Description
Micah prophesies the end-time fall of Jerusalem, Israel's escape to the wilderness, her deliverance and restoration by Jesus who leads them back to Jerusalem in an end-time exodus, and the establishment of Millennial Jerusalem.
Commentary
Verses 1 to 3 very closely resemble Isaiah 2:2-4.

Millennial Jerusalem
Verse 1 describes Millennial Jerusalem and tells us that the Lord's temple mount will be the most important mountain of all. In the bible, mountains often metaphorically represent kingdoms, so this statement could be interpreted metaphorically to mean that God's kingdom, established in Jerusalem, will rule over every other kingdom. However, Zechariah 14:10 says, "All the land will change and become like the rift valley from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem will be raised up and will stay in its own place from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate and on to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses". In other words, it appears that Jerusalem will first be levelled like the rift valley, and then literally raised up to a higher elevation. Geba is about 5 miles north of Jerusalem, and Rimmon is about 35 miles to the south (13 miles south of Hebron). Present Jerusalem will almost certainly be destroyed in the process, so this implies that Millennial Jerusalem will be rebuilt on an elevated mountain plateau, about 40 miles across. According to verse 2, many nations will come, saying, "Come on! Let's go up to the LORD's mountain, to the temple of Jacob's God, so he can teach us his commands and we can live by his laws". Jerusalem will become the centre for moral instruction (v2), and will be the centre of Jesus' government. From there, he will judge disputes between nations. Metal weapons are recast into farming implements, and nations no longer train for war. This is a picture of Millennial peace. Weapons will no longer be needed (v3). Everyone will sit under their own grapevine and fig tree, a picture of Eden restored (v4). Verse 5 says that although the nations follow their respective gods (speaking from an 8th century BC perspective), we (Israel) will follow the Lord our God. This revelation of future peace and prosperity was an encouragement for Israel to follow God.

Restoration will follow crisis
Verses 6 to 13 reveal that the establishment of Millennial Jerusalem follows a time of national crisis. In verse 6, God shepherds his lame and injured people, as earlier described in Micah 2:12, where he gathers them to the Bozrah sheep fold. From there, God plans to restore the remnant of Israel into a mighty nation, and the Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion (v7). Once again as in the time of David, Israel's shepherd king (Jesus) will live in the Fortress of Zion, which will be like the watchtower for his flock, the people of Israel (v8). God promises to restore the sovereignty that belonged to 'Daughter Jerusalem' in former times, referring to Israel's golden age under King David. As well as ruling over all of Israel's twelve tribes, David conquered and subjugated Philistia, southern Syria (Zobah and Aram), all of Jordan (Ammon, Moab and Edom), and northern Arabia (Amalek), making Israel a small empire (2 Samuel 8).

But before that, Jerusalem's wise ruler will be destroyed (v9). Jerusalem is portrayed as a young woman (Daughter Zion), screaming and groaning in the travails of labour. The people will leave the city and live in the open field. They will go to Babylon, but from there they will be rescued (v10). This was fulfilled historically when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC, carrying the people of Judah into exile, and later in 539 BC when God used Cyrus the Persian to set them free, allowing them to return to Jerusalem. However, the end-time context of this passage in relation to Millennial Jerusalem suggests there will be a greater future fulfilment. In the end-times, Jerusalem will fall to the Antichrist (Ezekiel 38 and Zechariah 14), and Israel's wise ruler will be killed (v9). As described in Zechariah 14:2-5, half the city of Jerusalem will escape into exile via the mountain valley that Jesus creates by splitting the Mount of Olives. They will escape to a place of safety in the wilderness, where God will take care of them for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6). This place of safety in the wilderness is described here by Micah as 'the open field' (v10). It is what Micah earlier called Bozrah, meaning the sheepfold, in 2:12. Bozrah was in Edom, so why does he say here in 4:10 that they will go to Babylon? Edom stretched into Arabia as far as Dedan (Ezekiel 25), and Isaiah 21 portrays end-time Arabia figuratively as Babylon. So the end-time exile is like a second Babylonian exile, not to ancient Babylon, but to Arabia which is 'Mystery Babylon'. Micah says, "There the Lord will deliver you from the power of your enemies". This deliverance is the same event as the Bozrah breakout led by Jesus, their Lord and king, as described in Micah 2:13. At that time, many nations will assemble against Jerusalem saying 'Jerusalem must be descrated' (v11). This is the end-time gathering of the nations for the battle of Armageddon. Or more correctly, Armageddon is the gathering place for the battle of Jerusalem. The nations who gather will not realise that it is God's plan to gather them for judgment (Joel 3:2), and to thresh them (v12). Verse 13 calls Daughter Zion (this remnant of Jews that Jesus has broken out from Bozrah) to get up and thresh. Israel is portrayed as a mighty ox with iron horns (signifying mighty strength) and bronze hooves, that will crush and thresh the nations. This is a picture of redeemed Israel fighting together with Jesus at the battle of Armageddon.

