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as actually existing facts. Passages like this and 4”, written in periods when everything visible to the human eye was fraught with discouragement and gloom, reveal the extraordinary capacity of the Hebrew soul for faith—faith in its God and in its destiny. The pronoun of the 2d person, as in sil, must give place to that of the 3d person (v. s.), in view of the parallel pronouns of the remainder of the poem. It is impossible to find anything but words of encouragement and comfort here.*—Together will I put them like a flock in the fold] “Put together’ is here synonymous with the preceding ‘assemble’ and ‘gather.” It refers not only to the two halves of the nation heretofore separated but also to the more or less widely scattered groups of exiles in various lands. The ‘diaspora’ began early, as is demonstrated by the existence of a Jewish colony at Assuan on the Nile at least as early as 550 B.C..f RV.'s sheep of Bozrah yields no satisfactory sense; nor is it safe to render ‘flock of the fold,” for bâtsrah does not have the meaning ‘fold’ elsewhere, cannot be assigned to any root which yields such a sense, and lacks the preposition “in” which the parallelism seems to require. It is therefore necessary to adopt a slightly different reading from fli; v. s..—Like a herd in the midst of the pasture] The similes employed imply not merely the bringing together of Israel from its different places of exile, but also the thought of Yahweh’s protecting care after the return; cf. Ps. 23"-And they will be tumultuous with people] These two words are a later expansion as shown by the looseness of their connection, by the difficulty of the grammar, and by their redundance in the metre. The subject apparently is the ‘fold' and the ‘pasture.” For the figure in the Hebrew, literally “they will roar on account of men,” as designating great masses of people, cf. Is. 17”.—13. The breaker will go forth before them] The figure of the flock and herd is still retained, but the scene now shifts from Palestine as the fold and pasture to the land of exile as a prison. Thence will Yahweh lead them forth, going before them like the ram of the flock to break down every barrier and remove every obstacle. That Yahweh is the “breaker’ is shown by the parallel terms in lines 7 and 8, which seem fatal objections to any attempt to identify the “breaker’ with some particular part of the Israelitish army after the analogy of 1 S. 13” Ju. 20.” Jos. 67." ".” The same verb is used to describe Yahweh’s activity in Ex. 19.” “2 S. 5” I Ch. 14” Ps. 8o".—They will break through the gate and go forth thereal] The words “and pass on' which fli presents immediately after ‘break through” are redundant and render the following ‘go forth' belated and superfluous. Furthermore, the rendering ‘pass on to the gate’ (so RV.) leaves the preceding verb without an object, while the sense ‘pass through’ is difficult without a preposition. When to these difficulties is added the metrical redundance, it seems necessary to relegate the phrase to the margin.—And their king will pass on before them, Yea—Yahweh at their head] The “king’ and Yahweh are here identical, as in Je. 22° Zp. 3" Is. 33°41*43*44" Ps. 89”. To interpret ‘king’ as designating the Messianic ruler or the exiled monarch would involve a double headship and leadership of the returning procession such as finds no parallel elsewhere in the Old Testament. For other pictures of similar tone, cf. Je. 31° * Is. 40' f. 52”.
* Contra van H. (v. s.), who finds it necessary to eliminate lines 1, 2 and 8 as glosses made by one who misunderstood the tenor of the passage.
+ V. JMPS. in Biblical World, XXXI (1968), 448 ft.
† So also Siev., though working upon a different metrical basis.
12. Tox) For this use of $2, cf. on 12–nonse.) Found prior to Isaiah and Micah only in Gn. 457 (E), 2 S. 147 Am. I* 5", i.e. twice in the sense of posterity, once of the few surviving Philistines, and once of decimated Israel. Isaiah is the first to introduce the thought of a holy remnant and to apply it to returning exiles; cf. Meinhold, Der heilige Rest (1903).Fins:] Ordinarily taken as from nsi, be inaccessible (common to Heb. and Ar.) and given the meaning fold; v. s. The reading nosa is supported in part by ($ $ and furnishes a good parallel to Tina. The noun no is a by-form of no, corresponding to the Ar. Sira, and applied in Heb., Ar. and Syr. to the low stone wall surrounding an encampment, or to the encampment itself, or to a sheepfold similarly protected.—nn-n] For other cases of art. with sf., cf. Ges. 3 in 1; Kö. * ***.—non-nn] so derives this from on, but the existence of the Hiph. of this vb. is doubtful; the derivation from non (v. s.) is better. The fem. pl. because the subjects ny's and on represent things.-13. nor] Proph. pf.; often used of return from exile, e. g. Ho. 11t 21, Is. 111°; cf. Na. 21.-iss") On proph. pf. continued by waw consec. with impf., cf. Kö. § 147; Dr. sl.
* Contra Dr. Exp. 1887, pp. 250 f.
§ 6. Denunciation of the Leaders and Prophets (3*).
Of the seven four-line strs. constituting this poem, three are devoted to the secular leaders, three to the religious, and the last to Micah himself.
Str. I charges the leaders of Israel with having perverted their calling—they who should love and honour justice are devoted to the pursuit of wickedness. Str. II in highly figurative language pictures their oppression of the poor and helpless. Str. III announces a day of disaster when these leaders will reap the due reward of their deeds and find that Yahweh turns a deaf ear to their cry for help in their distress. Str. IV turns the charge against the prophets of the day who being actuated by mercenary motives are leading Israel astray. Str. W, under the figure of an eclipse, declares the time to be at hand when the impotence of these prophets will become manifest—prophets without vision. Str. VI describes the shame and confusion that will overwhelm them when they discover that God heeds not their cry. Str. VII sets forth, in sharp contrast to the powerlessness just described, Micah's consciousness of his own authority and power to denounce the sins of Israel.
EAR now, ye heads of Jacob,
CON CERNING the prophets who lead my people astray,
THEREFORE, it will be night for you without vision,
Str. I charges the rulers of Israel with having grossly betrayed the trust reposed in them,-the guardians of justice have become abettors of and participants in crime.—1. But I said] No satisfactory connection of this phrase with anything preceding can be found. After the removal of the interpolation 2*, *, with which it has no point of contact, and of 2" (v. s.), connection might be made with 2" by rendering, ‘Furthermore, I said”; but a particle would be expected to express such an idea, and it presupposes a close integration of thought between 2" and 3** which does not exist. Rather does a new theme present itself in ch. 3. It may be that some connecting link between 2" and 3' has been lost; otherwise, this phrase must be regarded as an obscure marginal note.— Heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel] The identical terminology in v. *, with the specifications in v. ", makes it clear that the address both here and there is to the officials of Judah in general and Jerusalem in particular.—Know justice] Cf. Am. 3". The knowledge required is not mere intellectual appreciation of the principles of justice, but a practical understanding of its obligations and a sympathy with its aims which will lead to a righteous administration of law.—2. Ye who hate good, etc.] Their conduct is, for Micah, susceptible of no other explanation.—Ye who