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Reference: Micah


1. The Morasthite, or of Maresheth, a village near Eleutheropolis, in the west of Judah; the seventh in order of the lesser prophets. He prophesied under Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, for about fifty years, if with some we reckon from near the beginning of the reign of Jotham, to the last year of Hezekiah B. C. 750-698. He was nearly contemporary with Isaiah, and has some expressions in common with him. Compare Isa 2:2 with Mic 4:1, and Isa 41:15 with Mic 4:13. His bold fidelity served as a shield to the prophet Jeremiah a century afterwards, Jer 26:18-19; Mic 3:12. He wrote in an elevated and vehement style, with frequent transitions. His prophecy relates to the sins and judgments of Israel and Judah, the destruction of Samaria and Jerusalem, the return of the Jews from captivity, and the punishment of their enemies. He proclaims the coming of the Messiah, "whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting," as the foundation of all hope for the glorious and blessed future he describes; and specifies Bethlehem in Judah as the place where He should be born of woman, Mic 5:2-3. The prediction was thus understood by the Jews, Mt 2:6; Joh 7:41-42.

2. An Ephraimite in the time of the Judges, soon after Joshua, who stole eleven hundred shekels of silver from his mother, but restored them, and with her consent employed them in establishing a private sanctuary, with an image to be used in the worship of Jehovah, and with a Levite for his priest. Providence frowned on his idolatrous service, and a troop of Danites robbed him of his priest and of all implements of worship, Jg 17:13.

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a shortened form of Micaiah, who is like Jehovah? (1.) A man of Mount Ephraim, whose history so far is introduced in Jg 17, apparently for the purpose of leading to an account of the settlement of the tribe of Dan in Northern Palestine, and for the purpose also of illustrating the lawlessness of the times in which he lived (Jg 18; 19:1-29; 21:25).

(2.) The son of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), 1Ch 8:34-35.

(3.) The first in rank of the priests of the family of Kohathites (1Ch 23:20).

(4.) A descendant of Joel the Reubenite (1Ch 5:5).

(5.) "The Morasthite," so called to distinguish him from Micaiah, the son of Imlah (1Ki 22:8). He was a prophet of Judah, a contemporary of Isaiah (Mic 1:1), a native of Moresheth of Gath (Mic 1:14-15). Very little is known of the circumstances of his life (comp. Jer 26:18-19).

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1. Of Mount Ephraim. (See JONATHAN .) The date of the event is implied as before Samson, for the origin of the name Mahaneh Dan occurs in this narrative (Jg 18:12) and it is mentioned as already so named in Samson's childhood (Jg 13:25, margin). Josephus places the synchronous narrative of the Levite and his concubine at the beginning of the judges. Phinehas, Aaron's grandson, is mentioned (Jg 20:28). The narrative was written after the monarchy had begun (Jg 18:1; 19:1), while the tabernacle was still at Shiloh, not yet moved by David to Jerusalem (Jg 18:31).

2. MICAH THE PROPHET. The oldest form of the name was Mikaiahuw, "who is as Jah?" (compare MICHAEL.) In Mic 7:18 Micah alludes to the meaning of his name as embodying the most precious truth to a guilty people such as he had painted the Jews, "who is a God like unto Thee that pardon iniquity," etc. Sixth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew canon, third in the Septuagint. The Morasthite, i.e. of Moresheth, or Moresheth Gath (near Gath in S.W. of Judaea), where once was his tomb, but in Jerome's (Ep. Paulae 6) days a church, not far from Eleutheropolis. Micah prophesied in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah somewhere between 756 and 697 B.C. Contemporary with Isaiah in Judah, with whose prophecies his have a close connection (compare Mic 4:1-3 with Isa 2:2-4, the latter stamping the former as inspired), and with Hosea and Amos during their later ministry in Israel.

His earlier prophecies under Jotham and Ahaz were collected and written out as one whole under Hezekiah. Probably the book was read before the assembled king and people on some fast or festival, as certain elders quoted to the princes and people assembled against Jeremiah (Jer 26:18) Mic 3:12, "Micah the Morasthite in the days of Hezekiah, and spoke to all the people of Judah, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. Did Hezekiah put him ... to death? Did he not fear the Lord and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented Him of the evil which He had pronounced against them?" The idolatries of Ahaz' reign accord with Micah 's denunciations. He prophesies partly against Israel (Samaria), partly against Judah.

Shalmaneser and Sargon took Samaria in the sixth year of Hezekiah (722 B.C.). The section in which is (Mic 1:6) "I will make Samaria as an heap" was therefore earlier. The "high places" (Mic 1:5) probably allude to those in Jotham's and Ahaz' reigns (2Ki 15:35; 16:4). The "horses and chariots" (Mic 5:10) accord with Jotham's time, when Uzziah's military establishments still flourished (2Ch 26:11-15). Mic 5:12-14; 6:16, "the statutes of Omri are kept and all the works of the house of Ahab," accord with the reign of Ahaz who "walked in the way of the kings of Israel" (2Ki 16:3).

