אַלְלַי לִי כִּי הָיִיתִי כְּאָסְפֵּי־קַיִץ כְּעֹלְלֹת בָּצִיר אֵין־אֶשְׁכּוֹל לֶאֱכוֹל בִּכּוּרָה אִוְּתָה נַפְשִׁי׃ 7:1
Mica. 7:1 Woe to me!
For I am like the harvest of the summer fruit,
like the gleanings of the vintage;
there is no grape cluster to eat,
first ripe fig my soul desires.
אָבַד חָסִיד מִן־הָאָרֶץ וְיָשָׁר בָּאָדָם אָיִן כֻּלָּם לְדָמִים יֶאֱרֹבוּ אִישׁ אֶת־אָחִיהוּ יָצוּדוּ חֵרֶם׃ 7:2
Mica. 7:2 The pious man has vanished from the earth,
and the upright one is among humankind no more.
All of them would lie in wait for blood;
accursed, they hunt each the other.
עַל־הָרַע כַּפַּיִם לְהֵיטִיב הַשַּׂר שֹׁאֵל וְהַשֹּׁפֵט בַּשִּׁלּוּם וְהַגָּדוֹל דֹּבֵר הַוַּת נַפְשׁוֹ הוּא וַיְעַבְּתוּהָ׃ 7:3
Mica. 7:3 Their hands are on every evil to do thoroughly;
every prince is asking, and every judge is with a bribe;
and every great man,
he is commanding the desire of his soul,
and they weave it together.
The phrase every prince is asking in the second line probably means that the princes were all looking for bribes for their favors.
טוֹבָם כְּחֵדֶק יָשָׁר מִמְּסוּכָה יוֹם מְצַפֶּיךָ פְּקֻדָּתְךָ בָאָה עַתָּה תִהְיֶה מְבוּכָתָם׃ 7:4
Mica. 7:4 The best of them is like a brier,
the most upright worse than a thorn hedge.
The day of Your watching, of Your visitation, comes;
then their perplexity shall occur.
אַל־תַּאֲמִינוּ בְרֵעַ אַל־תִּבְטְחוּ בְּאַלּוּף מִשֹּׁכֶבֶת חֵיקֶךָ שְׁמֹר פִּתְחֵי־פִיךָ׃ 7:5
Mica. 7:5 You cannot trust in a friend,
you cannot have confidence in an intimate.
Guard the openings of your mouth
from she lying on your bosom.
כִּי־בֵן מְנַבֵּל אָב בַּת קָמָה בְאִמָּהּ כַּלָּה בַּחֲמֹתָהּ אֹיְבֵי אִישׁ אַנְשֵׁי בֵיתוֹ׃ 7:6
Mica. 7:6 For son is contemptuous of father,
daughter stands up to her mother,
daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law.
The enemies of a man are the men of his house.
וַאֲנִי בַּיהוָה אֲצַפֶּה אוֹחִילָה לֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי יִשְׁמָעֵנִי אֱלֹהָי׃ 7:7
Mica. 7:7 But I will keep watch on the Lord,
I shall wait for the God of my salvation.
My God shall hear me.
אַל־תִּשְׂמְחִי אֹיַבְתִּי לִי כִּי נָפַלְתִּי קָמְתִּי כִּי־אֵשֵׁב בַּחֹשֶׁךְ יְהוָה אוֹר לִי׃ 7:8
Mica. 7:8 You will not rejoice, my enemy, in regard to me.
Though I have fallen, I rise up.
While I may sit in darkness,
the Lord is my Light.
זַעַף יְהוָה אֶשָּׂא כִּי חָטָאתִי לוֹ עַד אֲשֶׁר יָרִיב רִיבִי וְעָשָׂה מִשְׁפָּטִי יוֹצִיאֵנִי לָאוֹר אֶרְאֶה בְּצִדְקָתוֹ׃ 7:9
Mica. 7:9 I must bear the indignation of the Lord,
for I have sinned toward Him.
At the end of when He will have pled my cause
and executed my judgment,
He will bring me forth to the light,
I will be able to look upon His righteousness.
וְתֵרֶא אֹיַבְתִּי וּתְכַסֶּהָ בוּשָׁה הָאֹמְרָה אֵלַי אַיּוֹ יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיִךְ עֵינַי תִּרְאֶינָּה בָּהּ עַתָּה תִּהְיֶה 7:10 לְמִרְמָס כְּטִיט חוּצוֹת׃
Mica. 7:10 Then my enemy will see
and shame shall overwhelm her who said to me,
“Where is the Lord, your God?”
My eyes shall look at her;
then she will be as a trampling place
like the mud of the streets.
יוֹם לִבְנוֹת גְּדֵרָיִךְ יוֹם הַהוּא יִרְחַק־חֹק׃ 7:11
Mica. 7:11 A day to rebuild your walls;
that day shall be of a limited distance.
