Divine appeal (Mic 7:18-7:20)

“Who is a God

Like you?

You pardon iniquity.

You pass over

The transgressions

Of the remnant

Of your possessions.

He does not retain

His anger forever,

Because he delights

In showing clemency.

He will again have compassion

Upon us.

He will tread

Our iniquities

Under foot.

You will cast all our sins

Into the depths of the sea.

You will show faithfulness

To Jacob.

You will show

Unswerving loyalty

To Abraham,

As you have sworn

To our ancestors,

From the days of old.”

This Book of Micah ends with this psalm of praise to Yahweh, while asking for his mercy.  There is no other God like Yahweh, who has pardoned iniquity.  He has let go of the transgressions of his people.  His anger was short lived, because he delighted in granting clemency, since he had compassion for them.  He has stamped on and thrown out all their sins.  He has shown faithfulness and loyalty to Jacob and Abraham, just as he did to all their ancestors in the good old days.  Notice the change from the descriptive “he” to the more intimate “you”.

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Against Lachish (Mic 1:13-1:13)

“Harness the steeds

To the chariots!

Inhabitants of Lachish!

It was here that

The beginning of sin came

To the daughter of Zion.

The transgressions

Of Israel

Were found in you.”

Lachish was the most famous and well know city of the Shephelah low land area of Israel.  Lachish was the 2nd most important city in Judah, but not a holy city like Jerusalem.  This might indicate that these other towns were close to Lachish in the same area.  The people of Lachish were to get their horses and chariots ready, because they were the cause of the sin and the beginning of the transgressions for Zion and Israel.  The Assyrians had captured this city in 701 BCE.

Against Samaria (Mic 1:5-1:7)

“All this is for

The transgression

Of Jacob.

This is for

The sins

Of the house of Israel.

What is the transgression

Of Jacob?

Is it not Samaria?

What is the high place

Of Judah?

Is it not Jerusalem?

Therefore,

I will make Samaria

A heap in the open country.

I will make it

A place for planting vineyards.

I will pour down

Her stones

Into the valley.

I will uncover

Her foundations.

All her images

Shall be beaten to pieces.

All her wages

Shall be burned with fire.

I will lay waste

To all her idols.

She gathered them

As the wages of a prostitute.

They shall again be used

As the wages of a prostitute.”

Yahweh was coming because of the transgressions of Jacob, the sins of the house of northern Israel at the very place of Samaria.  The high place of Judah was Jerusalem.  Thus, Yahweh, was going to make Samaria like a heap in an open field or a place for vineyards.  He was going to take all their stones and throw them in the valley, as he would uncover their foundations.  All the idol images would be smashed to pieces, so that all their idols gods would be destroyed.  The wages of the temple prostitutes would be burned.  Whatever wages they had gained would be used against them.

Seventy weeks (Dan 9:24-9:24)

“‘Seventy weeks

Are decreed

For your people,

For your holy city,

To finish the transgression,

To put an end

To sin,

To atone

For iniquity,

To bring in

Everlasting righteousness,

To seal both vision,

As well as prophet,

To anoint

A most holy place.’”

Thus, we have the prophetic statement of Gabriel. The terminology here is weeks and not years. Jeremiah had used 70 years. 7 was generally a complete or perfect number. Therefore, the popular terminology developed about lucky 7. During these 70 weeks or 70 years, they would make up for all the transgressions of the people and the holy city. Does 70 weeks imply 70 years times a week of 7, or 490 years? This time would atone for their sins and their iniquities. This would then bring about an everlasting righteousness, sealing both the vision and the prophet. Thus, they could anoint this holy place at the end of this period.

The wicked turn away from evil ways (Ezek 18:27-18:28)

“Again,

When the wicked

Turn away

From the wickedness

That they have committed,

They shall live.

They do what is lawful.

They do what is right.

They shall save their lives.

Because they considered

Their transgressions,

They turned away

From all the transgressions

That they had committed.

They shall surely live.

They shall not die.”

The opposite is also true. When the wicked turn away from their evil ways, they will live and not die. If they do what is lawful and what is right, they would save their lives. They had considered the transgressions that they had committed, but then they turned away from them. Thus they will live and not die.

The silent sufferings of the servant of Yahweh (Isa 53:7-53:9)

“He was oppressed.

He was afflicted.

Yet he did not open his mouth.

He was

Like a lamb

That is led to the slaughter.

He was

Like a sheep

That before its shearers is silent.

Thus he did not open his mouth.

By a perversion of justice

He was taken away.

Who could have imagined his future?

He was cut off

From the land of the living.

He was stricken

For the transgression of my people.

They made his grave

With the wicked.

His tomb was with the rich.

He had done no violence.

There was no deceit in his mouth.”

This suffering servant does not open his mouth to complain, unlike Job and others. Even though he was oppressed and afflicted, he was like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep about to have his wool sheared, since he never opened his mouth. Although there was a perversion of justice against him, no one knew about his future. He was cut off from the land of the living for the transgressions of his people, indicating that this was an Israelite person. He had a grave with the wicked, but somehow he ended up in the tomb of a rich man. He had done no violence nor was there any deceit in his mouth. Once again, who is this silent suffering servant? Is this an Israelite prophet? Is it Isaiah? Obviously, many of these thoughts about the silent suffering innocent servant, who was oppressed, were later applied to Jesus Christ.