Micah 2:1-13 - Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Bible Comments

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.

Micah 2:13. The breaker, the king of Assyria, is come up and the Lord on the head of them; for the Lord sent the Assyrians against the hypocritical nation. Isaiah 10:5-6.


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!

Micah 2:1-13

1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.

2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppressa a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.

3 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.

4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a dolefulb lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.

5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD.

6 Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.

7 O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?

8 Even of latec my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.

9 The womend of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever.

10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.

11 If a man walkinge in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; 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 is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.