Micah 4:1
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow to it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
IV.

(1) But in the last days.—There is again a sudden transition. As the third chapter commenced with a startling denunciation, following immediately upon the predicted blessings of the restored kingdom, so upon that chapter, closed in deepest gloom, there now rises a vision of glorious light. The first three verses are almost identical with the second chapter of Isaiah, Micah 4:2-4; and it has been almost an open question which of the two prophets is the original author of them, or whether indeed they both adopted the words from an older prophecy current at the time. Dr. Pusey takes very decided ground, saying, “It is now owned, well-nigh on all hands, that the great prophecy, three verses of which Isaiah prefixed to his second chapter, was originally delivered by Micah. . . . No one now thinks Micah adopted that great prophecy from Isaiah” (Minor Prophets, p. 289). This last statement, however, is far too sweeping; all that can be correctly said is that the preponderance of opinion is in favour of Micah being regarded as the original writer.

In the top of the mountainsi.e., the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be spiritually elevated above all else, visible and invisible, and it shall be established for ever.

Micah 4:1-5. In the last days it shall come to pass, &c., — The first three of these verses are the same as Isaiah 2:2-4, where see the notes. They evidently “contain a prophecy which was to be fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah; when the [believing] Gentiles were to be admitted into covenant with God, and the apostles were to preach the gospel, beginning at Jerusalem; when Christ was to be the spiritual Judge and King of many people, was to convince many nations of their errors and vices, and was to found a religion which had the strongest tendency to promote peace.” — Newcome. They shall sit every man under his vine, &c. — This shall be the effect of that peace foretold in the foregoing verse, every man shall securely enjoy his own possessions, and the fruits of his labours. The expressions are figurative, signifying a state of uninterrupted tranquillity. All people will walk every one in the name of his god — It is the practice of all people to serve their gods, and to be attached to the religion of their forefathers, though false and absurd. And surely it much more becomes us to cleave steadfastly to the service of the true God, and not to disobey his laws or forsake his ordinances, as we have too often done. This prophecy will be remarkably fulfilled at the time of the general conversion of the Jews, as has been observed in the notes on the parallel place in Isaiah.4:1-8 The nations have not yet so submitted to the Prince of Peace, as to beat their swords into ploughshares, nor has war ceased. But very precious promises these are, relating to the gospel church, which will be more and more fulfilled, for He is faithful that has promised. There shall be a glorious church for God set up in the world, in the last days, in the days of the Messiah. Christ himself will build it upon a rock. The Gentiles worshipped their idol gods; but in the period spoken of, the people will cleave to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and delight in doing his will. The word halteth, describes those who walk not according to the Divine word. The collecting the captives from Babylon was an earnest of healing, purifying, and prospering the church; and the reign of Christ shall continue till succeeded by the everlasting kingdom of heaven. Let us stir up each other to attend the ordinances of God, that we may learn his holy ways, and walk in them, receiving the law from his hands, which, being written in our hearts by his Spirit, may show our interest in the Redeemer's righteousness.But (And) in the last days it shall come to pass - God's promises, goodness, truth, fail not. He withdraws His Presence from those who receive Him not, only to give Himself to those who will receive Him. Mercy is the sequel and end of chastisement. Micah then joins on this great prophecy of future mercy to the preceding woe, as its issue in the order of God's Will. "And it shall be." He fixes the mind to some great thing which shall come to pass; "it shall be." Then follows, in marked reference to the preceding privations, a superabundance of mercy. For "the mountain of the house," which should be as a forest and which was left unto them desolate, there is "the mountain of the Lord's house established;" for the heap of dust and the plowed field, there is the flowing-in of the Gentiles; for the night and darkness, that there shall be no vision, there is the fullness of revelation; for corrupt judgment, teaching, divining, a law from God Himself going forth through the world; for the building of Jerusalem with blood, one universal peace.

