Micah 4

The Word Made Fresh

1But in the future the mountain of the LORD’s temple
will be established as the most important of all the mountains,
and will be celebrated above all the hills.
People will flock to it.
2Other nations will come, saying,
“Let’s go up to the LORD’s mountain,
to the temple of Jacob’s God.
The LORD will teach us what paths to walk.”
From Zion instructions will be given;
the word of the LORD will come from Jerusalem.
3The LORD will be the judge between many nations,
and will be the arbitrator between strong kingdoms far away.
They will beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears will be beaten into pruning hooks.
Nations will not go to war against each other
or even learn how to make war anymore.
4They will sit beneath their own vines and fig trees,
and no one will frighten them;
for the voice of the LORD of multitudes has spoken.
5All the nations live, and each one obeys its god,
but we will live in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.
6“Then,” says the LORD, “I will gather the lame
and the lost and the ones I have troubled.
7I will gather the lame as a remnant,
and make a strong nation of those who were cast aside.”
The LORD will rule over them from Mt. Zion forever.
8And the hill of Zion will be the watchtower of the flock,
and the former kingdom will come to you,
and my daughter Jerusalem will be sovereign.        
9Why, then, do you cry out aloud? Do you have no king?
Has your leader died and left you in pain as a woman in labor?
10Squirm and writhe, daughter Zion, like a woman in labor.
Now you must leave the city and camp in the countryside,
and go to Babylon where you will be rescued.
That is where the LORD will save you from your enemies.
11Many nations are currently gathered against you.
They say, “Let us watch while she is profaned.”
12But they don’t know or understand that the LORD plans
to gather them as sheaves are gathered from the threshing floor.
13“Get up! Thresh, daughter Zion!
I will turn your horn to iron and your hooves to bronze.
You will break many nations into pieces.
You will give their wealth to the LORD,
the LORD of all the earth.”


1-4: An idyllic vision of things to come: the raising up of Zion as the highest of the mountains is an image we have seen before, along with the beating of swords into plowshares, for verses 1-3 are nearly identical to Isaiah 2:2-4. The saying about sitting under the fig trees is a picture of peace and tranquility.

5: The other nations need instruction because they each live according to their particular religious cults and thus need correction from the one nation that lives according to the way they have been taught by the true and only God.

6-8: Now Micah pictures a return of the exiles to Jerusalem where God will be the ruler and the kingdom of David will be restored.

9-10: An interesting idea is here: the poor ravaged people are being sent into exile to Babylon because that is where God will rescue them! The curse of exile thus becomes a blessing.

11-13: The nations that gather for the spoil — Edom, Amon, Moab — don’t realize that the fall of Jerusalem is part of God’s plan to elevate Jerusalem above them all, and they will be “as sheaves are gathered from the threshing floor.”


God does indeed punish us for our sins, but the punishment is always with the purpose of bringing us back into a right relationship with God.