Devotional Commentary on Micah 3


It is very important not to buy into any commentary on Micah. They are mostly preteristic, which means they do not believe the prophet has the ability to really see the future and that he was just a pastor preaching for his own people.

So what they do with the book that is thus locked in time and space, is that they just look for nice things that we can learn from them in the past to prevent that we do not do the same.

Here is the Adventist biblical principle: Prophets do see the Future. Christ predicted events that affects sometimes all generations throughout corridors of time and specified it, like the 1260 years prophecy. The prophets had visions of the Second Coming and entered it here and there as descriptions but these phrases do not fit their own day or near their own day or their past.

Searching then in history or at that time for fulfillment of these phrases as preteristic commentaries, especially Catholic and Reformed commentaries did, is to lock Micah up and throw away the key.

This chapter is a verdict pronouncement after the 1844 Investigative Judgment of spiritual Israel’s condition in Micah’s day so that they can be warned about a later Executive Judgment that will eradicate evil. The purpose of God is the theme of the Old Testament: God in tears for the salvation of humans.

In verse 1a-b he addresses the leaders in the civil administration and in verse 5a the prophets and spiritual leaders and in verse 9a-b it is all leadership of Israel.

The indictments are in the same verses. The verdict/judgment of verse 1 is in verse 4 and the verdict/judgment of verse 5a is in verses 6-7. The verdict/judgment of verse 9a-b is in verse 12.

God said that the leaders of Jacob and officers of the house of Israel are quilty of causing the judgment of the Assyrian cruelty to come over the ordinary people (verse 1-2).

In a list of cruel deeds Micah shows familiarity with the Assyrian war reliefs so well known today from Dur Sharrukin at Khorsibad and elsewhere. In these two, the sinlist of Israel is mentioned, and it continues until the end of verse 3.

When executive punishment happen, it is too late to respond. In that day at the eschaton, because they did this in Assyrian history, in that End of Time zone, “at that time” [Hell event after the millennium] “then they shall cry out to the Lord, but He shall not respond to them and He shall hide His countenance from them at that time”. There is a time when crying is too late. But there is also a time when crying is not too late. Wisdom is advised.

The religious leaders were no better: “They sanctify upon it war”. The prophets were involved in declaring a war-attack as “proper” when it was not given by the Lord for any such actions.

So what is going to happen with these in God’s ultimate executive judgment?

“Therefore it shall be night for you because of the vision, and it shall be dark for you because of the divination, and the sun shall set on the prophets, and the day shall be darkened about them” (6).

It is not just metaphorical as Calvinistic and Lutheran Reformed commentaries are trying to rule out the reality of a literal fulfillment since it must be in the past, remember. Nonsense. It is the future tense. It is eschatological and it will be literal as it says it will happen.

All these who were peace preachers will “be ashamed”, “disgraced” “they shall cover their lips for it is not a statement of God” (verse 7).

The Targum misunderstood the term: “it is not a statement of God”. It converted what was negative into a positive action, namely that the spirit of the prophet from before the Lord was in them. In this way, the Targumist attempted to view verses 7-8 as synonymous parallelism and thus read the statement in verse eight: “from the spirit of the Lord” into verse 7.

Speaking not with God is to speak against Him.

For the true prophet, the Trinity is involved in future revelations and verse 8 continues: “But I am truly full of strength from the Spirit of the Lord and justice and might to tell Jacob his transgression and Israel his sin.” The Spirit of the Lord refers here not to the “spirit of the prophet” as the Targum wants to read it, but to the Holy Spirit”. An article was written on the terms Holy Spirit and Spirit of Prophecy in the Targums in 1970 (P. Schäfer, “Die Termini ‘Heilige Geist’ und ‘Geist der Prophetie’ in den Targumim und das Verhältnes der Targumim zueinander.” Vetus Testamentum 20 [1970]: 304-314).

Neofiti does not use “Spirit of Prophecy” and its presence in Neofiti is seen as secondary. Well. Onkelos uses the formula almost exclusively. Pseudo Jonathan is mixed. Fragmentum always uses “Holy Spirit”. “Spirit of Prophecy” is older than the Babylonian Talmud and more biblical, the author concluded. “Holy Spirit” replaced “Shekinah” but he admitted that not much is known of the expression.

The 18th century Rabbi Mezudath David wrote: “My words come from the power of the Spirit of the Lord, and I am full of true words and courage.”

Both the Holy Spirit as a Third person in the Trinity and also the Spirit of Prophecy is well-known among Adventists.

In verse 9 Jurisprudence are in the vizier. They condemn justice and pervert all that is straight. What if world consensus legalize same-sex marriage? What if LGBTQH is considered “normal”? Is truth made by the vote of the majority or by the Word of God? Some say, like the Catholics, the majority makes the Word of God. That is what tradition is. Answer: God speaks and He makes the Word of God. He sets the standard and we are to follow whether one or 6 billion decide that something is OK. Just when we think we are progressive and “modern” and the Bible locked in antiquity, think again, archaeology revealed that LGBTQH existed in all generations as the cuneiform texts from all generations indicated. Woman ordination as principle was only operative outside Israel as general phenomenon in antiquity. Woman were not suppressed, they were business ladies. See the last chapter of the Book of Proverbs where she is buying land.

In verse 11 the court systems judge for bribe. “Its head judge for bribe”. When a party-system controls the politics and controls the Judiciary, then skew justice is at stake. It is then that presidents are jailed even when the principle “innocent until proven guilty” has not been carried out.

“The one who builds Zion with blood and Jerusalem with injustice” (verse 10). The Targum saw it as some locality somewhere in geographical Israel so that he changed the wording to: “who builds [their houses] [in] Zion.”

These additions are evidence of their hermeneutical literalness in post-biblical times.

In verse 12 it is clear that Zion and Jerusalem are not the same. The Temple mount (whr hbyt) is not synonymous to Zion and not synonymous to Jerusalem in Micah’s thinking.  Whereas the Temple mount will become unto a highplace of a forest; Jerusalem will become heaps (because of the rains) but Zion shall be ploughed.

Micah’s book was already written in 608 BCE because a certain elder quoted Micah in the senate speech (Jeremiah 26:17-18), namely Micah 3:12.


Dear Lord

The reality of the executive judgment or Hell is an aspect that people do not easily think about but You repeated it three times to all sectors of society. Help us to cut truth straight, do justice the biblical way and stand by God’s standards though the heavens fall. In Jesus Name. Amen.