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scripture

 

CHAPTER 4

1* In days to come

the mount of the LORD’s house

Shall be established as the highest mountain;

it shall be raised above the hills,

And peoples shall stream to it:a

2Many nations shall come, and say,

“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,

to the house of the God of Jacob,

That he may instruct us in his ways,

that we may walk in his paths.”

For from Zion shall go forth instruction,

and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

3He shall judge between many peoples

and set terms for strong and distant nations;

They shall beat their swords into plowshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks;

One nation shall not raise the sword against another,

nor shall they train for war again.

4They shall all sit under their own vines,

under their own fig trees, undisturbed;

for the LORD of hosts has spoken.b

5Though all the peoples walk,

each in the name of its god,

We will walk in the name of the LORD,

our God, forever and ever.

6* On that day—oracle of the LORD

I will gather the lame,

And I will assemble the outcasts,

and those whom I have afflicted.

7I will make of the lame a remnant,

and of the weak a strong nation;

The LORD shall be king over them on Mount Zion,

from now on and forever.c

8And you, O tower of the flock,*

hill of daughter Zion!

To you it shall come:

the former dominion shall be restored,

the reign of daughter Jerusalem.

9Now why do you cry out so?

Are you without a king?

Or has your adviser perished,

That you are seized with pains

like a woman in labor?

10* Writhe, go into labor,

O daughter Zion,

like a woman giving birth;

For now you shall leave the city

and camp in the fields;

To Babylon you shall go,

there you shall be rescued.

There the LORD shall redeem you

from the hand of your enemies.

11* And now many nations are gathered against you!

They say, “Let her be profaned,

let our eyes see Zion’s downfall!”

12But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD,

nor understand his plan:

He has gathered them

like sheaves to the threshing floor.

13Arise and thresh, O daughter Zion;

your horn I will make iron

And your hoofs I will make bronze,

that you may crush many peoples;

You shall devote their spoils to the LORD,*

their riches to the Lord of the whole earth.d

14Now grieve, O grieving daughter!*

“They have laid siege against us!”

With the rod they strike on the cheek

the ruler of Israel.

* [4:14] This magnificent prophecy of salvation is almost identical to Is 2:25, with the exception of its last verse. See also Jl 4:910, which transforms the promise into a call to war. It is not known if Micah or an editor of the book picked up the announcement from his contemporary Isaiah or if Isaiah borrowed it from Micah. Perhaps both Isaiah and Micah depended upon another, more ancient tradition. The ground of the prophetic hope voiced here is the justice and grace of the God who has chosen Israel. The basis for peace shall be a just order where all are obedient to the divine will. While the vision is a universal one, including all peoples and nations (vv. 34), its center and wellspring is the Temple of the Lord of Israel on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

* [4:68] An announcement of salvation proclaiming that the Lord will restore the lame and afflicted people of God as a nation on Mount Zion. Oracle of the LORD: a phrase used extensively in prophetic books to indicate divine speech.

* [4:8] Tower of the flock: in Hebrew migdal-eder, a place name in Gn 35:21.

* [4:10] Frequently the prophets personify the city of Jerusalem as a woman, and here as a woman in labor.

* [4:1113] The nations who have ridiculed Zion (v. 11) will be threshed like grain (v. 13).

* [4:13] Devote their spoils to the LORD: the fulfillment of the ancient ordinance of the holy war in which all plunder taken in the war was “put under the ban,” i.e., belonged to the Lord.

* [4:14] Grieve, O grieving daughter!: the Hebrew actually reflects the ancient Near Eastern mourning practice of afflicting oneself with cuts and gashes, as evidence of grief. A literal rendering would be “gash yourself, O woman who gashes.”

a. [4:13] Is 2:24.

b. [4:4] Hos 14:8; Am 9:14.

c. [4:7] Is 6:13; Dn 7:14; Zep 3:19; Lk 1:32.

d. [4:13] Is 41:15; Hos 10:11.






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