Micah 4:2
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Many nations shall come.—This prepares. the way to the more definitive prophecies, that there shall be a common consent among the nations journeying forth to the house of the Lord: asking the way thither in this world—finding the house itself in the eternal world. Even to this day the hearts of Jews and Christians alike yearn towards Jerusalem—a physical representative of the love which turns spontaneously to the Messiah.

4:1-8 The nations have not yet so submitted to the Prince of Peace, as to beat their swords into ploughshares, nor has war ceased. But very precious promises these are, relating to the gospel church, which will be more and more fulfilled, for He is faithful that has promised. There shall be a glorious church for God set up in the world, in the last days, in the days of the Messiah. Christ himself will build it upon a rock. The Gentiles worshipped their idol gods; but in the period spoken of, the people will cleave to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and delight in doing his will. The word halteth, describes those who walk not according to the Divine word. The collecting the captives from Babylon was an earnest of healing, purifying, and prospering the church; and the reign of Christ shall continue till succeeded by the everlasting kingdom of heaven. Let us stir up each other to attend the ordinances of God, that we may learn his holy ways, and walk in them, receiving the law from his hands, which, being written in our hearts by his Spirit, may show our interest in the Redeemer's righteousness.And many nations shall come - Isaiah Isa 2:2 added the world all to Micah's prophecy. So our Lord said, "This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations" Matthew 24:14; and the elect are to be gathered out "of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues" Revelation 7:9. All nations shall flow into it. The all might be many or few. Both prophets say that those all should be many. Judah probably knew already of many. The history of Genesis gave them a wide-expanding knowledge of the enlargement of mankind alter the flood, in Europe, Asia, Africa, as they then existed in their nations. The sons of Japhet had already spread over the whole coast of our Western sea, and far North; the Cimmerians , or Cwmry, Scandinavians , Carpathians , (probably Celts,) Armenians ; (including the kindred Phrygians,) Scythians , Medes, Ionians , Aeolians , Iberians , Cypriotes , Dardani , Tybarenes , Moschi , and the Turseni , or perhaps the Thracians. On the East, the sons of Shem had spread in Elam, Asshur, Arrapachitis ; they occupied the intervening tract of Aram; in the northwest they reached to Lydia. Southward the sons of Joktan were in Arabia. Micah's hearers knew how, of the sons of Ham, Cush had spread far to the southeast and south from Babylonia to Aethiopia; Egypt they remembered too well, and, beyond it, they knew of the far-scattered tribes of the Libyans, who extended along the coast of Africa. Phoenician trade filled up this great outline.

They themselves had, in Solomon's time, traded with India ; about this time, we know that they were acquainted with the furthest East, China . Such was the sight before the human mind of the prophet; such the extent of the nations whom his people knew of.

Some were the deadly enemies of his people; some were to be its conquerors. He knew that the the ten tribes were to be abidingly wanderers among the nations , despised by them ; "a people, the strangers and sojourners of the whole world" . He knew many of those nations to be sunk in idolatry, viciousness; proud, contemptuous, lawless; he saw them fixed in their idolatries. "All people will walk every one in the name of his god." But he saw what eye of man could not see, what the will of man could not accomplish, that He, whom now Judah alone partially worshiped, would turn the hearts of His creatures to Himself, to seek Him, not in their own ways, but as He should reveal Himself at Jerusalem. Micah tells them distinctly, that those who should believe would be a great multitude from many nations. In like way Isaiah expresses the great multitude of those for whom Christ should atone Isaiah 53:12. He bare the sin of many Isaiah 53:11. By knowledge of Him shall My righteous Servant make many righteous. And our Lord Himself says Matthew 20:28; The Son of man came to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 26:28, add Romans 5:15). This is my Blood - which is shed for many for the remission of sins. In Micah's time not one people, scarcely some poor fragments of the Jewish people, went up to worship God at Zion, to call to remembrance His benefits, to learn of Him. Those who should thereafter worship Him, should be many nations.

