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Will the Lord accept a thousand rams
or ten thousand streams of olive oil?
Should I give him my firstborn child as payment for my rebellion,
my offspring—my own flesh and blood—for my sin?[a]
He has told you,[b] O man, what is good,
and what the Lord really wants from you:[c]
He wants you to[d] carry out justice,[e] to love faithfulness,[f]
and to live obediently before[g] your God.
Listen! The Lord is calling[h] to the city!

It is wise to respect your authority, O Lord.[i]
Listen, O nation, and those assembled in the city![j]

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Footnotes

  1. Micah 6:7 tn Heb “the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is often translated “soul,” but the word usually refers to the whole person; here “the sin of my soul” = “my sin.” sn Since child sacrifice is forbidden in scripture (Deut 12:31; 18:10), the speaker is revealed to not be in earnest but perhaps sarcastic.
  2. Micah 6:8 sn Now the prophet switches roles and answers the question of the hypothetical worshiper. He rebukes the extravagant surface remark by pointing to general character qualities that are lacking in Israel.
  3. Micah 6:8 tn Heb “is seeking from you.”
  4. Micah 6:8 tn Heb “except.” This statement is actually linked with what precedes, “What does he want from you except….”
  5. Micah 6:8 tn Or “to act justly.”
  6. Micah 6:8 tn Or “to love faithfully.” The Hebrew word חֶסֶד (khesed) is complex, sometimes translated “lovingkindness,” faithfulness,” or “loyal love.” It has also been understood as covenant loyalty. חֶסֶד is either the object or the manner of the infinitive “to love.”
  7. Micah 6:8 tn Heb “to walk humbly [or perhaps, “carefully”] with.”
  8. Micah 6:9 tn Or “the voice of the Lord is calling.” The translation understands קוֹל (qol, “voice”) as equivalent to an imperative.
  9. Micah 6:9 tn Heb “one who sees your name is wisdom.” It is probably better to emend יִרְאֶה (yirʾeh, “he sees”) to יִרְאָה (yirʾah, “fearing”). One may then translate, “fearing your name is wisdom.” The Lord’s “name” here stands by metonymy for his authority.
  10. Micah 6:9 tc The MT reads, “Listen, tribe (or staff) and who appointed it.” Verse 10 then begins with עוֹד (ʿod, “still” or “again”). The LXX reads, “who will set the city in order?” The translation assumes an emendation of וּמִי יְעָדָהּ. עוֹד (umi yeʿadah. ʿod…, “and who appointed it. Still…”) to וּמוֹעֵד הָעִיר(umoʿed haʿir, “and the assembly of the city”).

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,(A)
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?(B)
Shall I offer my firstborn(C) for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?(D)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly(E) and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a](F) with your God.(G)

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—
    and to fear your name is wisdom—
    “Heed the rod(H) and the One who appointed it.[b]

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Footnotes

  1. Micah 6:8 Or prudently
  2. Micah 6:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.

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