Micah


Micah

 

     1[1-4] The word of Yahweh that came to Micah the Morashtite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, rulers of Judah, in a vision about Samaria and Jerusalem. “Listen, you peoples, all of you. Listen, O earth, and all that’s in it and let Yahweh God be witness against you, God, who’s in your Place of Worship. See, I, Yahweh come out of My place to come down and walk on the high places of the earth. The mountains melt under Me, and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like waters that flow down a steep place.”

[5-7] “All this is for the disobedience of Jacob, and for the sins of the people of Israel. How has Jacob disobeyed? Isn’t it in Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Aren’t they in Jerusalem? So I’ll make Samaria like an ash heap in the field, like places for planting vineyards; and I’ll pour down its stones into the valley, and I’ll uncover its foundations. All your false gods will be beaten to pieces, and all your gifts to their place of worship will be burned with fire, and everything you worship falsely I’ll destroy; from the cost of a prostitute they were taken, and to the cost of a prostitute they’ll go back.”

[8-12] For this I’ll mourn and cry; I’ll go stripped and naked; I’ll mourn like the dragons, and the wild birds.  Your punishment won’t end until it’s come all the way to Judah. It reaches to the border of My people, all the way to Jerusalem. Don’t tell about it in Gath. Don’t cry at all. At Beth Ophrah I’ve rolled myself in the dust. Pass on, people of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame. The people of Zaanan won’t come out. The crying of Beth Ezel will take from you their protection. For the people of Maroth wait anxiously for good, because evil has come down from Yahweh to the border of Jerusalem.

[13-16] Harness the vehicles of war to the fast horse, people of Lachish, who brought sin to the people of Zion; For the guilt of the sins of Israel is yours. So I’ll give a parting gift to Moresheth Gath. The peoples of Achzib will be false to the rulers of Israel. Yet, I’ll bring to you, people of Mareshah, One who brings justice to the people, who will be well known in Israel. Shave your leaders heads, and destroy your hair for the people you love. Make your leader bald like the eagle; for they’ve been taken from you!

 

2[1-5] Sorrow comes to those who think of sin and work out evil plans on their beds! When the morning comes, they do it, because it’s in their power to do it. They want others’ fields and houses, and take them away and they oppress a person and their family, even to the heirs. So Yahweh says this, “See, I am planning a disaster against these people, from which you’ll not be able to get out of, nor will you walk proudly; for it’s a time of great trouble. In that day people will talk about you, and mourn sadly, saying, ‘We’re totally ruined! My people’s land is divided up. Without a doubt, You take it from us and turn away from us giving our fields to others!’” So you’ll have no one who divides the land by judgment in the meeting of Yahweh.

[6-10] “Don’t preach!” They say. “Don’t preach about these things. We won’t come to shame.” You who are called by the name of Jacob, is the Spirit of Yahweh quickly angry? Are these God’s doings? Don’t My words do good to those who walk rightly?” But lately my people have become My enemy. You strip the robe and clothing from those who feel safe as they pass by, like those coming back from war. You drive the women of My people out of their homes and take away My blessing forever from their young children. Get up, and go! For this isn’t your resting place, because it will be destroyed and unfit with a very great disaster.

[11-13] If someone walking in a spirit of falsehood lies and says, “I’ll preach to you of wine and alcohol;” this would be the preacher for these people. But I’ll surely gather, Jacob, all of you; I’ll surely gather what’s left of the people of Israel; I’ll put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as a flock in the middle of their land and they’ll make the noise of many people. They’ll break through and open the way before them. They’ll break through the border of the land, and go in. And their ruler walks before them, with Yahweh leading the way.

 

3[1-4] I said, “Please listen, you leaders of Jacob, and rulers of the people of Israel. Shouldn’t you know justice? You who hate the good, and love the evil; who tear off their skin, and their meat from off their bones; who also eat the meat of my people, and skin them, and break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as meat in the pot. Then they’ll cry to Yahweh, but God won’t answer them. Yes, God won’t look at them at that time, because they did evil things.”

[5-8] Yahweh says this about the preachers who lead my people astray; for those who feed themselves and say, “Peace!” and whoever doesn’t give them food, they fight against them. “So night will fall on you, with no vision, and dark will come to you, that you may not tell the future; and the sun will go down on the preachers, and that will be a dark day over them. The false teachers will be disappointed, and the fortune tellers will be confused. Yes, they’ll all cover their lips because there’s no answer from God.” But as for me, I am full of power, judgment, and strength by the Spirit of Yahweh, to tell Jacob of their disobedience, and Israel of their sin.

