Micah 7:5
Trust you not in a friend, put you not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of your mouth from her that lies in your bosom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5, 6) Trust ye not . . .—All is now distrust and suspicion. The households are divided each against itself, and the relationships which should mean mutual confidence and support have become the occasion of the most bitter hostility. Our Lord adopts these words to express the strife and division which, He foresaw, would defile Christianity. (Comp. Matthew 10:35; Mark 13:12; Luke 12:53.)

Micah 7:5-7. Trust ye not in a friend — This and the next verse are descriptive of a general corruption of manners; so that all ties and duties of consanguinity were trampled upon, or paid no regard to. The friend proved treacherous to his friend, the wife to her husband: children set at naught their parents, and a man’s own family, or domestics, plotted his injury, or destruction, or acted as enemies toward him. Therefore will I look unto the Lord — The church here expresses her confidence in God alone, since no trust could be placed in man. Or, they may be considered as the words of the prophet, and of those who feared God in Israel.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.Trust ye not in a friend - It is part of the perplexity of crooked ways, that all relationships are put out of joint. Selfishness rends each from the other, and disjoints the whole frame of society. Passions and sin break every band of friendship, kindred, gratitude, nature. "Everyone 'seeketh his own'." Times of trial and of outward harass increase this; so that God's visitations are seasons of the most frightful recklessness as to everything but sell: So had God foretold Deuteronomy 28:53; so it was in the siege of Samaria 2 Kings 6:28, and in that of Jerusalem both by the Chaldeans Lamentations 4:3-16 and by the Romans . When the soul has lost the love of God, all other is but sceming love, since "natural affection" is from Him, and it too dies out, as God gives the soul over to itself Romans 1:28. The words describe partly the inward corruption, partly the outward causes which shall call it forth.

There is no real trust in any, where all are eorrupt. The outward straitness and perplexity, in which they shall be, makes that to crumble and fall to pieces, which was inwardly decayed and severed before. The words deepen, as they go on. First, "the friend", or neighbor, the common band of man and man; then "the guide", (or, as the word also means, one "familiar", united by intimacy, to whom, by continual intercourse, the soul was "used";) then the wife who lay in the bosom, nearest to the secrets of the heart; then those to whom all reverence is due, "father" and "mother". Our Lord said that this should be fulfilled in the hatred of His Gospel. He begins His warning as to it, with a caution like that of the prophet; "Be ye wise as serpents" Matthew 10:16-17, and "beware of men". Then He says, how these words should still be true Matthew 10:21, Matthew 10:35-36. There never were wanting pleas of earthly interest against the truth.

He Himself was "cut off" lest "the Romans should take away their place and nation" John 11:48. The Apostles were accused, that they meant to "bring this Man's Blood upon" the chief priests Acts 5:28; or as "ringleaders of the sect of the Nazarenes, pestilant fallows and movers of sedition, turning the world upside down, setters up of another king; troublers of the city; comanding things unlawful for Romans to practice; setters forth of strange gods; turning away much people" Acts 24:5; Acts 16:20-21; Acts 17:6-7, Acts 17:18; 1 Peter 2:12; endangering not men's craft only, but the honor of their gods; "evil doers". Truth is against the world's ways, so the world is against it. Holy zeal hates sin, so sinners hate it. It troubles them, so they count it, "one which troubleth Israel" 1 Kings 18:17. Tertullian, in a public defense of Christians in the second century, writes, , "Truth set out with being herself hated; as soon as she appeared, she is an enemy. As many as are strangers to it, so many are its foes; and the Jews indeed appropriately from their rivalry, the soldiers from their violence, even they of our own household from nature. Each flay are we beset, each day betrayed; in our very meetings and assemblies are we mostly surprised."

