"From man" in Micah 2:12

Alviero Niccacci sbfnet at netvision.net.il
Mon Dec 6 01:55:41 EST 1999

On  27/11/99 ("From man" in Micah 2:12) John Barach wrote:

>I've been working on Micah 2:12-13 and am somewhat puzzled by the last
>couple of words of verse 12:  TeHiYMeNaH Me'aDaM  (Pardon my lousy
>transliteration; I'm not sure what method of transliteration is usual on
>this list.)
>The options that I've seen so far in my study have been
>(1) The MIN here is privative ("without a man" = "without anyone to take
>care of them").  The people (sheep) will be confused and noisy because
>they don't have a shepherd to care for them.  This seems to be the
>option Bruce Waltke takes.
>(2) The MIN here is causal ("because of man") and it indicates the
>reason for the confusion, namely, the enemy preparing to attack.  Hence,
>Leslie Allen renders it: "bleating in fear of man" (cf. also NEB).
>(3) The MIN here is causal ("because of man") and it indicates that the
>place will be noisy because of the number of people who are being
>gathered together ("because of man" = "because of the number of
>people").  This is the option taken by Keil (cf. NIV: "the place will
>throng with people").
>The problem with (1) and (2) might be that the context is one of
>comfort.  YHWH is promising to gather his people -- the remnant --
>together  (v.12) and to lead them (v.13).  A reference to fear (whether
>because of the enemy or because of the lack of leadership) seems
>somewhat out of place.  The third option doubtless has its problems,
>too....  And I notice that Mays just asks the question and leaves it

Dear John Barach,

Do you still accept a suggestion?

	I would favor a translation of the following type, "they will 
roar because of the (multitude of) people."

	In a 1989 monagraph (in Italian--A prophet between Oppressors 
and Oppressed, An exegetical Analysis of Chapter 2 of Micah in the 
General Plan of the Book, Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press) I 
have tried to show that this meaning accords with the interpretation 
of the passage within the whole book of Micah. Actually Mic 2:12-13 
refers to the growth of the people gathered together by the Lord.
	From an overall analysis it appears that the book of Micah is 
structured along five main motifs--(a) sayings of accusation against 
the leaders of Jacob/Israel (2:1-3; 2:4-5; 3:1-4; 3:9-12); (b) 
dispute between Micah and the false prophets (2:6-11; 3:5-8); (c) 
annoucement of salvation for a remnant of Jacob/Israel (2:12-13; 
4:6-7; 5:6-14); (d) peoples toward/against Zion--converted in the 
future (4:1-5) but now hostile (4:9-14); and (e) the future 
king-shepherd of the people (4:8; 5:1-5).
The three main motifs (a-b-c) are first proclaimed in Chap. 2 and 
then developed Chaps 3-5. This suggest a division of the book of 
Micah in two main sections--Chaps 2, and 3-5.

	Chaps 1 and 6-7 represent a liturgical framework to the whole 
book. They comprise the following motifs: call to listen / summoning 
of the witnesses (1:2-4; 6:1-2); God's reproach to the people (1:6-7; 
6,13-16); announcement of a punishment upon the people (1:6-7; 
6,13-16); and lamentation of the prophet (1:8-16; 7:1-6). Chap. 7 
goes on with a "prophetic liturgy" that closes the book.

Peace and all good.

Alviero Niccacci

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