1:1 This is the prophetic message that the Lord gave to 1 Micah of Moresheth. He delivered this message 2 during the reigns of 3 Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. The prophecies pertain to 4 Samaria 5 and Jerusalem. 6
Pay attention, all inhabitants of earth! 8
The sovereign Lord will testify 9 against you;
He will descend and march on the earth’s mountaintops! 13
and the valleys will be split in two. 15
The mountains will melt 16 like wax in a fire,
the rocks will slide down like water cascading down a steep slope. 17
1:5 All this is because of Jacob’s rebellion
How has Jacob rebelled, you ask? 20
Samaria epitomizes their rebellion! 21
Where are Judah’s pagan worship centers, you ask? 22
They are right in Jerusalem! 23
vineyards will be planted there! 25
and tear down her fortifications to their foundations. 28
1:7 All her carved idols will be smashed to pieces;
all her metal cult statues will be destroyed by fire. 29
I will make a waste heap 30 of all her images.
the idols will become a prostitute’s wages again.” 33
It has infected 43 Judah;
and has even contaminated Jerusalem! 46
1 tn Heb “The word of the
2 tn The words “he delivered this message” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarification.
3 tn Heb “in the days of” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV).
4 tn Heb “which he saw concerning.”
7 tn Heb “O peoples, all of them.”
8 tn Heb “O earth and all its fullness”; KJV “and all that therein is.”
9 tn Heb “May the sovereign
10 tn Heb “the
11 tn Or “his holy temple” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). This refers to the Lord’s dwelling in heaven, however, rather than the temple in Jerusalem (note the following verse, which describes a theophany).
12 tn Or “For look.” The expression כִּי־הִנֵּה (ki-hinneh) may function as an explanatory introduction (“For look!”; Isa 26:21; 60:2; 65:17, 18: 66:15; Jer 1:15; 25:29; 30:10; 45:5; 46:27; 50:9; Ezek 30:9; 36:9; Zech 2:10; 3:8), or as an emphatic introduction (“Look!”; Jdgs 3:15; Isa 3:1; Jer 8:17; 30:3; 49:15; Hos 9:6; Joel 3:1 [HT 4:1]; Amos 4:2, 13; 6:11, 14; 9:9; Hab 1:6; Zech 2:9 [HT 2:13]; Zech 3:9; 11:16).
13 tn Or “high places” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
14 tn Or “melt” (NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). This is a figurative description of earthquakes, landslides, and collapse of the mountains, rather than some sort of volcanic activity (note the remainder of the verse).
15 sn The mountains will disintegrate…the valleys will be split in two. This imagery pictures an earthquake and accompanying landslide.
16 tn The words “the mountains will melt” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The simile extends back to the first line of the verse.
17 tn The words “the rocks will slide down” are supplied in the translation for clarification. This simile elaborates on the prior one and further develops the imagery of the verse’s first line.
18 tn Heb “and because of.” This was simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.
19 tn Heb “house.”
20 tn Heb “What is the rebellion of Jacob?”
21 tn Heb “Is it not Samaria?” The negated rhetorical question expects the answer, “It certainly is!” To make this clear the question has been translated as a strong affirmative statement.
22 tn Heb “What are Judah’s high places?”
23 tn Heb “Is it not Jerusalem?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “It certainly is!”
sn In vv. 2-5 Micah narrows the scope of God’s judgment from the nations (vv. 2-4) to his covenant people (v. 5). Universal judgment is coming, but ironically Israel is the focal point of God’s anger. In v. 5c the prophet includes Judah within the scope of divine judgment, for it has followed in the pagan steps of the northern kingdom. He accomplishes this with rhetorical skill. In v. 5b he develops the first assertion of v. 5a (“All of this is because of Jacob’s rebellion”). One expects in v. 5c an elaboration of the second assertion in v. 5a (“and the sins of the nation of Israel”), which one assumes, in light of v. 5b, pertains to the northern kingdom. But the prophet specifies the “sins” as “high places” and makes it clear that “the nation of Israel” includes Judah. Verses 6-7 further develop v. 5b (judgment on the northern kingdom), while vv. 8-16 expand on v. 5c (judgment on Judah).
25 tn Heb “into a planting place for vineyards.”
26 tn Heb “pour” (so NASB, NIV); KJV, NRSV “pour down”; NAB “throw down”; NLT “roll.”
27 tn Heb “her stones.” The term stones is a metonymy for the city walls whose foundations were constructed of stone masonry.
28 tn Heb “I will uncover her foundations.” The term “foundations” refers to the lower courses of the stones of the city’s outer fortification walls.
29 tn Heb “and all her prostitute’s wages will be burned with fire.”
sn The precious metal used by Samaria’s pagan worship centers to make idols are here compared to a prostitute’s wages because Samaria had been unfaithful to the
30 tn Heb “I will make desolate” (so NASB).
31 tn Or “for” (KJV, NASB, NRSV).
32 tn No object is specified in the Hebrew text; the words “the metal” are supplied from the context.
33 tn Heb “for from a prostitute’s wages she gathered, and to a prostitute’s wages they will return.” When the metal was first collected it was comparable to the coins a prostitute would receive for her services. The metal was then formed into idols, but now the
34 tn The prophet is probably the speaker here.
36 tn Heb “naked.” This probably does not refer to complete nudity, but to stripping off one’s outer garments as an outward sign of the destitution felt by the mourner.
37 tn Heb “I will make lamentation.”
38 tn Or “a jackal”; CEV “howling wolves.”
39 tn Heb “[make] a mourning.”
40 tn Or perhaps “ostrich” (cf. ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT).
41 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Samaria) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
42 tc The MT reads the plural “wounds”; the singular is read by the LXX, Syriac, and Vg.
tn Or “wound.”
43 tn Heb “come to.”
44 tn Or “reached.”
45 tn Heb “the gate.” Kings and civic leaders typically conducted important business at the city gate (see 1 Kgs 22:10 for an example), and the term is understood here to refer by metonymy to the leadership who would be present at the gate.
46 tn Heb “to Jerusalem.” The expression “it has contaminated” do not appear in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied to fill out the parallelism with the preceding line.