a dynamic-equivalent translation. The Hebrew
phrase “doors of your mouth” is understood to be metonymy for speech, and
the phrase “her who lies in your arms” is rendered with the hapax σύγκοιτος,
“bedmate,” a word that can also function as an adjective referring to “sexual
intercourse” (lsj, 1666). The last clause in 7:5 goes beyond the first two clauses
194 commentary

in the verse; they command the reader not to trust in others to deliver or help
him, but the last clause warns the reader that in the calamitous times that are
coming because of the nation’s sin he cannot trust anyone with his thoughts
and words. He dare not communicate “anything” to the most intimate person
in his life, his “bedmate” or spouse, or it might be used against him. There will
be no covenant fidelity, even between husbands and wives.
The support or reason for the command in the last half of 7:5 is given in
7:6 and introduced by διότι, which here has the sense “for, because.” Mic 7:6
begins with three illustrations of the breakdown in the order and fidelity of
society. These illustrations serve as particular examples of the principle in the
last clause of 7:6 that “all the enemies of a person are the people in his own
house.” The noun ἀνήρ (“man”) occurs only once in B in this final clause of
7:6 (see text notes), and it is best to understand that it refers to a “person” or
“people” with “maleness not being prominent” in its sense here (so mur, 50–51).
Two of the three illustrations preceding it in 7:6 refer to women, and it is not
unusual for the word to have the broader sense (“people”) in the lxx (Num
5:10; Amos 6:9; Zech 8:23). Waltke (428) comments, “The suspicion one should
have toward one’s closest associate [7:5b] is validated by the individualism and
hardened antisocial activity that fractures a man’s own household, society’s
foundational unit. Children, instead of giving honor to their parents (Exod
20:12; Lev 19:3) disdainfully attack them. A man’s enemy turns out to be his
own household. Each seeks to save his own hide.” At least part of the reason
for the lack of respect of the younger people for their elders may have been
the failure of the parents to discipline their children and lead their households
(Exod 21:15, 17; Lev 20:9; Gen 18:13); the society described in this verse is a society
of anarchy, disorder, and confusion where the greatest loyalty a person has is
to herself and her self-preservation. The “house” in 7:6 must be the family or
There is a great amount of disagreement in the various lxx manuscripts
concerning the reading of the last sentence in 7:6 (see text notes). Some manu-
scripts, including Vaticanus, add “all”; and by its position in B “all” most natu-
rally modifies “enemies,” making all the enemies of a person those in his family
or household. The reading in B is distinctive; Rahlfs marks this reading in B
with a cross (†) indicating “only the manuscript which we have cited [here B]
and, at the most, not more than one minuscule which we have not mentioned
have supported the reading in question” (lxvii). Brenton renders the text in B
“those in his house shall be all a man’s enemies.” But Brenton’s rendering does
not solve the apparent problem in B that the enemies of a person are limited
to his own household. Such a reading is not consistent with the message of the
broader context (6:10–12; 7:2–3), and it suggests the scribe responsible for B was
ϝ. 6:9c–7:6 195

not thinking of the greater context but was focusing on this sentence. The dif-
ficulty of the reading in B also suggests it is an early reading.
Jesus employs the language of Mic 7:6 to describe the effect of his coming
(Matt 10:34–36; Luke 12:51–53; see also Matt 10:21). The coming of Jesus Christ
into this world will cause division between close members of a household,
like the disorder that results in households from the sin and corruption of
society described in Mic. In Luke 12:51 the noun “division, dissension, disunity”
(διαμερισμός) may also reflect the lxx of Mic 7:12 where it occurs two times,
describing the dividing of the cities of Israel by the Assyrians (see also the
cognate verb in Luke 12:52). There are also reflections of Mic 7:6 in Jesus’
words in the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13:12; Matt 24:21; Luke 21:16) describing
the division of families whose members turn each other over to authorities as
the end of the age approaches. Thus, Jesus finds it appropriate to employ the
description of societal disorder and family deterioration in Mic 7:6 to describe
the society of the last days, both at the time of his first coming and before his
second coming. The contexts of all of these New Testament passages challenge
Jesus’ followers to be faithful, even if their closest relatives betray them. And the
selfishness and self-preservation in these New Testament passages resemble
the attitudes described in Mic 7:6.
Thus, in Mic 7:1–6 the prophet laments the dearth of righteous people in the
land (7:1–2). The leaders are especially guilty for afflicting the vulnerable and
the weak in order to enhance their own treasures (7:3). But they will not get
away with it; the Lord will devour their good things like a moth larva while
they look for the enemy, and their weeping will come (7:4). Their sins have
destroyed the moral and familial fabric of their society, and in 7:5–6 the prophet
warns the remnant that in such an environment they cannot trust even the
close members of their households.
In summary, the epsilon section, 6:9c–7:6 addresses the sins of the leadership
in Judah and the judgment that will inevitably follow the leaders’ ungodly
behavior. The punishment for their sins of avarice, greed, and exploitation of
the weak will include their lack of any personal satisfaction in the treasures they
accumulate by means of these sins, the destruction of society and the social
order, and the military defeat of the nation, resulting in the nation becoming
a reproach of the gentiles. The exclamations of “woe!” in 7:1 and 4 express
the horror the prophet feels concerning the coming judgment. The section
begins and ends with the topic of social order. The injustices of the powerful
in society will lead to the destruction of social order, and the disruption of
society will reach even the closest relationships, which should be based on
truthfulness, love, and faithfulness, as should all relationships in the covenant
arrangement. Because of the nation’s disregard for the covenant, the people
196 commentary

will experience the covenant curses. Ironically, another result of their disregard
for the covenant by means of their unjust actions is that their statutes will be
eradicated (6:15); this topic is emphasized in the lxx again in the next section

Ζ 7:7–20

After He Has Judged the Nation, the Lord Will Restore and Forgive the
Remnant of His People
Scholars who work with the Hebrew text of Mic are divided on whether 7:7
should go with the verses preceding it or the verses following it (Renaud, 370–
372; Wolff, 203), and the debate carries over to the study of lxx Mic (lxx.e,
2379). Part of the question is whether the prophet, who has been speaking
in 7:1–6, continues speaking in 7:7 or whether the “I” who speaks in 7:8 is
also the first person speaker in 7:7. In B there is a major division between
7:6 and 7:7, and thus in B it is most natural to understand the speaker in 7:7
to be the “I” in 7:8 This “I” appears to be a Lady Sion figure, a personifica-
tion of the believing remnant in the nation (7:18), which has confidence in
the Lord and will realize the fulfillment of the promises the Lord made to
the fathers of the nation (7:20). The prophet is a part of that remnant and
seems to be the spokesperson for it in this passage. Thus, it is not easy to dis-
tinguish the prophet from the remnant in 7:7–20. Sometimes the remnant of
the nation speaks in the first person (“I” or “we” in 7:8–10, 19), and in other
verses the nation is addressed in the second or third person (7:11–12, 15, 17,
20). Ziegler and Rahlfs also have a division between 7:6 and 7:7 in their lxx
The zeta section, 7:7–20 is in the form of a liturgy or hymn, and it can
be divided into several subunits on the basis of the changes in speakers and
addressees (see Nogalski, 585; Waltke, 449–451; Renaud, 364–382, esp. 380–382).
The first subunit, 7:7, is a statement of faith, and it is followed in the second
subunit, 7:8–10, by the remnant’s confession of that faith; in 7:8–10 the remnant
is personified as a Lady Sion figure, and her confession of confidence in the
Lord is addressed to another unnamed female, who is her enemy. In the lxx the
first line of 7:11 goes with verse 10. In the third subunit, 7:11b–13, which differs
markedly from the Hebrew, the prophet, perhaps speaking on behalf of the
nation or remnant, predicts the overthrow of the unnamed enemy addressed
in 7:8–10; in the lxx text this enemy should probably be understood to be the
Seleucids. The fourth subunit, 7:14–17, contains the prophet’s petitions to the
Lord on behalf of the nation in 7:14a and the Lord’s response in 7:14b–17; the
ζ. 7:7–20 197

Lord promises to do marvelous things for the nation as he did in the Exodus
from Egypt, and as a result the nations will be afraid of him. The final subunit
is itself a hymn or prayer of praise to the Lord for his mercy, compassion,
and faithfulness toward his people (7:18–20) within the larger hymn or liturgy
section (7:7–20).
Throughout this section it is assumed that the sins of the nation have caused
the judgment that the people experience (7:9, 18–19). In fact, in this section and
in all of chapter 7 sin, not another nation, is presented as the main enemy of the
nation. Chapter 7 begins with a lament over the nation’s sins, and it ends with
praise to the Lord for his forgiveness of their sins. Between those two extremes
the chapter describes the punishment the nation will receive for its sins. Thus,
even though the remnant knows they have and will continue to experience the
judgment of the Lord for their sins, they also know that the Lord will forgive
their sins (7:18), have compassion on them (7:19), and keep the promises he
has sworn to the fathers of the nation (7:20). The day is coming when the Lord
will remember his people and will humble the nations (7:14–17). Therefore, the
believing remnant will “look to the Lord” and “wait for God my savior,” because
they believe the Lord will hear them (7:7).
The first verse of this section, Mic 7:7, is a statement of faith. The voice
in this verse is best understood to be the prophet speaking on behalf of the
believing remnant, which is portrayed in the following verses as Lady Sion.
This understanding of the verse makes sense of its contrast with the preceding;
that is, the sinful people, especially the powerful leaders, are committed to
their sinful ways (7:2–3), but as for me, I will trust in the Lord, who is “my
God” and “my savior” (7:7). Waltke (431) comments, “ ‘But I’ contrasts sharply
the black unfaithfulness of the magistrates and the nation, along with their
doom (vv. 1–6), with the bright faith and salvation of the prophet and the
faithful remnant that he represents.” This understanding of the speaker in 7:7
also allows for continuity with the following where the faithful remnant in the
nation speaks of their confidence that after they have endured the Lord’s wrath
on the nation the Lord will return to justify them (7:8–9).
The important statement of faith in 7:7 has two parts, the believer’s confes-
sion of trust in the Lord in the first two sentences and the believer’s declaration
of confidence that the Lord will hear him in the last sentence; these two ele-
ments are the basics of true faith according to Heb 11:6b. The verb ἐπιβλέπω in
the first sentence of the confession of trust, “I will look to the Lord,” suggests
looking attentively to the Lord (mur, 268–269); as the following parallel sen-
tence suggests, the verb implies waiting expectantly for the Lord, even though
the majority of people have no regard for him. The verb in the second sentence
of the believer’s confession of trust, “I wait for God my savior,” is ὑπομένω; this
198 commentary

verb suggests endurance or steadfastness, and the sense of the word in this con-
text is close to the meaning in bdag (1039) “to maintain a belief or course of
action in the face of opposition.” In Mic 7:7 it has the sense of continuing to
count on God for support and deliverance even though the mass of society has
forgotten him (see mur, 704). The faith described in Mic 7:7 is countercultural,
even in Judah.
The personal relationship of the speaker with God in 7:7, indicated by the
phrases “God my savior” and “my God,” underscores that the speaker represents
the believing remnant. The God referred to in this verse is clearly the God of
Israel, and the basis of the speaker’s trust is the character of this God (7:18).
He is described in 7:7 as “my savior,” a description that is appropriate as the
object of verbs like “look to” and “wait for”; the title “savior” communicates
the idea that God’s people depend on him for their sustenance, deliverance,
and perseverance. In a covenant relationship he is their God and deliverer, and
they are his people, who depend upon him and trust in him. The phrase “God
my savior” (τῷ θεῷ τῷ σωτῆρί μου in Mic 7:7) occurs at least six other times in
the lxx (Pss 24:5; 26:9; 64:6; 78:9; 94:1; Hab 3:18; see also Odes Sol 4:18; 9:47);
the phrase is important enough to have a category of its own in bdag, 985, and
similar phrases are often employed in the nt (Luke 1:47; 1 Tim 1:1; 2:3; Tit 1:3; 2:10;
3:4; Jude 25).
The last sentence of 7:7, the believer’s declaration of confidence that his God
will hear him, is a prediction based on the character of God and the believer’s
relationship with him (“my God”). The verb “hear” (εἰσακούω) occurs over 280
times in the lxx. Spicq (1:440) contends that it is one of the most important
terms for ot theology when God is its subject, as he is in Mic 7:7. He writes
further, “The faith of Israel is that ‘my God will hear me’ (Mic 7:7), ‘his ear is not
too heavy to hear’ (Isa 59:1).” Spicq suggests that in contexts of prayer this word
means “grant an answer” (see also Mic 3:4; Jonah 2:3). In Mic 3:4 the prophet
says the Lord will not hear the cries of the oppressors, those who apparently
do not know God, when they call out to him for deliverance. The parallel line
in 3:4, “he will turn his face from them,” helps us understand what the verb
means. However, the covenant-keeping remnant can have confidence that the
Lord their God will hear and respond to their prayers.
How do people of faith look to the Lord and wait for their God? Nogalski
(583) argues that it does not involve “merely waiting in our own private world
for the God of our salvation.” Instead it involves actively seeking what is good
and doing what the Lord requires of us: “to practice justice and to love mercy
and to be ready to walk with the Lord your God” (6:8). True faith issues in
and is expressed in concrete actions of justice and love and in a daily life that
conforms to the revelation and will of God.
ζ. 7:7–20 199

