Micah's Message to God's People

About this book

God told Micah to speak to Israel's people (the Jewish people). Micah was a prophet because he spoke messages from God. He lived a long time before Jesus lived on this earth. He spoke God's messages between about 740 BC (Before Christ's birth) and 686 BC. The prophet Isaiah also spoke messages from God to Israel's people at that same time.

When Micah was alive, the country of Israel was two separate parts. The name of the north part was Israel and the name of the south part was Judah. A king ruled each part. Micah's home was in Moresheth, which was a small town in the part called Judah. It was about 5 hours' walk (about 32 kilometres) south and west from Jerusalem, Judah's capital city.

In this book, Micah tells Israel's people that God is angry with them. God is angry because they have refused to obey him. So, he will cause enemies to attack them. But Micah also speaks about what God has promised. God has promised to save his people in the end.

In most of this book, Micah speaks God's words to the people. But sometimes he speaks to God on behalf of the people, and sometimes he speaks for himself.

Chapter 1

1 These are the messages that the Lord gave to Micah. Then Micah told them to the people during the times that Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah ruled the country called Judah. Micah was born in a small town called Moresheth. God showed Micah about what would happen to the cities called Samaria and Jerusalem.

Verse 1 Israel's capital city was Samaria, and Judah's capital city was Jerusalem.

God will destroy Samaria city

            2 Listen, all of you people everywhere!

            Hear this, everyone who lives on the earth!

            The Lord who is ruler of everyone will speak against you.

            You have done what is wrong. That is why he will speak against you.

            He will speak from his special house.

            3 Look! The Lord is leaving his place and he is coming down to the earth.

            He will come to the high places (where you worship false gods).

            He will destroy those places when he comes.

            4 The mountains will melt when he comes,

            like wax melts near a fire.

            The valleys will break too.

            They will move like water when it rushes down a hill.

Verse 4 To melt means to become soft and like water.

Wax is something that people use to mend things. They use wax also to make candles, which they burn to give light. Insects called bees make wax.

            5 All these bad things will happen because Jacob's people have refused to obey God.

            These things will happen because Israel's people have done wrong things.

            You may ask who has caused this.

            It is the leaders in your capital cities,

            Samaria city and Jerusalem city.

            They have kept the high places there for people to offer gifts to false gods.

 

6 So God says to you:

 

            'I will destroy Samaria so that just a few stones are lying in the fields there.

            Then people will plant vines in that place.

            I will throw the stones from the city down into the valley,

            when I completely destroy all the buildings.

            7 I will break all the false gods into pieces and I will destroy them.

            I will burn all the gifts that the people brought for those false gods.

            The people have paid so that they could have sex with bad women in those places.

            Your enemies will come and they will take away this money.

            They will give it to their gods in the same way.'

Verses 1-7 We think that Micah spoke these words at some time before 722 BC. In that year, enemies from the country called Assyria destroyed Samaria exactly as Micah had told the people earlier.

Verse 6 Vines or grapevines are plants that climb. They have small, sweet fruits called grapes.

Micah is sad for the people in Israel and Judah

            8 Because of what God has said, I will cry aloud. And I will weep.

            I will walk about without shoes or clothes.

            I will scream like a wild dog,

            and I will cry like a bird in the night.

            9 Because Samaria has such bad wounds that it can never get well.

            And the same will happen also to Judah's people.

            The enemies have already reached the gates of my people, that is, Jerusalem itself.

Verse 9 Wounds are places on someone's body where someone or something has hurt them.

            10 Do not talk about this in the city called Gath.

            Do not even weep there.

            But you people at Beth Leaphrah,

            roll on the ground to show how sad you are.

            11 You people who live in Shaphir, go on your way.

            Your enemies will not let you wear any clothes while they take you away.

            So you will be ashamed.

            The people who live in Zaanan will be afraid to leave their city.

            The people at Bethezel will cry because nobody comes to help them.

            12 The people at Maroth are in pain while they wait.

            They were waiting and hoping for something good.

            But the Lord sent only something bad.

            He brought trouble even to the gates of Jerusalem.

 

            13 You people who live in Lachish, get your war-carts and horses ready to go!

            You were the first people in Judah to do what is wrong.

            You are exactly like Israel's people, because, like them, you refused to obey God.

