1 During the time that Jotham [C ruled 758–743 bc], Ahaz [C ruled 743–727 bc], and Hezekiah [C ruled 727–698 bc] were kings of Judah, the word of the Lord came to Micah, who was from Moresheth [C a town in southern Judah]. He saw these visions about Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 Hear this, all you ·nations [peoples]; listen, earth and all you who live on it. The Lord God will ·be a witness [bring charges] against you, the Lord from his Holy Temple. 3 See, the Lord is coming out of his place; he is coming down to ·walk on [tread upon] the ·tops of the mountains [heights of the earth]. 4 The mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will ·crack open [split apart], like wax near a fire, like water running down a hillside. 5 All this is because of Jacob’s ·sin [rebellion; transgression], because of the sins of the ·nation [L house] of Israel. What is ·the place of Jacob’s sin [L Jacob’s trangression]? Isn’t it Samaria [C the capital of the northern empire]? What is Judah’s ·place of idol worship [L high place; C a pagan worship site]? Isn’t it Jerusalem [C Judah’s sin made the temple in Jerusalem no better than a pagan temple]?
The Lord Speaks
6 “So I will make Samaria a ·pile [heap] of ruins in the open country, a place for planting vineyards. I will pour her stones down into the valley and ·strip her down to [lay bare; uncover] her foundations. 7 All her ·idols [carved images] will be broken into pieces; all the ·gifts to her idols [L prostitute’s wages] will be burned with fire. I will ·destroy [make desolate] all her idols, and because Samaria ·earned her money [or gathered these things] by ·being unfaithful to me [prostituting herself], ·this money will be carried off by others who are not faithful to me [L to the pay of the prostitute they will return; C Samaria’s wealth earned through idolatry would now go to the pagan temples of Assyria—one prostitute’s wages going to another].”
Micah’s Great Sadness
8 I will ·moan and cry [mourn and wail] because of this evil, going around barefoot and naked. I will ·cry loudly [wail] like ·the wild dogs [jackals] and ·make sad sounds [moan] like the ·owls [or ostriches] do, 9 because Samaria’s wound ·cannot be healed [is incurable]. It ·will spread [or has spread] to Judah; it ·will reach [or has reached] the city gate of my people [C where the city’s affairs were conducted], all the way to Jerusalem. 10 Don’t tell it in Gath [C sounds like Hebrew for “tell”; Gath and the cities in this list were in Assyria’s path of destruction in 701 bc]. Don’t cry ·in Acco [or at all; C the Hebrew for “cry” sounds like Acco]. Roll in the dust at Beth Ophrah [C “house of dust”]. 11 Pass on your way, naked and ashamed, you who live in Shaphir [C “beautiful” or “pleasant”]. Those who live in Zaanan [C sounds like Hebrew for “come out”] won’t come out. The people in Beth Ezel [C “house of nearness”] ·will cry [are in mourning], but they will not give you any support. 12 Those who live in Maroth [C sounds like Hebrew for “sad” or “miserable”] ·will be anxious [hope] for good news to come, because ·trouble [disaster] ·will [or has] come from the Lord, all the way to the gate of Jerusalem. 13 You people living in Lachish [C a large town in Judah; Lachish sounds like the Hebrew for “horse” or “steed”], harness the fastest ·horses [steeds] to the chariot. ·Jerusalem’s [L Daughter of Zion’s; C the location of the Temple] sins ·started in [began with] you; yes, Israel’s ·sins [transgressions; rebellion] were found in you. 14 So you must give ·farewell gifts [a dowry] to Moresheth in Gath. The houses in Aczib [C “deception”] ·will be false help to [or have deceived/betrayed] the kings of Israel. 15 I will bring against you people who will ·take [possess; conquer] your land, you who live in Mareshah [C sounds like Hebrew for “conqueror”]. The ·glory [or nobles; leaders] of Israel will go in to Adullam [C perhaps to hide in its caves]. 16 ·Cut off your hair [Shave your head; Make yourself bald; C a sign of mourning or sadness] for the children ·you love [in whom you delight]. Make yourself bald like the eagle, because your children will be taken away ·to a foreign land [in exile/captivity].
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