There are many thematic parallels between Mic and Hab, and Mic 7:7 is
one of them; the attitude of the remnant in 7:7 is similar to the attitude of the
prophet Habakkuk. In both books we see the inevitable judgment and devasta-
tion of the nation by means of a foreign power, and yet in both books believers
wait for the Lord’s deliverance that will follow the calamity (see the develop-
ment of the parallels in Nogalski, 580–582). There are also some important
verbal parallels between Mic 7:7 and Hab, especially parallels with the phrase
“I will wait for God my savior” from Mic 7:7. The verb “wait” (ὑπομένω) is found
in Hab 2:3, “[If it should tarry], wait (ὑπομένω) for it.” And the phrase “God my
savior” is exactly the same as the phrase in Hab 3:18, “[But I will exult in the
Lord; I will rejoice] in God my savior” (ἐπὶ τῷ θεῷ τῷ σωτῆρί μου).
The next subunit begins in 7:8 and continues into the first words of 7:11 in the
lxx. In this section the believing remnant is personified in a Lady Sion figure
who speaks to her unnamed adversary. Thus, the command not to “rejoice over”
or “rejoice against” at the beginning of 7:8 is second person singular. This verb
(ἐπιχαίρω) refers most often to “malicious joy” (mur, 287). The present tense
prohibition could be understood as a general prohibition or as a command to
cease an activity in progress (Wallace, 724–725; Porter, 53–55). It is difficult to
tell from the context whether the rejoicing or gloating over the fall of Lady Sion
is to be understood as already begun, warranting a command to “stop” (as in
nets); thus, I prefer the more general “do not,” which does not preclude the
possibility that the rejoicing has already begun, nor does it emphasize the idea
of ceasing the activity.
The adversary in 7:8–10 is portrayed as a single female, apparently a lady, who
represents a nation or city. She is addressed in 7:8 and described in the same
number and gender three times in 7:10. She is apparently a personification of
Assyria, or Nineveh, but that will become clearer in verses 10–12. In the second
sentence in 7:8 Lady Sion speaks, giving the reason why her adversary is not to
rejoice over her: “for I have fallen, but I shall rise again.” The intransitive use
of ἀνίστημι in the future middle form means “to stand up, rise” (mur, 54); it
can also mean “to come alive again after death,” (Isa 26:19; 2 Macc 7:14, 12:44;
mur, 54), and that idea is not far from the idea in this context prophesying
of the future experience of the nation. This verb is employed in Hos 6:2 to
foretell “the Lord’s restoration of his people, Israel, to himself and the nation’s
resurrection back to life after a period, hopefully short (“on the third day”), of
his chastisement of them” (Glenny, Hosea, 111; see discussion on pp. 110–112).
This is probably how the early readers of the lxx would have understood
Mic 7:8 also, and it is not clear whether they would have understood such
prophecies to be completely fulfilled in the return of the exiles from Babylon.
(See also Hos 3:5; 14:4–8; Amos 9:11–12; Zech 14:11; and Ezek 37 on the Lord’s
200 commentary

restoration of the nation.) The word “again” is included in the translation (“rise
again”), because it is consistent with the fact that she was standing before she
fell. Also, the conjunction καί has been rendered “but,” because of the apparent
contrast between the two clauses in the sentence; for examples of καί indicating
contrast, see mur, 353, 4. The first two sentences in 7:8 could be arranged or
divided differently, but my translation reflects the punctuation in B, and it
works well with the conjunctions; it is also in harmony with the division of the
first part of the verse in nets and in Brenton.
The syntax of the conditional sentence in the last half of 7:8 is very unusual
for both classical and biblical Greek. There is no uncontested example of a con-
ditional sentence having ἐάν with a future tense in the protasis and a future
tense in the apodosis in the nt (bdf §373, 2; Luke 19:40 and Acts 7:7 are possible
examples); see Ezek 22:13 for an example in the lxx. This construction should
probably be understood to have a significance somewhere between Smyth’s
categories of “more vivid” (ἐάν with subjunctive in protasis) and “emotional”
(εἰ with a future indicative in protasis) future conditions (Smyth, § 2323–2328);
Smyth notes that the emotional future condition (εἰ with a future tense in
the protasis) “commonly suggests something undesired, or feared, or intended
independently of the speaker’s will” (§2328). Porter (264) explains in his dis-
cussion of what he calls the “future most vivid” (εἰ with a future indicative
in protasis; ca. 12× in nt) that since “the future form does not conform fully
either to the indicative or to the non-indicative paradigm [see his discussion
on pp. 20–61 for his development of this] … a conditional protasis with a future
form should be placed in a category close by the subjunctive, since it gram-
maticalizes the semantic feature of expectation.” Thus, it seems likely that lxx
readers would have understood the condition in the second half of 7:8 to be sim-
ilar in its significance to the more common form ἐάν with a subjunctive, with
the subordinating conjunction ἐάν giving a sense of uncertainty to the prota-
sis. The condition should then be read as suggesting the future possibility or
potential of something that would be undesired; here it is impending. The con-
cessive “though,” which is the translation of ἐάν in nets and Brenton, gives the
conditional statement a concessive idea and suggests the speaker is already sit-
ting in darkness, which is not the point of the condition. The basic meaning of
a conditional sentence is that should the protasis happen, the apodosis will fol-
low (see mur, 183). Therefore, it is not assumed that the speaker will, or does,
sit in darkness, but “if” he should, he is sure that the Lord will provide light for
The imagery to “sit in darkness” in the protasis of the conditional sentence
in the last half of 7:8 should probably be understood to suggest a helpless or
hopeless situation (see mur, 627, on σκότος), parallel to the idea of falling in
ζ. 7:7–20 201

the first part of the verse, or perhaps worse. “Sit” (καθίζω) suggests remaining
for a time in this condition. The apodosis, “the Lord shall provide light for
me,” means, at least, that the Lord will not forget his people in their darkness.
In Greek literature “light is a symbol of strength, protection, happiness, glory,
salvation” (Spicq, 3, 473), and in the lxx the verb “provide light” (φωτίζω) often
has the sense “to illuminate intellectually, to instruct, that is, to make to known
[sic] the truth, to bring to light what is hidden” (Spicq, 3, 477). In this passage
illumination morally or intellectually does not seem to be the sense, as in its
other occurrence in the Twelve in Hos 10:12. The intransitive use of the verb
“provide light” (see lsj, 1969) in this context with the Lord as the subject
and with a dative of destination, “for me,” should probably be understood to
mean that the Lord will turn back to his remnant with blessing, salvation, and
even glory after the time of the nation’s exile, punishment, and humiliation
(darkness). Such an understanding of the verb is consistent with the sense of
“light” (φῶς) in its only occurrence in the book, in the next verse, 7:9, which
refers to justice and vindication for the remnant. The metaphors of “darkness”
and “light” also have moral connotations (see Waltke, 452); the judgment for
past sins and expectation of future blessings cannot be separated from the
nation’s moral behavior and religious life.
In 7:9 the personified remnant, portrayed as Lady Sion, continues to speak
through the prophet; in 7:9–10 she may be addressing her adversary, as she does
in 7:8, but the audience listening to her words is understood to be broader and
the adversary is addressed in the third person in 7:10 instead of the second
person, which was used in 7:8. In verse 9 the remnant is pictured as determined
to endure the Lord’s righteous anger for the nation’s sins and to experience his
future blessing and vindication. They realize that being a part of the nation they
are not without guilt as they confess in the clause “because I have sinned against
him,” which interrupts the syntax of the sentence and is thus set apart by
dashes. The main thought in the verse is that the remnant will endure the Lord’s
indignation (righteous anger) until the Lord executes judgment for them. They
realize that the Lord’s judgment is restorative; it is the means to restoration and
salvation. They also know it is temporary.
There is a lot of legal terminology in 7:9 (words beginning with δικ-). In the
lxx the verb δικαιόω can have the sense “to consider in court and pronounce
judgment” (mur, 170; Ezek 44:24), and the word which is the object of this verb,
δίκη, can refer to a “law suit,” “sentence,” or “punishment” (mur, 171); I have
followed Schrenk (tdnt, 2:213) in rendering ἕως τοῦ δικαιῶσαι αὐτὸν τὴν δίκην
μου as “until he executes judgment for me,” which I feel nicely summarizes the
meaning in this context. The prophet is certain that the Lord will take up his
cause, but he also knows he must wait until the Lord’s indignation has passed.
202 commentary

The next clause in 7:9, “and he will carry out judgment for me,” is an expres-
sion again of the prophet’s confidence that the Lord will act on behalf of him
and the remnant he represents. (Twice in this verse the pronoun μου functions
as an objective genitive, “for me.” The prophet, speaking for the remnant, is con-
fident that the Lord will not forget them.) The combination of the verb ποιέω
with κρίμα as its object is also found in Amos 5:7 and the important verse Mic
6:8; I render it “execute judgment” and “practice justice” in those two passages.
Thus the prophet, speaking for the remnant, is enduring until the Lord “car-
ries out judgment,” and he is confident that the Lord will do that for him. He
is also confident that the Lord will “lead me out into the light.” The change in
persons to “you,” which is found in the original reading in B (“you will lead”) is
not unusual in the prophets, but is more awkward than the corrected reading
in B (“he will lead”). On “light,” see the discussion in 7:8; here in 7:9 it probably
refers primarily to the blessing, salvation, and even glory that the remnant will
experience when the Lord works justice on behalf of the nation and delivers
them from their enemies who have oppressed them. Because they broke the
covenant and sinned against the Lord his people deserved the judgment they
experienced at the hands of their enemies, but their enemies also deserve pun-
ishment for the things they did to Israel and Judah. The prophet concludes 7:9
with a statement of his confidence in the Lord: “I will see his justice”; in this
clause δικαιοσύνη refers to God’s “divine justice” manifested in his salvific acts
(mur, 169).
The “lady adversary,” who was introduced in 7:8, is the subject of the verbs
in the first half of 7:10 and the focus of attention throughout the verse. Not only
will the Lord’s people see his justice, but so will she. And when she sees the
Lord’s justice manifested in his saving acts on behalf of the remnant, she will be
“covered with shame.” She has reviled and insulted the Lord, asking derisively,
“Where is the Lord your God?” This rhetorical question expects the answer
“nowhere,” and it is “aimed to debase and insult” both the Lord and his people
(Waltke, 454). The name of God she chose to use, “the Lord your God,” signifies
the unique covenant relationship the people have with the Lord and makes
them look foolish for trusting in a god who seems to be impotent to defend
them against their enemy. However, the lady adversary did not realize the Lord
was using her to punish his people and that just retribution would later come
to her for her wrongs against his people. The fact that the remnant would “look
upon” their adversary in her humiliation makes it all the more shameful for her,
especially because the state of her wretched degradation is likened to the mud
that is trampled on in the street. Yet, it is a “feast for the eyes” of the remnant
(Wolff, 223; see the other use of ἐφοράω in Mic in 4:11). The phrase ἔσται εἰς (“shall
become”), which is also found in 7:13, has the idea “serve as,” or perhaps better
ζ. 7:7–20 203

