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The Prophets Before the Exile

(Category 8 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Micah, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Micah, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.

In this book, Micah announces that God’s justice is coming in order to create a new future of love and faithfulness on the other side of Israel’s sin and exile.

Explore Micah



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The book of


MICAH, called from his rustic home to be a prophet, leaves his familiar surroundings
to deliver a stern message of judgment to the princes and people
of Jerusalem. Burdened by the abusive treatment of the poor by the rich and influential,
the prophet turns his verbal rebukes upon any who would use their social
or political power for personal gain. One-third of Micah’s book exposes the sins
of his countrymen; another third pictures the punishment God is about to send;
and the final third holds out the hope of restoration once that discipline has ended.
Through it all, God’s righteous demands upon His people are clear: “to do justly,
to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (6:8).
The name Michayahu (“Who Is Like Yahweh?”) is shortened to Michaia. In 7:18,
Micah hints at his own name with the phrase “Who is a God like You?” The Greek
and Latin titles of this book are Michaias and Micha.


1 THE word of the LORD that came to aMicah of Moresheth in the days of bJotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

CHAPTER 1 References

1 aJer. 26:18
bIs. 1:1

The Coming Judgment on Israel

2 Hear, all you peoples! Listen, O earth, and all that is in it!

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Let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, The Lord from aHis 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 aThe 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 Jacob And for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what are the ahigh places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?

6 “Therefore I will make Samaria aa heap of ruins in the field, Places for planting a vineyard; I will pour down her stones into the valley, And I will buncover her foundations.
7 All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, And all her apay 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 bpay of a harlot.”

Mourning for Israel and Judah

8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; aI will make a wailing like the jackals And a mourning like the ostriches,
9 For her wounds are incurable. For ait has come to Judah; It has come to the gate of My people— To Jerusalem.

10 aTell it not in Gath, Weep not at all; In 1Beth Aphrah Roll yourself in the dust.
11 Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of 1Shaphir; The inhabitant of 2Zaanan does not go out. Beth Ezel mourns; Its place to stand is taken away from you.

12 For the inhabitant of 1Maroth 2pined for good, But adisaster came down from the LORD

2 a[Ps. 11:4] 4 aAmos 9:5
5 aDeut. 32:13;
33:29; Amos
6 a2 Kin.
19:25; Mic.
3:12 bEzek.
7 aHos. 2:5
bDeut. 23:18;
Is. 23:17
8 aPs. 102:6
9 a2 Kin.
18:13; Is. 8:7,
10 a2 Sam.
1:20 1Lit.
House of Dust
11 1Lit. Beautiful
Going Out
12 aIs. 59:9–11;
Jer. 14:19;
Amos 3:6 1Lit.
2Lit. was sick
13 aJosh. 10:3;
2 Kin. 14:19;
18:14; Is. 36:2
bEzek. 23:11
14 a2 Sam. 8:2
bJosh. 15:44
1Lit. Possession
of Gath
2Lit. Lie
15 aJosh. 15:44
b2 Chr. 11:7
1Lit. Inheritance
16 aJob 1:20
bLam. 4:5
c2 Kin. 17:6;
Amos 7:11,
17; [Mic. 4:10]

CHAPTER 2 References

1 aHos. 7:6, 7
2 aIs. 5:8
3 aEx. 20:5;
Jer. 8:3; Amos
3:1, 2 bAmos
4 a2 Sam. 1:17
1Lit. portion
2Lit. one turning
back, an
5 1Lit. one
casting a surveyor’s
6 1Or preach,
lit. drip words
2Lit. to these


To the gate of Jerusalem.
13 O inhabitant of aLachish, Harness the chariot to the swift steeds (She was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion), For the transgressions of Israel were bfound in you.

14 Therefore you shall agive presents to 1Moresheth Gath; The houses of bAchzib2 shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.
15 I will yet bring an heir to you, O inhabitant of aMareshah;
1 The glory of Israel shall come to bAdullam.2
16 Make yourself abald and cut off your hair, Because of your bprecious children; Enlarge your baldness like an eagle, For they shall go from you into ccaptivity.

Woe to Evildoers


1 Woe to those who devise iniquity, And 1work out evil on their beds! At amorning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand.
2 They acovet 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 afamily I am devising bdisaster, 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 alament with a bitter lamentation, saying: ‘We are utterly destroyed! He has changed the 1heritage of my people; How He has removed it from me! To 2a turncoat He has divided our fields.’ ”

5 Therefore you will have no 1one to determine boundaries by lot In the assembly of the LORD.

Lying Prophets

6 “Do not prattle,” you say to those who 1prophesy. So they shall not prophesy 2to you;

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3They 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 arest; Because it is bdefiled, it shall destroy, Yes, with utter destruction.
11 If a man should walk in a false spirit And speak a lie, saying, ‘I will 1prophesy to you 2of wine and drink,’ Even he would be the aprattler of this people.

Israel Restored

12 “Ia will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together blike sheep of 1the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture; cThey 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; aTheir king will pass before them, bWith the LORD at their head.”

