Micah 1:11
Pass you away, you inhabitant of Saphir, having your shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing.
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(11) Saphir . . . Zaanan.—The sites of these cities, like that of Aphrah, are a matter of conjecture. They were probably south-west of Jerusalem, the prophet following the march of the invading army.

The inhabitant of Zaanan came not forthi.e., they remained in their city through fear of the enemy.

In the mourning of Beth-ezel.—Rather, the wailing of Beth-ezel shall take from you his standing—i.e., no support will be found in the inhabitants of Beth-ezel.

1:8-16 The prophet laments that Israel's case is desperate; but declare it not in Gath. Gratify not those that make merry with the sins or with the sorrows of God's Israel. Roll thyself in the dust, as mourners used to do; let every house in Jerusalem become a house of Aphrah, a house of dust. When God makes the house dust it becomes us to humble ourselves to the dust under his mighty hand. Many places should share this mourning. The names have meanings which pointed out the miseries coming upon them; thereby to awaken the people to a holy fear of Divine wrath. All refuges but Christ, must be refuges of lies to those who trust in them; other heirs will succeed to every inheritance but that of heaven; and all glory will be turned into shame, except that honour which cometh from God only. Sinners may now disregard their neighbours' sufferings, yet their turn to be punished will some come.Pass ye away - (literally, Pass thou (fem.) away to or for yourselves), disregarded by God and despised by man) pass the bounds of your land into captivity.

Thou inhabitant of Shaphir, having thy shame naked - better, in nakedness, and shame. Shaphir (fair) was a village in Judah, between Eleutheropolis and Ashkelon (Onomasticon). There are still, in the Shephelah, two villages called Sawafir . It, once fair, should now go forth in the disgrace and dishonor with which captives were led away.

The inhabitants of Zaanan came not forth - Zaanan (abounding in flocks) was probably the same as Zenan of Judah, which lay in the Shephelah . It, which formerly went forth in pastoral gladness with the multitude of its flocks, shall now shrink into itself for fear.

The mourning of Beth-Ezel - (literally, house of root, firmly rooted) shall take from you its standings It too cannot help itself, much less be a stay to others. They who have been accustomed to go forth in fullness, shall not go forth then, and they who abide, strong though they be, shall not furnish an abiding place. Neither in going out nor in remaining, shall anything be secure then.

11. Pass ye away—that is, Thou shall go into captivity.

inhabitant of Saphir—a village amidst the hills of Judah, between Eleutheropolis and Ascalon, called so, from the Hebrew word for "beauty." Though thy name be "beauty," which heretofore was thy characteristic, thou shalt have thy "shame" made "naked." This city shall be dismantled of its walls, which are the garments, as it were, of cities; its citizens also shall be hurried into captivity, with persons exposed (Isa 47:3; Eze 16:37; Ho 2:10).

the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth—Its inhabitants did not come forth to console the people of Beth-ezel in their mourning, because the calamity was universal; none was exempt from it (compare Jer 6:25). "Zaanan" is the same as Zenan, in Judah (Jos 15:37), meaning the "place of flocks." The form of the name used is made like the Hebrew for "came forth." Though in name seeming to imply that thou dost come forth, thou "camest not forth."

Beth-ezel—perhaps Azal (Zec 14:5), near Jerusalem. It means a "house on the side," or "near." Though so near, as its name implies, to Zaanan, Beth-ezel received no succor or sympathy from Zaanan.

he shall receive of you his standing—"he," that is, the foe; "his standing," that is, his sustenance [Piscator]. Or, "he shall be caused a delay by you, Zaanan." He shall be brought to a stand for a time in besieging you; hence it is said just before, "Zaanan came not forth," that is, shut herself up within her walls to withstand a siege. But it was only for a time. She, too, fell like Beth-ezel before her [Vatablus]. Maurer construes thus: "The inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth; the mourning of Beth-ezel takes away from you her shelter." Though Beth-ezel be at your side (that is, near), according to her name, yet as she also mourns under the oppression of the foe, she cannot give you shelter, or be at your side as a helper (as her name might lead you to expect), if you come forth and be intercepted by him from returning to Zaanan.

Pass ye away: the imperative is here put for the future, and the prophet does here foretell and threaten what shall befall this people, they shall go before the enemy into captivity. Saphir denotes either the beautiful and pleasant habitation, and so may be applied to any pleasant seat, such as were many in Judea; such were Samaria and Jerusalem, which perhaps are here intended. Or else it is the proper name of some particular town or city: who read Eusebius will meet with such a village in the mountains between Ashkelon and Hebron, or (as later it is called) Eleutheropolis.

Having thy shame naked; stripped by thy conquering enemy, so that thou shalt not have so much left as shall cover thy nakedness; with shame shalt thou be thus led into captivity, and change all thy beauty into shameful nakedness.