“become” (see mur, 193; bdf §145); this adversary who once gloated over Israel
and their God “shall become” like mud. As Wolff says, “One cannot be brought
down any lower” (223). The noun πηλός (“clay, mud”) can be used as a “figure of
something easily available, hence not valuable” (mur, 556; Job 27:16).
The first three Greek words in 7:11 make most sense connected with the last
sentence in 7:10, “during a day of the daubing of brick” (so Rahlfs, Ziegler, nets);
the genitive form of the noun ἡμέρα at the beginning of the verse is a genitive
of time, indicating the time during which the daubing of bricks takes place
(Wallace, 122–124). The noun ἀλυφῆς in the first phrase of 7:11 is apparently a
mistake in the original of B; there is no such Greek word, as far as I can tell,
and I have understood it as ἀλοιφῆς (see text notes), which is found three other
times in the lxx. This noun could mean “erasure, removal” (Exod 17:14), but it
more often refers to “anything with which one can smear, anoint, plaster, paint”
(Job 33:24; Ezek 13:12; see leh, 22); mur (29) suggests that in Mic 7:11 it refers
to the “act of forming sticky material (viz. clay) into bricks,” and this latter idea
makes most sense with the “bricks” in this passage. There is no Hebrew word
that corresponds exactly with this rare Greek word in Mic 7:11 (ἀλυφῆς), unless
the two words ἀλοιφῆς πλίνθου (“daubing of brick”) are the rendering of the
Hebrew “to build” (‫)לבנות‬. But it is more likely that the translator rendered this
Hebrew construction with the Greek noun “brick”; see the discussion below on
this. Thus, “daubing” is a lxx plus that was added to make sense of the passage
or perhaps because it was on the translator’s mind. As mentioned above a
meaning like “daubing” seems most likely for ἀλοιφῆς (ἀλυφῆς in the original of
B), and with that understanding of ἀλοιφῆς in Mic 7:9 the noun “brick” (πλίνθος)
is an objective genitive, serving as the object of the daubing.
It should be noted that it is also possible, on the basis of the use of ἀλυφῆς in
Exod 17:14, to understand it to have the sense “wipe out” (i.e., destruction) in Mic
7:11. In Exod 17:14, one of its other three occurrences in the lxx, it is used with a
related verbal (ἐξαλείφω), resulting in the intensified rendering “with a wipe out
I will wipe out the memorial of Amalek from beneath heaven” (nets). Another
related noun, “blotting out” (ἐξάλειψις), occurs in the next phrase in Mic 7:11,
suggesting that possibly the translator of Mic had Exod 17:14 in mind when
he rendered Mic 7:11 and he understood the fate of the lady adversary to be
similar to that of Amalek, who was wiped out. As a result, the destruction of lady
adversary in Mic 7:10–11 would be another manifestation of the Lord fighting
against Israel’s enemies, as he did against Amalek (“the secret hand of the Lord
fights against Amalek from generations to generations,” Exod 17:16 nets). With
this understanding of ἀλυφῆς in Mic 7:11 the day when the adversary would
be trampled like mud, or clay, in the street as described in Mic 7:10 would be
the day of wiping out, or destruction, of brick, apparently a day of devastation.
204 commentary

This understanding of ἀλοιφῆς in Mic 7:11 has much to commend it, but the
more common understanding of it as related to “daubing” and its connection
with the genitive “bricks” tip the scale in favor of understanding it as “daubing.”
Furthermore, the description of the day of the siege of Nineveh in Nah 3:14 is
described with very similar language, and the day of “daubing of brick” in 7:10
is apparently that same day; it is a day of doomed preparation to attempt to
withstand the enemy (see the connections with Assyria below). Thus, the first
phrase of 7:11 gives the time that the lady adversary will become like clay, or
mud, in the streets; it is “during a day of daubing of brick,” apparently referring
to the day of Nineveh’s useless preparation for a devastating siege, as described
in Nah 3:14–15.
The last half of 7:11 has two parallel ideas in it. Each clause refers to “that
day,” the day of the Lord’s direct intervention, or the Day of the Lord. And both
clauses in the last half of the verse refer to a blotting or rubbing out. That
day will be the “blotting out” (leh, 157) of the lady adversary; this Greek word
(ἐξάλειψις) could also be rendered obliteration, utter destruction, (Ezek 9:6), or
erasure (nets). However, the rendering “blotting out” parallels nicely the verb
in the second clause, “rub out.” lsj (224) suggests the possible rendering “rub
off” for this second verb (ἀποτρίβω); mur (86) suggests the meaning “get rid
of” in the middle voice, as here. The whole clause refers to the rubbing out of
the lady adversary’s statutes on that day. Thus, not only will she be blotted out,
but her laws and statutes will be rubbed off also. She will be obliterated from
the earth. On “statutes” (νόμιμος) see 6:15 where God declares he will judge his
people by eradicating their “statutes,” apparently using the lady adversary as
the agent of judgment. Now the tables are turned, and her “statutes” are also
going to be destroyed.
In the lxx Mic 7:11–12 is a description of the Lord’s judgment of the enemies
of Israel instead of the salvation oracle containing promises to God’s people,
which is in the Hebrew. How the translator read the Hebrew of 7:11 is difficult
to understand, and perhaps in places his Vorlage differed from the mt. See
below for a suggestion concerning his reading of “to build, building” (‫)לבנות‬.
The noun ‫“( גדריך‬your walls”; fem. suffix in mt) was apparently construed as
ἐξάλειψίς σου (“your blotting out”), but how the translator came up with this
Greek noun (ἐξάλειψις) is difficult to know; Hatch and Redpath (487) classify
the rendering of this noun as a case in which the Greek and Hebrew are
doubtful, apparently meaning that the correspondence between the Vorlage
and the translation is difficult to determine. The final word in the Hebrew of
7:11, ‫חק‬, which has the sense of “boundaries” in the Hebrew when it is used
with the verb “extend” (‫ )רחק‬as it is here, was understood to refer to “statutes,”
as it sometimes does (halot, 346–347), and in Waltke’s words (438), the “lxx
ζ. 7:7–20 205

tied itself up” with this rendering. The addition of the second person singular
suffix to “statutes” in the lxx (“your statutes”) makes the statutes those of the
lady adversary in this context. How “extend, be far off” (‫ רחק‬in the qal) was
rendered as ἀποτρίβω (“rub out”) is also difficult to understand; perhaps the
translator thought it was in the piel stem, which has the meaning “to remove
completely, send away” (halot, 1221–1222). This rendering could also be based
on a different text, or the translator may have been trying to make sense of the
word in keeping with his understanding of the context. At any rate, he should
not have missed this common Hebrew verb (over 50× in the mt). It is possible
that he rendered it as he did because he felt the punishment of the adversary
should be consistent with the punishment the adversary had afflicted on the
Lord’s people, as prophesied in 6:15.
There are several verbal connections in 7:10 and the first line of 7:11 in the lxx
with passages describing the destruction of Nineveh, and these connections
suggest Assyria, or Nineveh its capital, was the lady adversary in mind in
7:8–10. Three key terms in this passage are used elsewhere in prophecies of
the downfall of Nineveh. The terms “clay” (πηλός) and “brick” (πλίνθος) are
also used in Nah 3:14 in a description of the doomed call to repair the city
walls of Nineveh. The noun “tramping, trampled thing” (καταπάτημα), which
is found in the description of the adversary in Mic 7:10 is employed in Isa 14:25
to describe the destruction of the Assyrians. The mention of “brick” (πλίνθος)
in the first line of 7:11 in the lxx is especially interesting, because it presumes
a different reading of the Hebrew than the mt; the translator may have read
the infinitive construct with the lamedh, “to build, building” (‫)לבנות‬, as the
noun “bricks” (‫)םלבני‬. If the translator read the Hebrew that way, it may have
been because he had Assyria on his mind and made a connection between the
text he was translating and the description of the fall of Nineveh in Nah 3:14.
It is also possible that the translator identified the Seleucids with prophecies
concerning Assyria; see more evidence for that in the next paragraph.
The specific situation the translator had in mind in his rendering of Mic
7:11–12 may have been a situation very near to his time. In 129 b.c.e. the Persians
attacked the winter garrisons of the Seleucids in Mesopotamia (Media) where
the Seleucids under Antiochus vii Sidetes (mentioned in b.j. 1.61–62) had won
some victories. Antiochus led a counter attack and was defeated and killed. At
that time the Seleucids lost their control over Mesopotamia in the east (which
is consistent with the clause “your cities shall succumb to a leveling and a
dividing of the Assyrians,” 7:12), and their realm was restricted to Syria. Also
from that time on their rule in the west was weakened as a result of their wars
with Parthia. As a consequence, their western cities, including the important
Phoenician coastal towns, attained their freedom (“rub out your statutes,” 7:11,
206 commentary

and “your fortified cities [shall succumb] to a dividing from Tyre to the river,”
7:12). Thus, it is possible that the translator’s knowledge of these events colored
his rendering of the text of Mic 7:10–12. See the discussion in lxx.e, 2379–2380.
Whereas the Hebrew of Mic 7:12 continues the prophecy of the restoration of
Sion that began in 7:11 in that text, the lxx of Mic 7:12 continues the description
of the Lord’s judgment of the enemies of Israel, especially Assyria (who is
apparently the lady adversary), which began in 7:11 in the lxx. The first words
in 7:12 in the Hebrew, “in that day,” are connected with the last clause of 7:11
in the lxx, and several of the translator’s renderings of the Hebrew in 7:12 are
worth noting. First he renders ‫“( ועדיך‬and to you”) as καὶ αἱ πόλεις σου (“and your
cities”), reading ‫ עד‬as ‫( עיר‬this construction has a masc. suffix in the mt [“you”]
that does not agree with Lady Sion, but in the Hebrew text the translators used,
which would not have had vowels marks, the genders would not be clear for
second sing. pronominal suffixes); the translator apparently took ‫עד‬, which he
read as ‫עיר‬, to be parallel to and the same word as the plural form ‫“( ערי‬cities
[of Egypt]”) later in the verse. Also see the text note on the reading εἴξουσιν
in B. Further, it is noteworthy that the exact form ‫למני‬, which is found twice
in this verse, may be unique here in the mt (see halot, 597); at any rate,
the translator made much of it both times it occurs, employing it to extend
his description of the devastation of the Assyrians. The first time it occurred
he may have given it a double rendering, εἰς ὁμαλισμὸν καὶ εἰς διαμερισμόν (“to
a leveling and a dividing”) and the second time he apparently rendered it
with only εἰς διαμερισμόν (“to a dividing”). The rendering εἰς ὁμαλισμὸν (“to a
leveling”) could also have been influenced by the word ‫“( אשור‬Assyria”), which
the translator may have understood as related to the verb ‫“( ישר‬be straight,
smooth”; see leh, 331, for this suggestion). The problem with this suggestion
is that the translator usually follows the order of the Hebrew closely in his
rendering, and these words are separated from each other. Also interesting is
the rendering of “Egypt” (‫)מצור‬, which occurs twice in the verse, as the adjective
ὀχυρός, “strong, fortified,” modifying “cities” and agreeing with ii ‫ מצור‬in halot
(623), and as ἀπὸ Τύρου (“from Tyre”), reading it as the preposition ‫ מ‬and the
Hebrew word ‫“( צר‬Tyre”). The degree of difference from the Hebrew in this
verse suggests the translator had an agenda here and was making the verse
agree with his understanding of the context. There are also several variations
in lxx manuscripts in 7:12, especially at the end of verse 12 where Rahlfs and
Ziegler have ἡμέρα ὕδατος καὶ θορύβου, but B and Swete have καὶ ἀπὸ θαλάσσης
ἕως θαλάσσης, καὶ ἀπὸ ὄρους ἕως τοῦ ὄρους, following the Hebrew (see text
The second person singular pronoun occurs twice in 7:12, as it did in 7:11,
continuing the focus on the lady adversary of 7:8 and 10. Her cities will succumb
ζ. 7:7–20 207

