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First Reading: Micah Chapter 1 and 2 and 3
1:1 Judgment on Israel and Judah
The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham,
Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 The Coming Judgment on Israel
Hear, all you peoples!Listen, O earth, and all that is in it!Let the Lord GOD be a witness against you,The Lord from His holy temple.
3 For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place;He will come down And tread on the high places of the earth. 4 The mountains will melt under Him,And the valleys will split Like wax before the fire,Like waters poured down a steep place. 5 All this is for the transgression of JacobAnd 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 a heap of ruins in the field,Places for planting a vineyard;I will pour down her stones into the valley,And I will uncover her foundations. 7 All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces,And all her pay as a harlot shall be burned with the fire;All her idols I will lay desolate,For she gathered it from the pay of a harlot,And they shall return to the pay of a harlot."
8 Mourning for Israel and Judah
Therefore I will wail and howl,I will go stripped and naked;I will make a wailing like the jackals And a mourning like the ostriches, 9 For her wounds are incurable.For it has come to Judah;It has come to the gate of My people To Jerusalem.
10 Tell it not in Gath,Weep not at all;In Beth Aphrah Roll yourself in the dust. 11 Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of Shaphir;The inhabitant of Zaanan does not go out.Beth Ezel mourns;Its place to stand is taken away from you.
12 For the inhabitant of Maroth pined for good,But disaster came down from the LORDTo the gate of Jerusalem. 13 O inhabitant of Lachish,Harness the chariot to the swift steeds (She was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion),For the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14 Therefore you shall give presents to Moresheth Gath; The houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel. 15 I will yet bring an heir to you, O inhabitant of Mareshah; The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam. 16 Make yourself bald and cut off your hair,Because of your precious children;Enlarge your baldness like an eagle,For they shall go from you into captivity.
2:1 Woe to Evildoers
Woe to those who devise iniquity,And work out evil on their beds!At morning
light they practice it,Because it is in the power of their hand. 2 They covet
fields and take them by violence,Also houses, and seize them.So they oppress
a man and his house,A man and his inheritance.
3 Therefore thus says the LORD:
"Behold, against this family I am devising disaster,From which you cannot remove your necks;Nor shall you walk haughtily,For this is an evil time. 4 In that day one shall take up a proverb against you,And lament with a bitter lamentation, saying:'We are utterly destroyed!He has changed the heritage of my people;How He has removed it from me!To a turncoat He has divided our fields.'"
5 Therefore you will have no one to determine boundaries by lot In the assembly of the LORD.
6 Lying Prophets
"Do not prattle," you say to those who prophesy.So they shall not
prophesy to you; They shall not return insult for insult. 7 You who are named
the house of Jacob:"Is the Spirit of the LORD restricted?Are these His
doings?Do not My words do good To him who walks uprightly?
8 "Lately My people have risen up as an enemy You pull off the robe with the garment From those who trust you, as they pass by,Like men returned from war. 9 The women of My people you cast out From their pleasant houses;From their children You have taken away My glory forever.
10 "Arise and depart,For this is not your rest;Because it is defiled, it shall destroy,Yes, with utter destruction. 11 If a man should walk in a false spirit And speak a lie, saying,'I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,'Even he would be the prattler of this people.
12 Israel Restored
"I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob,I will surely gather the remnant of Israel;I will put them together like sheep of the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture;They shall make a loud noise because of so many people. 13 The one who breaks open will come up before them;They will break out,Pass through the gate,And go out by it;Their king will pass before them,With the LORD at their head."
3:1 Wicked Rulers and Prophets
And I said:
"Hear now, O heads of Jacob,And you rulers of the house of Israel:Is it not for you to know justice? 2 You who hate good and love evil;Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones; 3 Who also eat the flesh of My people,Flay their skin from them,Break their bones,And chop them in pieces Like meat for the pot,Like flesh in the caldron."
4 Then they will cry to the LORD,But He will not hear them;He will even hide His face from them at that time,Because they have been evil in their deeds.
5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets Who make my people stray;Who chant "Peace"While they chew with their teeth,But who prepare war against him Who puts nothing into their mouths: 6 "Therefore you shall have night without vision,And you shall have darkness without divination;The sun shall go down on the prophets,And the day shall be dark for them. 7 So the seers shall be ashamed,And the diviners abashed;Indeed they shall all cover their lips;For there is no answer from God."
8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD,And of justice and might,To declare to Jacob his transgression And to Israel his sin. 9 Now hear this,You heads of the house of JacobAnd rulers of the house of Israel,Who abhor justice And pervert all equity, 10 Who build up Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with iniquity: 11 Her heads judge for a bribe,Her priests teach for pay,And her prophets divine for money.Yet they lean on the LORD, and say,"Is not the LORD among us?No harm can come upon us." 12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field,Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins,And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest.
99:1 Praise to the LORD for His Holiness
The LORD reigns;Let the peoples tremble!He dwells between the cherubim;Let
the earth be moved! 2 The LORD is great in Zion,And He is high above all the
peoples. 3 Let them praise Your great and awesome name He is holy.
4 The King's strength also loves justice;You have established equity;You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. 5 Exalt the LORD our God,And worship at His footstool He is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron were among His priests,And Samuel was among those who called upon His name;They called upon the LORD, and He answered them. 7 He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar;They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them.
8 You answered them, O LORD our God;You were to them God-Who-Forgives,Though You took vengeance on their deeds. 9 Exalt the LORD our God,And worship at His holy hill;For the LORD our God is holy.
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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