|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
A shortened form of Micaiah, who is like Jehovah?
(1.) A man of Mount Ephraim, whose history so far is introduced in Judges 17, apparently for the purpose of leading to an account of the settlement of the tribe of Dan in Northern Palestine, and for the purpose also of illustrating the lawlessness of the times in which he lived (Judges 18; 19:1-29; 21:25).
(2.) The son of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), 1 Chronicles 8:34, 35.
(3.) The first in rank of the priests of the family of Kohathites (1 Chronicles 23:20).
(4.) A descendant of Joel the Reubenite (1 Chronicles 5:5).
(5.) "The Morasthite," so called to distinguish him from Micaiah, the son of Imlah (1 Kings 22:8). He was a prophet of Judah, a contemporary of Isaiah (Micah 1:1), a native of Moresheth of Gath (1:14, 15). Very little is known of the circumstances of his life (Comp. Jeremiah 26:18, 19).
Micah, Book of
The sixth in order of the so-called minor prophets. The superscription to this book states that the prophet exercised his office in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. If we reckon from the beginning of Jotham's reign to the end of Hezekiah's (B.C. 759-698), then he ministered for about fifty-nine years; but if we reckon from the death of Jotham to the accession of Hezekiah (B.C. 743-726), his ministry lasted only sixteen years. It has been noticed as remarkable that this book commences with the last words of another prophet, "Micaiah the son of Imlah" (1 Kings 22:28): "Hearken, O people, every one of you."
The book consists of three sections, each commencing with a rebuke, "Hear ye," etc., and closing with a promise, (1) ch. 1; 2; (2) ch. 3-5, especially addressed to the princes and heads of the people; (3) ch. 6-7, in which Jehovah is represented as holding a controversy with his people: the whole concluding with a song of triumph at the great deliverance which the Lord will achieve for his people. The closing verse is quoted in the song of Zacharias (Luke 1:72, 73). The prediction regarding the place "where Christ should be born," one of the most remarkable Messianic prophecies (Micah 5:2), is quoted in Matthew 2:6.
There are the following references to this book in the New Testament:
5:2, with Matthew 2:6; John 7:42. 7:6, with Matthew 10:21,35,36. 7:20, with Luke 1:72,73.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
mi'-ka (mikhah, contracted from mikhayahu, "who is like Yah?"; Codex Vaticanus, Meichaias; Codex Alexandrinus, Micha; sometimes in the King James Version spelled Michah):
(1) The chief character of an episode given as an appendix to the Book of Judges (Judges 17; Judges 18). Micah, a dweller in Mt. Ephraim, was the founder and owner of a small private sanctuary with accessories for worship (17:1-5), for which he hired as priest a Judean Levite (17:7-13). Five men sent in quest of new territory by the Danites, who had failed to secure a settlement upon their own tribal allotment, visited Micah's shrine, and obtained from his priest an oracle favoring their quest (Judges 18:1-6). They then went on until they reached the town of Laish in the extreme North, and deeming it suitable for the purpose, they returned to report to their fellow-tribesmen. These at once dispatched thither 600 armed men, accompanied by their families (Judges 18:7-12). Passing Micah's abode, they appropriated his idols and his priest, and when their owner pursued, he was insulted and threatened (Judges 18:13-26). They took Laish, destroyed it with its inhabitants and rebuilt it under the name of Dan. There they established the stolen images, and appointed Micah's Levite, Jonathan, a grandson of Moses (the King James Version "Manasseh"), priest of the new sanctuary, which was long famous in Israel (Judges 18:27-31).
The purpose of the narrative is evidently to set forth the origin of the Danite shrine and priesthood. A few peculiarities in the story have led some critics-e.g., Moore, "Judges," in ICC and "Judges" in SBOT; Budde, Richter-to regard it as composite. Wellhausen, however, considers that the peculiarities are editorial and have been introduced for the purpose of smoothing or explaining the ancient record. Most authorities are agreed that the story is nearly contemporary with the events which it narrates, and that it is of the highest value for the study of the history of Israelite worship.
See also JUDGES; DAN; PRIESTHOOD.
(2) A Reubenite, whose descendant Beerah was carried into exile by Tiglath-pileser (1 Chronicles 5:5).
