O my people, what have I done to you? and wherein have I wearied you? testify against me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Micah 6:3-4. O my people, what have I done unto thee? — What injustice or unkindness? Wherein have I wearied thee? — What grievous, burdensome impositions have I laid upon thee? Or, what have I done, or said, or enjoined, to cause thee to be weary of me? The words allude to the forms of courts of justice, wherein actions are tried between man and man. God allows his people to offer any plea which they could in their own behalf. For I brought thee out of Egypt, &c. — Here, on the other hand, God puts them in mind of the great favours he had bestowed upon them in delivering them out of the Egyptian bondage, by the conduct of Moses and Aaron, and Miriam their sister, who is here mentioned as having been endued with the spirit of prophecy, and raised up to be an assistant to her brothers, and an example and counsellor to the women.Deuteronomy 8:4, for He upbears in all ways where He leads. Wherein have I wearied thee? for "His commandments are not grievious" 1 John 5:3. Thou hast been weary of Me, O Israel, God says by Isaiah, "I have not wearied thee with incense; thou hast wearied Me with thine iniquities" Isaiah 43:22-24.
what have I done unto thee?—save kindness, that thou revoltest from Me (Jer 2:5, 31).
wherein have I wearied thee?—What commandments have I enjoined that should have wearied thee as irksome (1Jo 5:3)?O, my people; you whole house of Israel, my people chosen in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, multiplied in Egypt, and by many miracles owned, redeemed, and carried through the wilderness, and settled in the Promised Land.
What have I done unto thee? If I have done only good, why art thou weary of me? if thou know any evil I have done, declare it, say what iniquity hast thou found in me, as Jeremiah 2:5,31.
Wherein have I wearied thee? what grievous or burdensome impositions, that thou mightest justly groan under?
Testify against me; speak, declare, spare not; thou who canst not recount all the good I have done for thee, and who canst not find out one evil I ever did to thee, declare what it is hath caused thee to be weary of me.
what have I done unto thee? what evil things, what injuries to provoke to such usage? "what iniquity have you", or "your fathers, found in me", to treat me after this manner? have I been "a wilderness", or "a land of darkness", to you? Jeremiah 2:5; have I withheld or denied you anything that was for your good? The Targum is,
"O my people, what good have I said I would do unto thee, and I have not done it?''
all that the Lord had promised he had performed; not one good thing had failed he had spoken of; how much good, and how many good things, had he done for them? nay, what good things were there he had not done for them? and what more could be done for them than what had been done? and yet they sinned against him so grossly; see Isaiah 5:4;
and wherein have I wearied thee? what heavy yoke have I put upon thee? what grievous commandments have I enjoined thee? is there anything in my service, any duty, too hard, severe, or unreasonable? are the sacrifices required burdensome? "have I caused thee to serve with an offering, and wearied thee with incense?" is there any just reason to say of these things, "what a weariness is it?" See Isaiah 43:23;
testify against me; declare it publicly, if any good thing has been wanting, or any evil thing done: thus the Lord condescends to have the case fairly debated, and everything said that could be said in their favour, or against him: astonishing condescension and goodness!O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. O my people] Jehovah opens the controversy. He assumes, what is too patent for denial, that Israel has fallen away from his God.
wherein have I wearied thee] The requirements of God’s service were not wearisome (as Micah 6:6-7 will show). As long as justice, mercy, and humility are present, Jehovah asks no more. A splendid ceremonial is the luxury of worship, not a necessity.Verse 3. - O my people. The controversy takes the form of a loving expostulation; and thus in his wonderful condescension Jehovah opens the suit. What have I done unto thee? What has occasioned thy fall from me? Hast thou aught to accuse me of, that thou art wearied of me? Have my requirements been too hard, or have I not kept my promises to thee (comp. Isaiah 43:23, etc.; Jeremiah 2:5)? Testify. A judicial term; make a formal defence or reply to judicial interrogatories; depose (Numbers 35:30) (Pusey). Amos 9:7. "Are ye not like the sons of the Cushites to me, ye sons of Israel? is the saying of Jehovah. Have I not brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and the Philistines out of Caphtor, and Aram out of Kir?" With these words the prophet tears away from the sinful nation the last support of its carnal security, namely, reliance upon its election as the nation of God, which the Lord has practically confirmed by leading Israel up out of Egypt. Their election as the people of Jehovah was unquestionably a pledge that the Lord would not cast off His people, or suffer them to be destroyed by the heathen. But what the apostle says of circumcision in Romans 2:25 applied to this election also, namely, that it was of benefit to none but those who kept the law. It afforded a certainty of divine protection simply to those who proved themselves to be the children of Israel by their walk and conduct, and who faithfully adhered to the Lord. To the rebellious it was of no avail. Idolaters had become like the heathen. The Cushites are mentioned, not so much as being descendants of the accursed Ham, as on account of the blackness of their skin, which was regarded as a symbol of spiritual blackness (cf. Jeremiah 13:23). The expression "sons (children) of the Cushites" is used with reference to the title "sons (children) of Israel," the honourable name of the covenant nation. For degenerate Israel, the leading up out of Egypt had no higher signification than the leading up of the Philistines and Syrians out of their former dwelling-places into the lands which they at present inhabited. These two peoples are mentioned by way of example: the Philistines, because they were despised by the Israelites, as being uncircumcised; the Syrians, with an allusion to the threat in Amos 1:5, that they should wander into exile to Kir. On the fact that the Philistines sprang from Caphtor, see the comm. on Genesis 10:14.
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