Amplified Bible

Micah 1

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.
10 
[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].
11 
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.
12 
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.
13 
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.
14 
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.
15 
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].
16 
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.

  1. Micah 1:5 I.e. an alternate name for Israel. The capital city was Samaria.
  2. 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.
  3. Micah 1:10 Micah uses a play on words as he denounces the cities in vv 10-15.

New International Reader's Version

Micah 1

1A message from the Lord came to Micah. He was from the town of Moresheth. The message came while Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. This is the vision Micah saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. Here is what he said.

Listen to me, all you nations!
    Earth and everyone who lives in it, pay attention!
The Lord and King will be a witness against you.
    The Lord will speak from his holy temple in heaven.

The Lord Will Judge Samaria and Jerusalem

The Lord is about to come down
    from his home in heaven.
    He rules over even the highest places on earth.
The mountains will melt under him
    like wax near a fire.
The valleys will be broken apart
    by water rushing down a slope.
All this will happen because
    Jacob’s people have done what is wrong.
The people of Israel
    have committed many sins.
Who is to blame
    for the wrong things Jacob has done?
    Samaria!
Who is to blame for the high places
    where Judah’s people worship other gods?
    Jerusalem!

So the Lord says,

“I will turn Samaria into a pile of trash.
    It will become a place for planting vineyards.
I will dump its stones down into the valley.
    And I will destroy it
    down to its very foundations.
All the statues of Samaria’s gods
    will be broken to pieces.
All the gifts its people gave to temple prostitutes
    will be burned with fire.
    I will destroy all the statues of its gods.
Samaria collected gifts that were paid to temple prostitutes.
    So the Assyrians will use the gifts
    to pay their own temple prostitutes.”

Micah Weeps Over His People

I will weep and mourn because Samaria will be destroyed.
    I’ll walk around barefoot and naked.
I’ll bark like a wild dog.
    I’ll hoot like an owl.
Samaria’s plague can’t be healed.
    The plague has spread to Judah.
It has spread right up to the gate of my people.
    It has spread to Jerusalem itself.
10 Don’t tell the people of Gath about it.
    Don’t let them see you weep.
    People in Beth Ophrah, roll in the dust.
11 You who live in the town of Shaphir,
    leave naked and in shame.
Those who live in Zaanan
    won’t come out to help you.
The people in Beth Ezel will mourn.
    They won’t be able to help keep you safe any longer.
12 Those who live in Maroth will groan with pain
    as they wait for help.
That’s because the Lord will bring trouble on them.
    It will reach the very gate of Jerusalem.
13 You who live in Lachish,
    get your fast horses ready to pull their chariots.
You trust in military power.
    Lachish was where sin began
    for the people of Zion.
The wrong things Israel did
    were also done by you.
14 People of Judah, you might as well say goodbye
    to Moresheth near Gath.
The town of Akzib won’t give any help
    to the kings of Israel.
15 An enemy will attack
    you who live in Mareshah.
Israel’s nobles will have to run away
    and hide in the cave of Adullam.
16 The children you enjoy so much
    will be taken away as prisoners.
So shave your heads and mourn.
    Make them as bare as the head of a vulture.