Micah 1:13 MEANING

Micah 1:13
(13) Bind the chariot to the swift beast--i.e., make haste to escape with thy goods. Lachish was the most important of the cities enumerated. It was fortified by Rehoboam, and was sought as a refuge by Amaziah from the conspiracy formed against him in Jerusalem. After the capture of the Holy City by Nebuchadnezzar, Lachish alone remained, with Azekah, of the defenced cities of Judah. It appears, from its position as a border city, to have been the channel for introducing into the kingdom of Judah the idolatry set up by Jeroboam in Israel.

Verse 13. - Lachish. A very strong and important city of the Canaanites, hod. Um Lakis, about fourteen miles northeast of Gaza, which was captured by Sennacherib after a long siege (2 Kings 18:14; Isaiah 36:2; Isaiah 37:8). In the British Museum there is a bas-relief, brought from Assyria, representing Sennacherib seated on his throne while the spoil of the city of Lachish passed before him (Sayce, 'Fresh Light from the Monuments,' pp. 123, 125). Bind the chariot to the swift beast. Harness your horses to your chariots, that ye may flee and escape destruction. The phrase is like the Latin, currum jungere equis. The paronomasia here lies in the sound, "Inhabitant of Lachish, harness your rekkesh" ("runner," "courser"). "Inhabitant of Horse town, harness your horses." Septuagint, ψόφος ἁρμάτων καὶ ἱππευόντων, "a sound of chariots and horsemen;" Vulgate, tumultus quadrigae stuporis - renderings which the present Hebrew text does not support. She was the beginning, etc. How Lachish came to adopt the idolatry of Israel, and how she infected Judah, we know not. A connection between Jerusalem and Lachish is found in the case of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:19), but nothing bearing on religion is mentioned. The whole clause is translated by Calmer, Keil, etc., thus: "It was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion that the iniquities of Israel were found in thee" (comp. Micah 6:16; Amos 8:14). The particular transgressions meant may be the idolatry of Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:6) and Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 22:3, 4).

1:8-16 The prophet laments that Israel's case is desperate; but declare it not in Gath. Gratify not those that make merry with the sins or with the sorrows of God's Israel. Roll thyself in the dust, as mourners used to do; let every house in Jerusalem become a house of Aphrah, a house of dust. When God makes the house dust it becomes us to humble ourselves to the dust under his mighty hand. Many places should share this mourning. The names have meanings which pointed out the miseries coming upon them; thereby to awaken the people to a holy fear of Divine wrath. All refuges but Christ, must be refuges of lies to those who trust in them; other heirs will succeed to every inheritance but that of heaven; and all glory will be turned into shame, except that honour which cometh from God only. Sinners may now disregard their neighbours' sufferings, yet their turn to be punished will some come.O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast,.... Horses, camels, dromedaries, or mules. Some (u) render the word swift horse or horses, post horses; others dromedaries (w); and some mules (x) the two latter seem more especially to be meant, either dromedaries, as the word is translated in 1 Kings 4:28; which is a very swift creature: Isidore says (y) the dromedary is one sort of camels, of a lesser stature, yet swifter, from whence it has its name, and is used to go more than a hundred miles a day; this is thought to be what the Jews (z) call a flying camel; which the gloss says is a sort of camels that are as swift in running as a bird that flies; they are lighter made than a camel, and go at a much greater rate; whereas a camel goes at the rate of thirty miles a day, the dromedary will perform a journey of one hundred and twenty miles in a day; they make use of them in the Indies for going post, and expresses frequently perform a journey of eight hundred miles upon them in the space of a week (a): this may serve the better to illustrate Jeremiah 2:23; and improve the note there: but whether these were used in chariots I do not find; only Bochart (b) takes notice of a kind of camel, that has, like the dromedary, two humps on its back, which the Arabians call "bochet", and put to chariots: or else mules are meant, for by comparing the above text in 1 Kings 4:28 with 2 Chronicles 9:24, it looks as if "mules" were there intended; and so the word here used is rendered in Esther 8:10; and by their being there said to be used for posts to ride on expresses, it up pears to be a swift creature. Aelianus (c) makes mention of mules in India of a red colour, very famous for running; and mules were used in the Olympic games, and many riders of them got the victory; and that these were used in chariots, there is no doubt to be made of it: Homer (d) speaks of mules drawing a four wheeled chariot; so Pausanias (e) of mules yoked together, and drawing a chariot, instead of horses; and the Septuagint version of Isaiah 66:20; instead of "in litters and on mules", renders it, "in litters" or carriages "of mules": but, be they one or the other that are here meant, they were creatures well known, and being swift were used in chariots, to which they were bound and fastened in order to draw them, and which we call "putting to"; this the inhabitants of Lachish (f) are bid to do, in order to make their escape, and flee as fast as they could from the enemy, advancing to besiege them; as they were besieged by the army of Sennacherib, before he came to Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 32:1. Or these words may be spoken in an ironical and sarcastic way, that whereas they had abounded in horses and chariots, and frequently rode about their streets in them, now let them make use of them, and get away if they could; and may suggest, that, instead of riding in these, they should be obliged to walk on foot into captivity. Lachish was a city in the tribe of Judah, in the times of Jerom (g); it was a village seven miles from Eleutheropolis, as you go to Daroma or the south;

she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion; lying upon the borders of the ten tribes, as Lachish did, it was the first of the cities of Judah that gave into the idolatry of Jeroboam, the worshipping of the calves; and from thence it spread itself to Zion and Jerusalem; and, being a ringleader in this sin, should be punished for it: though some think this refers to their conspiracy with the citizens of Jerusalem against King Amaziah, and the murder of him in this place, now punished for it, 2 Kings 14:18;

for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee; not only their idolatry, but all other sins, with which it abounded; it was a very wicked place, and therefore no wonder it was given up to destruction. The Targum is,

"for the transgressors of Israel were found in thee.''

(u) "ad equos velocissimos", Pagninus; "equo veloci", Montanus; "angariis sc. equis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (w) "Dromadibus", Vatablus. So Elias. (x) "Mulis", so some in Piscator; "ad mulum celerem", Burkius. (y) Origin. l. 12. c. 1. p. 102. (z) T. Bab. Maccot, fol. 5. 1.((a) See Harris's Voyages and Travels, vol. 1. p. 469. (b) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 4. Colossians 87. (c) De Animal. l. 16. c. 9. (d) Iliad. 24. l. 324. (e) Eliac. prior, sive l. 5. p. 302. So Suetonius in Vit. Jul. Caesar. c. 31. "mulis ad vehiculum junctis". (f) There is a likeness in sound between and (g) De locis Hebr. fol. 92. M.

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