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Micah 6 The Voice (VOICE)

This is the fourth time in Micah’s prophecy that the city leaders and general population of Judah are called to “listen up” (Micah 1:2; 3:1; 3:9; 6:1). Each time the prophet has something very important to say to those in Judah.

Listen to what the Eternal is saying.
    People of Israel, stand up and plead your case to the mountains;
Let the hills hear what you have to say.
Listen, jury of mountains, to the complaint of the Eternal One;
    listen, you enduring foundations of the earth,
For He brings a charge against His people and argues against Israel.

Eternal One: My people, what have I done against you?
        How have I made you tired of Me? Answer Me!
    I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, paid your ransom,
        freed you from that place of slavery, and sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you.[a]
    O My people, remember how King Balak of Moab plotted against you,
        how Balaam (Beor’s son) answered him, refusing to curse you?[b]
    Everything happened between Shittim and Gilgal
        as you took possession of the lands I promised you,
    So that you might remember all the saving acts of the Eternal.

Israel: What should I bring into the presence of the Eternal One
        to pay homage to the God Most High?
    Should I come into His presence with burnt offerings,
        with year-old calves to sacrifice?
    Would the Eternal be pleased by thousands of sacrificial rams,
        by ten thousand swollen rivers of sweet olive oil?
    Should I offer my oldest son for my wrongdoing,
        the child of my body to cover the sins of my life?

No. He has told you, mortals, what is good in His sight.
    What else does the Eternal ask of you
But to live justly and to love kindness
    and to walk with your True God in all humility?
The voice of the Eternal cries out to the city of Jerusalem,
    and the wise fear Your name.

Many Christians wonder what God wants from faithful followers. Does He want them to sacrifice everything for Him? Does He want them to keep strict codes of behavior—refuse to do this or always do that? People in the past and people today have all sorts of opinions about how the faithful should act; and in several other places in the Bible, all of the so-called laws, rules, regulations, and suggestions are boiled down to their simplest form: in order to make God happy, do what is right, love kindness, and live with compassion toward others; walk in right relation to the God of Abraham, and do so humbly. By doing these things, Micah says, God’s followers will please Him and live happy lives. In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus similarly says people are to worship only one God; to love that God with heart, mind, body, and soul; and to love their neighbors as themselves.

Eternal One: Listen, all of you gathered there, (tribe and people):[c]
10         Can I overlook the treasures of wickedness
    Stored away in the house of the wicked,
        the dishonest scales and measures that I hate?
11     Can I overlook the one who uses crooked scales
        and bags of dishonest weights to cheat the innocent?
12     Her rich are filled with violence, her citizens speak lies,
        and the words of their mouths can never be trusted.
13     That is why I will strike you down with disease,[d]
        destroy you because of your wrongdoing.
14     You will eat, but you will never be satisfied;[e]
        you will always feel the gnawing pangs of hunger.
    You will store away but never keep safe;
        what you have put aside I will destroy with the sword.
15     You will sow grain but never reap it;
        you will plant olives but never anoint yourself with their sweet oil;
    You will harvest vineyards for juice but never drink the wine.
16     For you have followed the ways of Omri
        and all the works of the kingdom of Ahab,
    And you have followed their paths of wickedness.
        That is why I can justifiably decimate you.
    Your citizens will be the subject of satire and mockery,
        and you will bear the scorn My people deserve.[f]

Footnotes:

  1. 6:4 Exodus 13–15
  2. 6:5 Numbers 22:5–6
  3. 6:9 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  4. 6:13 Other ancient manuscripts read, “I have begun to strike you down.”
  5. 6:14 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  6. 6:16 Greek manuscripts read, “the scorn of the nations.”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Micah 6 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord’s Case Against Israel

Listen to what the Lord says:

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

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

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

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

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

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

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 6:8 Or prudently
  2. Micah 6:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  3. Micah 6:10 An ephah was a dry measure.
  4. Micah 6:13 Or Therefore, I will make you ill and destroy you; / I will ruin
  5. Micah 6:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  6. Micah 6:14 Or You will press toward birth but not give birth, / and what you bring to birth
  7. Micah 6:16 Septuagint; Hebrew scorn due my people
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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