Micah 3-5

Leaders and Prophets Rebuked

Then I said,

“Listen, you leaders 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;
who eat my people’s flesh,
    strip off their skin
    and break their bones in pieces;
who chop them up like meat for the pan,
    like flesh for the pot?”

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

This is what the Lord says:

“As for the prophets
    who lead my people astray,
they proclaim ‘peace’
    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.
The sun will set for the prophets,
    and the day will go dark for them.
The seers will be ashamed
    and the diviners disgraced.
They will all cover their faces
    because there is no answer from God.”
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.

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

The Mountain of the Lord

In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and peoples will stream to it.

Many nations will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between many peoples
    and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.
Everyone will sit under their own vine
    and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
    for the Lord Almighty has spoken.
All the nations may walk
    in the name of their gods,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord
    our God for ever and ever.

The Lord’s Plan

“In that day,” declares the Lord,

“I will gather the lame;
    I will assemble the exiles
    and those I have brought to grief.
I will make the lame my remnant,
    those driven away a strong nation.
The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion
    from that day and forever.
As for you, watchtower of the flock,
    stronghold[a] of Daughter Zion,
the former dominion will be restored to you;
    kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.”

Why do you now cry aloud—
    have you no king[b]?
Has your ruler[c] perished,
    that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?
Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion,
    like a woman in labor,
for now you must leave the city
    to camp in the open field.
You will go to Babylon;
    there you will be rescued.
There the Lord will redeem you
    out of the hand of your enemies.

But now many nations
    are gathered against you.
They say, “Let her be defiled,
    let our eyes gloat over Zion!”
But they do not know
    the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
    that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
“Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion,
    for I will give you horns of iron;
I will give you hooves of bronze,
    and you will break to pieces many nations.”
You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the Lord,
    their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.

A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem

[d]Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek with a rod.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans[e] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.

And he will be our peace
    when the Assyrians invade our land
    and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
    even eight commanders,
who will rule[f] the land of Assyria with the sword,
    the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.[g]
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
    when they invade our land
    and march across our borders.

The remnant of Jacob will be
    in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
    like showers on the grass,
which do not wait for anyone
    or depend on man.
The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
    in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
    like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which mauls and mangles as it goes,
    and no one can rescue.
Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
    and all your foes will be destroyed.

“In that day,” declares the Lord,

“I will destroy your horses from among you
    and demolish your chariots.
I will destroy the cities of your land
    and tear down all your strongholds.
I will destroy your witchcraft
    and you will no longer cast spells.
I will destroy your idols
    and your sacred stones from among you;
you will no longer bow down
    to the work of your hands.
I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles[h]
    when I demolish your cities.
I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
    on the nations that have not obeyed me.”


Footnotes
  1. Micah 4:8 Or hill
  2. Micah 4:9 Or King
  3. Micah 4:9 Or Ruler
  4. Micah 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1 is numbered 4:14, and 5:2-15 is numbered 5:1-14.
  5. Micah 5:2 Or rulers
  6. Micah 5:6 Or crush
  7. Micah 5:6 Or Nimrod in its gates
  8. Micah 5:14 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah

Read More of Micah 3