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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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
    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.
    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.

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.

Eternal One: Now, muster your troops O daughter.[a] 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.

    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,[b]
    Whose origins date back to the distant past,
        to the ancient days.

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.
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.
He will be our peace.
    When the Assyrians invade us, set foot inside our strong palaces,[c]
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.

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.
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[d] 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!

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1 Greek manuscripts read, “Now, you are walled in.”
  2. 5:2 Matthew 2:6
  3. 5:5 Greek manuscripts read, “on our land.”
  4. 5:14 Hebrew, Asherim
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Micah 4-5 New International Version (NIV)

The Mountain of the Lord

In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and peoples will stream to it.

Many nations will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between many peoples
    and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.
Everyone will sit under their own vine
    and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
    for the Lord Almighty has spoken.
All the nations may walk
    in the name of their gods,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord
    our God for ever and ever.

The Lord’s Plan

“In that day,” declares the Lord,

“I will gather the lame;
    I will assemble the exiles
    and those I have brought to grief.
I will make the lame my remnant,
    those driven away a strong nation.
The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion
    from that day and forever.
As for you, watchtower of the flock,
    stronghold[a] of Daughter Zion,
the former dominion will be restored to you;
    kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.

Why do you now cry aloud—
    have you no king[b]?
Has your ruler[c] perished,
    that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?
10 Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion,
    like a woman in labor,
for now you must leave the city
    to camp in the open field.
You will go to Babylon;
    there you will be rescued.
There the Lord will redeem you
    out of the hand of your enemies.

11 But now many nations
    are gathered against you.
They say, “Let her be defiled,
    let our eyes gloat over Zion!”
12 But they do not know
    the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
    that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
13 “Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion,
    for I will give you horns of iron;
I will give you hooves of bronze,
    and you will break to pieces many nations.”
You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the Lord,
    their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.

A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem

[d]Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek with a rod.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans[e] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.

And he will be our peace
    when the Assyrians invade our land
    and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
    even eight commanders,
who will rule[f] the land of Assyria with the sword,
    the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.[g]
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
    when they invade our land
    and march across our borders.

The remnant of Jacob will be
    in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
    like showers on the grass,
which do not wait for anyone
    or depend on man.
The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
    in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
    like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which mauls and mangles as it goes,
    and no one can rescue.
Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
    and all your foes will be destroyed.

10 “In that day,” declares the Lord,

“I will destroy your horses from among you
    and demolish your chariots.
11 I will destroy the cities of your land
    and tear down all your strongholds.
12 I will destroy your witchcraft
    and you will no longer cast spells.
13 I will destroy your idols
    and your sacred stones from among you;
you will no longer bow down
    to the work of your hands.
14 I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles[h]
    when I demolish your cities.
15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
    on the nations that have not obeyed me.”

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 4:8 Or hill
  2. Micah 4:9 Or King
  3. Micah 4:9 Or Ruler
  4. Micah 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1 is numbered 4:14, and 5:2-15 is numbered 5:1-14.
  5. Micah 5:2 Or rulers
  6. Micah 5:6 Or crush
  7. Micah 5:6 Or Nimrod in its gates
  8. Micah 5:14 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
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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