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First Reading: Micah Chapter 1 and 2 and 3
1 The word of Jehovah that came to Micah the Morashtite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 Hear, ye peoples, all of you: hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord Jehovah be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
3 For, behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.
4 And the mountains shall be melted under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, as waters that are poured down a steep place.
5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?
6 Therefore I will make Samaria as a heap of the field, `and' as places for planting vineyards; and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will uncover the foundations thereof.
7 And all her graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and all her hires shall be burned with fire, and all her idols will I lay desolate; for of the hire of a harlot hath she gathered them, and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return.
8 For this will I lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals, and a lamentation like the ostriches.
9 For her wounds are incurable; for it is come even unto Judah; it reacheth unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.
10 Tell it not in Gath, weep not at all: at Beth-le-aphrah have I rolled myself in the dust.
11 Pass away, O inhabitant of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame: the inhabitant of Zaanan is not come forth; the wailing of Beth-ezel shall take from you the stay thereof.
12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waiteth anxiously for good, because evil is come down from Jehovah unto the gate of Jerusalem.
13 Bind the chariot to the swift steed, O inhabitant of Lachish: she was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion; for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.
14 Therefore shalt thou give a parting gift to Moresheth-gath: the houses of Achzib shall be a deceitful thing unto the kings of Israel.
15 I will yet bring unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah, him that shall possess thee: the glory of Israel shall come even unto Adullam.
16 Make thee bald, and cut off thy hair for the children of thy delight: enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.
1 Woe to them that devise iniquity and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.
2 And they covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away: and they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
3 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks, neither shall ye walk haughtily; for it is an evil time.
4 In that day shall they take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, `and' say, We are utterly ruined: he changeth the portion of my people: how doth he remove `it' from me! to the rebellious he divideth our fields.
5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast the line by lot in the assembly of Jehovah.
6 Prophesy ye not, `thus' they prophesy. They shall not prophesy to these: reproaches shall not depart.
7 Shall it be said, O house of Jacob, Is the Spirit of Jehovah straitened? are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
8 But of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye strip the robe from off the garment from them that pass by securely `as men' averse from war.
9 The women of my people ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their young children ye take away my glory for ever.
10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your resting-place; because of uncleanness that destroyeth, even with a grievous destruction.
11 If a man walking in a spirit of falsehood do lie, `saying', I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make great noise by reason of `the multitude of' men.
13 The breaker is gone up before them: they have broken forth and passed on to the gate, and are gone out thereat; and their king is passed on before them, and Jehovah at the head of them.
1 And I said, Hear, I pray you, ye heads of Jacob, and rulers of the house of Israel: is it not for you to know justice?
2 ye who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones;
3 who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.
4 Then shall they cry unto Jehovah, but he will not answer them; yea, he will hide his face from them at that time, according as they have wrought evil in their doings.
5 Thus saith Jehovah concerning the prophets that make my people to err; that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and whoso putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him:
6 Therefore it shall be night unto you, that ye shall have no vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them.
7 And the seers shall be put to shame, and the diviners confounded; yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.
8 But as for me, I am full of power by the Spirit of Jehovah, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and rulers of the house of Israel, that abhor justice, and pervert all equity.
10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet they lean upon Jehovah, and say, Is not Jehovah in the midst of us? no evil shall come upon us.
12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.
Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 99
1 Jehovah reigneth; let the peoples tremble: He sitteth `above' the cherubim; let the earth be moved.
2 Jehovah is great in Zion; And he is high above all the peoples.
3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name: Holy is he.
4 The king's strength also loveth justice; Thou dost establish equity; Thou executest justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt ye Jehovah our God, And worship at his footstool: Holy is he.
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, And Samuel among them that call upon his name; They called upon Jehovah, and he answered them.
7 He spake unto them in the pillar of cloud: They kept his testimonies, And the statute that he gave them.
8 Thou answeredst them, O Jehovah our God: Thou wast a God that forgavest them, Though thou tookest vengeance of their doings.
9 Exalt ye Jehovah our God, And worship at his holy hill; For Jehovah our God is holy. Psalm 100 A Psalm of thanksgiving.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Micah prophesied around 735-700 B.C. He was a contemporary of Isaiah and was to the Southern Kingdom of Judah what Amos was previously to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Both were fierce critics of the rich and powerful who exploited the poor. Though Micah's prophecies refer especially to Judah, they concerned all of Israel. Micah's leading ideas are the regeneration of Israel's remnant through judgment, the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the line of David, and the conversion of the nations through that kingdom. The conclusion of his prophecy is a triumphant expression of faith, which is seen in its true quality against the background of the materialism and the corruption of the reign of Ahaz.
The message of Micah can be divided into four parts:
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