Micah 4:1-8 is one of the best passage in the Old Testament announcing the salvation of Jerusalem, which is also preserved in Micah’s comtemporary prophet Isaiah (2:1-5). But the author of Micah located this slavation oracle right after the oracle of judgment: the passage of 3:1-12 addresses that “Zion shall be plowed as a field” while “Zion will be exalted.” What is the relation of this salvaion oracle to the previous judgment oracle? J. T. Wills attests this problem as follows:
The contrasts between 3:9-12 and 4:1-8 are so striking that one is almost compelled to conclude that the final redactor intended for chaps. 3 and 4 to be taken together (Wills 1969, 196).
I agree with Wills that we need to read them together because the author emphsizes the contrasts between salvation and judgment. The oralce of judgment in 3:1-12 is on the ruling elite, such as political leaders, religious leaders, and the false prophets in Jerusalem. But the oralce of salvation in 4:1-8 reflects God rules from Jerusalem. It stresses the return of the Israelites exiles and the restoration of Jerusalem to its former power becuase “God will reign over them in Mount Zion now and forevermore (v. 7).”
This passage shows the sharp contrast between the former Jerusalem ruled by the injust ruling elites and the later Jerusalem ruled by God: the injust elites built Zion with blood and wrong (3:10) while just God will bulid Zion with peace and hope (4:2-5).
Wills, J. T. 1969. The Structure of Micah 3-5. ZAW: 191-214.
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