Micah 6:16
For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and you walk in their counsels; that I should make you a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore you shall bear the reproach of my people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) The statutes of Omri.—The people of Judah, instead of keeping the commandments of the Lord diligently, adopted the statutes of the house of Omri, the founder of the idolatrous dynasty of Ahab. They reproduced the sins of the northern kingdom, and their conduct was aggravated by the advantages vouchsafed to them. The greatness of their reproach should therefore be in proportion to the greatness of the glory which properly belonged to them as the people of God.

Micah 6:16. For the statutes of Omri are kept — An idolatrous king, of whom it is said, 1 Kings 16:25, that he did worse than all that were before him, and therefore we may judge of the corruption of the people who imitated the example, and followed the institutions of such a one. By his statutes, seem to be intended some idolatrous rites, which he instituted while he was king of Israel. And all the works of the house of Ahab, &c. — Ahab was the son of Omri, and exceeded his father and all his predecessors in impiety. He did more (it is said, 1 Kings 16:33) to provoke the Lord God than all the kings of Israel that were before him. For he not only walked in the sins of Jeroboam, who instituted the worship of the golden calves, under which idolatrous representation Jehovah was worshipped, but he also went and served Baal, a false god, and built a house, or temple, and erected an altar for him in Samaria, &c., 1 Kings 16:30-33. But, impious as Ahab was, he found imitators, not only in Israel, where he had power to command, but also in Judah. It is said, The works of the house of Ahab, because all his posterity followed his example in idolatry. And we learn, 2 Kings 21:3, that even the king of Judah, Manasseh, reared up an altar for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel. That I should make thee a desolation — The event will be, that the country and city shall be laid desolate; and the inhabitants thereof a hissing — That is, a subject of scorn and derision to their enemies. Therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people — This is addressed to the rich men, spoken of Micah 6:12, and the meaning is, that the people in general should reproach them with being the principal cause of their calamities and desolation. 6:9-16 God, having showed how necessary it was that they should do justly, here shows how plain it was that they had done unjustly. This voice of the Lord says to all, Hear the rod when it is coming, before you see it, and feel it. Hear the rod when it is come, and you are sensible of the smart; hear what counsels, what cautions it speaks. The voice of God is to be heard in the rod of God. Those who are dishonest in their dealings shall never be reckoned pure, whatever shows of devotion they may make. What is got by fraud and oppression, cannot be kept or enjoyed with satisfaction. What we hold closest we commonly lose soonest. Sin is a root of bitterness, soon planted, but not soon plucked up again. Their being the people of God in name and profession, while they kept themselves in his love, was an honour to them; but now, being backsliders, their having been once the people of God turns to their reproach.For the statutes of Omri are kept - Rather, (like the English margin he doth much keep,) And he doth keep diligently for himself. Both ways express much diligence in evil . To "keep God's commandments" was the familiar phrase, in which Israel was exhorted, by every motive of hope and fear, to obedience to God. "I know him," God says of Abraham, "that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do judgment and justice" Genesis 18:19. This was the fundamental commandment immediately after the deliverance from Eyypt upon their first murmuring. "The Lord made there" (at Marah) "for them a statute and ordinance, and said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians" Exodus 15:25-26.

In this character Ha revealed Himself on Mount Sinai, as "shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments" Exodus 20:6. This was their covenant, "Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God and to walk in His ways, and to keep His statutes and His commandments and His judgments and to hearken unto His voice" Deuteronomy 26:17. This was so often enforced upon them in the law, as the condition upon which they should hold their land, if they kept the covenant (Exodus 19:5; the words of this covenant, Deuteronomy 29:9), the commmandments Leviticus 22:31; Leviticus 26:3; Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 6:17; Deuteronomy 7:11; Deuteronomy 8:6, Deuteronomy 8:11; Deuteronomy 10:13; Deuteronomy 11:1, Deuteronomy 11:8, Deuteronomy 11:22; Deuteronomy 13:5; Deuteronomy 15:5; Deuteronomy 19:9; Deuteronomy 27:1; Deuteronomy 28:9; Deuteronomy 30:10, the judgments Leviticus 18:5, Leviticus 18:26; Leviticus 20:22; Deuteronomy 7:11; Deuteronomy 8:11; Deuteronomy 11:1, the statutes (Leviticus 18:5, Leviticus 18:26; Leviticus 20:8, Leviticus 20:22; Deuteronomy 4:40; Deuteronomy 6:17; Deuteronomy 7:11; Deuteronomy 10:13; Deuteronomy 11:1; Deuteronomy 30:10), the testimonies Deuteronomy 6:17, the charge Leviticus 18:30; Deuteronomy 11:1 of the Lord. Under this term all the curses of the law were threatened, if they "hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord their God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded them" Deuteronomy 28:15.

