Micah 4

The Expectation of Renewal[a]

Chapter 4

We Shall Go to the Mountain of God

1 In days to come,
the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be established as the highest of the mountains,
towering above other hills.
Peoples will stream toward it;
2 many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
so that he may teach us his ways
and we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion will instruction go forth,
and from Jerusalem the word of the Lord.
3 He will judge between many peoples
and serve as an arbiter,
between mighty and distant nations.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up the sword against nation,
nor will they ever again be trained for war.
4 Each man will sit under his own vine
or under his own fig tree
with no cause for alarm,
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
5 For all the peoples go forth,
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord, our God,
forever and ever.

Gathering Up the Dispersed Flock

6 On that day, says the Lord,
I will gather the lame;
I will assemble those who have been driven away
and those whom I have afflicted.
7 I will make the lame into a remnant,
and turn into a strong nation those who were cast off.
The Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion
now and forevermore.
8 As for you, O tower of the flock,[b]
hill of daughter Zion,
the promises made to you
will be fulfilled,
and your former security will be restored,
the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.

A Sorrowful Childbirth

9 Why are you now crying out?
Have you no king any longer,
or has your counselor perished,
that you are afflicted with pains
like a woman in labor?
10 Writhe in pain and cry aloud,
O daughter Zion,
like a woman in labor.
For now you must go forth from the city
and camp in the open country.
You will go to Babylon
where you will be saved.
There the Lord will deliver you
from the hands of your enemies.

The Nations Crush the Land of God

11 But now many nations
are gathered against you.
They say, “Let her be profaned;
let us gloat over Zion.”
12 However, they do not know
the thoughts of the Lord
or comprehend his plan.
For he has gathered them
like sheaves on the threshing floor.
13 Arise and thresh,
O daughter of Zion,
for I will make your horn like iron
and your hooves like bronze
so that you may crush many peoples.
You shall devote their ill-gotten gains to the Lord,
their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

From You Bethlehem There Will Be Born the One Who Will Rule[c]

14 Now withdraw behind your walls,
for they have laid siege against you.
With a rod they will strike on the cheek
the ruler of Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Micah 4:1 In this section it is difficult to determine what is from Micah and what is postexilic.
  2. Micah 4:8 Tower of the flock: a symbolic name for Jerusalem.
  3. Micah 4:14 As had already happened in the past, the new leader, the new David, is to come from a modest rural family (see 1 Sam 16:1-13; 17:12), and the prophet sings of his glory. As we read in St. Matthew (Mt 2:5-6) and St. John (Jn 7:42), in the time of Jesus this oracle was interpreted as predicting the birthplace of the Messiah. It is a fine example of how God chooses someone unexpected and weak in order to confound the mighty and the strong (see Jdg 6:15; 1 Sam 9:21; 1 Cor 1:27). Speaking of the woman who is to give birth (Mic 5:2), the prophet alludes to the promise given by Isaiah (Isa 7:14) some years before, in which the Christian tradition, following the lead of the first Gospel (Mt 1:23), sees a veiled announcement of the birth of Jesus.

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