Micah 7:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire-- they all conspire together.

New Living Translation
Both their hands are equally skilled at doing evil! Officials and judges alike demand bribes. The people with influence get what they want, and together they scheme to twist justice.

English Standard Version
Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together.

New American Standard Bible
Concerning evil, both hands do it well. The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, And a great man speaks the desire of his soul; So they weave it together.

King James Bible
That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Both hands are good at accomplishing evil: the official and the judge demand a bribe; when the powerful man communicates his evil desire, they plot it together.

International Standard Version
And speaking of evil, they practice it eagerly—with both hands! Both leader and judge demand a bribe, the famous confess their perverted desires, and they scheme together.

NET Bible
They are determined to be experts at doing evil; government officials and judges take bribes, prominent men make demands, and they all do what is necessary to satisfy them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Their hands are skilled in doing evil. Officials ask for gifts. Judges accept bribes. Powerful people dictate what they want. So they scheme together.

Jubilee Bible 2000
To complete the evil with their hands, the prince demands, and the judge judges for a reward; and the great man speaks the desires of his heart: and they confirm it.

King James 2000 Bible
That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asks, and the judge asks for a bribe; and the great man, he utters his evil desire: so they weave it together.

American King James Version
That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asks, and the judge asks for a reward; and the great man, he utters his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

American Standard Version
Their hands are upon that which is evil to do it diligently; the prince asketh, and the judge is ready for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth the evil desire of his soul: thus they weave it together.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The evil of their hands they call good: the prince requireth, and the judge is for giving: and the great man hath uttered the desire of his soul, and they have troubled it.

Darby Bible Translation
Both hands are for evil, to do it well. The prince asketh, and the judge [is there] for a reward; and the great [man] uttereth his soul's greed: and [together] they combine it.

English Revised Version
Their hands are upon that which is evil to do it diligently; the prince asketh, and the judge is ready for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth the mischief of his soul: thus they weave it together.

Webster's Bible Translation
That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

World English Bible
Their hands are on that which is evil to do it diligently. The ruler and judge ask for a bribe; and the powerful man dictates the evil desire of his soul. Thus they conspire together.

Young's Literal Translation
On the evil are both hands to do it well, The prince is asking -- also the judge -- for recompence, And the great -- he is speaking the mischief of his soul, And they wrap it up.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:1-7 The prophet bemoans himself that he lived among a people ripening apace for ruin, in which many good persons would suffer. Men had no comfort, no satisfaction in their own families or in their nearest relations. Contempt and violation of domestic duties are a sad symptom of universal corruption. Those are never likely to come to good who are undutiful to their parents. The prophet saw no safety or comfort but in looking to the Lord, and waiting on God his salvation. When under trials, we should look continually to our Divine Redeemer, that we may have strength and grace to trust in him, and to be examples to those around us.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - That they may do evil, etc. rather, both hands are upon (equivalent to "busy with") evil to do it thoroughly. This clause and the rest of the verse are very obscure Cheyne supposes the text to be corrupt. Henderson renders, "For evil their hands are well prepared;" so virtually Hitzig, Pusey, and the Septuagint. Caspari agrees rather with the Vulgate (Malum manuum suarum dicunt bonum)," Hands are (busy) upon evil to make (it seem) good," which looks to that extremity of iniquity when men "call evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20). The general meaning is that they are ready enough to do evil, and, as the next clause says, can be bribed to do anything. The prince asketh; makes some nefarious demand of the judge, some perversion of justice at his hands, as in the case of Naboth (1 Kings 21.). The judge asketh (is ready) for a reward. The judge is willing to do what the prince wishes, if he is bribed for it. LXX., Ὁ κριτής εἰρηνικοὺς λόγους ἐλάλησε, "The judge speaks words of peace" (comp. Micah 3:11; Isaiah 1:23; Zephaniah 3:8). He uttereth his mischievous desire; or, the mischief of his soul. The rich man speaks out unblushingly the evil that he has conceived in his heart, the wicked design which he meditates. So they wrap it up; better, and they weave it together. The prince, the judge, and the rich man weave their evil plan together, to make it strong and right in others' eyes. The passage is altered in meaning by a different grouping of the Hebrew letters, thus: "The prince demandeth (a reward) to do good; and the judge, for the recompense of a great man, uttereth what he himself desireth. And they entangle the good more than briars, and the righteous more than a thorn hedge." The LXX. carries on the sense to the next verse, Καὶ ἐξελοῦμαι τὰ ἀγαθὰ αὐτῶν ὠς σὴς ἐκτρώγων, "And I will destroy their goods as a consuming moth."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

That they may do evil with both hands earnestly,.... Or "well" (t), strenuously, diligently, to the utmost of their power, labouring at it with all their might and main; as wicked men generally are more industrious, and exert themselves more to do evil than good men do to do good; and even weary themselves to commit iniquity: or, "instead of doing good", as Marinus in Aben Ezra, take a great deal of pains to do evil; work with both hands at it, instead of doing good. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "they prepare their hands for evil"; the Syriac version is, "their hands are read? to evil, and they do not do good"; with which agrees the Targum,

"they do evil with their hands, and do not do good.''

