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Micah 7

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Micah Laments Judah’s Sin

7:1 I am depressed! 1 

Indeed, 2  it is as if the summer fruit has been gathered,

and the grapes have been harvested. 3 

There is no grape cluster to eat,

no fresh figs that I crave so much. 4 

7:2 Faithful men have disappeared 5  from the land;

there are no godly men left. 6 

They all wait in ambush so they can shed blood; 7 

they hunt their own brother with a net. 8 

7:3 They are determined to be experts at doing evil; 9 

government officials and judges take bribes, 10 

prominent men make demands,

and they all do what is necessary to satisfy them. 11 

7:4 The best of them is like a thorn;

the most godly among them are more dangerous than a row of thorn bushes. 12 

The day you try to avoid by posting watchmen –

your appointed time of punishment – is on the way, 13 

and then you will experience confusion. 14 

7:5 Do not rely on a friend;

do not trust a companion!

Don’t even share secrets with the one who lies in your arms! 15 

7:6 For a son thinks his father is a fool,

a daughter challenges 16  her mother,

and a daughter-in-law her mother-in-law;

a man’s enemies are his own servants. 17 

7:7 But I will keep watching for the Lord;

I will wait for the God who delivers me.

My God will hear my lament. 18 

Jerusalem Will Be Vindicated

7:8 My enemies, 19  do not gloat 20  over me!

Though I have fallen, I will get up.

Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. 21 

7:9 I must endure 22  the Lord’s anger,

for I have sinned against him.

But then 23  he will defend my cause, 24 

and accomplish justice on my behalf.

He will lead me out into the light;

I will experience firsthand 25  his deliverance. 26 

7:10 When my enemies see this, they will be covered with shame.

They say 27  to me, “Where is the Lord your God?”

I will gloat over them. 28 

Then they will be trampled down 29 

like mud in the streets.

7:11 It will be a day for rebuilding your walls;

in that day your boundary will be extended. 30 

A Closing Prayer

7:12 In that day people 31  will come to you 32 

from Assyria as far as 33  Egypt,

from Egypt as far as the Euphrates River, 34 

from the seacoasts 35  and the mountains. 36 

7:13 The earth will become desolate 37 

because of what its inhabitants have done. 38 

7:14 Shepherd your people with your shepherd’s rod, 39 

the flock that belongs to you, 40 

the one that lives alone in a thicket,

in the midst of a pastureland. 41 

Allow them to graze in Bashan and Gilead, 42 

as they did in the old days. 43 

7:15 “As in the days when you departed from the land of Egypt,

I will show you 44  miraculous deeds.” 45 

7:16 Nations will see this and be disappointed by 46  all their strength,

they will put their hands over their mouths,

and act as if they were deaf. 47 

7:17 They will lick the dust like a snake,

like serpents crawling on the ground. 48 

They will come trembling from their strongholds

to the Lord our God; 49 

they will be terrified 50  of you. 51 

7:18 There is no other God like you! 52 

You 53  forgive sin

and pardon 54  the rebellion

of those who remain among your people. 55 

You do not remain angry forever, 56 

but delight in showing loyal love.

7:19 You will once again 57  have mercy on us;

you will conquer 58  our evil deeds;

you will hurl our 59  sins into the depths of the sea. 60 

7:20 You will be loyal to Jacob

and extend your loyal love to Abraham, 61 

which you promised on oath to our ancestors 62 

in ancient times. 63 

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1 tn Heb “woe to me!” In light of the image that follows, perhaps one could translate, “I am disappointed.”

2 tn Or “for.”

3 tn Heb “I am like the gathering of the summer fruit, like the gleanings of the harvest.” Micah is not comparing himself to the harvested fruit. There is an ellipsis here, as the second half of the verse makes clear. The idea is, “I am like [one at the time] the summer fruit is gathered and the grapes are harvested.”

4 tn Heb “my appetite craves.”

5 tn Or “have perished”; “have been destroyed.”

6 tn Heb “and an upright one among men there is not.”

7 tn Heb “for bloodshed” (so NASB); TEV “for a chance to commit murder.”

8 sn Micah compares these ungodly people to hunters trying to capture their prey with a net.

9 tn Heb “upon evil [are their] hands to do [it] well.”

10 tn Heb “the official asks – and the judge – for a bribe.”

11 tn More literally, “the great one announces what his appetite desires and they weave it together.” Apparently this means that subordinates plot and maneuver to make sure the prominent man’s desires materialize.

12 tn Heb “[the] godly from a row of thorn bushes.” The preposition מִן (min) is comparative and the comparative element (perhaps “sharper” is the idea) is omitted. See BDB 582 s.v. 6 and GKC 431 §133.e.

13 tn Heb “the day of your watchmen, your appointed [time], is coming.” The present translation takes “watchmen” to refer to actual sentries. However, the “watchmen” could refer figuratively to the prophets who had warned Judah of approaching judgment. In this case one could translate, “The day your prophets warned about – your appointed time of punishment – is on the way.”

14 tn Heb “and now will be their confusion.”

15 tn Heb “from the one who lies in your arms, guard the doors of your mouth.”

