Israel’s Moral Decline
1How sad for me!
For I am like one who —
when the summer fruit has been gathered
after the gleaning of the grape harvest#Is 24:13 —
finds no grape cluster to eat,
no early fig, which I crave.#Is 28:4; Hs 9:10
2Faithful people have vanished from the land;#Is 57:1
there is no one upright among the people.#1Kg 19:10
All of them wait in ambush to shed blood;#Is 59:7; Mc 3:10
they hunt each other with a net.#Jr 5:26; Hs 5:1
3Both hands are good#Pr 4:16–17 at accomplishing evil:
the official and the judge demand a bribe;#Am 5:12; Mc 3:11
when the powerful man communicates his evil desire,
they plot it together.
4The best of them is like a brier;#Ezk 2:6; 28:24
the most upright is worse than a hedge of thorns.#Nah 1:10
The day of your watchmen,
the day of your punishment, is coming;#Is 10:3; Hs 9:7
at this time their panic is here.#Is 22:5
5Do not rely on a friend;#Jr 9:4
don’t trust in a close companion.
Seal your mouth
from the woman who lies in your arms.
6Surely a son considers his father a fool,#Mt 10:21,35–36; Lk 12:53
a daughter opposes her mother,
and a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law;
a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.
7But I will look to the Lord;#Hab 2:1
I will wait for the God of my salvation.#Ps 130:5; Is 25:9
My God will hear me.#Ps 4:3
8Do not rejoice over me,#Ob 12 my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will stand up;#Am 9:11
though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.#Ps 27:1; Is 9:2
9Because I have sinned against him,
I must endure the Lord’s fury
until he champions my cause#Jr 50:34
and establishes justice for me.#Jb 23:3–7; Lm 3:58
He will bring me into the light;#Ps 37:6; Is 42:7,16
I will see his salvation.#7:9 Or righteousness#Is 46:13; 56:1
10Then my enemy will see,
and she will be covered with shame,
the one who said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?” #Ps 42:3,10; 79:10; 115:2; Jl 2:17
My eyes will look at her in triumph;
at that time she will be trampled
like mud in the streets.#Ps 18:42; Zch 10:5
11A day will come for rebuilding your walls;#Is 54:11; Am 9:11
on that day your boundary will be extended.#Zph 2:2
12On that day people will come to you#Is 19:23–25; 60:4,9
from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
even from Egypt to the Euphrates River
and from sea to sea
and mountain to mountain.
13Then the earth will become a wasteland#Jr 25:11; Mc 6:13
because of its inhabitants
and as a result of their actions.#Is 3:10–11; Mc 3:4
Micah’s Prayer Answered
14Shepherd your people#Ps 95:7; Is 40:11; 49:10; Mc 5:4 with your staff,#Lv 27:32; Ps 23:4
the flock that is your possession.
They live alone#Nm 23:9; Dt 33:28 in a woodland
surrounded by pastures.
Let them graze in Bashan and Gilead#Jr 50:19
as in ancient times.#Am 9:11
15I will perform miracles for them#7:15 = Israel
as in the days of your exodus
from the land of Egypt.#Ex 3:20; 34:10; Ps 78:11–16
16Nations will see and be ashamed
of#7:16 Or ashamed in spite of all their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths,#Mc 3:7
and their ears will become deaf.
17They will lick the dust like a snake;#Ps 72:9; Is 49:23
they will come trembling out of their hiding places#Ps 18:45
like reptiles slithering on the ground.#Dt 32:24
They will tremble in the presence of the Lord our God;#Is 25:3; 59:19
they will stand in awe of you.
18Who is a God like you,#Ex 15:11; Ps 71:19; Is 40:18
forgiving iniquity and passing over rebellion#Ex 34:7,9; Is 43:25; Rm 3:25
for the remnant of his inheritance?#Mc 2:12; 4:7; 5:7–8
He does not hold on to his anger forever#Ps 103:8–9,13
because he delights in faithful love.#Jr 32:41
19He will again have compassion on us;
he will vanquish our iniquities.#Jr 50:20
You will cast all our#7:19 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read their sins
into the depths of the sea.#Ps 103:9–12; Is 38:17; 43:25; Jr 31:34
20You will show loyalty to Jacob#Gn 24:27; 32:10
and faithful love to Abraham,
as you swore to our ancestors#Dt 7:8,12
from days long ago.