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Micah, The Book of

RELATED: Jesus, Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Judah, God, Micah (the prophet)
AUTHOR: Micah (the prophet)
READ: American Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible
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Easton's Bible Dictionary

The sixth in order of the so-called minor prophets. The superscription to this book states that the prophet exercised his office in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. If we reckon from the beginning of Jotham's reign to the end of Hezekiah's (B.C. 759-698), then he ministered for about fifty-nine years; but if we reckon from the death of Jotham to the accession of Hezekiah (B.C. 743-726), his ministry lasted only sixteen years. It has been noticed as remarkable that this book commences with the last words of another prophet, "Micaiah the son of Imlah" ( 1 Kings 22:28 ): "Hearken, O people, every one of you."

The book consists of three sections, each commencing with a rebuke, "Hear ye," etc., and closing with a promise, (1) chapters 1 ; 2 ; (2) chapters 3 - 5, especially addressed to the princes and heads of the people; (3) chapters 6 - 7, in which Jehovah is represented as holding a controversy with his people: the whole concluding with a song of triumph at the great deliverance which the Lord will achieve for his people. The closing verse is quoted in the song of Zacharias ( Luke 1:72 , 1:73 ). The prediction regarding the place "where Christ should be born," one of the most remarkable Messianic prophecies ( Micah 5:2 ), is quoted in Matthew 2:6 .

There are the following references to this book in the New Testament: Micah 5:2 , with Matthew 2:6 ; John 7:42 , Micah 7:6 , with Matthew 10:21 , 10:35 , 10:36 ; Micah 7:20 with Luke 1:72 , 1:73 .


Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

(no entry)


Smith's Bible Dictionary

Three sections of this work represent three natural divisions of the prophecy --1, 2 ; 3-5 ; 6 , 7 --each commencing with rebukes and threatening and closing with a promise.

The first section opens with a magnificent description of the coming of Jehovah to judgment for the sins and idolatries of Israel and Judah, chapters 1:2 - 4, and the sentence pronounced upon Samaria, vs. 5 - 9, by the Judge himself. The sentence of captivity is passed upon them. ( Micah 2:10 ) but is followed instantly by a promise of restoration and triumphant return. ch. ( Micah 2:12 , 2:13 )

The second section is addressed especially to the princes and heads of the people: their avarice and rapacity are rebuked in strong terms; but the threatening is again succeeded by a promise of restoration.

In the last section, chapters 6 , 7, Jehovah, by a bold poetical figure, is represented as holding a controversy with his people, pleading with them in justification of his conduct toward them and the reasonableness of his requirements. The whole concludes with a triumphal song of joy at the great deliverance, like that from Egypt, which jehovah will achieve, and a full acknowledgment of his mercy and faithfulness of his promises. vs. 16 - 20. The last verse is reproduced in the song of Zacharias. ( Luke 1:72 , 1:73 ) Micahs prophecies are distinct and clear. He it is who says that the Ruler shall spring from Bethlehem. ch. ( Micah 5:2 ) His style has been compared with that of Hosea and Isaiah. His diction is vigorous and forcible, sometimes obscure from the abruptness of its transitions, but varied and rich.


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

(mikhah; Meichaias; an abbreviation for Micaiah (Jeremiah 26:18), and this again of the longer form of the word in 2 Chronicles 17:7; compare 1 Kings 22:8):

1 - 3 (SEE MICAH)

4. Contents of the Prophecies:

Micah combats in his discourses, as does Isaiah, the heathenish abuses which had found their way into the cult, not only in Samaria, but also in Judah and Jerusalem, and which the reformation of Hezekiah could counteract only in part and not at all permanently (compare Micah 1:5 - 7 ; 5:11 - 13 ; 6:7 , 16). Further, he rebukes them for the social injustice, of which particularly the powerful and the great in the land were guilty (Micah 2:1 ; 3:2 - 10); and the dishonesty and unfaithfulness in business and in conduct in general (compare Micah 6:10 ; 7:2). At all times Micah, in doing this, was compelled to defend himself against false prophets, who slighted these charges as of little importance, and threatened and antagonized the prophet in his announcements of impending evil (compare 2:5 , 11). In pronounced opposition to these babblers and their predictions of good things, Micah announces the judgment through the enemies that are approaching, and he even goes beyond Isaiah in the open declaration that Jerusalem and the temple are to be destroyed (Micah 3:12 ; 4:10 ; 5:1). The first-mentioned passage is also confirmed by the event reported in Jeremiah 26:17. The passage Micah 4:10, where in a surprising way Babylon is mentioned as the place of the exile, is for this reason regarded as unauthentic by the critics, but not justly. Micah predicts also the deliverance from Babylon and the reestablishment of Israel in Jerusalem, and declares that this is to take place through a King who shall come forth from the deepest humiliation of the house of David and shall be born in Bethlehem, and who, like David, originally a simple shepherd boy, shall later become the shepherd of the people, and shall make his people happy in peace and prosperity. Against this King the last great onslaught of the Gentiles will avail nothing (Micah 4:11 - 13 ; 5:4). As a matter of course, he will purify the country of all heathen abuses (Micah 5:9). In the description of this ruler, Micah again agrees with Isaiah, but without taking the details from that prophet.

5. Form of the Prophecies:

The form of the prophecies of Micah, notwithstanding their close connection with those of his great contemporary, has nevertheless its unique features. There is a pronounced formal similarity between Micah 1:10 and Isaiah 10:28. Still more than is the case in Isaiah, Micah makes use of the names of certain places. Witty references, which we can understand only in part, are not lacking in this connection; e.g. Lachish, the "city of horses," is made the object of a play on words. (Recently in the ruins of this city a large wall has been unearthed.) The style of Micah is vigorous and vivid. He loved antitheses. It is a peculiarity of his style that he indulges in dramatic interruptions and answers; e.g. Micah 2:5 , 12 ; 3:1 ; 6:6 - 8 ; 7:14 f. He also loves historical references; as e.g. Micah 1:13 ,15 ; 5:5 ; 6:4 , 6 , 16 ; 7:20. He makes frequent use of the image of the shepherd, Micah 2:12 ; 3:2 ; 4:6 ; 5:3 ; 7:14. The fact that these peculiarities appear in all parts of his little book is an argument in favor of its being from one author. He is superior to Isaiah in his tendency to idyllic details, and especially in a deeper personal sympathy, which generally finds expression in an elegiac strain. His lyrical style readily takes the form of a prayer or of a psalm (compare Micah 7).


C. P. Caspari; Ueber Micha den Morasthiten, 1851; T.K. Cheyne, Micah with Notes and Introduction, 1882; V. Ryssel, Untersuchungen uber Textoeatalt und Echtheit des Buches Micha, 1887. See the commentaries on the 12 minor prophets by Hitzig, Ewald, C. F. Keil, P. Kleinert, W. Nowack, C. v. Orelli, K. Marti; Paul Haupt, The Book of Micah, 1910; Pusey, The Minor Prophets, 1860.



bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, birth of jesus, book of micah, define, destruction in israel and judah, God's judgement, old testament, promise, prophecy, rebuke



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