Sacred Texts  Christianity  Calvin  Index  Previous  Next 

Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 28: Jonah, Micah, Nahum, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at

a translation of

Calvin’s Version of

The Prophecies of Micah.


1 The word of Jehovah, which came to Micah, the Morasthite, in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem:

2 Hear, all ye people, Give ear, O earth, and its fullness; (155) And the Lord Jehovah shall be against you a witness, Even the Lord from the temple of his holiness:

3 For, behold, Jehovah goeth forth from his place, And will descend and tread on the heights of the earth;

4 And melt shall the mountains under him, And rent shall be the valleys; As wax before the fire, As waters rolling into a lower place. (160)

5 For the wickedness of Jacob is all this, And for the transgressions of the house of Israel: What is the wickedness of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not those of Jerusalem? (162)

6 I will therefore make Samaria A heap of the field, a plantation for vineyards; And I will roll into the valley its stones, And its foundations will I discover;

7 And all her graven images shall be broken down, And all her rewards shall be burnt in the fire, And all her idols will I lay desolate; For from the reward of a harlot hath she gathered, And to the reward of a harlot shall they return.

8 For this will I wail and howl, I will go spoiled and naked; I will make wailing as the dragons, And mourning as the daughters of the ostrich: (170)

9 For grievous is her stroke, For it has come to Judah, It has reached the gate of my people—even Jerusalem.

10 In Gath tell ye it not; weeping, weep not; In the house of Ophrah, roll thyself in the dust.

11 Pass over also, thou inhabitant of Saphir, Naked and in shame; Go forth shall not the inhabitant of Zaanan, In the mourning of Beth-ezel; She will take from you her station. (176)

12 Verily, grieved for good has the inhabitant of Maroth; For come down has evil from Jehovah To the gate of Jerusalem.

13 Tie the chariot to the dromedary, Thou inhabitant of Lachish; The beginning of sin has she been to the daughter of Zion; For in thee have been found the transgressions of Israel.

14 Thou shalt therefore send presents, For Moresheth-gath, to the sons of Achzib, (180) Who have been a deception to the kings of Israel.

15 Yet a possessor will I send to thee, inhabitant of Mareshah; Even to Adullam, the glory of Israel, shall he come.

16 Make bald, and poll thyself, For the children of thy delicacies; Enlarge thy baldness as the eagle, Inasmuch as they have migrated from thee.


1 Woe to those who devise iniquity, And contrive wickedness on their beds! When the morning shines, they execute it; For to do it their hand is ready.

2 And they covet fields, and forcibly take them; And houses, and they take them away; And they oppress a man and his house, A man and his heritage. (187)

3 Therefore, thus saith Jehovah, — Behold, I am devising against this family an evil, From which ye shall not remove your necks; And ye shall not walk in your height, For an evil time will it be.

4 In that day shall they take up against thee a proverb, And bewail with a lamentable lament, And say, “Wasted, we are laid waste; The portion of my people has he changed; How he takes away from me instead of restoring! Our fields he divides.” (191)

5 There shall not therefore be for thee One to cast a line for lot in the assembly of Jehovah.

6 “Prophecy not, ye who prophesy;” — They shall not prophesy for them; — He will not take reproaches. (195)

7 O thou who art called the house of Jacob! Is the Spirit of Jehovah straightened? Are these his works? Are not my words good to him Who walks uprightly? (201)

8 And they who were heretofore my people, Have risen up as an enemy against me; The robe of beauty they plunder From those who pass by securely, As those who return from war. (203)

9 The women of my people have ye expelled From the house of their delights; From their children have ye taken away My ornament forever. (204)

10 Arise, depart, for this is not your rest; Because it has been polluted: (206) He will scatter you with a violent scattering.

11 If a man, walking in the spirit, and lying deceitfully, says, “I will prophesy to thee of wine and of strong drink,” He shall be the prophet of this people. (208)

12 Gathering, I will gather the whole of thee Jacob, Assembling, I will assemble the residue of Israel; I will set them together as the sheep of Bozrah, As a flock in the midst of its fold; They shall make a noise on account of the number of men.

13 Ascend shall a breaker before them, They shall break through and pass the gate; Yea, they shall go out through it; And pass shall their king before them, And Jehovah at their head. (215)


1 And I said, “Hear, I pray, ye princes of Jacob; And ye rulers of the house of Israel: Is it not for you to know judgment?”

2 But they hate good and love evil; They pull off the skin from them, And the flesh from their bones:

3 Yea, they devour the flesh of my people, And their skin they strip from them, And their bones they break, And make them small as for the pot, And their flesh for the cauldron.

4 They shall then cry to Jehovah, And he will not answer them, But he will hide his face from them at that time, As they have acted perversely in their doings.