to a leveling and a dividing of the Assyrians. The genitive “of the Assyrians”
must be an objective genitive in this context; it is the Assyrian, or Seleucid,
cities that will be leveled and divided. The noun διαμερισμός is used sometimes
to describe dissension or disunity (Luke 12:51; lsj, 403; bdag, 234). Thus, the
verse does not necessarily mean the individual cities are divided; it should
more likely be understood to mean there is a division between the cities of
the Assyrians (or Seleucids). The references to “cities” in a Hellenistic culture,
like that of the Seleucids, would denote political units, or city-states. “From
Tyre to the river” would probably be understood to refer to the area from
the Mediterranean coast to the Euphrates, the realm of the Seleucids in the
second century b.c.e., the time this book was probably translated into Greek.
“From sea to sea and from mountain to mountain” could be called a double
merism (see Waltke, 457), referring to all the land of the adversary. It should
be noted that the differences from the Hebrew in the lxx of Mic 7:11–12 not
only focus the meaning of the verse on the area of Assyria, but they also omit
the two references to Egypt in the Hebrew. Whereas the Hebrew has people
from Assyria and Egypt, representing the nations, being included in the borders
of Israel and coming to Sion (as in Mic 4:1–4), in the Greek the Assyrian area
north of Israel is judged. As discussed above, for the lxx translator and his
early readers these verses would probably be understood to refer to the Seleucid
Verse 13 is a summary of the judgment described in 7:11–12. The “land” that
“will become entirely desolate with its inhabitants” is the land of the Seleucids,
and this is perhaps a description, albeit perhaps exaggerated, of this area in
the late second century after 129b.c.e. The reason (ἀπό could indicate source
or cause, leh, 48) for their desolation or annihilation (ἀφανισμός can even
mean “extermination,” lsj, 285) is “the fruits of their practices.” (See Mic 2:7,
9; 3:4 on ἐπιτήδευμα, “practices.”) The practices of the people in the land have
consequences, and those consequences will lead to the desolation of the land
and of its people.
In B Mic 7:14–17 is the fourth subunit of the zeta section (7:7–20); the first
three subunits are 7:7; 7:8–10; and 7:11–13. There is a frequent change of speakers
throughout the zeta section, as one would expect in liturgical material. The
prophet speaks on behalf of the remnant in 7:7–10 (and the first words of 7:11),
expressing their confidence and trust in the Lord. Then the prophet speaks
for the Lord in 7:11–13 in the prophecy of judgment on the lady adversary.
This subunit, 7:14–17, contains the prophet’s petitions to the Lord on behalf of
the nation in 7:14a and the Lord’s response in 7:14b–15; the Lord promises to
provide for the nation as he did in previous days and to do marvelous things
for the nation as he did in the Exodus from Egypt. Then the people express
208 commentary

their confidence in the Lord in 7:16–17. The zeta section ends with the remnant’s
hymn of response to the Lord in 7:18–20.
The command at the beginning of 7:14 to shepherd, which the prophet
addresses to the Lord, is actually a request, a polite entreaty from a human
to God (see bdf §387; Wallace, 487–488). Shepherding involves providing
provision, as the rest of the verse explains, but it also involves protection, as
the mention of the “rod” (ῥάβδος) suggests, as well as guidance (see 5:6); the
Lord’s sheep depend upon him for all of these. Similar language is employed in
lxx Ps 2:9 in the prophecy that the Lord will shepherd the nations with a rod of
iron (ποιμανεῖς αὐτοὺς ἐν ῥάβδῳ σιδηρᾷ); in that context the Messiah, whom God
in heaven establishes as king on Sion, exercises his authority over the rebellious
nations and shatters those who oppose him with a “rod of iron.”
Mic 7:14 presents a picture of willing submission to the Lord’s authority
and will. The second person singular command and the three second person
possessive pronouns (σου) in 7:14a all refer to the Lord, and the repetition of
the possessive pronouns emphasizes that Israel belongs to the Lord; they are
his people. The description of them as the sheep of the Lord’s “inheritance”
(κληρονομία) signifies they are the Lord’s possession (mur, 400; see Joel 2:17;
3:2); it also has “notions of family and perpetuity” (Waltke, 459). Speaking for
and about the remnant, the prophet uses this imagery to imply the covenant
relationship and show why it is right that the Lord answer his prayer: the sheep
are the remnant of the covenant nation, the Lord’s possession, which he begat
when he brought them out of Egypt (6:4; see Exod 4:22–23), and to whom he
has promised his eternal allegiance.
In the second half of 7:14 the “inheritance,” which is a metaphor describing
the people of God as God’s possession, is “dwelling alone.” The verb κατασκη-
νόω can have the idea of “tenting” (so nets), but it does not necessarily connote
dwelling in an encampment or tent (mur, 383; see 4:10 also); here it seems to
refer to a perpetual or eternal occupation. Thus, the prophet is praying that the
Lord would shepherd his people, who are established securely in the most ver-
dant portions of their land. The prepositional phrase καθ᾽ ἑαυτοὺς (κατά with
the reflexive pronoun) indicates “separation, dissociation, or seclusion” (mur,
367); in Mic 7:14 that the Lord’s people are “alone” seems to imply that their
enemies would not be able to trouble them and perhaps that they would be
wholly dedicated to the Lord. The idea of God’s people, Israel, dwelling alone
in the last days after their enemies are defeated is also found in Zech 12:6, 12–14,
using this same construction (κατά with a reflexive pronoun). The alliteration,
or repetition, resulting from the combination of κατασκηνόω and κατά in Mic
7:14 is pleasing to the ear. The anarthrous present participle “dwelling” (κατα-
σκηνόω; acc., masc., pl.) is best understood to be adjectival; a predicate use does
ζ. 7:7–20 209

not fit here. But the participle does not agree with either “people” (acc., masc.,
sing.) or “sheep” (acc., neut., pl.); it should probably be understood to be modi-
fying both of them, and it agrees ad sensum with both. The accusative of δρυμός
(“forest”; it could have the idea of “thicket, coppice” [mur, 178]; see 5:8) func-
tions like an accusative of respect, giving the sphere where they are dwelling,
“in a forest.” And the wooded area is “in the midst of Carmel,” an area renowned
for its vegetation because of the abundant rains that fall on this mountain. It
was so legendary for its plant life that the word for Carmel in Hebrew is also
the word for garden or orchard, and in the Hebrew of Mic 7:14 either “garden”
or “orchard” was apparently the meaning of this word; however, the translator
seems to have understood it to refer to the place name here (see lxx.e, 2380;
Waltke, 441, 459).
The last sentence in 7:14 is a command in the Hebrew, but the translator
understood it to be a future tense promise; thus, in the lxx the Lord’s response
to the prayer at the beginning of 7:14 begins with this sentence and continues
into 7:15. The day is coming when the people of the Lord will feed or graze,
apparently living in peace and security, in Basanitis and Galaaditis. Basanitis,
or Bashan, is “the fertile area of upper Transjordan east of the Sea of Galilee
and mainly north of the Yarmuk river” (abd, 1:623; see also Waltke, 459). It was
famous as a pasture area and thus also famous for its cattle (Amos 4:1–3) and for
its timber (Isa 2:13; Zech 11:2). “Because of its fertility and productivity, Bashan
was the prize in wars between Syria and Israel” (abd, 1:624). Bashan, Carmel,
and Lebanon were known for their rainfall and vegetation (Nah 1:4).
Galaaditis is the Hellenized form of Gilead, which was also a forested land
east of the Jordan, extending at its widest from the river Arnon in the south to
Bashan in the north (abd, 2:1020; see also Waltke, 459). In Zech 10:10 Gilead
again figures in the promises of the restoration of the nation of Israel. The
references to Carmel in the west and Bashan and Gilead in the east in 7:14
suggest the time of future blessing and restoration for the remnant of the Lord’s
people will involve their occupation of all the land they originally received from
the Lord; these are some of the most fertile parts of it. The promised time of
feeding in Basanitis and Galaaditis will be like “the days of old.” This phrase
refers to the remote past (mur 19; see esp. the discussion on 5:2 where it was
argued that the phrase refers to the times of David, and see also Amos 9:11; Mal
3:4; and the discussion in Glenny, Amos, 158); here the phrase could refer to the
prosperous time of David, as in 5:2, or to the time of Israel’s original conquest
of the land when the Lord had chosen them to be his inheritance and delivered
them from Egypt, as 7:15 suggests.
Although the Lord’s response to the prayer at the beginning of 7:14 contin-
ues from the last sentence in 7:14 to 7:15, there is a change in person from third
210 commentary

plural in 7:14 to second plural in 7:15 to describe the Lord’s people. The lxx
does not include “from the land” (‫)מארץ‬, which is found in the first line of 7:15
in the Hebrew. The reference to “the days of your departure” from Egypt shows
the remnant’s corporate solidarity with the generation that was delivered from
Egypt and originally received the covenant. The neuter plural of θαυμαστός
(“marvelous things”) normally refers to the works of the Lord on behalf of his
people, for which he deserves praise (Exod 34:10; Josh 3:5; Tob 12:22; Sir 11:4).
In the prophets the substantival use of this word often refers to his judgment,
sometimes in an eschatological context (Isa 25:1; Dan 12:6; cf. Antiochus iv in
Dan Th 8:24; see Glenny, Amos, 67–68). Although θαυμαστός could refer to the
Lord’s judgment of Israel’s enemies in Mic 7:15, in agreement with the last part
of 7:17 (“they shall be amazed at the Lord our God, and they shall be afraid of
you”), the reference to the Exodus from Egypt in 7:15 suggests that here it refers
to the Exodus—like deeds the Lord will do on behalf of his people. The use of
θαυμαστός (“marvelous things”) to describe those same events elsewhere sup-
ports this interpretation. For example, in Exod 15:11 the singular is used in the
celebration of the wondrous deeds of the Lord in the Exodus. In Exod 34:10 θαυ-
μαστός refers to the awesome things the Lord will do for his people in the future,
and in Josh 3:5 it refers to the awesome things the Lord will do for his people
in the conquest of the land (see also Ps 105:22). Thus, it seems best to under-
stand the neuter plural, “marvelous things,” in Mic 7:15 to refer to the awesome
and astonishing deeds the Lord will perform on behalf of his people when he
restores them, which will be like the things he did for them at the time of their
exit from Egypt and their entrance into the land. The verb ὁράω in 7:15 has the
sense “witness, experience” in this context (see also Zeph 3:15), but I have ren-
dered it “see” because it is parallel to the use of the verb in 7:16 where it describes
the experience of the nations. It is noteworthy that for “I will show him” in the
last line of 7:15 in the Hebrew the lxx has “you will witness [see],” avoiding
having the Lord be the one who is directly showing the marvelous things to his
people. (See Nogalski, 589–590, for a discussion of different translations of the
Hebrew of 7:15.) The Lord’s promise is clear; he is going to reestablish his people
in security, peace, and prosperity in the land of promise.
As mentioned above, the fourth subsection of 7:7–20 in B, which is 7:14–17,
has three main parts: a prayer from the remnant to the Lord in 7:14a, the Lord’s
response to the prayer in 7: 14b–15, and a statement of the remnant’s confidence
in the Lord in 7:16–17. The Lord’s response in 7:14b–15 involves positive promises
concerning the remnant, and the response of the remnant in 7:16–17 is an
expression of their confidence in what the Lord will do to the nations, their
enemies. The description of the Lord in 7:17 as “the Lord our God” requires that
the speaker in 7:16–17 be a group, and the second person singular pronoun in
ζ. 7:7–20 211

the final phrase of 7:17, “they shall be afraid of you,” suggests the Lord is the
addressee in these verses (see the discussion below). The simplest explanation
is to understand the remnant to be speaking to the Lord through the prophet
in 7:16–17. The description of the humiliation and shame of the nations in
7:16–17 is thus a kind of statement of the remnant’s confidence that the Lord
will remember his promises to his people.
The “nations” are the subject throughout 7:16–17 in contrast to Israel in
7:14–15. Verses 16–17 extend to the nations the prophecy of the humiliation and
shame of the lady adversary in 7:10–11. Verse 16 depicts the nations’ inner shame,
and verse 17 portrays their shame and submission before the Lord. There are
several parallels between 7:10 and 7:16; in 7:16–17 the nations “see” and are
“ashamed” as prophesied for the lady adversary in 7:10. (Note also the parallel
of the remnant seeing in 7:10 [ἐφοράω] and 7:15 [ὁράω].) Thus, the justice that is
promised for the lady adversary in 7:8–10 (see esp. 7:8) is understood in 7:16–17
to be the lot of all the nations; when the Lord intervenes to act on behalf of his
people, it often means judgment for the nations (Mic 4:11–13; 5:8).
The object the nations see in the first sentence of 7:16 is not given, but
apparently it is the “marvelous things” the Lord will do on behalf of his people
in 7:14–15; the nations “perceive visually” (mur, 502; see the parallel use of this
verb in 7:15) the Lord’s blessing of his people, and they are ashamed. In this
context their shame is caused by the fact that in comparison with the blessing
and might the Lord’s people will experience, they will be nothing; thus, the
sense of the words “even of all their might” in 7:16 is that their supposed might
and power is disgraceful when they compare it to the strength of the renewed
and restored people of the Lord. The nations who vaunted themselves against
the Lord and his people (see 7:10) will be impotent in the day when the Lord
manifests his power on behalf of his people (Waltke, 461). There is a break in
B after the phrase “even of all their might,” and in order to make sense of this
phrase, it is best to understand the καί in it in B (see text notes) to be adverbial
In the last two sentences of 7:16 two figures of speech give concrete expres-
sion to the shame of the nations. In the sentence “They shall place their hands
on their mouth” the nations are personified as people who are speechless; they
realize what fools they have been, are ashamed of the scornful words they had
spoken against the Lord and his people, and shut their mouths. This figure
of speech (metonymy of cause [mouth] for effect [speech]), which is found
also in Judg 18:19 (cf. Job 21:5), is strong language, similar to the demeaning
English expression “Shut up” (see Waltke, 461; Wolff, 227). In the second fig-
ure the nations are again personified as people whose “ears shall become deaf.”
The verb “become deaf” (ἀποκωφόομαι) is a lxx neologism (leh, 52; see also
212 commentary

