1 A message from the Lord came to Micah. He was from the town of Moresheth. The message came while Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. This is the vision Micah saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. Here is what he said.
2 Listen to me, all you nations! Earth and everyone who lives in it, pay attention! The Lord and King will be a witness against you. The Lord will speak from his holy temple in heaven.
The Lord Will Judge Samaria and Jerusalem
3 The Lord is about to come down from his home in heaven. He rules over even the highest places on earth. 4 The mountains will melt under him like wax near a fire. The valleys will be broken apart by water rushing down a slope. 5 All this will happen because Jacob’s people have done what is wrong. The people of Israel have committed many sins. Who is to blame for the wrong things Jacob has done? Samaria! Who is to blame for the high places where Judah’s people worship other gods? Jerusalem!
6 So the Lord says,
“I will turn Samaria into a pile of trash. It will become a place for planting vineyards. I will dump its stones down into the valley. And I will destroy it down to its very foundations. 7 All the statues of Samaria’s gods will be broken to pieces. All the gifts its people gave to temple prostitutes will be burned with fire. I will destroy all the statues of its gods. Samaria collected gifts that were paid to temple prostitutes. So the Assyrians will use the gifts to pay their own temple prostitutes.”
Micah Weeps Over His People
8 I will weep and mourn because Samaria will be destroyed. I’ll walk around barefoot and naked. I’ll bark like a wild dog. I’ll hoot like an owl. 9 Samaria’s plague can’t be healed. The plague has spread to Judah. It has spread right up to the gate of my people. It has spread to Jerusalem itself. 10 Don’t tell the people of Gath about it. Don’t let them see you weep. People in Beth Ophrah, roll in the dust. 11 You who live in the town of Shaphir, leave naked and in shame. Those who live in Zaanan won’t come out to help you. The people in Beth Ezel will mourn. They won’t be able to help keep you safe any longer. 12 Those who live in Maroth will groan with pain as they wait for help. That’s because the Lord will bring trouble on them. It will reach the very gate of Jerusalem. 13 You who live in Lachish, get your fast horses ready to pull their chariots. You trust in military power. Lachish was where sin began for the people of Zion. The wrong things Israel did were also done by you. 14 People of Judah, you might as well say goodbye to Moresheth near Gath. The town of Akzib won’t give any help to the kings of Israel. 15 An enemy will attack you who live in Mareshah. Israel’s nobles will have to run away and hide in the cave of Adullam. 16 The children you enjoy so much will be taken away as prisoners. So shave your heads and mourn. Make them as bare as the head of a vulture.
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