Micah spoke out against the oppression of the people by both spiritual and secular leaders.

Print this page Print this page

The punishment fits the crime. The false prophets are similarly threatened in Micah 3:5‑7. Those who twist God's word to fit their own fancies will themselves receive no response from God (verse 7); those who aim at nothing but their hearers' applause will find that God's voice no longer speaks to them (verses 6‑7),

"The sun shall go down upon the prophets

and the day shall be black over them;

the seers shall be disgraced,

and the diviners put to shame;

they shall all cover their lips,

for there is no answer from God."

Those who do not want to be directed by God's instructions will themselves soon no longer be able to bear any instruction from God. So neatly will the punishment fit the crime.

The worst threat is reserved for the responsible persons in Jerusalem (3:10) who "build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong." Blood‑guilt and injustice are not foundations capable of hearing the weight that must be borne; they are, in fact, fatal traps:

"Therefore because of you

Zion shall be plowed as a field;

Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,

and the temple mount will be given over to the

beasts of the forest" (3:12).

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Hans Walter Wolff

Hans Walter Wolff (1911-1993) was a German Protestant theologian. From 1967 to 1978 he was Professor of Old Testament at the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg.