|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-8 Men cannot expect to do ill, and fare well; but to find that done to them which they did to others. How seldom do wholesome truths reach the ears of those in high stations or in authority! Those who deceive others are preparing confusion for their own faces. The prophet had ardent love to God and to the souls of men; deep concern for his glory and their salvation, and zeal against sin. The difficulties he met with did not drive him from his work. He had this strength; not from and of himself, but he was full of power by the Spirit of the Lord. Those who act honestly, may act boldly. And those who come to hear the word of God, must be willing to be told of their faults, must take it kindly, and be thankful.
Verse 2. - The good...the evil; i.e. goodness and wickedness. Septuagint, τὰ καλά τὰ πονηρά (Amos 5:14, etc.; John 3:20; Romans 1:32). Who pluck off their skin from off them. They are not shepherds, but butchers. We have the same figurative expression for merciless extortion and pillage. Ezekiel makes a similar complaint (Ezekiel 34:2-4). Cheyne sees in this and the following verse a possible allusion to cannibalism as at least known to the Israelites by hearsay or tradition. There is a passage in Wisdom (12:5) which somewhat countenances the idea that the Canaanites were guilty of this enormity, but it is probably only a rhetorical exaggeration of the writer. In the present passage the terms seem to be simply metaphors taken from the preparation of meat for human food. Such an allusion is natural in the mouth of one who had just been speaking of Israel as a flock (Micah 2:12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Who hate the good, and love the evil,.... Instead of knowing and doing what was just and right; or, directly contrary to their light and knowledge, and the duty of their office, they hated that which is good, which is agreeable to the law, nature, and will of God, and loved that which is evil, which is contrary thereunto; or they hated to do good, and loved to do evil, as the Targum; as men do who are averse to good, and prone to evil; or they hated a good man, as Aben Ezra, and loved the evil man; not only delighted in committing sin themselves, but took pleasure in those that did it; and could not endure the company and conversation of holy and good men:
who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones: like wild beasts that tear off skin and flesh from the bones, and then devour them; or like cruel shepherds, that, not content to fleece their flocks, skin them, and take their flesh also, and feed themselves, and not the flock; or like butchers, that first take off the skin off a beast, and then cut up its flesh. The design of the expressions is to show what rigour, cruelty, and oppressions, these rulers exercised on the people and by their heavy taxes and levies, and exorbitant penalties and fines, pillaged and plundered them of all they had in the world, and left them quite bare, as bones stripped of their skin and flesh. So the Targum,
"seizing on their substance by violence, and their precious mammon they take away.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. pluck off their skin … flesh—rob their fellow countrymen of all their substance (Ps 14:4; Pr 30:14).
Micah 3:2 Parallel Commentaries
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