There was no lack of pleas. : "A Christian thou deemest a man guilty of every crime, an encmy of the goals, of the Emperors, of law, of morals, of all nature;" "factious," "authors of all public calamities through the anger of the pagan gods," "impious," "atheists," "disloyal," "public enemies." The Jews, in the largest sense of the word "they of their own household", were ever the deadliest enemies of Christians, the inventors of calumnies, the authors of persecutions. "What other race," says , Tertullian, "is the seed-plot of our calumnies?"

Then the Acts of the Martyrs tell, how Christians were betrayed by near kinsfolk for private interest, or for revenge, because they would not join in things unlawful. Jerome: "So many are the instances in daily life, (of the daughter rising against the mother) that we should rather mourn that they are so many, than seek them out." - "I seek no examples, (of those of a man's own househould being his foes) they are too many, that we should have any need of witness." Dionysius: "Yet ought we not, on account of these and like words of Holy Scripture, to be mistrustful or suspicious, or always to presume the worst, but to be cautious and prudent. For Holy Scripture speaketh with reference to times, causes, persons, places." So John saith, "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God" 1 John 4:1.

5. Trust ye not in a friend—Faith is kept nowhere: all to a man are treacherous (Jer 9:2-6). When justice is perverted by the great, faith nowhere is safe. So, in gospel times of persecution, "a man's foes are they of his own household" (Mt 10:35, 36; Lu 12:53).

guide—a counsellor [Calvin] able to help and advise (compare Ps 118:8, 9; 146:3). The head of your family, to whom all the members of the family would naturally repair in emergencies. Similarly the Hebrew is translated in Jos 22:14 and "chief friends" in Pr 16:28 [Grotius].

her that lieth in thy bosom—thy wife (De 13:6).

Trust ye not in a friend: most prodigiously treacherous were the people of that age, and since none upright, all lay in wait for blood, and were turned hunters of brethren, it is but necessary caution that they trust no friendship.

A guide; either a governor, who ought to guide; or equal, who being of intimate familiarity usually do guide; or a husband, as the word imports.

Keep the doors of thy mouth; watch thy words, let not thy tongue discover any secret or utter any words which may be danger to thyself, or give an advantage to thine enemy.

From her that lieth in thy bosom; a periphrasis of a wife in honest times; but whether in debauched times, as these are of which the prophet did speak, it may not import somewhat like that Proverbs 5:20, I will not say: a wife, one may rationally suppose, will never disclose a husband’s secrets to ruin him; yet such were the treacheries of that corrupt age, that it would be imprudence to trust a with.

Trust ye not in a friend: most prodigiously treacherous were the people of that age, and since none upright, all lay in wait for blood, and were turned hunters of brethren, it is but necessary caution that they trust no friendship.

A guide; either a governor, who ought to guide; or equal, who being of intimate familiarity usually do guide; or a husband, as the word imports.

Keep the doors of thy mouth; watch thy words, let not thy tongue discover any secret or utter any words which may be danger to thyself, or give an advantage to thine enemy.

From her that lieth in thy bosom; a periphrasis of a wife in honest times; but whether in debauched times, as these are of which the prophet did speak, it may not import somewhat like that Proverbs 5:20, I will not say: a wife, one may rationally suppose, will never disclose a husband’s secrets to ruin him; yet such were the treacheries of that corrupt age, that it would be imprudence to trust a with. Trust ye not in a friend,.... This is not said to lessen the value of friendship; or to discourage the cultivation of it with agreeable persons; or to dissuade from a confidence in a real friend; or in the least to weaken it, and damp the pleasure of true friendship, which is one of the great blessings of life; but to set forth the sad degeneracy of the then present age, that men, who pretended to be friends, were so universally false and faithless, that there was no dependence to be had on them:

put ye not confidence in a guide; in political matters, in civil affairs, as civil magistrates, judges, counsellors; or in domestic matters. The Targum renders it, in one near akin. Kimchi interprets it of an elder brother; and Aben Ezra of a husband, who is to his wife the guide of her youth; and in religious matters as prophets, priests who were false and deceitful. It may design a very intimate friend, a familiar acquaintance, who might of all men be thought to be confided in; of whom the word is used, Psalm 55:13;

keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom; from a wife, and much more from a concubine or harlot. The Targum is,

