Day 243 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. Micah prophesies against Israel. 2 Corinthians 4: Special Treasure in Jars of Clay
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2 Corinthians 4
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amaria and Israel to Be Punished
During the time that Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Ju-
dah, the word of the LORD came to Micah. Micah was from Moresheth. He saw these visions about Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 Listen, all you people!
Earth and everyone on it,* listen!
The Lord GOD will be a witness against you.
The Lord will come from his holy temple.
3 See, the LORD is leaving his place
to come down and walk on the high places† of the earth.
4 The mountains will melt under him like wax in a fire.
The valleys will break apart
and slide like water rushing down a hill. 5 This will happen because of Jacob’s sin, because of the sins of the nation‡ of
Samaria, the Cause of Sin
What caused Jacob to sin? It was Samaria.
Where do people worship idols in Judah?
It is Jerusalem.
*1:2 everyone on it Literally, “its fullness”.
†1:3 high places Here, this might mean simply “hills”, or it might mean places for idol worship that the LORD will trample.
‡1:5 nation Literally, “house”. This might mean the royal family of that country.
6 So I will change Samaria into a pile of rocks in an open field,
a place where vineyards will be planted.
I will push Samaria’s stones down into the valley,
leaving nothing but the foundations.
7 All her idols will be broken to pieces.
She got them as pay for being a prostitute.
They will be burned in fire.
I will destroy all her statues of false gods, because Samaria got her riches by being
unfaithful to me.
So those things will be taken by other people
who are not faithful to me.
Micah’s Great Sadness
8 I will be very sad about what will happen.
I will go without sandals and clothes. I will cry like a wild dog.
I will mourn like an ostrich.
9 Samaria’s* wound cannot be healed. Her disease has spread to Judah.
It has reached the city gate of my people; it has spread all the way to Jerusalem.
10 Don’t tell it in Gath.†
Don’t cry in Acco.‡
Roll yourself in the dust at Beth Ophrah.¶
11 You people living in Shaphir,§
pass on your way, naked and ashamed.
The people living in Zaanan** will not come out.
The people in Beth Ezel†† will cry
and take their support from you.
12 The people living in Maroth‡‡ wait for something good to happen,
even though trouble has come down from the LORD
and has reached the city gate of Jerusalem.
13 You people living in Lachish,¶¶
get the horses ready for your chariots.
You are guilty of the same sins Israel§§ committed,
and you brought those sins to Jerusalem.*
14 So you must give goodbye gifts to Moresheth† in Gath.
The houses in Aczib‡ will trick the kings of Israel.
15 You people who live in Mareshah,¶
I will bring someone against you who will take the things you own.
The glory of Israel
will come into Adullam.§
*1:9 Samaria The capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel.
†1:10 Gath This is a wordplay. This name means “tell”.
‡1:10 Acco This name means “cry”.
¶1:10 Beth Ophrah This name means “house of dust”.
§1:11 Shaphir This name means “beautiful”.
**1:11 Zaanan This name means “come out”.
††1:11 Beth Ezel This name means “house of support”.
‡‡1:12 Maroth This name means “bitter”, “angry” or “sad”.
¶¶1:13 Lachish This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “horse”.
§§1:13 Israel Here, probably the northern kingdom of Israel centred in Samaria.
*1:13 Jerusalem Literally, “Daughter Zion”. See Zion in the Word List.
†1:14 Moresheth Micah’s home town.
‡1:14 Aczib This name means “lie” or “trick”.
¶1:15 Mareshah The name means “a person who takes things”.
§1:15 Adullam A cave that David hid in when he ran away from Saul. See 1 Sam. 22:1.
16 So cut off your hair and make yourself bald*
because you will cry for the children you
5 So we will not be able to measure the land
and divide it among the LORD’s people.
Make yourself bald like an eagle† show your sorrow,
Micah Is Asked Not to Prophesy
6 The people say, “Don’t prophesy to us.
because your children will be taken away from you.
The Evil Plans of People
Trouble will come to those who make plans to sin.
They lie on their beds making their evil plans.
Then when the morning light comes, they do what they planned,
because they have the power to do what they want.
2 They want fields, so they take them.
They want houses, so they take them.
They cheat a man
and take his house and his land.
The Lord’s Plans to Punish the People
3 That is why the LORD says:
“Look, I am planning trouble against this family.
You will not be able to save yourselves.‡
You will stop being proud, because bad times are coming.
4 Then people will sing songs about you.
They will sing this sad song: ‘We are ruined!
The LORD took away our land and gave it to other people.
Yes, he took my land away from me.
He has divided our fields among our enemies.’”
Don’t say those bad things about us. Nothing bad will happen to us.”
7 But people of Jacob,
I must say these things.
The LORD is losing his patience because of the bad things you have done. If you did what is right,
I could say nice words to you.
8 But you attack my people like enemies. You steal the clothes off the backs of peo-
ple walking by.
They think they are safe,
but you are there to treat them like pris- oners of war.¶
9 You have taken nice houses
away from the women of my people.
You have taken my wealth
away from their small children forever.
10 Get up and leave!
This will not be your place of rest, be- cause you ruined it.
You made it unclean, so it will be destroyed!
It will be a terrible destruction!
11 These people don’t want to listen to me,
but if a man comes telling lies, they will accept him.
They would accept a false prophet if he comes and says,
“There will be good times in the future, with plenty of wine and beer.”
