Micah 3:6
Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Micah 3:6-7. Therefore night shall be unto you — Darkness, uncertainty, perplexity, and heavy troubles, shall be to you prophets; that ye shall not have a vision — You shall see your predictions so fully confuted, that you shall no more pretend to have a vision, or dare to foretel any thing. And the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark, &c. — As they shall have no light, or revelation, from heaven; so dark days, or dismal calamities, shall overtake them, as a just punishment for their frauds and impostures. Or, if the prophet be considered as addressing the people, the meaning of the verse is, Since ye have given ear to such prophets, and rejected the true ones, the time shall come when there shall be no true vision among you, no divine counsel to direct you; but ye shall be involved in darkness and uncertainty, without knowing what course to take. Then shall the seers be ashamed, &c. — For the false pretences which they have made to the gift of prophecy; yea, they shall cover their lips — Covering the lips, or lower part of the face, was used as a sign to express being under some great affliction, or shame; for there is no answer of God — Because the answer, which they pretended to be from God, now appears not to have been from him.

3:1-8 Men cannot expect to do ill, and fare well; but to find that done to them which they did to others. How seldom do wholesome truths reach the ears of those in high stations or in authority! Those who deceive others are preparing confusion for their own faces. The prophet had ardent love to God and to the souls of men; deep concern for his glory and their salvation, and zeal against sin. The difficulties he met with did not drive him from his work. He had this strength; not from and of himself, but he was full of power by the Spirit of the Lord. Those who act honestly, may act boldly. And those who come to hear the word of God, must be willing to be told of their faults, must take it kindly, and be thankful.Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision - In the presence of God's extreme judgments, even deceivers are at length still; silenced at last by the common misery, if not by awe. The false prophets had promised peace, light, brightness, prosperity; the night of trouble, anguish, darkness, fear, shall Come upon them. So shall they no more dare to speak in the Name of God, while He was by His judgments speaking the contrary in a way which all must hear. They abused God's gifts and long-suffering against Himself: they could misinterpret His long-suffering into favor, and they did it: their visions of the future were but the reflections of the present and its continuance; they thought that because God was enduring, He was indifferent, and they took His government out of His Hands, and said, that what He appeared to be now, He would ever be. They had no other light, no other foresight. When then the darkness of temporal calamity enveloped them, it shrouded in one common darkness of night all present brightness and all sight of the future.

Rup.: "After Caiaphas had in heart spoken falsehood and a prophecy of blood, although God overruled it to truth which he meant not, all grace of prophecy departed Matthew 11:13. The law and the prophets prophesied until John. "The Sun of Righteousness went down over them," inwardly and outwardly, withdrawing the brightness of His Providence and the inward light of grace." So Christ Himself forewarned; "Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you" John 12:35. And so it has remained ever since 2 Corinthians 3:15. The veil has been on their hearts. The light is in all the world, but they see it not; it arose to lighten the Gentiles, but they walk on still in darkness. As opposed to holiness, truth, knowledge, divine enlightening of the mind, bright gladness, contrariwise darkness is falsehood, sin, error, blindness of soul, ignorance of divine things, and sorrow. In all these ways, did the Sun go down "over them," so that the darkness weighed heavily upon them. So too the inventors of heresies pretend to see and to enter into the mysteries of Christ, yet find darkness instead of light, lose even what they think they see, fail even of what truth they seem most to hold; and they shall be in night and darkness, being cast into outer darkness 1 Corinthians 8:12; sinning against the brethren, and wounding the weak conscience of those for whom Christ died.

6. night … dark—Calamities shall press on you so overwhelming as to compel you to cease pretending to divine (Zec 13:4). Darkness is often the image of calamity (Isa 8:22; Am 5:18; 8:9). Therefore; because of their irreligious and atheistical pretences to Divine revelations, and to come from heaven with promises directly contrary to God’s purpose and word, even when their consciences told them they did lie herein. Night of ignorance, and loss of gifts; but since they had none such as they pretended to, I see not how they could lose them. I rather take this night to be a night of distresses, a time of great calamities upon these prophets more than ordinary, and upon all the people they seduced. Unto you; deceivers, and false prophets.

