Micah 1:15
Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel.
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(15) Yet will I bring an heir.—Rather, the possessor, one who shall take it by force—i.e., Sennacherib.

Mareshah was a city in the plain of Judah, near the prophet’s native place, Moresheth-gath. It was fortified by Rehoboam, and became the scene of Asa’s victory over the immense host of Zerah the Ethiopian. Dr. Robinson is of opinion that after its destruction the town of Eleutheropolis was built out of its materials.

Adullam the glory of Israel.—Adullam, in the neighbourhood of Mareshah, was situated at the base of the hills, and gave its name to the famous cave in which David took refuge. Joshua mentions a king of Adullam in the list of those conquered by the Israelites. This, now the last refuge of the glory of Israel, shall be seized by the invader.

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.Yet will I bring an heir - (the heir, him whom God had appointed to be the heir, Sennacherib) unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah Mareshah, (as the original form of its name denotes, lay on the summit of a hill. "Its ruins only were still seen," in the time of Eusebius and Jerome, "in the second mile from Eleutheropolis" (Onomasticon). : "Foundations still remain on the south-eastern part of the remarkable Tell, south of Beth-Jibrin." Rehoboam fortified it also 2 Chronicles 11:8. Zerah the Aethiopian had come to (2 Chronicles 14:9 ff) it, probably to besiege it, when Asa met him, and God smote the AEthiopians before him, in the valley of Zephathah thereat. In the wars of the Maccabees, it was in the hands of the Edomites . Its capture and that of Adora are mentioned as the last act of the war, before the Edomites submitted to John Hyrcanus, and were incorporated in Israel. It was a powerful city , when the Parthians took it. As Micah writes the name, it looked nearer to the word "inheritance." Mareshah (inheritance) shall yet have the heir of God's appointment, the enemy. It shall not inherit the land, as promised to the faithful, but shall itself be inherited, its people dispossessed. While it, (and so also the soul now) held fast to God, they were the heritage of the Lord, by His gifts and grace; when, of their own free-will, those, once God's heritage, become slaves of sin, they passed and still pass, against their will, into the possession of another master, the Assyrian or Satan.

He (that is, the heir, the enemy) shall come unto Adullam, the glory of Israel - . that is, he who shall dispossess Mareshah, shall come quite unto Adullam, where, as in a place of safety, the glory of Israel, all in which she gloried, should be laid up. Adullum was a very ancient city, being mentioned in the history of the patriarch Judah Genesis 38:1, Genesis 38:12, Genesis 38:20, a royal city Joshua 12:15. It too lay in the Shephelah Joshua 15:35; it was said to be 10 (Eusebius) or 12 (Jerome) miles East of Eleutheropolis; but for this, there seems to be scarcely place in the Shephelah. It was one of the 15 cities fortified by Rehoboam 2 Chronicles 11:7; one of the 16 towns, in which (with their dependent villages) Judah settled after the captivity Nehemiah 11:30. It contained the whole army of Judas Maccabaeus (1 Macc. 12:38).

Like Lachish, it had probably the double advantages of the neighborhood of the hills and of the plain, seated perhaps at the roots of the hills, since near it doubtless was the large cave of Adullam named from it. The line of caves, fit for human habitation, which extended from Eleutheropolis to Petra , began westward of it. : "The valley which runs up from Eleutheropolis Eastward, is full of large caves; some would hold thousands of men. They are very extensive, and some of them had evidently been inhabited." : "The outer chamber of one cavern was 270 feet long by 126 wide; and behind this were recesses and galleries, probably leading to other chambers which we could not explore. The massive roof was supported by misshaped pieces of the native limestone left for that purpose, and at some places was domed quite through to the surface, admitting both light and air by the roof." The name of Adullam suggested the memory of that cave, the refuge of the Patriarch David, the first of their line of kings, in extreme isolation and peril of his life. There, the refuge now of the remaining glory of Israel, its wealth, its trust, its boast - the foe should come. And so there only remained one common dirge for all.

15. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee—rather, "the heir." As thou art now occupied by possessors who expelled the former inhabitants, so will I bring "yet" again the new possessor, namely, the Assyrian foe. Other heirs will supplant us in every inheritance but that of heaven. There is a play upon the meaning of Mareshah, "an inheritance": there shall come the new heir of the inheritance.

Adullam the glory of Israel—so called as being superior in situation; when it and the neighboring cities fell, Israel's glory was gone. Maurer, as the Margin, translates, "the glory of Israel" (her chief citizens: answering to "thy delicate children," Mic 1:16) "shall come in flight to Adullam." English Version better preserves the parallelism, "the heir" in the first clause answering to "he" in the second.

Yet will I bring; the Lord will cause the Assyrian to rise up and prosper in his wars, to the subduing and possessing of the cities of Israel and the Philistines.

An heir; the Assyrian, who in the right of conquest shall possess, and account himself heir of what he possesseth.

Mareshah; most think the prophet speaks of Mareshah in his own country, but I think the Assyrian did not inherit that, though he might inherit that of the Philistines.

Adullam; famous for its strength, say some; but I rather think it better known for the cave where David lay hid, 1 Samuel 22:1. It was made a town of defence by Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 11:7. It was once a royal city, and had several villages belonging to it, Joshua 12:15.

The glory of Israel; ironically (say some) called thus, minatorily threatening that the glory of Israel should be brought as low, into as mean condition, as Adullam. Others think it should be read, and to the glory of Israel, that is, Jerusalem; so there should be an ellipsis of (duw) the particle conjunctive. Others think it is the prophet’s deep sigh at the thoughts how the glory of Israel is laid in the dust. Others think it was then considerable enough at that time to be called the glory of Israel, though we know not how.

Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah,.... Another city in the tribe of Judah, mentioned with Achzib in Joshua 15:44; and by many thought to be the birth place of this prophet; and, if so, his faithfulness may be observed in declaring the whole counsel of God, though against his own fire place; and this must be an aggravation of the sin of the inhabitants of it, that they had such a prophet that arose from them, and they regarded him not. There is a beautiful allusion in the word "heir" to Mareshah (s), which signifies an "inheritance"; and here were an "heir" or heirs for it, as the Targum; not the Persians, as some in Aben Ezra, and in an Agadah mentioned by Jarchi, who descended from Elam the firstborn of Shem; and so had a right of inheritance, as those interpreters suppose; but the king of Assyria, who should invade the land, and seize upon this place among others, and possess it, as if it was his by right of inheritance, having obtained it by conquest: and this being by the permission and according to the will of God, he is said to be brought by him to it. Capellus thinks, on the contrary, that Hezekiah and his posterity are meant:

he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel; another city in the tribe of Judah, a royal one, Joshua 15:35; said by Jerom to be in his time no small village, and to be about ten miles from Eleutheropolis; called the "glory of Israel", having been a royal city in Joshua's time, Joshua 12:15; and a fenced city in the times of Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 11:7; and Eusebius says it was a large town; and Jerom says it was not a small one in his time; though some think Jerusalem is meant, the metropolis of the nation, Israel being put for Judah, as in Micah 1:14; and to be read, "he that is the enemy and heir shall come to Adullam, yea, to the glory of Israel" (t); even to Jerusalem, the most glorious city in all the tribes; though others are of opinion that this is the character of the enemy or heir that should come thither, called so by way of contradiction, as coming to the reproach and disgrace of Israel; or, ironically, whom Israel before gloried in, when they had recourse to him for help. The margin of our Bible reads, "the glory of Israel shall come to Adullam"; that is, the great men, the princes and heads of the people, shall flee to the cave of Adullam (u), to hide them from the enemy, where David was hid from Saul; see 1 Samuel 22:1. Burkius (w), a very late commentator, takes Adullam for an appellative, and with Hillerus (x) renders it, "the perpetuity of the yoke"; and the whole thus, "at the perpetuity of the yoke, the glory of Israel shall come"; that is, when all things shall seem to tend to this, that the yoke once laid on Israel by the Gentiles shall become perpetual, without any hope of deliverance, then shall come the Deliverer, that is, Jesus, the Glory of Israel; and, adds he, God forbid we should think of any other subject here; and so he interprets the "heir" in the preceding clause of the Messiah; and which is a sense far from being despicable.

