Micah 7:8
Rejoice not against me, O my enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light to me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) O mine enemy.—The Hebrew word is strictly a female enemy (see Micah 7:10), and is used of enemies collectively. The cities of Babylon and Edom are probably intended. They are mentioned together in Psalms 137 : “Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom.” . . . “O Babylon, that art to be destroyed.” The fall of those cities should be final, but Jerusalem would rise again.

Micah 7:8-9. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy — Here begins a new subject; the Jewish nation in general being here introduced speaking in their captivity, and addressing themselves to the Chaldeans. When I fall I shall rise — Or, because I am fallen; for I shall rise. When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me — Neither rejoice nor triumph over me, because I at present sit in darkness, or misery, for Jehovah will again make me prosperous. I will bear the indignation of the Lord — I will patiently, or without repining, bear the affliction, or punishment, Jehovah has inflicted upon me. Because I have sinned against him — Because I am sensible I have highly offended him by my idolatry, injustice, and unmercifulness. Until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me — Until he shall be pleased to acknowledge my cause, in consequence of my repentance and perseverance in the worship of him, and avenge my injuries on my enemies. It may well be supposed that the Chaldeans made a mock of the Jews for persevering in the worship of Jehovah, or that God who (as they supposed) had not been able to deliver them, his worshippers, out of their hands, the worshippers of Bel and Nebo; whom therefore they esteemed more powerful. He will bring me forth to the light — He will again bring me into a prosperous condition. And I shall behold his righteousness — Or rather, his goodness. What we render righteousness, often signifies, according to the Hebrew, beneficence, or goodness.7:8-13 Those truly penitent for sin, will see great reason to be patient under affliction. When we complain to the Lord of the badness of the times, we ought to complain against ourselves for the badness of our hearts. We must depend upon God to work deliverance for us in due time. We must not only look to him, but look for him. In our greatest distresses, we shall see no reason to despair of salvation, if by faith we look to the Lord as the God of our salvation. Though enemies triumph and insult, they shall be silenced and put to shame. Though Zion's walls may long be in ruins, there will come a day when they shall be repaired. Israel shall come from all the remote parts, not turning back for discouragements. Though our enemies may seem to prevail against us, and to rejoice over us, we should not despond. Though cast down, we are not destroyed; we may join hope in God's mercy, with submission to his correction. No hinderances can prevent the favours the Lord intends for his church.Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy - The prophet still more makes himself one with the people, not only as looking for God, but in penitence, as Daniel bewails "his own sins and the sins of his people" Daniel 9:10. The "enemy" is Babylon and "Edom" Obadiah 1:10, Obadiah 1:12; Psalm 137:7; and then, in all times, (since this was written for all times, and the relations of the people of God and of its enemies are the same,) whosoever, whether devils or evil men, rejoice over the falls of God's people. "Rejoice not"; for thou hast no real cause; "the triumphing of the ungodly", and the fall of the godly, "is but for a moment. When I fall, I shall arise" Psalm 30:5; (literally, "when I have fallen, I have arisen";) expressing both the certainty and speed of the recovery. To fall and to arise is one. : "The fall of infirmity is not grave, if free from the desire of the will. Have the will to rise, He is at hand who will cause thee to rise." (Ibid. 5:47): "Though I have sinned, Thou forgivest the sin; though I have fallen, thou raisest up; lest they, who rejoice in the sins of others, should have occasion to exult. For we who have sinned more, have gained more; for Thy grace maketh more blessed than our own innocence."