In the last days - Literally, the end of the days, that is, of those days which are in the thoughts of the speaker. Politically, there are many beginnings and many endings; as many endings as there are beginnings, since all human polity begins, only to end, and to be displaced in its turn by some new beginning, which too runs its course, only to end. Religiously, there are but two consummations. All time, since man fell, is divided into two halves, the looking forward to Christ to come in humility; the looking forward to His coming in glory. These are the two events on which man's history turns. To that former people the whole period of Christ's kingdom was one future, the fullness of all their own shadows, types, sacrifices, services, prophecies, longing, being. The "end of their days" was the beginning of the new Day of Christ: the coming of His Day was necessarily the close of the former days, the period of the dispensation which prepared for it.

The prophets then by the words, "the end of the days," always mean the times of the Gospel . "The end of the days" is the close of all which went before, the last dispensation, after which there shall be no other. Yet this too hast "last days" of its own, which shall close God's kingdom of grace and shall issue in the Second Coming of Christ; as the end of those former days, which closed the times of "the law," issued in His First Coming. We are then at once living in the last times, and looking on to a last time still to come. In the one way Peter speaks Ephesians 1:20 of the last times, or the end of the times , in which Christ was manifested for us, in contrast with the foundations of the world, before which He was foreordained.

And Paul contrasts God's Hebrews 1:1 speaking to the fathers in the prophets, and at the end of these days speaking to us in the Son; and of our Lord coming Hebrews 9:26 at the end, consummation, of the times , to put away sins by the sacrifice of Himself; and says that the things which befell the Jews 1 Corinthians 10:11 were written for our admonition, unto whom the ends of the times (that is, of those of the former people of whom he had been speaking) are come; and John speaks of this as 1 John 2:18 the last time. In the other way, they contrast the last days, not with the times before them but with their own, and then plainly they are a last and distant part of this their own last time .

The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith ; In the last days perilous times shall come : There shall come at the end of the days scoffers : They told you that there should be mockers in the last time. The Jews distributed all time between "this world" and "the coming world" , including under "the coming world" the time of grace under the Messiah's reign, and the future glory. To us the names have shifted, since this present world Matthew 13:40; Ephesians 1:21; Titus 2:12 is to us the kingdom of Christ, and there remains nothing further on this earth to look to, beyond what God has already given us. Our future then, placed as we are between the two Comings of our Lord, is, of necessity, beyond this world .

The mountain of the house of the Lord shall be - abidingly

Established - He does not say merely, "it shall be established." Kingdoms may be established at one time, and then come to an end. He says, "it shall be a thing established" . His saying is expanded by Daniel; "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall not be destroyed forever, and it shall abide forever" Daniel 2:44. The house of the Lord was the center of His worship, the token of His Presence, the pledge of His revelations and of His abiding acceptance, protection, favor. All these were to be increased and continuous. The image is one familiar to us in the Hebrew Scriptures. People were said to go up to it, as to a place of dignity.

In the Psalm on the carrying of the Ark thither, the hill of God is compared to the many-topped mountains of Basan Psalm 68:16-17, (the Hermon-peaks which bound Basan,) and so declared to be greater than they, as being the object of God's choice. The mountain where God was worshiped rose above the mountains of idolatry. Ezekiel, varying the image, speaks of the Gospel as an overshadowing cedar Ezekiel 17:22-23, planted by God upon an high mountain and an eminent, in the mountain of the height of Israel, under which should dwell all fowl of every wing; and, in his vision of the Temple, he sees this, the image of the Christian Church Ezekiel 40:2, upon a very high mountain. Our Lord speaks of His Apostles and the Church in them, as Matthew 5:14 a city set upon a hill which cannot be hid. The seat of God's worship was to be seen far and wide; nothing was to obscure it. It, now lower than the surrounding hills, was then to be as on the summit of them. Human elevation, the more exalted it is, the more unstable is it. Divine greatness alone is at once solid and exalted. The new kingdom of God was at once to be "exalted above the hills," and "established on the top of the mountains;" "exalted," at once, above everything human, and yet "established," strong as the mountains on which it rested, and unassailable, unconquerable, seated secure aloft, between heaven, whence it came and to which it tends, and earth, on which it just tests in the sublime serenity of its majesty.

