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The Leaders of Israel Are Guilty of Evil

Then I said, “Listen, leaders of Jacob and officers of the nation[a] of Israel!
    You should know what justice is.
But you hate good and love evil.
    You tear the skin off the people
    and tear the flesh off their bones.
You are destroying my people.[b]
    You take their skin off them and break their bones.
    You chop their bones up like meat to put in the pot!
Then you will pray to the Lord,
    but he will not answer you.
No, he will hide his face from you,
    because what you do is evil.”

False Prophets

Some false prophets are telling lies to the Lord’s people. This is what the Lord says about them:

“These prophets are led by their stomachs.
They promise peace for those who give them food,
    but they promise war to those who do not give them food.

“This is why it is like night for you
    and you don’t have visions.
You cannot see what will happen in the future,
    so it is like darkness to you.
The sun has gone down on the prophets.
    They cannot see what will happen in the future,
    so it is like darkness to them.
The seers are ashamed.
    The fortunetellers are embarrassed.
None of them will say anything,
    because God will not speak to them.”

Micah Is an Honest Prophet of God

But the Lord’s Spirit has filled me
    with power, goodness, and strength.
So I can tell Jacob about his crimes,
    and so I can tell Israel about his sins!

The Leaders of Israel Are to Blame

Leaders of Jacob and rulers of Israel, listen to me!
    You hate the right way of living!
If something is straight,
    then you make it crooked!
10 You build Zion by murdering people.[c]
    You build Jerusalem by cheating people!
11 The judges in Jerusalem accept bribes
    to help them decide who wins in court.
The priests in Jerusalem must be paid
    before they will teach the people.
People must pay the prophets
    before they will look into the future.
Then those leaders expect the Lord to help them.
    They say, “The Lord lives here with us,
    so nothing bad will happen to us.”

12 Leaders, because of you, Zion will be destroyed.
    It will become a plowed field.
Jerusalem will become a pile of rocks.
    Temple Mount will be an empty hill[d] overgrown with bushes.

Footnotes

  1. Micah 3:1 nation Literally, “house.” This might mean the royal family of that country.
  2. Micah 3:3 You are destroying my people Literally, “You who eat the flesh of my people.”
  3. Micah 3:10 murdering people Literally, “bloodshed.”
  4. Micah 3:12 empty hill Or “high place,” a term usually used for local shrines (places for worship) where people often worshiped idols.

Leaders and Prophets Rebuked

Then I said,

“Listen, you leaders(A) of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel.
Should you not embrace justice,
    you who hate good and love evil;
who tear the skin from my people
    and the flesh from their bones;(B)
who eat my people’s flesh,(C)
    strip off their skin
    and break their bones in pieces;(D)
who chop(E) them up like meat for the pan,
    like flesh for the pot?(F)

Then they will cry out to the Lord,
    but he will not answer them.(G)
At that time he will hide his face(H) from them
    because of the evil they have done.(I)

This is what the Lord says:

“As for the prophets
    who lead my people astray,(J)
they proclaim ‘peace’(K)
    if they have something to eat,
but prepare to wage war against anyone
    who refuses to feed them.
Therefore night will come over you, without visions,
    and darkness, without divination.(L)
The sun will set for the prophets,(M)
    and the day will go dark for them.(N)
The seers will be ashamed(O)
    and the diviners disgraced.(P)
They will all cover(Q) their faces(R)
    because there is no answer from God.(S)
But as for me, I am filled with power,
    with the Spirit of the Lord,
    and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression,
    to Israel his sin.(T)

Hear this, you leaders of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel,
who despise justice
    and distort all that is right;(U)
10 who build(V) Zion with bloodshed,(W)
    and Jerusalem with wickedness.(X)
11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,(Y)
    her priests teach for a price,(Z)
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.(AA)
Yet they look(AB) for the Lord’s support and say,
    “Is not the Lord among us?
    No disaster will come upon us.”(AC)
12 Therefore because of you,
    Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,(AD)
    the temple(AE) hill a mound overgrown with thickets.(AF)

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