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Micah 4:6--5:1

Context
Restoration Will Follow Crisis

4:6 “In that day,” says the Lord, “I will gather the lame,

and assemble the outcasts whom I injured. 1 

4:7 I will transform the lame into the nucleus of a new nation, 2 

and those far off 3  into a mighty nation.

The Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion,

from that day forward and forevermore.” 4 

4:8 As for you, watchtower for the flock, 5 

fortress of Daughter Zion 6 

your former dominion will be restored, 7 

the sovereignty that belongs to Daughter Jerusalem.

4:9 Jerusalem, why are you 8  now shouting so loudly? 9 

Has your king disappeared? 10 

Has your wise leader 11  been destroyed?

Is this why 12  pain grips 13  you as if you were a woman in labor?

4:10 Twist and strain, 14  Daughter Zion, as if you were in labor!

For you will leave the city

and live in the open field.

You will go to Babylon,

but there you will be rescued.

There the Lord will deliver 15  you

from the power 16  of your enemies.

4:11 Many nations have now assembled against you.

They say, “Jerusalem must be desecrated, 17 

so we can gloat over Zion!” 18 

4:12 But they do not know what the Lord is planning;

they do not understand his strategy.

He has gathered them like stalks of grain to be threshed 19  at the threshing floor.

4:13 “Get up and thresh, Daughter Zion!

For I will give you iron horns; 20 

I will give you bronze hooves,

and you will crush many nations.” 21 

You will devote to the Lord the spoils you take from them,

and dedicate their wealth to the sovereign Ruler 22  of the whole earth. 23 

5:1 (4:14) 24  But now slash yourself, 25  daughter surrounded by soldiers! 26 

We are besieged!

With a scepter 27  they strike Israel’s ruler 28 

on the side of his face.

1 sn The exiles of the nation are compared to lame and injured sheep.

2 tn Heb “make the lame into a remnant.”

3 tn The precise meaning of this difficult form is uncertain. The present translation assumes the form is a Niphal participle of an otherwise unattested denominative verb הָלָא (hala’, “to be far off”; see BDB 229 s.v.), but attractive emendations include הַנַּחֲלָה (hannakhalah, “the sick one[s]”) from חָלָה (khalah) and הַנִּלְאָה (hannilah, “the weary one[s]”) from לָאָה (laah).

4 tn Heb “from now until forever.”

5 tn Heb “Migdal-eder.” Some English versions transliterate this phrase, apparently because they view it as a place name (cf. NAB).

6 sn The city of David, located within Jerusalem, is addressed as Daughter Zion. As the home of the Davidic king, who was Israel’s shepherd (Ps 78:70-72), the royal citadel could be viewed metaphorically as the watchtower of the flock.

7 tn Heb “to you it will come, the former dominion will arrive.”

8 tn The Hebrew form is feminine singular, indicating that Jerusalem, personified as a young woman, is now addressed (see v. 10). In v. 8 the tower/fortress was addressed with masculine forms, so there is clearly a shift in addressee here. “Jerusalem” has been supplied in the translation at the beginning of v. 9 to make this shift apparent.

9 tn Heb “Now why are you shouting [with] a shout.”

10 tn Heb “Is there no king over you?”

11 tn Traditionally, “counselor” (cf. KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). This refers to the king mentioned in the previous line; the title points to the king’s roles as chief strategist and policy maker, both of which required extraordinary wisdom.

12 tn Heb “that.” The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is used here in a resultative sense; for this use see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 73, §450.

13 tn Heb “grabs hold of, seizes.”

14 tn Or perhaps “scream”; NRSV, TEV, NLT “groan.”

15 tn Or “redeem” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

16 tn Heb “hand.” The Hebrew idiom is a metonymy for power or control.

17 tn Heb “let her be desecrated.” the referent (Jerusalem) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

18 tn Heb “and let our eye look upon Zion.”

19 tn The words “to be threshed” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation to make it clear that the Lord is planning to enable “Daughter Zion” to “thresh” her enemies.

20 tn Heb “I will make your horn iron.”

21 sn Jerusalem (Daughter Zion at the beginning of the verse; cf. 4:8) is here compared to a powerful ox which crushes the grain on the threshing floor with its hooves.

22 tn Or “the Lord” (so many English versions); Heb “the master.”

23 tn Heb “and their wealth to the master of all the earth.” The verb “devote” does double duty in the parallelism and is supplied in the second line for clarification.

sn In vv. 11-13 the prophet jumps from the present crisis (which will result in exile, v. 10) to a time beyond the restoration of the exiles when God will protect his city from invaders. The Lord’s victory over the Assyrian armies in 701 b.c. foreshadowed this.

24 sn Beginning with 5:1, the verse numbers through 5:15 in the English Bible differ by one from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 5:1 ET = 4:14 HT, 5:2 ET = 5:1 HT, 5:3 ET = 5:2 HT, etc., through 5:15 ET = 5:14 HT. From 6:1 the verse numbers in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible are again the same.

25 tn The Hebrew verb גָדַד (gadad) can be translated “slash yourself” or “gather in troops.” A number of English translations are based on the latter meaning (e.g., NASB, NIV, NLT).

sn Slash yourself. Slashing one’s body was a form of mourning. See Deut 14:1; 1 Kgs 18:28; Jer 16:6; 41:5; 47:5.

26 tn Heb “daughter of a troop of warriors.”

sn The daughter surrounded by soldiers is an image of the city of Jerusalem under siege (note the address “Daughter Jerusalem” in 4:8).

27 tn Or “staff”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “rod”; CEV “stick”; NCV “club.”

sn Striking a king with a scepter, a symbol of rulership, would be especially ironic and humiliating.

28 tn Traditionally, “the judge of Israel” (so KJV, NASB).



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