When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me - Montanus: "He does not say 'lie,' but sit; she was not as one dead, without hope of life, but she sat solitary as a widow, helpless, unable to restore herself, yet waiting for God's time. The darkness of the captivity was lightened by the light of the prophetic grace which shone through Daniel and Ezekiel, and by the faithfulness of the three children, and the brightness of divine glory shed abroad through them, when Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed to all people that their God was "God of gods and Lord of kings" Daniel 2:47, and that none should "speak anything amiss against Him" Daniel 3:29. Still more when, at the close of the captivity, they were delivered from sorrow, trouble, bondage, death, to joy, rest, freedom, life. Yet how much more in Christ, (for whom this deliverance prepared,) when "the people that walked in darkness have seern a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined" Isaiah 9:2. "God is not only our light", as (Lap.) "restoring us" outwardly "to gladness, freedom, happiness, whereof light is a symbol, as darkness is of sorrow, captivity, adversity, death." Scripture speaks of God, in a directer way, as being Himself our light. "The Lord is my light" Psalm 27:1. "The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light" Isaiah 60:19. He calls Himself, "The light of Israel" Isaiah 10:17. He is our light, by infusing knowledge, joy, heavenly brightness, in any outward lot. He does not say, "after darkness, comes light," but "when I shall sit in darkness", then, "the Lord is light unto me". The "sitting in darkness" is the occasion of the light, in that the soul or the people in sorrow turns to Him who is their light. in their sin, which was so punished, they were turned away from the light.

8. Rejoice not—at my fall.

when I fall, I shall arise—(Ps 37:24; Pr 24:16).

when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light—Israel reasons as her divine representative, Messiah, reasoned by faith in His hour of darkness and desertion (Isa 50:7, 8, 10). Israel addresses Babylon, her triumphant foe (or Edom), as a female; the type of her last and worst foes (Ps 137:7, 8). "Mine enemy," in Hebrew, is feminine.

The prophet in this verse personates the church, and brings her in bespeaking the enemy in this manner:

Rejoice not; let it be no pleasure or matter of glorying to time, that the day of calamity hath overtaken me.

Against me; Israel of God, the remnant, the faithful, which are the church of God.

O mine enemy; O Assyria, Edom, or Babylon. When I fall, into a low condition, into deepest distresses, I shall arise; I shall not always lie in them, God will raise me out of them.

When I (the prophet intends the good, the few righteous ones among those degenerate multitudes) sit in darkness, when affliction, war, famine, and captivity, as a dismal cloud, shall cover us, and benight the daughter of light, when fallen as low as a captive,

the Lord shall be a light unto me; shall support, comfort, and deliver me, his presence and favour shall, as the sun rising, dispel the darkness of the night. This is spoken more especially concerning Judah. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy,.... These are the words of the prophet in the name of the church, continued in an apostrophe or address to his and their enemy; by whom may be meant, literally, the Chaldeans or Edomites, or both, who rejoiced at the destruction of Jerusalem, and the calamities the people of the Jews were brought into at it; see Psalm 137:7; spiritually, Satan the great enemy of mankind, and especially of the church and people of God, to whom it is a pleasure to draw them into any sin or snare, and to do them any hurt and mischief; and also the Inert of the world, who hate and persecute the saints; and watch for their haltings, and rejoice at their falls into sin, and at any calamity and affliction that may attend them, though there is no just reason for it; since this will not always be the case of the saints, they will be in a better situation, and in more comfortable circumstances; and it will be the turn of their enemies to be afflicted, punished, and tormented:

when I fall, I shall arise; or, "though I fall" (z), or "have fallen"; into outward afflictions and distresses, which come not by chance, but by divine appointment; or into the temptations of Satan, and by them, which sometimes is suffered for wise and purposes; or into sin, which even a good man, a truly righteous man, is frequently left unto; but then he does not fall from real goodness, from true grace, nor from his justifying righteousness, which is everlasting, and connected with eternal life: he may fall from a lively exercise of grace, from steadfastness in the faith, and a profession of it; but not from the principle of grace, nor a state of grace; or from the love and favour of God: he may fall, but not totally or finally, or so as to perish everlastingly; nor is he utterly cast down, the Lord upholds him, and raises him up again; he rises, as the church here believes she should, out of his present state and condition, into a more comfortable one; not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord, under a sense of sin, by the exercise of true repentance for it, and by faith in Christ, and in a view of pardoning grace and mercy; see Psalm 37:24;

when I sit in darkness; or "though" (a). The Targum is,

"as it were in darkness;''

not in a state of unregeneracy, which is a state of total darkness, but in affliction and distress; for, as light often signifies prosperity, so darkness adversity, any afflictive dispensation of Providence; and especially when this attended with desertion, or the hidings of God's face; it is to be, not without any light of grace in the heart, or without the light of the word, or means of grace; but to be without the light of God's countenance; which is very uncomfortable, and makes dark providences darker still; see Isaiah 50:10; yet, notwithstanding all this,

the Lord shall be a light unto me; by delivering out of affliction; by lifting up the light of his countenance; by causing Christ the sun of righteousness to arise; by sending his Spirit to illuminate, refresh, and comfort; by his word, which is a lamp to the feet, a light to the path, a light shining in a dark place; see Psalm 27:1. This passage is applied by the Jews (b) to the days of the Messiah.