"from the wife of thy covenant keep the words of thy mouth;''

divulge not the thoughts of thine heart, or disclose the secrets of it, to one so near; take care of speaking treason against the prince, or ill of a neighbour; it may be got out of such an one, and who may be so base as to betray it: or utter not anything whatever that is secret, the divulging of which may be detrimental; for, in such an age as this was, one in so near a relation might be wicked enough to discover it; see Ecclesiastes 10:20.

Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. guide] Rather, familiar friend. The same mistake occurs in A. V. of Psalm 55:13 (14 in the Hebrew).

5, 6. Here the prophet addresses the better disposed of his people. Friendship and wedded love can no longer be trusted; natural affection passes into its opposite. Comp. Matthew 10:21; Matthew 10:35-36 (a reminiscence of a clause in our passage), Luke 12:53; Luke 21:16.Verse 5. - Such is the moral corruption that the nearest relations cannot be trusted: selfishness reigns everywhere The prophet emphasizes this universal evil by warning the better portion of the people. Friend... guide. There is a gradation here, beginning with "neighbour," or "common acquaintance," and ending with "wife." The word rendered "guide" means "closest, most familiar friend, as in Psalm 55:13 (14, Hebrew). Our version is sanctioned by the Septuagint, ἡγουμένοις, "leaders;" and the Vulgate, duce; but the context confirms the other translation (comp. Proverbs 16:28; Proverbs 17:9). Our Lord has used some of the expressions in the next verso in describing the miseries of the latter day (Matthew 10:21, 35, 36; Matthew 24:12; comp. Luke 12:53; Luke 21:16; 2 Timothy 3:2). Keep the doors of thy mouth. Guard thy secrets. (For the phrase, comp. Psalm 141:3.) Her that lieth in thy bosom. Thy wife (Deuteronomy 13:6; Deuteronomy 28:54). The Cause of the Ruin of the Edomites is their wickedness towards the brother nation Jacob (Obadiah 1:10 and Obadiah 1:11), which is still further exhibited in Obadiah 1:12-14 in the form of a warning, accompanied by an announcement of righteous retribution in the day of the Lord upon all nations (Obadiah 1:15, Obadiah 1:16). Obadiah 1:10. "For the wickedness towards thy brother Jacob shame will cover thee, and thou wilt be cut off for ever. Obadiah 1:11. In the day that thou stoodest opposite, in the day when enemies carried away his goods, and strangers came into his gates, and cast the lot upon Jerusalem, then even thou (wast) like one of them." Chămas 'âchı̄khâ, wickedness, violent wrong towards (upon) thy brother (genit. obj. as in Joel 3:19; Genesis 16:5, etc.). Drusius has already pointed out the peculiar emphasis on these words. Wrong, or violence, is all the more reprehensible, when it is committed against a brother. The fraternal relation in which Edom stood towards Judah is still more sharply defined by the name Jacob, since Esau and Jacob were twin brothers. The consciousness that the Israelites were their brethren, ought to have impelled the Edomites to render helpful support to the oppressed Judaeans. Instead of this, they not only revelled with scornful and malignant pleasure in the misfortune of the brother nation, but endeavored to increase it still further by rendering active support to the enemy. This hostile behaviour of Edom arose from envy at the election of Israel, like the hatred of Esau towards Jacob (Genesis 27:41), which was transmitted to his descendants, and came out openly in the time of Moses, in the unbrotherly refusal to allow the Israelites to pass in a peaceable manner through their land (Numbers 20). On the other hand, the Israelites are always commanded in the law to preserve a friendly and brotherly attitude towards Edom (Deuteronomy 2:4-5); and in Deuteronomy 23:7 it is enjoined upon them not to abhor the Edomite, because he is their brother. תּכסּך בוּשׁה (as in Micah 7:10), shame will cover thee, i.e., come upon thee in full measure, - namely, the shame of everlasting destruction, as the following explanatory clause clearly shows. ונכרתּ with Vav consec., but with the tone upon the penultima, contrary to the rule (cf. Ges. 49, 3; Ewald, 234, b and c). In the more precise account of Edom's sins given in Obadiah 1:11, the last clause does not answer exactly to the first. After the words "in the day that thou stoodest opposite," we should expect the apodosis "thou didst this or that." But Obadiah is led away from the sentence which he has already begun, by the enumeration of hostilities displayed towards Judah by its enemies, so that he observes with regard to Edom's behaviour: Then even thou wast as one of them, that is to say, thou didst act just like the enemy. עמד מנּגד, to stand opposite (compare Psalm 38:12), used here to denote a hostile intention, as in 2 Samuel 18:13. They showed this at first by looking on with pleasure at the misfortunes of the Judaeans (Obadiah 1:12), still more by stretching out their hand after their possessions (Obadiah 1:13), but most of all by taking part in the conflict with Judah (Obadiah 1:14). In the clauses which follow, the day when Edom acted thus is described as a day on which Judah had fallen into the power of hostile nations, who carried off its possessions, and disposed of Jerusalem as their booty. Zȧrı̄m and nokhrı̄m are synonymous epithets applied to heathen foes. שׁבה generally denotes the carrying away of captives; but it is sometimes applied to booty in cattle and goods, or treasures (1 Chronicles 5:21; 2 Chronicles 14:14; 2 Chronicles 21:17). חיל is not used here either for the army, or for the strength, i.e., the kernel of the nation, but, as חילו in Obadiah 1:13 clearly shows, for its possessions, as in Isaiah 8:4; Isaiah 10:14; Ezekiel 26:12, etc. שׁערו, his (Judah's) gates, used rhetorically for his cities.