Ye shall not have a vision; you shall no more pretend to have a vision, you shall not dare any more to foretell any thing to this people.

It shall be dark unto you; a very calamitous time to all, but most to you who lived upon lying visions, and now shall starve for want of them.

Ye shall not divine; have neither skill nor will any more to set up for yourselves in that trade; being found great impostors, and such as have seduced this people into sin first, and misery next, they will be enraged against you, and you shall not safely appear among them.

The sun shall go down over the prophets; a proverbial speech, and contains much the same that night and dark do contain. Perhaps this intimates the visible hand of God extraordinarily against them, and making their sorrows the more dreadful, as darkness by the sun going down at noon, would speak itself an extraordinary judgment, and most terrify the world.

The day shall be dark over them; the best circumstances any of them shall be in shall be so sad and woeful, that they shall not know which way to take for themselves or direct for others.

Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision,.... Not that those outward gifts and illuminations, and that prophetic light they had, or seemed to have should be taken away from them, and it should be quite a night with them; because these men were never sent of God, or received any message from him, or had any prophetic talents at all, and therefore could not be taken away from them, and they be benighted in this sense; though, it is true, such might be the circumstances they would be brought into, that it should appear to the people that they are the dark persons they were, that they have no vision, nor never had any; but rather the sense is, that such dark providences and dreadful calamities should come upon the people in general, and upon those prophets in particular, often signified by "night" in Scripture, that they would not have the face to pretend any more that they had any vision from God of good times and things. It may be rendered, "therefore night shall be unto you because of vision" (c); calamity should come upon them because of their false and pretended visions of peace and prosperity they deluded the people with:

and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; such darkness of affliction should be upon them, that they would not offer to deliver out any divination or prediction of good things coming upon them; or such darkness and distress would be their portion "because of divination" (d), on account of their lying divinations they had imposed upon the people:

and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them; their time of prosperity will be over, and they shall be no more in favour with the people, or courted and feasted by them; but shall be had in the utmost contempt and abhorrence. The Targum of the whole is,

"therefore ye shall blush at prophesying, and be ashamed of teaching; and tribulation as darkness shall cover the false prophets, and the time shall be darkened upon them.''

(c) "propter visionem", Munster, Piscator. (d) "propter divinationem", Munster; "propter divinare, i. e. divinationem", Vatablus; "prae visione----prae divinatione", Burkius.

Therefore {e} night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.

(e) As you have loved to walk in darkness, and to prophesy lies, so God will reward you with gross blindness and ignorance, so that when all others will see the bright beams of God's grace, you will as blind men grope as in the night.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. night shall be unto you, &c.] The prophet is still addressing the rulers. Because of their rapacity, and their league with false prophets, their land shall be overshadowed by adversity, and there shall be no prophecy, whether false or true, to guide them. The false prophets will be ashamed, because of the non-fulfilment of their oracles; and the true will have no fresh revelation till the old cycle of prophecies has been fulfilled. Comp. Lamentations 2:9.

