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Micah 3 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Leaders and prophets rebuked

Then I said,

‘Listen, you leaders 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;
who eat my people’s flesh,
    strip off their skin
    and break their bones in pieces;
who chop them up like meat for the pan,
    like flesh for the pot.’

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

This is what the Lord says:

‘As for the prophets
    who lead my people astray,
they proclaim “peace”
    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.
The sun will set for the prophets,
    and the day will go dark for them.
The seers will be ashamed
    and the diviners disgraced.
They will all cover their faces
    because there is no answer from God.’
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.

Hear this, you leaders of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel,
who despise justice
    and distort all that is right;
10 who build Zion with bloodshed,
    and Jerusalem with wickedness.
11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,
    her priests teach for a price,
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
    ‘Is not the Lord among us?
    No disaster will come upon us.’
12 Therefore because of you,
    Zion will be ploughed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
    the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.

New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

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Micah 3 New English Translation (NET Bible)

God Will Judge Judah’s Sinful Leaders

I said,
“Listen, you leaders[a] of Jacob,
you rulers of the nation[b] of Israel!
You ought to know what is just,[c]
yet you[d] hate what is good[e]
and love what is evil.[f]
You flay my people’s skin[g]
and rip the flesh from their bones.[h]
You[i] devour my people’s flesh,
strip off their skin,
and crush their bones.
You chop them up like flesh in a pot[j]
like meat in a kettle.
Someday these sinful leaders[k] will cry to the Lord for help,
but he will not answer them.
He will hide his face from them at that time,
because they have done such wicked deeds.”

This is what the Lord has said about the prophets who mislead my people,[l]

“If someone gives them enough to eat,
they offer an oracle of peace.[m]
But if someone does not give them food,
they are ready to declare war on him.[n]
Therefore night will fall, and you will receive no visions;[o]
it will grow dark, and you will no longer be able to read the omens.[p]
The sun will set on these prophets,
and the daylight will turn to darkness over their heads.[q]
The prophets[r] will be ashamed;
the omen readers will be humiliated.
All of them will cover their mouths,[s]
for they will receive no divine oracles.”[t]
But I[u] am full of the courage that the Lord’s Spirit gives

and have a strong commitment to justice.[v]
This enables me to confront Jacob with its rebellion
and Israel with its sin.[w]
Listen to this, you leaders of the family[x] of Jacob,
you rulers of the nation[y] of Israel!
You[z] hate justice
and pervert all that is right.
10 You[aa] build Zion through bloody crimes,[ab]
Jerusalem through unjust violence.
11 Her[ac] leaders take bribes when they decide legal cases,[ad]
her priests proclaim rulings for profit,
and her prophets read omens for pay.
Yet they claim to trust[ae] the Lord and say,
“The Lord is among us.[af]
Disaster will not overtake[ag] us!”
12 Therefore, because of you,[ah] Zion will be plowed up like[ai] a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins,
and the Temple Mount[aj] will become a hill overgrown with brush![ak]

