Old Testament

Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, and his book echoes many of the themes of Isaiah. He prophesied during the final days of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and during the peak of the Assyrian threat that almost destroyed Judah. This period lasted from about 735 to 701 BC.
We know nothing about the life of Micah. His hometown of Moresheth was in western Judah.
11This is the word of the Lord that came to Micah from Moresheth, in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. He saw this vision concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2Listen, all you peoples!
You pay close attention, earth and all of you who fill it!
The Lord God will testify against you.
The Lord will testify from his holy temple.
The Lord's Judgment Is Coming on Samaria and Jerusalem
3Look! The Lord is coming out from his place.
He will come down and will trample the high places of the land.
4The mountains will melt beneath him,
and the valleys will flow away like wax near a fire,
like water spilling down a mountainside.
5All this will happen because of the rebellion of Jacob,
because of the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the rebellion of Jacob? Is it not Samaria?
What is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?
6That is why I have sentenced Samaria to become
a heap of ruins in the open countryside,
a place where someone might plant a vineyard.
I have hurled down its stones into the valley.[]
I will expose its foundation.
7All her carved idols will be crushed,
and all her wages will be burned with fire.
I will sentence all her useless images to destruction.
Because she collected a prostitute's wages to obtain them,
they will become a prostitute's wages again.
Micah's Mourning
8Because of this I must lament and grieve.
I must walk barefoot and naked.
I must howl like a jackal
and make a mourning shriek like an ostrich,[]
9because her plague is incurable.
It has even spread to Judah.
It has arrived at the gate of my people.
It has come all the way up to Jerusalem.
10Do not announce it in Gath.
Do not weep at all.
In Beth Ophrah roll around in the dust.[]
11Pass by, you inhabitants of Shaphir, naked and ashamed.
The inhabitants of Za'anan[] must not go out.
Beth Ezel mourns. It takes away its support from you.[]
12The inhabitants of Maroth anxiously wait for good,
for disaster has come down from the Lord to the gates of Jerusalem.
13Hitch fast horses to the chariot, you inhabitants of Lachish.
You were the beginning of sin for the Daughter of Zion,
because the rebellious deeds of Israel were found also in you.
14Therefore you will give farewell gifts to Moresheth Gath.
The houses of Akzib will be undependable to the kings of Israel.
15I will once again bring a conqueror to you, you inhabitants of Mareshah.
The glory of Israel will come to Adullam.[]
16Shave your heads and cut off your hair
to mourn for the children that delight you.
Make yourself bald as a buzzard,
because your children will be taken away from you into exile.


  • 1:6 Though the events described in verse 6 still lay in the future as Micah was writing about them, the Hebrew verbs express past time, indicating that the events were already determined by God.
  • 1:8 Or perhaps a type of owl
  • 1:10 In this section there is a lot of word play between the city names and the verbs. For example, in verse 10 the name Gath sounds similar to the Hebrew word for tell, and the line that reads in Beth Ophrah roll around in the dust could be translated in Dust City roll around in the dust. The translation does not attempt to reproduce all the puns because many of them do not have good English equivalents or they simply express similarity of sound.
  • 1:11 The stop mark ' shows that Za'an- is to be pronounced as two syllables.
  • 1:11 The meaning of this line is uncertain.
  • 1:15 This line does not seem to provide a parallel to its neighbors. It may mean that the nobles of Israel are refugees to Adullam, or that God comes there in judgment.