*1:16 cut … bald This showed that a person made a special agreement with God or that a person was very sad.
†1:16 eagle Or “vulture”. See vulture in the Word List.
‡2:3 save yourselves Literally, “take your necks off it”.
¶2:8 They think … war Or “Returning from war, they think they are safe.”
The Lord Will Bring His People Together
12 Yes, people of Jacob, I will bring all of you together.
I will bring together all those in Israel who are still living.
I will put them together like sheep in the sheep pen,
like a flock in its pasture.
Then the place will be filled with the noise of many people.
13 The “One Who Breaks Through Walls”
will push through
and walk to the front of his people. They will break through the gates and leave that city.
They will leave with their king marching before them—
with the LORD at the front of his people.
The Leaders of Israel Are Guilty of Evil
Then I said:
“Listen, leaders of Jacob and officers of the nation* of Israel!
You should know what justice is.
2 But you hate good and love evil.
You tear the skin off the people
and tear the flesh off their bones.
3 You are destroying my people.†
You take their skin off them and break their bones.
You chop their bones up like meat to put in the pot!
4 Then you will pray to the LORD,
but he will not answer you.
No, he will hide his face from you, because what you do is evil.”
5 Some false prophets are telling lies to the Lord’s people. This is what the LORD says about them:
“These prophets are led by their stomachs.
They promise peace for those who give them food,
but they promise war
to those who do not give them food. 6 “This is why it is like night for you and you don’t have visions.
You cannot see what will happen in the future,
so it is like darkness to you.
The sun has gone down on the prophets.
They cannot see what will happen in the future,
so it is like darkness to them.
7 The seers are ashamed;
the fortune-tellers are embarrassed. None of them will say anything, because God will not speak to them.”
Micah Is an Honest Prophet of God
8 But the LORD’s Spirit has filled me with power, goodness and strength.
So now I can tell Jacob what they have done wrong.
I can tell Israel how they have sinned!
The Leaders of Israel Are to Blame
9 Leaders of Jacob and rulers of Israel, listen to me!
You hate the right way of living! If something is straight,
then you make it crooked!
10 You build Zion by murdering people.‡ You build Jerusalem by cheating people! 11 The judges in Jerusalem accept bribes to help them decide who wins in court.
*3:1 nation Literally, “house”. This might mean the royal family of that country.
†3:3 You are destroying my people Literally, “who eat the flesh of my people”.
‡3:10 murdering people Literally, “bloodshed”.
The priests in Jerusalem must be paid before they will teach the people.
People must pay the prophets
before they will look into the future.
Then those leaders expect the LORD to help them.
They say, “The LORD lives here with us, so nothing bad will happen to us.”
12 Leaders, because of you, Zion will be
It will become a ploughed field.
Jerusalem will become a pile of rocks. Bushes will cover the hill where the
Temple now stands.
The Law Will Come From Jerusalem
In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s Temple
will be on the highest of all mountains. It will be raised higher than the hills.
There will be a steady stream of people going there.
2 People from many nations will go there
“Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the Temple of the God of Jacob. Then God will teach us his way of living, and we will follow him.”
His teaching, the LORD’s message, will begin in Jerusalem on Mount Zion
and will go out to all the world.
3 Then God will act as judge to end ar- guments between people in many places.
He will decide what is right for great na- tions far and near.
They will hammer their swords into ploughs
and use their spears to make tools for harvesting.
All fighting between nations will end. They will never again train for war.
4 They will sit under their own
grapevine and fig tree.
No one will make them afraid,
because the LORD All-Powerful said it would happen like that.
5 All the people from other nations fol-
low their own gods,
but we will follow the LORD our God for ever and ever!*
The Kingdom to Be Brought Back
6 “At that time,” says the LORD, “I will gather my people,
the people I have punished.
I made them suffer far away from home.
Like scattered sheep, they are hurt and lame,
but I will bring them back.
7 Those left alive are hurt,
but I will give them a new start. They were forced to leave home,
but I will make them a strong nation.
And I, the LORD, will be their king and rule from Mount Zion forever. 8 And you, Tower of Flocks,†
your time will come. Ophel, hill of Zion,
you will again have the right to rule. Yes, the kingdom will be in Jerusalem as it was in the past.”
You People Must Leave Jerusalem
9 Now, why are you crying so loudly? Is your king gone?
Have you lost your wise leader?
Is that why you are suffering like a woman in labour?
*4:5 Or “All the nations will walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God, for ever and ever!”
†4:8 Tower of Flocks Or “Migdal Eder”. This probably means a part of Jerusalem. The leaders would be like shepherds in a tower watching their sheep.
10 Cry out, you people of Jerusalem,* and feel the pain,
as if you were giving birth. You must go out of the city and live in the fields.
You will go away to Babylon,
but you will also be saved from that place.
The LORD will come and rescue you there.
He will take you away from your enemies.
The Lord Will Destroy the Other Nations
11 Many nations have come to fight against you.
They say, “Look, there is Zion! Let’s attack her!”
12 They have their plans,
but they don’t know what the LORD is planning.
He brought them here for a special purpose.
They will be crushed like grain on a threshing floor.
Jerusalem Will Defeat Its Enemies
13 “People of Jerusalem, get up and crush them!
I will make you very strong.
It will be as if you have horns of iron and hooves of bronze.
You will beat many people into small pieces.
You will give their wealth to the LORD.
You will give their treasure to the Lord of all the earth.”
2 Corinthians 4
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