Micah 4-5 The Voice (VOICE)
There really is no worse fate for Jerusalem than this: the fertile land, the grand architecture, and the temple to God will become a desert haunt for varmints and scavengers.
4 But in the last hopeful days that are coming,
the temple mountain of the Eternal One will tower over all other mountains.
It will be raised above the hills, and people will flow up it like rivers.
2 The nations of the world will say, “Come, let’s go up, everyone,
to the mountain of the Eternal One, to the house of the God of Jacob,
So He can teach us His way and we can follow in His footsteps.”
For God’s law will march out of Zion—the Eternal’s word from Jerusalem.
3 He will judge between many people and arbitrate disputes between strong faraway nations;
they will hammer their swords into plow blades, their spears into pruning hooks.
One nation will not attack another,
and they will give up war training and maneuvers.
4 But they will each sit under their own vines and fig trees,
and no one will make them afraid again
Because the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, has ordered it so.
5 All people move ahead in the name of their own gods, whatever they are,
but we move ahead in the name of the Eternal,
Our True God, forever and ever.
In the New Testament Jesus speaks of a kingdom where love, respect, and peace are the norms. It is clear that Micah, too, looks toward a future when there will be no war and neighbors will share their shade trees with no fear. A time without war and hostility between nations and neighbors can only be realized under the rule of the Prince of Peace.
6 Eternal One: In that day of hope, I will gather the lame,
bring together all those who have been driven away and those whom I have injured.
7 From those who were lame I will create a remnant,
and from those who were cast off I will create a strong nation;
And the Eternal will reign over them in Mount Zion
now and forevermore.
8 And to you, the tower of the flock, the hill of the daughter of Zion,
your former authority will return to you, the royal authority of the daughter of Jerusalem.
9 Now, why do you cry aloud?
Don’t you have a king in your midst?
Has your counselor vanished,
allowing pain to paralyze you as it does a woman in labor?
10 Writhe in pain and groan, daughter of Zion,
like a woman about to give birth,
For now you must leave your city to wander in the fields
on your way back to slavery, this time in Babylon.
And from there the Eternal One will pay your ransom and pluck you
from the hands of your enemies.
11 Many nations have gathered to fight you, saying,
“Let her be laid waste before us;
let’s feast our eyes on Mount Zion!”
12 But they don’t know what the Eternal One is thinking,
are not privy to His plans:
He has gathered them like sheaves on the floor of a threshing house.
13 Eternal One: Come on in, and start threshing this grain, daughter of Zion;
I will make your horn like iron, your hooves like bronze,
So that you will stomp many people beneath them.
And they will dedicate what they have stolen to the Eternal,
their wealth to the Lord of the entire earth.
5 Eternal One: Now, muster your troops O daughter. You have been besieged,
and they will strike the judge of Israel on the cheek with a rod.
This difficult passage recalls the judges who ruled God’s people in Canaan as it looks forward to the Redeemer from the insignificant town of Bethlehem.
2 But you, Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
of the clans of Judah, are no poor relation—
From your people will come a Ruler
who will be the shepherd of My people, Israel,
Whose origins date back to the distant past,
to the ancient days.
3 So God will abandon Israel
only until the now-laboring mother gives birth,
And then those of His people who survive
will be gathered back together with the rest of Israel.
4 And he will stand and feed his flock in the power of the Eternal One,
with the majesty of the name of the Eternal, his True God.
And they will live in safety, for his greatness will extend to the farthest parts of the earth.
5 He will be our peace.
When the Assyrians invade us, set foot inside our strong palaces,
We will raise up more than enough to conquer them—
seven shepherds and eight rulers of men.
The “seven shepherds and eight rulers” represent the whole leadership of the people.
6 They will rule over the country of Assyria with the sword,
and the country of Nimrod at its front gates.
He will save us from the Assyrians when they invade our lands
and tread in our borders.
7-8 Then what remains of Jacob will be like a dew from the Eternal,
like showers on the grass, which are beyond the control of humans.
He will be spread throughout many peoples and many nations.
Like a lion among beasts of the forest, a young lion among flocks of sheep,
He tramples and tears as he goes; no one will survive.
9 You will have victory over all your enemies,
and all who oppose you will be routed.
10 Eternal One: When that day comes, I will rip your horses from beneath you
and destroy your chariots and weapons of war;
11 I will rip the cities from your lands
and cast down all your fortresses.
12 I will tear all magic spells from your hands
and overthrow your magicians and fortunetellers.
13 And I will tear down the images and sacred pillars among you.
Never again will you worship these gods that your own hands have made.
14 I will uproot the sacred poles in your communities
and tear down your towns.
15 And with anger and great wrath,
I will execute My vengeance against all the nations that have disobeyed Me!