Here is the message that the Lord gave to Micah of Moresheth at the time when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. This is what he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
Listen, all the nations! Pay attention, everyone on earth! The Lord God testifies against you from the Lord's holy Temple. Look! The Lord is coming, leaving his place and coming down, and is walking on the high places of the earth. The mountains melt beneath him, the valleys burst apart, like wax in front of a fire, like water rushing down a slope. All this is happening because of the rebellion of the descendants of Jacob, the sins of the people of Israel.
What is the rebellion of the descendants of Jacob? Isn't it what is happening in Samaria? Where are the idolatrous high places* of Judah? Aren't they right in Jerusalem?
Therefore I will make Samaria a pile of rubble in a field, a place for planting vineyards. I will roll its stones down into the valley; I will lay bare its foundations. All their carved idols will be smashed to pieces. All that was earned by their temple prostitutes will be burned. All of their idols will be destroyed, for what she collected through the earnings of temple prostitutes will be taken away and used to pay other temple prostitutes. Because of this I will weep and wail, I will walk barefoot and naked, and will howl like jackals and mourn like owls.
Their wound cannot be healed, it has extended to Judah, and reached right to the gates of Jerusalem. 10 Don't mention it in Gath; don't weep at all.§ People of Beth-le-aphrah, roll in the dust.* 11 Leave, people of Shaphir, naked and ashamed. People of Zanaan don't come out. People of Beth Ezel mourn, for you have lost your support. 12 The people of Maroth wait anxiously for relief, but disaster has come down from the Lord on the gate of Jerusalem. 13 Harness the team of horses to the chariot, you people of Lachish, because the sins of the people of Jerusalem§ began with you, for the sins of Israel were first found in you.
14 Send your goodbye gifts to Moresheth.* The town of Achzib is a deception to the kings of Israel. 15 I will bring a conqueror to attack you, people of Moresheth. The leaders of Israel will go to Adullam.
16 Shave your heads, for the children you love will be taken away; make yourselves as bald as a vulture, for they will be exiled far away from you.
* 1:5 The high places were where pagan gods were worshiped. 1:5 Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom, and Judah the capital of the southern. This indicates the extent of the apostasy. 1:9 Referring back to the people of Samaria. § 1:10 Gath was a Philistine city. The meaning is that this tragic situation should not be shared with Israel's enemies, so that they do not take advantage or gloat. * 1:10 Rolling in the dust was a way of showing extreme grief. In addition, there is a wordplay on the names of the towns mentioned in this section, but some of the meanings have been lost. 1:11 This is thought by some to refer to the exile. 1:11 Meaning uncertain. § 1:13 Literally, “daughter of Zion.” * 1:14 Micah's hometown. Some see these gifts as related to the dowry given to a daughter when she married, before she left. In other words, the people of Israel were saying goodbye to Moresheth—perhaps by enemy conquest since it appears to be close to the border with the Philistines. 1:15 Adullam was the cave where David hid when he was running away from king Saul (1 Samuel 22:1). In other words, the leaders of Israel will run away to hide.