I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I will bear.—Micah places himself and his people with confidence in the hands of God. So, too, id David speak when his sin was brought home to him by God: “I am in a great strait; let us fall now into the hand of the Lord: for His mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man” (2Samuel 24:14). “This is the temper of all penitents when stricken by God, or under chastisement from Him.”1 Samuel 3:18. "So let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?" 2 Samuel 16:10. "He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope" Lamentations 3:29. The penitent owns the just sentence of God, and, knowing that he deserves far more than God inflicts, is thankful to endure it, "until He remove it, until He plead my cause rend execute judgment for me", that is, until God Himself think the punishments inflicted, enough, and judge between me and those through whose hands they come. The judgments which God righteously sends, and which man suffers righteously from Him, are unrighteously inflicted by those whose malice He overrules, whether it be that of evil men (as the Assyrian or the Chaldaean or the Edomite) or of Satan. The close of the chastisements of His people is the beginning of the visible punishment of their misdecds, who used amiss the power which God gave them over it.
Whence it is said, "Daughter of Babylon, the wasted! blessed he that rewardth thee as thou hast served us" Psalm 137:8. But all is of the mercy of God. So He saith, "He shall bring me forth to the light" of His Countenance and His favor and His truth. Micah speaks in the name of those who were penitent, and so were forgiven, and yet, in that they were under punishment, seemed to lie under the wrath of God. For, although God remits at once the eternal penalty of sin, yet we see daily, how punishment pursues the for given sinner, even to the end of life. The light of God's love may not, on grounds which He knoweth, shine unchequered upon him. We should not know the blackness of the offence of sin, and should never know the depth of God's mercy, but for our punishment. The indignation of God toward the penitcnt is an austere form of His love. So then penitents may well say, in every grief or sickness or visitation or disappointment, I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him. He says, "I shall behold His righteousness", because they had a righteous cause against man, although not toward God, and God in His just judgment on their enemies shewed Himself as the righteous Judge of the world.
the indignation of the Lord—His punishment inflicted on me (La 3:39). The true penitent "accepts the punishment of his iniquity" (Le 26:41, 43); they who murmur against God, do not yet know their guilt (Job 40:4, 5).
execute judgment for me—against my foe. God's people plead guilty before God; but, in respect to their human foes, they are innocent and undeserving of their foes' injuries.
bring me forth to the light—to the temporal and spiritual redemption.
I shall behold his righteousness—His gracious faithfulness to His promises (Ps 103:17).I will bear, patiently and submissively, the indignation of the Lord; the just and chastising anger of the Lord, in the effects of it upon me.
Because I have sinned against him, greatly, continually, both against his law and the precepts thereof, and against his love and the effects thereof. Judah was guilty of idolatry, ingratitude against God; and of injustice, unfaithfulness, and unmercifulness against one another; and these sins deserved sorer punishments than they suffered, therefore the righteous ones here justify God, and humble themselves.
Until he plead my cause against mine enemy, for that he will ere long do, as well as now he doth plead his own cause against me. He will be as well a just judge against mine enemies, to avenge me on them, as he is a just God, by my sins provoked to chastise me.
And execute judgment for me; when that day comes, he will certainly and evidently declare his judgment to be against mine insulting adversaries, my cruel enemies, and that he doth so punish them for my sake, as Psalm 137:7 Isaiah 10:5,12 Jer 30:8 Zechariah 1:12,15.
He, the great and glorious, the holy and just God, who now chastiseth me,
will bring me forth to the light; as a prisoner brought out of a dark prison or dungeon into the light, is set at liberty, advanced and beautified, so shall the church be delivered and made to prosper.
I shall behold his righteousness; the truth and riches of his promised salvation. This made good, partly in the restitution of the captivity, rebuilding of Jerusalem by order of Cyrus and Darius, and partly before this in Hezekiah’s rescue from Sennacherib’s pride and rage.
