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The Leaders of Israel Are Guilty of Evil

Then I said,

“Listen, leaders of the people of Jacob.
    Listen, you rulers of the nation of Israel.
You should know how to decide cases fairly.
    But you hate good and love evil.
You skin my people alive.
    You tear the flesh off their bones.
You are destroying my people.
    You skin them and break their bones.
You chop them up in pieces
    like meat to put in the pot.
Then you will pray to the Lord.
    But he won’t answer you.
He will hide his face from you,
    because you have done evil.”

The Lord says this about the prophets who teach his people the wrong way of living:

“If someone gives these prophets food to eat,
    they shout, ‘Peace!’
But if he doesn’t give them food,
    they prepare for war against him.
So it will become like night to the prophets.
    They won’t have any visions from the Lord.
It will become dark for them.
    They won’t be able to tell what will happen in the future.
The sun is about to set for the prophets.
    Their days will become dark.
The seers will be ashamed.
    The people who see the future will be embarrassed.
Yes, all of them will cover their mouths.
    This is because there will be no answer from God.”

Micah Is an Honest Prophet of God

But the Lord’s Spirit has filled me
    with power and strength to preach fairness.
I will tell the people of Jacob how they have turned against God.
    I will tell the people of Israel how they have done wrong.
Leaders of Jacob and rulers of Israel,
    listen to me.
You hate fairness.
    You destroy what is right.
10 You build Jerusalem by murdering people.
    You build it with the sins you do.
11 The judges in Jerusalem take money
    to decide who wins in court.
The priests in Jerusalem only teach for pay.
    The prophets only look into the future when they get paid.
But yet those leaders say,
    “The Lord is with us.
    Nothing bad will happen to us.”
12 Because of you,
    Jerusalem will be plowed like a field.
Jerusalem will become a pile of rocks.
    The hill on which the Temple stands will be covered with bushes.

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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