Prophets, priests, and other crooks
Jewish elite have the poor for breakfast1I said:
Listen, you people who lead Jacob’s descendants,
You rulers of Israel. Listen to me.
You should know what justice looks like.
You should know right from wrong.
2Instead, here’s what you know:
How to hate what’s right.
How to love what’s wrong.
How to skin my people alive.
How to nail their hide to the wall.
3You eat my people for breakfast.
You tear them to pieces, snap their bones,
Chop the meat for a stew.
4One day, those leaders will ask the LORD for help.
Too bad. He won’t answer and he won’t help.
He won’t even show his face.
They knew what was wrong.
And they did it anyway.
They don’t deserve to hear from him.
Prophets out for a profit5The LORD has something to say about fraud prophets.
They point people away from God.
They predict peace when all is well
And they have something to chew  on.
But when they see something they want,
They declare war on the poor—
On the people with nothing to eat.
6So, I’ll put their lights out.
They won’t hear from me again.
They’ll get no more insights or predictions.
Their careers are over.
I’ll keep those prophets in the dark.
7Seers see nothing.
Fortune-tellers are out of luck.
They’ll just stand there
Embarrassed, ashamed, and speechless.
They get nothing from God but more of nothing.
Micah still hears from God8I, on the other hand, bristle with power.
I’m filled with the spirit,
Driven by justice,
And strong to condemn the sins
Of all Jacob’s descendants
And all the people of Israel.
Jerusalem becomes Rock City9Listen to me you rulers of Jacob’s people,
You leaders of Israel
You crooks who poison justice,
And cheat fairness.
10You have built Jerusalem
In the blood of my people.
You have built my sacred Zion 
On the solid rock of evil.
11Your judges settle cases for a bribe.
Priests will teach you if you pay.
Prophets will advise you for a fee.
Yet they all have the nerve
To invoke God’s support.
“Absolutely, the LORD is with us
Nobody’s going to hurt us.”
12Tell it to Jerusalem
When it’s a plowed field.
This city is coming down,
Collapsing into a pile of rocky ruins.
The stately Temple Mount, abandoned,
Will grow into a wooded hilltop.
The Hebrew word for chew is nasak. There may be some wordplay going on here. The word sounds a bit like the Hebrew word nahash, which means “snake.” And it sounds like nashakh, a Hebrew word for a loan shark. So, the rulers don’t seem painted in symbols of pretty pastels. They’re covered in dust and crud from the belly of a snake. And they chew up poor souls like an enforcer collecting overdue money.
“Zion” is a term of endearment, and another name for Jerusalem. It’s a bit like “The Big Apple” for New York City, “The City of Love” for Paris, and “Sin City” for Las Vegas, though some wouldn’t call that a term of endearment.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.