MICHEAS, of Morasti, a little town in the tribe of JUDA, was contemporary with the prophet ISAIAS: whom he resembles both in his spirit and his style. He is different from the prophet MICHEAS mentioned in the third book of Kings, chap. 22. For that MICHEAS lived in the days of king ACHAB, one hundred and fifty years before the time of EZECHIAS, under whom this MICHEAS prophesied.
Samaria for her sins shall be destroyed by the Assyrians; they shall also invade Juda and Jerusalem.
1:1. The word of the Lord, that came to Micheas, the Morasthite, in the days of Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda: which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
1:2. Hear, all ye people: and let the earth give ear, and all that is therein: and let the Lord God be a witness to you, the Lord from his holy temple.
1:3. For behold the Lord will come forth out of his place: and he will come down, and will tread upon the high places of the earth.
1:4. And the mountains shall be melted under him: and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as waters that run down a steep place.
1:5. For the wickedness of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the wickedness of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Juda? are they not Jerusalem?
1:6. And I will make Samaria as a heap of stones in the field when a vineyard is planted: and I will bring down the stones thereof into the valley, and will lay her foundations bare.
1:7. And all her graven things shall be cut in pieces, and all her wages shall be burnt with fire, and I will bring to destruction all her idols: for they were gathered together of the hire of a harlot, and unto the hire of a harlot they shall return.
1:8. Therefore will I lament, and howl: I will go stript and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and a mourning like the ostriches.
1:9. Because her wound is desperate, because it is come even to Juda, it hath touched the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.
1:10. Declare ye it not in Geth, weep ye not with tears: in the house of Dust sprinkle yourselves with dust.
1:11. And pass away, O thou that dwellest in the beautiful place, covered with thy shame: she went not forth that dwelleth in the confines: the house adjoining shall receive mourning from you, which stood by herself.
1:12. For she is become weak unto good that dwelleth in bitterness: for evil is come down from the Lord into the gate of Jerusalem.
1:13. A tumult of chariots hath astonished the inhabitants of Lachis: it is the beginning of sin to the daughter of Sion for in thee were found the crimes of Israel.
1:14. Therefore shall she send messengers to the inheritance of Geth: the houses of lying to deceive the kings of Israel.
1:15. Yet will I bring an heir to thee that dwellest in Maresa: even to Odollam shall the glory of Israel come.
1:16. Make thee bald, and be polled for thy delicate children: enlarge thy baldness as the eagle: for they are carried into captivity from thee.
The Israelites by their crying injustices provoke God to punish them. He shall at last restore Jacob.
2:1. Woe to you that devise that which is unprofitable, and work evil in your beds: in the morning light they execute it, because their hand is against God.
2:2. And they have coveted fields, and taken them by violence, and houses they have forcibly taken away: and oppressed a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.
2:3. Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold I devise an evil against this family: from which you shall not withdraw your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for this is a very evil time.
2:4. In that day a parable shall be taken up upon you, and a song shall be sung with melody by them that say: We are laid waste and spoiled: the portion of my people is changed: how shall he depart from me, whereas he is returning that will divide our land?
2:5. Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast the cord of a lot in the assembly of the Lord.
2:6. Speak ye not, saying: It shall not drop upon these, confusion shall not take them.
2:7. The house of Jacob saith: Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened or are these his thoughts? Are not my words good to him that walketh uprightly?
2:8. But my people, on the contrary, are risen up as an enemy: you have taken away the cloak off from the coat: and them that passed harmless you have turned to war.
2:9. You have cast out the women of my people from their houses, in which they took delight: you have taken my praise forever from their children.
2:10. Arise ye, and depart, for there is no rest here for you. For that uncleanness of the land, it shall be corrupted with a grievous corruption.
2:11. Would God I were not a man that hath the spirit, and that I rather spoke a lie: I will let drop to thee of wine, and of drunkeness: and it shall be this people upon whom it shall drop.
2:12. I will assemble and gather together all of thee, O Jacob: I will bring together the remnant of Israel, I will put them together as a flock in the fold, as sheep in the midst of the sheepcotes, they shall make a tumult by reason of the multitude of men.
2:13. For he shall go up that shall open the way before them: they shall divide and pass through the gate, and shall come in by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.
For the sins of the rich oppressing the poor, of false prophets flattering for lucre, and of judges perverting justice, Jerusalem and the temple shall be destroyed.
3:1. And I said: Hear, O ye princes of Jacob, and ye chiefs of the house of Israel: Is it not your part to know judgment,
3:2. You that hate good, and love evil: that violently pluck off their skins from them and their flesh from their bones?
