A Lament for Samaria and Jerusalem
11 The word of the Lord which came to Micah the Morashtite, in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah: his vision about Samaria and Jerusalem. 2 Give ear, you peoples, all of you; give attention, O earth and everything in it: let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy Temple. 3 For see, the Lord is coming out from his place, and will come down, stepping on the high places of the earth. 4 And the mountains will be turned to water under him, and the deep valleys will be broken open, like wax before the fire, like waters flowing down a slope. 5 All this is because of the wrongdoing of Jacob and the sins of the children of Israel. What is the wrongdoing of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem? 6 So I will make Samaria into a field and the plantings of a vine-garden: I will send its stones falling down into the valley, uncovering its bases. 7 And all her pictured images will be hammered into bits, and all the payments for her loose ways will be burned with fire, and all the images of her gods I will make waste: for with the price of a loose woman she got them together, and as the price of a loose woman will they be given back.
8 For this I will be full of sorrow and give cries of grief; I will go uncovered and unclothed: I will give cries of grief like the jackals and will be in sorrow like the ostriches. 9 For her wounds may not be made well: for it has come even to Judah, stretching up to the doorway of my people, even to Jerusalem. 10 Give no word of it in Gath, let there be no weeping at all: at Beth-le-aphrah be rolling in the dust. 11 Be uncovered and go away, you who are living in Shaphir: the one living in Zaanan has not come out of her town; Beth-ezel is taken away from its base, even from its resting-place. 12 For the one living in Maroth is waiting for good: for evil has come down from the Lord to the doorways of Jerusalem. 13 Let the war-carriage be yoked to the quick-running horse, you who are living in Lachish: she was the first cause of sin to the daughter of Zion; for the wrongdoings of Israel were seen in you. 14 For this cause give a parting offering to Moresheth-gath: the daughter of Achzib will be a deceit to the king of Israel. 15 Even now will the taker of your heritage come to you, you who are living in Mareshah: the glory of Israel will come to destruction for ever. 16 Let your head be uncovered and your hair cut off in sorrow for the children of your delight: let the hair be pulled from your head like an eagle's; for they have been taken away from you as prisoners.
Woe to Those Who Oppress the Poor
21 A curse on the designers of evil, working on their beds! in the morning light they do it, because it is in their power. 2 They have a desire for fields and take them by force; and for houses and take them away: they are cruel to a man and his family, even to a man and his heritage. 3 For this cause the Lord has said, See, against this family I am purposing an evil from which you will not be able to take your necks away, and you will be weighted down by it; for it is an evil time. 4 In that day this saying will be said about you, and this song of grief will be made: The heritage of my people is measured out, and there is no one to give it back; those who have made us prisoners have taken our fields from us, and complete destruction has come to us. 5 For this cause you will have no one to make the decision by the measuring line in the meeting of the Lord.
6 Let not words like these be dropped, they say: Shame and the curse will not come to the family of Jacob! 7 Is the Lord quickly made angry? are these his doings? do not his words do good to his people Israel? 8 As for you, you have become haters of those who were at peace with you: you take the clothing of those who go by without fear, and make them prisoners of war. 9 The women of my people you have been driving away from their dearly loved children; from their young ones you are taking my glory for ever. 10 Up! and go; for this is not your rest: because it has been made unclean, the destruction ordered will come on you. 11 If a man came with a false spirit of deceit, saying, I will be a prophet to you of wine and strong drink: he would be the sort of prophet for this people.
12 I will certainly make all of you, O Jacob, come together; I will get together the rest of Israel; I will put them together like the sheep in their circle: like a flock in their green field; they will be full of the noise of men. 13 The opener of the way will go up before them: forcing their way out they will go on to the doorway and out through it: their king will go on before them, and the Lord at their head.
Israel's Leaders Denounced
31 And I said, Give ear, now, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the people of Israel: is it not for you to have knowledge of what is right? 2 You who are haters of good and lovers of evil, pulling off their skin from them and their flesh from their bones; 3 Like meat they take the flesh of my people for their food, skinning them and crushing their bones, yes, cutting them up as if for the pot, like flesh inside the cooking-pot. 4 Then they will be crying to the Lord for help, but he will not give them an answer: yes, he will keep his face veiled from them at that time, because their acts have been evil. 5 This is what the Lord has said about the prophets by whom my people have been turned from the right way; who, biting with their teeth, say, Peace; and if anyone puts nothing in their mouths they make ready for war against him. 6 For this cause it will be night for you, without a vision; and it will be dark for you, without knowledge of the future; the sun will go down over the prophets, and the day will be black over them. 7 And the seers will be shamed, and the readers of the future will be at a loss, all of them covering their lips; for there is no answer from God.
8 But I truly am full of the spirit of the Lord, with power of judging and with strength to make clear to Jacob his wrongdoing and to Israel his sin. 9 Then give ear to this, you heads of the children of Jacob, you rulers of the children of Israel, hating what is right, twisting what is straight. 10 They are building up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with evil-doing. 11 Its heads take rewards for judging, and the priests take payment for teaching, and the prophets get silver for reading the future: but still, supporting themselves on the Lord, they say, Is not the Lord among us? no evil will overtake us. 12 For this reason, Zion will be ploughed like a field because of you, and Jerusalem will become a mass of broken walls, and the mountain of the house like a high place in the woods.