Micah 1:2-7

The Coming Destruction

2 1Hear, you peoples, all of you;[a] 2pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and 3let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, 4the Lord from his holy temple.
3 For behold, 5the LORD is coming out of 6his place, and will come down and 7tread upon the high places of the earth.
4 And 8the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.
5 All this is for 9the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. 10What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not 11Samaria? And what is 12the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?
6 Therefore I will make 13Samaria 14a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards, and I will pour down her stones 15into the valley and 16uncover her foundations.
7 All 17her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, 18all her wages shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste, for from 19the fee of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.

Micah 1:2-7 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO MICAH

This book is called, in the Hebrew copies, "Sepher Micah", the Book of Micah; in the Vulgate Latin version "the Prophecy of Micah"; and in the Syriac version "the Prophecy of the Prophet Micah". This prophet is not the same with Micaiah the son of Imiah, who lived in the times of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, 1Ki 22:8; for, as Aben Ezra observes, there were many generations between them, at least many reigns of kings, as Jehoram, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah, all which made up a hundred and thirty years; their names indeed seem to be the same, since he that is called Micaiah, 1Ki 22:8; is called Micah, 2Ch 18:14; and this our prophet is named Micaiah in Jer 26:18; which is with some of the same signification with Michael. So Abarbinel interprets, it, "who [is] as God"; see Mic 7:18; which Hillerus {a} confutes, and renders it, "the contrition, attrition, attenuation, and depauperation, of the Lord"; deriving it from Kwm, which signifies to be depressed, humbled, weakened, and impoverished, as others do; which name, some think, was given him by his parents, because of their low estate, their meanness and poverty; but of them we have no account: however, this is much more probable than the reason Cornelius a Lapide gives of his name, that he was so called because he prophesied of Christ, who was poor, and that he should be born in a poor country village. As for his country, and the place of his birth, and the time in which he lived, they may be gathered from Mic 1:1; by which it will appear that he was not of the tribe of Ephraim, as Pseudo-Epiphanius {b} says but of the tribe of Judah; whose kings' reigns in which he prophesies are only made mention of; though his prophecies concerned both Israel and Judah, and he reproves both for their sins, and foretells their various captivities; and, for the comfort of God's people, says many things concerning the Messiah, his incarnation the place of his birth, which no prophet so clearly points at as he, the execution of his offices, prophetic, priestly, and kingly; the blessings of grace that came by him, pardon of sin, atonement and the happiness and glory of his church in the latter day. The authority of this book is confirmed both by the elders of Judah in the times of Jeremiah, who quote a passage out of it; Mic 3:12; which they improve in favour of that prophet, Jer 26:17-19; and by the chief priests and Scribes in the time of Herod, who refer that prince to a prophecy in this book for the place of the Messiah's birth, Mic 5:2; see Mt 2:4-6. He is thought to have prophesied thirty or forty years, Bishop Usher {c} places him in the year of the world 3291 A.M., and 713 B.C.; but, according to Mr. Whiston {d}, he prophesied 750 B.C., and so Mr. Bedford {e}, and three after the building of the city of Rome; and he foretells the captivity of the ten tribes thirty years, and the coming of Sennacherib forty years, before they came to pass; but when and where he died, and was buried, no certain proof can be given. Pseudo-Epiphanius, confounding him with Micaiah in Ahab's time, says {f} he was killed by his son Joram, who cast him down from a precipice, and was buried at Morathi, his native place, near the burying ground of Enakeim, and his grave was well known to that day. And, according to Jerom {g}, the grave of this our prophet was at Morasthi, and in his time turned into a church or temple. Sozomen {h} reports, that, in the times of Theodosius the elder, the body of Micah was found by Zebennus bishop of Eleutheropolis at Berathsalia, a mile and a quarter from the city, near which was the grave of Micah, called by the common people the faithful monument, and in their country language Nephsameemana.

{a} Onomast. Sacr. p. 14, 466, 494, 542. {b} De Prophet. Vit. & Inter. c. 13. {c} Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3291. {d} Chronological Tables, cent. 8. {e} Scripture Chronology, p. 662. {f} De Prophet. Vit. & Inter. c. 13. {g} Epitaph. Paulae, tom. 1. operum, fol. 60. A. B. {h} Histor. Eccles. l. 7. c. 29.

\\INTRODUCTION TO MICAH 1\\

This chapter treats of the judgments of God on Israel and Judah for their idolatry. It begins with the title of the whole book in which is given an account of the prophet, the time of his prophesying, and of the persons against whom he prophesied, Mic 1:1; next a preface to this chapter, requiring attention to what was about to be delivered, urged from the consideration of the awful appearance of God, which is represented as very grand and terrible, Mic 1:2-4; the cause of all which wrath that appeared in him was the transgression of Jacob; particularly their idolatry, as appears by the special mention of their idols and graven images in the account of their destruction, Mic 1:5-7; which destruction is exaggerated by the prophet's lamentation for it, Mic 1:8,9; and by the mourning of the inhabitants of the several places that should be involved in it, which are particularly mentioned, Mic 1:10-16.

Micah 1:2-7 In-Context

1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 Hear, you peoples, all of you; pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
3 For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.
4 And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.
5 All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?
6 Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards, and I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations.
7 All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, all her wages shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste, for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.
8 For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches.
9 For her wound is incurable, and it has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem.
10 Tell it not in Gath; weep not at all; in Beth-le-aphrah roll yourselves in the dust.

Cross References 19

  • 1. Micah 3:1, 9; Micah 6:1, 2; See Hosea 5:1
  • 2. See Isaiah 1:2
  • 3. Malachi 3:5
  • 4. Psalms 11:4; Jonah 2:7; Habakkuk 2:20
  • 5. Isaiah 26:21
  • 6. Psalms 115:3
  • 7. Amos 4:13; [Deuteronomy 32:13]
  • 8. Psalms 97:5; [Judges 5:5; Amos 9:5, 13; Nahum 1:5]
  • 9. See Micah 3:8
  • 10. [ver. 13]
  • 11. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 12. [2 Chronicles 28:4]
  • 13. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 14. [Micah 3:12]
  • 15. [1 Kings 16:24]
  • 16. Ezekiel 13:14
  • 17. [Hosea 8:6]
  • 18. [Hosea 2:12; Hosea 9:1]
  • 19. [Hosea 2:12; Hosea 9:1]

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.