×

*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Micah 4:1-8 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Micah 4:1
  • Micah 4:2
  • Micah 4:3
  • Micah 4:4
  • Micah 4:5
  • Micah 4:6
  • Micah 4:7
  • Micah 4:8

Having described the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in the previous verses, Micah now revealed information about the Messiah’s future kingdom.

Micah just completed his presentation of the LORD’s judgment which would reduce Jerusalem to a heap of stones, its temple into a pagan place of worship, and the whole area of Zion into a sparsely inhabited, dangerous forest. Now, in stark contrast, he turned his attention to what will come about in the last days (v. 1). The reference to the last days frequently points to a time that is still future (Ezekiel 38:16; Hosea 3:5; Daniel 2:28 et al.). Thus, this would include the Great Tribulation and, as here, the thousand-year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:4).

Micah first discussed what would happen to the mountain of the house of the LORD. The mountain is Mount Zion, and in the future, it will be established as the chief of the mountains. This means that Mount Zion will become the most important mountain on the earth, because it is the location of Jerusalem. Because of its extreme importance, It will be raised above the hills to demonstrate its superiority.

The hill of Mount Zion, one of the chief hills upon which Jerusalem sits, is used here as a picture of Jerusalem. The other hills here probably refer to centers of power (both human and divine) other than Jerusalem. It was typical for capitals of empires to be built on elevated places, which made them easier to defend. This would also apply to their temples dedicated to their pagan gods and goddesses, which would be co-located with the capital.

Just like the Israelite pilgrims were doing in Micah’s time, in the future other peoples will stream to Jerusalem (Mount Zion) to worship Yahweh, the LORD God of Israel. In fact, many nations will come and say (v. 2) their faith and allegiance to Yahweh. These nations (Gentile) will command their people to “Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord And to the house of the God of Jacob.” These terms refer to the temple complex in Jerusalem.

The reason the nations will go to the mountain of the Lord (Mount Zion) is because it is where Yahweh will dwell. It will be from there that He will instruct the Gentiles about His ways. Knowing His ways would teach them about the kind of God that He is and how He works within His creation. Based on that, they would learn how to walk in His paths, meaning how to conform their lifestyles to His standards. It is interesting to note that these nations will want to come to the LORD and learn about Him and His works so that they can live lives that honor Him.

The reason they will go to the mountain of the Lord instead of elsewhere is because from Zion will go forth the law, Even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. These terms describe the source of the LORD’s teaching to the nations. Part of the instruction the nations will receive involve the LORD’s justice. They will learn that He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty, distant nations (v. 3). If there is a dispute between nations, the LORD will decide the outcome, avoiding a conflict. From these descriptions we can tell that God is ruling the entire earth from Jerusalem. This describes the Messianic kingdom. This was the kingdom the disciples and other Israelites looked for and longed to see during the time of Jesus. That Jesus intended to come twice, the first time as a suffering servant, surprised them. But after Jesus arose, He spent forty days speaking to His disciples concerning His kingdom (Acts 1:3). The disciples then wanted to know whether Jesus intended to restore the kingdom to Israel at that time (Acts 1:6). It is certain that His kingdom will come to earth. It still lies in our future at the time of this writing.

During this Messianic kingdom, there will be no more war, because the LORD will be the Judge of the nations. Because there is no need for weapons, people will be able to hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks. Instead of preparing for war (bringing death), the people will need more tools for bringing in the harvest (resulting in life and prosperity). Because the Prince of Peace will be on the throne, Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war (v 3).

Another result of the lack of war and increase in prosperity will be a wonderful quality of life for the people. In fact, each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree (v. 4). During the era this was written, each home had a vine to grow grapes and a fig tree for fruit. The idea is that each person will dwell securely in their own home. This is a picture of peace and prosperity used to describe Solomon’s reign (1 Kings 4:25) and to refer to the still-future Messianic age (Zechariah 3:10).

In the Messianic Kingdom, there will be no one to make them afraid. His people would not need to be in fear of losing peace and prosperity for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. The LORD will be on the throne, and no one will be subject to losing security because His sovereign power will ensure it. Isaiah also prophesies concerning the future Messianic kingdom. He describes this peaceful setting by picturing wild and domestic animals living peacefully together (Isaiah 11:6 – 9).

