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 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 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.
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.