those who dream about doing evil as they lie in bed. 2
As soon as morning dawns they carry out their plans, 3
because they have the power to do so.
2:2 They confiscate the fields they desire,
and seize the houses they want. 4
They defraud people of their homes, 5
and deprive people of the land they have inherited. 6
You steal a robe from a friend, 8
from those who pass by peacefully as if returning from a war. 9
3:1 I said,
“Listen, you leaders 13 of Jacob,
you rulers of the nation 14 of Israel!
You ought to know what is just, 15
and love what is evil. 18
You flay my people’s skin 19
and rip the flesh from their bones. 20
strip off their skin,
and crush their bones.
You chop them up like flesh in a pot 22 –
like meat in a kettle.
but he will not answer them.
He will hide his face from them at that time,
because they have done such wicked deeds.”
you rulers of the nation 25 of Israel!
You 26 hate justice
and pervert all that is right.
Jerusalem 29 through unjust violence.
her priests proclaim rulings for profit,
and her prophets read omens for pay.
Yet they claim to trust 32 the Lord and say,
“The Lord is among us. 33
Disaster will not overtake 34 us!”
It is wise to respect your authority, O Lord! 36
Listen, O nation, and those assembled in the city! 37
or the smaller-than-standard measure I hate so much. 40
6:11 I do not condone the use of rigged scales,
or a bag of deceptive weights. 41
her inhabitants lie, 43
their tongues speak deceptive words. 44
and destroy you because of your sin.
6:14 You will eat, but not be satisfied.
you will not be able to carry it away; 48
if you do happen to carry away something,
I will deliver it over to the sword.
Indeed, 50 it is as if the summer fruit has been gathered,
and the grapes have been harvested. 51
There is no grape cluster to eat,
no fresh figs that I crave so much. 52
there are no godly men left. 54
They all wait in ambush so they can shed blood; 55
they hunt their own brother with a net. 56
government officials and judges take bribes, 58
prominent men make demands,
and they all do what is necessary to satisfy them. 59
7:4 The best of them is like a thorn;
the most godly among them are more dangerous than a row of thorn bushes. 60
The day you try to avoid by posting watchmen –
your appointed time of punishment – is on the way, 61
and then you will experience confusion. 62
7:5 Do not rely on a friend;
do not trust a companion!
Don’t even share secrets with the one who lies in your arms! 63
7:6 For a son thinks his father is a fool,
a daughter challenges 64 her mother,
and a daughter-in-law her mother-in-law;
a man’s enemies are his own servants. 65
[2:8] 7 tc Heb “Recently my people rise up as an enemy.” The MT is problematic in light of v. 9, where “my people” are the object of oppression, not the perpetrators of it. The form וְאֶתְמוּל (vÿ’etmul, “and recently”) is probably the product of fusion and subsequent suppression of an (ע) ayin. The translation assumes an emendation to וְאַתֶּם עַל (vÿ’attem ’al, “and you against [my people]”). The second person plural pronoun fits well with the second plural verb forms of vv. 8b-10. If this emendation is accepted, then יְקוֹמֵם (yÿqomem, the imperfect of קוּם [qum]) should be emended to קָמִים (qamim; a participle from the same root).
[2:8] 8 tc Heb “From the front of a garment glory [or perhaps, “a robe”] you strip off,” but this makes little if any sense. The term מִמּוּל (mimmul, “from the front of”) is probably the product of dittography (note the preceding word, which ends in [ם] mem) and subsequent suppression of ע (ayin). The translation assumes an emendation to מֵעַל (me’al, “from upon”). The translation also assumes an emendation of שַׂלְמָה אֶדֶר (salmah ’eder, “a garment, glory [or robe]”) to שֹׁלְמִים אֲדֶרֶת (sholÿmim ’aderet, “[from] a friend the robe [you strip off]”). The MT’s אֶדֶר (’eder) is the result of misdivision (the article has erroneously been attached to the preceding word) and haplography (of the final tav, which also begins the following word).
