Notes & Commentary:
I. Hebrew and Septuagint, "He, the Lord, said;" or, Micheas addressed the princes of both kingdoms, under Ezechias,
ver. 12., and Jeremias xxvi. 18. --- To know and practice, Osee vi. 3. (Calmet) --- Both rich and poor strove to extort
from each other. (Worthington)
Skins. When some exhorted Tiberius to lay on more taxes, he replied: "a good shepherd must shear the flock, and not
tear off the skin." (Suetorius xxxii.)
Peace. They pretend goodness, while they do the greatest mischief. --- Prepare. Literally, "sanctify," (Haydock)
or denounce war. (Calmet) --- False prophets seek their private lucre. (Worthington)
Vision. Impostors shall skulk through fear, when the people shall see that they were not sent, ver. 7.
Spirit. I am no impostor, chap. ii. 11.
Iniquity. You offer victims unjustly procured, or build your palaces with what belongs to the poor.
Hire. It is not lawful to refuse instruction to those who have nothing; nor must priests act solely for a temporal
reward, though reason shews that they should be supported by those whom they have to teach, Matthew x. 8, 10., Galatians vi.
6., and 1 Timothy v. 18. (Calmet) --- The judges grew rich by other people's quarrels; and, as all ranks offended,
they were justly involved in ruin, ver. 12. (Worthington)
Forests, after its destruction by Nabuchodonosor. (Calmet) --- In the space of three years' neglect, shrubs were growing
in the courts of the temple, 1 Machabees iv. 38. (Haydock) --- Rufus ploughed up the spot where the temple had stood, after
the Romans had burnt it down. (St. Jerome; Josephus, Jewish Wars vii. 20.) --- This prediction made a deep impression on the
minds of the people. It caused them to refrain from killing Jeremias, ver. 1. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
For the sins of the rich oppressing the poor, of false prophets
flattering for lucre, and of judges perverting justice, Jerusalem and the temple shall be destoryed.
1 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,
2 You that hate good, and love evil: that violently pluck off their skins
from them, and their flesh from their bones?
3 Who have eaten the flesh of my people, and have flayed their skin from
off them: and have broken, and chopped their bones as for the kettle, and as flesh in the midst of the pot.
4 Then shall they cry to the Lord, and he will not hear them: and he will
hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved wickedly in their devices.
5 Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err:
that bite with their teeth, and preach peace: and if a man give not something into their mouth, they prepare war against him.
6 Therefore night shall be to you instead of vision, and darkness to you
instead of divination: and the sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be darkened over them.
7 And they shall be confounded that see visions, and the diviners shall
be confounded: and they shall all cover their faces, because there is no answer of God.
8 But yet I am filled with the strength of the spirit of the Lord, with
judgment and power: to declare unto Jacob his wickedness, and to Israel his sin.
9 Hear this, ye princes of the house of Jacob, and ye judges of the house
of Israel: you that abhor judgment, and pervert all that is right.
10 You that build up Sion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
11 *Her princes have judged for bribes: and her priests have taught for
hire, and her prophets divined for money: and they leaned upon the Lord, saying: Is not the Lord in the midst of us? no evil
shall come upon us.
12 Therefore, because of you, *Sion shall be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem
shall be as a heap of stones, and the mountain of the temple as the high places of the forests.
11: Ezechiel xxii. 27.; Sophonias iii. 3.
12: Jeremias xxvi. 18.