Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Micah 7:17

    Micah 7:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of you.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    They shall lick the dust like a serpent; like crawling things of the earth they shall come trembling out of their close places; they shall come with fear unto Jehovah our God, and shall be afraid because of thee.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    They will take dust as their food like a snake, like the things which go flat on the earth; they will come shaking with fear out of their secret places: they will come with fear to the Lord our God, full of fear because of you.

    Webster's Revision

    They shall lick the dust like a serpent; like crawling things of the earth they shall come trembling out of their close places; they shall come with fear unto Jehovah our God, and shall be afraid because of thee.

    World English Bible

    They will lick the dust like a serpent. Like crawling things of the earth they shall come trembling out of their dens. They will come with fear to Yahweh our God, and will be afraid because of you.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    They shall lick the dust like a serpent; like crawling things of the earth they shall come trembling out of their close places: they shall come with fear unto the LORD our God, and shall be afraid because of thee.

    Barnes' Notes on Micah 7:17

    They shall lick the dust like a (the) serpent - To lick the dust, by itself, pictures the extreme humility of persons who east themselves down to the very earth (as in Psalm 72:9; Isaiah 49:23). To lick it "like the serpent" seems rather to represent the condition of those who share the serpent's doom Genesis 3:14; Isaiah 65:25, whose lot, viz. earth and things of earth, they had chosen (Rup.): "They shall move out of their holes", or, better, shall tremble, (that is, "come tremblingly,") out of their close places , whether these be strong places or prisons, as the word, varied in one vowel means. If it be strong places, it means, that "the enemies of God's people should, in confusion and tumltuously with fear, leave their strongholds, wherein they thought to be secure, not able to lift themselves up against God and those by Him sent against them." "Like worms of the earth", literally, creeping things, or, as we say, reptiles, contemptuously. "They shall be afraid of", or rather come trembling to, the Lord our God; it is uot said their, but our God, who hath done so great things for us. And shall fear because of (literally, from) Thee, O Lord, of whom they had before said, Where is the Lord thy God?

    It is doubtful, whether these last words express a "servile tear," whereby a man turns away and flees from the person or thing which he fears, or whether they simply describe fear of God, the first step toward repentance. In Hosea's words, "they shall fear toward the Lord and His goodness" Hosea 3:5, the addition, and His goodness, determines the character of the fear. In Micah, it is not said that the fear brings them into any relation to God. lie is not spoken of; as becoming, any how, their God, and Micah closes by a thanksgiving, for God's pardoning mercy, not to them but to His people.

    And so the prophet ends, as he began, with the judgments of God; to those who would repent, chastisement, to the impenitent, punishment: "sentencing Samaria, guilty and not repenting" (Rup.), to perpetual captivity; to Jerusalem, guilty but repenting, promising restoration. So from the beginning of the world did God; so doth He; so shall He unto the end. So did He show Himself to Cain and Abel, who both, as we all, sinned in Adam. Cain, being impenitent, lie wholly cast away; Abel, being penitent," and through faith offering a better sacrifice than Cain, and "bringing forth fruits worthy of repentance, He accepted." So He hath foreshown as to the end Matthew 25. Rup.: "And that we may know how uniformly our Judge so distinguisheth, at the very moment of His own death while hanging between the two thieves, the one, impenitent and blaspheming, He left; to the other, penitent and confessing, He opened the gate of paradise; and, soon after, leaving the Jewish people unrepentant, He received the repentance of the Gentiles." Thus the prophet parts with both out of sight; the people of God, feeding on the rich. bounty and abundance of God, and His marvelous gifts of grace above and beyond nature, multiplied to them above all the wonders of old time; the enemies of God's people looking on, not to, admire, but to be ashamed, not to be healthfully ashamed, but to be willfully deaf to the voice of God. For, however to lay the hand on the mouth might be a token of reverent silence, the deafness of the ears can hardly be other than the emblem of hardened obstinacy.

    What follows, then, seems more like the unwilling creeping-forth into the Presence of God, when they cannot keep away, than conversion. It seems to picture the reprobate, who would not "hear the Voice of the Son of God and live" John 5:25, but who, in the end, shall be forced to hear it out of their close places or prisons, that is, the grave, and come forth in fear, when they shall "say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us" Luke 23:30; Revelation 6:16. Thus the prophet brings us to the close of all things, the gladness and joy of God's people, the terror of His enemies, and adds only the song of thanksgiving of all the redeemed.

    Wesley's Notes on Micah 7:17

    7:17 Lick the dust - In the most submissive, servile manner, testify their subjection. Holes - Their strong holds, and fastnesses. Because of thee - So that the name of Jews, shall be terrible to their enemies.