Judgment, in the form of military defeat and captivity, is pronounced on those who oppress the poor and disadvantaged, including
widows and orphans, by manipulating the judicial system (see 31.3–15n.). 5.25
may have followed as the last stanza in the poem (see 5.25n.
A poem in the form of a woe‐saying about Assyria as the instrument of punishment inflicted by the God of Israel on his own
people. Assyria goes beyond its commission and will be punished in its turn.
Military defeat as the expression of the native deity's anger is a common ancient Near Eastern theme (e.g., Jer 25.8–14
An echo of Maher‐shalal‐hash‐baz;
A boasting monologue attributed to an Assyrian ruler, composed mostly of rhetorical questions; cf. the Rabshakeh's monologue,
36.4–20; 37.24–25, and Am 6.2
. The six cities mentioned, all except Samaria in Syria, have fallen to the Assyrians; therefore the reference is to a time
after the fall of the Northern Kingdom: Calno (Calneh, Am 6.2
) in 738, Carchemish 717, Hamath 738 and 720, Arpad 740, Damascus 732. The resident deity of a country or city is involved
in the fate of his or her territory.
To Assyria, the LORD was another idol.
A prose insertion that breaks into the monologue, perhaps with application to a later “king of Assyria,” i.e., Seleucid ruler.
Conclusion of the monologue. The speaker boasts of his easy conquests.
The LORD's response, also in the form of rhetorical questions. The punishment may refer to the failure of Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem;
cf. Josephus's reference to bubonic plague (Ant.
introduced with the eschatological formula “on that day,” using many Isaian motifs, and holding out the possibility of salvation
at a much later time.
The remnant of Israel, cf. Shear‐yashub. The Holy One of Israel,
cf. 1.4; 5.19,24; 12.6; 17.7; etc.
The mighty God,
Sand of the sea,
see Gen 22.17
. Judgment is here extended to the entire world, a typical apocalyp‐tic theme. Righteousness,
Midian at the rock of Oreb,
see Judg 7.25
. His yoke, one of several echoes of the poem about the future ruler;
The order of the place names suggests the route taken by an invading army approaching Jerusalem from the north. The enemy
is not identified, but the context strongly suggests the Assyrians. Sennacherib's attack on Jerusalem is excluded since he
approached from the southwest (Mic 1.10–16
). The reference may be to one of Sargon II's campaigns against the Philistine cities in 720 and 713–711.
Rimmon, not in the Heb text; Samaria would be the logical point of departure. Aiath, a variant of Ai near Bethel.
Migron, unidentified, presumably near Gibeah. Michmash, unidentified, but in proximity to the village of Muhmas.
They have crossed over the pass, crossing the Wadi es‐Suwenit to avoid the fortified town of Mizpah (Tell en‐Nasbeh). Geba, near the village of Jeba. Ramah, er‐Ram. Gibeah of Saul, previous scholarly identification with Tell el‐Ful is now considered uncertain.
Place names in the last stage of the itinerary, ending on Mount Scopus east of Jerusalem, are unidentified, with the possible
exception of Anathoth as Ras el‐Kharrube near the modern village of Anata.
Perhaps the original conclusion to
, pursuing the theme of deforestation and humbled pride.
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