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Micah 2:8-10


2:8 but you rise up as an enemy against my people. 1 

You steal a robe from a friend, 2 

from those who pass by peacefully as if returning from a war. 3 

2:9 You wrongly evict widows 4  among my people from their cherished homes.

You defraud their children 5  of their prized inheritance. 6 

2:10 But you are the ones who will be forced to leave! 7 

For this land is not secure! 8 

Sin will thoroughly destroy it! 9 

1 tc Heb “Recently my people rise up as an enemy.” The MT is problematic in light of v. 9, where “my people” are the object of oppression, not the perpetrators of it. The form וְאֶתְמוּל (vÿetmul, “and recently”) is probably the product of fusion and subsequent suppression of an (ע) ayin. The translation assumes an emendation to וְאַתֶּם עַל (vÿattemal, “and you against [my people]”). The second person plural pronoun fits well with the second plural verb forms of vv. 8b-10. If this emendation is accepted, then יְקוֹמֵם (yÿqomem, the imperfect of קוּם [qum]) should be emended to קָמִים (qamim; a participle from the same root).

2 tc Heb “From the front of a garment glory [or perhaps, “a robe”] you strip off,” but this makes little if any sense. The term מִמּוּל (mimmul, “from the front of”) is probably the product of dittography (note the preceding word, which ends in [ם] mem) and subsequent suppression of ע (ayin). The translation assumes an emendation to מֵעַל (meal, “from upon”). The translation also assumes an emendation of שַׂלְמָה אֶדֶר (salmaheder, “a garment, glory [or robe]”) to שֹׁלְמִים אֲדֶרֶת (sholÿmimaderet, “[from] a friend the robe [you strip off]”). The MT’s אֶדֶר (’eder) is the result of misdivision (the article has erroneously been attached to the preceding word) and haplography (of the final tav, which also begins the following word).

3 tc The passive participle שׁוּבֵי (shuvey) is unattested elsewhere and should be emended to a participle שָׁבִים (shavim).

tn Heb “from those passing by peacefully, returnees from war.” Actual refugees, however, are probably not in view. The second line compares those who pass by peacefully with individuals returning from war. The battle is over and they do not expect their own countrymen to attack them.

4 tn Heb “women.” This may be a synecdoche of the whole (women) for the part (widows).

5 tn Heb “her little children” or “her infants”; ASV, NRSV “young children.”

6 tn Heb “from their children you take my glory forever.” The yod (י) ending on הֲדָרִי (hadariy) is usually taken as a first person common singular suffix (“my glory”). But it may be the archaic genitive ending (“glory of”) in the construct expression “glory of perpetuity,” that is, “perpetual glory.” In either case, this probably refers to the dignity or honor the Lord bestowed on each Israelite family by giving them a share of his land to be inherited perpetually from one generation to another within each family. The term הָדָר (hadar) may refer to possessions that a person prizes (Lam 1:6).

7 tn Heb “Arise and go!” These imperatives are rhetorical. Those who wrongly drove widows and orphans from their homes and land inheritances will themselves be driven out of the land (cf. Isa 5:8-17). This is an example of poetic justice.

8 tn Heb “for this is no resting place.” The Lord speaks to the oppressors.

9 tn Heb “uncleanness will destroy, and destruction will be severe.”

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