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AND I said: Hear, O ye princes of Jacob, and ye chiefs of the house of Israel: Is it not your part to know judgment,

Ver. 1.  I.  Heb. and Sept. "He, the Lord, said;" or, Micheas addressed the princes of both kingdoms, under Ezechias.  v. 12.  Jer. xxvi. 18.


--- To know and practice.  Osee vi. 3.  C.


--- Both rich and poor strove to extort from each other.  W.

2 You that hate good, and love evil: that violently pluck off their skins from them, and their flesh from their bones?

Ver. 2.  Skins.  When some exhorted Tiberius to lay on more taxes, he replied: "a good shepherd must shear the flock, and not tear off the skin."  Suet. xxxii.

3 Who have eaten the flesh of my people, and have flayed their skin from off them: and have broken, and chopped their bones as for the kettle, and as flesh in the midst of the pot. 4 Then shall they cry to the Lord, and he will not hear them: and he will hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved wickedly in their devices. 5 Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err: that bite with their teeth, and preach peace: and if a man give not something into their mouth, they prepare war against him.

Ver. 5.  Peace.  They pretend goodness, while they do the greatest mischief.


--- Prepare.  Lit. "sanctify," (H.) or denounce war.  C.


--- False prophets seek their private lucre.  W.

6 Therefore night shall be to you instead of vision, and darkness to you instead of divination; and the sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be darkened over them.

Ver. 6.  Vision.  Impostors shall skulk through fear, when the people shall see that they were not sent.  v. 7.

7 And they shall be confounded that see visions, and the diviners shall be confounded: and they shall all cover their faces, because there is no answer of God. 8 But yet I am filled with the strength of the spirit of the Lord, with judgment, and power: to declare unto Jacob his wickedness, and to Israel his sin.

Ver. 8.  Spirit.  I am no impostor.  C. ii. 11.

9 Hear this, ye princes of the house of Jacob, and ye judges of the house of Israel: you that abhor judgment, and pervert all that is right. 10 You that build up Sion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.

Ver. 10.  Iniquity.  You offer victims unjustly procured, or build your palaces with what belongs to the poor.


11 Her princes have judged for bribes, and her priests have taught for hire, and her prophets divined for money: and they leaned upon the Lord, saying: Is not the Lord in the midst of us? no evil shall come upon us.

Ver. 11.  Hire.  It is not lawful to refuse instruction to those who have nothing; nor must priests act solely for a temporal reward, though reason shews that they should be supported by those whom they have to teach.  Mat. x. 8, 10.  Gal. vi. 6. and 1 Tim. v. 18.  C.


--- The judges grew rich by other people's quarrels; and, as all ranks offended, they were justly involved in ruin.  v. 12.  W.


12 Therefore, because of you, Sion shall be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall be as a heap of stones, and the mountain of the temple as the high places of the forests.

Ver. 12.  Forests, after its destruction by Nabuchodonosor.  C.


--- In the space of three years' neglect, shrubs were growing in the courts of the temple.  1 Mac. iv. 38.  H.


--- Rufus ploughed up the spot where the temple had stood, after the Romans had burnt it down.  S. Jer.  Jos.  Bel. vii. 20.


--- This prediction made a deep impression on the minds of the people.  It caused them to refrain from killing Jeremias.  v. 1.  C.



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