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Micah 6:14

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied - All thy possessions are cursed, because of thy sins; and thou hast no real good in all thy enjoyments.

And thy casting down - For וישחך veyeshchacha, "thy casting down," Newcome, by transposing the ח and ש , reads ויחשך veyechshach, "and it shall be dark;" and this is probably the true reading. The Arabic and Septuagint have read the same. "There shall be calamity in the midst of thee." It shall have its seat and throne among you.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied - The correspondence of the punishment with the sin shall shew that it is not by chance, but from the just judgment of God. The curse of God shall go with what they eat, and it shall not nourish them. The word, thou, is thrice repeated. As God had just said, I too, so here, Thou. Thou, the same who hast plundered others, shalt thyself eat, and not be satisfied; “thou shalt sow, and not reap; thou shalt tread the olive, and thou shalt not anoint thee with oil.” “Upon extreme but ill-gotten abundance, there followeth extreme want. And whose,” adds one,, “seeth not this in our ways and our times is absolutely blind. For in no period have we ever read that there was so much gold and silver, or so much discomfort and indigence, so that those most true words of Christ Jesus seem to have been especially spoken of us, “Take heed, for a man‘s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” Luke 12:15. And is not this true of us now?

Thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee - Where thou hast laid up thy treasures, or rather thy wickedness, there thou shalt sink down, or give way, from inward decay, in the very center of thy wealth and thy sin. They had said, “Is not the Lord in the midst of us? None evil can come upon us” Micah 3:11. Micah tells them of a different indweller. God had departed from them, and left them to their inherent nothingness. God had been their stay; without God, human strength collapses. Scarcely any destruction is altogether hopeless save that which cometh from within. Most storms pass over, tear off boughs and leaves, but the stem remains. inward decay or excision alone are humanly irrecoverable. The political death of the people was, in God‘s hands, to be the instrument of their regeneration.

Morally too, and at all times, inward emptiness is the fruit of unrighteous fullness. It is disease, not strength; as even pagan proverbs said; “the love of money is a dropsy; to drink increaseth the thirst,” and “amid mighty wealth, poor;” and Holy Scripture, “The rich He sendeth empty away” (Luke 1:53, compare 1 Samuel 2:5). “And truly they must be empty. For what can fill the soul, save God?” Rib.: “This is true too of such as, like the Bishop of Sardis, ‹have a name that they live and are dead‘ Revelation 3:1,” Dionysius, “such as do some things good, feed on the word of God, but attain to no fruit of righteousness;” “who corrupt natural and seeming good by inward decay; who appear righteous before men, are active and zealous for good ends, but spoil all by some secret sin or wrong end, as vain-glory or praise of men, whereby they lose the praise of God. Their casting down shall be in the midst of them. The meaning of the whole is the same, whether the word be rendered casting down, that is, downfall (literally, sinking down) or emptiness, especially of the stomach, perhaps from the feeling of “sinking.”

Thou shalt take hold - To rescue or remove to a safe place from the enemy, those whom he would take from thee, “but shalt not” wholly deliver; “and that which thou deliverest for a time, will I give up to the sword,” that is, the children for whose sake they pleaded that they got together this wealth; as, now too, the idols, for whose sake men toil wrongly all their life, are often suddenly taken away. Their goods too may be said to be given to the sword, that is, to the enemy.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
God, having showed how necessary it was that they should do justly, here shows how plain it was that they had done unjustly. This voice of the Lord says to all, Hear the rod when it is coming, before you see it, and feel it. Hear the rod when it is come, and you are sensible of the smart; hear what counsels, what cautions it speaks. The voice of God is to be heard in the rod of God. Those who are dishonest in their dealings shall never be reckoned pure, whatever shows of devotion they may make. What is got by fraud and oppression, cannot be kept or enjoyed with satisfaction. What we hold closest we commonly lose soonest. Sin is a root of bitterness, soon planted, but not soon plucked up again. Their being the people of God in name and profession, while they kept themselves in his love, was an honour to them; but now, being backsliders, their having been once the people of God turns to their reproach.
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