(s) & (t) So Piscator, Juuius, Drusius. (u) "Ad Adullam veniet gloria Israelis", Cocceius. (w) He published Annotations on the twelve minor Prophets at Heilbronn, 1753, which he calls a Gnomon, written in imitation of Bengelius's Gnomon of the New Testament, whose son-in-law it seems he is, and by whom his work is prefaced. (x) Onomast. Sacr. p. 739.

Yet will I bring an {q} heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam {r} the glory of Israel.

(q) He prophesies against his own city: and because it signified a heritage, he says that God would send an heir to possess it.

(r) For so they thought themselves because of the strength of their cities.

15. Yet will I bring, &c.] Rather, Moreover unto thee will I bring him that shall possess thee (viz. Sargon and his Assyrians). ‘Mareshah’ was near Achzib (Joshua 15:44). There is an allusion to its possible meaning of ‘possession.’

he shall come unto Adullam, &c.] Rather, the glory of Israel shall come even unto Adullam. The nobility of Israel are to take refuge in the cave which once harboured David and his band (1 Samuel 22:1-2). These limestone caverns are of great extent; some of them, says Dr Pusey, will hold thousands of men. A second meaning may be implied by a paronomasia, ‘The glory of Israel shall set for ever’ (as if Adullam meant ‘for ever,’ Hebr. ad olam). Adullam was a fortified town in the Shephélah, Joshua 15:35.

