Micah 1

Listen to Micah 1
1 The LORD gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! Let the earth and everything in it hear. The Sovereign LORD is making accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple.
3 Look! The LORD is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and tramples the heights of the earth.
4 The mountains melt beneath his feet and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire, like water pouring down a hill.
5 And why is this happening? Because of the rebellion of Israel — yes, the sins of the whole nation. Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion? Samaria, its capital city! Where is the center of idolatry in Judah? In Jerusalem, its capital!
6 “So I, the LORD, will make the city of Samaria a heap of ruins. Her streets will be plowed up for planting vineyards. I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below, exposing her foundations.
7 All her carved images will be smashed. All her sacred treasures will be burned. These things were bought with the money earned by her prostitution, and they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere.”
8 Therefore, I will mourn and lament. I will walk around barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl.
9 For my people’s wound is too deep to heal. It has reached into Judah, even to the gates of Jerusalem.
10 Don’t tell our enemies in Gath ; don’t weep at all. You people in Beth-leaphrah, roll in the dust to show your despair.
11 You people in Shaphir, go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed. The people of Zaanan dare not come outside their walls. The people of Beth-ezel mourn, for their house has no support.
12 The people of Maroth anxiously wait for relief, but only bitterness awaits them as the LORD ’s judgment reaches even to the gates of Jerusalem.
13 Harness your chariot horses and flee, you people of Lachish. You were the first city in Judah to follow Israel in her rebellion, and you led Jerusalem into sin.
14 Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath ; there is no hope of saving it. The town of Aczib has deceived the kings of Israel.
15 O people of Mareshah, I will bring a conqueror to capture your town. And the leaders of Israel will go to Adullam.
16 Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow, for the children you love will be snatched away. Make yourselves as bald as a vulture, for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.

Micah 1 Commentary

Chapter 1

Micah was raised up to support Isaiah, and to confirm his predictions, while he invited to repentance, both by threatened judgments and promised mercies. A very remarkable passage, Mic 5 contains a summary of prophecies concerning the Messiah.

The wrath of God against Israel. (1-7) Also against Jerusalem and other cities, Their precautions vain. (8-16)

Verses 1-7 The earth is called upon, with all that are therein, to hear the prophet. God's holy temple will not protect false professors. Neither men of high degree, as the mountains, nor men of low degree, as the valleys, can secure themselves or the land from the judgments of God. If sin be found in God's people he will not spare them; and their sins are most provoking to him, for they are most reproaching. When we feel the smart of sin, it behoves us to seek what is the sin we smart for. Persons and places most exalted, are most exposed to spiritual diseases. The vices of leaders and rulers shall be surely and sorely punished. The punishment answers the sin. What they gave to idols, never shall prosper, nor do them any good. What is got by one lust, is wasted on another.

Verses 8-16 The prophet laments that Israel's case is desperate; but declare it not in Gath. Gratify not those that make merry with the sins or with the sorrows of God's Israel. Roll thyself in the dust, as mourners used to do; let every house in Jerusalem become a house of Aphrah, "a house of dust." When God makes the house dust it becomes us to humble ourselves to the dust under his mighty hand. Many places should share this mourning. The names have meanings which pointed out the miseries coming upon them; thereby to awaken the people to a holy fear of Divine wrath. All refuges but Christ, must be refuges of lies to those who trust in them; other heirs will succeed to every inheritance but that of heaven; and all glory will be turned into shame, except that honour which cometh from God only. Sinners may now disregard their neighbours' sufferings, yet their turn to be punished will some come.

Footnotes 13

  • [a]. Hebrew Jacob; also in 1:5b . The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
  • [b]. Gath sounds like the Hebrew term for “tell.”
  • [c]. Beth-leaphrah means “house of dust.”
  • [d]. Shaphir means “pleasant.”
  • [e]. Zaanan sounds like the Hebrew term for “come out.”
  • [f]. Beth-ezel means “adjoining house.”
  • [g]. Maroth sounds like the Hebrew term for “bitter.”
  • [h]. Lachish sounds like the Hebrew term for “team of horses.”
  • [i]. Hebrew the daughter of Zion.
  • [j]. Moresheth sounds like the Hebrew term for “gift” or “dowry.”
  • [k]. Aczib means “deception.”
  • [l]. Mareshah sounds like the Hebrew term for “conqueror.”
  • [m]. Hebrew the glory.

Chapter Summary

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 Commentaries