The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth(A) during the reigns of Jotham,(B) Ahaz(C) and Hezekiah,(D) kings of Judah(E)—the vision(F) he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear,(G) you peoples, all of you,(H)
    listen, earth(I) and all who live in it,
that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness(J) against you,
    the Lord from his holy temple.(K)

Judgment Against Samaria and Jerusalem

Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling(L) place;
    he comes down(M) and treads on the heights of the earth.(N)
The mountains melt(O) beneath him(P)
    and the valleys split apart,(Q)
like wax before the fire,
    like water rushing down a slope.
All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,
    because of the sins of the people of Israel.
What is Jacob’s transgression?
    Is it not Samaria?(R)
What is Judah’s high place?
    Is it not Jerusalem?

“Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,
    a place for planting vineyards.(S)
I will pour her stones(T) into the valley
    and lay bare her foundations.(U)
All her idols(V) will be broken to pieces;(W)
    all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;
    I will destroy all her images.(X)
Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,(Y)
    as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.”

Weeping and Mourning

Because of this I will weep(Z) and wail;
    I will go about barefoot(AA) and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
    and moan like an owl.
For Samaria’s plague(AB) is incurable;(AC)
    it has spread to Judah.(AD)
It has reached the very gate(AE) of my people,
    even to Jerusalem itself.
10 Tell it not in Gath[a];
    weep not at all.
In Beth Ophrah[b]
    roll in the dust.
11 Pass by naked(AF) and in shame,
    you who live in Shaphir.[c]
Those who live in Zaanan[d]
    will not come out.
Beth Ezel is in mourning;
    it no longer protects you.
12 Those who live in Maroth[e] writhe in pain,
    waiting for relief,(AG)
because disaster(AH) has come from the Lord,
    even to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 You who live in Lachish,(AI)
    harness fast horses to the chariot.
You are where the sin of Daughter Zion(AJ) began,
    for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14 Therefore you will give parting gifts(AK)
    to Moresheth(AL) Gath.
The town of Akzib[f](AM) will prove deceptive(AN)
    to the kings of Israel.
15 I will bring a conqueror against you
    who live in Mareshah.[g](AO)
The nobles of Israel
    will flee to Adullam.(AP)
16 Shave(AQ) your head in mourning
    for the children in whom you delight;
make yourself as bald as the vulture,
    for they will go from you into exile.(AR)

Human Plans and God’s Plans

Woe to those who plan iniquity,
    to those who plot evil(AS) on their beds!(AT)
At morning’s light they carry it out
    because it is in their power to do it.
They covet fields(AU) and seize them,(AV)
    and houses, and take them.
They defraud(AW) people of their homes,
    they rob them of their inheritance.(AX)

Therefore, the Lord says:

“I am planning disaster(AY) against this people,
    from which you cannot save yourselves.
You will no longer walk proudly,(AZ)
    for it will be a time of calamity.
In that day people will ridicule you;
    they will taunt you with this mournful song:
‘We are utterly ruined;(BA)
    my people’s possession is divided up.(BB)
He takes it from me!
    He assigns our fields to traitors.’”

Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the Lord
    to divide the land(BC) by lot.(BD)

False Prophets

“Do not prophesy,” their prophets say.
    “Do not prophesy about these things;
    disgrace(BE) will not overtake us.(BF)
You descendants of Jacob, should it be said,
    “Does the Lord become[h] impatient?
    Does he do such things?”

“Do not my words do good(BG)
    to the one whose ways are upright?(BH)
Lately my people have risen up
    like an enemy.
You strip off the rich robe
    from those who pass by without a care,
    like men returning from battle.
You drive the women of my people
    from their pleasant homes.(BI)
You take away my blessing
    from their children forever.
10 Get up, go away!
    For this is not your resting place,(BJ)
because it is defiled,(BK)
    it is ruined, beyond all remedy.
11 If a liar and deceiver(BL) comes and says,
    ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’(BM)
    that would be just the prophet for this people!(BN)

Deliverance Promised

12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
    I will surely bring together the remnant(BO) of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
    like a flock in its pasture;
    the place will throng with people.(BP)
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before(BQ) them;
    they will break through the gate(BR) and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
    the Lord at their head.”

Leaders and Prophets Rebuked

Then I said,

“Listen, you leaders(BS) of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel.
Should you not embrace justice,
    you who hate good and love evil;
who tear the skin from my people
    and the flesh from their bones;(BT)
who eat my people’s flesh,(BU)
    strip off their skin
    and break their bones in pieces;(BV)
who chop(BW) them up like meat for the pan,
    like flesh for the pot?(BX)

Then they will cry out to the Lord,
    but he will not answer them.(BY)
At that time he will hide his face(BZ) from them
    because of the evil they have done.(CA)

This is what the Lord says:

“As for the prophets
    who lead my people astray,(CB)
they proclaim ‘peace’(CC)
    if they have something to eat,
but prepare to wage war against anyone
    who refuses to feed them.
Therefore night will come over you, without visions,
    and darkness, without divination.(CD)
The sun will set for the prophets,(CE)
    and the day will go dark for them.(CF)
The seers will be ashamed(CG)
    and the diviners disgraced.(CH)
They will all cover(CI) their faces(CJ)
    because there is no answer from God.(CK)
But as for me, I am filled with power,
    with the Spirit of the Lord,
    and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression,
    to Israel his sin.(CL)

Hear this, you leaders of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel,
who despise justice
    and distort all that is right;(CM)
10 who build(CN) Zion with bloodshed,(CO)
    and Jerusalem with wickedness.(CP)
11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,(CQ)
    her priests teach for a price,(CR)
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.(CS)
Yet they look(CT) for the Lord’s support and say,
    “Is not the Lord among us?
    No disaster will come upon us.”(CU)
12 Therefore because of you,
    Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,(CV)
    the temple(CW) hill a mound overgrown with thickets.(CX)

Footnotes

  1. Micah 1:10 Gath sounds like the Hebrew for tell.
  2. Micah 1:10 Beth Ophrah means house of dust.
  3. Micah 1:11 Shaphir means pleasant.
  4. Micah 1:11 Zaanan sounds like the Hebrew for come out.
  5. Micah 1:12 Maroth sounds like the Hebrew for bitter.
  6. Micah 1:14 Akzib means deception.
  7. Micah 1:15 Mareshah sounds like the Hebrew for conqueror.
  8. Micah 2:7 Or Is the Spirit of the Lord