Verse 15. - Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah. "Mareshah" sounds like Morashah, the Hebrew word for "inheritance;" so the play is, "I will bring an inheritor who shall claim your Heritage town." The "heir" is the Assyrian king, Sargon, into whose possession the city shall pass. Mareshah (Joshua 15:44; 2 Chronicles 14:9) was near Achzib, one mile southcast of Beit Jibrin, and is now called Mer'ash. He shall come, etc.; better, the glory of Israel shall come to Adullam; i.e. the nobility (comp. Isaiah 5:13) of Israel shall fly for refuge to such places as the cave of Adullam, David's asylum (1 Samuel 22:1, 2). So the Vulgate. The LXX. has, Κληρονομία ε{ως Ὀδυλλὰμ ἥξει ἡ δόξα τῆς θυγατρὸς Ἰσραήλ "The inheritance shall come to Odullam, even the glory of the daughter of Israel." But Rosenmuller, Henderson, Pusey, and others take the sentence as in the Authorized Version, making "the glory of Israel" in apposition with "Adullam," and understanding by "he" the heir or enemy. One knows no reason why Aduliam should be honoured with the above-named title; so the rendering given above is preferable. There is probably a paronomasia intended, "The glory of the Lord shall set (ad olam) forever." The city of Adullam, hod. Aid-el-Mah, lay in the valley of Elah, ten miles northwest of Hebron, halfway between Sochoh and Keilah. It was of great antiquity, being mentioned as the birthplace of Hirah, the friend of Judah (Genesis 38:12), and one of the cities fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:7). In its neighbourhood is the celebrated cave, Mugha et Khureitun, which is pointed out as the traditional hold of David, and which has been carefully explored by Mr. Tyrwhitt Drake, of the Palestine Exploration Fund (see Thomson, 'Land and the Book,' pp. 332, etc.). Micah 1:15And the judgment will not even stop at Jerusalem, but will spread still further over the land. This spreading is depicted in Micah 1:13-15 in the same manner as before. Micah 1:13. "Harness the horse to the chariot, O inhabitress of Lachish! It was the beginning of sin to the daughter Zion, that the iniquities of Israel were found in her. Micah 1:14. Therefore wilt thou give dismissal-presents to Moresheth-gath (i.e., the betrothed of Gath); the houses of Achzib (lying fountain) become a lying brook for Israel's kings. Micah 1:15. I will still bring thee the heir, O inhabitress of Mareshah (hereditary city); the nobility of Israel will come to Adullam. Micah 1:16. Make thyself bald, and shave thyself upon the sons of thy delights: spread out thy baldness like the eagle; for they have wandered away from thee." The inhabitants of Lachish, a fortified city in the Shephelah, to the west of Eleutheropolis, preserved in the ruins of Um Lakis (see at Joshua 10:3), are to harness the horses to the chariot (rekhesh, a runner; see at 1 Kings 5:8 : the word is used as ringing with lâkhı̄sh), namely, to flee as rapidly as possible before the advancing foe. רתם, ἁπ. λεγ. "to bind ... the horse to the chariot," answering to the Latin currum jungere equis. Upon this city will the judgment fall with especial severity, because it has grievously sinned. It was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, i.e., to the population of Jerusalem; it was the first to grant admission to the iniquities of Israel, i.e., to the idolatry of the image-worship of the ten tribes (for פּשׁעי ישׂראל, see Micah 1:5 and Amos 3:14), which penetrated even to the capital. Nothing more is known of this, as the historical books contain no account of it. For this reason, namely, because the sin of Israel found admission into Jerusalem, she (the daughter Zion) will be obliged to renounce Moresheth-gath. This is the thought of Micah 1:14, the drapery of which rests upon the resemblance in sound between Moresheth and me'orâsâh, the betrothed (Deuteronomy 22:23). Shillūchı̄m, dismissal, denotes anything belonging to a man, which he dismisses or gives up for a time, or for ever. It is applied in Exodus 18:2 to the sending away of wife and children to the father-in-law for a time; and in 1 Kings 9:16 to a dowry, or the present which a father gives to his daughter when she is married and leaves his house. The meaning "divorce," i.e., sēpher kerı̄thuth (Deuteronomy 24:1, Deuteronomy 24:3), has been arbitrarily forced upon the word. The meaning is not to be determined from shillēăch in Jeremiah 3:8, as Hitzig supposes, but from 1 Kings 9:16, where the same expression occurs, except that it is construed with ל, which makes no material difference. For נתן אל signifies to give to a person, either to lay upon him or to hand to him; נתן ל, to give to him. The object given by Zion to Moresheth as a parting present is not mentioned, but it is really the city itself; for the meaning is simply this: Zion will be obliged to relinquish all further claim to Moresheth, to give it up to the enemy. Mōresheth is not an appellative, as the old translators suppose, but the proper name of Micah's home; and Gath is a more precise definition of its situation - "by Gath," viz., the well-known Philistian capital, analogous to Bethlehem-Judah in Judges 17:7-9; Judges 19:1, or Abel-maim (Abel by the water) in 2 Chronicles 16:4. According to Jerome (comm. in Mich. Prol.), Morasthi, qui usque hodie juxta Eleutheropolin, urbem Palaestinae, haud grandis est viculus (cf. Robinson, Pal. ii. p. 423). The context does not admit of our taking the word in an appellative sense, "possession of Gath," since the prophet does not mean to say that Judah will have to give up to the enemy a place belonging to Gath, but rather that it will have to give up the cities of its own possession. For, as Maurer correctly observes, "when the enemy is at the gate, men think of defending the kingdom, not of enlarging it." But if the addition of the term Gath is not merely intended to define the situation of Moresheth with greater minuteness, or to distinguish it from other places of the same name, and if the play upon words in Moresheth was intended to point to a closer relation to Gath, the thought expressed could only be, that the place situated in the neighbourhood of Gath had frequently been taken by the Philistines, or claimed as their property, and not that they were in actual possession of Gath at this time.

