Micah 4:9-5:1

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015


I remind you of some dates with which you should be familiar.

1445 B.C. - The Exodus from Egypt

1050 B.C. - Saul became king of Israel

1010 B.C. - David became king of Israel

970 B.C. - Solomon became king of Israel

931 B.C. - The beginning of the divided kingdom

740-700 B.C. - The ministry of Micah

722 B.C. - The fall of Samaria and the northern kingdom

605 B.C. - First invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel taken into captivity

597 B.C. - Second invasion of Jerusalem - Ezekiel taken into captivity

586 B.C. - Destruction of Jerusalem - King Zedekiah captured.

539 B.C. - Fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians

535 B.C. - Permission granted by Cyrus, King of Persia, for the Jews to return to Jerusalem

We have already seen Micah's first message regarding Samaria and Jerusalem announcing that judgment will come in Micah 1-2 .

We are in the process of studying -

II. Micah's second Message: blessing will follow judgment - 3:1 - 5:15

We have already seen that there will be -

A. Judgment on the nation's leaders - 3:1-12

There will be -

1. Judgment on the rulers, 3:1-4

2. Judgment on the false prophets, 3:5-8

3. Judgment on all the naive leaders - 3:9-12

We are in the process of looking at -

B. Kingdom blessings for the nation 4:1 - 5:1

We have seen eleven -

1. Characteristics of the millennial kingdom, 4:1-8

First -

a. The millennial temple will be prominent in the world - 4:1a

Second -

b. Peoples of the world will be attracted to Jerusalem - 4:1b

Third -

c. Jerusalem will be the place of instruction for the entire world - 4:2a

Fourth, we have seen that -

d. Divine revelation will go forth from Jerusalem - 4:2b

Fifth, we have seen that -

e. The Lord will be the Judge at Jerusalem - 4:3a

Sixth, -

f. Peace will be universal - 4:3b

Seventh, because peace is universal -

g. Everyone will dwell in security and peace - 4:4

Eighth, we have seen that -

h. Israel will be spiritually sensitive to God - 4:5

Ninth, we have seen that -

i. Israel will be regathered - 4:6

Tenth, -

j. Israel will be made strong - 4:7

Finally, we have seen that -

k. Jerusalem will have dominion - 4:8

Next, we move on to see -

2. Events preceding the kingdom, 4:9 - 5:1

At the time of Micah's prophecy, the Assyrians were the dominant nation in the Middle East. However, verses 9-10 refer to the Babylonian captivity and the later return of the Jewish people to Palestine under Cyrus, the king of Persia. In Micah's time Babylon was only a vassal of powerful Assyria, making this a very startling prophecy. Furthermore, Cyrus, who will permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem, will be a Medo-Persian king following the victory of the Medes and Persians over Babylon. The captivity of Judah to the Babylonians will not occur for another 120 years or more, and their permission to return from captivity will not occur for another 70 years beyond that.

We see that -

a. Israel will be exiled to Babylon - 4:9-10a

Micah 4:9 - Now why dost thou [i.e. you, Israel] cry out aloud? is there no king in thee [i.e. in Israel]? is thy counsellor perished? [i.e. Israel, has your king perished? A king would make decisions for his country as if he were a counselor.] for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail [i.e. birth pangs have seized you, Israel, as a woman in labor (or as a woman in childbirth)].

Like a woman experiencing labor pains in childbirth, Israel will cry aloud in panic and pain. The Jews will be taken captive from their homeland and will writhe in agony but will be unable to do anything to stop the agony. This captivity will not come immediately. It may be 120 years or more before it comes, but it will come. The first deportation will occur in 605 B.C., the second in 597 B.C., and the third in 586 B.C. Daniel and many others will be taken into captivity in 605 B.C. Ezekiel and many others will be taken into captivity in 597 B.C. Jeremiah will minister in Jerusalem throughout all three of these conquests by the Babylonians. The Jews will have to endure the experience of captivity for seventy years beginning in 605 B.C. The captivity will end in 535 B.C. when Cyrus, the king of Persia, grants the Jews permission to return to Jerusalem.

