What does Micah, Book Of mean in the Bible?


Easton's Bible Dictionary - Micah, Book of
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) ch. 1; 2; (2) ch. 3-5, especially addressed to the princes and heads of the people; (3) ch. 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 1:72,73 ). 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:
5:2, with Matthew 2:6 ; John 7:42 . 7:6, with Matthew 10:21,35,36 . 7:20, with Luke 1:72,73 .
Holman Bible Dictionary - Micah, Book of
(mi' cuh) A prophetic book named after the eighth century B.C. prophet containing some of his messages. The prophet Micah's name means, “Who is like Yah?” People in the Ancient Near East commonly gave their children names that indicated devotion to their god, and Yahweh was the name by which the God of Israel and Judah was called. See Micah ; Micaiah ; Michaiah ; Micha .
Micah 2:12-13 gives the reader three pieces of information about the prophet. He came from Maresheth (NIV) which probably should be identified with Moresheth-gath. This village was located about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem in the tribe of Judah. Micah, however, may have lived in Jerusalem during his ministry. He worked in the reigns of Jotham (750-732 B.C.), Ahaz (735-715 B.C.), and Hezekiah (715-686 B.C.) who were kings of Judah. The identification of these kings does not mean that he was active from 750-686, but that his ministry spanned parts of each reign. Jeremiah 26:17-18 refers to Micah as prophesying during the time of Hezekiah. Determining exact dates, however, for each of the prophecies contained in the book is difficult. Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea, and possibly Amos.
Finally, His prophecies addressed Samaria and Jerusalem. Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Jerusalem, of the Southern Kingdom (Judah). Even though Micah ministered in Judah, some of his messages were directed toward Israel.
Historical Background In Micah's time, many political and national crises occurred. Micah addressed those issues.
The Assyrian Empire began to dominate the Ancient Near East about 740 B.C. Juhad and Israel became tribute-paying vassals of this new political power, and in 722 B.C. Israel felt the might of the Assyrian army. Shalmaneser V and Sargon II destroyed the Northern Kingdom and its capital, Samaria (2 Kings 16-17 ) because of an attempted rebellion. The records of Sargon II state that he “besieged and conquered Samaria, (and) led away as booty 27,290 inhabitants of it.” While Judah survived, they still were vassals. Micah 1:2-7 associates the imminent destruction of Samaria as God's judgment for the people's idolatry. Hezekiah, king of Judah, instituted many reforms that caused the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, to respond with force. Many cities of Judah were destroyed, and Jerusalem was unsuccessfully besieged ( 2 Kings 18-19 ). The annals of Sennacherib boast that he laid siege to 46 cities and countless small villages. He took 200,150 people as booty along with the livestock. As for Hezekiah, Sennacherib says, “Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage.” Despite the failure to take Jerusalem, the citizens of the Southern Kingdom suffered greatly from the invasion.
The Prophet's Message The subjects of Micah's messages reveal much about the society of his day. He constantly renounced the oppression of the poor by the rich. He characterized the rich as devising ways in which to cheat the poor out of their land (Micah 2:1-5 ). People were evicted from their homes and had their possessions stolen. Those who committed such crimes were fellow Israelites (Micah 2:6-11 ). The marketplace was full of deception and injustice (Micah 6:9-16 ). The rulers of the country, who had the responsibility of upholding justice, did the opposite (Micah 3:1-4 ).
Micah also denounced the religious practices of the nation. He predicted the destruction of Judah as an act of God's judgment. Other prophets, however, led the people to believe that this could never happen because God was residing in the nation and would protect them. Micah contended that the other prophets' message was not from God. Instead, the message from God was the imminent devastation of Judah (Micah 3:5-12 ).
The people worshiped other gods. They did not quit believing in and worshiping the God of Judah, but they combined this worship with devotion to other details (Micah 5:10-15 ). The people believed all that religion required of them was to bring their sacrifices and offerings to the Temple. No relationship was acknowledged between their activity in the Temple and their activity in daily life. Micah attempted to correct this misconception by arguing that God is not just interested in the physical act of making a sacrifice but is supremely concerned with obedience that extends into daily life (Micah 6:6-8 ).
Micah warned of impending judgment on God's people for their disobedience. At the same time, he proclaimed messages of hope. Judgment would come, but afterwards, God would restore a remnant of the people devoted to Him (Micah 4:1-13 ; Micah 7:14-20 ). Unlike the unjust kings that the people were accustomed to, God would bring a ruler who would allow the people to live in peace (Micah 5:1-5 ). Ultimately, Judah was destroyed in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians, but a remnant returned. Matthew saw in Micah's hope for a new ruler a description of Christ (Matthew 2:6 ). See Ahaz ; Assyria; Israel ; Hezekiah ; Jerusalem ; Prophet; Samaria.