Ezek 3:26; 24:27; in Ezek it means to make mute, mur, 78); why the ears are
made deaf is debated, but in keeping with the context it may be an expression
of their humility so they cannot hear any more foolish talk, such as the blas-
phemous taunts against the Lord and his people mentioned in 7:10. The figure
is again metonymy, substituting ears for hearing.
The nations continue to be the subject in verse 17, and the remnant, speaking
through the prophet, gives further details of the shame and humiliation of the
nations, who cower in abject humility before the Lord. The verse begins with
a simile marked by ὡς; in the Hebrew there are two similes marked by two
comparative particles, but the second particle was not included in the lxx. The
first clause, “they will lick dust like a serpent,” is modified by a plural participle
“crawl, drag” (σύρω). This plural participle cannot modify “serpent,” but must
be adverbial modifying the verb, “they will lick,” and showing the manner the
nations will lick the dust; they will do it “as they crawl over the earth.” The simile
in the first clause pictures the utter humiliation and subjection of the nations
before the Lord. For similar imagery see Gen 3:14–15; Isa 49:23; and Ps 43:26; the
similarity of the experience of the nations in Mic 7:17a to the experience of the
serpent in Gen 3:14 (ὄφις in both passages) suggests they are accursed and also
to be identified with the seed of the serpent (Gen 3:15).
The second clause of 7:17 pictures the enemies of the Lord’s people “con-
founded in their enclosure.” The verb “be confounded” (συγχέω) describes the
confusion on the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:1; 2:10) and can mean “to demolish”
(Amos 3:15); it is used in Gen 11:7 and 9 to describe the confusion of languages
at Babel. The noun “enclosure” (συγκλεισμός) emphasizes confinement or being
shut up more than being fortified or secure; see mur, 642, and lsj, 1665. It
would refer to a hole if referring to snakes, or perhaps a walled city (Ezek 4:3)
if referring to the nations. With no simile in this clause, it is best to take it as a
description of the nations holed up in terror in their hiding places, which are
probably their strongest fortresses, confined there in confusion and powerless
to oppose the Lord and his people. While in the Hebrew they come trembling
from their strongholds, in the lxx they are confused in their enclosure. The
nations’ amazement at the Lord’s intervention on behalf of his people is “out
of admiration or awe” (mur, 252 on ἐξίστημι) as they observe his marvelous
works (7:16). Compare the use of the phrase “the Lord our God” in 4:5 with its
use in 7:17; both passages probably refer to the time of restoration of the nation.
The phrase “our God” shows Micah’s corporate solidarity with the remnant and
their covenant relationship with the Lord. In the reference to the fear of the
nations in the last clause of 7:17 the lxx translator apparently read what the
mt has as a qal of the verb ‫“( פחד‬turn in dread” in the mt; halot, 922) as a piel
(“be in terror, feel timid” halot, 922; see lxx.e, 2380). The final description of
ζ. 7:7–20 213

the nations in 7:17, “they shall be afraid of you,” does not signify religious fear
and reverence, but rather dread and terror (see mur, 718). The prepositional
phrase with ἀπό (“of you”) after the verb φοβέω is a common construction in
the lxx, signifying who or what the subject is afraid of. (There are many exam-
ples of this construction in the entry on φοβέω in mur, 718; see also mur, 70, 1.,
The “you” here in the last clause of 7:17 is best taken to be the Lord; it is
clear that the remnant is speaking in the preceding clause, calling the Lord “the
Lord our God,” and there is no reason not to understand them to continue to
speak in the last clause of the verse. Thus, the nations will come to acknowledge
the power and strength of the God of Israel. The experience of the nations
described in this last clause is similar to the experience of the nations at the
time of the Exodus, described in Exod 15:14–16. All who oppose the Lord and
his people, including even the most powerful on this earth, will be defeated,
humiliated, and shamed. The Lord’s people are to put their hope in him and
wait for his deliverance, and the nations should affirm and submit to the Lord’s
power, which they will see when he intervenes to aid his people (see Nogalski,
The final subunit of 7:7–20 and the last paragraph in the book, 7:18–20, is a
climactic hymn or prayer of praise to the Lord for his mercy, compassion, and
faithfulness toward his people. The first person plural pronouns in 7:19–20 sug-
gest the voice of the remnant should be heard in this hymn. Reveling in the
“marvelous things” the Lord has promised to do for them (esp. 7:15), the rem-
nant, through the words of the prophet, praises the Lord for his incomparable
character, specifically his mercy, compassion, and truth. The references to the
Lord in 7:18–20 in B are in the second person at the beginning of 7:18 and at
the end of 7:20; all other references to him in between are in the third person
(see text notes on 7:20). Renaud (363) suggests the changes in person signal the
changes between meditation and prayer.
The switch from prayer and confession in 7:14–17 to a hymn of praise to the
Lord in 7:18–20 is marked by a rhetorical question at the beginning of 7:18. The
rhetorical question anticipates a negative answer: there is no one like the Lord;
he is incomparable. There are two things that are especially worth mention-
ing about the question “Who is a god like you?” (see the discussion in Waltke,
462–463, following Labuschagne, The Incomparability of Yahweh). First, when
the prophet implies that there are other gods, he is using what Waltke calls
“religious language, not catechetical teaching that recognizes their ontological
reality.” The prophets accept the fact that pagans worship nonexistent gods, but
the prophets deny that those gods have ontological reality (Deut 4:28; 32:16–17;
Isa 40–44). Second, the dominating characteristic of the Lord cited in Scripture
214 commentary

as the reason he is incomparable “is His miraculous intervention in history as

the redeeming God” (Labuschagne, 91); this is the reason for his incomparabil-
ity in Mic 7:18–20 and in other passages like Exod 15:11; Isa 40–44 (e.g., 43:1–3;
44:7, 24); Ps. 70:19–20; 76:15–16; 85:8–13; cf. Exod 9:14. The foremost feature of
the Lord’s redemptive work celebrated in Mic 7:18–19 is his forgiveness of sins.
Wolff (229) avers that as far as he can determine nowhere else, especially in the
pagan world, is the incomparability of the Lord’s forgiveness of sins celebrated
in song as it is in Mic 7:18–20.
There are four different descriptions of the Lord’s forgiveness of sins in
7:18–19, employing three different words for sin (ἀδικία, ἀσέβεια, ἁμαρτία) and
four different verbals (“remove” [ἐξαίρω] and “pass over” [ὑπερβαίνω] in 7:18
and “cause to sink” [καταδύω] and “throw” [ἀπορίπτω] in 7:19). The figures in
these four phrases give the readers diverse images to help them understand
the concept of forgiveness. Two of these phrases follow immediately after the
rhetorical question at the beginning of 7:18, and the participles in the first
two phrases modify “God” in the preceding rhetorical question. He is one
“removing acts of lawlessness and passing over wicked deeds for the remnant
of his inheritance.” No other god compares to him in this regard. In the first
image, “removing offenses,” the verb ἐξαίρω can have the sense “remove, get rid
of, efface, obliterate” (mur, 244), and here mur (245) suggests it has the idea to
remove “from one’s consciousness”; thus, in this context it means “to overlook,
take no notice of.” The object of the participle is the plural “offenses” (ἀδικία),
which could also be rendered “acts of lawlessness.” The scapegoat on the Day of
Atonement helps us understand the imagery here; it carried away the offenses
of the people (using the verb λαμβάνω and the noun ἀδικία). In Mic 7:18 these
offenses are removed from the Lord’s consciousness or memory.
In the second image in 7:18, “passing over wicked deeds,” the participle has
the sense “overlook intentionally” (mur, 698), and its object (ἀσέβεια) proba-
bly refers to acts of impiety or ungodliness (mur, 96). The two complementary
images at the beginning of 7:18 depict the Lord’s incomparable characteristic
of overlooking sins “for the remnant,” which is a dative of advantage describing
the beneficiaries of the Lord’s removing and overlooking. The word “remnant”
(κατάλοιπος) is also in 2:12; 3:1 and 9; see the discussion of those verses, esp. 2:12.
Here the remnant refers to “those spared,” probably with reference to the “post-
exilic community” (mur 376). The phrase “the remnant of his inheritance”
would then refer to the post-exilic community of Israel as the Lord’s posses-
sion (see discussion of “the sheep of your inheritance” in 7:14; mur, 400). The
Lord’s forgiveness of sins is not indiscriminate; he is incomparable in his for-
giveness with respect to his people, the covenant nation, and more specifically
with respect to the believing remnant within that nation. The rhetorical ques-
ζ. 7:7–20 215

tion at the beginning of 7:18 actually extends through the first two images that
describe the Lord’s forgiveness. There are two more descriptions of the Lord’s
forgiveness at the end of 7:19.
The last sentence in 7:18 goes beyond the forgiveness of the Lord to explain
the character of the Lord from which his forgiveness comes. First, “he does not
retain his anger for a witness”; when the Lord forgives, it is the end of his anger
and wrath toward those who are forgiven. In this hymn of praise the aorist
verb “retain” (συνέχω) is an “aorist for timeless action,” since the question of
“time reference does not occur” (Porter, Idioms, 35, 39). Wallace, who does not
distinguish between the timeless and gnomic categories, would call it a gnomic
aorist, referring to a “timeless, general fact,” not to a “particular event” (Wallace,
562). The Lord is characterized by not retaining his anger “for a witness.” This
last phrase differs from the Hebrew Vorlage; the mt has ‫“( לעד‬forever”), and the
translator read the consonants as “for a witness” (εἰς μαρτύριον). This phrase “for
a witness” seems to be a favorite of the translator of lxx Twelve. It occurs five
times in this literature (see also Hos 2:12; Amos 1:11; Zeph 3:8; and Mic 1:2), and
only in Mic 1:2 does it reflect the idea of the Hebrew in the mt; in the other
four passages the rendering was apparently a mistake or a change made by
the translator (see Glenny, Finding Meaning in the Text, 133–134). In the other
passages where this phrase occurs in the Twelve the phrase “for a witness” (εἰς
μαρτύριον) always indicates a witness concerning sin (Hos 2:12 [Glenny, Hosea,
78]; Amos 1:11 [Glenny, Amos, 50;]; Zeph 3:8; Mic 1:2); see lxx.e, 2365, for a
survey of its other occurrences in the lxx. It is also noteworthy that in Amos 1:11
and in Mic 7:18 the phrase is connected with anger; in Amos 1:11 Idumea’s anger
is for a witness, and in Mic 7:18 God does not retain his anger “for a witness” (the
Zeph 3:8 context also speaks of the Lord’s anger when he judges the nations).
It should also be emphasized that the occurrence of the phrase “for a witness”
at the beginning (1:2) and end (7:18) of lxx Mic indicates it is a motto or key
motif in the book which serves to enclose and mark off this translation unit in
the lxx. The book begins with the Lord bearing witness against the houses of
Israel and Judah for their sins, but it ends with the promise that the Lord will
not retain his anger for a witness against the remnant and they will experience
forgiveness. The repetition of “for a witness” underscores the legal and judicial
imagery often used to describe the Lord’s relationship with his people (e.g.,
6:1–2; 7:9).
The last clause in 7:18, “because he is one who desires mercy,” gives the
reason why the Lord will not retain his anger for a witness against his people.
He is characterized by “mercy” (ἔλεος); this important Greek word (see the
discussion of the word at 6:8) is in the lxx the normal rendering of the difficult
Hebrew term ‫חסד‬. (It renders this Hebrew word 172× according to Spicq, 1:475.)
216 commentary

