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Micah 1:8-11

Context

1:8 For this reason I 1  will mourn and wail;

I will walk around barefoot 2  and without my outer garments. 3 

I will howl 4  like a wild dog, 5 

and screech 6  like an owl. 7 

1:9 For Samaria’s 8  disease 9  is incurable.

It has infected 10  Judah;

it has spread to 11  the leadership 12  of my people

and has even contaminated Jerusalem! 13 

1:10 Don’t spread the news in Gath! 14 

Don’t shed even a single tear! 15 

In Beth Leaphrah sit in the dust! 16 

1:11 Residents 17  of Shaphir, 18  pass by in nakedness and humiliation! 19 

The residents of Zaanan can’t leave their city. 20 

Beth Ezel 21  mourns, 22 

“He takes from you what he desires.” 23 

1 tn The prophet is probably the speaker here.

2 tn Or “stripped.” The precise meaning of this Hebrew word is unclear. It may refer to walking barefoot (see 2 Sam 15:30) or to partially stripping oneself (see Job 12:17-19).

3 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.

4 tn Heb “I will make lamentation.”

5 tn Or “a jackal”; CEV “howling wolves.”

6 tn Heb “[make] a mourning.”

7 tn Or perhaps “ostrich” (cf. ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT).

8 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Samaria) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tc The MT reads the plural “wounds”; the singular is read by the LXX, Syriac, and Vg.

tn Or “wound.”

10 tn Heb “come to.”

11 tn Or “reached.”

12 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.

13 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.

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

14 tn Heb “Tell it not in Gath.” The Hebrew word for “tell” (נָגַד, nagad) sounds like the name of the city, Gath (גַּת, gat).

15 tn The Hebrew infinitive absolute before the negated jussive emphasizes the prohibition.

16 tc The translation assumes a masculine plural imperative. If one were to emend בְּבֵית (bÿvet) to בֵית (vet), Beth Leaphrah would then be the addressee and the feminine singular imperative (see Qere) could be retained, “O Beth Leaphrah, sit in the dust.”

tn Heb “roll about in mourning in the dust”; or “wallow about in mourning in the dust.” The verb פָּלַשׁ (palash, “roll about in mourning [in dust]”; HALOT 935 s.v. פלשׁ) is figurative (metonymy) for sitting as an outward sign of mourning.

sn To sit in the dust was an outward sign of mourning. The name Beth Leaphrah means “house of dust.”

17 tn The Hebrew participial form, which is feminine singular, is here used in a collective sense for the all the residents of the town. See GKC 394 §122.s.

18 sn The place name Shaphir means “pleasant” in Hebrew.

19 tn The imperatival form is used rhetorically, emphasizing that the inhabitants of Shaphir will pass by into exile.

20 tn Heb “have not come out”; NIV “will not come out”; NLT “dare not come outside.”

sn The expression can’t leave their city alludes to a siege of the town. The place name Zaanan sounds like the verb “come out” (i.e., “can’t leave”) in Hebrew.

21 sn The place name Beth Ezel means “house of nearness” or “house of proximity” in Hebrew.

22 tn Heb “the lamentation of Beth Ezel.” The following words could be the lamentation offered up by Beth Ezel (subjective genitive) or the mourning song sung over it (objective genitive).

23 tc The form עֶמְדָּתוֹ (’emdato) should be emended to חֲמַדְּתוֹ (khamadto, “his (the conqueror’s) desire”).

tn The precise meaning of the line is uncertain. The translation assumes: (a) the subject of the third masculine singular verb יִקַּח (yiqqakh, “he/it takes”) is the conqueror, (b) the second masculine plural suffix (“you”) on the preposition מִן (min, “from”) refers to the residents of Shaphir and Zaanan, (c) the final form עֶמְדָּתוֹ should be emended to חֲמַדְּתוֹ, “his (the conqueror’s) desire.”



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