DIVISIONS. The thrice repeated phrase "Hear ye" (Mic 1:2; 3:1; 6:1) divides the whole into three parts. The middle division (Micah 3-5) has Messiah and His kingdom for its subject. The first division prepares for this by foretelling the overthrow of the world kingdoms. The third division is the appeal based on the foregoing, and the elect church's anticipation of God's finally forgiving His people's sin completely, and restoring Israel because of the covenant with Jacob and Abraham of old. The intimations concerning the birth of Messiah as a child and His reign in peace, and Jacob's remnant destroying adversaries as a "lion," but being "a dew from the Lord amidst many people" (Mic 4:9-5:5), correspond to Isa 7:14-16; 9:6-7.

This middle section is the climax, failing into four strophes (Mic 4:1-8,5-9;Mic 4:2; 5:8-15). Mic 6:7, form a vivid dialogue wherein Jehovah expostulates with Israel for their sinful and monstrous ingratitude, and they attempt to reply and are convicted (Mic 6:6-8). Then the chosen remnant amidst the surrounding gloom looks to the Lord and receives assurance of final deliverance. Zacharias (Lu 1:72-73) reproduces the closing anticipation (Mic 7:16-20), "Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob and the mercy to Abraham which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." Sennacherib's invasion is foreseen, Mic 1:9-16; especially Mic 1:13-14, compare 2Ki 18:14-17. Jerusalem's destruction in Mic 3:12; 7:13.

The Babylonian captivity and deliverance in Mic 4:10,1-8; 7:11, confirming the genuineness of the latter half of Isaiah his contemporary, with whom Micah has so much in common and who (Isaiah 39-66) similarly foretells the captivity and deliverance. The fall of Assyria and Babylon are referred to (Mic 5:5-6; 7:8,10). Hengstenberg thinks that Micaiah's words (1Ki 22:28), "hearken, O people, every one of you," were intentionally repeated by Micah to intimate that his own activity is a continuation of that of his predecessor who was so jealous for God, and that he had more in common with him than the mere name.

STYLE. His diction is pure and his parallelisms regular. His description of Jehovah (Mic 7:18-19), "who is a God like unto Thee, forgiving?" etc., alludes to the meaning of his own name and to Ex 15:11; 34:6-7, and is a fine specimen of his power and pathos. He is dramatic in Micah 6; 7. His similarity to Isaiah in style is due to their theme being alike (Mic 1:2; Isa 1:2; Mic 2:2; Isa 5:8; Mic 2:6,11; Isa 30:10; Mic 2:12; Isa 10:20-22; Mic 6:6-8; Isa 1:11-17).

He is abrupt in transitions, and elliptical, and so obscure; the contrast between Babylon, which triumphs over carnal Israel, and humble Bethlehem out of which shall come forth Israel's Deliverer and Babylon's Destroyer, is a striking instance: Mic 4:8-5:7. Pastoral and rural imagery is common (Mic 1:6,8; 2:12; 3:12; 4/3'>4:3,12-13; 5:4-8; 6:15; 7:1,4,14). Flays upon words abound (Mic 1:10-15). (See APHRAH; BETHEZEL; MAROTH; ACHZIB; MARESHAH.) New Testament quotations of Micah: Mt 2:5-6 (Mic 5:2); Mt 10:35-36 (Mic 7:6); Mt 9:13 (Mic 6:6-8); Mr 13:12; Lu 12:53 (Mic 7:6); Joh 7:42 (Mic 5:2); Eph 2:14 (Mic 5:5).

3. The Reubenite Joel's descendant (1Ch 5:5).

4. Mephibosheth's or Meribbaal's son (1Ch 8:34; 2Sa 9:12), MICHA.

5. A Kohathite Levite, Uzziel's oldest son; nephew of Amram, and cousin to Moses (1Ch 23:20; 24:24-25); the spelling varies in the two chapters.

6. Abdon's father (2Ch 34:20); Achbor's, 2Ki 22:12.

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The Morashtite, one of the four prophets of the 8th century b.c. whose writings have survived. Probably his prophecy does not extend beyond the first three chapters of the Book of Micah (see next art.).

According to the general interpretation of Mic 1:5, Micah prophesied, at least in part, before the destruction of Samaria, which took place in b.c. 722; though some place his prophetic activity entirely in the years 705

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Micah. Mi'cah

1. A man of Mount Ephraim, whose history reveals the sad state of private life in Israel, as well as the mixture of idolatry with the name of Jehovah, early in the times of the Judges, Phinehas being still high priest. He had a house of gods, and made an ephod and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons to act as priest. A wandering son of Levi finding his way to Micah's house was gladly received by him, treated as one of his sons, and became his priest. Then Micah said, "Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest." The Danites however, seeking a larger inheritance, sent spies to the north, who came near Micah's house, and knowing the voice of the Levite, asked him to inquire of God for them. He ventured to reply, "Go in peace: before the Lord is your way wherein ye go." A larger body of Danites afterwards came and carried away the gods of Micah, and the ephod and the teraphim, together with the Levite, and took them to the north, where they established themselves. Micah hastened after them, but could not recover his gods. There was no king in Israel, and every man did that which was right in his own eyes; and God, though nominally owned, was, alas, in reality ignored. Judges 17, Judges 18.

