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Micah 3:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And I said, Hear, I pray you, ye heads of Jacob, and rulers of the house of Israel: is it not for you to know justice?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; [Is it] not for you to know judgment?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— And I said, “Hear now, heads of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel. Is it not for you to know justice?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel: [Is it] not for you to know judgment?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And I said, Hear, I pray you, ye heads of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel: Is it not for you to know judgment?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then said I, Hear, I pray you, ye heads of Jacob, and ye judges of the house of Israel,—Is it not yours to know justice?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And I say, 'Hear, I pray you, heads of Jacob, And ye judges of the house of Israel, Is it not for you to know the judgment?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— 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,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And I said, Heare, I pray you, O heads of Iacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel: [is it] not for you to know iudgement?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And he shall say, Hear now these words, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and ye remnant of the house of Israel; is it not for you to know judgment?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Yaaqov, and ye princes of the house of Yisrael; [Is it] not for you to know judgment?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And I said, 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Hear, 8085
{8085} Prime
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
I pray you, x4994
(4994) Complement
A primitive particle of incitement and entreaty, which may usually be rendered I pray, now or then; added mostly to verbs (in the imperative or future), or to interjections, occasionally to an adverb or conjugation.
O heads 7218
{7218} Prime
From an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively (in many applications, of place, time, rank, etc.).
of Ya`kv יַעֲקֹב, 3290
{3290} Prime
From H6117; heel catcher (that is, supplanter); Jaakob, the Israelitish patriarch.
and ye princes 7101
{7101} Prime
From H7096 in the sense of determining; a magistrate (as deciding) or other leader.
of the house 1004
{1004} Prime
Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.).
of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל; 3478
{3478} Prime
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
[Is it] not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
for you to know 3045
{3045} Prime
A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
judgment? 4941
{4941} Prime
From H8199; properly a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or (particularly) divine law, individual or collectively), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly justice, including a particular right, or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Micah 3:1

_ _ Micah 3:1-12. The sins of the princes, prophets, and priests: The consequent desolation of Zion.

_ _ princes — magistrates or judges.

_ _ Is it not for you? — Is it not your special function (Jeremiah 5:4, Jeremiah 5:5)?

_ _ judgment — justice. Ye sit in judgment on others; surely then ye ought to know the judgment for injustice which awaits yourselves (Romans 2:1).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Micah 3:1-7

_ _ Princes and prophets, when they faithfully discharge the duty of their office, are to be highly honoured above other men; but when they betray their trust, and act contrary to it, they should hear of their faults as well as others, and shall be made to know that there is a God above them, to whom they are accountable; at his bar the prophet here, in his name, arraigns them.

_ _ I. Let the princes hear their charge and their doom. The heads of Jacob, and the princes of the house of Israel, are called upon to hear what the prophet has to say to them, Micah 3:1. The word of God has reproofs for the greatest of men, which the ministers of that word ought to apply as there is occasion. The prophet here has comfort in the reflection upon it, that, whatever the success was, he had faithfully discharged his trust: And I said, Hear, O princes! He had the testimony of his conscience for him that he had not shrunk from his duty for fear of the face of men. He tells them,

_ _ 1. What was expected from them: Is it not for you to know judgment? He means to do judgment, for otherwise the knowledge of it is of no avail. “Is it not your business to administer justice impartially, and not to know faces” (as the Hebrew phrase for partiality and respect of persons is), “but to know judgment, and the merits of every cause?” Or it may be taken for granted that the heads and rulers are well acquainted with the rules of justice, whatever others are; for they have those means of knowledge, and have not those excuses for ignorance, which some others have, that are poor and foolish (Jeremiah 5:4); and, if so, their transgression of the laws of justice is the more provoking to God, for they sin against knowledge. “Is it not for you to know judgment? Yes, it is; therefore stand still, and hear your own judgment, and judge if it be not right, whether any thing can be objected against it.”

_ _ 2. How wretchedly they had transgressed the rules of judgment, though they knew what they were. Their principle and disposition are bad: They hate the good and love the evil; they hate good in others, and hate it should have any influence on themselves; they hate to do good, hate to have any good done, and hate those that are good and do good; and they love the evil, delight in mischief. This being their principle, their practice is according to it; they are very cruel and severe towards those that are under their power, and whoever lies at their mercy will find that they have none. They barbarously devour those whom they should protect, and, as unfaithful shepherds, fleece the flock they should feed; nay, instead of feeding it, they feed upon it, Ezekiel 34:2. It is fit indeed that he who feeds a flock should eat of the milk of the flock (1 Corinthians 9:7), but that will not content them: They eat the flesh of my people. It is fit that they should be clothed with the wool, but that will not serve: They flay the skin from off them, Micah 3:3. By imposing heavier taxes upon them than they can bear, and exacting them with rigour, by mulcts, and fines, and corporal punishments, for pretended crimes, they ruined the estates and families of their subjects, took away from some their lives, from others their livelihoods, and were to their subjects as beasts of prey, rather than shepherds. “They break their bones to come at the marrow, and chop the flesh in pieces as for the pot.” This intimates that they were, (1.) Very ravenous and greedy for themselves, indulging themselves in luxury and sensuality. (2.) Very barbarous and cruel to those that were under them, not caring whom they beggared, so they could but enrich themselves; such evil is the love of money the root of.

