Bible Commentaries

Micah 1

Verses 1-16

The first message of Micah consists of a summons, a proclamation of Jehovah, and a prophetic message based on the proclamation. This division ends with an account of the intenuption of the false prophets, and finally the promise of ultimate deliverance.

In the summons the prophet had clearly in mind the attitude of Jehovah toward the whole earth. All peoples are called upon to attend. Israel was Jehovah's medium of teaching, if not in blessing, then in judgment. He witnesses among the nations by His dealings with Israel. The description of His coming forth from His place is full of poetic beauty. Under the figure of a great upheaval of nature the prophet described the advent of God.

The proclamation of Jehovah first declares the cause of judgment. It is for the transgression of Jacob . . . for the sins of the house of Israel." The reason for judgment is the apostasy of the nation as evidenced in the cities. Jehovah next describes the course of judgment, commencing with the destruction of false religion. The city wherein was gathered the wealth and wherein authority was exercised was to be demolished, and the religion of apostasy swept away.

On the basis of this proclamation the prophet delivers his message. It opens with a personal lamentation expressive of his own grief concerning the incurable wounds of the people.

This is followed by a wailing description of the judgment. The passage is a strange mixture of grief and satire. At the calamity the prophet was grieved. Because of the sin he was angry. This merging of agony and anger flashes in satire. The connection of contrast is not easy to discover. A translation of the proper names appearing in this section may enable the reader to discover the remarkable play on words which runs through it.