Micah 1

The Word Made Fresh

1The LORD’s word concerning Samaria and Jerusalem came to Micah, who lived in Moresheth during the reigns in Judah of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.

2Hear this, everyone. Listen to the witness of the LORD God
against you from the holy temple.
3The LORD is coming to walk about on the hills of earth.
4The mountains will melt below the LORD’s footsteps.
The valleys will melt like wax near the fire.
The waters will be poured down the steep mountainsides.
5This will happen because of the sins of Jacob,
and the sins of the people of Israel.
Samaria is the great sin of Jacob,
and Jerusalem is Judah’s high place.
6So, I will make Samaria a garbage dump in the countryside,
a place where vineyards can be planted.
I will cast her stones into the valley
and lay bare her foundations.
7All her idols will be smashed.
All her wealth will be burned.
I will destroy all her false gods.
She has gathered these things as payments to a prostitute,
and that is how they will be used again.
8Because of this I will weep and wail.
I will walk barefooted and naked.
I will mourn like the weeping of jackals
and like the moaning of the owls.
9Her wounds are fatal to Judah,
reaching the gate of my people in Jerusalem.
10Do not speak of it, and do not weep.                              
Roll in the dust at Beth-Leaphrah.
11You people of Shaphir, keep walking naked and ashamed.
You who live in Zaanan, stay in your homes,
for Beth-Ezel is grieving and will no longer support you.
12The people of Maroth wait eagerly for good news,
but the LORD has sent disaster upon the gates of Jerusalem.
13So, you who live in Lachish, harness the horses to the chariots.
The sins of daughter Zion were the beginning of your fall.
The sins of Israel were found in you.
14So, offer parting gifts to Moresheth-Gath.
Let the families of Achzib deceive the kings of Israel.
15I will bring a conqueror to those who live in Mareshah.
Israel’s glory will come to Adullam.
16So, shave the hair from your face and head
for the children you have coddled.
Make yourselves as bald as eagles,
for they have gone away from you into exile.


1: This verse contains all we know about the prophet Micah. Moresheth was a small village southwest of Jerusalem. He claims to have been active during the reigns of three Judean kings; Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, which places him somewhere between 742 — 687 B.C. He is thus a prophet from the southern kingdom of Judah, though he prophesies mostly against the northern kingdom of Israel.

2-7: Initially the two thrones are cast alike: the high places (shrines and altars) are God’s targets, both in Jerusalem and in Samaria. Samaria will be wasted because of the worship of pagan deities on the high places. The comparison of Samaria with a prostitute reminds of us Hosea’s characterizations.

8-9: The prophet laments the coming destruction of Samaria, and warns that Judah will suffer the same fate.

10-16: Many scholars think these verses allude to the invasion in 701 B.C. by Sennacherib. The towns listed here, most of them unknown, are thought to lie along the coastal plain west of Jerusalem, the route Sennacherib took to lay siege (unsuccessfully) to Jerusalem. Gath was a Philistine stronghold in the same general area, and Micah does not want them to know about the fall of Judah’s cities; thus, he says, “Tell it not in Gath.”


Yet another prophet warns Judah and Israel about the wrath of God! And still, nothing changes. The people still worship idols and false gods. Just like people today.