[2:8] tn Heb “from those passing by peacefully, returnees from war.” Actual refugees, however, are probably not in view. The second line compares those who pass by peacefully with individuals returning from war. The battle is over and they do not expect their own countrymen to attack them.
[2:9] 12 tn Heb “from their children you take my glory forever.” The yod (י) ending on הֲדָרִי (hadariy) is usually taken as a first person common singular suffix (“my glory”). But it may be the archaic genitive ending (“glory of”) in the construct expression “glory of perpetuity,” that is, “perpetual glory.” In either case, this probably refers to the dignity or honor the
[3:2] 19 tn Heb “their skin from upon them.” The referent of the pronoun (“my people,” referring to Jacob and/or the house of Israel, with the
[3:2] sn Micah compares the social injustice perpetrated by the house of Jacob/Israel to cannibalism, because it threatens the very lives of the oppressed.
[6:9] 36 tn Heb “one who sees your name is wisdom.” It is probably better to emend יִרְאֶה (yir’eh, “he sees”) to יִרְאָה (yir’ah, “fearing”). One may then translate, “fearing your name is wisdom.” The
[6:9] 37 tn Heb (apparently) “Listen [to] the staff and the one who appointed it.” Verse 10 then begins with עוֹד (yod, “still” or “again”). The translation assumes an emendation to שִׁמְעוּ מַטֶּה וּמוֹעֵד הָעִיר (shim’u matteh umo’ed ha’ir, “listen, O tribe and the assembly of the city”).
[6:10] 38 tn The meaning of the first Hebrew word in the line is unclear. Possibly it is a combination of the interrogative particle and אִשׁ (’ish), an alternate form of יֵשׁ (yesh, “there is/are”). One could then translate literally, “Are there treasures of sin [in] the house of the sinful?” The translation assumes an emendation to הַאֶשֶּׁה (ha’esheh, from נָשָׁא, nasha’, “to forget”), “Will I forget?” The rhetorical question expects an answer, “No, I will not forget.”
[6:10] sn Merchants would use a smaller than standard measure so they could give the customer less than he thought he was paying for.
[6:11] 41 tn Heb “Do I acquit sinful scales, and a bag of deceptive weights?” The rhetorical question expects an answer, “No, I do not,” and has been translated as a declarative statement for clarity and emphasis.
[6:14] 46 tc The first Hebrew term in the line (וְיֶשְׁחֲךָ, vÿyeshkhakha) is obscure. HALOT 446 s.v. יֶשַׁח understands a noun meaning “filth,” which would yield the translation, “and your filth is inside you.” The translation assumes an emendation to כֹּחַ-וְיֶשׁ (vÿyesh-koakh, “and [if] there is strength inside you”).
[6:14] 47 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term וְתַסֵּג (vÿtasseg) is unclear. The translation assumes it is a Hiphal imperfect from נָסַג/נָשַׂג (nasag/nasag, “reach; overtake”) and that hunting imagery is employed. (Note the reference to hunger in the first line of the verse.) See D. R. Hillers, Micah (Hermeneia), 80.
[7:1] 51 tn Heb “I am like the gathering of the summer fruit, like the gleanings of the harvest.” Micah is not comparing himself to the harvested fruit. There is an ellipsis here, as the second half of the verse makes clear. The idea is, “I am like [one at the time] the summer fruit is gathered and the grapes are harvested.”
[7:3] 59 tn More literally, “the great one announces what his appetite desires and they weave it together.” Apparently this means that subordinates plot and maneuver to make sure the prominent man’s desires materialize.
[7:4] 60 tn Heb “[the] godly from a row of thorn bushes.” The preposition מִן (min) is comparative and the comparative element (perhaps “sharper” is the idea) is omitted. See BDB 582 s.v. 6 and GKC 431 §133.e.
[7:4] 61 tn Heb “the day of your watchmen, your appointed [time], is coming.” The present translation takes “watchmen” to refer to actual sentries. However, the “watchmen” could refer figuratively to the prophets who had warned Judah of approaching judgment. In this case one could translate, “The day your prophets warned about – your appointed time of punishment – is on the way.”