Survey of Micah

Book Type: The sixth book of the Minor Prophets; the thirty-third book of the Old Testament; the thirty-third book of the Bible.

Author: Micah, noted in Micah 1:1.

Audience: Micah wrote to Jewish people in Judea during the reigns of three kings: Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. The prosperity that existed under Judah's previous kings was declining, with idol worship on the rise. Many Samaritans had migrated to Judah following the destruction of Samaria, bringing their system of false worship with them. Micah warned against worship of other gods, predicting distant Babylon would one day defeat Judah as part of God's judgment.

Date: Between approximately 735 and 700 BC.

Overview: Micah consists of seven chapters that can be organized in three major sections. The first section (Micah 1—2) focuses on God's judgment on Samaria, Judah, and false prophets. He first speaks of Samaria and Judah's judgment (Micah 1:2–16), followed by additional judgment concerning those who oppressed them (Micah 2:1–5). In Micah 2:6–11 the focus shifts to condemning the false teachers of Micah's time, who were leading people astray. The final two verses of this section (Micah 2:12–13) briefly note future deliverance.

The second section (Micah 3—5) judges the leaders of the people and notes God's future deliverance as the ultimate leader. The current leaders will be found guilty of various sins against the Lord. Rather than relying on them, God will personally one day come to rescue and redeem His people (Micah 4:1—5:15).

The third section speaks of God's ultimate deliverance (Micah 6—7). What begins as a message of gloom and lament (Micah 6:1—7:6) transitions to a celebration of future victory. Micah notes, "But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me" (Micah 7:7).

The final three verses end on a note of confidence. They emphasize God's forgiveness, steadfast love, compassion, and faithfulness to His people (Micah 7:18–20).

Key Verses (ESV):

Micah 1:2: "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."

Micah 5:2: "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, \ who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, \ from you shall come forth for me \ one who is to be ruler in Israel, \ whose coming forth is from of old, \ from ancient days."

Micah 6:8: "He has told you, O man, what is good; \ and what does the LORD require of you \ but to do justice, and to love kindness, \ and to walk humbly with your God?"

Micah 7:18–19: "Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity \ and passing over transgression \ for the remnant of his inheritance? \ He does not retain his anger forever, \ because he delights in steadfast love. \ He will again have compassion on us; \ he will tread our iniquities underfoot. \ You will cast all our sins \ into the depths of the sea."