1The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah – the vision he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2Hear, you peoples, all of you,
listen, earth and all who live in it,
that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you,
the Lord from his holy temple.
Judgment against Samaria and Jerusalem
3Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling-place;
he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth.
4The mountains melt beneath him
and the valleys split apart,
like wax before the fire,
like water rushing down a slope.
5All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,
because of the sins of the people of Israel.
What is Jacob’s transgression?
Is it not Samaria?
What is Judah’s high place?
Is it not Jerusalem?
6‘Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,
a place for planting vineyards.
I will pour her stones into the valley
and lay bare her foundations.
7All her idols will be broken to pieces;
all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;
I will destroy all her images.
Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,
as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.’
Weeping and mourning
8Because of this I will weep and wail;
I will go about barefoot and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
and moan like an owl.
9For Samaria’s plague is incurable;
it has spread to Judah.
It has reached the very gate of my people,
even to Jerusalem itself.
10Tell it not in Gath1:10 Gath sounds like the Hebrew for tell.;
weep not at all.
In Beth Ophrah1:10 Beth Ophrah means house of dust.
roll in the dust.
11Pass by naked and in shame,
you who live in Shaphir.1:11 Shaphir means pleasant.
Those who live in Zaanan1:11 Zaanan sounds like the Hebrew for come out.
will not come out.
Beth Ezel is in mourning;
it no longer protects you.
12Those who live in Maroth1:12 Maroth sounds like the Hebrew for bitter. writhe in pain,
waiting for relief,
because disaster has come from the Lord,
even to the gate of Jerusalem.
13You who live in Lachish,
harness fast horses to the chariot.
You are where the sin of Daughter Zion began,
for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14Therefore you will give parting gifts
to Moresheth Gath.
The town of Akzib1:14 Akzib means deception. will prove deceptive
to the kings of Israel.
15I will bring a conqueror against you
who live in Mareshah.1:15 Mareshah sounds like the Hebrew for conqueror.
The nobles of Israel
will flee to Adullam.
16Shave your head in mourning
for the children in whom you delight;
make yourself as bald as the vulture,
for they will go from you into exile.
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.
2Listen 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
3The Lord is about to come down
from his home in heaven.
He rules over even the highest places on earth.
4The mountains will melt under him
like wax near a fire.
The valleys will be broken apart
by water rushing down a slope.
5All 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?
Who is to blame for the high places
where Judah’s people worship other gods?
6So 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.
7All 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
8I 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.
9Samaria’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.
10Don’t tell the people of Gath about it.
Don’t let them see you weep.
People in Beth Ophrah, roll in the dust.
11You 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.
12Those 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.
13You 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.
14People 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.
15An enemy will attack
you who live in Mareshah.
Israel’s nobles will have to run away
and hide in the cave of Adullam.
16The 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.