Against oppression, 1-3. A lamentation, 4-6. A reproof of injustice and idolatry, 7-11. A promise of restoring Jacob, 12, 13.
1 Woe to those who devise iniquity and work evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.
2 And they covet fields and take them by violence, and also houses, and take them away. Thus they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
3 Therefore, thus says the LORD: "Behold, against this family I devise an evil, from which you shall not remove your necks, neither shall you go haughtily, for this time is evil.
4 In that day one shall take up a parable against you and lament with a grievous lamentation, and say, 'We are utterly wasted. He has changed the portion of my people. How he has removed it from me! To the rebellious he has divided our fields.'
5 Therefore, you shall have no one who shall cast the line by lot in the congregation of the LORD.
6 'Do not prophesy,' they say to those who prophesy. They shall not prophesy to them. Reproaches shall not depart.
7 Shall it be said, O house of Jacob, 'Is the Spirit of the LORD shortened? Are these his doings?' Do my words not do good to him who walks uprightly?
8 Even of late my people have risen up as an enemy. You pull off the robe with the garment from those who pass by securely as men averse to war.
9 The women of my people you have cast out from their pleasant houses. From their children you have taken away my glory forever.
10 Arise, and depart, for this is not your rest. Because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a grievous destruction.
11 If a man walking in a spirit of falsehood lies, saying, 'I will prophesy to you of wine and of strong drink,' he shall even be the prophet of this people.
12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of you. I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold. They shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
13 The breaker has come up before them. They have broken up and have passed through the gate and gone out by it. And their king shall pass before them, and the LORD at their head."
Matthew Henry Commentary - Micah, Chapter 2[➚]
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
In this chapter complaint is made of the sins of the people of Israel, and they are threatened with punishment for them. The sins they are charged with are covetousness, oppression, and injustice, which were premeditated, and done deliberately (verses 1-2); therefore the Lord devised evil against them, they should not escape; and which would bring down their pride, and cause them to take up a lamentation, because they should not enjoy the portion of land that belonged to them (verses 3-5); they are further charged with opposing the prophets of the Lord, the folly and wickedness of which is exposed (verses 6-7); and with great inhumanity and barbarity, even to women and children (verses 8-9); and therefore are ordered to expect and prepare for a removal out of their land (verse 10); and the rather, since they gave encouragement and heed to false prophets, and delighted in them (verse 11); and the chapter is concluded with words of comfort to the remnant among them, and with precious promises of the Messiah, and the blessings of grace by him (verses 12-13).
[v.3] - "this family" - This is referring to the people of Israel (John Owen).
[v.5] - "cast the line by lot" - That is, divide, or measure with the measuring line, the inheritance of the land. It can also be read as, "divide the land by lot." Reference, Joshua 14:1-5.
[v.7] - "Is the Spirit of the LORD shortened?" - From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: "Is His compassion contracted within narrower limits now than formerly, so that He should delight in your destruction (compare Psalm 77:7-9; Isaiah 59:1-2)?"
[v.8] - "Even of late my people have risen up as an enemy" - This may also be read as, "And those who were formerly my people, have risen up as an enemy against me."
[v.11] - "If a man walking in a spirit of falsehood lies" - This is a difficult passage to render in English. Literally, it can be rendered, "If a man, the follower of the spirit and of deception" (John Owen). A man who is a "follower of the spirit" is said to be a prophet, or to profess the office of a teacher (John Calvin). Calvin renders this passage as, "If a man walks in the spirit, and deceitfully lies." The Pulpit Commentary explains the passage as being a hendiadys (a figure of speech used for emphasis, where two words joined by and are used to express a single complex idea) for "a spirit of falsehood," or "a lying spirit," citing 1st Kings 22:22 and comparing with Ezekiel 3:2-3, 17.