Bad news for a family of frauds
A rich family that steals from the poor1Evil, scheming people are in for trouble.
They start hatching plans in bed at dawn,
Before they drop their feet to the floor.
They commit fraud because they can.
They have the power.
2When they see a field they want,
They take it.
When they see a house they like,
It’s suddenly theirs.
They’re frauds who cheat and steal.
They rob good people of homes and land.
Troublemakers will get trouble3The LORD has made a promise about the family causing all this trouble:
They planned trouble for others. Now I’ll plan trouble for them. When I’m done, they won’t be walking tall any longer. Evil is going to turn on them.
4When that day comes
People will sing about you,
Mocking and moaning:
“We’ve lost the Promised Land.
God took it back and gave it away.
Invaders are dividing our land among themselves.”
5You’re no longer part of God’s people.
Your entire family is kicked out.
When bad news is good news6“Stop talking like that,” they say.
“Don’t be so negative.
Those things aren’t going to happen.”
But my words are positive and encouraging
To people who live good lives.
7Do I need to ask you this, leaders of Israel?
Have you exhausted the LORD’s patience?
Is he really going to do what I said?
8Why would he not?
You’re still hurting his people.
You’re their enemy, constantly attacking them.
You cheat good, unsuspecting people.
You take the clothes off their backs.
9You steal their happy homes,
Driving out women and children who live there,
And leaving my people homeless.
You rob babies of a wonderful future.
God to evil rich: Get lost10Get up and get out of here.
There’s no place for you here.
For the despicable ways you’ve hurt people,
You’ll die a violent death.
11I’ll tell you what kind of preacher you’d like.
Someone preaching the value of good wine
And strong liquor.
That’s a preacher you could warm up to.
God will round up scattered Jews12My people will scatter, but I’ll round them up.
I’ll herd survivors back like they’re lost sheep
Returning safely to the pen,
Or to the flock in the field.
When they get together,
They’ll make some noise.
13Their leader will show them the way home.
He’ll walk out of the gates
Of the city that held them captive.
Their king will lead the way.
But the LORD will lead them all.
What family? It’s unclear. Given what Micah says throughout the chapter, it could sound like he’s talking about the rich and well-connected movers and shakers of society—in Judah or Israel or in both Jewish nations. Like the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, Micah will live to witness the fall of the northern nation of Israel in 722 BC. Assyrian invaders conquer and annex the land. Then they deport the leaders and other survivors to what is now Iraq. Israel ceases to exist. Only Judah will survive, and only until 586 BC, when Babylonian invaders erase their nation, too.
Bible writers talk about a “day of the LORD” or “on that day” or “day of visitation” or “there’s a time coming.” It’s a day that can go in one of two directions. It can be a good day—a day God comes to save his people. It’s something to look forward to. Some scholars trace the idea back to what happened when God came to Egypt and with 10 plagues, he freed the Israelites. But it can also be a fearful day to people at odds with God. To them, it is Judgment Day. But to people on good terms with God, his arrival for Judgment Day or any other reason is welcome. The prophet Joel describes it in graphic terms as a terrible day when invaders destroy sinful Jerusalem (Joel 1:15; 2:11). Obadiah uses the phrase that way as well. But to God’s people, the “day” is the day of salvation (Joel 2:32).
It’s not clear who’s doing the complaining here. It could be the innocent people who suffer because of what their leaders did to provoke invaders to come. Or it might be the rich complaining about themselves and lamenting all they’ve lost. In which case, “Boohoo” might sound appropriate.
If Micah was talking about Israel’s exile into Assyria in 722 BC, it’s uncertain what regrouping he’s referring to here. The northern tribes never regrouped, as far as historians can tell. Israel became known as the Lost Tribes of Israel. The southern Jewish nation of Judah, however, did return. They started coming back 50 years after Babylonians levelled Jerusalem and deported survivors to what is now Iraq. In time, they restored a fragment of what had been the Jewish nation—but as only a province of the Persian Empire and later as a province of the Roman Empire. Scholars seem to acknowledge that Micah talks about both nations, but that Judah seems to be his main target.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.