Micah 7:12
In that day also he shall come even to you from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) In that day also he shall come.—Rather translate, In that day shall they (impersonal) come even to thee from Assyria and (from) the cities of Matzor (i.e., Egypt), and from Matzor even to the river (Euphrates), and from sea to sea, and (from) mountain to mountain. The prophet beholds people coming from all parts of the earth to Jerusalem. Isaiah foresaw the like future, and spoke of Assyria, Egypt, and Israel being assembled together, “whom the Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt, my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel, mine inheritance” (Isaiah 19:25). The Christian reader can hardly refrain from discerning on the horizon of Micah’s vision that marvellous assembly of the representatives of the nations in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.

7:8-13 Those truly penitent for sin, will see great reason to be patient under affliction. When we complain to the Lord of the badness of the times, we ought to complain against ourselves for the badness of our hearts. We must depend upon God to work deliverance for us in due time. We must not only look to him, but look for him. In our greatest distresses, we shall see no reason to despair of salvation, if by faith we look to the Lord as the God of our salvation. Though enemies triumph and insult, they shall be silenced and put to shame. Though Zion's walls may long be in ruins, there will come a day when they shall be repaired. Israel shall come from all the remote parts, not turning back for discouragements. Though our enemies may seem to prevail against us, and to rejoice over us, we should not despond. Though cast down, we are not destroyed; we may join hope in God's mercy, with submission to his correction. No hinderances can prevent the favours the Lord intends for his church.On this confession of unworthiness and trust the message of joy bursts in, with the abruptness and conciseness of Hosea or Nahum:

A day to build thy fences; (that is, cometh;)

That day, far shall be the degree;

That day, and he shall come quite to thee;

And there follows, in a longer but still remarkably measured and interrupted cadence,

the statement of the length and breadth from which the people shall come to her;

Up to and from Assyria and the cities of strong-land (Egypt;)

Up to and from strong-land and even to river (the Euphrates;)

And sea from sea, and mountain to mountain.

It is not human might or strength which God promises to restore. He had before predicted, that the kingdom of the Messiah should stand, not through earthly strength Micah 5:9-13. He promises the restoration, not of city walls, but of the fence of the vineyard of God, which God foretold by Isaiah that He would "break down" Isaiah 5:5. It is a peaceful renewal of her estate under God's protection, like that, with the promise whereof Amos closed his prophecy; "In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof" Amos 9:11. This decree, which he says shall be far away, might in itself be the decree either of God or of the enemy. The sense is the same, since the enemy was but the instrument of God. Yet it seems more in accordance with the language of the prophets, that it should be the decree of man. For the decree of God for the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of His people was accomplished, held its course, was fulfilled.

The destruction, captivity, restoration, were parts of one and the same decree of God, of which the restoration was the last accomplished in time. The restoration was not the removal, but the complete fulfillment, of the decree. He means then probably, that the decree of the enemy, whereby he held her captive, was to remove and be far off, not by any agency of her's . The people were to stream to her of themselves. One by one, shall all thy banished, captive, scattered, children be brought quite home unto thee from all parts of the earth, whither they have been driven, "from Assyria, and from strong-land". The name Matsor, which he gives to Egypt, modifying its ordinary dual name Mitsraim, is meant, at once to signify "Egypt" , and to mark the strength of the country; as, in fact, , "Egypt was on all sides by nature strongly guarded."

A country, which was still strong relatively to Judah, would not, of itself, yield up its prey, but held it straitly; yet it should have to disgorge it. Isaiah and Hosea prophesied, in like way, the return of Israel and Judah from Assyria and from Egypt. "And from strong-land even to the river" Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 27:13; Hosea 11:11 (Euphrates); the ancient, widest, boundary of the promised land; "and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain" Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:7; Deuteronomy 11:24, Joshua 1:4; 1 Kings 4:21, 1 Kings 4:24. These last are too large to be the real boundaries of the land. If understood geographically, it would by narrowig those which had just been spoken of, from Egypt to the Euphratcs. Joel likens the destruction of the Northern army to the perishing of locusts in the two opposite seas, the Dead sea and the Mediterranean Joel 2:20; but the Dead sea was not the entire Eastern boundary of all Israel. Nor are there any mountains on the South, answering to Mount Libanus on the North. Not the mountains of Edom which lay to the South-East, but the desert Exodus 23:31; Numbers 34:3; Deuteronomy 11:24 was the Southern boundary of Judah. In the times too of their greatest prosperity, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Syria, had been subject to them.

