Summary: Background to the 4th largest book of the Minor Prophets
1. Kyle Yates, “It is good to find a worthy champion of the poor who has courage and power to deliver an effective message…His profound sympathy with the oppressed people came to life in unforgettable words.
His spirit burned with righteous indignation as he saw the rank injustice practiced
Upon his neighbors and friends. The poor peasant of Judah had a strong champion in this powerful young preacher from the country.”
2. We come to the 4th largest book of the Minor Prophets.
3. Introduction to the book of Micah.
Trans: Mic. 1:1
I. The Authority.
“The Word of the Lord that came to…” (Micah 1:1a) - þãÌÀáÇøÎýý , dĕbar [da-bar]
The word speaks of what Yahweh has said, “the Word of the LORD” occurring nearly 250 times in the Hebrew scriptures. Which Micah is writing came to him directly from God.
“ for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)
The word of Jehovah (ASV). The message was from Jehovah, and hence had divine authority. This was the usual claim of the Hebrew prophets (cf. Jon 1:1; Ob 1:1). Came to - In the sense of "directed to". Thus the word of Jehovah was directed to Micah, given to him to proclaim. Saw - i.e., with mental and spiritual vision, not necessarily with physical eyes. This verb means to see subjectively. Micah had spiritual understanding of the message he was to declare.”—Wycliffe Bible Commentary, The
“The Writing Prophets. The formula “The word of the Lord came” at the head of prophetical books (Hos. 1:1; Mic. 1:1; Zeph. 1:1) implies that the whole book is God’s word, with no distinction between the divine voice in the prophet and its written expression. The idea of revelation is present in the concept, and there is a transition to the understanding of the entire OT as God’s word. If this word is teaching, it has a dynamic aspect as blessing (Isa. 2:3; Amos 8:11-12) and constraint (Amos 3:8). The word is put on Jeremiah’s lips (Jer. 1:9). It is his joy and delight (15:16), but it also puts him under compulsion (20:7ff.). It is no idle dream, for even when clothed in vision, it is an irresistible force (23:29) which is known because it infallibly comes to pass (28:9). Clarity concerning it comes only with prayer either as self-subjection (15:10ff.) or intercession (42:7ff.). In Isa. 40ff. the word endures forever (40:8) and carries its fulfilment within itself, accomplishing its mission no less than the rain and snow (55:10-11). Coming from God, it is the effectual force which epitomizes all true prophecy.—Theological Dictionary of the New Testament - Abridged Edition
Trans: This book carries authority because it is God’s Word.
A Veritable Telegram from Heaven
A young man was once employed as clerk in a telegraph office in a town in England. In some way or other God led him to see that he was a sinner, and this caused him great distress of mind. The young man went to the office one morning greatly troubled, and praying the best he could.
The click of his machine told him a message was coming. He looked and saw that it was from Windermere up among the beautiful lakes. There was first the name and residence of the one to whom the dispatch was sent, and then followed these words from the Bible: "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), and "In whom we have redemption, through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7).
Then followed the name of the person sending it. This was a strange message to send by telegraph! The explanation of it was this: a servant girl living in the town was distressed about her sins; having a Christian brother she wrote to him of her condition, asking the question, "What must I do to be saved?"
The brother, being unable to write her at once, sent her the dispatch. The poor girl found her way to Jesus through the sweet words from her brother, and so did the young telegraph operator. This was a veritable telegram from Heaven to them both. God's word did the work.”
II. The Author.
“…to Micah of Moresheth” Mic. 1:1
“Micah came from Moresheth Gath (1:1, 14), modern Tell el-Judeidah, a rather imposing mound about 400 m (1,240 ft) above sea level in the foothills of southwestern Judah. It overlooked the undulating coastal plain to the west, dotted with fortified cities. About 35 km (22 miles) southwest of Jerusalem it was connected with a network of 'hedgehog' fortifications along the eastern edge of the foothills. These fortifications protected Jerusalem (on the spine of Judah's central ridge) from attacks mounted by invaders from the coastal highway connecting Egypt and Mesopotamia.”—New Bible Commentary