Chapter 1

1The word of the Lord that came to Micah the Morashtite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, the kings of Judah, which he prophesied concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.   א דְּבַר־יְהֹוָ֣ה | אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָיָ֗ה אֶל־מִיכָה֙ הַמֹּ֣רַשְׁתִּ֔י בִּימֵ֥י יוֹתָ֛ם אָחָ֥ז יְחִזְקִיָּ֖ה מַלְכֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֑ה אֲשֶֽׁר־חָזָ֥ה עַל־שֹֽׁמְר֖וֹן וִירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
Micah the Morashtite: From the city Mareshah.  
2Hear, all you peoples; hearken, O land and the fullness thereof, and let the Lord God be a witness against you; the Lord from His Holy Temple.   בשִׁמְעוּ֙ עַמִּ֣ים כֻּלָּ֔ם הַקְשִׁ֖יבִי אֶ֣רֶץ וּמְלֹאָ֑הּ וִיהִי֩ אֲדֹנָ֨י יֱהֹוִ֚ה בָּכֶם֙ לְעֵ֔ד אֲדֹנָ֖י מֵֽהֵיכַ֥ל קָדְשֽׁוֹ:
and let the Lord be a witness against you: that I prophesied to you in His Name and warned you.  
3For behold, the Lord comes forth from His place, and He shall descend and tread upon the high places of the earth.   גכִּֽי־הִנֵּ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה יֹצֵ֣א מִמְּקוֹמ֑וֹ וְיָרַ֥ד וְדָרַ֖ךְ עַל־בָּֽמֳתֵי־ (כתיב בָּֽמֳותֵי) אָֽרֶץ:
comes forth from His place: From the throne of mercy to the throne of justice.  
and tread upon the high places of the earth: On the high and haughty hearted.  
4And the mountains shall melt under Him, and the valleys shall split-as wax before fire, as water poured down a steep place.   דוְנָמַ֚סּוּ הֶֽהָרִים֙ תַּחְתָּ֔יו וְהָֽעֲמָקִ֖ים יִתְבַּקָּ֑עוּ כַּדּוֹנַג֙ מִפְּנֵ֣י הָאֵ֔שׁ כְּמַ֖יִם מֻגָּרִ֥ים בְּמוֹרָֽד:
like wax: Heb. כַּדּוֹנַג. In mishnaic Hebrew, this is שַּׁעֲוָה  
as water poured down a steep place: Heb. מֻגָּרִים. Jonathan renders: poured down a steep place. מְגֻרִים is an expression of the running of water. Cf. (Lam. 3:49) “My eye trickles down (נִגְרָה ” ; (Job 20:28) “Shall flow away (נִגָרוֹת) on the day of His wrath” ; (ibid. 28:4) “He breaks open a water course from the place it flows (גָּר) ” ; (Ps. 75:9) “And He pours out (וַיַגֵּר) of this.”  
5All this is because of the transgression of Jacob, and because of the sins of the house of Israel. Who is [the cause of] the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And who [is the cause of] the high places of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?   הבְּפֶ֚שַׁע יַֽעֲקֹב֙ כָּל־זֹ֔את וּבְחַטֹּ֖אות בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל מִֽי־פֶ֣שַׁע יַֽעֲקֹ֗ב הֲלוֹא֙ שֹֽׁמְר֔וֹן וּמִי֙ בָּמ֣וֹת יְהוּדָ֔ה הֲל֖וֹא יְרֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
6And I will make Samaria into a heap in the field, into a place for planting vineyards; and I will cast its stones down into the valley, and its foundations I will uncover.   ווְשַׂמְתִּ֥י שֹֽׁמְר֛וֹן לְעִ֥י הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה לְמַטָּ֣עֵי כָ֑רֶם וְהִגַּרְתִּ֚י לַגַּי֙ אֲבָנֶ֔יהָ וִֽיסֹדֶ֖יהָ אֲגַלֶּֽה:
into a heap in the field: Heb. הַשָּׂדֶה לְעִי. Jonathan renders: לִדְגוֹרִין דְּחַקְלָא, an expression of heaps. Cf. (Gen. 31:47) “ יְגַר שַׂהֲדוּתָא, the heap of the testimony.”  
and I will cast its stones down into the valley: Heb. וְהִגַּרְתִּי, and I will drag, similar to (verse 4) “poured down (מֻגָּרִים) a steep place.”  
7And all its graven images shall be crushed, and all its hires shall be burnt with fire, and all its idols I will lay waste; for from the hire of a harlot it gathered, and to the hire of a harlot shall they return.   זוְכָל־פְּסִילֶ֣יהָ יֻכַּ֗תּוּ וְכָל־אֶתְנַנֶּ֙יהָ֙ יִשָּֽׂרְפ֣וּ בָאֵ֔שׁ וְכָל־עֲצַבֶּ֖יהָ אָשִׂ֣ים שְׁמָמָ֑ה כִּ֠י מֵֽאֶתְנַ֚ן זוֹנָה֙ קִבָּ֔צָה וְעַד־אֶתְנַ֥ן זוֹנָ֖ה יָשֽׁוּבוּ:
for from the hire of a harlot it gathered: all these riches.  
and to the hire of a harlot shall they return: And all its [Samaria’s] gatherings will be used up like other harlots’ hires. Jonathan renders: And to the house of the idol worshippers shall all its gatherings be delivered.  