The play upon words in the second clause of the verse also points to the loss of places in Judaea: "the houses of Achzib will become Achzab to the kings of Israel." אכזב, a lie, for נחל אכזב, is a stream which dries up in the hot season, and deceives the expectation of the traveller that he shall find water (Jeremiah 15:18; cf. Job 6:15.). Achzib, a city in the plain of Judah, whose name has been preserved in the ruins of Kussabeh, to the south-west of Beit-Jibrin (see at Joshua 15:44). The houses of Achzib are mentioned, because they are, properly speaking, to be compared to the contents of the river's bed, whereas the ground on which they stood, with the wall that surrounded them, answered to the river's bed itself (Hitzig), so that the words do not denote the loss or destruction of the houses so much as the loss of the city itself. The "kings of Israel" are not the kings of Samaria and Judah, for Achzib belonged to the kingdom of Judah alone, but the kings of Judah who followed one another (cf. Jeremiah 19:13); so that the plural is to be understood as relating to the monarchy of Israel (Judah). Mareshah will also pass into other hands. This is affirmed in the words, "I will bring the heir to thee again" (אבי for אביא, as in 1 Kings 21:29). The first heir of Mareshah was the Israelites, who received the city, which had been previously occupied by the Canaanites, for their possession on the conquest of the land. The second heir will be the enemy, into whose possession the land is now to pass. Mareshah, also in the lowland of Judah, has been preserved, so far as the name is concerned, in the ruins of Marash (see at Joshua 15:44, and Tobler, Dritte Wanderung, pp. 129, 142-3). To the north of this was Adullam (see at Joshua 12:15), which has not yet been discovered, but which Tobler (p. 151) erroneously seeks for in Bêt Dûla. Micah mentions it simply on account of the cave there (1 Samuel 22:1), as a place of refuge, to which the great and glorious of Israel would flee ("the glory of Israel," as in Isaiah 5:13). The description is rounded off in Micah 1:16, by returning to the thought that Zion would mourn deeply over the carrying away of the people, with which it had first set out in Micah 1:8. In קרחי וגזּי Zion is addressed as the mother of the people. קרח, to shave smooth, and גּזז, to cut off the hair, are synonyms, which are here combined to strengthen the meaning. The children of thy delights, in whom thou hast thy pleasure, are the members of the nation. Shaving the head bald, or shaving a bald place, was a sing of mourning, which had been handed down as a traditional custom in Israel, in spite of the prohibition in Deuteronomy 14:1 (see at Leviticus 19:28). The bald place is to be made to spread out like that of a nesher, i.e., not the true eagle, but the vulture, which was also commonly classed in the eagle family, - either the bearded vulture, vultur barbatus (see Oedmann, Verm. Samml. i. p. 54ff.), or more probably the carrion vulture, vultur percnopterus L., common in Egypt, and also in Palestine, which has the front part of the head completely bald, and only a few hairs at the back of the head, so that a bald place may very well be attributed to it (see Hasselquist, Reise, p. 286ff.). The words cannot possibly be understood as referring to the yearly moulting of the eagle itself.

If we inquire still further as to the fulfilment of the prophecy concerning Judah (Micah 1:8-16), it cannot be referred, or speaking more correctly, it must not be restricted, to the Assyrian invasion, as Theod., Cyril, Marck, and others suppose. For the carrying away of Judah, which is hinted at in Micah 1:11, and clearly expressed in Micah 1:16, was not effected by the Assyrians, but by the Chaldeans; and that Micah himself did not expect this judgment from the Assyrians, but from Babel, is perfectly obvious from Micah 4:10, where he mentions Babel as the place to which Judah was to be carried into exile. At the same time, we must not exclude the Assyrian oppression altogether; for Sennacherib had not only already conquered the greater part of Judah, and penetrated to the very gates of Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:13-14, 2 Kings 18:19; Isaiah 36:1-38:22), but would have destroyed the kingdom of Judah, as his predecessor Shalmaneser had destroyed the kingdom of Israel, if the Lord had not heard the prayer of His servant Hezekiah, and miraculously destroyed Sennacherib's army before the walls of Jerusalem. Micah prophesies throughout this chapter, not of certain distinct judgment, but of judgment in general, without any special allusions to the way in which it would be realized; so that the proclamation embraces all the judgments that have fallen upon Judah from the Assyrian invasion down to the Roman catastrophe.

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