Micah 2:8
Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.
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(8) Ye pull off the robe.—Micah dwells upon the continued rapacity of the people. They robbed the quiet inoffensive traveller of both outer and inner garment; they took away both “cloke” and “coat.” (Comp. Matthew 5:40; Luke 6:29.)

Micah 2:8-9. Of late my people is risen up as an enemy — AGAINST ME is to be here understood, namely, against God; for this is still spoken in the person of God. The sense is more evident in the Hebrew than in our translation, namely, But they who were yesterday (or lately) my people rise up (now, or to-day) as an enemy. Ye pull off the robe with the garment — Ye are guilty of grievous oppression and inhumanity: ye are not content with spoiling the poor, and those who are weaker than yourselves, of their cloak, but take their coat also. Taking the robe with the garment, or the cloak and coat also, seems to have been a proverbial expression to signify a high degree of oppression and injury. From them that pass by securely — Who, fearing no evil, are going about their private affairs; as men averse from war — Who are willing to live peaceably with you, and give you no manner of provocation: even these, you in a violent manner strip of all their substance, even to their wearing apparel. The women of my people have ye cast out, &c. — The widows, wives, and daughters of my people have you, by acts of injustice and oppression, turned out of their habitations, which to them were pleasant, and in which they delighted. From their children have ye taken away my glory for ever — You have robbed their children, or posterity, of their houses and estates, which were secured to them by the law of God from any sale or alienation beyond the year of jubilee, which was the glory of my bounty to them: yet you have confiscated these their inheritances for ever. Or, as some think, the sense of this clause may be, “When you plunder their houses you take away their children, and sell them to strangers and idolaters; and they are no longer esteemed my children, because they become the worshippers of false gods.”

2:6-11 Since they say, Prophesy not, God will take them at their word, and their sin shall be their punishment. Let the physician no longer attend the patient that will not be healed. Those are enemies, not only to God, but to their country, who silence good ministers, and stop the means of grace. What bonds will hold those who have no reverence for God's word? Sinners cannot expect to rest in a land they have polluted. You shall not only be obliged to depart out of this land, but it shall destroy you. Apply this to our state in this present world. There is corruption in the world through lust, and we should keep at a distance from it. It is not our rest: it was designed for our passage, but not for our portion; our inn, but not our home; here we have no continuing city; let us therefore arise and depart, let us seek a continuing city above. Since they will be deceived, let them be deceived. Teachers who recommend self-indulgence by their doctrine and example, best suit such sinners.Even of late - (Literally, yesterday.) Jerome: "He imputeth not past sins, but those recent and, as it were, of yesterday." "My people is risen up vehemently". God upbraideth them tenderly by the title, "Mine own people," as John complaineth, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" John 1:11. God became not their enemy, but they arose as one man, - "is risen up," the whole of it, as His. In Him they might have had peace and joy and assured gladness, but they arose in rebellion against Him, requiting Him evil for good, (as bad Christians do to Christ,) and brought war upon their own heads. This they did by their sins against their brethren. Casting off the love of man, they alienated themselves from the love of God.

Ye pull off (strip off violently) the robe with the garment - Literally, "over against the cloak." The שׂלמה s'almâh is the large enveloping cloak, which was worn loosely over the other dress, and served by night for a covering Deuteronomy 22:17. Eder, translated "robe," is probably not any one garment, but the remaining dress, the comely, becoming , array of the person. These they stripped violently off from persons, peaceable, unoffending, off their guard, "passing by securely, men averse from war" and strife. These they stripped of their raiment by day, leaving them half-naked, and of their covering for the night. So making war against God's peaceful people, they, as it were, made war against God.

8. Your ways are not such that I can deal with you as I would with the upright.

Even of late—literally, "yesterday," "long ago." So "of old." Hebrew, "yesterday" (Isa 30:33); "heretofore," Hebrew, "since yesterday" (Jos 3:4).

my people is risen up as an enemy—that is, has rebelled against My precepts; also has become an enemy to the unoffending passers-by.

robe with the garment—Not content with the outer "garment," ye greedily rob passers-by of the ornamental "robe" fitting the body closely and flowing down to the feet [Ludovicus De Dieu] (Mt 5:40).

as men averse from war—in antithesis to (My people) "as an enemy." Israel treats the innocent passers-by, though "averse from war," as an enemy" would treat captives in his power, stripping them of their habiliments as lawful spoils. Grotius translates, "as men returning from war," that is, as captives over whom the right of war gives the victors an absolute power. English Version is supported by the antithesis.

