An indictment by the LORD God. Micah responds on behalf of his nation. Judgment due to sin.
VERSE 1. Listen now to what the LORD says: “Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear what you have to say.
Listen now. This verse begins the third major section of the Book of Micah. It focuses on blessings from the goodness of the LORD God.
plead your case. This is what a lawyer does in a courtroom, on behalf of the accused.
before the mountains. The very mountains themselves will be listening to them plead their case.
VERSE 2. Hear, you mountains, the LORD’s indictment, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a case against his people, and he will contend with Israel.
Hear, you mountains. The LORD God calls the mountains to listen.
what have I done to you? The LORD God affirms his innocence.
Whenever bad things happen, people blame God. Believers are especially prone to this.
VERSE 4. For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage. I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
redeemed. The Hebrew word is padah. It means “to ransom.”
Moses. His name reminds them of the Law. Moses gave them the Law.
Aaron. His name reminds them of the priesthood. Aaron was the first priest.
Miriam. Her name reminds them of the prophets. Miriam was the first Hebrew prophet.
The Bible describes Miriam as a prophet. She is one of the five female prophets mentioned in the Old Testament.
The Bible and the Jewish tradition are very open to female prophets. How strange that we Christians are not. Read more »
VERSE 5. My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.”
VERSE 6. How shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
In response to the indictment by the LORD God (see above), the prophet Micah responds. He responds on behalf of his nation.
Micah speaks as a righteous person who understands his people’s guilt.
Micah is not like the false shepherds who refuse to shepherd their people properly.
VERSE 7. Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams? With tens of thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my disobedience? The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
VERSE 8. He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does the LORD require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
NIV translation. He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. This verse is a handy summary of the whole spiritual life. It tells us the LORD God has already shown us what is the good.
what does the Lord require of you. The LORD God has already shown us what is requires of us:
To act justly. Justice is required of us believers.
to love mercy. We are to have a tender heart. Our heart is to overflow with compassion.
to walk humbly with your God. We are to walk with God. Humbly, yes. But we are to walk with God.
This is so simple. It is so freeing! God longs for us to be free.
VERSE 9. The LORD’s voice calls to the city — and wisdom fears your name— “Listen to the rod, and he who appointed it.
Listen to the rod. This probably means that when the LORD God speaks, we should respond in reverential obedience.
VERSE 10. Are there yet treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and a short efah that is accursed?
treasures of wickedness. They were corrupt. They were deceptive in their business practices. Specifically, they cheated their customers by using a short efah:
a short efah. An efah is a measure of volume (about 22 liters or about 2/3 of a bushel). A short efah is made smaller than a full efah for the purpose of cheating customers.
dishonest scales. This is another way they cheated their customers.
deceitful weights. This is yet another way they cheated their customers.
VERSE 12. Her rich men are full of violence, her inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their speech.
inhabitants speak lies. Another category of their corruption was lying. They lied all the time.
tongue is deceitful in their speech. They had eradicated truth from their lives. They drove out facts like a demon.
In our day, this is the condition of many Christians. We refer to it as “the epistemological crisis.”
VERSE 13. Therefore I also have struck you with a grievous wound. I have made you desolate because of your sins.
VERSE 14. You shall eat, but not be satisfied. Your hunger will be within you. You will store up, but not save, and that which you save I will give up to the sword.
Due to their own sins, the conditions of their lives were failing.
eat, but not be satisfied. Their food will not satisfy them.
store up, but not save. Whatever they store up will be taken by their enemies.
VERSE 15. You will sow, but won’t reap. You will tread the olives, but won’t anoint yourself with oil; and crush grapes, but won’t drink the wine.
sow, but won’t reap. Their planting will bring no harvest for them.
VERSE 16. For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of Ahab’s house. You walk in their counsels, that I may make you a ruin, and your inhabitants a hissing. You will bear the reproach of my people.”
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.