What God Requires of Mankind

(A)With what shall I come to the Lord
And bow myself before the God on high?
Shall I come to Him with (B)burnt offerings,
With yearling calves?
Does the Lord take pleasure in (C)thousands of rams,
In ten thousand rivers of [a]oil?
Shall I give Him my (D)firstborn for my wrongdoings,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has (E)told you, mortal one, what is good;
And (F)what does the Lord require of you
But to (G)do justice, to (H)love [b]kindness,
And to walk [c](I)humbly with your God?

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Footnotes

  1. Micah 6:7 I.e., olive oil
  2. Micah 6:8 Or loyalty
  3. Micah 6:8 Or circumspectly

With what shall I come before(A) the Lord
    and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?(B)
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,(C)
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?(D)
Shall I offer my firstborn(E) for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?(F)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly(G) and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a](H) with your God.(I)

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Footnotes

  1. Micah 6:8 Or prudently

6-7 How can I stand up before God
    and show proper respect to the high God?
Should I bring an armload of offerings
    topped off with yearling calves?
Would God be impressed with thousands of rams,
    with buckets and barrels of olive oil?
Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child,
    my precious baby, to cancel my sin?

* * *

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
    what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
    be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
    take God seriously.

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