Micah 4:4

Hebrew Bible

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. 6 “In that day,” says the Lord, “I will gather the lame and assemble the outcasts whom I injured.

2 Kings 18:31

Hebrew Bible

29 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for he is not able to rescue you from my hand! 30 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord when he says, “The Lord will certainly rescue us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 31 Don’t listen to Hezekiah!’ For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you to a land just like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.” 33 Have any of the gods of the nations actually rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria?

 Notes and References

"... Considerable light has been shed by the contributors to this volume on the genre and context of the “swords into plowshares” speech. Ted Lewis calls it “survival rhetoric,” meant to create a “mental space for resistance” against the intimidatory Assyrian rhetoric. Irmtraud Fischer, though she dates the text to the Persian period, argues that it is to be read and understood against the background of the devastating Assyrian campaign against Judah of 701, setting up a landmark of “holy peace” in opposition to the existing category of “holy war.” Mario Fales agrees. He finds no link between the prophecies and the documented historical events in First Isaiah but notes that the irenic message of swords into plowshares in the version found in Micah (4:1–4) strikingly recalls the identical imagery of men undisturbed, each under his vine or fig tree, evoked in 2 Kings 18:31. In this way the authentic, divinely inspired vision of nations at peace refutes the false war propaganda of the Assyrian official, bent on seducing a demoralized population under siege ..."

Cohen, Raymond and Raymond Westbrook "Swords into Plowshares hen and Now" in Cohen, Raymond, and Raymond Westbrook (eds.) Isaiah’s Vision of Peace in Biblical and Modern International Relations: Swords into Plowshares (pp. 229-239) Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.