The insult to the king of Israel (Mic 5:1-5:1)

“Now you are walled around

With a wall.

Siege is laid against us.

With a rod,

They strike

The ruler of Israel.”

This appears to be an insult to the king of Israel.  He apparently was surrounded on all sides, with a siege set against him.  Then these invaders would strike the king of Israel with a rod or stick, as they humiliated him.  There is a slight discrepancy whether this is the first verse of chapter 5 or the last verse of chapter 4.

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Harvesting (Isa 28:7-28:29)

“Dill herbs are not threshed

With a threshing sledge.

Nor is a cart wheel rolled over carrot seeds.

But the dill herbs are beaten out with a stick.

The carrot seeds are beaten with a rod.

Grain is crushed for bread.

But one does not thresh it forever.

One drives the cart wheel with horses over it.

But he does not pulverize it.

This also comes from Yahweh of hosts.

He is wonderful in counsel.

He is excellent in wisdom.”

Each crop has a different form of harvesting. The dill herbs and carrot seeds are too fragile to be smashed with a threshing sledge hammer. You do not roll the cart wheels over the herbs and seeds like you do to the wheat and the barley. You beat the herbs and seeds with a stick or a rod that is gentler than the wheel cart. However, the threshing of the wheat and barley requires a heavy horse drawn cart wheel in order to provide grain for bread. However, you do not want to pulverize these grains into nothing. How do these farmers know how to do this? Why, the Lord of hosts, Yahweh has told them how to do it. Yahweh is wonderful in his counsel and excellent in his wisdom, as in the later wisdom tradition.

Do not be afraid (Isa 10:24-10:24)

“Therefore Yahweh

God of hosts,

Says.

‘O my people!

Who live in Zion!

Do not be afraid of the Assyrians!

Do not be afraid

When they beat you

With a rod!

Do not be afraid

When they lift up

Their staff against you

As the Egyptians did.’”

Apparently this oracle was when an attack of the Assyrians was imminent, as Yahweh issued his oracle via Isaiah. He told the people of Zion not to be afraid of the Assyrians. Even if they beat them with a rod or staff like the Egyptians had done to their ancestors, they should not be afraid.

The confidence of David (Ps 23:4-23:4)

“Even though I walk

Through the darkest valley,

I fear no evil.

You are with me.

Your rod and your staff,

They comfort me.”

David expresses complete confidence in Yahweh, his good shepherd. Even in the darkest valley, he has no fear of evil. The good shepherd is always with his sheep with a rod and staff to keep him and the rest of the sheep in line. The presence of this good shepherd comforts David and all his fellow sheep.