The image sets forth the supereminence of the Lord's House above all things earthly. It does not define wherein that greatness consists. The flowing in of the nations is a fruit of it Micah 4:1-2. The immediate object of their coming is explained to be, to learn to know and to do the will of God Micah 4:2. But the new revelation does not form all its greatness. That greatness is from the Presence of God, revealing and evermore teaching His Will, ruling, judging, rebuking, peacemaking Micah 4:3-4. Dionysius: "The 'mountain of the Lord's House' was then 'exalted above the hills' by the bodily Presence of Christ, when He, in the Temple built on that mountain, spake, preached, worked so many miracles; as, on the same ground, Haggai says, 'the glory of this latter house shall be greater than the glory of the former' Haggai 2:9." Lap.: "This 'mountain,' the church of Christ, transcends all laws, schools, doctrines, religions, Synagogues of Jews and Philosophers, which seemed to rise aloft among men, like mountain-tops, yea, whatever under the sun is sublime and lofty, it will overpass, trample on, subdue to itself."

Even Jews have seen the meaning of this figure. Their oldest mystical book explains it. Zohar, f. 93: "'And it shall be in the last days,' when namely the Lord shall visit the daughter of Jacob, then shall 'the mountain of the house of the Lord be firmly established, that is, the Jerusalem which is above, which shall stand firmly in its place, that it may shine by the light which is above. (For no light can retain its existence, except through the light from above.) For in that time shall the light from above shine sevenfold more than before; according to that, Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun; and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people and healeth the stroke of their wound" Isaiah 30:26. Another, of the dry literal school, says (Aben Ezra), "It is well known that the house of the Temple is not high. The meaning then is, that its fame shall go forth far, and there shall return to it from all quarters persons with offerings, so that it shall be, as if it were on the top of all hills, so that all the inhabitants of the earth should see it."

Some interpret "the mountain" to be Christ, who is called the Rock 1 Corinthians 10:4-6, on the confession of whom, God-Man, "the house of the Lord," that is, the Church is built , the precious Cornerstone Isaiah 28:16; 1 Peter 2:6; Ephesians 2:20, which is laid, beside which no foundation can be laid 1 Corinthians 3:11; "the great mountain," of which Daniel Dan 2:35 prophesied. It is "firmly established," so that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church, being built thereon; "exalted above hills and mountains", that is above all beside, greater or smaller, which has any eminence; for He in truth is Philippians 2:9 highly exalted and hath a Name above every name, being Ephesians 1:20-23 at the Right Hand of God in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come; and all things are under His Feet. And this for us, in that He, the Same, is the Head over all things to the Church which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. Rup.: "He is God and Man, King and Priest, King of kings, and a Priest abiding forever. Since then His Majesty reacheth to the Right Hand of God, neither mountains nor hills, Angels nor holy men, reach thereto; for "to which of the Angels said God at any time, Sit thou on My Right Hand?" Hebrews 1:13.

Cyril: "Aloft then is the Church of God raised, both in that its Head is in heaven and the Lord of all, and that, on earth, it is not like the Temple, in one small people, but "set on a hill that it cannot be hid" Matthew 5:14, or remain unseen even to those tar from it. Its doctrine too and life are far above the wisdom of this world, showing in them nothing of earth, but are above; its wisdom is the knowledge and love of God and of His Son Jesus Christ, and its life is bid with Christ in God, in those who are justified in Him and hallowed by His Spirit." In Him, it is lifted above all things, and with the eyes of the mind beholdeth (as far as may be) the glory of God, soaring on high toward Him who is the Author of all being, and, filled with divine light, it owneth Him the Maker of all.

