Micah 1

God will destroy the city of Samaria

1 These are the messages that the Lord gave to Micah. Then Micah told them to the people during the times that Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah ruled the country called Judah. Micah was born in a small town called Moresheth. God showed Micah about what would happen to the cities called Samaria and Jerusalem.

1:1When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.
1:1Israel's capital city was Samaria, and Judah's capital city was Jerusalem.

2 Listen, all of you people everywhere!

Hear this, everyone who lives on the earth!

The Lord God will speak against you.

You have done what is wrong. That is why he will speak against you.

He will speak from his special house.

3 Look! The Lord is leaving his place and he is coming down to the earth.

He will come to the high places (where you worship false gods).

He will destroy those places when he comes.

4 The mountains will melt when he comes,

like wax melts near a fire.

The valleys will also break into pieces.

They will move like water when it rushes down a hill.

5 All these bad things will happen because Jacob's people have refused to obey God.

These things will happen because Israel's people have done wrong things.

You may ask who has caused this.

It is the leaders in your capital cities, Samaria and Jerusalem.

They have kept the high places there for people to offer gifts to false gods.

6 So God says to you:

‘I will destroy Samaria so that just a few stones are lying in the fields there.

1:6Verses 1-7 We think that Micah spoke these words at some time before 722 BC. In that year, enemies from the country called Assyria destroyed Samaria exactly as Micah had told the people earlier.

Then people will plant vines in that place.

1:6Vines or grapevines are plants that climb. They have small, sweet fruits called grapes.

I will throw the stones from the city down into the valley,

when I completely destroy all the buildings.

7 I will break all the false gods into pieces and I will destroy them.

I will burn all the gifts that the people brought for those false gods.

The people have paid so that they could have sex with bad women in those places.

Your enemies will come and they will take away this money.

They will give it to their gods in the same way.’

Micah is sad for the people in Israel and Judah

8 Because of what God has said, I will cry aloud. And I will weep.

I will walk about without shoes or clothes.

I will scream like a wild dog,

and I will cry like a bird in the night.

9 Because Samaria has such bad wounds it can never get well.

And the same will happen also to Judah's people.

The enemies have already reached the gates of my people, that is, Jerusalem itself.

10 Do not talk about this in the city of Gath.

Do not even weep there.

But you people at Beth-Leaphrah,

roll on the ground to show how sad you are.

11 You people who live in Shaphir, go on your way.

Your enemies will not let you wear any clothes while they take you away.

So you will be ashamed.

The people who live in Zaanan will be afraid to leave their city.

The people at Beth-Ezel will cry because nobody comes to help them.

12 The people at Maroth are in pain while they wait.

They were waiting and hoping for something good.

But the Lord sent only something bad.

He brought trouble even to the gates of Jerusalem.

13 You people who live in Lachish, get your chariots and horses ready to go!

You were the first people in Judah to do what is wrong.

You are exactly like Israel's people, because, like them, you refused to obey God.

14 You will need to give gifts to the people in Moresheth Gath,

because they must go away.

The houses in Akzib town will disappoint the kings of Israel.

1:14The kings of Israel will get no help from Akzib town, because enemies will destroy the town.

15 People in Mareshah, I (God) will bring an army against you,

to fight your town. And it will win.

And Israel's leaders will need to hide at Adullam.

1:15Verses 10-15 In these verses, Micah says the names of towns and villages near his home, Moresheth Gath. Enemies from another country will come and fight against them. These verses may tell how Assyria's people attacked Judah's people in the year 701 BC.

16 People in Judah, cut off all your hair.

1:16In those days, people often cut off all their hair to show that they were very sad.

Make yourselves bald like vultures,

1:16Vultures are large birds with bald heads.

because you will be very sad.

Your enemies will take your children away.

They will take your children, whom you love so much, away to another country!