2. Son of Shimei, a descendant of Reuben. 1Ch 5:5.

3. Son of Merib-baal, or Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul. 1Ch 8:34-35; 9:40-41. Called MICHA in 2Sa 9:12.

4. Son of Zichri, or Zabdi, or Zaccur, a Levite. 1Ch 9:15. Apparently called MICHA in Ne 11:17,22; and MICHAIAH in Ne 12:35.

5. Son of Uzziel, a Kohathite. 1Ch 23:20. Called MICHAH in 1Ch 24:24-25.

6. Father of Abdon. 2Ch 34:20. Called MICHAIAH in 2Ki 22:12.

7. The Morasthite, the prophet. Jer 26:18; Mic 1:1.

Micah, Mi'cah 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. Mic 1:1; 2/1'>2:1;

2. Micah 3 - 5; and

3. Micah 6, 7

Mic 1:1; 2:1 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. Mic 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. Ps. 83; Isa 17:12-14; Zec 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. Mic 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 Ac 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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(who is like God?), the same name as Micaiah. [MICAIAH]

See Micaiah

1. An Israelite whose familiar story is preserved in the 17th and 18th chapters of Judges. Micah is evidently a devout believers in Jehovah, and yet so completely ignorant is he of the law of Jehovah that the mode which he adopts of honoring him is to make a molten and graven image, teraphim or images of domestic gods, and to set up an unauthorized priesthood, first in his own family,

Jg 17:5

and then in the person of a Levite not of the priestly line. ver.

Jg 17:12

A body of 600 Danites break in upon and steal his idols from him.

2. The sixth in order of the minor prophets. He is called the Morasthite, that is, a native of Moresheth, a small village near Eleutheropolis to the east, where formerly the prophet's tomb was shown, though in the days of Jerome it had been succeeded by a church. Micah exercised the prophetical office during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, giving thus a maximum limit of 59 years, B.C. 756-697, from the accession of Jotham to the death of Hezekiah, and a minimum limit of 16 years, B.C. 742-726, from the death of Jotham to the accession of Hezekiah. He was contemporary with Hosea and Amos during the part of their ministry in Israel, and with Isaiah in Judah.

3. A descendant of Joel the Reubenite.

1Ch 5:5

4. The son of Meribbaal or Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan.

1Ch 8:34-35; 9:40-41

5. A Kohathite levite, the eldest son of Uzziel the brother of Amram.

1Ch 23:30

6. The father of Abdon, a man of high station in the reign of Josiah.

2Ch 34:20

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MICAH, the seventh in order of the twelve lesser prophets, is supposed to have prophesied about B.C. 750. He was commissioned to denounce the judgments of God against both the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, for their idolatry and wickedness. The principal predictions contained in this book are, the invasions of Shalmanezer and Sennecharib; the destruction of Samaria and of Jerusalem, mixed with consolatory promises of the deliverance of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity and of the downfall of the power of their Assyrian and Babylonian oppressors; the cessation of prophecy in consequence of their continued deceitfulness and hypocrisy; and a desolation in a then distant period, still greater than that which was declared to be impending. The birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem is also expressly foretold; and the Jews are directed to look to the establishment and extent of his kingdom, as an unfailing source of comfort amidst general distress. The style of Micah is nervous, concise, and elegant, often elevated, and poetical, but sometimes obscure from sudden transitions of subject; and the contrast of the neglected duties of justice, mercy, humility, and piety, with the punctilious observance of the ceremonial sacrifices, affords a beautiful example of the harmony which subsists between the Mosaic and Christian dispensations, and shows that the law partook of that spiritual nature which more immediately characterizes the religion of Jesus.

The prophecy of Micah, contained in the fifth chapter, is, perhaps, the most important single prophecy in all the Old Testament, and the most comprehensive respecting the personal character of the Messiah, and his successive manifestations to the world. It crowns the whole chain of predictions respecting the several limitations of the promised seed: to the line of Shem; to the family of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; to the tribe of Judah; and to the royal house of David, terminating in his birth at Bethlehem, "the city of David." It carefully distinguishes his human nativity from his divine nature and eternal existence; foretels the casting off of the Israelites and Jews for a season; their ultimate restoration; and the universal peace which should prevail in the kingdom and under the government of the Messiah. This prophecy, therefore, forms the basis of the New Testament revelation which commences with the birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem, the miraculous circumstances of which are recorded by St. Matthew and St. Luke in the introduction to their respective histories; the eternal subsistence of Christ as "the Word," in the sublime introduction to St. John's Gospel; his prophetic character and second coming, illustrated in the four Gospels and in the apostolic epistles.