Under this again the future of good and evil was, in Solomon, set before the house of David; of unbroken succession on his throne, if "thou wilt keep My commandments; but contrariwise, if ye or your children will not keep My commandments and My statutes" 1 Kings 9:4-6, banishment, destruction of the temple, and themselves to be "a proverb and a byword among all people" This was the object of their existence, 1 Kings 9:7. "that they might keep His statutes and observe His laws" Psalm 105:45. This was the summary of their disobedience, "they kept not the covenant of God" Psalm 78:11. And now was come the contrary to all this. They had not kept the commandments of God; and those commandments of man which were the most contrary to the commandments of God, they had kept and did keep diligently. Alas! that the Christian world should be so like them! What iron habit or custom of man, what fashion, is not kept, if it is against the law of God? How few are not more afraid of man than God? Had God's command run, Speak evil one of another, brethren, would it not have been the best kept of all His commandments? God says, speak not evil; custom, the conversation around, fear of man, say, speak evil; man's commandment is kept; God's is not kept. And no one repents or makes restitution; few even cease from the sin.

Scripture does not record, what was the special aggravation of the sin of Omri, since the accursed worship of Baal was brought in by Ahab , his son. But, as usual, "like father, like son." The son developed the sins of the father. Some special sinfulness of Omri is implied, in that Athaliah, the murderess of her children, is called after her grandfather, Omri, not after her father, Ahab 2 Kings 8:26; 2 Chronicles 22:2. Heresiarchs have a deeper guilt than their followers, although the heresy itself is commonly developed later. Omri settled for a while the kingdom of Israel, after the anarchy which followed on the murder of Elah, and slew Zimri, his murderer.

Yet before God, he did worse than all before him, and be walked in all the way of Jeroboam 1 Kings 16:25-26. Yet this too did not suffice Judah; for it follows, And all the doings of the house of Ahab, who again "did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him and served Baal" 1 Kings 30-33; Ahab, to whom none "was like in sin, who did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord" 1 Kings 21:25. These were they, whose statutes Judah now kept, as diligently and accurately as if it had been a religious act. They kept, not the statutes of the Lord, "but the statutes of Omri;" they kept, as their pattern before their eyes, all the doings of the house of Ahab, his luxury, oppression, the bloodshedding of Naboth; and they walked onward, not, as God bade them, humbly with Him, but in their counsels. And what must be the end of all this? that I should make thee a desolation. They acted, as though the very end and object of all their acts were that, wherein they ended, their own destruction and reproach .

Therefore ye shall bear the reproach of My people - The title of the people of God must be a glory or a reproach. Judah had gloried in being God's people, outwardly, by His covenant and protection; they Were envied for the outward distinction. They refused to be so inwardly, and gave themselves to the hideous, desecrating, worship of Baal. Now then what had been their pride, should be the aggravation of their punishment. Now too we hear of people everywhere zealous for a system, which their deeds belie. Faith, without love, (such as their character had been,) feels any insult to the relation to God, which by its deeds it disgraces. Though they had themselves neglected God, yet it was a heavy burden to them to bear the triumph of the pagan over them, that God was unable to help them, or had cast them off "These are the people of the Lord and are gone forth, out of His land" Ezekiel 36:20. "Wherefore should they say among the pagan, where is their God?" (see the notes at Joel 2:17). "We are confounded, because we have heard reproach, shame hath covered our faces, for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord's house" Jeremiah 51:51. "We are become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us" Psalm 79:4. "Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. Thou makest us a byword among the pagan, a shaking of the head among the people. My confusion is daily before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, for the voice of him that slandereth and blasphemeth, by reason of the enemy and the avenger" Psalm 44:13-16.

The words, "the reproach of My people," may also include "the reproach wherewith God in the law Deuteronomy 28:36 threatened His people if they should forsake Him," which indeed comes to the same thing, the one being the prophecy, the other the fulfillment. The word hissing in itself recalled the threat to David's house in Solomon; "At this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished and hiss" 1 Kings 9:8. Micah's phrase became a favorite expression of Jeremiah . So only do God's prophets denounce. It is a marvelous glimpse into man's religious history, that faith, although it had been inoperative and was trampled upon without, should still survive; nay, that God, whom in prosperity they had forsaken and forgotten, should be remembered, when He seemed to forget and to forsake them. Had the captive Jews abandoned their faith, the reproach would have ceased. The words, "ye shall bear the reproach" of My people are," at once, a prediction of their deserved suffering for the profanation of God's Name by their misdeeds, and of their persverance in that faith which, up to that Time, they had mostly neglected.