And say - Exhorting one another, in fervor and mutual love, as Andrew exhorted his brother Simon, and Philip Nathanael, and the woman of Samaria those of her city, to come to Christ: and so all since, who have been won by Him, by word or example, by preaching or by deed, in public or in private, bear along with them others to seek Him whom they themselves have found.

Let us go up - leaving the lowness and earthliness of their former conversation, and mounting upward on high where Christ is, desiring righteousness, and athirst to know His ways.

To the house of the God of Jacob - They shall seek Him as Jacob sought Him, , "who left his father's house and removed into another land, was a man of heavy toils and served for hire, but obtained special help from God, and, undistinguished as he was, became most glorious. So too the Church, leaving all pagan wisdom, and having its conversation in Heaven, and therefore persecuted and enduring many hardships, enjoys now glory with God."

And He - , that is, the God of Jacob of whom he had just spoken, shall teach us of His ways They do not go to God, because they know Him, but that they may know Him. They are drawn by a mighty impulse toward Him. Howsoever attracted, they come, not making bargains with God, (as some now would,) what they should be taught, that He should reveal to them nothing transcending reason, nothing exceeding or contradicting their notions of God; they do not come with reserves, that God should not take away this or that error, or should not disclose anything of His incomprehensibleness. They come in holy simplicity, to learn whatever He will condescend to tell them; in holy confidence, that He, the Infallible Truth, will teach them infallibly. They say, "of His ways." For all learning is by degrees, and all which all creatures could learn in all eternity falls infinitely short of His truth and Holiness. Nay, in all eternity the highest creature which He has made and which He has admitted most deeply into the secrets of His Wisdom will be as infinitely removed as ever from the full knowledge of His Wisdom and His Love. For what is finite, enlarged, expanded, accumulated to the utmost degree possible, remains finite still.

It has no proportion to the Infinite. But even here, all growth in grace implies growth in knowledge. The more we love God, the more we know of Him; and with increased knowledge of Him come higher perceptions of worship, praise, thanksgiving, of the character of faith, hope, charity, of our outward and inward acts and relations to God, the unboundedness of God's love to us and the manifoldness of the ways of pleasing Him, which, in His love, He has given us. Since then the whole Christian life is a growth in grace, and even Paul Philippians 3:13-14, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth to those which are before, pressed toward the mark for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, then Paul too was ever learning, in intensity, what he knew certainly by revelation, of His ways. Again, as each blade of grass is said to differ from another, so, and much more, each soul of man which God has created for Himself. No one ever saw or could imagine two human beings, in whom the grace of God had unfolded itself in exactly the same way.

Each saint will have his distinct beauty around the throne. But then each will have learnt "of His ways," in a different proportion or degree. His greatest saints, yea His Apostles, have been pre-eminent, the one in one grace, another in another. John the Immerser came as a pattern of repentance and contempt of self; John the Evangelist stood out pre-eminent in deep tender burning personal love; Paul was known for his zeal to spread the knowledge of Christ Crucified; Mary Magdelene was famous for her loving penitence. Even the Blessed Virgin herself, under inspiration, seems, in part, to speak of her lowly lowness , as that which God specially regarded in her, when He made her the Mother of God. Eternity only will set forth the fullness of the two words "He will teach us of His ways." For eternity will shew, how in all 1 Corinthians 12:11 worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will; and how the countless multitude of the redeemed have corresponded to His gifts and drawings. : "The way of the life to God-ward is one, in that it looketh to one end, to please God; but there are many tracks along it, as there are many modes of life;" and each several grace is a part of the way to God.