And people (peoples, nations) shall flow unto (literally upon) it - A mighty tide should set in to the Gospel. The word is used only figuratively) is appropriated to the streaming in of multitudes, such as of old poured into Babylon, the merchant-empress of the world Jeremiah 51:44. It is used of the distant nations who should throng in one continuous stream into the Gospel, or of Israel streaming together from the four corners of the world . So, Isaiah foretells, "Thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that they may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought" (Isaiah 60:11, add Revelation 21:25-26). These were to flow upon it, perhaps so as to cover it, expressing both the multitude and density of the throng of nations, how full the Church should be, as the swollen river spreads itself over the whole champaign country, and the surging flood-tide climbs up the face of the rock which hounds it. The flood once covered the highest mountains to destroy life; this flood should pour in for the saving of life. Lap.: "It is a miracle, if waters ascend from a valley and flow to a mountain. So is it a miracle that earthly nations should ascend to the church, whose doctrine and life are lofty, arduous, sublime. This the grace of Christ effecteth, mighty and lofty, as being sent from heaven. As then waters, conducted from the fountains by pipes into a valley, in that valley bound up and rise nearly to their original height, so these waters of heavenly grace, brought down into valleys, that is, the hearts of men, make them to bound up with them into heaven and enter upon and embrace a heavenly life."

CHAPTER 4

Mic 4:1-13. Transition to the Glory, Peace, Kingdom, and Victory of Zion.

1-3. Almost identical with Isa 2:2-4.

the mountain of the house of the Lord—which just before (Mic 3:12) had been doomed to be a wild forest height. Under Messiah, its elevation is to be not that of situation, but of moral dignity, as the seat of God's universal empire.

people shall flow into it—In Isaiah it is "all nations": a more universal prophecy.The establishment of Christ’s kingdom, Micah 4:1,2; the peace of it, Micah 4:3-5. The restoration, Micah 4:6-10, and victory of the church, Micah 4:11-13.

But: this particle, which ushers in the following promise, doth also bid us look to somewhat before spoken, of a very different complexion; that was news of a total and a long-continued desolation, but this is of a happy restitution, which doth refer both to a temporal deliverance out of Babylon’s captivity, and to a spiritual deliverance out of ignorance, superstition, and all other ways of false worship. This latter is the principal, the former is typical, and so shall we consider them.

The last days; or the latter days, at the expiring of the seventy years’ captivity, (near two hundred years from Micah’s time,) as type of the days of the Messiah’s kingdom, which are most usually called the last days.

The mountain of the house of the Lord; the city Jerusalem; or, more particularly, the mountain on which the temple did stand, called the house of the Lord; the hieroglyphic of the church of Christ in gospel times.

Shall be established; literally, and in the type, fulfilled when the second temple was built by the Jews returned out of captivity. Spiritually, and in the antitype, accomplished when Christ did establish his church by the preaching of the gospel, and laid the foundations of it so that the gates of hell should never prevail against it, and made it this promise.

It shall be exalted above the hills; as the mountain or hill on which the temple stood was by this honoured above other mountains and hills, so shall it, after desolation and reproach of seventy years, be honoured with the temple rebuilt upon it for God’s true worship, whereas on other hills the heathens worship idols. So the gospel church and the way of worship to God shall excel all modes of religion.

People; the Gentiles as antitype, those who came up with Israel out of Babylon, said to be servants and maids, Ezra 2:65, above seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven, many, if not all, of them proselyted to the Jewish religion, and a type, as well as first-fruits, of the Gentiles to be converted in the times of the Messiah. This number we are sure of; as for that Josephus reports of four thousand and seventy four of a mixed multitude, we look on with no more credit given than to his report of four million six hundred and twenty-eight thousand of Judah and Benjamin, Antiq. lib. 11. cap. 4.

Shall flow unto it; come in freely, continually, and in multitudes, which in the type was fulfilled, partly at the return out of Babylon, and partly in after-days when Darius Hystaspes favoured the Jews and encouraged them, as Josephus reports, Antiq. lib. II. cap. 4, consonant with Ezra 6:3-12; and we have reason to believe that God so disposed Darius’s mind to favour them, that it might occasion some to embrace the Jewish religion. But all this type was eminently fulfilled in the conversion of those multitudes we read of brought in to Christ by the preaching of the gospel in the apostolical times.

