O daughter of troops - The Chaldeans, whose armies were composed of troops from various nations.
He (Nebuchadnezzar) hath laid siege against us; (Jerusalem ); they shall smite the judge of Israel (Zedekiah) with a rod upon the cheek - They shall offer him the greatest indignity. They slew his sons before his face; and then put out his eyes, loaded him with chains, and carried him captive to Babylon.
Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops - The “daughter of troops” is still the same who was before addressed, Judah. The word is almost always. used of “bands of men employed in irregular, marauding, in-roads.” Judah is entitled “daughter of troops,” on account of her violence, the robbery and bloodshed within her (Micah 2:8; Micah 3:2; etc. Hosea 5:10), as Jeremiah says, “Is this house which is called by My Name become a den of robbers in your eyes?” (Jeremiah 7:11, compare Matthew 21:13). She then who had spoiled Isaiah 33:1 should now be spoiled; she who had formed herself in bands to lay waste, shall now be gathered thick together, in small bands, unable to resist in the open field; yet in vain should she so gather herself; for the enemy was upon her, in her last retreat.
This description has obviously no fulfillment, except in the infliction by the Romans. For there was no event, before the invasion by Sennacherib and accordingly in the prophet‘s own time, in which there is any seeming fulfillment of it. But then, the second deliverance must be that by the Maccabees; and this siege, which lies, in order of time, beyond it, must be a siege by the Romans. With this it agrees, that whereas, in the two former visitations, God promised, in the first, deliverance, in the second, victory, here the prophet dwells on the Person of the Redeemer, and foretells that the strength of the Church should not lie in any human means Micah 5:8-15. Here too Israel had no king, but a judge only. Then the “gathering in robber-bands” strikingly describes their internal state in the siege of Jerusalem; and although this was subsequent to and consequent upon the rejection of our Lord, yet there is no reason why the end should be separated from the beginning since the capture by Titus was but the sequel of the capture by Pompey, the result of that same temper, in which they crucified Jesus, because He would not be their earthly king. It was the close of the organic existence of the former people; after which the remnant from among them with the Gentiles, not Israel after the flesh, were the true people of God.
He hath laid siege against us - The prophet, being born of them, and for the great love he bore them, counts himself among them, as Paul mourns over his brethren after the flesh. “They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.” So Paul said to him who had made himself high priest, “God shall smite thee, thou whited wall; for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law” Acts 23:3. It is no longer “the king” (for they had said, “We have no King but Caesar John 19:15) but the “judge of Israel,” they who against Christ and His Apostles gave wrong judgment. As they had smitten contrary to the law, so were the chief men smitten by Titus, when the city was taken. As they had done it, was done unto them. To be smitten on the thee, betokens shame; to smite with the red, betokens destruction. Now both shall meet in one; as, in the Great Day, the wicked “shall awake to shame and everlasting contempt, and shall perish forever” Daniel 12:2.
The work that the Saviour was to do on the earth had been fully outlined: “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord.” The One thus anointed was “to preach good tidings unto the meek; ... to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 11:2, 3; 61:1-3. AA 224.1
“Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law.” Isaiah 42:1-4. AA 224.2
With convincing power Paul reasoned from the Old Testament Scriptures that “Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead.” Had not Micah prophesied, “They shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek”? Micah 5:1. And had not the Promised One, through Isaiah, prophesied of Himself, “I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not My face from shame and spitting”? Isaiah 50:6. Through the psalmist Christ had foretold the treatment that He should receive from men: “I am ... a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him.” “I may tell all My bones: they look and stare upon Me. They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.” “I am become a stranger unto My brethren, and an alien unto My mother's children. For the zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon Me.” “Reproach hath broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.” Psalm 22:6-8, 17, 18; 69:8, 9, 20. AA 225.1Read in context »
There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory. This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light, unapproachable and incomprehensible. 1SM 248.1
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Matthew 4:16). Here the pre-existence of Christ and the purpose of His manifestation to our world are presented as living beams of light from the eternal throne. “Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:1, 2). 1SM 248.2
“We preach Christ crucified,” declared Paul, “unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24). 1SM 248.3Read in context »