I. God's Word Witnesses Against All People (Micah 1:1-2 ).
II. God Judges His People for Their Sins (Micah 1:3-3:12 ).
A. God judges religious infidelity (Micah 1:3-16 ).
B. God judges economic injustice (Micah 2:1-5 ).
C. God judges false preaching (Micah 2:6-11 ).
D. God's judgment looks to the remnant's restoration (Micah 1:1 ).
E. God judges unjust leaders (Micah 3:1-4 ).
F. God judges those who preach peace and prosperity for sinners (Micah 3:5-7 ).
G. God judges through His Spirit-filled messenger (Micah 3:8 ).
H. God judges corrupt, greedy officials (Micah 3:9-12 ).
III. God Promises a Day of International Peace and Worship (Micah 4:1-5:15 ).
A. God plans for His people to teach His way to the nations (Micah 4:1-5 ).
B. God plans to redeem and rule His weakened remnant (Micah 4:6-11 ).
C. God plans to show the world His universal rule (Micah 4:12-13 ).
D. God plans to raise up a Shepherd from Bethlehem to bring peace and victory to His beleagured flock (Micah 5:1-9 ).
E. God plans to destroy weapons and idolatry from His people (Micah 5:10-15 ).
IV. God Has a Case Against His People (Micah 6:1-7:6 ).
A. God has done His part, redeeming His people (Micah 6:1-5 ).
B. God's expectations are clear: justice, mercy, piety (Micah 6:6-8 ).
C. God's people have not met His expectations (Micah 6:9-12 ).
D. God's punishment is sure for a corrupt people (Micah 6:13-7:6 ).
V. God in Righteousness, Love, and Faithfulness Will Forgive and Renew His People (Micah 7:7-20 ).
A. God's people can trust Him for salvation (Micah 7:7 ).
B. God's repentant people can expect better days ahead (Micah 7:8-14 ).
C. God's enemies face shameful judgment (Micah 7:15-17 ).
D. The incomparable God of patience, mercy, compassion, and faithfulness will forgive and renew His people (Micah 7:18-20 ).
Scott Langston
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Micah, Book of
Of the four eighth century prophets whose writings have been preserved in the Old Testament, Micah was the last. Amos and Hosea had brought God’s message mainly to the northern kingdom Israel, whereas Isaiah and Micah were more concerned with the southern kingdom Judah. The two men prophesied during the same period (Isaiah 1:1; Micah 1:1) and both were especially concerned with the sins of Jerusalem. The two books contain many similarities, and it has been suggested that Micah might have been one of Isaiah’s disciples (cf. Isaiah 8:16).
Social conditions
With the prosperity of the eighth century came the social evils of greed, corruption, injustice and immorality. Those who profited most from the economic development were the merchants, officials and other upper class city dwellers. Corruption in the law courts made it easy for these people to do as they wished, while poorer class people found it impossible to gain even the most basic justice (Micah 3:9-11; Micah 7:3).
Micah was particularly concerned with the injustice done to the poor farmers. He was from a farming village himself (Micah 1:1), and he saw that the corruption of Israel and Judah was centred in the capital cities, Samaria and Jerusalem (Micah 1:5; Micah 6:9).
Because of the injustice of the officials and merchants with whom they had to deal, the farmers were forced to borrow from the wealthy to keep themselves in business (Micah 3:1-3; Micah 6:10-12). The wealthy lent them money at interest rates so high that the farmers found it impossible to pay their debts. The wealthy then seized the farmers’ possessions as payment. First they seized their clothing and household items (Micah 2:8), then, when these were not sufficient, their houses and land (Micah 2:1-3; Micah 2:9). The farmers then had to rent back their land from their new masters, thereby increasing the farmers’ burden even more.
These practices showed no knowledge of the character of God or the nature of true religion. The people still followed the sacrifices and ceremonies of the Israelite religion, but Micah warned that formal religion was hateful to God if justice and love were absent (Micah 6:6-8). Unless they repented, God would send the people into captivity and leave their homeland desolate (Micah 3:12; Micah 6:16).
Religious leaders also were corrupt. Preachers had comforting words for the upper class people from whom they received their income, but they condemned the prophet Micah for his forthright speaking (Micah 2:6; Micah 2:11; Micah 2:12-139). Hezekiah the king, however, heeded Micah’s warnings. He managed to achieve some reformation in Judah, and as a result God postponed the day of judgment (Jeremiah 26:18-19; cf. Micah 3:12).
