|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:9-12 Zion's walls owe no thanks to those that build them up with blood and iniquity. The sin of man works not the righteousness of God. Even when men do that which in itself is good, but do it for filthy lucre, it becomes abomination both to God and man. Faith rests in the Lord as the soul's foundation: presumption only leans upon the Lord as a prop, and would use him to serve a turn. If men's having the Lord among them will not keep them from doing evil, it never can secure them from suffering evil for so doing. See the doom of wicked Jacob; Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field. This was exactly fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and is so at this day. If sacred places are polluted by sin, they will be wasted and ruined by the judgments of God.
Verse 12. - This is the prophecy quoted by the elders to King Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 26:17, etc.). It may have been delivered before Hezekiah's time originally, and repeated in his reign, when it was productive of a reformation. The denunciation is a mourn-fill contrast to the announcement in Micah 2:12; but it was never completely fulfilled, being, like all such judgments, conditioned by circumstances. Therefore... for your sake. For the crimes of rulers, priests, and prophets. Shall Zion... be ploughed as a field. Three localities are specified which destruction shall overtake Zion, Jerusalem, and the temple. Zion means that part of the city where stood the royal palace. The prophecy relates primarily to the destruction of the city by the Chaldeans, when, as Jeremiah testifies (Lamentations 5:18), Zion was desolate and foxes walked upon it. The expression in the text may be hyperbolical, but we know that the ploughing up of the foundations of captured cities is often alluded to. Thus Horace, 'Carm.,' 1:16, 20 -
"... imprimeretque muris
Hostile aratrum exercitus insolens." (Comp. 'Propert.,' 3:7, 41; and for the whole passage, Isaiah 32:13, 14.) "The general surface of Mount Zion descends steeply eastwards into the Tyropoeon and Kidron, and southwards into the Valley of Hinnom. The whole of the hill here is under cultivation, and presents a most literal fulfilment of Micah's prophecy" (Thomson, 'The Land and the Book,' p. 540). "From the spot on which I stood," says Dr. Porter, "I saw the plough at work in the little fields that now cover the site of Zion" ('Illustrations of Bible Prophecy,' p. 17). Jerusalem shall become heaps. The city proper shall become heaps of ruins (Jeremiah 9:11; Nehemiah 2:17; Nehemiah 4:2) Septuagint, ὡς ὀπωροφυλάκιον ἔσται, "as a storehouse for fruits," as in Psalm 78. (79) 1. The mountain of the house. The mountain on which the temple was built, Mount Moriah, and therefore the temple itself, no longer mentioned as the Lord's dwelling place. As the high places of the forest; or, as wooded heights, returning, as it were, to the wild condition in which it lay when Abraham offered his sacrifice thereon. In the time of the Maccabees, after its profanation by the heathen, the account speaks of shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest or in one of the mountains (1 Macc. 4:38). Such was to be the fate of the temple in which they put their trust and made their boast.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field,.... That is, for your sins, as the Targum; for the bloodshed, injustice, and avarice of the princes, priests, and prophets; not that the common people were free from crimes; but these are particularly mentioned, as being ringleaders into sin, and who ought to have set better examples; as also to take off their vain confidence in themselves, who thought that Zion and Jerusalem would be built up and established by them, and preserved for their sakes; as well as to show the prophet's boldness and intrepidity in his rebukes and menaces of them: now this was prophesied of in the days of Hezekiah, before the invasion of Judea and siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib; it was deferred upon the repentance and reformation of the people; and was fulfilled in part at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, when the city was reduced to a heap of rubbish; and more fully when it was destroyed by the Romans, and ploughed up by Terentius, or Turnus Rufus, as the Jews say; so that there was not a house or building left upon it, but it became utterly desolate and uninhabited, especially in the reign of Adrian:
and Jerusalem shall become heaps; not only the city of David, built on Mount Zion, should be demolished, but the other part of the city called Jerusalem should be thrown down, and its walls and houses lie in heaps, like heaps of stones in the midst of a ploughed field:
and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest; Mount Moriah, on which the temple was built; hence called here, by the Targum, the mountain of the house of the sanctuary; the temple upon it should be destroyed, and not one, tone left upon another; and the place on which it stood be covered with grass and trees, with briers and thorns, as a forest is, all which have been exactly fulfilled. The Jews say (i) of Turnus Rufus before mentioned, that he both ploughed up the city of Jerusalem, and the temple, the ground on which they stood; and Jerom (k) affirms the temple was ploughed up by Titus Annius Ruffus; which, as it literally fulfilled this prophecy, denotes the utter destruction of them; for, as it was usual with the ancients to mark out with a plough the ground on which a city was designed to be built; so they drew one over the spot where any had stood, which was become desolate, and to signify that the city was no more to be rebuilt and inhabited: thus Seneca (l), Horace (m), and other writers, express the utter destruction of a city by such phrases.
(i) T. Hieros. Taaniot. fol. 69. 2. Juchasin, fol. 36. 2. & Ganz Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 28. 1.((k) Comment. in Zechariah 8.19. (l) "Aratrum vetustis urbibus inducere", Seneca de Clementia, l. 1. c. 26. (m) "------Imprimeretque muris Hostile aratrum exercitus insolens". Hor. Carmin. l. 1. Ode 36.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. Jer 26:18 quotes this verse. The Talmud and Maimonides record that at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus, Terentius Rufus, who was left in command of the army, with a ploughshare tore up the foundations of the temple.
mountain of the house—the height on which the temple stands.
as the high places of the forest—shall become as heights in a forest overrun with wild shrubs and brushwood.
Micah 3:12 Parallel Commentaries
Micah 3:12 NIV
Micah 3:12 NLT
Micah 3:12 ESV
Micah 3:12 NASB
Micah 3:12 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible