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    Micah

    Septuagint text: Our version of this book reads differently to other Bibles. Why? We use the much older Greek Septuagint manuscripts – and most will closely resemble the versions used by many 1st-century Christians, including the Apostles. These older manuscripts escaped the censorship applied to the Hebrew manuscripts. Our translation is created by volunteers, and we are always correcting and refining the text. Learn what [brackets] and other insertions mean.

    About this book A prophecy by the prophet Micah, written around 750 BCE. It foretells the destruction of the northern 10-tribe Kingdom of IsraEl (often just called Samaria, since that was its most dominant region). It also foretells what would happen to JeruSalem before SenNacherIb the king of Assyria invaded their lands in the time of Judah’s King HezekiAh.Finally, the prophecy goes on to describe JeruSalem’s destruction by the Babylonians and of how its people would later return to the city.Most of this book is poetrySomething that only a Bible translator would notice is when words are in the form of Hebrew poetry. There’s a definite cadence that can be seen in the original language. Therefore, because this is the chosen style of God, we’ve tried to recreate it as it was originally intended: in poetic verse.Why use poetry?Poetry must conform to a certain rhythm and style. These act as memory aids, helping you to recall the words, making it easier for messages to be spread via the most common communication method of the time: song.Who was talking?When translating the words of the Prophets, you can’t help but notice the constant changing personal pronouns (I, you, he, they, etc.) used in the text. It makes it very confusing to figure out exactly who’s talking.However, we now realize one reason for the confusion that’s usually overlooked: God didn’t speak to the Prophets personally. Rather, He sent His messages through a mediator, either referred to as a messenger (an angel), or sometimes as ‘The Word’ (which some interpret to mean Jesus).So there are actually three voices speaking:1. That of the Prophet, who sometimes quotes himself,2. That of the angelic messenger who’s bringing the message from God,3. The words of God Himself (which we put in italics).How can we tell the difference? From the context, the pronouns, and the tenses:1. When the Prophet speaks, he’s either clearly reporting what he said or did, or is simply saying what was happening.2. When the angelic messenger speaks, he talks about God in the third person.3 When God is speaking, all references to God are naturally spoken in the first person.Did we get it all right? Probably not, but it has been an honest attempt at doing so. If you think you’ve spotted a place where our choice is incorrect, please let us know and we’ll reconsider it.

    1

    1The Word of Jehovah came to MicAh the Morasthite in the days of JoTham, Ahaz, and HezekiAh (kings of Judah) and said this about the things he saw going on in Samaria and in JeruSalem.2‘Hear these words, O you peoples;Also pay attention, you landsAnd those who are dwelling within you!For, from His Most Holy [Place],Jehovah will now testify.3‘{Look!} Jehovah will come from His placeAnd go down upon your high places,Then seat Himself in the heights.4‘The mountains will shake underneath Him,And like beeswax in fire, the valleys will melt,Then flow like water that rolls down a slope.5‘Yes, He will do all these thingsBecause of Jacob’s irreverent waysAnd because of the sins of the house of IsraEl.[For God says:]‘Isn’t Samaria the irreverence of JacobAnd isn’t Judah’s sin, JeruSalem?6‘So I’ll turn Samaria into a barnWhere the fruits of the fields can be storedAlong with the [grapes] of the vineyards.I’ll tear down her stones in great chaos,And her foundations, I’ll expose.7‘I’ll cut her carved idols to pieces;Her temple whores, I’ll burn in a fire;And I’ll appoint her idols to extinction.For she hired whores and gathered them there…So the wages of whores are what I’ll destroy.8‘For this, she’ll wail and beat on her breasts…She will go barefoot and naked…She’ll beat on her chest like a dragon,And mourn like chained demon’s daughters.9‘This calamity upon her will surely arrive;For she went to Judah and JeruSalemAnd touched the gates of my people.’10‘Now, those in Gath shouldn’t feel special,Nor should those who are living in BakaImAnd don’t laugh as you try to rebuild your homes,For the land will be strewn with your laughter,11And nothing good will come to your towns.‘Then, those in ZaAnan will beat on their breastsOn behalf of the houses next door…They’ll be grieved by the things that will happen to you.12‘For then, who’ll console her when she is sadOver the bad things Jehovah will send,Which will reach all the way to JeruSalem’s gates?13‘They’ll hear the sounds of chariots and riders[Attacking the City] of LachIsh.For, they’re the ones who’ve been taking the leadIn the sins of the daughters of ZionAll of IsraEl’s godless deeds can be found there!14‘Because of this, they’ll be carried awayAnd become the inheritance of GathYes, even their poorest of homes.15‘There, IsraEl’s kings won’t be valued…The inheritance of Gath, they’ll become.The people of LachIsh will then be their [slaves].And off to AdulLam, they’ll carryThe glory of IsraEl’s daughters.16‘So, shave [the heads of] your beloved young…Make them as bald as the vultures;For, they’ll all be carried away!’

    2

    1‘When they came here, they were looking for troubleAnd doing what’s bad in their beds.They did it all during the daytime,And they wouldn’t raise a hand to Jehovah.2‘Then, because they desired more fields,They plundered orphans and tyrannized homes…They plundered the people along with their homes…Both the men and the things they’d inherit.3‘It’s because of this, that thus says Jehovah:‘{Look!} Against their tribe, I’m bringing what’s bad,And thereafter, they won’t lift their necksOr in any way walk erect…Yes for them, it’ll be a very bad time!4‘In that day, they’ll be saying these words…They’ll raise this lament in a song:‘In our miserable condition, we knew misery;For our people were [led off in] lines,And no one [came here] to stop itOr to bargain for their return;So their fields were thereafter divided [as loot].’5‘Now, no one will measure allotmentsFor those in the Lord’s congregation.6You’ll weep and cry for these things;But I won’t remove all your scorn.7‘Then, this is what they’ll say about you:‘Because the house of Jacob provokedJehovah’s Spirit to rage,These are the things that He did;For His words and His ways are all straight and good!’8‘[Throughout the years], my people have shownA hatred and resistance to peace.So they’ve flayed the skin [of those passing by],[And brought upon themselves] the conflict of war.9‘Now the leaders of my people will be driven from their homes…They’ll be pushed away, because they’re so bad!So, flee to the mountains of the ages,10Since for you, there’ll be no rest,Because you’re corrupt and unclean!11‘So you’ll run when no one is chasing,Because of your lying spirit,Which trickles upon you like the wine and strong drinkThat you’ve gained from the sweat of your people.12‘But, after some time, they’ll return…I’ll gather Jacob along with the rest,And I’ll search for IsraEl’s remnants…I’ll collect them and I’ll return themLike sheep that have gone through hard times…They’ll jump away from those people,And in their own pastures, they’ll live as one flock.13‘They’ll [run] through the breach that’s before them,For the gate will be cut so they can escape.And before them, will travel their king…Yes, they’ll be led by their Lord!’

    3

    1[And God continues:]‘So listen, you head ones of Jacob,And the rest that are left of IsraEl’s house!‘When will you learn to do what’s fair?2Since you’ve hated what’s good and searched for what’s bad;They’ll reach out for you and tear off your skin,Then rip the flesh from your bones,3The same as you’ve eaten the flesh of my peopleAnd flayed off all of their skin…Then you broke their bones as flesh for the pot,And as meat for the cauldron!’4[And Micah explains:]‘So, you’ll cry out to Jehovah,But He won’t listen to you…He’ll just turn His face at that time,Because of the wicked things that you’ve done.5‘So, to the prophets, Jehovah declares(To those misleading His people…Those clenching their teeth as they proclaim peaceWhen [God hasn’t put] any [words] in their mouths):A holy war, I’ll be sending to you6Because [you’ve told them] such things.‘Then you’ll see no more visions during the nights…You’ll just see darkness (not light).For the sun won’t rise upon you prophets,And the days will darken before you.7‘Disgrace will then come to those who dream dreams,And those telling the future will be ridiculed.About them, all will speak badly,And no one will listen to the things that they say.’8[Yet Micah says:]‘However, I’ll be filledWith the strength and the Breath of Jehovah,As well as with His justice and might,So I can report the irreverence of JacobAnd speak to IsraEl about all their sins!9‘Therefore, listen to this, O leaders of Jacob,And you remnants of the house of IsraEl…You who hate what’s fair and twist what’s straight…10You who’ve built Zion on bloodAnd filled JeruSalem with injustice!11‘For your leaders take bribes when they judge;Your priests require a wage for replies;And your prophets ask for silver when they prophesy.Yet they still rest upon Jehovah and say:‘Isn’t Jehovah among us?No way will He bring bad things on us!’12‘And it’s for all of these reasonsThat Zion will be plowed like a field...JeruSalem will become empty barns;And the Temple Mount, just a place in the woods!’