_ _ 3. How they might expect that God should deal with them, since they had been thus cruel to his subjects. The rule is fixed, Those shall have judgment without mercy that have shown no mercy (Micah 3:4): “They shall cry to the Lord, but he will not hear them, in the day of their distress, as the poor cried to them in the day of their prosperity and they would not hear them.” There will come a time when the most proud and scornful sinners will cry to the Lord, and sue for that mercy which they once neither valued nor copied out. But it will then be in vain; God will even hide his face from them at that time, that time when they need his favour, and see themselves undone without it. At another time they would have turned their back upon him; but at that time he will turn his back upon them, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. Note, Men cannot expect to do ill and fare well, but may expect to find, as Adoni-bezek did, that done to them which they did to others; for he is righteous who takes vengeance. With the froward God will show himself froward, and he often gives up cruel and unmerciful men into the hands of those who are cruel and unmerciful to them, as they themselves have formerly been to others. This agrees with Proverbs 21:13, Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he shall cry himself and shall not be heard; but the merciful have reason to hope that they shall obtain mercy.

_ _ II. Let the prophets hear their charge too, and their doom; they were such as prophesied falsely, and the princes bore rule by their means. Observe,

_ _ 1. What was their sin. (1.) They made it their business to flatter and deceive the people: They make my people err, lead them into mistakes, both concerning what they should do and concerning what God would do with them. It is ill with a people when their leaders cause them to err, and those draw them out of the way that should guide them and go before them in it. “They make them to err by crying peace, by telling them that they do well, and that all shall be well with them; whereas they are in the paths of sin, and within a step of ruin. They cry peace, but they bite with their teeth,” which perhaps is meant of their biting their own lips, as we are apt to do when we would suppress something which we are ready to speak. When they cried peace their own hearts gave them the lie, and they were just ready to eat their own words and to contradict themselves, but they bit with their teeth, and kept it in. They were not blind leaders of the blind, for they saw the ditch before them, and yet led their followers into it. (2.) They made it all their aim to glut themselves, and serve their own belly, as the seducers in St. Paul's time (Romans 16:18), for their god is their belly, Philippians 3:19. They bite with their teeth, and cry peace; that is, they will flatter and compliment those that will feed them with good bits, will give them something to eat; but as for those that put not into their mouths, that are not continually cramming them, they look upon them as their enemies; to them they do not cry peace, as they do to those whom they look upon as their benefactors, but they even prepare war against them; against them they denounce the judgments of God, but as they are to them, as the crafty priests of the church of Rome, in some places, make their image either to smile or frown upon the offerer according as his offering is. Justly is it insisted on as a necessary qualification of a minister (1 Timothy 3:3, and again Titus 1:7) that he be not greedy of filthy lucre.

_ _ 2. What is the sentence passed upon them for this sin, Micah 3:6, Micah 3:7. It is threatened, (1.) That they shall be involved in troubles and miseries with those to whom they had cried peace: Night shall be upon them, a dark cold night of calamity, such as they, in their flattery, led the people to hope would never come. It shall be dark unto you, darker to you than to others; the sun shall go down over the prophets, shall go down at noon; all comfort shall depart from them, and they shall be deprived of all hope of it. The day shall be dark over them, in which they promised themselves light. Nor shall they be surrounded with outward troubles only, but their mind shall be full of confusion, and they shall be brought to their wits' end; their heads shall be clouded, and their own thoughts shall trouble them; and that is trouble enough. They kept others in the dark, and now God will bring them into the dark. (2.) That thereby they shall be silenced, and all their pretensions to prophecy for ever shamed. They never had any true vision; and now, the event disproving their predictions of peace, it shall be made to appear that they never had any, that there never was an answer of God to them, but it was all a sham, and they were cheats and impostors. Their reputation being thus quite sunk, their confidence would of course fail them. And, their spirits being ruffled and confused, their invention would fail them too; and by reason of this darkness, both without and within too, they shall not divine, they shall not have so much as a counterfeit vision to produce, they shall be ashamed, and confounded, and cover their lips, as men that are quite baffled and have nothing to say for themselves. Note, Those who deceive others are but preparing confusion for their own faces.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Micah 3:1

Is it not for you — Ought not you to understand, and conform to, the just laws of your God. You princes, magistrates, and ruling officers, ought of all men to know and do right.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Micah 3:1

And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; [Is it] not for you to know (a) judgment?

(a) That thing which is just and lawful, both to govern my people properly, and also to clear your own conscience.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Cir, am 3294, bc 710


Micah 3:9-10 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. ... They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
Isaiah 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
Jeremiah 13:15-18 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. ... Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, [even] the crown of your glory.
Jeremiah 22:2-3 And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: ... Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.
Hosea 5:1 Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment [is] toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.
Amos 4:1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that [are] in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

Is it:

Deuteronomy 1:13-17 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. ... Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; [but] ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I will hear it.
Deuteronomy 16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
2 Chronicles 19:5-10 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, ... And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD, and [so] wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass.
Psalms 14:4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people [as] they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
Psalms 82:1-5 [[A Psalm of Asaph.]] God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. ... They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
Jeremiah 5:4-5 Therefore I said, Surely these [are] poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, [nor] the judgment of their God. ... I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, [and] the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, [and] burst the bonds.
1 Corinthians 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
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Dt 1:13; 16:18. 2Ch 19:5. Ps 14:4; 82:1. Is 1:10. Jr 5:4; 13:15; 22:2. Ho 5:1. Am 4:1. Mi 3:9. 1Co 6:5.

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