Some make the sense to depend on what goes before and follows; "to do evil, both hands" are open and ready, and they hurt with them; "but to do, good the prince asketh, and the judge for a reward" (u); forward enough to do evil, but very backward to do any good office;

the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and, if they do it, must be bribed, and have a reward for it, even persons of such high character; but this sense is not favoured by, the accents; besides, by what follows, it seems as if the "prince", by whom may be meant the king upon the throne, and the "judge" he that sits upon the bench under him, sought for bribes to do an ill thing; to give a cause wrong against a poor man, and in favour of a rich man that will bribe high:

and the great man he uttereth his mischievous desire; the depravity, corruption, and perverseness of his soul; who is either some great man at court, that, being encouraged by the example of the prince and judge, openly and publicly requires a bribe also to do an ill thing; and without any shame or blushing promises to do it on that consideration; or a counsellor at the bar, who openly declares that he will speak in such a cause, though a bad one, and defend it, and not doubt of carrying it; or else this is some rich wicked man, that seeks to oppress his poor neighbour, and, being favoured by the prince and judge he has bribed, does without fear or shame speak out the wickedness of his heart, and what an ill design he has against his neighbour, whose mischief, hurt, and ruin, he seeks:

so they wrap it up together; or, "twist it together" (w); as cords are, which thereby become strong; slid so these three work up this mischievous business, and strengthen and establish it; and such a threefold cord of wickedness is not easily broken or unravelled: or, "they perplex it" (x); as thick branches of trees are implicated and wrapped together; so these agree to puzzle and perplex a cause, that they may have some show of carrying it with justice and truth. So the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "they trouble it"; confound the matter, and make it dark, dubious, and difficult. The Targum is, "they corrupt it"; or deprave it; put an ill sense on things, and make a wrong construction of them.

(t) "bene", Drusius. (u) So Grotius. (w) "contorquent", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius; "contorquere solent", Burkius; "contortuplicant", Junius, Grotius; so R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 38. 2.((x) "A radice quae intricare significat, atque confusum reddere, atque perplexum", Sanctius,

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly—literally, "Their hands are for evil that they may do it well" (that is, cleverly and successfully).

the great man, he—emphatic repetition. As for the great man, he no sooner has expressed his bad desire (literally, the "mischief" or "lust of his soul"), than the venal judges are ready to wrest the decision of the case according to his wish.

so they wrap it up—The Hebrew is used of intertwining cords together. The "threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ec 4:12); here the "prince," the "judge," and the "great man" are the three in guilty complicity. "They wrap it up," namely, they conspire to carry out the great man's desire at the sacrifice of justice.

Micah 7:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Israel's Great Misery
2The godly person has perished from the land, And there is no upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; Each of them hunts the other with a net. 3Concerning evil, both hands do it well. The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, And a great man speaks the desire of his soul; So they weave it together. 4The best of them is like a briar, The most upright like a thorn hedge. The day when you post your watchmen, Your punishment will come. Then their confusion will occur.…
Cross References
Proverbs 4:16
For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.

Proverbs 4:17
They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

Proverbs 17:23
The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.

Isaiah 1:23
Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.

Isaiah 3:5
People will oppress each other-- man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored.

Isaiah 5:23
who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.

Isaiah 32:7
Scoundrels use wicked methods, they make up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.

Ezekiel 9:9
He answered me, "The sin of the people of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.'

Ezekiel 22:12
In you are people who accept bribes to shed blood; you take interest and make a profit from the poor. You extort unjust gain from your neighbors. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Hosea 7:3
"They delight the king with their wickedness, the princes with their lies.

Amos 5:12
For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.

Micah 2:8
Lately my people have risen up like an enemy. You strip off the rich robe from those who pass by without a care, like men returning from battle.

Micah 3:2
you who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones;

Micah 3:11
Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the LORD's support and say, "Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us."
Treasury of Scripture

That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asks, and the judge asks for a reward; and the great man, he utters his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

do.

Proverbs 4:16,17 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep …

Jeremiah 3:5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? …

Ezekiel 22:6 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in you to their power …

the prince.

Micah 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach …

Isaiah 1:23 Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one …

Jeremiah 8:10 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to …

Ezekiel 22:27 Her princes in the middle thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, …

Hosea 4:18 Their drink is sour: they have committed prostitution continually: …

Amos 5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they …

Matthew 26:15 And said to them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him to …

the great.

1 Kings 21:9-14 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth …

his mischievous desire. Heb. the mischief of his soul. wrap.

Isaiah 26:21 For, behold, the LORD comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants …

Luke 12:1,2 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable …

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who …

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