Micah 3


‘Then I said, “Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel. Should you not embrace justice, you who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones; who eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot?” Then they will cry out to the LORD, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done.’ Micah 3:1-4

Leaders And Prophets Rebuked

Most commentators don’t believe this is a continuation of the previous chapter, they believe that this message is directly speaking to Judah, the Southern Kingdom and although both terms ‘Israel’ and ‘Jacob’ are used, the terms are used of the Southern Kingdom, as in Micah 1:13ff.

Micah now turns his attention to the leadership of Judah, the people who should have known better, 2 Kings 3:9-12 / Jeremiah 5:3-5 / 1 Peter 4:17.

They hate good and loved evil, in other words, they were more concerned with themselves, even to the point of exploiting the poor. They had no respect for human beings, which is seen in their willingly sacrifice people.

Therefore when God’s judgment came upon them and they dried out to God for help, God wouldn’t listen to them in the same way they didn’t listen to the cries of the poor they were exploiting, Proverbs 21:13 / Isaiah 1:12-15 / James 2:13. God would indeed hide His face from them, Numbers 6:25 / Luke 19:42.

Hailey, in commentary, says the following.

‘In this highly exaggerated figure, Micah expresses the white heat of his indignation at the treatment dealt the common people by the rulers. Therefore when judgment falls on these heartless rulers and they cry to Jehovah His face will be hid from them. Have they sown, so will they reap. They have destroyed the people without mercy, and so without mercy shall their destruction come.’

‘This is what the LORD says: “As for the prophets who lead my people astray, they proclaim ‘peace’ if they have something to eat, but prepare to wage war against anyone who refuses to feed them. Therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them. The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God.” Micah 3:5-7

There’s a saying we could use to describe what’s happening here and it’s simply this, ‘you scratch my back and I will scratch yours’ but their day is coming.

The false prophets were leading the people astray, Hosea 4:6. Their hypocrisy is seen in their greed for food, they proclaim peace if they get food but if the people don’t give them food they proclaim war, Ezekiel 13:19-23 / Isaiah 3:12 / Jeremiah 9:16.

It appears they will do anything to win the support of the people in an effort to keep Micah quiet. When God is done judging these false prophets, they will be ashamed of themselves, ashamed of all the false prophecies they proclaimed to the people, Leviticus 13:45.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Micah was not affirming anything with reference to prophecies of the false prophets except the night of total oblivion that was to fall upon them. The sun will go down upon their prosperity, the night shall fall upon their day of glory.’

Deane, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The imagery here suggests that of Amos 8:9, where it was prophesied that the ‘sun would be darkened in a clear day’ for the whole nation. The fate here predicted to fall upon the false prophets would likewise extend to the whole people.’

‘But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness. Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the LORD’s support and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.” Therefore because of you, Zion will be ploughed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.’ Micah 3:8-12

Micah now goes ahead and tells it like it is. He is filled with power with the Holy Spirit, Jeremiah 6:11 / Ezekiel 2:7-8 / 2 Corinthians 3:4-6.

He tells them straight, that they were unrighteous and unjust and they were oppressing the people by using bribes and taking advantage of their power by taking people’s land and houses.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following, concerning verse 10.

‘Their whole society was built on blood and wrong. Zion and Jerusalem in this verse, are synonymous and stand not only for the great and revered capital city but for all of Judea.’

Both the priests and the prophets were corrupt leaders who maintained their positions for the sake of money. They taught only if there was money to be made, they became fortune-tellers for the sake of making money and they made their money by pretending that God was with them.

They said that God was proclaiming peace through them when the truth was, there wasn’t going to be any peace, a time of doom and gloom was fast approaching. They think they are safe but they are far from being safe and so God says, think again.

Zion, that is Jerusalem, was about to be ploughed by God because of these corrupt leaders, Jeremiah 26:17-19. This is clearly speaking about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar and his army in 586 B.C.

Go To Micah 4