Micah 3

Micah speaks against the bad leaders of Israel

1 Then I spoke to the leaders:

Listen to me, I said.

You are the leaders of Jacob's people,

you are the rulers of Israel.

You ought to know what is right or wrong.

2 But you hate what is good.

And you love what is bad.

You would like to tear the skin off my people,

and pull the meat from their bones.

3 You look at my people and you are like butchers.

They strip the skin off an animal and they break its bones.

Then they cut the meat into pieces and they cook it in a pot.

They are happy when they eat the meat.

4 One day you will shout to the LORD for help,

but he will not answer you.

Instead, God will turn away from you at that time,

because you have done those bad things.

5 The LORD has spoken about you prophets who tell false messages. You lead my people the wrong way with false promises. If people give food to you, then you are happy. So, you promise that there will be no war. But, if people do not feed you, then you are angry. You promise that war will come.

6 God says to you: ‘It will be like night for you because it will be dark.

You will not see anything.

You will no longer be able to see what will happen in future times.

The sun will go down over you prophets,

and the day will become dark for you.

7 You saw what would happen in future times. That is what you said.

But you will be ashamed.

And you try to tell what will happen in future times.

But I will confuse you.

All of you will hide your faces because I will not answer you.’

8 ‘But the Spirit of the LORD fills me, to make me powerful’, I told them.

He helps me to know what is right and fair.

He makes me brave so that I can speak to you, Jacob's people.

I can tell you what you have done wrong.

You are Israel's people,

but you have not obeyed God.

3:8In verses 1-7, Micah speaks on God's behalf, but in verse 8, he speaks for himself.

9 So listen to this, you leaders of Jacob's people.

You are Israel's rulers.

But you never do what is right and fair.

You take what is good.

And you make it seem bad.

10 You rule Zion city, which is Jerusalem.

But you are cruel, and you kill honest people.

3:10Verse 10 The rulers did bad things. They were ready to kill anyone who tried to stop them. They did whatever they wanted to do. Also, the rulers made the people work very much. Many people may have died because they worked so much.

11 You are the city's rulers, but you accept money from people.

Then you decide what is right or wrong.

You listen to the people who give the money to you.

Then they tell you what to decide.

You priests teach only if the people pay you to teach.

You prophets speak about what will happen in future times.

But you only speak if you receive money.

But all of you, the leaders, still say that you believe the LORD.

‘The LORD is with us, so nothing bad will happen to us’, you say.

12 So God says: ‘Because of you,

I will make Zion like a field that people have ploughed.

I will destroy Jerusalem so that only stones are lying there.

Weeds and bushes will grow all over the hill where they built my house.’

3:12Verse 11 A priest was a man that God chose. God chose him to be his special servant and to teach the people.