But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains,.... It appears by the adversative but, with which these words are introduced, that they have a dependence upon and a connection with the last of the preceding chapter; signifying, that though "the mountain of the house", on which the temple stood, should become desolate, yet "the mountain of the house of the Lord", which is not literally the same, but what that was typical of, the church of Christ, should be greatly exalted and enlarged; and which, according to this prophecy, would be "in the last days": that is, as Kimchi rightly interprets it, the days of the Messiah; and it should be observed, that all this will be in the last of his days, or of the Gospel dispensation: the first of these days were the days of Christ in the flesh, the times of his ministry, and of John the Baptist his forerunner, and of his disciples; and were indeed the last days of the Jewish world, or of their civil and church state; and when also it must be allowed the mountain of the Lord's house, or the temple literally taken, became glorious by the presence of Christ in it, by his doctrine and miracles there, and by the effusion of the Spirit on his disciples in that place, and the ministration of the Gospel; but then all this was before the destruction of the second temple; whereas this prophecy follows that, and is opposed to it, and supposes it; besides, in those times there was not such an exaltation and stability of the church of Christ; nor such a flow of nations to it; nor such a settled and universal peace and security as here promised: this prophecy therefore respects times yet to come, as Aben Ezra observes; the last of the days of the Messiah, or the last times of the Gospel dispensation, when the reign of antichrist will be at an end; he will be destroyed, and the kingdom of Christ set up, established, and enlarged in the world. The Prophet Isaiah predicts the same things, and much in the same words, Isaiah 2:2; these two prophets were contemporary, and might converse together, and communicate to each other what they had received from the Lord upon this subject; but it is needless to inquire which might have them from the other, since they were both holy men of God, and moved by his Spirit, and were inspired by the same Spirit, with the same things, and to speak the same language; yet there is a diversity in words, though an agreement in sentiment nor does it appear a clear case that they borrowed, much less that they stole, their words from one other, as the false prophets did; for they do not always use the same words to convey the same idea; and there are some words which Isaiah has that Micah has not and there are others that Micah uses that Isaiah has not; though in the whole there is a most beautiful harmony of sense in their diversity of expression. By "the mountain of the house of the Lord" is not meant the temple built on Mount Moriah, where the divine Majesty resided; where were the symbols of his presence, the ark and mercy seat, and where he was worshipped, which has been destroyed long ago, and will never be rebuilt more; for a third temple hereafter to be built at Jerusalem is a mere fiction of the Jews; nor indeed is any material building here intended, and still less any such building to be erected in such an absurd sense, literally taken, as if mountain was piled on mountain, and hill on hill, to raise it higher; but, mystically and spiritually, it designs the church of God, called so because it is built by him, and built for a habitation for him; where he will, at the time here referred to, more manifestly dwell in a spiritual manner; and by whom, and by which spiritual and gracious presence of his, it will be made very beautiful and glorious: and it is signified by a "mountain", to denote its visibility, immovableness, and perpetuity; and is said to be "established in the top of the mountains", with respect to the kingdoms of this world, and especially antichristian churches, which, because of their eminence, and largeness, and national establishment, may seem like mountains; but, in the latter day, the true church of Christ, which now may seem like a mole hill to them, will be above them, and will be in a settled state and condition, and not be fluctuating, and tossed to and fro, and removing here and there, as now; but be fixed and stable, and continue so until the second and personal coming of Christ:

and it shall be exalted above the hills: by "hills" may be meant petty kingdoms, inferior to greater monarchies; or religious states, not of Christ's constitution; and the "exaltation" of the church above them denotes her power over them, to enjoy the one, and crush the other: it may respect the glory of the church, both as to things temporal and spiritual; for now will the kingdoms under the whole heaven be given to the saints of the most High; civil government will come into their hands, the kings and princes of the earth being now members of Gospel churches; so that the church will be in a glorious and exalted state, having riches, power, and authority, a large extent everywhere, and a multitude of members, and those of the highest class and rank, as well as of the meaner and lower sort; and all of them possessed largely of the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God, and enjoying the Gospel and Gospel ordinances in their power and purity:

and the people shall flow unto it: in great abundance, in large numbers, in company like the flowing streams of a river; and may denote not only their numbers, but their swiftness and readiness to join themselves with the church of God, to hear the word, and partake of the ordinances, and of all the privileges of the house of the Lord. It may be rendered, "they shall look unto it", as the word is translated in Psalm 34:6; and so the Targum here,

