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Micah

Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, living in the hills some distance north of Jerusalem. His viewpoint is not that of the capital, and he prophesied to both the northern and the southern kingdoms. Having seen the northern kingdom collapse, he saw that Judah was in great danger as well. His message was that immorality and pagan worship would inevitably lead to disaster, but eventually God would establish his rule for all nations to see. It was Micah who prophesied that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem.

Commentary

1:2

This book takes up the story from 1 Kings 22:28.

2:6f

The original Hebrew of the section about false prophets is unclear.

3

cf. Jeremiah 26:17–19 for Hezekiah's response, and Isaiah 36–37 (esp. Isaiah 36:36–27) for the result.

3:5

This describes Jesus's ministry.

4:1–4

= Isaiah 2:2–4, cf. Joel 3:10.

4:4

cf. 1 Kings 4:25.

5:2

This verse is quoted in Matthew 2:6. The word "Ephphrathah" is remarkably similar to the word Jesus used for "be opened" in Mark 7:34, and cf. 1 Samuel 1:1.

6:6

cf. Isaiah 1:11–15, Hosea 6:6–7, Amos 5:22–23. The argument can be interpreted as indicating tension between the priestly and prophetic strands of the Old Testament.

6:7

By taking the sacrificial system to a ridiculous extreme, Micah illustrates a fundamental problem with the Law of Moses: it favours the rich, who can afford extravagant offerings, and excludes those who can afford nothing. Similarly, medieval Christianity allowed the rich to endow chantry chapels and buy indulgencies.

6:8

God is not asking for anything new here—​see Exodus 20:16.

7:1

This verse is fulfilled in Matthew 21:19, Mark 11:12.

7:6

cf. Luke 12:51–53, Matthew 10:34–36. Notice that husband and wife are unaffected ("what God as united, let no man divide"), and business relationships are also unaffected.

References:

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© David Billin 2002–2021