Presumably the day to rebuild the walls will be some time in the dim future.
יוֹם הוּא וְעָדֶיךָ יָבוֹא לְמִנִּי אַשּׁוּר וְעָרֵי מָצוֹר וּלְמִנִּי מָצוֹר וְעַד־נָהָר וְיָם מִיָּם וְהַר הָהָר׃ 7:12
Mica. 7:12 That day, and it shall come even to you,
to from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
and to from Egypt and as far as the River,
and sea from sea,
and mount of the hill-country.
The consensus among scholars is that this verse refers to the return of Israel from all over the world.
וְהָיְתָה הָאָרֶץ לִשְׁמָמָה עַל־יֹשְׁבֶיהָ מִפְּרִי מַעַלְלֵיהֶם׃ 7:13
Mica. 7:13 And the land shall become as a desolation,
because of its inhabitants,
because of the fruit of their practices.
This verse must address the time before then, when Israel will be destroyed.
רְעֵה עַמְּךָ בְשִׁבְטֶךָ צֹאן נַחֲלָתֶךָ שֹׁכְנִי לְבָדָד יַעַר בְּתוֹךְ כַּרְמֶל יִרְעוּ בָשָׁן וְגִלְעָד כִּימֵי עוֹלָם׃ 7:14
Mica. 7:14 Tend Your people with Your staff,
the flock of Your inheritance,
residents of separation,
a forest in the midst of a garden land;
let them graze Bashan and Gilead as days of old,
Bashan and Gilead were situated east of the Jordan, the area that was conquered in 734 BCE by Tilgath-pileser. The phrase as days of old at the end of the verse implies that Micah is writing well after that time. As we learned in Micah 1:1, Micah’s prophecies were probably recorded during a period surrounding the turn of the seventh century BCE, at most 30 to 40 years (and at the least only a few years) after the fall of the eastern regions of Israel. But I have to ask, would the beginning of that short a period qualify as days of old? It’s difficult for me to answer yes to that question. Maybe Micah is referring to an earlier period, when Israel was first settled, in Joshua’s or David’s day. That time might have seemed to him to be more representative of Israel’s halcyon days.
כִּימֵי צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם אַרְאֶנּוּ נִפְלָאוֹת׃ 7:15
Mica. 7:15 “As the days of your coming forth from the land of Egypt,
I shall show him wonders.”
יִרְאוּ גוֹיִם וְיֵבֹשׁוּ מִכֹּל גְּבוּרָתָם יָשִׂימוּ יָד עַל־פֶּה אָזְנֵיהֶם תֶּחֱרַשְׁנָה׃ 7:16
Mica. 7:16 The nations shall see,
and shall be ashamed despite all their might;
they shall put a hand over the mouth,
their ears shall be deafened.
יְלַחֲכוּ עָפָר כַּנָּחָשׁ כְּזֹחֲלֵי אֶרֶץ יִרְגְּזוּ מִמִּסְגְּרֹתֵיהֶם אֶל־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יִפְחָדוּ וְיִרְאוּ מִמֶּךָּ׃ 7:17
Mica. 7:17 They shall lick up dust as a serpent would;
like creeping things of the earth,
they shall come trembling from their corners;
they shall come in dread to the Lord, our God,
and shall be afraid because of You.
מִי־אֵל כָּמוֹךָ נֹשֵׂא עָוֺן וְעֹבֵר עַל־פֶּשַׁע לִשְׁאֵרִית נַחֲלָתוֹ לֹא־הֶחֱזִיק לָעַד אַפּוֹ כִּי־חָפֵץ חֶסֶד הוּא׃ 7:18
Mica. 7:18 Who is God like You,
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of His inheritance!
Who does not retain forever His “anger,”
because He delights in mercy!
יָשׁוּב יְרַחֲמֵנוּ יִכְבֹּשׁ עֲוֺנֹתֵינוּ וְתַשְׁלִיךְ בִּמְצֻלוֹת יָם כָּל־חַטֹּאותָם׃ 7:19
Mica. 7:19 He will again have mercy on us,
He shall subdue our iniquities;
and You shall cast all their sins
into the depths of the sea.
תִּתֵּן אֱמֶת לְיַעֲקֹב חֶסֶד לְאַבְרָהָם אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ לַאֲבֹתֵינוּ מִימֵי קֶדֶם׃ 7:20
Mica. 7:20 You will exhibit the faithfulness to Jacob,
the mercy to Abraham,
that You have sworn to our fathers
since days of old.
As I mentioned with respect to Mica. 6:7, Micah never once mentions anything about the people’s abominable ritual violations of the Torah commandments. This seems to be a rather remarkable oversight on his part, one which is not copied by any of the other prophets (with the exception of Obadiah, who didn’t criticize Israel). He is concerned only with moral issues. That’s why I suspect he may not have been conversant in the commandments.
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