3:3. Who have eaten the flesh of my people, and have flayed their skin off them: and have broken, and chopped their bones as for the kettle, and as flesh in the midst of the pot.
3:4. Then shall they cry to the Lord, and he will not hear them: and he will hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved wickedly in their devices.
3:5. Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err: that bite with their teeth, and preach peace: and if a man give not something into their mouth, they prepare war against him.
3:6. Therefore night shall be to you instead of vision, and darkness to you instead of divination: and the sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be darkened over them.
3:7. And they shall be confounded that see visions, and the diviners shall be confounded: and they shall all cover their faces, because there is no answer of God.
3:8. But yet I am filled with the strength of the spirit of the Lord, with judgment and power: to declare unto Jacob his wickedness and to Israel his sin.
3:9. Hear this, ye princes of the house of Jacob, and ye judges of the house of Israel: you that abhor judgment and pervert all that is right.
3:10. You that build up Sion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
3:11. Her princes have judged for bribes: and her priests have taught for hire, and her prophets divined for money: and they leaned upon the Lord, saying: Is not the Lord in the midst of us? no evil shall come among us.
3:12. Therefore because of you, Sion shall be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall be as a heap of stones, and the mountain of the temple as the high places of the forests.
The glory of the church of Christ, by the conversion of the Gentiles. The Jews shall be carried captives to Babylon, and be delivered again.
4:1. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared in the top of the mountains, and high above the hills: and people shall flow to it.
4:2. And many nations shall come in haste, and say: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob: and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth out of Sion, and the word of the Lord out of Jerusalem.
4:3. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into spades: nation shall not take sword against nation: neither shall they learn war anymore.
4:4. And every man shall sit under his vine, and under his fig tree, and there shall be none to make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken.
4:5. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god: but we will walk in the name of the Lord, our God, for ever and ever.
4:6. In that day, saith the Lord, I will gather up her that halteth: and her that I had cast out, I will gather up: and her whom I had afflicted.
4:7. And I will make her that halted, a remnant: and her that had been afflicted, a mighty nation: and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Sion, from this time now and forever.
4:8. And thou, O cloudy tower of the flock, of the daughter of Sion, unto thee shall it come: yea the first power shall come, the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem.
4:9. Now, why art thou drawn together with grief? Hast thou no king in thee, or is thy counselor perished, because sorrow hath taken thee as a woman in labour.
4:10. Be in pain and labour, O daughter of Sion, as a woman that bringeth forth: for now shalt thou go out of the city, and shalt dwell in the country, and shalt come even to Babylon, there thou shalt be delivered: there the Lord will redeem thee out of the hand of thy enemies.
4:11. And now many nations are gathered together against thee, and they say: Let her be stoned: and let our eye look upon Sion.
4:12. But they have not known the thoughts of the Lord, and have not understood his counsel: because he hath gathered them together as the hay of the floor.
4:13. Arise, and tread, O daughter of Sion: for I will make thy horn iron, and thy hoofs I will make brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many peoples, and shalt immolate the spoils of them to the Lord, and their strength to the Lord of the whole earth.
The birth of Christ in Bethlehem: his reign and spiritual conquests.
5:1. Now shalt thou be laid waste, O daughter of the robber: they have laid siege against us, with a rod shall they strike the cheek of the judge of Israel.
5:2. And thou Bethlehem Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda, out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity.
5:3. Therefore will he give them up even till the time wherein she that travaileth shall bring forth: and the remnant of his brethren shall be converted to the children of Israel.
5:4. And he shall stand, and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the height of the name of the Lord, his God: and they shall be converted, for now shall he be magnified even to the ends of the earth.
5:5. And this man shall be our peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall set his foot in our houses: and we shall raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.
5:6. And they shall feed the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nemrod with the spears thereof: and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our borders.
5:7. And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples, as a dew from the Lord, and as drops upon the grass, which waiteth not for man, nor tarrieth for the children of men.
5:8. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among the beasts of the forests, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, when he shall go through, and tread down, and take there is none to deliver.
5:9. Thy hand shall be lifted up over thy enemies, and all thy enemies shall be cut off.
5:10. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will take away thy horses out of the midst of thee, and will destroy thy chariots.
5:11. And I will destroy the cities of thy land, and will throw down all thy strong holds, and I will take away sorceries out of thy hand, and there shall be no divinations in thee.
5:12. And I will destroy thy graven things, and thy statues, out of the midst of thee: and thou shalt no more adore the works of thy hands.
5:13. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: and will crush thy cities.
5:14. And I will execute vengeance in wrath, and in indignation, among all the nations that have not given ear.
