The Book of Micah



Background of Micah
Time: 8th Century BCE
                        Note: North falls in 722BCE, when Ahaz is on the Southern throne
Place: Southern Kingdom
Kings: Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah (Judah)



Political Backdrop:

·       Northern and Southern kingdoms both still standing – Micah prophesies against both kingdoms

·       Approximately the same time as Isaiah



Primary Themes of Micah:

·       Accusations and warnings, followed by messages of hope and redemption

·       Everyone is corrupt – even God’s prophets
o   Social and religious sins are blended together

·       Judgment: Courtroom language
o   God as: accuser, defendant, judge?
o   Israel as accuser and defendant
o   People of earth and the earth itself as the witnesses
(Judges are themselves accused (chapter 3))

·       What is redemption? Contradictory models presented



Structure of Micah


Content
Verses
Section I: Accusation as Sinai Scene
Chapters 1+2
Intro – biographical
1:1
Appearance of God (Sinai?)
1:2-7
You should wail and mourn
1:8-16
Accusations of corruption
     False preachers
2:1-11
     2:11
Future redemption
2:12-13


Section II: Accusations of Corruption
Chapter 3
A: The rulers are corrupt and damaging the people
3:1-4
B: False prophets
3:5-8
A: The rulers are corrupt
3:9-12


Section III: Six Portraits of Future Redemption
Chapters 4+5
Future restoration (messianic?) - universalist
4:1-5
Restoration of monarchy
4:6-8
There will be exile, and then redemption (violent)
4:9-14
David’s line will continue
5:1-5
Remnant – dew and lion metaphors
5:6-8
When we return, God will destroy idols, sorcery
5:9-14


Section IV: Accusation as Legal Scene
Chapter 6
Calling upon the earth to judge
6:1-2
God dares the people to testify
6:3-5
Micah laments, exclaims what Israel needs to do
6:6-8
God accuses Israel of corruption
6:9-11
God will punish
6:1216


Section V: Message of Hope
Chapter 7
Israel personified (or Micah?) laments
7:1-8
And then Israel personified (or Micah?) will be saved
7:9-13
Prayer for Mercy
     God will be merciful
7:14-20
     18-20





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