(z) "quamvis cecidi", Drusius, Burkius. (a) "quamvis sedero", Drusius; "quamvis sedeam", Burkius. (b) Debarim Rabba, parash. 11. fol. 245. 3.

Rejoice not against me, {h} O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

(h) This is spoken in the voice of the Church, which calls the malignant church her enemy.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. O mine enemy] i.e. the instrument of God’s ‘visitation,’ the heathen oppressor of Israel.

when I fall] Rather, for (if) I have fallen. The ‘falling’ is of course not that of sin, but of calamity, which is often represented as a stumbling-block.

when I sit in darkness] Another figure for trouble; comp. Isaiah 60:1; Isaiah 9:2.

the Lord shall be a light] Again an image from the Psalter; comp. Psalm 27:1.Verse 8. - Israel in her sorrow and captivity asserts her undiminished confidence in the Lord. O mine enemy. The oppressor of the Church, the worldly power, is represented at one time by Asshur, at another by Babylon. God uses these heathen kingdoms as agents of his vengeance. When I fall; have I fallen; if I have fallen; i.e. suppose I have suffered calamity and loss (Amos 5:2). Sit in darkness. Darkness is another metaphor for distress (Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 9:2; Lamentations 3:6; Amos 5:18). The Lord shall be a light unto me, giving me gladness and true discernment (comp. Psalm 27:1; Psalm 97:11). The distinction between darkness and the full light of day is more marked in Eastern countries than in our Northern climes. "And look not at the day of thy brother on the day of his misfortune; and rejoice not over the sons of Judah in the day of their perishing, and do not enlarge thy mouth in the day of the distress. Obadiah 1:13. Come not into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; thou also look not at his misfortune in the day of his calamity, and stretch not out thy hand to his possession in the day of his calamity: Obadiah 1:14. Nor stand in the cross-road, to destroy his fugitives, nor deliver up his escaped ones in the day of distress." This warning cannot be satisfactorily explained either "on the assumption that the prophet is here foretelling the future destruction of Judah and Jerusalem" (Caspari), or "on the supposition that he is merely depicting an event that has already past" (Hitzig). If the taking and plundering of Jerusalem were an accomplished fact, whether in idea or in reality, as it is shown to be by the perfects בּאוּ and ידּוּ in Obadiah 1:11, Obadiah could not in that case warn the Edomites against rejoicing over it, or even taking part therein. Hence Drusius, Rosenmller, and others, take the verbs in Obadiah 1:12-14 as futures of the past: "Thou shouldest not have seen, shouldest not have rejoiced," etc. But this is opposed to the grammar. אל followed by the so-called fut. apoc. is jussive, and cannot stand for the pluperf. conjunct. And Maurer's suggestion is just as untenable, namely, that yōm in Obadiah 1:11 denotes the day of the capture of Jerusalem, and in Obadiah 1:12, Obadiah 1:13 the period after this day; since the identity of יום עמדך (the day of thy standing) in Obadiah 1:11 with יום אחיך in Obadiah 1:12 strikes the eye at once. The warning in Obadiah 1:12-14 is only intelligible on the supposition, that Obadiah has not any particular conquest and plundering of Jerusalem in his mind, whether a future one or one that has already occurred, but regards this as an event that not only has already taken place, but will take place again: that is to say, on the assumption that he rises from the particular historical event to the idea which it embodied, and that, starting from this, he sees in the existing case all subsequent cases of a similar kind. From this ideal standpoint he could warn Edom of what it had already done, and designate the disastrous day which had come upon Judah and Jerusalem by different expressions as a day of the greatest calamity; for what Edom had done, and what had befallen Judah, were types of the future development of the fate of Judah and of the attitude of Edom towards it, which go on fulfilling themselves more and more until the day of the Lord upon all nations, upon the near approach of which Obadiah founds his warning in Obadiah 1:15. The warning proceeds in Obadiah 1:12-14 from the general to the particular, or from the lower to the higher. Obadiah warns the Edomites, as Hitzig says, "not to rejoice in Judah's troubles (Obadiah 1:12), nor to make common cause with the conquerors (Obadiah 1:13), nor to outdo and complete the work of the enemy (Obadiah 1:14)." By the cop. Vav, which stands at the head of all the three clauses in Obadiah 1:12, the warning addressed to the Edomites, against such conduct as this, is linked on to what they had already done.

