Micah 6:2
Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD'S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
6:1-5 The people are called upon to declare why they were weary of God's worship, and prone to idolatry. Sin causes the controversy between God and man. God reasons with us, to teach us to reason with ourselves. Let them remember God's many favours to them and their fathers, and compare with them their unworthy, ungrateful conduct toward him.Hear, ye strong (or, it may be, ye enduring,) foundations of the earth - Mountains and rocks carry the soul to times far away, before and after. They change net, like the habitable, cultivated, surface of the earth. There they were, before the existence of our short-lived generations; there they will be, until time shall cease to be. They have witnessed so many vicissitudes of human things, themselves unchanging. The prophet is directed to seize this feeling of simple nature. "They have seen so much before me," Yes! "then they have seen all which befell my forefathers; all God's benefits, all along, to them and to us, all their and our unthankfulness."

He will plead with Israel - God hath a strict severe judgment with His people, and yet vouchsafes to clear Himself before His creatures, to come down from His throne of glory and place Himself on equal terms with them. He does not plead only, but mutually (such is the force of the word) impleads with His people, hears if they would say aught against Himself, and then gives His own judgment . But this willingness to hear, only makes us condemn ourselves, so that we should be without excuse before Him. We do owe ourselves wholly to Him who made us and hath given us all things richly to enjoy.

If we have withdrawn ourselves from His Service, unless He dealt hardly with us, we dealt rebelliously and ungratefully with Him. God brings all pleas into a narrow space. The fault is with Him or with us. He offers to clear Himself. He sets before us His good deeds, His Loving kindness, Providence, Grace, Long-suffering, Bounty, Truth, and contrasts with them our evil deeds, our unthankfulness, despitefulness, our breach of His laws, and disorderings of His creation. And then, in the face of His Goodness, He asks, "What evil have I done, what good have I left undone?" so that our evil and negligences should be but a requital of His. For if it is evil to return evil for evil, or not to return good for good, what evil is it to return evil for His exceeding good! As He says by Isaiah, "What could have been done more to My vineyard and I have not done in it. Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" Isaiah 5:4.

And our Blessed Lord asks; "Many good works have I shewed you from My Father. For which of those works do ye stone Me?" John 10:32. "Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me?" John 8:46. Away from the light of God, we may plead excuses, and cast the blame of our sins upon our temptations, or passions, or nature, that is, on Almighty God Himself, who made us. When His light streams in upon our conscience, we are silent. Blessed if we be silenced and confess to Him then, that we be not first silenced in the Day of Judgment Job 1:8; Job 2:3; Ezekiel 14:20. Righteous Job said, "I desire to reason with God" Job 13:3; but when his eye saw Him, he said, "wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" Job 42:5-6.

2. Lord's controversy—How great is Jehovah's condescension, who, though the supreme Lord of all, yet wishes to prove to worms of the earth the equity of His dealings (Isa 5:3; 43:26). Hear ye, O mountains: in the first verse God directs Micah to take the mountains and hills for witnesses; now in this verse he doth call upon those mountains to hear: it is a prosopoeia, an elegant personating of hearers and witnesses, as Deu 32:1 Isaiah 1:2 2:2. Some by

mountains understand princes and nobles, and by

strong foundations of the earth inferior magistrates, as Psalm 75:3; but it may as well, or better, be an appeal to these creatures in so just a cause for their Creator.

The Lord’s controversy, whose sovereign Majesty may well command what he pleaseth, and expect to be obeyed, and whose unparalleled goodness to Israel ought to have been uncontroverted motives to obey him in all things; yet the sovereign goodness is slighted and disobeyed; on which he now impleads his people, brings his action against them.

Ye strong foundations of the earth; called before hills: it is an explanation of the former, mountains; or it may be an appeal to those deep foundations which are hid from any eye, and which seem most remote from what is done on earth; but the ill carriage, the disobedience, and sin of Israel is so notorious, that the whole creation may be subpoenaed witnesses against them.

The Lord hath a controversy with his people; covenant, redeemed, and only people, as Amos 3:2.

He will plead with Israel; no longer put off the cause, nor forbear to punish them and right himself, he will bring the cause to hearing judgment, and execution too.

Hear ye, O mountains: in the first verse God directs Micah to take the mountains and hills for witnesses; now in this verse he doth call upon those mountains to hear: it is a prosopoeia, an elegant personating of hearers and witnesses, as Deu 32:1 Isaiah 1:2 2:2. Some by

mountains understand princes and nobles, and by

strong foundations of the earth inferior magistrates, as Psalm 75:3; but it may as well, or better, be an appeal to these creatures in so just a cause for their Creator.

