Micah 4

God's mountain

1 In the last days,

the mountain where the Lord's house is will be the highest mountain.

It will be the most important of all the mountains.

It will be higher than the hills,

and people from many countries will go to it.

2 Many people will speak about it.

‘Come! We will go up to the Lord's mountain,’ they will say.

‘We will go to the Lord's house because he is the God of Jacob's people.

He will teach us what he wants us to do.

He will show us the right way; so then we will be able to obey him.

The Lord will speak his rules from Zion.

He will send out his message from Jerusalem.’

3 He will decide what is right or wrong between many countries.

He will cause strong countries everywhere to stop fighting each other.

They fight with swords and spears.

4:3A spear is a long piece of wood or metal with a sharp point at the end. Soldiers used spears to fight.

But then, they will use hammers to make their swords into ploughs.

They will make their spears into tools to cut plants.

One country will not fight another country any longer.

They will never prepare for war again.

4 Everyone will sit under his own vine and his own fig tree.

4:4Vines or grapevines are plants that climb. They have small, sweet fruits called grapes. Figs are sweet fruits.

Nobody will make them afraid any longer.

The Lord Almighty has promised this.

4:4Micah says that everyone in the world will feel safe and happy at this future time. There will be no more wars, and they will have plenty of food.

5 People from other countries may be the servants of other gods.

But we will be servants of the Lord our God.

We will obey him always.

God will make Israel and Jerusalem strong again

6 The Lord speaks again:

‘At that time I will bring together the people who cannot walk well.

I will bring back the people that I sent away.

I caused trouble for those people,

but I will bring them back together.

7 I will make a new beginning with those people who cannot walk well.

Together with some of those people that I sent far away,

I will make them my own special people.

They will be strong,

and I will rule over them from Mount Zion.

I will be their king from that time and always.

8 And as for Jerusalem city,

it was a strong, safe place for Zion's people.

It was like a tall building,

from which a man can watch over his sheep.

Then it will again be a place where a king rules with great authority.’

9 You people in Jerusalem,

you are crying aloud like people who have no king.

You cry like people who have no wise leader.

You have bad pains like a woman who is giving birth to a baby.

4:9To advise someone means to tell them what they should do. This verse says that the king in Jerusalem had failed to rule the people well. He had not asked God to show him what to do. So, the people were very sad and afraid.

10 People in Zion, you will have a lot of pain,

like a woman who is giving birth to a baby.

She rolls about and she screams with pain.

Soon you will have to leave your city and you will have to live in the fields.

You will have to go to Babylon,

but there the Lord will save you.

He will make you free again from the authority of your enemies.

11 But now, at this time, many countries have come together to attack your city.

They say: ‘We will destroy Jerusalem and we will enjoy ourselves.

We want to see Zion's people in trouble.’

12 But they do not know the Lord's thoughts.

They do not understand how he will punish them.

He will bring them together,

as people bring bundles of wheat together at harvest time.

4:12A bundle is many things that people have tied together (like wheat plants).

He will punish them,

as people thresh wheat to get the seeds out.

4:12Wheat is a kind of plant that people grow on farms. They use the seeds to make flour for bread. To thresh means to hit bundles of wheat on the ground to get the seeds out.

13 ‘People in Zion, get up and fight your enemies,’ God says to you.

‘Hit them like people thresh the wheat.

I will make you very strong.

Then you will be like dangerous animals with iron horns and metal feet.

4:13Horns are things like sticks that grow on the top of some animals' heads, like cows and some sheep. Horns have points at their ends.

You will beat enemies from many countries,

as men crush things into small pieces.

The people from those countries became rich,

because they did bad things.

But you will bring their riches to me,

because I am the Lord of all the earth.’

4:13Verses 9-13 These verses tell what will happen to Jerusalem and Israel in future days. They tell about enemies who will come soon (from Assyria). And they tell about enemies who will come later (from Babylon). But they tell also how God will save his people.