Micah 1:2
Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Hear, all ye people.—The three-fold repetition of the appeal, “Hear ye,” seems to mark three divisions in the book: 1. “Hear, all ye people” (Micah 1:2); 2. “Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob” (Micah 3:1); 3. Hear ye now what the Lord saith” (Micah 6:1).

From his holy templei.e., from heaven; for “the Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven” (Psalm 11:4).

Micaiah, the son of Imlah, ended his appeal to Ahab and Jehoshaphat with the words with which Micah opens his prophecy, “Hearken, O people, every one of you” (1Kings 22:28).

Micah 1:2-4. Hear, all ye people — All ye of Israel and Judah. Hearken, O earth — Or, O land, [of Israel:] and all that therein is — That is, all its inhabitants. Let the Lord be witness against you — “I call him to witness, that I have forewarned you of the judgments that hang over your heads, unless you speedily repent. And he himself will become a witness against you, and convince you of your sins in such a manner that you shall not be able to deny the charge.” The Lord from his holy temple — Heaven, his holy habitation. The Lord cometh forth out of his place — God is said, in Scripture, to come out of his place, or heaven, when he makes his judgments or mercies to be remarkably conspicuous, by visible effects on the earth. And will tread upon the high places of the earth — He will cause places of the greatest strength to be destroyed, and men of the highest rank to be brought down. And the mountains shall be molten under him, &c. — An allusion to God’s coming down upon mount Sinai, when thunder and lightning shook the mountain, and violent rains, which accompanied this tempest, made the hills look as if they were melted down. Or the words may be referred to the general judgment, of which all particular judgments are an earnest, when the heavens and the earth shall be dissolved at Christ’s appearing.

1:1-7 The earth is called upon, with all that are therein, to hear the prophet. God's holy temple will not protect false professors. Neither men of high degree, as the mountains, nor men of low degree, as the valleys, can secure themselves or the land from the judgments of God. If sin be found in God's people he will not spare them; and their sins are most provoking to him, for they are most reproaching. When we feel the smart of sin, it behoves us to seek what is the sin we smart for. Persons and places most exalted, are most exposed to spiritual diseases. The vices of leaders and rulers shall be surely and sorely punished. The punishment answers the sin. What they gave to idols, never shall prosper, nor do them any good. What is got by one lust, is wasted on another.Hear, all ye people - Literally, "hear, ye peoples, all of them." Some 140, or 150 years had flowed by, since Micaiah, son of Imlah, had closed his prophecy in these words. And now they burst out anew. From age to age the word of God holds its course, ever receiving new fulfillments, never dying out, until the end shall come. The signal fulfillment of the prophecy, to which the former Micalah had called attention in these words, was an earnest of the fulfillment of this present message of God.

Hearken, O earth, and all that therein is - The "peoples" or "nations" are never Judah and Israel only: the earth and the fullness thereof is the well-known title of the whole earth and all its inhabitants. Moses Deuteronomy 32:1, Asaph Psalm 50:7, Isaiah Isa 1:2, call heaven and earth as witnesses against God's people. Jeremiah, Jeremiah 6:19 as Micah here, summons the nations and the earth. The contest between good and evil, sin and holiness, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, everwhere, but most chiefly where God's Presence is nearest, is "a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men" 1 Corinthians 4:9. The nations are witnesses of God against His own people, so that these should not say, that it was for want of faithfulness or justice or power Exodus 32:12; Numbers 14:16; Joshua 7:8-9, but in His righteous judgment, that He cast off whom He had chosen. So shall the Day of Judgment "reveal His righteousness" Romans 2:5. "Hearken, O earth." The lifeless earth Psalm 114:7; Psalm 97:5 trembles "at the Presence of God," and so reproaches the dullness of man. By it he summons man to listen with great reverence to the Voice of God.

And let the Lord God be witness against you - Not in words, but in deeds ye shall know, that I speak not of myself but God in me, when, what I declare, He shall by His Presence fulfill. But the nations are appealed to, not merely because the judgments of God on Israel should be made known to them by the prophets. He had not yet spoken of Israel or Judah, whereas he had spoken to the nations; "hear, ye peoples." It seems then most likely that here too he is speaking to them. Every judgment is an earnest, a forerunner, a part, of the final judgment and an example of its principles. It is but "the last great link in the chain," which unites God's dealings in time with eternity. God's judgments on one imply a judgment on all. His judgments in time imply a Judgment beyond time. Each sinner feels in his own heart response to God's visible judgments on another. Each sinful nation may read its own doom in the sentence on each other nation.