Zaanan; a place rich in pastures and sheep, say some; others take it for the proper name of a particular place in the tribe of Judah; it is likely at this time it might be some considerable garrison full of people and soldiers.

Came not forth; neither sent out succours to relieve their neighbouring besieged town Bethezel, but stood on their own guard, nor yet durst send out any to condole the captive state of their neighbours.

Bethezel; a strong town taken and wasted by the Assyrians, the people carried captive under the eye of the inhabitants of Zaanan, who mean time dare not stir or make many signs of sorrow.

He; the invading enemy, say some, others say it is the inhabitant of Zaanan.

Shall receive of you his standing: who refer this to the enemy make this the sense, viz. That the enemy should make his stay among them till he had conquered, spoiled, and captivated them; or, that he should by severe dealing make them pay dear for their obstinacy in defending their town against his forces, that he should strip them of all to recompense his expenses of treasure, time, and blood in taking them. But they that refer this to Zaanan and its inhabitants make this the sense, That they should take their measures, and judge what the enemy would do against them by that which he had done against Beth-ezel their neighbour. Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir,.... A village, according to Eusebius (l), between Eleutheropolis and Ashkelon; perhaps the same with Sephoron; it is mentioned among the cities of Judah, in the Greek version of Joshua 15:48. Calmet (m) conjectures the prophet intends the city of Sephoris or Sephora in Galilee. Hillerus (n): takes it to be the same with Parah, mentioned with Ophrah, in Joshua 18:23; so called from its ornament, neatness, beauty, and elegance, as both words signify, to which the prophet alludes: now everyone of the inhabitants of this place are called upon to prepare to go into captivity to Babylon; which would certainly be their case, though they dwelled in fine buildings, neat houses, and streets well paved. In the margin it is, "thou that dwellest fairly" (o); which some understand of Samaria; others of Judea; and particularly Jerusalem, beautifully situated, yet should go into captivity:

having thy shame naked; their city dismantled, their houses plundered, and they stripped of their garments, and the shame of their nakedness discovered; which must be the more distressing to beautiful persons, that have dressed neatly, and lived in handsome well built houses, and elegantly furnished, and now all the reverse;

the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; or house of Azel, where the posterity of Azel, of the tribe of Benjamin, dwelt. Hillerus (p) suspects it to be the same with Mozah, Joshua 18:26; so called from Moza, the great grandfather of Azel, 1 Chronicles 8:37. Capellus takes it to be the same with Azal in Zechariah 14:5. This place being taken and plundered by the enemy occasioned great mourning among the inhabitants: and it seems to have been taken first, before Zaanan; perhaps the same with Zenan, Joshua 15:37; and is here read "Sennan" by Aquila; the inhabitants of which did not "come forth", in which there is an allusion to its name (q), either to help them in their distress, or to condole them; they being in fear of the enemy themselves, and in arms in their own defence, expecting it would be their turn next, and that they should share the same fate with them. Some think that under the name of Bethezel is meant Bethel; and of Zaanan, Zion; and that the sense is, that when Bethel, Samaria, and the ten tribes, were in distress, they of Zion and Judea did not come to give them any relief; and when they were carried captive did not mourn with them, were not affected with their case, nor troubled themselves about them;

he shall receive of him his standing: either the enemy, as R. Joseph Kimchi, shall receive of the inhabitants of Zaanan his standing; that is, he shall make them dearly pay for stopping him, for making him stand and stay so long before their city before he could take it; for all his loss of time, men, and money, in besieging it; by demolishing their city, plundering their houses, and carrying them captive; who remained he put to death by the sword. Aben Ezra interprets the word "receive" of doctrine or learning, as in Proverbs 4:2; and renders it, "he shall learn"; either Bethezel, or rather Zaanan, shall learn, by the case of Bethezel, and other neighbouring places, what would be his own case, whether he should stand or fall.

(l) Ad vocem (m) Dictionary, in the word "Saphir". (n) Onomast. Sacr. p. 925. (o) "habitans pulchre", Montanus; "habiatrix elegantis loci", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (p) Ibid. p. 516, 951. (q) from Vid. V. L. vers.

Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of {k} Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall {l} receive of you his standing.

(k) These were cities by which the enemy would pass as he came to Judah.

(l) He will not depart before he has overcome you, and so you will pay for his staying.

11. inhabitant] The word in the Hebrew is feminine, the population of the city being (as often, e.g. Isaiah 1:8) personified as a virgin.

Saphir] as if Fair town (a play on the name).