5 Thus saith Jehovah to the Prophets, Who deceive my people, And bite with their teeth, and cry, “Peace;” And when any one putteth not in their mouth, Against him they declare war;

6 Night shall therefore be to you instead of a vision, And darkness shall be to you instead of divination;’ And set shall the sun on the Prophets, And darkened over them shall be the day: (227)

7 And ashamed shall be the seers, And confounded shall be the diviners; And they shall all cover their lips, For there will be no answer from God.

8 But I indeed am filled with power, By the Spirit of Jehovah, yea, with judgment and courage, To declare to Jacob his wickedness, And to Israel his sin.

9 Hear this, I pray, ye princes of the house of Jacob, And ye rulers of the house of Israel, Who abominate judgment, And all rectitude pervert; (237)

10 Who build Zion by blood, And Jerusalem by iniquity.

11 Its princes judge for reward, And its priests for wages teach, And its prophets for money divine; And on Jehovah they lean, saying, “Is not Jehovah in the midst of us? Come upon us shall no evil.”

12 Therefore for you Zion as a field shall be plowed, And Jerusalem shall be a heap, And the mount of the house as the heights of a forest.


1 But it shall be in the last days, That the mount of the house of Jehovah Shall be set in order on the top of the mountains, And elevated shall it be above the hills; And assemble there shall nations; (252)

2 And go shall many nations and say, — “Come and let us ascend to the mount of Jehovah, And to the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths:” For from Zion shall go forth a law, And the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem;

3 And he will rule among many people, And convince strong nations afar off; (260) And beat their swords shall they into plowshares, And their spears into pruninghooks; And lift up shall not a nation against a nation a sword, And they shall learn war no more;

4 And they shall sit everyone under his own vine, And under his own fig-tree; And none will there be to terrify them; For thus hath the mouth of Jehovah of hosts spoken.

5 For all people shall walk, Every one in the name of his god; (271) But we will walk In the name of Jehovah our God forever.

6 In that day, saith Jehovah, I will assemble the lame, And the driven out will I gather, And her whom I have afflicted:

7 And I will make the lame a remnant, And the driven out a strong nation; Reign over them shall Jehovah on mount Zion, From henceforth, even forever.

8 And thou tower of the flock, The fortress of the daughter of Zion, To thee it shall come; Yea, come shall the former dominion; The kingdom, to the daughter of Jerusalem.

9 Why dost thou now cry with a loud crying? Is there no king in thee? Has thy counselor perished? For seized thee has pain as one in travail.

10 Be in pain, and groan, O daughter of Zion, As a woman in travail; For go forth shalt thou from the city, And thou shalt dwell in the field, Yea, thou shalt go as far as Babylon; There shalt thou be delivered, There shall Jehovah redeem thee From the hand of thy enemies.

11 And now gathered against thee are many nations, Who say, “Let her be condemned, And look shall our eye on Zion.” (284)

12 But they know not the thoughts of Jehovah, And understand not his counsel; For he shall gather them as a handful to the floor.

13 Arise, and thrash, thou daughter of Zion; For thy horn will I make iron, And thy hoofs will I make brass; And thou shalt tear in pieces strong nations; And consecrate to Jehovah their wealth, And their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.


1 Assemble now thyself, thou daughter of a troop; A siege has he set against us: (294) With a rod shall they smite on the cheek the judge of Israel.

2 And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, Art small to be among the thousands of Judah! From thee shall to me come forth One to be a ruler in Israel; And his goings forth are from the beginning, From the days of ages.

3 He will therefore give them up till the time, When she who travails shall bring forth, And return to the children of Israel Shall the residue of his brethren:

4 And he shall stand and feed in the power of Jehovah, In the majesty of the name of Jehovah his God; And they shall quietly dwell, For he shall now be magnified to the ends of the earth.

5 And he shall be our peace; When the Assyrian shall come into our land, And when he shall tread in our palaces, Then we shall set up against him seven shepherds, And eight princes of men;

6 And they shall lay waste The land of the Assyrian by the sword, And the land of Nimrod by their swords; (311) And he will deliver us from the Assyrian, When he shall come into our land, And when he shall tread in our borders.

7 And the residue of Jacob shall be, Among the nations, in the midst of many people, As a dew from Jehovah, as drops of rain on the grass; Which tarries not for man, nor waits for the sons of men.

8 The residue of Jacob shall also be, Among the nations, in the midst of many people, As a lion among the beasts of the forest, As a young lion among a flock of sheep, Who, when he passes through, tears and carries away, And no one can deliver.

