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Micah 1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

The Coming Destruction

Hear, you peoples, all of you;[a]
    pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it,
and let the Lord God be a witness against you,
    the Lord from his holy temple.
For behold, the Lord is coming out of his place,
    and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.
And the mountains will melt under him,
    and the valleys will split open,
like wax before the fire,
    like waters poured down a steep place.
All this is for the transgression of Jacob
    and for the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the transgression of Jacob?
    Is it not Samaria?
And what is the high place of Judah?
    Is it not Jerusalem?
Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country,
    a place for planting vineyards,
and I will pour down her stones into the valley
    and uncover her foundations.
All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces,
    all her wages shall be burned with fire,
    and all her idols I will lay waste,
for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them,
    and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.

For this I will lament and wail;
    I will go stripped and naked;
I will make lamentation like the jackals,
    and mourning like the ostriches.
For her wound is incurable,
    and it has come to Judah;
it has reached to the gate of my people,
    to Jerusalem.

10 Tell it not in Gath;
    weep not at all;
in Beth-le-aphrah
    roll yourselves in the dust.
11 Pass on your way,
    inhabitants of Shaphir,
    in nakedness and shame;
the inhabitants of Zaanan
    do not come out;
the lamentation of Beth-ezel
    shall take away from you its standing place.
12 For the inhabitants of Maroth
    wait anxiously for good,
because disaster has come down from the Lord
    to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 Harness the steeds to the chariots,
    inhabitants of Lachish;
it was the beginning of sin
    to the daughter of Zion,
for in you were found
    the transgressions of Israel.
14 Therefore you shall give parting gifts[b]
    to Moresheth-gath;
the houses of Achzib shall be a deceitful thing
    to the kings of Israel.
15 I will again bring a conqueror to you,
    inhabitants of Mareshah;
the glory of Israel
    shall come to Adullam.
16 Make yourselves bald and cut off your hair,
    for the children of your delight;
make yourselves as bald as the eagle,
    for they shall go from you into exile.

Woe to the Oppressors

Woe to those who devise wickedness
    and work evil on their beds!
When the morning dawns, they perform it,
    because it is in the power of their hand.
They covet fields and seize them,
    and houses, and take them away;
they oppress a man and his house,
    a man and his inheritance.
Therefore thus says the Lord:
behold, against this family I am devising disaster,[c]
    from which you cannot remove your necks,
and you shall not walk haughtily,
    for it will be a time of disaster.
In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you
    and moan bitterly,
and say, “We are utterly ruined;
    he changes the portion of my people;
how he removes it from me!
    To an apostate he allots our fields.”
Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot
    in the assembly of the Lord.

“Do not preach”—thus they preach—
    “one should not preach of such things;
    disgrace will not overtake us.”
Should this be said, O house of Jacob?
    Has the Lord grown impatient?[d]
    Are these his deeds?
Do not my words do good
    to him who walks uprightly?
But lately my people have risen up as an enemy;
you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly
    with no thought of war.[e]
The women of my people you drive out
    from their delightful houses;
from their young children you take away
    my splendor forever.
10 Arise and go,
    for this is no place to rest,
because of uncleanness that destroys
    with a grievous destruction.
11 If a man should go about and utter wind and lies,
    saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,”
    he would be the preacher for this people!
12 I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob;
    I will gather the remnant of Israel;
I will set them together
    like sheep in a fold,
like a flock in its pasture,
    a noisy multitude of men.
13 He who opens the breach goes up before them;
    they break through and pass the gate,
    going out by it.
Their king passes on before them,
    the Lord at their head.

Rulers and Prophets Denounced

And I said:
Hear, you heads of Jacob
    and rulers of the house of Israel!
Is it not for you to know justice?—
    you who hate the good and love the evil,
who tear the skin from off my people[f]
    and their flesh from off their bones,
who eat the flesh of my people,
    and flay their skin from off them,
and break their bones in pieces
    and chop them up like meat in a pot,
    like flesh in a cauldron.

Then they will cry to the Lord,
    but he will not answer them;
he will hide his face from them at that time,
    because they have made their deeds evil.

Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets
    who lead my people astray,
who cry “Peace”
    when they have something to eat,
but declare war against him
    who puts nothing into their mouths.
Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision,
    and darkness to you, without divination.
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
    and the day shall be black over them;
the seers shall be disgraced,
    and the diviners put to shame;
they shall all cover their lips,
    for there is no answer from God.
But as for me, I am filled with power,
    with the Spirit of the Lord,
    and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression
    and to Israel his sin.

Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob
    and rulers of the house of Israel,
who detest justice
    and make crooked all that is straight,
10 who build Zion with blood
    and Jerusalem with iniquity.
11 Its heads give judgment for a bribe;
    its priests teach for a price;
    its prophets practice divination for money;
yet they lean on the Lord and say,
    “Is not the Lord in the midst of us?
    No disaster shall come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you
    Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
    and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 1:2 Hebrew all of them
  2. Micah 1:14 Or give dowry
  3. Micah 2:3 The same Hebrew word can mean evil or disaster, depending on the context
  4. Micah 2:7 Hebrew Has the spirit of the Lord grown short?
  5. Micah 2:8 Or returning from war
  6. Micah 3:2 Hebrew from off them
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Micah 1-3 New International Version (NIV)

The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah—the vision he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear, you peoples, all of you,
    listen, earth and all who live in it,
that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you,
    the Lord from his holy temple.