8Concerning this I will lament and wail; I will go mad and be naked; I will make a wailing as jackals, and mourning as ostriches.   חעַל־זֹאת֙ אֶסְפְּדָ֣ה וְאֵילִ֔ילָה אֵֽילְכָ֥ה שׁוֹלָ֖ל (כתיב שֹׁילָ֖ל) וְעָר֑וֹם אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֚ה מִסְפֵּד֙ כַּתַּנִּ֔ים וְאֵ֖בֶל כִּבְנ֥וֹת יַֽעֲנָֽה:
I will go mad: Heb. שׁוֹלָל, becoming mad like a mentally deranged person, with bewilderment. Cf. (Ps. 76:6) “The stout-hearted have become mad (אֱשְׁתּוֹלְלוּ) ” ; (Isa. 59:15) “And he who turns away from evil is considered mad (מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל).” The ‘tav’ comes into the word to serve in the reflexive present and past. This is the normal pattern of a word whose first radical letter is ‘shin’ or ‘sammech’ when a ‘tav’ is added in the reflexive, either present or past, as in מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל. I say that it is an expression of error, as in (II Kings 4:28) “Do not mislead (תַשְׁלֶה) me” ; (II Sam. 6:7) “For his error (הַשַּׁל) ;” (Dan. 3:29) “who speaks anything amiss (שָׁלוּ).”  
9For she is mortally ill [from] her wounds, for it has come up to Judah; it has reached the gate of My people up to Jerusalem.   טכִּ֥י אֲנוּשָׁ֖ה מַכּוֹתֶ֑יהָ כִּֽי־בָ֙אָה֙ עַד־יְהוּדָ֔ה נָגַ֛ע עַד־שַׁ֥עַר עַמִּ֖י עַד־יְרֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
For she is mortally ill [from] her wounds: Heb. אֱנוּשָׁה. For she is ill from her wounds. Cf. (II Sam. 12: 15) “And it became mortally ill (וַיֵּאָנַשׁ.).”  
10Do not declare it in Gath, do not weep; in the houses of Aphrah, wallow in the dust.   יבְּגַת֙ אַל־תַּגִּ֔ידוּ בָּכ֖וֹ אַל־תִּבְכּ֑וּ בְּבֵ֣ית לְעַפְרָ֔ה עָפָ֖ר הִתְפַּלָּֽשִׁי (כתיב הִתְפַּלָּֽשִׁתי) :
Do not declare it in Gath: lest the Philistines rejoice about us.  
in the houses of Aphrah: This is Ophrah of the Abiezrites (Jud. 6:11).  
wallow in the dust: Heb. הִתְפַּלָּשִׁי, a play on words with the name Philistia (פְּלֶשֶת). Similarly, (verse 11) “ You inhabitant of Shafir, with your private parts exposed.” Similarly, (verse 11) “The inhabitant of Zanaan has not gone forth.” In all of these, the language of the lamentation is according to the name of the city.  
wallow: Heb. הִתְפַּלָּשִׁי, roll. According to the context, cover yourself with dust.  
11Pass along your way, you inhabitant of Shafir, with your private parts exposed; the inhabitants of Zaanan did not go forth; the lamentation caused by drawing the houses one to the other shall take its stand from you.   יאעִבְרִ֥י לָכֶ֛ם יוֹשֶׁ֥בֶת שָׁפִ֖יר עֶרְיָה־בֹ֑שֶׁת לֹ֚א יָֽצְאָה֙ יוֹשֶׁ֣בֶת צַֽאֲנָ֔ן מִסְפַּד֙ בֵּ֣ית הָאֵ֔צֶל יִקַּ֥ח מִכֶּ֖ם עֶמְדָּתֽוֹ:
Pass along your way: Heb. עִבְרִי לָכֶם. He commences with an expression in the feminine singular, as used in addressing the people of the city, as it is said: “the inhabitant of Shafir” addressing them all in the name of one people. And then he says, “ לָכֶם, along your way” as used in addressing many people, for he was speaking to the public.  
the inhabitant of Shafir: Shafir is the name of the city.  
with your private parts exposed: Private parts would be exposed, appropriate to a city called “Shafir,” the name of the aborted fetus that comes out of the woman’s womb.  
the inhabitants of Zaanan did not go forth: The fugitives of the inhabitants of Zaanan shall not go forth. - [from Jonathan]  
the lamentation caused by drawing the houses one to the other shall take its stand from you: The lamentation you caused those who were robbed, whom you robbed of their inheritance in order to draw one house to the other, one field to the other, will take its stand from you - the stand of the houses that you built and erected on their inheritance.  
by drawing the houses from one the other: ajoustement in Old French [which means, adding or joining].  