And we will walk in His paths - o: "By believing, hoping, loving, well-doing, and bearing patiently all trouble." Rup.: "For it sufficeth not to believe, unless we act as He commandeth, and strive to enter on His ways, the strait and narrow path which leadeth unto life. He Himself then, when He had said, "Go, teach all nations," baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, added, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" Matthew 28:19-20. They say too, "we will walk," that is, go on from strength to strength, not stand still after having labored for a while to do His Will, but hold on to all His ways and to Himself who is the Way, until they appear before the Lord in Zion.

For the law - (literally, law,) shall go forth from Zion These are the prophet's words, declaring why the nations should so flock to Zion. For he says, "shall go forth," but the nations were not gathered to Zion, until the Gospel was already gone forth. He speaks of it as law simply, not the Jewish law as such, but a rule of life Man's better nature is ill at ease, being out of harmony with God. It cannot be otherwise. Having been made in His likeness, it must be distressed by its unlikeness; having been made by Him for Himself, it must be restless without Him. What they indistinctly longed for, what drew them, was the hope to be conformed by Him to Him. The sight of superhuman holiness, life, love, endurance, ever won and wins those without to the Gospel or the church. Our Lord Himself gives it, as the substance of prophecy Luke 24:47, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem. The image may be that of a stream, issuing forth from Jerusalem and watering the whole world. Theodoret: "The law of the Gospel and the word of the Apostles, beginning from Jerusalem, as from a fountain, ran through the whole world, watering those who approached with faith." But in that it "went forth," it may be meant, that it left those from among whom it "went forth," and Cyril, "Zion was indeed desolate of the law and Jerusalem bared of the divine word." Jerome: "The word of God passed from Jerusalem to the Gentiles." Rup.: "For the shadow was done away, and the types ceased, and sacrifices were abolished, and everything of Moses was, in the letter, brought to a close."

He does not say here, through whom God would so teach, but he does speak of a direct teaching of God. He does not say only, "God will give us a law," or "will make a revelation of Himself." He speaks of a Personal, direct, continuous act of teaching by God, carried on upon earth, whether the teacher be our Lord's word spoken once on earth, which does "not pass away" Matthew 24:35, or God the Holy Spirit, as teaching in the Church and in the hearts which receive Him. The words which follow speak of a personal reign, as these speak of personal teaching.

CHAPTER 4

Mic 4:1-13. Transition to the Glory, Peace, Kingdom, and Victory of Zion.

1-3. Almost identical with Isa 2:2-4.

the mountain of the house of the Lord—which just before (Mic 3:12) had been doomed to be a wild forest height. Under Messiah, its elevation is to be not that of situation, but of moral dignity, as the seat of God's universal empire.

people shall flow into it—In Isaiah it is "all nations": a more universal prophecy.