God expostulates with the Jews for their ingratitude and sins: for which they shall be punished.
6:1. Hear ye what the Lord saith: Arise, contend thou in judgment against the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.
6:2. Let the mountains hear the judgment of the Lord, and the strong foundations of the earth: for the Lord will enter into judgment with his people, and he will plead against Israel.
6:3. O my people, what have I done to thee, or in what have I molested thee? answer thou me.
6:4. For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and delivered thee out of the house of slaves: and I sent before thy face Moses, and Aaron, and Mary.
6:5. O my people, remember, I pray thee, what Balach, the king of Moab, purposed: and what Balaam, the son of Beor, answered him, from Setim to Galgal, that thou mightest know the justice of the Lord.
6:6. What shall I offer to the Lord that is worthy? wherewith shall I kneel before the high God? shall I offer holocausts unto him, and calves of a year old?
6:7. May the Lord be appeased with thousands of rams, or with many thousands of fat he goats? shall I give my firstborn for my wickedness, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
6:8. I will shew thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: Verily to do judgment, and to love mercy, and to walk solicitous with thy God.
6:9. The voice of the Lord crieth to the city, and salvation shall be to them that fear thy name: hear O ye tribes, and who shall approve it?
6:10. As yet there is a fire in the house of the wicked, the treasures of iniquity, and a scant measure full of wrath.
6:11. Shall I justify wicked balances, and the deceitful weights of the bag?
6:12. By which her rich men were filled with iniquity, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue was deceitful in their mouth.
6:13. And I therefore began to strike thee with desolation for thy sins.
6:14. Thou shalt eat, but shalt not be filled: and thy humiliation shall be in the midst of thee: and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not save: and those whom thou shalt save, I will give up to the sword.
6:15. Thou shalt sow, but shalt not reap: thou shalt tread the olives, but shalt not be anointed with oil: and the new wine, but shalt not drink the wine.
6:16. For thou hast kept the statutes of Amri, and all the works of the house of Achab: and thou hast walked according their wills, that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof a hissing, and you shall bear the reproach of my people.
The prophet laments, that notwithstanding all his preaching, the generality are still corrupt in their manners: therefore their desolation is at hand: but they shall be restored again and prosper; and all mankind shall be redeemed by Christ.
7:1. Woe is me, for I am become as one that gleaneth in autumn the grapes of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat, my soul desired the first ripe figs.
7:2. The holy man is perished out of the earth, and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood, every one hunteth his brother to death.
7:3. The evil of their hands they call good: the prince requireth, and the judge is for giving: and the great man hath uttered the desire of his soul, and they have troubled it.
7:4. He that is best among them, is as a brier, and he that is righteous, as the thorn of the hedge. The day of thy inspection, thy visitation cometh: now shall be their destruction.
7:5. Believe not a friend, and trust not in a prince: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that sleepeth in thy bosom.
7:6. For the son dishonoureth the father, and the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law: and a man’s enemies are they of his own household.
7:7. But I will look towards the Lord, I will wait for God, my saviour: my God will hear me.
7:8. Rejoice not, thou my enemy, over me, because I am fallen: I shall arise, when I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.
7:9. I will bear the wrath of the Lord, because I have sinned against him: until he judge my cause, and execute judgement for me: he will bring me forth into the light, I shall behold his justice.
7:10. And my enemy shall behold, and she shall be covered with shame, who saith to me: Where is the Lord thy God? my eyes shall look down upon her: now shall she be trodden under foot as the mire of the streets.
7:11. The day shall come, that thy walls may be built up: in that day shall the law be far removed.
7:12. In that day they shall come even from Assyria to thee, and to the fortified cities: and from the fortified cities even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.
7:13. And the land shall be made desolate because of the inhabitants thereof, and for the fruit of their devices.
7:14. Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thy inheritance, them that dwell alone in the forest, in the midst of Carmel: they shall feed in Basan and Galaad, according to the days of old.
7:15. According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt, I will shew him wonders.
7:16. The nations shall see, and shall be confounded at all their strength: they shall put the hand upon the mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
7:17. They shall lick the dust like serpents, as the creeping things of the earth, they shall be disturbed in their houses: they shall dread the Lord, our God, and shall fear thee.
7:18. Who is a God like to thee, who takest away iniquity, and passest by the sin of the remnant of thy inheritance? he will send his fury in no more, because he delighteth in mercy.
7:19. He will turn again, and have mercy on us: he will put away our iniquities: and he will cast all our sins into the bottom of the sea.
7:20. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, the mercy to Abraham: which thou hast sworn to our fathers from the days of old.
– Douay-Rheims Bible