[9-12] Please listen to this, you leaders of the people of Jacob, and rulers of the people of Israel, who hate justice, and do what’s unfair. They cause Zion to keep on shedding blood, and Jerusalem to keep on sinning. The leaders judge for bribes, and the false teachers teach for a price, and the preachers tell fortunes for money, yet they lean on Yahweh, and say, “Isn’t Yahweh with us? No disaster will come to us.” So Zion for their sake will be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem will become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the Place of Worship like the high places of a forest.

 

4[1-4] But in the latter days, the mountain of Yahweh’s Place of Worship will be built on the top of the mountains, and it will be higher than the hills; and peoples will flow into it. Many nations will go and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, and to the House of the God of Jacob; who will teach us of the ways of God, and we will do as God says.” For out of Zion will go forth the law, and the Word of Yahweh from Jerusalem; and You’ll judge between many peoples, and will decide about strong nations far away. They’ll beat their swords into plow blades, and their spears into pruning shears. Nation won’t fight against nation, nor will they learn to fight any more. But everyone will sit on their own land; and no one will make them afraid, because the mouth of the God of All Creation has said it.

[5-8] Without a doubt, all the nations may walk in the name of their gods; but we will walk in the Name of Yahweh our God forever and ever. “In that day,” says Yahweh, “I’ll gather those who can’t walk, and I’ll gather those who have been driven away, and those who I’ve troubled; and I’ll make those who can’t walk a people, and those who were driven away a strong nation and Yahweh will reign over them on Mount Zion from then on, even forever.” You, watchtower of the people, the safe haven of the daughter of Zion, to you it will come, yes, the former realm will come, the realm of the daughter of Jerusalem.

[9-13] Now why do you cry out loud? Is there no ruler in you? Has your counselor died, so that pains have come on you like a woman in labor? Be in pain, and labor to bring to birth, daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor. Now you’ll go out of the city, and will live in the country, and will come even to Babylon. There you’ll be saved. There Yahweh will free you from the hand of your enemies. Now many nations have gathered against you that say, “Let them be ruined, and let us see what happens to Zion.” But they don’t know the thoughts of Yahweh, nor do they understand God’s Word, who has gathered them like the grain to the threshing floor. Get up and beat them, daughter of Zion; for I’ll make you as strong as iron, and as hard as steel; and you’ll beat in pieces many peoples and I’ll dedicate their gain to Yahweh, and everything they own to the God of the whole earth.

 

5[1-3] Gather yourself in troops, cities of troops, because they’ve come against us. They’ll hit the judge of Israel with a stick on the cheek. But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, being small among the peoples of Judah, One will come out of you to Me that will be a ruler in Israel; whose coming was planned from before time, from everlasting. So I’ll let them alone until the time that she who is in labor gives birth. Then the rest of the family will come back to the people of Israel.

[4-6] You’ll stand and guide in the strength of Yahweh, in the fame of the Name of Yahweh God and they’ll live, for then You’ll be known all over the world. You’ll be our peace when Assyria invades our land, and when they march through our borders, then we will raise against them seven teachers, and eight leaders. They’ll destroy the land of Assyria with war, and the land of Nimrod (the rebellious) in its borders. You’ll free us from the Assyrian, when they invade our land, and when they march within our border.

[7-9] Those who are left of Jacob will be mixed among many peoples, like dew from Yahweh, like rain showers on the grass, that doesn’t wait for human beings, nor wait for the children of human beings to come. Those who are left of Jacob will be mixed among the nations, in the middle of many peoples, like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who, if it goes through them, takes them down and tears them in pieces, and there is no one to free them. Let Your power be stronger than Your enemies, and let all of Your enemies fall.

[10-15] “In that day,” says Yahweh, “ I’ll take your speed from you, and will destroy your vehicles of war. I’ll destroy the rebellious cities of your land, and will tear down all your strongholds. I’ll destroy witchcraft from among you; and you’ll have no fortune tellers. I’ll destroy your false gods and your places of worship out from among you; and you won’t worship the things you’ve made ever again. I’ll get rid of your alters out of your land; and I’ll destroy your rebellious cities. I’ll take vengeance in anger and rage, and punish the nations that refused to listen.”