This was in part, and as a type, fulfilled when so many proselyted and circumcised servants of several nations, amassed in the Babylonish kingdom, left their native country, and in love to their Jewish masters, and more to the God of the Jews and his law, came up with them to Jerusalem and the temple. Afterwards, when the wonderful deliverance of the Jews, and the advancement of their countryman Mordecai in the Persian court, brought the people and their religion into request and credit, many turned Jews, through the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, Esther 8:17, were circumcised, became-proselytes of righteousness. And in the times succeeding through the reigns of five kings, for ninety years, the Jewish affairs and religion continued in a tolerably good condition. In Alexander’s time, and under the Maccabees, also, this prophecy was partly fulfilled, when Ishmaelites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Idumeans submitted to the Maccabees, and by Hyrcanus’s command, and with their own consent, the Idumeans were circumcised; as Josephus, Antiq. lib. 13. cap. 17. This, notwithstanding the words, had a fuller accomplishment, and still shall have, under the gospel days in these times of the Messiah, to which, as to the antitype and principal mark, they are levelled, no doubt. Come; so the captive Jews, by the decrees of Cyrus and Darius released from captivity, did certainly call, persuade, and encourage each other to leave the strange lands in which they had been captives, and to go up to Jerusalem, and to build that and the temple, and to restore the worship of God; and zealous proselytes did, as the eunuch lord treasurer to queen Candace came up to Jerusalem to worship. So that we meet many proselytes at Jerusalem, Acts 2:5,10,11, whither they were wont to come before the gospel was published. Now as this was a fulfilling of this prophecy in part, so the conversion of the multitude of the Gentiles to Christ Is much more eminently a fulfilling of it. To the mountain of the Lord; to the temple at Jerusalem, type of Christ and the gospel church. To the house of the God of Jacob: this explains the former passage, and doth, as that, respectively look to the worship of God at Jerusalem, and in gospel days. He will teach us of his ways, out of his law, both in points of worship and judicature, by such as Ezra and Nehemiah, by such as Zechariah and Haggai, and by scribes acquainted with the law of God; this to last till Elias, forerunner to Christ, should prepare his way, and the Messiah should come to teach his people, and publish the gospel of the kingdom, by apostles and succeeding preachers. We will walk in his paths; as was the duty of returning captives, and as, indeed, many of them did after their return walk more exactly in the ways of God, and especially kept themselves from idolatry; yet this was a fulfilling of this prophecy in type, presignifying what hath been done this one thousand six hundred years and more, under the preaching of the gospel; before Jacob only, now all nations see the salvation of God. For the law shall go forth of Zion; in Jerusalem and Zion is declared the only way of worshipping God before Messiah comes, and from thence the only law of right worshipping God shall go forth. when Messiah is come. And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; an elegant ingemination of the same thing in somewhat different words, which as they respect both type and antitype, so must be applied to each respectively. And many nations shall come, and say, come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob,.... In Isaiah 2:3; it is, "many people", &c. the sense is the same; See Gill on Isaiah 2:3;

and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; the teacher is the King Messiah, as Kimchi observes; the great Prophet of his people, the teacher sent from God; and will in the last days teach men by his Spirit and word, in a very plentiful manner, and with great success:

for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; these, according to Kimchi, are the words of the prophet, and not of the people, that encourage one another to go up to the house of the Lord; but the sense is much the same; for they contain a reason why the people of different nations would encourage one another to go to the house of the Lord, that they might learn his ways, and walk in his statutes, because here the word of the Lord is preached; the word which comes from God, and is concerning him, his love and grace to men; the word of peace and righteousness, of life and salvation, by Jesus Christ: and each of the doctrines of grace intended by the "law" or "doctrine" of the Lord; the doctrines of God's everlasting love, of election in Christ, and redemption by him; of justification by his righteousness, pardon by his blood, and satisfaction by his atonement; as well as of regeneration by the Spirit of God, and of perseverance in grace: in these, and others, now shall all the Lord's people be taught more clearly, distinctly, and comfortably; all shall know him, from the least to the greatest; and not only their light and knowledge, under such a teacher and such will be very great, but their practice will be answerable to it; as they will be instructed in all the ways of the Lord, and in the methods of his grace, so they will walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; See Gill on Isaiah 2:3.

And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will {c} teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

(c) He shows that there is no true Church, except where the people are taught by God's pure word.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. many nations …] ‘Many,’ in contrast to the single nation (as yet hardly reckoned as such) at whose mouth the Gentiles receive instruction. The picture of Jerusalem as the religious metropolis of the world is familiar to us in the prophets (comp. Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 60:3, Jeremiah 3:17, Zechariah 2:11; Zechariah 8:22-23). The Christian reason, enlightened by the course of Providence, sees that the picture is ideal.

of his ways] Rather, out of his ways. Comp. Psalm 94:12, ‘teachest out of thy law.’ God’s ‘law’ and God’s ‘ways’ are revealed in full to the prophets, and they bring out ‘here a little, and there a little’ according to the needs of the time.