God judges each according to his own measure of light and grace, accepted or refused. The pagan shall be judged by "the law written in their heart" Romans 2:12-15; the Jew, by the law of Moses and the light of the prophets; Christians, by the law of Christ. "The word," Christ saith, "that I have spoken, the same shall judge him at the last Day" John 12:48. God Himself foretold, that the pagan should know the ground of His judgments against His people. "All nations shall say, wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? What meaneth the heat of this great anger? Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers which He made with them, when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, ..." Deuteronomy 29:24-25. But in that the pagan knew why God so punished His people, they came so far to know the mind of God; and God, who at no time "left Himself without witness" Acts 14:17, bore fresh "witness" to them, and, so far us they neglected it, against them. A Jew, wherever he is seen throughout the world, is a witness to the world of God's judgments against sin.

Dionysius: "Christ, the faithful Witness, shall witness against those who do ill, for those who do well."

The Lord from His holy temple - Either that at Jerusalem, where God shewed and revealed Himself, or Heaven of which it was the image. As David says, "The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven" Psalm 11:4; and contrasts His dwelling in heaven and His coming down upon earth. "He bowed the heavens also and came down" Psalm 18:9; and Isaiah, in like words, "Behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity" Isaiah 26:21.

2. all that therein is—Hebrew, "whatever fills it." Micaiah, son of Imlah, our prophet's namesake, begins his prophecy similarly, "Hearken, O people, every one of you." Micah designedly uses the same preface, implying that his ministrations are a continuation of his predecessor's of the same name. Both probably had before their mind Moses' similar attestation of heaven and earth in a like case (De 31:28; 32:1; compare Isa 1:2).

God be witness against you—namely, that none of you can say, when the time of your punishment shall come, that you were not forewarned. The punishment denounced is stated in Mic 1:3, &c.

from his holy temple—that is, heaven (1Ki 8:30; Ps 11:4; Jon 2:7; compare Ro 1:18).

Hear: the prophet here by proclamation requires earnest attention to his word. So Moses, Deu 4:26 30:19 32:1; so the psalmist, Psalm 50:1,4; and so Isaiah, Isaiah 1:2 34:1.

All ye people; either all the people of both kingdoms, all Israel and Judah, or else universally all people of all kingdoms whatever, both of that present age and all of future ages. Hearken, O earth: it may be taken for the meaner sort of people, the commonalty; but I rather incline to interpret it as both a tacit reproof of the deafness of this sinful and hardened people, with whom Micah now contends, and an appeal to the senseless creatures, or a summons to bring them in evidences for God against those kingdoms.

All that therein is; animate or inanimate creatures, all that are on the earth. If we interpret earth for the meaner sort of people, then this fulness of the earth will be the whole multitude of the people. It is a lofty strain, such as those of Moses, Deu 32:1, David, Psalm 1:1, Isaiah 1:1,2, and Jeremiah 6:19.

Let the Lord God; the mighty, holy, gracious, and faithful God, Lord of heaven and earth; who knows all your ways, who is a just judge, and a severe avenger of obdurate sinners.

Be witness against you, by his word, the voice of his law, by his prophets whom he hath sent, by the judgments he doth execute according to his menaces; as by his sovereignty he is supreme judge, so by his omniscience and truth he is an authentic witness against you, O house of Jacob.

From his holy temple; either from his temple at Jerusalem, or else from heaven, as Psalm 11:4 Habakkuk 2:20.

Hear, all ye people,.... Or, "the people, all of them" (m); not all the nations of the world, but the nations of Israel, so called from their several tribes; though some (n) think the rest of the inhabitants of the earth are meant: thee are the same words which are used by Micaiah the prophet in the times of Ahab, long before this time, from whom they might be borrowed, 1 Kings 22:28. The phrase in the Hebrew language, as Aben Ezra observes, is very wonderful, and serves to strike the minds and excite the attention of men; it is like the words of a crier, in a court of judicature, calling for silence:

hearken, O earth, and all that therein is; or, "its fulness" (o); the land of Israel and Judah, the whole land of promise, and all the inhabitants of it; for to them are the following words directed:

