Micah 7:3-5

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

government officials and judges take bribes,

prominent men make demands,

and they all do what is necessary to satisfy them.

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

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

The day you try to avoid by posting watchmen –

your appointed time of punishment – is on the way,

and then you will experience confusion.

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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.”

tn Heb “and now will be their confusion.”

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