Judgment Against Samaria and Jerusalem

Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place;
    he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth.
The mountains melt beneath him
    and the valleys split apart,
like wax before the fire,
    like water rushing down a slope.
All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,
    because of the sins of the people of Israel.
What is Jacob’s transgression?
    Is it not Samaria?
What is Judah’s high place?
    Is it not Jerusalem?

“Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,
    a place for planting vineyards.
I will pour her stones into the valley
    and lay bare her foundations.
All her idols will be broken to pieces;
    all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;
    I will destroy all her images.
Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,
    as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.”

Weeping and Mourning

Because of this I will weep and wail;
    I will go about barefoot and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
    and moan like an owl.
For Samaria’s plague is incurable;
    it has spread to Judah.
It has reached the very gate of my people,
    even to Jerusalem itself.
10 Tell it not in Gath[a];
    weep not at all.
In Beth Ophrah[b]
    roll in the dust.
11 Pass by naked and in shame,
    you who live in Shaphir.[c]
Those who live in Zaanan[d]
    will not come out.
Beth Ezel is in mourning;
    it no longer protects you.
12 Those who live in Maroth[e] writhe in pain,
    waiting for relief,
because disaster has come from the Lord,
    even to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 You who live in Lachish,
    harness fast horses to the chariot.
You are where the sin of Daughter Zion began,
    for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14 Therefore you will give parting gifts
    to Moresheth Gath.
The town of Akzib[f] will prove deceptive
    to the kings of Israel.
15 I will bring a conqueror against you
    who live in Mareshah.[g]
The nobles of Israel
    will flee to Adullam.
16 Shave your head in mourning
    for the children in whom you delight;
make yourself as bald as the vulture,
    for they will go from you into exile.

Human Plans and God’s Plans

Woe to those who plan iniquity,
    to those who plot evil on their beds!
At morning’s light they carry it out
    because it is in their power to do it.
They covet fields and seize them,
    and houses, and take them.
They defraud people of their homes,
    they rob them of their inheritance.

Therefore, the Lord says:

“I am planning disaster against this people,
    from which you cannot save yourselves.
You will no longer walk proudly,
    for it will be a time of calamity.
In that day people will ridicule you;
    they will taunt you with this mournful song:
‘We are utterly ruined;
    my people’s possession is divided up.
He takes it from me!
    He assigns our fields to traitors.’”

Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the Lord
    to divide the land by lot.

False Prophets

“Do not prophesy,” their prophets say.
    “Do not prophesy about these things;
    disgrace will not overtake us.
You descendants of Jacob, should it be said,
    “Does the Lord become[h] impatient?
    Does he do such things?”

“Do not my words do good
    to the one whose ways are upright?
Lately my people have risen up
    like an enemy.
You strip off the rich robe
    from those who pass by without a care,
    like men returning from battle.
You drive the women of my people
    from their pleasant homes.
You take away my blessing
    from their children forever.
10 Get up, go away!
    For this is not your resting place,
because it is defiled,
    it is ruined, beyond all remedy.
11 If a liar and deceiver comes and says,
    ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’
    that would be just the prophet for this people!

Deliverance Promised

12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
    I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
    like a flock in its pasture;
    the place will throng with people.
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
    they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
    the Lord at their head.”

Leaders and Prophets Rebuked

Then I said,

“Listen, you leaders of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel.
Should you not embrace justice,
    you who hate good and love evil;
who tear the skin from my people
    and the flesh from their bones;
who eat my people’s flesh,
    strip off their skin
    and break their bones in pieces;
who chop them up like meat for the pan,
    like flesh for the pot?

Then they will cry out to the Lord,
    but he will not answer them.
At that time he will hide his face from them
    because of the evil they have done.

This is what the Lord says:

“As for the prophets
    who lead my people astray,
they proclaim ‘peace’
    if they have something to eat,
but prepare to wage war against anyone
    who refuses to feed them.
Therefore night will come over you, without visions,
    and darkness, without divination.
The sun will set for the prophets,
    and the day will go dark for them.
The seers will be ashamed
    and the diviners disgraced.
They will all cover their faces
    because there is no answer from God.
But as for me, I am filled with power,
    with the Spirit of the Lord,
    and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression,
    to Israel his sin.

Hear this, you leaders of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel,
who despise justice
    and distort all that is right;
10 who build Zion with bloodshed,
    and Jerusalem with wickedness.
11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,
    her priests teach for a price,
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
    “Is not the Lord among us?
    No disaster will come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you,
    Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
    the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 1:10 Gath sounds like the Hebrew for tell.
  2. Micah 1:10 Beth Ophrah means house of dust.
  3. Micah 1:11 Shaphir means pleasant.
  4. Micah 1:11 Zaanan sounds like the Hebrew for come out.
  5. Micah 1:12 Maroth sounds like the Hebrew for bitter.
  6. Micah 1:14 Akzib means deception.
  7. Micah 1:15 Mareshah sounds like the Hebrew for conqueror.
  8. Micah 2:7 Or Is the Spirit of the Lord
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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