Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Micah 5:10 - 5:10

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Micah 5:10 - 5:10


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But if Israel conquer the nations in such a way as this, then will Jehovah fulfil the peace of His people by the destruction of all the instruments of war, and the extermination of everything of an idolatrous nature, as well as by the judgment of wrath upon all resisting nations. Mic 5:10. “And it comes to pass in that day, is the saying of Jehovah, that I will destroy thy horses out of the midst of thee, and annihilate thy chariots. Mic 5:11. And I shall destroy the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy fortresses. Mic 5:12. And I shall destroy the witchcrafts out of thy hand; and cloud-interpreters shall not be left to thee. Mic 5:13. And I shall destroy thy graven images and thy statutes out of the midst of thee; and thou wilt no more worship the work of thy hands. Mic 5:14. And I shall root out thine idol-groves out of the midst of thee, and destroy thy cities. Mic 5:15. And I shall execute vengeance in wrath and fury upon the nations which have not heard.” These verses do not explain Mic 5:8, or state how the extermination of the enemy is to take place, or how Israel is made into a lion destroying the nations that are hostile to it, namely, by the fact that the Lord eradicates from its heart all confidence in horses, chariots, and fortifications, in witchcraft and idolatry (Caspari). This assumption is at variance with the words themselves, and with the strophic arrangement of the chapter. There is nothing about trust in horses, etc., but simply about the extermination of the horses, and everything else in which the idolatrous nation had sought its strength. Moreover, the expression וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַהוּא, when compared with וְהָיָה in Mic 5:4 and Mic 5:6, shows at once that these verses are intended to depict the last and greatest effect produced by the coming of the Prince of peace in Israel, and overthrows Hengstenberg's assumption, that the prophet here foretels the destructive work of the Lord in Israel, which will precede the destruction of the enemy predicted in Mic 5:10. In that case בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא would mean “before that day,” a meaning which it can never have. The prophet passes rather from the attitude of Israel among the nations, to the description of the internal perfection of the kingdom of God, which does indeed stand in a reciprocal relation to the former and proceed simultaneously with it, but which will not be completed till after the victorious suppression of the foe. Only when the people of God shall have gained the supremacy over all their enemies, will the time have arrived for all the instruments of war to be destroyed. When the world shall be overcome, then will all war cease. The ancient Israel did indeed put its trust in war-horses, and war-chariots, and fortifications (cf. Isa 2:7); but the Messianic Israel, or the true people of the Lord, will only put its trust in such things so far as it is not yet pervaded by the power of the peace brought by the Messiah. And the more it appropriates the spiritual power of the Prince of peace, the more will the trust in horses and chariots disappear; so that they will be destroyed, because all war comes to an end (compare Isa 9:4-6). And the extermination of everything of an idolatrous nature will go hand in hand with this. Two kinds are mentioned in Mic 5:12 and Mic 5:13, viz., witchcraft and the worship of idols of their own making. As objects of witchcraft there are mentioned keshâphı̄m, lit., witchcrafts of different kinds, but the expression מִיָּדֶךָ limits them to such as are performed with the hand, and me‛ōnenı̄m (= ‛ōnenı̄m in Isa 2:6), lit., cloud-interpreters, or cloud, i.e., storm makers, from ‛ânan, a kind of witchcraft which cannot be more precisely defined (see Delitzsch on Isaiah, l.c.). Of the objects of the idolatrous worship there are mentioned (after Lev 26:1) pesı̄lı̄m, idols made of wood or metal; and מַצֵּבוֹת, stone-images, or stones dedicated to idols (see at 1Ki 14:23). For Mic 5:12, compare Isa 2:8.