Verse 6. - Night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision. The Hebrew is, "from," or "without a vision." Septuagint, ἐξ ὁράσεως, "out of vision;" Vulgate, pro visione. Hence some interpret this as spoken to the false prophets, who, to punish their lying prophecies and pretended revelations, shall be overwhelmed with calamity. But it is best taken as still addressed to the rulers, and Micah tells how that in the time of their distress there shall be no prophecy to direct them (comp. 1 Samuel 28:6; Proverbs 1:28; Lamentations 2:9). "Night shall be unto them without a vision." "Night" and "darkness" are metaphors for calamity, as in all languages. That ye shall not divine; without divination. Septuagint, ἐκ μαντείας, "out of prophecy." Parallel and identical in meaning with the preceding clause. The sun shall go down over the prophets; i.e. over the false prophets. The sun of their prosperity shall set. Micah seems to derive his imagery from the phenomena of an eclipse (comp. Jeremiah 15:9; Amos 8:9). The day. The time of their punishment (Micah 2:4; Amos 5:18). Micah 3:6In the second strophe, Micah turns from the godless princes and judges to the prophets who lead the people astray, with whom he contrasts the true prophets and their ways. Micah 3:5. Thus saith Jehovah concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who bite with their teeth, and preach peace; and whoever should put nothing into their mouths, against him they sanctify war. Micah 3:6. Therefore night to you because of the visions, and darkness to you because of the soothsaying! and the sun will set over the prophets, and the day blacken itself over them. Micah 3:7. And the seers will be ashamed, and the soothsayers blush, and all cover their beard, because (there is) no answer of God. Micah 3:8. But I, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of Jehovah, and with judgment and strength, to show to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin." As the first strophe attaches itself to Micah 2:1-2, so does the second to Micah 2:6 and Micah 2:11, carrying out still further what is there affirmed concerning the false prophets. Micah describes them as people who predict peace and prosperity for a morsel of bread, and thereby lead the people astray, setting before them prosperity and salvation, instead of preaching repentance to them, by charging them with their sins. Thus they became accomplices of the wicked rulers, with whom they are therefore classed in Micah 3:11, together with the wicked priests. המּתעים, leading astray (cf. Isaiah 3:12; Isaiah 9:15) my people, namely, by failing to charge them with their sins, and preach repentance, as the true prophets do, and predicting prosperity for bread and payment. The words, "who bite with their teeth," are to be connected closely with the next clause, "and they preach peace," in the sense of "who preach peace if they can bite with their teeth," i.e., if they receive something to bite (or eat). This explanation, which has already been expressed by the Chaldee, is necessarily required by the antithesis, "but whoever puts nothing into their mouth," i.e., gives them nothing to eat, notwithstanding the fact that in other passages nâshakh only signifies to bite, in the sense of to wound, and is the word generally applied to the bite of a snake (Amos 5:19; Genesis 49:17; Numbers 21:6, Numbers 21:8). If, however, we understand the biting with the teeth as a figurative representation of the words of the prophets who always preach prosperity, and of the injury they do to the real welfare of the people (Ros., Casp., and others), the obvious antithesis of the two double clauses of Micah 3:5 is totally destroyed. The harsh expression, to "bite with the teeth," in the sense of "to eat," is perfectly in harmony with the harsh words of Micah 3:2 and Micah 3:3. Qiddēsh milchâmâh, to sanctify war, i.e., to preach a holy war (cf. Joel 3:9), or, in reality, to proclaim the vengeance of God. For this shall night and darkness burst upon them. Night and darkness denote primarily the calamity which would come upon the false prophets (unto you) in connection with the judgment (Micah 2:4). The sun which sets to them is the sun of salvation or prosperity (Amos 8:9; Jeremiah 15:9); and the day which becomes black over them is the day of judgment, which is darkness, and not light (Amos 5:18). This calamity is heightened by the fact that they will then stand ashamed, because their own former prophecies are thereby proved to be lies, and fresh, true prophecies fail them, because God gives no answer. "Convicted by the result, they are thus utterly put to shame, because God does not help them out of their trouble by any word of revelation" (Hitzig). Bōsh, to be ashamed, when connected with châphēr (cf. Jeremiah 15:9; Psalm 35:26., etc.), signifies to become pale with shame; châphēr, to blush, with min causae, to denote the thing of which a man is ashamed. Qōsemı̄m (diviners) alternates with chōzı̄m (seers), because these false prophets had no visions of God, but only divinations out of their own hearts. ‛Atâh sâphâm: to cover the beard, i.e., to cover the face up to the nose, is a sign of mourning (Leviticus 13:45), here of trouble and shame (cf. Ezekiel 24:17), and is really equivalent to covering the head (Jeremiah 14:4; Esther 6:12). Ma‛ănēh, the construct state of the substantive, but in the sense of the participle; some codd. have indeed מענה. In Micah 3:8 Micah contrasts himself and his own doings with these false prophets, as being filled with power by the Spirit of Jehovah (i.e., through His assistance) and with judgment. Mishpât, governed by מלא, is the divine justice which the prophet has to proclaim, and gebhūrâh strength, manliness, to hold up before the people their sins and the justice of God. In this divine strength he can and must declare their unrighteousness to all ranks of the people, and predict the punishment of God (Micah 3:9-12).
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