In the lxx ἔλεος has the basic sense “mercy, pity, compassion” (lsj, 532). Joosten
demonstrates that those basic ideas of the Greek word carry over to its meaning
in the lxx (Joosten, “‫חסד‬, ‘Benevolence’, and ἔλεος, ‘Pity’ ”). But Spicq suggests
there are some subtle differences between the meaning of the word elsewhere
in Hellenistic Greek and in the lxx. He shows that in the Hellenistic world ἔλεος
was primarily a feeling of compassion for someone who had suffered wrongly,
and it was often considered to be a weakness; however, in the lxx it “is exalted
with considerable frequency, and … it becomes a religious virtue and especially
a divine attribute, so much so that Israel’s religion appears to be the cult of a
God of mercy, which is an innovation” (1:474–475). In 7:18 Israel’s God is clearly
a God of mercy, which is shown in his forgiveness of his people’s sins (see other
examples in Spicq, 1:474, n. 15). The widespread rendering of ‫ חסד‬with ἔλεος in
the lxx emphasizes that the Lord is a God of mercy, and this mercy is especially
manifested toward his covenant people (7:20), who are called the “remnant”
(7:18) in Mic. Their sins will be forgiven, because their God, the God they sinned
against, is a God “who desires mercy.”
In 7:19 the singers of the hymn continue to extol and express their confi-
dence in the Lord’s merciful character. The short clause “He will return” at the
beginning of 7:19 connects the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness with his faithful-
ness to his people, the key theme in 7:20; he will not continue to be angry with
them, but he will come back to them (Mic 7:7–9; Hos 3:5; Joel 2:14). mur (282)
suggests that the verb “return” (ἐπιστρέφω), followed by καί and another verb,
in this context expresses “a change of heart or course of action”; the verb is
not describing a spatial return of the Lord, but rather a change in his attitude
toward his people based on his faithfulness to his covenant with them (7:20).
I have rendered this verb “return,” rather than “turn,” because the larger con-
text describes a time when the Lord again has mercy and pity on his people,
and he is no longer angry because of their sin. The Lord’s change in attitude
with regard to his people is related to the compassion he has on them. Accord-
ing to Bultmann (tdnt, 5:160–161), in the lxx there is no palpable difference
between the verb “have compassion, pity” (οἰκτίρω) and the verb “show mercy
to” (ἐλεέω), and the verbs and related nouns are often parallel to each other
in the lxx. These two concepts are connected in this passage, since in 7:18
the Lord’s forgiveness is connected to his mercy and in 7:19 his forgiveness is
connected to his compassion. The verb “have compassion, pity” (οἰκτίρω) can
denote human compassion in the lxx, but most often it refers to divine com-
passion (tdnt, 5:160). In the Lord’s description of his character in Exod 33:19
he says he is sovereign in his compassion and has “compassion on whomever
I have compassion” (parallel with having mercy), and in a beautiful simile in
Ps 102:13 the Lord’s compassion toward those who fear him is compared to the
ζ. 7:7–20 217

compassion of a father toward his sons. The various contexts where we find the
concept of compassion in the lxx indicate that compassion is the loving affec-
tion of a superior toward one in need (see the discussion of compassion in the
Hebrew Bible in Wolff, 230).
As mentioned above, the Lord’s forgiveness is connected to his compassion
in 7:19, parallel to the connection of his forgiveness with his mercy in 7:18,
and there are two pictures of that forgiveness in each verse. We considered
the images explaining his forgiveness in 7:18, and now we will look at the two
images in 7:19. The first figure of forgiveness in 7:19, “he will make our injustices
sink,” should be understood in connection with the following parallel clause,
“and they will be thrown into the depths of the sea.” In the lxx we are to
understand that the Lord will cause his people’s sins to sink in the depths of
the sea, the place where they will be thrown. The verb καταδύω, which is here
transitive having the sense “cause to sink, go down” (mur, 371), corresponds
to the Hebrew verb ‫כבש‬, which has the sense “subjugate” (halot, 460) and
was apparently understood by the translator in connection with the following
clause; the Greek verb καταδύω only occurs four times in the lxx, and this is
the only time it renders this Hebrew verb. Its use in Mic 7:19 may have been
influenced by the first occurrence of this fairly rare verb in the lxx in Exod
15:5. The context of Exod 15:1–21 has many parallels to Mic 7:18–20; Exod 15:1–21
is a similar hymn of praise to the incomparable Lord (15:11) for the redemption
of his people out of Egypt (15:13) and in anticipation of his leading them to
the inheritance he had prepared for them (15:17). Exod 15:5 portrays the host
of the Egyptians, whom the Lord covers with the open sea as they “sank down
(καταδύω) into the depths like stone” (nets). The use of similar imagery in Mic
7:19 suggests the reader should think of the liberation and redemption of the
people of the Lord from their sins as similar to the way their ancestors were
liberated and redeemed from their enemies, the Egyptians. In Mic sin, not other
nations, is the real enemy that has enslaved the Lord’s people. The neuter plural
“injustices” (ἀδικία) probably refers to unjust deeds; see 3:10 and 6:10.
In the second picture of forgiveness in 7:19 the subject of the clause in the
Hebrew is “you” (second singular), but in the lxx it is “they” and the verb is
changed from active voice in the Hebrew to passive in the lxx, “they [our
injustices] will be thrown” (lxx.e, 2380). “The depths of the sea” can refer to
“a distressful, desperate personal situation” (mur, 111), as in Amos 9:3; Isa 51:10;
Ps 68:3, but it also has connotation of remoteness, as in this passage and Amos
9:3; the word βάθος refers to the “lowest part, bottom” (mur, 111; leh, 76) of the
sea (sea is a partitive genitive in this construction; see Wallace, 84). The Song
of Moses in Exod 15:1–21 mentions the sea nine times, and it refers to the “midst
of the sea” twice (15:8, 19), a phrase similar to the phrase “the depths of the sea”
218 commentary

in Mic 7:19. Also the simple form (ῥίπτω) of the verb “throw” (ἀπορίπτω), which
is employed in Mic 7:19, occurs twice in the Song of Moses as an inclusio at the
beginning and end in the phrase “Horse and rider he threw into the sea.” There
is little doubt that the hymn to the Lord in Mic 7:18–20 was influenced by the
hymn to Israel’s incomparable redeemer God in Exod 15:1–21 (see Wolff, 231, for
parallels in the Hebrew). This clause, “and they will be thrown into the depths
of the sea,” in Mic 7:19 also has several parallels with Jonah 2:4a[mt 3a] where
Jonah says to the Lord, “You cast me (ἀπορίπτω as in Mic 7:19) into the depths of
the heart of the sea”; interestingly, according to Jonah 2:5, this is a place out of
the Lord’s sight, or where the Lord does not look. The appositive “all our sins” at
the end of 7:19 clarifies what will be thrown into the sea. The location of these
words at the end of the sentence emphasizes them; especially important is the
word “all,” which along with the plural nouns for sin in 7:18–19 stresses complete
forgiveness of sin. See the discussion of the words for sin in 7:18–19 above in 7:18.
Thus, the two figures of forgiveness in 7:19 complement each other in giving a
picture of the liberation of the remnant from their sins and the effects of those
sins; their sins will be removed completely, and they will never be brought up
The conclusion of the hymn, and the conclusion of the book of Mic, in 7:20
is a final expression of confidence based on the reliability of the promises to
the patriarchs (see Wolff, 231). The text in Vaticanus continues to refer to the
Lord in the third person singular in the first clause of 7:19 (second singular
in Hebrew; see text notes). The confidence of the prophet and the remnant
that is expressed in 7:20 is based on two attributes of the Lord: “He will give
truth … and mercy.” It is very possible that the reading (δώσει εἰς) in B is a
transcriptional error caused by dittography if the original reading was δώσεις
(see text notes); the scribe responsible for B may have expected a continuation
of the third person forms found in 7:19. Of course, it is also possible that the
more difficult reading found in B is original. This expression in B with δώσει
εἰς and accusative abstract nouns serving as the objects of the preposition is
very unusual, and I can find nothing exactly parallel to it in the lxx; perhaps
the closest is the expression “give to grief” (δῷς εἰς λύπην) in Sir 30:21 and
38:20, which seems to have the meaning to allow to be grieved or to grieve.
Following this pattern, the words δώσει εἰς followed by the accusative objects
“truth” and “mercy” in Mic 7:20 should probably be understood to mean he will
be truthful and merciful. Thus, the Lord will be truthful to Jacob and merciful
to Abraham.
The first attribute of the Lord celebrated in 7:20, “truth” (ἀλήθεια), renders the
Hebrew noun ‫אמת‬, as it often does elsewhere in the lxx. Here with the future
tense, “he will give,” the noun refers to the truthfulness of the Lord’s words
ζ. 7:7–20 219

to Jacob and his descendants. The second attribute of the Lord celebrated in
7:20, “mercy” (ἔλεος), was discussed above in 7:18; it renders ‫ חסד‬here, as it
did in 7:18. The Lord’s mercy is shown in his faithfulness to Abraham and his
descendants in spite of their sin and unfaithfulness. The references to Jacob
and Abraham refer especially to the patriarchs themselves, as indicated by
the following clause, “As you swore to our fathers in the former days.” But the
“remnant of his inheritance,” the believers in the nation, is the seed of the
patriarchs, and they are also recipients of the covenant promises; they also
anticipate experiencing the truth and mercy of the Lord, which are metonymies
for his covenant promises to the nation (see esp. Exod 34:6–7 and Josh 2:14; also
2 Kgdms 2:6 and 15:20; Pss 24:10; 39:11, 12; 56:4; 60:8; 84:11; 85:15; 88:15; and 116:2).
Because of his truth and mercy the Lord will fulfill his oaths and covenants
to the patriarchs. He will fulfill the promises he made to Abraham and his
seed, especially the covenant promises of descendants for Abraham, land for
Abraham and his seed, and blessing for all the nations through Abraham and
his seed (Gen 12:1–3; 15:1–20; 17:1–14; and 22:15–18). And those promises were
repeated for Jacob and his offspring in Gen 28:13–15 when the Lord promised to
go with him and bring him back to the land after he sojourned in Mesopotamia
(see also Gen 32:22–32; 35:9–13).
The conjunction καθότι introducing the comparative clause at the end of
7:20 that concludes the book, “as you swore to our fathers in the former days,”
indicates that the Lord’s exercise of truth and mercy to the remnant will be what
he promised to the fathers (mur, 351, suggests that here καθότι has the sense “as,
just as,” showing similarity). The prophet’s and the remnant’s confidence that
they will experience the truth and mercy of the Lord by means of the fulfillment
of his covenant promises is based on the character of the Lord and upon their
relationships with the patriarchs (“our fathers”) and the Lord. “The former days”
(τὰς ἡμέρας τὰς ἔμπροσθεν) is clearly the time of the patriarchs (see the phrase
also in Zech 8:11), and the preposition κατά is employed to show the time (as
also in 7:15).
The message of Mic is that Lord is angry with his people, Israel and Judah,
and he will judge them because of their disloyalty to him and their lack of
repentance (Mic 1:2–8; 2:7–9; 3:11). But that is not the only nor the final word
in Mic. The Lord is not finished with his covenant people. Because he is a
God characterized by truth and mercy (Exod 34:6–7), the Lord will return to
the repentant remnant of the nation and he will bring about in them and
through their history the fulfillment of the promises he made to their fathers
(7:7–20). He is incomparable in his forgiveness and his faithfulness to his people
(7:18–20), and through the repentant remnant he will bless the nations (4:1–4;
220 commentary

Since the Twelve, or the Minor Prophets, were probably understood to be

a unit in the Jewish Scriptures, or a separate collection within the Prophets,
and the books were probably arranged the way they were because of the
connections or relationships between the Twelve (see Glenny, Hosea, 3–16),
it is appropriate to mention the connections with Joel, the book following
Mic in Vaticanus, before we leave Mic. There are several connections between
Mic and Joel. Joel will give the reader of the Twelve more details about the
Lord’s judgment, which was a main theme in Mic. Both books prophesy of
the Lord’s judgment of the nations that oppress his people, Israel (Mic 3:10–17;
Joel 2:19–20; 3:20). The prophecies of the two books complement each other
because in Mic the nations are gathered to Jerusalem in peace to learn the ways
of the Lord and to hear his law (4:1–4), but in Joel they are gathered there to
make war and to experience judgment (3:2, 11–16). In this sense the two books
are connected by the Sion tradition found in both of them. Mic moves the
reader of the Twelve from Israel, which is the focus in Hos and Amos, to Judah
and Jerusalem, and Joel picks up and continues the Sion tradition in Mic and
gives a complementary vision of it. Furthermore, Joel will introduce the term
the Day of the Lord to describe the future time of the Lord’s direct intervention
when the Lord will judge Judah (and Jerusalem) by other nations and then
judge those other nations when the Lord himself returns to Mount Sion, pours
out his Spirit on his people, and restores and blesses them. Thus, Joel will fill
in many more details concerning the prophecies of the Lord’s judgment of his
people, their future restoration, and the blessing of the nations, which were the
main themes in Mic.

