Micah - 3:1-12

      1 I said, "Please listen, you heads of Jacob, and rulers of the house of Israel: Isn't it for you to know justice? 2 You who hate the good, and love the evil; who tear off their skin, and their flesh from off their bones; 3 who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. 4 Then they will cry to Yahweh, but he will not answer them. Yes, he will hide his face from them at that time, because they made their deeds evil." 5 Thus says Yahweh concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; for those who feed their teeth, they proclaim, "Peace!" and whoever doesn't provide for their mouths, they prepare war against him: 6 "Therefore night is over you, with no vision, and it is dark to you, that you may not divine; and the sun will go down on the prophets, and the day will be black over them. 7 The seers shall be disappointed, and the diviners confounded. Yes, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer from God." 8 But as for me, I am full of power by the Spirit of Yahweh, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his disobedience, and to Israel his sin. 9 Please listen to this, you heads of the house of Jacob, and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice, and pervert all equity. 10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. 11 Her leaders judge for bribes, and her priests teach for a price, and her prophets of it tell fortunes for money: yet they lean on Yahweh, and say, "Isn't Yahweh in the midst of us? No disaster will come on us." 12 Therefore Zion for your sake will be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem will become heaps of rubble, and the mountain of the temple like the high places of a forest.

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Micah 3.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

In this chapter the prophet inveighs with great boldness and spirit against the princes and prophets of Judah; and foretells the destruction of Jerusalem as the consequence of their iniquity, Micah 3:1-12. The last verse was fulfilled to a certain extent by Nebuchadnezzar; but most fully and literally by the Romans under Titus. See Josephus.

In this chapter the prophet reproves and threatens both princes and prophets, first separately, and then conjunctly; first the heads and princes of the people, civil magistrates, for their ignorance of justice, and hatred of good, and love of evil, and for their oppression and cruelty; and they are threatened with distress when they should cry unto the Lord, and should not be heard by him, Micah 3:1; next the prophets are taken to task, for their voraciousness, avarice, and false prophesying; and are threatened with darkness, with want of vision, and of an answer from the Lord, and with shame and confusion, Micah 3:5; and the prophet being full of the Spirit and power of God, to declare the sins and transgressions of Jacob and Israel, Micah 3:8, very freely declaims against princes, priests, and prophets, all together; who, though guilty of very notorious crimes, yet were in great security, and promised themselves impunity, Micah 3:9; wherefore the city and temple of Jerusalem are threatened with an utter desolation, Micah 3:12.

(Micah 3:1-8) The cruelty of the princes, and the falsehood of the prophets.
(Micah 3:9-12) Their false security.

II. Zion's Deepest Degradation and Highest Exaltation - Micah 3-5
The prophet's second address is of a predominantly Messianic character. The announcement of the utter desolation of Zion on account of the corruption of both the civil rulers and the spiritual leaders of the nation, with which this address opens in Micah 3:1-12, serves to a certain extent simply as a foil for the prophecy which follows in Micah 4:1-13 and Micah 5:1-15 of the salvation with which the remnant of Israel, that has been rescued throughout the judgment, will be blessed in the future. This salvation is depicted first of all in all its fulness (Micah 4:1-7); then in its gradual development, in the re-erection of the former dominion of the daughter of Zion, by her redemption out of Babylon, and her victory over the powers of the world (Micah 4:8-13); and lastly, in its realization by the Ruler proceeding out of Bethlehem, and by the power and blessing of His rule (Micah 5:1-15).
Sins of the Leaders of the Nation, and Destruction of Jerusalem - Micah 3:1-12
The threatening of punishment contained in this chapter is specially directed against the heads and leaders of Israel, and proclaims, in three strophes of four verses each, (a) to the princes, who turn right into wrong and flay the people (Micah 3:1-4), and (b) to the false prophets, who lead the people astray and confirm them in their sin by lying prophecies of peace (Micah 3:5-8), retribution for their wicked conduct; and (c) to all three classes of the divinely-appointed chiefs of the nation - the princes, the priests, and the prophets - the destruction of Jerusalem, and the turning of Zion and the temple mountain into a ploughed field and wooded heights on account of their degeneracy (Micah 3:9-12).

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