Destruction in Israel and Judah
1The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw [through divine revelation] concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
Hear, O peoples, all of you;
Listen closely, O earth and all that is in it,
And let the Lord God be witness [giving a testimony of the judgment] against you,
The Lord from His holy temple [in the heavens].
For behold, the Lord is coming down from His place
He shall come down and tread [in judgment] on the high places of the earth.
The mountains shall melt under Him
And the valleys shall be split
Like wax before the fire,
Like waters poured down a steep place.
All this is because of the rebellion and apostasy of [a]Jacob
And for the sins of the house of Israel (the Northern Kingdom).
What is the rebellion and apostasy of Jacob?
Is it not [the abandonment of God in order to worship the idols of] Samaria?
What are the high places [of idolatry] in Judah (the Southern Kingdom)?
Are they not Jerusalem [the capital and center of corruption]?
Therefore I [the Lord] shall make Samaria a [b]heap of ruins [and of stones and arable land] in the open country,
A place for planting vineyards;
And I will pour her stones down into the ravine
And lay bare her foundations.
All her idols shall be broken in pieces,
All her earnings [from her idolatry] shall be burned with fire,
And all her images I shall make desolate;
For from the earnings of a prostitute she collected them,
And to the earnings of a prostitute they shall return.
Because of this I [Micah] must lament (mourn over with expressions of grief) and wail,
I must go barefoot and naked [without outer garments as if robbed];
I must wail like the jackals
And lament [with a loud, mournful cry] like the ostriches.
For Samaria’s wound is incurable,
For it has come to Judah;
The enemy has reached the gate of my people,
Even to Jerusalem.
[c]Announce it not in Gath [in Philistia],
Weep not at all [and in this way betray your grief to Gentiles];
In Beth-le-aphrah (House of Dust) roll in the dust [among your own people].
Go on your way [into exile—stripped of beauty, disarmed], inhabitants of Shaphir (Beautiful), in shameful nakedness.
The inhabitant of Zaanan (Go Out) does not go out [of the house];
The wailing of Beth-ezel (House of Removal) will take away from you its support.
For the inhabitant of Maroth (Bitterness)
Writhes in pain [at its losses] and waits anxiously for good,
Because a catastrophe has come down from the Lord
To the gate of Jerusalem.
Harness the chariot to the team of horses [to escape the invasion],
O inhabitant of Lachish—
She was the beginning of sin
To the Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem)—
Because in you were found
The rebellious acts of Israel.
Therefore you will give parting gifts
On behalf of Moresheth-gath (Micah’s home);
The houses of Achzib (Place of Deceit) will become a deception
To the kings of Israel.
Moreover, I will bring on you
The one who takes possession,
O inhabitant of Mareshah (Prominent Place).
The glory (nobility) of Israel will enter Adullam [seeking refuge].
Make yourself bald [in mourning]—shave off your hair
For the children of your delight;
Remain as bald as the eagle,
For your children will be taken from you into exile.
Notas al pie
- Micah 1:5 I.e. an alternate name for Israel. The capital city was Samaria.
- Micah 1:6 Omri king of Israel (the Northern Kingdom—the ten tribes) purchased the hill on which he built Samaria, his capital city, for two talents of silver. It served both as a center for the worship of idols and as the capital of Israel until it was captured by Sargon king of Assyria in 721 b.c. This victory marked the end of the kingdom of the ten tribes.
- Micah 1:10 Micah uses a play on words as he denounces the cities in vv 10-15.
1The Lord gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem.
Grief over Samaria and Jerusalem
2 Attention! Let all the people of the world listen!
Let the earth and everything in it hear.
The Sovereign Lord is making accusations against you;
the Lord speaks from his holy Temple.
3 Look! The Lord is coming!
He leaves his throne in heaven
and tramples the heights of the earth.
4 The mountains melt beneath his feet
and flow into the valleys
like wax in a fire,
like water pouring down a hill.
5 And why is this happening?
Because of the rebellion of Israel[a]—
yes, the sins of the whole nation.
Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion?
Samaria, its capital city!
Where is the center of idolatry in Judah?
In Jerusalem, its capital!
6 “So I, the Lord, will make the city of Samaria
a heap of ruins.
Her streets will be plowed up
for planting vineyards.
I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below,
exposing her foundations.
7 All her carved images will be smashed.
All her sacred treasures will be burned.
These things were bought with the money
earned by her prostitution,
and they will now be carried away
to pay prostitutes elsewhere.”
8 Therefore, I will mourn and lament.
I will walk around barefoot and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
and moan like an owl.
9 For my people’s wound
is too deep to heal.
It has reached into Judah,
even to the gates of Jerusalem.
10 Don’t tell our enemies in Gath[b];
don’t weep at all.
You people in Beth-leaphrah,[c]
roll in the dust to show your despair.
11 You people in Shaphir,[d]
go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed.
The people of Zaanan[e]
dare not come outside their walls.
The people of Beth-ezel[f] mourn,
for their house has no support.
12 The people of Maroth[g] anxiously wait for relief,
but only bitterness awaits them
as the Lord’s judgment reaches
even to the gates of Jerusalem.
13 Harness your chariot horses and flee,
you people of Lachish.[h]
You were the first city in Judah
to follow Israel in her rebellion,
and you led Jerusalem[i] into sin.
14 Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath[j];
there is no hope of saving it.
The town of Aczib[k]
has deceived the kings of Israel.
15 O people of Mareshah,[l]
I will bring a conqueror to capture your town.
And the leaders[m] of Israel
will go to Adullam.
16 Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow,
for the children you love will be snatched away.
Make yourselves as bald as a vulture,
for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.
Notas al pie
- 1:5 Hebrew Jacob; also in 1:5b. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
- 1:10a Gath sounds like the Hebrew term for “tell.”
- 1:10b Beth-leaphrah means “house of dust.”
- 1:11a Shaphir means “pleasant.”
- 1:11b Zaanan sounds like the Hebrew term for “come out.”
- 1:11c Beth-ezel means “adjoining house.”
- 1:12 Maroth sounds like the Hebrew term for “bitter.”
- 1:13a Lachish sounds like the Hebrew term for “team of horses.”
- 1:13b Hebrew the daughter of Zion.
- 1:14a Moresheth sounds like the Hebrew term for “gift” or “dowry.”
- 1:14b Aczib means “deception.”
- 1:15a Mareshah sounds like the Hebrew term for “conqueror.”
- 1:15b Hebrew the glory.