Micah Chapter 5 to 7 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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5 Now, strong city,* gather your soldiers. They are surrounding us for the attack! They will hit the Judge of Israel on the cheek with their stick.

The Messiah to be Born in Bethlehem

2But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, are the smallest town in Judah. Your family is almost too small to count. But the “Ruler of Israel” will come from you for me. His beginnings* are from ancient times, from long, long ago. 3So the Lord* will give up his people until the woman gives birth to her child, {the promised king}. Then the rest of his brothers will come back to the people of Israel. 4Then {the Ruler of Israel} will stand in the power of the Lord and in the wonderful name of the Lord his God and feed {the flock}.

They will live {in peace} because at that time, his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.* 5There will be peace. Yes, the Assyrian army will come into our country and trample our large buildings. But the Ruler of Israel* will choose seven shepherds and eight leaders.* 6They will use their swords and rule the Assyrians. They will rule the land of Nimrod* with swords in hand. They will use their swords to rule those people. But then {the Ruler of Israel} will save us from the Assyrians who will come into our land and trample our territory. 7But the survivors* from Jacob scattered among the nations will be like dew from the Lord that doesn’t depend on any man. They will be like rain on the grass that doesn’t wait for anyone. 8But the survivors* from Jacob in the nations scattered among those people will be like a lion among the animals in the forest. They will be like a young lion among flocks of sheep. If the lion passes through, he goes where he wants to go. If he attacks an animal, then no one can save that animal. {The survivors will be like that.} 9You will lift your hand against your enemies, and you will destroy them.

People Will Depend on God

10The Lord says, “At that time, I will take away your horses, and I will destroy your chariots.* 11I will destroy the cities in your country. I will pull down all your fortresses.* 12You will no longer try to do magic. You will not have any more people that try to tell the future. 13I will destroy your statues {of false gods}. I will pull down your stones for remembering those false gods. You will not worship the things that your hands have made. 14I will destroy the Asherah poles.* And I will destroy your false gods.* 15Some people will not listen to me. But I will show my anger. And I will get even with those people.”

strong city Literally, “Daughter of troops.” beginnings Or “family origins.” the Lord Or, “the Ruler of Israel.” They … the earth Or, “They will settle here because at that time his kingdom will extend to the ends of the earth.  the Ruler of Israel Or, “We.” seven shepherds and eight leaders Or, “seven shepherds, no eight leaders.” land of Nimrod Another name for Assyria. survivors People that escape some accident or war. chariot(s) A small wagon used in war.  fortress(es) A building or city with tall, strong walls for protection. Asherah poles Poles that helped people remember the Canaanite goddess, Asherah. At this time, the people thought she was the wife of Baal.  false gods Or, “cities.”

The Lord’s Complaint

6 Now hear what the Lord says: Tell your side of the story to the mountains. Let the hills* hear your story. 2The Lord has a complaint against his people. Mountains, listen to the Lord’s complaint. Foundations of the earth, hear the Lord. He will prove that Israel is wrong! 3{The Lord says}, “My people, tell me what I did! Did I do something wrong against you? Did I make life too hard for you? 4{I will tell you the things I did!} I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to you. I brought you from the land of Egypt. I freed you from slavery. 5My people, remember the {evil} plans of Balak king of Moab. Remember what Balaam son of Beor said to Balak. Remember the things that happened from Acacia to Gilgal.*Remember those things and you will know the Lord is right!”

What Does God Want from Us?

6What must I bring when I come to meet with the Lord? What must I do when I bow down to God above? Should I come to the Lord with burnt offerings and a year-old calf? 7Will the Lord be pleased with 1,000 rams or 10,000 rivers of oil? Should I give my first child as payment for my crimes? Should I give the child that came from my body as payment for my sins? 8Man, the Lord told you what goodness is. This is what the Lord wants from you: Be fair to other people. Love kindness and loyalty. Live humbly with your God. {Don’t try to impress him with gifts.}

What Were the Israelites Doing?