16. statutes of Omri—the founder of Samaria and of Ahab's wicked house; and a supporter of Jeroboam's superstitions (1Ki 16:16-28). This verse is a recapitulation of what was more fully stated before, Judah's sin and consequent punishment. Judah, though at variance with Israel on all things else, imitated her impiety.

works of … Ahab—(1Ki 21:25, 26).

ye walk in their counsels—Though these superstitions were the fruit of their king's "counsels" as a master stroke of state policy, yet these pretexts were no excuse for setting at naught the counsels and will of God.

that I should make thee a desolation—Thy conduct is framed so, as if it was thy set purpose "that I should make thee a desolation."

inhabitants thereof—namely, of Jerusalem.

hissing—(La 2:15).

the reproach of my people—The very thing ye boast of, namely, that ye are "My people," will only increase the severity of your punishment. The greater My grace to you, the greater shall be your punishment for having despised it, Your being God's people in name, while walking in His love, was an honor; but now the name, without the reality, is only a "reproach" to you.

The statutes of Omri; of which you read, 1 Kings 16:25-28. He built Samaria, to be a royal city, and seat of religion brought in by Jeroboam; thus he both strengthened and put more credit upon the idolatrous worship, which was set up by Omri in a royal city. whereas by Jeroboam it was set up in places of meaner account.

Are kept; diligently, very much. All the works of the house of Ahab; summed up, in establishing Jeroboam’s idolatry, introducing the idolatrous worship of Baal, 1 Kings 16:31-33, cutting off the prophets of the Lord, 1 Kings 18:4 19:10,14, and abolishing the true worship of God; besides the barbarous contriving the death of the innocent, and seizing the estate, 1 Kings 21:8,9, &c.

And ye, of the house of Israel, though under the government of families which had no great reason to value the house of Ahab, yet you have done their works of idolatry and oppression, and you also of the house of Judah have degenerated and done like their works.

Ye walk in their counsels; literally fulfilled in Jehoram’s reign, acts, and counsels, 2 Kings 8:17,18; and in Ahaziah’s, who was son of Jehoram, and grandson of Jehoshaphat, 2 Kings 8:27; and so did Jehu, and his successors, all persist in the idolatry of the calf-worship, and in oppression of the poor: thus instead of walking humbly with God, they did openly depart from him, contrary to what God required of them.

That I should make thee, & c. eventually this was the end, or in necessary tendency it could not end otherwise, though they did not intend this, nor did God will them to do so that it might so end.

A desolation; an utter waste, such as should astonish those that saw it.

The inhabitants thereof, of the city or land, a hissing, in token of abhorrence and derision, Deu 28:37 Jeremiah 25:9,18 29:18.

Therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people; the reproach threatened in the law, if my people forsake me; or, Jerusalem shall be as much reproached as Samaria; or as Ezekiel 36:20.

The statutes of Omri; of which you read, 1 Kings 16:25-28. He built Samaria, to be a royal city, and seat of religion brought in by Jeroboam; thus he both strengthened and put more credit upon the idolatrous worship, which was set up by Omri in a royal city. whereas by Jeroboam it was set up in places of meaner account.

Are kept; diligently, very much. All the works of the house of Ahab; summed up, in establishing Jeroboam’s idolatry, introducing the idolatrous worship of Baal, 1 Kings 16:31-33, cutting off the prophets of the Lord, 1 Kings 18:4 19:10,14, and abolishing the true worship of God; besides the barbarous contriving the death of the innocent, and seizing the estate, 1 Kings 21:8,9, &c.

And ye, of the house of Israel, though under the government of families which had no great reason to value the house of Ahab, yet you have done their works of idolatry and oppression, and you also of the house of Judah have degenerated and done like their works.

Ye walk in their counsels; literally fulfilled in Jehoram’s reign, acts, and counsels, 2 Kings 8:17,18; and in Ahaziah’s, who was son of Jehoram, and grandson of Jehoshaphat, 2 Kings 8:27; and so did Jehu, and his successors, all persist in the idolatry of the calf-worship, and in oppression of the poor: thus instead of walking humbly with God, they did openly depart from him, contrary to what God required of them.

That I should make thee, & c. eventually this was the end, or in necessary tendency it could not end otherwise, though they did not intend this, nor did God will them to do so that it might so end.

A desolation; an utter waste, such as should astonish those that saw it.

The inhabitants thereof, of the city or land, a hissing, in token of abhorrence and derision, Deu 28:37 Jeremiah 25:9,18 29:18.

Therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people; the reproach threatened in the law, if my people forsake me; or, Jerusalem shall be as much reproached as Samaria; or as Ezekiel 36:20. For the statutes of Omri are kept,.... Who of a captain of the army was made king of Israel, and proved a wicked prince; he built Samaria, and set up idolatrous worship there, after the example of Jeroboam, in whose ways he walked, and, as it seems, established the same by laws and edicts; and which were everyone of them observed by the Israelites, in the times of the prophet, though at the distance of many years from the first making of them, which aggravated their sin; nor would it be any excuse of them that what they practised was enjoined by royal authority, since it was contrary to the command of God; for the breach of which, and their observance of the statutes of such a wicked prince, they are threatened with the judgments of God; see 1 Kings 16:16;

and all the works of the house of Ahab; who was the son of Omri, and introduced the worship of Baal, and added to the idolatry of the calves, which he and his family practised; and the same works were now done by the people of Israel:

and ye walk in their counsels; as they advised and directed the people to do in their days:

that I should make thee a desolation; the city of Samaria, the metropolis of Israel, or the whole land, which was made a desolation by Shalmaneser, an instrument in the hand of God; and this was not the intention and design of their walking in the counsels and after the example of their idolatrous kings, but the consequence and event of so doing:

and the inhabitants thereof an hissing; either of Samaria, or of all the land, who should become the scorn and derision of men, when brought to ruin for their sins:

therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people; that which was threatened in the law to the people of God, when disobedient to him; or shameful punishment for profaning the name and character of the people of God they bore; or for reproaching and ill using the poor among the people of God; and so it is directed to the rich men before spoken of, and signifies the shame and ignominy they should bear, by being carried captive into a foreign land for their sins.

For the {m} statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.

(m) You have received all the corruption and idolatry with which the ten tribes were infected under Omri and Ahab his son: and to excuse your doings, you allege the King's authority by his statutes, and also wisdom and policy in so doing, but you will not escape punishment. But as I have shown you great favour, and taken you for my people, so will your plagues be according as your sins; Lu 12:47.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. the statutes of Omri] ‘Statutes’ is here used in a religious sense = ceremonies or rules of worship (as Jeremiah 10:3, Leviticus 20:7, 2 Kings 17:34). Omri is said to have ‘done worse than all [the kings] that were before him.’ Little more is recorded of him in 1 Kings, but the Assyrians always associated his name with that of his kingdom: the northern realm has for its Assyrian name Bit Khumri ‘place of Omri.’ ‘The statutes of Omri’ and ‘the works of the house of Ahab’ (Omri’s son) are of course the worship of Baal (comp. 1 Kings 16:31-32). ‘The separation of the kingdoms had not broken the subtle links that connected Judah with the greater Israel of the north’ (Prof. Robertson Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, p. 345). Hence the low religious state of the kingdom of Israel reacted most injuriously on the kingdom of Judah.

in their counsels] i.e. in those of Omri and Ahab. It is singular that these two should be the only kings of N. Israel mentioned in the prophetical books.

the reproach of my people] i.e. the reproach which attaches to the people of Jehovah when it is cast out of ‘Jehovah’s land’ (Hosea 9:3). Most probably, however, we should read, ‘the reproach of the peoples’ (comp. Ezekiel 34:29; Ezekiel 36:6). The final m may have dropped out, or the sign of abbreviation may have been overlooked.

This latter part of the verse assumes a different form in the versions. Upon what text they are based is uncertain; but they all agree in rendering “fearers of (his) name” (the pronoun is omitted in Targ.), and (except Targ.) ‘tribe’ for ‘rod.’ Hence Ewald renders, ‘Hear, O tribe, and thou who summonest it.’ The Septuagint also changes the ‘yet’ of Micah 6:10 into ‘city,’ and connects it with Micah 6:9. Following up these traces of what he conceives to be the original reading, Roorda restores, ‘And they that fear his name have heard wisdom. He hath declared who is he that stirreth up his rod.’Verse 16. - The threatening is closed by repeating its cause: the punishment is the just reward of ungodly conduct. The first part of the verse corresponds to vers. 10-12, the second part to vers. 13-15. The statutes of Omri. The statutes are the rules of worship prescribed by him of whom it is said (1 Kings 16:25) that he "wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him." No special "statutes" of his are anywhere mentioned; but he is named here as the founder of that evil dynasty which gave Ahab to Israel, and the murderess Athaliah (who is called in 2 Kings 8:26, "the daughter of Omri") to Judah. The people keep his statutes instead of the Lord's (Leviticus 20:22). The works of the house of Ahab are their crimes and sins, especially the idolatrous practices observed by that family, such as the worship of Baal, which became the national religion (1 Kings 16:31, etc.). Such apostasy had a disastrous effect upon the neighbouring kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 8:18). Walk in their counsels. Take your tone and policy from them. That I should make thee. "The punishment was as certainly connected with the sin, in the purpose of God, as if its infliction had been the end at which they aimed" (Henderson). The prophet here threatens a threefold penalty, as he had mentioned a threefold guiltiness. A desolation; ἀφανισμόν (Septuagint); perditionem (Vulgate). According to Keil, "an object of horror," as Deuteronomy 28:37; Jeremiah 25:9. Micah addresses Jerusalem itself in the first clause, its inhabitants in the second, and the whole nation in the last. An hissing; i.e. an object of derision, as Jeremiah 19:8; Jeremiah 25:18, etc. Therefore (and) ye shall bear the reproach of my people. Ye shall have to hear yourselves reproached at the mouth of the heathen, in that, though ye were the Lord's peculiar people, ye were cast out and given into the hands of your enemies. The Septuagint, from a different reading, renders, Καὶ ὀνείδη λαῶν λήψεσθε, "Ye shall receive the reproaches of nations," which is like Ezekiel 34:29; Ezekiel 36:6, 15.