            14 You will need to give gifts to the people in Moresheth Gath,

            because they must go away.

            The houses in Achzib town will disappoint the kings of Israel.

            15 People in Mareshah, I (God) will bring an army against you,

            to fight your town. And it will win.

            And Israel's leaders will need to hide at Adullam.

            16 People in Judah, cut off all your hair.

            Make yourselves bald like vultures,

            because you will be very sad.

            Your enemies will take your children away.

            They will take your children, whom you love so much, away to another country!

Verses 10-15 In these verses, Micah says the names of towns and villages near his home, Moresheth Gath. Enemies from another country will come and fight against them. These verses may tell how Assyria's people attacked Judah's people in the year 701 BC.

Verse 14 The kings of Israel will get no help from Achzib town, because enemies will destroy the town.

Verse 16 In those days, people often cut off all their hair to show that they were very sad. Vultures are large birds with bald heads.

Chapter 2

God says that bad things will happen to the bad people

1 Micah continues:

 

            People who prepare to do bad things should be afraid.

            God will do bad things to them!

            While they lie in bed, they think about bad things to do.

            Then, when the morning comes, they do those bad things.

            They have the authority to do whatever they want to do.

            2 When they want fields, they take them from other people.

            When they want houses, they take them.

            These cruel people take other people's homes and fields;

            then those people's families have nothing.

 

3 So the Lord says this to them:

 

            'I am against you.

            You cannot save yourselves.

            I will prepare trouble for you.

            Then you will stop thinking that you are so very clever and important.

            It will be a time of much trouble for you.

            4 At that time, people will say that you are fools.

            They will sing this sad song on your behalf:

 

            God has completely destroyed us!

            We no longer have any fields, because God has taken them away from us.

            He has given them to our enemies, who have turned away from what is right.

 

            5 So, when the Lord's people measure the land again to give fields to everyone,

            you will get none.

            You will have nobody to speak on your behalf.'

Verse 5 At certain times, the people measured their fields again. They used stones with marks on them to decide about the fields. Micah says that God is against the bad people. So, God will never let them get any fields again in future times.

            6 The bad people say to Micah: 'Do not prophesy like this to us!

            Do not say that we will have trouble.

            God will not make us ashamed!'

Verse 6 To prophesy means to speak (God's) messages, often about future events.

 

            7 Micah replies: It is wrong for you to say that the Lord's Spirit is not angry with Jacob's people.

            God does not do bad things.

            My (God's) words do good things.

            He is kind to people who do the right things.

 

            8 'Even in days that have only just passed,

            you have become enemies among my people', God says.

            'You rob people of their coats when they pass by.

            Even men who thought that they were safe now.

            You even rob men who are returning home from war.

            9 You rob the women among my people too.

            You take away their happy homes.

            So, you take away what I want their children to enjoy.

            10 Get up and go away!

            You cannot remain in this place because you have made it bad.

            It is so bad that it will completely destroy you.

            11 When a person speaks false messages to you, then you believe them.

            They might say that you would have plenty of wine and strong drink.

            That is the message that you would like!'

Verse 11 Micah spoke true messages from God. But other people were speaking false messages. They spoke words that made the bad people happy. In this verse, God is saying that the bad people should listen to Micah.

God promises to bring his people back together

            12 'You people of Israel, I promise to bring all of you together.

            I will bring back together all Israel's people who remain.

            I will put all of you together like sheep in a field with a wall round it.

            You will be like a field full of sheep.

            There will be a loud noise because there will be so many of you.

            13 The person who breaks open the way will go in front of you.

            Then you will go out through the gate.

            I am the Lord, your king, and I will lead you out.'

In verses 1-11, God says that he will kill the bad people in Israel. He will bring enemies to fight them.

In verses 12-13, God promises to bring the poor and good people to a safe place. This may mean Jerusalem. Then, when their enemies have gone away, he will lead them out of that place. They will return to their homes.

Chapter 3

Micah speaks against the bad leaders of Israel

1 Then I spoke to the leaders:

 

            Listen to me, I said.

            You are the leaders of Jacob's people,

            you are the rulers of Israel.

            You ought to know what is right or wrong.

            2 But you hate what is good.

            And you love what is bad.

