Micah 7

Study the Inner Meaning

King James Version         

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1 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.

2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

4 The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.

5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.

7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

11 In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed.

12 In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.

13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.

14 Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them Feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.

15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things.

16 The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.

17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.

18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Micah 7      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

In this last chapter of his book, in Micah 7:1-4, the prophet is discouraged about the evil that he sees in the land. The cluster (of grapes ) that he doesn’t see means that there is no love of the neighbor there. 1 The firstfruits that his soul longs for mean the upright kind of ordinary life 2 , which he can’t find: “the faithful man has perished from the earth”.

The net in verse 2 is the twisting of truth into falsity and the other way round, to deceive. Those who should be faithful leaders are diving into evil, and take bribes. All this hellish behavior will in the end lead to punishment.

In Micah 7:5, 6, these two verses are really not talking about other people; friends, companions, wives or husbands, or in-laws. When Micah refers to a “man’s household” he is talking about the evil loves that live in our own will. That’s where the evil is that we must fear and stamp out. 3

Micah 7:7-9 shows the path away from evil. God will hear us. But we must see that we have sinned and admit it to the Lord 4 , and ask for His help in stopping. He will be a light in our “darkness”. Micah admits his own weakness and admits that only the Lord’s power can "bring him forth to the light".

In Micah 7:10, "She" represents the affection for doing some kind of evil. Everyone has some sort of affections that way. 5 Those affections will try to persuade us that Jehovah can’t help, but if we persist in calling on Him for help, those affections can be shamed and eventually be trampled into the mud.

Micah 7:11, 12 says that when the Lord comes to found a new church, it will spread. Assyria here means reasoning, and Egypt means natural science. Cities mean doctrine from truth, and mountains mean goods, so the picture is of the spreading of both truth and good from one boundary to the other, all the way from natural truths to reasoning about spiritual things -- our whole mind. 6

But the old church will be desolate, according to Micah 7:13.

In Micah 7:14,15, to pasture means to feed the flock as a shepherd 7 , or to teach the truths that the Lord provides. The forest means the church as to truth, and Carmel means the church as to good. 8 Bashan and Gilead mean the same ideas from the stories of the Word, the literal sense.

Nations, in Micah 7:16, 17, mean people outside who don’t know, and don’t want to hear. They will stay focused on physical and sensory things, and will be in dread about knowledge of God.

Then, in Micah 7:18-20, Micah ends on a positive note: God will continue to have compassion on everyone and try to bring them to walk in His ways. Although we are all in freedom to be evil, He will never stop trying to lead us out of it if we will listen.

-----
Footnotes:

1. See Arcana Coelestia 5117.
2. See Arcana Coelestia 1071.
3. See Arcana Coelestia 4563.
4. See Arcana Coelestia 3539.
5. See Arcana Coelestia 4563.
6. See Apocalypse Explained 510, Arcana Coelestia 4967, Apocalypse Revealed 455.
7. See John 21:15-17
8. See Arcana Coelestia 9011, 1971

-----

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 221


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 120, 249, 348, 1071, 1165, 1178, 1186, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 383, 413, 444, 455, 485, 501, 503, ...

Doctrine of the Lord 4

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 85

True Christian Religion 51


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 482, 526, 538, 569, 581, 632, 652, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 56

Marriage 51

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 9, 57, 76

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 3:14, 22:16

Exodus 15:11

Numbers 23:9, 32:1, 4

Deuteronomy 30:3

Joshua 7:9

Judges 10:16, 14:17

1 Samuel 25:39

2 Samuel 22:43, 46, 23:6, 24:14

2 Kings 9:33

2 Chronicles 17:10

Nehemiah 2:17

Job 21:5, 35:14

Psalms 10:9, 12:2, 25:5, 27:1, 35:26, 37:24, 62:6, 65:4, 72:9, 11, 85:3, 5, 92:12, 95:7, 103:9, 12, 105:8, 119:154, 130:4, 143:3

Proverbs 20:6, 24:17

Isaiah 3:5, 6:11, 8:17, 17:9, 19:23, 26:11, 27:13, 33:24, 38:17, 44:22, 50:10, 51:9, 10, 22, 54:2, 58:12, 61:4

Jeremiah 3:12, 4:22, 5:1, 26, 9:3, 14:7, 21:14, 23:7, 8, 31:34, 33:6, 50:19, 51:10