Paul stated that believers in Jesus Christ can experience the peace of God, which “surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:6 – 7). This speaks of a spiritual peace. During the Messianic reign of Christ, this peace will be tangibly manifested, as war will be no more.

Micah now appears to insert an interlude. He has been speaking of a future time. But now he appears to speak of the current time, saying that though all the peoples walk Each in the name of his god, as for us, we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever (v. 5). The idea seems to be that since there is such a great physical kingdom coming, Israel should walk spiritually with their king now.

To walk (Heb. “yêləḵū”) here implies that the peoples acknowledged their pagan gods’ authority over them and adopted their (exploitative) lifestyles accordingly. In contrast (as for us), the LORD’s faithful remnant will walk In the name of the Lord our God forever and ever. Looking forward to the Messianic kingdom, Micah declared that His people will live in accordance with the law of the LORD our God forever and ever.

The LORD then declared the future restoration of those who have been exiled. He explained that “In that day” (v. 6), the LORD will assemble the lame And gather the outcasts. The lame (a picture of physical suffering) and outcasts (a picture of being social rejects) refer to the exiles in Babylon. These are ones whom I (the LORD) have afflicted by allowing them to be conquered and carried away. In His time, He will restore them to the Promised Land.

This was partially fulfilled when the LORD, through the Persians, allowed the exiles to return to the Promised Land around 535 BC after 70 years of exile (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10). But this verse will likely be completely fulfilled in a time when their gathering will be permanent in the still-future Messianic kingdom (Matthew 24:31).

The LORD then promised to turn these exiled Israelites into a strong nation again. At that time, the LORD will make the lame a remnant (v. 7). He will also make the outcasts a strong nation. The pairing of the remnant with a strong nation shows that this remnant was to be more than just the survivors returning from the Babylonian captivity. They did not become a strong nation on their own—the LORD made them so.

That they will return to Jerusalem and Judah can be seen in the fact that the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion, where Jerusalem sits. Jerusalem was established as Israel’s seat of government by David (2 Samuel 5:5 – 9), and that will be where our LORD will govern the world From now on and forever.

The LORD then described what will happen to Jerusalem. He did this by saying As for you (v. 8). He used the phrase tower of the flock to refer to the seat of government in Jerusalem. The word for tower (Heb. “miḡdal”) refers to a shepherd’s watchtower. Like shepherds, the Ruler in Jerusalem will watch over His flock (Heb. “‘êḏer”), the people of Israel (Isaiah 40:11; Jeremiah 13:17, 20). He also called Jerusalem the Hill of the daughter of Zion. The phrase daughter of Zion pictures the city and its inhabitants as a defenseless and vulnerable maiden (Isaiah 10:32; Jeremiah 4:31).

It is to the future Jerusalem that it will come, meaning that the former dominion will come. This is a reference to the previous reigns of David and Solomon over a unified Israel. The former dominion will happen again because the Messiah, Son of David, will reign over The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem (Hosea 3:5; Amos 9:11). The daughter of Jerusalem is a synonym of the daughter of Zion used earlier in the verse. It refers to the nation of Israel.

Biblical Text

1 And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains.
It will be raised above the hills,
And the peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will come and say,
“Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord
And to the house of the God of Jacob,
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For from Zion will go forth the law,
Even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they train for war.
Each of them will sit under his vine
And under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid,
For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.
“In that day,” declares the Lord,
“I will assemble the lame
And gather the outcasts,
Even those whom I have afflicted.
“I will make the lame a remnant
And the outcasts a strong nation,
And the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on and forever.
“As for you, tower of the flock,
Hill of the daughter of Zion,
To you it will come—
Even the former dominion will come,
The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.




Check out our other commentaries:

  • Acts 1:6-8 meaning

    The disciples ask Jesus if He will establish His kingdom in Israel now. Jesus answers that God has set that time in the future, and......
  • Matthew 14:13-14 meaning

    Jesus is back in Galilee. Having learned of the murder of John the Baptist, He seeks a place of solitude. He gets in a boat......
  • Romans 11:9-12 meaning

    Israel has not been cast aside forever. They have sinned, but through their sin God is ushering the Gentiles into salvation. In part, God has......
  • Exodus 31:18 meaning

    The LORD finishes speaking to Moses. This is most likely at the end of the forty days that Moses was in His presence on Mount......
  • Romans 3:9 meaning

    Paul is making the points that all men are sinners and therefore no one man better than another.......