A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem

[a]Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek(A) with a rod.

“But you, Bethlehem(B) Ephrathah,(C)
    though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler(D) over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,(E)
    from ancient times.”(F)

Therefore Israel will be abandoned(G)
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock(H)
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness(I)
    will reach to the ends of the earth.

And he will be our peace(J)
    when the Assyrians invade(K) our land
    and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
    even eight commanders,(L)
who will rule[c] the land of Assyria with the sword,
    the land of Nimrod(M) with drawn sword.[d](N)
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
    when they invade our land
    and march across our borders.(O)

The remnant(P) of Jacob will be
    in the midst of many peoples
like dew(Q) from the Lord,
    like showers on the grass,(R)
which do not wait for anyone
    or depend on man.
The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
    in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,(S)
    like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which mauls and mangles(T) as it goes,
    and no one can rescue.(U)
Your hand will be lifted up(V) in triumph over your enemies,
    and all your foes will be destroyed.

10 “In that day,” declares the Lord,

“I will destroy your horses from among you
    and demolish your chariots.(W)
11 I will destroy the cities(X) of your land
    and tear down all your strongholds.(Y)
12 I will destroy your witchcraft
    and you will no longer cast spells.(Z)
13 I will destroy your idols(AA)
    and your sacred stones from among you;(AB)
you will no longer bow down
    to the work of your hands.(AC)
14 I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles[e](AD)
    when I demolish your cities.
15 I will take vengeance(AE) in anger and wrath
    on the nations that have not obeyed me.”

The Lord’s Case Against Israel

Listen to what the Lord says:

“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;(AF)
    let the hills hear what you have to say.

“Hear,(AG) you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;(AH)
    listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case(AI) against his people;
    he is lodging a charge(AJ) against Israel.

“My people, what have I done to you?
    How have I burdened(AK) you?(AL) Answer me.
I brought you up out of Egypt(AM)
    and redeemed you from the land of slavery.(AN)
I sent Moses(AO) to lead you,
    also Aaron(AP) and Miriam.(AQ)
My people, remember
    what Balak(AR) king of Moab plotted
    and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim(AS) to Gilgal,(AT)
    that you may know the righteous acts(AU) of the Lord.”

With what shall I come before(AV) the Lord
    and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?(AW)
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,(AX)
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?(AY)
Shall I offer my firstborn(AZ) for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?(BA)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly(BB) and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[f](BC) with your God.(BD)

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—
    and to fear your name is wisdom—
    “Heed the rod(BE) and the One who appointed it.[g]
10 Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,
    and the short ephah,[h] which is accursed?(BF)
11 Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,(BG)
    with a bag of false weights?(BH)
12 Your rich people are violent;(BI)
    your inhabitants are liars(BJ)
    and their tongues speak deceitfully.(BK)
13 Therefore, I have begun to destroy(BL) you,
    to ruin[i] you because of your sins.
14 You will eat but not be satisfied;(BM)
    your stomach will still be empty.[j]
You will store up but save nothing,(BN)
    because what you save[k] I will give to the sword.
15 You will plant but not harvest;(BO)
    you will press olives but not use the oil,
    you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.(BP)
16 You have observed the statutes of Omri(BQ)
    and all the practices of Ahab’s(BR) house;
    you have followed their traditions.(BS)
Therefore I will give you over to ruin(BT)
    and your people to derision;
    you will bear the scorn(BU) of the nations.[l]


  1. Micah 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1 is numbered 4:14, and 5:2-15 is numbered 5:1-14.
  2. Micah 5:2 Or rulers
  3. Micah 5:6 Or crush
  4. Micah 5:6 Or Nimrod in its gates
  5. Micah 5:14 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
  6. Micah 6:8 Or prudently
  7. Micah 6:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  8. Micah 6:10 An ephah was a dry measure.
  9. Micah 6:13 Or Therefore, I will make you ill and destroy you; / I will ruin
  10. Micah 6:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  11. Micah 6:14 Or You will press toward birth but not give birth, / and what you bring to birth
  12. Micah 6:16 Septuagint; Hebrew scorn due my people

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