Micah 6:12
For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
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(12) The rich men thereofi.e., of the city. The sins of spoliation and fraud were practised by men who had not even the pitiable excuse of poverty and distress.

6:9-16 God, having showed how necessary it was that they should do justly, here shows how plain it was that they had done unjustly. This voice of the Lord says to all, Hear the rod when it is coming, before you see it, and feel it. Hear the rod when it is come, and you are sensible of the smart; hear what counsels, what cautions it speaks. The voice of God is to be heard in the rod of God. Those who are dishonest in their dealings shall never be reckoned pure, whatever shows of devotion they may make. What is got by fraud and oppression, cannot be kept or enjoyed with satisfaction. What we hold closest we commonly lose soonest. Sin is a root of bitterness, soon planted, but not soon plucked up again. Their being the people of God in name and profession, while they kept themselves in his love, was an honour to them; but now, being backsliders, their having been once the people of God turns to their reproach.For the rich men thereof - that is, "of the city, Micah 6:9 are full of violence." It bad been little, had thieves and robbers lived by violence, but now, (as Isaiah at the same time upbraids them,) "her princes were become companions of thieves" Isaiah 1:23. Not the poor out of distress, but the rich, out of wantonness and exceeding covetousness and love of luxury, not only did wrong but were filled, not so much with riches, as with violence. Violence is the very meat and drink wherewith they are filled, yea, and wherewith they shall be filled, when it is returned upon their heads.

And the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies - Fraud is itself lying, and lying is its inseparable companion. Jerome: "Lying followeth the gathering together of riches, and the hard custom to lay up riches hath a deceitful tongue." The sin, he saith, is spread throughout all her inhabitants; that is, all of them, as their custom, have spoken lies, and, even when they speak not, the lie is ready; "their tongue is deceitful (literally, deceit) in their mouth." It is deceit, nothing but deceit, and that, deceit which should "overthrow" and ruin others. One intent on gain has the lie ever ready to be uttered, even when he speaks not. It lurks concealed, until it is needed.

12. For—rather, "Inasmuch as"; the conclusion "therefore," &c. following in Mic 6:13.

thereof—of Jerusalem.

For: this is given as an evidence of the truth of the charge, and of the justness of the resolution God had declared to punish them.

The rich men; who of all men had least temptation to deal unjustly; they were so well provided for, that without a trade they might live, and in trading they should have been content with honest gain; they should have been examples of charity and bounty, but these are the men deepest in this guilt.

Thereof; of Jerusalem, Samaria, and of every traded city in the land.

Full of violence; full of principles, practices, and fruits of violence and rapine, their minds inclined to cheatings and dishonesty, their practices managed with fraud and falsehood, and their riches heaped up through violence.

The inhabitants: the disease is universal, not some few rich men, but they that dwell in the city, are wholly oppression; or perhaps thus, who come to dwell among them, soon catch the disease, and learn these ways.

Thereof; of all the cities of the land of Canaan.

Have spoken lies; have accustomed themselves to speak falsehood, there is no truth in their affirmations or negations.

Their tongue is deceitful in their mouth; there is not a man of plain-heartedness, integrity, and honesty among them. So David complains of his times, Psalm 12:1,2. For the rich men thereof are full of violence,.... That is, the rich men of the city, to whom the voice of the Lord cried, Micah 6:9. Jerusalem or Samaria, or any or all the cities of Israel and Judah; the rich men of these cities, who had enough of the world, and were under no temptation to do an ill thing, to get money; and yet their hands and their houses, and their treasuries, as the Targum, were full of goods gotten by violent measures, by the oppression of the poor and needy:

and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies; the rest of the inhabitants, who were not so rich as others, and who had it not in the power of their hands to oppress as others had; yet used deceitful and fraudulent methods to cheat their neighbours in buying and selling; and, to do this, did not stick to tell downright deliberate lies:

and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth; say one thing, and mean another; deceive their neighbours with their tongues in trade and commerce; averting things for truth they know to be false.

For the rich men thereof {i} are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

(i) That is, of Jerusalem.