and let the Lord God be witness against you; or, "in you" (p); the Word of the Lord, as the Targum; let him who is the omniscient God, and knows all hearts, thoughts, words, and actions, let him bear witness in your consciences, that what I am about to say is truth, and comes from him; is not my own word, but his; and if you disregard it, and repent not, let him be a witness against you, and for me, that I have prophesied in his name; that I have faithfully delivered his message, and warned you of your danger, and reproved you for your sins, and have kept back nothing I have been charged and entrusted with: and now, you are summoned into open court, and at the tribunal of the great God of heaven and earth; let him be a witness against you of the many sins you have been guilty of, and attend while the indictment is read, the charge exhibited, and the proof given by

the Lord from his holy temple, from heaven, the habitation of his holiness; whose voice speaking from thence should be hearkened to; who from thence beholds all the actions of men, and from whence his wrath is revealed against their sins, and he gives visible tokens of his displeasure; and especially when he seems to come forth from thence in some remarkable instances of his power and providence, as follows:

(m) "populi omnes ipsi", Montanus, Drusius, Piscator, Tarnovius. (n) So Burkius. (o) "et plenitude ejus", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Cocceius, Burkius. (p) "in vobis", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius.

Hear, {b} all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.

(b) Because of the malice and obstinacy of the people, whom he had so often exhorted to repentance, he summons them to God's judgments, taking all creatures, and God himself as witness, that the preaching of the Prophets, which they have abused, will be avenged.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2–7. The Threat of Punishment

2. all ye people] Rather peoples. God’s judgment upon the world is now in progress (comp. Isaiah 3:13-14; Isaiah 34:1-5), and one of the principal acts in the great drama is the judgment impending over Israel. Hence all nations are summoned, not merely as legal witnesses (as when ‘heaven and earth’ are called upon in a figure in Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 30:19; Deuteronomy 31:28, Isaiah 1:2), but that they may learn wisdom in time from Israel’s fate. Hence the next half of the verse continues, ‘… against you.’ The opening words of this verse are uttered by Micaiah in 1 Kings 22:28, which can hardly be an accidental coincidence, as Micah is a shortened form of Micaiah. Probably the words in 1 Kings were interpolated by some ill-advised scribe, who identified Micaiah with our prophet Micah.

the Lord God] Rather, the Lord Jehovah. This is the reading of the Hebrew text; A. V. follows the vowel-points, which in this case merely express the exaggerated reverence of the later Jews for the sacred name.

his holy temple] It is ‘the temple of heaven’ which is meant (Revelation 16:17). Comp. Habakkuk 2:20, Zechariah 2:13, Isaiah 63:15, Psalm 11:4.

