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Samaria and Israel to Be Punished

During the time that Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, the word of the Lord came to Micah. Micah was from Moresheth. He saw these visions about Samaria and Jerusalem.

Listen, all you people!
    Earth and everyone on it,[a] listen!
The Lord God will be a witness against you.
    The Lord will come from his holy temple.
See, the Lord is leaving his place
    to come down and walk on the high places[b] of the earth.
The mountains will melt under him
    like wax in a fire.
The valleys will break apart
    and slide like water rushing down a hill.
This will happen because of Jacob’s sin,
    because of the sins of the nation[c] of Israel.

Samaria, the Cause of Sin

What caused Jacob to sin?
    It was Samaria.
Where is the high place in Judah?
    It is Jerusalem.
So I will change Samaria into a pile of rocks in the field,
    a place ready for planting grapes.
I will push Samaria’s stones down into the valley,
    leaving nothing but the foundations.
All her idols will be broken to pieces.
    And the offerings to her idols will be burned.
I will destroy all her statues of false gods,
    because she got them as pay for being a prostitute.
So those things will be taken away
    to be used again for paying prostitutes.

Micah’s Great Sadness

I will be very sad about what will happen.
    I will go without sandals and clothes.
I will cry like a dog.[d]
    I will mourn like a bird.[e]
Samaria’s[f] wound cannot be healed.
    Her disease has spread to Judah.
It has reached the city gate of my people;
    it has spread all the way to Jerusalem.
10 Don’t tell it in Gath.[g]
    Don’t cry in Acco.[h]
Roll yourself in the dust
    at Beth Ophrah.[i]
11 You people living in Shaphir,[j]
    pass on your way, naked and ashamed.
The people living in Zaanan[k]
    will not come out.
The people in Beth Ezel[l] will cry
    and take their support from you.
12 The people living in Maroth[m]
    wait for something good to happen,
even though trouble has come down from the Lord
    and has reached the city gate of Jerusalem.
13 You people living in Lachish,[n]
    get the horses ready for your chariots.
You are guilty of the same sins Israel[o] committed,
    and you brought those sins to Jerusalem.[p]
14 So you must give goodbye gifts
    to Moresheth[q] in Gath.
The houses in Aczib[r] will trick
    the kings of Israel.
15 You people who live in Mareshah,[s]
    I will bring someone against you who will take the things you own.
The Glory of Israel
    will come into Adullam.[t]
16 So cut off your hair, make yourself bald,[u]
    because you will cry for the children you love.
Make yourself bald like an eagle[v] and show your sadness,
    because your children will be taken away from you.

Footnotes

  1. Micah 1:2 everyone on it Literally, “its fullness.”
  2. Micah 1:3 high places Here, this might mean simply “hills,” or it might mean places of worship (see “high place” in the Word List).
  3. Micah 1:5 nation Literally, “house.” This might mean the royal family of that country.
  4. Micah 1:8 dog Literally, “jackal,” a kind of wild dog.
  5. Micah 1:8 bird Literally, “ostrich,” a large bird.
  6. Micah 1:9 Samaria The capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel.
  7. Micah 1:10 Gath This is a wordplay. This name means “tell.”
  8. Micah 1:10 Acco This name means “cry.”
  9. Micah 1:10 Beth Ophrah This name means “house of dust.”
  10. Micah 1:11 Shaphir This name means “beautiful.”
  11. Micah 1:11 Zaanan This name means “come out.”
  12. Micah 1:11 Beth Ezel This name means “house of support.”
  13. Micah 1:12 Maroth This name means “bitter,” “angry,” or “sad.”
  14. Micah 1:13 Lachish This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “horse.”
  15. Micah 1:13 Israel Here, probably the northern kingdom of Israel centered in Samaria.
  16. Micah 1:13 Jerusalem Literally, “Daughter Zion.” See “Zion” in the Word List.
  17. Micah 1:14 Moresheth Micah’s hometown.
  18. Micah 1:14 Aczib This name means “lie” or “trick.”
  19. Micah 1:15 Mareshah The name means “a person who takes things.”
  20. Micah 1:15 Adullam A cave that David hid in when he ran away from Saul. See 1 Sam. 22:1.
  21. Micah 1:16 cut … bald This showed that a person made a special agreement with God or that a person was very sad.
  22. Micah 1:16 eagle Or “vulture.” See “vulture” in the Word List.

The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth(A) during the reigns of Jotham,(B) Ahaz(C) and Hezekiah,(D) kings of Judah(E)—the vision(F) he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear,(G) you peoples, all of you,(H)
    listen, earth(I) and all who live in it,
that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness(J) against you,
    the Lord from his holy temple.(K)

Judgment Against Samaria and Jerusalem

Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling(L) place;
    he comes down(M) and treads on the heights of the earth.(N)
The mountains melt(O) beneath him(P)
    and the valleys split apart,(Q)
like wax before the fire,
    like water rushing down a slope.
All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,
    because of the sins of the people of Israel.
What is Jacob’s transgression?
    Is it not Samaria?(R)
What is Judah’s high place?
    Is it not Jerusalem?

“Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,
    a place for planting vineyards.(S)
I will pour her stones(T) into the valley
    and lay bare her foundations.(U)
All her idols(V) will be broken to pieces;(W)
    all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;
    I will destroy all her images.(X)
Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,(Y)
    as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.”

Weeping and Mourning

Because of this I will weep(Z) and wail;
    I will go about barefoot(AA) and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
    and moan like an owl.
For Samaria’s plague(AB) is incurable;(AC)
    it has spread to Judah.(AD)
It has reached the very gate(AE) of my people,
    even to Jerusalem itself.
10 Tell it not in Gath[a];
    weep not at all.
In Beth Ophrah[b]
    roll in the dust.
11 Pass by naked(AF) and in shame,
    you who live in Shaphir.[c]
Those who live in Zaanan[d]
    will not come out.
Beth Ezel is in mourning;
    it no longer protects you.
12 Those who live in Maroth[e] writhe in pain,
    waiting for relief,(AG)
because disaster(AH) has come from the Lord,
    even to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 You who live in Lachish,(AI)
    harness fast horses to the chariot.
You are where the sin of Daughter Zion(AJ) began,
    for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14 Therefore you will give parting gifts(AK)
    to Moresheth(AL) Gath.
The town of Akzib[f](AM) will prove deceptive(AN)
    to the kings of Israel.
15 I will bring a conqueror against you
    who live in Mareshah.[g](AO)
The nobles of Israel
    will flee to Adullam.(AP)
16 Shave(AQ) your head in mourning
    for the children in whom you delight;
make yourself as bald as the vulture,
    for they will go from you into exile.(AR)

Footnotes

  1. Micah 1:10 Gath sounds like the Hebrew for tell.
  2. Micah 1:10 Beth Ophrah means house of dust.
  3. Micah 1:11 Shaphir means pleasant.
  4. Micah 1:11 Zaanan sounds like the Hebrew for come out.
  5. Micah 1:12 Maroth sounds like the Hebrew for bitter.
  6. Micah 1:14 Akzib means deception.
  7. Micah 1:15 Mareshah sounds like the Hebrew for conqueror.

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