Zaanan] The Zenan of Joshua 15:37.

came not forth, &c.] Rather, is not come forth; the mourning of Beth-ezel taketh from you its standing-ground. Zaanan would willingly take to flight, but the sound of the mourning at Beth-ezel (which might mean ‘the house, or place, at one’s side’) fills them with despair. An ‘Azal,’ or rather Azel, is mentioned in Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:5 (see however on ‘Aphrah,’ Micah 1:10).Verse 11. - Pass ye away. Leave your house. Thou inhabitant of Saphir. The Hebrew is "inhabitress," the population being personified as a virgin (comp. 2 Kings 19:21; Isaiah 47:1). "Saphir" means "Fair city." It is placed by Eusebius ('Onomast.') between Ascalon and Eleutheropolis: it is now identified with some ruins named Suafir, five miles southeast of Ashdod. Having thy shame naked; "in nakedness and shame" (Pusey); Vulgate, confusa ignominia. The prophet contrasts the shame of their treatment with the meaning of their city's name," Go, Fair town, into foul dishonour." Septuagint, κατοικοῦσα καλῶς τὰς πόλεις αὐτῆς, "fairly inhabiting her cities." St. Jerome, in despair of explaining these Greek renderings, says here, "Multum Hebraicum a LXX. interpretatione discordat, et tantis tam mea quam illorum translatio difficultatibus involuta est, ut si quando indiguimus Spiritus Dei (semper autem in exponendis Scripturis sanctis illius indigemus adventu), nunc vel maxime eum adesse cupiamus." Zaanan is supposed to be the same as Zenan, mentioned in Joshua 15:37. The meaning of the name is doubtful. It is taken to signify "abounding in flocks" or "going out." Came not forth; or, is not come forth. The paronomasia seems to lie rather in sound than sense, and is variously explained, "The inhabitants of Flock town went not forth with their flocks." "The dwellers of Forthcoming came not forth," i.e. to flee, or to fight, or to aid their brethren; or did not escape destruction. Vulgate, Non est egressa quae habitat in exitu; Septuagint, Οὐκ ἐξῆλε κατοικοῦσα Σενναάρ, "She who dwelt at Sennaar came not forth." In the mourning, etc. These words are best joined with the following clause, thus: The mourning of Beth-ezel taketh from you its standing; i.e. refuge or shelter. Beth-ezel is explained, "House at one's side." "Neighbour town;" so the prophet would say, "Neighbour town is no neighbour to you," affords you no help. But various other explanations are given. e.g. "Lamentation makes its sure abode at Beth-ezel from your calamity." This may, perhaps, be supported by the rendering of the LXX., Λήψεται ἐξ ὑμῶν πληγὴν ὀδύνης, "She shall receive of you the stroke of anguish." Dr. Cheyne connects the whole verse with one idea, "Zaanan would willingly take to flight, but the sound of the mourning at Beth-ezel (which might mean, "the house, or place, at one's side') fills them with despair." Taking Beth-ezel to mean "House of root," others would interpret, on account of the public sorrow, "The 'house of root' affords no firm home for you." Others, again," The lamentation of 'The near House' will not stop near it, but pass on to other places." Beth-ezel is probably the Azal of Zechariah 14:5, the beth being dropped, as is often the case. It was in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem (see note on Zechariah. l.c.). The first turn. - Amos 5:18. "Woe to those who desire the day of Jehovah! What good is the day of Jehovah to you? It is darkness, and not light. Amos 5:19. As if a man fleeth before the lion, and the bear meets him; and he comes into the house, and rests his hand upon the wall, and the snake bites him. Amos 5:20. Alas! is not the day of Jehovah darkness, and not light; and gloom, and no brightness in it?" As the Israelites rested their hope of deliverance from every kind of hostile oppression upon their outward connection with the covenant nation (Amos 5:14); many wished the day to come, on which Jehovah would judge all the heathen, and redeem Israel out of all distress, and exalt it to might and dominion above all nations, and bless it with honour and glory, applying the prophecy of Joel in ch. 3 without the least reserve to Israel as the nation of Jehovah, and without considering that, according to Joel 2:32, those only would be saved on the day of Jehovah who called upon the name of the Lord, and were called by the Lord, i.e., were acknowledged by the Lord as His own. These infatuated hopes, which confirmed the nation in the security of its life of sin, are met by Amos with an exclamation of woe upon those who long for the day of Jehovah to come, and with the declaration explanatory of the woe, that that day is darkness and not light, and will bring them nothing but harm and destruction, and not prosperity and salvation. He explains this in Amos 5:19 by a figure taken from life. To those who wish the day of Jehovah to come, the same thing will happen as to a man who, when fleeing from a lion, meets a bear, etc. The meaning is perfectly clear: whoever would escape one danger, falls into a second; and whoever escapes this, falls into a third, and perishes therein. The serpent's bite in the hand is fatal. "In that day every place is full of danger and death; neither in-doors nor out-of-doors is any one safe: for out-of-doors lions and bears prowl about, and in-doors snakes lie hidden, even in the holes of the walls" (C. a. Lap.). After this figurative indication of the sufferings and calamities which the day of the Lord will bring, Amos once more repeats in v. 20, in a still more emphatic manner (הלא, nonne equals assuredly), that it will be no day of salvation, sc. to those who seek evil and not good, and trample justice and righteousness under foot (Amos 5:14, Amos 5:15).
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