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Micah 1:5-6


1:5 All this is because of Jacob’s rebellion

and 1  the sins of the nation 2  of Israel.

How has Jacob rebelled, you ask? 3 

Samaria epitomizes their rebellion! 4 

Where are Judah’s pagan worship centers, you ask? 5 

They are right in Jerusalem! 6 

1:6 “I will turn Samaria 7  into a heap of ruins in an open field –

vineyards will be planted there! 8 

I will tumble 9  the rubble of her stone walls 10  down into the valley,

and tear down her fortifications to their foundations. 11 

1 tn Heb “and because of.” This was simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

2 tn Heb “house.”

3 tn Heb “What is the rebellion of Jacob?”

4 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.

5 tn Heb “What are Judah’s high places?”

6 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).

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

7 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

8 tn Heb “into a planting place for vineyards.”

9 tn Heb “pour” (so NASB, NIV); KJV, NRSV “pour down”; NAB “throw down”; NLT “roll.”

10 tn Heb “her stones.” The term stones is a metonymy for the city walls whose foundations were constructed of stone masonry.

11 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.

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