Micah 6 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Micah 6)

Verse 1

[1] Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.

Arise — This is God's command to Micah.

Contend thou — Argue the case between God and thy people; and speak as if thou wouldst make the mountains hear thee, to testify for me.

Verse 2

[2] Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.

Foundations of the earth — The mountains properly so called; the sin of Israel is so notorious, that the whole creation may be summoned as a witness against them.

Verse 3

[3] O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.

What have I done — What injustice or unkindness? What grievous, burdensome impositions have I laid upon thee.

Wearied thee — Speak, what it is hath caused thee to be weary of me?

Verse 4

[4] For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

And Miriam — A prophetess to be assistant to her brothers, and to be an example and a counsellor to the women.

Verse 5

[5] O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.

Shittim — This is the place where Balak began by the women of Midian to debauch Israel as Baalim had counselled, and so continued to do, even to Gilgal, all along the borders of his dominion.

The righteousness — His mercy, justice and veracity.

Verse 6

[6] Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?

Wherewith — One whose heart was touched by the preceeding expostulation, may be supposed to make this enquiry.

Verse 7

[7] Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

Thousands — Ever so many.

Ten thousands of rivers — Were it possible to give them.

Verse 8

[8] He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

He — God hath already told you in his word, with what you ought to come before him.

To do justly — To render to every one their due, superiors, equals, inferiors, to be equal to all, and oppress none, in body, goods or name; in all your dealings with men carry a chancery in your own beasts, and do according to equity.

To love mercy — To be kind, merciful and compassionate to all, not using severity towards any.

Walk humbly with thy God — Keep up a constant fellowship with God, by humble, holy faith.

Verse 9

[9] The LORD's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.

Crieth — Either by his judgments, each of which is the Lord's voice, or by his prophets.

The city — To every city in Israel and Judah, but principally to Jerusalem and Samaria.

The man of wisdom — Every wise man. See thy name|-Will perceive God in that cry.

The rod — Hear ye the voice of God in the punishments God is now sending.

Appointed it — Who hath chosen it out, and strikes with it.

Verse 10

[10] Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable?

Yet — After so many express laws, and so many examples of punishment.

Treasures — Gotten by injurious courses.

Verse 11

[11] Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?

Count them pure — Approve, or acquit then as if they were righteous.

Verse 12

[12] For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

Thereof — Of Jerusalem and Samaria.

Verse 13

[13] Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.

Sick — God will e're long so smite, that the strokes shall reach the heart, and make Israel heartsick of his wounds.

Verse 14

[14] Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword.

In the midst of thee — Thou shalt be cast down at home by thy own hands.

Thou shalt take hold — This may refer either to persons or things, on which we lay hold in order to save them.

Shalt not deliver — Where thou lodgest thy children, and layest up thy wealth, thither the enemy shall pursue thee; or if thou fly into other countries, it shall not be a safe refuge to thee.

Which thou deliverest — For a little while.

Verse 15

[15] Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.

Thou shalt not reap — An enemy shall reap it.

Sweet wine — Thou shalt tread the grapes which afford sweet wine.

Verse 16

[16] For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.

The statutes — The idolatrous worship was set up by Omri in the royal city.

Ye — O house of Israel.

That I should make thee — This will be the event.

Thereof — Of the land.

The reproach — The reproach threatened in the law, if my people forsake me.