Eventually, in the reign of a later king, the judgment fell. Yet Micah saw that beyond the judgment lay the hope of a restored nation, a glorious kingdom and an ideal king (1618164590_58; Micah 4:1-4; Micah 5:2; Micah 5:4).
Summary of the book
From his prophetic viewpoint, Micah gives a picture of the judgment about to fall on Israel and Judah (1:1-16). He goes on to point out that the reason for the judgment is the oppression of the poor by the corrupt leaders (2:1-3:12). But, looking further ahead, he sees that after captivity in a foreign land, Israel’s shame will be replaced by glory (4:1-5:1), and God’s chosen king will reign over his people in an ideal kingdom (5:2-15). Returning to the present, Micah announces God’s accusations against his people (6:1-16), then confesses their sin to God and pleads for God’s mercy (7:1-20).
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Micah, Book of
Nothing is known of the prophet personally. He prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and was thus contemporary with Isaiah and Hosea. His prophecy was concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. God spoke from His holy temple, and the prophet exclaimed, "Hear, all ye peoples." He spoke to all people saying "Hearken, O earth. " All the earth was involved in the judgements that God was going to bring upon His chosen people: a solemn consideration when the people of God, instead of being a testimony for Him, bring the judgements of God down on the world. The time has come that judgement must begin at the house of God. The prophecy seems to divide itself into three sections: the word 'hear' introducing each.
1. Micah 1,2 ;
2. Micah 3 - 5; and
3. Micah 6,7
Micah 1,2 may be regarded as introductory. Judgements should fall upon Samaria, her wound was incurable; but they should also approach Judah and Jerusalem. The Assyrian is the special instrument of the judgements.
Micah 2 . The prophet speaks of the moral state of the people that called for judgement. Schemes of violence were devised by them to gratify their covetousness. They had turned away from the testimony, and it should be taken from them. Micah 2:6 may be translated "Prophesy ye not, they prophesy. If they do not prophesy to these, the ignominy will not depart." Their wickedness spared neither women nor children. There was a call to arise and depart, for the land of promise was polluted. Nevertheless, God does not renounce His purpose concerning Israel, He will gather them together for blessing in the last days. There shall be a 'breaker' by whom He will remove all obstacles.
Micah 3 . The princes and prophets are denounced because of their iniquity; but the prophet himself was full of power to declare the sin of Israel, consequently Zion should be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem should become heaps. This prophecy has been literally fulfilled.
Micah 4 turns to the blessing of the last days, when Mount Zion will have the first place, and many nations will approach the mountain of the Lord that they may learn His ways. The people will be judged in righteousness; and there will be peace, safety, and plenty. But before this there would be the loss of the royal power established in Zion, and their captivity in Babylon, but they should be redeemed. Eventually there would be many nations come against Zion, but the daughter of Zion should beat them to pieces, and consecrate their spoils to Jehovah, the Lord of the whole earth: comp. Psalm 83 ; Isaiah 17:12-14 ; Zechariah 14:2 .
Micah 5 Another subject and another Person are introduced before the final blessings of Israel can be brought to them, namely, the MESSIAH,'the judge of Israel,' whose goings forth had been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2 tells where Christ would be born, and this prophecy was referred to by the religious rulers when Herod inquired of them respecting His birth. If this verse be read as a parenthesis it will make the context clearer. Because the Judge of Israel was smitten on the cheek with a rod, therefore He gave them up until the time of bringing forth, when the remnant of His brethren should return unto the children of Israel; that is, they will no longer be added to the church as in Acts 2:27 . "He shall stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of Jehovah his God; and they shall abide."
The Assyrian will appear at the close, but only to be destroyed; for Jehovah will have renewed His connection with Israel. The remnant of Jacob will then be in power as a lion: horses and chariots will be destroyed; and all graven images and symbols of idolatry. God will execute such vengeance as will not previously have been heard of.
Micah 6 returns to the moral condition of the people, and the judgements that must follow. Jehovah pathetically appeals to His people. He recounts what He has done for them, and asks wherein He had wearied them. Let them testify against Him. He rehearses their sins, and the punishments that must follow.
Micah 7 . The prophet takes the place of intercessor, and pleads with God for the people, lamenting their condition; but in faith he says, "I will look unto Jehovah; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me." Those who rejoiced at their tribulation shall be trodden down as mire. The city will be rebuilt and the people brought from far, to the amazement of the nations, who will be confounded to see them in power again. The prophet closes with expressions of faith in and adoration of the God that pardons. He has confidence that God will perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which He had sworn to their fathers from the days of old.

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Micah - (For details of this Micah see Micah, Book of)