"and the kingdoms shall look (or turn their faces) to serve upon it;''

and this sense is preferred by many learned Jewish writers (n); and the meaning may be, that multitudes, seeing the glory of the church, and the many desirable things in it, shall look to it with a look of love and affection, and with a wishful look, greatly desiring to be admitted into it. In Isaiah 2:2; it is said, "and all nations shall flow unto it": not the people of the Jews only, now converted; or a single and, on only, or some out of that; but all the nations of the world, at least great numbers out of all, by far the greatest in them; such an increase will there be of the churches in the latter day.

(n) R. Saadiah, Abu Walid, R. Tanchuma apud Pocock in loc.

But in the {a} last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the {b} hills; and people shall flow unto it.

(a) When Christ will come, and the temple will be destroyed.

(b) Read Geneva (a),(b),(c) Isa 2:2

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1–4. The Ideal of Happiness realized

1. But] The Auth. Vers. has done its best to soften the abruptness of the transition from Micah 3:12 to Micah 4:1. It understands the meaning to be something like this:—In spite of this awful prospect of judgment, God has a bright future in store both for Jerusalem and for Israel. In the Hebrew, however, the passage Micah 4:1-4 is simply added on to Micah 3:12; there is no properly adversative particle prefixed; the contrast is rather implied than expressed. It seems as if Micah’s mind was so filled up by the thought of judgment, that there was hardly any room for the thought of national regeneration. When the image does present itself to his imagination, it is only as by a lightning-flash, which soon passes away, and leaves the horizon as gloomy as before. There is nothing in Micah like a developed doctrine of the latter days, such as we have to some extent in Isaiah.

in the last days] Hebr. b’akharith hayyâmîm. This rendering is misleading; the Messianic period described in the following verses has no ‘last days;’ it is without an end (Isaiah 9:7). Render, therefore, in stricter accordance with the Hebrew, in the days to come (lit., ‘in the sequel of the days’); and comp. Jeremiah 23:20, ‘The anger of Jehovah shall not turn back, till he have executed, and till he have carried into effect the purposes of his heart: in future days ye shall duly consider it’ (Henderson’s translation), also Deuteronomy 4:30; Deuteronomy 31:29, and the phrase in an Assyrian historical inscription ana akhrat yumi = ‘for future days.’ A similar mistake has been made in 1 Timothy 4:1, where ἐν ὑστέροις καιροῖς is rendered in Auth. Vers. ‘in the latter times;’ the Revised Version corrects, ‘in later times.’

the mountain of the house of the Lord] i.e. not merely mount Moriah (as in Micah 3:12), but by synecdoche for Jerusalem (comp. end of Micah 4:2).