Micah 4:10 a - Be in pain, and labour to bring forth [i.e. labor to give birth], O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail [i.e. like a woman in childbirth (i.e. like a woman in labor or in birth pangs). They could do nothing to stop the agony; they had to go through the experience.]: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field [After being forcibly removed from Israel by their Babylonian captors, the Jews will be forced to camp in an open field.], and thou shalt go even to Babylon. . . . [Many of the Jews will be deported to Babylon or other places in the Babylonian Empire.]

However, Israel's captivity in Babylon will not last forever because -

b. Israel will be rescued from Babylon - 4:10b

Micah 4:10 b - . . . There [i.e. from Babylon] shalt thou be delivered [i.e. From Babylon, Israel, will you be delivered] ; there the LORD shall redeem thee [i.e. the LORD will redeem you, Israel] from the hand of thine enemies.

Israel will be rescued from her Babylonian captivity and brought back from the hand of her captors.

Verses 11-13 look further ahead, to the great campaign of Armageddon immediately preceding the second coming of Christ and the millennial kingdom. There the world will be lined up against Israel, but God will give Israel victory, using a horn of iron and hooves of brass.

c. Nations will gather against the nation of Israel - 4:11-13

Micah 4:11 - Now [i.e. in the tribulation] also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled [i.e. let Israel be defiled by being destroyed - statements calling for the annihilation of Israel have been made repeatedly by the enemies of Israel including the Iranians today], and let our eye look upon Zion [suggesting, let our eye see the destruction of Jerusalem or see the fate of Zion].

Micah 4:12 - But they [i.e. the nations] know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel [i.e. these nations have no idea of the LORD's purpose or plan for Israel]: for he [i.e. the LORD] shall gather them [i.e. the LORD will gather the nations, suggesting, He will gather the nations to be beaten and trampled] as the sheaves into the floor [i.e. like sheaves of grain on a threshing floor].

This will occur in the battle of Armageddon at the end of the great tribulation at the second coming of Christ.

Micah 4:13 - Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron [i.e. I, the LORD, will make you strong and formidable] - [This is not a car horn. The horn speaks of Israel's strength. How would you like to tangle with the horn of a rhinoceros? It would not be a good idea!], and I will make thy hoofs brass [i.e. your hooves bronze]: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people [an iron horn and hooves of brass will make Israel formidable]: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD [i.e. The LORD will enable you, Israel, to devote the unjust gains of the nations to the LORD], and their substance [i.e. to devote the wealth of the nations] unto the Lord [Adonay] of the whole earth.

d. The ruler of Israel will be humiliated - 5:1

Micah 5:1 - Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops [The reference is to Jerusalem, which was surrounded by enemy soldiers. Gather thyself in troops suggests get your troops ready, but it won't do any good because of the siege.]: he [i.e. Babylon] hath laid siege against us: they [i.e. the Babylonians] shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. [i.e. The Babylonians will strike the puppet king, King Zedekiah, who was captured, tortured, and taken captive to Babylon. Zedekiah was humiliated by this action taken against him.]

This prophecy was given 100-150 years before it will take place. It was fulfilled in 586 B.C. and recorded in II Kings 24:17-25:7 .

??? - 17 And the king of Babylon [i.e. Nebuchadnezzar] made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead [i.e. in his place - Jehoiakim was the father of Jehoiachin - Mattaniah was Jehoiakim's brother and uncle of Jehoiachin], and changed his name to Zedekiah. 18 Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah [This is not same man as the prophet named Jeremiah.]. 19 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon [i.e. against Nebuchadnezzar].

II Kings 25:1-7 - 1 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign [i.e. of Zedekiah's reign - in 588 B.C.], in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host [i.e. army], against Jerusalem, and pitched against it [i.e. encamped against Jerusalem]; and they built forts against it round about [i.e. and they built a siege wall all around Jerusalem]. 2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah [i.e. 586 B.C.]. 3 And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread [i.e. there was no food] for the people of the land. 4 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night [i.e. at night] by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about: [i.e. even though the Chaldeans were still encamped all around the city]) and the king went the way toward the plain [i.e. the king went toward the Arabah or the Jordan Valley]. 5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho [12-15 miles northeast of Jerusalem]: and all his army were scattered from him. 6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah [about 200 miles northeast of Jerusalem]; and they gave judgment upon him. 7 And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.

The notes on Micah 4-5 found in the Bible Knowledge Commentary were especially helpful in preparing this lesson.


This sermon is the 5th part of the series, Study of Micah. Other sermons in this series are: