Micah 2


‘Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance. Therefore, the LORD says: “I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity. In that day people will ridicule you; they will taunt you with this mournful song: ‘We are utterly ruined; my people’s possession is divided up. He takes it from me! He assigns our fields to traitors.’” Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the LORD to divide the land by lot.’ Micah 2:1-5

Human Plans And God’s Plans

Because Israel had become such a corrupt nation, not only in violating the civil laws but also God’s laws, Micah now proceeds to zoom in on two things in this chapter.

1. Dreamers of evil.

He says they plot evil in their beds, in other words, they would stay awake at night planning how to deal dishonestly with their neighbours. And in the morning when they woke up they would carry out their deceitful plans.

They would repossess their neighbour’s lands and houses by bribing officials who were just as corrupt, Leviticus 25. In other words, they would make themselves wealthy at the expense of the poor, Psalm 36:1-4 / Amos 8:4 / Matthew 23:14 / Mark 12:38-40.

God says He’s planning a disaster against these corrupt people and they won’t be able to save themselves and God will humble them and as a result they won’t walk about proudly anymore.

People will ridicule and taunt them, much like the Edomites did to them. God was about to give the fields that the rich had acquired through oppression to the Assyrians. When the Assyrians came, they took the rich into captivity and left behind the land for the poor.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Some would limit this to the evil oppressors, but we believe that it applies to the whole nation of Israel. The reference to ‘casting the line by lot’ is a reference to the manner of dividing the land of Canaan among the Israelites after God had led them into the possession of it under Joshua. The wicked nobility had destroyed that ancient system, and therefore God would take the entire land away from them through the instrumentality of conquest and deportation about to fall upon them. In short, Israel was here prophesied to lose ‘their land’, the land of Canaan, because of their wanton violation of their covenant with God.’

False Prophets

‘Do not prophesy,” their prophets say. “Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us.” You descendants of Jacob, should it be said, “Does the LORD become impatient? Does he do such things?” “Do not my words do good to the one whose ways are upright? Lately my people have risen up like an enemy. You strip off the rich robe from those who pass by without a care, like men returning from battle. You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing from their children forever. Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy. If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ that would be just the prophet for this people!’ Micah 2:6-11

2. Ear tickling Preachers.

We need to remember to heed God’s warning, not just remember the promises, 2 Timothy 4:3.

These false prophets didn’t want Micah to tell the people the bad news, in other words, they went out of their way to try and stop Micah from prophesying about their sinfulness, they didn’t want to hear it, Isaiah 30:10 / Jeremiah 5:30-31 / Amos 2:12 / Amos 7:10-13 / 2 Timothy 4:1-5 / 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.

May, in his commentary, says the following.

‘With an absolute assertion of their feeling of security, Micah’s opponents deny the relevance of judgment to them. The disgrace of humiliating catastrophe, any misfortune that would leave them exposed to the insults of those who beheld their downfall, would never touch them.’

Micah goes ahead and speaks to the descendants of Jacob, Isaiah 48:1, and presents three questions in an effort to reason with them.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘They boasted of what convicted them of faithlessness. They relied on being what in spirit they had ceased to be, what in deeds they denied, children of a believing forefather.’

As a result of their sinfulness, Israel had become an enemy of God, Exodus 22:25, in other words, their behaviour got to such a bad state, they were actually going against everything God had commanded them.

When travellers passed through the land, they stripped off the traveller’s robes to maintain their wealth and so, the innocent in society, their women and children were going to be taken into Assyrian captivity.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The outrage and presumptuous arrogance of Israel’s sins are in this verse exposed as being particularly despicable in that they were perpetrated against defenceless women and children, the implication being that the women were widows and the children orphans. This undoubtedly claimed the contravention of sacred law. The book of the covenant specifically included among its statutes, ‘You must not afflict any widow or orphan,’ Exodus 22:21-22.’

Notice Micah says, ‘get up, go away!’ Some commentators believe that Micah is appealing to them and asking them to repent, to turn from their wickedness because the land will have no rest if they continue to behave the way they are behaving.

Ironside, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The address was to the oppressed, instructing them not to continue in fellowship with what was unclean and unholy.’

Israel didn’t want a prophet to tell them the truth about their spiritual condition, they wanted these false prophets to continue to tell them that everything is fine, there is peace and safety.

These false prophets who were proclaiming to speak on God’s behalf were telling the people that God would never send His people into captivity, Jeremiah 5:18-21-23 / Jeremiah 5:31 / Jeremiah 23:25-28 / Jeremiah 23:32 / Jeremiah 29:8-9.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘There remains today a willing audience for anyone who panders to the vices of the age under the guise of proclaiming God’s truth.’

Deliverance Promised

‘I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.” Micah 2:12-13

Micah ends with some good news here, Israel are not without hope but only in terms of a remnant. Micah now looks to the future, he looks at the time after the captivity.

He sees the restoration of God’s people to their land and back into fellowship with God again. We must note that the restoration wouldn’t include all of God’s people, only a remnant from the twelve tribes of Israel would return.

Some commentators suggest that ‘the One who breaks open the way’ etc, is none other than the Medo-Persian King, Cyrus. God would use him to free the captives, Ezra 1:2-4 / Ezra 7:13.

Other commentators believe that this is an obvious illusion to King Jesus, who leads us, the sheep of His pasture, John 10:15 / John 12:32, to freedom from our sins, Romans 11:1-5 / Galatians 5:1.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘He who is to give them deliverance, and lead them out on the way of their return. He who takes down the hurdles, or makes a gap in the wall or hedge, to permit them to pass through. This may apply to those human agents that shall permit and order their return. And Jehovah being at their head may refer to their final restoration when the Lord Jesus shall become their leader, they having returned unto him as the shepherd and bishop of their souls and they and the Gentiles forming one fold under one shepherd, to go no more out into captivity for ever. Lord, hasten the time!’

Go To Micah 3