Micah 7:2
The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) With a net.—The net, which in the Hebrew term comes from a verb meaning to shut up, was used both by the fisherman and the fowler. “They lay wait for one another, as hunters for wild beasts.”

7:1-7 The prophet bemoans himself that he lived among a people ripening apace for ruin, in which many good persons would suffer. Men had no comfort, no satisfaction in their own families or in their nearest relations. Contempt and violation of domestic duties are a sad symptom of universal corruption. Those are never likely to come to good who are undutiful to their parents. The prophet saw no safety or comfort but in looking to the Lord, and waiting on God his salvation. When under trials, we should look continually to our Divine Redeemer, that we may have strength and grace to trust in him, and to be examples to those around us.The, good - or godly, or merciful, the English margin

Man - The Hebrew word contains all. It is "he who loveth tenderly and piously" God, for His own sake, and man, for the sake of God. Mercy was probably chiefly intended, since it wits to this that the prophet had exhorted, and the sins which he proceeds to speak of, are against this. But imaginary love of God without love of man, or love of man without the love of God, is mere self-deceit. "Is perished out of the earth," that is, by an untimely death. The good had either been withdrawn by God from the evil to come Isaiah 57:1, or had Leon cut off by those who laid wait for blood; in which case their death brought a double evil, through the guilt which such sin contracted, and then, through the loss of those who might be an example to others, and whose prayers God would hear. The loving and upright, all, who were men of mercy and truth, had ceased. They who were left, "all lie in wait for blood," literally, bloods , that is, bloodshedding; all, as far as man can see; as Elijah complains that he was left alone.

Amid the vast number of the wicked, the righteous were as though they were not. Isaiah, at the same time, complains of the like sins, and that it was as though there were none righteous; "Your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips hate spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth" Isaiah 59:2-3. Indirectly, or directly, they destroyed life . To violence they add treachery. The good and loving had perished, and all is now violence; the upright had ceased, and all now is deceit. "They hunt every man his brother with a net." Every man is the brother of every man, because he is man, born of the same first parent, children of the same Father: yet they lay wait for one another, as hunters for wild beasts (Compare Psalm 35:7; Psalm 57:7; Psalm 140:6; Jeremiah 5:26).

2. The Hebrew expresses "one merciful and good in relation to man," rather than to God.

is perished out of the earth—(Ps 12:1).

The good man; who loves and is kind to men in need, and is so from the sense of God’s goodness, and in a designed imitation of God, is godly in the frame of his heart and course of life towards God, and beneficent to men for God’s sake.

Is perished; is dead and gone, and left no heir of his godlike virtues.

Out of the earth; out of Israel and Judah too, though Hezekiah was (probably) now their king.

None upright; an honest, plain-hearted man, who thinketh no deceit, but speaketh the truth, that is, without crooked and perverse designs; such a one may possibly, but not easily, be found among the people of the ten anti of the two tribes.

They all lie in wait for blood: this proves the prophet’s charge against this people, for the good and upright man imagineth not evil against any, but it is evident that in Israel (and Judah too) the temper of the most was sly, designing, and watching to do mischief, to the ruining of families, the murdering of. innocents, and seizing their estates, Ahab like, 1 Kings 21 Pr 1:19.

They hunt; they proceed with all diligence, craft, and power, as a hunter that hath set his toils, and is now by all his arts endeavouring to bring the prey into the toils, that he may make his advantage by it.

Every man his brother; were they strangers they so hunted it were barbarous, but this is inhumanly barbarous, these bloody men hunt and destroy their brethren, the seed of Jacob, the worshippers of the God of Jacob, their own circumcised brethren.

With a net; which is spread beforehand, and laid close; so it is secret, premeditated cruelty and rapine they do universally exercise against each other.

The good man; who loves and is kind to men in need, and is so from the sense of God’s goodness, and in a designed imitation of God, is godly in the frame of his heart and course of life towards God, and beneficent to men for God’s sake.

Is perished; is dead and gone, and left no heir of his godlike virtues.

Out of the earth; out of Israel and Judah too, though Hezekiah was (probably) now their king.

None upright; an honest, plain-hearted man, who thinketh no deceit, but speaketh the truth, that is, without crooked and perverse designs; such a one may possibly, but not easily, be found among the people of the ten anti of the two tribes.

They all lie in wait for blood: this proves the prophet’s charge against this people, for the good and upright man imagineth not evil against any, but it is evident that in Israel (and Judah too) the temper of the most was sly, designing, and watching to do mischief, to the ruining of families, the murdering of. innocents, and seizing their estates, Ahab like, 1 Kings 21 Pr 1:19.

They hunt; they proceed with all diligence, craft, and power, as a hunter that hath set his toils, and is now by all his arts endeavouring to bring the prey into the toils, that he may make his advantage by it.

Every man his brother; were they strangers they so hunted it were barbarous, but this is inhumanly barbarous, these bloody men hunt and destroy their brethren, the seed of Jacob, the worshippers of the God of Jacob, their own circumcised brethren.