9The voice of the Lord shouts to the city. A wise person honors the Lord’s name.* So pay attention to the punishing rod and to the One who holds that rod!* 10Do the bad people still hide treasures that they have stolen? Do bad people still cheat people with baskets that are too small?* {Yes! All of those things are still happening!} 11Should I pardon the bad people who still use weights and scales to cheat people? Should I pardon the people who still have bags with weights that give the wrong measure? {No!} 12Rich people in that city are still cruel! The people in that city still tell lies. Yes, those people tell their lies! 13So I have started to punish you. I will destroy you because of your sins. 14You will eat, but you will not become full. You will still be hungry and empty.* You will try to bring people in to safety. But people with swords will kill the people you rescued! 15You will plant your seeds, but you will not gather food. You will try to squeeze oil from your olives, but you will not get any oil. You will crush your grapes, but you will not get enough juice to have wine to drink. 16Why? Because you obey the laws of Omri.* You do all the {bad} things that Ahab’s family does. You follow their teachings. So I will let you be destroyed. People will whistle in amazement when they see your destroyed city. Then you will bear the shame that the other nations bring to you.*

Let the hills This is like a case in court. The mountains and hills are like the judge and jury. Acacia to Gilgal This story is found in Num. 22–25. the Lord’s name Literally, “your name.”  So pay attention … rod The Hebrew is not clear here. baskets … too small Literally, “short ephahs.” An ephah is about 1/2 bushel.  You … empty The Hebrew is not clear here. Omri A king of Israel that led his nation to worship false gods. See 1 Kings 16:21– 26. Then … you Or, “My people’s shame will be taken away. 

Micah Is Upset at the Evil People Do

7 I am upset because I am like fruit that has been gathered, like grapes that have already been picked. There are no grapes left to eat. There are none of the early figs that I love. 2I mean, all of the faithful people are gone. There are no good people left in this country. Every person is waiting to kill someone. Every person is trying to trap his brother. 3People are good at doing bad things with both hands. Officials ask for bribes. Judges take money to change their decisions in court. “Important leaders” {don’t make good and fair decisions}. They do whatever they want to do. 4{Even} the best of them is like a thorn bush. Even the best of them is more crooked than a tangled thorn bush.

The Day of Punishment Is Coming

{Your prophets said this day would come}. And the day of your watchmen* has come. Now you will be punished! Now you will be confused! 5Don’t trust your neighbor! Don’t trust a friend! Don’t even speak freely with your wife! 6A person’s enemies will be the people in his own house. A son will not honor his father. A daughter will turn against her mother. A daughter-in-law will turn against her mother-in-law.

The Lord Is the Savior

7So I will look to the Lord {for help}! I will wait for God to save me. My God will hear me. 8I have fallen. But enemy, don’t laugh at me! I will get up again. I sit in darkness now. But the Lord will be a light for me.

The Lord Forgives

9I sinned against the Lord. So he was angry at me. But he will argue my case for me in court. He will do the things that are right for me. Then he will bring me out into the light. And I will see that he is right. 10My enemy said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” But my enemy will see this, and she will be ashamed. At that time, I will laugh at her.* People will walk over her, like mud in the streets.

The Jews to Return

11The time {will come} when your walls will be built again. At that time, the country will grow. 12Your people will come back to your land. They will come back from Assyria and from the cities of Egypt. Your people will come from Egypt and from the other side of the Euphrates River. They will come from the sea {in the west} and from the mountains {in the east}. 13The land was ruined by the people that lived there and by what they did. 14So rule your people with your rod. Rule the flock of people that belongs to you. That flock lives alone in the woods, and up on Mount Carmel. That flock lives in Bashan and Gilead like they did in time past.

Israel Will Defeat Its Enemies

15I did many miracles when I took you out of Egypt. I will let you see more miracles like that. 16The nations will see those miracles, and they will be ashamed. They will see that their “power” {is nothing compared to mine}. They will {be amazed} and put their hands over their mouths! They will cover their ears {and refuse to listen}. 17They will crawl in the dust like a snake. They will shake with fear. They will be like insects crawling from their holes in the ground and coming to the Lord our God. God, they will fear and respect you!

Praise for the Lord

18There is no God like you. You take away people’s guilt. God forgives his people that survived. He won’t stay angry forever. Why? Because He enjoys being kind. 19He will come back and comfort us again. He will crush our guilt and throw all of our sins into the deep sea. 20{God,} please be true to Jacob,* be kind and loyal to Abraham,* like you promised our ancestors* a long time ago.

watchmen Another name for prophets. This shows that the prophets were like guards that stood on a city’s wall and watched for trouble coming from far away.  laugh at her Literally, “my eyes will gawk (stare, look) at her.” Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. Abraham The father of the Israelites. Here Abraham is used to mean all the people of Israel.  ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from.

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