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Samaria and Israel to Be Punished

During the time that Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, the word of the Lord came to Micah, who was from Moresheth. He saw these visions about Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear this, all you nations;
    listen, earth and all you who live on it.
The Lord God will be a witness against you,
    the Lord from his Holy Temple.
See, the Lord is coming out of his place;
    he is coming down to walk on the tops of the mountains.
The mountains will melt under him,
    and the valleys will crack open,
like wax near a fire,
    like water running down a hillside.
All this is because of Jacob’s sin,
    because of the sins of the nation of Israel.
What is the place of Jacob’s sin?
    Isn’t it Samaria?
What is Judah’s place of idol worship?
    Isn’t it Jerusalem?

The Lord Speaks

“So I will make Samaria a pile 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 her foundations.
All her idols will be broken into pieces;
    all the gifts to her idols will be burned with fire.
    I will destroy all her idols,
and because Samaria earned her money by being unfaithful to me,
    this money will be carried off by others who are not faithful to me.”

Micah’s Great Sadness

I will moan and cry because of this evil,
    going around barefoot and naked.
I will cry loudly like the wild dogs
    and make sad sounds like the owls do,
because Samaria’s wound cannot be healed.
    It will spread to Judah;
it will reach the city gate of my people,
    all the way to Jerusalem.
10 Don’t tell it in Gath.[a]
    Don’t cry in Acco.[b]
Roll in the dust
    at Beth Ophrah.[c]
11 Pass on your way, naked and ashamed,
    you who live in Shaphir.[d]
Those who live in Zaanan[e]
    won’t come out.
The people in Beth Ezel[f] will cry,
    but they will not give you any support.
12 Those who live in Maroth[g]
    will be anxious for good news to come,
because trouble will come from the Lord,
    all the way to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 You people living in Lachish,[h]
    harness the fastest horse to the chariot.
Jerusalem’s sins started in you;
    yes, Israel’s sins were found in you.
14 So you must give farewell gifts
    to Moresheth[i] in Gath.
The houses in Aczib[j] will be false help
    to the kings of Israel.
15 I will bring against you people who will take your land,
    you who live in Mareshah.[k]
The glory of Israel
    will go in to Adullam.
16 Cut off your hair to show you are sad
    for the children you love.
Make yourself bald like the eagle,
    because your children will be taken away to a foreign land.

Footnotes

  1. 1:10 Gath This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “tell.”
  2. 1:10 Acco This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “cry.”
  3. 1:10 Beth Ophrah This name means “house of dust.”
  4. 1:11 Shaphir This name means “beautiful.”
  5. 1:11 Zaanan This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “come out.”
  6. 1:11 Beth Ezel This name means “house by the side of another,” suggesting help or support.
  7. 1:12 Maroth This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “sad” or “miserable.”
  8. 1:13 Lachish This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “horses.”
  9. 1:14 Moresheth This may be a play on the word “engaged,” referring to a farewell gift to a bride.
  10. 1:14 Aczib This name means “lie” or “trick.”
  11. 1:15 Mareshah This name sounds like the Hebrew word for a person who captures other cities and lands.