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 3:1 tn Heb “heads.”
  2. Micah 3:1 tn Heb “house.”
  3. Micah 3:1 tn Heb “Should you not know justice?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course you should!”
  4. Micah 3:2 tn Heb “the ones who.”
  5. Micah 3:2 tn Or “good.”
  6. Micah 3:2 tn Or “evil.”
  7. Micah 3:2 tn Heb “their skin from upon them.” The referent of the pronoun (“my people,” referring to Jacob and/or the house of Israel, with the Lord as the speaker) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  8. Micah 3:2 tn Heb “and their flesh from their bones.”sn Micah compares the social injustice perpetrated by the house of Jacob/Israel to cannibalism, because it threatens the very lives of the oppressed.
  9. Micah 3:3 tn Heb “who.”
  10. Micah 3:3 tc The MT reads “and they chop up as in a pot.” The translation assumes an emendation of כַּאֲשֶׁר (ka’asher, “as”) to כִּשְׁאֵר (kishʾer, “like flesh”).
  11. Micah 3:4 tn Heb “they,” referring to the indicted leaders in vv. 1-3.
  12. Micah 3:5 tn Heb “concerning the prophets, those who mislead my people.” Some prefer to begin the quotation after “the Lord has said” (cf. NIV). But when the preposition עַל (ʿal, “about”) occurs with this introductory formula it regularly indicates who is being spoken about. (When a person is not the object of the preposition, it may begin the quote, meaning “because.”) Including the first person pronominal suffix (in “my people”) after a third person introduction may sound awkward, but also occurs in Jer 14:15; 23:2 (and perhaps Jer 12:14, a text critical question). Hillers prefers to add הוֹי (hoy, “woe, ah”) at the beginning of the quotation, after the graphically similar יְהוָה (yehvah; see D. R. Hillers, Micah [Hermeneia], 44). The phrase הוֹי עַל (hoy ʿal, “woe upon”) occurs in Jer 50:27 and Ezek 13:3 (with “the prophets” following the preposition in the latter instance).
  13. Micah 3:5 tn Heb “those who bite with their teeth and cry out, ‘peace.’” The phrase “bite with the teeth” is taken here as idiomatic for eating. Apparently these prophets were driven by mercenary motives. If they were paid well, they gave positive oracles to their clients, but if someone could not afford to pay them, they were hostile and delivered oracles of doom.
  14. Micah 3:5 tn Heb “but [as for the one] who does not place [food] in their mouths, they prepare for war against him.”
  15. Micah 3:6 tn Heb “it will be night for you without a vision.”sn The coming of night (and darkness in the following line) symbolizes the cessation of revelation.
  16. Micah 3:6 tn Heb “it will be dark for you without divination.”sn The reading of omens (Heb “divination”) was forbidden in the law (Deut 18:10), so this probably reflects the prophets’ view of how they received divine revelation.
  17. Micah 3:6 tn Heb “and the day will be dark over them.”
  18. Micah 3:7 tn Or “seers.”
  19. Micah 3:7 tn Or “the mustache,” or perhaps “the beard.” Cf. KJV, NAB, NRSV “cover their lips.”
  20. Micah 3:7 tn Heb “no divine response” or “no answer from God.”
  21. Micah 3:8 sn The prophet Micah speaks here and contrasts himself with the mercenaries just denounced by the Lord in the preceding verses.
  22. Micah 3:8 tn Heb “am full of power, the Spirit of the Lord, and justice and strength.” The appositional phrase “the Spirit of the Lord” explains the source of the prophet’s power. The phrase “justice and strength” is understood here as a hendiadys, referring to the prophet’s strong sense of justice.
  23. Micah 3:8 tn Heb “to declare to Jacob his rebellion and to Israel his sin.” The words “this enables me” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
  24. Micah 3:9 tn Heb “house.”
  25. Micah 3:9 tn Heb “house.”
  26. Micah 3:9 tn Heb “who.” A new sentence was begun here in the translation for stylistic reasons (also at the beginning of v. 10).
  27. Micah 3:10 tn Heb “who.”
  28. Micah 3:10 tn Heb “bloodshed” (so NAB, NASB, NIV); NLT “murder.”
  29. Micah 3:11 sn The pronoun Her refers to Jerusalem (note the previous line).
  30. Micah 3:11 tn Heb “judge for a bribe.”
  31. Micah 3:11 tn Heb “they lean upon” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV); NAB “rely on.”
  32. Micah 3:11 tn Heb “Is not the Lord in our midst?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course he is!”
  33. Micah 3:11 tn Or “come upon” (so many English versions); NCV “happen to us”; CEV “come to us.”
  34. Micah 3:12 tn The plural pronoun refers to the leaders, priests, and prophets mentioned in the preceding verse.
  35. Micah 3:12 tn Or “into” (an adverbial accusative of result).
  36. Micah 3:12 tn Heb “the mountain of the house” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV).
  37. Micah 3:12 tn Heb “a high place of overgrowth.”
New English Translation (NET)

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