Verse 13b commands the Jews to devote to the Lord the spoils they take at the battle of Armageddon. This is like in Joshua 6:19, at the battle of Jericho, where everything had to be destroyed, but items of gold, silver, bronze and iron were put in the Lord's treasury. According to Joshua 7, Achan disobeyed this command by keeping some of the spoils and hiding them in his tent. As a result, Israel was defeated in the next battle, and when Achan's sin was exposed, he and his family were stoned to death in the Valley of Achor, meaning Valley of Disaster.

Similarly Hosea 2:14-16 describes God alluring Israel into the wilderness and speaking tenderly to her. From there he restores the nation and brings them back into covenant relationship with himself, such that they call God 'My husband' and no longer call him 'My master'. And in verse 15, God promises to turn the 'Valley of Achor' into an 'Opportunity for Hope'.

What this means is that Joshua's conquest of Jericho prophetically foreshadows Jesus' liberation of Jerusalem. There are various additional parallels, including: Joshua and Jesus both mean 'God saves'; both lead Israel out of the wilderness; Joshua defeated Jericho after encircling and blowing trumpets for seven days, and Jesus liberates Jerusalem after the seventh trumpet.
Tags
Places: Israel, Judah, Bozrah, Edom, Mystery Babylon, Jericho
Symbols: Threshing floor of judgment, End-time harvest, Mountains as kingdoms, Jerusalem in labour, Labour pains, Israel as a mighty ox, Birth
Tags: Millennial Jerusalem, Millennial peace, Jerusalem raised up, Sovereignty of Zion restored, Great Tribulation, Fall of Jerusalem, Jerusalem in labour, Wise ruler of Israel killed, Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Israel restored in the wilderness, End-time exile in Mystery Babylon, End-time exodus, Jesus musters an army, Israel fights alongside Jesus, Armageddon
Better Days Ahead for Jerusalem
1 In the future the Lord’s Temple Mount will be the most important mountain of all; it will be more prominent than other hills. People will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come, saying, “Come on! Let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of Jacob’s God, so he can teach us his ways and we can live by his laws.” For instruction will proceed from Zion, the Lord’s message from Jerusalem.
3 He will arbitrate between many peoples and settle disputes between many distant nations. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not use weapons against other nations, and they will no longer train for war.
4 Each will sit under his own grapevine or under his own fig tree without any fear. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has decreed it.
5 Though all the nations follow their respective gods, we will follow the Lord our God forever.

Restoration Will Follow Crisis

6 “In that day,” says the Lord, “I will gather the lame, and assemble the outcasts whom I injured.
7 I will transform the lame into the nucleus of a new nation, and those far off into a mighty nation. The Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion, from that day forward and forevermore.”
8 As for you, watchtower for the flock, fortress of Daughter Zion – your former dominion will be restored, the sovereignty that belongs to Daughter Jerusalem.
9 Jerusalem, why are you now shouting so loudly? Has your king disappeared? Has your wise leader been destroyed? Is this why pain grips you as if you were a woman in labor?
10 Twist and strain, Daughter Zion, as if you were in labor! For you will leave the city and live in the open field. You will go to Babylon, but there you will be rescued. There the Lord will deliver you from the power of your enemies.
11 Many nations have now assembled against you. They say, “Jerusalem must be desecrated, so we can gloat over Zion!”
12 But they do not know what the Lord is planning; they do not understand his strategy. He has gathered them like stalks of grain to be threshed at the threshing floor.
13 “Get up and thresh, Daughter Zion! For I will give you iron horns; I will give you bronze hooves, and you will crush many nations.” You will devote to the Lord the spoils you take from them, and dedicate their wealth to the sovereign Ruler of the whole earth.
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