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The Book of the Prophet Micheas

(Micah “who is like God”)

The 1st Chapter
     This is the word of the Lord, that came to Micheas the Morastite, in the days of Jothan, Ahaz, and Jehezekiah, kings of Judah: which was showed upon Samaria and Jerusalem. Hear, all you people, hearken, mark this well O earth, and all that therein is: Yes the Lord God himself be witness among you, even the Lord from his holy temple. For, why? behold, the Lord shall go out of his place, and come down, and tread upon the high things of the earth. The mountains shall consume under him, and the valleys shall cleave asunder: like as war consumes at the fire, and as the waters runs down hard. And all this shall be for the wickedness of Jacob, and the sins of the house of Israel.
     But what is the wickedness of Jacob? Is not Samaria? Which are the high places of Judah? Is not Jerusalem? Therefore I shall make Samaria an heap of stones in the field, to lay about the vineyard: her stones shall I cast into the valley, and discover her foundations. All her Images shall be broken down and all her winnings shall be burned in the fire: yes all her Idols will I destroy: for why? they are gathered out of the hire of an whore, and to an whores hire they shall be turned again. Wherefore I will mourn and make lamentation, bare and naked will I go: I must mourn like the dragons, and take sorrow like the ostriches: For their wound is past remedy: And why? it is come in to Judah, and has touched the port of my people at Jerusalem already. Weep not, least they at Geth perceive it.
     You at Betaphra, welter yourself in the dust and ashes. You that dwells at Sephir, get you from here, now with shame. The proud shall boast no more for very sorrow: and why? her neighbor shall take from her what she has. The rebellious city hopes, that it shall not be so evil: but for all that, the plague shall come from the Lord, even in to the port of Jerusalem. The great noise of the chariots shall fear them, that dwell at Lachis, which is an occasion of the sin of the daughter of Sion, for in you came up the wickedness of Israel. Yes she sent her *coursers into the land of Geth.*coursers: a hunter, a dog or horse used for hunting.
     The houses of lies will deceive the kings of Israel. And as for you (O you that dwell at Morassa) I shall bring a possession upon you, and the plague of Israel shall reach unto Odolla. Make you bald, and shave you, because of your tender children: Make you clean bald as an Eagle, for they shall be carried away captive from you.

The 2nd Chapter
     Woe unto them, that imagine to do harm, and devise ungraciousness upon their beds, to perform it in the clear day: for their power is against God. When they covet to have land, they take it by violence, they rob men of their houses.
     Thus they oppress a man for his house, and every man for his heritage. Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold against this household I have devised a plague, whereout you shall not pluck your necks: you shall no more go so proudly, for it will be a perilous time. In that day shall this term be used, and a mourning shall be made over you on this manner: We be utterly desolate, the portion of my peoples is translated, When will he part unto us the land, that he has taken from us?
     Nevertheless there shall be no man to divide you your portion in the congregation of the Lord. Tush, hold your tongue (says they) It shall not fall on this people, we shall not come so to confusion, says the house of Jacob. Is the spirit of the Lord so clean away? or is he so minded? Truth it is , my words are friendly unto them that live right: but my people does the contrary, therefore must I take part against them: for they take away both coat and cloak from the simple.
     You have turned yourselves to fight, the women of my people have you shot out from their good houses, and take away my excellent gifts from their children. Up, get you from here, now, for here shall you have no rest.
     Because of their Idolatry they are corrupt, and shall miserably perish. If I were a fleshly fellow, and a preacher of lies, and told them that they might sit bibbing and bolling, and be drunken: O that were a Prophet for this people. But I will gather you indeed, O Jacob, and drive the remnant of Israel all together. I shall carry them one with another, as a flock in the fold, and as the cattle in their stalls, that they may be disquieted of other men. Who so breaks the gap, he shall go before. They shall break up the port, and go in and out at it. Their king shall be upon the head of them.