            You would like to tear the skin off my people,

            and pull the meat from their bones.

            3 You look at my people and you are like butchers.

            They strip the skin off an animal and they break its bones.

            Then they cut the meat into pieces and they cook it in a pot.

            They are happy when they eat the meat.

            4 One day you will shout to the Lord for help,

            but he will not answer you.

            Instead, God will turn away from you at that time,

            because you have done those bad things.

 

5 The Lord has spoken about you prophets who tell false messages. You lead my people the wrong way with false promises. If people give food to you, then you are happy. So, you promise that there will be no war. But, if people do not feed you, then you are angry. You promise that war will come.

 

            6 God says to you: 'It will be like night for you because it will be dark.

            You will not see anything.

            You will no longer be able to see what will happen in future times.

            The sun will go down over you prophets,

            and the day will become dark for you.

            7 You saw what would happen in future times. That is what you said.

            But you will be ashamed.

            And you try to tell what will happen in future times.

            But I will confuse you.

            All of you will hide your faces because I will not answer you.'

 

            8 'But the Spirit of the Lord fills me, to make me powerful', I told them.

            He helps me to know what is right and fair.

            He makes me brave so that I can speak to you, Jacob's people.

            I can tell you what you have done wrong.

            You are Israel's people,

            but you have not obeyed God.

In verses 1-7, Micah speaks on God's behalf, but in verse 8, he speaks for himself.

            9 So listen to this, you leaders of Jacob's people.

            You are Israel's rulers.

            But you never do what is right and fair.

            You take what is good.

            And you make it seem bad.

            10 You rule Zion city, which is Jerusalem.

            But you are cruel, and you kill honest people.

Verse 10 The rulers did bad things. They were ready to kill anyone who tried to stop them. They did whatever they wanted to do. Also, the rulers made the people work very much. Many people may have died because they worked so much.

            11 You are the city's rulers, but you accept money from people.

            Then you decide what is right or wrong.

            You listen to the people who give the money to you.

            Then they tell you what to decide.

            You priests teach only if the people pay you to teach.

            You prophets speak about what will happen in future times.

            But you only speak if you receive money.

            But all of you, the leaders, still say that you believe the Lord.

            'The Lord is with us, so nothing bad will happen to us', you say.

            12 So God says: 'Because of you,

            I will make Zion like a field that people have ploughed.

            I will destroy Jerusalem so that only stones are lying there.

            Weeds and bushes will grow all over the hill where they built my house.'

Verse 11 A priest was a man that God chose. God chose him to be his special servant and to teach the people.

Chapter 4

God's mountain

            1 In the last days,

            the mountain where the Lord's house is will be the highest mountain.

            It will be the most important of all the mountains.

            It will be higher than the hills,

            and people from many countries will go to it.

            2 Many people will speak about it.

            'Come! We will go up to the Lord's mountain', they will say.

            'We will go to the Lord's house because he is the God of Jacob's people.

            He will teach us what he wants us to do.

            He will show us the right way; so then we will be able to obey him.

            The Lord will speak his rules from Zion.

            He will send out his message from Jerusalem.'

 

            3 He will decide what is right or wrong between many countries.

            He will cause strong countries everywhere to stop fighting each other.

            They fight with swords and spears.

            But then, they will use hammers to make their swords into ploughs.

            They will make their spears into tools to cut plants.

            One country will not fight another country any longer.

            They will never prepare for war again.

            4 Everyone will sit under his own vine and his own fig tree.

            Nobody will make them afraid any longer.

            The Lord, who has all authority, has promised this.

            5 People from other countries may be the servants of other gods.

            But we will be servants of the Lord our God.

            We will obey him always.

Verse 3 A spear is a long piece of wood or metal with a sharp point at the end. Soldiers used spears to fight.

Verse 4 Micah says that everyone in the world will feel safe and happy at this future time. There will be no more wars, and they will have plenty of food.

Vines or grapevines are plants that climb. They have small, sweet fruits called grapes. Figs are sweet fruits.

God will make Israel and Jerusalem strong again

6 The Lord speaks again:

 

            'At that time I will bring together the people who cannot walk well.

            I will bring back the people that I sent away.

            I caused trouble for those people,

            but I will bring them back together.

