May I be honest? There are some portions of the Bible that I find tedious, like the book of Numbers and these next few verses. Let’s see if I can invest a bit of life into them.
Micah 1:6 MKJV And I will make Samaria into ruins of the field, planting places for a vineyard; and I will pour down her stones into the valley, and I will uncover her foundations.
This verse reminds me of another scenario in scripture, where it spells out the destruction of Damascus. Isaiah 17:1 tells us that Damascus will cease to be a city.
Look at this picture of Damascus; If it is not yet uninhabitable, it will be soon.
IVPBBC gives us this piece of information.
Syro-Ephraimitic War which raged during the middle 730s
ended with the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser
invading Syria and Israel and devastating both of these rebellious
states (734-732). The Syrian kingdom ruled from Damascus by Rezin
had been Israel’s principal political and economic rival. He had
meddled in Israel and Judah’s internal affairs and had encroached on
their territories for over a decade. It seems apparent, however, that
Rezin overstepped his bounds in leading an anti-Assyrian coalition.
did not welcome a rival “Greater Syria,” and the destruction of
Damascus in 732, as recorded in the Assyrian Annals, was massive,
leaving hundreds of sites looking “like hills over which the flood
had swept.” This widespread destruction also included both the
reduction of much of the city of Damascus to rubble
as well as the redistribution of its territories in Syria as well as
in Transjordan and the Galilee.”
[The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament; Copyright © 2000 by John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas]
Apparently, the destruction is happening once again.
Although I went into great detail about why there was such a hatred of Samaritans, I can’t just walk away from the region because the Holy Spirit seems to keep drawing that area into the equation.
Note: Samaria was taken by Shalmaneser (2Ki_17:6) B.C. 724; razed to the ground by Hyrcanus (Josephus, Ant. l. xiii. c. 18); restored by Herod, and called Sebastê; and is now a small village called Sebusta, its ancient site being converted into gardens.
So, we have learned that Samaria was taken all the way to the ground, and will, like Damascus, be destroyed again. One of the main problems I see with that area is that it sits in the Megiddo valley and Ezekiel 38,39 decree that the Megiddo valley will be filled with blood soon.
Micah 1:7 MKJV And all her graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and all her gifts shall be burned with the fire, and I will destroy all its idols. For she gathered it from the reward of a harlot, and they shall return to the reward of a harlot.
Let’s consider two aspects of this verse for a moment.
all her graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and all her gifts
shall be burned with the fire.”
I will destroy all its idols. For she gathered it from the reward of
a harlot, and they shall return to the reward of a harlot.”
“And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, …By the Assyrian army, for the sake of the gold and silver of which they were, made, or with which they were adorned, as was usually done by conquerors to the gods of the nations they conquered; these were the calf of Samaria, and other idols; and not only those in the city of Samaria, but in all the other cities of Israel which fell into the hands of the Assyrian monarch;” see Isa_10:11; [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]
Micah 1:8 MKJV Therefore I will wail and howl; I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like jackals, mourn like the daughters of an ostrich.
[I will wail and howl] The prophet took up wailing because of the invader and the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem (Mic_1:8-16). [Dake]
Dake’s commentary wants us to believe that this is Micah, speaking about his actions and reactions. I have to remind myself that Micah is speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit (even if he didn’t know he was doing that,) on behalf of God. Micah is speaking God’s heart. Why would God strip himself naked and wail like a jackal? That idea doesn’t even seem reasonable. The bottom line here; I am not sure to whom I should assign these words. If it is Micah, he is indeed trying to make a point.
Micah 1:9 MKJV For her wounds are not curable; for it has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of My people, to Jerusalem.
Interesting how the problem initiated with Samaria, in Israel, the Northern divided kingdom. Imagine that, God’s people divided against themselves. Does that happen today? Oh sure, it happens all the time and churches will split over divisions.
When we consider a wound, does it typically heal? Certainly. Now some things take longer than others, and, in war, a leg blown off does not grow back. Some spiders, on the other hand, leave you with necrosis, which, in some cases, will not heal.
[wound is incurable] This expresses the fact that nothing could prevent her utter ruin, inasmuch as the nation had utterly filled up her measure of iniquity. [Dake]
Micah 1:10 MKJV Do not declare it in Gath; weep not at all; in the house of Leaphrah roll in the dust.
“Do not declare it in Gath” is interesting, as Gath is where Micah hails from, and eventually, so does Goliath.
John Gill’s commentary points out that this phrase is borrowed from 2 Samuel.
2 Samuel 1:20 MKJV Tell it not in Gath, do not let it be known in the streets of Askelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
One commentator stated, “why would you tell the enemy about the crushing punishment that was to be dealt out to their enemies; they would only laugh.”