The rule of the Messiah "from sea to sea" had already been predicted by Solomon , enlarging the boundaries of the promised land to the whole compass of the world, from the sea, their bound westward, to the further encircling sea beyond all habitable land, in which, in fact, our continents are large islands . To this, Micah adds a new description, "from mountain to mountain", including, probably, all subdivisions in our habitable earth, as the words, "sea to sea", had embraced it as a whole. For, physically and to sight, mountains are the great natural divisions of our earth. Rivers are but a means of transit. The Euphrates and the Nile were the centers of the kingdoms which lay upon them. Each range of mountains, as it rises on the horizon, seems to present an insuperable barrier. No barrier should avail to hinder the inflow to the Gospel. As Isaiah foretold that all obstacles should be removed, "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low" Isaiah 40:4, so Micah prophesies, "from mountain to mountain they shall come".

The words are addressed as a promise and consolation to the Jews, and so, doubtless, the restoration of the Jews to their own land after the captivity is foretold here, as Micah had already foretold it Micah 4:10. But is the whole limited to this? He says, with remarkable indefiniteness, there shall come . He does not say, who "shall come." But he twice sets two opposite boundaries, from which men should come; and, since these boundaries, not being coincident, cannot be predicted of one and the same subject, there must be two distinct incomings. The Jews were to come from those two countries, whither its people were then to be carried captive or would flee. From the boundaries of the world, the world was to come.

continued...

12. In that day also—rather, an answer to the supposed question of Zion, When shall my walls be built? "The day (of thy walls being built) is the day when he (that is, many) shall come to thee from Assyria," &c. [Ludovicus De Dieu]. The Assyrians (including the Babylonians) who spoiled thee shall come.

and from the fortified cities—rather, to suit the parallelism, "from Assyria even to Egypt." (Matzor may be so translated). So Assyria and Egypt are contrasted in Isa 19:23 [Maurer]. Calvin agrees with English Version, "from all fortified cities."

from the fortress even to the river—"from Egypt even to the river" Euphrates (answering in parallelism to "Assyria") [Maurer]. Compare Isa 11:15, 16; 19:23-25; 27:13; Ho 11:11; Zec 10:10.

In that day, after the Jews’ return out of captivity, and Jerusalem rebuilt, he who is of Jewish race, and proselyted Gentile,

shall come even to thee, O Jerusalem, seat of God’s solemn worship, type of the gospel church, restored to thy promised glory.

From Assyria; in which many Israelites were found captives when the Babylonian kingdom swallowed up the Assyrian, and were continued in that servitude by the Babylonians till the Medes and Persians overthrew the Babylonians, and proclaimed a release to all captive Jews; then from Assyria did captive Israel, i.e. some of them, go up to Jerusalem.

From the fortified cities; in which it is probable many Jews were kept for servile works: Shalmaneser did place the captivity of the ten tribes in the cities of the Medes, which, for aught I know, may be the cities here spoken of.

From the fortress: one mentioned for all the rest, and I suppose these fortresses might be frontier garrisons made for defence of the country, where the Jews were in policy placed by the Assyrian; from these places, and through all the country,

even to the river; to Euphrates or Chebar, where also were of the captive Jews.

From sea to sea; from the Caspian to the Persian and to the Midland Sea.