the law] Auth. Vers., however, is misleading. The Hebrew simply has Tôrâh, which means ‘direction’ or ‘instruction,’ and is “the suitable term for the authoritative counsel given orally by the priests (Deuteronomy 17:11) and prophets to those who consulted them on points of ritual and practice respectively.” Comp. above, on Micah 3:11, and Prof. Robertson Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, pp. 292, 3. Not that the Tôrâh of the latter days is to be restricted within the old boundaries; the Spirit is to ‘guide into all the truth,’ and probably the best equivalent (if we do not insist on an unnatural uniformity of rendering) would here be revelation.Verse 2. - The prophet further explains his last statement The new revelation shall be so conspicuous and so attractive that all men shall hear, and desire to become partakers of it. Many nations. In contrast to the one nation from whom the Leer emanated. They shall exhort one another to resort to the great religious metropolis, i.e. to the true religion. Of his ways. His plans in the moral government of the world, and the way in which he would have men walk in order to please him. For the law (torah); teaching, direction; not the Mosaic Law, but a rule of life (Proverbs 6:23). This is the reason given by the prophet for the eagerness of the nations to resort to Jerusalem. They would seek instruction at the hand of those authorized to give it (see note on Micah 3:11). The word of the Lord. The revelation of Jehovah, the gospel. From Jerusalem. It is obvious that in a defined sense the gospel sprang from Jerusalem, the place where Christ exercised his ministry, died, rose, ascended; where the apostles received their commission and the gift of the Holy Ghost (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8); the gospel being not set up in opposition to the Law, but being its fulfilment and development. The Third Vision. - Amos 7:7. "Thus he showed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made with a plumb-line, and a plumb-line in His hand. Amos 7:8. And Jehovah said to me, What seest thou, Amos? And I said, A plumb-line. And the Lord said, Behold, I put a plumb-line in the midst of my people Israel: I shall pass by it no more. Amos 7:9. And the sacrificial heights of Isaac are laid waste, and the holy things of Israel destroyed; and I rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword." The word אנך, which only occurs here, denotes, according to the dialects and the Rabbins, tin or lead, here a plumb-line. Chōmath 'ănâkh is a wall built with a plumb-line, i.e., a perpendicular wall, a wall built with mechanical correctness and solidity. Upon this wall Amos sees the Lord standing. The wall built with a plumb-line is a figurative representation of the kingdom of God in Israel, as a firm and well-constructed building. He holds in His hand a plumb-line. The question addressed to the prophet, "What does he see?" is asked for the simple purpose of following up his answer with an explanation of the symbol, as in Jeremiah 1:11, Jeremiah 1:13, since the plumb-line was used for different purposes, - namely, not only for building, but partly also for pulling buildings down (compare 2 Kings 21:13; Isaiah 34:11). Jehovah will lay it beqerebh ‛ammı̄, to the midst of His people, and not merely to an outward portion of it, in order to destroy this building. He will no longer spare as He has done hitherto. עבר ל, to pass by any one without taking any notice of him, without looking upon his guilt or punishing him; hence, to spare, - the opposite of עבר בּקרב in Amos 5:17. The destruction will fall upon the idolatrous sanctuaries of the land, the bâmōth (see at 1 Kings 3:2), i.e., the altars of the high places, and the temples at Bethel, at Daniel (see at 1 Kings 12:29), and at Gilgal (see Amos 4:4). Isaac (ישׂחק, a softened form for יצחק, used here and at v. 16, as in Jeremiah 33:26) is mentioned here instead of Jacob, and the name is used as a synonym for Israel of the ten tribes. Even the house of Jeroboam, the reigning royal family, is to perish with the sword (קם על as in Isaiah 31:2). Jeroboam is mentioned as the existing representative of the monarchy, and the words are not to be restricted to the overthrow of his dynasty, but announce the destruction of the Israelitish monarchy, which actually was annihilated when this dynasty was overthrown. The destruction of the sacred places and the overthrow of the monarchy involve the dissolution of the kingdom. Thus does Amos himself interpret his own words in Amos 7:11 and Amos 7:17.
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