The time when Micah prophesied, 1. He shows the wrath of God against Jacob for idolatry, 2-9. He exhorts to mourning, 10-16.
1 [The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.]
2 Hear, all you people. Listen, O earth and all who are therein. Let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
3 For behold, the LORD comes forth from his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.
4 And the mountains shall be melted under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire and as the waters that are poured down a steep place.
5 "All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?
6 Therefore, I will make Samaria as a heap of the field and as plantings of a vineyard. And I will pour down her stones into the valley and lay her foundations bare.
7 And all her engraved images shall be beaten to pieces, all her wages shall be burned with the fire, and all her idols I will lay desolate, for she gathered it from the payment of a harlot, and they shall return to the payment of a harlot."
8 Therefore, I will wail and howl. I will go stripped and naked. I will make a wailing like the jackals and mourning as the owls.
9 For her wound is incurable, and it has come to Judah. He has come to the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.
10 Do not declare it at Gath. Do not weep at all. In the house of Aphrah roll yourself in the dust.
11 Pass away, you inhabitant of Saphir, having your shame exposed. The inhabitant of Zaanan did not come forth in the mourning of Beth-ezel. He shall receive from you his standing.
12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited anxiously for good, but evil came down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 O inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast. She is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion, for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14 Therefore, you shall give presents to Moresheth-gath. The houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.
15 Yet I will bring an heir to you, O inhabitant of Mareshah. He shall come to Adullam the glory of Israel.
16 Make yourself bald and shave yourself for the children of your delight. Enlarge your baldness as the eagle, for they have gone into captivity from you.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Micah, Chapter 1[➚]
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
This chapter treats of the judgments of God on Israel and Judah for their idolatry. It begins with the title of the whole book in which is given an account of the prophet, the time of his prophesying, and of the persons against whom he prophesied (verse 1); next a preface to this chapter, requiring attention to what was about to be delivered, urged from the consideration of the awful appearance of God, which is represented as very grand and terrible (verses 2-4); the cause of all which wrath that appeared in him was the transgression of Jacob; particularly their idolatry, as appears by the special mention of their idols and engraved images in the account of their destruction (verses 5-7); which destruction is exaggerated by the prophet's lamentation for it (verses 8-9); and by the mourning of the inhabitants of the various places that should be involved in it, which are particularly mentioned (verses 10-16).
[v.1a] - "Micah" - From the Hebrew word מיכה, Miykah (mee-kaw'), which means, "who is like God."
[v.1b] - "Samaria and Jerusalem" - Reference, verse 5.
[v.3] - "the high places of the earth" - That is, well fortified places. The idea is that there would be no place, even if well fortified, to go to be safe from God's vengeance. This also refers to those who are wealthy, powerful, and in authority, for they, in error, saw themselves exempt from God's vengeance because of their elevated pride and sense of superiority.
[v.4] - There are two similes here mentioned. When reading this verse, connect the mountains to the wax, and the valleys to the waters. The mountains will be like melting wax, and the valleys will be like the waters poured down a steep place.
[v.7] - All of the wealth of Samaria would be destroyed because it was gained by illegitimate means, that is, by idolatry. The wages of a harlot are an abomination to God (Deuteronomy 23:18), and therefore, they will vanish as if consumed by fire.
[v.11a] - "Saphir" - The word Saphir (saf-eer'), means beautiful, fair, splendid. So, those who inhabit the city called Fair, Beautiful, Splendid, will pass through in shame, or naked and in disgrace. Instead of being in a splendid condition, they would be in a deplorable condition.
[v.11b] - "He shall receive from you his standing" - In other words, "he shall follow your example" (John Owen).
[v.13] - "the swift beast" - This could refer to either the horse (most likely), dromedary (also likely), or mule.
[v.15] - "an heir" - Or, "him who will possess you."
[v.16] - "the children of your delight" - Or, "the children of your luxuries."