From mountain to mountain; on which many of the dispersed Jews did in all likelihood settle themselves in process of time for security and retirement, as the persecuted Waldenses and Albigenses settled in the mountainous parts bordering on France, Savoy, and Italy. Or from Mount Taurus to Mount Libanus or Carmel. In brief, from all parts of their captivity they shall return to their own country, a singular type of the redemption of the church by Christ, the bringing in the Gentiles, and enlarging the Messiah’s kingdom. In that day also he shall come even to thee,.... Which words also are not directed to the enemy, as some interpret them; as to Chaldea or Babylon; and the sense be, that Cyrus should come thither, and take it; or any more remote enemy of the Jews in the latter day, to whom the day of the Lord should come, or his decree of vengeance or judgment upon them, or any enemy to waste and destroy them; but they are a continued address to Jerusalem or the church, signifying that "he", the people of the Jews, the body of them, with the proselyted Gentiles, should come from all parts to Jerusalem to rebuild it upon the decree of Cyrus; and that multitudes of all, or at least many nations, should flock to the church of Christ, upon the publication of the Gospel:

from Assyria: where many of the Jews, and even of the ten tribes, were, whither they were carried captive:

and from the fortified cities; in Assyria, and other countries, where the Jews might be placed, either as prisoners, or to do servile work, as repairing the fortifications; or for the defence of the country, from which they were to be and were released upon Cyrus taking of Babylon; and was a type of the redemption by Christ from greater bondage. It may be rendered the cities of Egypt, as Kimchi observes, here and in 2 Kings 19:24; and so Ben Melech: it is interpreted by some Matzor, being the same with Mitzraim, which is the name for Egypt; and the sense would be more easy, as well as the words run more smoothly, thus, "shall come from Assyria even to the cities of Egypt": and then it follows,

and from the fortress even to the river; or from Egypt, to the river Euphrates, which was one of the boundaries of the land of Israel:

and from sea to sea; from the Persian sea to the Mediterranean sea, or from the Red sea thither, and from the several maritime parts where they inhabited:

and from mountain to mountain; from Mount Taurus to Carmel, or Lebanon, or Hor; or from the several mountains to which they had fled to, safety, and where they had dwelt. It may respect the extent of the church and kingdom of Christ in the latter day, enlarged by the numerous conversions of Jews and Gentiles in all parts of the world. The Jews shall be gathered from all places where they are, and join themselves to the church of Christ; and these several places, particularly Assyria, Egypt and the islands of the sea from whence they shall be brought, are mentioned in other prophecies; see Isaiah 11:11; though this may respect, not barely the conversion and gathering of them to Christ and his church, but of the Gentiles also in those several countries, thus; they "shall come from Assyria, and the fortified cities"; that is, from the Turkish empire; the land of Assyria, and its fortified cities, being in the possession of the Turks, and in whose dominions many Jews at this day reside; and not only they, but multitudes in the Ottoman empire, shall be converted in the latter day, and become members of Christian churches; signified by the flocks of Kedar, and the rams of Nebaioth, that shall be gathered to the church, and minister there, Isaiah 60:7; and they shall come "from the fortress even to the river"; from everyone of the fortified cities before mentioned to the river Euphrates, which will be dried up to make way for the kings or kingdoms of the east, for their conversion to Christ, and embracing his Gospel; even the large kingdoms of Persia, Tartary, China, &c. Revelation 16:12; or "from Egypt to the river Euphrates"; and so signifies the same as before, Egypt being part of the Turkish dominions; or else the Roman jurisdiction, spiritually called Egypt, may be meant, Revelation 11:8; and in several Popish countries are many Jews, who will be called from thence; as well as many of the Papists themselves shall be called out of mystical Babylon, and embrace the true religion of Christ: "and from sea to sea"; this is a well known description of the amplitude of Christ's church and kingdom in Gospel times, especially in the latter day; see Psalm 72:8; or, as it may be rendered, "the sea from the sea" (e); that is, the inhabitants of the sea, or of the islands of it, shall come from thence to the church, see Isaiah 11:11; these are the same with the abundance of the sea, that shall be converted to Christ, and join his people in the latter day, as in our isle and others, Isaiah 40:5; "and from mountain to mountain"; or rather, "and mountain shall come to the mountain" (f); that is, the inhabitants of the mountain, or of Rome, that is situated on seven mountains, of mystical Babylon, the great mountain; these shall be called from hence to Mount Zion, the church of the living God, where Christ with the 144,000 will be; and which shall then be established on the top of the mountains, and all nations shall flow unto it, Revelation 14:1. The Targum is,