The three clauses of Obadiah 1:12 contain a warning in a graduated form against malicious pleasure. ראה with ב, to look at anything with pleasure, to take delight in it, affirms less than שׂמח ב, to rejoice, to proclaim one's joy without reserve. הגדּיל פּה, to make the mouth large, is stronger still, like הגדּיל בּפה, to boast, to do great things with the mouth, equivalent to הרחיב פּה על, to make the mouth broad, to stretch it open, over (against) a person (Psalm 35:21; Isaiah 57:4), a gesture indicating contempt and derision. The object of their malicious pleasure mentioned in the first clause is yōm 'âchı̄khâ, the day of thy brother, i.e., the day upon which something strange happened to him, namely, what is mentioned in Obadiah 1:11. Yōm does not of itself signify the disastrous day, or day of ruin, either here or anywhere else; but it always receives the more precise definition from the context. If we were to adopt the rendering "disastrous day," it would give rise to a pure tautology when taken in connection with what follows. The expression 'âchı̄khâ (of thy brother) justifies the warning. בּיום נכרו is not in apposition to בּיום אחיך, but, according to the parallelism of the clauses, it is a statement of time. נכר, ἁπ. λεγ. equals נכר (Job 31:3), fortuna aliena, a strange, i.e., hostile fate, not "rejection" (Hitzig, Caspari, and others). The expression יום אבדם, the day of their (Judah's sons) perishing, is stronger still; although the perishing ('ăbhōd) of the sons of Judah cannot denote the destruction of the whole nation, since the following word tsrh, calamity, is much too weak to admit of this. Even the word איד, which occurs three times in Obadiah 1:13, does not signify destruction, but (from the root אוּד, to fall heavily, to load) simply pressure, a burden, then weight of suffering, distress, misfortune (see Delitzsch on Job 18:12). In Obadiah 1:13 Obadiah warns against taking part in the plundering of Jerusalem. The gate of my people: for the city in which the people dwell, the capital (see Micah 1:9). Look not thou also, a brother nation, upon his calamity, as enemies do, i.e., do not delight thyself thereat, nor snatch at his possessions. The form tishlachnâh, for which we should expect tishlach, is not yet satisfactorily explained (for the different attempts that have been made to explain it, see Caspari). The passages in which nâh is appended to the third pers. fem. sing., to distinguish it from the second person, do not help us to explain it. Ewald and Olshausen would therefore alter the text, and read תּשׁלח יד. But יד is not absolutely necessary, since it is omitted in 2 Samuel 6:6; 2 Samuel 22:17, or Psalm 18:17, where shâlach occurs in the sense of stretching out the hand. חילו, his possessions. On the fact itself, compare Joel 3:5. The prominence given to the day of misfortune at the end of every sentence is very emphatic; "inasmuch as the selection of the time of a brother's calamity, as that in which to rage against him with such cunning and malicious pleasure, was doubly culpable" (Ewald). In Obadiah 1:14 the warning proceeds to the worst crime of all, their seizing upon the Judaean fugitives, for the purpose of murdering them or delivering them up to the enemy. Pereq signifies here the place where the roads break or divide, the cross-road. In Nahum 3:1, the only other place in which it occurs, it signifies tearing in pieces, violence. Hisgı̄r, to deliver up (lit., concludendum tradidit), is generally construed with אל (Deuteronomy 23:16) or בּיד (Psalm 31:9; 1 Samuel 23:11). Here it is written absolutely with the same meaning: not "to apprehend, or so overpower that there is no escape left" (Hitzig). This would affirm too little after the preceding הכרית, and cannot be demonstrated from Job 11:10, where hisgı̄r means to keep in custody.

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