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Micah 4

Better Days Ahead for Jerusalem

4:1 In the future 1  the Lord’s Temple Mount will be the most important mountain of all; 2 

it will be more prominent than other hills. 3 

People will stream to it.

4:2 Many nations will come, saying,

“Come on! Let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain,

to the temple 4  of Jacob’s God,

so he can teach us his commands 5 

and we can live by his laws.” 6 

For Zion will be the source of instruction;

the Lord’s teachings will proceed from Jerusalem. 7 

4:3 He will arbitrate 8  between many peoples

and settle disputes between many 9  distant nations. 10 

They will beat their swords into plowshares, 11 

and their spears into pruning hooks. 12 

Nations will not use weapons 13  against other nations,

and they will no longer train for war.

4:4 Each will sit under his own grapevine

or under his own fig tree without any fear. 14 

The Lord who commands armies has decreed it. 15 

4:5 Though all the nations follow their respective gods, 16 

we will follow 17  the Lord our God forever.

Restoration Will Follow Crisis

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

and assemble the outcasts whom I injured. 18 

4:7 I will transform the lame into the nucleus of a new nation, 19 

and those far off 20  into a mighty nation.

The Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion,

from that day forward and forevermore.” 21 

4:8 As for you, watchtower for the flock, 22 

fortress of Daughter Zion 23 

your former dominion will be restored, 24 

the sovereignty that belongs to Daughter Jerusalem.

4:9 Jerusalem, why are you 25  now shouting so loudly? 26 

Has your king disappeared? 27 

Has your wise leader 28  been destroyed?

Is this why 29  pain grips 30  you as if you were a woman in labor?

4:10 Twist and strain, 31  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 32  you

from the power 33  of your enemies.

4:11 Many nations have now assembled against you.

They say, “Jerusalem must be desecrated, 34 

so we can gloat over Zion!” 35 

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 36  at the threshing floor.

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

For I will give you iron horns; 37 

I will give you bronze hooves,

and you will crush many nations.” 38 

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

and dedicate their wealth to the sovereign Ruler 39  of the whole earth. 40 

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1 tn Heb “at the end of days.”

2 tn Heb “will be established as the head of the mountains.”

3 tn Heb “it will be lifted up above the hills.”

4 tn Heb “house.”

5 tn Heb “ways.”

6 tn Heb “and we can walk in his paths.”

7 tn Heb “instruction [or, “law”] will go out from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

8 tn Or “judge.”

9 tn Or “mighty” (NASB); KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV “strong”; TEV “among the great powers.”

10 tn Heb “[for many nations] to a distance.”

11 sn Instead of referring to the large plow as a whole, the plowshare is simply the metal tip which actually breaks the earth and cuts the furrow.

12 sn This implement was used to prune the vines, i.e., to cut off extra leaves and young shoots (M. Klingbeil, NIDOTTE 1:1117-18). It was a short knife with a curved hook at the end sharpened on the inside like a sickle.

13 tn Heb “take up the sword.”

14 tn Heb “and there will be no one making [him] afraid.”

15 tn Heb “for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.”

16 tn Heb “walk each in the name of his god.” The term “name” here has the idea of “authority.” To “walk in the name” of a god is to recognize the god’s authority as binding over one’s life.

17 tn Heb “walk in the name of.”

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

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

20 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).

21 tn Heb “from now until forever.”

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

23 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.

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

25 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.

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

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

28 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.

29 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.

30 tn Heb “grabs hold of, seizes.”

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

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

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

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

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

36 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.

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

38 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.

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

40 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.

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