and they are the words of the prophet, in the name of Jerusalem or the church, resolving in the strength of divine grace to bear the present affliction, which had at least some appearance of divine indignation in it; not against the persons of God's people, who are always the objects of his love, and towards whom there is no fury in him; but against their sins, which are displeasing and abominable to him; and this is not in a vindictive way, for such indignation they could never bear; nor can any creature stand before it, or bear up under it; and, besides, Christ has bore the wrath and indignation of God in this sense for them but it here means the displicency and indignation of God in fatherly chastisements, consistent with the strongest love and affection for them; and to bear this is to be humble under the mighty hand of God, quietly to submit to it, and patiently to endure the affliction, without murmuring and repining, till the Lord pleases to remove it. The reason follows,
because I have sinned against him; the best of men sin; sin is the cause and reason of all affliction and distress, whether temporal or spiritual. The consideration of this tends to make and keep good men humble, and quietly submit to the chastising rod of their heavenly father, which they see it is right and proper should be used; and as knowing that they are chastised and afflicted less than their iniquities deserve; and that it is all for their good; a sense of sin stops their mouths, that they have nothing to say against God. The word here used sometimes signifies the offering an expiatory sacrifice for sin to God; and Gussetius (c) thinks this is the meaning of it here; and observes, that with the oblation of a contrite heart, and works of charity, the satisfaction of Christ is to be pleaded, and in our way to be offered up to God the Judge, through faith flying to it; whereby the mind is disposed to bear correction patiently, in hope that favour will quickly shine forth in help and deliverance:
until he plead cause, and execute judgment for me; Christ the mighty Redeemer, and powerful and prevalent Mediator, not only pleads the cause of his people with God his Father, and obtains all blessings of grace for them; but he also pleads their cause against their enemies, an ungodly people that strive with them, persecute and distress them; and will in his own time do them justice, and execute vengeance, his righteous judgments, on those that hate them, and rise up against them, as he will on all the antichristian party:
he will bring me forth to the light; like a person taken out of prison, or out of a dungeon, to behold and enjoy the light of the sun and day. The sense is, that he will openly espouse the cause of his church, and give her honour and glory publicly before men; bring forth her righteousness as the light, and her judgment as the noon day; and make her innocence appear as clear as the day, and bring her at last to the light of glory; see Psalm 37:6;
and I shall behold his righteousness: the equity of his proceedings with his people, in chastising and afflicting them, that they are all right and good; his justice in punishing their enemies, and executing judgment on them; his goodness and beneficence to the saints, all his ways being mercy and truth; his faithfulness in the fulfilment of his promises; and the righteousness of Christ, which justifies them before God, renders them acceptable to him, will answer for them in a time to come, and introduce them into his everlasting kingdom and glory.I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. I will bear the indignation …] The speaker is sure that Jehovah is still his God; consequently in wrath He will still remember mercy, and will, in His own good time, remove the rod.
I have sinned against him] The pious portion of Israel is included in the confession, as in Isaiah 64:5.
my cause] i.e. Israel’s quarrel with the oppressor.
his righteousness] i.e. His interposition for my deliverance. When God has once entered into a covenant, it is only ‘righteous’ for Him to protect those who are in relations with Him. This conception of the Divine righteousness is important; as another equally Biblical conception (the forensic) has become almost too prominent. So St John says (1st Ephesians 1:9) that God is ‘faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.’Verse 9. - I will bear the indignation of the Lord. However long may be the delay before relief comes, Israel will patiently bear the chastisements inflicted upon her, because she knows that they are deserved. This is the language of the penitent people, owning the justice of the sentence, yet trusting to the covenant God, who in wrath remembers mercy. Until he plead my cause. Until God considers that the punishment has done its work, and takes my cause in hand, and judges between me and the instruments of his vengeance. Execute judgment for me. Secure my rights, violated by the heathen, who misuse the power given them by God. The light (see note on ver. 8). His righteousness (Micah 6:5); his faithfulness to his premises exhibited in the destruction of the enemies and the restoration of his people. For this conception of the Divine righteousness, Cheyne compares 1 John 1:9, "He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins." Obadiah 1:13. Come not into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; thou also look not at his misfortune in the day of his calamity, and stretch not out thy hand to his possession in the day of his calamity: Obadiah 1:14. Nor stand in the cross-road, to destroy his fugitives, nor deliver up his escaped ones in the day of distress." This warning cannot be satisfactorily explained either "on the assumption that the prophet is here foretelling the future destruction of Judah and Jerusalem" (Caspari), or "on the supposition that he is merely depicting an event that has already past" (Hitzig). If the taking and plundering of Jerusalem were an accomplished fact, whether in idea or in reality, as it is shown to be by the perfects בּאוּ and ידּוּ in Obadiah 1:11, Obadiah could not in that case warn the Edomites against rejoicing over it, or even taking part therein. Hence Drusius, Rosenmller, and others, take the verbs in Obadiah 1:12-14 as futures of the past: "Thou shouldest not have seen, shouldest not have rejoiced," etc. But this is opposed to the grammar. אל followed by the so-called fut. apoc. is jussive, and cannot stand for the pluperf. conjunct. And Maurer's suggestion is just as untenable, namely, that yōm in Obadiah 1:11 denotes the day of the capture of Jerusalem, and in Obadiah 1:12, Obadiah 1:13 the period after this day; since the identity of יום עמדך (the day of thy standing) in Obadiah 1:11 with יום אחיך in Obadiah 1:12 strikes the eye at once. The warning in Obadiah 1:12-14 is only intelligible on the supposition, that Obadiah has not any particular conquest and plundering of Jerusalem in his mind, whether a future one or one that has already occurred, but regards this as an event that not only has already taken place, but will take place again: that is to say, on the assumption that he rises from the particular historical event to the idea which it embodied, and that, starting from this, he sees in the existing case all subsequent cases of a similar kind. From this ideal standpoint he could warn Edom of what it had already done, and designate the disastrous day which had come upon Judah and Jerusalem by different expressions as a day of the greatest calamity; for what Edom had done, and what had befallen Judah, were types of the future development of the fate of Judah and of the attitude of Edom towards it, which go on fulfilling themselves more and more until the day of the Lord upon all nations, upon the near approach of which Obadiah founds his warning in Obadiah 1:15. The warning proceeds in Obadiah 1:12-14 from the general to the particular, or from the lower to the higher. Obadiah warns the Edomites, as Hitzig says, "not to rejoice in Judah's troubles (Obadiah 1:12), nor to make common cause with the conquerors (Obadiah 1:13), nor to outdo and complete the work of the enemy (Obadiah 1:14)." By the cop. Vav, which stands at the head of all the three clauses in Obadiah 1:12, the warning addressed to the Edomites, against such conduct as this, is linked on to what they had already done.