9 Exalted shall be thy hand above thine enemies, And all thine adversaries shall be cut off.

10 And it shall be in that day, saith Jehovah, That I will cut off thy horses from the midst of thee, And I will destroy thy chariots;

11 And cut off will I the cities of thy land, And will overthrow all thy fortresses;

12 And I will cut off diviners from thine hand, And soothsayers shall not be to thee;

13 And cut off will I thy graven images, And thy stature from the midst of thee, And thou shalt no more bow down Before the work of thy hands;

14 And I will demolish thy groves from the midst of thee, That I man destroy thine enemies;

15 And in anger and fury will I execute on the nations A vengeance, which they have not heard.


1 Hear ye now what Jehovah saith, — “Arise, contend before the mountains, And let the hills hear thy voice.”

2 Hear, ye mountains, the controversy of Jehovah, And ye strong foundations of the earth; For Jehovah has a controversy with his people, And with Israel he will contend: —

3 “My people! What have I done to thee? And in what have I molested thee? Testify against me.

4 I have indeed made thee to ascend from Egypt, And from the house of servants I redeemed thee; I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

5 My people! Remember now What Balak, the king of Moab, consulted, And what Balaam, the son of Bosor, answered him, And what happened from Shittim even to Gilgal, That thou mayest know the righteousness of Jehovah.” (336)

6 “Wherewith shall I approach Jehovah? And bow down myself before the high God? Shall I approach him with burnt-sacrifices? With calves a year old?

7 Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams? With ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born as my sin-offering? The fruit of my loins as an expiation For the wickedness of my soul?” —

8 He hath declared to thee, O man, what is good: And what does Jehovah require from thee, But to do justice, and to love mercy, And to humble thyself to walk with thy God?

9 The voice of Jehovah crieth to arouse; And the man of understanding will see his name: Hear ye the rod, and who testifies of it.

10 Are there still in the house of the wicked The treasures of iniquity, And the scanty detestable measure?

11 Shall I justify balances of wickedness, And the bag of deceitful weights?

12 For her rich men have filled themselves by violence, And her inhabitants have spoken falsehood, And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

13 And I also by smiting will afflict thee, And thee will I destroy for thy sins: (352)

14 Thou shalt eat and not be satisfied, And thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; And thou shalt lay hold, and not deliver, And what thou deliverest will I give up to the sword:

15 Thou shalt sow and not reap, Thou shalt press the oil, and not anoint thyself with oil, And the new wine, and not drink wine.

16 For observed are the statues of Omri, And every work of the house of Ahab; And ye walk in their counsels, That I should make thee a desolation, And her inhabitants an hissing; And the reproach of my people ye shall bear.


1 Woe is me! For I am as the ingatherings of summer, And as the bunches of the vintage: There is no cluster to eat; The ripe fruits my soul hath desired. (360)

2 Perished has the meek from the land, And upright among men there is none; For all lie in wait for blood, Every one hunts his brother with a net.

3 To effect the wickedness of their hands, The prince asketh, and the judge also, for reward. And the great man speaks himself Of the mischief of his soul; and they wrap it up. (365)

4 The good among them is like a brier, The upright is worse than a thorn-hedge: The day of thy watchmen, thy visitation, is coming; They shall be their confusion.

5 Trust not a friend, put no faith in a counselor; From her who sleepeth in thy bosom, Guard the openings of thy mouth:

6 For the son dishonors his father, The daughter rises up against her mother, The daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; Enemies to man are his own domestics.

7 But I to Jehovah will look, I will wait for the God of my salvation; Hear me will my God.

8 Rejoice not thou over me, my enemy; (374) Though I have fallen, I shall rise again; When I sit in darkness, Jehovah will be my light.

9 The wrath of Jehovah will I bear, (For I have sinned against him,) Until he plead my cause, And execute judgment for me; He will bring me to light, I shall see his righteousness:

10 And see shall my enemy, And cover her shall shame, who said to me, — “Where is Jehovah thy God?” Mine eyes shall see her; And now trodden shall she be as the mire of the street.

11 The day to build thy walls! That day shall remove far the decree:

12 And in that day to thee shall they come From Assyria and the cities of the fortress, From the fortress also to the river, (386) And from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain, —

13 But the land shall become a desolation, On account of its inhabitants, For the fruit of their works.

14 Feed thy people by thy crook, Thy flock of thy heritage, Who dwell in solitude, in the wood, As in the midst of Carmel; They shall be fed in Bashan and Gilead, As in the days of old. (392)

15 As in the days of thy going forth from the land of Egypt, I will show to him wonderful things.

16 Shall see the nations, And be ashamed of all their might; They shall lay their hand on their mouth, Their ears shall become deaf;

17 They shall lick the dust as a serpent, As reptiles of the earth shall they move from their holes; Jehovah our God shall they dread, And they shall be afraid of thee.

18 What God is like thee, Taking away iniquity, And passing over transgression, As to the remnant of his heritage? He will not retain forever his anger, For he loveth mercy:

19 He will return, he will have mercy on us; He will tread down our iniquities, And cast into the depths of the sea all their sins:

20 Thou wilt grant truth to Jacob, Mercy to Abraham; Which thou hast sworn to our fathers In the days of old.

Next: Nahum