Wicked Rulers and Prophets


And I said:

1 “Hear now, O heads of Jacob, And you arulers of the house of Israel: bIs it not for you to know justice?
2 You who hate good and love evil; Who strip the skin from 1My people, And the flesh from their bones;
3 Who also aeat the flesh of My people,

6 3Vg. He shall
not take
10 aDeut. 12:9
bLev. 18:25
11 aIs. 30:10;
Jer. 5:30, 31;
2 Tim. 4:3, 4
1Or preach,
lit. drip 2concerning
12 a[Mic. 4:6,
7] bJer. 31:10
cEzek. 33:22;
36:37 1Heb.
13 a[Hos. 3:5] bIs. 52:12

CHAPTER 3 References

1 aEzek. 22:27
bPs. 82:1–5;
Jer. 5:4, 5
2 1Lit. them
3 aPs. 14:4;
27:2; Zeph.
3:3 bEzek.
11:3, 6, 7
4 aPs. 18:41;
Prov. 1:28; Is.
1:15; Jer.
5 aIs. 56:10, 11;
Jer. 6:13;
Ezek. 13:10,
19 bMatt. 7:15
cEzek. 13:18
1All is well
2For those
who feed
6 aIs. 8:20–22;
29:10–12 bIs.
29:10; [Jer.
Ezek. 13:23
7 aAmos 8:11
8 aIs. 58:1
9 1Lit. twist
10 aJer. 22:13,
17 bEzek.
22:27; Hab.
11 aIs. 1:23;
Mic. 7:3 bJer.
6:13 cIs. 48:2;
Jer. 7:4 1Lit.
12 aJer. 26:18
bPs. 79:1; Jer.
9:11 cMic. 4:1,
2 1Lit. house

CHAPTER 4 References

1 aIs. 2:2–4;
Ezek. 17:22;
Dan. 2:28;
10:14; Hos. 3:5

Flay their skin from them, Break their bones, And chop them in pieces Like meat for the pot, bLike flesh in the caldron.”

4 Then athey 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 aconcerning the prophets Who make my people stray; Who chant 1“Peace” 2While they bchew with their teeth, But who prepare war against him cWho puts nothing into their mouths:
6 “Thereforea you shall have night without 1vision, And you shall have darkness without divination; The sun shall go down on the prophets, And the day shall be dark for bthem.
7 So the seers shall be ashamed, And the diviners abashed; Indeed they shall all cover their lips; aFor 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, aTo declare to Jacob his transgression And to Israel his sin.
9 Now hear this, You heads of the house of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And 1pervert all equity,
10 aWho build up Zion with bbloodshed And Jerusalem with iniquity:
11 aHer heads judge for a bribe, bHer priests teach for pay, And her prophets divine for 1money. cYet 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 aplowed like a field, bJerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And cthe mountain of the 1temple Like the bare hills of the forest.

The LORD’s Reign in Zion


1 Now ait shall come to pass in the latter days

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That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.
2 Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into aplowshares, And their spears into 1pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, bNeither shall they learn war anymore.

4 aBut everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
5 For all people walk each in the name of his god, But awe will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever.

Zion’s Future Triumph

6 “In that day,” says the LORD, a“I will assemble the lame, bI will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted;
7 I will make the lame aa remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD bwill reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever.
8 And you, O tower of the flock, The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”

9 Now why do you cry aloud? aIs there no king in your midst? Has your counselor perished? For bpangs have seized you like a woman in 1labor.

3 aIs. 2:4; Joel
3:10 bPs. 72:7
4 a1 Kin. 4:25;
Zech. 3:10
5 aZech. 10:12
6 aEzek. 34:16
bPs. 147:2
7 aMic. 2:12
b[Is. 9:6;
24:23; Luke
1:33; Rev.
11:15] 9 aJer. 8:19 bIs.
13:8; Jer. 30:6
10 a2 Chr.
36:20; Amos
5:27 b[Is.
45:13; Mic.
7:8–12] cEzra
1:1–3; 2:1; Ps.
11 aLam. 2:16
bObad. 12
12 a[Is. 55:8, 9] bIs. 21:10
13 aJer. 51:33;
[Zech. 12:1–8;
14:14] bIs.
41:15 cDan.
2:44 dIs. 18:7
eZech. 4:14

10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, Like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, You shall dwell in the field, And to aBabylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; There the bLORD will credeem you From the hand of your enemies.

11 aNow also many nations have gathered against you, Who say, “Let her be defiled, And let our eye blook upon Zion.”
12 But they do not know athe thoughts of the LORD, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them blike sheaves to the threshing floor.

13 “Arisea and bthresh, O daughter of Zion; For I will make your horn iron, And I will make your hooves bronze; You shall cbeat in pieces many peoples; dI will consecrate their gain to the LORD, And their substance to ethe Lord of the whole earth.”

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Waiting for the Redemption of the LORD

A Song of Ascents.

1 OUT aof the depths I have cried to You, O LORD;
2 Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications.

3 aIf You, LORD, should 1mark iniquities, O Lord, who could bstand?
4 But there is aforgiveness with You, That bYou may be feared.

PSALM 130 References

1 aLam. 3:55
3 a[Ps. 143:2] b[Nah. 1:6] 1take note of
4 a[Ex. 34:7] b[1 Kin. 8:39,
40] 5 a[Ps. 27:14] bPs. 119:81
6 aPs. 119:147
7 aPs. 131:3
b[Is. 55:7] 8 a[Ps. 103:3,

5 aI wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And bin His word I do hope.
6 aMy soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

7 aO Israel, hope in the LORD; For bwith the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption.
8 And aHe shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.




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