The three clauses of Obadiah 1:12 contain a warning in a graduated form against malicious pleasure. ראה with ב, to look at anything with pleasure, to take delight in it, affirms less than שׂמח ב, to rejoice, to proclaim one's joy without reserve. הגדּיל פּה, to make the mouth large, is stronger still, like הגדּיל בּפה, to boast, to do great things with the mouth, equivalent to הרחיב פּה על, to make the mouth broad, to stretch it open, over (against) a person (Psalm 35:21; Isaiah 57:4), a gesture indicating contempt and derision. The object of their malicious pleasure mentioned in the first clause is yōm 'âchı̄khâ, the day of thy brother, i.e., the day upon which something strange happened to him, namely, what is mentioned in Obadiah 1:11. Yōm does not of itself signify the disastrous day, or day of ruin, either here or anywhere else; but it always receives the more precise definition from the context. If we were to adopt the rendering "disastrous day," it would give rise to a pure tautology when taken in connection with what follows. The expression 'âchı̄khâ (of thy brother) justifies the warning. בּיום נכרו is not in apposition to בּיום אחיך, but, according to the parallelism of the clauses, it is a statement of time. נכר, ἁπ. λεγ. equals נכר (Job 31:3), fortuna aliena, a strange, i.e., hostile fate, not "rejection" (Hitzig, Caspari, and others). The expression יום אבדם, the day of their (Judah's sons) perishing, is stronger still; although the perishing ('ăbhōd) of the sons of Judah cannot denote the destruction of the whole nation, since the following word tsrh, calamity, is much too weak to admit of this. Even the word איד, which occurs three times in Obadiah 1:13, does not signify destruction, but (from the root אוּד, to fall heavily, to load) simply pressure, a burden, then weight of suffering, distress, misfortune (see Delitzsch on Job 18:12). In Obadiah 1:13 Obadiah warns against taking part in the plundering of Jerusalem. The gate of my people: for the city in which the people dwell, the capital (see Micah 1:9). Look not thou also, a brother nation, upon his calamity, as enemies do, i.e., do not delight thyself thereat, nor snatch at his possessions. The form tishlachnâh, for which we should expect tishlach, is not yet satisfactorily explained (for the different attempts that have been made to explain it, see Caspari). The passages in which nâh is appended to the third pers. fem. sing., to distinguish it from the second person, do not help us to explain it. Ewald and Olshausen would therefore alter the text, and read תּשׁלח יד. But יד is not absolutely necessary, since it is omitted in 2 Samuel 6:6; 2 Samuel 22:17, or Psalm 18:17, where shâlach occurs in the sense of stretching out the hand. חילו, his possessions. On the fact itself, compare Joel 3:5. The prominence given to the day of misfortune at the end of every sentence is very emphatic; "inasmuch as the selection of the time of a brother's calamity, as that in which to rage against him with such cunning and malicious pleasure, was doubly culpable" (Ewald). In Obadiah 1:14 the warning proceeds to the worst crime of all, their seizing upon the Judaean fugitives, for the purpose of murdering them or delivering them up to the enemy. Pereq signifies here the place where the roads break or divide, the cross-road. In Nahum 3:1, the only other place in which it occurs, it signifies tearing in pieces, violence. Hisgı̄r, to deliver up (lit., concludendum tradidit), is generally construed with אל (Deuteronomy 23:16) or בּיד (Psalm 31:9; 1 Samuel 23:11). Here it is written absolutely with the same meaning: not "to apprehend, or so overpower that there is no escape left" (Hitzig). This would affirm too little after the preceding הכרית, and cannot be demonstrated from Job 11:10, where hisgı̄r means to keep in custody.
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