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Book of Micah


Author and Date
Little is known about the prophet Micah beyond what can be learned from the book itself and from . Micah was from the town of Moresheth (), probably Moresheth Gath () in southern Judah. The prophecy attests to Micah's deep sensitivity to the social ills of his day, especially as they affected the small towns and villages of his homeland.


Micah prophesied sometime between 750 and 686 b.c. during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (). He was therefore a contemporary of Isaiah () and Hosea (). Micah predicted the fall of Samaria (), which took place in 722-721. This would place his early ministry in the reigns of Jotham (750-732) and Ahaz (735-715). (The reigns of Jotham and Ahaz overlapped.
Micah's message reflects social conditions prior to the religious reforms under Hezekiah (715-686). Micah's ministry most likely fell within the period 735-700.

If Micah himself wrote out his messages, the date for the earliest written form of his work would be c. 700. If one of his disciples arranged his messages in their present form, the date would be the early seventh century b.c. If a later editor collected and arranged his messages, the date would still need to be early enough in the seventh century to allow time for his prophecy of Jerusalem's fall () to become familiar enough to be quoted in c. 608.


Theme and Message

Micah's message alternates between oracles of doom and oracles of hope -- in terms of , between God's "sternness" and his "kindness." The theme is divine judgment and deliverance. Micah also stresses that God hates idolatry, injustice, rebellion and empty ritualism (see ), but delights in pardoning the penitent ().
Finally, the prophet declares that Zion will have greater glory in the future than ever before (see, e.g., and note on Micah 4:1-5). The Davidic kingdom, though it will seem to come to an end, will reach greater heights through the coming Messianic deliverer (Micah 5:1-4). Key passages include .