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
Don’t shed even a single tear! 48
In Beth Leaphrah sit in the dust! 49
The residents of Zaanan can’t leave their city. 53
“He takes from you what he desires.” 56
though the Lord has sent disaster against the city of Jerusalem. 59
for Israel’s rebellious deeds can be traced back 64 to you!
the leaders of Israel shall flee to Adullam. 73
for they are taken from you into exile.
tn Heb “May the sovereign
tn Heb “the
[1:2] 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).
[1:3] 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).
[1:4] 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).
[1:4] 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.
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).
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
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
tn Or “wound.”
[1:9] 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.
[1:10] 49 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.”
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.
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.”
tn Heb “[the residents of Maroth] writhe [= “anxiously long for”?] good.”
[1:14] 66 tn Heb “you will give a dowry to”; NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “give parting gifts to.” Lachish is compared to a father who presents wedding gifts to his daughter as she leaves her father’s home to take up residence with her husband. In similar fashion Lachish will bid farewell to Moresheth Gath, for the latter will be taken by the invader.
[1:14] 68 sn The place name Achzib (אַכְזִיב, ’akhziv, “place on the dried up river”; see HALOT 45 s.v. אַכְזָב) creates a word play on the similar sounding term כָּזָב (kazav, “lie, deception”; HALOT 468 s.v. כָּזָב). Like the dried up river upon which its name was based, the city of Achzib would fail to help the kings of Israel in their time of need.
[1:14] 69 tn Or “will be a deception.” The term אַכְזָב (’akhzav) is often translated “deception,” as derived from the verb I כָּזָב (“to deceive, lie”; HALOT 467-68 s.v. I כזב). However, it probably means “what is dried up,” since (1) the noun elsewhere refers to an empty well or dried river in summer (Jer 15:18; cf. Job 6:15-20) (HALOT 45 s.v. אַכְזָב); (2) the place-name “Achzib” (אַכְזִיב) literally means “place on the אַכְזָב [dried up river]” (HALOT 45 s.v. אַכְזָב); and (3) it is derived from the verb II כָּזָב (“to dry up [brook]”; Isa 58:11), which also appears in Mishnaic Hebrew and Arabic. The point of the metaphor is that Achzib will be as disappointing to the kings of Israel as a dried up spring in the summer is to a thirsty traveler in the Jordanian desert.
tn Heb “Again a conqueror I will bring to you, residents of Mareshah.” The first person verb is problematic, for the
[1:15] 73 tn Heb “to Adullam the glory of Israel will go.” This probably means that the nation’s leadership will run for their lives and, like David of old, hide from their enemy in the caves of Adullam. Cf. NIV’s “He who is the glory of Israel will come to Adullam,” which sounds as if an individual is in view, and could be understood as a messianic reference.