Micah 7:8
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) O mine enemy.—The Hebrew word is strictly a female enemy (see Micah 7:10), and is used of enemies collectively. The cities of Babylon and Edom are probably intended. They are mentioned together in Psalms 137 : “Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom.” . . . “O Babylon, that art to be destroyed.” The fall of those cities should be final, but Jerusalem would rise again.

Micah 7:8-9. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy — Here begins a new subject; the Jewish nation in general being here introduced speaking in their captivity, and addressing themselves to the Chaldeans. When I fall I shall rise — Or, because I am fallen; for I shall rise. When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me — Neither rejoice nor triumph over me, because I at present sit in darkness, or misery, for Jehovah will again make me prosperous. I will bear the indignation of the Lord — I will patiently, or without repining, bear the affliction, or punishment, Jehovah has inflicted upon me. Because I have sinned against him — Because I am sensible I have highly offended him by my idolatry, injustice, and unmercifulness. Until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me — Until he shall be pleased to acknowledge my cause, in consequence of my repentance and perseverance in the worship of him, and avenge my injuries on my enemies. It may well be supposed that the Chaldeans made a mock of the Jews for persevering in the worship of Jehovah, or that God who (as they supposed) had not been able to deliver them, his worshippers, out of their hands, the worshippers of Bel and Nebo; whom therefore they esteemed more powerful. He will bring me forth to the light — He will again bring me into a prosperous condition. And I shall behold his righteousness — Or rather, his goodness. What we render righteousness, often signifies, according to the Hebrew, beneficence, or goodness.

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.Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy - The prophet still more makes himself one with the people, not only as looking for God, but in penitence, as Daniel bewails "his own sins and the sins of his people" Daniel 9:10. The "enemy" is Babylon and "Edom" Obadiah 1:10, Obadiah 1:12; Psalm 137:7; and then, in all times, (since this was written for all times, and the relations of the people of God and of its enemies are the same,) whosoever, whether devils or evil men, rejoice over the falls of God's people. "Rejoice not"; for thou hast no real cause; "the triumphing of the ungodly", and the fall of the godly, "is but for a moment. When I fall, I shall arise" Psalm 30:5; (literally, "when I have fallen, I have arisen";) expressing both the certainty and speed of the recovery. To fall and to arise is one. : "The fall of infirmity is not grave, if free from the desire of the will. Have the will to rise, He is at hand who will cause thee to rise." (Ibid. 5:47): "Though I have sinned, Thou forgivest the sin; though I have fallen, thou raisest up; lest they, who rejoice in the sins of others, should have occasion to exult. For we who have sinned more, have gained more; for Thy grace maketh more blessed than our own innocence."

When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me - Montanus: "He does not say 'lie,' but sit; she was not as one dead, without hope of life, but she sat solitary as a widow, helpless, unable to restore herself, yet waiting for God's time. The darkness of the captivity was lightened by the light of the prophetic grace which shone through Daniel and Ezekiel, and by the faithfulness of the three children, and the brightness of divine glory shed abroad through them, when Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed to all people that their God was "God of gods and Lord of kings" Daniel 2:47, and that none should "speak anything amiss against Him" Daniel 3:29. Still more when, at the close of the captivity, they were delivered from sorrow, trouble, bondage, death, to joy, rest, freedom, life. Yet how much more in Christ, (for whom this deliverance prepared,) when "the people that walked in darkness have seern a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined" Isaiah 9:2. "God is not only our light", as (Lap.) "restoring us" outwardly "to gladness, freedom, happiness, whereof light is a symbol, as darkness is of sorrow, captivity, adversity, death." Scripture speaks of God, in a directer way, as being Himself our light. "The Lord is my light" Psalm 27:1. "The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light" Isaiah 60:19. He calls Himself, "The light of Israel" Isaiah 10:17. He is our light, by infusing knowledge, joy, heavenly brightness, in any outward lot. He does not say, "after darkness, comes light," but "when I shall sit in darkness", then, "the Lord is light unto me". The "sitting in darkness" is the occasion of the light, in that the soul or the people in sorrow turns to Him who is their light. in their sin, which was so punished, they were turned away from the light.

8. Rejoice not—at my fall.

when I fall, I shall arise—(Ps 37:24; Pr 24:16).

when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light—Israel reasons as her divine representative, Messiah, reasoned by faith in His hour of darkness and desertion (Isa 50:7, 8, 10). Israel addresses Babylon, her triumphant foe (or Edom), as a female; the type of her last and worst foes (Ps 137:7, 8). "Mine enemy," in Hebrew, is feminine.

The prophet in this verse personates the church, and brings her in bespeaking the enemy in this manner:

Rejoice not; let it be no pleasure or matter of glorying to time, that the day of calamity hath overtaken me.

Against me; Israel of God, the remnant, the faithful, which are the church of God.

O mine enemy; O Assyria, Edom, or Babylon. When I fall, into a low condition, into deepest distresses, I shall arise; I shall not always lie in them, God will raise me out of them.

When I (the prophet intends the good, the few righteous ones among those degenerate multitudes) sit in darkness, when affliction, war, famine, and captivity, as a dismal cloud, shall cover us, and benight the daughter of light, when fallen as low as a captive,

the Lord shall be a light unto me; shall support, comfort, and deliver me, his presence and favour shall, as the sun rising, dispel the darkness of the night. This is spoken more especially concerning Judah.