Micah 1:11-12 MKJV Pass over to them, O dweller of Shaphir, in nakedness of shame. The dweller of Zaanan has not gone out; the mourning of Beth-ezel shall take from you his standing. 12) For be grieved for good, the dweller of Maroth, for evil came down from Jehovah to the gate of Jerusalem.
Joseph Benton’s commentary communicates this: “Passye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir —Houbigant says that Eusebius places this city, the name of whichsignifies fair,or elegant, inthe tribe of Judah, between Eleutheropolis and Askelon. Some think,however, that Saphir is not a proper name, and that there was noplace so called in Judea; but that the clause ought to be rendered,Pass away, thou inhabitant of a delightfulplace, that is, Samaria, which was verypleasantly situated. The prophet herethreatens the inhabitants of that place that they should go intocaptivity, in a way very unsuitable to their former softness andluxury, even stripped by the conquering enemy, and without so much asa covering to hide their nakedness. Theinhabitant of Zaanan — A place in thetribe of Judah, called Zenan,Jos_15:37;came not forth in the mourning ofBeth-ezel — “There was no burial ofher dead with solemn mourning out of the precincts of her city, butshe was besieged and put to the sword.” — Newcome. Or, themeaning may be, the inhabitants of Zaanan were so much concerned toprovide for their own safety, that they took no notice of themournful condition of their near neighbour Beth-ezel, which seems tohave been a place near Jerusalem, termed Azal,Zec_14:5.Grotius, however, supposes Zaananto denote Zion,and Beth-ezelto signify Beth-el,called here by another name, importing thehouse of separation, because itwas the principal seat of idolatrous worship. Heshall receive of you his standing — The standing, or encamping ofan army against the city; that is, the enemy shall encamp among you,shall stand on your ground, so that you will have no opportunity ofcoming out to the help of your neighbours.For the inhabitant of Maroth —A town in Judea, (the same probably that is called Maarath,Jos_15:59,)waited, &c.— Or rather, as the words may be translated, Althoughthe inhabitant of Maroth waited for good, yet evil came, &c.,unto the gate of Jerusalem — Such acalamity as stopped not at Maroth, but reached even to Jerusalem. ByMaroth, whichsignifies bitterness,or trouble, Grotius understands Ramah,or, expressed as it often is in the plural, Ramoth,a place in the tribe of Benjamin, near Beth-lehem, and not far from Jerusalem.
Micah 1:13-15 MKJV O inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the stallion; she is the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, for the sins of Israel were found in you. 14) Therefore you shall give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath; the houses of Achzib are for a lying thing to the kings of Israel. 15) Yet I will bring an heir to you, O dweller of Mareshah. The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.
The following is from: JosephBenson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
O thou inhabitant of Lachish — This was a strong fortress in the tribe of Judah: see Jos_15:39. Bind the chariot to the swift beast — In order to flee from the approaching enemy. Lachish was one of the first cities that Sennacherib besieged when he invaded Judea. She is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion — She was the first among the cities of Judah which practised those idolatries which the kings and people of Israel had begun. Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth-gath — Or, to Moresheth of Gath; that is, to the Philistines of that country, either to defend thee against the enemy, or to receive thee under their protection. The houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel — The word Achzib signifies a lie. There was a town of that name in the tribe of Judah, mentioned Jos_15:44. This place, the prophet here foretells, will answer its name, and disappoint the kings of Israel that depended upon its strength and assistance: see 2Ch_21:3; and 2Ch_28:19. Israel is sometimes used for Judah, and so it may probably be taken here. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah — This was another town belonging to Judah, mentioned Jos_15:44. The name signifies an inheritance; so here, by way of allusion, it is said, that a new heir or master should come and take possession of it, namely, a conquering enemy. He shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel — Or, The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam; the Assyrians, whom Israel once gloried in as their ally, shall come to Adullam. This was a town in Judah not far from Lachish: see Jos_15:35. Some think the meaning of this clause is, that the chief men of Israel should be forced to hide themselves from their enemies in the cave of Adullam, as David did when he fled from Saul, 1 Samuel 23.
Micah 1:16 MKJV Make yourself bald, and cut off your hair for the sons of your delight; make your baldness large like the eagle; for they go into exile from you.
“By these phrases the prophet signifies, that the calamity would be so great as to deserve the strongest expressions of grief.”
[Make thee bald] Making the head bald in mourning was forbidden under the law (Deu_14:1), but since Judah had become like the heathen, she might as well mourn like them. Dake’s commentary
Cutting the hair, or shaving it close, were expressions of mourning and lamentation anciently used among most nations. Enlarge thy baldness as the eagle — When she molts her feathers; for they are gone into captivity, &c. — By these phrases the prophet signifies, that the calamity would be so great as to deserve the strongest expressions of grief. Joseph Benson