1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah the a Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
1:2 Hear, b all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
The Argument - Micah the prophet of the tribe of Judah served in the work of the Lord concerning Judah and Israel at least thirty years: during which time Isaiah prophesied. He declares the destruction first of the one kingdom, and then of the other, because of their manifold wickedness, but chiefly because of their idolatry. And to this end he notes the wickedness of the people, the cruelty of the princes and governors, and the allowing of the false prophets, and the delighting in them. Then he sets forth the coming of Christ, his kingdom, and the felicity of it. This Prophet was not that Micah who resisted Ahab and all his false prophets, ( 1 Kings 22:8 ) but another with the same name.
(a) Born in Mareshah, a city of Judah.
(b) Because of the malice and obstinacy of the people, whom he had so often exhorted to repentance, he summons them to Gods judgments, taking all creatures, and God himself as witness, that the preaching of the Prophets, which they have abused, will be avenged. 1:3 For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come c down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.
(c) Meaning by this that God will come to judgment against the strong cities and strongholds. 1:5 For the transgression of Jacob [is] all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What [is] the transgression of Jacob? [is it] not d Samaria? and what [are] the high e places of Judah? [are they] not Jerusalem?
(d) Samaria, which should have been an example to all Israel of true religion and justice, was the dirty pool and the tank that all idolatry and corruption was kept alive in, and who prided themselves in their father Jacob, and boasted of him. 1:7 And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the f hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered [it] of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return g to the hire of an harlot.
(e) That is, the idolatry and infection.
(f) Which they gathered by evil practices, and thought that their idols had enriched them with these wages because of their service to them. 1:10 Declare ye [it] not at h Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of i Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.
(g) The gain that came by their idols will be consumed as a thing of nothing: for as the wages or riches of harlots are wickedly gotten, so are they vilely and quickly spent.
(h) Lest the Philistines our enemies rejoice at our destruction. 1:11 Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of k Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall l receive of you his standing.
(i) Which was a city near to Jerusalem ( Joshua 18:23 ), there called Ophrah, and signifies dust: therefore he wants them to mourn and roll themselves in the dust, for their dusty city.
(k) These were cities by which the enemy would pass as he came to Judah. 1:12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the m gate of Jerusalem.
(l) He will not depart before he has overcome you, and so you will pay for his staying.
(m) For Rabshakeh had shut up Jerusalem, so that they could not send to help them. 1:13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the n swift beast: she o [is] the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.
(n) To flee away: for Sennacherib laid siege first to that city, and remained there when he sent his captains and army against Jerusalem. 1:14 Therefore shalt thou give presents to p Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib [shall be] a lie to the kings of Israel.
(o) You first received the idolatry of Jeroboam, and so infected Jerusalem.
(p) You will bribe the Philistines your neighbours, but they will deceive you, as well as those of Jerusalem. 1:15 Yet will I bring an q heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam r the glory of Israel.
(q) He prophesies against his own city: and because it signified a heritage, he says that God would send an heir to possess it.
(r) For so they thought themselves because of the strength of their cities.