            7 I will make a new beginning with those people who cannot walk well.

            Together with some of those people that I sent far away,

            I will make them my own special people.

            They will be strong,

            and I will rule over them from Zion's mountain.

            I will be their king from that time and always.

            8 And as for Jerusalem city,

            it was a strong, safe place for Zion's people.

            It was like a tall building,

            from which a man can watch over his sheep.

            Then it will again be a place where a king rules with great authority.'

 

            9 You people in Jerusalem,

            you are crying aloud like people who have no king.

            You cry like people who have nobody to advise them.

            You have bad pains like a woman who is giving birth to a baby.

Verse 9 To advise someone means to tell them what they should do. This verse says that the king in Jerusalem had failed to rule the people well. He had not asked God to show him what to do. So, the people were very sad and afraid.

            10 People in Zion, you will have a lot of pain,

            like a woman who is giving birth to a baby.

            She rolls about and she screams with pain.

            Soon you will have to leave your city and you will have to live in the fields.

            You will have to go to Babylon,

            but there the Lord will save you.

            He will make you free again from the authority of your enemies.

            11 But now, at this time, many countries have come together to attack your city.

            They say: 'We will destroy Jerusalem and we will enjoy ourselves.

            We want to see Zion's people in trouble.'

            12 But they do not know the Lord's thoughts.

            They do not understand how he will punish them.

            He will bring them together,

            as people bring bundles of wheat together at harvest time.

            He will punish them,

            as people thresh wheat to get the seeds out.

 

            13 'People in Zion, get up and fight your enemies', God says to you.

            'Hit them like people thresh the wheat.

            I will make you very strong.

            Then you will be like dangerous animals with iron horns and metal feet.

            You will beat enemies from many countries,

            as men crush things into small pieces.

            The people from those countries became rich,

            because they did bad things.

            But you will bring their riches to me,

            because I am the Lord of all the earth.'

Verses 9-13 These verses tell what will happen to Jerusalem and Israel in future days. They tell about enemies who will come soon (from Assyria). And they tell about enemies who will come later (from Babylon). But they tell also how God will save his people.

Verse 12 A bundle is many things that people have tied together (like wheat plants).

Verses 12-13 Wheat is a kind of plant that people grow on farms. They use the seeds to make flour for bread. To thresh means to hit bundles of wheat on the ground to get the seeds out.

Verse 13 Horns are things like sticks that grow on the top of some animals' heads, like cows and some sheep. Horns have points at their ends.

Chapter 5

The ruler that God chooses will be born in Bethlehem

            1 Soldiers in Jerusalem, come together!

            Get ready, because your enemies are attacking you.

            They are all round the city, ready to fight.

            They will hit Israel's ruler on his face with a stick.

Verse 1 This verse tells us again about the enemies who were coming to fight against Jerusalem. They will hit the king on his face, because they will almost win the war. This will show that they have authority over him. (An army from Assyria attacked Jerusalem in 701 BC but they did not completely beat Judah's soldiers. An army from Babylon came years later and beat them.)

2 But God tells us this:

 

            'Bethlehem Ephrathah is only a little town,

            among all the many towns in Judah', God says.

            'But I will choose someone who is born there.

            He will rule Israel for me.

            Long, long ago, I prepared for him to come.'

Verse 2 tells people that the birth of the ruler will be in Bethlehem, a very small town. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem.

            3 So God will turn away from his people,

            until the time that the woman gives birth to this baby in Bethlehem.

            Then this ruler's own people who are still alive will return to Israel.

            4 And this ruler will stay strong because the Lord will make him strong.

            He will supply what his people need.

            He will be like a man who supplies everything for his sheep.

            He will rule with authority from the Lord his God,

            and his people will be safe.

            So then, all over the world, people will know that he is great.

            5 And he will cause the people to rest,

            so that they have no trouble.

 

            Assyria's soldiers will come to attack our country.

            They will march through our large, strong buildings.

            Then we will choose seven or eight leaders to fight against them.

            6 These leaders will use their swords to destroy Assyria.

            They will beat the people in the country called Nimrod with swords in their hands.

            Assyria's soldiers will come into our country.

            They will march across our borders,

            but our ruler will save us from them.