The 3rd Chapter
     Hear, O you heads of the house of Jacob, and you leaders of the house of Israel: Should not you know, what were lawful and right? But you hate the good, and love the evil: you pluck off mens skins, and the flesh from their bones: you eat the flesh of my people, and flay of their skin: you break their bones, you chop them in pieces as it were in to a cauldron, and as flesh into the pot. Now the time shall come, that when they call unto the Lord, he shall not hear them, *but hide his face from them, because that through their own Imaginations they have dealt so wickedly. *To hide his face is, to show no token of benevolence, as in Job 13 and Deut 31 MN.
     And as concerning the prophets that deceive my people, thus the Lord says against them: When they have any thing to bite upon, then they preach that all shall be well: but if a man put not some thing in to their mouths, they preach of war against him.
     Therefore your vision shall be turned into night, and your prophesying to darkness. The Sun shall go down over those prophets, and the day shall be dark unto them. Then shall the vision seers be ashamed, and the soothsayers confounded: yes they shall be faine, all the pack of them, to stop their mouths, for they have not Gods word. As for me, Iam full of strength, and of the spirit of the Lord, full of judgment and boldness, and the house of Israel their sin.
     O hear this you rulers of this house of Jacob, and you judges of the house of Israel: you that abhor the thing that is lawful, and wrest aside the thing that is straight: you that build up Sion with blood, and Jerusalem with doing wrong. O you judges, you give sentence for gifts,: O you priests, you teach for *lucre: O you prophets, you prophecy for money. Yet will they be taken as those that hold upon God, and say: Is not the Lord among us? Tush, there can no misfortune happen us. Therefore shall Sion (for your sakes) be plowed like a field: Jerusalem shall become a heap of stones, and the hill of the temple shall be turned to an high wood.*lucre: shameful gain

The 4th Chapter
     But in the latter days it will come to pass, that the hill of the Lords house shall be set up higher then any mountains or hills: Yes the people shall praise unto it, and the multitude of the Gentiles shall have them over there, saying: Come, let us go up to the hill of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob: that he may teach us his way, and that we may walk in his paths. For the law shall come out of Sion, and the word of God from Jerusalem, And shall give sentence among the multitude of the Heathen and reform the people of far countries: so that of their swords they shall make plowshares, and scythes of their spears.
     One people shall not lift up a sword against another, yes they shall no more learn to fight: but every man shall sit under his vineyard and under his fig tree, and no man to fraie (scare) him away: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken it. Therefore, whereas all the people have walked every man in the name of his own God, we will walk in the name of our God for ever and ever. At the same time, says the Lord, will I gather up the lame and the outcasts, and such as I have chastened: and will give issue unto the lame, and make of the outcasts a great people: and the Lord himself shall be their king upon the mount of Sion, from this time forth for evermore. And unto you (O you tower of Eder, you stronghold of the daughter of Sion) unto you shall it come: even the Lordship and kingdom of the daughter Jerusalem. Why then are you now so heavy? is there no king in you? are your counselors away that you are so pained, as a woman in her travail? And now (O you daughter Sion) be sorry, let it grieve you as a wife laboring with child: for now must you get you out of the city, and dwell upon the plain field: Yes unto Babylon shall you go, there shall you be delivered, and there the Lord shall loose you from the hand of your enemies.
     Now also are there many people gathered together against you, saying what, Sion is cursed, we shall see our lust upon her. But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, they understand not his counsel, that shall gather them together as the sheaves in the barn. Therefore get you up, O you daughter Sion, and thresh out the corn: For I will make your horn iron. and your claws brass, that you may grind many people: their goods shall you appropriate unto the Lord, and their substance unto the ruler of the whole world.

The 5th Chapter
     After that shall you be robbed yourself, O your robbers daughter: they shall lay siege against us, and smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the check. And you Bethleem Ephrata, are little among the thousands of Juda, Out of you shall come to me, which shall be the government in Israel: whose out going has been from the beginning, and from everlasting. In the mean while he plagues them for a season, until the time that she (which shall bear) have born: then shall the remnant of his brethren be converted unto the children of Israell. He shall stand fast, and give food in the strength of the Lord, and in the victory of the name of the Lord his God: and when they be converted, he shall be magnified unto the farthest parts of the world.
     Then shall there be peace, so that the Assirian may come in to our land, and tread in our houses. We shall bring seven shepherds and eight princes upon them: these shall subdue the land of Assur with the sword, and the land Nimrod with their naked weapons. Thus shall he deliver us from the Assirian, when he comes in our land, and sets his foot within our borders.
     And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the multitude of people, as the dew of the Lord, and as the drops upon the grass, that tarry for no man, and waits of no body. Yes the residue of Jacob shall be among the gentiles and the multitude of the people, as the lion among the beasts of the wood, and as the Lions whelps among a flock of sheep: which (when he goes through) treads down, teares in pieces, and there is no man that can help. your hand shall be lift up upon your enemies, and all your adversaries shall perish.
     The time shall come also, says the Lord, that I will take your horses from you, and destroy your chariots. I will break down the cities of your land, and over throw all your strongholds. All witchcrafts will I root out of your hand, there shall no more soothsayings be within you. your Idols and your Images will I destroy out of you so that you shall no more bow yourself unto the works of your own hands. your groves will I pluck up by the roots, and break down the cities. Thus I will be avenged also, upon all the Heathen that will not hear.