12For the one dwelling in disobedience hoped for good, but evil descended from the Lord to the gate of Jerusalem.   יבכִּֽי־חָ֥לָֽה לְט֖וֹב יוֹשֶׁ֣בֶת מָר֑וֹת כִּֽי־יָ֚רַד רָע֙ מֵאֵ֣ת יְהֹוָ֔ה לְשַׁ֖עַר יְרֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
For the one dwelling in disobedience hoped for good: For the one dwelling in tranquility and disobeying the word of the prophets hoped for good.  
but evil descended: Heb. כִּי. This instance of כִּי serves as an expression of “but.” She hoped for good, but, because of her disobedience, evil descended to her.  
13Hitch the chariot to the swift steeds, you inhabitant of Lachish; it is the beginning of sin for the daughter of Zion, for in you were found the transgressions of Israel.   יגרְתֹ֧ם הַמֶּרְכָּבָ֛ה לָרֶ֖כֶשׁ יוֹשֶׁ֣בֶת לָכִ֑ישׁ רֵאשִׁ֨ית חַטָּ֥את הִיא֙ לְבַת־צִיּ֔וֹן כִּי־בָ֥ךְ נִמְצְא֖וּ פִּשְׁעֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
Hitch the chariot to the swift steeds: Heb. רְתֹם הַמֶּרְכָּבָה לַרֶכֶשׁ. Hitch the chariot to the רֶכֶשׁ, which is swift to run, and you shall escape. The word רֶכֶשׁ is explained by Dunash (Teshuvoth Dunash p. 69) as an Arabic word.  
14Since you give expulsions to the dynasty that gave you the possession of Gath, the houses of Achzib shall be a dried up spring for the kings of Israel.   ידלָכֵן֙ תִּתְּנִ֣י שִׁלּוּחִ֔ים עַ֖ל מוֹרֶ֣שֶׁת גַּ֑ת בָּתֵּ֚י אַכְזִיב֙ לְאַכְזָ֔ב לְמַלְכֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
Since you give expulsions to the dynasty that gave you the possession of Gath: Since you give expulsions to the kingdom of David, which gave you the possession of Gath, as the matter is stated (I Chron. 18:1): “And he took Gath and its cities out of the hands of the Philistines.” But you reject it, as it is stated (Isa. 8:6): “Since this people has rejected the waters of the Shiloah that flow gently, etc.” Therefore, “the houses of Achzib” which was of the land of Judah and was drawn after Pekah the son of Remaliah, shall ultimately be a “dried up spring” to the kings of Israel - for Pekah the son of Remaliah will be assassinated, and all those who relied on him will be disappointed. This prophecy was prophesied during Ahaz’s reign.  
since you give expulsions: Heb. לָכֵן. The definition of לָכֵן is ע ַל אֲשֶׁר, because of. Cf. (Isa. 17:10) “Because (עַל כֵּן) I planted you with pleasant saplings,” and you turned into a branch of a stranger.  
the houses of Achzib shall be a dried up spring: Heb. לְאַכְזָב. This [too] is a play on words לְאַכְזָבת אַכְזִיב. I learned the midrash of this verse from the Aggadah of the chapter “ Chelek.” [from Sanh. 102a]  
15I will yet bring the possessor to you, O inhabitant of Mareshah; up to Adullam shall the glory of Israel come.   טועֹ֚ד הַיֹּרֵשׁ֙ אָ֣בִיא (כתיב אָ֣בִי) לָ֔ךְ יוֹשֶׁ֖בֶת מָֽרֵשָׁ֑ה עַד־עֲדֻלָּ֥ם יָב֖וֹא כְּב֥וֹד יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
I will yet bring the possessor to you: The enemies, who will possess you, you who dwell in Mareshah. The possessor (הַיוֹרֵש) to Mareshah (מָרֵשָה) -another play on words.  
up to Adullam: (which is within the border) will the glory of Israel retreat and come, for the enemies shall conquer from their border up to Adullam. So did Jonathan render: Until Adullam shall they go up and enter the border of the land of Israel. And I heard a Midrash Aggadah in the name of Rabbi Menachem:  
I will yet bring the heir: The children of Elam were fit to inherit the land of Israel - for he [Elam] was the firstborn of the sons of Shem - but because of love for your forefathers I transferred it to the children of Arphachshad. Now I will bring the Chaldeans and the Elamites upon them.  
16Make [your head] bald and crop [your hair] for the children of your delight; widen your bald spot [to be] like an eagle-for they have been exiled from you.   טזקָרְחִ֣י וָגֹ֔זִּי עַל־בְּנֵ֖י תַּֽעֲנוּגָ֑יִךְ הַרְחִ֚בִי קָרְחָתֵךְ֙ כַּנֶּ֔שֶׁר כִּֽי־גָל֖וּ מִמֵּֽךְ:
Make bald: Make your head bald.  
and crop: your hair. Cf. (Job 1:20) “And he cropped (וָיָּגָז) his hair.” This is an expression of pulling out the hair.  
like an eagle: As the Targum renders. Like an eagle, whose feathers have fallen out. It is customary for an eagle to lose most of its feathers.