Micah 3

The Word Made Fresh

1Then I said, “Listen, you family heads of Jacob.
Listen, you rulers of the people of Israel.
Shouldn’t you know justice?
2Instead, you hate what is good and love what is evil.
You rip my people’s skin and tear the flesh from their bones.
3You eat their flesh and strip the meat off their skin
and break their bones and chop them up like meat
to cook in a kettle or like flesh in a pot.”
4Then they will cry out to the LORD,
but the LORD will not answer them.
God will turn away from them because of their wickedness.
5That is what the LORD says about the prophets
who lead my people astray.
They cry out for peace when they are well fed,
but preach war against those who refuse to feed them.
6That is why they will have no vision, as at nighttime
and no revelation because they are in the darkness.
The sun will set on them, and their day will turn dark.
7The prognosticators will be disgraced.
The soothsayers will be ashamed.
They will all cover their mouths
because God will not answer them.
8But I will be filled with the power of the LORD’s spirit,
with justice and strength to declare their sins to Jacob
and their wickedness to Israel.
9So hear this, you who rule the people of Jacob,
and you leaders of the people of Israel
who shun justice and turn fairness into falsehood;
10you who build up Zion with blood
and Jerusalem with lies.
11You give “justice” for a bribe.
Your priests teach only to be paid.
Your prophets tell the future for money,
but they claim help from the LORD, saying,
“Yes! The LORD is with us! No one can harm us!”
12And so, Zion will be plowed as a field because of you!
Jerusalem will become a pile of debris because of you!
The mountain of God’s house will be a mound
covered with trees because of you!


1-3: Micah continues the attack on the rich and powerful rulers of Israel. He paints an awful picture of the way they treat the common people; surely it is figurative language to emphasize the hopeless position they have declared for the people of Israel.

4: Eventually the rich and powerful will cry to the LORD, he says, but it will be too late: God’s face will be hidden from them.

5-8: Now the focus is on the religious leaders who have been making themselves prosperous at the expense of the people. The seers, the diviners and the prophets will have nothing to say when the day of God’s justice comes. Their words will be weak and powerless, but Micah will be filled with power, the spirit of the LORD, justice, and might to enable him to continue pointing out their misdoings.

9-12: Micah turns again to the southern kingdom. The rulers and priests are all in it for gain at the expense of the people. They think God is with them, but God is about to turn Jerusalem into a heap of ruins, and nothing will be left standing on Mt. Zion.


Micah is among those prophets who witnessed the decline of Judah. He knew that, without a return to faithful worship and obedience, Jerusalem and all the land would be targeted by those who only wanted to prosper personally, with no concern for others. That is a threat to every culture that allows the poor to be easily cast aside, and elevates the rich and powerful.