Verse 5 'Seven or eight leaders' means 'as many leaders as we need'. The idea is that Israel will have more than enough leaders to beat their enemy at that time.

Verse 6 Nimrod is another name for Assyria. (Genesis 10:8-11 says that Nimrod was a strong hunter. He lived in the same place as Assyria, but many years earlier.)

God's people will be strong again

            7 And later, Jacob's people who are still alive will be in many countries.

            They will be everywhere,

            like water on the ground in the early morning,

            or rain on the grass.

            The Lord sends the water to help the plants,

            but no human person can make it stay.

            8 Jacob's people who are still alive will be living among people in many other countries.

            They will become like a dangerous lion among the other animals in the forest.

            They will become like a young lion among people's sheep.

            The lion attacks other animals.

            It knocks them down and it tears them in pieces.

            Nobody can save them.

            9 You will be strong like that and so you will beat your enemies.

            You will kill all of them.

Verses 7-8 These verses tell about the future time when God's people will be strong again. This time is the 'last days', as in Chapter 4:1. Jacob's people can bring life to people from other countries as water brings life to plants. But some of those other people may not want to obey God. To them, Jacob's people will bring death, as a lion kills other animals.

A lion is a big wild cat. It kills other animals and it eats them.

God wants people to obey him

            10 'At that time', the Lord says, 'I will take your horses away from you.

            I will destroy your war-carts.

            11 I will destroy the cities in your country.

            I will knock down all your strong buildings.

            12 You make bad spirits help you.

            But I will destroy the things that you use to talk to them.

            You will have nobody to tell you about future times.

            13 You bend down to worship tall stones and idols.

            But I will destroy all of them.

            You will stop worshipping things that you have made with your own hands.

            14 You worship the false god Asherah,

            but I will pull her poles from the ground.

            I will even destroy your cities.

            15 Also I will punish all the people in other countries who refuse to obey me.

            I will show them that I am very angry with them.'

Verse 14 Asherah was the mother-god of the people called Canaanites. Israel's people took their country from the Canaanites and they lived there. They learned to worship the Canaanites' god, Asherah. They used the poles to worship Asherah. But God had told Israel's people not to worship any other gods.

Verse 13 An idol is a thing that people have made from stone, wood or metal. Then they worship and pray to the idol instead of God.

Verse 14 A pole is a tall stick that someone has made out of wood.

Chapter 6

God has a quarrel with Israel's people

1 Now listen to what the Lord says:

 

            'Stand up! Explain in front of the mountains what I want to say.

            Speak loud so that the hills can hear your voice.

            2 Listen, you mountains.

            Hear this, you strong places that have always been there deep in the earth.

            God has a quarrel with Israel's people.

            Hear the reasons why God is angry with you, his people.'

Verses 1-2 God wants both the highest and lowest places on earth to hear him speak against his people. He tells Micah to speak as in a law-court. A law-court is a place where people with authority decide what is right and fair. The laws (rules) of the country tell them what is right or wrong.

            3 'My people, what bad thing have I done to you?' God asks.

            'How have I made you tired of me?

            Answer me.

            4 I brought you out of Egypt.

            You were slaves in that country,

            but I made you free people.

            I sent Moses to lead you,

            and Aaron and Miriam with him.

            5 My people, please remember the bad things that King Balak of Moab tried to do.

            And remember what Balaam, Beor's son, answered him.

            Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal.

            Then you will remember that I, the Lord, do good things.'

Verse 5 King Balak asked Balaam to speak bad words to God's people. He wanted them to have trouble. But God made Balaam speak only good words. (See Numbers chapters 22-24.)

Shittim was on the east side of the River Jordan. Gilgal was on the west side. The river was very full of water when God's people needed to cross it. So, God made a path through the water for them to cross the river. (See Joshua chapters 3-4.)

What God wants from his people

            6 'I come to meet with the Lord', you say.

            'I must know what to bring when I come.

            I bend down to worship him.

            I must know what to offer when I bend down.

            He is God and he is greater than everything.

            Perhaps he would like it if I burn young cows one year old for him.

            7 He might be happy with thousands of male sheep,

            or ten thousand rivers of olive oil.

            I have not obeyed God.

            I might even kill and burn my oldest son, because of that.

            I have done wrong things and I must pay God for that.

