Exegetical Notes Micah 7 -- By: Thomas Edward McComiskey

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 02:1 (Spring 1981)
Article: Exegetical Notes Micah 7
Author: Thomas Edward McComiskey


Exegetical Notes Micah 7

Thomas Edward McComiskey

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

The prophet Micah carried on his prophetic ministry during the eighth century B.C. This was a time of great spiritual decline in Israel. The seventh chapter of Micah deals mainly with the societal wrongs of that time. Like a day that begins with a dark, lowering sky and ends in golden sunlight, this chapter begins in an atmosphere of gloom, but it ends with one of the greatest statements of hope to be found in the Prophets. It is a witness to the triumph of faith.

v 1-How sorrowful I am! For I have become as when the summer fruit has been harvested and the grapes have been gleaned; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, no early figs which I crave. v 2-The godly have perished from the earth; there is not an upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for blood; each hunts his brother with a net.

'allay lî (“how sorrowful I am!”). This expression occurs only here and in Job 10:15. It gives this section the character of a lament.

hāyîtî kᵉ'āspê qayiṣ (“I have become as when the summer fruit has been gathered”). The expression is literally “I have become like the fruit gatherings.” The word 'āspê is in the plural construct and denotes not one gathering, but fruit gathering in general (K & D “all gatherings”). The construction häyîtî kᵉ;āspê (“I have become like the gathering”) need not be understood to mean that Micah likened himself directly to the bare orchards and vineyards in the analogy. This is precluded by the words 'iwwᵉtâ naps̆î (“which I crave”) in which Micah pictures himself as longing for the fruit that has already been picked. He is like a hungry traveller who craves the refreshment of an orchard or vineyard, but finds that the fruit has been harvested.

It is not necessary to read kᵉ'āspê with the LXX (συνάγων =kᵉ'āspê), “gatherers.” The construction in the MT may connote “as when [the summer fruit] has been gathered” (RSV). There is a somewhat similar construction in Isa 51:9 where the phrase 'ûrî kîmê qedem does not connote a direct comparison (“awake, as did the days of old”) but a sense of time (“as i...

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