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From Judgement to Peace (Micah 3:1-5:15)

Micah 3–5 (Listen)

Rulers and Prophets Denounced

3:1   And I said:
  Hear, you heads of Jacob
    and rulers of the house of Israel!
  Is it not for you to know justice?—
    you who hate the good and love the evil,
  who tear the skin from off my people1
    and their flesh from off their bones,
  who eat the flesh of my people,
    and flay their skin from off them,
  and break their bones in pieces
    and chop them up like meat in a pot,
    like flesh in a cauldron.
  Then they will cry to the LORD,
    but he will not answer them;
  he will hide his face from them at that time,
    because they have made their deeds evil.
  Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets
    who lead my people astray,
  who cry “Peace”
    when they have something to eat,
  but declare war against him
    who puts nothing into their mouths.
  Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision,
    and darkness to you, without divination.
  The sun shall go down on the prophets,
    and the day shall be black over them;
  the seers shall be disgraced,
    and the diviners put to shame;
  they shall all cover their lips,
    for there is no answer from God.
  But as for me, I am filled with power,
    with the Spirit of the LORD,
    and with justice and might,
  to declare to Jacob his transgression
    and to Israel his sin.
  Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob
    and rulers of the house of Israel,
  who detest justice
    and make crooked all that is straight,
10   who build Zion with blood
    and Jerusalem with iniquity.
11   Its heads give judgment for a bribe;
    its priests teach for a price;
    its prophets practice divination for money;
  yet they lean on the LORD and say,
    “Is not the LORD in the midst of us?
    No disaster shall come upon us.”
12   Therefore because of you
    Zion shall be plowed as a field;
  Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
    and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

The Mountain of the Lord

4:1   It shall come to pass in the latter days
    that the mountain of the house of the LORD
  shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
  and peoples shall flow to it,
    and many nations shall come, and say:
  “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
    to the house of the God of Jacob,
  that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
  For out of Zion shall go forth the law,2
    and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  He shall judge between many peoples,
    and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away;
  and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
  nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war anymore;
  but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
    and no one shall make them afraid,
    for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
  For all the peoples walk
    each in the name of its god,
  but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God
    forever and ever.

The Lord Shall Rescue Zion

  In that day, declares the LORD,
    I will assemble the lame
  and gather those who have been driven away
    and those whom I have afflicted;
  and the lame I will make the remnant,
    and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
  and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion
    from this time forth and forevermore.
  And you, O tower of the flock,
    hill of the daughter of Zion,
  to you shall it come,
    the former dominion shall come,
    kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem.
  Now why do you cry aloud?
    Is there no king in you?
  Has your counselor perished,
    that pain seized you like a woman in labor?
10   Writhe and groan,3 O daughter of Zion,
    like a woman in labor,
  for now you shall go out from the city
    and dwell in the open country;
    you shall go to Babylon.
  There you shall be rescued;
    there the LORD will redeem you
    from the hand of your enemies.
11   Now many nations
    are assembled against you,
  saying, “Let her be defiled,
    and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.”
12   But they do not know
    the thoughts of the LORD;
  they do not understand his plan,
    that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
13   Arise and thresh,
    O daughter of Zion,
  for I will make your horn iron,
    and I will make your hoofs bronze;
  you shall beat in pieces many peoples;
    and shall devote4 their gain to the LORD,
    their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem

5:1   5 Now muster your troops, O daughter6 of troops;
    siege is laid against us;
  with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
    on the cheek.
  7 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
  from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
  whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days.
  Therefore he shall give them up until the time
    when she who is in labor has given birth;
  then the rest of his brothers shall return
    to the people of Israel.
  And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
    in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
  And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
    to the ends of the earth.
  And he shall be their peace.
  When the Assyrian comes into our land
    and treads in our palaces,
  then we will raise against him seven shepherds
    and eight princes of men;
  they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
    and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
  and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
    when he comes into our land
    and treads within our border.

A Remnant Shall Be Delivered

  Then the remnant of Jacob shall be
    in the midst of many peoples
  like dew from the LORD,
    like showers on the grass,
  which delay not for a man
    nor wait for the children of man.
  And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,
    in the midst of many peoples,
  like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
    like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
  which, when it goes through, treads down
    and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver.
  Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries,
    and all your enemies shall be cut off.
10   And in that day, declares the LORD,
    I will cut off your horses from among you
    and will destroy your chariots;
11   and I will cut off the cities of your land
    and throw down all your strongholds;
12   and I will cut off sorceries from your hand,
    and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes;
13   and I will cut off your carved images
    and your pillars from among you,
  and you shall bow down no more
    to the work of your hands;
14   and I will root out your Asherah images from among you
    and destroy your cities.
15   And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance
    on the nations that did not obey.

Footnotes

[1] 3:2 Hebrew from off them
[2] 4:2 Or teaching
[3] 4:10 Or push
[4] 4:13 Hebrew devote to destruction
[5] 5:1 Ch 4:14 in Hebrew
[6] 5:1 That is, city
[7] 5:2 Ch 5:1 in Hebrew

(ESV)