With a net; which is spread beforehand, and laid close; so it is secret, premeditated cruelty and rapine they do universally exercise against each other. The good man is perished out of the earth,.... Here the prophet expresses in plain words what he had before delivered in figurative terms. The "good" or "godly" man, as in Psalm 12:1; is one that has received the grace of God, and blessings of grace from him, and lives a godly life and conversation; who has the good work of grace begun in him and is found in the performance of good works, and does his duty both to God and man from godly principles; and particularly is kind and merciful to the poor and needy, and those in distress. The complaint is, that there were few, or scarce any, of this character in the earth, in the land of Israel, where there used to be great numbers of them, but now they were all dead and gone; for this is to be understood, not of the perishing of their graces or comforts, much less of their perishing in their sins, or perishing eternally, but of their corporeal death:

and there is none upright among men; that are upright in heart and life; that have right spirits renewed in them, are Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile; and walk uprightly, according to the rule of the divine word, truly honest, faithful men; very few such were to be found, scarce any; see Psalm 12:1;

they all lie in wait for blood; for the substance, wealth, and riches of men, which is as their blood and life; is their livelihood, that on which they live; this they wait for an opportunity to get from them, and, when it offers, greedily seize it; and stick not even to shed blood, and take away life, for the sake of gain:

they hunt every man his brother with a net; as men lay nets for fish, and fowl, and beasts, and hunt them till they have got them into them; so these men laid snares, not for strangers only, but for their own brethren, to entangle them in, and cheat and defraud them of their substance; and this they would do, even to the destruction of them, as some (s) render it; for the word also signifies "anathema", destruction, as well as a "net". So the Targum.

"betray or deliver his brother to destruction.''

(s) "ad necem", Tigurine version; "anathema, caedes", Drusius; "ad occasuinem", ibid.

The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: {b} they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

(b) He shows that the prince, the judge, and the rich man are all linked together to do evil, and to disguise the deeds of one another.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. The good man] More fully rendered, ‘The pious man,’ he who makes love his rule of action—love to God and love to man. ‘The idea of khâsîdh is not passive [he who experiences grace or love], for God Himself is called khâsîdh, Psalm 145:17, but he who exercises khesedh (Proverbs 11:17), i.e. makes men, according to God’s will, and God Himself (comp. Jonah 2:8, Psalm 144:2) ‘the object of his loving endeavours’ (Delitzsch on Psalm 16:10). Observe, ‘The pious man,’ not ‘pious men’ is the phrase employed, ‘indicating the fewness and isolation of these Abdiels.’ There is a striking parallel to the first half of this verse in Isaiah 57:1, ‘The righteous perisheth, and no man taketh it to heart, and men of piety are gathered,’ &c. Both passages must have been written in time of persecution.

they all lie in wait for blood] Not merely persecution, but anarchy seems to have been the order of the day: at least the rich and powerful were under no legal restraint; they did that which was right in their own eyes. Similar circumstances are described in many of the Psalms (see e. g. Psalm 10:8-9).

every man his brother] Although, as children of Abraham, they ought to love each other; comp. Leviticus 19:18.Verse 2. - This verse explains the preceding comparison; the grape and the early fig represent the righteous man. The good man; LXX., εὐσεβής, the godly, pious man. The Hebrew word (khasidh) implies one who exercises love to others, who is merciful, loving, and righteous. Is perished out of the earth; has disappeared from the world (comp. Psalm 14:2, 3; and especially Isaiah 57:1). They all lie in wait for blood. They all practise violence and rapine, and meditate how they may pursue their evil designs, even to the shedding of blood. LXX., πάντες εἰς αϊματα δικάζονται, which narrows the charge to one special kind of iniquity, vie. committing judicial murders. They hunt every man his brother with a net. They ought to love their brethren, their fellow countrymen, partakers of the same hope and privileges (Leviticus 19:18). Instead of this, they pursue them as the fowler traps birds, or the hunter beasts. The word rendered "net" (cherem) is in most versions translated "destruction." Thus, Septuagint, ἐκθλίβουσιν ἐκθλιβῇ: Vulgate, ad mortem venatur; so the Syriac and Chaldee. In the present connection it is best taken as "net" (Habakkuk 1:15). In the midst of this calamity Edom will be forsaken and betrayed by its allies, and will also be unable to procure any deliverance for itself by its own understanding. The allies send Edom even to the border. The meaning of this is not that they will not receive the Edomitish fugitives, but drive them back to the frontier, so that they fall into the hands of the enemy (Hitzig and others); for the suffix ך cannot refer to the small number of fugitives from Edom who have escaped the massacre, but applies to Edom as a nation. The latter seeks for help and support from their allies, - namely, through the medium of ambassadors whom it sends to them. But the ambassadors, and in their persons the Edomites themselves, are sent back to the frontier by all the allies, because they will not entangle themselves in the fate of Edom. Sending to the frontier, however, is not to be understood as signifying that the allies "send their troops with them as far as the frontier, and then order them to turn back," as Michaelis supposes; for "if the allies were unwilling to help, they would hardly call out the army to march as far as the frontier" (Hitzig). Nor is this implied either in שׁלּחוּך or השּׁיאוּך; for shillēăch means to send away, to dismiss, and both here and in Genesis 12:20 to send across the frontier. This was a deception of the expectation of the Edomites, although the words "have deceived thee" belong, strictly speaking, to what follows, and not to the conduct of the allies. אנשׁי שׁלמך, an expression taken from Psalm 41:10, both here and in Jeremiah 38:22 (cf. Jeremiah 20:10), the men or people with whom thou didst live in peace, are probably neighbouring Arabian tribes, who had made commercial treaties with the Edomites. They deceived, or rather overpowered, Edom. יכלוּ is the practical explanation and more precise definition of השּׁיאוּ.