Aitken, James K. “ΣΧΟΙΝΟΣ in the Septuagint.” vt 50:4 (2000): 433–444.

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Index of References to Ancient Literature


Where versification in the lxx differs from the mt the mt versification is not listed in this index;
it is sometimes given in the commentary. Occasionally passages in this section of the index are
designated mt when the reason for the reference to the passage in the commentary is because
of material in the Hebrew tradition that is not in the lxx.

Genesis 25:21–26 114

1:1 112 25:25 72
2:1–8 151 27:28 123
2:9 82 28:13–15 219
2:23 72 28:18–22 133
3:11 69, 167 30:23 67
3:14–15 212 31:13–45 133
3:15 114, 115 31:46 93
3:16 114, 115 32:21 160
4:4 105 32:22–32 219
8:8–17 139 32:43–50 145
9:5 166, 168 34:14 67
10 120 34:30 110
10:8–9 9, 120 35:9–13 219
10:10–12 120 35:19 110
10:10 55 35:20 133
10:22 118 42:27–28 178
11:2 55 43:12–18 178
11:4 100 43:21 178
11:5 100 44:1 178
11:7 212 44:11 178
11:8 100 48:7 110
11:9 212 49:9 126
12:1–3 219 50:20 57, 106
12:2 117
12:3 124 Exodus
14:1 55 1–15 151
14:2 55 2:1–8 151
14:9 55 2:14 93
15:1–20 219 4:22–23 208
17:1–14 219 6:6 150
17:6 47 7:9–12 50
17:8 66 9:14 214
17:14 127 9:33 74
18:13 194 12:1–3 153
19:26 133 12:12 138
21:2–3 114 13:3 151
21:19 178 13:13 150
22:15–18 219 13:14–15 151
index of references to ancient literature 229

13:15 150 17:4 130

14:8 127 17:9 130
15 150 18 48
15:1–21 217, 218 19:3 194
15:5 217 19:13 63
15:8 217 19:35–36 178
15:11 214 19:36 150
15:13 150, 217 20 48
15:14–16 213 20:9 194
15:17 93, 217 20:17 67
15:19 217 25:10 64
15:20–21 151 25:38 150
17:11 127 26 145
17:14 203 26:1 133
17:16 203 26:13 150
19:1–20:17 171 26:16 96
19:6 94 26:25 182
2024 153 26:26 182
20:2 150, 151 26:33 66
20:5 134
20:12 194 Numbers
20:17 63, 189 5:10 194
20:18–24:18 171 12:1–13 152
21:15 194 12:1–8 82
21:27 136 15:41 150
23:6 85 19:20 130
23:8 86 21:5–7 82
23:20 151 22–25 154
23:24 134 22:8 154
24 171 23:18–24 154
25–40 171 22:18 154
29:45–46 172 23:12 154
32–33 171 23:26 154
32:34 151 23:24 126
33:2 151 24:9 126
34:6–7 219 24:12–14 154
34:10 210 25:1 155
34:13 9, 133, 136 25:2 134
34:14 134 25:14 184
36:8 62 26:52–57 64
26:55–56 66
Leviticus 27:7 64
1–7 160 33:4 138
1:6 71 33:54 66
6:2–4 63 34:13 66
11:11 84 36:1–12 64
11:13 84 36:2 66
15:31 188
17–26 130
230 index of references to ancient literature

Deuteronomy 23:2–9 66
1:13 72 23:4 154
2:7 135 23:17–18 48
4:5–9 129 24:14 63
4:26 145 24:16 162
4:40 129, 185 25:4 107
4:14–20 129 26:17 185
4:19 134 27:18 80
4:25–31 137 28 131, 145
4:28 213 28:26 96
5:6–10 129 28:30–31 182
5:6 150, 151 28:38–40 182
5:9 134 28:49–68 66
5:21 63 28:52–57 137
6:12 150, 151 28:58 173
6:18 167 30:1–5 66
7:5 133, 136 30:16 185
7:7 110 30:19 145
7:8 151 31:3 151
7:25 48, 133 31:28 145
8:14 150, 151, 180 32:7–14 150
8:19 134 32:7 112
9:21 48 32:16–17 213
10:12–13 165 32:20 9
10:12 170, 190 33:10 86
10:17 86 33:17 107
11:16 134 33:28 123
12:3 48, 129, 133,
136 Joshua
12:13–15 178 2:1 155
12:25 167 2:14 219
12:28 167 3:1 155
13:5 150 3:5 210
13:6 80 4:19 153
13:10 150, 151 5 153
13:18 167 5:1–12 153
16:19 86 5:1–9 153
17:3 134 5:10–12 153
17:8–10 68 10:33–35 60
17:16–17 129 12–22 66
17:16 131 13:21 72
17:18–20 129 14:2 66
17:20 180 15:44 53
18:10–12 129 15:59 110
18:15–22 129 18:11 66
19:5 125 18:23 54
19:15 145, 146 19:29 53
20:19 136 19:51 66
21:4 146 22:21–28 145
index of references to ancient literature 231

24:5 151 2 Kingdoms

24:9–10 154 1:20 53
24:27 92 2:6 219
3:38 72
Judges 4:11 168
1:31 53 5:2 113, 116
3:19 133 5:24 136
3:26 133 6:8 40
5:11 156 7:7 116
6:8 151 7:8 111, 113
6:11–24 54 7:12–16 111
6:28 136 7:13 112
6:38 74 7:16 112
8:27–32 54 8:10 40
9:5 54 12:18 102
9:31(a) 86 13:7(mt) 107
13:4 74 15:2 63
14:17 148 15:20 219
17:3 133 17:12 123
17:4 133 18:8 40
21:22 144 22:3 107
22:13 60
1:2 110 3 Kingdoms
4:11 110 1:9 72
4:13 114 1:13 72
2:46 96
1 Kingdoms 3:4 161
1:11 74 6:21 191
1:15 74 8:63 161
1:17 74 9:9 151
1:20 114 9:19 58
2:10 107 10:26 58
12:7 156 11:26–27 127
12:8 151 14:21 72
13:17 54 16:9–20 184
14:4 55 16:7 135
16:11–12 116 16:24 47
16:19 116 16:29–22:40 185
17:34–36 116 16:29–34 185
22:1 60 17:1 123
23:14 101 20:25–26 185
23:15 101 21:3 64
23:19 101 22:11 107
23:23 92 22:15 163
26:1 101 22:28 42
27:11 185
29:8 148 4 Kingdoms
2:24 182
232 index of references to ancient literature

4Kingdoms (cont.) 29:32 161

8:26 185 29:34 71
9:11 132 30:17 110
12:18–19 52
14:6 162 1 Esdras
17:3–6 48 2:24 149
17:19 186
17:24 48 2 Esdras
18:4 48 4:15 112
18:14 58 4:19 112
18:17 58 11:11 173
18:31 96 22:46 112
19:8 58 23:1–2 154
19:14–19 129
21:3 185 Esther
21:13 185 4:19 109
22:13 40 11:6 50
23:16 182
24:2 105 Judith
25:1–4 105 2:3 109
3:8 136
1Chronicles 7:5 100
1:10 120 16:19 107
1:17 118 16:25 96
9:11 72
9:20 72 Tobit
12:21 72 7:9 40
16:19 110 12:22 210
18:10 40
25:1 132 1 Maccabees
26:24 72 1:30 190
27:4 72 1:42–51 183
27:16 72 1:42 183
29:21 161 1:44 183, 184
1:49 183, 184
2Chronicles 2:26 184
11:7 60 3:2–4 136
11:8 52 3:15 138
11:9 58 3:29 183, 184
14:2 136 5:65 131
14:14 136 5:68 133
18:7 57 6:59 183, 184
18:27 42 7:10 190
20:27 72 7:15 190
26:6 52 7:27 190
28:14–15 49 7:24 138
29–31 129 9:50 131
29:8 186 14:11–12 96
31:1 136
index of references to ancient literature 233

2 Maccabees 68:3 217

4:11–17 183 70:19–20 214
5:16 107 73:13 50
5:17 93 74:11 107
7:10 190 75:5 72
7:14 199 76:13 70
11:5 155 76:15–16 214
11:35 40 76:21 151
12:44 199 78:1 9, 46
78:9 198
4 Maccabees 79:7–15 187
5:30 136 81:5 146
15:21 50 84:11 219
85:8–13 214
Psalms 85:11 173
2 105 85:15 219
2:2 105 88:14 127
2:9 115, 121 88:15 219
8:7 135 89:14 63
9:3 160 94:1 198
9:12 70 96:5 43, 108
9:33 127 98:6 151
14:1 159 100:8 63
15:6 67 103:20–22 62
18:6 166 103:26 50
20:13 75 104:12 110
23 124 104:26 151
23:3 92 104:28 182
24:5 198 105:22 210
24:10 219 106:42 109
26:9 198 116:2 219
28:3–5 172 118:48 63
28:7–9 172 138:3 155
34 190 142:8 63
34:20 189 148:7 50
36:6 63 149:7 138
37:18 92
39:11 219 Proverbs
39:12 219 1:26 79
43:26 212 11:1 178
44:2 155 11:2 170
52:3 163 16:32 131
56:4 219 17:23 86
58:8 132 20:10 178
60:6 173 20:23 178
60:8 219 21:14 86
62:5 63 21:22 131
64:6 198 24:46 62
67:3 43 25:20 191
234 index of references to ancient literature

Proverbs (cont.) 38:4 132

25:28 131 39:27 57
30:30 125 40:6 192
31:5 70 41:17 72
42:8 144
Ecclesiastes 46:9 43
12:3 182 48:15 110
49:10 1
Job 50:23 112
2:12 54
4:19 191 Hosea
5:16 109 1:1 38
14:7 136 2:2 144
19:10 136 2:7 158
21:5 211 2:10 48
24:9 63 2:12–20 138
27:16 203 2:12 48, 215
28:24 105 2:14 137
30:3 109 3:5 90, 92, 199,
30:29 50, 51 216
33:24 203 4:1 141, 146, 147
38:28 123 4:2 85
4:6 86, 98
Wisdom of Solomon 4:10 182
1:14 132 4:11 74
4:13 112 5:6 182
6:22 93 5:14–6:4 138
7:21 93 5:14 126
16:5 119 5:15 137
16:9 119 6:1–6 171
16:10 50 6:1–2 104
17:20 74 6:1 137
6:3 63, 92, 170
Sirach 6:5 78
1:2 112 7:6 176
2:6 180 7:9 108
6:9 71 8:4 39
6:16 132 8:6 82
9:13 131 8:7 182
9:17 72 8:13 160
11:2 82 9:12 182
11:4 210 9:17 98
11:12 57 10:1 134
16:19 146 10:2 134, 137
18:10 112 10:6 101
24:9 112 10:9 158
24:32 95 10:10 94
33:23 62 10:12 201
37:7 71 10:13 131
index of references to ancient literature 235

11:2 48 8:1 143

12:2 146, 147 8:3 143
12:3 141, 147 8:5 117, 178
12:6 78 8:9 143
12:7 64 8:10 65
12:8 178 9:3 50, 80, 217
13:8 125 9:7 121
13:14 104 9:11–12 199
14:1 137 9:11 112, 137
14:3–4 135 9:12 137
14:4–8 199 9:13 158
14:10 163 9:14 137

