Pandemic Journal (# 39): Amanda Gorman’s Poetic Reference to Micah 4: 1-5

The last Pandemic Journal entry discussed Amanda Gorman’s beautiful inaugural poem, which was referenced in this morning’s sermon at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church with a cryptic comment that the poem had references to the Book of Micah, a book in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.[1]

After the service, a quick examination of the Book of Micah found  verses 4:1-5 and the poem’s following passage: “Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.”

Here is that passage from Micah (NRSV):

“In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised up above the hills.”

“Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say:
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

“He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more;”

 “but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
and no one shall make them afraid;
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.”

“For all the peoples walk,
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.”

In other words, the poem’s title (“The Hill We Climb”) refers to Micah’s prophecy that the Lord’s house shall be established “as the highest of the mountains” and that “peoples shall stream to it [so that God ] may teach us his ways  and that we may walk in his paths.”

Then God “shall beat their swords into plowshares , and their spears into pruning hooks, Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Thereafter, all the people “shall sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.”

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[1]  The bulletin for today’s Westminster service is on the church website, and the recording of the service will be added later this week.

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dwkcommentaries

As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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