Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Micah 2:8 - 2:8

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Micah 2:8 - 2:8


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“But yesterday my people rises up as en enemy: off from the garment ye draw the cloak from those who pass by carelessly, averted from war. Mic 2:9. The women of my people ye drive away out of the house of their delights; from their children ye take my ornament for ever.” 'Ethmūl, yesterday, lately, not = long ago, but, as yeqōmēm shows, denoting an action that is repeated, equivalent to “again, recently.” קוֹמֵם is not used here in a causative sense, “to set up,” but as an intensified kal, to take a standing = to stand up or rise up. The causative view, They set up my people as an enemy (Ewald), yields no fitting sense; and if the meaning were, “My people causes me to rise up as its enemy” (Caspari), the suffixes could not be omitted. If this were the thought, it would be expressed as clearly as in Isa 63:10. There is no valid ground for altering the text, as Hitzig proposes. It is not stated against whom the people rise up as an enemy, but according to the context it can only be against Jehovah. This is done by robbing the peaceable travellers, as well as the widows and orphans, whereby they act with hostility towards Jehovah and excite His wrath (Exo 22:21.; Deu 27:19). מִמּוּל שַׂלְמָה, from before, i.e., right away from, the garment. Salmâh is the upper garment; אֶדֶר = אַדֶּרֶת the broad dress-cloak. They take this away from those who pass carelessly by. שׁוּבֵי is an intransitive participle: averted from the war, averse to conflict, i.e., peaceably disposed (see Psa 120:7). We have not only to think of open highway robbery, but also of their taking away the cloak in the public street from their own poor debtors, when they are walking peaceably along, suspecting nothing, for the purpose of repaying themselves. The “wives of my people” are widows, whom they deprive of house and home, and indeed widows of the people of Jehovah, in whose person Jehovah is injured. These children are fatherless orphans (עֹלָלֶיהָ with a singular suffix: the children of the widow). Hădârı̄, my ornament, i.e., the ornament which I have given them. The reference, as מֵעַל shows, is to the garment or upper coat. The expression “for ever” may be explained from the evident allusion to the Mosaic law in Exo 22:25, according to which the coat taken from the poor as a pledge was to be returned before sunset, whereas ungodly creditors retained it for ever.