Trading Yahweh’s Word for a Price: Ethical Implications of the Collusion of Prophets and Priests in Micah 3:5–7, 11
Trading Yahweh’s word for a price is an attempt to articulate the implications of the mercenary attitude of prophets and priests in the book of Micah, in discharging their duties as religious functionaries. The article examines Micah’s indictment of charismatic and cultic Judean’s self-centered leadership for commercialising Yahweh’s word. This exploration is done against the background of the functions and responsibility of prophets and priests in the HB/OT. Prophets and priests both functioned in the religion of Ancient Israel and Judah as channels for the transmission of Yahweh’s word to their people and nation. However, Micah presents a charismatic and cultic Judean leadership that was bereft of ethical standard of responsibility, reliability, constancy and integrity. Rather than embodying ethical character that could inspire confidence and commitment, they traded Yahweh’s word for symbols of wealth and power and thus became stumbling blocks to genuine orthodoxy. Such attempt to lower the standard of God’s demand on people so as to gratify self in a religious function that is designed to embody integrity, honesty, reliability and accountability constitute not only affront on Yahweh but abuse of privilege and position, amount to religious deception and economic idolatry and create a false sense of security.
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