on Micah 7 :11
In the day that thy walls are to be built - This refers to Jerusalem; the decree, to the purpose of God to deliver the people into captivity. "This shall be far removed." God having purposed their return, I cannot think, with some commentators, that this verse contains threatenings against Jerusalem, and not promises. See Haggai 1:1-15 (note), where the subject is similar; and the restoration of Jerusalem is certainly what the prophet describes.
on Micah 7 :11
On this confession of unworthiness and trust the message of joy bursts in, with the abruptness and conciseness of Hosea or Nahum:
A day to build thy fences; (that is, cometh;)
That day, far shall be the degree;
That day, and he shall come quite to thee;
And there follows, in a longer but still remarkably measured and interrupted cadence,
the statement of the length and breadth from which the people shall come to her;
Up to and from Assyria and the cities of strong-land (Egypt;)
Up to and from strong-land and even to river (the Euphrates;)
And sea from sea, and mountain to mountain.
It is not human might or strength which God promises to restore. He had before predicted, that the kingdom of the Messiah should stand, not through earthly strength Micah 5:9-13. He promises the restoration, not of city walls, but of the fence of the vineyard of God, which God foretold by Isaiah that He would "break down" Isaiah 5:5. It is a peaceful renewal of her estate under God's protection, like that, with the promise whereof Amos closed his prophecy; "In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof" Amos 9:11. This decree, which he says shall be far away, might in itself be the decree either of God or of the enemy. The sense is the same, since the enemy was but the instrument of God. Yet it seems more in accordance with the language of the prophets, that it should be the decree of man. For the decree of God for the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of His people was accomplished, held its course, was fulfilled.
The destruction, captivity, restoration, were parts of one and the same decree of God, of which the restoration was the last accomplished in time. The restoration was not the removal, but the complete fulfillment, of the decree. He means then probably, that the decree of the enemy, whereby he held her captive, was to remove and be far off, not by any agency of her's . The people were to stream to her of themselves. One by one, shall all thy banished, captive, scattered, children be brought quite home unto thee from all parts of the earth, whither they have been driven, "from Assyria, and from strong-land". The name Matsor, which he gives to Egypt, modifying its ordinary dual name Mitsraim, is meant, at once to signify "Egypt" , and to mark the strength of the country; as, in fact, , "Egypt was on all sides by nature strongly guarded."
A country, which was still strong relatively to Judah, would not, of itself, yield up its prey, but held it straitly; yet it should have to disgorge it. Isaiah and Hosea prophesied, in like way, the return of Israel and Judah from Assyria and from Egypt. "And from strong-land even to the river" Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 27:13; Hosea 11:11 (Euphrates); the ancient, widest, boundary of the promised land; "and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain" Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:7; Deuteronomy 11:24, Joshua 1:4; 1 Kings 4:21, 1 Kings 4:24. These last are too large to be the real boundaries of the land. If understood geographically, it would by narrowig those which had just been spoken of, from Egypt to the Euphratcs. Joel likens the destruction of the Northern army to the perishing of locusts in the two opposite seas, the Dead sea and the Mediterranean Joel 2:20; but the Dead sea was not the entire Eastern boundary of all Israel. Nor are there any mountains on the South, answering to Mount Libanus on the North. Not the mountains of Edom which lay to the South-East, but the desert Exodus 23:31; Numbers 34:3; Deuteronomy 11:24 was the Southern boundary of Judah. In the times too of their greatest prosperity, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Syria, had been subject to them.
The rule of the Messiah "from sea to sea" had already been predicted by Solomon , enlarging the boundaries of the promised land to the whole compass of the world, from the sea, their bound westward, to the further encircling sea beyond all habitable land, in which, in fact, our continents are large islands . To this, Micah adds a new description, "from mountain to mountain", including, probably, all subdivisions in our habitable earth, as the words, "sea to sea", had embraced it as a whole. For, physically and to sight, mountains are the great natural divisions of our earth. Rivers are but a means of transit. The Euphrates and the Nile were the centers of the kingdoms which lay upon them. Each range of mountains, as it rises on the horizon, seems to present an insuperable barrier. No barrier should avail to hinder the inflow to the Gospel. As Isaiah foretold that all obstacles should be removed, "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low" Isaiah 40:4, so Micah prophesies, "from mountain to mountain they shall come".
The words are addressed as a promise and consolation to the Jews, and so, doubtless, the restoration of the Jews to their own land after the captivity is foretold here, as Micah had already foretold it Micah 4:10. But is the whole limited to this? He says, with remarkable indefiniteness, there shall come . He does not say, who "shall come." But he twice sets two opposite boundaries, from which men should come; and, since these boundaries, not being coincident, cannot be predicted of one and the same subject, there must be two distinct incomings. The Jews were to come from those two countries, whither its people were then to be carried captive or would flee. From the boundaries of the world, the world was to come.
on Micah 7 :11
7:11 Thy walls - O Jerusalem. The decree - Of Artaxerxes, which forbad the re - building of the temple. Removed - Abolished.