            Perhaps, if I give my own child to him, that will be enough to pay.'

Verses 6-7 In these verses Micah speaks as one man, on behalf of Israel's people. They want to give gifts to God. They will give anything that God wants. They will try to pay for what they have done wrong. Some people wanted to kill and burn a child as a way to give him to God. We know that God certainly does not want this.

Verse 7 Olives are small fruits that people crush to make oil.

8 But God has told us what is good. This is what the Lord wants from us:

 

            'You must be fair to other people', God says.

            'You must want to be kind.

            And you must be careful to do what I show you.'

Verse 8 In this verse, Micah replies on God's behalf. God wanted the people to obey him. He did not really want other gifts from them. Micah uses a special word for 'kind'. It means to be a friend. And not to stop, whatever happens.

God will punish people that are not honest

            9 The Lord shouts to the people in Jerusalem city.

            So, it is good for us to listen carefully to what he says.

            'Listen to me, because I have the authority to punish you', God says.

            10 'You bad people still hide valuable things that you have taken from other people.

            I will not forget this.

            You bad people use false weights to measure the food that you sell.

            I hate that.

            11 I will not excuse you people who use false weights.

            You are not being honest if you weigh things like that.

            12 You rich people in the city are very cruel.

            Everyone there says things that are not true.

            All of them speak false words.

 

            13 So, I will make you so sick that you will never get well.

            I have begun to destroy you because you have done bad things.

            14 You will eat, but you will still feel hungry.

            You will store things and you will try to keep them safe.

            But you will fail to save them.

            I will cause enemies to destroy all your things in the war.

            15 You will plant seeds,

            but you will not bring in the harvest.

            You will crush olives,

            but you will not use the olive oil for yourselves.

            You will crush grapes,

            but you will not drink the wine from them.

            16 You have obeyed the rules of King Omri.

            You have done what King Ahab and all his people did.

            You have copied their bad example.

            So, I must destroy you and all your things completely.

            Then people from other countries will not be kind or polite to you.

            Instead, they will make you ashamed.'

Verse 16 Omri and his son, Ahab, were bad kings. They lived in Israel many years before Micah spoke these words.

Verse 15 Olives are small fruits that people crush to make oil.

Chapter 7

Israel's people are very bad, but Micah still believes God

            1 I am very sad!

            I am like someone who comes to trees with no fruit on them.

            Other people have picked the fruit already.

            So, I am like those people who can only pick the last grapes.

            Those are the grapes that other people leave behind.

            Really, there are no grapes there to eat.

            There are none of the first figs that I like so much.

            2 There are no longer any people here who obey God.

            There are no good, honest people.

            Everyone is waiting to kill someone else.

            They are all like hunters, who try to catch each other.

            3 They know very well how to work together to do bad things.

            Rulers demand gifts and judges ask for money.

            Powerful bad people always get what they want.

            All these people work together to do what is bad.

            4 The best of them are dangerous like wild plants with thorns.

            The most honest of them are worse than thorn bushes.

            The bad time that your prophets told you about is coming.

            Soon God will punish you,

            and you will be confused.

Verse 1 Figs are small, sweet fruits.

Verse 3 A judge is someone with authority to decide what is right or fair.

Verse 4 Thorns are the sharp, hard points on some plants. Micah says that the bad people are like plants with thorns. He means that they are always ready to cause trouble for other people.

            5 Do not believe anyone, even somebody that you know well.

            You cannot be sure that your friend will always be honest with you.

            Be careful what you say to your wife.

            Be careful even when you are hugging her.

            6 Sons think that their fathers are fools.

            And daughters refuse to obey their mothers.

            Wives quarrel with their husbands' mothers.

            A man's enemies are the people who live in his own house now.

 

            7 But as for me, I will watch for what the Lord will do.

            I will wait for God, who saves me.

            I know that he hears me.

Israel's enemies will be ashamed

            8 My enemy, do not be happy because I am in trouble.

            I have fallen down, but I will get up.

            I am in the dark, but the Lord will be a light to me.

            9 I have not obeyed the Lord,

            so he is angry with me.

            He will continue to punish me,

            until the time when he speaks for me.

            Then he will make things right for me.

            He will bring me out into the light.

            He always does what is really right.

            And I will see that then.

