|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-5 The people are called upon to declare why they were weary of God's worship, and prone to idolatry. Sin causes the controversy between God and man. God reasons with us, to teach us to reason with ourselves. Let them remember God's many favours to them and their fathers, and compare with them their unworthy, ungrateful conduct toward him.
Verse 1-ch. 7:20. - Part III. In this address, which is later than the preceding parts, the prophet sets forth the way of salvation: PUNISHMENT IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN; REPENTANCE IS THE ONLY GROUND FOR HOPE OF PARTICIPATING IN THE COVENANT MERCIES. Verses 1-5. - 1. God's controversy with his people for their ingratitude. Verse 1. - Hear ye now. The whole nation is addressed and bidden to give heed to God's pleading. Arise, contend thou. These are God's words to Micah, bidding him put himself in his people's place, and plead as advocate before the great inanimate tribunal. Before the mountains; i.e. in the presence of the everlasting hills, which have as it were witnessed God's gracious dealings with his people from old time and Israel's long ingratitude (comp. Micah 1:2).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Hear ye now what the Lord saith,.... Here begins a new discourse, and with an address of the prophet to the people of Israel, to hear what the Lord had to say to them by way of reproof for their sins now, as they had heard before many great and precious promises concerning the Messiah, and the happiness of the church in future time; to hear what the Lord now said to them by the prophet, and what he said to the prophet himself, as follows:
arise; O Prophet Micah, and do thine office; sit not still, nor indulge to sloth and ease; show readiness, diligence, activity, zeal, and courage in my service, and in carrying a message from me to my people:
contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice; open the cause depending between me and my people; state the case between us before the mountains and hills; and exert thyself, and lift up thy voice loudly, and with so much vehemence, that, if it was possible, the very mountains and hills might hear thee; the Lord hereby suggests that they would as soon hear as his people; thus upbraiding their stupidity, as he elsewhere does; see Isaiah 1:2. Kimchi and Ben Melech render it, to the mountains, which is much to the same sense with our version; call and summon them as witnesses in this cause; let the pleadings be made before them, and let them be judges in this matter; as they might be both for God, and against his people: the mountains and hills clothed with grass, and covered with flocks and herds; or set with all manner of fruit trees, vines, olives, and figs; or adorned with goodly cedars, oaks, and elms; were witnesses of the goodness of God unto them, and the same could testify against them; and, had they mouths to speak, could declare the abominations committed on them; how upon every high mountain and hill, and under every green tree, they had been guilty of idolatry. The Targum, and many versions (q), render it, "with the mountains"; and the Vulgate Latin version, and others, "against the mountains" (r); the inhabitants of Judea, that being a mountainous country, especially some parts of it. Some by "mountains" understand the great men of the land, king, princes, nobles; and, by "hills", lesser magistrates, with whom the Lord's controversy chiefly was; they not discharging their offices aright, nor setting good examples to the people. Some copies of the Targum, as the king of Spain's Bible, paraphrase it,
"judge or contend with the fathers, and let the mothers hear thy voice;''
which Kimchi thus explains, as if it was said, let the fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the mothers Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah, hear what their children hath rendered to the Lord; let them be, as it were, called out of their graves to hear the ill requital made to the Lord for all his goodness.
(q) "cum istis montiibus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Tarnovius; "cum montibus", Montanus, Munster, Cocceius, Burkius. (r) "Adversum montes", V. L. Grotius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Mic 6:1-16. Appeal before All Creation to the Israelites to Testify, if They Can, if Jehovah Ever Did Aught but Acts of Kindness to Them from the Earliest Period: God Requires of Them Not So Much Sacrifices, as Real Piety and Justice: Their Impieties and Coming Punishment.
1. contend thou—Israel is called by Jehovah to plead with Him in controversy. Mic 5:11-13 suggested the transition from those happy times described in the fourth and fifth chapters, to the prophet's own degenerate times and people.
before the mountains—in their presence; personified as if witnesses (compare Mic 1:2; De 32:1; Isa 1:2). Not as the Margin, "with"; as God's controversy is with Israel, not with them.
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