A Lament for Samaria and Jerusalem
1 1 The word of the Lord which came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham , Ahaz and Hezekiah , kings of Judah , which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem . 2 Hear , O peoples , all of you; Listen , O earth and all it contains , And let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, The Lord from His holy temple . 3 For behold , the Lord is coming forth from His place . He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth . 4 The mountains will melt under Him And the valleys will be split , Like wax before e the fire , Like water poured down a steep place . 5 All this is for the rebellion of Jacob And for the sins of the house of Israel . What is the rebellion of Jacob ? Is it not Samaria ? What is the high place of Judah ? Is it not Jerusalem ? 6 For I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the open country , Planting places for a vineyard . I will pour her stones down into the valley And will lay bare her foundations . 7 All of her idols will be smashed , All of her earnings will be burned with fire And all of her images I will make desolate , For she collected them from a harlot's earnings , And to the earnings of a harlot they will return .
8 Because of this I must lament and wail , I must go barefoot and naked ; I must make a lament like the jackals And a mourning like the ostriches . 9 For her  wound is incurable , For it has come to Judah ; It has reached the gate of my people , Even to Jerusalem . 10 Tell it not in Gath , Weep not at all . At Beth-le-aphrah roll yourself in the dust . 11 Go on your way , inhabitant of Shaphir , in shameful nakedness . The inhabitant of  Zaanan does not escape . The lamentation of Beth-ezel : "He will take from you its support ." 12 For the inhabitant of Maroth Becomes weak waiting for good , Because a calamity has come down from the Lord To the gate of Jerusalem . 13 Harness the chariot to the team of horses , O inhabitant of Lachish - She was the beginning of sin To the daughter of Zion - Because in you were found The rebellious acts of Israel . 14 Therefore you will give parting gifts On behalf of Moresheth-gath ; The houses of Achzib will become a deception To the kings of Israel . 15 Moreover , I will bring on you The one who takes possession , O inhabitant of  Mareshah . The glory of Israel will enter Adullam . 16 Make yourself bald and cut off your hair , Because of the children of your delight ; Extend your baldness like the eagle , For they will go from you into exile .
Woe to Those Who Oppress the Poor
2 1 Woe to those who scheme iniquity , Who work out evil on their beds ! When morning comes, they do it, For it is in the power of their hands . 2 They covet fields and then seize them, And houses , and take them away. They rob a man and his house , A man and his inheritance . 3 Therefore thus says the Lord , "Behold , I am planning against this family a calamity From which you cannot remove your necks ; And you will not walk haughtily , For it will be an evil time . 4 "On that day they will take up against you a taunt And utter a bitter lamentation and say , 'We are completely destroyed ! He exchanges the portion of my people ; How He removes it from me! To the apostate He apportions our fields .' 5 "Therefore you will have no one stretching a measuring line For you by lot in the assembly of the Lord .
6 ' Do not speak out,' so they speak out. But if they do not speak out concerning these things , Reproaches will not be turned back . 7 "Is it being said , O house of Jacob : 'Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient ? Are these His doings ?' Do not My words do good To the one walking uprightly ? 8 "Recently My people have arisen as an enemy - You strip the robe e off the garment From unsuspecting passers-by , From those returned from war . 9 "The women of My people you evict , Each one from her pleasant house . From her children you take My splendor forever . 10 "Arise and go , For this is no place of rest Because of the uncleanness that brings on destruction , A painful destruction . 11 "If a man walking after wind and falsehood Had told lies and said, 'I will speak out to you concerning wine and liquor ,' He would be spokesman to this people .
12 "I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob , I will surely gather the remnant of Israel . I will put them together like sheep in the fold ; Like a flock in the midst of its pasture They will be noisy with men . 13 "The breaker goes up before them; They break out, pass through the gate and go out by it. So their king goes on before them, And the Lord at their head ."
Israel's Leaders Denounced
3 1 And I said , " Hear now , heads of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel . Is it not for you to know justice ? 2 "You who hate good and love evil , Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones , 3 Who eat the flesh of my people , Strip off their skin from them, Break their bones And chop them up as for the pot And as meat in a kettle ." 4 Then they will cry out to the Lord , But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds . 5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray ; When they have something to bite with their teeth , They cry , "Peace ," But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war . 6 Therefore it will be night for you-without vision , And darkness for you-without divination . The sun will go down on the prophets , And the day will become dark over them. 7 The seers will be ashamed And the diviners will be embarrassed . Indeed, they will all cover their mouths Because there is no answer from God .
8 On the other hand I am filled with power - With the Spirit of the Lord - And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act , Even to Israel his sin . 9 Now hear this , heads of the house of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel , Who abhor justice And twist everything that is straight , 10 Who build Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with violent injustice . 11 Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe , Her priests instruct for a price And her prophets divine for money . Yet they lean on the Lord saying , " Is not the Lord in our midst ? Calamity will not come upon us." 12 Therefore , on account of you Zion will be plowed as a field , Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins , And the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest .
The LORD's Universal Reign
4 1 And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains . It will be raised above the hills , And the peoples will stream to it. 2 Many nations will come and say , " Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord And to the house of the God of Jacob , That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths ." For from Zion will go forth the law , Even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem . 3 And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty , distant nations . Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks ; Nation will not lift up sword against nation , And never again will they train for war . 4 Each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree , With no one to make them afraid , For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken . 5 Though all the peoples walk Each in the name of his god , As for us, we will walk In the name of the Lord our God forever and ever .
Israel's Redemption from Captivity
6 "In that day ," declares the Lord , "I will assemble the lame And gather the outcasts , Even those whom I have afflicted . 7 "I will make the lame a remnant And the outcasts a strong nation , And the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on and forever e .
8 "As for you, tower of the flock , Hill of the daughter of Zion , To you it will come - Even the former dominion will come , The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem . 9 "Now , why do you cry out loudly ? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished , That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth ? 10 " Writhe and labor to give birth , Daughter of Zion , Like a woman in childbirth ; For now you will go out of the city , Dwell in the field , And go to Babylon . There you will be rescued ; There the Lord will redeem you From the hand of your enemies . 11 "And now many nations have been assembled against you Who say , 'Let her be polluted , And let our eyes gloat over Zion .' 12 "But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord , And they do not understand His purpose ; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor . 13 "Arise and thresh , daughter of Zion , For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze , That you may pulverize many peoples , That you may devote to the Lord their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth .
The Rule of the Deliverer from Bethlehem
5 1 "Now muster yourselves in troops , daughter of troops ; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek . 2 "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah , Too little to be among the clans of Judah , From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel . His goings forth are from long ago , From the days of eternity ." 3 Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel . 4 And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord , In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God . And they will remain , Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth . 5 This One will be our peace . When the Assyrian invades our land , When he tramples on our citadels , Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men . 6 They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword , The land of Nimrod at its entrances ; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory .
7 Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the Lord , Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men . 8 The remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations , Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest , Like a young lion among flocks of sheep , Which , if he passes through , Tramples down and tears , And there is none to rescue . 9 Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries , And all your enemies will be cut off . 10 "It will be in that day ," declares the Lord , " That I will cut off your horses from among you And destroy your chariots . 11 "I will also cut off the cities of your land And tear down all your fortifications . 12 "I will cut off sorceries from your hand , And you will have fortune-tellers no more. 13 " I will cut off your carved images And your sacred pillars from among you, So that you will no longer bow down To the work of your hands . 14 "I will root out your Asherim from among you And destroy your cities . 15 "And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath On the nations which have not obeyed ."
The LORD's Controversy with Israel
6 1 Hear now what the Lord is saying , "Arise , plead your case before the mountains , And let the hills hear your voice . 2 "Listen , you mountains , to the indictment of the Lord , And you enduring foundations of the earth , Because the Lord has a case against His people ; Even with Israel He will dispute . 3 " My people , what have I done to you, And how have I wearied you? Answer Me. 4 "Indeed , I brought you up from the land of Egypt And ransomed you from the house of slavery , And I sent before you Moses , Aaron and Miriam . 5 "My people , remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal , So that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord ."
