The Bible


Micah 6

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills Hear thy voice.

2 Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.

3 O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.

4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.

6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?

7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

9 The LORD's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.

10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable?

11 Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?

12 For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

13 Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.

14 Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword.

15 Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.

16 For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Micah 6      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

In Micah 6:1-4, the Lord speaks of all that He has done for Israel, getting them out of Egypt where they were slaves. In Micah 6:5, he relates how He protected them from Balak, king of Moab (in Numbers 22-24).

Then, in Micah 6:6-8, the Lord asks, rhetorically, how the people should worship Him: “With calves of a year old?” and then goes on with a reference to the idol Moloch, “shall I give my firstborn for my transgression?” Obviously these external acts do no good at all without internal repentance and a stopping of any transgressions.

Then He answers the question. Micah says, “He has told thee oh man, what is good,” and continues the stirring, familiar words; "do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God". 1

Micah 6:9 is about humility. It's a really important idea that started to be a problem for humankind all the way back in the story of the Garden of Eden. To eat of the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil” is to take to oneself the right/ability to decide which is which, and not listen to what God says about it. To walk “humbly” is to listen to God. That’s the meaning of “hear ye the rod and who has appointed it.”

Micah 6:10-11 points out that there is still some falsification with these people. The lean ephah is a cheating on the amount of liquid in a pitcher, and liquids refer to truth. Stones are used as weights to balance a scale that weighs out a purchase of food, and deceitful stones will cheat the buyer. Food means a form of good.

In Micah 6:12, 13, the rich mean people who, because they know a lot about natural things, believe they are also wise about spiritual things. 2 Here they are wicked and love the life of evil and falsity, nor can they be changed.

Then, in Micah 6:14-16, the chapter ends with a list of the problems such people will face. To eat, in the good sense, is to take in good. However, the gifts given by people who are immersed in evils and falsities turn out to be false gifts. People try to get things that will make them happy, but it doesn’t happen. Olives and their oil mean good, and grapes and their juice mean truth. 3

What are the laws of Omri? Omri was one of the wickeder kings of Israel, and Ahab was the wickedest king of all. To follow them means desolation and reproach.

In some ways, this chapter is a lot like many others in the books of the prophets. And yet, for centuries it has stood out, because it contains one of the Word's most powerful, concise, statements of how we should live: "Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God."


1. See Arcana Coelestia 2895
2. See Heaven and Hell 365.
3. Regarding olives and olive oil, seeArcana Coelestia 986. For the signification of grapes their juice, Apocalypse Explained 918.


From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 220

Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 519, 886, 922, 2180, 2906, 6435, 9024, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 206, 287, 316, 336, 503, 589, 624, ...

True Christian Religion 322

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 328, 336, 373, 375, 376, 405, 638, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 56

Scriptural Confirmations 19, 99

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

  Bible Study Videos:  (see all)

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 6:27, 23:15

Leviticus 26:16

Numbers 25:1, 2

Deuteronomy 5:6, 10:12, 23:6, 25:16, 28:40, 32:25

Joshua 5:9, 24:9, 10, 14

Judges 6:4

1 Samuel 12:7

1 Kings 16:25

2 Kings 3:27

2 Chronicles 22:4

Psalms 44:14, 51:18, 78:36, 101:1, 116:12, 120:2

Proverbs 15:8, 20:10, 21:3

Isaiah 3:13, 5:3, 43:23, 59:3

Jeremiah 2:5, 5:27, 6:20, 9:23, 19:8, 22:16

Lamentations 5:16

Ezekiel 6:3, 7:9, 22:29

Hosea 4:1, 10, 5:9, 6:6, 12:3

Amos 3:9, 10, 5:11

Micah 1:2, 2:1, 2

Zephaniah 1:9

Zechariah 5:6, 7:9

Mark 12:33

Hebrews 10:4, 11

1 Peter 5:5

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Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here:

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Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.

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 The Prophet Micah (3-5 years)
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 The Prophet Micah (6-8 years)
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 The Prophet Micah (9-11 years)
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By New Christian Bible Study Staff

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Swedenborg several times associates the “wicked” with “malevolence,” defines “malevolence” as “destroying good, interior and exterior,” and says that the wicked do this by disowning the desire for good and understanding for good that come from the Lord and actively denying the Lord.

We might say, then, that wickedness is evil on the hunt, looking for all that is good and true specifically so it can attack and destroy it.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 7590, 9249, 9264; The Apocalypse Explained 661)