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The Lord’s Indictment against Israel

Please hear what the Lord says:
    “Get up and make your case before the mountains,
        and let the hills listen to your voice.
Listen, you mountains, to the Lord’s argument!
    Listen, you[a] strong foundations of the earth,
because the Lord has a dispute with his people,
    and he will set out his case before Israel.

“My people, what have I done to you,
    and how have I offended you?
        Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
    and ransomed you from the house of slavery,
        sending Moses, Aaron, and Miriam into your presence.

“My people, recall how king Balak of Moab deliberated,
    and how Beor’s son Balaam counseled him from Shittim to Gilgal,
        so that you may know the righteousness of the Lord.”

The Nature of True Righteousness

How am I to present myself in the Lord’s presence
    and bow in the presence of the High God?
Should I present myself with burnt offerings,
    with year-old calves?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    or with endless[b] rivers of oil?
Am I to give my firstborn to pay for[c] my rebellion,
    the fruit of my body in exchange for[d] my soul?
He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good
    and what the Lord is requiring from you—
to act with justice,
    to treasure the Lord’s[e] gracious love,
        and to walk humbly in the company of your God.

A Call to Honest Business Practices

The voice of the Lord cries out to the city—
    wisdom fears your name:
        “Heed the rod, and the one who prepared it!
10 Are there still wicked treasures in the house of the wicked,
    along with deceitful and abominable measuring standards?[f]
11 Will I tolerate those who maintain deceptive standards[g]
    and who use deceitful weights in their business?[h]
12 Her rich people are filled with violence,
    and her inhabitants tell lies—
        their tongues speak deceitfully!

13 “Therefore I will make you ill when I attack you;
    I will bring you to ruin because of your offenses.
14 You’ll eat,
    but you won’t have enough;
        and hunger will be common among you.
You’ll horde things,
    but you won’t save them,
and what you preserve
    I’ll give over to the sword.
15 You’ll plant,
    but you won’t reap.
You’ll crush the olive harvest,
    but you’ll have no oil to anoint yourself.
You’ll tread out the grapes,
    but you’ll never drink wine.
16 You keep Omri’s[i] statutes
    and observe the customs of the house of Ahab.
Because you live according to their advice,
    I’ll make you desolate
        and turn your[j] inhabitants into an object of scorn.
Therefore you will bear the shame of my people.”

Footnotes

  1. Micah 6:2 The Heb. lacks Listen, you
  2. Micah 6:7 Lit. with ten thousand
  3. Micah 6:7 The Heb. lacks to pay for
  4. Micah 6:7 The Heb. lacks in exchange for
  5. Micah 6:8 The Heb. lacks the Lord’s
  6. Micah 6:10 Lit. with short, detestable ephahs
  7. Micah 6:11 Lit. maintain evil balances
  8. Micah 6:11 The Heb. lacks in their business
  9. Micah 6:16 I.e. King Omri of Israel, father of Ahab (cf. 2Kings 8:26; 2Chr 22:2)
  10. Micah 6:16 Lit. its

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