This verse to me seems to be designed as a proof of the perverseness and iniquity of this people, and consequently a justifying of God, and his prophet, threatening severity against them: they flattered themselves, and were angry with the prophet; but God doth in these words convince them that they could not with reason expect better tidings. For from a long time since they have revolted from me, and

of late they have renewed, with addition of new violence to their old. All of them have

risen up, and acted hostilities among themselves; Israel against Judah, and Judah against Israel, and of late the ten tribes have conspired against one another, subjects against their kings, and great ones against the meaner sort; all places’ are full of the sins and woeful effects of civil seditions, and the treasonable practices of violent men.

Ye pull off the robe with the garment, you strip those to their skin, take away their clothes, and leave them naked,

that pass by securely; that in peace, and fearing no evil, go about their private affairs,

as men averse from war; disliking such rebellious, bloody, and oppressive-courses, and wishing every one might enjoy his right without plunderings, sequestrations, confiscations, and decimations, for not being of their party. All which we may easily believe attended the factious and rebellious times which succeeded after Jeroboam’s death, briefly mentioned 2 Kings 15:8, &c., which read with this verse, and diligently consider how it paints out those times of Israel’s sinning.

Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy,.... Or "yesterday" (o); meaning a very little while before this prophecy, the people of Israel, those of the ten tribes, who were the people of God by profession, rose up as an enemy, not only to God and true religion, worshipping idols; but rather to their brethren, those of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin; as they did in the times of Pekah king of Israel, who slew a hundred and twenty thousand of them in one day, 2 Chronicles 28:6; and which is here mentioned as a reason why the Spirit of the Lord in his prophets threatened them with evil, and did not promise them good things:

ye pull off the robe with the garment; the upper and nether garment, and so stripped them naked: or, "they stripped the robe from off the garment", as some (p); they took the upper garment or cloak from them, and left them only the under garment:

for them that pass by securely, as men averse from war: who were travelling from place to place about their proper business, and thought themselves very safe; were peaceable men themselves, and suspected no harm from others: or, "returning from war" (q); such who escaped in the battle, and fled for their lives; and when they imagined they, were safe, and out of danger, fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped them of their garments. Gussetius (r) interprets it of such who were returning to the battle, and yet so used.

(o) "heri", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Burkius. (p) "a veste togam spoliatis", Noldius; "a veste pallium exuitis", Burkius. (q) "revertentibus a bello", Piscator; "redeunt a bello", Cocceius; "et revertuntur a bello", De Dieu; "uti essetis reversi ex bello", Burkius. (r) "Redeuntes in bellum", Comment. Ebr. p. 836.

Even {h} of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the {i} robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.

(h) That is, in past times.

(i) The poor can have no benefit from them, but they rob them, as though they were enemies.

8–10. Parallel to Micah 2:1-5

8. Even of late my people, &c.] Rather, But of late, &c. The divine speaker states the cause of His enforced deviation from His natural course of action. Man has misused His gift of free will: God’s people has of late been taking a hostile attitude. Towards whom? Not immediately against Jehovah, whom indeed they cannot cease to recognize as their national deity, but against those who are under His most immediate care—the poor and needy. (The rendering and even the reading of this verse is very doubtful, but the above explanation probably gives the general sense. One difficulty is that in this verse, according to the received text, the phrase ‘my people’ means the oppressive grandees, whereas in Micah 2:9 it is applied to the oppressed poor; comp. Isaiah 3:15.)

ye pull off the robe with the garment, &c.] Rather, clean away from the garment. The ‘robe’ is the spreading mantle; the ‘garment’ is the so-called ‘upper garment.’ The former would of course be the most valuable article of apparel; the richest mantles were imported from Babylon (Joshua 7:21).—It is probably not vulgar robbery which is here denounced, but a remorseless use of the rights of a creditor (contrary to the spirit of Exodus 22:26-27).