Verses 2-4. - § 1. Introduction to the prophet's address. The nations and earth itself are summoned to attend the solemn announcement. Verse 2. - Hear, all ye people; rather, all ye peoples; Septuagint, λαοί. All nations are summoned to come and witness the judgment, and to profit by the warning. So Micaiah, son of Imlah, the bold denouncer of false prophets in the age of Ahah, had cried, "Hear, ye peoples, all of you" (1 Kings 22:28). So Moses, in his song (Deuteronomy 32:1), calls on heaven and earth to listen to his words (comp. Isaiah 1:2). These expressions are not mere rhetorical figures; they have a special application. Whatever happens to Israel has a bearing on the development of the kingdom of God; the judgments on the chosen people are not only a warning to the heathen, but bring on the great consummation. All that therein is; literally, the fulness thereof; Vulgate, plentitudo ejus; Septuagint, πάντες οἱ ἐν αὐτῇ, "all ye that are therein" (Psalm 24:1). Let the Lord God (the Lord Jehovah) be witness against you. Let God by his judgments against you, viz. Israel and Judah, confirm my denunciation (comp. Deuteronomy 29:24). From his holy temple; i.e. from heaven, as ver. 3 shows (1 Kings 8:30; Psalm 11:4; Habakkuk 2:20). Micah 1:2The heading in Micah 1:1 has been explained in the introduction. Micah 1:2-4 form the introduction to the prophet's address. Micah 1:2. "Hear, all ye nations: observe, O earth, and that which fills it: and let the Lord Jehovah be a witness against you, the Lord out of His holy palace. Micah 1:3. For, behold, Jehovah cometh forth from His place, and cometh down, and marcheth over the high places of the earth. Micah 1:4. And the mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys split, like wax before the fire, like water poured out upon a slope." The introductory words, "Hear, ye nations all," are taken by Micah from his earlier namesake the son of Imlah (1 Kings 22:28). As the latter, in his attack upon the false prophets, called all nations as witnesses to confirm the truth of his prophecy, so does Micah the Morashite commence his prophetic testimony with the same appeal, so as to announce his labours at the very outset as a continuation of the activity of his predecessor who had been so zealous for the Lord. As the son of Imlah had to contend against the false prophets as seducers of the nation, so has also the Morashtite (compare Micah 2:6, Micah 2:11; Micah 3:5, Micah 3:11); and as the former had to announce to both kingdoms the judgment that would come upon them on account of their sins, so has also the latter; and he does it by frequently referring to the prophecy of the elder Micah, not only by designating the false prophets as those who walk after the rūăch and lie, sheqer (Micah 2:11), which recals to mind the rūăch sheqer of the prophets of Ahab (1 Kings 22:22-23), but also in his use of the figures of the horn of iron in Micah 4:13 (compare the horns of iron of the false prophet Zedekiah in 1 Kings 22:11), and of the smiting upon the cheek in Micah 5:1 (compare 1 Kings 22:14). ‛Ammı̄m kullâm does not mean all the tribes of Israel; still less does it mean warlike nations. ‛Ammı̄m never has the second meaning, and the first it has only in the primitive language of the Pentateuch. But here both these meanings are precluded by the parallel ארץ וּמלאהּ; for this expression invariably signifies the whole earth, with that which fills it, except in such a case as Jeremiah 8:16, where 'erets is restricted to the land of Israel by the preceding hâ'ârets, or Ezekiel 12:19, where it is so restricted by the suffix 'artsâh. The appeal to the earth and its fulness is similar to the appeals to the heaven and the earth in Isaiah 1:2 and Deuteronomy 32:1. All nations, yea the whole earth, and all creatures upon it, are to hear, because the judgment which the prophet has to announce to Israel affects the whole earth (Micah 1:3, Micah 1:4), the judgment upon Israel being connected with the judgment upon all nations, or forming a portion of that judgment. In the second clause of the verse, "the Lord Jehovah be witness against you," it is doubtful who is addressed in the expression "against you." The words cannot well be addressed to all nations and to the earth, because the Lord only rises up as a witness against the man who has despised His word and transgressed His commandments. For being a witness is not equivalent to witnessing or giving testimony by words, - say, for example, by the admonitory and corrective address of the prophet which follows, as C. B. Michaelis supposes, - but refers to the practical testimony given by the Lord in the judgment (Micah 1:3 ff), as in Malachi 3:5 and Jeremiah 42:5. Now, although the Lord is described as the Judge of the world in Micah 1:3 and Micah 1:4, yet, according to Micah 1:5., He only comes to execute judgment upon Israel. Consequently we must refer the words "to you" to Israel, or rather to the capitals Samaria and Jerusalem mentioned in Micah 1:1, just as in Nahum 1:8 the suffix simply refers to the Nineveh mentioned in the heading, to which there has been no further allusion in Nahum 1:2-7. This view is also favoured by the fact that Micah summons all nations to hear his word, in the same sense as his earlier namesake in 1 Kings 22:28. What the prophet announces in word, the Lord will confirm by deed, - namely, by executing the predicted judgment, - and indeed "the Lord out of His holy temple," i.e., the heaven where He is enthroned (Psalm 11:4); for (1 Kings 22:3) the Lord will rise up from thence, and striding over the high places of the earth, i.e., as unbounded Ruler of the world (cf. Amos 4:13 and Deuteronomy 32:13), will come down in fire, so that the mountains melt before Him, that is to say, as Judge of the world. The description of this theophany is founded upon the idea of a terrible storm and earthquake, as in Psalm 18:8. The mountains melt (Judges 5:4 and Psalm 68:9) with the streams of water, which discharge themselves from heaven (Judges 5:4), and the valleys split with the deep channels cut out by the torrents of water. The similes, "like wax," etc. (as in Psalm 68:3), and "like water," etc., are intended to express the complete dissolution of mountains and valleys. The actual facts answering to this description are the destructive influences exerted upon nature by great national judgments.
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