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Introduction to Micah


Why Read Micah: Micah is not an easy book and like all of the prophets – both major & minor – historical context is all-important. When we see that we see:

•  why Micah was in anguish [1:8, 7:1] and

•  why the various warnings of the Lord's impending judgment are necessary [1:2,3,6,7,12,15,16, 2:3, 3:12, 4:10,11, 5:1,3,10-15, 6:9,13-16, 7:4,9]

•  why sins are detailed [1:7,9, 2:1,2,8-10, 3:2-5,7-11, 6:10-12,16, 7:2-4,6].



It is a truly prophetic book with condemnation of sins, warnings of judgment, but ALSO promises of future restoration for the faithful remnant [see below]. Thus we see the failures of sinful Israel but also the plans and purposes of God's grace and mercy to bring through a faithful remnant who He will restore and use.


The Historical Context: Although Jotham [739-731] did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, …. The people, however, continued their corrupt practices.” [2 Chron 27:2]. Following him, Ahaz [731-715] was considered a bad king who “did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD,” and thus provided no good example for his people to follow. [2 Chron 28:1]. Hezekiah [715-686] reordered the spiritual state of Judah [2 Chron 29:4-11] but it may have taken a few years into his [roughly] 30 year reign.


Thus, as far as Judah was concerned at least, it was into the poor spiritual state of the land that Micah spoke and retrospectively we know that Samaria had been swept away [722] in the reign of Ahaz. The warnings thus come in the final days of Samaria or shortly after it, which is probably why Samaria only features in chapter 1, apart from a reference to them providing a bad example for the south to follow that had continued from Omri & Ahab [6:16]


Grace & Mercy: Although Micah feels ‘prophecy of the old school', denouncing sin and announcing judgment, he does nevertheless speak a number of times of deliverance [2:12,13, 5:3], and the exaltation of Jerusalem [4:1,2, 7:11,12], and its prosperous restoration [4:2-8, 5:4,5, 7:8,9] and its triumph over its enemies [4:13, 5:5,6,8,9] in the future.


It should be noted that the word ‘remnant' is used in respect of the returning people of God [2:12, 4:7, 5:7,8, 7:18] indicating, as elsewhere in the Old Testament prophecies, that it is NOT the whole of Israel who are restored etc., but the faithful remnant, those whose hearts have been changed by the discipline of God [especially through the Exile] that would follow.





Ch.1 – Warnings for Samaria & Jerusalem

Ch.2 – Sins of the Nation & God's deliverance for the remnant

Ch.3 – Leaders and prophets rebuked

Ch.4 – Long-Term Vision and Present-day Plans

Ch.5 – A Ruler & a Remnant

Ch.6 – The Lord's case against Israel   

Ch.7 – Sins of the Present but Hope for the Future


Continue to Chapter 1