Against the small towns in Judah (Mic 1:10-1:12)

“Tell it not in Gath!

Weep not at all

In Beth-leaphrah!

Roll yourselves in the dust!

Inhabitants of Shaphir!

Pass on your way

In nakedness and shame!

The inhabitants of Zaanan

Do not come forth

From their town.

Beth-ezel is wailing.

They shall remove its support

From you.

The inhabitants of Maroth

Wait anxiously

For good.

Yet disaster has come down

From Yahweh

To the gates of Jerusalem.”

In a play on words, Micah wailed against 10 small Judean towns near where he lived.  One of the largest towns mentioned was the old Philistine town of Gath that King Uzziah (781-740 BCE) had conquered.  Micah used the same terminology as in 2 Samuel, chapter 1, about Gath, since there should be no weeping for that town.  Then Micah turned to 5 small towns that are difficult to determine where they were.  Beth-leaphrah literally means rolling around in dust.  Shaphir literally means the fair one.  Thus, the good-looking people of this town of Shaphir should keep going in their naked shame.  On the other hand, the people of Zaanan did not come out to fight from their town.  Beth-ezel was mourning and not supporting Yahweh.  The people of Maroth were waiting anxiously for something good to happen.  Yet Yahweh sent a disaster that went as far as the gates of Jerusalem.

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The indictment of Edom (Ob 1:12-1:14)

“You should not

Have gloated

Over your brother

On the day of his misfortune!

You should not

Have rejoiced

Over the people of Judah

On the day of his misfortune!

You should not

Have boasted

On the day of distress!

You should not

Have entered

The gate of my people

On the day of their calamity!

You should not

Have joined in the gloating

Over Judah’s disaster

On the day of his calamity!

You should not

Have looted his goods

On the day of his calamity!

You should not

Have stood at crossings

To cut off his fugitives!

You should not

Have handed over

His survivors

On the day of distress!”

Yahweh, via Obadiah, listed the various things that Edom did on the day of the invasion of Jerusalem.  First, they gloated over their brother Judah.  Then they rejoiced at the problems of the people of Judah.  These Edomites even boasted and entered the gates of Jerusalem.  They joined with the others, as they looted the goods of the people in Jerusalem.  They kept others from escaping.  They even handed over the survivors to the foreign attackers.  They were really complicit in this attack on Jerusalem.

The good results if you observe the Sabbath (Jer 17:24-17:25)

“Yahweh says.

‘But if you listen to me,

If you bring in no burden

By the gates of this city

On the Sabbath day.

But rather keep the Sabbath day holy

By doing no work on it,

Then there shall enter

By the gates of this city

Kings who will sit

On the throne of David,

Riding in chariots,

Riding on horses.

They with their officials,

The men of Judah,

As well as the inhabitants of Jerusalem

Shall enter the gates.

This city shall be inhabited forever.”

Yahweh says that good things will happen if they observe the Sabbath. They had to bring no burdens through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath. They also were to keep the Sabbath holy by doing no work at all on that day. If they did these things, then kings would sit on the throne of David with chariots and horses. There would be officials along with the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem going through the gates. All would be able to enter the gates of Jerusalem. Thus the city would be inhabited forever.