Lastly, Jerusalem is also mentioned as the capital, upon which the enemies cast lots. The three clauses form a climax: first, the carrying away of Judah's possessions, that is to say, probably those of the open country; then the forcing of a way into the cities; and lastly, arbitrary proceedings both in and with the capital. ידּוּ גורל (perf. kal of ידד equals ידה, not piel for יידּוּ, because the Yod praef. of the imperfect piel is never dropped in verbs פי), to cast the lot upon booty (things) and prisoners, to divide them among them (compare Joel 3:3 and Nahum 3:10). Caspari, Hitzig, and others understand it here as in Joel 3:3, as denoting the distribution of the captive inhabitants of Jerusalem, and found upon this one of their leading arguments, that the description given here refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, which Obadiah either foresaw in the Spirit, or depicts as something already experienced. But this by no means follows from the fact that in Joel we have עמּי instead of ירוּשׁלם, since it is generally acknowledged that, when the prophets made use of their predecessors, they frequently modified their expressions, or gave them a different turn. But if we look at our passage simply as its stands, there is not the slightest indication that Jerusalem is mentioned in the place of the people. As שׁבות חילו does not express the carrying away of the inhabitants, there is not a single syllable which refers to the carrying away captive of either the whole nation or the whole of the population of Jerusalem. On the contrary, in Obadiah 1:13 we read of the perishing of the children of Judah, and in Obadiah 1:14 of fugitives of Judah, and those that have escaped. From this it is very obvious that Obadiah had simply a conquest of Jerusalem in his eye, when part of the population was slain in battle and part taken captive, and the possessions of the city were plundered; so that the casting of the lot upon Jerusalem has reference not only to the prisoners, but also to the things taken as plunder in the city, which the conquerors divided among them. גּם אתּה, even thou, the brother of Jacob, art like one of them, makest common cause with the enemy. The verb הייתה, thou wast, is omitted, to bring the event before the mind as something even then occurring. For this reason Obadiah also clothes the further description of the hostilities of the Edomites in the form of a warning against such conduct.

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