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Micah, a prophet from Judah, receives the word of the LORD.
This first section of Micah’s first address (Micah 1:2 – 2:13) contains a call to all of the LORD’s creation to be witnesses to His accusations against all of Israel. This is followed by the LORD’s announcement of His judgment upon Samaria, the northern kingdom.
Micah mourns the LORD’s forthcoming judgement on His people.
Author. The first verse of the book states that it was written by Micah who was from Moresheth (or Moresheth-Gath because of its nearness to the city of Gath), a town about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
Micah’s name means “who is like Yah[weh]” (the LORD). It is a question assuming the answer “no one,” emphasizing the uniqueness and sovereignty of the God of Israel, Yahweh.
Date. In verse 1, it states that Micah’s prophetic ministry occurred during the reigns of Jotham (750 BC-732 BC), Ahaz (732 BC-715 BC), and Hezekiah (715 BC-686 BC), kings of Judah (the Southern Kingdom). Micah likely ministered between around 735 BC and around 700 BC. So, Micah and the prophet Isaiah ministered at the same time.
Audience. Micah prophesied mainly to the people of the Southern Kingdom (i.e., Judah). He knew that the morally corrupt and idolatrous Northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) would be destroyed by the Assyrians (1:6), which happened in 722 BC (1 Kings 17), years after Micah began his prophetic ministry.
He used this predicted event to warn the Southern Kingdom of Judah that they could look forward to a similar fate if they did not turn from their own sinful ways. He voiced this message during the years following the fall of Israel in 722 BC, leading up to the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem in 701 BC. The LORD intervened and destroyed the Assyrian army, preserving Judah (2 Kings 19:32-36). Around a century later, however, Judah was taken into exile by the Babylonians (2 Kings 24 – 25).
Structure. The book of Micah contains three messages (or oracles) that begin with the word “hear” (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4). Each oracle contains messages that Micah proclaimed during his time of prophetic ministry.
Emphasis. First and foremost, like Isaiah, he preached the incomparability of the LORD and His sovereignty. He also railed against the social injustice and oppression that was rampant in Judah at the time. This was a blatant violation of the Mosaic Covenant, which provided for the poor.
Micah is distinctive in that he emphasizes the teaching of “the remnant,” the idea that the LORD preserves a number of people (a remnant) who remain faithful to Him regardless of what the society around them does.
Outline. The book of Micah can be outlined as follows:
The first chapter of Micah contains an introduction to the prophet, the time in which he prophesied, and the first part of the first oracle in the book.
Micah 1 can be outlined as follows: