Micah 4:5-10, 13a

Micah 4:5-10, 13a
A Women’s Lectionary 6


For allA the peoplesB walk,C
    eachD in the nameE of its god,F

Notes on verse 5a

A “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
B “peoples” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
C “walk” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
D “each” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
E “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
F “god” = elohim.

but we will walk in the name of the LordG our GodH
    foreverI and ever.J

Notes on verse 5b

G “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
H “God” = Elohim. Same as “god” in v5. See note F above.
I “forever” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
J “ever” = ad. From adah (to advance or continue; to take away or remove; adorning oneself with ornaments). This is old, perpetuity, eternity. It is a duration going back or forward.

In that day,K saysL the Lord,
    I will assembleM the lameN
and gatherO those who have been driven away,P
    and those whom I have afflicted.Q

Notes on verse 6

K “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
L “says” = neum. From na’am (to speak a prophecy; properly, to whisper, which implies saying an oracle). This is an utterance or speaking an oracle.
M “assemble” = asaph. This is to gather, assemble, or bring. It can also mean to take away, destroy, or remove.
N “lame” = tsala. 4x in OT. Perhaps from tsela (rib, side, leaf, plank, side of a person or object; quarter of the sky). Root may mean to curve. This is lame or limping.
O “gather” = qabats. This is to collect, assemble, heap, grasp, or gather.
P “driven away” = nadach. This is scatter, seduce, banish, draw away, drive away, outcast, scatter. It means to push off in a literal or figurative sense so it could also be mislead, inflict, or withdraw.
Q “afflicted” = ra’a’. This is to be evil, bad, afflict. Properly, it means to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces. Figuratively, it is to cause something to be worthless. It is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense – something that displeases, does harm or mischief, punishes or vexes.

The lame I will makeR the remnant,S
    and those who were cast off,T a strongU nation;V

Notes on verse 7a

R “make” = sum. Related to “name” in v5. See note E above.
S “remnant” = sheerit. From shaar (properly, swelling up i.e. being left over; a remnant, remaining, being redundant). This is a remainder, residue, or survivor. It can also refer to posterity.
T “cast off” = hala. 1x in OT. From haleah (beyond, far away, to this point, back, forward). This is removed from or remote. It can mean outcast.
U “strong” = atsum. From atsom (to be many or mighty; could also refer to breaking bones). This is mighty or mighty one. It means powerful, which implies large numbers.
V “nation” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.

and the Lord will reignW over them in MountX ZionY
    now and forevermore.Z

Notes on verse 7b

W “reign” = malak. To be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned. By implication, to take counsel. This word may be from the Hebrew word for king “melek” or vice versa.
X “Mount” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
Y “Zion” = Tsiyyon. Related to tsyiyyun (signpost, monument); from tsavah (to charge someone, to command, order); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness drought); from a root meaning parched as desert, dry land. Zion can refer to a mountain in Jerusalem as well as another name for Jerusalem itself or the people.
Z “forevermore” = ad. Related to “ever” in v5. From the same as ad (see note J above). This is until, while, up to.

And you, O towerAA of the flock,BB
    hillCC of daughterDD Zion,

Notes on verse 8a

AA “tower” = migdal. From gadal (to grow, grow up, be great, magnify, exalt). This is a tower, podium, bed of flowers. This is perhaps the root of “Magdalene.”
BB “flock” = eder. From adar (fail, missing) OR from adar (to dig, help, keep rank; properly, to muster troops as for battle; to miss or lack since you can see who is missing following muster; to arrange like a vineyard and so to hoe). This is arrangement – of animals, a flock or herd.
CC “hill” = ophel. 9x in OT. From aphal (to swell, rise up, be elated). This is a fortified hill, a stronghold or fortress. It could also be a tumor, ulcer, or a mound. It is used of the tumors after the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Samuel 5.
DD “daughter” = bat. From ben (son literal or figurative; also, grandson, subject, nation); from banah (to build or obtain children). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.

to you it shall come,EE
    the formerFF dominionGG shall come,HH
    the sovereigntyII of daughter Jerusalem.JJ

Notes on verse 8b

EE “come” = athah. This is to come or bring. It can also refer to the past or future arriving.
FF “former” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.
GG “dominion” = memshalah. 14x in OT. From mimshal (dominion, ruler, authority); from mashal (to rule, reign, govern, have authority, wield). This is to rule, govern, a ream, ruler, authority, dominion, forces.
HH “come” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
II “sovereignty” = mamlakah. Related to “reign” in v7. From the same as melek (king, royal); from malak (see note W above). This is kingdom, dominion, sovereignty, rule. It can also refer to the realm.
JJ “Jerusalem” = Yerushalaim. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalam (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.

9 Now why do you cryKK aloud?LL
    Is there no kingMM in you?
Has your counselorNN perished,OO
    that pangsPP have seizedQQ you like a woman in labor?RR

Notes on verse 9

KK “cry” = rua. To break or destroy something. Figuratively, an ear splitting sound like a call of alarm or a joyful sound.
LL “aloud” = rea. 3x in OT. Related to “cry” in v9. From rua (see note KK above). This is a shouting or roar. It can be used of thunder, war-like sounds, or joyful shouts.
MM “king” = melek. Related to “reign” in v7 & “sovereignty” in v8. See note II above.
NN “counselor” = yaats. This is to advise, counsel, consult, decide, plan, purpose, or determine. It can also have a negative sense of conspire or devise.
OO “perished” = abad. To wander off, lose self. This implies to perish, destroy, die, vanish, or be broken or corrupt.
PP “pangs” = chil. 7x in OT. From chul (whirling around so dancing as in a circle or writhing in pain; used particularly for the pain of childbirth or from writhing due to fear; can also be falling in pain or waiting). This is writhing, pain, pang, or anguish. It can be used specifically for labor pains.
QQ “seized” = chazaq. This is to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden.
RR “woman in labor” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.

10 WritheSS and groan,TT O daughter Zion,
    like a woman in labor;
for now you shall go forthUU from the cityVV
    and campWW in the open country;XX
    you shall goYY to Babylon.ZZ

Notes on verse 10a

SS “writhe” = chul. Related to “pangs” in v9. See note PP above.
TT “groan” = giach. 6x in OT. This is to break forth like water bursting out, to rush, give birth.
UU “go forth” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
VV “city” = qiryah. From qarah (to happen, meet, bring about). This is a place where there are buildings so it could be a fortress or a town.
WW “camp” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).
XX “open country” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.
YY “go” = bo. Same as “come” in v8. See note HH above.
ZZ “Babylon” = Babel. Perhaps from balal (to anoint, mix, overflow) OR from Akkadian Bbilim; perhaps from earlier Sumerian name Ca-dimirra (gate of god). This is Babylon or Babel. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon.

There you shall be rescued,AAA
    there the Lord will redeemBBB you
    from the handsCCC of your enemies.DDD

Notes on verse 10b

AAA “rescued” = natsal. This is to snatch someone or something away in a good sense – as rescue, defend, or deliver – or in a bad sense – as strip or plunder.
BBB “redeem” = gaal. This is to redeem someone or something according to kinship laws. So, it could be acting on a relative’s behalf to buy back their property, to marry one’s brother’s widow, etc. This could be more briefly translated as to redeem, acts as kinsman, or purchase. As a noun, it could be deliverer or avenger.
CCC “hands” = kaph. From kaphaph (to bend – from a root meaning curve or bend down). This is palm of the hand or sole of the foot, footstep, grasp. Figuratively, it can also mean power.
DDD “enemies” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.

13 AriseEEE and thresh,FFF
    O daughter Zion,
for I will make your hornGGG ironHHH
    and your hoofsIII bronze;JJJ

Notes on verse 13a

EEE “arise” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
FFF “thresh” = dush. 14x in OT. This is to trample, break, tear, thresh.
GGG “horn” = qeren. This is horn or hill. It can be a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power.
HHH “iron” = barzel. From the same as Birzoth (a name meaning holes). Root may mean to pierce. This is iron as something used as a cutting implement. It can also specifically mean ax head.
III “hoofs” = parash. From paras (to divide, tear, distribute, hoof). This is a hoof or claw as split.
JJJ “bronze” = nechushah. 10x in OT. From nachush (made of bronze or brass, coppery; figuratively, hard); from the same as nechosheth (copper, bronze, brass – something made from this metal – a coin or fetter; something considered base in contrast to gold or silver) or nachash (to divine, interpret omens, learn from experience, observe; to hiss) or nachash (a serpent or snake). This is copper, bronze, brass, or steel.

you shall beat in piecesKKK manyLLL peoples,
    and shall devoteMMM their gainNNN to the Lord,
    their wealthOOO to the LordPPP of the wholeQQQ earth.RRR

Notes on verse 13b

KKK “beat in pieces” = daqaq. 12x in OT. This is to crush, crumble, make dust, thresh, grind, be very small.
LLL “many” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
MMM “devote” = charam. This is to ban, destroy, devote, seclude. It is to dedicate to a religious purpose, often for destruction.
NNN “gain” = batsa. 17x in OT. This is to break or cut off, to acquire violently, break ranks, greedy, fulfill. Usually, it means to plunder.
OOO “wealth” = chayil. From chul (to be firm, strong, prosperous; to endure). This is strength, wealth, ability, activity. It can refer to soldier or a company of soldiers as well as goods. It is a force of people, means, or goods. It can speak of valor, virtue, or strength.
PPP “Lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
QQQ “whole” = kol. Same as “all” in v5. See note A above.
RRR “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

Image credit: “Childbirth Scene” by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, circa 1870.

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