Wesley's Notes on the Bible
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
4:1 In the last days - Or, in the latter days, at the expiring of the seventy years captivity, near two hundred years from Micah's time, a type of the days of the Messiah's kingdom. The mountain - The mountain on which the temple stood, the type of the church of Christ. Established - Literally fulfilled when the second temple was built by the Jews. Spiritually, when Christ established his church by the preaching of the gospel.
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4:2 Many nations - This was in part fulfilled when so many proselyted servants of several nations, in love to their Jewish masters, and more to the God of the Jews, came up with them from Jerusalem. Come - So the Jews, released from captivity, encouraged each other; which was a fulfilling of this prophecy in part; the conversion of the multitude of the Gentiles to Christ, was a more eminent fulfilling of it. To the mountain - To the temple at Jerusalem, a type of Christ and the gospel church. From Jerusalem - In Jerusalem is declared the only way of worshipping God, and from thence the only law of right worship shall go forth, when the Messiah is come.
And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
4:3 He - The Messiah shall act as a judge and king. Rebuke - So Christ commissioned his apostles, to teach all nations.
But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
4:4 They - The redeemed of the Lord, redeemed from Babylonish captivity, the type of a greater redemption by Christ. Shall sit - That is, they shall enjoy peace, security and plenty. This was more fully made good in the gospel - days.
For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
4:5 All people will walk - It is the practice of all nations, to serve their gods. Will walk - Seek the Lord, embrace his law and worship.
In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;
4:6 That halteth - The Jews weakened with the hard usage of oppressing conquerors. Her - Captive Judah; driven out, of their own land. And Christ will much more gather to his fold those who were captives to Satan.
And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.
4:7 A remnant - Which as they are preserved for a seed, so they take root and increase, and continue to the coming of the Messiah.
And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
4:8 O tower - One tower put for the whole city Jerusalem. The strong - hold - Ophel, a strong fort, is likewise put for the whole city. The first dominion - The former dominion; the government (after seventy years captivity) shall return to the former royal family, and continue in it 'till Shiloh come. This, in the type was fulfilled, under Zerubbabel and his successors; but the whole antitype concerns the Messiah's kingdom.
Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counseller perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.
4:9 Now - Now I have promised such great things to you. No king - Thou hast lost thy king Zedekiah, but thy God, thy king is with thee. Thy counsellor - Hast thou none among thy wise counsellors left? Yet the Wonderful Counsellor is with thee. Messiah, the wisdom of his father, hath the conduct of thy sufferings, deliverance and re - establishment.
Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.
4:10 In pain - Thou shalt have troubles, sorrows, and dangers in the wars against the Babylonians, and in the captivity under them. Now - Shortly. In the field - In their journey to Babylon they were forced to lodge in the fields. Delivered - By Cyrus, by Darius, and by Artaxerxes; and this was a type of a greater deliverance. Redeem - The Hebrew word points out a redemption by the next kinsman, and so minds us of the Messiah, the great redeemer of the church.
Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.
4:11 Now - The time is at hand. Defiled - Let her be polluted with blood, and let us enter, sack and destroy her temple and palaces. Look - With delight on her destruction.
But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.
4:12 The thoughts - The design of the holy, just and faithful God. As the sheaves - The husbandman gathers the sheaves into the floor to thresh them; so God in due time will bring his enemies together, that they may be bruised, broken and destroyed.
Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
4:13 And thresh - The future strength of the church employed in subduing her enemies, is here foretold. Iron - This expresses the strength of the church firm as iron, to beat down her enemies. Brass - By this figurative speech, is the strength of Zion expressed, treading underfoot, and breaking the power of her enemies in pieces. And I - I, the church. Their gain - The spoils of my conquered enemies.