on Micah 7 :16
The nations shall see and be confounded - Whether the words in these verses (Micah 7:15-17) be applied to the return from the Babylonish captivity, or to the prosperity of the Jews under the Maccabees, they may be understood as ultimately applicable to the final restoration of this people, and their lasting prosperity under the Gospel.
on Micah 7 :16
The nations shall see - God had answered, what He would give to His own people, to see. Micah takes up the word, and says, what effect this sight should have upon the enemies of God and of His people. The world should still continue to be divided between the people of God and their adversaries. Those who are converted pass from the one to the other; but the contrast remains. Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, pass away or become subject to other powers; but the antagonism continues. The nations are they, who, at each time, waste, oppress, are arrayed against, the people of God. When the Gospel came into the world, the whole world was arrayed against it. These then, he says, "shall see", that is, the marvelous works of God, which God should shew His people, and be ashamed at, that is, "because of all their might", their own might. They put forth their whole might, and it failed them against the marvelous might of God. They should array might against might, and be ashamed at the failure of "all their might".
The word all is very emphatic; it implies that they had put forth all, and that all had failed them, and proved to be weakness. So the pagan might was often put to shame and gnashed its teeth, when it could avail nothing against the strength to endure which God gave to His martyrs. Its strength to inflict and to crush was baffled before the hidden might of God's Spirit. "They shall lay their hand upon their mouth", in token that they were reduced to silence, having no more to say ; for He promised, "I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist" (Luke 21:15, compare Acts 5:29); and they had to own, "indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them, and we cannot deny it. Their ears shall be deaf" Acts 4:16; they shall be silent, as though they had heard nothing, as if they were both dumb and deaf .
Yet it seems too that they are willfully deaf, shutting their ears out of envy and hatred, that they might not hear what great things God had done for His people, nor hear the voice of truth and be converted and healed. Rup.: "The nations and the Emperors of the nations saw, Jews and Gentiles saw, and were ashamed at all their might, because their might, great as it was accounted, upheld by laws and arms, could not overcome the mighty works, which the Good Shepherd did among His people or flock by His rod, that is, by His power, through weak and despised persons, the aged, or oftentimes even by boys and girls. They were then ashamed at all their might which could only touch the "earthen vessels" 2 Corinthians 4:7, but could not take away the treasure which was in them. What shall I say of the wisdom of those same nations? Of this too they were ashamed, as he adds, "They shall put their hands upon their mouths". For, in comparison with the heavenly wisdom, which spake by them and made their tongues eloquent, dumb was all secular eloquence, owning by its silence that it was convicted and confounded."
on Micah 7 :16
7:16 Shall be deaf - They shall neither care to hear, nor to speak of it.