The prophet sees this overthrow of Edom from its lofty height as something that has already happened, and he now depicts the utter devastation of Edom through the medium of the enemies whom Jehovah has summoned against it. Obadiah 1:5. "If thieves had come to thee, if robbers by night, alas, how art thou destroyed! would they not steal their sufficiency? If vine-dressers had come to thee, would they not leave gleanings? Obadiah 1:6. How have the things of Esau been explored, his hidden treasures desired! Obadiah 1:7. Even to the border have all the men of thy covenant sent thee: the men of thy peace have deceived thee, overpowered thee. They make thy bread a wound under thee. There is no understanding in him." In order to exhibit the more vividly the complete clearing out of Edom, Obadiah supposes two cases of plundering in which there is still something left (Obadiah 1:5), and then shows that the enemies in Edom will act much worse than this. אם with the perfect supposes a case to have already occurred, when, although it does not as yet exist in reality, it does so in imagination. גּנּבים are common thieves, and שׁדדי לילה robbers by night, who carry off another's property by force. With this second expression, the verb בּאוּ לך must be repeated. "To thee," i.e., to do thee harm; it is actually equivalent to "upon thee." The following words איך נדמיתה cannot form the apodosis to the two previous clauses, because nidmēthâh is too strong a term for the injury inflicted by thieves or robbers, but chiefly because the following expression הלוא יגנבוּ וגו is irreconcilable with such an explanation, the thought that thieves steal דּיּם being quite opposed to nidmâh, or being destroyed. The clause "how art thou destroyed" must rather be taken as pointing far beyond the contents of Obadiah 1:5 and Obadiah 1:6. It is more fully explained in Obadiah 1:9, and is thereby proved to be a thought thrown in parenthetically, with which the prophet anticipates the principal fact in his lively description, in the form of an exclamation of amazement. The apodosis to 'im gannâghı̄m (if robbers, etc.) follows in the words "do they not steal" ( equals they surely steal) dayyâm, i.e., their sufficiency (see Delitzsch on Isaiah 40:16); that is to say, as much as they need, or can use, or find lying open before them. The picture of the grape-gatherers says the same thing. They also do not take away all, even to the very last, but leave some gleanings behind, not only if they fear God, according to Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 24:21, as Hitzig supposes, but even if they do not trouble themselves about God's commandments at all, because many a bunch escapes their notice which is only discovered on careful gleaning. Edom, on the contrary, is completely cleared out. In Deuteronomy 24:6 the address to Edom passes over into words concerning him. עשׂו is construed as a collective with the plural. איך is a question of amazement. Châphas, to search through, to explore (cf. Zephaniah 1:12-13). Bâ‛âh (nibh‛ū), to beg, to ask; here in the niphal to be desired. Matspōn, ἁπ. λεγ. from tsâphan, does not mean a secret place, but a hidden thing or treasure (τὰ κεκρυμμένα αὐτοῦ, lxx). Obadiah mentions the plundering first, because Petra, the capital of Edom, was a great emporium of the Syrio-Arabian trade, where many valuables were stored (vid., Diod. Sic. xix. 95), and because with the loss of these riches the prosperity and power of Edom were destroyed.

(Note: Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49:9) has greatly altered the words of Obadiah, dropping the comparison of the enemy to thieves and grape-gatherers, and representing the enemy as being themselves grape-gatherers who leave no gleaning, and thieves who waste till they have enough; and thereby considerably weakening the poetical picture.)

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