    4

    1‘But, in the last days,They will see the Mountain of JehovahSitting above the rest of the mountains,Raised higher than all of the hills,And to it, all the peoples will run.2‘Many nations will go there and say:‘Let’s ascend the Mountain of JehovahAnd enter the [Temple] of Jacob’s God.For there, He will show us His ways,And we’ll thereafter walk in His paths!’‘For, Laws will come out of ZionAnd from JeruSalem, the Word of Jehovah 3Will serve as judge between peoples,And make decisions among distant tribes.‘Then they’ll cut their swords into plows,And [they’ll beat] their spears into sickles.Nation won’t rise against nation again,Nor will they learn war anymore.4‘Under their own grapevines, each person will sit,And they’ll rest beneath their own fig trees…For, none will make them afraid anymore.’‘This was said by the mouth of Jehovah the Almighty:5‘And although other people may go their own way;You’ll walk in the Name of your GodFrom the present and into the ages.6‘And in that day, says Jehovah,I’ll regather all those who were broken(The ones whom I had once discarded),And I’ll welcome back those whom I’ve pushed away.7‘Yes, those who are broken, I’ll welcome,And I’ll make a great nation of them once again…Of those whom I once pushed away!And thereafter, and into the ages,Their Lord will rule from Mount Zion.’8[Micah then says:]‘But now, upon you, O tower of the flock…Yes you, O JeruSalem’s daughter(You austere offspring of Zion);The foremost of Babylon’s kingsWill come here and enter your [gates]!9‘For, why did you learn to do such bad things…Wasn’t there a king here among you,And has all good council now perished?‘So, pangs are what you’ll have to endureLike a woman who’s about to give birth.10But hang on and take courage, O daughter of Zion,As [a woman] who’s giving birth!‘For what’s coming to you is a cityThat will set up its camps in your plains…And then, to Babylon, they’ll take you.But your God, Jehovah, will save you from there,And ransom you from your enemies’ hands.11‘Now, many nations have come against you,And this is what they’re saying:‘Our eyes will rejoice as we gaze on Zion!’12‘But they don’t know the ways of Jehovah,And His council, they don’t comprehend.For like sheaves [of grain], they’ll be gathered,And on a threshing floor, they’ll be piled,13So that you can thresh them, O daughter of Zion!‘For I’ll turn your horns into iron,And I’ll turn your hoofs into brass.Then, I’ll dissolve many peoples,And you’ll carry all their abundanceAs well as their strength to the Lord of the earth.’

    5

    1[Micah continues:]‘Now the daughter of Zion has a reason to fear,For upon her, He’s decreed war,And they’ll strike IsraEl’s tribes on the jaw!2‘Then from you, O BethLehem of EphRatha(The few among the thousands of Judah),Will come a man who’ll be IsraEl’s king…One whose [roots] are from the most ancient timesAnd from the days of the ages.3‘And because of this, he’ll appoint herA time that will be [like the giving] of birth.For thereafter, she’ll [really] give birthTo the remnant of those who are brothers,And to the sons of IsraEl, they’ll return.4‘Yes, by the strength of Jehovah,A shepherd will rise to [watch over] them,And they’ll bask in the glory of the Name of their God,Which will then become known to the ends of the earth.5‘And this is [the sign that there’ll be] peace:When the Assyrians arrive in your landAnd they climb onto your place.But seven shepherds will then rise against them[And whip them] with the eight strokes of men.6‘They’ll shepherd Assyria with a broadsword,And the land of NimRod [will serve as] her grave.For, from the Assyrians, He’ll save you,When against your land, they’ve ascended,And when they’ve crossed over your borders.7‘Thereafter, the few of Jacob that remainWill [be scattered] among many peoples.But, like the dew that falls from the Lord,And like the lambs [that are fed] on wild grass;They’ll be gathered by no one,Nor before sons of men, will they stand.8‘And although the remnant of JacobWill be [scattered] among all the nationsAnd dwell among many peoples;They’ll be like lions among cattle …As bear cubs among flocks of sheep.‘Then they’ll go through and scatter their prey…None of which will be saved.9Then they’ll lift their hands against their opponents,And their enemies will all be destroyed!10‘But [before] that day, says Jehovah,I’ll destroy all your horses and chariots…11All the cities in your land will wiped away,And I’ll remove all your forts.12‘From your hands, I’ll wipe out your potions,And there’ll be no fortune tellers among you.13I’ll also destroy all the idols you’ve carvedAnd remove the sacred stones from your midst…You’ll [no longer] bow to the works of your hands.14‘I’ll cut down all of your sacred polesAnd wipe away all of your cities.15Then, in My anger and rage,I’ll send My vengeance to the rest of the nations,Because they too failed to listen!

