Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Micah 6:1 - 6:1

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Micah 6:1 - 6:1


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Introduction. - Announcement of the lawsuit which the Lord will have with His people. - Mic 6:1. “Hear ye, then, what Jehovah saith; Rise up, contend with the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice! Mic 6:2. Hear ye, O mountains, Jehovah's contest; and ye immutable ones, ye foundations of the earth! For Jehovah has a contest with His people; and with Israel will He contend.” In Mic 6:1 the nation of Israel is addressed in its several members. They are to hear what the Lord says to the prophet, - namely, the summons addressed to the mountains and hills to hear Jehovah's contest with His people. The words “strive with the mountains” cannot be understood here as signifying that the mountains are the objects of the accusation, notwithstanding the fact that רִיב אֶת־פ signifies to strive or quarrel with a person (Jdg 8:1; Isa 50:8; Jer 2:9); for, according to Mic 6:2, they are to hear the contest of Jehovah with Israel, and therefore are to be merely witnesses on the occasion. Consequently אֵת can only express the idea of fellowship here, and ריב את must be distinguished from ריב עם in Mic 6:2 and Hos 4:1, etc. The mountains and hills are to hearken to the contest (as in Deu 32:1 and Isa 1:2), as witnesses, “who have seen what the Lord has done for Israel throughout the course of ages, and how Israel has rewarded Him for it all” (Caspari), to bear witness on behalf of the Lord, and against Israel. Accordingly the mountains are called הָאֵתָנִים, the constantly enduring, immutable ones, which have been spectators from time immemorial, and מוֹסְדֵי אֶרֶץ, foundations of the earth, as being subject to no change on account of their strength and firmness. In this respect they are often called “the everlasting mountains” (e.g., Gen 49:26; Deu 33:15; Psa 90:2; Hab 3:6). Israel is called ̀‛ammı̄ (Jehovah's people) with intentional emphasis, not only to indicate the right of Jehovah to contend with it, but to sharpen its own conscience, by pointing to its calling. Hithvakkach, like hivvâkhach in the niphal in Isa 1:18.