The 6th Chapter
     Harken now what the Lord says: Up, reprove the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. O hear the punishment of the Lord, you mountains, and you mighty foundations of the earth: for the Lord will reprove his people, and reason with Israel: O my people, what have I done unto you? or wherein have I hurt you? give me answer. Because I brought you from the land of Egypt, and delivered you out of the house of bondage? Because I made Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you? Remember (O my people) what Balach the king of Moab had imagined against you, and what answer that Balaam the son of Beor gave him, from Sethim unto Galgal, that you may know the loving kindness of the Lord.
     What acceptable thing shall I offer unto the Lord? shall I bow on my knee to the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, and calves of a year old? Has the Lord a pleasure in many thousand rams, or innumerable streams of oil? Or shall I give my first born for my offenses, and the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? I will show you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Namely, to do right, to have pleasure in loving kindness, to be lowly, and to walk with your God: that you may be called a city of the Lord, and that your name may be righteousness. Hear (O you tribes) who would else give you such warning? Should I not be displeased, for the unrighteous good in the houses of the wicked and because the measure he is minished? Or should I justify the false balances and the bag of deceitful weights, among those that be full of riches ungraciously gotten: where the city signs deal with falsehood, speak lies, and have deceitful tongues in their mouths?
     Therefore I will take in hand to punish you, and to make you desolate because of your sins. You salt eat, and not have enough: yes you shall bring yourself down. You shall flee but not escape: and those that you would save, will I deliver to the sword. You shall sow but not reap: you shall press out olives , but oil you shall not have, to anoint yourself withal: you shall tread out sweet must, but shall drink no wine. you keep the ordinances of Amri, and all the customs of the house of Ahab: you follow their pleasures, therefore will I make you waste, and cause your inhabitors to be abhorred, O my people: and thus shall you bare your own shame.

The 7th Chapter
     Woe is me: I am become as one, that goes a gleaning in the harvest. There are no more grapes to eat, yet I would faine (with all my heart) to have of the best fruit. There is not a Godly man upon the earth, there is not one righteous among men. They* labor all to shed blood, and every man hunts his brother to death: yet they say they do well when they do evil. As the prince will, so says the judge: that he may do him a pleasure again. The great man speaks what his heart desires: and the hearers allow him. The best of them is but a thistle, and the most righteous is but a bear in the hedge. But when the day of your preachers comes, that you shall be visited: then shall they be wasted away. Let no man believe his friend, nor put his confidence in a prince. Keep the port of your mouth, from her that lies in your bosom: for the son shall put his father to dishonor, the daughter shall rise against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law: and a mans foes shall be even those of his own household. * To labor to shed blood, or to lye in wait for blood is to make mens lives laborious and miserable, by these warnings, murders, and violence. Proverbs 1b
     Nevertheless I will look up unto the Lord, I will patiently abide God my favor: my God shall hear me. O you enemy of mine, rejoice not at my fall, for I shall get up again: and though I sit in *darkness, yet the Lord is my light. I will bare the punishment of the Lord (for why? I have offended him) till he sit in judgement upon my cause, and see that I have right. He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall see his righteousness. *By darkness understand the sadness and misery of this world, and by light you comes forth rejoicing of the conscience. Job 15c MN
     She that is mine enemy shall look upon it, and be confounded, which now says. Where is your Lord God? Mine eyes shall behold her, when she is trodden down, as the clay in the streets. The time will come, that my gaps shall be made up, and the law shall go abroad: and at that time shall they come unto you, from Assur unto the strong cities, and from the strong cities unto the river: from the one sea to the other, from the one mountain to the other.
     Not withstanding the land must be wasted, because of them that dwell therein, and for the fruits of their own Imaginations. Therefore feed your people with your *rod, the flock of your heritage which dwell desolate in the wood: that they may be fed upon mount Charmell, Basan and Galaad as before time. Marvelous things shall I show them, like as when they came out of Egypt. This shall the Heathen see, and be ashamed for all their power, so that they shall *lay their hand upon their mouth, and stop their ears. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, as the worms of the earth, that tremble in their holes. They shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and they shall fear you. * rod here signifies dominion and governance. * laying of hand to mouth; of this you find in Job 39
     Where is there such a God as you? that pardons wickedness, and forgives the offenses of the remnant of your heritage? He keeps not his wrath for ever. And why? his delight is to have compassion: he shall turn again, and be merciful to us: he shall put down our wickednesses, and cast all our sins into the bottom of the sea. You shall keep your trust with Jacob, and your mercy for Abraham, like as you have sworn unto our fathers long ago.

The end of the prophecy of Micheas

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