Micah 5

A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem

[a]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[b] 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[c] the land of Assyria with the sword,
    the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.[d]
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[e]
    when I demolish your cities.
I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
    on the nations that have not obeyed me.”


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

Read More of Micah 5

Micah 6

The Lord’s Case Against Israel

Listen to what the Lord says:

“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;
    let the hills hear what you have to say.

“Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
    listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case against his people;
    he is lodging a charge against Israel.

“My people, what have I done to you?
    How have I burdened you? Answer me.
I brought you up out of Egypt
    and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
    also Aaron and Miriam.
My people, remember
    what Balak king of Moab plotted
    and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
    that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”

With what shall I come before the Lord
    and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—
    and to fear your name is wisdom—
    “Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.[b]
Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,
    and the short ephah,[c] which is accursed?
Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,
    with a bag of false weights?
Your rich people are violent;
    your inhabitants are liars
    and their tongues speak deceitfully.
Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
    to ruin[d] you because of your sins.
You will eat but not be satisfied;
    your stomach will still be empty.[e]
You will store up but save nothing,
    because what you save[f] I will give to the sword.
You will plant but not harvest;
    you will press olives but not use the oil,
    you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.
You have observed the statutes of Omri
    and all the practices of Ahab’s house;
    you have followed their traditions.
Therefore I will give you over to ruin
    and your people to derision;
    you will bear the scorn of the nations.[g]


Footnotes
  1. Micah 6:8 Or prudently
  2. Micah 6:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  3. Micah 6:10 An ephah was a dry measure.
  4. Micah 6:13 Or Therefore, I will make you ill and destroy you; / I will ruin
  5. Micah 6:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  6. Micah 6:14 Or You will press toward birth but not give birth, / and what you bring to birth
  7. Micah 6:16 Septuagint; Hebrew scorn due my people

Read More of Micah 6

Micah 7

Israel’s Misery

What misery is mine!
I am like one who gathers summer fruit
    at the gleaning of the vineyard;
there is no cluster of grapes to eat,
    none of the early figs that I crave.
The faithful have been swept from the land;
    not one upright person remains.
Everyone lies in wait to shed blood;
    they hunt each other with nets.
Both hands are skilled in doing evil;
    the ruler demands gifts,
the judge accepts bribes,
    the powerful dictate what they desire—
    they all conspire together.
The best of them is like a brier,
    the most upright worse than a thorn hedge.
The day God visits you has come,
    the day your watchmen sound the alarm.
    Now is the time of your confusion.
Do not trust a neighbor;
    put no confidence in a friend.
Even with the woman who lies in your embrace
    guard the words of your lips.
For a son dishonors his father,
    a daughter rises up against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
    a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.

Israel Will Rise

Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
    Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
    the Lord will be my light.
Because I have sinned against him,
    I will bear the Lord’s wrath,
until he pleads my case
    and upholds my cause.
He will bring me out into the light;
    I will see his righteousness.
Then my enemy will see it
    and will be covered with shame,
she who said to me,
    “Where is the Lord your God?”
My eyes will see her downfall;
    even now she will be trampled underfoot
    like mire in the streets.

The day for building your walls will come,
    the day for extending your boundaries.
In that day people will come to you
    from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
even from Egypt to the Euphrates
    and from sea to sea
    and from mountain to mountain.
The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants,
    as the result of their deeds.

Prayer and Praise

Shepherd your people with your staff,
    the flock of your inheritance,
which lives by itself in a forest,
    in fertile pasturelands.[a]
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead
    as in days long ago.

“As in the days when you came out of Egypt,
    I will show them my wonders.”

Nations will see and be ashamed,
    deprived of all their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths
    and their ears will become deaf.
They will lick dust like a snake,
    like creatures that crawl on the ground.
They will come trembling out of their dens;
    they will turn in fear to the Lord our God
    and will be afraid of you.
Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
You will be faithful to Jacob,
    and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
    in days long ago.


Footnotes
  1. Micah 7:14 Or in the middle of Carmel

Read More of Micah 7