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FRAMEWORKS: Micah 4: Long-Term Vision and Present-day Plans


v.1-8 The Exaltation of Zion


v.1 God's dwelling on earth to be exalted in the last days


v.1  In the last days

the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and peoples will stream to it.


v.2 This will mean many nations will flock to it


v.2  Many nations will come and say,

‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.'
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

v.3 God be the Judge that nations appear before to bring eventual peace


v.3  He will judge between many peoples
    and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into ploughshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war any more.

v.4 The Lord has decreed prosperity for His covenant people


v.4  Everyone will sit under their own vine
    and under their own fig-tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
    for the Lord Almighty has spoken.

v.5 Others may follow idols, we follow God


v.5  All the nations may walk
    in the name of their gods,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord
    our God for ever and ever.


v.6 God will draw together those previously disciplined


v.6  ‘In that day,' declares the Lord,

‘I will gather the lame;
    I will assemble the exiles
    and those I have brought to grief.

v.7 The Lord will eternally rule over the redeemed remnant in Jerusalem


v.7  I will make the lame my remnant,
    those driven away a strong nation.
The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion
    from that day and for ever,


v.8 Rule will once again be given to Jerusalem

v.8  As for you, watchtower of the flock,
    stronghold of Daughter Zion,
the former dominion will be restored to you;
    kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.'


[Notes: One cannot help wondering if there is a time gap between the previous chapter and this one, or if it is simply an encouragement that although there is unrighteousness at present in Jerusalem – who will be swept away to Babylon [see later] the end product of all the Lord's activities will culminate in His dwelling place being exalted so that all nations will come to Him for guidance, justice & prosperity, with His people being exalted.]



v.9-13 The Lord's Plan for Israel's Exile & Restoration


v.9-10a Yet pain and anguish is your present experience


v.9  Why do you now cry aloud –
    have you no king?
Has your ruler perished,
    that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labour?
v.10  Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion,
    like a woman in labour,

v.10b You will be taken to Babylon to be later redeemed


for now you must leave the city
    to camp in the open field.
You will go to Babylon;
    there you will be rescued.
There the Lord will redeem you
    out of the hand of your enemies.


v.11 But for the moment all other will be against you


v.11  But now many nations
    are gathered against you.
They say, ‘Let her be defiled,
    let our eyes gloat over Zion!'

v.12 They do not realise all this is the Lord's plan


v.12  But they do not know
    the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
    that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing-floor.

v.13 But you Israel I will use to break them


v.13  ‘Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion,
    for I will give you horns of iron;
I will give you hooves of bronze,
    and you will break to pieces many nations.'
You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the Lord,
    their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.


[Notes: Returning from the big long-term vision to the present day, the prophet reveals the plan of the Lord to come and deal with Jerusalem by exiling them to Babylon and then eventually to redeem and restore them, and will use them to deal with other unrighteous peoples.]



Continue to Chapter 5