            10 'Why does the Lord your God not help you?' my enemies say to me.

            They will see what God does for me.

            Then they will be very ashamed.

            And I will see the bad things that happen to them.

            Soon other people will crush them and beat them.

            Then they will be like wet ground in the streets under people's feet.

Verses 8-10 Here Micah speaks on behalf of Zion's people, as if they were one person.

Jerusalem city will be great again

            11 But the time will come for you to build the walls of your cities again.

            You will make the borders of your country much wider then.

            12 At that time many of Assyria's people and Egypt's people will come to you.

            People will come to you from the countries between Egypt and the River Euphrates.

            They will come to you from all over the earth,

            from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.

            13 The other parts of the earth will become sad places where nobody lives.

            God will destroy them because of the people who live there.

            Those people have done what is bad.

Micah talks to God

            14 Rule us and lead us, Lord.

            You are like a man who leads his sheep.

            He uses a strong stick to lead them.

            We are your own special people.

            We are like a group of sheep that lives by itself in a forest.

            There is good grass all round them.

            Let your sheep eat grass in Bashan and Gilead,

            as they did a long time ago.

Verse 14 Bashan and Gilead were east of the River Jordan. They were good places for sheep because lots of grass grew there. They had been parts of Israel's land many years before, but Assyria's people had taken them. In this verse, Micah is saying that Israel's people can live there again.

            15 Lord, you did great things long ago,

            when you brought us out of the country called Egypt.

            Do great things like that again.

            16 The people in other countries will see what you do.

            They will understand that they are not really powerful.

            So then they will be ashamed.

            They will be like deaf and dumb people (people who cannot speak or hear).

            17 They will be like snakes that move along the ground.

            They will eat the ground like snakes because they will be very afraid.

            They will come out of their safe places,

            because they will be afraid of you, the Lord our God.

 

            18 No other god is like you.

            You chose us to be your people.

            And you decide not to remember what we have done wrong.

            Not many of your people remain and we have done bad things.

            But you choose to forget those bad things.

            You will not always be angry,

            because you want very much to be kind.

            19 You like to be kind because you love us.

            So, again you will remove everything that we have done wrong.

            You will crush those bad things.

            You will throw all of them into the deep sea.

            20 You will continue to be kind to us,

            because we are Jacob's and Abraham's people.

            That is what you promised to our grandfathers a long time ago.

Verse 17 'Eat the ground' means 'show that they will obey you'.

Verse 20 Abraham was the man that God chose. God chose him a long time before Micah lived. Abraham was Jacob's (Israel's) grandfather. All his people after that time have the name: 'Israel's people'. Abraham believed God and obeyed him. He believed even when it was very difficult. (See Genesis chapters 12-25.)

Word List

BC
before Christ's birth.
crush
to break something into little pieces by pushing on it and making it flat.
grape
a small, sweet fruit that people crush to make wine.
harvest
the time when people pick all the fruits that are ready to eat; or those fruits themselves.
hate
to strongly or completely not like something or someone. To hate is the opposite of to love.
Jacob
another name for Israel. Jacob was Abraham's grandson.
Jew
a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.
Jewish
a word that describes a Jew or anything that belongs to a Jew.
Judah
the name of the country where Micah lived. When Micah was alive, the country of Israel was two separate parts. The name of the north part was Israel and the name of the south part was Judah.
Lord
master; another name for God; it means that he is above everyone else.
prophet
person who speaks (God's) messages. They often tell about future events.
punish
cause someone to hurt, because they have done bad things; cause trouble for someone, because they have done bad things.
sword
a long metal knife. Soldiers used swords to fight.
war-cart
this carried soldiers to war. Horses pulled these carts.
wine
a drink that people make from grapes. It contains alcohol.
worship
to love and thank someone (God) more than anyone else.
Zion
another name for Jerusalem.

Book List

Jay Green ~ The Interlinear Hebrew-Greek-English Bible ~ Volume III

Leslie C. Allen ~ The New International Commentary on the Old Testament ~ The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah

Ralph L. Smith ~ Word Biblical Commentary ~ Volume 32: Micah-Malachi

IVP New Bible Commentary ~ 21st Century Edition

Various Bible versions

Info

© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1999-2006

This version published April 2006

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.