The Lord’s controversy, whose sovereign Majesty may well command what he pleaseth, and expect to be obeyed, and whose unparalleled goodness to Israel ought to have been uncontroverted motives to obey him in all things; yet the sovereign goodness is slighted and disobeyed; on which he now impleads his people, brings his action against them.

Ye strong foundations of the earth; called before hills: it is an explanation of the former, mountains; or it may be an appeal to those deep foundations which are hid from any eye, and which seem most remote from what is done on earth; but the ill carriage, the disobedience, and sin of Israel is so notorious, that the whole creation may be subpoenaed witnesses against them.

The Lord hath a controversy with his people; covenant, redeemed, and only people, as Amos 3:2.

He will plead with Israel; no longer put off the cause, nor forbear to punish them and right himself, he will bring the cause to hearing judgment, and execution too.

Hear ye, O mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth,.... These are the words of the prophet, obeying the divine command, calling upon the mountains, which are the strong parts of the earth, and the bottoms of them the foundations of it, to hear the Lord's controversy with his people, and judge between them; or, as some think, these are the persons with whom, and against whom, the controversy was; the chief and principal men of the land, who were as pillars to the common people to support and uphold them:

for the Lord hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel; his people Israel, who were so by choice, by covenant, by their own avouchment and profession: they had been guilty of many sins and transgressions against both tables of the law; and now the Lord had a controversy with them for them, and was determined to enter into judgment, and litigate the point with them; and dreadful it is when God brings in a charge, and pleads his own cause with sinful men; they are not able to contend with him, nor answer him for one of a thousand faults committed against him; see Hosea 4:1.

Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. ye strong foundations] ‘Strong’ should rather be enduring. The hills have outlived generation after generation of rebellious Israelites.

with his people] The phrase is very significant in this connexion; if anything could awaken Israel’s conscience, it would be the thought of the special mercies of which he had been the recipient.

Verse 2. - Hear ye, O mountains. Insensate nature is called upon as a witness. (For similar appeals, comp. Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 32:1; Isaiah 1:2; Jeremiah 22:29.) The Lord's controversy. So God calls his pleading with his people to show them their sin and thankless unbelief; as he says in Isaiah 1:18, "Come, and let us reason together" (comp. Hosea 4:1; Hosea 12:2). Ye strong (enduring) foundations of the earth. The mountains are called everlasting (Genesis 49:26; Deuteronomy 33:15), as being firm, unchangeable, and as compared with man's life and doings, which are but transitory. The LXX. offers an interpretation as well as a translation, Αἱ φάραγγες θεμέλια τῆς γῆς, "Ye valleys, the foundations of the earth." With his people. It is because Israel is God's people that her sin is so heinous, and that God condescends to plead with her. He would thus touch her conscience by recalling his benefits. So in the following verses. Micah 6:2Introduction. - Announcement of the lawsuit which the Lord will have with His people. - Micah 6:1. "Hear ye, then, what Jehovah saith; Rise up, contend with the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice! Micah 6:2. Hear ye, O mountains, Jehovah's contest; and ye immutable ones, ye foundations of the earth! For Jehovah has a contest with His people; and with Israel will He contend." In Micah 6:1 the nation of Israel is addressed in its several members. They are to hear what the Lord says to the prophet, - namely, the summons addressed to the mountains and hills to hear Jehovah's contest with His people. The words "strive with the mountains" cannot be understood here as signifying that the mountains are the objects of the accusation, notwithstanding the fact that ריב את־פ signifies to strive or quarrel with a person (Judges 8:1; Isaiah 50:8; Jeremiah 2:9); for, according to Micah 6:2, they are to hear the contest of Jehovah with Israel, and therefore are to be merely witnesses on the occasion. Consequently את can only express the idea of fellowship here, and ריב את must be distinguished from ריב עם in Micah 6:2 and Hosea 4:1, etc. The mountains and hills are to hearken to the contest (as in Deuteronomy 32:1 and Isaiah 1:2), as witnesses, "who have seen what the Lord has done for Israel throughout the course of ages, and how Israel has rewarded Him for it all" (Caspari), to bear witness on behalf of the Lord, and against Israel. Accordingly the mountains are called האתנים, the constantly enduring, immutable ones, which have been spectators from time immemorial, and מוסדי ארץ, foundations of the earth, as being subject to no change on account of their strength and firmness. In this respect they are often called "the everlasting mountains" (e.g., Genesis 49:26; Deuteronomy 33:15; Psalm 90:2; Habakkuk 3:6). Israel is called ̀‛ammı̄ (Jehovah's people) with intentional emphasis, not only to indicate the right of Jehovah to contend with it, but to sharpen its own conscience, by pointing to its calling. Hithvakkach, like hivvâkhach in the niphal in Isaiah 1:18.
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