in the top] Rather, at the head. The lower mountains radiating, as it were, in all directions from it. “A similar physical change is anticipated for Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:10, and for the valley of Jehoshaphat, in connexion with the ‘day of Jehovah,’ in Joel 3:12. Ezekiel, too, speaks of having been transported in an ecstatic state to ‘a very high mountain’ (Ezekiel 40:2), evidently alluding to this passage.” The rendering of Auth. Vers. implies an image too hyperbolical to be accepted without compulsion.Verse 1-5. - § 4. The prophet suddenly announces the future glory of the temple mountain and the ideal happiness of the people Verse 1. - But. There is no adversative particle here; the verse is merely connected with what precedes without any expressed contrast. What is implied is that it was impossible that the temple, to which God's high promises attached, should lie waste forever. The passage, vers. 1-3, occurs in Isaiah 2:2-4, The question as to which prophecy is the earlier cannot be settled. Possibly both prophets borrowed the language of some earlier work, as Isaiah is thought to have done on other occasions, e.g. Isaiah 15. and 16. the community of ideas leading them to the same source of testimony. In the last days; literally, at the end of the days; Cheyne, "in the days to come." It is the usual phrase to designate the time of Messiah, unto which the prophet's thoughts are directed, and for which all preceding events and periods are a preparation (Jeremiah 23:20; Hosea 3:5; comp. 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Timothy 4:1). Septuagint, ἐπ ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν, "at the last days." The phrase may often suitably be rendered, "in latter days," as spoken not absolutely, but relatively to preceding times. The mountain of the house of the Lord. Mount Moriah, the ruin of which was foretold (Micah 3:12). But the term here seems to include Jerusalem itself. Shall be established, firmly and permanently (as 1 Kings 2:45), no longer subject to ruin and devastation. In the top of the mountains; better, on the head of the mountains. The idea is that the temple mountain shall be raised above, and stand forth prominently from the lower hills that surround it and form its basis (comp. Ezekiel 40:2; Zechariah 14:10; Revelation 21:10). The prophet speaks as if he contemplated a physical change, expressing thereby with singular force the notion that the worship of the true God (of which the temple was the symbol) shall be promulgated among all nations of the world; that from the old Jewish centre of religion a new order of things shall arise, not transitory, nor local, but extending to all time and pervading the utmost parts of the earth. And people (peoples) shall flow unto it. The prophet beholds the nations of the world coming up in formal procession to join in the service of the temple. Thus is adumbrated the comprehension of all nations in the Catholic Church. Isaiah says "all nations" in the parallel passage (comp. Zephaniah 2:11 and Zechariah 8:22, and notes there). The Third Vision. - Amos 7:7. "Thus he showed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made with a plumb-line, and a plumb-line in His hand. Amos 7:8. And Jehovah said to me, What seest thou, Amos? And I said, A plumb-line. And the Lord said, Behold, I put a plumb-line in the midst of my people Israel: I shall pass by it no more. Amos 7:9. And the sacrificial heights of Isaac are laid waste, and the holy things of Israel destroyed; and I rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword." The word אנך, which only occurs here, denotes, according to the dialects and the Rabbins, tin or lead, here a plumb-line. Chōmath 'ănâkh is a wall built with a plumb-line, i.e., a perpendicular wall, a wall built with mechanical correctness and solidity. Upon this wall Amos sees the Lord standing. The wall built with a plumb-line is a figurative representation of the kingdom of God in Israel, as a firm and well-constructed building. He holds in His hand a plumb-line. The question addressed to the prophet, "What does he see?" is asked for the simple purpose of following up his answer with an explanation of the symbol, as in Jeremiah 1:11, Jeremiah 1:13, since the plumb-line was used for different purposes, - namely, not only for building, but partly also for pulling buildings down (compare 2 Kings 21:13; Isaiah 34:11). Jehovah will lay it beqerebh ‛ammı̄, to the midst of His people, and not merely to an outward portion of it, in order to destroy this building. He will no longer spare as He has done hitherto. עבר ל, to pass by any one without taking any notice of him, without looking upon his guilt or punishing him; hence, to spare, - the opposite of עבר בּקרב in Amos 5:17. The destruction will fall upon the idolatrous sanctuaries of the land, the bâmōth (see at 1 Kings 3:2), i.e., the altars of the high places, and the temples at Bethel, at Daniel (see at 1 Kings 12:29), and at Gilgal (see Amos 4:4). Isaac (ישׂחק, a softened form for יצחק, used here and at v. 16, as in Jeremiah 33:26) is mentioned here instead of Jacob, and the name is used as a synonym for Israel of the ten tribes. Even the house of Jeroboam, the reigning royal family, is to perish with the sword (קם על as in Isaiah 31:2). Jeroboam is mentioned as the existing representative of the monarchy, and the words are not to be restricted to the overthrow of his dynasty, but announce the destruction of the Israelitish monarchy, which actually was annihilated when this dynasty was overthrown. The destruction of the sacred places and the overthrow of the monarchy involve the dissolution of the kingdom. Thus does Amos himself interpret his own words in Amos 7:11 and Amos 7:17.
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