(3) A son of Merib-baal (1 Chronicles 8:34; 1 Chronicles 9:40 f).
See MICA, (1).
(4) A Kohathite Levite (1 Chronicles 23:20; 1 Chronicles 24:24 f).
(5) The father of Abdon, one of Josiah's messengers to the prophetess Huldah (2 Chronicles 34:20). In the parallel passage (2 Kings 22:12), the reading is "Achbor the son of Micaiah," the King James Version "Michaiah."
(6) A Simeonite mentioned in the Book of Judith (Judith 6:15).
(7) The prophet, called, in Jeremiah 26:18 (Hebrew), "Micaiah the Morashtite." See special article.
(8) The son of Imlah.
See MICAIAH, (7).
John A. Less
(mikhah; Meichaias; an abbreviation for Micaiah (Jeremiah 26:18), and this again of the longer form of the word in 2 Chronicles 17:7; compare 1 Kings 22:8):
1. Name and Person:
The name signifies "who is like Yah?"; compare Michael, equal to "who is like El?" (i.e. God). As this name occurs not infrequently, he is called the "Morashtite," i.e. born in Moresheth. He calls his native city, in Micah 1:14, Moresheth-gath, because it was situated near the Philistine city of Gath. According to Jerome and Eusebius, this place was situated not far eastward from Eleutheropolis. The prophet is not to be confounded with Micah ben Imla, in 1 Kings 22:8, an older prophet of the Northern Kingdom.
2. Time of Micah:
According to Jeremiah 26:18, Micah lived and prophesied in the reign of Hezekiah; according to Micah 1:1, he labored also under Jotham and Ahaz. This superscription has, it must be said, great similarity to Isaiah 1:1 and is probably of a later date. Yet the contents of his first discourse confirm the fact that he prophesied, not only before the destruction of Samaria, but also before the reformation of Hezekiah (compare Micah 1:5). Accordingly, Micah 1 is probably a discourse spoken already under Ahaz, and Micah 2-5 under Hezekiah. No mention is any longer made of Samaria in chapters 2 to 5. This city has already been destroyed; at any rate, is being besieged. Accordingly, these discourses were pronounced after the year 722 B.C., but earlier than 701 B.C., as the reformation of Hezekiah had not yet been entirely completed. It is impossible to date exactly these discourses, for this reason, that all the separate sentences and addresses were afterward united into one well-edited collection, probably by Micah himself. The attacks that have been made by different critics on the authenticity of Micah 4 and 5 have but a poor foundation. It is a more difficult task to explain the dismal picture of the conditions of affairs as described in Micah 6 and 7 as originating in the reign of Hezekiah. For this reason, scholars have thought of ascribing them to the reigns of Jotham and Ahaz. But better reasons speak for placing them in the degenerate reign of Manasseh. There is no reason for claiming that Micah no longer prophesied in the times of this king. It is true that a number of critics declare that Micah did not write these chapters, especially the so-called psalm in 7:7-20, which, it is claimed, clearly presupposes the destruction of Jerusalem (7:11)! But it is a fact that Micah did really and distinctly predict this destruction and the exile that followed this event in 3:12; and accordingly he could in this concluding hymn very easily have looked even beyond this period.
Micah is, then, a younger contemporary of Isaiah, and, like the latter, he prophesied in Judah, perhaps also in Jerusalem. To the writings of this great prophet his book bears a close resemblance both in form and in contents, although he did not, as was the case with Isaiah, come into personal contact with the kings and make his influence felt in political affairs.
3. Relation to Isaiah:
The statement in Micah 4:1; is found almost literally in Isaiah 2:2;. Opinions differ as to who is to be credited with the original, Isaiah or Micah. In the latter, the passage seems to suit better into the connection, while in Isaiah 2 it begins the discourse abruptly, as though the prophet had taken it from some other source. However, Micah 4:4 is certainly a sentence added by Micah, who, accordingly, was not the first to formulate the prophecy itself. It is possible that both prophets took it from some older prophet. But it is also conceivable that Isaiah is the author. In this case, he placed this sentence at the head of his briefer utterances when he composed his larger group of addresses in Micah 2-4, for the purpose of expressing the high purposes which God has in mind in His judgments.