    6

    1‘So, hear indeed, what Jehovah has said!Arise and plead with the mountains…Let all the hills hear what He’s said!2‘Yes, listen, O mountains, to the judgments of God…You foundations of the earth and its valleys!For between Jehovah and His peopleThere’s a case to be tried…And with IsraEl, He’s going to war!3[‘For God asks:]‘O My people, what did I do?Tell Me what trouble I’ve caused you!4From the land of Egypt, I led you…From the house of slaves, I ransomed you back,And before your face, I had sent youMiriAm, Aaron, and Moses!5‘Remember the plans that MoAb’s King BalakHad once made against you,And the answers that BalaAm (the son of BeOr)Was given from Shittim to GilGal,So he’d know the righteous ways of the Lord.6[And Micah comments:]‘Yes, how can you conquer Jehovah?Can you snatch Him down from the heights?With your whole burnt-offerings, can you beat Him,Or with [the blood of] 1-year-old calves? No!7‘Will Jehovah [be swayed] by 1,000 male sheepOr 10,000 one-year-old calves? No!For your sins, can you offer your first-born? No!Can you offer the first fruits that come from your belliesTo cover [the sins] in your lives? No!8‘To you, He’s explained it, O man…All the things that are righteous.And all that Jehovah requiresIs for you to be fair and love mercy,And to be ready to walk with your God!9‘So the voice of Jehovah is calling to you,And those fearing His Name will be saved.So, listen to this, O you tribes,[For God says:]‘Who will be the adornment of your cities?10Won’t the homes of Law breakers be burnedAlong with [the houses] of those loving crimes…All the insolent and the unrighteous?11‘Will I overlook all of your wicked scalesAnd your bags of deceptive weights?12Will your irreverent ways be covered by wealth?And all you liars that live there;Will your [wicked] tongues [bring praise] from your mouths? No!13‘For your sins, I’ll torment you to extinction,14Then you’ll eat and never be filled.I’ll banish you, and you’ll be lost(No way will you be preserved);And the survivors, I’ll hand to the broadsword.15‘Then, although you may plant, you won’t reap;And although you’ll press olives, you won’t anoint,Nor will you drink any wine…Since the Laws of My people will be wiped away.16‘For the rules of [IsraElite King] OmRi, are what you’ve chosen,As well as the deeds of the house of [IsraElite King] Ahab.Yes, you’ve chosen their plansSo you wouldn’t be laughed at by others…Thus, I’m bringing extinction upon you!

    7

    1‘I’m like a man who gleans stubble in the harvest,Or one who gleans grapes after they’re gone…Those ripe ones for which my soul craves (woe is me)!2‘For the upright have all been wiped from the land…Those who walk straight, no longer exist,And all righteous blood has been squeezedBy the oppression of their neighbors,3Whose hands are doing whatever is bad.‘Your rulers now ask you for giftsAnd your judges [give rulings] for bribes…Yet, this is what your souls have wanted!4‘So He’ll take away all your good thingsLike a moth chewing through woolen clothes[On behalf of those] found walking straight linesIn the day that they’re being inspected.‘Yes, woe to you, for your punishment is due,And soon you all will be weeping!5‘So, don’t confide in your friends,And put no hope in your leaders!Watch out for the one who sleeps in your bed…To her, show nothing at all!6‘For, sons will dishonor their fathers,And daughters will oppose their own mothers…It is daughters-in-law against mothers-in-law,And your enemies will be those in your own homes.’7But, I’ll look to my Lord…On my Savior, Jehovah, I’ll wait,And my God will listen to me.8So, enemies of mine, don’t rejoice,For although I’ve fallen, I’ll rise again.And if I must sit in the darkness,Jehovah will provide me with light.9Yes, I’ll endure the rage of Jehovah;For against Him, I’m also a sinner.But I’ll wait until He sends justice…Until He shows me His judgmentsAnd leads me into the light,Where I’ll look to His righteous ways.10Then, upon my enemies, I’ll gaze,For then, they must bear all their shame;Since they’re the ones who once asked me:‘So, where is Jehovah, your God?’[‘But God says]:‘My eyes have noticed these things,So I’ll trample on her like mud in the streets…11Like mortar on bricks, she’ll be wiped away,And her rules will be gone in that day.12‘Your cities will then all be leveledAnd by the Assyrians, they’ll be subdivided.Yes your fortified cities will be given awayFrom Tyre down to the [Nile] river…From mountain to mountain and sea to sea!13‘For the land will all be destroyed,Along with [the people] who live there…It’s the fruitage of what they’ve done!’14[‘O God,]‘Tend Your people with Your mighty rod;For, they’re Your inherited sheep…May they camp all alone in the woodsAnd [on the sides] of [Mount] CarMel!‘In BaShan and GileAd, please feed themAs You did for them back in that age15When [You led] them from Egypt.16[‘And God replies:]‘Yes, wonderful things, I’ll show them,Which the nations will see in disgrace.For [the nations will lose] all their strength…They’ll place their hands over their mouthsAnd they’ll cover their ears.17Then they’ll lick the dust just like snakesThat slither along on the ground.And because of this, they’ll then be confused.’‘Yes by God, they’ll be amazed…But, they must learn how to fear Him!18For, to what other god can He be compared?[‘O Lord,]‘As You remove the unrighteous,[Please overlook] the irreverenceOf Your inherited ones who are left…Hold back Your rage for the things that You’ve seen,And please show mercy upon us!19‘Please turn around and show pity on us,But, sink our unrighteous ways…Cast our sins into the depths of the seas.20‘Then to Jacob, please send what’s true,And on AbraHam’s [offspring], please show mercy,As You swore in Your oath to our fathers.’


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