What the LORD Requires
6 With what shall I come to the Lord And bow myself before the God on high ? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings , With yearling calves ? 7 Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams , In ten thousand rivers of oil ? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts , The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ? 8 He has told you, O man , what is good ; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice , to love kindness , And to walk humbly with your God ?
9 The voice of the Lord will call to the city - And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name : "Hear , O tribe . Who has appointed its time? 10 "Is there yet a man in the wicked house , Along with treasures of wickedness And a short measure that is cursed ? 11 "Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights ? 12 "For the rich men of the city are full of violence , Her residents speak lies , And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth . 13 "So also I will make you sick , striking you down , Desolating you because of your sins . 14 "You will eat , but you will not be satisfied , And your vileness will be in your midst . You will try to remove for safekeeping, But you will not preserve anything, And what you do preserve I will give to the sword . 15 "You will sow but you will not reap . You will tread the olive but will not anoint yourself with oil ; And the grapes , but you will not drink wine . 16 "The statutes of Omri And all the works of the house of Ahab are observed ; And in their devices you walk . Therefore I will give you up for destruction And your inhabitants for derision , And you will bear the reproach of My people ."
Israel's Moral Corruption
7 1 Woe is me! For I am Like the fruit pickers , like the grape gatherers . There is not a cluster of grapes to eat , Or a first-ripe fig which I crave . 2 The godly person has perished from the land , And there is no upright person among men . All of them lie in wait for bloodshed ; Each of them hunts the other with a net . 3 Concerning evil , both hands do it well . The prince asks , also the judge , for a bribe , And a great man speaks the desire of his soul ; So they weave it together . 4 The best of them is like a briar , The most upright like a thorn hedge . The day when you post your watchmen , Your punishment will come . Then their confusion will occur . 5 Do not trust in a neighbor ; Do not have confidence in a friend . From her who lies in your bosom Guard your lips . 6 For son treats father contemptuously , Daughter rises up against her mother , Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law ; A man's enemies are the men of his own household .
7 But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord ; I will wait for the God of my salvation . My God will hear me.
The LORD Brings Light and Deliverance
8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy . Though I fall I will rise ; Though I dwell in darkness , the Lord is a light for me. 9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord Because I have sinned against Him, Until e He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light , And I will see His righteousness . 10 Then my enemy will see , And shame will cover her who said to me, "Where is the Lord your God ?" My eyes will look on her; At that time she will be trampled down Like mire of the streets . 11 It will be a day for building your walls . On that day will your boundary be extended . 12 It will be a day when they will come to you From Assyria and the cities of Egypt , From Egypt even to the Euphrates , Even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain . 13 And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants , On account of the fruit of their deeds .
The LORD's Compassion on Israel
14 Shepherd Your people with Your scepter , The flock of Your possession Which dwells by itself in the woodland , In the midst of a fruitful field . Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead As in the days of old . 15 "As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt , I will show you miracles ." 16 Nations will see and be ashamed Of all their might . They will put their hand on their mouth , Their ears will be deaf . 17 They will lick the dust like a serpent , Like reptiles of the earth . They will come trembling out of their fortresses ; To the Lord our God they will come in dread And they will be afraid before You. 18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession ? He does not retain His anger forever , Because He delights in unchanging love . 19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot . Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea . 20 You will give truth to Jacob And unchanging love to Abraham , Which You swore to our forefathers From the days of old .
1:2 Lit "them"
1:2 Lit "its fullness"
1:2 Heb "YHWH," usually rendered Lord
1:3 Or "land"
1:5 Lit "places"
1:6 Lit "of the field"
1:9 Lit "wounds"
1:10 I.e. house of dust
1:11 I.e. Go into captivity
1:11 I.e. pleasantness
1:11 I.e. going out
1:11 Lit "go out"
1:11 I.e. house of removal
1:11 Lit "standing place"
1:12 I.e. bitterness
1:15 I.e. possession