Micah 7:17

Hebrew Bible

15 “As in the days when you departed from the land of Egypt, I will show you miraculous deeds.” 16 Nations will see this and be disappointed by all their strength; they will put their hands over their mouths and act as if they were deaf. 17 They will lick the dust like a snake, like serpents crawling on the ground. They will come trembling from their strongholds to the Lord our God; they will be terrified of you. 18 Who is a God like you? Who forgives sin and pardons the rebellion of those who remain among his people? Who does not stay angry forever, but delights in showing loyal love? 19 Who will once again have mercy on us? Who will conquer our evil deeds? Who will hurl all our sins into the depths of the sea?

Psalm 72:9

Hebrew Bible

7 During his days the godly will flourish; peace will prevail as long as the moon remains in the sky. 8 May he rule from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. 9 Before him the coastlands will bow down, and his enemies will lick the dust. 10 The kings of Tarshish and the coastlands will offer gifts; the kings of Sheba and Seba will bring tribute. 11 All kings will bow down to him; all nations will serve him.

 Notes and References

"... Many commentators attempt to soften [Isaiah 49:22-23] by arguing that it is a hyperbole. Westermann, for example, describes DI as giving metaphors “for the careful protection, and the deference and attention, to be accorded to those who return home.” Others explain this as merely an ancient Near Eastern sign of homage, and Blenkinsopp cites court protocol in a fourteenth century B.C.E. letter from the ruler of Tyre to the Pharaoh: “I fall prostrate at the feet of the king my lord; I am the dirt under the feet of the king my lord.” P. Volz’s argument that the nations are not said to serve Israel in perpetuity is also usually cited. However, Van Winkle notes that licking dust in Psalm 72:9 and Micah 7:17 refer to the conquest of enemies, and though North proposes that licking dust from the feet is less degrading than licking dust from the ground, Van Winkle points out from Sargon’s and Sennacherib’s boasts that kings of conquered peoples kiss their feet in abject submission ..."

Low, Maggie Mother Zion in Deutero-Isaiah: A Metaphor for Zion Theology (pp. 170-171) Peter Lang Publishing, 2013

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