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 says this: ‘It will be very bad for the prophets who tell false messages. They lead my people the wrong way with false promises. If people give food to them, then they are happy. So they promise that there will be no war. But, if people do not feed them, they become angry. They promise that war will come.
6 Because of that, it will become like night for you.
I will not show you my messages.
You will no longer see what will happen in future times.
The sun will go down over you prophets,
and the day will become dark for you.
7 Then you prophets will be ashamed.
You who tell what will happen in future times will be confused.
You will hide your faces in shame because you have no message from me.’
8 But the Spirit of the Lord fills me, to make me powerful.
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.
3:8Now Micah is speaking 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.
3:10The 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 bribes.
Then you do not judge people in a fair way.
You priests teach people only if they pay you.
3:11A priest was a man that God chose to serve him.
You prophets speak about what will happen in future times.
But you only speak if you receive money.
But you still say that you trust the Lord.
You say, ‘The Lord is with us, so nothing bad will happen to us.’
12 Because of how you live, Zion will become like a field that people have ploughed.
Jerusalem city will become a heap of stones.
Bushes will grow all over the hill where they built God's house.
3:12Zion and Jerusalem are different names for the city where God's house, the Temple, was built. Micah tells the leaders that the city will become completely spoiled.