Micah 2:1. Woe to them that devise iniquity they covet fields, and take them by violence. The jubilee was the happiest law that ever favoured a nation; but the rabbins confess that before the captivity, that law in its operations had almost ceased, the men of great landed interest having monopolized the family estates of the poorer Hebrews. But short was their enjoyment of fields and vineyards. The measuring line of desecration which passed over Samaria, presently passed over Jerusalem.
Micah 2:5. Thou shalt have none to cast a cord by lot. No heir to thy lands, in the congregation of the Lord. Where then is the use of adding house to house, and field to field. The reference is to the Hebrew law. When a father died, having four sons, they divided his land into five lots. One comprised the homestead and adjacent land, usually claimed by the eldest son; the other four parts were given by lot, or by mutual consent. Thus the eldest son had, according to the Mosaic law, a double portion, that he might be the pillar of his house.
Micah 2:10. Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest. Micah died but a little before the Assyrians invaded the kingdom of Israel; the warning is to good men, not to think of family establishments, but of emigration to places of safety. A powerful text for preachers to improve. If men rest in riches, in pleasures, or any created good, death invading like the Assyrians will strip by a powerful stroke.
Micah 2:12. As the sheep of Bozrah, a principal city of Moab. Mesha, king of Moab, was a great sheep owner. 2 Kings 3:4. But the LXX, followed by the Chaldaic, read “straits and tribulation,” as in the next verse.
A man's morning thoughts should be an offering to the Lord. But if he begin the day by devising plans to get hold of his neighbour's land, and to force him to sign away with an aching heart and a trembling hand, the heritage of his children; if he devise plans of pleasure and dissipation, instead of giving himself to devotion, the Lord will also devise evil against him. It is cruel to strip the widow and the orphans, instead of helping them in their distress. Let the merchant, the manufacturer, the farmer, rise in life by active industry, and shed smiling content on the cottage; then he shall have applause as the father of the people, and enjoy the blessing of God.
But the wicked persecute God's true messengers, who speak the truth, enlighten the conscience, and maintain the rights of the widow and the fatherless against the gripe of oppression. If a man will prophesy of wine to drown the cries of injustice, he shall be the prophet of this people. Let the priests, who keep their superiors in countenance amid oppression, seduction and irreligion, hear the prophet's voice.
The Lord assembles an army against the oppressors, and against their lying prophets. Perhaps our sins may merit a similar chastisement; perhaps our splendour and our riches may invite some invader, countless in number, and greedy of the spoil. May heaven avert the omen!