 

6[1-4] Listen now to what Yahweh says, “Get up, plead your case before the mountains, and sound your voice in the hills. Listen, you mountains, to Yahweh’s argument, and you lasting foundations of the earth; for Yahweh has an argument with the people of God, and will reason with Israel. “My people, what have I done to you? How have I troubled you? Answer me! For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and freed you from the people who abused you. I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

[5-9] My people, remember now what Balak ruler of Moab planned, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him as they went from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the goodness of Yahweh.” You ask, “How will I come before Yahweh, and bow myself before the Most High God? Will I come before God with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Yahweh be happy with thousands of rams? With tens of thousands of rivers of oil? Will I give my first child for my disobedience? The child of my body for the sin of my soul? God has shown you, human beings, what is good. What does Yahweh ask of you, but to act rightly, to be forgiving, and to live respectfully with your God?

[9-16] Yahweh’s voice calls out to the city, and the wise know Your Name, “Listen to the One who carries the staff, and the One who empowers it. Are there yet stores of evil in these evil people, and a small measure not the right size? Will I be right by doing dishonest business practices? Your rich men are full of violence, your people lie, and speak wrongly. So I’ll make you sick with a very bad disease and kill your people because of your sins. You’ll eat, but won’t have enough. You’ll be ashamed in your heart. You’ll run away, but not save yourselves; and whoever you save I’ll destroy by war. You’ll plant, but won’t harvest. You’ll press the olives, but won’t rub yourself with oil; and crush grapes, but won’t drink the wine. For you keep the laws of Omri, and do all the evil things of the people of Ahab. You do what they say, so that I may ruin you, and make your peoples a mockery; And the shame of My people will be yours.”

 

7[1-4] Sorrow has come to me! Without a doubt, I am like one who gathers what’s left of the summer fruits, and there is no cluster of grapes to eat and my soul wants to eat the early fig. The godly people have died out of the earth, and there is no one who does what’s right among humanity. They all wait for a chance to draw blood; everyone hunts for their own kin with a trap. Their hands hold on to what’s evil and do it faithfully. The ruler and judge ask for a bribe; and the powerful ones do whatever evil their souls want and they plan this together. The best of them is like a sharp thorn. The most upright is worse than a hedge of thorns. The day you waited for, even the time of your punishment has come; now is the time of your confusion.

[5-10] Don’t trust in a neighbor. Don’t count on a friend. Be careful what you say even with the spouse lying in your arms! For the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a person’s enemies are those of their own people. But as for me, I’ll trust in Yahweh. I’ll wait for the God who saves me. My God will listen to me. Don’t celebrate over me, my enemy, because when I fall, I’ll get up. When I sit in darkness, You, Yahweh will be my light. I’ll take Your raging anger, Yahweh, because I’ve sinned against You, until You plead my case, and make a judgment for me. You’ll bring me to the light and I’ll see Your goodness. Then my enemy will see it, and shame will cover those who said to me, “Where is Yahweh your God? I’ll see what happens to you now and you’ll be stomped on like the mud in the streets.”

[11-15] This is a day to build your walls, your borders will be stretched far and wide. In that day they’ll come to you from Assyria and the strong cities of Egypt, and from Egypt even to the river, and from sea to sea, and mountain to mountain. Yet the land will be deserted because of those who live in it, for what they do. Guide Your people with Your staff, the flock of Your heritage, who live alone in a forest, and let them feed in the middle of good pasture land, in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. “As in the days of your coming out of the land of Egypt, I’ll show them wonderful things.”

[16-20] The nations will see and be confused at all their strength. They’ll lay their hand on their mouth and they won’t listen. They’ll lick the dust like a snake and come shaking out of their hiding places like a worm out of the earth. They’ll come with fear to Yahweh our God, and will be afraid because of You. Who is a God like You, who forgives sin, and looks over the disobedience of those who are left of your heritage? You don’t keep Your anger forever, because You are forgiving. You’ll have compassion on us again. You’ll take our sin under control; and throw all our sins into the depths of the sea. You’ll give truth to Jacob, and mercy to Abraham, as you’ve promised our ancestors from the days of old.

 

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