Lamentations 3:22, 24

Ezekiel 2:6, 12:19, 33:16, 34:13, 21, 39:29

Hosea 6:9, 9:7, 14:5

Joel 2:17

Obadiah 1:19

Habakkuk 2:3, 3:18

Zephaniah 15

Zechariah 10:10, 11:7

Matthew 10:21

Mark 11:13, 13:12

Luke 1:55, 73, 15:21

Romans 8

Bible Word Meanings

summer
Summer' signifies the full state of the church, the same as 'noon.'

cluster
A cluster denotes live truth of spiritual good, and grapes, the good of celestial truth. (Gen. 40:10.)

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

earth
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

hunt
'To hunt' signifies in general 'persuading,' and in particular, 'to captivate and ensnare people's minds,' by flattering them in the pursuit of the things of...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

evil
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

prince
In Isaiah 19:20, 'savior' relates to the Lord regarding the good of love, and 'great one,' regarding the truths of faith from Him.

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

watchmen
'A watchman,' as in Isaiah 21:11, in an internal sense, signifies someone who observes the states of the church and its changes, which applies to...

visitation
The end time of the church and each individual, is called 'the visitation,' and precedes judgment. 'Visitation' is nothing but an exploration of the quality...

cometh
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

friend
In the Bible, there is a careful distinction between the word “brother” and the word “companion” or “friend.” That’s partly because the people of Israel...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

doors
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

bosom
"Bosom" in general terms means the chest, but more as the seat of the emotions than simply as part of the body. You'd think of...

son
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

riseth up
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

riseth
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

mother
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

hear
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

rejoice
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

enemy
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

arise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

sit
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" represents a state where truth is lacking. Here's a cogent passage...

light
In the Word, “light” in the highest sense represents Divine Truth: knowledge, ideas, understanding that come to us from the Lord. In lesser degrees...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

righteousness
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

see
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

shame
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

cover
The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

Mire of the streets
Mire of the streets,' as in Zechariah 10:5, signifies false doctrine.

streets
The phrase 'in the streets and synagogues' in Matthew 6:2, 5, and Luke 8:26-27, refers to a representative rite amongst the Jews to teach in...

walls
'A hedge,' as mentioned in Matthew 21:33, signifies preservation from falsities of evil which are from hell.

built
To build something generally means to put together a variety of simpler pieces to make a useful and more complex structure, as to build a...

removed
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

cities
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

fortress
Fortifications denote truths so far as they defend good. Fortifications signify defense against falsities and evils.

river
'Rivers' signify truths in abundance serving the rational self, and so, the understanding, for the purpose of doctrine and life. 'Rivers' or 'floods' signify temptations....

sea
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

mountain
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

fruit
We tend to think of "fruit" in two ways in natural language. One is as food that grows on trees and vines, sweet and delicious,...

feed
When the Bible talks about "feeding" it is generally referring to instruction in spiritual things – teaching people the true concepts that can lead them...

flock
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

heritage
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

wood
Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

midst
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

carmel
Carmel (Isa. 16:10) signifies the good of the church. Carmel also signifies the celestial church. (Isa. 35:2.)

Bashan
'Sharon, Bashan, and Carmel' signify the church regarding the knowledges of good and truth from the natural sense of the Word.

Gilead
Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

Days of old
The days of old (Psalms 77:5) signify states of the most ancient church, and years of ancient times, states of the ancient church.

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

of old
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

nations
'A nation,' as in Genesis 21:18, signifies the spiritual church which should receive the good of faith. Nation from afar,' as in Jeremiah 5:17, signifies...

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

dust
'Powder' or 'dust' refers to love of self and the world.

serpent
Serpents in the Bible represent reasoning that is based on what we know through our senses. This is the lowest and most outward mode of...

Move
'To move' denotes living.

afraid
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

fear
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

iniquity
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 32:6: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

transgression
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

anger
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

ever
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

mercy
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

iniquities
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

sins
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

depths
The deeps mentioned in Psalms 148:7 signify the ultimate heavens, in which the spiritual natural angels are ; also divine truths in abundance, and arcana...

truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

Abraham
Abraham (or Abram, as he is named in the beginning of his story) is one of the major characters in the story of the sacred...

sworn
'To sware' is a binding.

fathers
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...


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