Micah – Chapter 2

You Don't Have Anything Better to Do?

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Micah says woe to those who lie in bed, plotting all their evil, then perform it in the morning. They have to power to just take whatever they want, so their plans are effectively already a “done deal.” G-d says that He’ll plan evil for the nation who does this; they will not be able to get out of it.

When the evil G-d has planned comes to pass, there will be mourning in the form of a parable. (Radak says this refers to false prophets, who will intentionally obscure their meanings to conceal that their words do not come true.) The people will say, “We’ve been robbed! Our land has been given to the enemy! How can we get G-d to give us back our inheritance?” Therefore, don’t let anyone divide hereditary property. (If false prophets are saying this, then the meaning is that they are hypocrites, mourning over a destruction that they caused. Their own lines will be cut off, so there will be no one to inherit from them.)

Micah tells the real prophets not to preach to the people, since all they do is mock G-d’s words. (The Radak says that the people are telling the prophets not to bother preaching, since they don’t intend to listen.) Is that a proper thing for them to say? Has G-d somehow lost the ability to do good for them? (Of course not!) G-d’s not the one who mistreated the poor innocents! The actions of the people are what put Him on the opposite side! They’re the ones who will make men’s wives into widows and cause their children not to inherit what G-d gave them. Go into exile because G-d didn’t give you the land in order to act this way! You contaminate the land with your evil!

The people would gladly accept the words of an obviously-false prophet who told them to party. G-d will exile the people, but He will ultimately gather them back like a shepherd gathers his sheep. Someone will go before them to break down the barriers and straighten the road before them. (The prophet Malachi says it will be Eliyahu – Elijah – see Malachi 3:23, “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of G-d arrives.”) Their king will go before them, with G-d in the lead. (Alternatively, these last few verses refer to the exile and the king is Tzidkiyahu, who tried to escape through a breach in the walls and G-d preceded them into exile by withdrawing His presence, as we saw in the Book of Ezekiel.)

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