"at that time the captives shall be gathered from Assyria, and the strong cities, and from Churmini (or Armenia), the great and the fortified cities, even unto Euphrates, and the western sea, and the mountains of the mountain.''

(e) "et mare a mari", Montanus, Burkius. (f) "et mons veniet ad montem", Cocceius, Burkius.

In that day also he shall come even to thee from {l} Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.

(l) When the Church will be restored, those that were enemies before will come out of all the corners of the world to her, so that neither fortresses, rivers, seas, nor mountains will be able to stop them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. Comp. the extent of the dispersion as described in Isaiah 11:11.

He shall come even to thee] Rather, men shall come to thee. It is a promise of the conversion of the heathen to the true religion.

and from the fortified cities] Rather, and from the cities of Egypt. ‘Egypt’ is here not Mizraim, but Mâzôr, an abnormal form, which occurs again in Isaiah 19:6; Isaiah 37:25. It is not an Egyptian word, but the Assyrians gave almost the same name to Egypt (Muçur). The phrase, ‘the cities of Egypt,’ reminds us how thickly peopled the Nile-valley was.

and from the fortress] Rather, and from Egypt.

even to the river] i.e. the Euphrates.

from sea to sea] i.e. from the Mediterranean Sea in the West to the Persian Gulf in the East (comp. Joel 2:20).

from mountain to mountain] i.e. from Sinai in the South to Lebanon in the North. The Peshito (Syriac) however reads this clause, ‘even to the sea on the west and to mount Hor.’Verse 12. - He shall come; they shall come. Men shall flock to Zion as the metropolis of the new kingdom (Micah 4:2). The countries named are those in which the Jews were dispersed (see Isaiah 11:11). Micah embraces in one view the restoration of Israel and the conversion of the heathen (comp. Isaiah 19:24; Isaiah 27:12, 13). Assyria. The type of the greatest enemy of God. The fortified cities; rather, the cities of Mazor, the strong land, i.e. Egypt. The usual term for Egypt is Mizraim; but Mazor is found in 2 Kings 19:24; Isaiah 19:6; Isaiah 37:25. Cheyne compares the Assyrian name for this country, Mucar. From the fortress; from Mazor; Septuagint, ἀπὸ Τύρου, "from Tyre" or Tsor. Even to the river. From Egypt to the Euphrates, which was the river par excellence. (Genesis 15:18). From sea to sea. Not necessarily from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea or to the Persian Gulf (as Joel 2:20), but generally, from one sea to another, from the earth as bounded by the seas; so, from mountain to mountain; i.e. not from Lebanon to Sinai, or from Hor (Numbers 20:22) to Hor (Numbers 34:7), which is too limited, but from all lands situated between mountain barriers, which are the bounds of the world (comp. Isaiah 60:3, etc.). The Kingdom of Jehovah Established upon Zion. - The prophecy advances from the judgment upon all the heathen to the completion of the kingdom of God by the raising up of Israel to world-wide dominion. While the judgment is falling upon all the heathen nations, Mount Zion will be an asylum for those who are delivered. Judah and Israel will capture the possessions of the nations, destroy Edom, and extend its borders on every side (Obadiah 1:17-19). The Israelites scattered among the nations will return into their enlarged inheritances, and upon Zion will saviours arise, to judge Edom, and the kingdom will then be the Lord's (Obadiah 1:20, Obadiah 1:21). This promise is appended as an antithesis to the proclamation of judgment in Obadiah 1:16.