Verse 12. - The rich men thereof; i.e. of the city mentioned in ver. 9. They have just been charged with injustice and fraud, now they are denounced for practising every kind of violence. And not only the rich, but all the inhabitants fall under censure for lying and deceit. Their tongue is deceitful; literally, deceit; they cannot open their mouth without speaking dangerous and destructive lies. Edom's Ruin, setting forth, in the first place, the purpose of God to make Edom small through the medium of hostile nations, and to hurl it down from the impregnable heights of its rocky castles (Obadiah 1:1-4); and then depicting, in lively colours, how it will be plundered by enemies, forsaken and deceived by allies and friends, and perish in helplessness and impotence (Obadiah 1:5-9). Obadiah 1:1 contains, in addition to the brief heading, the introduction to the prophecy, which gives in a brief form the substance of the first section: "Thus hath the Lord Jehovah spoken of Edom, A report have we heard from Jehovah, and a messenger is sent among the nations: Up, and let us arise against it in battle." The first clause, לאדום ... כּה אמר, does not harmonize with what follows, inasmuch as we should expect it to be followed with a declaration made by Jehovah Himself, instead of which there follow simply tidings heard from Jehovah. The difficulty cannot be removed by assuming that these introductory words are spurious, or were added by a later prophet (Eichhorn, Ewald, and others); for the interpolator could not fail to observe the incongruity of these words just as well as Obadiah. Moreover, לאדום could not be omitted from the opening, because it is required not only by the suffix in עליה (against her), but also by the direct addresses in Obadiah 1:2. Nor is the assumption that the prophet suddenly altered the construction any more satisfactory, or that the declaration of Jehovah announced in כּה אמר וגו ("thus saith the Lord") commences in Obadiah 1:2, and that the words from שׁמוּעה to the end of the verse form an explanatory parenthesis to כּה אמר וגו ot sisehtnera. For such an alteration of the construction at the very beginning of the address is hardly conceivable; and the parenthetical explanation of the last three clauses of Obadiah 1:1 is at variance with their contents, which do not form by any means a subordinate thought, but rather the main thought of the following address. No other course remains, therefore, than to take these introductory words by themselves, as Michaelis, Maurer, and Caspari have done, in which case כה אמר does not announce the actual words of Jehovah in the stricter sense, but is simply meant to affirm that the prophet uttered what follows jussu Jehovae, or divinitus monitus, so that כה אמר is really equivalent to diber זה הדּבר אשׁר דּבּר in Isaiah 16:13, as Theodoret has explained it. לאדום, not "to Edom," but with reference to, or of, Edom. On the occurrence of Yehōvâh after 'Adōnâi, see the comm. on Genesis 2:4. What Obadiah saw as a word of the Lord was the tidings heard from the Lord, and the divine message sent to the nations to rise up for war against Edom. The plural שׁמענוּ (we have heard) is communicative. The prophet includes himself in the nation (Israel), which has heard the tidings in him and through him. This implies that the tidings were of the greatest interest to Israel, and would afford it consolation. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49:14) has removed the pregnant character of the expression, by introducing the singular שׁמעתּי (I have heard). The next clause, "and an ambassador," etc., might be taken, as it has been by Luther, as a statement of the import of the news, namely, that a messenger had been sent; inasmuch as in Hebrew a sentence is frequently co-ordinated with the preceding one by Vav cop., when it ought really to be subordinated to it so far as the sense is concerned, from a simple preference for the parallelism of the clauses. But the address gains in force, if we take the clause as a co-ordinate one, just as it reads, viz., as a declaration of the steps already taken by the Lord for carrying out the resolution which had been heard of by report. In this case the substance of the report is not given till the last clause of the verse; the summons of the ambassador sent among the nations, "to rise up for war against Edom," indicating at the same time the substance of the report which Israel has heard. The perfect shullâch with qâmets in the pause, which is changed by Jeremiah into the less appropriate passive participle kal, corresponds to שׁמענוּ, and expresses in prophetic form the certainty of the accomplishment of the purpose of God. The sending of the messenger (tsı̄r as in Isaiah 18:2) among the nations (ב as in Judges 6:35) is an assurance that the nations will rise up at the instigation of Jehovah to war against Edom (compare Isaiah 13:17; Jeremiah 51:1, Jeremiah 51:11). The plural nâqūmâh (let us rise up), in the words of the messenger, may be explained on the simple ground that the messenger speaks in the name of the sender. The sender is Jehovah, who will also rise up along with the nations for war against Edom, placing Himself at their head as leader and commander (compare Joel 2:11; Isaiah 13:4-5). עליה, against Edom, construed as a land or kingdom, gener. faem. The fact that it is the nations generally that are here summoned to make war upon Edom, and not only one nation in particular, points at once to the fact that Edom is regarded as a type of the power of the world, and its hostility to God, the destruction of which is here foretold.
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