Micah 6

Listen to Micah 6

The Indictment of the Lord

1 1Hear what the LORD says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.
2 2Hear, you mountains, 3the indictment of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the LORD has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel.
3 "O my people, 4what have I done to you? 5How have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For 6I brought you up from the land of Egypt and 7redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and 8Miriam.
5 O my people, remember 9what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from 10Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know 11the saving acts of the LORD."

What Does the Lord Require?

6 12"With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before 13God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
7 14Will the LORD be pleased with[a] thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? 15Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"
8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and 16what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,[b] and to 17walk humbly with your God?

Destruction of the Wicked

9 The voice of the LORD cries to the city-- and it is sound wisdom to fear 18your name: "Hear of 19the rod and of him who appointed it![c]
10 Can I forget any longer the treasures[d] of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed?
11 Shall I acquit the man 20with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights?
12 Your[e] rich men are 21full of violence; your inhabitants 22speak lies, and 23their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13 Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow, 24making you desolate because of your sins.
14 25You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be hunger within you; you shall put away, but not preserve, and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
15 26You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
16 For you have kept the statutes of 27Omri,[f] and all the works of the house of 28Ahab; and you have walked in their counsels, that I may make you 29a desolation, and your[g] inhabitants 30a hissing; so you shall bear 31the scorn of my people."

Images for Micah 6

Micah 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

God's controversy with Israel. (1-5) The duties God requires. (6-8) The wickedness of Israel. (9-16)

Verses 1-5 The people are called upon to declare why they were weary of God's worship, and prone to idolatry. Sin causes the controversy between God and man. God reasons with us, to teach us to reason with ourselves. Let them remember God's many favours to them and their fathers, and compare with them their unworthy, ungrateful conduct toward him.

Verses 6-8 These verses seem to contain the substance of Balak's consultation with Balaam how to obtain the favour of Israel's God. Deep conviction of guilt and wrath will put men upon careful inquiries after peace and pardon, and then there begins to be some ground for hope of them. In order to God's being pleased with us, our care must be for an interest in the atonement of Christ, and that the sin by which we displease him may be taken away. What will be a satisfaction to God's justice? In whose name must we come, as we have nothing to plead as our own? In what righteousness shall we appear before him? The proposals betray ignorance, though they show zeal. They offer that which is very rich and costly. Those who are fully convinced of sin, and of their misery and danger by reason of it, would give all the world, if they had it, for peace and pardon. Yet they do not offer aright. The sacrifices had value from their reference to Christ; it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin. And all proposals of peace, except those according to the gospel, are absurd. They could not answer the demands of Divine justice, nor satisfy the wrong done to the honour of God by sin, nor would they serve at all in place of holiness of the heart and reformation of the life. Men will part with any thing rather than their sins; but they part with nothing so as to be accepted of God, unless they do part with their sins. Moral duties are commanded because they are good for man. In keeping God's commandments there is a great reward, as well as after keeping them. God has not only made it known, but made it plain. The good which God requires of us is, not the paying a price for the pardon of sin and acceptance with God, but love to himself; and what is there unreasonable, or hard, in this? Every thought within us must be brought down, to be brought into obedience to God, if we would walk comfortably with him. We must do this as penitent sinners, in dependence on the Redeemer and his atonement. Blessed be the Lord that he is ever ready to give his grace to the humble, waiting penitent.

Verses 9-16 God, having showed how necessary it was that they should do justly, here shows how plain it was that they had done unjustly. This voice of the Lord says to all, Hear the rod when it is coming, before you see it, and feel it. Hear the rod when it is come, and you are sensible of the smart; hear what counsels, what cautions it speaks. The voice of God is to be heard in the rod of God. Those who are dishonest in their dealings shall never be reckoned pure, whatever shows of devotion they may make. What is got by fraud and oppression, cannot be kept or enjoyed with satisfaction. What we hold closest we commonly lose soonest. Sin is a root of bitterness, soon planted, but not soon plucked up again. Their being the people of God in name and profession, while they kept themselves in his love, was an honour to them; but now, being backsliders, their having been once the people of God turns to their reproach.

Cross References 31

  • 1. See Micah 1:2
  • 2. Psalms 50:1, 4; Ezekiel 36:4
  • 3. Isaiah 1:18; See Hosea 4:1
  • 4. Isaiah 5:4; [Jeremiah 2:5, 31]
  • 5. Isaiah 43:22, 23; [Malachi 1:13]
  • 6. Exodus 12:51; Hosea 12:13; Amos 2:10
  • 7. 2 Samuel 7:23
  • 8. Exodus 15:20; Numbers 12:1, 2
  • 9. See Numbers 22:5
  • 10. Numbers 25:1
  • 11. [Judges 5:11]
  • 12. [Hosea 5:6; Hebrews 10:4]
  • 13. Isaiah 57:15
  • 14. See 1 Samuel 15:22
  • 15. 2 Kings 3:27; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Kings 23:10; [Leviticus 18:21]
  • 16. [Deuteronomy 10:12]
  • 17. [Genesis 5:22]
  • 18. Isaiah 30:27
  • 19. Isaiah 10:5; Isaiah 30:32
  • 20. See Hosea 12:7
  • 21. Amos 3:10; Habakkuk 1:2, 3
  • 22. Hosea 7:13
  • 23. Jeremiah 9:8
  • 24. Micah 7:13
  • 25. Hosea 4:10
  • 26. [Zephaniah 1:13; Haggai 1:6]
  • 27. 1 Kings 16:25, 26; [Micah 1:13]
  • 28. See 1 Kings 16:30-33; 1 Kings 21:25, 26
  • 29. See 2 Chronicles 29:8
  • 30. See 2 Chronicles 29:8
  • 31. Isaiah 25:8

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. Or Will the Lord accept
  • [b]. Or steadfast love
  • [c]. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  • [d]. Or Are there still treasures
  • [e]. Hebrew whose
  • [f]. Hebrew For the statutes of Omri are kept
  • [g]. Hebrew its

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains reproofs of the people of Israel for their sins, threatening them with punishment for them. The prophet is bid to tell them of the controversy the Lord had with them, which he did, Mic 6:1,2; and the Lord calls upon them to declare if they had any thing to object to his attitude towards them, Mic 6:3; and then puts them in mind of the favours they had received from him, in bringing them out of Egypt, and giving them such useful persons to go before them, lead and instruct them, as he had, Mic 6:4; and also reminds them of what passed between Balak, king of Moab, and Balaam the soothsayer; the questions of the one, and the answer of the other; whereby the designs of the former against them were frustrated, Mic 6:5-8; but since the voice of the Lord by his prophet was disregarded by them, they are called upon to hearken to the voice of his rod, Mic 6:9; which should be laid upon them for their fraudulent dealings, injustice, oppression, lies, and deceit, Mic 6:10-12; and therefore are threatened with sickness and desolation, and a deprivation of all good things, the fruit of their labours, Mic 6:13-15; and that because the statutes of Omri, the works of Ahab, and their counsels, were observed by them, Mic 6:16.

Micah 6 Commentaries

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