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy,.... These are the words of the prophet in the name of the church, continued in an apostrophe or address to his and their enemy; by whom may be meant, literally, the Chaldeans or Edomites, or both, who rejoiced at the destruction of Jerusalem, and the calamities the people of the Jews were brought into at it; see Psalm 137:7; spiritually, Satan the great enemy of mankind, and especially of the church and people of God, to whom it is a pleasure to draw them into any sin or snare, and to do them any hurt and mischief; and also the Inert of the world, who hate and persecute the saints; and watch for their haltings, and rejoice at their falls into sin, and at any calamity and affliction that may attend them, though there is no just reason for it; since this will not always be the case of the saints, they will be in a better situation, and in more comfortable circumstances; and it will be the turn of their enemies to be afflicted, punished, and tormented:

when I fall, I shall arise; or, "though I fall" (z), or "have fallen"; into outward afflictions and distresses, which come not by chance, but by divine appointment; or into the temptations of Satan, and by them, which sometimes is suffered for wise and purposes; or into sin, which even a good man, a truly righteous man, is frequently left unto; but then he does not fall from real goodness, from true grace, nor from his justifying righteousness, which is everlasting, and connected with eternal life: he may fall from a lively exercise of grace, from steadfastness in the faith, and a profession of it; but not from the principle of grace, nor a state of grace; or from the love and favour of God: he may fall, but not totally or finally, or so as to perish everlastingly; nor is he utterly cast down, the Lord upholds him, and raises him up again; he rises, as the church here believes she should, out of his present state and condition, into a more comfortable one; not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord, under a sense of sin, by the exercise of true repentance for it, and by faith in Christ, and in a view of pardoning grace and mercy; see Psalm 37:24;

when I sit in darkness; or "though" (a). The Targum is,

"as it were in darkness;''

not in a state of unregeneracy, which is a state of total darkness, but in affliction and distress; for, as light often signifies prosperity, so darkness adversity, any afflictive dispensation of Providence; and especially when this attended with desertion, or the hidings of God's face; it is to be, not without any light of grace in the heart, or without the light of the word, or means of grace; but to be without the light of God's countenance; which is very uncomfortable, and makes dark providences darker still; see Isaiah 50:10; yet, notwithstanding all this,

the Lord shall be a light unto me; by delivering out of affliction; by lifting up the light of his countenance; by causing Christ the sun of righteousness to arise; by sending his Spirit to illuminate, refresh, and comfort; by his word, which is a lamp to the feet, a light to the path, a light shining in a dark place; see Psalm 27:1. This passage is applied by the Jews (b) to the days of the Messiah.

(z) "quamvis cecidi", Drusius, Burkius. (a) "quamvis sedero", Drusius; "quamvis sedeam", Burkius. (b) Debarim Rabba, parash. 11. fol. 245. 3.

Rejoice not against me, {h} O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

(h) This is spoken in the voice of the Church, which calls the malignant church her enemy.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. O mine enemy] i.e. the instrument of God’s ‘visitation,’ the heathen oppressor of Israel.

when I fall] Rather, for (if) I have fallen. The ‘falling’ is of course not that of sin, but of calamity, which is often represented as a stumbling-block.

when I sit in darkness] Another figure for trouble; comp. Isaiah 60:1; Isaiah 9:2.

the Lord shall be a light] Again an image from the Psalter; comp. Psalm 27:1.

Verse 8. - Israel in her sorrow and captivity asserts her undiminished confidence in the Lord. O mine enemy. The oppressor of the Church, the worldly power, is represented at one time by Asshur, at another by Babylon. God uses these heathen kingdoms as agents of his vengeance. When I fall; have I fallen; if I have fallen; i.e. suppose I have suffered calamity and loss (Amos 5:2). Sit in darkness. Darkness is another metaphor for distress (Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 9:2; Lamentations 3:6; Amos 5:18). The Lord shall be a light unto me, giving me gladness and true discernment (comp. Psalm 27:1; Psalm 97:11). The distinction between darkness and the full light of day is more marked in Eastern countries than in our Northern climes. Micah 7:8"This confession of sin is followed by a confession of faith on the part of the humiliated people of God" (Shlier.) Micah 7:7. "But I, for Jehovah will I look out; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:8. Rejoice not over me, O mine enemy! for am I fallen, I rise again; for do I sit in darkness, Jehovah is light to me." By ואני what follows is attached adversatively to the preceding words. Even though all love and faithfulness should have vanished from among men, and the day of visitation should have come, the church of the faithful would not be driven from her confidence in the Lord, but would look to Him and His help, and console itself with the assurance that its God would hear it, i.e., rescue it from destruction. As the looking out (tsâphâh) for the Lord, whether He would not come, i.e., interpose to judge and aid, involves in itself a prayer for help, though it is not exhausted by it, but also embraces patient waiting, or the manifestation of faith in the life; so the hearing of God is a practical hearing, in other words, a coming to help and to save. The God of my salvation, i.e., from whom all my salvation comes (cf. Psalm 27:9; Isaiah 17:10). Her enemy, i.e., the heathen power of the world, represented in Micah's time by Asshur, and personified in thought as daughter Asshur, is not to rejoice over Zion. כּי, for, not "if:" the verb nâphaltı̄ is rather to be taken conditionally, "for have I fallen;" nâphal being used, as in Amos 5:2, to denote the destruction of the power and of the kingdom. The church is here supposed to be praying out of the midst of the period when the judgment has fallen upon it for its sins, and the power of the world is triumphing over it. The prophet could let her speak thus, because he had already predicted the destruction of the kingdom and the carrying away of the people into exile as a judgment that was inevitable (Micah 3:12; Micah 6:16). Sitting in darkness, i.e., being in distress and poverty (cf. Isaiah 9:1; Isaiah 42:7; Psalm 107:10). In this darkness the Lord is light to the faithful, i.e., He is their salvation, as He who does indeed chasten His own people, but who even in wrath does not violate His grace, or break the promises which He has given to His people.
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