4. Contents of the Prophecies:
Micah combats in his discourses, as does Isaiah, the heathenish abuses which had found their way into the cult, not only in Samaria, but also in Judah and Jerusalem, and which the reformation of Hezekiah could counteract only in part and not at all permanently (compare Micah 1:5-7; Micah 5:11-13; 6:7, 16). Further, he rebukes them for the social injustice, of which particularly the powerful and the great in the land were guilty (Micah 2:1; 3:2 f.10 f); and the dishonesty and unfaithfulness in business and in conduct in general (compare Micah 6:10;; 7:2;). At all times Micah, in doing this, was compelled to defend himself against false prophets, who slighted these charges as of little importance, and threatened and antagonized the prophet in his announcements of impending evil (compare 2:5;, 11;). In pronounced opposition to these babblers and their predictions of good things, Micah announces the judgment through the enemies that are approaching, and he even goes beyond Isaiah in the open declaration that Jerusalem and the temple are to be destroyed (Micah 3:12; Micah 4:10; Micah 5:1). The first-mentioned passage is also confirmed by the event reported in Jeremiah 26:17;. The passage Micah 4:10, where in a surprising way Babylon is mentioned as the place of the exile, is for this reason regarded as unauthentic by the critics, but not justly. Micah predicts also the deliverance from Babylon and the reestablishment of Israel in Jerusalem, and declares that this is to take place through a King who shall come forth from the deepest humiliation of the house of David and shall be born in Bethlehem, and who, like David, originally a simple shepherd boy, shall later become the shepherd of the people, and shall make his people happy in peace and prosperity. Against this King the last great onslaught of the Gentiles will avail nothing (4:11-13; 5:4;). As a matter of course, he will purify the country of all heathen abuses (5:9;). In the description of this ruler, Micah again agrees with Isaiah, but without taking the details from that prophet.
5. Form of the Prophecies:
The form of the prophecies of Micah, notwithstanding their close connection with those of his great contemporary, has nevertheless its unique features. There is a pronounced formal similarity between Micah 1:10; and Isaiah 10:28;. Still more than is the case in Isaiah, Micah makes use of the names of certain places. Witty references, which we can understand only in part, are not lacking in this connection; e.g. Lachish, the "city of horses," is made the object of a play on words. (Recently in the ruins of this city a large wall has been unearthed.) The style of Micah is vigorous and vivid. He loved antitheses. It is a peculiarity of his style that he indulges in dramatic interruptions and answers; e.g. 2:5, 12; 3:01; 6:6-8; 7:14 f. He also loves historical references; as e.g. 1:13, 15; 5:05; 6:4, 6, 16; 7:20. He makes frequent use of the image of the shepherd, 2:12; 3:2; 4:06; 5:3;; 7:14. The fact that these peculiarities appear in all parts of his little book is an argument in favor of its being from one author. He is superior to Isaiah in his tendency to idyllic details, and especially in a deeper personal sympathy, which generally finds expression in an elegiac strain. His lyrical style readily takes the form of a prayer or of a psalm (compare Micah 7).
C. P. Caspari; Ueber Micha den Morasthiten, 1851; T.K. Cheyne, Micah with Notes and Introduction, 1882; V. Ryssel, Untersuchungen uber Textoeatalt und Echtheit des Buches Micha, 1887. Seethe commentaries on the 12 minor prophets by Hitzig, Ewald, C. F. Keil, P. Kleinert, W. Nowack, C. v. Orelli, K. Marti; Paul Haupt, The Book of Micah, 1910; Pusey, The Minor Prophets, 1860.
