Jeremiah 26:18
Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.
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(18) Micah the Morasthite.—On the general history and work of this prophet, see Introduction to Micah. The Hebrew text gives Micaiah, the two forms being (as in Judges 17:1; Judges 17:4, compared with 5, 12), in the Hebrew interchangeable. The epithet indicated his birth in Moresheth-gath in Philistia (Micah 1:14). As Micah had prophesied under Jotham and Ahaz (Micah 1:1), the prediction here referred to must have been delivered towards the close of his ministry. The words cited are from Micah 3:12, and immediately precede the prediction of an ultimate restoration of Judah in the last days in Micah 4:1-2, which we find in identical terms in Isaiah 2:2-3. Here, then, was a case, is the implied argument of the elders, in which a threat did its work, and therefore was not fulfilled. It did good, and not evil. The phrase “mountain of the house” is not found elsewhere in Jeremiah as a description of the Temple.

26:16-24 When secure sinners are threatened with taking away the Spirit of God, and the kingdom of God, it is what is warranted from the word of God. Hezekiah who protected Micah, prospered. Did Jehoiakim, who slew Urijah, prosper? The examples of bad men, and the bad consequences of their sins, should deter from what is evil. Urijah was faithful in delivering his message, but faulty in leaving his work. And the Lord was pleased to permit him to lose his life, while Jeremiah was protected in danger. Those are safest who most simply trust in the Lord, whatever their outward circumstances may be; and that He has all men's hearts in his hands, encourages us to trust him in the way of duty. He will honour and recompense those who show kindness to such as are persecuted for his sake.The elders of the land - The heads and spokesmen of the congregation, who added their approval after the princes who represented the king had given their decision. 18. (Mic 3:12).

Morasthite—called so from a village of the tribe Judah.

Hezekiah—The precedent in the reign of such a good king proved that Jeremiah was not the only prophet, or the first, who threatened the city and the temple without incurring death.

mountain of the house—Moriah, on which stood the temple (peculiarly called "the house") shall be covered with woods instead of buildings. Jeremiah, in quoting previous prophecies, never does so without alteration; he adapts the language to his own style, showing thereby his authority in his treatment of Scripture, as being himself inspired.

This was that

Micah whose prophecies are part of holy writ, as appeareth by Micah 1:1 3:12, where are the very words of the prophecy here mentioned. The substance of that prophecy was the same with this of Jeremiah, that Zion should be ploughed up, and the place where the temple stood should become so desolate that trees should grow there, as in a wood or forest.

Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah,.... Or, Micah of Maresha, as the Targum. Mareshah was a city of the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:44; the native place, of this prophet; who appears, by the following quotation, to be the same Micah that stands among the minor prophets; and who is also so called, and lived in the times of Hezekiah, Micah 1:1;

and spake to all the people of Judah; very openly and publicly, and just as Jeremiah had done, Jeremiah 26:2;

saying, thus saith the Lord of hosts, Zion shall be ploughed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps; Mount Zion, on part of which the temple was built, and on the other the city of David, together with the city of Jerusalem, should be so demolished, as that they might be ploughed, and become a tillage; as the Jews say they were by Terentius, or Turnus Rufus, as they call him, after their last destruction by the Romans:

and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest; covered with grass and shrubs, and thorns and briers; even Mount Moriah, on which the temple stood, which is designed by the house; and so the Targum calls it the house of the sanctuary. Now this was saying as much against the city and temple as Jeremiah did; and was said in the days of a good king too, who encouraged a reformation, and carried it to a great pitch. See Micah 3:12.

Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the {i} house as the high places of the forest.

(i) That is, of the House of the Lord, that is, Zion, and these examples the godly alleged to deliver Jeremiah out of the priests hands, whose rage else would not have been satisfied but by his death.

18. Micaiah] So MT. reads in its text. Micah in its mg. is of course the Minor Prophet.

Morashtite] native of Morésheth, a small town near Gath, about 23 miles S.W. of Jerusalem.

Zion shall be plowed, etc.] Micah 3:12; the only citation by name of another prophet’s utterance in the whole of prophetic literature.

the mountain of the house] i.e. the Temple, as standing on Mount Moriah.

as the high places of a forest] better, wooded heights. “The temple mount shall be overgrown with low brushwood.” C.B. (Cheyne) on Micah, l.c.

Verses 18, 19. - Micah the Morasthite, etc. The "elders" appeal for a precedent to the case of Micah (called after his native place, Moresheth-Gath, to distinguish him from other Micahs), who had been equally explicit in his declarations of woe to Jerusalem, without incurring the charge of blasphemy. The prediction referred to is in Micah 3:12, the form of which agrees verbally with our passage. Jeremiah 26:18To justify and confirm this sentence, certain of the elders of the land rise and point to the like sentence passed on the prophet Micah of Moresheth-Gath, who had foretold the destruction of the city and temple under King Hezekiah, but had not been put to death by the king; Hezekiah, on the contrary, turning to prayer to the Lord, and thus succeeding in averting the catastrophe. The "men of the elders of the land" are different from "all the princes," and are not to be taken, as by Graf, for representatives of the people in the capacity of assessors at judicial decisions, who had to give their voice as to guilt or innocence; nor are they necessarily to be regarded as local authorities of the land. They come before us here solely in their character as elders of the people, who possessed a high authority in the eyes of the people. The saying of the Morasthite Micah which they cite in Jeremiah 26:18 is found in Micah 3:12, verbally agreeing with Jeremiah 26:18; see the exposition of that passage. The stress of what they say lies in the conclusion drawn by them from Micah's prophesy, taken in connection with Hezekiah's attitude towards the Lord, Jeremiah 26:19 : "Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear Jahveh and entreat Jahveh, and did not Jahveh repent Him of the evil which He had spoken concerning them? and we would commit a great evil against our souls?" Neither in the book of Micah, nor in the accounts of the books of Kings, nor in the chronicle of Hezekiah's reign are we told that, in consequence of that prophecy of Micah, Hezekiah entreated the Lord and so averted judgment from Jerusalem. There we find only that during the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, Hezekiah besought the help of the Lord and protection from that mighty enemy. The elders have combined this fact with Micah's prophecy, and thence drawn the conclusion that the godly king succeeded by his prayer in averting the mischief. Cf. the remarks on this passage at Micah 4:10. 'חלּה , lit., stroke the face of Jahveh, i.e., entreat Him, cf. Exodus 32:11. "And we would commit," are thinking of doing, are on the point of doing a great evil against our souls; inasmuch as by putting the prophet to death they would bring blood-guiltiness upon themselves and hasten the judgment of God. - The acquittal of Jeremiah is not directly related; but it may be gathered from the decision of the princes: This man is not worthy of death.
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