Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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 (Jdg_18:12) and it is mentioned as already so named in Samson's childhood (Jdg_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 (Jdg_20:28). The narrative was written after the monarchy had begun (Jdg_18:1; Jdg_19:1), while the tabernacle was still at Shiloh, not yet moved by David to Jerusalem (Jdg_18:81).

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; 2Ki_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; Mic_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; Mic_3:1; Mic_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; Isa_9:6-7.

This middle section is the climax, failing into four strophes (Mic_4:1-8; Mic_4:9-5;Mic_4:2; Mic_5:8-9; Mic_5:10-15). 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 (Luk_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; Mic_7:13.

The Babylonian captivity and deliverance in Mic_4:10; Mic_4:1-8; Mic_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; Mic_7:8; Mic_7:10). 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 Exo_15:11; Exo_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; Mic_2:11; 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; Mic_1:8; Mic_2:12; Mic_3:12; Mic_4:3; Mic_4:12-13; Mic_5:4-8; Mic_6:15; Mic_7:1; Mic_7:4; Mic_7:14). Flays upon words abound (Mic_1:10-15). (See APHRAH; BETHEZEL; MAROTH; ACHZIB; MARESHAH.) New Testament quotations of Micah: Mat_2:5-6 (Mic_5:2); Mat_10:35-36 (Mic_7:6); Mat_9:13 (Mic_6:6-8); Mar_13:12; Luk_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; 1Ch_24:24-25); the spelling varies in the two chapters.

6. Abdon's father (2Ch_34:20); Achbor's, 2Ki_22:12.


Taken from: Fausset's Bible Dictionary by Andrew Robert Fausset (1821-1910)