Micah 1
Contemporary English Version

1 I am Micah from Moresheth.+ And this is the message about Samaria and Jerusalem+ that the Lord gave to me when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah+ were the kings of Judah.

Judgment on Samaria

2Listen, all of you!

Earth and everything on it,

pay close attention.

The Lord God accuses you

from his holy temple.+

3And he will come down

to crush underfoot

every pagan altar.

4Mountains will melt

beneath his feet

like wax beside a fire.

Valleys will vanish like water

rushing down a ravine.

5This will happen because of

the terrible sins of Israel,

the descendants of Jacob.

Samaria has led Israel to sin,

and pagan altars at Jerusalem

have made Judah sin.

6So the Lord will leave Samaria

in ruins—

merely an empty field

where vineyards are planted.

He will scatter its stones

and destroy its foundations.

7Samaria's idols will be smashed,

and the wages

of temple prostitutes+

will be destroyed by fire.

Silver and gold from those idols

will then be used by foreigners

as payment for prostitutes.

Judah Is Doomed

8Because of this tragedy,+

I go barefoot and naked.

My crying and weeping

sound like howling wolves

or ostriches.

9The nation is fatally wounded.

Judah is doomed.

Jerusalem will fall.

10Don't tell it in Gath!

Don't even cry.

Instead, roll in the dust

at Beth-Leaphrah.+

11Depart naked and ashamed,

you people of Shaphir.+

The town of Bethezel+ mourns

because no one from Zaanan+

went out to help.+

12Everyone in Maroth+

hoped for the best,

but the Lord sent disaster

down on Jerusalem.

13Get the war chariots ready,

you people of Lachish.+

You led Jerusalem into sin,

just as Israel did.+

14Now you will have to give

a going-away gift+

to Moresheth.+

Israel's kings will discover

that they cannot trust

the town of Achzib.+

15People of Mareshah,+

the Lord will send someone

to capture your town.

Then Israel's glorious king

will be forced to hide

in Adullam Cave.+

16Judah, shave your head

as bald as a vulture

and start mourning.

Your precious children+

will be dragged off

to a foreign country.


1.1 Moresheth: A town in southern Judah not far from Gath. In verse 14 it is called Moresheth-Gath.
1.1 Samaria and Jerusalem: Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom (Israel), and Jerusalem was the capital of the southern kingdom (Judah).
1.1 Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah: Jotham, the son of Uzziah, ruled Judah 740–736 b.c.; Ahaz, the son of Jotham, ruled 736–716 b.c.; Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, ruled 716–687 b.c.
1.2 holy temple: Possibly the one in heaven, though it may be the Jerusalem temple.
1.7 wages of temple prostitutes: At pagan temples, people had sex with prostitutes as a way of worshiping the idols, and the money earned in this way was used to support the pagan religion.
1.8 this tragedy: Either the destruction of Samaria (verses 6,7) or the coming destruction of Judah and Jerusalem.
1.10 Gath … Beth-Leaphrah: Gath was a Philistine city; Beth-Leaphrah is unknown, but in Hebrew it sounds like “House of Dust.”
1.11 Shaphir: Mentioned only here in the Old Testament; in Hebrew “Shaphir” means “beautiful.”
1.11 Bethezel: Mentioned only here in the Old Testament; in Hebrew “Bethezel” means “house next door.”
1.11 Zaanan: Mentioned only here in the Old Testament; in Hebrew “Zaanan” means “one who goes out.”
1.11 The town … help: Or “No one from Zaanan refused to desert their town, and Bethezel mourns because it is left undefended.”
1.12 Maroth: Mentioned only here in the Old Testament; in Hebrew “Maroth” means “bitter.”
1.13 Lachish: The chief city of southwest Judah, about 48 kilometers from Jerusalem.
1.13 led … sin … did: Or “You led Jerusalem and Israel into sin.” In Hebrew “Lachish” sounds like “a team of horses (that pulls a war chariot).” And the sin may be that Lachish led the nation to trust the power of war chariots instead of the Lord. But the sin could be idolatry or some false teachings that were brought in from Egypt by way of Lachish.
1.14 going-away gift: The gift (dowry) that a bride's father gave her when she left the home of her parents to live with the family of her husband. In Hebrew the word for “bride” or “fiancee” sounds like “Moresheth.”
1.14 Moresheth: Hebrew “Moresheth-Gath”; the home of Micah (see verse 1).
1.14 Achzib: Meaning “lie” or “deception” was near Adullam Cave (verse 15), where David hid from King Saul (see 1 Samuel 22.1,2). Micah probably means that the people of Israel (including their king) will have to run for their lives, but will find that all hope for escape is merely a “lie” (see verse 15).
1.15 Mareshah: Sounds something like the Hebrew word for “conqueror” and was only a few kilometers northeast of Lachish.
1.15 Adullam Cave: See the note at 1.14.
1.16 precious children: The towns mentioned in verses 10-15.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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