Amos Micah
1–2 14 1–5 6
1:1 39, 40 1–3 98, 99
1:3–2:3 42, 139 1:1–9 5, 6, 38
1:3 138 1:1 2, 6, 39, 40, 41, 118,
1:3(mt) 107 120
1:9 138 1:2–9 41, 45
1:11 215 1:2–7 6
1:13 138 1:2–4 11
2:1 138 1:2–3 43
2:4 98 1:2 6, 41, 42, 43, 51, 56,
2:6 138 77, 84, 89, 93, 122,
2:7 79 143, 145, 146, 215,
2:16 83 219
3:1 64, 174 1:3–6 48
3:2 64, 174 1:3–4 43, 44
3:3–6 69 1:3 42, 43, 44, 48, 119
3:12 64 1:4 43, 44, 176
3:15 212 1:5–9 172
4:13 43 1:5–7 2, 41
5:1 65 1:5 41, 44, 45, 54, 59, 61,
5:7 64 77, 84, 111, 146, 174,
5:7 168, 202 176
5:10–17 64 1:6–7 7, 43, 45, 49
5:11 182 1:6 9, 46, 47, 48, 87, 88,
5:14–15 78, 167 89
5:15 75 1:7 9, 43, 47, 48, 61, 133,
5:16 65 176
5:21 98 1:8–9 7, 49, 57
5:22 160 1:8 50, 51, 56, 60
6:8 131 1:9 2, 6, 41, 42, 50, 51,
6:9 194 56, 65
6:10 69 1:10–3:4 5, 6, 7, 52, 79
6:12 69 1:10–16 51, 59, 62, 79
7:9 55, 137 1:10–15 10
7:17 66 1:10–11 56
236 index of references to ancient literature

Micah (cont.) 3:2–12 180

1:10 6, 7, 53, 54, 55, 59, 3:2–3 78, 79, 190
117 3:2 70, 84, 167, 220
1:11 52, 54, 56 3:3 42, 65, 71, 72
1:12 57, 58, 59, 60 3:4 6, 7, 9, 62, 70, 73,
1:13 44, 45, 56, 57, 58, 79, 81, 103, 147, 198,
60, 61, 84, 103, 131 207
1:14 39, 41, 44, 45, 53, 59, 60 3:5–12 5, 6, 7, 80, 84
1:15 44, 45, 52, 59, 60, 3:5–8 7, 80, 83, 84, 86
61, 79 3:5 6, 7, 8, 42, 65, 78,
1:16 52, 56, 62, 75, 79 80, 81, 85, 118
2–3 45, 147, 150, 152 3:6 81, 82
2:1–3:4 62 3:7 54, 81, 82
2:1–11 7 3:8 6, 7, 39, 44, 45, 68,
2:1–4 62, 85 82, 83, 84, 122, 168,
2:1–3 105 176
2:1–2 41, 69, 180 3:9–12 2, 41, 80, 83, 84, 89
2:1 63, 71 3:9–11 85, 89, 189
2:2 54, 62, 63, 77, 85 3:9–10 80, 176
2:3–6 69, 71 3:9 6, 41, 44, 45, 54, 68,
2:3–5 64, 67, 70 72, 75, 77, 78, 79, 85,
2:3 64, 65, 77, 147, 174 122, 193, 214
2:4 42, 51, 65, 66, 67, 79, 3:10–17 220
80, 94, 97 3:10–12 78
2:5–3:4 62 3:10 83, 85, 88
2:5 66, 133 3:11 41, 72, 85, 88, 94,
2:6–11 10, 62, 67, 77 193, 219
2:6 68, 98, 186 3:12 9, 41, 45, 46, 54, 86,
2:7–9 219 87, 88, 89, 100, 125,
2:7 44, 54, 68, 69, 70, 135, 147
72, 74, 79, 83, 122, 3:22 47, 90
176, 207 4:1–5:15 5, 6, 7, 89, 90, 92,
2:8–10 180 98, 99, 114, 118, 123,
2:8 42, 71, 72, 73, 118 127, 128, 138, 140, 141
2:9–10 74 4:1–7 99, 116
2:9 7, 41, 42, 62, 65, 70, 4:1–5 7, 89, 90, 91, 92, 97,
71, 72, 73, 79, 84, 86, 123, 140
103, 193, 207 4:1–4 3, 105, 117, 121, 189,
2:10 73, 79 207, 219, 220
2:11 42, 73, 74, 75, 77, 83 4:1–3 9, 91
2:12–13 6, 62, 73, 76, 77, 79, 4:1–2 89, 99, 172
98 4:1 7, 41, 42, 90, 93, 95,
2:12 44, 75, 122, 214 97, 118, 122, 127, 128,
2:13 6, 9, 41, 104, 111 140, 145, 170
3:1–4 7, 77, 80, 84, 85, 189 4:2 42, 44, 54, 89, 93,
3:1–3 176 94, 97, 122, 123, 139
3:1 6, 7, 41, 44, 45, 54, 4:3 41, 48, 90, 93, 95,
68, 75, 78, 79, 84, 97, 123, 127, 139
85, 122, 168, 176, 214 4:4 90, 95, 96, 97
index of references to ancient literature 237

4:5 6, 7, 10, 41, 96, 138, 212 5:4 10, 97, 111, 116, 117,
4:6–7 90, 92, 97, 98, 99, 118, 124, 140
101, 122, 138, 140 5:5–9 100, 109, 118, 122,
4:6 6, 7, 8, 72, 90, 128, 127, 138
140 5:5 9, 95, 108, 110, 117,
4:7 6, 7, 75, 90, 109, 115, 118, 119, 120, 121, 125,
116, 118, 122, 123, 154 139, 140
4:8–5:15 7, 90, 99, 140 5:6 9, 95, 103, 116, 119,
4:8–13 7, 100, 140 120, 121, 125, 139,
4:8–10 99, 113 140, 208
4:8 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 97, 102, 5:7–9 90, 122, 128, 139, 140,
103, 106, 109, 110, 219
115, 118, 119, 122 5:7–8 98, 99, 116, 123
4:9–13 114 5:7 41, 44, 75, 124, 125,
4:9–10 101, 102, 104 126
4:9 41, 103, 106, 109, 163 5:8–9 98, 99
4:10–11 107, 116 5:8 41, 44, 75, 124, 125,
4:10 7, 9, 13, 60, 73, 98, 126, 209, 211
103, 106, 109, 110, 111, 5:9–14 90, 143
115, 118, 119, 121, 148, 5:9–12 58
184, 208 5:9 13, 126, 127, 129, 130,
4:11–13 90, 98, 99, 100, 101, 136
104, 105, 108, 139, 5:10–15 100, 109, 127, 128,
140, 211 146
4:11 9, 103, 105, 106, 109, 5:10–14 129, 130, 131, 133,
110, 123, 124, 139, 136, 137, 140, 141
202 5:10–13 132
4:12–13 106 5:10–11 98, 132
4:12 102, 124 5:10 90, 122, 127, 128, 131,
4:13 7, 41, 43, 44, 60, 103, 137, 140
107, 108, 109, 110, 5:13 48, 134, 135
123, 146 5:14 9, 89, 126, 135, 136,
5 114 137, 138
5:1–13 132 5:15 7, 123, 130, 137, 138,
5:1–5 108 139, 140, 141, 142, 146
5:1–4 100, 117 6–7 6, 142, 176
5:1–3 113 6:1–7:7 45
5:1 44, 45, 60, 101, 109, 6:1–9 5, 6, 7, 141, 173
110, 180 6:1–8 6, 7, 42, 90, 141, 144,
5:2–9 180 157
5:2–4 90, 99, 101, 110 6:1–2 41, 147, 173, 215
5:2–3 114 6:1 6, 7, 9, 77, 84, 103,
5:2 10, 11, 44, 54, 90, 95, 141, 143, 144, 145, 171,
111, 112, 115, 116, 117, 174, 186
118, 119, 120, 121, 125, 6:2 6, 41, 44, 93, 141, 143,
140, 209 145, 147
5:3 44, 75, 98, 103, 104, 6:3–5 141, 144, 148, 157,
111, 115, 116, 118, 123, 159, 167, 171, 172,
140, 148 174
238 index of references to ancient literature

Micah (cont.) 7:1–6 8, 174, 186, 187, 195

6:3 65, 103, 147, 148, 7:1–3 186, 190
149, 150, 152, 156, 7:1 117, 174, 186, 187,
163, 184 188, 189, 192
6:4–5 149, 150, 156 7:2 117, 187, 188, 189,
6:4 151, 152, 153, 154, 194, 197
176, 208 7:3–6 186
6:5 41, 65, 147, 152, 154, 7:3 126, 170, 174, 187,
155, 161, 163 188, 189, 190, 194,
6:6–9 158 197
6:6–8 171 7:4 9, 103, 184, 186, 187,
6:6–7 142, 149, 157, 162, 192, 193
165, 166, 167, 168, 7:5 9, 41, 72, 193, 194
172, 173 7:6 10, 11, 13, 176, 187,
6:6 69, 159, 160, 161 193, 194, 195, 196
6:7 10, 84, 155, 156, 160, 7:7–20 5, 6, 8, 196, 197, 207,
161, 163 210, 213, 219
6:8–9 173 7:7–9 216
6:8 8, 78, 83, 141, 142, 7:7 122, 196, 197, 198,
149, 157, 159, 162, 199, 207
163, 164, 165, 166, 7:8–10 190, 196, 199, 205,
167, 168, 169, 170, 207, 211
172, 178, 189, 198, 7:8 13, 122, 197, 200, 201,
202, 215 202, 206
6:9–7:6 5, 6, 173, 195 7:9–10 201
6:9–16 8, 141, 172, 174, 186 7:9 83, 168, 177, 193, 197,
6:9–10 186 202, 203, 215
6:9 6, 7, 8, 41, 84, 142, 7:10–12 199, 206
171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 7:10–11 203, 211
176, 179 7:10 9, 13, 202, 205, 206,
6:10–16 10, 181 212
6:10–12 177, 180, 194 7:11–13 196, 207
6:10–11 179 7:11 183, 196, 199, 204,
6:10 9, 43, 54, 103, 175, 176 205, 206, 207
6:11–13 175 7:12 9, 13, 103, 118, 120,
6:11–12 186 139, 154, 184, 195,
6:11 178, 179 204, 205, 206, 207
6:12 179, 190 7:13 70, 122, 139, 202,
6:13–16 177 207
6:13–15 141, 180, 186 7:14–20 188
6:13 136, 137, 174, 181, 186 7:14–17 196, 197, 207, 210,
6:14–15 180, 181 213
6:14 182, 183, 186 7:14–15 193, 210, 211
6:15 9, 65, 136, 137, 182, 7:14 112, 125, 208, 209,
183, 184, 185, 186, 210, 214
196, 205 7:15–17 139
6:16 9, 41, 54, 174, 176, 7:15 209, 210, 213, 219
179, 183, 184, 185, 7:16–17 210, 211
186 7:16 146, 212
index of references to ancient literature 239

7:17 212, 213 10–15 139

7:18–20 99, 180, 197, 208, 12 105
213, 214, 217, 218, 219 13 105
7:18–19 197
7:18 9, 75, 98, 116, 188, Jonah
198, 214, 215, 216, 1:1 38, 39
217, 219 2:3 198
7:19–20 193 2:4 218
7:19 214, 215, 216, 217, 4:1 148
218 4:4 148
7:20 44, 66, 139, 216, 218 4:9 148

Joel Nahum
1 191 1:1 39
1:1 38 1:4 209
1:5 9 1:5 43
1:7 48 1:6 43
1:17–18 137 1:14 130, 133
2:1 3, 212 2:8 48
2:4 82 2:12 178
2:5 58, 76 3:1 85
2:10 212 3:2 58
2:12–17 67 3:4 132
2:12–14 137 3:5 48
2:14 216 3:8 170, 189
2:15 3 3:14 204, 205
2:17 113, 208 3:15 204
2:19–20 220
2:19 113 Habakkuk
2:20 72, 137 1:3 146
2:22 96 1:4 85
2:32 3 1:5 137
3 105 1:8 76
3:2–21 3 1:12 112
3:2 3, 208, 220 2:7 81
3:4 163 2:8 85
3:6 72 2:12 85
3:10 91, 95 2:18 48, 133
3:11–16 220 3 14
3:16 3 3:6 43
3:17 3 3:8 163
3:18 155, 161 3:18 198, 199
3:19–21 139
3:20 220 Zephaniah
3:21 3 1:1 38
2:9 137
Obadiah 2:13 47, 48
4 93 3:5 63
6 158 3:6 137
240 index of references to ancient literature

Zephaniah (cont.) 1:10 160

3:7 170 1:13 160
3:8 215 2:7 86
3:13 96 3:2 163
3:14 100 3:4 112
3:5 146
Haggai 3:9 113
1:1 38 3:10 83
1:10 123 4:2 173
2:7 178
Zechariah 1:2 150
1:1 38, 39 1:8 9, 46, 88