C. von Orelli
Micah (54 Occurrences)
Judges 17:1 There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 17:4 When he restored the money to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made of it an engraved image and a molten image: and it was in the house of Micah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 17:5 The man Micah had a house of gods, and he made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 17:8 The man departed out of the city, out of Bethlehem Judah, to sojourn where he could find a place, and he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he traveled. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 17:9 Micah said to him, "Where did you come from?" He said to him, "I am a Levite of Bethlehem Judah, and I am looking for a place to live." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 17:10 Micah said to him, "Dwell with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver per year, a suit of clothing, and your food." So the Levite went in. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 17:12 Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 17:13 Then said Micah, "Now know I that Yahweh will do good to me, seeing I have a Levite to my priest." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:2 The children of Dan sent of their family five men from their whole number, men of valor, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said to them, "Go, explore the land!" They came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:3 When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite; and they turned aside there, and said to him, "Who brought you here? What do you do in this place? What do you have here?" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:4 He said to them, "Thus and thus has Micah dealt with me, and he has hired me, and I am become his priest." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:13 They passed there to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:15 They turned aside there, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:18 When these went into Micah's house, and fetched the engraved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image, the priest said to them, "What are you doing?" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:22 When they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:23 They cried to the children of Dan. They turned their faces, and said to Micah, "What ails you, that you come with such a company?" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:26 The children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:27 They took that which Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burnt the city with fire. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 18:31 So they set them up Micah's engraved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 9:12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micah. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. (WBS)
1 Kings 22:8 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Jehovah; but I hate him, for he prophesies no good concerning me, but evil: it is Micah the son of Imlah. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. (DBY)
1 Kings 22:9 Then the king of Israel called a chamberlain, and said, Fetch quickly Micah the son of Imlah. (DBY)
1 Kings 22:13 And the messenger that went to call Micah spoke to him saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak good. (DBY)
1 Kings 22:14 And Micah said, As Jehovah liveth, even what Jehovah shall say to me, that will I speak. (DBY)
1 Kings 22:15 And he came to the king. And the king said to him, Micah, shall we go against Ramoth-Gilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he said to him, Go up, and prosper; for Jehovah will give it into the hand of the king. (DBY)
1 Kings 22:24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micah upon the cheek, and said, Where now went the Spirit of Jehovah from me to speak to thee? (DBY)
1 Kings 22:25 And Micah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go from chamber to chamber to hide thyself. (DBY)
1 Kings 22:26 And the king of Israel said, Take Micah and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son; (DBY)
1 Kings 22:28 And Micah said, If thou return at all in peace, Jehovah has not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O peoples, all of you! (DBY)
1 Chronicles 5:5 Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 8:34 The son of Jonathan was Merib Baal; and Merib Baal became the father of Micah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 8:35 The sons of Micah: Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 9:15 And Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph; (KJV DBY WBS YLT)
1 Chronicles 9:40 The son of Jonathan was Merib Baal; and Merib Baal became the father of Micah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 9:41 The sons of Micah: Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 23:20 The sons of Uzziel: Micah the chief, and Isshiah the second. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 24:24 The sons of Uzziel, Micah; of the sons of Micah, Shamir. (WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 24:25 The brother of Micah, Isshiah; of the sons of Isshiah, Zechariah. (WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 17:7 And in the third year of his reign he sent his princes, Ben-hail, and Obadiah, and Zechariah, and Nethaneel, and Micah, to teach in the cities of Judah; (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:7 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Jehovah; but I hate him, for he prophesies no good concerning me, but always evil: it is Micah the son of Imlah. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:8 Then the king of Israel called a chamberlain, and said, Fetch quickly Micah the son of Imlah. (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:12 And the messenger that went to call Micah spoke to him saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent: let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and declare good. (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:13 And Micah said, As Jehovah liveth, even what my God shall say, that will I declare. (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:14 And he came to the king. And the king said to him, Micah, shall we go against Ramoth-Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper; and they will be given into your hands. (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micah upon the cheek, and said, Which way now went the Spirit of Jehovah from me to speak to thee? (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:24 And Micah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go from chamber to chamber to hide thyself. (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:25 And the king of Israel said, Take ye Micah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son; (DBY)
2 Chronicles 18:27 And Micah said, If thou return at all in peace, Jehovah has not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O peoples, all of you! (DBY)
2 Chronicles 34:20 The king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 26:18 Micah the Morashtite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 36:11 And Micah the son of Gemariah the son of Shaphan heard out of the book all the words of Jehovah; (DBY)
Jeremiah 36:13 And Micah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read in the book in the ears of the people. (DBY)
Daniel 5:28 PERES; your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Micah (WEB)
Micah 1:1 The word of Yahweh that came to Micah the Morashtite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)