Verse 8. - Even of late; but of late; literally, yesterday, implying an action recent and repeated. Septuagint, ἔμπροσθεν, "before;" Vulgate, e contrario. The prophet exemplifies the iniquity which has led God to punish. They are not old offences which the Lord is visiting, but sins of recent and daily occurrence. My people is risen up as an enemy. A reading, varying by a letter or two, is rendered, "But against my people one setteth himself." But them is no valid reason for altering the received text; especially as, according to Ewald, the present reading may be taken in a causative sense "They set up my people as an enemy," i.e. the grandees treat the Lord's people as enemies, robbing and plundering them. This translation obviates the difficulty of referring the words, "my people," in this verse to the oppressor, and in ver. 7 to the oppressed. According to the usual view, and retaining the authorized rendering, the meaning is that the princes exhibit themselves as enemies of the Lord by their acts of violence and oppression, which the prophet proceeds to particularize. Septuagint, Ὀ λαός μου εἰς ἔχθραν ἀντέστη, "My people withstood as an enemy." Ye pull off the robe with the garment; ye violently strip off the robe away from the garment. The "robe" (eder) is the wide cloak, the mantle sufficient to wrap the whole person, and which was often of very costly material. The "garment" (salmah) is the principal inner garment, or tunic. There may be an allusion to the enactment which forbade a creditor retaining the pledged garment during the night (Exodus 22:26, etc.). Septuagint, Κατέναντι τῆς εἰρήνης αὐτοῦ τὴν δορὰν αὐτοῦ ἐξέδειραν, "Against his peace they stripped off his skin." From them that pass by securely as men averse from war. This is probably the correct translation. The grandees rob those who are peaceably disposed, perhaps strip their debtors of their cloaks as they pass quietly along the road. The versions vary considerably from the received Hebrew text. The LXX. (with which the Syriac partially agrees) has, Τοῦ ἀφελέσθαι ἐλπίδας συντριμμὸν πολέμου, "To remove hope in the destruction of war;" Vulgate, Eos qui transibant simpliciter convertistis in bellum. From this rendering Trochon derives the paraphrase - Ye treat them as if they were prisoners of war. Hitzig considers that the reference is to fugitives from the northern kingdom who passed through Judaea in their endeavour to escape the evils of the war, leaving wives and children in the hands of the Judaeans. But these treated the refugees harshly. Micah 2:8"But yesterday my people rises up as en enemy: off from the garment ye draw the cloak from those who pass by carelessly, averted from war. Micah 2:9. The women of my people ye drive away out of the house of their delights; from their children ye take my ornament for ever." 'Ethmūl, yesterday, lately, not equals long ago, but, as yeqōmēm shows, denoting an action that is repeated, equivalent to "again, recently." קומם is not used here in a causative sense, "to set up," but as an intensified kal, to take a standing equals to stand up or rise up. The causative view, They set up my people as an enemy (Ewald), yields no fitting sense; and if the meaning were, "My people causes me to rise up as its enemy" (Caspari), the suffixes could not be omitted. If this were the thought, it would be expressed as clearly as in Isaiah 63:10. There is no valid ground for altering the text, as Hitzig proposes. It is not stated against whom the people rise up as an enemy, but according to the context it can only be against Jehovah. This is done by robbing the peaceable travellers, as well as the widows and orphans, whereby they act with hostility towards Jehovah and excite His wrath (Exodus 22:21.; Deuteronomy 27:19). ממּוּל שׂלמה, from before, i.e., right away from, the garment. Salmâh is the upper garment; אדר equals אדּרת the broad dress-cloak. They take this away from those who pass carelessly by. שׁוּבי is an intransitive participle: averted from the war, averse to conflict, i.e., peaceably disposed (see Psalm 120:7). We have not only to think of open highway robbery, but also of their taking away the cloak in the public street from their own poor debtors, when they are walking peaceably along, suspecting nothing, for the purpose of repaying themselves. The "wives of my people" are widows, whom they deprive of house and home, and indeed widows of the people of Jehovah, in whose person Jehovah is injured. These children are fatherless orphans (עלליה with a singular suffix: the children of the widow). Hădârı̄, my ornament, i.e., the ornament which I have given them. The reference, as מעל shows, is to the garment or upper coat. The expression "for ever" may be explained from the evident allusion to the Mosaic law in Exodus 22:25, according to which the coat taken from the poor as a pledge was to be returned before sunset, whereas ungodly creditors retained it for ever.
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