Introduction. Judgment will come. Lament over the people.
VERSE 1. The LORD’s word that came to Micah of Morasheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
The LORD. When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, “LORD” or “GOD” is the translation of God’s Proper Name.
The LORD’s word. Micah says this message is the word of the LORD God.
of Morasheth. This city was about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. These three are kings of Judah. Micah does not mention the kings of the northern kingdom, perhaps because they are not in the lineage of David.
Micah mentioning these three kings means that Micah’s ministry was between 750 and 686 BC.
Many assume that Micah’s ministry ended in the early part of Hezekiah’s reign, perhaps before 700 BC.
Samaria. It was the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Jerusalem. It was the capital of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
which he saw. Other translations say something like “the vision he saw.” In such cases the word “vision” is added by the translators.
he saw. The Hebrew word is חָזָ֥ה (“ḥā·zāh”). It means see, behold.
VERSE 2. Hear, you peoples, all of you! Listen, O earth, and all that is therein. Let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
the Lord. The word translated “Lord” (mixed case) is “Adonai.”
his holy temple. This probably alludes to the temple in heaven.
VERSE 3. For behold, the LORD comes out of his place, and will come down and tread on the high places of the earth.
Behold. This is from the Hebrew word הִנֵּה. It means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.
VERSE 4. The mountains melt under him, and the valleys split apart like wax before the fire, like waters that are poured down a steep place.
NIV translation. The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope.
The mountains melt beneath him. This is a manifestation of the power of the LORD God.
Psalm 97:5. The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
VERSE 5. “All this is for the disobedience of Jacob, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the disobedience of Jacob? Isn’t it Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Aren’t they Jerusalem?
VERSE 6. Therefore I will make Samaria like a rubble heap of the field, like places for planting vineyards; and I will pour down its stones into the valley, and I will uncover its foundations.
VERSE 7. All her idols will be beaten to pieces, all her temple gifts will be burned with fire, and I will destroy all her images; for of the hire of a prostitute has she gathered them, and to the hire of a prostitute shall they return.”
a prostitute. This probably refers to temple prostitution, which existed as a rite of fertility.
VERSE 8. For this I will lament and wail. I will go stripped and naked. I will howl like the jackals and mourn like the ostriches.
NAB translation. For this reason I lament and wail, I go barefoot and naked. I utter lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches.
I go barefoot and naked. The LORD God calls Micah to be naked.
In our day, some members of the Jain religion practice complete nudity. This symbolizes the non-possession of even clothes.
ostriches. Apparently they knew about the ostrich.
VERSE 9. For her wounds are incurable; for it has come even to Judah. It reaches to the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.
VERSE 10. Don’t tell it in Gath. Don’t weep at all. At Beth Ophrah I have rolled myself in the dust.
Beth Ophrah. This means literally “House of Dust.”
VERSE 11. Pass on, inhabitant of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame. The inhabitant of Zaanan won’t come out. The wailing of Beth Ezel will take from you his protection.
VERSE 12. For the inhabitant of Maroth waits anxiously for good, because evil has come down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem.
VERSE 13. Harness the chariot to the swift steed, inhabitant of Lachish. She was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion; For the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
VERSE 14. Therefore you will give a parting gift to Moresheth Gath. The houses of Achzib will be a deceitful thing to the kings of Israel.
VERSE 15. I will yet bring a conqueror to you, inhabitants of Mareshah. The glory of Israel will come to Adullam.
VERSE 16. Shave your heads, and cut off your hair for the children of your delight. Enlarge your baldness like the vulture, for they have gone into captivity from you!
Shave your heads, and cut off your hair. The NAB translation puts it: “Make yourself bald, pluck out your hair.”
Apparently, the LORD God called Micah to shave his hair. In those days, it was a sign of mourning.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.