Obadiah 1:17

"But upon Mount Zion will be that which has been saved, and it will be a sanctuary, and the house of Jacob will take possession of their possessions." Upon Mount Zion, which the Edomites have now desecrated by drinking carousals, there will then, when the nations are obliged to drink the cup of intoxication even to their utter destruction, be pelētâh, that which has escaped, i.e., the multitude of those who have been rescued and preserved throughout the judgment. See the explanation of this at Joel 2:32, where this thought is still further expounded. Mount Zion is the seat of the kingdom of Jehovah (cf. Obadiah 1:21). There the Lord is enthroned (Joel 3:17), and His rescued people with Him. And it (Mount Zion) will be qōdesh, a sanctuary, i.e., inviolable; the heathen will no more dare to tread it and defile it (Joel 3:17). It follows from this, that the rescued crowd upon it will also be a holy people (" a holy seed," Isaiah 6:13). This sanctified people of the Lord, the house of Jacob, will capture the possessions of their foes. The suffix attached to מורשׁיהם is supposed by many to refer to בּית יעקב: those of the house of Jacob, i.e., the rescued Israelites, will take their former possessions once more. This view cannot be overthrown by the simple remark that yârash cannot mean to take possession again; for that meaning might be given to it by the context, as, for example, in Deuteronomy 30:5. But it is a decisive objection to it, that neither in what precedes nor in what follows is there any reference to Israel as having been carried away. The penetration of foes into the gates of Jerusalem, the plundering of the city, and the casting of lots upon the booty and the prisoners (Obadiah 1:11), do not involve the carrying away of the whole nation into exile; and the gâlūth of the sons of Israel and Jerusalem in Obadiah 1:20 is clearly distinguished from the "house of Jacob" in Obadiah 1:18. And since we have first of all (Obadiah 1:18, Obadiah 1:19) an announcement of the conquest of Edom by the house of Jacob, and the capture of the mountains of Esau, of Philistia, etc., by the inhabitants of the south-land, i.e., by Judaeans; and then in Obadiah 1:20 the possession of the south-land is promised to the gâluth (captivity); this gâluth can only have been a small fragment of the nation, and therefore the carrying away can only have extended to a number of prisoners of war, whilst the kernel of the nation had remained in the land, i.e., in its own possessions. The objection offered to this, namely, that if we refer the suffix in mōrâshēhem (their possessions) to kŏl-haggōyı̄m (all nations), Judah would have to take possession of all nations, which is quite incredible and even at variance with Obadiah 1:19, Obadiah 1:20, inasmuch as the only enemies' land mentioned there (Obadiah 1:19) is the territory of the Edomites and Philistines, whilst the other countries or portions of country mentioned there are not enemies' land at all. For there is no incredibility in the taking of the land of all nations by Judah, except on the assumption that Judah merely denotes the posterity or remnant of the citizens of the earthly kingdom of Judah. But this is not what Obadiah says. He does not mention Judah, but the house of Jacob, and means thereby not the natural Israel, but the people of God, who are eventually to obtain the dominion of the world. The discrepancy between Obadiah 1:17 and Obadiah 1:19 is not greater than that between שׁתיתם in Obadiah 1:16 and ישּׁתּוּ כל־הגּוים in Obadiah 1:16, and disappears if we only recognise the fact that Edom and the Philistines are simply mentioned in Obadiah 1:19 as types of the heathen world in its hostility to god. We therefore regard the application of the expression mōrâshēhem to the possessions of the heathen nations as the only correct one, and that all the more because the וירשׁוּ in Obadiah 1:19 is very clearly seen to be a more exact explanation of the וירשׁוּ in Obadiah 1:17. In Obadiah 1:17 Obadiah gives, in a few brief words, the sum and substance of the salvation which awaits the people of the Lord in the future. This salvation is unfolded still further in what follows, and first of all in Obadiah 1:18, Obadiah 1:19, by a fuller exposition of the thought expressed in Obadiah 1:17.

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