16 tn Heb “rises up against.”

17 tn Heb “the enemies of a man are the men of his house.”

18 tn Heb “me.” In the interest of clarity the nature of the prophet’s cry has been specified as “my lament” in the translation.

19 tn The singular form is understood as collective.

20 tn Or “rejoice” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); NCV “don’t laugh at me.”

21 sn Darkness represents judgment; light (also in v. 9) symbolizes deliverance. The Lord is the source of the latter.

22 tn Heb “lift, bear.”

23 tn Heb “until.”

24 tn Or “plead my case” (NASB and NIV both similar); NRSV “until he takes my side.”

25 tn Heb “see.”

26 tn Or “justice, vindication.”

27 tn Heb “who say.” A new sentence was begun here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

28 tn Heb “My eyes will look on them.”

29 tn Heb “a trampled-down place.”

30 sn Personified Jerusalem declares her confidence in vv. 8-10; in this verse she is assured that she will indeed be vindicated.

31 tn Heb “they.” The referent has been specified as “people,” referring either to the nations (coming to God with their tribute) or to the exiles of Israel (returning to the Lord).

32 tn The masculine pronominal suffix suggests the Lord is addressed. Some emend to a feminine form and take Jerusalem as the addressee.

33 tc The MT reads וְעָרֵי (vÿarey, “and the cities [of Egypt]”), but the parallel line indicates this is a corruption of וְעַד (vÿad, “even to”).

34 tn Heb “the River,” referring to the Euphrates River. This has been specified in the translation for clarity (so also NASB, NIV).

35 tn Heb “and sea from sea.” Many prefer to emend this to מִיָּם עַד יָם (miyyamad yam, “from sea to sea”).

36 tn Heb “and mountain of the mountain.” Many prefer to emend this to וּמֵהַר עַד הַר (umeharad har, “and mountain to mountain”).

37 tn Or “will be ruined.”

38 tn Heb “on account of its inhabitants, because of the fruit of their deeds.”

39 tn Or “with your scepter” (the Hebrew term can mean either “rod” or “scepter”).

40 tn Heb “the flock of your inheritance.”

41 tn Or “in the midst of Carmel.” The Hebrew term translated “pastureland” may be a place name.

sn The point seems to be that Israel is in a vulnerable position, like sheep in a thicket populated by predators, while rich pastureland (their homeland and God’s blessings) is in view.

42 sn The regions of Bashan and Gilead, located in Transjordan, were noted for their rich grazing lands.

43 tn Heb “as in the days of antiquity.”

44 tn Heb “him.” This probably refers to Israel in a collective sense. Because the switch from direct address to the third person is awkward, some prefer to emend the suffix to a second person form. In any case, it is necessary to employ a second person pronoun in the translation to maintain the connection for the English reader.

45 sn I will show you miraculous deeds. In this verse the Lord responds to the petition of v. 14 with a brief promise of deliverance.

46 tn Or “be ashamed of.”

47 tn Heb “and their ears will be deaf.” Apparently this means the opposing nations will be left dumbfounded by the Lord’s power. Their inability to respond will make them appear to be deaf mutes.

48 tn Heb “like crawling things on the ground.” The parallelism suggests snakes are in view.

49 tn Thetranslationassumesthatthe phrase אֶל־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ (’el-yÿhvahelohenu, “to the Lord our God”) goes with what precedes. Another option is to take the phrase with the following verb, in which case one could translate, “to the Lord our God they will turn in dread.”

50 tn Heb “they will be in dread and afraid.”

51 tn The Lord is addressed directly using the second person.

52 tn Heb “Who is a God like you?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “No one!”

53 tn Heb “one who.” The prayer moves from direct address (second person) in v. 18a to a descriptive (third person) style in vv. 18b-19a and then back to direct address (second person) in vv. 19b-20. Due to considerations of English style and the unfamiliarity of the modern reader with alternation of persons in Hebrew poetry, the entire section has been rendered as direct address (second person) in the translation.

54 tn Heb “pass over.”

55 tn Heb “of the remnant of his inheritance.”

56 tn Heb “he does not keep hold of his anger forever.”

57 tn The verb יָשׁוּב (yashuv, “he will return”) is here used adverbially in relation to the following verb, indicating that the Lord will again show mercy.

58 tn Some prefer to read יִכְבֹּס (yikhbos, “he will cleanse”; see HALOT 459 s.v. כבס pi). If the MT is taken as it stands, sin is personified as an enemy that the Lord subdues.

59 tn Heb “their sins,” but the final mem (ם) may be enclitic rather than a pronominal suffix. In this case the suffix from the preceding line (“our”) may be understood as doing double duty.

60 sn In this metaphor the Lord disposes of Israel’s sins by throwing them into the waters of the sea (here symbolic of chaos).

61 tn More literally, “You will extend loyalty to Jacob, and loyal love to Abraham.

62 tn Heb “our fathers.” The Hebrew term refers here to more distant ancestors, not immediate parents.

63 tn Heb “which you swore [or, “pledged”] to our fathers from days of old.”



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