Micah 1:5

5 All this is for 1the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. 2What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not 3Samaria? And what is 4the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?

Micah 1:5 Meaning and Commentary

Micah 1:5

For the transgression of Jacob [is] all this, and for the sins
of the house of Israel
All this evil, all these calamities and judgments, signified by the above metaphorical phrases, these did not come by chance, nor without, reason; but were or would be inflicted, according to the righteous judgment of God, upon the people of Israel and Judah, for their manifold sins and transgressions, especially their idolatry: and should it be asked, what [is] the transgression of Jacob?
what notorious crime has he been guilty of? or what is the iniquity the two tribes are charged with, that is the cause of so much severity? the answer is, [is it] not Samaria?
the wickedness of Samaria, the calf of Samaria? as in ( Hosea 7:1 ) ( 8:6 ) ; that is, the worship of the calf of Samaria; is not that idolatry the transgression of Jacob, or which the ten tribes have given into? it is; and a just reason for all this wrath to come upon them: or, "who [is] the transgression of Jacob?" F18 who is the spring and source of it; the cause, author, and encourager of it? are they not the kings that have reigned in Samaria from the times of Omri, with their nobles, princes, and great men, who, by their edicts, influence, and example, have encouraged the worship of the golden calves? they are the original root and motive of it, and to them it must be ascribed; they caused the people to sin: or, as the Targum,

``where have they of the house of Jacob sinned? is it not in Samaria?''
verily it is, and from thence, the metropolis of the nation, the sin has spread itself all over it: and what [are] the high places of Judah?
or, "who [are] they?" F19 who have been the makers of them? who have set them up, and encouraged idolatrous worship at them? [are] they not Jerusalem?
are they not the king, the princes, and priests, that dwell at Jerusalem? certainly they are; such as Ahaz, and others, in whose times this prophet lived; see ( 2 Kings 16:4 ) ; or, as the Targum,
``where did they of the house of Judah commit sin? was it not in Jerusalem?''
truly it was, and even in the temple; here Ahaz built an altar like that at Damascus, and sacrificed on it, and spoiled the temple, and several of the vessels in it, ( 2 Kings 16:10-18 ) .

F18 (bqey evp ym) "quis est praevaricatio Jacobi?" De Dieu; so Pagninus, Burkius; "quis defectio Jacobi?" Cocceius; "quis scelus Jacobi?" Drusius.
F19 (hdwhy twmb ym) "quis est excelsa Judae?" Montanus, Drusius, De Dieu; "quis cesla Judae?" Cocceius; "quis fuit causa excelsorum Jehudae?" Burkius; so Kimchi.

Micah 1:5 In-Context

3 For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.
4 And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.
5 All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?
6 Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards, and I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations.
7 All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, all her wages shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste, for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.

Cross References 4

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.