But the answer to the question whether the overpowering was carried out by cunning and deception (Jeremiah 20:10; Jeremiah 38:22), or by open violence (Genesis 32:26; Psalm 129:2), depends upon the explanation given to the next sentence, about which there are great diversities of opinion, partly on account of the different explanations given of לחמך, and partly on account of the different renderings given to מזור. The latter occurs in Hosea 5:13 and Jeremiah 30:13 in the sense of a festering wound or abscess, and the rabbinical commentators and lexicographers have retained this meaning in the passage before us. On the other hand, the older translators have here ἔνεδρα (lxx), תקלא, offence, σκάνδαλον (Chald.), kemi'nā', insidiae (Syr.), Aq. and Symm. σύνδεσμος and ἐπίδεσις, Vulg. insidiae; and hence the modern rendering, they lay a snare, or place a trap under thee. But this rendering cannot be vindicated etymologically, since zūr ( equals zârar) does not mean to bind, but to press together or squeeze out. Nor can the form mâzōr be taken as a contraction of mezōrâh, as Hitzig supposes, since this is derived from zârâh, to strew or scatter. And no weight is to be attached to the opinion of Aquila with his literal translation, for the simple reason that his rendering of Hosea 5:13 is decidedly false. Ewald and Hitzig prefer the rendering "net;" but this, again, cannot be sustained either from the expression mezorâh hâresheth in Proverbs 1:17 (Hitzig), or from the Syriac, mezar, extendit (Ges. Addid. ad thes. p. 96). The only meaning that can be sustained as abscess or wound. We must therefore adhere to the rendering, "they make thy bread a wound under thee." For the proposal to take lachmekhâ (thy bread) as a second genitive dependent upon 'anshē (the men), is not only opposed to the accents and the parallelism of the members, according to which 'anshē shelōmekhâ (the men of thy peace) must conclude the second clause, just as 'anshē berı̄thekhâ (the men of thy covenant) closes the first; but it is altogether unexampled, and the expression 'anshē lachmekhâ is itself unheard of. For this reason we must not even supply 'anshē to lachmekhâ from the previous sentence, or make "the men of thy bread" the subject, notwithstanding the fact that the lxx, the Chald., the Syr., and Jerome have adopted this as the meaning. Still less can lachmekhâ stand in the place of אכלי לחמך (they that eat thy bread), as some suppose. Lachmekhâ can only be the first object to yâsı̄mū, and consequently the subject of the previous clause still continues in force: they who befriended thee make thy bread, i.e., the bread which they ate from thee or with thee, not "the bread which thou seekest from them" (Hitzig), into a wound under thee, i.e., an occasion for destroying thee. We have not to think of common meals of hospitality here, as Rashi, Rosenmller, and others do; but the words are to be taken figuratively, after the analogy of Psalm 41:10, which floated before the prophet's mind, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up the heel against me," as denoting conspiracies on the part of those who were allied to Edom, and drew their own sustenance from it, the rich trading nation, to destroy that very nation which was now oppressed by its foes. The only difficulty is in the word תּחתּיך, under thee, inasmuch as the meaning "without thy knowledge" (clam te), which Vatablus and Drusius adopt, cannot be sustained, and least of all from 2 Samuel 3:12. We must connect תּחתּיך closely with מזור, in this sense, that the wound is inflicted upon the lower part of the body, to express its dangerous nature, inasmuch as wounds upon which one sits or lies are hard to heal. Consequently יכוּ לך (they prevail against thee) is to be understood as denoting conquest, not by an unexpected attack or open violence, but by cunning and deceit, or by secret treachery. The last clause, אין תּבוּנה וגו, does not give the reason why the thing described was to happen to the Edomites (Chald., Theod.); nor is it to be connected with mâzōr as a relative clause (Hitzig), or as explanatory of תּחתּיך, "to thee, without thy perceiving it, or before thou perceivest it" (Luther and L. de Dieu). The very change from the second person to the third ( בּו) is a proof that it introduces an independent statement, - namely, that in consequence of the calamity which thus bursts upon the Edomites, they lose their wonted discernment, and neither know what to do nor how to help themselves (Maurer and Caspari). This thought is expanded still further in Obadiah 1:8, Obadiah 1:9.

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